Family ties in Islam

In today’s modern life, values have turned upside down, family life, that was always the very heart of society is attacked just as much as many other handed-down traditions.Yet, neither socialism nor any other “isms” will ever be able to oust what has been implanted into human nature, the need of social ties and the warmness of ties of blood that Allah has ordered us to maintain.

In Muslim world family life with all its aspects concerning not only husband, wife and children, but all other relatives too, is so firmly established by tradition as well as by religious law that it could not be affected seriously.

It is the firm structure of Islamic family life based on the following four fundamentals that makes morals values so enduring and enables them to outlive Western practices. They are based on Qur’anic regulations and the traditions from the life of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), handed down from generation to generation.

1. Family life as a cradle of human society providing a secure, healthy and encouraging home for all its members.

2. Family life as guardian of the natural erotic desires of men and women, leading this powerful urge into wholesome channels.

3. Family life as the very breeding-place for human virtues like love, kindness, mercy.

4. Family life as the most secure refuge against inward and outward troubles.

An ever valid and never outgrowing aspect of Islamic family life is, however, that the strength of all the four pillars is made up by the system. And it must not be forgotten, that the benefits of family life are extended not only to blood relations but encompass also the world-wide family of Muslims, the Islamic brotherhood.

The exact meaning of the word rahim is “womb”. It is derived from the root raheem which means to have mercy on. Two of Allah’s names – Ar-Rahmaan and Ar-Raheem – are derived from the same root.

The word is used figuratively to refer to relatives.

Al-Qurtubi said:

“The family ties which must be maintained are general and specific. The general one is the relations of Islam. It is obligatory to maintain connections with them with friendly relations, advice, justice, fairness and fulfilling ones obligations to them in the obligatory and the commendable. The specific includes financially supporting family members, checking on their condition and overlooking their mistakes.”

Allah says:

“O people! Beware of your Lord who created you from a single soul and created from it its mate and spread from those two many men and women and beware of Allah in whose name you ask one another and [beware of] the wombs. Verily, Allah is ever watchful over you.” Qur’an (4:1)

Ties of blood were given importance in the jahiliya (life before Islam), but this didn’t really include women – the “causes” or “links” in family ties. Girls were murdered for fear of them being captured by opposing tribes and being a source of shame. Wives were treated as goods and “inherited” by male relatives without having any say in the matter. Women had no defined property rights. Inheritance customs of the jahiliya dictated that the male relatives – those most capable of fighting and defending the family – took everything even if the deceased left a wife and children. They would be left with nothing at all.

Islam came and changed all this and while confirming the blood ties respected in the jahiliya, Islam put much more focus on the women and gave them their rights of property, inheritance, etc., prevented their murder and named family ties after them by using the word for “womb”.

Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said:

“Allah has forbidden you irritating your mothers, burying your daughters, witholding and “Give me”. And He hates for you “It was said” and “He said”, too many questions and the wasting of wealth.”

Cutting family ties which should be maintained has serious consequences in this life and in the hereafter. It is one of the worst of the major sins.

Allah says:

“Those who join that which God has Commanded to be joined, and have awe for their Lord, and fear the constraint of the reckoning.” Qur’an (13:21)

So let’s obey Allah, let’s keep our blood ties. when you come to think of it, that’s what we need nowadays and forever, maintaining family ties is what implants inside us the sense of stability and spiritual peacefulness. Let’s stay close to our families and our relatives.

A Father’s Family Duties

The definition of the patriarchal family system has been the subject of various interpretations and comments in the laws of different countries. Basically the point should be discussed as to whether or not it is necessary that one should rule over the other in the bilateral partnership which is established between a husband and wife, whose goal is marital living and raising of children? And if it is necessary, then why should the husband be charged with it? Based upon individual liberty and the necessity of honoring the opinion of other persons, some believe that the family should be jointly run by both husband and wife. But other lawyers, while confirming the fact that the parties should solve their problems with mutual understanding, believe that man is more competent in the final decision owing to more social experience, and that emotional aspects interfere with his decision-making less than that of a woman. Therefore, in most countries, the husband’s rule over the family has been accepted in present civil codes. Of these, the civil codes of France, Switzerland and Italy could be mentioned which have explicitly accepted this matter. But what is meant by the patriarchal system, or as the Quran says, “Men are the maintainers of women?” (4:34). Can the husband run the family merely based upon his desires or is his power for managing the family limited to the good of the family members? Should he consider the good, comfort and prosperity of all the family members in every decision that he makes? There is no doubt that the patriarchial system is justified and acceptable only in the latter form. It can have no purpose other than this. The important point is that the husband’s rule over the family is not solely a right; rather it also has obligations entailed to it. One of the obligations that is created as a result of the patriarchal system, is the obligation to nourish. That is, the husband is obliged to provide the living necessaties of the wife and children. Why? The existence of this obligation is so that women may be able to proceed with managing the family’s internal affairs and raising the children with peace of mind. In this way, the anxiety over providing food and the basic necessities of life would not deprive them of peace of mind, which is among the ingredients of good management of the family life, the establishment of peace in the house and in the warm nucleus of the family? In this way, wives are able to give their husbands’ rest without any anxiety and with a firm heart and a peace of mind. The verdict of the obligatory nature of the man’s responsibility to pay for the expenses of the wife and children is coupled with an important guarantee. No disruption should occur in managing of the family, which might hinder women’s lives. A husband’s abuse of his wife by forcing his wife to work in order to gain the means of livelihood to pay the living costs should be prevented. In furtherance of this, Islamic jurisprudents, based upon valid documents, have proclaimed that should a husband who is capable of paying the family expenses, refrain from doing so, the wife has the right to refer to a religious arbitrator and to force the husband to pay. If the religious arbitrator does not succeed, he would order the husband to divorce his wife, for according to the rule of negation of hardship, which is one of the important rules of jurisprudence based upon reason and substantiated by Quranic verses and narrations, no verdict and the enforcing of no rights should result in difficulty and cause hardship, just as we know in the precepts governing the ritual prayers, one could perform the dry ablution instead of the minor ablution, should use of water prove to be harmful. In the legal issues and those concerning the relations between individuals, no verdict should cause loss and hardships. Since the continuation of marital life could put place the women in a difficult position in the case of non-payment of the expenses by the husband, the religious judge and the representative of Islamic society could force the husband to separate at the final point. At this point, it might be useful to state that due to the direct responsibility of man in managing the family, if he has other individuals who he must support like a mother and father and his income cannot provide the expenses of all of these people, then the wife’s expenses take precedence over other deserving relatives. With this, we observe how providing the wife’s peace of mind and living expenses is the most important obligation of the husband. In addition to supplying the material needs of the family, the husband’s running of the family must be towards creating the means of welfare and spiritual comfort of the wife and children, and not towards a dictatorial and brutal attitude. Basically a good attitude in the family has been taken to be a good criterion. It is quoted from the Holy Prophet (SAW), “The best among you is the one who has the best attitude towards his family.” Such a person, due to the responsibility, which he is charged with towards the members of his family, will expend all of his efforts for their welfare and comfort. Women, on the other hand, are encouraged to satisfy their husbands and to create an atmosphere of sincerity and serenity in the house through their good temper, mild and friendly attitude. During the time of the Holy Prophet, when one of the pure hearted and eloquent Muslim women complained about the mandate of Islam and asked why women were not allowed to participate in jihad and defense of Islam as an active soldier, the Prophet answered, “Your good behavior towards your husbands and well-management of the house is like jihad.” With this remark, the Prophet had wanted to implant the idea that men and women should pay their debt to society with each other’s help and according to the responsibilities that have been entrusted to each of them. One works in the battlefront and the other should work behind the lines. Each of them not only undertakes a part of the duties of life during war and jihad, but also during the period of peace which helps the correct management of the society through its performance and with each others help.

What is a woman? And when is she most loved by Allah? by Maulana Sadeq Hasan

Translated from an Urdu speech by Maulana Sadeq Hasan
Once the Prophet while sitting with his companions in the
Mosques poses a question to them : “What is a woman?” All of his
companions try to answer the question according to their ability.
Yet, each of the answer is being rejected as “No, that is not the
correct definition of a woman”.

The companion Salman al-Farsi who was watching all this decided to
quietly slip away from the back door of the Mosque where was the
house of the daughter of the Prophet . Salman asks Lady Fatemah
(SA) the same question that was asked by her father . Having
taken the reply from her (SA) he returns to the mosque. When he sits
on his seat again the Prophet asks him the question again and
he replies:

“Oh! Prophet of Allah I have just brought the answer from your
daughter Fatemah (SA) and she has said that ‘a woman is her hijab’ ”
In other words, a second name for WOMAN is Hijab. The Prophet
was happy with this answer and said it to be the best one. Now he
asked his companions:

“Oh! My companions now tell me when a woman is the closest to Allah?”
Someone replied “When she is praying” another said “When she is
fasting” and yet others mentioned performing Hajj, giving alms and
zakat, being obedient to husband and parents. Everyone gives an
answer only to find it to be rejected. Once again Salman al-Farsi
slips out the back door to get the answer from the Chief of the Women
of Paradise (SA). On Salmans return he gives the answer that “My
master, I have once again asked your daughter for advice and she (SA)
has told me that; ‘A woman is closest to her Creator (Allah) when she
is in the inner most part of the house, that is, where the eyes of
the non-mahrams cannot reach her'”. Once again, the Prophet was
pleased with the answer given and said it to be the best one.

This is not to say that a woman should lock herself up inside the
house but it goes to show the importance of hijab and taking care to
keep oneself and ones beauty away from the eyes of those who are non-
mahrams.

Domestic Violence in the West

Domestic Violence in the West At a time when the hostile media is incessant in its attempts to defame and ridicule Islam and the muslim woman, to portray her as oppressed and abused, the following facts should be enough to prove that the disbelieving nations are more worthy of the accusations they throw at others. “They Don’t Treat Their Women Very Well” An American Woman married to a Muslim man (visit her website) writes: I can’t tell you how many times I heard that phrase, over and again, from well-meaning friends, when they found out I was going marry a *gasp!* Muslim! I was also warned that he was just marrying me for a green card. To add insult injury, when I was planning a trip to Pakistan with my baby and to meet my husband’s family, I heard all the “Not Without My Daughter” horror stories. “Aren’t you afraid they’ll try to take your baby?” I would ask, who do you mean by “they?” The Government of Pakistan? The general populace? My husband’s family? Are you telling me that my husband’s family exists to totally screw me over and take my son? People have always been afraid of what they don’t understand. To make things worse, the perception of Muslims and Islam in western society has been totally skewed by movies and the media. “Glass Houses”. We all know the adage, “People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.” When you hear someone say something to the effect that “muslims don’t treat their women well,” then it’s time to say, “Oh, and Americans do?” Here are some statistics on spousal (or significant other) abuse, murder, and rape that men commit against their women partners, here in America, in the twenty-first century. VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IN THE UNITED STATES MURDER . Every day four women die in this country as a result of domestic violence, the euphemism for murders and assaults by husbands and boyfriends. That’s approximately 1,400 women a year, according to the FBI. The number of women who have been murdered by their intimate partners is greater than the number of soldiers killed in the Vietnam War. BATTERING . Although only 572,000 reports of assault by intimates are officially reported to federal officials each year, the most conservative estimates indicate two to four million women of all races and classes are battered each year. At least 170,000 of those violent incidents are serious enough to require hospitalization, emergency room care or a doctor’s attention. SEXUAL ASSAULT . Every year approximately 132,000 women report that they have been victims of rape or attempted rape, and more than half of them knew their attackers. It’s estimated that two to six times that many women are raped, but do not report it. Every year 1.2 million women are forcibly raped by their current or former male partners, some more than once. THE TARGETS . Women are 10 times more likely than men to be victimized by an intimate. Young women, women who are separated, divorced or single, low- income women and African-American women are disproportionately victims of assault and rape. Domestic violence rates are five times higher among families below poverty levels, and severe spouse abuse is twice as likely to be committed by unemployed men as by those working full time. Violent attacks on lesbians and gay men have become two to three times more common than they were prior to 1988. IMPACT ON CHILDREN . Violent juvenile offenders are four times more likely to have grown up in homes where they saw violence. Children who have witnessed violence at home are also five times more likely to commit or suffer violence when they become adults. IMPACT ON HEALTH AND SOCIAL SERVICES . Women who are battered have more than twice the health care needs and costs than those who are never battered. Approximately 17 percent of pregnant women report having been battered, and the results include miscarriages, stillbirths and a two to four times greater likelihood of bearing a low birth weight baby. Abused women are disproportionately represented among the homeless and suicide victims. Victims of domestic violence are being denied insurance in some states because they are considered to have a “pre-existing condition.” SOURCES: “Violence Against Women: A National Crime Victimization Survey Report”, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., January 1994. “The National Women’s Study,” Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, 1992. “Five Issues In American Health,” American Medical Association, Chicago, 1991. Bullock, Linda F. and Judith McFarlane, “The Birth Weight/Battering Connection,” Journal of American Nursing, September 1989. McFarlane, Judith, et. al., “Assessing for Abuse During Pregnancy,” Journal of the American Medical Association, June 17, 1992. Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics, 1992. Sheehan, Myra A. “An Interstate Compact on Domestic Violence: What are the Advantages?” Juvenile and Family Justice Today, 1993. Sherman, Lawrence W. et al. Domestic Violence: Experiments and Dilemmas, 1990. ——————————————————————————– ——————————————————————————– * Domestic Violence accounts for a quarter of all reported violent crime. [Working Party Report, Victim Support, 1992] * Each year 100,000 women seek treatment in London for violent injuries caused in their homes. [Punching Judy, BBC TV Documentary, 1989] * Domestic Violence is not limited to physical assault. It includes sexual abuse and mental cruelty which undermine a woman’s self-esteem. [McGibbon and Kelly, “Abuse of Women in the Home”, 1989] * Research conducted by Police found that 2/3 of all men believed that they would respond violently to their partners in certain situations. [Islington Council, 1994] * Almost half of all murders of women are killings by current or former partners. [National Working Party Report on Domestic Violence, Victim Support, 1992] ——————————————————————————– ——————————————————————————– From OASIS – “Opposing Abuse with Service, Information, and Shelter”. You can visit their website. Adapted from the American Bar Association. Every day 4 women are **murdered** by their husbands, boyfriends, or ex-boyfriends after reported abuse. An estimated 2 to 6 million women are battered annually in the USA. Battering is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15-44. One out of four pregnant women are battered. The battering may start or excalate during pregnancy. Medical expenses from Domestic Violence total at least $3 billion annually and businesses lose another $100 million in sick leave, absenteeism and productivity. One out of 7 girls is abused by her boyfriend, and many will be abused by their husbands. Every Day four women are murdered by their husbands, boyfriends, or ex-boyfriends after reported abuse. Courtship violence is wide-spread and underreported by both men and women. 30% of High School students have experienced physical or sexual violence in dating relationships. 37% of Men and 35% of Women have inflicted some form of physical aggression on their dating partners. Women sustained more injuries than men, and they were two to three times more likely to experience unwanted sexual intercourse. 95% of violent crime on Campus is alcohol or drug related. 37% of the assailants and 55% of victims of rape had used alcohol or other drugs. Husbands and boyfriends commit 13,000 acts of violence against women in the workplace every year (United States Department of Justice, 1994). Over 1.7 million women were physically abused in 1995 by their male partners, one every 12 seconds (Federal Bureau of Investigation). There were approximently 4.5 million violent crimes against women in 1992 and 1993. (The Justice Department recognizes that this is an under-estimation of domestic violence and violence against women). (Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey). 50% of all women will be involved in some type of abusive relationship in their life time. We could be talking about your daughters, your mothers, your wives, your girlfriends. In 95% of VIOLENT CRIMES on campuses, ALCOHOL OR DRUGS WERE A FACTOR. 30% of High School students have experienced physical or sexual violence in dating relationships. 37% of men and 35% of women have inflicted some form of physical aggression with their dating partners. For every 1 rape that IS reported, 10 are NOT reported. By the most conservative estimate, each year 1 million women suffer nonfatal violence by an intimate. (Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report: Violence Against Women: Estimates from the Redesigned Survey (NCJ-154348), August 1995, p. 3.) Other estimates suggest that 4 million American women experience a serious assault by an intimate partner during an average 12-month period. (American Psychl. Ass’n. Violence and the Family: Report of the American Psychological Association Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family (1996), p. 10.) Nearly 1 in 3 adult women experience at least one physical assault by a partner during adulthood. (American Psychl. Ass’n. Violence and the Family: Report of the American Psychological Association Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family (1996), p. 10.) In 1993, approximately 575,000 men were arrested for committing violence against women, approximately 49,000 women were arrested for committing violence against men. (American Psychl. Ass’n. Violence and the Family: Report of the American Psychological Association Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family (1996), p. 10.) Domestic violence is statistically consistent across racial and ethnic boundaries. (Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report: Violence Against Women: Estimates from the Redesigned Survey (NCJ-154348), August 1995, p. 3.) 90-95% of domestic violence victims are women. (Bureau of Justice Statistics Selected Findings: Violence Between Intimates (NCJ-149259), November 1994.) Much of female violence is committed in self-defense, and inflicts less injury than male violence. (Chalk & King, eds., Violence in Families: Assessing Prevention & Treatment Programs, National Resource Council and Institute of Medicine, p. 42 (1996).) 47% of men who beat their wives do so at least 3 times per year. (AMA Diagnostic & Treatment Guidelines on Domestic Violence, SEC: 94-677: 3M: 9/94 (1994).) In homes where partner abuse occurs, children are 1,500 times more likely to be abused. (Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, Family Violence: Interventions for the Justice System, 1993.) 26% of pregnant teens reported being physically abused by their boyfriends, about half of them said the battering began or intensified after he learned of her pregnancy. (Brustin, S., Legal Response to Teen Dating Violence, Family Law Quarterly, vol. 29, no. 2, 333-334 (Summer 1995) (citing Worcester, A More Hidden Crime: Adolescent Battered Women, The Network News, July/Aug., National Women’s Health Network 1993).) Female victims of violence are 2.5 times more likely to be injured when the violence is committed by an intimate than when committed by a stranger. (Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report: Violence Against Women: Estimates from the Redesigned Survey (NCJ-154348), August 1995, p. 4.) Domestic violence is an ongoing cycle producing increasingly severe injuries over time, battered women are likely to see physicians frequently. (Children’s Safety Network, Domestic Violence: A Directory of Protocols for Health Care Providers (1992) p. (1).) 65% of intimate homicide victims had separated from the perpetrator prior to their death. (Florida Governor’s Task Force on Domestic and Sexual Violence, Florida Morality Review Project, 1997, p. 47, table 17.) 88% of victims domestic violence fatalities had a documented history of physical abuse. (Florida Governor’s Task Force on Domestic and Sexual Violence, Florida Morality Review Project, 1997, pp. 46-48, tables 14-21.) 44% of victims of intimate homicides had prior threats by the killer to kill victim or self. 30% had prior police calls to the residence. 17% had a protection order. (Florida Governor’s Task Force on Domestic and Sexual Violence, Florida Morality Review Project, 1997, pp. 46-48, tables 14-21.) ——————————————————————————– ——————————————————————————– From the YWCA of San Diego and the Domestic Violence Research and Training Institute. You can visit their website. A female is battered every nine seconds. [California Alliance Against Domestic Violence, 1994] It is estimated that one third of all high school and college students will have been in an abusive relationship by the time they graduate. [Levy, 1992] Relationship violence is the number one cause of injury to women ages 15-44: more that rapes, muggings and car accidents combined. [Center For Community Solutions, 1997] There are three times as many animal shelters in the United States as battered women shelters. [Senate Judiciary Committee, 1990] 63% of all boys ages 11-20 arrested for murder, murdered the man who was assaulting their mother.[Center For Community Solutions, 1997] As many as 15 million women have been abused at some time during their lives. [Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, 1989] As many as one-quarter to two-thirds of battered women report abuse during preganancy.[“Battered and Pregnant: A Prevalence Study,” Journal of the American Public Health Association] In a prospective study of 1,200 white, Hispanic and black pregnant women, one in six reported physical abuse during pregnancy. [“Abuse During Pregnancy: A Cross-Cultural Studyof Frequent and Severity of Injuries,” J. McFarlane, 1991] The average battered women is attacked three times each year. [Intimate Violence, R. Gelles and M. Straus, 1988] 22 to 35 percent of women who visit emergency departments in the United States are there for symptoms related to on-going abuse. [“Domestic Violence Intervention Calls for More than Treating Injuries,” Journal of the American Medical Association, 1990] Families in which domestic violence occurs use doctors eight times more often, visit the emergency room six times more often and use six times more prescription drugs than the general population. [“Domestic Violence: A Community Crisis Waiting for an Effective Response” Seattle Domestic Violence Intervention, 1989]  Source :themodernreligion

