Treatise Regarding the Narration Pertaining to the Demand of Fatimah

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Treatise Regarding the Narration Pertaining to the Demand of Fatimah

 

The following narration appears in Bukhari:

 

فغضبت فاطمة فهجرته فلم تكلمه حتي ماتت

Fatimah became angry and therefore avoided him (Abu Bakr), and did not speak to him till she passed away.

 

This narration is cited to prove that Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha was unhappy with Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and that he had expropriated her rights and the rights of the family of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, by those who revile the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and oppose them.

This group of people have by means of this narration instigated a colossal mess throughout the entire country, the likes of which is inconceivable. Consequently, there was a need to response to these false allegations. I have therefore gathered a few different aspects which I wish to present ahead for the enlightenment of the scholars. If you find it to be of benefit you can accept it otherwise you can overlook it.

 

1. Zan al Rawi (assumption of the narrator)

Firstly, the words: Ghadab (anger), Wajd (disillusionment), Hijran (avoidance) and ‘Adam al Takallum (not wanting to talk), are not part of the actual narration. They fall under Zan al Rawi. This is stated by many a scholars. For example, Molana Rashid Ahmed Gangohi has mentioned the following in Lami’ al Darari ‘ala al Bukhari, his commentary on Bukhari:

 

قوله فغضبت فاطمة …. هذا ظن من الراوي حيث استنبط من عدم تكلمها إياه أنها غضبت عليه

The statement, “Fatimah became angry” is the assumption of the narrator, for he understood her silence to be a sign of her displeasure.[1]

 

Similarly Molana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanwi has stated in his book Fatawa Imdadiyah:

 

علماۓ محققین لم تتکلم را بر معنی لم تتکلم فی ہذا الامر محمول کردہ اند۔ ولو سلمنا کہ لم تتکلم بر معنی متبادر محمول باشد تاہم چہ دلیل کہ این ہجران از ملالت بود واگر براویتے تصریح بر آید یمکن کہ ظن راوی باشد

The Muhaqqiqin have mentioned that the meaning of “She did not speak” is that she did not speak to him regarding that particular issue (and not that she did not speak to him at all). Even if we take it to be in its literal sense there is no evidence to prove that she had done so out of disappointment. And if there is any explicit mention regarding her avoidance then that will be considered an addition by the narrator based on his assumption.[2]

 

A question might arise here, and that is: is it possible for a narration, altered by a narrator due to his assumption, to appear in one the Sahihayn (Bukhari and Muslim) when they are the most authentic of canonical hadith works?

In this regard the scholars have mentioned that the majority of the narrations in the Sahihayn are authentic and free from any discrepancies, however, there are few narrations in which we find some discrepancies, and one such discrepancy is Zan al Rawi. Hence, it is mentioned in Fayd al Bari, the commentary of Molana Anwar Shah Kashmiri on Bukhari:

 

وأي إعتماد به (بالتاريخ) إذا لم يخلص الصحيحان عن الأوهام حتي صنفوا فيها كتبا عديدة فأين التاريخ الذي يدون بأفواه الناس و ظنون المؤرخين لا سند لها و لا مدد

How can we place complete reliance on sources of history when the Sahihain are not free from discrepancies, to the extent that special books were dedicated to solve them? Then where is the reliability of history, a major portion of which is narrated through hearsay and the assumptions of historians which have no chains of transmission or any other supporting material.[3]

 

Now remains the issue of who is the narrator on whose assumption these additions were made.

According to my research this narrator is Ibn Shihab al Zuhri. The proof for this is that the displeasure of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha is cited only in narrations that are narrated through him. Her displeasure has not been cited through the transmission of any other narrator who narrates this incident i.e. the incident of her demanding inheritance from Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and a share of Fadak and Khums.

 

2. Idraj al Rawi (additions made by a narrator)

Another way of analysing this narration and others of its nature is that there were additions made in them by a narrator. Simply because, in some narrations of this incident the aspect of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha becoming disillusioned is mentioned after the words “he said” and is thus an addition made by a narrator and not part of the actual narration reported by Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha.

Furthermore it would now be crucial to know in which narrations are the words “he said” found, and in which books of hadith and history do these narrations appear. To elaborate on these aspects, I shall present a brief chart in which I shall present all the books in which these narrations appear and how many times they appear as well.

No.

Names of Books Times Mentioned

1

Bukhari Sharif 5
2 Muslim Sharif

2

3

Abu Dawood Sharif 4
4 Nasa’i Sharif

1

5

Tirmidhi Sharif 2
6 Al Sunan al Kubra

6

7

Musnad Imam Ahmed 5
8 Musnad Abi ‘Awanah

3

9

Al Musannaf li ‘Abdur Razzaq 1
10 Sharh Ma’ani al Athar

1

11

Mushkil al Athar 1
12 Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d

2

13

Tarikh al Umam wa al Muluk 1
14 Al Muntaqa li Ibn Jarud

1

15 Futuh al Buldan

1

 

Some of the narrations of this incident are emphatic whilst others are not. And by doing a comprehensive study of all of them, I have reached the following conclusions:

1. Out of the total thirty six narrations, eleven are narrated from other Sahabah besides Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha. For example, Abu Hurairah, Abu al Tufayl ‘Amir ibn Wathilah and Umm Hani’ radiya Llahu ‘anhum etc. Similarly, they are narrated from other narrators besides Ibn Shihab al Zuhri, and in none of them is there any mention of Fatimah’s radiya Llahu ‘anha displeasure.

2. The remaining twenty-five narrations are narrated by Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha and through the transmission of Ibn Shihab al Zuhri. They are of two types:

  • Nine of the twenty five narrations make no mention whatsoever of her displeasure.
  • The balance of them, which is sixteen narrations, make mention of her displeasure.

