Fatima (AS) in the verse of Mubahala
Allah, the Exalted said: “If anyone disputes in this matter with thee, now after (full) knowledge hath come to thee, say: `Come! Let us gather together; our sons arid your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves. Then let us invoke the curse of God on those who lie!.”
This event is famous and is known to all Muslims. Islamic scholars are united on the fact that it was revealed in regard to the Christian delegation who came from Najran to dispute the issue of Isa Ibn Maryam (AS) with the Prophet (PBUH). In Bihar Al-Anwar, Imam Ali (AS) mentioned the event in the following manner: “A delegation of Najrani Christians led by three prominent men, Al-Aqib, Muhsen, and the Archbishop; these meet along with two prominent Jews came to the Prophet (PBUH)”.
They intended to argue with him; the archbishop started: “Abu Al-Qasim, who was Musa’s father?” The Prophet answered: “Imran.” The archbishop then said: “Who was Yusufsfather?” The Prophet answered: “Yaqoub.” The archbishop continued: “May I be your sacrifice; who is your father?” The Prophet answered: “Abdullah Ibn Abd al-Muttalib.” Then the archbishop asked: “Who is Isa’s (Jesus) father?” The Prophet (PBUH) waited a moment while Gabriel revealed the following to him: “(Say) he was the Spirit of Allah and His Word.” The archbishop then asked: “Can he be a spirit without having a body?” Again a revelation was sent to the Prophet (PBUH) the revelation is as follows: “The similitude of Isa before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: `Be.’ And he was.”
When the archbishop heard this, he jumped in objection to the Prophet saying that Isa (PBUH) was created from dust, and said: “Muhammad, We don’t find this to be in the Torah, the Bible, or in the Zabour. You are the first one to say this.” This was the moment that the verse of Mubahala was revealed. After the delegation had heard the verse, they said: “Assign for us a solemn meeting (in which every side supplicates to Allah to curse the other side if they are followers of falsehood).” The Prophet’s answer to this was: “Tomorrow morning, if Allah wills.” The next morning, the Prophet finished his morning prayers and ordered Ali to follow him and Fatima, in turn, holding Al-Hassan and Al-Hussain to follow Ali.
The Prophet (PBUH) then told them:”When I supplicate you should say: Amen.”
When the delegation saw the holy family and that the Prophet (PBUH) had spread a mat for himself and family, they said to each other: “By Allah, he is a true Prophet; and if he curses us, surely Allah will answer his prayer and destroy us. The only thing that can save us, is to ask him to relieve us from this meeting.”
Razi, in his interpretation of the Holy Quran states: ‘The Archbishop said: “O Christians, I surely see faces of men, who if they were to ask Allah to move a mountain, He would surely do it. Do not hold this meeting, or you shall be destroyed and no Christian will remain on Earth until the Day of Resurrection.”
The delegation proceeded toward the Messenger and said:”Abu Al-Qasim, relieve us (from this) solemn meeting.” The Prophet said: “Indeed I will; but the One who sent me with righteousness is my witness that had I cursed you, Allah would not have left a Christian on the face of the earth.”
This has been a summary of the story. What matters to us here, is Allah’s saying in the verse: “Our women and your women.” All Muslims have agreed that the Prophet took Ali with him to represent “ourselves,”
Al-Hassan and Al-Hussain to represent “Our Sons,” and Fatima Zahra to represent “Our Women,” It is also a given fact that he did not accompany any other woman including his wives, his aunts, or any other Muslim women.
This proves that there was not a woman as excellent, great, holy, and chaste as Fatima (A) was. The Prophet called Fatima alone to join him, because she was the only woman capable of fulfilling the qualifications of the verse.
Fatima in Surah al-Insan
Allah the Exalted has said: “Indeed the pious will drink from a cup seasoned with Kafur, a spring where Allah’s servants will drink, making it gush forth as they please. They fulfill their vows and fear a day whose ill will be widespread. For the love of Him, they feed the needy, the orphan and the prisoner. [saying,] ‘We feed you only for the sake of Allah. We desire no reward from you, nor thanks. Indeed we fear a frowning and fateful day from our Lord. So Allah saved them from that day’s ills and graced them with freshness [on this faces] and joy [in their hearts].
He rewarded them for their patience with a garden and [garments of] silk. Reclining therein on couches, without facing any [scorching] sun, or [biting] cold. Its shades will be close over them and its clusters [of fruits] will be hanging low. They will be served around with vessels of silver and goblets of crystal. —crystal of silver— [from] which they will dispense in a precise measure. They will be served therein with a cup of a drink seasoned with Zanjabeel. from a spring in it named Salsabeel.
They will be waited upon by immortal youths, whom, were you to see them, you will suppose them to be scattered pearls. As you look on, you will see there bliss and a great kingdom. Upon them will be cloaks of green silk and brocade and they will be adorned with bracelets of silver. Their Lord will give them to drink a pure drink. [They will be told]: ‘This is your reward, and your efforts have been well-appreciated.’
These verses were revealed after Ali, Fatima, Hassan, and Hussain (AS) gave charity to needy people; this story is stated in the book Al-Kashaf by Zamakhshari; it goes as follows:
“Ibn Abbas said: `Once Al-Hassan and Al-Hussain (AS) were ill, the Messenger of Allah and a group went to visit them. The visitors suggested to Imam Ali (AS) to make a vow to Allah: if He were to relieve them, he would perform some good action. Therefore, Imam Ali (AS) together with Fatima (AS) and their servant Fidhdha vowed to Allah that they would fast for three days if He would relieve Hassan and Hussain.’
‘When Allah had relieved them, Imam Ali (AS) borrowed three aswu (a cubic measure) of barley from a Jew known as Shimon. Fatima ground one sa’a (singular of aswu) of the barley and baked five loaves of bread for her family’s meal at sunset. As sunset approached, a needy man knocked on the door and said: Assalamu Alaikum, Family of Muhammad. I am a needy man from among the Muslims, feed me, may Allah feed you from the food of Paradise.’ The holy family preferred the needy man over themselves and spent the night with nothing in their stomachs save water.’
‘They fasted the second day, and again at sunset, when they were waiting for their food, an orphan asked them for help and they again preferred him over themselves. The third evening a captive (prisoner of war) asked them for help and they repeated their preference for the needy above themselves.’
‘The following morning, Imam Ali (AS) took Al-Hassan and Al-Hussain to the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) who said the following when he saw them shaking like little chicks from hunger: “The Prophet said: It displeases us to see you in this condition.’ Then he went with them, for he wanted to see Fatima. When they arrived, Fatima (AS) was in the Mehrab (prayer place), and her condition was such that it further displeased the Prophet (PBUH). At this time, Gabriel descended and said: `Take this chapter Muhammad, – Allah surely congratulates you for having this family.” It is worthy to state that the Good ones mentioned here are Ali, Fatima, Hassan and Hussain; who deserve Paradise because of their act of feeding the needy, the orphan, and the captive. Another point to keep in mind here is that despite the detailed description of Paradise given in the verses, Allah, the Exalted, does not mention the huris. This understood to be in honor and exaltation of Fatima (AS) the wife of Imam Ali, and the mother of Hassan and Hussain.