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Marriage of Imam 'Ali (a) and Lady Fatima (a)

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Marriage of Imam 'Ali (a) and Lady Fatima (a) took place on 2/623. According to one report Lady Fatima's (a) Mahr was 500 Dirhams. The Prophet (s) called this marriage heavenly and that God engaged Lady Fatima (a) to Imam Ali (a).

Suitors

Sunni and Shi'a sources narrate the event in different ways but it is said that some of the companions in Medina, such as Abu Bakr, 'Umar b. al-Khattab, and 'Abd Allah b. 'Awf proposed for Fatima (a), but the Prophet (s) replied that he is waiting God's command.

Some of the Muhajirun suggested to 'Ali (a) to propose but he replied, "By God I have nothing [of wealth]." He was told that the Prophet (s) wouldn't want anything from him. 'Ali (a) finally decided to propose to the Prophet (s) but left out of pudency without proposing. On the third time the Prophet (s) said, "Do you have anything?" he replied, "Oh Messenger of God (s), I have nothing but my armor." The Prophet (s) engaged his daughter to Imam 'Ali (a) for twelve ounces of gold and gave 'Ali (a) his armor back.[1]

It is said that some of the companions expressed their discontent, but the Prophet (s) replied, "I did not give 'Ali to Fatima, it was God who gave her to 'Ali."[2]

Marriage Sermon

In his book, Manaqib Al Abi Talib, al-Halabi writes:

During the marriage ceremony of Fatima (a) and 'Ali (a), the Prophet (s) delivered a speech that Imam al-Rida (a), and Yahya b. Ma'in in his book Amali and Ibn Butta in al-Inaba have narrated without reference from Anas b. Malik:

Date of Marriage

In his book al-Kafi, al-Kulayni narrates from Imam al-Sajjad (a) that Lady Fatima (a) was married to Imam 'Ali (a) by the Prophet (s) one year after his migration to Medina.[3] This version is more compatible with what al-Tabari narrates from Imam al-Baqir (a), that Imam 'Ali (a) married Lady Fatima (a) on the final days of the month of Safar, of the second year after Hijra (September 623).[4] Abu l-Faraj al-Isfahani writes the same thing and continues, "… and after returning from the Battle of Badr, 'Ali (a) married Fatima (a)."[5]

The Prophet (s) sent Lady Fatima (a) to Imam Ali's house (a) on Dhu l-Hijja 1 of the second year after Hijra (May 28, 624).[6] This means that there was an approximately ten month gap between their engagement and marriage. The Prophet's (s) hurry to engage the two may be in order to give a clear message to her suitors, and his hesitation in marrying them could be to let Lady Fatima (a) appear to be more grown up and have reach the position of adult women in regards to her capabilities.[7]

Mahr

Main article: Mahr

History reports Lady Fatima (a)'s Mahr was somewhere between 400 to 500 Dirhams.[8] A narration from Imam al-Rida (a) identifies the Mahr al-Sunna (Mahr in the Tradition) as 500 Dirhams.[9] This number is equivalent to 1250-1500 grams of silver.[10] Every ten silver Dirhams were equal to one gold Dinar in that era, therefore Mahr al-Sunnah was equivalent to 170-223 grams gold (the numbers are approximate because of various opinions regarding the weight of Dirhams and Dinars)[11]

Imam 'Ali (a) sold one of his belongings and paid Lady Fatima's (a) Mahr,[12] however there are various opinions about what he sold. Some historians believe it was his armor, while others name sheepskin or a Yemeni shirt, or a camel. Regardless of what he sold, he took the money to the Prophet (s). Without counting, the Prophet (s) gave a bit of the money to Bilal and said, "Buy a nice perfume for my daughter with this money."[13] He then gave Abu Bakr some of the money and said, "Buy the things my daughter needs with this money" and sent 'Ammar b. Yasir and a couple of other of his companions with him to approve the things that are bought.[14] Al-Shaykh al-Tusi lists what was bought:

  • A shirt worth 7 Dirham
  • A kerchief worth 4 Dirham
  • Black bathing gown sawn in Khaybar
  • Bed cloth sawn from palm leaves
  • Two mattresses with a thick layer of cotton on them, one filled with palm fiber and the other with wool.
  • Four leather cushions from Ta'if, filled with lemongrass (this plant has small leaves that have medical effects.)
  • A curtain from Wool
  • A mat woven in Hajar (it seems that Hajar refers to the metropolis of Bahrain. There also exists a village called Hajar near Medina)
  • Hand-Mill
  • Copper basin
  • Leather waterskin
  • Wooden bowl
  • A bowl for milking
  • A waterskin for water
  • An ewer with plaster
  • A green jar
  • A couple of vases[15]

It is said that when Fatima (a) saw a needy women after her wedding, she gave her new shirt and sufficed herself with a used shirt.[16]

Marriage Banquet

The Noble Prophet (s) summoned Bilal and said, "Now that my daughter is marrying my paternal cousin, I would like to establish marriage banquets as one of the traditions of my Umma."

