Question # 353: What is the reality about the Land of Fadak as stated in the books of Shiites?

bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,

Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

Dear questioner,

First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.

Shorter Answer: The summary of the incidents surrounding the issue of Land of Fadak from the authentic narrations is as follows: Fatimah (رضي الله عنها) wanted to inherit from her father, Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم), but Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) refused stating that the Prophets are not to be inherited from. This is what he had heard from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم), and Abu Bakr had no self-interest in that. Similarly, he refused to let his daughter ‘Aa’ishah (رضي الله عنها), the wife of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) inherit. While ‘Ali (رضي الله عنه) stood by his wife Fatimah in order to console her following the loss of her father and comfort her with regard to her blaming Abu Bakr for his refusal, he refused to swear allegiance to Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) during the life of Fatimah. Further, he thought that the Sahabah had been too hasty in selecting the caliph and that he should have been consulted because of his high status and virtue, and closeness to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم). However, when Fatimah (رضي الله عنها) died after six months of Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) death, ‘Ali rethought the matter and asked Abu Bakr to come to his house; he explained his reason for the delay in swearing allegiance, then Abu Bakr insisted that he had been correct to withhold the estate of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم). ‘Ali was thus reassured, and he made an appointment to swear allegiance to him on the same day at Dhuhr. In fact, there is no report from ‘Ali to suggest that he doubted the legitimacy of the caliphate or opposed it; he had certain reservations in his heart, so he delayed until those reservations were dispelled.

On the contrary, the Shi’ites accused Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) of deception and gaining support, while on the other hand, their books support the fabrication that women are not entitled to land properties in Islam. Furthermore, with respect to their argument that Fadak was not the issue of inheritance, but it fell under the category of Fey, or a gift as Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) gifted Fadak to Fatima (رضي الله عنها) within his lifetime, there is not even a single authentic or sound narration to substantiate this claim.

Long Answer: Fadak is a village in Khaibar, while some say it is in the area of Hijaz. There is a spring and date trees in it, and it is part of what Allah restored to His messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

[Before we go on to discuss the issue of Fadak, we must understand that] there were no differences in belief between the Sahabah (رضي الله عنهم), or even in the methodology of deriving rulings from the texts, for they were the best of generations, as the most truthful one (the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم)) said, and their relationships with one another were more noble and more sublime than suggested by the lies of the Raafidis (Shiites) to that effect. One of the clearest proofs of that is the ties of marriage that occurred among them, and how they named their sons after the most senior and prominent among the noble Sahabah. [Furthermore,] ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab married the daughter of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib and Fatimah, whose name was Umm Kulthoom. Among the names of al-Husayn’s sons were Abu Bakr and ‘Umar.

…With regard to the difference that arose between Fatimah (رضي الله عنها) and Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq (رضي الله عنه), Fatimah (رضي الله عنها) wanted to inherit from her father, Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم), but Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) told her that the Prophets are not to be inherited from. This is what he had heard from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم), and Abu Bakr had no self-interest in that, for Allah had made him wealthy and independent of means. He refused to let Fatimah inherit, just as he refused to let his daughter ‘Aa’ishah (رضي الله عنها), the wife of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) inherit likewise. That was not based on self-interest on his part, and there was nothing between him and Fatimah that would generate enmity between him and her. ‘Ali (رضي الله عنه) stood by his wife Fatimah in order to console her following the loss of her father and comfort her with regard to her blaming Abu Bakr for his refusal to give her anything from the estate of her father (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

And he refused to go to Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) and swear allegiance to him whilst Fatimah was still alive after the death of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) – she lived for six months after his death – for this reason, and for another reason, which was that he thought that the Sahabah had been too hasty in selecting the caliph and swearing allegiance to him, and that he should have been consulted, and he should have been present, although the Sahabah thought otherwise. When Fatimah (رضي الله عنها) died and was buried, ‘Ali rethought the matter and asked Abu Bakr to come to his house. He came and ‘Ali explained why he had delayed swearing allegiance, then Abu Bakr insisted that he had been correct to withhold the estate of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم). ‘Ali was thus reassured, and he made an appointment to swear allegiance to him on the same day at Dhuhr. He swore allegiance to him, and the Muslims rejoiced greatly.

The above is the summary of what happened, and this was narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim. ‘Ali (رضي الله عنه) did not refuse to obey Abu Bakr, and he did not want to cause division among the Muslims. It is not a condition the caliph’s legitimacy that every Muslim should swear allegiance to him.