Fatima Zahra (S.A.) on the way to marriage:

When Fatima Zahra (S.A.) reached nine years of age, she was a fully-grown woman who enjoyed intellectual maturity and integrity of conduct. Allah gifted her with a brilliant mentality and cleverness, together with beauty, grace and elegance. Her talents were many and she inherited and acquired noble traits excel those of any female or male.

Fatima’s religious feelings and literary knowledge were unlimited. You will come to know that she was the most knowledgeable and most honorable woman in the world. In fact, history has not witnessed any other woman who achieved such a high level of education, knowledge, and social graces that Fatima reached; regardless of the fact that she did not graduate from any educational establishment save the school of Revelation and Messenger ship.

In light of this, it is not strange that prominent companions of the Prophet asked to marry her, but he (S.A.W.) rejected them by saying: “Her affair is left to her Lord; whenever He wills, she will marry.”

Shu’aib Ibn Saab Al-Misri said the following in Ar-Rawd Al-Faeq: “When the sun of her beauty shined in the heavens of Messenger ship and became fill on the horizon of exaltation of the moon of her perfection, the dawns of thoughts reached towards her and the sights of the chosen longed to observe her beauty; so the masters of the Muhajarin and Ansar asked to marry her, but the one who was bestowed with Allah’s satisfaction [the Prophet (S.A.W.)] rejected them and said: ‘I am waiting for Allah’s ordinance in her regards.”

Abu Bakr and Umar were among those who asked to marry Fatima, but the Prophet rejected them too, and said that she was still too young for marriage. Abdur Rahman Ibn Awf also asked for her hand, but the Prophet ignored him.

Ali lbn Muragi reported in his book Kanz Al-Umal V.2, P.99 that Anas Ibn Malik said: “Abu Bakr came to see the Prophet (S.A.W.). After sitting down he said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, you surely know of my devotion and long standing service to Islam…’

The Prophet then said: ‘What is it that you want?’ Abu Bakr then said: ‘I want you to give me Fatima in marriage.’ When the Prophet heard this, he did not say anything, so Abu Bakr returned to Umar and said: ‘I have ruined myself and others!’ Umar said: ‘What happened?’

Abu Bakr replied: ‘I asked for Fatima’s hand from the Prophet, but he ignored me.’ Umar siad: ‘You stay here, and I will go ask the Prophet for the same thing that you asked him for.’ Umar went to the Prophet and after sitting down started saying: ‘O Messenger of Allah, you surely know of my devotion and long standing service to Islam…’ The Prophet then said: ‘What is it that you want?’

Umar replied: ‘I want you to give me Fatima in marriage.’ But the Prophet ignored him too. Umar returned to Abu Bakr and said: ‘He is waiting far Allah’s command in her regard.

Al-Haithami also reported in his book Majma Az-Zawa’ed that Abu Bakr and Umar sent their daughters to the Prophet (S.A.W.) in order to ask him to give Fatima in marriage to them; but when the daughters mentioned why they had come, the Prophet said: “No! Not until Allah’s command in her regard is revealed”.

Perhaps the Messenger avoided telling Abu Bakr and Umar openly that he is keeping Fatima for the qualified man, because he did not want to declare to them that they were unqualified to marry her, and that his daughter was above their level. The Prophet also wanted everything to occur in its natural order.

Imam Ali (A.S.) was staying in the house of Saad Ibn Ma’adh (According to one historical finding) since he immigrated to Medina. One day, While Imam Ali was in one of the gardens of Medina, Saad came to him and said: “What prevents you from asking to marry Fatima from your cousin?”

It has also been mentioned in Kanz Al-Umal that Umar came to Ali (A.S.) and said: “What prevents you from (marrying) Fatima?”

Imam Ali replied: “I fear that he (the Prophet) will not give her to me in marriage!”

Umar said: “If he does not give her to you in marriage, then whom will she marry? Besides, you are the nearest of Allah’s creatures to him…”

Actually, Ali had never mentioned his desire to marry Fatima for two reasons; first his shyness to do so in front of the Prophet, and secondly because of his very difficult economic condition. Imam Ali owned nothing of the imperial belongings of this world-not even a house or a peace of land! So how could he get married? And where would he live with his wife? Besides, Fatima (S.A.) is not the type of woman who can be neglected or looked down upon!

Nevertheless, the purpose of marriage in Islam is to establish a family. The question of sex is not the main goal, rather it is a matter included and taken care of by marriage. In addition, Islam came to break the chains and the blind adoption of concepts, which deprived many people from marriage by making it difficult for them to acquire partners; thus, preventing them from a basic and natural necessity needed for the survival of mankind. Therefore-thanks to Islam-marriage became an easy affair. Tribe and race consciousness was eradicated by the new religion. The Prophet (S.A.W.), who was still going through the stage of building Islam, wanted to set an example through his words and deeds in this field; for he is the exemplar and model for the people. So he fought ignorant and infidel customs through his works and actions.

Imam Ali (A.S.) finally approached the Prophet (S.A.W.) and asked for Fatima’s hand in marriage. The Messenger, who has absolute guardianship over all Muslim men and women, including his daughter, would not announce his agreement to the marriage without Fatima’s consent. By this action, he (S.A.W.) made it clear that it is inevitable to obtain the daughter’s permission for marriage, because she is the one who is to live with the man and share his life. Indeed, giving a girl in marriage to someone without her prior approval or permission is a clear violation of her honor, degradation of her personality, disruption of her soul and a practical declaration to her that she is like an animal who can be sold or given as a gift to anyone without the right to state her opinion.

The Prophet in reply to Ali said: “Ali, many men have asked before you and she has rejected them-her resentment to marry them was clear on her face. Yet, wait until I bring you the answer.”

The Prophet left Ali waiting for the answer. The Prophet informed his daughter that Ali wished to marry her. Fatima did not need to ask about Ali’s occupation, manners, age and other traits; because she knew all about his talents, excellent traits and long-standing service to Islam. It is for this reason that the Prophet (S.A.W.) only said to her:

“Fatima, you know Ali lbn Abu Talib’s relationship to us, his devotion and faithfulness to Islam. I asked Allah to give you in marriage to the best of His creatures, and the most beloved to Him; and he (Ali) has declared his wish to marry you; what do you say?”

Ali & FatimaFatima did not reply, nor did she show a sign of rejection or resentment, so he (S.A.W.) stood up and said: “Allah is the Greatest! Her silence is her approval.”

The Prophet considered Fatima’s silence as her consent and approval of the marriage; because a shy, virgin girl is not expected to declare her agreement openly. Yes, she can openly express disagreement and rejection of marriage. But shyness prevents a girl from declaring her wish to marry a man, but it does not stop her from rejecting it.

The Prophet (S.A.W.) went back to the waiting Ali and informed him of Fatima’s approval of the marriage. He also inquired about the extent of his preparedness to fulfill the requirements needed for the wedding, because legally and traditionally there has to be a dowry. Especially in light of the fact that this marriage would be remembered and be of great influence to the future generations. Thus, it was important to observe every element and event, which would play a part of this marriage-within the limits of simplicity and modesty.

The Prophet said to Ali: “Do you possess anything (which you can pay for the dowry) to marry Fatima?”

Imam Ali answered: “May my parents be your sacrifice! By Allah, there is not a thing of my affairs hidden from you; I own my sword, shield and the camel which I use for irrigation!”

Indeed, this was everything that Ali possessed in this world when he was about to get married!

The Messenger open-heartedly listened to Ali and said:

“Ali, you cannot do without your sword, for you have to struggle with it and defend yourself against the enemies of Allah. As for your camel, you need is to irrigate palm trees and supports your family, and you need it as a means of travel. But I accept the shield as a dowry from you; thus sell it and bring me the money!”

Ali had won this shield from the booty of the battle of Badr. The Messenger, who named it Al-Hademah, gave it to him; because it destroyed all the swords which stuck it.

The Commander of the Faithful (A.S.) sold the shield for 480 or 500 dirhams and brought the money to the Prophet (S.A.W.). They both agreed that this money would be the dowry of the most honorable girl and most exalted female of the universe. Yes Fatima was the Mistress of the women of the world, and the daughter of the Master of Prophets and Messengers, who was the best of Allah’s creatures.

Yet, he (S.A.W.) gave his daughter in marriage in return for such a modest dowry in order to teach other Muslim girls not to refrain from marriage because of modest dowries. There are many other lessons, which we can learn from Fatima’s marriage, but this is not the place to mention them.

Despite Fatima’s modest marriage on Earth, Allah, the Exalted, bestowed her with an honorable gift. He (Glory be to Him) gave her in marriage to Ali Ibn Abu Talib, before the Messenger himself did so. This is not abnormal, for Allah had given women who are much lower than Fatima in marriage to the Prophet (S.A.W.). For example, He gave Zainab Bint Jahsh to the Prophet in marriage as it is stated in the Holy Quran.

“Then when Zaid had dissolved (his marriage) with her, with the necessary (formality), We joined her in marriage to thee.” (33:50)

Therefore, was it not possible for Fatima’s wedding to have been celebrated in the exalted heavens, and attended by the nearest angels to Allah, the Exalted, as Prophetic Traditions State! Indeed, this is what happened in tribute to Fatima, her Father, her husband, and her future children who are the authorities of Allah on His creatures.

The celebration took place in the fourth Heaven near Al-Bait Al-Ma’mour (the constantly attended house of Allah). It was a unique event the like of which the universe had never encountered before. Angels from all the Heavens gathered in the fourth Heaven and erected the Minbar of Honor, which is made of light. Then Allah, The Almighty, revealed to one of His angels, Rahil, to ascend the Minber and praise and glorify His names as He deserves. Rahil, who was the most eloquent of all angels, did what his Lord revealed to him and said: “Praise be Allah, since sempiternity of the first (creatures); He who is ever-lasting (even) after the cessation of all beings; We praise Him for making us spiritual angels, who are submitting to His Godship, and for making us grateful of Him for His benevolence on us.

He safeguarded us from craving for lusts; and made our only pleasure and enjoyment to glorify and exalt Him. He who extended His Mercy (upon everything); and bestowed His benevolence (upon everyone). Exalted is His Name from the polytheism of polytheists of the dwellers of Earth, And Elevated by His Creatures from the fabrications of the atheists.

Allah, The Omnipotent King, chose the one who was bestowed with special Divine Honor, and the worshipper of His Greatness, for His worshipper, the Mistress of women and the daughter of the best of prophets, the Master of all messengers and the Imam of the pious; so He brought into relations the Prophet with a man from his kin. One who is his believing companion, and was prompt in answering his call-Ali, the devout; with Fatima the splendid and the daughter of the Messenger.”

Then Gabriel added the following words, which were from Allah, the Exalted:

“Praise is My garment, Greatness is My Magnificence, All the creatures are My slaves men and women. I give Fatima, My Worshipper in marriage to Ali, My chosen worshipper. So bear witness O MY angels.”

This narration was also reported by a group of Sunni scholars, among them are: Abdurrahman As-Safawi in Nuzhat Al-Majalis V.2, P.223, reported that Jabir Ibn Abdullah (May Allah be pleased with him) said:

“Um Ayman came to the Prophet (S.A.W.) crying; the Prophet asked her why she was crying? She replied; ‘A man from the Ansar just informed me that his daughter has just been married, and that sprinkled sweets and almonds on her Thus, this reminded me that when Fatima married Ali, you did not sprinkle anything on her.’

There-upon the Prophet said: ‘By Allah Who sent me with honor, and gifted me with the Messenger ship; when Allah gave Fatima to Ali in marriage, He ordered the nearest angels to surround the Throne-including Gabriel, Michael and Israfil. He also commanded birds to sing and ordered the tree of Tuba to sprinkle them with fresh pearls, white gems, green chrysalides and red rubies.’

According to another tradition, he (S.A.W.) said: “The marriage took place near the Lotus tree in the seventh Heaven, on the night of Ascension. (On that occasion) Allah revealed to the tree: ‘Sprinkle all that you bear on them.’ So it sprinkled them with gems, jewelry and corals.”

2. Al-Hafiz Abu Nu’aym reported in Hilyat Al-Owliya V.5, P.59, that Abdullah Ibn Masoud said:”…then Allah commanded the Tree of Paradise to bear gems and jewelry; He then ordered it to sprinkle them over the angels. So whoever received more than the others on that day, will be proud of it until the Day of Resurrection.”

3. This narration was mentioned by: Kharazmi in Maqtal Al-Hussain, Asqalani in Lisan Al-Mizan and Tahdhib Al-Tahdhib, and Qandouzi in Yanabi’ Al-Mawaddah.

4. It has been reported in Nuzhat Al-Majalis that Anas Ibn Malik said: ‘The Prophet was in the mosque when he said to Ali: ‘Here is Gabriel informing me that Allah gave Fatima to you in marriage, and made forty thousand angels testify to her marriage. He also revealed to the Tree of Tuba to sprinkle them with gems, rubies, jewelry and embellishments. When is had done this, the Huris rushed to collect these gems, rubies, jewelry and embellishments to exchange them for gifts until the Day of Resurrection.'” (Sayuti reported this narration in Tahdheer Al-Khawas.)

The Messenger (S.A.W.) performed the engagement proceedings in the mosque while he was on the Minbar, in the presence of the Muslims, so as to enact the practice of announcing and assigning witnesses to engagement proceedings; and specified the amount of dowry, so that the Muslims could follow his practice in requesting modest dowries for marriages. He (S.A.W.) said:

“Avoid exaggeration in the (amounts of) dowries, because this causes enmity (between you).”

The Prophet (S.A.W.) also assigned the desirable practice of limiting dowry to five hundred dirhams. He (S.A.W.) and the Holy Imams of Ahlul-Bayt never exceeded this amount of dowry in their marriages.

When Ali had sold his shield, he brought the money to the Prophet; who divided it into thirds: one-third was for household necessities, one-third was for perfumes and embellishments for the wedding, and the remaining one-third he gave to Um Salamah, who was to give it back to Ali to assist him in paying for food for the guests attending the ceremony.

Naturally, Ali’s marriage to Fatima Zahra (S.A.) raised envy and enmity in the hearts of some men; especially those who were rejected by Fatima and her father when they had asked for her hand. So it was not strange to see some Quraishans come to the Prophet and say: “Surely you have taken a lowly dowry for Fatima from Ali” The Prophet replied: “It was not I who gave (Fatima to) Ali in marriage, rather Allah did so on the night of ascension near the Lotus tree (in the seventh Heaven)…” He then added: “Verily I am a man just like you; I marry (from) your women and give you my (marriageable) women in marriage, save Fatima, for her marriage was revealed in Heaven.”

