Lessons on Muslim Unity from Lady Fatima Zahra’s (s.a.) Sermon on Fadak

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Muslims in quest for unity have all sorts of views and definitions on the subject. Depending on who is commenting, you get a different view on Muslim Unity or Ettihad every time. Some say it means to unite along the so called majority or Jamaat, some say it is rallying around the Holy Quran while some maintain it means to respect companions and wives.

So how exactly can Muslims achieve Unity in a way that satisfies Allah and the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.)?

Lady Fatima Zahra (s.a.) prescribes Unity

Within a few days of the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) martyrdom, the Muslim nation was deeply divided over issues like caliphate and inheritance of the Prophet’s daughter – Lady Fatima Zahra (s.a.). Muslim Unity was hanging by its last thread and Muslims were about to sink into an abyss of ignorance from which they had been rescued just a few years ago by the Prophet (s.a.w.a.).

At this critical juncture, Lady Fatima Zahra (s.a.) while addressing the Muslims in the Mosque of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) outlines a prescription for Muslim Unity.

She declared – Allah has made our (i.e. Ahle Bait) obedience as a system for religion, our leadership as a safeguard from disunity.

  • Al-Ehtejaj v 1 p 132-141
  • Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah v 16 p 210
  • Behar al-Anwar v 29 p 216

Muslim Unity is not about uniting over the Holy Quran or companions or caliphs or wives. All these were already present amidst the Muslims after the Prophet (s.a.w.a.).

Why then were the Muslims squabbling amongst themselves so much so that they were baying for each other’s blood?

It is because they had forgotten the advice of the Holy Quran and Prophet (s.a.w.a.) which Lady Fatima Zahra (s.a.) was judiciously reminding them about.

Muslims take the Sermon of Fadak as a speech to reclaim inheritance. It is in fact the best reminder on Islam and its principles that the Muslims have ever received after the Prophet (s.a.w.a.). No wonder the most esteemed scholars advised their children to study the sermon minutely and draw lessons.

Lady Fatima Zahra (s.a.) has not referred the Muslims to the leadership of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) for selfish reasons as some Muslims claim. This is in fact the instruction of Allah in the Majestic Quran.

Rope of Allah

Allah orders the Muslims:

واعتصموا بحبل الله جميعا ولا تفرقوا

‘And hold fast by the Rope of Allah all together and be not disunited…’ (Surah Ale Imran (3): 103)

Proponents of Muslim Unity like to quote this verse more than anything else. But have they ever studied the context and paused to reflect on what Allah means exactly?

What is the Rope of Allah (حبل الله) to which the Muslims have been invited?

Is it the Quran? Or the rulers? Or the companions? Or the wives?

Scholars of the Ahle Tasannun affirm that the ‘حبل الله’ is none other than Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.).

  • Al-Sawaeq al-Muhriqah p 233
  • Shawahid al-Tanzeel v 1 p 269
  • Tafseer al-Thalabi under Surah Ale Imran (3): 103

This is in addition to lovers of Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) who have documented this in their books viz.

  • Tafseer al-Ayyashi p 102 under Surah Ale Imran (3): 103
  • Tafseer al-Furat p 91 under Surah Ale Imran (3): 103
  • Nahj al-Sidq v 5 p 390

So it is none other than Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) who is prescribed by the Holy Quran and the Sunnah as a means to Muslim Unity, not the rulers, wives or companions. It is high time the Muslim community accepts this fact and stops running behind characters who are a disgrace to Islam and Islamic Unity.

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