Relations Between Fatimah and `A’ishah

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Relations Between Fatimah and Aisha

 

Thus far several narrations have been cited regarding the wedding of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha. Ahead I shall cite a few narrations that inform us of the reciprocal love, respect and understanding that was prevalent among them. The claims of those who portray them to have disputes amongst themselves are unfounded.

 

1. Aisha praises Fatimah

I shall start with citing the commendation of Fatimah by Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. There are many narrations in this regard. I shall suffice on the mention of one particular narration. The authors of Mustadrak and al Isti’ab quote:

 

عن عائشة أم المؤمنين رضي الله عنها إنها قالت ما رأيت أحدا كان أشبه كلاما وحديثا برسول الله صلي الله عليه و سلم من فاطمة وكانت إذا دخلت عليه قام إليها فقبلها ورحب بها كما كانت تصنع هي برسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم

عن عائشة رضي الله عنها قالت ما رأيت أحدا كان أصدق لهجة من فاطمة إلا أن يكون ألذي ولدها صلي الله عليه وسلم.

 

Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha is reported to have said: “I have not seen anyone who resembles the speech and manner of conduct of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam more than Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha. He would stand up to meet her, kiss her and welcome her whenever she came to visit him and she would treat him in the exact same manner.”[1]

She is reported to have mentioned as well: “I have not seen anyone more truthful then Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha besides her father salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”[2]

 

The Shia scholars have documented a narration of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha which very much resembles the abovementioned one. Sheikh ‘Abbas al Qummi has cited this narration in his book Muntaha al Amal:

 

شیخ طوسی روایت کردہ است کہ می گفت ندیدم احد ے را کہ در گفتار و سخن شبیہ تر باشد از فاطمہ برسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ و آلہ۔ چون فاطمہ بنزد آن حضرت می آمد اورا مرحبا می گفت ودستہاۓ اورا می بوسید و در جاۓ خود می نشاند چون حضرت بخانہ فاطمہ مے رفت بر میخاست و استقبال آنحضرت میکرد ومرحبا می گفت ودستہاۓ آنحضرت را مے بوسید

Sheikh al Tusi has narrated Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha to have said: “I have not seen anyone more similar in speech and conduct to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam than Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha. He would welcome her as soon as she would enter, kiss her hand and make her sit in his place. When he would visit her at her place she would rise from her place, welcome him and kiss his hand.”[3]

 

Likewise Abu Nuaim al Isfahani has mentioned in Hilyat al Auliya:

 

قالت عائشة رضي الله عنها ما رأيت أحدا قط اصدق من فاطمة رضي الله عنها غير أبيها

Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha mentions: “I have never seen anyone more truthful than Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha besides her father.”[4]

 

Nur al Din al Haythami has mentioned a narration of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha through the transmission of ‘Amr ibn Dinar in Majma’ al Zawa’id. Hafiz Ibn Hajar al ‘Asqalani has cited the very same narration in al Isabah (vol. 4):

 

قالت عائشة رضي الله عنها ما رأيت قط أحدا أفضل من فاطمة غير أبيها (أخرجه الطبراني في ترجمة إبراهيم بن هاشم من معجم الأوسط و سنده صحيح علي شرط الشيخين

Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha states: “I have not seen anyone better than Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha after her father.”[5]

 

One can easily understand the value, reverence and appreciation the beloved consorts of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had for his endeared daughters.

 

2. Instructions of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to Fatimah to Revere Aisha

I intend sharing another hadith with the readers in which Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has instructed Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha to honour Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. This narration appears in Muslim. The Arabic text of the narration with its translation will be presented below. Imam al Nasa’i has reported this narration with slight variations in his book, Sunan al Nasa’i, under the chapter pertaining to interaction with women:

 

إن عائشة زوج النبي صلي الله عليه وسلم قالت أرسل أزواج النبي صلي الله عليه وسلم فاطمة بنت رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم إلي رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم فاستأذنت عليه وهو مضطجع في مرطي فأذن لها فقالت يا رسول الله إن أزواجك أرسلني إليك ليسئلنك العدل في ابنة أبي قحافة و أنا ساكتة قالت فقال لها أي بنيتي ألست تحبين ما أحب قالت بلي قال فأحبي هذه قالت فقامت فاطمة حين سمعت ذلك من رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم فرجعت إلي أزواج النبي صلي الله عليه وسلم فأخبرتهن بالذي قال لها رسول الله صلي عليه وسلم فقلن لها ما نراك أغنيت عنا شيئا من شيئ فارجعي إلي رسول الله فقولي له إن أزواجك ينشدنك العدل في ابنة أبي قحافة فقالت فاطمة والله لا أكلمه فيها أبدا

Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha narrates:

