The Wedding of Sayyidah Fatimah

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Siddiqi Section

Chapter One

 

In this chapter I shall present before you the relationship that existed between Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the fourth daughter of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the queen of the women of Jannat, Fatimah al Zahra’ radiya Llahu ‘anha, such as the help that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu offered at the occasion of the wedding of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to her, the bond that existed between Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, the daughter of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and herself, the issue of Fadak, the monitory rights of the immediate family of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and her happiness, her fatal illness and the wife of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Asma’ bint ‘Umays, radiya Llahu ‘anha nursing her and being of service to her, her will, her demise and her burial etc.

In all these topics that have been discussed the warm relationship of Abu Bakr and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma is mentioned clearly without any ambiguity and the harmony between him and Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha is also cited in several places.

Now I begin to present before you whatever I could source regarding the wedding of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, first from the texts of the Shia themselves and then from our sources for further substantiation and collaboration.

 

The Wedding of Sayyidah Fatimah

 

First Narration

Mulla Muhammad Baqir Majlisi has written in his book Jilaʾ al ‘Uyun under the chapter regarding the wedding of Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha:

 

” روایت کردہ اند ابوبکر وعمر وسعد بن معاذ در مسبد حضرت رسول نشستہ بودند وسخن مزاوجہ فاطمہ درمیان آوردند۔ پس ابو بکر گفت کہ اشراف قریش خواستگاری او ازاں نمودند۔ حضرت در چواب ایشاں فرمود کہ امر او بسوء پروردگار اوست اگر خواہد کہ اورا تزویج نماید خواہد نمود وعلی بن ابی طالب دریں باب با حضرت سخن نہ گفت وکسی نیز براۓ آں حضرت سخن نہ گفت وگمان نہ دارم کہ چیزے مانع شدہ باشداورا مگر تنگدستی وآنچہ میدانم آنست کہ خدا و رسول نداشتہ اند مگر از براۓ او پس ابو بکر با عمر وسعد بن معاذ گفت کہ بر خیز ید نبزد علی برویم واورا تکلیف نمائیم کہ خواستگاری فاطمہ بکند واگر تنگد ستی اورا مانع شدہ باشد ما اورا دریں باب مدد کنیم۔ سعد بن معاذ گفت کہ بسیار درست دیدہ وبرخاستند بخانہ امیر المومنین رفتند۔ آجناب را در خانہ نیافتند۔ در آں وقت حضرت شتر خود را بردہ بود در باغ یکے از انصار آب میکشید باجرت پس متوجہ آں باغ شدند چوں بخدمت آں حضرت رسیدند فرمود کہ براۓ چہ حاحت آمدہ آید۔ ابوبکر گفت( اے علی) بیچ خصلتے از خصال خیر نیست مگر آنکہ تو بر دیگراں در آں خصلت سبق گرفتہ ورابطہ میان تو وحضرت رسول از جہت خویشی ومصاحبت دائمی۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔ پس چہ مانع است ترا؟ کہ خواستگاری نمی نمائی اورا زیرا کہ مرا گمان ست کہ خدا ورسول اورا براۓ تو نگاہداشتہ اند واز دیگراں منع میکنند۔ چوں حضرت امیر المومنین ایں سخناں را از ابوبکر شنید آب از دیدہ ہاۓ مبارکش فروریخت وفرمودہ کہ اندوہ مرا تازہ کردی وآرزوۓ کہ در سینئہ من پنہاں بود بہیجان آوردی۔ کہ باشد کہ فاطمہ را نخواہد؟ ولیکن من باعتبار تنگدستی شرم میکنم از آنکہ ایں معنی را نمائیم۔ پس ایشاں بہر نحویکہ بود آں حضرت را راضی کردند کہ بخدمت حضرت رسول رود وفاطمہ را ازاں حضرت خواستگاری نماید۔ حضرت شتر خود را کشود وبخانہ خود آورد و بست ونعلین خودرا پوشید ومتوجہ خانہ حضرت رسالت شد۔”

On one occasion Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and Sa’d ibn Muaz were sitting in Masjid Nabawi and a discussion about the marriage of Fatimah ensued. Abu Bakr said: “Eminent people of the Quraysh tribe have spoken to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam regarding Fatimah and he responded by saying that her matter is in the hands of her Rabb and He will give her in marriage to whomsoever He wishes. ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib has not spoken to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam regarding her nor has anyone put a word in for him, and according to me the only predicament because of which he is hesitant in proposing for her is his poverty, but Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has reserved her marriage to him.” Abu Bakr then said to ‘Umar and Sa’d ibn Muaz: “Come let us go to ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib and prepare him for the proposal and grant him monetary assistance if poverty is proving to be a hindrance for him.” Sa’d replied that this was an excellent suggestion. They stood up immediately and headed to the residence of Amir al Mu’minin, ‘Ali was not home at that time instead he was at an orchard belonging to an Ansari Sahabi drawing out water from a well for him in lieu of a specific wage, these three gentlemen headed towards that orchard to meet him. ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu enquired about the reason for their visit and Abu Bakr answered: “You have surpassed many people with your outstanding traits and you are a close relative of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and have had the good fortune of accompanying him at all times, so what is it that prevents you from proposing for Fatimah? I believe that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and His Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam have secured this relation for you and have kept it out of the reach of others.” Upon hearing this ‘Ali began weeping and said: “O Abu Bakr you have refreshed my grief and have rekindled the passionate desire of my heart, who would ever step back from such a proposal but I feel timid to ask for her on account of my poverty.” Hence they motivated him to proceed to the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and propose. He untied his camel, came home adorned himself and headed towards the house of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.[1]

 

Second Narration

A similar narrative is cited in Amali of Sheikh al Ta’ifah Abu Jafar al Tusi:

 

” قال الضحاك بن مزاحم سمعت علي بن أبي طالب يقول, “أتاني أبو بكر وعمر فقالا لو أتيت رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم فذكرت له فاطمة قال فأتيته فلما رآني رسول الله صلي الله عليه وآله ضحك ثم قال ما جاء بك يا علي قال فذكرت له قرابتي وقدمي في الإسلام و نصرتي له و جهادي فقال يا علي صدقت فأنت أفضل مما تذكر فقلت يا رسول الله فاطمة تزوجنيها…………….

فقال علي رسلك حتي أخرج إليك فدخل عليها فقامت إليه فأخذت رداءه ونزعت نعليه وأتته بالوضوء فوضأته بيدها وغسلت رجليه ثم قعدت فقال لها يا فاطمة فقالت لبيك حاجتك يارسول الله؟ فقال علي بن أبي طالب …….. قد ذكر من أمرك شيئا فما ترين فسكتت ولم تول وجهها و لم فيه رسول الله كراهة فقام وهو يقول الله أكبر سكوتها إقرارها.”

( كتاب الأمالي للشيخ أبي جعفر الطوسي ص38 الجلد الأول)

 

Mulla Baqir Majlisi has translated this very same text in his book, Jilaʾ al ‘Uyun, as follows:

 

شیخ طوسی بےند معتبر روایت کردہ است کہ نزدمن آمد ابو بکر وعمر وگفتند کہ چرا بہ نزد حضرت نسول نمی روی کہ فاطمہ را خواستگاری نمائی؟ پس من رفتم بخدمت آں حضرت، چوں نظر مبارکش بر من اوفتاد خندہ شد و فرمود براۓ چہ آمدہ ای ابو الحسن؟ حاجت خودرا بیان کن۔ پس عرض کردم بخدمت آں حضرت۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔ گنتم یا رسول اللہ استدعاء مینائم کہ فاطمہ را بمن تزویج کنی۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔ فرمود باش تا بروم ونبزد تو برگردم، چوں حضرت رسول بہ نزد فاطمہ رفت فاطمہ برخاست ورداۓ مبارکش را بر گرفت ونعلین را از پاۓ مبارکش را کند آب وضو آورد ودست پائش را شست۔ پس در خدمت آں حضرت نشست۔ حضرت فرمود ای فاطمہ ! عرض کرد لبیک، آیا حاجت داری یا رسول اللہ ؟ حضرت فرمود ای فاطمہ میدانی قرابت علی بن ابی طالب وفضیلت او۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔ در امر خواستگاری تو سخنی گفت پس چہ مصلحت میدانی؟ حضرت چوں ایں سخن را بشنید ساکت گردید ولیکن روۓ خودرا نہ گردانید واظہار کراہت نفرمود۔ پس حضرت رسول برخواست و فرمود اللہ اکبر ساکت شدن او علامت راضی شدن اوست۔ (جلاء العیون ملا باقر مجلسی ص 120 ۔ باب تزویج امیر المومنین و حضرت فاطمہ۔ مطبوعہ تہران ۔ سن 1334 ھ)

 

Dahhak ibn Muzahim states:

I heard ‘Ali saying: “Abu Bakr and ‘Umar approached me and told me that it would be most appropriate for me to go to the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and ask for the hand of Fatimah.” ‘Ali says I went to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, he smiled as soon as he saw me and asked me why had I come, I first mentioned my kinship with him, my early acceptance of Islam, my service to the din of Allah and my participation in the campaigns of jihad upon which he said: “You are way better then what you have just mentioned.” Thus I requested him to give Fatimah to me in marriage… he said: “O ‘Ali wait here till I return.” He returned home, and Fatimah stood as soon as she saw him. He then sat down, she removed his shawl and his slippers, brought water and performed wudu’ for him by herself and washed his feet and then set before him. Thereafter the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “O Fatimah!” She replied: “I am present, O Rasul of Allah, command me as you wish,” he said: “‘Ali has proposed for you so how do you feel?” She remained silent but did not display any dislike nor did she turn her face away. Rasulullah stood up saying: “Allah is the greatest! Her silence is sufficient for her consent.”[2]

 

Note:-

Baqir Majlisi has slightly altered the translation of the above Arabic text and I intend to reveal that to the readers, the translation of the coming sentence is completely clear:

اتته بالوضوء فوضأته بيدها وغسلت رجلىه

Which translates as, “Fatimah brought water and performed a wudu’ for Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and washed his feet.’ Thus the ruling of washing the feet in wudu’ (and not just wiping a wet hand over them) is clearly understood from this narration (and contradicts the practice of the Shia), this is why Baqir Majlisi has altered the translation to “she washed his hands and feet”. This is but a small illustration of their treachery. I have cited the Arabic text and its translation in Persian so that the readers can judge by themselves.

