Amongst the fourteen infallibles, it was necessary for one of them to be a woman as if all of them were men, then all of the advice, recommendations and teachings which we see directed towards the women of the community – things such as how to take care of ones’ spouse, how to maintain the home, how to take care of the children, the style and function of the hijab, how to modestly maneuver within society, patience and submission to God in the face of challenges and the hundreds of other teachings would have been mere words which were spoken and simple theological discussion to be studied.
It is possible that women of all ages would have said to themselves: “If there was at least one infallible
ideal role model and is a grand historical figure for
women to follow.
Rather, even those who were not from their family
– women like Fizzah (the freed-slave of Hazrat Fatemah Zahrah (s.a.)) and the daughter of Fizzah, were able to reach such a stage that they become role models and are known as the “walking Qur’an”!
When we say that Hazrat Fatemah Zahrah (s.a.) is a role model – we do not mean that this is only limited to a few areas of her life – however as this discussion is endless and we can never stop discussing the greatness of his personality, below, we present just some of the examples of how Sayyida Fatemah Zahrah (s.a.) is the greatest role model.
- In the Holy Qur’an, we read the commandment on being good to one’s Hazrat Fatemah Zahrah (s.a.) was so loyal and devoted to her father, the Messenger of God (s.a.w.a.) that he said the following about her: “[You are] the mother of your father.” One meaning of this is that the love which she had for her father was much greater than just the average love which a daughter would have for a father.
“Your Lord has decreed that you shall not worship anyone except Him, and [He has enjoined] kindness to parents. Should they reach old age at your side —one of them or both— do not say to them, ‘Fie!’ And do not chide them, but speak to them noble words.”
(Suratul Isra (17), Verse 23)
In the Qur’an, we read the commandment on being generous and munificent. On the night of her wedding, when Hazrat Fatemah Zahrah (s.a.) was making her way to her husband’s home, was wearing a new wedding dress. Historical accounts narrate that a poor woman approached her (or came to the door of the house she was in and asked for clothing to cover herself with). Rather than giving her the old dress which she had, she actually gave away her brand new wedding dress and wore her old clothes on her wedding night
“You will never attain piety until you spend out of what you hold dear, and whatever you may spend of anything, God indeed knows it.”
(Surat Ale Imran (3), verse 92)
3) In the Qur’an, we read passages in regards to migration in the way of Allah, and as we know, Hazrat Fatemah Zahrah (s.a.) made the migration from Mecca to Medina along with the early group of Muslims.
“Those who have believed, migrated, and struggled in the way of God, and those who gave them shelter and help, it is they who are truly the faithful. For them is forgiveness and a noble provision.”
(Suratul Anfal (8), verse 74)
- In the Qur’an we read numerous verses about patience, sincerity, complete submission to God, consciousness of God and modesty and indeed, Hazrat Fatemah Zahrah (s.a.) has reached to the pinnacles of perfection in all of these
“Indeed the muslim men and the muslim women, the faithful men and the faithful women, the obedient men and the obedient women, the truthful men and the truthful women, the patient men and the patient women, the humble men and the humble women, the charitable men and the charitable women, the men who fast and the women who fast, the men who guard their private parts and the women who guard, the men who remember God greatly and the women who remember [God greatly] —God holds in store for them forgiveness and a great reward.”
(Suratul Ahzab (33), verse 35)
- In the Qur’an, we are advised to gain knowledge and to acquire the tools necessary to be granted wisdom (hikmah) and indeed in this regards Hazrat Fatemah Zahrah (s.a.) shone bright as she has a book known as the mushaf of Fatemah which the infallible Imams would sometimesrefer to when they wanted to acquire informationon events which would take place in the future. “Read in the Name of your Lord who created; created man from a clinging mass. Read, and your Lord is the most generous, who taughtby the pen, taught man what he did not know.”
