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Lady Fatima: The Celestial Enchantress of the World

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Certainly, the value of human beings is not the same. Some are among the most favored angels of the Divine and are superior, and some are lower than the most ferocious animals. And what gives value to this human being, according to the introduction of the Quran and Islam, is ‘knowledge, faith, piety, and virtuous human qualities.’

Based on these criteria, the lady of Islam, Fatimah Zahra (S.A.), has been introduced as the finest woman in the world – in the words of the Prophet (PBUH).

In numerous narrations that have appeared in famous Sunni sources, it has been emphasized that Fatimah Zahra (S.A.) was the most virtuous woman in the world, a statement that the Holy Prophet (PBUH) has expressed in various terms:

1- In one place he says:

“Indeed, the best women of the people of Paradise are Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, Fatimah bint Muhammad (PBUH), Maryam bint Imran, and Asiya bint Muzahim (the wife of Pharaoh).”[1]

2- In another narration, we read that the Holy Prophet (PBUH), during the illness of his demise, when he observed the distress of Fatimah, said:

“O Fatimah, are you not pleased to be the supreme lady of the women of the worlds, and the lady of the women of this nation, and the lady of the believing women?”[2]

Here, the superiority is mentioned absolutely for Fatimah (A.S.) and no one else’s name is mentioned alongside hers.

3- In another narration from the same Holy Prophet (PBUH), this meaning is stated absolutely. It was when Fatimah was ill, and the Prophet (PBUH) spoke to a group of his companions about it. They suggested visiting the Lady of Islam (A.S.).

The Prophet rose and, along with a group of companions, went towards Fatimah’s (A.S.) house. First, he called from outside the house, ‘My daughter, cover yourself, as a group of companions are coming to visit you.’ Since the clothing of his daughter Fatimah (A.S.) was insufficient, he gave her his cloak through the door!

The Prophet (PBUH) and his companions entered, visited her, and then came out of the house, expressing sorrow over Fatimah’s (A.S.) illness. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) turned to them and said: ‘Know that she is the lady of all women on the Day of Judgment.’[3]

Women's Role

4- In another expression found in ‘Sahih Bukhari,’ the most famous Sunni hadith source, narrated by ‘Aisha,’ we read:

One day ‘Fatimah’ (peace be upon her) came to the Prophet (PBUH). Her walk was exactly like his. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) said: ‘Welcome, my daughter!’ He then seated her to his right or left and whispered something in her ear, after which Fatimah cried.

I (Aisha) asked, ‘Why are you crying?’ Again, the Prophet (PBUH) whispered something else to her, and Fatimah (S.A.) smiled.

I said: ‘I have never seen joy so close to sorrow like this today,’ and asked about the reason.

Fatimah (S.A.) said: ‘I do not divulge the secret of the Messenger of God.’ This continued until the Prophet (PBUH) passed away, and then I asked again. She said:

The first time, the Prophet (PBUH) told me that Gabriel used to present the Quran to him once a year, but this year he did it twice, and I think it is only because my death is near, and you will be the first to join me. I cried when I heard this.

Then he said:

“Aren’t you pleased to be the lady of the women of the people of Paradise and the believing women?!”

When I heard this, I was delighted and smiled[4].

From examining the collection of these narrations, it is clear that if Fatimah (S.A.) is introduced as one of the four great women of the world in one place, it does not contradict the meaning that she is the most superior among those four women.

In addition to what was deduced from the previous narrations, the following hadith is a witness to this statement:

5- In the book ‘Dhakhair al-Uqba’, narrated by Ibn Abbas from the Holy Prophet (PBUH), it is mentioned:

‘Four women were the mistresses of the ladies of their world: Maryam bint Imran, Asiya bint Muzahim, Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, and Fatimah bint Muhammad (PBUH), and the most virtuous of them was Fatimah (A.S.).’[5]

The term ‘most virtuous’ encompasses many aspects, indicating a status of knowledge, piety, selflessness, sacrifice, and other virtuous qualities

The Quran explicitly states: Maryam spoke with angels, and they with her (Al-Imran / 42 and 43, and the beginning verses of Surah Maryam).

It also says: That heavenly food was provided to Maryam at her mihrab (Al-Imran, verse 37).

It also says: that Maryam was a ‘Siddiqah’ (truthful one) (Ma’idah/75).

And it mentions other statuses for her and great women like Asiya. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) has also stated great status for Khadijah.

The above narrations, i.e., the narrations of the superiority of Fatimah (S.A.), affirm all these honors and even more for the lady of Islam, Fatimah Zahra (S.A.).

[1] This hadith is mentioned in Mustadrak al-Sahihain, Volume 2, Page 497, and then it is emphasized that the chain of this hadith is authentic.

[2] This hadith is also mentioned in the same book, Volume 3, Page 156, and again, it is emphasized that its chain is authentic.

[3] ‘Hilyat al-Awliya’, Volume 2, Page 142.

[4] ‘Sahih Bukhari’, Book of the Beginning of Creation.

[5] ‘Dhakhair al-Uqba’, Page 44 – Suyuti has also mentioned this hadith in ‘Dur al-Manthur’ under the verse ‘And when the angels said, O Maryam…’ (Al-Imran /42).

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