In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
So Simple, So Heartfelt
Nowadays, the issue of marriage of the youth has become one of the most complicated social issues. In fact, very few families can be found who have a young boy or girl and do not complain about this issue. An abundance of severe difficulties has surrounded this important yet simple matter, and turned it into a terrifying monster.
Numerous girls find themselves facing intolerable complexities and impassable barriers. On the other hand, numerous boys have passed their fresh years of youth while still looking for an opportunity to build a family; however, the awful social customs and the incorrect traditions which involve this matter prevent them from doing so.
It is surprising that this is a common problem among both rich and poor families! That is because they both bear a pile of unreasonable expectations, and suffer the weight of fictitious customs. What is more depressing is that when the foundations (of a family) are laid improperly, the whole structure will be built improperly, and because it does not have a firm basis, it is consistently prone to fluctuation, instability, and agitation.
For example, a couple who intend to start their family life should have a minimum level of amenities; otherwise, they would be dependent upon their parents, which causes trouble for the parents and ruins the independence of the couple. However, most of the people have forgotten the fact that it is to the interest of the couple to start their family life simply, and that growing their properties should be done gradually. Indeed, living such a lifestyle is much easier, and such a simple life is filled with kindness, love, and sincerity.
It is worth to take a look on the formation of a unique family in the history of Islam which the Great Prophet of Islam (PBUH&HP) had direct supervision on it, i.e. the marriage of Imam Ali (PBUH) with the Lady of Islam, Lady Fatimah al-Zahra (PBUH). The way this marriage was arranged can be a complete and valuable example for all Muslims.
It is narrated that when Imam Ali (PBUH) went to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) to ask for Lady Fatimah’s (PBUH) hand in marriage, the Prophet (PBUH&HP) asked him, ”What would you offer as Mahr and Sidaq?”
Imam Ali (PBUH) replied,” My sword, horse, armor, and the camel I use for irrigation (i.e. all my belongings) (1)”.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) considered the sword and horse to be needed by Imam Ali (PBUH). Therefore, all the Mahr of Lady Fatimah (PBUH), the cost of her life properties, and her perfumes were purchased through selling Imam Ali’s (PBUH) armor.
Hence, all what Imam Ali (PBUH) had for his wedding ceremony was the money he got from selling his armor by the order of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), and he used that money to buy “perfumes”, “cloth”, and “life properties” for Lady Fatimah (PBUH).
The value of that armor, based on different narrations, was 30, 480, or 500 Dirhams (2), and considering that a “Dirham” is about 2.3 grams of silver coin, it is easy to calculate the price of the armor and all the things bought as their dowry.
It is concluded from a narration that only a third of the value of the armor was used to buy the dowry, and using this narration, it can be inferred how simple the lifestyle of this prosperous couple was.
The detailed list of the dowry of Lady Fatimah (PBUH) has been narrated by historians. Studying this list reveals a world of sincerity, asceticism, and nobleness, and its greatness and glory makes any free person humble.
The detailed list of the dowry, as prepared by Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH&HP) companions for his unique daughter, is as follows:
1. An Egyptian carpet filled with wool
2. A leather table-cloth
3. A leather pillow filled with leaves of date-palm
4. A Khaybari cloth
5. A water container made of leather
6. Several jugs
7. Several clay dishes and bowls
8. A pot for washing
9. A thin woolen curtain
This was her dowry, according to the narrations (3).
When the abovementioned items were presented to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), he looked at them and started crying. Then, he turned his face towards the sky and made a strange prayer as:”O Allah! Make this auspicious to the people whose dishes are mostly earthen! (4)”
What Lady Fatimah (PBUH) and her husband manifested as an example and role model, not only was simple according to today’s measures, but also was considered simple at that time. It was so simple that the worldly people of that time whose souls were still contaminated with the sediments of "the values of the ignorance era" blamed Lady Fatimah (PBUH) for the simplicity of her husband's life. Nonetheless, Lady Fatimah (PBUH) meant to teach a lesson to people of all times and all generations; she wanted to show that Islam is not based on luxuriance or materialistic competitions which result in delay in marriage and corruption of the Muslim society. The foundation and basis of every affair is always simplicity and ease while maintaining glory, freeness, kindness, and sincerity.
(The above mentioned is a selection taken from "How to Live a Married Life in an Exemplary Family", by Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi)
The Roshd Website congratulates all Muslims, especially you dear friend, upon 20th of Jamadi al-Thani, the birthday anniversary of the master of women and the example of all mankind, Lady Fatimah al-Zahra (PBUH).
Roshd Islamic Shia Website
1. Kashf al-Ghummah, vol. 1, p. 368
2. Allamah al-Majlisi has mentioned in Bihar al-Anwar that: It is possible that the real value of the armor was 30 Dirhams; however, some of the lovers of the Imam bought it for more. (Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 43, p. 122)
3. Kashf al-Ghummah, vol. 1, p. 358
4. Kashf al-Ghummah, vol. 1, p. 358