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Fatimah bint Mohammed (approximately 605-632)

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Fatimah was the youngest and most beloved daughter of the Islamic prophet Mohammed and his first wife, Khadijah. She married Ali ibn Abi Talib, her father’s cousin, who some believe was the prophet’s chosen successor. Her life was one of abject poverty, in which she worked from sunrise to sundown, her hands swollen and covered with blisters. Yet she is known for her compassion toward others, intelligence, and strength. When a woman was embarrassed by the number of questions with which she had come to Fatimah, the prophet’s daughter assured her, “ask me regarding anything which comes to your mind…my reward for [answering] every inquiry is more than that which fills [the space] between the ground and the Throne [of heaven] with pearls. Thus, I should be more apt to answer your questions.”

She stood proudly against those who threatened her beliefs and her family. According to some sources, in the face of men who confronted her husband she threatened to take off her veil and shame them, ultimately succeeding in their withdrawal. When Ali asked the prophet for a servant to help Fatimah, the prophet instead gave her a prayer whose value was far greater, which today is widely recited as the Tasbih Fatimah. Ali deeply respected Fatimah and did not marry another woman while she was alive, despite the prevalence of polygamy during their lifetime. For many Muslims, Fatimah is a prominent figure, recognized as the mother of the prophet’s descendents, including Shiite leaders Hasan and Husayn. She is az-Zahra, the shining one.







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