The Prophet gave Abu Bakr some money and asked him to accompany Bilal and Salman, (or Ammar Ibn Yasir) to buy some household necessities for Fatima’s house. The Prophet said to Abu Bakr: “Buy some appropriate household necessities for my daughter with this money.” Abu Bakr said: “He gave sixty-three (63) dirhams, so we went to the market and bought the following:

01. Two mattresses made of Egyptian canvas. (One stuffed with fiber and the other with sheep wool).

02. A leather mat.

03. A pillow made of skin, filled with palm tree fiber.

04. A Khaibarion cloak.

05. An animal skin for water.

06. Some jugs and jars also for water.

07. A pitcher painted with tar.

08. A thin curtain made of wool.

09. A shirt costing seven (7) dirhams.

10. A veil costing four (4) dirhams.

11. Black plush cloak.

12. A bed embellished with ribbon.

13. Four cushions made of skin imported from Ta ‘ef stuffed with a good smelling plant.

14. A mat from Hajar.

15. A hand-mill.

16. A special copper container used for dyestuff.

17. A pestle for grinding coffee.

18. A (water) skin.

When Abu Bakr and the other companions had bought the above-mentioned articles, they carried them to Um Salama’s house. When the Prophet saw them, he started kissing every article and supplicated to Allah, saying: “O Allah, bless them! For they are people who the majority of their belongings are made of natural materials.”

These were all the furnishings they purchased for the daughter of the best of all prophets and messengers. But indeed, marital happiness is not achieved by wealth and overspending, nor can expensive wardrobes, gems, golden ware, luxurious furniture, splendid palaces or comfortable automobiles provide a person with marital happiness, contrary to the beliefs of most people.

How many wealthy women dressed in expensive wardrobes and embellished themselves with gems and jewelry, which cover their necks, arms, and ears consider life an unbearable misery. On the contrary, how many women are there who live in shacks, who cook, bake bread, wash clothes, sweep floors, nurse their children and struggle hard in light of their simple lives, yet consider themselves happy people and their houses to be gardens of Eden.

This fact is also true for men. Yet, unfortunately, many young unmarried women hold the wrong view then marital happiness can only be found through wealth and luxuries. They consider simplicity a sign of misery and deprivation; therefore, these miserable youths remain unmarried waiting for marital happiness to knock on their doors, accompanied by wealth and luxuries!

Part of Fatima’s dowry is “intercedence on the day of resurrection”

Although Fatima’s dowry was modest, because of the Messenger’s wish to set an example for the Muslims and for other implicit reasons, Fatima Zahra (S.A.) did not ignore her greatness and exalted identity to obtain a fantastic gift for her wedding. Fatima’s drive for excellence and perfection motivated her to ask for the right of intercedence – if Allah willed – for the sinners among the Muslims.

Abmad Ibn Yusuf Ad-Dimashqi in his book Akhbar Al-Dowal Wa Ath-tha Al-Uwal reported the following: “It was narrated that when she (Fatima) learnt about her marriage and that her dowry was a small number of dirhams, she said:

‘O Messenger of Allah, lay-girls take money for dowries; what is the difference between them and me (if my dowry was to be money too)? I kindly ask you to give it back and supplicate to Allah, the Exalted, to make my dowry the right to intercede for the sinners among Muslims (on the Day of Rising).’ It was then that Gabriel descended with a label on which the following statement was wirtten:

‘Allah ordained Fatima Zahra’s dowry to be intercedence for the sinners among Muslims.’

When Fatima (S.A.) was on her deathbed, she asked that the label be put on her chest under the coffin. Thus, it was done so. Fatima (S.A.) said: ‘When l am rated on the Day of Resurrection, I will present this label with my hand to intercede for the sinners from among my Father’s nation.’

It is apparent that the narration mentioned above illustrates the greatness, honor, and excellence Lady Fatima enjoyed. The Messenger’s supplication was answered, so Fatima will present the label on the day when it is most needed. Nasfi said:

“Fatima (May Allah be pleased with her) asked the Prophet (S.A.W.) that her dowry would be intercedence for his nation on the day of Resurrection. So when she passes the path, she will ask for her dowry.”

It is worthy to mention that many narration’s have been reported on the account of Ahlul-Bayt (A.S.) to the effect that intercedence is part of Fatima Zahra’s dowry.

Preparations for the wedding

A non-planned period of time elapsed between the engagement and the wedding ceremony, because Imam Ali (A.S.) was too shy to ask the Prophet to assign a day for the wedding, while he (S.A.W.) wanted to protect Fatima’s pride by refraining from asking Ali to do so.

A month or more passed by before Imam Ali said anything regarding the wedding. Aqeel (Ali’s brother) asked him about the reason for the delay in holding the wedding ceremony and encouraged him to prepare for the wedding and to ask the Prophet (S.A.W.) to assign a date for it. Despite Ali’s shyness, he accompanied Aqeel to the Prophet’s house to fulfill his wishes. On their way to the Prophet’s house, they met Um Ayman who, when told the reason for their visit, asked them to leave the matter to her. She, in turn, informed Um Salama and the Prophet’s wives who gathered in Aisha’s house, where the Prophet (S.A.W.) was, and said:

“May our parents be your sacrifice! We are gathered here in regard to that, had Khadija been alive would have brought happiness to her life!”

When hearing Khadija’s name, the Prophet cried and said: “Surely Khadija believed me when men did not, and helped in establishing Allah’s religion, and granted me her belongings in its path.

Allah -Exalted is His Name- commanded me to bring the good news to Khadija that (she has) a house in Paradise made of brocade and emeralds, where there is not roaring or strain.”

Um Salama said: “May our parents be your sacrifice, O Messenger of Allah! Surely everything you have praised Khadija for is true, but she departed to her Lord! May He bring happiness to her and gather us with her in the Paradise of His satisfaction and Mercy.

Messenger of Allah? Your brother from among the people of the world, who is also your cousin, Ali Ibn Abu Talib, wished that you specify a day for the wedding so that he may be united with his wife Fatima.”

The Prophet answered: “Why doesn’t Ali ask me to do so?”

She replied: “Shyness prevents him!”

He said: “Um Ayman, go call Ali for me.”

When Um Ayman came out, she found Ali (A.S.) waiting for the answer. Upon her request he, entered the house and shyly sat near the Prophet who said to him:

“Do you wish to be wedded to your wife?”

Ali replied: “Alright, it is to your honor! If you wish, the wedding can take place tonight or tomorrow night, if Allah wills.”

The Prophet said: “So prepare a house for Fatima.”

Ali then said: “The only house I can acquire is Harithah Ibn Al-Numan’s.”

The Prophet said: “Surely we are shy for Harithah lbn Al-Numan, for we have taken the majority of his houses!”

When Harithah heard about this, he proceeded towards the Prophet and said: “Messenger of Allah, I and my property belong to Allah and His Messenger. By Allah, there is nothing more beloved to me than that which you take; it surely is more desirable to me (that you take it) than if you leave it (for me)!”

Consequently, Harithah, motivated by his strong faith and belief in good deeds, granted Ali (A.S.) one of his houses. Imam Ali furnished one of the rooms by spreading sand on the floor and erecting a pole for hanging the water container. He also purchased a jug and jar and laid a piece of wood between two walls for hanging clothes, and placed a ram’s skin on the floor and put a pillow made of fiber on it. In addition to some gifts which were given to him by some companions.

The Prophet (S.A.W.) ordered Ali (A.S.) to hold a dinner because Allah, the Exalted, is pleased with those who do so; for the social good it does-such as bringing people together and implementing love and harmony among them.

It is noteworthy that Lady Fatima Zahra (S.A.) excelled in giving on the path of Allah; she possessed generosity that no other woman can claim to be equal to.

Al-Asfouri wrote in his book Nuzhat Al-Majalis V.2, P.226, on the authority of Ibn Al-Tawous: “The Prophet (S.A.W.) had a new dress made for Fatima (as a gift) for her wedding; she had just one old patched dress. On her wedding night, someone knocked on the door and said: ‘I ask the household of Prophet hood to give me an old dress.’ At first Fatima was going to give him her old dress, but then remembered the Quranic verse:

‘By no means shall ye attain righteousness unless ye give (freely) of that which ye love (prefer)’

She then gave the poor man her new dress. Consequently, Gabriel descended and said: ‘O Muhammad! Allah sends Him peace upon you; He commanded me to greet Fatima and (give her the gift He sent to her) which is a dress from Paradise, made of silk brocade…’

(Returning to the feast), when the food had been prepared, the meat cooked, the bread baked and the dates and butter obtained, the Prophet (S.A.W.) started spitting the dates and mixing them with the butter to replace sweetmeat for the wedding.

When everything was ready, he (S.A.W.) asked Ali to invite the people to the feast.

When Ali reached the Mosque, he found it crowded with people-all were at the Mosque, from the poor immigrants who lived there to the Ansars. Nevertheless, Ali’s generosity and noble-heartedness did not allow him to invite some people and exclude others, especially since everyone wanted to be invited to the Prophet’s daughter’s wedding feast. Ali’s belief in Allah’s power and the Prophet’s blessed heart, motivated him to call out loud:

“O people, answer the call for the feast of Fatima Bint Muhammad.”

