ArticlesNahjul Balagha

Imam Ali’s Grief on the Death of Bibi Fatima

What Amir al-mu'minin said on the occasion of the burial of Sayyidatu'n-nisa' (Supreme lady) Fatimah (p.b.u.h.) while addressing the Holy Prophet at his grave.

 O' Prophet of Allah, please accept my salams and those of your daughter who is being buried not far from you, and who is to meet you so quickly. O the chosen Apostle! The death of your daughter has left me without patience and solace. I have lost my self-restrain and the poer of endurance.

After having endured the separration from you I shall have to bear this catastrophe patiently O Prophet of God! I laid you down in the grave with my own hands, your soul departed from my body while you were resting upon my breatst and your head was lying between my neck and heart.

Verily we are Allah's and verily unto Him shall we return (Qur'an 2:156)

Your trust (your daughter) which was entrusted to me is taken back from me. Sorrow now abides with me and happiness has taken leave. This grief is so overbearing that it engulfs and swallows other sorrows, and it has left me with sleepless nights and joyless days. From now onwards, my life will be a continued heartache until God gathers me with you both in the realm of His favour and peace.

O Apostle of God! Your dear daughter will tell you how your followers have behaved with her and how they have mistreated her. You pleases ask her the details of all that has happened to her during such a short period (barely three months) after your departure to the Heaven. This period of separation from you was so short that people were still remembering you and talking about you.

Please both of you accept my parting salams and goodbye. It is the wish of a sincere heart which has loved and will always love you both, a heart which will cherish and will carry your tender and loving memeories to its grave. Goodbye O daughter of the chosenApostle of God! May you rest in peace which mankind has refused you in this world. If I leave your grave to go it is not because I am tired of your company, rather I wish I had it till the end of my life. If I make a permanent abode on your grave, it will not be because I doubt the reward that God has reserved for those who bear sorrows patiently, Goodbye, may God's peace and blessings be with you both.

Footnotes by translator:

This is the saddest discourse that has ever been recorded of Imam Ali, on a heart rending occasion of his life. He was burying his dearest companion, his partner in life, who was the daughter of the Prophet of God, and whom he loved as dearly as he had loved her father. These two beloved ones had left him one after the other, at such short intertvals. The Imams grief at the death of Bibi Fatima knew no bounds, also because his dearest spouse had left in the prime of her life,not yet twenty years of age, and her death was in fact, martydom. The treatment meted out to the daughter of the Prophet after his death was extremely painful and sad. Although Sayyidatu'n-nisa' Fatimah (p.b.u.h.) did not live in this world more than a few months after the death of the Prophet yet even this short period has a long tale of grief and woe (about her).

In this connection, the first scene that strikes the eyes is that arrangements for the funeral rites of the Prophet had not yet been made when the contest for power started in the Saqifah of Banu Sa`idah. Naturally, their leaving the body of the Prophet (without burial) must have injured Sayyidatu'n-nisa' Fatimah's grief-stricken heart when she saw that those who had claimed love and attachment (with the Prophet) during his life became so engrossed in their machinations for power that instead of consoling his only daughter they did not even know when the Prophet was given a funeral ablution and when he was buried. In way of condolence, her house was burnt down, the burning door flung open upon her, breaking her ribs and left hand. This cruelty had caused the premature birth and death of the child she was carrying, and ultimately ended in her death. All these excesses were with a view to so obliterate the prestigious position of this house that it might not regain its lost prestige on any occasion. With this aim in view, in order to crush her economic position, her claim for (the estate of) Fadak was turned down by dubbing it as false, the effect of which was that Sayyidatu'n-nisa' Fatimah (p.b.u.h.) made the dying will that none of them should attend her funeral. The insults and injuries had killed her and Hazrat Ali was helpless against the odds. No words can depict the pain and grief that these words of Hazrat Ali carried in them.

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