There follows the text of the hadith in full:

It was narrated from ‘Aa‘ishah that Fatimah, the daughter of the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم), sent word to Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq, asking for her inheritance from the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم), from the booty that Allah had granted him in Madinah and Fadak, and what was left of the booty of Khaybar. Abu Bakr said: The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “We (Prophets) are not to be inherited from, and whatever we leave behind is charity. Rather the family of Muhammad may live on this wealth (that belongs to Allah).” By Allah, I will not change any of the charity of the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) from how it was at the time of the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم), and I will do the same with it as the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) did. Abu Bakr refused to give Fatimah anything of it, and Fatimah felt angry with Abu Bakr for that, and she forsook him and did not speak to him until she died, and she lived for six months after the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم). When she died, her husband ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib buried her at night, and did not tell Abu Bakr about that, and ‘Ali offered the funeral prayer for her. ‘Ali was held in special esteem among the people during Fatimah’s lifetime, but when she died, ‘Ali noticed a change in the people’s attitude towards him. He sought to reconcile with Abu Bakr and swear allegiance to him, as he had not sworn allegiance to him all those months. He sent word to Abu Bakr saying: Come to us and no one else should come with you – objecting to the presence of ‘Umar. ‘Umar said: No, By Allah, you should not enter upon them alone. Abu Bakr said: What will they do to me? By Allah, I will go to them. So Abu Bakr entered upon them, and ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib recited the Tashahhud, then he said: O Abu Bakr, we acknowledge your virtue and what Allah has given you. We do not envy you for any favor that Allah has bestowed upon you, but you did it without consulting us and we thought that we had the right (to be consulted) because of our kinship with the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم). He kept speaking to Abu Bakr until Abu Bakr’s eyes filled with tears. When Abu Bakr spoke, he said: By the One in Whose hand is my soul, upholding kinship with the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) is dearer to me than upholding kinship with my own people. As for this dispute that occurred between me and you concerning these properties, I have not deviated from the right path with regard to them, and I have not given up something that I saw the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) do with them; rather I have done it too. ‘Ali said to Abu Bakr: Your appointment for my oath of allegiance is this afternoon. When Abu Bakr had prayed Dhuhr, he ascended the minbar and recited the tashahhud, and he spoke of ‘Ali and his delay in swearing allegiance, and the excuse that he had given, then he prayed for his forgiveness. And ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib recited the tashahhud and spoke highly of Abu Bakr, and said that what he had done was not due to jealousy of Abu Bakr, or denying the virtue that Allah had bestowed upon him, but we thought that we should have had a share in the matter, but it had been decided without consulting us, and we were upset with that. The Muslims were pleased with this and said: You have done the right thing. Then the Muslims became closer to ‘Ali, when he did the right thing. (Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim)

There follow some comments on the hadith from the scholars:

  • An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “With regard to the delay in swearing allegiance on the part of ‘Ali (رضي الله عنه), ‘Ali mentioned it in this hadith and apologized to Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه). Furthermore, his delay did not undermine his subsequent oath of allegiance or cast any aspersions upon him. As for the legitimacy of the caliphate, the scholars are unanimously agreed that in order for the caliphate to be legitimate, it is not essential that all the people should swear allegiance, and not even all the decision-makers. Rather it is stipulated that allegiance be sworn by those who it is possible to bring together of the scholars, leaders and prominent figures. With regard to the delay not undermining ‘Ali, that is because it is not essential for everyone to come to the leader and put his hand in his and swear allegiance to him; rather what is required, if the decision-makers choose a leader, is for everyone to accept his rule and not express any dissent or cause any division. And this is how ‘Ali (رضي الله عنه) was during the period before he swore allegiance: he did not express any opposition to Abu Bakr or try to cause any division, but he delayed coming to him for the reason mentioned in the hadith, and the legitimacy of the caliphate did not depend on his being present. So he did not have to be present for that purpose or for any other. Because it was not required, he did not attend, but there is no report from him to suggest that he doubted the legitimacy of the caliphate or opposed it. But he felt some reservations in his heart, so he delayed until those reservations were dispelled. The reason for those reservations was that because of his high status and virtue, and his closeness to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم), and so on, he thought that no decision should have been made except in consultation with him and in his presence. But the justification of Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and the other Sahabah was clear, because they believed that hastening to conclude the oath of allegiance was in the best interests of the Muslims, and they feared that delaying it could lead to dissent and disputes that would result in great mischief. That is why they delayed burying the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) until the caliph had been appointed and allegiance had been sworn to him, because it was the most important matter, so that there would be no dispute concerning his burial or shrouding or washing, or the offering of the funeral prayer for him, or any other issue, when they had no one to decide on these matters. So they decided that giving precedence to the appointment of the caliph was more important.” (Sharh Muslim)
  • Badr ad-Deen al-‘Ayni (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “What is meant by her forsaking is that she avoided meeting him and did not feel at ease with the idea of doing so. It was not forsaking in the prohibited sense, which refers to refraining from greeting with salaam and the like… Al-Muhallab said: “Her forsaking him took the form of avoiding meeting him and not having any contact with him, and this does not come under the heading of forsaking that is prohibited. What is prohibited in that regard is, if they happen to meet, one of them does not greet the other with salaam. But no one narrated anything to suggest that they met and refused to greet one another. Even if they had done that, they would not be regarded as forsaking or shunning one another in the prohibited sense, unless there was clear enmity between them and clear shunning of one another. Rather all that happened is that she stayed home, and the narrator described that as forsaking or shunning.” (‘Umdat al-Qaari Sharh Saheeh al-Bukhari)
  • Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “It is as if they (the Sahabah) understood the reason why ‘Ali refrained from swearing allegiance to Abu Bakr so long as Fatimah was still alive, because he was focused on caring for her, tending her and trying to console and comfort her in her grief at the loss of her father (صلى الله عليه و سلم), and because when she got angry with Abu Bakr for his refusal to grant her request to a share of the inheritance, ‘Ali though it more appropriate to stand by her and keep away from Abu Bakr… With regard to ‘Ali requesting Abu Bakr to come by himself, not accompanied by anyone, which was described as his “objecting to the presence of ‘Umar” , the reason for that was because of what they knew of ‘Umar’s toughness and firmness in word and deed, whereas Abu Bakr was kind and gentle. It is as if they feared that, if ‘Umar joined them, he would criticize ‘Ali, which could lead to the opposite of what they were aiming for of reconciliation… “Ali’s words “We do not envy you for any favor that Allah has bestowed upon you” mean: we do not envy you for the caliphate. With regard to his words “but you did it without consulting us”, what is referred to is his assuming the caliphate… His words “because of our kinship with the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم)” mean: because of our closeness to the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) we thought that we had a share in this matter.” (Fath al-Baari)

This is what happened between Fatimah and Abu Bakr, and between ‘Ali and Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه), and anyone who hears and reads what the Raafidis (Shiites) say will be shocked by their lies. Here we see ‘Ali apologizing to Abu Bakr, showing respect to him, acknowledging and accepting his caliphate, and swearing allegiance to him in front of the people. Abu Bakr had previously visited him in his house and had praised him and the family of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم), and ‘Ali kinship to him, and he had given them precedence over his own kin. So where do you find in this story any sense of resentment, cursing, dissimulation, ill intent, evil and hatred?! None of that existed anywhere except in the minds and hearts of the Magian Shi‘ah, the allies of Hulagu and the followers of al-‘Alqami [who incited Hulagu to invade Iraq]. This report is the soundest of the reports concerning this issue, and was narrated by both al-Bukhari and Muslim (may Allah have mercy on them). We do not conceal anything of our religion, and we have mentioned that ‘Ali did not want anyone to come with Abu Bakr, and neither ‘Aa’ishah nor anyone else hid the fact that perhaps what was meant was that he did not want ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) to come. Abu Bakr agreed to that, and he thought that there was no harm in going by himself and nothing to worry about.

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “Al-Qurtubi said: Whoever reflects on what happened between Abu Bakr and ‘Ali of friendly discussion, how they resolved the issue, and how they were fair and just with one another, will realize that they used to acknowledge one another’s virtue, and that there was mutual respect and love between them. Even though human nature might over sometimes, their piety and righteousness would overcome it. And Allah is the source of strength… But the Raafidis (Shiites) hold on to the fact that ‘Ali delayed swearing allegiance to Abu Bakr until Fatimah died, and their crazy talk about that is well known. This hadith is a refutation of their arguments on this issue.” (Fath al-Baari)

[Furthermore,] if some people say that Ali (رضي الله عنه) pledged allegiance outwardly but hid his opposition, we say that the Companions were strong and forthright in expressing the truth and they would not hide something and show its opposite, as this is hypocrisy. In fact, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) gave numerous indications that prove that he wanted Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) to be his successor. He made him Imam of the Muslims in the prayer during his last illness. So, if the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) chose Abu Bakr to lead the Muslims in the prayer, the “backbone” of the religion, this is an indication that he chose him to lead the Muslims in running the Muslim nation and their religious affairs.

