“Fadak”, as many of the historians and writers have written, was a flourishing, fertile village in the land of “Hejaz” near Khaibar, being two or three days journey from Medina, Some have reported this distance as 140 Kilometers, and in which there was a bubbling spring and many date palms.
When the forts of Khaybar fell one after another to the soldiers of Islam and the central power of the Jews was smashed, the inhabitants of Fadak approached the Noble Prophet (PBUH) in submission and handed over one half of their land and gardens to him retaining the other half for themselves. In addition, they also agreed to shoulder the responsibility of cultivating his share of the land and used to receive some benefits for this effort of theirs.
In view of the verse of booty, this land was specific to the Noble Prophet (PBUH) and he could utilize it for himself or use it in other instances as stated in verse 7 of Surah Al-Hashr and accordingly, he gifted it to his daughter Fatimah (S.A). This is a fact, which has been emphasized and stated by numerous Sunni and Shia historians and commentators.
After the demise of the Prophet his dear daughter was deprived of her ownership of Fadak on account of political motives. The seizing of Fadak from the lady of Islam Fatimah Zahra (S.A) was not a simple matter only of an economic nature. On the contrary, its economic aspect was outshone by the political matters governing the Islamic community after the death of the Prophet (PBUH). Indeed, Fadak cannot be separated from the other events of that era. On the contrary, it is a link from a lengthy chain and a phenomenon from a total, enveloping current! The following factors may be cited for this serious historical usurpation:
First, the possession of Fadak in the hands of the prophet’s family was calculated as a great meaningful distinction for them. This was in itself proof of their elevated position and superiority in the presence of God and the earmarking of their intense closeness to the Prophet (PBUH).
It is clear that the possession of Fadak in the hands of the Prophets family in view of this historical background would cause the people to search for the Prophet’s (PBUH) other vestiges in this family especially the matter of caliphate or the successor of that Hazrat (PBUH).
Second, this matter was also important from an economic stand-point, and it affected its political aspect. This was due to the fact that if Ali (A.S) and his supporters were placed under severely straightened economic circumstances, their political power would be reduced proportionately. According to another interpretation, the existence of Fadak in their hands made resources available to them that could have been supportive of them in the matter of the guardianship (leadership). This was just as the wealth of Khadija (S.A) was backing for the progress of Islam at the beginning of the Prophet’s (PBUH) mission.
All the world over it is customary that whenever they wish to shut – out an important person or country they place him under economic embargo. In the history of Islam this has come to us in the Story of “Abu-Talib’s camp”, and the severe economic siege inflicted on the Muslims by the infidels of Quraysh.
Seyyedah Zahra (SA) had worn a long dress (and was thus placing her feet upon her dress) and her way of walking was similar to that of the Prophet. When she entered the Masjid, Abu Bakr was seated with a group of the Muhajirin, Ansar and others and a curtain was put up for her and she sat behind it.
Seyyedah Zahra (SA) heaved a sorrowful sigh from her scorched and aggrieved heart such that all of those present were affected by it and began to weep. The gathering was converted into a mourning ceremony and everyone was deeply touched. Seyyedah Zahra (SA) then remained silent for a moment until the weeping of those present calmed down, and then she began her speech.
In that major historical gathering and that large court proceeding [in the Masjid of the Prophet in which she delivered this historic sermon], the masses were not able to prevent her from delivering her words and [for those in that gathering] it was as if the Noble Prophet of Islam, peace be upon him and his family, himself was present and speaking to the masses!
The Seven Focal Points of Fatimah Zahra’s (SA) Sermon:
This brilliant, unparalleled sermon is in reality made up of seven parts and revolves around seven focal points of which each pursues a clear objective, and each must be studied separately.
Part One: A deep condensed analysis around the questions of ‘Tawhid’ and the qualities of God, the most beautiful of God’s attributes and the aim of creation.
Part Two: The exalted position, duties, special distinctions and aims of the Prophet (PBUH) are discussed.
Part Three: She speaks of the importance of the Holy Quran, the depth of Islamic teachings, the philosophy and secrets of religious commandments, and advice and counsels in this respect.
Part Four: After introducing herself, the Lady of Islam describes her father’s service to this people. And it was here that the Lady of Islam took their hand and led them back to their not too distant pagan past, for an admonitory look, and Comparison to their situation after the rise of Islam to receive a lesson from this metamorphosis.
Part Five: She discusses the incidents and events that occurred after the death of the Prophet, and the movements and strivings of the Hypocrites for the annihilation of Islam.
Part Six: She speaks of the usurpation of ‘Fadak’, their vain excuses in this respect, and her reply to these excuses.
Part Seven: And finally in this part as deliverance of her ultimatum, she requests aid from the true helpers and friends of the Prophet, and bringing her speech to an end she threatens them with God’s Punishment.
Hazrat Zahra and the Heart Rending Episode of Fadak, Naser Makarem Shirazi
Fadak, Sayyid Sa’eed Akhtar Rizvi
The Sermon of Fadak, Tahir Ridha Jaffer
The Message, Ja’far Subhani
Fatimiyyah is ʿAshuraʾ,Lutfullah Safi Golpaygani