Why Ameerul Momineen (a) did not avenge the killing of Fatima Zahra (s)


Reading Time: 4 minutes

The skeptic’s intent behind this line of questioning is to deny the attacks. If there had been an attack, Ameerul Momineen (peace be upon him) would certainly have avenged the killing. Since he (peace be upon him) did not avenge, there was no attack.

Reply

Ameerul Momineen (peace be upon him) did not retaliate based on Prophet’s (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) bidding to be patient in face of oppression and lack of support. He (peace be upon him) placed a higher priority on avoiding factionalism in Islam and preventing hypocrites from gaining upper hand, rather than retaliating for a seemingly personal grievance.

Also, avenging and retaliation are from the traits of the Arabic pre-Islamic era while Islam preaches patience and forbearance to the extent possible, with the promise of greater reward for the oppressed and greater chastisement for the oppressor.

This means the more prolonged the oppression, the greater the reward and punishment for the oppressed and oppressor, respectively. By not retaliating Ali (peace be upon him) and Fatima Zahra (peace be upon her) are oppressed to date and are being rewarded continuously and their oppressors are likewise being punished continuously.

Quran was the guiding light for the Ahle Bait (peace be upon them) which says:
And if you take your turn, then retaliate with the like of that with which you were afflicted; but if you are patient, it will certainly be best for those who are patient. (Suran Nahl (16): 126)

There are many instances when Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) likewise did not avenge or retaliate even for profoundly serious crimes.

  1. Wahshi, the killer of Hamza, was left unpunished by Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny). Muawiyah Ibn Mugheerah Ibn Abil Aas, the one who desecrated Hamza’s corpse was given three days to vacate Medina. Retaliation against Wahshi should have been natural for the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) who was terribly upset at seeing the mutilated corpse of his beloved uncle, but he chose patience after Allah revealed the verse at that stage:
    And if you take your turn, then retaliate with the like of that with which you were afflicted; but if you are patient, it will certainly be best for those who are patient.(Surah Nahl (16): 126)
  2. Khalid Ibn Walid wiped out an entire tribe (Bani Jazimah) of newly converted Muslims due to an old rivalry dating to the pre-Islamic period. The Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) showed his anger by repeatedly dissociating himself from Khalid’s action without punishing Khalid. Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) settled the matter with blood money by sending Ameerul Momineen (peace be upon him). (Sahih Bukhari book 64, trad 368)
  3. In the incident of Aqabah, the Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) faced a deadly attack from over a dozen hypocrites. Not only did the Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) let them get away, but he did not even publicly name them – he (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) identified the attackers only to Huzaifa and even then, warned him from revealing their identities. This was to prevent problems in Islamic society at a later stage. When the Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) was told to name the hypocrites and punish them, he (peace be upon him and his holy progeny): I don’t like people to say – first Muhammad places his hand in the hands of companions, then names them as conspirators. (Majma al-Bayan v 5 p 68 under Tafseer of Surah Tauba (9): 74)So when Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) did not retaliate for an attack on him when he had all the support and the entire Muslim army behind him, it is not surprising if Ameerul Momineen (peace be upon him) likewise did not retaliate for the attack on Fatima Zahra (peace be upon her) when he (peace be upon him) was alone with no supporters. In fact, non-retaliation was the natural course of action for Ameerul Momineen (peace be upon him).
  4. Abu Sufyan, Muawiyah, Amr Aas who for years had tormented the Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) were left unpunished even when Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) had the opportunity to punish them.

Likewise, the Ahle Bait (peace be upon them) did not retaliate, rather they overlooked their oppressors on the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) and for the same reasons – to avoid conflict in religion and for the divine promised of greater reward for patience:

  1. In the battle of Jamal, Ameerul Momineen (peace be upon him) spared Marwan who had been captured and did not even demand that Marwan pay allegiance. He (peace be upon him) also sent Prophet’s wife back to Medina. Rebelling against the caliph of the time was punishable by death, but Ameerul Momineen (peace be upon him) overlooked it.
  2. Ameerul Momineen (peace be upon him) did not take back Fadak (which is another objection of the skeptics) because till the time Fatima Zahra (peace be upon her) was deprived of Fadak she was oppressed and was being rewarded and Abu Bakr was an oppressor and was being punished and Ameerul Momineen (peace be upon him) did not wish to disturb both these sequences.
  3. Even for his own killer Ameerul Momineen (peace be upon him) laid a rule that he was to be killed with a single stroke if he (peace be upon him) dies, which suggests that had Ameerul Momineen (peace be upon him) survived the fatal blow, he may have overlooked punishing Abdul Rahman. Also, he (peace be upon him) stressed Abdul Rahman’s body was not to be mutilated.
  4. Imam Husain (peace be upon him) did not retaliate against Ayesha and Marwan for attacking the bier of Imam Hasan (peace be upon him) with arrows.

All these examples show that non-retaliation was the norm for Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) and Ahle Bait (peace be upon them) and just because there was no retaliation for Fatima Zahra (peace be upon her) killing it does not mean there was no attack.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *