Fatwa ID: 04406
Answered by: Alimah Nasima Umm Hamza
I found a few narrations which confirm that Fatima (RA) is the leader of the women in Jannah as confirmed in the authentic Hadith, but I also found other narrations which confirm or imply that this only applies for the Ummah of her father (SAW). Some of these Hadith seem to be variations of the Hadith where the Prophet (SAW) told her on his (SAW) death bed she is the leader of the women of Jannah, but nothing about how Mariam will be superior.
Here are the narrations. (Please can you confirm the original source for last two because, if I am not mistaken, ibn Kathir's (RA) Al Bidayah Wal Nihayah & Suyuti's (RA) Al Jami'i Saghir are secondary sources, and whether they all are authentic? I am assuming it'll be the same chain for all of them).
وقال : إنك سيدة نساء أهل الجنة إلا ما كان من البتول مريم بنت عمران ، فضحكت لذلك
Fatima (RA) narrated: The Prophet PBUH said to me: You are the head of the women of paradise except for the batoul Mariam bint Imran (AS), So I laughed.
Source: Al Bayhaqi in Dala'el Al Nubuwwah 7/166.
سيدة نساء أهل الجنة بعد مريم بنت عمران فاطمة [ بنت محمد ]وخديجة ، وآسية امرأة فرعون
Abdullah ibn Abbas (RA) narrated: The prophet PBUH said: The head of the women of paradise after Mariam bint Imran (AS) is Fatima (Bint Muhammad) (RA) and Khadijah (RA) and Asiyah (AS) the wife of Pharaoh. Source: Ibn Abdul Barr in Al Istee'ab 4/383.
عن عائشة أنها قالت لفاطمة أرأيت حين أكببت على رسول الله صلىالله عليه وسلم فبكيت ثم ضحكت قالت أخبرني أنه ميت من وجعههذا فبكيت ثم أكببت عليه فأخبرني أني أسرع أهله لحوقا به وإني سيدة نساء أهل الجنة إلا مريم بنت عمران فضحكت
Aisha (RA) narrated that Fatima (RA) told her: Did you see when I cried near the Prophet PBUH then laughed? Aisha (RA) said: tell me, Fatima (RA) said: He told me he will die from this pain so I cried then he told me I will be the first from his Ahlul Bayt to follow him and that I am the head of the women of paradise except Mariam bint Imran (AS), so I laughed.
Source: Ibn Katheer in Al Bidayah Wal Nihayah 2/56 (secondary source)
فاطمة سيدة نساء أهل الجنة، إلا مريم بنت عمران
Abu Sa'eed al Khudri (RA) narrated: Fatima (RA) is the head of the women of paradise except for Mariam bint Imran (AS). Source: Suyuti in al Jami'i al Saghir 5835 (secondary source)
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
1- It is important to first of all establish the meaning of the word ‘Sayyidah’ used in the various ahadith. Sayyidah can mean leader, or master, or a noble way of addressing a woman, or it could mean a higher ranking person (i.e. someone of high status).
It is more likely that the more accurate translation, in this case, is of the latter meaning – someone highly-ranking or of high status. This is supported by many narrations because they mention Khadijah (ra) as one of the ‘sayyidaat’ of the women of Jannah, including Fatima (ra), Maryam (as) and Asiya (as).
2- So, we see that the ahadith mention the virtues of all four of the greatest women as the greatest of women of Jannah. Nevertheless, the question still remains that who is the greatest of them all?
We find the answer to this question in the Quran from the Speech of Allah (swt) when He says:
وَإِذْ قَالَتِ الْمَلَائِكَةُ يَا مَرْيَمُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ اصْطَفَاكِ وَطَهَّرَكِ وَاصْطَفَاكِ عَلَىٰ نِسَاءِ الْعَالَمِينَ
“And when the angels said, "O Mary, indeed Allah has chosen you and purified you and chosen you above the women of the worlds.” (Surah Ale-Imraan, Verse 42)
In the Tafseer of Imam Qurtubi on this verse, he concludes that indeed Maryam is the greatest ‘sayyidah’ from the women of Jannah. The Quran is higher in authority because it is the direct speech of Allah (SWT), and Allah (SWT) Himself, placed the greatness of her rank in the Quran. Imam Qurtubi explains that her greatness overall women of Jannah are because she was given the revelation from Allah (SWT) directly via the angel Jibreel (as), and this is specific to Maryam over all other women. She also had the soul of Isa (as) breathed into her by Jibreel (as).
Therefore Maryam (as) has a higher status in Jannah than Fatima (ra). Fatima (ra) will come next in rank because she is from the blood of the Prophet (PBUH) himself.
3- Sources of Hadith:
Please refer to Sahih Bukhari, Hadith Number 6285 and Sahih Muslim, Hadith Number 2450.
"يَا فَاطِمَةُ أَلاَ تَرْضَيْنَ أَنْ تَكُونِي سَيِّدَةَ نِسَاءِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ـ أَوْ ـ سَيِّدَةَ نِسَاءِ هَذِهِ الأُمَّةِ "
'O, Fatima! Will you not be pleased that you will be chief of all the believing women – or chief of the women of this nation’
And Jaami’ Tirmidhi, Hadith Number 3893.
قَالَتْ أَخْبَرَنِي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَنَّهُ يَمُوتُ فَبَكَيْتُ ثُمَّ أَخْبَرَنِي أَنِّي سَيِّدَةُ نِسَاءِ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ إِلاَّ مَرْيَمَ بِنْتَ عِمْرَانَ فَضَحِكْتُ.
She (Fatima (ra)) said: "When the Messenger of Allah (SAW) died I asked her about her crying and her laughing. She said: 'The Messenger of Allah (SAW) informed me that he would soon die, so I cried. Then, he informed me that I was the master over all of the women among the inhabitants of Paradise, except for Mariam bint 'Imran, so I laughed.'"
Only Allah knows best
Written by Alimah Nasima Umm Hamza
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham