Encomium – Lady Fatima al-Zahra
3rd Ramadan marks the anniversary of Lady Fatima al-Zahra—the beloved daughter of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). The following is an extract from a sublime encomium to Lady Fatima penned by a member of Manaqib Productions:
A sea-treasure of priceless sapphires and jewels, you are Fatima al-Zahra, mother of the blessed and foremost of the worlds’ women.
The best of creation is your father, of men the most noble and a mercy to the worlds. Blessings and peace be upon him whose reality and rank no one truly knows except Allah.
The lady of loyalty, Khadijat al-Kubra, is your mother; given greetings of peace from her Lord and a house in paradise of hollowed pearls: neither clamour nor fatigue therein.
The lion of Allah, ‘Ali son of Abu Talib, is your husband, the Imam of truth and counsel. And your children are the foremost of the youth in paradise, al-Hasan and al-Husayn; and then Zaynab and Umm Kulthum, who hold an intimate place in the infallible Prophet’s heart, salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa ‘ala alihi wa sallam.
These are the pure members of your house: an ark like the ark of the Prophet Noah, ‘alayhi al-salam, whomsoever boards is saved and whoever fails perishes.
On a Friday you were born. It was the twentieth of Jumada al-Thani in the year the Ka‘ba was rebuilt. You were the youngest of four girls, the others being Zaynab, Ruqayya and Umm Kulthum, all a delight to your parents.
You were named Fatima—the protected one—for Allah would safeguard you from the Fire, and your other names are: Mubaraka, the Blessed; Zakiyya, the Purified; and Radiya, the Contented. You were called Batul, the Piously Chaste, for your sole devotion to worship; and Zahra, the Radiant Flower, for being a part of the Chosen One, salla Llahu ‘alayhi wasallam, and for the celestial light that soared when you stood to pray. You were also known as Umm Abiha meaning ‘mother of your father’, called thus by him, salla Llahu ‘alayhi wasallam, for being an epitome of gentleness and affection.
You blossomed on a heaven sent meadow of knowledge and chivalry, from whence the Messenger of Allah, salla Llahu ‘alayhi wasallam, would come and go and angels descend. It was in this rich and verdant pasture that you were nurtured on excellent attributes; for how can it be otherwise, when your mentor was he who Allah sent to perfect the virtuous qualities of character? You learned from him veracity and mercy, propriety and clemency, and the Qur’an and wisdom; thereby being awarded pleasing traits and Muhammadan character.
You grew-up from your early childhood to become an aid to your father, salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa alihi wa sallam. In his noble company, you witnessed the call to Islam from its very inception, living to see the din reach its full-strength. Due to your wont from your youngest days to proceed behind your father, wherever he strode, you took part in all his perilous moments opposing the disbelievers. When the Quraysh set a ban on the house of Hashim, leaving them unable to neither buy nor sell, marry nor give in marriage, you tolerated a life of toil in the company of your father, salla Allahu ‘alayhi wasallam, tasting what others did of hunger and hardship. Empathy would force some to discreetly carry bags of flour to your dwellings; those like Hisham ibn ‘Amr, who would bring a camel laden with food to the entrance of the Bani Hashim quarters under the cover of the night.
Taking off its halter, he would strike it a blow on the flank so it passed one the houses in which you slept. Despite this, these were hard times that bordered on famine for the People of the House. You and your sisters were young girls at the time and when the ban was annulled two years later you were all to suffer a great loss shortly after: the loss of your mother.
Peace be upon you, for that you were patient. How splendid is the Ultimate Abode.
May Allah be well pleased with Lady Fatima and benefit us by her.