Source: Sunday, 18 May 2008 Islamic Insights
"Oh Ali! I am Fatimah, daughter of Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family). Allah the Exalted has married me to you such that I may be for you in this world and in the hereafter. You hold greater priority over me than anyone other than me - prepare my body and enshroud me at night...and do not let anyone know. I bid you farewell. Deliver greetings of peace to my children until the Day of Judgment...."
- From the will of Lady Fatima Zahra (peace be upon her)
Followers of the Holy Prophet and his Family believe that Lady Fatima is the greatest example for all women. She was the daughter of Prophet Muhammad and Lady Khadijah. Prophet Muhammad was narrated to have said on many occasions, "Fatimah is a part of me. Whoever hurts her hurts me, and whoever makes her happy makes me happy." The Prophet held Lady Fatima in such high esteem for her care and devotion to him that he called her Umm Abeeha (the mother of her father).
Lady Fatima was born on 20 Jamadi al-Thani, in the 5th year after revelation (606 CE), in the city of Mecca. She lived through the earliest stages of the nascent Islamic society and grew up in both Mecca and Medina. She is considered the highest woman of all women because in her patience and virtue she transcended any woman known to humanity. Many miracles and fascinating stories are mentioned about her in the annals of history and books of traditions.
With the blessing of Allah, Lady Fatima was married to Imam Ali son of Abi Talib (peace be upon him). On their wedding night, the poor and needy were invited to a feast in honor of the marriage. In reference to Lady Fatima, Imam Ali said, "I used to look at her, and she would remove from me all my grief and sadness."
Through Lady Zahra is Allah's guidance to humanity not only in her individual personality but as the great mother of the Imams. Lady Fatima's greatness is also mentioned in various verses of the Holy Qur'an. A few places where she is referred to are verse 61 from chapter Aal Imran, verses 8-9 from chapter Al-Insaan, verse 33 from chapter Al-Ahzaab, verse 26 from chapter Al-Israa, and verse 23 from chapter Ash-shura.
When the Prophet died, Imam Ali and Lady Fatima's rights were taken away by the oppressors. Those same oppressors demanded that Imam Ali give allegiance to an illegitimate ruler. Because Imam Ali would not give in, they sent a gang to his house.
It is recorded in history that when Lady Fatima refused to open the door and asked the criminals to leave, the leader of the gang ordered his hoodlums to bring some wood and burn their way inside the house. One of the hoodlums exclaimed, "But Fatima (daughter of the Messenger) is in there," to which came the cursed reply, "So what?!" The outrageous events that followed are some of the gloomiest scenes in Islamic history and a source of pain to lovers of the Prophet and his Family to this very day.
Although Lady Fatima survived the tragic events, the physical and emotional wounds led to her martyrdom shortly thereafter. Before she died, she asked Imam Ali to not allow her oppressors to participate in her funeral. She was buried in a secret location at night by Imam Ali.
Lady Zahra represents the supreme example of a caring daughter, honorable wife, and nurturing mother. To men and women alike she is a paramount leader representing a profound follower of Islam. Answering a question about what it means to be a true follower of Ahlul Bayt, Lady Fatimah once said, "...Only if you act upon that which we (Ahlul Bayt) have commanded you, and stay away from that which we have forbidden you, then you are from our Shia. Otherwise, you are not."
Lady Fatima was martyred only a few months after her father passed away. She is reported by some to have only been about 19 years old. Although many think she is buried in Baqi, the doubtful nature of her actual site of burial continues to this day to serve as a reminder of the injustices and oppression that have been (and are still) perpetrated against her and her family.