The following are some of the references from the Shiites books to prove otherwise:

Muhammad Baqir As-Sadr, one of their present day scholars accused Abubakr of buying the companions, according to him: (how can we be surprised about that from a person like Abubakr, while he was the one who used money as a means of deception and gaining support) (‘Fadak fi At-Tareekh’ by Muhammad baqqir As-Sadr)

[On the other hand,] their scholar, Al-maitham stated that Abubakr said to Fatima (you are entitled to what your father was entitled to, the messenger of Allah used to take your food from Fadak and distributes the rest, and he also used to take from it for the cause of Allah. You have a right upon me that I should do as he used to do, I have agreed to that and have promised him to do that. So, he used to give them from its produce that which will be enough for them, and the Caliphs after him did the same) Zaid bin Ali bin Al-husain said: (I swear by Allah, if I was in charge of the affairs I would have ruled in this matter as Abubakr did)… Zaid bin Ali bin Al-husain said: (I swear by Allah, if I was in charge of the affairs I would have ruled in this matter as Abubakar did)” (‘Sharh Nahj Al-Balaaghah’ by Maitham Al-Bahrani)

[As for the fabrications in their books, it is narrated] … in the book of Ali that (women are not entitled to land properties of a man when he dies. Abu Jafar said: by Allah Ali wrote this with his hands and this was dictated by the messenger of Allah) (‘Basaa’ir Ad-Darajaat’ by As-Saffaar and ‘Bihaar Al-Anwaar’ by Muhammad Baaqir Al-Majlisi) Al-kulainee also narrated: (from Abu Jafar that he said: women do not inherit anything from land properties) (‘Furoo’ Al-Kaafi’ by Al-Kulaini) In fact, there is nothing in Islam that prohibits women from inheriting land properties. [Humaid bin Ziad from al Hassan bin Muhammad bin Sama’ah from his uncle Ja’afar bin Sama’ah from al Muthna from Abdul Malik bin A’ayyun from one of the Two Imams may Allah be pleased with them: “Women will have nothing of houses or land.” (Al Allamah al Bahbudi says sahih and places it in his book Sahih al-Kafi)]

DID PROPHET (صلى الله عليه و سلم) GIFTED FADAK TO FATIMAH (رضي الله عنها)?

Some of the Shiites argue that Fadak was not in fact inheritance; it fell under the category of Fey, or a gift. It was a war possession given to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) after Khyber, which he then gifted to Fatima (رضي الله عنها). Since this was gifted within his lifetime, the whole inheritance argument is inconsequential.

The answer to the above question is: No, he never gave her that land according to any respectable narration in the popular reliable books. The Shiites quote from random sources several texts that mention this, these texts are all weak if not completely chainless in a lot of cases, they are also contradicted by texts that say it wasn’t a gift.

We’ll try to go through their chosen texts to illustrate this with ease In sha’Allah:

  • “Umar was angry with Abu Bakr and said, “If you give Fadak back to Fatima, where the expenses for army and defence will come from for at present all the Arabs are fighting against you. He then took the papers of Fadak from Fatima (as), and tore them into shreds”. (Shia Reference: Insanul Ayun fi Seerah al Halabbiyah, Vol. 3, Page 487 & 488)

Refutation: Al-Seerah al-Halabiyyah whose author `Ali al-Halabi was born in 975 and died in 1044 H quotes a couple of texts related to Fadak, obviously from them is that Fatimah was pleased with Abu Bakr. However, the Shiites skip a lot of what does not agree with their desires and this is their way. [Furthermore, it is] terribly disappointed [to learn that not only the narration is] chainless since the author is very late, [but also] these are not the words of the author: He was simply quoting Sibt ibn al-Jawzi who died 654 hijri, whom al-Dhahabi described in al-Meezan as unreliable Rafidhi.

