Birth of Fatima Zahra

The 20th of the month of Jumad Sana according to the Muslim calendar marks the birthday of Fatima Zahra, the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad, and International Women’s Day in Islam. Imam Sadiq, may peace be upon him, said about the birth of Fatima Zahra: “Fatima was born when the Messenger of Allah was forty-five years old. She spent eight years in Mecca and ten years in Medina with her father. After the death of her father, she lived only seventy-five days” (“Bihar al-Anwar”, vol. 43, p. 9).

Mufaddal ibn Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, reported: “I asked Imam Sadiq about the appearance of Fatima, may peace be upon them both, to the light and the Imam replied: When Lady Khadijah married the Messenger of Allah, the infidel women of Makkah distanced themselves from her and did not communicate with her because of their hostility to Islam; they didn’t even greet her. It got to the point where they wouldn’t allow other women to visit her. Lady Khadija was worried that they would harm the Messenger of Allah. When Fatima was in the womb of Khadijah, she spoke to her mother and supported her. Khadija hid it from the Messenger of Allah. One day the Messenger of Allah entered the house and heard Khadijah talking to the child in her womb. He asked, “Who were you talking to?” Khadijah replied: “With the child growing in my womb. He talks to me and dispels my loneliness when you’re not there.” The Messenger of Allah said: “Just now Gabriel came to me and told me that the child is a girl. Her descendants are holy and pure. Allah will continue my lineage through her. Imams will be from her offspring. And Allah will establish them as caliphs on earth.”

When Khadija’s delivery approached, she informed all the women of the tribe of Hashim and Quraysh and asked them for help in giving birth. But they sent her a reply: “You disobeyed us and married an orphan of Muhammad and therefore we will not help you.” Such an answer of women hurt Khadija. But Allah did not leave her alone. Suddenly, four beautiful women with radiant faces entered Khadija’s room. Seeing them, she got scared. One of these women said: “About Khadijah, Allah has sent us to help you! My name is Sarah (Prophet Ibrahim’s wife).” After that, she pointed to three other women, saying, “They will be with you in Paradise. This is Asiya, the daughter of Mazakhir, this is Maryam, the daughter of Imran, and this is Musa’s sister – Kulsum.” They surrounded Khadija on the right, on the left, behind and in front. After that, a pure and blessed child was born.

When Fatima was born, there was a bright light that squinted her eyes. This light illuminated all the houses of Mecca, West and East and the whole world. The woman sitting across from Khadijah washed Fatimah with water from the Kausar (Paradise spring), then wrapped her in a cloth whiter than milk and with the pleasant smell of a bowl. And Fatima said: “I bear witness that there is no deity but Allah and I bear witness that my father is the Messenger of Allah, and that my husband Ali is the vali of Allah, and that my sons Hasan and Husayn are the proofs of Allah.” Afterwards, Fatima greeted these four women and called them by name. These great women said to Khadija: “Take your most pure, blessed, successful child, whose offspring will be great.” Mrs. Khadija took the child with love and began to breastfeed. After that day, Fatima grew a month of a normal child for every day, and a year of a normal child for every month” (Abbas Kumma, “Bayt al-ahzan”, p. 22).