Did the house of Fatima Zahra (s.a.) have a door? – Part 2


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Read Part 1 of this article.

In the first part of the reply to this objection, we have already seen that the opponents of Shias claim that the house of Ahlul Bait (a.s.) did not have a door. Hence, if there was no door, nothing was burnt and the attack on the house of Fatima Zahra (s.a.) is fabricated. Be it sheer ignorance or a deliberate attempt to deny the attack, they misuse a phrase used to highlight the trials, tribulations and examination which the Ahlul Bait (a.s.) went through to spread Islam and welcome the new Muslims.

Despite clarifying that tradition in the previous part, someone might question as to why is there a need for a part two. The need arises because not just the opponents, but some misinformed Shias who seemingly have a soft-corner for the enemies of Fatima Zahra (s.a.) also try to raise this doubt in the minds of Shias. Hence, in this part we shall present further proofs from the Holy Quran and traditions that houses in those days did have doors.

Doors in the Holy Quran

Allah states in Surah Baqarah (2): verse 189,

وَ لَيْسَ الْبِرُّ بِأَنْ تَأْتُوْا الْبُيُوْتَ مِنْ ظُهُوْرِهَا وَ لٰكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنِ اتَّقَى‏ وَ أْتُوْا الْبُيُوْتَ مِنْ أَبْوَابِهَا

“… and it is not righteousness that you enter the houses from their back side; but righteousness is that one should guard (against evil) and go into the houses from their doors.”

The key point here is that the Holy Quran is instructing us to enter houses through their doors. For anyone to enter through the door, the house must firstly have a door. If houses were devoid of doors then this Quranic ruling would be meaningless. The Almighty Allah neither does anything futile nor does He command us to do so.

Surah Noor (24): verse 61 mentions about houses which have keys:

…أَنْ تَأْكُلُوا مِنْ بُيُوتِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوتِ آبائِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوتِ أُمَّهاتِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوتِ إِخْوانِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوتِ أَخَواتِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوتِ أَعْمامِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوتِ عَمَّاتِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوتِ أَخْوالِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوتِ خالاتِكُمْ أَوْ ما مَلَكْتُمْ مَفاتِحَهُ…

“…that you eat from your houses or your fathers’ houses or your mothers’ houses or your brothers’ houses or your sisters’ houses or your paternal uncles’ houses or paternal aunts’ houses or your maternal uncles’ houses or your maternal aunts’ houses or what you possess the keys of…”

Doors in Traditions

As far as the mention of doors in traditions in concerned, we will present only 4 such proofs from both Ahle Tasannun and Shia sources.

  • The famous Ahle Tasannun scholar Haakim Haskaani in his book Shawaahed al-Tanzil, vol. 2, p. 11, H. 637 explains in the exegesis of the verse of purification (Ayah al-Tatheer) that Anas Ibn Malik narrates:
عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللهِ ص كَانَ يَمُرُّ بِبَابِ فَاطِمَةَ سِتَّةَ أَشْهُرٍ- إِذَا خَرَجَ إِلَى صَلَاةِ الْفَجْرِ يَقُولُ: الصَّلَاةَ يَا أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ إِنَّما يُرِيدُ اللهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَ يُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيراً

“Surely the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) used to pass by the door of Fatima (s.a.) for 6 months when he came out for Fajr prayers and used to say: ‘Salutations O Ahlul Bait (a.s.)! Surely Allah only desires to keep away uncleanness from you O people of the house and purify you, a thorough purification’.”

It means this was a Sunnah (practice) of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) to stand at the door of his beloved daughter Fatima Zahra (s.a.) and offer his salutations to Ahlul Bait (a.s.). Those who burnt her door didn’t even realise that it was the same door where the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) offered his greetings for 6 consecutive months.

  • In an incident related to the exegesis of Surah Insaan (76), it is mentioned that Ahlul Bait (a.s.) had fasted for three days. On all three days, a destitute, an orphan and a prisoner came to the door of the house of her eminence Fatima Zahra (s.a.) at the time of Iftaar asking for food. Ahlul Bait (a.s.) broke their fast on all three days with just warm water and whatever food was prepared for Iftaar, they offered it to whoever was at the door. In this incident, it is clearly mentioned that a needy person came and stood at the door of the house.

References:

  • Amaali of Shaikh Saduq (a.r.), pp. 257-259, Majlis 41, H. 11
  • Tafseer Noor al-Thaqalain, vol. 5, pp. 471-472
  • Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 35, pp. 237-239, H. 1

 

  • The next famous incident is the one which is known as the tradition of ‘shutting the doors’ i.e. حدیث سد الابواب. This has been narrated by both Shia as well as Ahle Tasannun scholars. It is mentioned that one day Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), on divine command, ordered all those people whose doors opened into Masjid al-Nabawi to be shut except the door of Imam Ali (a.s.). Except for Imam Ali (a.s.) none were permitted that their house doors should open into the mosque. One person asked for permission to have a keyhole in the door to look into the mosque. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) outrightly refused saying:
لَا وَ لَا رَأْسَ إِبْرَةٍ

“No! Not even (equal to) an eye of a needle.”

References:

  • E’laam al-Waraa Fi A’laam al-Huda, pp. 160-161
  • Amaali of Shaikh Tusi (a.r.), p. 599
  • Sharh Nahj al-Balaagha, vol. 9, p. 173
  • Iqbaal al-A’maal, vol. 1, p. 296

It is important to note that this statement وَ سَدَّ الْاَبْوَابَ اِلَّا بَابَہُ ‘he shut all doors except his viz. Imam Ali’s (a.s.)’ is a part of Dua Nudbah which the Shias are supposed to recite every Friday and this Dua is attributed to Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.). It means that our Imams (a.s.) expect their Shias to recite this Dua every Friday and remember the burning door of Fatima Zahra (s.a.). If there was no door then this act of reciting Dua Nudbah and remembering that door will be rendered null and void. Our Imams (a.s.) are far superior than recommending us a futile act.

  • Lastly, there is a tradition in the famous Ahle Tasannun book Sunan Abi Dawood, Book 43, Hadith 466 that Dukayn Ibn Saeed al-Muzani narrates: “We came into the presence of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and asked him for some food. The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) instructed: ‘O Umar! Go and give them food.’ So, he (Umar) ascended with us to a room upstairs, took a key from his apartment and opened it.”

The point to be noted here is that the door was opened with a key. Curtains and mats are never opened with keys. For a door to be opened with the help of a key, it has to be at least made of wood. Another thing here is that if a room inside the house can have a door which requires a key to open it then how can the main door not exist which is made of a similar material?

Hence, anyone who objects that the house of her eminence Fatima Zahra (s.a.) did not have a door, or if it was a curtain or a mat, then such a person is either completely ignorant of historical facts or is trying to put a deliberate curtain over the heinous crime and thereby conceal the enemies of Fatima Zahra (s.a.).

May Allah hasten the reappearance of His last proof, Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) so that he can avenge the atrocities upon his grandmother, her eminence Fatima Zahra (s.a.).


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