  • “Abu Saeed al Khudri and Abdullah Ibn Abbas narrate that when the verse relating to giving rights to kindred was revealed, the Prophet called Fatima Zahra (as) and gifted the land of Fadak to her”. (Shia Reference: Tafseer Dur al-Manthur, Vol. 4, page 177)

Refutation: There is a consensus that a narrator in its chain `Atiyyah al-`Awfi who narrates from abu Sa`eed is weak and this matter is settled for anyone who has the slightest knowledge in the science of narrators and their conditions. Furthermore, there is another narrator in its chain, Husayn bin Yazid who leans towards weakness, then in it are also Sa`eed and Fudayl, two Shia narrators who are Saduq and some weakened them, overall a weak unacceptable narration. As far as Tafseer al-Durr al-Manthour, its author died in the 10th century H so obviously there will be no chains involved, he quoted this narration from ibn Mardawayn from ibn `Abbas also without chain so it’s rejected.

  • Shia Reference: Hakim Haskani al-Hanafi also records in Shawahid al-Tanzeel, Volume 1 page 570: Aqeel bin al-Hussain from Ali bin al-Hussain from Muhammad bin Ubaidullah from Abu Marwan Abdulmalik bin Marwan the judge of Madina from Abdullah bin Manee from Adam from Sufyan from Wasel al-Ahdab from Atta from ibn Abbas saying: ‘When Allah revealed ‘{And give to the near of kin his due}’ Allah’s Apostle (s) called Fatima and gave her Fadak because she was the near of kin’

Refutation: The author of the above book is obviously a Shia, although not a Rafidhi and their scholar Aqa Buzruq al-Tehrani listed him among the Shia authors in al-Dharee`ah ila Tasaneef al-Shi`ah. On top of it is written in the introduction of the Shia Tafseer Furat al-Kufi that al-Hasakani in his book mainly quotes from Tafseer Furat, meaning the contents of his book are Shia contents. The chain of this narration is weak anyway since we don’t know who this Adam who narrates from al-Thawri is nor who ibn Munay` is.

  • “The 6th dispute concerned Fadak and the inheritance of Rasulullah (s). Sayyida Fatima deemed it her land, and the claim of Fatima to its ownership” (Shia Reference: Al-Milal wa al-Nihal, page 13)

Refutation: This is not a narration, simply al-Shahrastani mentioning some of the early historical differences that arose regardless of their authenticity, since some narrations mention Fadak as inheritance and others mention that it was a gift the author says in the correctly translated text: [The matter of Fadak and the inheritance from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) also Fatimah’s claim that it is inheritance at one point and that it was from her possessions at another, and then she was stopped from getting it because of the popular narration from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم).]

  • “When the Prophet died, Abu Bakr took Fadak from Fatima, she went to him and said: ‘Give the land of Fadak to me, as my father the Prophet (s) gave it to me’….” (Shia Reference: Riyadh al Nadira, Volume 1 page 89)

Refutation: This narration is weak …since the author al-Muhibb al-Tabari died 694 hijri and never included a single chain in his book… this narration [was] only found in [one another book,] Baladhuri’s book and this man is unreliable so everything in his book cannot be used as evidence. The issues with this chain are as follows: [it has the following narrators:] 1- Ruh al-Karabisi, we do not know who he is. 2- Khalid bin Tahman is a Shia who was weakened by some, he’s Saduq at best. 3- Khalid never mentions the name of his Shaykh, Ruh assumes it’s al-Sadiq. [Hence, this narration] …is dismissed as well and cannot be used as evidence.

  • The Shiites quote this from al-Hamawi’s Mu`jam: Moreover, we read in Majmal Buldan, Volume 3 page 312: Ali used to say: ‘The prophet (s) granted it to Fatima during His life’.

Refutation: When in reality, if we go to that book we read: `Ali and al-`Abbas were fighting over it, `Ali used to say that the prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) gave it to Fatimah during his life and `Abbas would deny this and say it was owned by the messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and he should inherit it. They disputed in front of `Umar so he would judge by saying: “You two know better about your issue, as for me I have given to you so use its wealth moderately.” No wonder Fatimah was only able to get two witnesses in the fabricated narrations, it’s because in other fabricated narrations like this one even the Prophet’s (صلى الله عليه و سلم) uncle never knew Fadak belonged to her, also since when did `Umar even give them Fadak? He never did, he only placed them in charge of the Sadaqat of Madinah.