3. Furthermore in the narrations that I am going to present below her displeasure has been mentioned after the words “he said” and not after the words “she said” which means that the additions to come are not from Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha rather they are of a narrator who has narrated this incident from her.

 

Narrations in Which “He Said” Appears

According to my research the words “he said” appear in the following narrations[4]:

1. Hafid Abu Bakr ‘Abdur Razzaq ibn Humam has cited the following in his compilation of hadith, al Musannaf:

 

أخبرنا عبد الرزاق عن معمر عن الزهري عن عروة عن عائشة أن فاطمة والعباس أتيا أبا بكر يلتمسان ميراثهما عن رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم و هما حينئذ يطلبان أرضه من فدك و سهمه من خيبر فقال لهما أبوبكر سمعت رسو ل الله صلي الله عليه وسلم يقول لانورث ما تركنا صدقة إنما يأكل آل محمد من هذا المال و إني و الله لا أدع أمرا رايت رسو ل الله صلي الله عليه وسلم يصنعه إلا صنعته قال فهجرته فاطمة فلم تكلم في ذالك حتي ماتت فدفنها علي ليلا ولم يؤذن بها أبو بكر

Aisha narrates that Fatimah and ‘Abbas came to Abu Bakr to demand the inheritance of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. They came at that time to demand his land of Fadak and his share from the spoils of Khaybar. Abu Bakr said to them: “I have heard Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying, ‘We are not inherited from, whatever we leave behind is sadaqah.’ Yes, the family of Muhammad will benefit from them (the assets of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). And by the oath of Allah I shall not forsake the method of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. I shall do whatever he had done in these assets.” He said: “Fatimah thus avoided him and did not talk to him till she passed away. And when she passed away Ali buried her by night and did not inform Abu Bakr. [5]

 

2. Imam Bukhari rahimahu Llah has cited the coming narration in his book Sahih al Bukhari:

 

حدثني عبد الله بن محمد قال حدثنا هشام بن يوسف اليماني قال أخبرنا معمر عن الزهري عن عروة عن عائشة أن فاطمة و العباس أتيا أبابكر يلتمسان ميراثهما من رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم و هما يومئذ يطلبان أرضيهما من فدك و سهمه من خيبر فقال لهما أبوبكر سمعت رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم يقول لا نورث ما تركنا صدقة إنما يأكل آل محمد من هذا المال فال أبوبكر و الله لا أدع أمرا رأيت رسو ل الله صلي الله عليه وسلم يصنعه فيه إلا صنعته قال فهجرته فاطمة فلم تكلمه حتي ماتت.

 

3. The following narration is cited in Musnad Abi ‘Awanah:

 

.[6] حدثنا الدبري عن معمر عن الزهري عن عروة عن عائشة أن فاطمة و العباس أتيا أبابكر يلتمسان ميراثهما من رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم و هما يومئذ يطلبان أرضه من فدك و سهمه من خيبر فقال لهما أبوبكر سمعت رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم يقول لا نورث ما تركنا صدقة إنما يأكل آل محمد من هذا المال فال وإني و الله لا أدع أمرا رأيت رسو ل الله صلي الله عليه وسلم يصنعه إلا صنعته قال فهجرته فاطمة فلم تكلمه في ذالك حتي ماتت فدفنها علي ليلا و لم يؤذن أبا بكر

 

4. Imam Abu Bakr ibn al Hussain al Bayhaqi has mentioned the following narration in his book al Sunan al Kubra:

 

.[7] أخبرنا أبو محمد عبد الله بن يحيي بن عبد الجبار ببغداد أنا إسماعيل بن محمد الصفارثنا أحمد بن منصور ثنا عبد الرزاق أنا معمر عن الزهري عن عروة عن عائشة أن فاطمة و العباس أتيا أبابكر يلتمسان ميراثهما من رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم و هما يومئذ يطلبان أرضه من فدك و سهمه من خيبر فقال لهما أبوبكر سمعت رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم يقول لا نورث ما تركنا صدقة إنما يأكل آل محمد من هذا المال و الله إني لا أدع أمرا رأيت رسو ل الله صلي الله عليه وسلم يصنعه بعد إلا صنعته قال فغضبت فاطمة فهجرته فلم تكلمه حتي ماتت فدفنها علي ليلا و لم يؤذن بها أبا بكر

 

5. The following narration is cited in Muslim:

[8]. عن ابن شهاب الزهري عن عروة عن عائشة رضي الله عنها …………..قال فهجرته فاطمة فلم تكلمه حتي توفيت..

(The rest of the narration is just as that of the above cited narrations with minor changes. Nevertheless the aspect of the displeasure of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha is cited after “he said” here as well).

 

6. Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Jarir al Tabari has cited the following narration in his book, Tarikh al Umam wa al Muluk:

[9] حدثنا أبو صالح الضراري قال حدثنا عبد الرزاق عن معمر عن الزهري عن عروة عن عائشة أن فاطمة و العباس أتيا أبابكر يلتمسان ميراثهما من رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم و هما حينئذ يطلبان أرضه من فدك و سهمه من خيبر فقال لهما أبوبكر أما إني سمعت رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم يقول لا نورث ما تركنا صدقة إنما يأكل آل محمد من هذا المال وإني والله لا أدع أمرا رأيت رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم يصنعه إلا صنعته قال فهجرته فاطمة فلم تكلمه في ذالك حتي ماتت فدفنها علي ليلا و لم يؤذن بها أبا بكر…

Hafiz ‘Imad al Din ibn Kathir has cited the narration of Bukhari in his book al Bidayah wa al Nihayah with the words “he said” (not omitting them as was cited in the beginning of the treatise). This narration is also cited through the transmission of al Zuhri:

قال فهجرته فاطمة فلم تكلمه حتي ماتت.