On one occasion the pure spouses of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sent Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha to him. She came and sought permission to enter. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was resting at my residence. Permission was granted and she came in. She said: “O Rasulullah your spouses have sent me to ask you for fairness of treatment between them and the daughter of Ibn Abi Quhafah. Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha says that she remained silent. Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “O my beloved daughter! Do you not love those whom I love?” She replied in the affirmative. He then said: “Then love her!” Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha states that she left thereafter and returned to them and informed them of what had happened. They said: “You have not achieved anything for us, therefore go back to him and present our request to him one more time.” She said: “I take an oath I will not speak to him in this regard.”[6]

 

This narration clearly spells out that Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha had conceded the merits and feats of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha just as she, Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, had loved her and venerated her. To love Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha was her responsibility due to her being one of the Ummahat al Mu’minin, but this order of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam emphasised loving her. There exists not even the slightest of doubts regarding the love Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha had for Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha.

 

3. The Mutual Understanding and Reliance of Aisha and Fatimah

Under this subheading I shall present another narration which denotes the mutual trust and understanding of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha with ‘Ali and Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha. This narration also indicates that they would experience no dejectedness in asking each other rulings of certain issues etc.

This narration appears in Musnad Ahmed:

 

قالت أم سليمان دخلت علي عائشة زوج النبي صلي الله عليه وسلم فسألتها عن لحوم الأضاحي فقالت كان رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم نهي عنها ثم رخص فيها. قدم علي بن أبي طالب فأتته فاطمة بلحم من ضحاياها فقال أولم ينه عنها رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم ؟ فقالت إنه قد رخص فيها قالت فدخل علي علي رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم فسأله عن ذلك فقال له كلها من ذي الحجة إلي ذي الحجة

Ummu Sulaiman mentions:

I went to Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha to enquire from her regarding the meat of animals slaughtered at the occasion of ‘Id and she said: “Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had initially prohibited us from consuming it, thereafter he allowed us to have it. The reason being that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu once returned from a journey and Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha presented the meat of a slaughtered animal to him. He asked her: “Did not the Rasulullah prohibit us from its consumption?” She replied: “He has now granted us permission to have it.” ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu thus proceeded to the masjid and asked Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He said: “Eat from one Dhu al Hijjah to the other.”[7]

 

Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha inferred the permissibility of the meat of slaughtered animals from the incident of ‘Ali and Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. This proves that there existed no rancour and disillusionment between them. Instead they relied upon one another and interacted sincerely.

Let us analyse another narration that very explicitly tells us of their unsullied feelings for one another. This narration appears in Bukhari and Musnad Abi Dawood al Tayalisi:

 

قال ابن أبي ليلي حدثنا علي بن أبي طالب إن فاطمة اشتكت ما تلقي من أثر الرحي في يدها فأتت النبي صلي الله عليه وسلم فانطلقت فلم تجده فلقيت عائشة رضي الله عنها فأخبرتها فلما جاء النبي صلي الله عليه وسلم أخبرته عائشة بمجيئ فاطمة إليه فجاء النبي صلي الله عليه وسلم و قد أخذنا مضاجعنا فذهبنا نقوم فقال رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم علي مكانكما فقعد بيننا حتي وجدت برد قدميه علي صدري فقال ألا أعلمكما خيرا مما سئلتما إذا أخذتما مضاجعكما أن تكبرا أربعا وثلاثين وتسبحا ثلاثا وثلاثين وتحمداه ثلاثا وثلاثين فهو خير لكما من خادم

Ibn Abi Layla mentions:

‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu informed me that Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha once complained of having blisters on her hands because of operating the mill. She came to the home of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam only to discover that he was not there. Hence she informed Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha of her need. When he returned home Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha informed him that Fatimah had come with a need to see you. He immediately headed to her home, and we had already retired for the night. We intended to get up when we noticed him coming. He said: “Remain in your places,” and then set between us. I could feel the coolness of his feet upon my chest. Thereafter he said: “Should I not give you something which would prove more beneficial for you then a slave? Before you retire to bed recite Allah Akbar 34 times, Subhan Allah 33 times and al Hamd Lillah 33 times. This is better for you then a servant.”[8]

 

This narration is clear evidence of the fact that these pure souls did not entertain malicious feelings for each other and that their hearts were clean from all sorts of dirty and ill sentiments.

It should be remembered that this particular dhikr is known as al Tasbih al Fatimi. Fortunate are those who are endowed with the ability to recite it. The adhkar (plural of dhikr) of the blessed household of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam should be kept alive in the ummah, so as to acquire it benefits and blessings continuously. The scholars have also written that Allah will remove all the fatigue of a person who recites this dhikr before retiring to bed.

 

4. Fatimah Informs Aisha of a Very Crucial Secret

Here I shall cite a narration in which it is stated that Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha communicated an extremely important secret to Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. This secret which is in reality one of the outstanding merits of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha was than transmitted to the ummah via the medium of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. This narration is documented in Muslim:

 

عن عائشة قالت كن أزواج النبي صلي الله عليه وسلم عنده لم يغادر منهن واحدة فأقبلت فاطمة تمشي ما تخطئ مشية رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم شيئا فلما رآها رحب بها فقال مرحبا بابنتي ثم أجلسها عن يمينه أو عن شماله ثم سارها فبكت بكاء شديدا فلما رآي جزعها سارها الثانية فضحكت خصك رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم من بين نسائه بالسرار ثم أنت تبكين فلما قام رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم سألتها ما قال لك رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم قالت ما كنت لأفشي علي رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم سره قالت فلما توفي رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم قلت عزمت عليك بما لي عليك من الحق لما حدثتني ما قال لك رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم فقالت أما الآ ن فنعم أما حين سارني في المرة الأولي فأخبرني أن جبريل كان يعارضه القرآن في كل سنة مرة أو مرتين وأنه عارضه الآن مرتين وإني لا أري الأجل إلا قد اقترب فاتقي الله واصبري فإنه نعم السلف أنا لك فبكيت بكائي ألذي رأيت فلما رأي جزعي سارني الثانية فقال يا فاطمة أما ترضين أن تكوني سيدة نساء المؤمنين أو سيدة نساء هذه الأمة قالت فضحكت ضحكي الذي رأيت

Masruq narrates from Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha that on one occasion Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was present amidst his pure spouses. Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha came to visit at the time. Her walk was an exact imitation of the walk of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. When he saw her, he welcomed her and made her sit beside him. Then he whispered something in her ear because of which she began to weep profusely. Seeing her distress he again confided in her after which she smiled. I said to her: “What makes you weep when Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has chosen you to confide in from amongst all his wives?” When he left the gathering I asked her what had Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam whispered in her ear? She replied: “I do not feel comfortable divulging his secret.” After he had passed on I once again asked her: “I stress upon you because of my right over you to inform me of the secret.” She said: “I do not mind informing you about it now. The first time when he confided in me he told me that Jibril ‘alayh al Salam informed him of his death drawing close. I thus cried as you had noticed. He then asked me, ‘O Fatimah! Are you not pleased to be the queen of the women of Jannat or (he said) the women of this ummah?’ thereupon I smiled as you had seen.”[9]

 

It should be remembered that very similar narrations to the above cited one are documented by Shia scholars in their books with slight variations. The core theme of both narrations is however congruent. Just the mere fact that the Shia scholars have cited these narrations without any criticism is evidence of its authenticity according to their standards. Due to fear of prolongation I shall not cite those narrations here; rather I shall suffice on their references. They are as follows:

  1. Abu Jafar al Tusi: Amali vol. 2 pg. 14
  2. Ibn Shahar Ashub: Manaqib Ibn Shahar Ashub vol. 4 pg. 25

There are many other Shia scholars who have made mention of them as well.

 

Summary of This Incident

The following are the aspects that can be drawn from these narrations which are accepted by both parties:

  1. Just as Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha and the beloved wives of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam visited each other whilst he was alive so did they visit each other after his demise? This is a sign of their mutual affinity and sublime conduct.
  2. Similarly they venerated each other after the demise of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as was their practice during his lifetime.
  3. The secret communication which took place between Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his daughter Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha was of paramount importance to Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. That is why she stressed on her to inform her of the secret and thereafter transmitted this great secret of hers to the ummah.
  4. Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha is the only person who imparted this meritorious feat of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha to the entire ummah.
 

In conclusion, these two noble ladies revered, valued and cared for each other as long as they lived; and they passed on with these remarkable qualities of affection and care.

 
 

NEXT⇒ The Relationship Between Aisha and ‘Ali


[1] Al Mustadrak vol. 1 pg. 154, 160, 161

[2]Al Isti’ab, Al Isabah, biography of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha

[3]Muntaha al Amal vol. 1: chapter regarding the merits of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha

[4]Hilyat al Auliya vol. 2: chapter regarding Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha

[5]Majma’ al Zawa’id chapter 9 regarding the merits of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha

[6]Muslim vol. 2: chapter regarding the virtues of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, a similar statement to the last portion of this narration: “I take an oath I will not speak to him in this regard.” appears in the narration wherein Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha had demanded her share of Fadak. It is stated in that narration: “She did not speak (about this) until she passed away,” if this portion of the narration is considered to be part of the actual narration and not an addition from the narrator then its meaning can be determined by the above cited narration, i.e. she did not speak to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu regarding the issue of Fadak again just as is understood from this narration that she never spoke to Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam regarding Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha again.

[7]Musnad Ahmed vol. 6 pg. 282

[8]Bukhari vol. 1 pg. 439, vol. 2 pg. 807, Musnad Abi Dawood vol. 1 pg. 16

[9]Muslim vol. 2 pg. 290, Al Isti’ab pg. 343,344, Al Isabah vol. 4, Hilyat al Auliya vol. 2 pg. 39,40

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