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September 2001 Feature

CELEBRATION OF THE HOLY BIRTH OF HAZRAT FATIMAH

BIRTH:
9 September 2001
20 Jamadi' Al-Thani Rajab

CELEBRATION:
8 September 2001
19 Jamadi' Al-Thani Rajab

Northern California

On the 8th of September 2001, members of the Uwaiysi Tarighat gathered to celebrate the birth of the model of belief, the birth of the beloved daughter of the Messenger of Islam, the birth of Hazrat Fatimah. We gathered and listened to moving, sincere speeches from men and women in our community, who discussed the necessity of cultivating the characteristics of Hazrat Fatimah in our own personalities. Taneen, a Sufi Music Ensemble, presented an inspirational zikr commemorating the occassion. The celebration continued with a traditional dinner in the Northern California khaneghah, where hearty food and frienship was abundant.

Following is a speech presented by Arife Ellen Hammerle, which captures the spirit of the celebration. This is one of many reflective presentations that truly touched attendees. Transcripts and audio tapes from the evening are available. Please contact the tarighat at 415.382.7934 for more information.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Praise be to Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful, the Compassionate; the Beginning and the End, the Apparent and the Hidden, who has created human being in the best form, and Love as the essence of all creation, and entrusted this splendid essence into the heart of the chosen human being.

It is an honor to be gathered here tonight to celebrate the inspiring life of Hazrat Fatimah. She is the example sent for each of us to model our lives and personalities on. She will always be for all time the model of a perfect student, daughter, woman, mother and Divine Teacher whose guidance is like a rare treasure. Her guiding light has endured thousands of years and continues to this day. Her light is kindled within the heart of ever human being.

I find that as my longing for knowledge expands and deepens I seek knowledge and strive to mirror my personality on those Saints and Teachers, Prophets and Holy examples who provide light so that we may see and wisdom so that we may understand. With reverence and deep humility I confess I do not know, indeed I know nothing and seek to receive the glorious knowledge of those who can show me the straight way. Hazrat Fatimah is such a Teacher. To me she is more then a figurehead or a person in a book. When I pray and meditate I find that I can speak with her; seeking guidance and receive her truth. I believe each of us is blessed with her light if we can receive it and as it is so beautifully seen in our Holy Teacher, who sits before us tonight, Seyedeh Dr. Nahid Angha. Our Holy Teachers, Seyedeh Dr. Nahid Angha and Shah Nazar Seyed Dr. Ali Kianfar together with their daughters, are most precious jewels who shine for us to receive and witness the glory of God. They connect in unity with Hazrat Fatimah's light and wisdom. Witnessing their light is an opportunity for us to become united with the Divine illumination. On such a day as this we submit with humility to this most precious splendor and seek with reverence any insight and guidance from their lives. Hazrat Fatimah and Seyedeh Dr. Nahid Angha speak out against the ignorance of their times. They are heroines whose teachings and wisdom remain responsible for the progress in the Right of humanity. This Right is a Truth and way of life that forges beyond ignorance and into the realm of wisdom. It is the alignment of justice, a means of balance and inner stability that is Hazrat Fatimah's right.

Hazrat Fatimah was born in the beginning of the 7th century into the beautiful and Holy family of the Prophet Mohammad (swa). She was so much like her father that she was called the "Mirror of the Prophet." Hazrat Fatimah was well educated and knowledgeable about intellectual matters and spirituality. She was the first woman who believed in Islam and so she was called the "Mother of the Believers." Hazrat Fastimah married Imam Ali and had four children. Her life represents her wisdom. Let us search for understanding in this most precious mirror to reflect light upon ourselves if we can receive such light. Her personality reveals one who is abundant in generosity (sadaqah), did charity (khayraat) and exhibited great sacrifices. Her character was exemplary. She revered her father always and forever while never exploiting this relationship for her own benefits and receiving in her life much pain and suffering. She sought forgiveness in all her actions even with humble devotion to her father, husband, family and service to humanity.

Her personality inspires us because she stood for her rights- In her way of being and adab of worship she established a chain or direct link between the Earth and the Sky; from within her heart. She was indeed the owner of deep intellect who lived her piety in the purity of her action. Her bravery was seen in her power of compassion as exhibited by a force of mind in union with heart. A bravery seen in her powerful speech and in the perilous battlefields when she declared truth before tyrants. Hazrat Fatimah stepped into the battlefield upon th passing of her Father when the Caliph sought to take away her inheritance. She came to the court to prove her rights through her speech which moved the hearts of those present. In her Sermon of Fadak she praises Allah for his rewards and inspiration then she says:

O! People, know well that I am Fatimeh, and my father Mohammad Mustafa (swa), this is what I say in the beginning and in th end, and neither I am saying wrong nor am I incoherent- he came to you as a messenger, your difficulties on him were hard, your well wisher, a merciful kindness for the owners of faith- Why do I not inherit from my father, are you still following the laws of ignorance? You reveal your hidden enmity as soon as the Prophet is gone. You clothed your religion with your old and worn out beliefs. As soon as the Devil finds his chance, he calls upon you and you will greet him. You are so delighted to greet him, he puts you on the fire and you are burning in that fire/ You have forgotten the Book of the Prophet and the prophets before him. It is unfortunate when swords are weak instead of sharp After triumph. Break that sword. Do not decide wrongly and be followed by ill wishes to your grave. Such are the worst kind of assets to hold. Do not become like those who changed the essence of Prophecy and unbalanced the l laws of harmony.
(See, Seyedeh Hamaseh Kianfar, p. 30, Sufism Journal, Vol II, No. 3).

Hazrat Fatimah speaks with the language of the heart in unity with her Father's teachings aligned with the light of Truth. With Hazrat Fatimah as our model, we learn to fight injustice and search within our hearts to stand for the right way, to stand for justice, to be in balance so that we may follow her Teachings. We turn within our hearts to surrender to the mercy of God and then we turn from ourselves to others. We then become actively involved in society's problems in service to God because as Hazrat Fatimah truly was, she remains our model, a symbol of a true heroine who lived for her right in the honor of faith and belief, in the service of humanity. Her spiritual presence and essence still touches each of us and strengthens our commitment to God. In spite of her life of struggle and hardship, poverty and torment, she won justice and freedom for all humanity. This is indeed a treasure which we appreciate from the depths of our hearts.

I would ask each of us to affirm our commitment to turn to each other with reverence and love so that we may learn to honor each other with the piety of Hazrat Fatimah. We are blessed with the Holy Teachers who sit with us tonight, they are perfect examples for us. Let us each reflect and collectively unite by walking together with reverence and love, as examples of worthiness to receive the Divine illumination of our Holy Teachers and Hazrat Fatimah. Let each of us open our hearts to cultivate our personalities based on her Divine qualities within the embrace of unity, La illaha illal-lah.

It is written of her beauty:

Sun must hide its face, as Her face (Fatimah) is more illuminated.
Flower must hide itself behind its leaves, as Her beauty is beyond competition.

Her light radiates into every heart for freedom and justice because of Hazrat Fatimah's struggle, courage, bravery, devotion and dedication to her rights in belief and faith. She is a rare gem of magnificent brilliance. Thank you for allowing me to speak this evening; it is an honor. Amen.

O, Sweet Wine Bearer, those past
Rest in the heart of dust.
Listen as you drink your wine:
Every word spoken in truth
Flies, lost in the wind.

Ecstasy, page 37.
Poem by Hakim Omar Khayam
Translated by Seyedeh Dr. Nahid Angha

Photographs and pictures are of various shrines, mosques, and prayer rooms dedicated to Hazrat Fatimah.

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