 

7. The six references that were presented above were from the books of the Ahlus Sunnah. I shall now present a Shia reference in which this incident has been narrated in the exact same manner as that of the previously cited ones.

Ibn Abi al Hadid is a renowned Shia and Mu’tazili[10] scholar — he is one of the famous commentators of Nahj al Balaghah — has in his commentary went into a detailed discussion about Fadak and has divided the entire discussion into three subchapters. In the first of these he has cited a lengthy narration through the transmission of Abu Bakr al Jowhari. In this narration as well the words “he said” appear, after which the displeasure of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha is cited. The narration reads as follows:

 

.[11] قال أبو بكر الجوهري أخبرنا أبو زيد قال حدثنا إسحاق بن إدريس قال حدثنا محمد بن أحمد عن معمر عن الزهريعن عروة عن عائشة أن فاطمة و العباس أتيا أبابكر يلتمسان ميراثهما من رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم و هما حينئذ يطلبان أرضه بفدك و سهمه بخيبر فقال لهما أبوبكر إني سمعت رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم يقول لا نورث ما تركنا صدقة إنما يأكل آل محمد من هذا المال وإني والله لا أغير أمرا رأيت رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم يصنعه إلا صنعته قال فهجرته فاطمة فلم تكلمه حتي ماتت

 

Some people claim that Abu Bakr al Jowhari was a Sunni and not a Shia, therefore, this narration cannot be held as evidence against the Shia. To dispel this false claim of theirs I present before you a brief exposition regarding his affiliations.

 

The Position of Abu Bakr al Jowhari

1. Ibn Abi al Hadid has filled his commentary on Nahj al Balaghah with the narrations of Abu Bakr al Jowhari. His narrations are found in the beginning, middle and end of his book. And this narration that I have cited from his book is from those three subchapters which he has dedicated to the detailed discussion of Fadak.

He has emphatically stated the following before initiating the discussion:

 

وجميع ما نورده في هذا الفصل من كتاب أبي بكر أحمد بن عبد العزيز الجوهري في السقيفة و فدك و ما وقع من الإختلاف و الإ ضطراب عقب وفاة النبي صلي الله عليه وسلم.

All the narrations that I am to cite regarding the issues of Fadak, Saqifah and the severe conflicts that had ensued after the demise of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, are sourced from the book of Abu Bakr Ahmed ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz al Jowhari.

 

2. Abu Bakr al Jowhari has also written a book named Kitab al Saqifah. This is open evidence of his Shia affiliations. The Ahlus Sunnah never experienced the need to write a book exclusively regarding what had transpired at Saqifah Bani Sa’idah just as they seen no need to write books regarding the incident of the pond of Khum.

3. He also appears in Furu’ al Kafi, one of the four primary sources of the Shia doctrine. He features as a narrator in many of its narrations. For example, he appears in Kitab al Salah (chapter regarding salah) of the first volume.[12] He likewise appears in Tahdhib al Ahkam, another primary source of the Shia. Here as well he features in the chapter pertaining to the method in which salah should be performed[13]. Hence he is a reliable narrator according to the Shia.

4 .When studying the Shia books of rijal (books dealing with the biographies of hadith narrators) one will notice that they have classified him as an authentic reliable narrator; there is no criticism regarding him at all. If he was a Sunni, they would have criticised him and deemed his narrations worthy of being discarded. A few quotations from these books are cited below:

  • Muhammad al Ardabili has stated in his book Jami’ al Ruwat:
 

الجوهري له كتاب السقيفة الكوفي

Al Jowhari, from Kufah, has written a book on the issue of Saqifah.[14]

 
  • Khawansari al Musawi has stated in his book Rowdat al Jannat:
 

منهم الشيخ المتقدم البارع أحمد بن عبد العزيز الجوهري صاحب كتاب السقيفة الذي يعتمد علي النقل عنه أبن أبي الحديد و غيره.

From amongst them is Ahmed ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz al Jowhari. The outstanding scholar of the early years. Ibn Abi al Hadid and many others have, relying upon his works, quoted him. [15]

 
  • Mowla ‘Inayat Allah al Qahba’i has stated the following in his book Majma’ al Rijal:
 

أحمد بن عبد العزيز الجوهري له كتاب السقيفة

Ahmed ibn Sa’id al Jowhari: He has authored a book regarding the issue of Saqifah.[16]

 

In conclusion, Abu Bakr al Jowhari was a passionate Shia. There can be no two opinions about that. Therefore, his narrations cannot be ascribed to the Ahlus Sunnah.

Now, returning back to the actual discussion, I once again opine that there are additions made in these narrations with the words “he said”. It is not possible that they appear coincidently. They were added to the narrations intentionally.

Hopefully those who are inclined toward the truth and support it leaving aside all prejudices from amongst the scholars will accept this treatise that I have presented.

The only contention that stands currently is who is the subject of “he said”? Is it al Zuhri or is it someone else?

My answer to that is that it is al Zuhri without doubt. This is not a claim I am making without concrete evidence. There are many factual evidences and subtleties to establish this which I am to present in the forthcoming pages. The readers are advised to analyse them thoughtfully.

 

Some Important Notes Regarding Al Zuhri

His name is: Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Muslim ibn ‘Ubaidullah ibn Shihab al Zuhri (d 124 A.H). At the very outset it should be clear that in the books of biographies of the Ahlus Sunnah he has been commended abundantly. He was a great hadith scholar of his time. There is no doubt regarding his reliability. All that I wish to present ahead is his method in terms of narrating ahadith.