(Suratul Alaq (96), verses 1 – 5)
- In the Qur’an we are spoken to in regards to working, striving and struggling and when we glance at the life of Hazrat Fatemah Zahrah (s.a.), we see that on many occasions her hands were calloused and bleeding from the amount of work which she used to
“And that nothing belongs to a person except what he strives for, and that he will soon be shown his endeavour.”
(Suratul Najm (53), verse 39 – 40)
- In the Qur’an, there are verses in regards to showing justice in all aspects of life and when we study how Hazrat Fatemah Zahrah (s.a.) dealt with her house maid, Hazrat Fizzah (s.a.), and how she divided the daily tasks of the house, we see how she enacted justice in her
“Indeed God enjoins justice and kindness and generosity towards relatives, and He forbids indecency, wrong, and aggression. He advises you, so that you may take admonition.”
(Suratul Nahl (16), verse 90)
In the Qur’an, we see verses in regards to the authority and governance of God and those whom He has put into positions of power and leadership and that it is only they who have a right to govern society, and Hazrat Fatemah Zahrah (s.a.) whether it be in her famous Fadak sermon which she delivered in the Masjid of the Prophet, or in the other ways in which she fought for her own rights and that of her husband, we see that in all of these instances, she stood up to the government of the time and openly and flatly rejected their right to rule and supportedher husband, the Commander of the Faithful Imam Ali ibne Abi Talib (a.s.), which ultimately resulted in her own martyrdom for the cause.
“Your guardian is only God, His Apostle, and the faithful who maintain the prayer and give the zakat while bowing down.”
(Suratul Maidah (5), verse 55)
- In the Qur’an, we are addressed in regards to having faith in the next world and that we should yearn for the next life, and indeed Hazrat Fatemah Zahrah (s.a.) heard from her father that she would be the first person from his nation to leave this world and join him in the next
“While the Hereafter is better and more lasting.”
(Suratul A’la (87), verse 17)
By studying and understanding these few examples from the life of this illustrious woman, we can fully appreciate that Hazrat Fatemah Zahrah (s.a.) is the practical and real-world example of the verses of the Noble Qur’an.
Despite the fact that amongst almost all civilizations of yesteryear and today and within the poems, stories and examples which are often recounted, women have almost always bore the brunt end of the stick and have constantly been humiliated and denigrated and have always been considered as a “thing” which must be associated to someone else (in order to gain some identity) and that women have always been lookd upon as being the “weaker gender”, the Qur’an has shown us that not only for all women, but rather for all men as well, that one of the best examples is that of a woman – the wife of the Pharaoh!
Asiya, the wife of the Pharaoh, lived in the grandest of palaces – however she did not let the glitter and allure of the palace of her husband, the Pharaoh, delude her.
She saw the enormous amounts of wealth of the Pharaoh, however she detached herself from it.
She had all types of means and necessities at her disposal to make her life easier and in addition to this,
she had gardens, streams, temporal power, authority, governance and everything else – the same things which made her husband intoxicated such that he went to the extent of claiming that he was the sovereign owner and supreme god such as his statement which is recorded in the Qur’an in which he said:
And Pharaoh proclaimed amongst his people. He said, ‘O my people! Does not the kingdom of Egypt belong to me and these rivers that run at my feet? Do you not perceive?
(Surah Zukhruf (43), verse 51)
Despite the fact that all of this was at her reach,
the wife of the Pharaoh still addressed God and said
‘My Lord! Build me a home near You in paradise, and deliver me from Pharaoh and his conduct, and deliver me from the wrongdoing lot.’
(Surah Tahreem (66), verse 11)
In this verse of the Qur’an, that which is even more important to her than paradise is the house in paradise near her Lord, and that is why she uses the word “I’ndaka” – ‘near You [God]’.
From this we see that a woman is such that she can reach to the level in which she is able to throw aside all of the material pleasures which are in front of her eyes and affix her heart to that which is with God and God alone and become the perfect role-model for men and women of all eternity.