Before Lady Fatima (peace be upon her) departed from this world, she asked Imam Ali (peace be upon him) to execute her will, in which lie many lessons and treasures of knowledge for us which we can all benefit from.
On the last day of her life, it is narrated that Al-Zahra said to Imam Ali: "You have not known me to be a liar or a traitor, and have I ever disobeyed you since we were together?" Imam Ali replied: "Allah forbid! You are more knowing of Allah, more devoted, more pious, and more honorable and more fearing of Allah than (to give me a reason) to reprimand you for disobeying me. Surely it is very painful for me to be separated from you and to lose you; but it is an inevitable destination. By Allah, you have renewed the sorrow I have just encountered with the death of Allah's Messenger; surely your death and departure will be a great calamity, but 'to Allah do we belong, and to Him shall we return.' What a painful, bitter and sad calamity. Surely this is a calamity for which there is not consolation, and a disaster for which there is no compensation. Instruct me to do anything you wish; you certainly will find me devoted and I will execute everything that you command me to do."
She then made two particular requests:
1. "I ask you to marry after my death, my niece Umamah; surely she will be to my children as I was. Besides, men cannot do without women."
2. "I ask you not to let anyone who did injustice to me to witness my funeral, for they certainly are enemies of mine, and the enemy of Allah's Messenger. Also don't give them the chance to pray over me, nor to any of their followers. Bury me at night when eyes are rested and sight is put to sleep."
The Pitfalls of a Marriage
Al-Zahra eloquently summarized in her will the major pitfalls (from a wife's perspective) that can destroy a marriage, by pointing out the three main faults: Lying, betrayal and disobedience. These three faults encompass all other faults and one can be confident that if there was anything missing, she would have mentioned it.
Apart from the immediate and long-term direct effects, these faults are actually against the laws of Allah and will cause the marriage to suffer the indirect negative consequences (both materialistic and non-materialistic). With just a few words, Al-Zahra gave social, behavioral, and theological dimensions to her words.
Marriage of Widowers
We often hear the words, "I will stay true to my deceased wife and never marry again." Al-Zahra declared there is nothing wrong with a man marrying again after his wife passes away; in fact, she encouraged it. Her request for Imam Ali to marry again promotes the notion of marriage, highlighting its importance for both the family and the society. Her words naturally extend to widows re-marrying.
To be continued ...