The tomb of Fidda
|Full Name||Fidda al-Nubiyya|
|Place of Birth||Nubiyya|
|Place(s) of Residence||Medina|
|Burial Place||Bab al-Saghir cemetery in Damascus|
|Known for||Fatima al-Zahra's (a) housemaid|
|Other Activities||Presence in the Battle of Karbala|
Fiḍḍa al-Nūbīyya (Arabic: فضة النوبیة) was the housemaid of Fatima al-Zahra (a). She was named "Fidda" by the Prophet (s). She is mentioned in hadiths concerning the birth of Imam al-Hasan (a) and Imam al-Husayn (a), the revelation of al-It'am Verse, and the martyrdom of Fatima al-Zahra (a). She could speak with verses of the Qur'an and knew alchemy. She was allegedly present in the Event of Karbala as well.
Fidda was originally from Nubiyya; a city in the south of Sudan or south of Egypt on the eastern side of the Nile river. Some people have considered her to be originally from India and others held that she was the daughter of the Indian king.
In the House of Fatima Zahra (a)
Fidda was Fatima al-Zahra's (a) housemaid. After the revelation of the verse, "then speak to them with gentle words", the Prophet (s) sent her to Fatima's (a) house and called her "Fidda" (which literally means silver).
Fatima (a) divided house works between herself and Fidda—one day she took care of the house and one day Fidda took care of it.
When Imam al-Hasan (a) and Imam al-Husayn (a) contracted a disease, and 'Ali (a) and Fatima (a) vowed to fast for three days after their recovery, Fidda accompanied them and made a similar vow. Verses 7 and 8 of Sura al-Insan were revealed in this regard.
Martyrdom of Fatima al-Zahra (a)
When Imam 'Ali (a) called his children to say goodbye to the corpse of their mother, Fatima (a), he addressed Fidda as well: "O Umm Kulthum, O Zaynab, O Sukayna, O Fidda, O Hasan, O Husayn, come on and say goodbye to your mother [Note 1].
Husband and Children
After the martyrdom of Lady Fatima (a), Fidda served Imam 'Ali (a). She lived for 20 years after that. She was known as a pious and righteous woman. Imam 'Ali (a) married her to Abu Tha'laba al-Habashi from whom she had a son. After Abu Tha'laba's death, she married Abu Malik al-Ghatfani. Her son died after this marriage. Fidda had children from Abu Malik. A girl called Shuhra bt. Muska bt. Fidda who allegedly exhibited some supernatural acts was Fidda's granddaughter. According to some sources, her second husband complained against her to 'Umar b. Khattab, but 'Umar judged in favor of Fidda.
Fidda talked only with verses of the Qur'an for 20 years; she answered people's questions with Quranic verses. There is a long hadith in which she elaborates the condition of Fatima al-Zahra (a) since the demise of the Prophet (s) until her martyrdom. Imam 'Ali (a) said about her: "O God! Bless us in our Fidda".
According to some people, she knew alchemy. Allegedly, she had learned it from Fatima al-Zahra (a). The Prophet (s) had also taught her some supplications and dhikrs for solving problems. The second caliph acknowledged her religious knowledge.
Lion and Fidda
According to some sources, Fidda al-Nubiyya was present in Karbala. The story of the lion and Fidda is concerned with her presence there. She allegedly talked with a lion. The lion wanted to prevent horses from treading the corpse of Imam al-Husayn (a). However, given the evidence that horses did tread the Imam's (a) corpse, the story does not seem to be reliable.
There is a place in Karbala known as the "Lion of Fidda".
There is a mausoleum in Damascus which is attributed to Fidda. It is located in Bab al-Saghir cemetery. Her grave is near the mausoleum attributed to 'Abd Allah b. Ja'far b. Abi Talib at the western end of the cemetery. There is a small green dome on her chamber and its walls are made with black stones.
In Ritual Poems
In religious and ritual poems, Fidda is referred to as the housemaid of Fatima al-Zahra (a) and as exhibiting some kiramat (supernatural acts). She is said to be distinguished because of her companionship with Fatima (a).
- Qur'an 17:28
- یا أُمَّ كُلْثُومٍ یا زَینَبُ یا سُكَینَةُ یا فِضَّةُ یا حَسَنُ یا حُسَینُ هَلُمُّوا تَزَوَّدُوا مِنْ أُمِّكُم
- The material for this article is mainly taken from فضه نوبیه in Farsi Wikishia.