The School of Lady Fatima
In the current state of the Muslim world, and the advent of various sorts of spiritual diseases among Muslims, the personality of Lady Fatima is increasingly becoming a refuge for those who remain sincerely believing and hold true the Prophetic Mission. As Muslims continue to seek out happiness, contentedness, and true love towards God, we must return to the root of such traits, and these characteristics are manifested in the Prophet Muhammad and his Purified Family. The oppression dealt to the highest ranked woman in Islam has been carried out by a dual force. Following the death of her father and God’s Last Messenger (peace be upon him and his progeny), the sect of the hypocrites usurped her entitlement to Fadak and carried out an attack on the home of Lady Fatima (peace be upon her). However, the historical context of these individuals allows observers to accept their actions because they complement their previous animosity towards the Prophet Muhammad and his family. When it came to many of the so-called “companions” of the Prophet, no effort was made to conceal their blatant hatred towards the Prophet’s Family despite a divine decree establishing love for the Prophet and His family as compulsory. “Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it (the deliverance of the Message) but love for my near relatives.” (42:23)
Indeed, we remember the sacrifice and loyalty of Imam Hassan (peace be upon him) and the revolutionary martyrdom of Imam Hussain (peace be upon him) in the forsaken fields of Karbala. Rarely, if ever, do we consider: how were these individuals cultivated into men of God? Is it not because their mother was the leading woman of the worlds? Lady Fatima al-Zahra (peace be upon her) is the greatest symbol and most perfect emblem of politeness and humanity, chastity and piety, and bravery and forbearance in the Path of God.
The Holy Prophet refused to allow the marriage of Lady Fatima to occur in the absence of a Divine decree, and when he was asked to explain, He stated, “Maryam was the lady of the women of her time, but my daughter Fatimah is the lady of the whole world’s women, from the first to the last.” (The World’s Most Outstanding Lady: Fatima az-Zahra) The status and rank of Lady Fatima was so lofty and safeguarded that the only possible companion for her would be the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (peace be upon him). Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (peace be upon him) explains why the name Fatima was given to the highest ranking woman of Islam, “Because she and her followers (Shiites) are protected from Hell. [And] Had Amir Al-Mu’mineen not married her, no man on Earth from Adam on would have been suitable for her until the Day of Rising.” (Fatima the Gracious)
Lady Fatima’s life and death were so exalted and sublime in virtue and piety that all lessons of life and grandeur should be taken from her. Lady Fatima is a source of guidance for all Muslims, and her attributes mirror those of her father and her husband and her sons and grandsons. The status afforded to her is recognized by all Muslims, and even those who stood against her and in direct violation of God praised her qualities. Aisha, the wife of the Prophet, has narrated many of the virtues of Lady Fatima, and these traditions are prominently featured in the books of the other Islamic sects. For example, Aisha narrated, “I have not seen a person more similar to the Prophet’s appearance, conduct, guidance, and speech, whether sitting or standing, than Fatima.” (Mustadrak al-Hakim)
In the current state of the Muslim world, and the advent of various sorts of spiritual diseases among Muslims, the personality of Lady Fatima is increasingly becoming a refuge for those who remain sincerely believing and hold true the Prophetic Mission. As Muslims continue to seek out happiness, contentedness, and true love towards God, we must return to the root of such traits, and these characteristics are manifested in the Prophet Muhammad and his Purified Family. In particular, Lady Fatima stands as the eternal symbol of worship, an emblem of sincere love towards God, and an exalted example of patience and charity.
Through the school of Fatima, we can learn to cultivate our own selves into Muslims who have earned the honor of being labeled as true followers (Shias). By studying the life of the most perfect woman in Islam, individuals begin to construct for themselves a life of independence, guidance, and direction because she emphasized these values and beliefs through her devotion and love for Islam.
While the life of Lady Fatima is an example for all Muslims, she is the unequivocal role model for all women regardless of their religion or creed. Like her mother Lady Khadija, Lady Fatima presented the first chance for women to built an Islamic character and free them from the binds of ignorance and inferiority. Who other than Lady Fatima has taught women how to preserve their honor and purity? Was it not Lady Fatima who showed the world how to rise against oppression, usurpation, and injustice? Was it not Lady Fatima who personified charity and mercy towards the destitute by giving away her meals and clothing to others while knowing this would cause hardship on her?
The worship and piety of Lady Fatima is rivaled by no one before her or after her. Imam Hassan said, “On Friday night, I saw my mother standing in her arch of prayer. She was continuously kneeling and performing prostration till the dawn broke. I would hear her pray for the faithful men and women, but she did not at all pray for herself. I said, ‘O mother, why did you not pray for yourself like you prayed for others?’ She replied, ‘My son, first the neighbor, and then your own house.'” Indeed, Lady Fatima was worshipping and praying during the night, but she even prayed for other people before herself.
The lessons drawn from Lady Fatima’s life are innumerable and illustrious. She continued the Prophetic legacy of struggling in the way of God. While her struggles were not in the battlefield, her Jihad has been registered in history as an inimitable legacy of a woman. Furthermore, she planted the seeds of resistance against the tyranny of the usurpers and their misguided adherents. The school of Fatima is the true school of Islam and the perfect guidance for Muslims, because it rejects oppression and upholds the traditions, values, and original teachings of the Pure Prophet of Islam.