Why Was She Martyred?
By: Seyyed Ali Shahbaz
“For Allah’s Book is still amongst you, its affairs are apparent, its rules are manifest, its signs are dazzling, its restrictions are visible and its commands are evident. Yet indeed you have cast it behind your backs. What! Do you detest it? Or according to something else you wish to rule? Evil would be the exchange for the wrongdoers! And if anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to God alone), it never will be accepted from him, and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost.”
Today we mourn the person who pronounced these words to a gathering that had obviously deviated from the laws of God no sooner had the Prophet left the mortal world. The person happened to be a lady but so vast was her wisdom and so eloquent was her tongue that no man from among the assembly of ‘democrats’ whom she was addressing dared to lift up their heads and provide any justification as to what prompted them to tamper with religion by selecting one of them to be the political leader despite the fact that it is God who decrees leadership in Islam.
She was not bitter. Neither was frustrated with life despite the agony she was experiencing for defence of humanitarian values. She was just exercising her right and her responsibility as the daughter of the Almighty’s Last Messenger to mankind, not just to admonish the unrepentant usurpers of the rights of her husband and the deniers of her inheritance, but also to teach a lasting lesson to all humanity on discerning right from wrong.
She was none other than Fatema (SA), the daughter of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) regarding whom the father had said: “Whoever hurts Fatema, has hurt me and whoever hurts me has in fact hurt Allah.”
What an irony! Persons posing as Muslims and styling themselves as successors of the Prophet had dared to displease Allah in their greed for seizing what did not belong to them. They had even snatched away from her the Orchard of Fadak on the unconvincing assumption that Prophet’s don’t leave inheritance, in spite of the evident facts that the Prophet had bequeathed it to his daughter in his lifetime and she was spending its income for the poor and deprived sections of the society.
She refuted them by quoting passages from the Holy Qur’an on how Prophet Solomon inherited the kingdom of his father Prophet David, and how the legacy of Prophet Zechariah was passed onto his son John the Baptist. They were stupefied and had no answer. They had no valid argument either except for some vague references to the pre-Islamic days of the Period of Ignorance when she accosted them on the question of caliphate that by God’s command on the Day of Ghadeer was entrusted to her husband, Imam Ali (AS). She told them that the bounties of God and prosperity in mankind would only descend on earth in case of the Leadership of the Virtuous and not manipulation of power by the unprincipled and the immoral.
Fatema (SA) delivered her message. Her lengthy sermon that has actually been hailed as a manifesto of Islamic tenets with its reference to monotheism, its emphasis on the fundamental principle of divine justice, its focus on enlightening mission of Prophethood, its stressing of imamate or leadership of the chosen of God, its outlining of the social duties, and its reminding of the Day of Resurrection, are outside the scope of this brief newspaper column. Interested readers could refer to authoritative books for her sermon which ended with the words:
“Surely, I have said all that I have said with full knowledge that you intent to forsake me…Take it (the caliphate), you have put it on the back of an ill-she camel that has a thin hump marked with the wrath of Allah,”
She was not destined to live much longer. Barely 75 days (and 95 days according to another account), the lady at whose door the Prophet used to salute and through whom he defined the lofty concept of women’s rights in Islam, left the world a martyr. She was the victim of the violation of God’s commandments by a group of power-hungry persons who dared to set fire to her doorstep, flung the door in her face that resulted in miscarriage for her, and whipped her hand when in that acute state of pain she clung to the garments of her husband who was being dragged by the mob for the forced swearing of allegiance to the coup leaders of Medina.