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Fatima

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Fâṭimah (Arabic: فاطمة‎ Fāṭimah ;[pronunciation 1] born c. 605[6][7] or 615[8] – died 28 August 632) was a daughter of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and Khadijah, wife of Aliand mother of Hasan and Hussein, and one of the five members of Ahl al-Bayt.[6][7] She became the object of great veneration by all Muslims, because she lived closest to her father and supported him in his difficulties, because of the historical importance of her husband and her two sons, and because she is the only member of Muhammad's family that gave him descendants, numerously spread through the Islamic world and known as Fatimid.[6]

For Muslims, Fatimah is an inspiring example and Fatimah is one of the most popular girl's names throughout the Muslim world.[9]

She was involved in three significant political actions, each recorded in almost all sources. First, after the conquest of Mecca, she refused her protection to Abu Sufian; Second, after Muhammad's death, she defended Ali’s cause, fiercely opposed the election of Abu Bakr, and had violent disputes with him and particularly with Umar; Third, she laid claim to the property rights of her father and challenged Abu Bakr’s categorical refusal to cede them, particularly Fadak and a share in the produce ofKhaybar.[10]

She died a few months after her father's death, and was buried in Jannat Al-Baqi', but the exact location of her grave is unknown as per Twelver, whereas Ismaily/Fatimidhas indicated the location as shown in the sketch below. Many Twelver Shia Muslims believe that she died as a result of her injury caused by Umar, incurred while defending Ali against Abu Bakr.[6] Sunni Muslims, who regard Abu Bakr and Umar as revered figures, and the Zaidiyyah Shia reject this version of events.

Fatimah was born in Mecca to Khadija, the first of Muhammad's wives. There are differences of opinion on the exact date of her birth, but the widely accepted view is that she was born five years before the first Quranic revelations, during the time of the rebuilding of the Kaaba in 605,[11][12][13] although this does imply she was over 18 at the time of her marriage, which was unusual in Arabia.[6] Twelver Shia sources, however, state that she was born either two or five years after the first Qur'anicrevelations,[8] but that timeline would imply her mother was over fifty at the time of her birth.[6]

Fatimah had three sisters namely Zainab, Umm Kulthum and Ruqayyah and two brothers Tayyab & Qasim respectively. Shias believe that Ruqayyah and Umm Kulthum who the Sunnis believe to be the other daughters of Muhammad were actually the daughters of Hala, the sister of Khadijah, who were adopted by Muhammad and Khadijah at her death. A strong reason given by the Shi'a scholars for this belief is the event of (mubahala) mentioned in the Quran, in which there is no reference of the presence of any other female apart from Fatimah, however Sunnis accept that Muhammad had four daughters all from Khadijah.[14]

Fatimah is given many titles by Muslims to show their admiration of her moral and physical characteristics. The most used title is "al-Zahra", meaning "the shining one", and she is commonly referred to as Fatimah Zahra.[7][15] She was also known as "al-Batul" (the chaste and pure one) as she spent much of her time in prayer, reciting the Qur'an and in other acts of worship.[7]

Following the birth of Fatimah, she was personally nursed, contrary to local customs where the newborn were sent to "wet nurses" in surrounding villages.[16] She spent her early youth under the care of her parents in Mecca in the shadow of the tribulations suffered by her father at the hands of the Quraysh.[6]

According to tradition, on one occasion while Muhammad was performing the salat (prayer) in the Kaaba, Amr ibn Hishām (Abu Jahl) and his men poured camel placentaover him. Fatimah, upon hearing the news, rushed to her father and wiped away the filth while scolding the men.[6][17]

Following the death of her mother, Fatimah was overcome by sorrow and found it very difficult to come to terms with her death. She was consoled by her father, who informed her that he had received word from angel Gabriel that God had built for her a palace in paradise.[6]

Many of Muhammad's companions asked for Fatimah's hand in marriage, including Abu Bakr and Umar. Muhammad turned them all down, saying that he was awaiting a sign of her destiny.[6] Ali, Muhammad's cousin, also had a desire to marry Fatimah. When he went to see Muhammad, he could not vocalise his intention but remained silent. Muhammad understood the reason for his being there and prompted Ali to confirm that he had come to seek Fatimah in marriage. He suggested that Ali had a shield, which if sold, would provide sufficient money to pay the bridal gift (mahr).[6][7] Muhammad put forward the proposal from Ali to Fatimah, who remained silent and did not reject the proposal like the previous ones. Muhammad took this to be a sign of affirmation and consent.[6][18]

The actual date of the marriage is unclear, but it most likely took place in 623, the second year of the hijra, although some sources say it was in 622. The age of Fatimah is reported to have been 9 or 19 (due to differences of opinion on the exact date of her birth i.e. 605 or 615) at the time of her marriage while Ali was between 21 and 25.[6][7][8]Muhammad told Ali that he had been ordered by God to give his daughter Fatimah to Ali in marriage.[19] Muhammad said to Fatimah: "I have married you to the dearest of my family to me."[7] Ali sold his shield to raise the money needed for the wedding, as suggested by Muhammad.[6] However, Uthman ibn Affan, to whom the shield was sold, gave it back to Ali saying it was his wedding gift to Ali and Fatimah.[7] Muhammad himself performed the wedding ceremony and two of his wives, Aisha and Umm Salama, prepared the wedding feast with dates, figs, sheep and other food donated by various members of the Madinan community.[6] According to Hossein Nasr, their marriage possesses a special spiritual significance for all Muslims because it is seen as the marriage between the greatest saintly figures surrounding Muhammad.[19] Their marriage lasted about ten years and ended when Fatimah died. Although polygyny is permitted by Islam, Ali did not marry another woman while Fatimah was alive.[19]

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