First of all, as I had mentioned before that all the narrations that highlight the demand of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha regarding Fadak, a share of the Khums of Khaybar etc., in which mention is made of her displeasure, are narrated through the transmission of al Zuhri; no other narrator beside him has narrated the aspect of her displeasure. This is undeniable proof of the fact that he is the subject of the verb “he said” not anyone else.

It is stated regarding al Zuhri, in some books, that the style of al Zuhri is that in order to explain the hadith he would add explanatory notes or his opinions to the ahadith. At times he would add these notes by means of words and phrases that would make them distinct from the actual ahadith and at times without doing so.

‘Allamah al Sakhawi has made mention of this in his commentary of Alfiyah al ‘Iraqi, entitled Fath al Mughith. Ibn Hajar has likewise made mention of the same in his book al Nukat ‘ala Ibn al Salah:

 

كذا كان الزهري يفسر الأحاديث كثيرا و ربما أسقط أداة التفسير فكان بعض أقرانه دائما يقول له افصل كلامك من كلام النبي صلي الله عليه وسلم إلي غير ذالك من الحكايات

It was the habit of al Zuhri to add explanatory notes to ahadith from his side. And at times he would omit the words and phrases that separated those notes from the actual ahadith. To the extent that some of his contemporaries would often say to him, “Why do you not separate your opinions from the ahadith of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?”

 

To further elaborate on the method implemented by Imam al Zuhri, I shall cite a few more narrations. By means of these narrations his method will become crystal clear. And the colleague of al Zuhri who had advised him to separate his opinions from the ahadith of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam will likewise be revealed.

1. Imam al Bukhari has cited the discussion of Rabi’ah with al Zuhri through the transmission of Imam Malik in his book al Tarikh al Kabir. It reads as follows:

 

قال عبد العزيز بن عبد الله حدثني مالك كان ربيعة يقول لابن شهاب “إن حالتي ليس تشبه حالك أنا أقول برأي من أخذه و أنت عن النبي صلي الله عليه وسلم فتحفظ

‘Abdul ‘Aziz ibn ‘Abdullah states that Malik narrated to us that Rabi’ah would say to al Zuhri: “My method and your method is not the same; I voice my opinion in my own words, whoever wants to accept it will accept it (and whoever does not want to, will reject it). But you attribute your opinion to the Nabi of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and therefore it gets documented as his words.”[17]

 

2. Al Khatib al Baghdadi has cited two narrations with their chains of transmission in his book al faqih wa al Mutafaqqih under the chapter, “the decorum of a jurist with his students.” By studying these narrations, if Allah wills, the method of al Zuhri will become evident. In these narrations the detailed conversation of Rabi’ah with al Zuhri is documented.

 

a) أخبرنا عثمان بن محمد بن يوسف العلاف أنبأنا محمد بن عبد الله الشافعي حدثنا أبو إسماعيل الترمذي حدثني ابن بكير حدثنا الليث قال قال ربيعة لابن شهاب” يا أبا بكر إذا حدثت الناس برأيك فأخبرهم بأنه رأيك و إذا حدثت الناس بشيئ من السنة فأخبرهم أنه سنة لا يظنون أنه رأيك.”

Rabi’ah said to Ibn Shihab (al Zuhri): “When you inform the people of you opinion then let them know that it is your opinion, and when you narrate some aspect of sunnah to them then let them know that it is a hadith of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, so that they may not consider it to be your opinion.”

 

b) أخبرنا محمد بن الحسن بن الفضل القطان أخبرنا عبد الله بن جعفر بن درستويه حدثنا يعقوب بن سفيان حدثنا محمد بن أبي زكريا أنبأنا ابن وهب قال حدثني مالك قال قال ربيعة لابن شهاب “إذا أخبرت الناس بشيئ من رأيك فأخبرهم أنه رأيك

Rabi’ah said to Ibn Shihab: “When you voice your opinion before people then inform them that it is your opinion.”[18]

 

3. Hafiz Shams al Din al Dhahabi has in his book, Tarikh al Islam wa Tabaqat al Mashahir wa al A’lam, cited the conversation of Rabi’ah with Imam al Zuhri in the following manner:

 

قال الأويسي قال مالك كان ربيعة يقول للزهري “إن حالي ليس تشبه حالك” قال “و كيف؟” قال “أنا أقول برأي من شاء أخذ ومن شاء ترك و أنت تحدث عن النبي صلي الله عليه وسلم فيحفظ

Rabi’ah often said to al Zuhri: “My condition is very different from yours.” He asked: “How?” Rabi’ah replied: “I inform people of my opinion. Consequently, whoever wants to accept it will accept it and whoever wants to reject it will reject it. And you, on the other hand attribute your opinion to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and it is therefore documented as sunnah. (Whereas people in reality, are unaware of the fact that it is your opinion).”[19]

 

In essence the person who al Sakhawi rahimahu Llah had indicated towards in his writings was Rabi’ah al Ra’y. He had advised al Zuhri to keep his opinions distinct from the ahadith of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam so that people do not confuse them to be part of the ahadith of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

It is obvious that al Zuhri would associate his opinions to the ahadith of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, which is why his colleagues had to advise him not to do that.

I would like to bring to the attention of the scholars that the additions of Imam al Zuhri are widespread in the books of hadith. Many great scholars of hadith, viz. al Dar Qutni, al Tahawi, Ibn ‘Abdul Barr, al Bayhaqi, Abu Bakr al Hazimi, Imam al Nawawi, Jamal al Din al Zayla’i, Ibn Kathir, Ibn Hajar al ‘Asqalani, Jalal al Din al Suyuti and Mulla ‘Ali al Qari, have discovered them and have stated that there are his additions. I have gathered all their statements in this regard.

