A short history of Fadak after the Martyrdom of Fatima (AS)

The motive which causes us to further pursue the history of Fadak and to
extract the continuation of events after it for a period of three centuries
from the texts of the historical books is to clarify three questions

        a. The rule of annulment of inheritance from prophets made by
           the Holy Prophet (PBUH&HF), in other words, that the property
           of the Holy Prophet (PBUH&HF) is a part of the public
           treasurey and belongs to all Muslims. This was claimed by the
           first Caliph Abu Bakr, and was rejected by his successors, both
           by the next two caliphs (Umar and Uthman), and by the Umayyads
           and the Abbasids. We must consider that the lawfulness and
           rightfulness of their caliphate depended upon the correctness
           and the lawfulness of the first caliph and his actions.

        b. Imam Ali (as) and the descendants of Fatimah never had any
           hesitation regarding the rightfulness and justifiability of
           their claim. They insisted and confirmed that Fatima (as) had
           always been right and that Abu Bakr's claim had always been
           rejected, and they did not yield to the false claim.

        c. Whenever one of the Caliphs made a decision to put into effect
           Allah's command, in regards to Fadak, to observe justice and
           equity, and to restore the right to the entitled one in
           conformity with Islamic rules, he used to return back the
           Fadak to the descendants of Fatima (as) and to hand it over
           to them.

1. Umar was the most harsh person in keeping Fatima (as) from Fadak and her
   inheritance as he himself confessed:

        When the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF) died I came along with
        Abu Bakr to Ali ibn Abu Talib, and said: ' What do you have to
        say about what has been left by the Messenger of Allah? ', He
        replied: ' We have the most rights with the Holy Prophet
        (PBUH&HF). ' I (Umar) said: ' Even those properties of Khaibar? '
        He said: ' Yes, even those of Khaybar. ' I said : ' Even those
        of Fadak? ', He replied: ' Yes, even those of Fadak.' Then I
        said: 'By Allah, we say no, even if you cut our necks with saws.'

Sunni reference:

- Majma al Zawaid, vol 9 pp 39-40

As mentioned in the previous article, Umar took the document of Fadak and
tore it up. But when Umar became caliph (13/634-23/644) he gave back the
Fadak to the inheritors of the Holy Prophet (PBUH&HF). Yaqut al Hamawi, the
famous historian and geographer, following the event of Fadak said:

        Then, when Umar ibn al Khattab became the caliph and gained
        victories and the Muslims had secured abundanr wealth (i.e
        the public treasury satisifed the caliphate's needs), he made
        his judgement contrary to that of his predecessor, and that was
        to give it (Fadak) back to the Prophet's heirs. At that time Ali
        ibn Abi Talib and Abbas ibn Abd al Muttalib disputed Fadak.

        Ali said that the Holy Prophet (PBH&HF) had bestowed it on
        Fatima (as) during his life time. Abbas denied and used to
        say, 'This was in the possesion of the Holy Prophet (PBUH&HF),
        and I am sharing with his heirs.' They were disputing this with
        among each other and asked Umar to settle the case: 'Both of you
        are more conscious and aware to your problem; but I only give it
        to you.' [See note for this para]

Sunni references:

- Mujam al Buldan, vol 4 p 238-9
- Wafa al Wafa, vol 3 p 999
- Tadhib al Tadhib, vol 10 p 124
- Lisan al Arab, vol 10 p 473
- Taj al Arus, vol 7 p 166

[ Note: The last part of the historic event has been inserted after wards
        to demonstrate the matter of inheritance by the brother of the
        deceased or the paternal uncle of the deceased when he has no sons.
        This problem is a matter of dispute between Islamic Sects. The
        judicial and the jursipridencial discussion is seperate from our
        goal. We are only discussing the matter historicaly.

        Abbas had no claim in this case because he had not shown that he
        had a share in this property, nor did his descendants consider it
        to be among their assests even when they had become caliphs and
        were reigning. They owed this estate either in their position as
        Caliphs, or they used to return it to the descendants of Fatima
        (as) when they had decided to be just governors. ]

2. When Uthman ibn Affan became the caliph after the death fo Umar he
   granted Fadak to Marwan ibn al Hakam, his cousin, and this was one
   of the causes of the vindictive feelings among the Muslims towards
   Uthman, which ended in the revolt against him and his murder.

