Mourning the martydom of Sayyidah Zahra (AS) by Yusuf M. Abdullahi

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Friday Sermon

In the name of Allah Who states “O soul that art rest! Return to your Lord, well-pleased (with him), well-pleasing (Him), So enter among My servants And enter into My garden” Q89:27-30.

May the everlasting peace and blessings of Allah be upon His chosen servant our master Muhammad and his purified progeny.

Based on a narration on the above subject, Sayyidah Fatima (AS) has attained martyrdom on the 13th of Jimadal-ula, 11 years after hijra. I wouldn’t be graphical here, but I strongly advise our esteemed readers to refer to historic materials to find the facts on the actual circumstances surrounding the issue. After her secret burial, Imam Ali (AS) read his parting words addressing the Great Messenger (S);

“Prophet of God, please accept my salaam and those of your daughter who is being buried not far from you, and who is to meet you so quickly. O the Chosen Messenger! The death of your dear daughter has left me without patience and solace.

“I have lost my self-restraint and power of endurance. After having endured the separation from you, I shall have to bear this catastrophe patiently. O Prophet of God! I laid you down in the grave with my own hands, your soul departed from your body while you were resting upon my breast and your head was lying between my neck and my heart.

“Surely, we belong to Allah and towards Him is our return Q2:156. Your trust (your daughter) that was entrusted to me was taken back from me. Sorrow now lives with me and happiness has taken leave. This grief is so overbearing that it engulfs and swallows other sorrows, and it has left me with sleepless night and joyless days. From now onwards, my life will be continued heartache till God gathers me with you both in the realm of His favours and peace.

“O Messenger of God! your dear daughter will tell you how your followers have behaved with her and how they ill-treated her. Ask her the detail of all what happened to her during such a short period (barely three months) after your departure to Heaven.

“This period of separation from you was so short that people still remember you and were still talking about you. Please, both of you accept my parting salaam and goodbye. It is the wish of a sincere heart which loved and always love you both, a heart which will cherish and will carry your tender and loving memories to its grave.

“Goodbye O daughter of the chosen messenger of God! May you rest in peace which humankind denied you in this world. If I leave your grave to go to my place, it is not because I am tired of your company. I wish I had it to the end of my life. And if I make a permanent home on your grave it will not be because I doubt the reward that God has reserved for those who bear sorrows patiently. Goodbye! May God’s peace and blessing be with you.”

In a famous hadith, mother of believers, A’isha said “I have not seen a person more similar to the Prophet’s appearance, conduct, guidance, and speech, whether sitting or standing, than Fatima. When she enters, the Messenger of Allah stands up, kisses and welcomes her, then takes her hand and asks her to sit in his place.”

(Tirmizi and Ibn Abdul Rabbeh in Eqd al-Farid). She has also narrated: “(I declare) By Allah that I have not seen anyone more beloved to Allah‘s Messenger than Ali, or a woman on earth more beloved to him than his wife.”

Narrated by Mustadrak al-Hakim: V.3, p.154, Khasaes An-Nisaee: p.29. The Messenger of Allah (S) said: “The best of the women of Paradise are: Khadija daughter of Khowailid, Fatima daughter of Muhammad, Asiyah daughter of Muzahim (Pharaoh’s wife), and Maryam daughter of Imran, mother of Jesus. Whenever the Prophet (S) went on a trip, she was the last he would bid a farewell and was the first he would meet on return. A generally narrated hadith has also affirmed, ‘Whoever harms her has harmed me and whoever angers her has made me angry; Whoever makes her glad has made me glad, and whoever saddens her has made me sad.’”

No doubt, her sincere worship, good neighbourliness, patience, perseverance, hospitality and family life and children up-bringing are exemplary lessons for all! However, it is imperative to raise some questions; where are her narrations? Didn’t she narrate? How and why did others narrate including her children’s peers born at Medina more than her? And, what was her crime that she was persecuted to the extent of martyrdom?

