Allama Majlisi has related in his magnum opus Bihar Al-Anwar, vol. 43, p. 24 that Prophet Muhammad said: "Fatima is the leader of the women of the worlds from the first to the last. When she stands in the prayer niche, twenty thousand angels greet her and address her like they addressed Mary. They say, 'O Fatima, verily God has chosen you and purified you and has chosen you above the women of the worlds.' And they are from the close angels."
In the same book, it is related that Prophet Muhammad was asked if Fatima is the leader of the women of this world. He replied: "Mary, daughter of Amran, is the leader of the women of this world, my daughter Fatima is the leader of the women of all the worlds."
Once it is understood that Fatima has such a place in the universe, we will also realize that we must struggle day and night to learn about this great lady. We must learn who she was and how she lived. Then we must emulate her lifestyle, whether we are male or female. In reality, her status and lifestyle are so lofty that Imam Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance) has even said: "In the daughter of the Messenger of God is a great example for me to emulate." (Lisan Al-Mizan, vol. 3, p. 180)
We must not overlook that the savior of the world, the one who will fill the earth with justice and equity and wipeout injustice and oppression, the one who will realize the efforts of all the prophets and their successors, the one who will establish God's government and religion on the face of the earth, meaning Imam Mahdi, even takes lessons from Fatima. Thus, can we afford to ignore or forget her?
Having said that, we will mention some of her virtues from reliable traditions.
Fatima's Position before God
In various traditions, Prophet Muhammad has said: "Verily, God becomes angered when Fatima is angered, and He is pleased when Fatima is pleased." (Bihar Al-Anwar, vol. 43, p. 54)
The more we think about this statement, the more Lady Fatima's position becomes clear to us. This tradition has a world of meaning, and everyone can take from it in accordance to his/her ability and understanding. We will discuss two points in regards to it:
1. Human beings are naturally inclined towards position and rank. Unfortunately, most people believe that one can attain this goal through wealth and power. Therefore, they endeavor and use all of their God-given abilities and resources in order to attain more riches and more power because they foolishly believe that the more of these they have the higher status they will have. However, Islam has shown us that this path is the path of Satan.
True position and worth comes with serving and submitting to God. The more one submits to God's will, the more status he/she attains. It can reach a point where the servant completely surrenders him/herself to God, and God submits all that is in the heavens and earth to him/her. There are even traditions that say that a true servant of God can reach such a status that whenever he/she says "Be!" to a thing, it becomes, just as God says "Be!", and it is. Lady Fatima had surrendered herself to God so much so that God's anger and pleasure are related to her anger and pleasure.
2. This position of Fatima is also used to defend the leadership (Wilayah) and right of Imam Ali (peace be upon her). In reality, Fatima is the first defender of Wilayah. Her defense of her husband and his God-given rights eventually led to her being attacked in her own home and being martyred as a result of her injuries. Her anger with her attackers and those who usurped her husband's rights led her to request her husband to bury her at night, so that those who angered her do not attend her funeral and pray over her body.
In doing so, Lady Fatima left an eternal question in the hearts of all truth seekers: why was the only remaining daughter of the Prophet of Islam buried at night and why is her grave unknown?
Whoever truthfully and objectively searches out the answer to this question will, God-willing, find the truth and become a follower of the School of Ahlul Bayt (peace be upon them). There are numerous examples of people from various religions and schools of thought who pursued the answer to this question and found their way to the Ahlul Bayt.
As an example, I will mention a sister of ours who became Muslim during the time of Malcolm X. Eventually she questioned herself why is Lady Fatima's grave unknown? While searching for the answer, she found her way to the school of Ahlul Bayt. The benefits of this research were so admirable that her entire family is devoted followers and lovers of Fatima. Two of her sons have studied in Qum and are now serving Imam Mahdi.
Lady Fatima's Martyrdom and Funeral
When studying the history of this great lady's death and funeral, only those hearts that are stone will not break, and those eyes that are blind will not rain down tears on the pages they are reading.
The door to Fatima's home was set on fire and kicked down while she was standing behind it. As a result, her blessed body was injured, and the treatment that her father's nation gave her after his death broke her heart. Not long after, Lady Fatima passed away from her physical and emotional injuries.
Her final testament to her husband Ali was for him to bathe, shroud, and bury her at night, away from the sight of those who harmed and angered her. The people of Medina heard that the Prophet's daughter had passed away, so they gathered around her house. Imam Ali told them that Fatima's burial has been delayed for later. The people returned to their homes. While they were asleep, Ali bathed and shrouded his beloved wife. He sent his two sons, Hasan and Hussain, who were still young children, to invite those companions who Fatima was pleased with. Along with a handful of companions, Ali buried Fatima in the darkness of the night in an undisclosed location.
According to some traditions, he dug and filled in seven graves in Baqi – and according to others forty graves – so that no one finds out where she is buried. When morning came, people realized that the Prophet's daughter was already buried. They rushed to Ali's house, and some even said that they will unearth her body and perform the prayers over her. Ali came out of his house wearing his coat and armor and holding his sword. He addressed them that for as long as Ali son of Abu Talib is alive and holding a sword, no one will dare do such a thing. When they saw Ali in such a state, they became frightened and took back their words.
Her Burial Place
There are three famous viewpoints about where our Prophet's beloved daughter and our Lord's beloved servant is buried. Some say that she is buried in the cemetery of Baqi. Others say that she is buried in her home which is a part of the Prophet's mosque now. Yet others say that she is buried in the Rawdha of the Prophet's mosque. This is the place between the Prophet's grave and his pulpit (minbar).
Rawdha means garden. It has been related that Prophet Muhammad has said: "There is a garden from the gardens of paradise between my grave and my pulpit." And it has been related from Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him) that he said in relation to this tradition: "Because Fatima's grave is a garden from the gardens of paradise." (Ma'aani Al-Akhbar, p. 267)
In any case, what is clear is that when Imam Mahdi rises, he will disclose her burial place. May God hasten his return. And peace be upon Fatima the day she was born, the day she died, and the day she will be resurrected.