We may hear occasionally of her virtues and the love that the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) had for her, but who exactly was Fatima?
Fatima was a female created by Allah (swt) to be a sign of His magnanimity, and incomprehensible might. The Almighty Lord created Prophet Muhammad as a sign of His might among prophets and created from him a daughter, to be a sign of His ability to create a female possessing all moral excellence, and talents.
Fatima was the daughter of the Holy Prophet by his first wife, Khadija daughter of Khuwaylid; she was born in Mecca on a Friday, the 20th of Jumada II in the fifth year after the declaration of the Prophetic message which corresponds, according to the Christian calendar, to the year 615.
Fatima has nine names/titles: Fatima, Al-Siddiqa (the truthful one), Al-Mubaraka (the blessed one), Al-Tahira (the pure one), Al-Zakiyya (the chaste one), Al-Radhiayya (the grateful one), Al-Mardhiyya (the one who shall be pleased [on Judgment Day]), Al-Muhaddatha (the one, other than the Prophet, to whom an angel speaks) and Al-Zahra (the splendid one).
But all this aside, what is said of her noble character? Here are some beautiful hadith that shed light on her:
Allah (swt) loved her
“Whoever pleased Fatima has indeed pleased God and whoever has caused her to be angry has indeed angered God. Fatima is a part of me. Whatever pleases her pleases me and whatever angers her angers me.”
[Bukhari: 3537 and Muslim: 4483]
The best of women
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
“Of all the women in the Universe, four would suffice: Mary, Asiya, Khadija, and Fatima.”
[Al-Sahihain: Vol. 3, ‘The Virtues of Fatima,’ pg. 171]
The verse of purification
“The verse of purification was revealed concerning five people: myself, Ali, Hassan, Hussein, and Fatima.”
[Awsaf Al-Raghibeen, pg. 116; Sahih Muslim, Kitab Fadha’il Al-Sahaba]
The meaning of her name
“Verily, God has weaned (fatama, in Arabic) my daughter Fatima and her children and those who love them from the Hellfire, and that is why she is named Fatima.”
[Kenzul Ummal: Vol. 6, pg. 219]
The leader of all women
“Fatima is the head of the women of my nation.”
[Sahih Muslim: Kitab Fadha’il Al-Sahaba, Chapter on the Virtues of Fatima]
Praying for others first
Hassan ibn Ali said:
“I saw my mother in the prayer site (mihrab) on Friday night when she continuously performed genuflection and prostration until the sun rose. I heard her praying for the believing men and women; she would mention their names and sincerely prayed for them, but asked nothing for herself. I said to her, ‘My dear mother! Why don’t you pray for yourself as you pray for others? She replied, ‘My son, we must first pray for our neighbours (i.e. others) and then for ourselves.’”
[Ilal al Sharai’: Vol. 1, pg. 215, Section 145, Hadith no. 1]
The three things she loved most
Lady Fatima has said,
“I love three things in this world: To spend in the way of God, recitation of the book of God, and gazing at the face of my father, the Prophet of God.”
[Masnad Fatima al-Zahra: Pg. 161, Hadith no. 93]