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Why Fatima (a.s.)

Why Fatima (a.s.)

The Religious Authority Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah has written many books, articles, and has given lectures about Fatima Az_Zahraa (a.s.), as a role model for both men and women. The following are some chapters from a booklet by the Sayyed.

Her stances were stances for the right, and her sorrow was the sorrow for the cause of Islam, and her joy was the joy of the message; the depth of Islam was manifested in the depth of her personality and she amassed within herself all the Islamic human virtues. Being the Doyenne of the Women of the World, she should be at the highest level, spiritually and morally.

Our intense interest in Fatima(a.s) springs from our deep interest in both her message and her role as well as in the dynamic issues in which she was a central figure; hence, we feel that she is with us sharing all our concerns and worldly worries. There are people in history whose cause come to an end when they die because their existence is encapsulated in the span of their lives; there are others who remain alive as long as life exists and who continue as long as their message continues and as long as there are people who are open to their message. Fatima (a.s) is the ideal example of such people since you cannot mention the Messenger of Allah (p.) without mentioning her. She was his lot and the spirit inside his body. And you cannot mention Ali (a.s) without mentioning her as she was his companion in his suffering and in his life as well; and you cannot mention Al-Hassan (a.s.), Al-Hussein (a.s.), and Sayeda Zaynab (a.s) without mentioning her as she was the secret of formulating their purity and their personality in their childhood and adulthood stages; she was the inspiring power of all their life. This is the inspiring secret of Fatima (a.s); it imposes itself on us to keep her in our minds and our hearts as a message and thought, not only as just a cause of tears. Although we cannot but shed tears upon the suffering she went through, we have at the same time to thoroughly understand her message because she lived all her tears and all her life for the Message and never did she live one moment for herself. This is the secret of all the members of the House (a.s): they lived for the whole of Islam and gave their lives for Islam and for the Message as well.

Not an inflation of the past

Talking about Fatima (a.s) involves no unwarranted inflation of history. In addition to her virtues, she represents the living present and the bright future. We have seen her in her motherhood as the greatest of mothers, and we have seen the cruelty imposed by that role on her weak body, but she withstood all this with an open mind and with patience. Then, we have seen her fulfilling her different religious responsibilities when she stirred up the conscience of the nation and presented the greatest lesson in how to deal with the circumstances following the death of the Prophet (p.). She honestly held that stance which has proved itself over time and stayed permanently and perpetually valid.

Studying the experience of Fatima (a.s) is neither a reversion to the past nor a mere confinement to ourselves within those limitations, but rather a question of trying to learn lessons from a pioneering experience of an infallible personality - an experience which has never been confined to the past but one which shall always be current and new.

A role model for both women and men

Because she is a constituent element of Islam and the Muslims as a whole, and even her role as a woman was great, Fatima(a.s) is not only a role model for women but she is also a role model for men; in other words, Fatima (a.s) is a representative for both sexes. Both Muslim women and men can learn a lot from Fatima (a.s) when they want to know how to spend their time valuably and how to widen their horizon with knowledge, with spirituality and with dynamic attitudes that suit their abilities.

Love versus allegiance

Love for the great personalities and individuals who hold great religious responsibilities is not only an emotion but also a stance. This is the difference between being a loving person and being an advocating follower: allegiance is a stance while love is an emotion. Although it is natural that the emotion should motivate and engulf the situation, it should at the same time go beyond this situation to overwhelm both the holy message and it’s faithful followers. Yet the greatness of the members of the House lies in the fact that their allegiance to the Prophet and to Message turned out to become a pure love and allegiance to Allah . Accordingly all the sayings and deeds of the Members of the House represent the legitimacy of the Islamic religion. A person is usually confused whether he is taking the right path or not, but when he depends on the infallibles and follows their instructions, he will feel the safety of what he is doing. He is confident that there can be no place for either falsehood or for injustice. In fact, he knows that he is taking the truth from a pure fountain, which nothing can impure. In this sense, Imam Al-Sadiq (a.s) said: “My tradition is the tradition of my father, and my father's is that of my grandfather, and my grandfather's is that of al-Hussein, and al-Hussein’s is that of al-Hassan, and Al-Hassan’s is that of the Commander of the Faithful, and the Commander of the Faithful’s is that of the Messenger of Allah, and the Messenger of Allah's is the word of Allah ,the Great and Almighty.”

His eminence and Fatima’s virtues

Fatima(a.s) has always been in my mind and heart. I wrote a poem on the anniversary of the death of Fatima (a.s) before I was twenty when I was in Al-Najaf in Iraq. I talked about her in lectures, interviews, dialogues and poems. With words filled with spiritual passion and intellectual love, I spoke about her virtues, merits ,and spiritual meanings, and then extended to analyze her words, especially her famous sermon, because I always believed that Fatima (a.s) had to be known and to be understood in her spirit, heart, thought , and attitude so that she would become “the pioneer who would not fail his folks”', and the role model whom both men and women should imitate and follow in their Islamic lives.