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Imam Ali, Sayyidah Fatima, hadith

Did the House of Sayyidah Fatimah (sa) had a door ?

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  • 2021-09-07

Did the House of Sayyidah Fatimah (sa) had a door ?

The Nasibi's nowadays bring forth a new argument in order to deny the incident of burning the door of the house of her eminence Fatima Zahra (sa). They claim that houses in the early period of Islam did not have wooden doors; instead the residents fixed curtains or mats as doors. In order to prove their malicious claim, they advance traditions from Ameerul Momineen Imam Al ع . The Nasibi's extract a small part of a lengthy tradition and misuse it to spread discord and doubt in the minds of people (especially Shia's) with a sole aim of weakening our beliefs

Imam Ali ع states :

وَ نَحْنُ أَهْلُ بَيْتِ مُحَمَّدٍ ص لَا سُقُوفَ‏ لِبُيُوتِنَا وَ لَا أَبْوَابَ وَ لَا سُتُورَ إِلَّا الْجَرَائِدُ وَ مَا أَشْبَهَهَا

“… we Ahlulbayth of Muhammad ﷺ there were no roofs for our houses, neither doors nor curtains except date palm leaves and similar to it…”

Reference :

Al-Khisaal by Shaikh Saduq, v 2, pg 373

Al-Ikhtesaas by Shaikh Mufid, pg 172

Bihar al-Anwaar, v 38, pg 175

The complete narration :

Ameerul Momineen ع says:

“…the Prophet ﷺ was very sympathetic with the people. He ﷺ fed them and pleased them just as soon as they approached Islam and were about to run away from it. He ﷺ gave them clothing, carpets and beds even though we Ahlulbayth of Muhammad ﷺ there were no roofs for our houses, neither doors nor curtains except date palm leaves and similar to it. We neither had any carpets nor any blankets. Several of us shared one dress and took turns to pray with it. We remained hungry around the clock. The Prophet ﷺ even gave away the one-fifth levy (khums) that was our divinely-ordained right to others and assisted the wealthy Arabs with it…”

If you analyse the above narration in its literal sense then it would mean that the houses in those days would not just be devoid of doors but roofs and walls also. Can someone even imagine such a house ? It is just impossible for a house to not have walls, roof and a door. This explicitly means that the tradition refers to something completely different than what the opponents have construed and deliberately tried to infuse this doubt

So, what does this tradition really mean ?

Any unbiased reader will conclude that the tradition is actually related to the virtues of the Ahlulbayth ع and their simple lifestyle that did not permit them to live lavishly. The good thing here is, we need not go too far for the answer. We’ll find it in the tradition itself. If we just carefully observe the chapter under which this tradition has been brought in all the afore mentioned books, the answer is right there.

Shaykh Saduq has brought this tradition in his book Al-Khisaal under the following chapter :

امتحان الله عز و جل أوصياء الأنبياء في حياة الأنبياء في سبعة مواطن و بعد وفاتهم في سبعة مواطن‏

“The examination by Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, of the successors of the Prophets (as) on seven occasions during their lifetime and on seven occasions after their demise”

Shaykh Mufeed in his book Al-Ikhtesaas, has brought this tradition under the topic :

كتاب محنة أمير المؤمنين علي بن أبي طالب ع‏

“The Book on the trials of Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Talib ع ”

Similarly, Allamah Majlisi in Bihar al-Anwaar, has brought this tradition under the following chapter :

باب 62 نادر فيما امتحن الله به أمير المؤمنين ص في حياة النبي ص و بعد وفاته‏

“A rare chapter concerning how Allah tested Ameerul Momineen ع in the life of the Holy Prophet ﷺ and after his demise”

Another interesting thing about the tradition in Bihar al-Anwaar is that Allamah Majlisi has quoted the same tradition in Al-Khisaal of Shaykh Saduq

It is evident from the chapters in all three books that this tradition is about the trials and tribulations which Imam Ali ع faced. So, what really were those examinations ? If we just go through the previous sentence in the same tradition, it states about those difficult times which the Ahlul Bait ع went through while propagating Islam during the initial period. It mentions that Holy Prophet ﷺ was so affectionate and merciful, especially to the new Muslims that anyone who came asking for anything, the Prophet ﷺ used to fulfil – be it food, water, clothes, etc. When Ameerul Momineen ع states that they went through such times that their houses were devoid of roofs, it is a phrase used to denote that they patiently bore severe weather conditions. Houses without doors is also a phrase signifying that people used to come at any point of time to ask for their needs such the doors of their house remained open throughout for them.

Doors in the Holy Quran

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

وَلَيْسَ الْبِرُّ بِأَنْ تَأْتُوا الْبُيُوتَ مِنْ ظُهُورِهَا وَلَٰكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنِ اتَّقَىٰ وَأْتُوا الْبُيُوتَ مِنْ أَبْوَابِهَا

“…and it is not righteousness that you should enter the houses at their backs, but righteousness is this that one should guard (against evil); and go into the houses by 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.