Men and women from all around Medina gathered in the house. They ate, drank and even took food to their homes. The blessings of the Prophet were obvious on that day, for not only the food was enough to feed everyone, but also it did not decrease at all. The Prophet (S.A.W.) asked for food containers to be brought and filled them and sent them to his wives and left a special container for Fatima and her husband.

By sunset, the wedding night had begun; it was time for Fatima to depart to her new home. Everything went well, for the Prophet (S.A.W.) had made all the necessary preparation for the wedding. Despite the simplicity and modesty of her wedding, Fatima’s marriage ceremony was surrounded by signs of greatness, excellence, and beauty. AI-Haithami wrote in Majma’ Az-Zawaed that Jabir said:

Marriage“We were present at Fatima and Ali’s (May Allah be pleased with them) wedding ceremony, and indeed we have not seen any ceremony better than that one…”

The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) ordered his wives to embellish Fatima (S.A.) before the wedding; they perfumed and dressed her with jewelry. They all helped to ready Fatima; some combed her hair while others embellished and dressed her in the dress brought by Gabriel from Paradise.

Allah’s Messenger (S.A.W.) paid special attention to Fatima Zahra (S.A.), which he did not bestow on his other daughters for the following reasons;

A. Her special characteristics and noble traits.

B. Her husband is Ali Ibn Abu Talib, who is known for his talents and longstanding service to Islam-besides being the Prophet’s cousin.

C. The Prophet (S.A.W.) also knew that his daughter was going to be included in the verse of purification, the verse of Mubahelah (supplication), and the verse of Kinship.

D. Fatima also is the mother of the Holy lmams who will lead humanity until the Day of Resurrection.

The night of Fatima’s wedding arrived. Because every girl needs her mother on her wedding night; Fatima missed Khadija and felt very much like an orphan. With his (S.A.W.) noble and special attention to Fatima, the Prophet wished to fill Khadija’s space; the Prophet called Ali (A.S.) and Fatima (S.A.), who proceeded towards him-Fatima, was in her long heavenly dress overtaken with shyness. He (S.A.W.) brought his gray horse and asked Fatima to ride it and ordered Salman to lead while he (S.A.W.) followed them.

Yes, indeed, Fatima’s wedding was attended by heavenly creatures as well as people; for she is a human huri.

Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdadi in Tareekh Baghdad V.5, P.7, Al-Hamvini in Durar Al-Simtain, Al-Dhahabi in Mizan Al-Etedal, Garani in Akhbar Al-Dowal, and Qandouzi in Yanabi’ Al-Mawaddah have narrated that Ibn Abbas said:

‘When Fatima was taken to Ali’s house on her wedding night, the Prophet preceded her, Gabriel was on her right, and Michael on her left, and seventy thousand angels followed her. These angels praised and glorified Allah until dawn!

The Hashemit men, Abdul Muttalib’s daughters, and Muhajarin and Ansar’s women all accompanied Fatima’s caravan that night. The Prophet’s wives joyfully led the caravan; they were also the first to enter the house.

Upon arriving, the Prophet (S.A.W.) placed Fatima’s hand in Ali’s hand and said:

‘May Allah bless his Messenger’s daughter;

Ali, this is Fatima, you are responsible for her (or I entrust her to you).

Ali, what an excellent wife Fatima is!

Fatima, what an excellent husband Ali is!

O Allah, bless them, bless their lives, and bless their children.

O Allah, surely they are the most beloved to me from among your creatures, so love them too, and assign for them a guardian.

I place them and there progeny under your protection from the curse devil.’

The Prophet (S.A.W.) then asked for a jug of water; he sipped a small amount of the water and after gargling with it, placed it back in the jug. He then called for Fatima and sprayed her head and shoulders with that water and did the same thing to Ali (A.S.). Thereafter, he ordered the women to leave the house. They all left except Asma Bint Umais. When he noticed that she had stayed behind, he exclaimed:

‘Didn’t I ask you to leave?’

She answered: ‘Indeed, O Messenger of Allah! May my parents be your sacrifice; I did not intend to disobey you, but I promised Khadija to take her place on this night’ this moved The Prophet; he cried and said to Asma: ‘By Allah, is this the reason that made you stay behind?’

She said: ‘Yes, by Allah!’

He (S.A.W.) then said: Asma, may Allah fulfill for you the needs of this world and the Hereafter.

Fatima’s house

The contemporary civilized world realizes the importance of paying due attention to certain spots and structures, which are connected to identify noble people or valuable entities. Thus, laws related to this matter have been legislated, such as diplomatic immunity for specific individuals and buildings, and laws which regulate the use of public places, universities, temples, and so on, that are related to science, religion, and culture.

Allah knew the importance of these actions and laws the Exalted, and His chosen worshippers from the beginning. Rules and regulations which govern entering mosques, especially the Sacred Mosque in Mecca, such as preventing certain groups of people like the infidels, the Junub, and menstruating women from entering them, are a reflection of this fact. Other examples of such laws are: the necessity to keep these places pure; the importance of respecting the sanctity of mosques; the forbiddance of hunting in and around Mecca during certain periods of time.

Fatima’s house is certainly one of these places, which is surrounded by sanctity, holiness and exaltation. It was built on respect, honor and righteousness. Those who realize know the value of her house.

Sheik Majlisi (May Allah bless his soul) reported on the authority of Anas Ibn Malik that Buraidah said:

Allah’s Messenger read the verse: “In houses, which Allah hath permitted to be raised to honor; for the celebration in, the of His name:

In them is He glorified in the mornings and in the evenings.” A man then exclaimed: “Whose houses are there, O Messenger of Allah?” The Prophet answered: “Prophet’s houses.” Abu Bakr said; “Messenger of Allah, is this one of these houses (He meant Fatima’s house)?

The Prophet replied; “Yes, it is among the best of them!” Ibn Abbas also said: “I was in the Prophet’s mosque when someone read: ‘In houses which Allah hath permitted to be raised in honor,..’ So I said: ‘Messenger of Allah; which houses?’

He (S.A.W.) said: ‘Prophet’s houses;’ and pointed to Fatima’s house.”

It has been narrated in Al-Kafi that Abdullah Ibn Jafar Al-Ansari said:

Once, the Prophet of Allah proceeded towards Fatima’s house while I was with him; when we reached the door, he pushed the door (slightly) and said:

‘Assalamu Alaikum’

Fatima (S.A.) answered: ‘Alaik as-Salaam, Messenger of Allah.’

The Prophet (S.A.W.) then said: ‘May I come in?’

She (S.A.) said: ‘I do not have my veil on, O Messenger of Allah.’

He (S.A.W.) said: ‘Fatima, cover your head with your cloak’

When she had done so, he said: ‘Assalamu Alaikum’

She answered: ‘Alaik-as-Salaam, Messenger of Allah.’

He repeated the request for permission to enter the house with me, and she gave us permission.”

The Rights of a Wife upon her Husband & The Rights of a Husband upon his Wife

masoom.jpgIn order to establish the relationship between wife and husband on a sound and explicit base in accordance with a clear and defined religious principle, the Qur’an says:

“…and they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in a just manner…” Holy Qur’an (2:228)

Through this wonderful legal relationship, Islam builds the connection between the couple on the basis of an exact and just equation. The woman has her legal rights upon her husband, as also the man has legal rights upon her. In short, Islam has imposed certain rights upon both husband and wife.

Studying the marital relations in Islam we realize that Islamic laws advocating marital bonds between man and wife are based on affection, mercy, kindness and good treatment towards each other and consider the marriage contract as a sacred covenant.

How wonderfully Imam Ja’far bin Muhammad Al-Sadiq (a.s.), refers to this sacred contract! He says:

“When one of you wants to marry a woman, let him say to her: ‘I accept the covenant taken by Allah': … And then (a woman) must be retained in honor or released in kindness.”

The religious texts and concepts define the rights of the wife upon her husband as follows:

a. Maintenance: The Wife has the right of being properly maintained by her husband and he is responsible for providing his wife with food, clothes, residence, medical treatment, adornment (as per his means) and other expenditures needed by the wife and becoming her social status, on one hand, and falling within the husband’s financial means, on the other.

Allah the Exalted says: “Lodge them where you dwell, according to your means, and harass them not so as to straiten life for them. And if they are pregnant, then spend for them till they bring forth their burden. Then, if they give suckle for you, give them their due payment and enjoin one another among you to do good; but if you disagree, then let other (woman) suckle for him. Let him who has abundance spend of his abundance, and he whose provision is measured, let him spend of that which Allah has given him; Allah does not lay a burden an any soul, except that which He has given it. Allah will bring about ease after hardship.” Holy Qur’an (65:6-7)

b. Good Treatment: The following verses of the Qur’an explain the sharing of affection love, confidence and respect with her.

“…and treat them (woman) kindly…” Holy Qur’an (4:19)

“…and then (a woman) must be retained in honor or released in kindness…” Holy Qur’an (2:229)

“And of His signs is this. He created mates for you from yourselves that you may find rest in them, and He ordained between you love and mercy…” Holy Qur’an (30:21)

The Messenger (s.a.w.) said: “Verily the best of you is the best to his women; and I am the best of you to my women.”

