Fatima bt. Asad (a)
- This article is about the mother of Imam 'Ali (a). For other people named Fatima, see Fatima (disambiguation).
|Fatima bt. Asad|
Mother of Imam Ali (a)
|Well-known Relatives||Imam Ali (a) (son), Abu Talib (husband)|
|Birth||55 before Hijra/569-70|
|Place of Birth||Mecca|
|Place of Residence||Mecca|
|Burial Place||Al-Baqi' Cemetery, Medina|
|Known for||Mother of Imam Ali (a); the second female Muslim|
Fāṭima bt. Asad b. Hāshim b. ʿAbd Manāf (Arabic: فاطمة بنت أسد بن هاشم بن عبدمناف) (b. 55 BH/569-70 – d. 4 AH/626) was the mother of Imam 'Ali (a) and the wife of Abu Talib. Fatima bt. Asad was the eleventh person, and the second woman, to have converted to Islam. There are narrations from the Prophet (s) about her that show the great position of Fatima bt. Asad. Her grave is in al-Baqi' Cemetery.
Fatima bt. Asad was from the Hashemite family. Her lineage was recorded by biographers as Fatima bt. Asad b. Hashim b. Abd Manaf. She was raised in Mecca and married to Abu Talib. After the emergence of Islam, she migrated to Medina, where she passed away. She is said to be the first Hashemite woman with a Hashemite husband. Their children were Hashemite from both sides. And she was the first Hashemite woman whose son became the Caliph of Muslims.
Some sources have appealed to a number of unreliable hadiths in order to show that Fatima bt. Asad did not convert to Islam until the last moments of her life. The claim is rejected by the majority of old and contemporary Islamic historical sources. On their accounts, she converted to Islam in Mecca, and then she migrated to Medina.
Guardianship of the Prophet (s)
Due to the successive deaths of his father, mother, and grandfather, the guardianship of the Prophet of Islam (s) was taken over by Abu Talib (his uncle) at the age of eight. Fatima bt. Asad—being Abu Talib's wife—played a crucial role in his care.
Her deep affection for the Prophet (s) is evident from his reaction to her death: "Today my mother passed away", the Prophet (s) said. Then he shrouded her in his dress and lay down in her grave (to pray for her). When he was questioned about his impatience with the demise of Fatima bt. Asad, he answered that she would prefer him to her own children and was truly like his mother.
Delivering Her Child Inside the Ka'ba
- Main article: Birth of Imam 'Ali (a)
She was the only woman to deliver her baby inside Ka'ba. As Fatima felt the labor pains for her child 'Ali (a), she testified her faith to Allah beside the Ka'ba and prayed for an easy delivery. Suddenly, the walls of the Ka'ba split open in front of her and she entered its premises. Once she entered, the Ka'aba miraculously closed again. She stayed inside for three days and on the fourth day (Rajab 13, thirty years after the Year of the Elephant), the walls opened for her once again and she came out carrying her infant 'Ali (a) in her arms.
Conversion to Islam
Emigration to Medina
Fatima bt. Asad accompanied 'Ali (a) in the migration from Mecca to Medina. It is narrated from Imam al-Sadiq (a) that "Fatima bt. Asad was the first woman to migrate from Mecca to Medina on foot to join the Prophet (s). She was of the most compassionate people to the Prophet of Allah (s)".
Allegiance to the Prophet (s)
After the conquest of Mecca, as the Prophet (s) was asking the men for their allegiance on al-Safa Mountain, faithful women of Mecca also came to pledge their allegiance. This is when verse 12 of Sura al-Mumtahana was revealed: "O Prophet! If faithful women come to you to take the oath of allegiance to you, pledging that they shall not ascribe any partners to Allah, that they shall not steal, nor commit adultery, nor kill their children, nor utter any slander that they may have intentionally fabricated, nor disobey you in what is right, then accept their allegiance, and plead for them to Allah for forgiveness. Indeed Allah is all-forgiving, all-merciful".
It is said that Fatima bt. Asad died in 4/626 in Medina; however, this cannot be accurate if she was the first woman who swore an allegiance to the Prophet (s) after the Conquest of Mecca in 8/630.
After her death, the Prophet (s) shrouded her in his dress and said: "Gabriel informed me that she is of the people of heaven, and Allah commanded seventy thousand angels to say prayer on her body". Then he recited the funeral prayer for her and participated in her funeral until they arrived at al-Baqi' cemetery. The Prophet (s) entered her grave and laid down in it, then stood up and held her body and laid it in the grave.
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