The following is an edited Friday sermon by His Eminence, the late Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah (ra).
“Allah only wishes to remove uncleanness from you members of the family and to purify you” (33:33).One of the members of the family is Fatima Al-Zahraa, the infallible lady, the first lady in Heaven and in the worlds, whose birth anniversary is tomorrow, the 20th of Jamadii II.
Lady Az-Zahraa (a.s.) is the human being who bore all the characteristics of her father, the Messenger (p.). His mind used to educate hers, and his heart used to communicate with hers. Thus her heart had room to love all the people just as the heart of Muhammad. Her knowledge was part of the Messenger’s knowledge, to the extent that she started teaching at a very young age.
It is narrated that a man came to her and said: What has the Messenger (p.) left you that you could teach me.
She called her maid to look for certain papers. But the maid said that she had lost them. Fatima (a.s.) said: “Look for them; they are as important to me as Hassan and Hussein”.
When we know how much she loved her sons, we could understand how important the teachings of her father were. The maid found the papers in the trash bin, She brought them to Fatima (a.s.) Who read Muhammad (p.) said: He whose neighbor does not feel secure [that he would not harm him] is not one of the believers [Even if he fasts and prays…] He who believes in God and the Day of Judgment should not harm his neighbor, and he who believes in God and the day of Judgment should say something good or remain silent A believer should aim in what he says to promote the well-being of his fellow Muslims… Filling their minds with truth, their hearts with love and their life with justice but if he thinks that what he says will be counter –productive he better remain silent. Allah loves the righteousness, who loves good and educates himself on the good until it becomes a second nature to him, the tolerant, who does not lose his temper, the chaste and the virtuous who does not take what is not his, nor what God has deemed unlawful…”
This is what is said that lady Fatima (a.s.) had written of what her father had told her, and she kept it because she knew how important it was for the good of both individuals and the Muslim community.
Now we will try to read some of the testimonies of those who knew her. In his book “Al- Mustadrak”, Al-Hakim says that Aisha, the Prophet (p.)’s wife, said: I did not see anybody whose talk and speech look like that of Muhammad more than Fatima.
If she visits him, he would stand, take her hand and kiss her showing how much he loves and respects his daughter. For he knew how great she was, whether spiritually or academically, since it was unusual for a father to treat his daughter in such a manner. And if he visits her, she would stand, go to him and kiss his hand. Therefore, it was a relationship of mutual love and respect.
Even the way she used to walk was according to certain stories similar to that of her father. This means that she used to follow his lead even in the way he walks and talks. For she did not live with her mother, as great as her mother was, except for few years. The Messenger (P) was both her father and mother, while she, with the love and affection she used to feel for him, was “her father’s” mother” as the Prophet used to say.
Aisha says,as quoted in Al-Istiarb a non-Shiite book: “I have not met anybody who is more truthful than Fatima except her father”. Aisha’s testimony in this context is very important for she used to be jealous of Fatima’s mother, Khadija, even after the latter’s death. The same book quotes Aisha as saying that Fatima was the woman most loved by Muhammad, while her husband, Ali,(a.s.) was the closest to his heart of all men.
The Messenger (p.) talked about his daughter Fatima as if he knew what was going to happen to her after his death. He said: Fatima is a part of me, he who angers her angers me”. And since Muhammad (p.) does not say anything out of a whim or personal benefit, since all what he says is revealed from God, we can say that Muhammad is not talking about his daughter because she was the daughter whom he loved, but because he knew that she was infallible and that she was pleased by what pleases God and angered by what angers God.
Fatima Al-Zahraa (a.s.) was the perfect human being that was infallible, according to the verse of Al-Kissa (cover) which we recited at the beginning of our speech, and which talks about the infallibility of the five people who were under the cover in the house of Um-Selma. The prophet (p.) used to remind the people of this Ayah nearly every morning. Where he used to pass by Fatima’s house and say: “AsslamuAlaikum. Members of the house, prayer is due. Allah only wishes to remove uncleanness from you Members of the Family and to purify you.
Thus, when we talk about Fatima (a.s.) we are talking of an infallible human being whose manners were superior to the extent that she could be considered a role model not only for Muslim women, but also for all Muslims being a perfect image of the prophet.
In the end, we would like to recite a supplication that she used to call God with.
“O God, make me content with what you have given me… and keep me in good health as long as you keep me alive.Forgive me and have mercy on me when I die. Oh God do not make me exhaust myself in seeking what you did not mean to me, and let what you have destined to me easy to get. Oh God, reward my parents and everyone who did well to me. Oh God dedicate me to what you have created me for; to worship you, and follow your commands“Oh God make me look humbly at myself and make me feel how great you are...”
Oh God guide me to obey you and to do what pleases you and avoid what angers you .You are the Most Merciful.
This is Fatima’s supplication that guides us to ask Allah to help us follow the right path, seeking his pleasure and his pleasure only. This is the line of the Members of the Family (a.s) who are always patient and accept whatever happens to them because they know it is a kind of trial. And certainly Allah will reward them for their patience.
Jumadi II,19 , 1422h September 7, 2001