He (s.a.w.) also said: “May Allah bless the man who does good between himself and his wife; as Allah the Exalted has given him authority over her and made him her guardian.”

Family life is the fountain of happiness and the source of love and affection. In the warmth of the home man finds his comfort and stability, and near his wife he feels pleased and secured.

The more affectionate the relations, the better the companionship between the couple and the deeper the feeling of peace, security and comfort in the souls of husband, wife and the children.

How exact is the Prophet (s.a.w.) when he says: “A man’s words to his wife: ‘I love you’ would never go out of her heart.”

Islam enhances good companionship with the wife, fulfilling her psychological and aesthetic inclinations and satisfying her sexual and instinctive desires so that all their marital dimensions may rub against each other.

It insists even further than that. Islam asks the husband to resort to every means and method that causes his wife to love him, physically, spiritually and instinctively, tying her tightly to him. Islam urges man to be keen on keeping himself good-looking and attractive to her, responding to her sexual desire, starting with foreplay for excitement so that he may reach climax with her simultaneously, as she is a matching partner to him in enjoying sexual pleasures. She is not a mere means for satisfying man’s desire.

A Tradition says: “All the believer’s diversions are futile, except in three instances: in paying court to his wife, as (only) these are true.” “When one wants to have sexual intercourse with his wife, one may not hasten her, as women, too, have their desires.” “Three acts are considered to be rude: to accompany somebody without asking his full name; to refuse an invitation for a meal, or to accept it but refuse to eat and to start sexual intercourse with the wife before fore playing.”

It is related that: The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) on entering the house of Umm Salama, smelled a strong perfume. He asked: “Is Al-Hawla here?” Umm Salama replied: “Yes, she is here complaining about her husband.” Al-Hawla came out and told the Prophet: “My husband neglects me.” He said: “Give him more, Hawla.” She answered: “I leave no perfume without using it, but he still disregards me.” He remarked: “If only he would know what he would get by approaching you!” She asked: “What would he get by approaching me?” The Prophet replied: “If he approached you, two angels would escort him and he would be like a man drawing his sword to fight for the cause of Allah. Then by having sexual intercourse, his sins would fall off him like leaves from a tree and when he takes the bath, his sins would wash off him.”

Al-Hasan bin Al-Jahm narrates that he saw Imam Al-Rida (a.s.) with his beard dyed. So I asked him: “May I be your sacrifice, I see you have dyed.” The Imam said, “Yes, embellishment increases the chastity of women. They abandon chastity when their husbands abandon embellishment.” Then he continued “Would you like to see her as she would see you, without adorning herself?” Ibn Al-Jahm answered in the negative. The Imam replied, “That is it. The habit of the prophets is to be clean, to use perfumes, to trim the hair and to frequent their wives.”

By the above quotations regarding rights of the wife upon her husband we can illustrate a clear picture of leading a good marital life and fulfill all aspects of the material, moral, instinctive and aesthetic relations between husband and wife.

 The Rights of a Husband upon his Wife

 

To complete the equation between man and woman, Islam grants the husband certain well-defined rights upon his wife. (These are, however, less expensive and narrower in scope than her rights upon him.)

By analyzing the Qur’an and the Prophet’s Traditions we discover the basic rights granted by Islam to the husband upon the wife – rights that are explicitly and exactly defined:

“Men are the maintainers of women, because Allah has made some of them to excel others, and because they spend out of their property (for the support of women).” Holy Qur’an (4:34)

According to a narration, a woman came to the Prophet (s.a.w.) and asked him: “O Messenger of Allah, tell me what right has the husband upon the wife?” He said: “A lot.” She said: “Explain me some of them.” He replied “She may not fast without his permission, nor may she go out of her house without his consent. She has to use the best of perfumes, to wear the best of her clothes, to adorn herself as best as she can, to offer herself to him day and night, and still his rights are more than that.”

For a better explanation, the husband’s rights upon his wife can be classified as follows:

a. Protecting his home, wealth and children: The husband should make the necessary arrangements for the household and the family, otherwise the wife is not responsible for housekeeping, cooking, cleaning etc.

It is not compulsory for her to suckle her children, attend them or nurse them. Yes, Islam renders these affectionate acts for the woman and considers them good deeds and a way of approaching Allah, unless such responsibilities are stated by the husband in the conditions of the marriage agreement.

A Tradition concerning man’s right upon his wife, says: “No Muslim got a better benefit from Islam than a Muslim wife who pleases her husband, obeys his orders and protects his honor and his property during his absence.”

We also read about a wonderful arbitration conducted by the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) between the Commander of Believers, Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s.) and his wife, Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet (s.a.w.) Imam Al-Sadiq (a.s.) narrates:

“Ali and Fatimah came to the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) for arbitration concerning housework. The Prophet (s.a.w.) decided that all household work should be done by Fatimah, and all the works outside the house were to be done by Ali (a.s.). Fatimah later said: none but Allah knows how much pleased I was with this judgment of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) which spared me a man’s job.

b. Obedience and Authority: The family is an important social unit whose orderly construction depends on sound discipline and efficient organizing. As there should be some one entrusted to shoulder responsibility over his beloved family and undertake the task of guidance and leadership within its prescribed limits, Islam has therefore, authorized the husband to be obeyed and given him the upper hand over his wife and children, until they come of age. This authority, however is under the condition that he may not issue orders contradicting the commands of religion and its principles. If he orders his family to commit a sinful act, his right will lapse and he should not be obeyed.

A Tradition says: “No creature is to obeyed in disobeying the Creator.”

The following quotation from the Qur’an confirms the rights of a husband:

“Men are the maintainers of women, because Allah has made same of them excel others, and because they spend out of their property (for the support of women.)” Holy Qur’an (4:34)

A Tradition of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) says: “She may not go out of her house without his consent and should obey his orders.”

c. Good Behavior: In order to provide an atmosphere of love and stability for her husband and her children, she is to do away with all causes of unrest, disgust and whatever may disturb the peace of the family. This can be achieved by showing affection and amity to the husband and by infusing the home atmosphere with feelings of love, joy and kindness. Man may not see in his wife, nor hear from her, what he hates to see and hear. The more the sense of beauty grows in one’s self, the more one’s need for love and affection is satisfied and the less the causes of trouble, boredom, frustration, bitterness, hatred, etc. Thus, such a harmonious family life full of love, joy and affection would certainly have its effects on the behavior of its members, and on their relations with the society, especially the children, who grow up in the arms of such a loving atmosphere, contrary to a miserable and unhappy family, where the husband leads a life of hatred, tension, repulsion and ill – temper, thereby bringing ruin to the family. Such environments badly affect the children, causing them to be complex and miserable, or even pushing them to be aggressive, irresponsible and lead a vagabond life.

Islam urges the mother to be the source of love, beauty, peace and security in the house and advises her to endeavor to create a tightly knit family life full of harmony and affection.

A man said to the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.): “I have a wife who welcomes me at the door when I enter the house, and sees me off when I leave. When she sees me grieved, asks me: what are you grieved for? If you are anxious about your livelihood, it is guaranteed by other than you; or if you are worried about your hereafter life, may Allah increase your worries.” The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) said: “Allah has agents and she is one of them. She will get half a martyr’s reward.”

According to Jabir bin Abdallah Al-Ansari: Once the Prophet (s.a.w.) said:

“The best of your women is the prolific, the affectionate, the chaste, the endeared of her family, the humble to her husband, fortified against other than him, listens to what he says, and obeys his orders, offers herself to him when alone, but not in an unabashed manner like his.”

d. Pleasing the husband: The wife should pay proper attention to her makeup and appearance, to attract the husband and respond to his sexual inclinations, since this is quite effective in pulling the man to his wife and strengthening the relations of love between them. She should provide him with ways of enjoying her beauty and satisfy his desires and prevent him the temptation of throwing himself into the traps of forbidden desires.

Imam Al-Sadiq (a.s.) relates that a woman who came to the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) was asked by him whether she was a ‘put-off woman?’ She asked the meaning of that, and the Prophet replied: “She is the woman who, when her husband calls her for some need, keeps putting it off until he falls asleep. Such a woman will, then, continuously be cursed by the angels until her husband wakes up.”

The Qur’an briefly states the right of enjoying one’s wife, by saying: “Your women are tilth for you (to cultivate) so go to your tilth when you like and do good beforehand for yourselves, and fear Allah, and know that you will (one day) meet Him. Give glad tidings to believers, (O Muhammad)” Holy Qur’an (2:223)

According to the above verse, the Qur’an confirms man’s right to enjoy his wife in diverse ways, as she, too, has the right to enjoy this relationship.

The moral and legislative note of the above verse regarding this lawfulness is evident by the ideal advice of the Qur’an:

“…and do good beforehand for yourselves, and fear Allah, and know that you will (one day) meet Him. Give glad tidings to believers.”