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

…مِنْ بُيُوتِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوتِ آبَائِكُمْ…أَوْ مَا مَلَكْتُمْ مَفَاتِحَهُ أَوْ صَدِيقِكُمْ ۚ لَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَنْ تَأْكُلُوا جَمِيعًا أَوْ أَشْتَاتًا

“…from your houses, or your fathers’ houses… or what you possess the keys of, or your friends’ (houses). It is no sin in you that you eat together or separately”

This implies doors were of wood/iron or a solid material which could be opened with a key. This rules out curtains or mats as these Nasibi's claim.

C) The Prophet ﷺ halts at the Ahlulbayth's ع door

The famous Ahle Tasannun scholar Haakim Haskaani in his book Shawaahed al-Tanzil, v 2, pg 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 ﷺ used to pass by the DOOR of Fatima (sa) for 6 months when he came out for Fajr prayers and used to say: ‘Salutations O Ahlulbayth ع! Surely Allah only desires to keep away uncleanness from you O people of the house and purify you, a through purification’

This narration can also be founded in Al-Ehtejaaj, v 2, pg 515

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

D) The poor, orphan and the captive halt at the DOOR

In an incident related to the exegesis of Surah Insaan (76), it is mentioned that Ahlulbayth ع had fasted for three days. On all three days a poor, orphan and the captive halted at the DOOR of her eminence Fatima Zahra ع at the time of Iftaar asking for food. Ahlulbayth ع 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.

ا إِذْ وَقَفَ عَلَى الْبَابِ مِسْكِينٌ‏ وَ قَالَ: السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ يَا أَهْلَ بَيْتِ مُحَمَّدٍ، مِسْكِينٌ مِنْ مَسَاكِينِ الْمُسْلِمِينَ أَطْعِمُونِي أَطْعَمْكُمُ اللَّهُ مِنْ طَعَامِ الْجَنَّةوَقَفَ عَلَى الْبَابِ سَائِلٌ وَ قَالَ: السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ يَا أَهْلَ بَيْتِ مُحَمَّد

'When the needy one halted at the door and said – Salutations on you O Ahle Bait of Muhammad, a needy one from the needy Muslims. Feed me, Allah will feed you from the food of Paradise. The beggar halted at the door and said – Salutations on you O Ahle Bait of Muhammad…'

References :

Zaad al-Maad, pg 227 of Allamah Majlisi
Tafseer Noor al-Thaqalain, v 5, pg 471-472
Taa’weel al-Ayah al-Zahirah fi Fadhail al-Itrah al-Tahirah by Ali Astarabadi
Amaali of Shaikh Saduq, pg 257-259, Majlis 41, h 11
Bihar al-Anwaar, v 35, pg 237-239, h 1

The reports very clearly identifying the DOOR of the Ahle Bait’s (a.s.) house. If there was no door, the word (عَلَى الْبَابِ) – meaning ‘at the door’ would not have been mentioned

E) Tradition of ‘shutting the DOORS’  حدیث سد الابواب

This has been narrated by both Shia as well as Ahle Tasannun scholars. It is mentioned that one day Holy Prophet ﷺ , on divine command, ordered all those people whose doors opened into Masjid al-Nabawi to be shut except the door of Imam Ali ع . Except for Imam Ali ع 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 ﷺ outrightly refused saying :

لَا وَ لَا رَأْسَ إِبْرَةٍ

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


E’laam al-Waraa Fi A’laam al-Huda, pg 160-161
Amaali of Shaikh Tusi, pg 599
Sharh Nahj al-Balaagha, v 9, pg 173
Iqbaal al-A’maal, v 1, pg 296

It is important to note that this statement وَ سَدَّ الْاَبْوَابَ اِلَّا بَابَہُ ‘he shut all DOORS except his ie. Imam Ali’s ع’ is a part of Dua Nudbah which the Shias are supposed to recite every Friday and this Dua is attributed to Imam Mahdi ع . It means that our Imams ع expect their Shias to recite this Dua every Friday and remember the burning door of Fatima Zahra (sa). If there was no door then this act of reciting Dua Nudbah and remembering that door will be rendered null and void. Our Imams ع are far superior than recommending us a futile act.

F) Houses of Muslims had DOORS

Dukain b. Saeed Muzni:

'I went to the Holy Prophet ﷺ and requested him for food. The Prophet ﷺ said to Umar: Go and give food to them. Umar took us to the room upstairs; then he removed the key from his waist band and opened the DOOR'

Sunni refrence :

Sunan-e-Abi Dawood, v 2 pg 527, h 5240

The well-known Salafi scholar of this era – Shaikh Naasiruddin al-Albani – in his Sahih wa Zaeef Sunan Abi Dawood, h 5,238 has validated this tradition as 'AUTHENTIC'

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 ?