The result of the entire discussion is that all questions and misconceptions will be dissolved if we consider the aspect of the displeasure of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha to be the addition of al Zuhri and his assumption. The entire incident will be harmonious with reality and rationality.

My honourable teacher Molana Sayed Ahmed Shah Ujnalwi rahimahu Llah had touched on this discussion in his book Tahqiq-e Fadak, I have according to my humble research added some more references in the discussion and have presented it before you. Hopefully those who are inclined towards the truth will support my discussion and they will overlook any shortcomings that they come across whilst studying it.

 

A Counter Argument to the Misconception

The actual answer to the misconception had been presented in the previous pages. But, usually coupled with the original answers, counter arguments are given also. I therefore intend presenting one before you for this misconception as well.

Just as the mention of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha becoming disillusioned with Abu Bakr is found in many narrations, so is the mention of her becoming disillusioned with ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu found in many narrations; which are recorded in several authentic books of the Shia. Our answer for the former will be the exact same answer they are willing to give for the latter. Ahead I will cite few narrations which highlight her displeasure with ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

 

First Narration

Sheikh al Saduq, a famous Shia scholar, has written the following in his book ‘Ilal al Shara’i’[20]:

 

Abu Dhar al Ghaffari mentions that he returned with Jafar ibn Abi Talib, the brother of ‘Ali, from Abyssinia. Upon his return, Jafar had given ‘Ali a slave girl as a gift which someone had given him as a gift. Her value was four thousand Dirhams. She would carry out domestic chores in the very house in which Fatimah resided.

On one occasion Fatimah saw ‘Ali being very informal with this slave girl; she saw him lying in her lap. Gripped by possessiveness she remarked: “If this is what you have done then I am going to my father’s house.” He in return said: “You can go.” She thus took hold of her shawl wore her scarf and began to go. In the meantime Jibril descended with revelation upon Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam informing him that Fatimah was coming with a complaint regarding ‘Ali. “Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala is invoking his mercy upon you and is commanding you not to pay attention to her complaint regarding him…” eventually Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sent her back to her home. And ‘Ali had on the other hand, to comfort her, freed the slave girl and together with that distributed four hundred dirhams in charity. This is how the matter was resolved.[21]

 

Second Narration

Mulla Baqir al Majlisi has quoted the following narration in his book Bihar al Anwar:

 

The Sahabah mention that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam one morning led them in the Fajr Salah. That morning he was very distraught. After salah he proceeded to the house of Fatimah and they accompanied him. Upon reaching her home he noticed that ‘Ali was lying outside by the door. Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam went to him dusted the dust off him with his blessed hands and said: “Stand, O Abu Turab!” Subsequently, he entered the home with ‘Ali and they waited outside. After a short while Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam returned elated. They inquired: “O Rasul Allah! You entered the home distraught and you came out to us elated, what is the reason for this?” He said: “Why should I not be elated when I have reconciled between two such people who are most loved in the heavens.”[22]

 

It is obvious that they were disconcerted with one another, then only did Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam reconcile between them and return happy.

 

Third Narration

When the demand of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha that she made regarding the inheritance of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was declined by Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu she returned home disillusioned and said the following to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

يا ابن أبي طالب اشتملت مشيمة الجنين و قعدت حجرة الظنين…

O the son of Abu Talib! You have concealed yourself in a shawl just as a foetus is concealed in the womb of his mother. And you have chosen to remain at home just as a person convicted of a crime opts to do…[23]

 

This incident has been recorded in much more detail in the book of Mulla Baqir Majlisi, Haq al Yaqin. It goes as follows:

 

“پس حضرت فاطمہ بجانب خانہ برگردید و حضرت امیر المؤمنین انتظار معاودہ او می کشید چون بمنزل شریف قرار گرفت۔۔۔۔۔۔ خطابہا‌ۓ درشت با سید اوصیاء نمود کہ مانند جنین در رحم پردہ نشین شدہ و خائنان در خانہ گریختہء بعد از آنکہ شجاعان دہر را بر خاک ہلاک افگندی مغلوب این نامردان گردیدہ اینک پسر ابوقحافہ بظلم وجبر بخشیدہ پدر مرا و معیشت فرزندانم ازمن می گیرد وبہ آواز بلند با من مخاصمہ و لجاج می کنید وانصار مرا یاری نمی کنند و مہاجران خود را بکنارہ کشیدہ اند وسائر مردم دیدہ ہارا پوشیدہ اند نہ واقعے دارم نہ مانعے ونہ یادرے دارم نہ شافعے۔ خشمناک بیرون رفتم وغمناک برکشتم خود را ذلیل کردی در روز یکہ د ست از سطوت خود برداشتی گرگان می درند ومی برند وتو از جا‌ۓ خود حرکت نمی کنی۔ کاش از این پیش مذلت و خواری مردہ بودم داۓ بر من ہر صبحی و شامی محل اعتماد من مرد و یاور من سست شد شکایت من بسوۓ پدر من ست و مخاصمہ من بسوۓ پروردگار من ست

‘Ali was anticipating her return. She returned home and reproached Ali in a very stern manner: “You are hiding yourself like that foetus which is hidden in the womb of his mother! You remain at home like those who are losers. You fought the great warriors of your time and defeated them but you are unable to stand up against failures. The son of Abu Quhafah is expropriating the inheritance of my father and the livelihood of my children. He is quarrelling with me in a loud voice yet the Ansar are not willing to help me and the Muhajirin have stepped aside and do not want to get involved; everyone is just bypassing this matter. I have no one to defend me, to assist me and to intercede on my behalf. I left furious and I returned distraught. We have become victims of disgrace since the time you stopped displaying your pomp and awe. The tyrants are roaring and you are doing nothing whatsoever. I wish I never lived to see this day. How sad that my pillar of support is now vanquished and my helper is now fatigued. Now my complaint is to my father alone and my argument is in the hands of my Rabb.”

