The Historic Fadak Sermon of Fatima (1)

The Historic Fadak Sermon of Fatima (1)

It is quoted in the book al-Ihtijaj of Shaykh al-Tabarsi from ʿAbdullah b. Hasan who relates from his fore-fathers that when Sayyidah Zahra was informed that Abū Bakr had confiscated Fadak, she put on her veil and cloak, and accompanied by some servants and women of the Bani Hashim, came to the Masjid and facing Abū Bakr and the Muslims who were present, recited a powerful sermon. Sayyidah Zahra had worn a long dress (and was thus placing her feet upon her dress) and her way of walking was similar to that of the Prophet. When she entered the Masjid, Abū Bakr was seated with a group of the Muhajirin, Anṣar and others and a curtain was put up for her and she sat behind it.

Lamentation of those Present

Sayyidah Zahra heaved a sorrowful sigh from her scorched and aggrieved heart such that all of those present were affected by it and began to weep. The gathering was converted into a mourning ceremony and everyone was deeply touched. Sayyidah Zahra then remained silent for a moment until the weeping of those present calmed down, and then she began her speech.

Praise and Eulogy for the Lord and Witness of Unity of Allah and the Prophethood of Muhammad

She started her speech(1) by saying: “Praise be to Allah for His bounties (upon us) and thanks be to Him for all that He inspired; and commended is His name for all the bounties He created before our own creation, for all the common bounties that He bestowed (upon us) from His Ownself without even (our) asking for it, and abundant and complete bounties,(2) such plenteous and unlimited bounties whose numbers cannot be computed,(3) and thanks cannot be offered for the duration and commencement (of the bounties), and whose perpetuity is beyond comprehension.

He invited (His servants) to offer praise, thus resulting in an increase and perpetuity (in their blessings),(4) and in lieu of this abundance (of bounties), Allah desired that His creatures praise Him. Again, He invited you (to perform good deeds) resulting in bounties of this world as well as for the hereafter. I bear witness that there is no other deity (worthy of worship) except Allah - He is Unique and Unparalleled. Certainly interpretation (and result) of this witness (of monotheism) is sincerity, and it’s comprehension has been placed in the hearts, and the mind is illuminated by its (profound) understanding. He (Allah) cannot be seen with the eyes, nor can He be described with the tongues, and His state cannot be perceived.

He is the One Who created all things without any past prototype, and originated them without having any past image and equals. Rather He created them with His Might and dispersed them according to His Will, He did not create them for a need, nor did He shape them for a benefit (for Himself), but rather (He did all of this) to establish His Wisdom and to bring their (the creature’s) attention to His obedience, and manifest His Might and (so that) His creatures may venerate Him, and (He created to) strengthen His invitation by dispatching His prophets and friends. Thus He provided recompense for His obedience and granted punishment for His disobedience, (He informed) His slaves from performing such acts that invite His wrath, and thus would gather them in His Paradise. And I bear witness that my father Muhammad, is His slave and His Messenger, while Allah the Almighty chose him and selected him before bestowing prophethood upon him, and named him before selecting him, and chose him before sending him (for the mission of Islam), when the whole of creation was concealed in the hidden world, and they were in awe, and were in the extinction of nothingness.

Almighty Allah was certainly aware of the consequences of all the tasks, and was acquainted with the occurrences of the ages, and conscious of the position of the destined. Allah sent His Prophet so as to complete His commands, to execute His rulings, and to deliver His decisive ordinances. He saw the nation divided into various religions, addicted to their places of worship, worshipping their idols, denying Allah despite their knowledge of Him. Then Allah illuminated their darkness (misguidance) through the medium of my father Muhammad and lifted the veils of obscurity from their hearts, and removed ignorance from their eyes. He (the Prophet) stood up among them for their guidance; delivered them from misguidance, enlightened their eyes from blindness, guided them towards the ‘Straight Path’ and invited them towards ‘the Right Path’.

Then, Allah took away his soul with affection and by his choice, willingness and submission. Thus, Muhammad was relieved of the toils of this world and entered (the world of) comfort. There, he lives in ease among the righteous angels, and in the Paradise of the forgiving Lord, and in the neighborhood of the Mighty King. May Allah’s mercy be upon my father, His messenger and the trustworthy one with regards to His revelation, His friend, the best among His creations, His favorite one; and peace upon him and Allah’s Mercy and Blessings.

Focus Upon Memorizing the Quran, an Exalted Trust of Allah

You are the slaves of Allah and you are the establishers of His commands and prohibitions. You are the possessors of His religion and His revelation, the trustworthy ones with regards to yourselves and you should propagate it (Islam) to other nations, while you deem yourselves worthy of all this?(5)

A pledge had been taken from you in advance by Allah and there is among you His remembrance and that is the book of Allah (Qurʾan), the speaking one. It is a book of complete truthfulness and a bright light, the brilliant light. Its imminence is evident, its secrets are revealed, its apparent aspects are clear, its adherents become reasons for others to envy, it leads its adherents to the status of paradise (or the pleasure of Allah), its listeners are guided towards salvation(6) and through it are gained the illuminated evidences of Allah. It determines the ordinances and prohibitions (of Allah), its evidences are illuminated and its proofs are sufficient, it contains the virtues of the recommendable acts (mustahabbat),(7) freedom with regards to performing the lawful things (mubah)(8) and (informs about the) discouraged (makrūh)(9) acts, and in it are written down other legal laws (of Islam).

Continue in the next article: ( The Historic Fadak Sermon of Fatima (2) )

NOTES:

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1. This is the renowned sermon of Sayyidah Fāṭimah al-Zahrā. The words of the Infallibles are far beyond the comprehension of anyone except their Creator, who created them as the epitome of infallibility and embodiment of perfection. Their words are replete with lucidity, insight and perfection, while pearls of wisdom and eloquence flow through their tongues. It is for this reason that I have mainly relied upon the book “Khutbae Haḍrat Fāṭimah” of one of the present Marja, Āyatullāh al-Uẓmā Shaykh Ḥusayn ʿAlī al-Muntazarī, wherein he explains each of her statements in detail. Instead of translating the literal meanings, I have sufficed upon quoting their explanation. For further study, readers are requested to refer to this informative work.

2. This is the renowned sermon of Sayyidah Fāṭimah al-Zahrā. The words of the Infallibles are far beyond the comprehension of anyone except their Creator, who created them as the epitome of infallibility and embodiment of perfection. Their words are replete with lucidity, insight and perfection, while pearls of wisdom and eloquence flow through their tongues. It is for this reason that I have mainly relied upon the book “Khutbae Haḍrat Fāṭimah” of one of the present Marja, Āyatullāh al-Uẓmā Shaykh Ḥusayn ʿAlī al-Muntazarī, wherein he explains each of her statements in detail. Instead of translating the literal meanings, I have sufficed upon quoting their explanation. For further study, readers are requested to refer to this informative work.

3. Refer to the Qurʾānic verse: “And if you reckon Allāh’s bounties, you will not be able to compute them.” Sūrah Ibrāhīm (14): 34.

4. Refer to the Qurʾānic verse: “And when your Lord declared: If you are grateful then I will increase (My favours) upon you, and if you are ungrateful, then verily My torment is indeed severe.” Sūrah Ibrāhīm (14): 7.

5. Here Sayyidah Fāṭimah taunts the audience and says that you think that you are worthy of all of these great entitlements and satisfied with it, while the reality is that you do not stand up to defend truth against falsehood. Then what is the use of this status being bestowed upon you when you do not act and defend the rights of the Ahlul Bayt?

6. Refer to the Qurʾānic verse: “And when the Qurʾān is recited, then listen to it and be attentive that you might be shown mercy.” Sūratul Aʿraf (7): 204.

7. They are the recommended acts which are rewarded, but if they are not performed, then no sin is committed. For example, the optional (nāfilah) prayers that either precede or follow the daily prayers.

8. Permissible acts, performance or non-performance of these acts does not entail any reward or punishment.

9. There are certain unworthy acts, which a Muslim is advised to avoid, but no sin is committed if one engages in them, Allāh’s pleasure is not in them.