The usurpation of Fadak
is the title of a historical event in which Abu Bakr b. Abi Quhafa
from Fatima al-Zahra (a)
, after the demise of the Prophet (s)
. Abu Bakr appealed to a hadith
from the Prophet (s)—allegedly transmitted only by Abu Bakr—according to which prophets do not bequeath anything, but Fatima (a) replied that the Prophet (s) had given Fadak to her before his demise, appealing to Imam 'Ali (a)
and Umm Ayman
as her witnesses. According to Shiite and some Sunni scholars, the Prophet (s) gave Fadak to Fatima (a) after the revelation of the Dhawi l-Qurba Verse in which the Prophet (s) was ordered to give the kinsmen their due.
According to a report, Abu Bakr was convinced and thus, confirmed the ownership of Fatima (a) in a paper, but 'Umar b. al-Khattab took away the paper from Fatima (a) and tore it up. When the Prophet's (s) daughter found that her and her husband's pleading goes nowhere, she went to the Mosque of the Prophet (s) and gave a sermon. In this sermon, which is known as the al-Fadakiyya Sermon, she talked about the usurpation of the caliphate, taking Abu Bakr's remark according to which prophets do not bequeath anything to be contrary to some verses of the Qur'an. She deferred her dispute with Abu Bakr to the divine court on Dooms Day and questioned the Prophet's (s) Sahaba for their silence over such an injustice.
The Fadak village was owned by the Prophet (s) after a compromise with the Jews in the Battle of Khaybar. The Prophet (s) gave it to Fatima (a), but after the demise of the Prophet (s), it was seized by the caliphate and was handed to the next Umayyad and Abbasid caliphs. However, some of the caliphs, including the Umayyad caliph 'Umar b. 'Abd al-'Aziz and the Abbasid caliph al-Ma'mun, gave the Fadak or its incomes to the progeny of Fatima (a). Read more...