Sunni references:

- as Sunan al Kubra, vol 6 p 301
- Wafa al Wafa, vol 3 p 1000
- Sharah, ibn Al Hadid, vol 1 p 198
- al Maarif, al Qutaybah, p 195
- al Iqd al Farid, vol 4 p 283, 485
- at Tarikh, Abul Fida, vol 1 p 168
- Ibn al Wardi, vol 1 p 204

   In this way Fadak fell into the possesion of Marwan; he used to sell
   crops and products for at least ten thousand dinars per year, and if
   in some years its income decreased, this drop was not very pronounced.
   This was its usual profit untill the time of the Caliphate of Umar
   ibn Abd al Aziz (in 100.718).

Sunni references:

- Tabaqat, Ibn Sa'ad, vol 5 p 286-7
- Subh al Asha, vol 4 p 291

3. When Muawiyah ibn Abu Sufyan became the Caliph, he became the partner
   with Marwan and others in Fadak. He alloted one thrid to Marwan, and
   one thrid to Amr ibn Uthman ibn Affan and one thrid to his son, Yazid.
   This was after the death of Imam Hasan (as). In the words of the
   Sunni historian, Yaqubi

              To make angry the progeny of the Holy Prophet.

Sunni reference:

- at Tarikh, Yaqubi, vol 2 p 199

   It was in the possesion of the three above mentioned persons untill
   Marwan became Caliph and then he completely took over posession over
   it. Then he donated to his two sons, Abd al Malik and Abd al Aziz. Then
   Abd al Aziz donated his share to his son (Umar ibn Abd al Aziz).

4. When Umar ibn Abd al Aziz becmae the Caliph he delivered a lecture and
   mentioned that: 'Verily, Fadak was among the things that Allah had
   bestowed on His Messenger, and no horse, nor camel was pricked against

   As he mentioned the case of Fadak during the past caliphates he said:

        Then Marwan gave it to my father and to Abd al Malik. It became
        mine and and al Walids and Sulaymans (two sons of Abd al Malik).
        When al Walid became caliph I asked him for his share and he
        gave it to me. Then I gathered the three parts and I possess no
        property more preferable to me than this. Be witness that I
        returned it to its original state.

   He wrote this to his governer in Medina (Abu Bakr ibn Muhammad ibn Amr
   ibn Hazm) and ordered him to carry out what he had declared in the
   speech be delivered. Then Fadak came into the possession of the children
   of Fatima (as).

        This was the first removal of oppresion by returning Fadak to
        the Children of Ali (as).

Shia reference:

- al Awail, Abu Hilal al Askari, p 209

5. When Yazid ibn Abd al Malik became caliph (101/720-105/724) he seized
   Fadak and they (the children of Imam Ali (as)) were dispossesed. It
   fell into the possesion of the Banu Marwan as it had been previously.
   They passed it from hand to hand untill their caliphate expired and
   passed away to Banu al Abbas.

6. When Abul Abbas Abdullah as Saffah became the first caliph of the
   Abbasid Dynasty (132/749-136/754) he gave back Fadak to the Children
   of Fatima (as) and submitted it to Abdullah ibn al Hasan ibn al Hasan
   ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib.

7. When Abu Jafar Abdullah al Mansur ad Dawaniqi (136/754-158/775) became
   the calpih, he seized Fadak from the children of Fatima (as).

8. When Muhammad al Mahdi ibn al Mansur became caliph (158/775-169/785)
   he returned Fadak to the children of Fatima (as).

