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  • Date :
  • 7/27/2005

The Gracious Infant

Fatima Zahra's birth

The clear disagreement onFatima's birth date is surprising. Some scholars state that she was born five years after revelation; while others say that she was born two or three years before that; and still others claim that she was born five years before revelation.It should be noted that the first statement was narrated from the Imams of Ahlul-Bayt (PBUT); a group of Sunni scholars also favor the same viewpoint. On the other hand, Sunni scholars and narrators alone speak of the second date.

The following are narrations which have been cited concerning the date of Fatima Zahra's birth:

1. Kafi (Kulayni): "She was born five years after (the beginning of) Prophethood, and three years after Ascension to heaven. When the Prophet died,Fatima was eighteen years old...."

2.A1-Manaqib (Ibn Shahr Ashub): "Fatima was born five years after (the beginning of) Prophethood and three years after Ascension, namely on the 20th of Jamadi Al-Thani. She lived eight years in Mecca with her father, then she immigrated..."

3.A1-Bihar: Imam Baqir said: "Fatima Bint Muhammad was born five years after the (first) revelation to Allah's Messenger. She died when she was eighteen years and seventy-five days old."

4.Rawdhat A1-Waedhin: "Fatima was born fiveyears after the (first) revelation to the Prophet..."

5. Iqbal A1-Aamal: Sheik Mufeed in his bookHadaiq Ar-Ryadh, said:  "The 20th of Jamadi Al-Thani was the birthday of Fatima Zahra during the second year after (the first) revelation."

6.Misbah AI-Kaf' ami:"Although it has been said that she was born five years after (the first) revelation, (Fatima) was born on Friday the 20th of Jamadi Al-Thani, two years after revelation.

7.Misbahain:"Friday the 20th of Jamadi Al-Thani, two years after revelation, was the birthday of Fatima (PBUH), as was cited by some narrations. It has been mentioned in a narration that she was born five years after revelation. The Sunnis narrate that she was born five years before revelation."

8.Dala'el Al-Imamah, on the authority of Imam Sadiq (PBUH): "Fatima was born on the 20th of Jamadi Al-Thani, forty five years after the Prophet was born..."

The above mentioned statements are a selection of narrations from the Imams of Ahlul-Bayt (PBUH) and the old Shiite scholars (may Allah bless their souls) declaring that Fatima Zahra's birth took place after revelation. Contrary to this, the Sunni scholars have stated:

1. Ma'refat As-Sahabah by Abu Nu'eym: "Fatima was the youngest of Allah's Messenger's daughters. She was born while Quraish was building Kaaba."

2.Maqatil At-Talibinby Abu Al-Faraj Al-Isfahani: "Fatima's birth took place before revelation, during the time that Quraish was building Kaaba."

3. Ibn Al-Athir in A1-Muhktar Fi Manaqib A1-Akhiar.

4. Tabari inDhakhaer A1-Uqbi.

5. Sayuti in Ath-Thughour A1-Basimah.

Perhaps more research would reveal that the Sunnis adopted this viewpoint in most of their books.

After briefly examining the above mentioned narrations and in view of the fact that neither Ascension nor Revelation took place before the beginning of Prophethood, it becomes clear that Lady Fatima Zahra's birth wasafter revelation. Therefore, the falsity of the traditions which claim that she was born five years prior to the first revelation becomes obvious.

There are two motives which can be cited for those who made such false claims:

The first is to refute the prophetic traditions which reveal the story of heavenly food and that Fatima was born from sperm produced from an apple that came from paradise.

The second is to prove that Fatima Zahra was unattractive to the point that she became eighteen years old before anyone asked to marry her.

Nevertheless, Tabari inDhakhaer Al-Uqbi, Asfuri Shafe'i inNuzhat Al-Majalis and Qanduzi inYanabea Al-Mawaddah narrated that Khadija (PBUH) said:

"... Then, when (Fatima's) delivery came near, I sent for the Quraishan midwives who refused to help me during childbirth because of Mohammad (PBUH),four ladies whose beauty and brilliance were indescribable entered the house.

One of them said: 'I am your Mother Eve.'

The second said: 'I am Um Kulthum, Musa's sister.'

The third said: "I am Maria, and we have come to help you."

The fourth said: 'I am Maria bint Imran, (Juses's mother)'.

We have come to deliver your child."

Fatima was then born.

When Fatima fell on the ground,she was in a prostrating position, raising her finger."

Furthermore, the detailed narration was mentioned by Al-Mufaddal Ibn Amr on the authority of Imam Sadiq (a.s) in V.1 ofA1-Bihar by Al-Majlisi.


Naming newborn children is considered a principle divine rule. Allah Almighty named Adam and Eve the first day He created them; He also taught Adam all names. Man, too, has followed this rule and practiced it ever since. Naming is an essential rule for civilized people.

People's names vary according to different times, generations and languages. There may also be a relationship between the name and its meaning; although this is not always true. Thus, some names can be derived from entities other than lingual material.

Nevertheless, advocates of Allah's religion give names special importance. This practice has a significant meaning, for a human being is called by his name; hence a good or bad name leaves its effect on the holder. Indeed, there is special importance in good names; it is noteworthy to mention that when Imran's wife gave birth to a daughter she said:

"And I therefore call her Maria."

Furthermore, Allah chose the name for His prophet Yahya (PBUH) before he was conceived. Allah Almighty says that Zachariah, Yahya's Father, said:

"So give me an heir as from Thyself."

"(One that) will (truly) represent me, and represent the posterity of Jacob; and make him, O my Lord! One with whom Thou art well-pleased!"

(His prayer was answered):

"O Zachariah! We give thee good news of a son: His name shall be Yahya: On none by that name have we conferred distinction before." (Maria: 5 -7)

It is also clear from His saying, "On none by that name have we conferred distinction before;" that Allah (Glory be to Him) assigns the names of His special worshippers, such as prophets and Imams, in place of their parents.

Let's take a look at a large group of narrations which discuss naming Fatima Zahra, plus the reason for giving her this name; then also state that her name was given to her because of certain incitements, not offhand, nor as a result of admiring of preferring such a name; rather, it is the relationship between the name and the person which was considered.

Imam Sadiq (PBUH) said: "Fatima has nine names near Allah(Exalted be His Name), they are: Fatima, Siddiqah (the honest), Al-Mubarakah (the blessed one), At-Tahirah (virtuous), Az-Zakiyah (the chaste), Ar-Radhiatul Mardhiah (she who is gratified and who shall be satisfied), Al-Muhaddathah (a person, other than a prophet, that the angels speak to), and Az-Zahra (the splendid)."

Source: Fatima the gracious, compiled by Abu Muhammad Ordoni (Jordanian)

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