These pieces of advice concerning man, woman and the sexual relations prove the fact how intelligently Islam has devised ways for both husband and wife to enjoy themselves according to their respective rights, so that there can be neither oppression, nor exploitation of the woman as a result of man’s extravagance or misuse.

Islam, which encourages the woman to pay attention to her beauty, appearance and adornment for her husband and to show affection to him, at the same time prohibits her from doing the same for others except for her husband, because it would create psychological separation between the couple and drive the woman to deviation, shamelessness and faithlessness, besides creating tension, mistrust and hatred in her husband’s heart, and finally destroying the noble edifice called family.

Hence a Tradition says: “If a woman angers her husband unjustly and sleeps, Allah would not accept her prayers until the husband is content with her, and if a woman uses perfume for other than her husband, Allah would not accept her prayer until she washes it away as she washes pollution from herself.”

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The philosophy of marriages of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.)

    MuhummedIn the early part of eighteenth century, the Christian writers started with new tactics of attacking Islam. They aimed, through publications full of lies and slanders, at diverting attention from the noble framework of Islam and degrading the exalted person of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May peace be on him and his progeny).
    The basis of that adverse propaganda was the books written by Christian writers of the fifteenth century. A writer had written a book under the title ‘Refutation to the Religion of Muhammad’, which became the source of later writers against Islam. These writers were unacquainted with the real facts about Islam, due to their ignorance of the Arabic language in which Islamic history and holy books were then available.
    It is not strange, therefore, to see them writing against the Prophet of Islam, accusing him of lust because he had married a number of wives, whilst other Muslims were restricted to a maximum of four at a time. (They perhaps forgot that the writers of the present Bible have openly accused their own Prophets of having committed adultery!)
    Of course, by misinforming their Christian brothers, and slandering the Prophet of Islam, they hoped to cause a set-back in the fast progress of Islam. But these tactics did not succeed much. We find a number of learned and fair-minded Christian writers defending the Holy Prophet against such slanders, in apologetic language.
    Undoubtedly these stories of slanders are totally unacceptable to the Muslims, since part of their faith is to believe in the infallibility (Ismat or Sinless ness) of the Prophets.
    But at the same time it is imperative to acquaint the non-Muslims with the true facts.
    Verdict of history:
    Unbiased historians, both Muslims and Christians, are agreed that the number of marriages contracted by the Prophet of Islam was not as a result of lust or to satisfy the sexual desires. If this had been the case, he would not have married the twice-widowed Khadijah, 40 years old, at the youthful age of 25 when one is full of emotion and sexual urge.
    Prophet Mubammad (s.a.w.) lived together with his first (and, at that time, only) wife, Khadijah, happily for 26 years with great mutual affection, despite the fact that young and beautiful girls of Arabia were easily available to him and were keen to be married to the Prophet. Not even once, during that period, did the Prophet take another wife. Undoubtedly he would have at least considered another younger wife simultaneously with Khadijah if he ever suffered from lust and fondness of young women, particularly when the country’s customs wholly approved unlimited marriages.
    Critics Dumbfounded:
    Let us look at the life history of the Prophet of Islam. During the prime of his life, he remains satisfied with an aged and twice-widowed wife, and does not even think of another. Then during the last ten years of his life, after passing the age of fifty, in his old age, when he is surrounded by various difficult problems of the newly-born Islamic State, he starts marrying a number of wives.
    Ask these Christian writers why this phenomenon?
    What logical answer can these critics give to this amazing question?
    Was it not a difficult exercise and heavy burden to marry widows and support their orphans? Was it easy for a perfectly dignified man in the person of Muhammad (s.a.w.) to marry women of different outlook, characters and tribes, including some of much younger age who were still unaware of the full responsibilities of life?
    Let us ponder over the reply to these questions as given by a famous western historian, Thomas Carlyle in his book “Heroes and Heroes Worship”. He says in effect that contrary to what his enemies accuse him, Muhammad was never lusty and sexualize and that it was a slander only out of prejudice against him and this indeed is a great injustice.
    John Devenport says, “and it may then be asked, is it likely that a very sensual man, of a country where polygamy was a common practice, should be contented for five-and-twenty years with one wife, she being fifteen years older than himself”.
    List of wives of the prophet of Islam:
    After the death of his first wife, Khadijah, he married upto twelve wives in the following order:
  • Sawdah
  • A’ishah bint Abu Bark Siddiq (first Caliph)
  • Umm-Salamah
  • Hafsah bint Omer Farooq (second Caliph)
  • Zaynab bint-Khuzaymah
  • Zaynab bint-Jahsh
  • Umm-Habibah (Ramla) bint Abu Sufyan
  • Maymunah
  • Zaynab bint-Umais
  • Juwayriyah
  • Safiyah
  • Khawlah bint-Hakim
    Let us examine the circumstances and conditions under which these marriages had taken place.
    In principle, it can be stated that the marriages were contracted with one or more of the following objectives:-
    (1) For the sake of caring for the orphans and looking after the poor widows. These were some Muslim women who had earlier enjoyed high dignity in the Arab society. But on the death of their husbands, their status and even faith were in jeopardy, because their tribal chiefs would take them back and compel them to renounce Islam, thus converting them back to polytheism.
    For example, Sawdah had migrated to Abyssinia where her husband died, and she became absolutely without helper. It was the time when the Prophet had lost Khadijah, his first wife; so he married Sawdah.
    Likewise, Zaynab daughter of Khuzaymah, was an old-aged widow, who after the death of her husband was inflicted with poverty, despite her being amiable and being known as ‘Ummul-Masakin’ (Mother of the poor). The Prophet married her to uphold her dignity and she died of old age only after two years of that marriage.
    (2) For the sake of enacting a new law and eradicating injustice by the ignorant tribes. For example, Zaynab bint-Jahsh was the daughter of the Prophet’s aunt. She was married, at the recommendation of the Prophet, to Zayd ibn-Harithah, the freed slave and adopted son of the Prophet. This marriage was contracted to eradicate the discrimination against slaves and poor and to emphasize the Islamic equality and brotherhood, as Zaynab was from the family of Abd al-Muttalib, the grandfather of the Holy Prophet and the Chief of Quraysh, whereas Zayd was a slave who was freed by the Prophet.
    Unfortunately, Zaynab due to her family pride, did not get along well with Zayd despite Prophet’s persuasions. The rift between the two culminated into divorce. Meanwhile, the system of adoption of children was expressly forbidden by Allah. So, when Zayd divorced Zaynab, the Prophet of Islam, at the express command of God, married Zaynab; and, thus, put an end to the then prevalent belief that adopted sons were like real sons and that wives or widows of adopted sons were like daughters-in-laws.
    (3) For the sake of freeing prisoners and slaves. For example, ‘Juwayriyah’ was from a prominent tribe of Banul-Mustalaq. In a war against Islam this tribe was defeated; and Juwayriyah, the daughter of their Chief, was held in captivity. The Prophet married her to set an example of protection and good treatment to prisoners of war.
    On seeing that the prisoners had become relatives of the Holy Prophet by marriage, the Muslims released all the prisoners of war held by them. According to Ibne Hisham, over one hundred families of Banul-Mustalaq were freed from captivity as a result of this marriage.
    (4) For the sake of uniting some prominent Arab tribes who often were at logger heads with each other and to safeguard the internal political status of Islam.
    The Prophet married A’ishah daughter of Abu Bakr Siddiq (first caliph) from the tribe of Bani Tim, Hafsah daughter of Omar ibn AI-Khattab (second caliph) from the tribe of Adi, Umm-Habibah daughter of Abu Sufyan from the tribe of Umayyah, Safiyah daughter of Huaiy bin Akhtab of the Jewish tribe of Bani an-Nadir, and Maymunah from the tribe of Bani Makhzum.
    Umm-Habibah (i.e. Ramla) was daughter of Abu Sufyan of Bani Umayyah who was the bitterest enemy of the Prophet and had repeatedly fought against him. She, as a Muslim, was in great distress since she was divorced from her original husband (who had become a Christian in Abyssinia) and her father was a great enemy of Islam.
    Seeing her deprived of every help from parent and divorced from husband, the Prophet married her in sympathy. This marriage also gave a chance to the people of Bani Umayyah to soften their hearts for Islam.
    Safiyah was widowed daughter of Huaiy bin Akhtab, one of the chiefs of Jewish tribe of Bani an-Nadir. When the prisoners of this tribe were released by the Muslims, the Prophet married her in order to safeguard her status; and, thus, also linking himself with one of the great Jewish tribes of that time, and paving the way for them to come nearer to Islam.
    Maymunah was 51 years of age and from a prominent tribe of Bani Makhzum whom the Prophet married in the year 7 after Hijrah.
    The above marital history of the Prophet clearly shows the noble aim and objectives for which he married a number of wives. It is not difficult to see that none of these marriages was for personal satisfaction of sexual desires as unjustifiably accused by the Christian writers. Also, it is important to remember that all of these marriages, except that with A’ishah bint Abu Bark Siddiq, were contracted with women who were widowed not only once, but often twice or thrice.

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