9. The Musa al Hadi ibn al Mahdi (169/785-170/786) and his brother Harun
   ar Rashid (170/786-193/809) seized it from the descendants of Fatima
   (as) and it was in the possesion of Banu al Abbas untill the time that
   al-Mamun became the Caliph (193/831-218/833)

10. al Mamun al Abbasi gave it back to the descendants of Fatima (as). It
    is narrtaed through al Mahdi ibn Sabiq that:

        al Mamun one day sat to hear the complaints of the people and
        to judgein cases. The first utter complaint which he received
        caused him to weep when he looked at it. He asked where the
        attorney of Fatima (as), daughter of the Holy Prophet (PBUH&HF)
        was? An old man stood up and came forth, arguing with him about
        Fadal and al Mamun also argued with him untill he overcame al

Shia reference:

- al Awail, p 209

    al Mamun summoned the Islamic Jurisprudents and interrogated them
    about the claim of Banu Fatima. They narrated to al Mamun that the
    Holy Prophet (PBUH&HF) gifted Fadak to Fatima (as) and that after the
    death of the Holy Prophet (PBUH&HF), Fatima (as) demanded Abu Bakr
    to return Fadak to her. He asked her to bring witnesses to her claim
    reagrding the gift. She brought, Ali, al Hasan, al Hussain and Umm
    Ayman, as her witnesses. They witnessed the case in her favor. Abu
    Bakr rejected their witness. Then al Mamun asked the scholars: 'What
    is your view about Umm Ayman?' They replied:'She is a woman to whom the
    Holy Prophet (PBUH&HF) bore witness that she is an inhabitant of
    Paradise.' al Mamun disputed at lenght with them and forced them to
    accept the arguments put forth by proofs till they confessed that Ali,
    al Hasan, al Hussain and Umm Ayman had witnessed only the truth. When
    they unanimiously accepted this matter, he restored Fadak to the
    descendants to Fatima (as).

Sunni reference:

- at Tarikh, al Yaqubi, vol 3 p 195-96

11. During the period of al Mamun's caliphate Fadak was in the
    possesion of Fatimah's descendants, and this was confirmed during the
    caliphate of al Mutasim (218/833-227/842) and al Wathiq (227/842 -

12. When Jafar al Mutawakkil became the caliph (232/847-247/861), the one
    among them who was marked as an arch enemy of the progeny of the Holy
    Prophet (PBUH&HF), both of those alivce and of those dead, gave the
    order to recapture Fadak from the descendants of Fatima (as).

Shia references:

- Kashf al Ghumnah, vol 2 p 121-2
- al Bihar, vol 8 p 108
- Safinah al Bihar, vol 2 p 351

13. When al Mutawwakil was killed and al Muntasir (his son) succeeded him
    (247/861-248/862), he gave the order to restore Fadak to the
    descendants of al Hasan and al Husayn and delivered the donations of
    Abu Talib to them and this was in 248/862.

Sunni references [ For 3 - 13 ]

- Futuh al Buldan, vol 1 p 33-8
- Mujam al Buldan, vol 4 p 238-40
- at Tarikh, Yaqubi, vol 2 p 199, vol 3 p 48, 195-96
- al Kamil, Ibn Atheer, vol 2 p 224-225, vol 3 p 457, 497, vol 5 p 63
                        vol 7 p 116
- al Iqd al Farid, vol 4 p 216, 283, 435
- Wafa al Wafa, vol 3 p 999-1000
- al Tabaqat al Kabir, vol 5 p 286-7
- Tarikh ul Khulafa, p 231-32, 356
- Muruj ad Dhahab, vol 4 p 82
- Sirah Umar ibn Abd al Aziz, Ibn al Jawzi, p 110
- Sharah, ibn Al Hadid, vol 16 p 277-78

14. It seemed that Fadak was recaptured from the descendants of Fatima (as)
    after the death of al Muntasir, because Abul Hasan Ali ibn Isa al
    Iribili (died 692/1293) mentioned:

        al Mutadid (279/892-289/902) retured Fadak to the descendants
        of Fatima.

    Then he mentioned that al Muqtafi (289/902-295/908) seized it from
    them. It is said also that al Muqtadir (295/908-320/932) returned it
    to them.

Shia references:

- Kash al Ghummah, vol 2 p 122
- al Bihar, vol 8 p 108

15. After this long period of recapturing and restoration, Fadak was
    returned to the posession of the usurpers and their heirs as it
    seems, no further mention was made in History and the curtain fell!

        Is  it (then that) the judgement of (the times of pagan)
        ignorance they desire? And who (else) can be better than
        Allah to judge for a people of assured faith. [ 5 : 50 ]