 

Fourth Narration

Al Saduq ibn Babuwayh, has cited the following incident in his book, ‘Ilal al Shara’i’:

 

On one occasion a person came to Fatimah and informed her that ‘Ali was intending to get married to the daughter of Abu Jahal and that he had already proposed for her. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has made possessiveness, jealousy, intrinsic to the nature of women. She thus became furious. She spent the entire day in this state; in the evening she came to her father’s home bringing along with her Hassan, Hussain and Umm Kulthum, her three children. ‘Ali upon returning home noticed that the queen of the women of Jannat and her children are not home. Consequently he was disillusioned, he, nevertheless, went to rest in the masjid.

On the other side Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam learnt of the displeasure of Fatimah and discerned it from her face. He proceeded to the masjid and supplicated to Allah that He alleviate the resentment that had ensued between the two of them. He then took Fatimah and the children and headed for ‘Ali who was asleep at the time. Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam tapped him on his feet and said: “O Abu al Turab! You have disrupted the rhythm of things, you have put those who were at ease in distress. Go, go and call Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and Talhah.” He went and called them all. When they came and appeared in the gathering of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, he said to ‘Ali: “Do you not know that Fatimah is part of me; whoever causes distress to her indeed causes distress to me, and whoever causes distress to me has invoked the punishment of Allah upon himself?” He responded: “I definitely know that, O Rasulullah!” ‘Ali subsequent to that asked her to pardon him and said that he no longer had such intentions…[24]

 

Note:-

The incident of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu proposing for the daughter of Abu Jahal appears in our books as well. The Shia have, however, altered the entire incident and made many additions therein. The long and short of the story according to our sources is that Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha upon learning of this became distraught and went away to Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was very much hurt when he got know of it as well. He ascended the pulpit and made the following remarks: “I can never consent to this; if ‘Ali intends getting married to her then he should divorce my daughter, because the daughter of the enemy of Allah and the daughter of the Nabi of Allah cannot be in the wedlock of one person. Fatimah is a part of me, whatever disturbs her disturbs me equally and whatever causes grief to her causes grief to me as well.”[25] After hearing these words of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu opted not to go ahead with the matter.

It is established from all these narrations that Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha on several occasions had been disillusioned with ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had also because of her disillusionment become upset. The answer that the Shia are willing to give for these narrations is the answer we will give for all those narrations in which mention is made of her becoming disillusioned with Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. In conclusion I present the following proverb:

This is a crime commited in your town as well.

 

An Interesting Point Regarding This Hadith

The warning, “Fatimah is a part of me whatever causes grief to her, causes grief to me…” in the hadith was directed toward ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The Shia have, however, purported it to be directed toward Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. We, therefore, will notice that in all the writings of the Shia and their talks they will always mention this warning in connection with Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Subhan Allah! How intense is their cunning!

For the benefit of the scholars the following text is presented:

 

فإن كان هذا وعيدا لاحقا بفاعله لزم أن يلحق هذا الوعيد علي بن أبي طالب و إن لم يكن وعيدا لاحقا بفاعله كان أبوبكر أبعد عن الوعيد من علي

If this is a warning that is most certainly to implicate the one doer then it will most certainly implicate ‘Ali. And if it does not implicate the doer then Abu Bakr is far more distant from it than ‘Ali.[26]

 

Counter Reply

At the end of this discussion I intend to present before you a hypothetical answer, which is if we for a moment to consider that Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha in actual fact was displeased with Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu then there are many narrations in the books of both the Ahlus Sunnah and the Shia that establish that the resentment between them did not last. They displayed veneration and appreciation for one another which in essence is a sign of pure iman and an encapsulation of Allah-consciousness. I shall first present narrations from our books and thereafter from the books of the Shia that highlight this particular aspect.

 

The Narration of Tabaqat Ibn Sa‘d

 

أخبرنا عبد الله بن نمير ثنا إسماعيل عن عامر قال جاء أبوبكر إلي فاطمة حين مرضت فاستأذن فقال علي هذا أبو بكر يستأذن علي الباب فإن شئت أن تأذن له قالت والك أحب إليك قال نعم فدخل عليها و اعتذر إليها وكلمها فرضيت عنه.

‘Amir al Sha’bi narrates that Fatimah fell ill. Abu Bakr came to visit her and sought permission to enter. ‘Ali asked her: “Abu Bakr is at the door and is seeking permission to enter. Do you give him permission to come in?” She said: “Are you fine with him coming in?” He said: “Yes” Subsequently he entered and he apologised and spoke with her until she eventually she became pleased.[27]

 

Narration of al Sunan al Kubra

 

حدثنا أبو حمزة عن إسماعيل بن خالد عن الشعبي قال لما مرضت فاطمة أتاها أبوبكر الصديق فاستأذن عليها فقال علي يا فاطمة هذا أبوبكر يستأذن عليك فقالت أتحب أن آذن له قال نعم فاذنت له فدخل عليها يترضاها وقال والله ما تركت الدار والمال والأهل و العشيرة إلا ابتغاء مرضاة الله ومرضاة رسوله ومرضاتكم أهل البيت ثم ترضاها حتي رضيت.

