House of Lords - Lady Fatima (RA)

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Anjum Anwar MBE

Dialogue Development Officer at Blackburn Cathedral

and

Chair of Woman's Voice

Respected ladies and gentlemen.  I would like to thank sister Rubab for inviting me to say a few words, due to unforeseen circumstances, I am not able to be with you, but I am honoured to be given an opportunity to share some words on Hazrat Fatima (RA), a gold standard for humanity!

Imam Khomeini (RA) said “the history of Islam is witness to the immense respect that the Prophet (pbuh) had for Hazrat Fatima (s.a.) which also powerfully reflects on the importance of women in society. If they are not superior to men, they are definitely not any inferior."

As a Muslim woman living in UK, I draw my strength from this verse on daily basis. Hazrat Fatima (RA) is a role model for all women, irrespective of their faith, for she shows us how to navigate difficult waters without, once, compromising our values!  Hazrat Fatima learnt how to overcome difficult situations directly from her father, our beloved Prophet (pbuh), the best of teachers.  She learnt and observed her father talking and practicing his faith in the most turbulent times!  She watched her father being abused verbally and physically and she learnt how to respond to those who sought to kill her father in times when her community was a minority.  She watched her father speak to those who rejected his message, only to become his staunch supporters, she learnt the art of conversation directly from the perfect human being!  

Today in UK as a member of a minority faith, I feel that Hazrat Fatima has much to teach us about how to speak to the 'other.' Today when the Muslim communities are under the microscope and feel that their every actions is being observed by the 'big brother,' we need to learn how to live the high standards without diluting our beliefs, and I firmly believe that Hazrat  Fatima and her life has much to teach us.  

Her modesty and generosity was lived and practiced by caring for those who were less fortunate, and in today's economic crises, we need to be modest in our own life to take care of our neighbour, whoever they may be.  

There is one example that I often quote about Hazrat Fatima which highlights her sincerity, her modesty, her strength, her honour, her truthfulness, her anger and her passion.  I would like to quote this particular story to illustrate that today; the qualities of this lady are needed more than ever.  She was at the Masjid al-Haraam with her father, our Prophet (pbuh) who was praying.  Prophet's enemies came to the area where he was praying and one of the Quraysh threw entrails of a slaughtered animal on the shoulders of our Prophet (pbuh).  Hazrat Fatima was approx 10 year of age at the time.  She removed the filth from her father's back and turned to the members of the Quraysh and in a firm and angry voice spoke to them.  Today, what is needed is exactly that.  Truth must be spoken when injustice is being done, but it is how we speak rather than what we say! Today, understanding of each other is extremely important and if we can learn from our own scriptures and our own role models we stand a better chance in narrowing the gaps in our understanding of each other.

Hazrat Fatima taught us how to be a loving daughter, a mother, a wife, and a woman who stood up for rights of others. When we master these qualities, we become upright citizens; therefore, it is imperative that we understand Hazrat Fatima, a woman for all ages.  By emulating her qualities we display the true face of our faith to those who may have misunderstood Islam. Platforms are needed to be have these conversations and people like sister Rubab should be thanked for their passion to create opportunities for us to come together for such dialogue, for without dialogue there can never be any peace.

Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for allowing me to share some thoughts on a lady who is very close to our hearts. As our Prophet has said that "I am not pleased unless Fatima (RA) is pleased."

Thank you!

 

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