 

Third Narration

Just as the narration of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma urging ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to ask for the hand of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is mentioned in the Amali Sheikh Abu Jafar al Tusi and Jila’ al ‘Uyun, many renowned Shia scholars, authors and poets have made mention of it likewise. Hence Mirza Rafi’ Badhil of Iran has cited this incident in great detail in his poem, Hamlah Haydari, few verses are quoted below:

 

چوں بگذشت چندے بدیں داوری یکے روز رفتند نزد علی

زیاران مخصوص او چند تن بگفتند اے شمع آن انجمن

درین کار خیر اولیت تراست سکوتت درین خطبہ چندی چراست

رو از خدمت سید انبیاء بکن خواستگار‏‏ئ خیر النساء

بپاسخ چنیں گفت یعبوب دیں کہ دارم دو مانع بر اقدام ایں

نخست آنکہ شرم آیدم از نبی دوم خامشم کردہ دست تہی

بگفتند یارانش ای شہر یار تو خاطر خویش ازینہا میار

ترا با نبی نسبت دیگرست ازوآنچہ خواہی کني درخورست

زدست تہی نیز بر خود مپیچ نخواہد رسول کریم از تو ہیچ

بہ ترغیب یاراں علی ولی بروز دگر رفت نزد نبی

(حملہ حیدری از مرزا رفیع باذل، جلد اول ص 61۔ ذکر خطبہ نمودن علی المرتضی وحضرت خیر النساء فاطمہ الزہراء تحت وقائع سال دوم مطبوعہ سن 1627 ھ)

 

When a few days had passed to this affair, there came one day to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu

A few friends of his who said to him: “O the illumination of our confraternity!

What is keeping you behind from proposing, you are the most suitable person of all.

Go to the master of all the prophets and ask him to bestow upon you the most virtuous lady.

Hence the master of our faith (‘Ali) said: “There are two predicaments that prevent me from going ahead:

Firstly I feel timid to ask him for her and secondly my poverty compels me to remain silent.

They thus said: “O our dear friend do not think of any of these things!

Your relationship with Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is of a different nature. You can ask him for whatever you desire.

Do not worry about your poverty because he will demand nothing from you (he does not desire anything of yours).”

With the motivation of his friends, ‘Ali proceeded the next day to propose to Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

 

The following aspects can be deduced from the few references (Amali of Sheikh Abu Jafar al Tusi, Jilaʾal ‘Uyun and Hamlah Haydari) that I have presented regarding the proposal for Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha:

  1. Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma were the first to encourage ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to propose for the hand of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha, which is clear evidence of their reciprocal benevolence.
  2. Wealth is considered to be an external factor in nikah. They had comforted him in this regard as well; this is by itself proof of the love and affection they displayed for each other.
  3. The mere fact that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu accepted their suggestion and was prepared to undertake this noble task is sufficient proof of their sincerity and the value they had for each other, for the suggestions of one’s enemies are not to be accepted however sincere they appear to be.
  4. The sentence “Her silence is sufficient for her consent,” holds an intricate meaning and an interpretation worthy of contemplation, but it would be fitting to mention it under our response to “She did not speak to him till she passed away.”
 
 

NEXT⇒ The Services of Abu Bakr and ‘Uthman in Making Arrangements for the Wedding of Fatimah


[1]Jila’ al ‘Uyun of Mulla Baqir Majlisi, pg. 121, 122, chapter regarding the marriage of Amir al Mu’minin to Fatimah. Bihar al Anwar of Mulla Baqir, under the same topic pg. 37/38, vol. 10.

[2]Kitab al Amali of Sheikh Abu Jafar al Tusi, vol. 1 pg. 38. The book Amali of Sheikh Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Hassan al Tusi (d. 460 A.H) is considered to be an authentic and extremely reliable book by the Shia and it has been published in recent times by a Shia bookstore in Najaf, Iraq. Abu Jafar al Tusi is known as Sheikh al Taiʾfah (leader of the sect) and is the author of Tahdhib al Ahkam, al Istibsar, Talkhis al Shafi and many other books. Hence he is one of the authors of the four classical books of the Shia and each one of his books has a chain of transmission.

Jilaʾ al ‘Uyun is a book authored by Mulla Baqir Majlisi (d. 1111 A.H). Fadil Majlisi has in the introduction of this book written the following regarding its authenticity: “Only authentic narrations have been cited in this work.” All his books, Bihar al Anwar, Hayat al Qulub, Mira’t al ‘Uqul, Haqq al Yaqin etc., are all reliable according to the Shia scholars. For further satisfaction one can refer to the books containing the biographies of the Shia scholars.

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