Ali (RA) and Fatima (RA) A Timeless Bond -Fahmida Mehreen
Marriage is believed to be a match made in heaven. As Allah said, “And We created you in pairs” (Al Quran; 78:8). It is a relationship that unites two families in harmony. The sole purpose of a marriage is not just building or extending a family; in fact, it is a lot more than that. Having a family with children and other members is just the most fundamental and possibly the humblest part of a marriage. But, in order to make a marriage work out at its best, there are certain characteristics that the two people in union should possess and take up together for their happy way forward. A marriage is a relationship based on love, trust, and respect. Without the love and support of their spouse, a person may not be able to endure all the curveballs that life keeps throwing at us. It is of the utmost importance that a spouse has the better half’s back through thick and thin. At trying times, it is either one of them who will have to anchor the ship with strength, give courage to the other, and be patient till the high tide passes away. All of this is only possible if the couple mutually respects and accepts each other as they are. No human is perfect; we are all flawed in our own ways. But, as a husband or wife, we need to respect the odds of our partner just like we adore the evens.
In the pages of history, we learn about many couples and stories of love that have inspired millions of people for decades. Some are fictional, like Romeo and Juliet, while others are from real life, like Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Khadijah (RA). Among all of these beautiful eternal stories, there stands the story of Hazrat Ali (RA) and Fatimah (RA). Because of the exemplary personalities these figures possessed, their marriage is often referred to as a model of virtue. Both Ali (RA) and Fatima (RA) were raised by the Prophet Mohammad (PHUB) and held a very special place in his heart. The man and woman were married by the Prophet (PBUH) himself, and later, at difficult times, they were counseled by him. They encountered challenges like every other couple does, but with much stronger intensity. With the guidance of Allah, the advice of the Prophet (PBUH), and the faith in their hearts, they were able to hold their relationship together. This left great examples for people to learn from and execute in their lives. Their marriage allowed us, the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and the rest of the world to see the Prophet (PBUH) in a new light as a father, grandfather, and father-in-law.
Hazrat Ali (RA) is recognized for his knowledge, wisdom, and perfection in faith. With equal importance comes the love and compassion he had for Fatima (RA). From smaller acts of expressing love to overt professions, there are many remarkable lessons to take away from this marriage. During those days, it was common practice to have multiple wives simultaneously. But Hazrat Ali (RA) married Fatima (RA) and solely dedicated his loyalty to her after Allah. He never married a woman during her lifetime. He showed profound respect for her emotions and opinions. Several narrations state that he refrained from showing anger toward her or forcing her into anything. When it came to domestic affairs, Hazrat Ali (RA) never hesitated to lend her a hand. He did not believe household chores to be the sole responsibility of the wife or woman. Today, after decades, we talk about liberalization and the equality of women. But, if one looks closely, Islam introduced it more than 1400 years ago. He adhered to the statement of the Prophet (PBUH) that every man who helps his wife in her house, Allah will write for him as much as the hairs on his body (the reward of) worship for a year; fasting in the day and worshipping all the night, and Allah will give him like the reward of the patient and the righteous.
Hazrat Ali (RA), despite having immense strength and power at his time, had the humblest lifestyle. He even stitched his own shoes, had simple meals like bread with mere salt, and gave his big meals to the poor. He governed his rule with justice and served the sick and needy during the night. He was brave yet kind. On the other hand, Fatima (RA) was a comfort to her father. She was a woman of substance with immense generosity. Like Ali (RA), she used to donate her valuables to people in need and live a simple life with just the basics. There have been times when the family has suffered from hunger. Hence, a revelation was sent from Allah to honor their devotion and sacrifices. Fatima (RA) shared her land with the less privileged to serve society. At a time when women were oppressed, Fatima (RA) stood up for the rights of women and defended them. She courageously stood beside her husband and protected her inheritance, which was to be taken away from them. Later, it was seen that her daughter Zainab (RA) followed in the footsteps of her parents, standing against injustice in the face of death and sparking a revolution against Yazid, the oppressor. Ali (RA) and Fatima (RA) were blessed with four children: two sons, Al-Hassan and Al-Husayn, and two daughters, Zaynab and Umm Kulthum. The boys were very close to their grandfather and did not leave his side even while praying.
Hazrat Ali (RA) and Fatima (RA) were stricken by grief several times in their lives. After the death of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Fatima (RA) spent nights weeping for her father. Ali (RA) kept her going with his loving support. Right after the tragedy of the Prophet’s (PBUH) death, the people of Medina rushed to choose the next leader. Hazrat Ali (RA) and a few other leaders stayed away from that. Today, we have associations that ensure that an expecting mother, regardless of anything, is protected. But Fatima (RA) herself had to go through difficulties during her pregnancies. On the other hand, at the Battle of Karbala, both Al-Hassan and Al-Husayn (may Allah be pleased with them) lost their lives, along with other relatives. While we commemorate the tragedy of Karbala, let us not forget the colossal role that Fatima (RA) played. She lost her life with an unborn child, two of her dearest sons, and a lot more. She was an endless refuge and the only companion of Hazrat Ali (RA) during his lonely times. She is known to have defended the declaration of Ghadeer and delivered her historic sermon in the yard of her father’s mosque. In certain narrations, it is found that she expressed her will to Hazrat Ali (RA) that she should not be exposed to those who hurt her, and she wanted to be buried in the darkness of night and not allow anyone who oppressed her to attend her funeral.
Years later, after Ali (RA) moved his capital to present-day Iraq, a group of puritanical Muslims called Kharajites turned against him and stabbed him with a poisoned sword when he went to pray at the Kufa mosque in the year 661. Ali died two or three days following that incident.
Both Ali (RA) and Fatima (RA) lost their lives tragically. But it is needless to say that despite all the struggles and losses, they lived a fulfilling life in togetherness. They supported each other, protected each other, and loved each other. They had a family embraced in affection. Their lives teach us that the compromises we make in our lives do not make us weak; rather, they empower us and make us stronger. Patience is rewarding, and being respectful makes us more respectable and noble.
Let us all keep the ideologies of Hazrat Ali (RA) and Fatima (RA) in our practices and strive for a better life in the light and in the darkness with our companions. #