Bibi Fatimah: The Queen Returns to her Thrown- 3rd Ramadan Shareef
After our Master had honored the world of the Hereafter, Fatimah would neither eat nor drink and she forgot all laughter and joy. She had an apartment built for her in which she stayed by night and day, weeping her heart out for her beloved father.
She passed time sobbing and sighing; nothing could take away her grief. As soon as she had done her household chores and taken care of her husband, ‘Ali, and their lambs, Hasan and Husain, she would continue weeping: “O my beloved daddy! To whom have you left your Fatimah?”
Six months went by in this fashion until Fatimah got so thin that there was nothing left of her but skin and bones. One night she was weeping as usual when she heard a voice outside calling: “O beloved daughter of the Messenger of Allah! O daughter of the Messenger!” Peering out, she realized that the voice she had heard calling her was that of a camel named ‘Abda’ which once belonged to our Master (ﷺ) but had fled from Medina after his death. Our Master’s departure had been more than this camel could endure and, in its bewilderment, it had fled to the mountains and desert. Some days it would come to Medina and stare through the gate of the Prophet’s mosque at the prayer-niche of the Messenger, but when it failed to see our Master, it would bellow, rub its face on the ground, then shed tears as it ran off again into the desert. Now, this camel had come to the door of the venerable Fatimah and was saying in articulate language: “O daughter of the Messenger of Allah! May the peace of Allah be upon you. Since your father left this world, I have been forbidden to eat or drink. My yearning for the Messenger has grown even stronger. I have decided to go soon to the other world, to the side of the Messenger of Allah. Have you any orders?” Weeping copiously, Fatimah embraced the camel’s neck and kissed its eyes as she said: “O ‘Abda’, salute my father. His Fatima, the light of his eye, can no longer bear this separation. I want you to tell him to take me to his side!” Replying: “Welcome, on my head be it!” ‘Abda’ nuzzled Fatima’s feet then left her and went to the Prophet’s mosque. It looked at the Prophet’s prayer-niche, then gave a bellow and dashed its head against the rocks.
The following night Fatimah saw our Master in the world of dreams, where he greeted her with: “O Fatima, light of my eyes! I long to see you; I am yearning for you. Tomorrow you shall come to me!” In the morning she stood happily in the presence of the Almighty to perform her prayer, then she washed and combed the honored Imam Hasan and the martyr-to-be Imam Husayn, and dressed them in new clothes. She cleaned the house of ‘Ali the Elect. When Imam ‘Ali came home he was astonished to see how happy his wife was. He asked her the reason for her joy, but Fatimah gave no reply. She made a meal and they ate together, “O Fatima,” said ‘Ali the Elect, “Speak to me for the sake of Allah! Never have I seen you so happy since the departure of the Messenger. What is it; what is going on?” Fatimah now replied: “O Water-bearer of Kawthar and Victor of Khaybar! O my husband, we shall meet again at the resurrection. I dreamt of a journey; last night I saw my beloved father. He called me to his side and today I am taking leave of you. I ask you to discharge me of my obligations and I commit my Hasan and my Husayn to the care, first of Allah, then of you. Look after them well! Treat them kindly! Do not tell them that I am no longer there! O ‘Ali, I am twice an orphan, having lost my mother and then my beloved father. Remember me, and offer a prayer for me when you look upon the lonely and the orphans of this world.”
On hearing these words from the venerable Batul, Imam ‘Ali could not hold back his tears. He wept: “O beloved of the Messenger of Allah, please do not complain of me to your father. I have failed to treat you as you deserved. I was poor and could not make you happy. Do not hold it against me!” Then he embraced her with tender longing and they both wept. The noble Hasan and Husayn joined in this tearful parting. After the noon prayer, Fatimah fell sick. Calling the Chosen Imam to her side, she gave her final instructions: “O ‘Ali,” she said, “fetch me that chest over there…” The venerable ‘Ali did as she asked. Then the venerable daughter of the Messenger opened the chest and took from its wrapping a green satin edict, the writing on which was of light. “O ‘Ali,” she said, “Put this edict in with my shroud. Do you know what it is? When I was to be given to you in marriage, I did not accept the dower of four hundred dirhams. I prayed that my dower might be an intercession on the coming Day of Resurrection for the sinners of this community, and this was accepted by the Exalted Lord. This divine edict is the proof of my having received the right of intercession on behalf of the sinners of this Community. Place it in my shroud, so that I may later produce it in the presence of the Almighty.”
Then she continued her instructions: “You are to take me to my father’s tomb, saying: ‘O Messenger of Allah, we bring you your dear Fatima, the light of your eyes.’ You are then to act upon whatever response you may receive.” A moment later, the triumphant soul of the venerable Fatimah had soared to the World of High, in compliance with the divine command: “Return!” .
The people of the Prophet’s household were plunged in a sea of pain and sorrow; their sighing and sobbing made the angels in heaven weep. The whole of Medina was shedding tears of blood. She, whom the King of Messengers had called a part of himself, was leaving the transitory world to honor the world of perpetuity, leaving the entire Community motherless. The only person happy at this parting was Fatimah herself, who was joining her beloved father.
Imam ‘Ali personally washed and enshrouded her body, putting the divine edict in with her shroud. He carried out the funeral ceremonies in accordance with the instructions of the venerable Batul. The washing and enshrouding of his wife was the prerogative of Imam ‘Ali alone. After performing the funeral prayer, the venerable ‘Ali came to the tomb of the Messenger. He set down the bier of the venerable Fatimah at the gate of the tomb and called inside: “O Messenger of Allah, I bring you your beloved daughter Fatima!” It is related that when he spoke these words the Prophet’s tomb split open, two blessed hands emerged from within and a voice was heard to reply: “Bring her to me, my Fatima, the light of my eye, the joy of my heart!” Then those hands embraced the venerable Fatimah and drew her within. She was returned a moment later and they buried her in the cemetery known as the Garden of the Grove. There she lies to this day. May Allah grant us the lawful means to visit or revisit her tomb.
– Shaykh Muzaffer Ozak al-Jerrahi