Roshd Islamic Shia Website : Ocassion Letters 2009/05/28
Martyrdom of Lady Fatimah al-Zahra (PBUH) : Fadak; an Outcry Beyond a Bequest 

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful 


 Fadak; an Outcry Beyond a Bequest

“Now, keep the Caliphate like a tamed and saddled camel! But with no doubt the Day of Judgment will come. And be aware that the most just ruler is Allah, and the best petitioner for justice is Muhammad, and the best court is established on the Resurrection Day, and that day, the guilty will be the losers.”

(Selected from the sermon of Lady Fatimah al-Zahra (PBUH) known as Fadakyah Sermon)

The last days of Lady Fatimah’s (PBUH) life was twisted with the usurpation of Caliphate and the alteration of the Prophet’s (PBUH&HP) message. During the days which the ruling party was trying to isolate Ali (PBUH), Fadak gains double importance. Fadak (1) is a piece of land which Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) granted to Fatimah (PBUH) as a gift. However, after the demise of the Prophet (PBUH&HP), the ruling government usurped it. In return, Lady Fatimah (PBUH) took action to repossess her property, and claimed ownership of that piece of land; however, the ruling party did not accept her claim. Nevertheless, the real intention of Lady Fatimah (PBUH), and her tireless strive during those days might be hidden behind discussions. In fact, referring to her words in her last days of life puts light on the secret of her objection.

By analyzing the sermon of Lady Fatimah (PBUH), which was delivered in the Mosque of the Prophet before the caliph and in presence of many of the companions of the Prophet (PBUH&HP), many aspects of this claim becomes clear. This sermon, known as the “Fadakyiah Sermon”, revolves around reminding the merits of Ali (PBUH), praising his Islamic and eternal position-takings, and proving the right of the Ahl al-Bayt (PBUT), where she said, “They are the means for humans to reach Allah (SWT), His pure worshipers, the witnesses of the Divine unseen, and the heirs of kingdom of the prophets.”        

On the other hand, this sermon contains statements in which she reproaches and accuses the Muslims who forgot the teachings of the Prophet (PBUH&HP), “They fell into misery; and chose an unmerited person mistakenly; and returned to the way of their ancestors; and intruded others’ share in seek of water; and bestowed the important matter of Caliphate to the undeserved one; and with all this, they fell into great conspiracy.” Then Lady Fatimah (PBUH) points to the vicious motives of some Muslims which encourages them to abandon the Holy Quran, and finally illustrates their obvious opposition to the Divine order in regards to the Caliphate and Imamate.

As it is clear, these statements refer more to the criticism of the ruling party’s policies than to claiming Fadak. The main worry of Fatimah (PBUH) is not her inheritance, rather the separation of Islam from infidelity, and faith from hypocrisy. The high aspiration of Fatimah (PBUH), with which the opportunists were familiar, was not proving her right of inheritance; rather she was committed to eradicate the signs of deviations occurred after the demise of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HP). However, attaining this goal was not possible through bringing evidences on the property rights of Fadak, but only with giving clear evidences on the guilt and aberration of people in public. The role of Fatimah (PBUH) was to claim the usurped property, and to put it as an introduction to the fundamental dispute over Caliphate. 

That is why after several years, when Harun al-Rashid, the Abbasid Caliph, asked Imam Musa ibn Ja’ffar (PBUH) to depict the boundaries of Fadak, to supposedly return it to the children of Fatimah (PBUH), Imam (PBUH) specifies the entire Islamic territories as the four boundaries of Fadak. (2) In reality, the respond of the Imam reveals the obscured aspect of Lady Fatimah’s (PBUH) rising, which is an objection to the usurpation of the Caliphate, and thus, separates the political boundaries of Fadak from its geographical ones.       

Therefore, Fadak is a symbol of a great concept, which never fits into the limits of that usurped land in Hijaz. This important matter is the hidden meaning of Fadak, which drives its dispute from a minor argument to a vast and wide rising. Indeed, the dispute of Fadak is a rising against the basis of the governorship of the usurpers, and is a roaring outcry by which Lady Fatimah (PBUH) intended to demolish the crooked foundation upon which the government after the demise of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) was built.

 (The above is a selection taken from “Fadak in History”, by Shahid Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr (with some changes))

The Roshd Website offers condolences to all Muslims, especially you dear friend, upon the 3rd of Jamadi al-Thani, the anniversary of the martyrdom of the great defender of Islam and the heir of the Prophet (PBUH&HP), Lady Fatimah al-Zahra (PBUH).

On this occasion, the Roshd website has prepared a background wallpaper and some sound files. You may download these files by clicking on the picture below:

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1. Fadak is a village in Hijaz (Saudi Arabia), from which it took two to three days to travel to Medina. From the beginning, this village was a Jewish land, and was the abode of a Jewish tribe. After Islam became dominant, the Jews signed a peace treaty with Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) by granting half of it, or according to some narrations all of it, to him on the 7th year after Hijra. Since Fadak was not conquered with military might, it became the personal property of the Prophet (PBUH&HP) according to the Holy Quran. After a while, the Prophet (PBUH&HP) offered it as a gift to his beloved daughter, Lady Fatimah (PBUH). Fadak was owned by Lady Fatimah (PBUH) until the demise of the Prophet (PBUH&HP). After that, according to what is narrated in the book of Sawaiq al-Muhraqah, the first Caliph usurped it from Lady Fatimah (PBUH).     


2. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 48, p. 144, Hadith No. 20, narrated from Manaaqib al-Munjid.