Likewise Muslim has recorded in his Sahih that houses had doors during the early period of Islam. For instance, in a report Abu Hamid says :

'The Prophet ﷺ commanded us to place containers of water in a corner and latch the DOORS at night'

Sahih Muslim, v 3, pg 1593, h 2010

G) DOOR of the Prophet’s ﷺ house

Ibn Kathir Dimishqi – Ibn Taymiyyah’s leading student, quoting from Hasan Basri, says regarding the door of the Prophet’s ﷺ house :

'Rooms of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ were constructed by fastening branches of juniper tree together with thick hair. It is mentioned in Tarikh Bukhari that the DOOR of the Prophet ﷺ was knocked with finger tips'

Al-Bidaayah wa al-Nihaayah, v 3, pg 221

Knocking with finger tips indicates that DOORS were of a hard material and not mat as these Nasibi's claim

For instance, in the description of the marriage of Hazrat Fatima Zahra (sa) with Ameerul Momineen ع , it is mentioned:

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ summoned Ali b. Abi Talib ع and recited the same rituals and supplications for Ali ع that He ﷺ had recited for Fatima Zahra (sa)…after these supplications the Messenger of Allah ﷺ rose and closed the DOOR'

Al-Musannaf, v 5, pg 489, by Abu Bakr Abdul Razzaq b. Hamam Sanani (teacher of Bukhari and Muslim)

H) Door of Ayesha’s house

Bukhari has written that the DOOR of Ayesha’s house was made of wood of juniper or teak.

Al-Adab al-Mufarrad, v 1, pg 272

I) Abu Bakr's biggest regret

Authentic reports from the opponents have been recorded that when Abu Bakr was lying on his death bed, Abd al-Rahman Ibn Awf visited him. After inquiring about his well-being, Ibn Awf questioned the reason for the disconcertment writ large on the face of Abu Bakr. He replied, “I am distressed for nine reasons: Three things which I did I should not have done; three things which I did not do, I should have done and three things I did not ask the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, I should have asked.” Of these, the first thing which he mentioned was, “I should not have exposed the house of Fatima (sa) even if they had locked the DOOR to wage a war against me”

(Kitaab al-Amwaal by Abu Ubaid al-Qasim Ibn Sallaam al-Khuzaaee exp. 224 A.H., p. 524, H. 351; Tarikh Tabari, vol. 2, p. 619, vol. 3, p. 430; Zahabi in Seyar Alaam al-Nubalaa, vol. 28, p. 17 in the biography of Abu Bakr and again Zahabi in Tarikh al-Islam, vol. 3, p. 118; Ibn Abdo Rabbeh Aandlusi in Eqd al-Fareed, vol. 1, p. 29 and p. 51; al-Tabaraani in al-Mojam al-Kabeer, vol. 1 p. 62; Zia al-Maqdesi in al-Ahaadees al-Mukhtaarah, H. No. 12 (beneath it, he writes that Haazaa hadisun hasanun an Abi Bakr); Ibn Abi al-Hadeed in Sharh Nahj, vol. 6, p. 51 and vol. 20, p. 24; Suyuti in Musnad-o-Fatemah (s.a.), p. 34 and numerous other references)

So, you see, the culprit himself is confessing to the crime and the presence of the door but his supporters are trying to save him

Now we question the Nasibi's

The chapter under which this tradition was brought, especially in the book Al-Khisaal, is actually pertaining to the examination which Allah took of the successors of Prophet's ع . Why do the skeptics, who use the tradition under this very chapter to raise the objection, not accept Imam Ali ع as the rightful and immediate successor of the Holy Prophet ﷺ ?

Is this not cherry picking something which was seemingly suitable for them and ignoring the main topic under which the tradition was brought ?

Those who find it difficult to digest the innumerable virtues of Ameerul Momineen Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib ع which Allah has bestowed upon him, try to make futile and frivolous attempts to equate some of their self-revered personalities with Imam Ali ع . In order to do so, they even go to the extent of fabricating a famous tradition in which Holy Prophet ﷺ said: “I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its door” They tried to mischievously fabricate this tradition by adding that so-and-so person is its roof and another person is its window. Our question to them is – “If according to you, houses in those days didn’t have doors, then where did your roof and window come from ? ”

Asking logically, can one imagine a house for the daughter of the Holy Prophet ﷺ without a door and ceiling allowing passersby to catch a glance at the inmates of the house ?

Will the Prophet ﷺ permit such a thing for his daughter – the chief of all women of Paradise – whose hijab and modesty in this world and on the Day of Judgment is without any parallel ?

Also, if we have to accept such a house for Fatima Zahra (sa), then we have to accept the same for the Holy Prophet’s ﷺ houses, since the Holy Prophet ﷺ is a greater model than the Ahlulbayth ع . Can the Holy Prophet ﷺ and his wives live in such houses ?

The Nasibi's as always, raise such objections which merely show lack of basic understanding of traditions and labelling objections just for the sake of it and to deny the shameful incident of the attack on the house of the chief of the women of Paradise, her eminence Fatima Zahra (sa)

Hence, anyone who objects that the house of her eminence Fatima Zahra (sa) 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 (sa)

May Allah hasten the reappearance of His last proof, Imam Mahdi ع so that he can avenge the atrocities upon his grandmother, her eminence Fatima Zahra (sa)

Courtesy : Thestrongrope / Seratonline

    • Mohammed Ali
    • January 15, 2021

    Nice Blog

    • Raza Rizvi
    • January 15, 2021

    Good Blog

    • Qasim Ali
    • January 15, 2021

    Mashallah, Informative blog.

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