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 Hussein (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 Jafar 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)