Fatima, the Mother of her Father 2

Fatima; the Mother of her Father

In the year 5 AH, after the Battle of al-Ahzab a new rule with regards to the wives of the Prophet was revealed.

“The Prophet is closer to the believers than their own selves and his wives are their mothers.”(1)

This revelation taught Muslims to respect the wives of the Prophet like their own mothers and that they were forbidden to ever marry them. Thus, none of the wives of the Prophet were ever able to remarry after the demise of the Messenger of God. To this end, every wife of the Prophet was referred to as ‘the mother of the believers’ which means as the believers could not ever marry their mother they could not possibly ever marry any of the wives of the Prophet.

After the revelation of the above law, the Messenger of God said to his beloved daughter, “O Fatima. If my wives are the (spiritual) mother of the believers, then you are my (spiritual) mother.”

Etymology of the term ‘al-Omm'

The term mother is referred to in Arabic as ‘Omm` whether a direct biological mother or indirect and hence, Eve is also referred to as our ‘mother`. Linguistically, the term ‘mother` is quite similar in all different languages. Omm in Arabic, mum or mother in English, mahdar in Farsi, ma in Urdu and mama in Italian.

The term al-Omm in Arabic is defined by the renowned Arabic linguist al-Raghib “Everything and everyone who is the source of the existence of something or its rearing or reforming.” Therefore, anything that is the origin of the source of something or has a fundamental role in its existence is called al-Omm in Arabic.

For instance, in Surah 43 Ayah 4 the Holy Quran is introduced to be in the Mother of the Book:

“And verily, it (this Quran) is in the Mother of the Book with Us, indeed exalted, full of wisdom.” (2)

The term ‘the mother of the book` in the above Ayah is meant for al-Lauh al-Mahfuz which is the source of all the divine knowledge and its producer.

The first Surah of the Quran is also called ‘Ommul Kitab’ the mother of the book for its seven Ayaat contain the summary of the entire teachings of the holy Quran and hence is the root and the origin of the rest of the Quran.

Ommah in Arabic is a community which has a common religious and spiritual goal.

In short, Omm is either a biological mother which is not gained but physically or a spiritual mother which is a title given due to some spiritual privileges and characteristics and carries similar parental rights. It is to this meaning that the Messenger of God introduced himself along with Imam Ali as the two fathers of the Muslim Ommah (community).

Fatima; the Axis

In the following I shall share with you ten reasons because of which Lady Fatima enjoyed the divine medal of ‘The Mother of Her Father’ by the Messenger of God. We will learn that she is the symmetrical axis between Prophet-hood and Imamat.

1. The Axis of Creation

Numerous prophetic traditions state that the Messenger of God is the final cause of the creation. The Almighty God in a holy hadith says, “Had it not been because of you I would have not created the creation.” This is a well-established principle in Islamic philosophy and mysticism since the Messenger of God is the most perfect creation of God and the creation is aimed at the peak of its perfection.

It is due to this fact that Fatima is the axis of creation for without her the generation of the most perfect human i.e. the Messenger of God would cease to continue. Similarly, spiritually the existence of Fatima was the cause of the continuation of Islam until the day of Judgment as I shall explain.

2. The Axis of Imamat

Fatima was the symmetrical axis joining Prophet-hood to Imamat. It was through Fatima that the blessed light of Prophet-hood was transmitted to eleven infallible Imams. I’m in awe! She is the mother of 11 infallible Imams! If the holy Mary begot one Jesus, and hence she became a truthful female, the holy Fatima begot 11 pure Imams, behind the last of whom Prophet Jesus shall pray.

3. The Axis of Ahlul-Bayt

The story of the Hadith of the Cloak is narrated by numerous Shia and Sunni narrators. Jabbir ibn Abdullah al-Ansari narrated that the Messenger of God went to the house of Fatima while he was not feeling well. Fatima received him and covered him with his Yemenese cloak for warmth and comfort. Then the Prophet of Islam brings Hasan, Husain and then Imam Ali and Fatima under his cloak with him. It was then that the angel Gibreel brought the Ayah:

“Verily, Allah willed but to purify you Ahlul-bayt….”(3)

Lady Fatima is the symmetrical axis in this story so much so that when the archangel Gibreel aims at introducing those who are under the cloak to the heavenly creatures, he states, “They are Fatima and her father and her husband and her children.”

4. The Axis of Infallibility

Since Fatima is the axis of Ahlul-Bayt she is also the axis of infallibility as indicated in Ayah 33 of Surah 33. She was the mother and the spiritual coach of all the Imams of Ahlul-bait. The infallibility, bravery and guidance of all the Imams of Ahlul-bait were inherited from their mother, holy Lady Fatima. When Khadija (S.A) was pregnant with Fatima she used to speak with her.

One day when the Prophet of Islam heard his wife talking to her baby he said to her, “Gibreel has given me the glad tiding that she is going to be a baby girl and her generation will be blessed and pure and indeed the Almighty God will continue my generation from her offspring and will make them the Imams and the vicegerents of God on earth after revelation has ceased to continue.”(4)

5. The Axis of Al Mubahilah

In the last year of the life of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.W) a deputation of 60 high ranked Christians of Najran headed by Abdul Masih their chief monk-priest came and discussed with the Holy Prophet about the personality of Prophet ‘Isa (Jesus). When they refused to accept the logical reasoning of the Prophet of Islam, the Messenger of Allah by revelation invited them to a cursing challenge called ‘al-Mubahila`.

“Then whoever disputes with you concerning him (Jesus) after all this knowledge that has come to you, say: Come, let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves, then we pray and invoke the Curse of Allah upon those who lie.”(5)

The only people the Prophet of Islam (S.A.W.W) chose to take to this vital challenge were: Imam Ali, Fatima al-Zahra, (Imam) Hasan and (Imam) Husain peace be upon them. In this challenge Fatima was the example of the child of the Prophet in ‘our sons`, the woman in ‘our women’. She was also the example of the soul of the Prophet in ‘ourselves` for the Messenger of God had said about her: “She is part of me as she is my soul in my heart.”

Of the significance of this selection the renowned Sunni scholar al-Qandoozi narrated from the holy Prophet (S.A.W.W): “Had the Almighty Allah knew more honourable people on earth than Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Husain he would have commanded me to challenge the Christians with them. But He ordered me to enter the Mubahila with them (Ahlul-Bayt) for they are the best creatures.”(6)

Continue in the next article: ( Fatima, the Mother of her Father 3 )



1. The Holy Quran 33:6

2. The Holy Quran 43:4

3. The Holy Quran 33:33

4. Rodhatul Wa’ezin vol.1 p.143

5. The Holy Quran 3:61

6. Yanabi’ul-Mawaddah, p.131