The Story of Fadak
The story of Fadak is one of the most heart-rending and tumultuous stories in the life of Fatimah the Lady of Islam (s.a.) in particular, and the family of the Prophet (s.a.w) in general, and in the history of Islam in a widespread and disseminating way. It is mingled with political conspiracies and many ups and downs and is a hatchway for the unravelling of a part of the important mysteries surrounding the early scene of Islam’s history.

However, first, before beginning this discussion, it is necessary to know what Fadak was and where it was located?

“Fadak”, as many of the historians and writers have written, was a flourishing, fertile village in the land of “Hejaz” near Khaibar, being two or three days journey from Medina, Some have reported this distance as 140 Kilometers, and in which there was a bubbling spring and many date palms[11] and after Khaibar it was known as the stronghold of the Jews in Hejaz.

As to how Fadak, this pleasant, prosperous village, was transferred to the Holy Prophet (S), it is well known that after the messenger of God (S) returned from the conquest of Khaibar God placed fear and panic in the hearts of the inhabitants of Fadak who were of the headstrong Jews. They sent a representative to the Prophet (S) and made to him a proposition of peace. In return for their transferral of half of Fadak to the Holy Prophet (S), he accepted and signed the peace treaty.

As such, Fadak became the public domain of the Prophet (s.a.w) because according to an explicit Quranic verse, something that is obtained by the Muslims without war is the exclusive right of the Prophet (S) and unlike spoils of war is not divided.[12] In this way the Prophet (S) took Fadak and spent its earnings on the fatigued wayfarers «أبناءالسبيل»and the like.

This has been mentioned by Tabri «الطبري»in his book of history and Ibn Alalthir «ابن الأثير» in is book Alkamil «الكامل» and others in their own books.

Also, Tabari in his book and Ibn Alathir in the book “Kamel” made a reference to this.[13] It was also mentioned by many historians confirming that the Prophet (S) during his own lifetime granted Fadak to the Lady of Islam Fatimah Zahra (s.a.).[14]

Strong evidence of this transferral is that many commentators, including the famous Sunni commentator Jalal-Al-Din Suyyuti in the commentary book (Dar-Al-Mansour) under the Quranic Verse; «وآتذاالقربىحقه» (give the near of kin their due), has quoted from “Abu Sa’id Khadri” that, because this verse was descended, the Apostle of God (S) asked for Fatimah and granted Fadak to her. The words of this tradition are as follows:

عن أبي سعيد الخدري رضي الله عنه قال: لما نزلت على النبي صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم.الآية (فآت ذا القربى حقه) دعا النبي صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم فاطمة عليها السلام فأعطاها فدك فقال: هذالك ولعقبك من بعدك.

When the word of God was revealed saying that; “O’ Prophet! Give your near of kin their due”, the Apostle of God (S) granted Fadak to Fatimah (s.a.).

Under that same verse another tradition is narrated from “Ibn Abbas” which contains the same information.

Another eye - witness to this claim is the remark of Amir al Mum’inin (a.s.) in “Nahjul Balaghah” in relation to Fadak, in which he says:

« بلى كانت في ايدينا فدك من كل ما اظلته السماء فشحت بها نفوس قوم وسخت عنها نفوس آخرين، ونعم الحكم الله ... »

“Of course, all that we had in our possession under this sky was Fadak, but a group of people felt greedy for it and the other party withheld themselves from it. Allah, is after all the best arbitrator.”[15]

This remark clearly shows that in the Prophets (S) time Fadak was under the control of Ali (a.s) and Fatimah Zahra (s.a.). However, later a group of the Hakims jealous men feasted their eyes upon it and Ali (a.s.) and his wife-the Lady of Islam-were forced to overlook it, and of course this over looking did not occur of their own free will. If other than this was true then the calling of God as arbitrator i.e. to say « ونعم الحكم الله » would have been meaningless.

Among the great Shia scholars, a large group have also mentioned traditions related to this section in their own creditable books. Among them the following scholars may be mentioned;

The late Kulany «الكليني»in Kafy «الكافي», and the late Saduq «الصدوق»and the late Muhammad Ibin Masud Alayyashy« محمّدابنمسعودالعياشي» in their commentary and Ali Ibn Issa AlArbali «عليابنعيسىالأربلي»in Kashf Alghamma «كشفالغمة», and also another large group in books of commentary, history and traditions, of which mentioning all of them would be too lengthy.

Now let us see why and for what reason they took Fadak away from Fatimah (s.a.).


[11]Mojam-Al-Boldan: The word Fadak.

[12]Quran; chapter 54, Vs 6 & 7.

[13]Refer to the book “Fadak” by Allamah Sayyid Muhammad Hasan Qazwini Haery

[14]Because it was a possession of the Prophet (S).

[15] “Nahjul Balaghah”, letter 45, translation into English by: “Ali Naqi-un-Naqvi”



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