All justice-seeking people as earlier advised should revisit history to differentiate the actual lovers of the noble messenger from his enemies. When Fadak, the famous garden given to her by the prophet (S) was usurped, she delivered her renown speech; ”O Muslims! is my inheritance usurped? O son of Abu Quhafa, is it in the book of Allah that you inherit your father and I do not inherit my father?

Surely, you have done a strange thing! Did you intendedly desert the book of Allah and turned your back on it? Allah said: (And Sulaiman was Dawood’s heir. Q27:16). And said about Yahya bin Zachariah: (Grant me from Thyself an heir, who should inherit me and inherit from the children of Yaqoub. Q19:5-6) and said: (And the possessors of relationships are nearer to each other in the ordinance of Allah. Q8:75), and He said: (Allah enjoins you concerning your children: The male shall have the equal of the portion of two females. Q4:11), and He said: (Bequest is prescribed for you when death approaches one of you if he leaves behind wealth for parents and near relatives. Q2:180).

You claimed that I have no position and no inheritance from my father, and there is no kinship between us. So did Allah distinguish you with a verse, from which He excluded my father? Or do you say: people of two religions do not inherit each other? Are I and my father not of one religion? Or are you more aware of the Qur’an than my father and my cousin?

While mourning the martyrdom of this unique lady, we remember the significant attention Islam focusses to the morality and education of female who grows to become mothers as the moral status of every society largely depends on its women.

This, regardless of the injustice of the West which criticizes Islam on the disenfranchisement of her rights. No doubt, the exalted position Islam accorded woman cannot be compared with any other civilization.

A female is given utmost care and protection at all stages of her life as a daughter, wife and mother. From the Islamic point of view, superiority has nothing to do with sexes. Allah states “O men! We have created you all out of a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes so that you might come to know one another; verily, the noblest among you in the sight of Allah is the one who is deeply conscious of Him.

Behold, He is all-knowing, all aware. Qur’an 49:13. The criterion for Allah‘s reward is based on individual’s actions “we will give a pure and wholesome life to everyone man or woman who acts righteously and has faith and we will reward them in accordance with the best of what they used to do” Qur’an 16:97.

In contrast to the incessant criticism against Islam on women’s rights, the religion’s emphasis on the need for support and enlightenment in their respect so that they could play a more significant role in the development of social, economic and political arenas.

In the Islamic revivalism and societal reform led by Shaikh Uthman Bn Fodio in the Hausa land – what later became parts of West Africa more than a bicentenary ago, these narratives were evident in the Shaikh’s family and the society in general.

Nana Asma’u, his popular daughter authored tens of poems which made a lot of impacts not only to the moral excellence of women but men inclusive.

Her books compiled by Jean Boyd are more obtainable in Britain and America than Nigeria. The impact of her works is inevitably beyond the moral and educational scope of her time. Boyd and Mack (1997, p.7) described her contributions “in transforming the women’s organization that had existed among the non-Muslim women prior to their capture and channelling their interests and needs into organizing representatives of the Jihad community’s values through her organization of itinerant women teachers of other women (the ‘Yan taru).

Nana Asma’u made working of the community both desirable and honourable. Her legacies impacted other Jihad leaders and the caliphate as a whole. On learning and scholarship in Sokoto Caliphate, Professor Yusuf Adamu of Bayero University, Kano – Nigeria, cited 56 selected works of Nana Asma’u compiled by Jean Boyd, which she and Mack in 2000 categorized the areas of her interest as; eschatology: 18 politics; 8 women as sustainers; 12 histories; 18 the family;12 health; 4 the caliphate and idealism; 4 theology; 4 Sharia law and women; 4 women and Bori 4 and theology; 8.

At this juncture, let me commend the sisters’ forum of the Islamic Movement for their indefatigable efforts in pursuance of moral and academic excellence for the socio-economic growth and stability of our nation. And regarding the baseless nature of all the allegations against Sheikh el-Zakzaky (H), his wife and other disciples, I call for their immediate and unconditional release.

Wassalamu Alaikum.

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