Bilal made the food and took them to the Prophet (s), he put them in front of him. With the order of the Prophet (s) the people came in groups and left after they ate food, but there was some food left at the end. The Prophet (s) blessed the food and said to Bilal, "Take this to the women and say: Eat this food and feed the people who are with you."[17]

Prophet's (s) Prayer

After the banquet, the Prophet (s) went to his house along with 'Ali (a) and called for Lady Fatima (a). Fatima (a) saw her husband with the Prophet (s). The Prophet (s) said, "Come close" and she went. The Prophet (s) took Fatima (a) and 'Ali's (a) hand and just as he was about to put them together[18] said, "I swear by God that I have not neglected you. I have cherished you and married you to the best person in my progeny. By God I have married you to the master and leader of the world and the hereafter and he is one of the righteous... go to your home. May God bless you in this marriage and arrange your issues for you."

The Prophet (s) said to Asma' bt. 'Umays, "Bring me a bowl of water. She filled a bowl with water and took it to him. The Prophet (s) took a handful of water and sprinkled it on Lady Fatima's (a) head,[19] and then another handful on her hands, and a bit on her neck and body and said, "Oh Lord, Fatima is of me and I am of Fatima. So cleanse her in the same way you have cleansed me from impurity."[20] He told her to drink that water, wash her face with it, rinse her mouth and inhale the water. He asked for another bowl of water and did the same to 'Ali (a) and said, "May God proximate your hearts and make it kind, and bless your descendants and arrange for your issues."[21]

Becoming the Prophet's (s) Neighbor

As days passed from Fatima's (a) marriage, her absence became hard for the Prophet (s) to bear. He therefore considered moving them to his own house, But One of the Prophet's (s) companions named Haritha b. Nu'man offered his house, which was close to the house of the Prophet (s), so Lady Fatima (a) and Imam Ali (a) moved to Haritha's house.[22]

Notes

  1. Ṭabrisī, Iʿlām al-warā, vol. 1, p. 160-161; Yūsufī Gharawī, Tārīkh-i taḥqīqī-yi Islām, vol. 2, p. 251.
  2. Yaʿqūbī, Tārīkh al-Yaʿqūbī, vol. 2, p. 41.
  3. Kulaynī, al-Rawḍa min al-kāfī, vol. 2, p. 180-181.
  4. Ṭabarī, Tarīkh al-Ṭabarī, vol. 2, p. 410.
  5. Abū l-Faraj al-Iṣfahānī, Maqātil al-ṭālibīyyīn, p. 59.
  6. Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 43, p. 92.
  7. Yūsufī Gharawī, Tārīkh-i taḥqīqī-yi Islām, vol. 2, p. 250.
  8. Ibn Shahrāshūb, Manāqib, vol. 3, p. 350-351.
  9. Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 93, p. 170.
  10. Bahjat, Istiftāʾāt, vol. 4, p. 36.
  11. Najafī, Jawāhir al-kalām, vol. 15, p. 174-179.
  12. Ṭūsī, al-Amālī, vol. 1, p. 93.
  13. Ṭūsī, al-Amālī, vol. 1, p. 93.
  14. Ṭūsī, al-Amālī, vol. 1, p. 93.
  15. Ṭūsī, al-Amālī, vol. 1, p. 93.
  16. Shūshtarī, Iḥqāq al-ḥaq, vol. 10, p. 401.
  17. Yūsufī Gharawī, Mawūsʿat al-Tārīkh al-Islām, vol. 2, p. 214.
  18. Ṭūsī, al-Amālī, vol. 1, p. 99.
  19. Ṭūsī, al-Amālī, vol. 1, p. 97.
  20. Yūsufī Gharawī, Mawūsʿat al-Tārīkh al-Islām, vol. 2, p. 215.
  21. Yūsufī Gharawī, Mawūsʿat al-Tārīkh al-Islām, vol. 2, p. 215.
  22. Ibn Saʿd, al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā, vol. 8, p. 22-23.

References

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