When Fatimah fell ill Abu Bakr came to visit her and sought permission to enter. ‘Ali asked her: “Abu Bakr is at the door, he is seeking permission to enter, do you want him to come in?” She asked: “Is it ok with you if I give him permission to enter?” He said: “Yes” Hence he was granted permission to enter. He came in and, in an event to please her, said: “By the oath of Allah! I sacrificed my house, wealth, family and tribe only in order to achieve the pleasure of Allah, his Rasul and you the Ahlul Bayt.” He then tried to satisfy her till she eventually became pleased.[28]

 

The Narration of Imam al Awza’i

The previous two narrations had been cited through the transmission of ‘Amir al Sha’bi. Ahead the narration of ‘Allamah al Awza’i is presented. This narration has been cited with its chain of transmission by al Sheikh Ibn al Samman in his book Kitab al Muwafaqah. I do not have access to the book, however, Abu Jafar Muhibb al Din al Tabari, the renowned scholar of the seventh century, has, in his book Riyad al Nadarah fi Manaqib al ‘Asharah al Mubashsharah, cited this narration eliciting it from Kitab al Muwafaqah:

 

وعن الأوزاعي قال فخرج أبو بكر حتي قام علي بابها في يوم حار ثم فال لا أبرح مكاني حتي ترضي عني بنت رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم فدخل عليها علي فأقسم عليها لترضي فرضيت.

It is reported on the authority of al Awza’i (‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Amr al Dimashqi) that Abu Bakr came to the house of Fatimah. It was extremely hot that day. He vowed not to move from his place unless Fatimah became pleased with him. ‘Ali thus entreated her to become pleased with him. She eventually became pleased with him.[29]

 

These narrations spell out that the resentment that might have ensued between the two of them ended, and her dejectedness was replaced with pleasure. There remained no dispute between them. They had reconciled and forgiven one another as this has always been the distinguishing mark of the pious.

 

Narrations from Shia Sources

Our Shia friends might raise an objection here and say that these narrations that we have cited appear in our books and hence they cannot serve as evidence against them. I, therefore, shall now present narrations from their books that highlight this aspect.

Before I present the narrations I would like to say that if we collectively for a while leave aside all our biases and apply ourselves with impartiality keeping the fear of Allah in our conscience, then by combining the narrations (drawn from the books of both sects) this contention will be completely alleviated.

If we have to search for these narrations in the works of the Shia we will find that their scholars have cited them without any criticism which is a sign of these narrations being authentic and sound according to them. It will thus become clear that this issue that is raised, i.e. the resentment that had occurred between Abu Bakr and Fatimah, is baseless.

1. Ibn Maytham al Bahrani, an acclaimed Shia scholar, has cited the following narration in his commentary on Nahj al Balaghah:

 

قال إن لك ما لأبيك كان رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم يأخذ من فدك قوتكم و يقسم الباقي ويحمل منه في سبيل الله و لك علي الله أن أصنع بها كما كان يصنع فرضيت بذلك و أخذت العهد عليه به…

Abu Bakr said to Fatimah: “You deserve the same rights as your father; he would take stipend enough for your expenses from the property of Fadak and then would distribute the rest and spend it in purchasing conveyances for those who were going out in the path of Allah. I pledge to you that I shall deal with the property of Fadak just as Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did.” Fatimah upon hearing this became exultant and she further affirmed this pledge of Abu Bakr.[30]

 

2. The following narration is cited in Durrah Najafiyyah, another commentary of Nahj al Balaghah by Ibrahim ibn Haji Hussain:

 

…..ذلك أن لك ما لأبيك كان رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم يأخذ من فدك قوتكم و يقسم الباقي ويحمل منه في سبيل الله و لك علي الله أن أصنع بها كما كان يصنع فرضيت بذلك و أخذت العهد عليه به

Translation same as above.[31]

 

The Summary of the Narrations

By analysing these narrations we can draw the coming conclusions:

  1. Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha was satisfied with the stance Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu had taken regarding Fadak and she was pleased with him in this regard.
  2. There was no difference in the method implemented by Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in overseeing Fadak and the method of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
  3. Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu would give the Ahlul Bayt their share from the land of Fadak and would fulfil their needs therefrom.
 

With the grace of Allah the contention that had been raised through the hadith of Bukhari has been dissolved. A detailed felicitous answer, an inculpatory answer and a hypothetical answer were presented to resolve this misconception. Now we return to the actual theme of this section (and that is the ceremonial and domestic services offered to the Ahlul Bayt by Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his family).

 

NEXT⇒ The Wife of Abu Bakr, Asma’ bint ‘Umays and Fatimah


[1]Lami’ al Darari 2/500, chapter regarding Jihad; sub-chapter regarding Khums.

[2]Fatawa Imdadiyah 4/ 132, chapter regarding controversy

[3]Fayd al Bari 4/ 77, chapter regarding the nubuwwah of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam

[4]  All the narrations to be cited are very similar in word and exactly the same in their content. I shall therefore suffice on translating one narration only.

[5]Al Musannaf li ‘Abdur Razzaq 5/472-473, chapter regarding the dispute of ‘Ali and ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma

[6]Musnad Abi ‘Awanah 4/145-146, chapter regarding the administration of the wealth of Fay’

[7]Al Sunan al Kubra 6/300, chapter regarding the distribution of Fay’ and Ghanimah

[8]  Muslim 2/91-92, chapter regarding the ruling of Fay’

[9]Tarikh al Umam wa al Muluk 3/201-202, under the hadith pertaining to Saqifah

[10]  Name of theological school which introduced speculative dogmatism to Islam.

