One of the undeniable historical facts that all Muslim historians, regardless of their school of thought, unanimously agree upon is that the beloved daughter of the Prophet, Lady Fatima al-Zahra died approximately three months after him; as a result of the great pain and suffering she endured during the incident of the attack on her house. She died at the age of 18 years and 7 months. On the day of her burial, Imam ‘Ali addressed the Prophet at his grave and said:
O Prophet of Allah! Peace be upon you from me and from your daughter who has come to you and who has hastened to meet you. O Prophet of Allah! My patience about your chosen daughter has been exhausted, and my power of endurance has weakened, except that I have ground for consolation in having endured the great hardship and heart-rending event of your separation. I laid you down in your grave when your last breath had passed, when your head was between my neck and chest.
Verily, we are Allah’s and verily, unto Him shall we return. Now the trust has been returned, and what has been given has been taken back. As to my grief, it knows no bounds, and as to my nights, they will remain sleepless until Allah chooses for me the house in which you are now residing. Certainly, your daughter will apprise you of the joining together of your people for oppressing her. You ask her in detail, and get all the news about the matter.
This has happened when a long time had not elapsed, and your remembrance had not disappeared. My salaam be upon you both, and the salaam of a grief-stricken, not a disgusted or hateful person, for if I go away it is not because I am weary of you, and if I stay it is not due to lack of belief in what Allah has promised the ones who endure.
Lady Fatima al-Zahra, three months after her father, the Messenger of Allah’s death were all spent in grief and agony. She was never seen smiling, not even once after the death of her father. Her suffering increased day by day as a result of the injuries she sustained when one of the companions slammed the door on her, two days after her father’s death, causing her to mis-carry her son, Muhsin. When Lady Fatima died, her husband Imam ‘Ali buried her in the night. Only a handful of sincere companions participated in her funeral and he performed the prayers over her.
She was also denied her inheritance from the Prophet Muhammad— mainly, a land outside Madina called Fadak—on the grounds that prophets do not leave inheritance. Imam Bukhari narrates that when Lady Fatima asked for her share of the Prophet’s inheritance, she received the response that the Prophet had said, “We, the group of prophets, do not leave inheritance. What we leave is charity.” Thus she was refused anything from her father’s inheritance despite the fact that the Noble Qur’an gives examples of prophets inheriting from other prophets, such as,
“And Sulayman inherited from Dawud.”
These incidents happened even though the Messenger of Allah had said, “Lady Fatima is a part of me. Whoever angersher, angers me.” Ibn Qutaybah records that Lady Fatima al-Zahra said to some of the companions, “I take Allah as a witness, and His angels, that you have angered me and did not please me, and when I meet with the Prophet, I will raise my grievances about you to him.”
1. Nahj al-Balaghah, Sermon 202
2. Ibn Sa‘ad, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 2, 85
3. Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 5, 177
4. Noble Qur’an, 27:16
5. Sahih al- Bukhari, Vol. 5, 35
6. Ibn Qutaybah, Al-Imamah wal-Siyasah, Vol. 1, 14