In conclusion, not one correct reliable proof [exists] to prove that Fadak was a gift… [in fact, if one wishes] to quote weak narration to prove that Fadak wasn’t a gift [from their own books], for example in al-Tarikah we read with its chain from Anas that Abu Bakr told Fatimah: Abu Bakr told her: “You are reliable and trusted in my sight, if Rasul-Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) had promised you anything concerning this, I would believe you and hand it to you.” Fatimah replied: “The messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) never said anything, it is only what is written in the Qur’an.” In other words she is only relying on the laws of inheritance in the Qur’an, there was no promise or gifts.

The only authentic early narration in this regard is the “Hasan” one up to `Umar bin `Abdul-`Aziz, which states that Fatimah asked for the land and was denied it by the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم). In Sunan abu Dawud we read: “`Abdullah that Jareer told him that al-Mugheerah said: `Umar bin `Abdul-`Aziz gathered the children of Marwan when he received Khilafah, he said: “Rasul-Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) had Fadak, he used to spend from it on the little ones of bani Hashim and marry-off their bachelors, and Fatimah had asked him to grant her it during the life of Rasul-Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) so he refused and died, then Abu Bakr became in charge so he used it as Rasul-Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) did until he died, then `Umar…” At the end he says: “So I saw a matter that Rasul-Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) prevented Fatimah, I have no right (to give it to you) so I ask you to bear witness that I have returned it to the way it was during the messenger’s (صلى الله عليه و سلم) time.” How ironic that the best chain in the matter refutes this argument to begin with.

The second narration from `Umar bin `Abdul-`Aziz by abu al-Barqan in Baladhuri’s book (Shia Reference), it is similar to the one above it in that it denies that the messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) gave the land to her: “Fadak was from what Allah gave as a Fay’ to his messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) without riding to battle, so Fatimah asked him for it and he (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “It is not your right to ask me nor is it my right to offer it to you.” He (صلى الله عليه و سلم) spent from it on the stranded travelers…” In the end, it reads: “So I gathered it all (the property), and I loved it more than all my wealth, so bear witness that I have returned it to the way it was.” It continues saying that al-Khalifah al-Ma’moun (who was fond of the Shia apparently) wrote to his governor al-Mubarak al-Tabari that: Return the land to the descendants of Hasan and Husayn, then after his death al-Khalifah al-Mutawakkil again returned the land after him to how it was before.

The third narration from al-Kalbi (Shia Reference) regarding `Umar ibn `Abdul-`Aziz confirms the above, it says: “al-Kalbi said: Banu Umayyah took Fadak for themselves and changed the Sunnah of the messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم), so when `Umar was given authority he returned it to its previous state.”

The fourth narration is that of Ja`far bin Muhammad al-Ansari in the book of Tabaqat ibn Sa`d (Shia Reference), it is a long one but confirms what we previously read, it says: “Fadak was purely the property of Rasul-Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) so he made it for the stranded travelers, then his daughter asked him for Fadak to grant it to her but he (صلى الله عليه و سلم) refused…” “…When `Umar bin `Abdul-`Aziz received the Khilafah, the land of Fadak supported him and his family and brought them 10,000 Dinars yearly, the Khalifah then began to investigate the matter of Fadak and was told of its past and how it was during the time of the messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and Abu Bakr and `Umar and `Uthman until the time of Mu`awiyah. `Umar then wrote to Abu Bakr bin Muhammad bin `Amro bin Hazm a book: “In the name of Allah most merciful most glorious, (…until he said…) I have looked into the matter of Fadak and investigated thoroughly, and I found that it is not my right nor that of my children, I saw that I must return it to the way it was in the time of Rasul-Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) and Abu Bakr and `Umar and `Uthman and ignore all that happened after them. If my book reaches you, take the land and grant authority over it to a man who will use it justly, and peace be upon you.” The Shiites say: “If it didn’t belong to Fatimah, why would the Khalifah `Umar bin `Abdul-`Aziz return it to her children?” Although in the narrations `Umar bin `Abdul-`Aziz says: “If the messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) never gave it to Fatimah I can’t give it to Marwan’s children.”

(The above answer is based on the following sources:

  1. Various answers by Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid
  2. Islamweb.net, a web site belonging to the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs in the State of Qatar
  3. ‘Doctrines of the Twelver Shiite’ by Abdurrahman bin Sa’d bin Ali Al-Shathri
  4. Online Article ‘Fadak and Inheritance Q&A’ – twelvershia.net)

Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.

Wassalaam