[11]Sharh Nahj al Balaghah 4/ 112, discussion regarding Fadak after the demise of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam

[12]Furu’ al Kafi 1/ 191, Kitab al Salah: chapter regarding prostration and the glorification of Allah.

[13]Tahdhib al Ahkam 1/172

[14]Jami’ al Ruwat 1/52

[15]Rowdat al Jannat, p. 111

[16]Majma’ al Rijal 1/123

[17]Al Tarikh al Kabir 2/262

[18] Al Faqih wa al Mutafaqqih p. 148, chapter regarding the decorum of a jurist with his students

[19]Tarikh al Islam 5/248, under the biography of Rabi’ah al Ra’y

[20]  The translation of the narration is given ahead without the actual Arabic text.

[21]‘Ilal al Shara’i’, p. 163-164, chapter: 13; Bihar al Anwar 10/43-44, chapter regarding her companionship with ‘Ali

[22] Bihar al Anwar 10/43-44, chapter regarding her companionship with ‘Ali

[23]Amali of Sheikh Abu Jafar al Tusi 2/295-296; al Ihtijaj of al Tabarsi p. 59, the argument of Fatimah with the people when they turned down her demand of Fadak; Nasikh al Tawarikh 4/129- 130; Bihar al Anwar 10/43-44, chapter regarding her companionship with ‘Ali

[24] ‘Ilal al Shara’i’ p. 185-186, chapter: 148; Jila’ al ‘Uyun p. 163-164, chapter regarding the fitnah of the hypocrites.

[25]Bukhari 1/528, 2/787

[26]Al Muntaqa (Mukhtasar Minhaj al Sunnah), p. 206-207.

[27] Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d 8/17, mention of Fatimah; al Sirah al Halabiyah 3/399, mention of the conditions after the demise of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

[28]Al Sunan al Kubra 6/301; al I’tiqad ‘ala Mazhab al Salaf pg. 181. Imam Bayhaqi has himself classified this mursal narration as sound. And the following scholars of hadith have cited this narration in their books and have deemed it authentic:

  1. Hafiz Ibn Kathir d 774 A.H has stated the following in al Bidayah wa al Nihayah: “This is an authentic chain of transmission and ostensibly ‘Amir al Sha’bi heard this narration directly from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu or from someone who heard it from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu.” He has likewise stated the following in the sixth volume on p 333: “This is an inconsistent narration the chain of transmission of which is acceptable.”
  2. Hafiz Ibn Hajar al ‘Asqalani d 852 A.H has stated the following in Fath al Bari: “The chain of narrators even though is inconsistent this narration from al Sha’bi is acceptable.” (6/151, chapter regarding Khums).
  3. Hafiz Badr al Din al ‘Ayni d 855 A.H has mentioned the following in ‘Umdat al Qari: “This is a sound and acceptable narration. Al Sha’bi has apparently heard it from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu or from someone who heard it from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu (15/20, chapter regarding the stipulation of Khums).
  4. Hafiz Shams al Din al Dhahabi d 748 A.H has cited this narration in his book Siyar A’lam al Nubala’ (2/89-94) and has thereafter commented on it in the following manner: “The narrator who has affected the inconsistency in this narration is al Sha’bi. He is a famous reliable narrator from amongst those who met the Sahabah. According to the scholars of hadith he had met ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as is proven from the text of Mustadrak al Hakim (4/365).

This is an accepted rule by both the sects that a Mursal narration of a reliable narrator is definitely accepted. Consequently, there is no doubt in the authenticity of this narration due to the above quoted judgments of the scholars.

[29] Riyad al Nadarah Fi Manaqib al ‘Asharah al Mubashsharah 1/156-157, chapter regarding Fatimah not leaving this world but pleased with Abu Bakr; Tuhfah Ithna ‘Ashariyah: answer to the 16th allegation.

Shah ‘Abdul ‘Aziz has translated this narration in Persian. This narration is a well-known narration according to the scholars. The roots of it is al Awza’i and those who narrate it from him are countless.

[30]Sharh Nahj al Balaghah (Old Iranian publication) 35/543, new publication 5/107

There are few things that should be borne in mind here:

  1. The complete name of the author is: Kamal al Din ibn Maytham ibn ‘Ali ibn Maytham al Bahrani. He passed away in the year 679 A.H.
  2. He had written this commentary in the year 677 A.H. This commentary had been published several times; it was published for the first time in one thick volume comprising of 35 sections. Therefore in alluding to the narration in this publication the reference “35/ 543” is written. The second time it was published in Tehran in the year 1384 A.H, this time it was published in five volumes and hence when alluding to the new publication “5/107” is written. The name of this commentary according to the author of Kashf al Zunun is Misbah al Salikin. However, in Tuhfah Ithna ‘Ashariyah, because of the writing errors of the scribes the name of this commentary has been documented as Mihjaj al Salikin.
  3. He has at this juncture commented in great depth. He has established eighteen different points. And he has cited this narration under the 8th one; he has cited this narration as an explanation of the lengthy letter ‘Ali ibn Talib had written to ‘Uthman ibn Hunayf, the governor of Basrah.
  4. This is purely a Shia narration but the Shia scholar, nevertheless, will never let it reach the ears of the laymen so as not to hinder the dispute and contention that is going on for years between the Shia and the Ahlus Sunnah. Had this narration been a Sunni narration they would have immediately identified it and would deem it unacceptable.
  5. Hence it is also important to remember at this point that the Shia scholars and Mujtahidin have not criticised this narration whatsoever. Rather they have left it as is. This is a sign of this narration being reliable according to their standards.

[31]Durrah Najafiyah (published in Iran in the year 1261 A.H), p 331-332

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