Attack on House of Fatima (R.A)

According to books of Hadith and books of history written at the time the entire story of Umar bin Khattab (R.A) attacking, burning door of house of Bibi Fatimah (R.A) did not occur, it is a later fabrication. It states that Ali willingly gave oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr, though maintained a distance from him out of respect for Ali's (R.A) wife Fatima (R.A), because of an argument Abu Bakr  (R.A) had with Bibi Fatima (R.A) over her inheritance. When Bibi Fatima (R.A) died 6 months later, Ali (R.A) went to Abu Bakr (R.A) to re-establish closer relations. Moreover considering that Umar (R.A) married Ali (R.A) and Fatima's (R.A) daughter, Umm Kulthum (R.A), whom he married after Abu Bakr (R.A) taking Khilafa, showing the good relations Umar (R.A) had with Ali (R.A) at the time.

To be able to accuse a Companion of the Prophet (sws) and indeed any person of a crime as serious as murder (let alone murdering the beloved daughter of the Prophet) one needs to have relevant and reliable evidences.

We try to examine the available evidences here:

I. Evidence in Mainstream Sources

Tarikh Al-Tabari:
It is recorded that Umar threatened to set the house of Fatima on fire. There is no mention that he actually did that.
Further more, the hadith is not reliable. It is narrated via Muhammad Ibn Hamid Ibn Hayyan. This is a very unreliable narrator. In the book of Tahzib Al-Tahzib we read that Bukhari says: There are concerns about his narrations. An-Nasayee says: Not reliable, has been reported that he was a liar. Al-Joozajani says: Not reliable. Al-Razi says: I have 5000 ahadith from him and will not narrate even one of them. Saleh Ibn Muhammad Al-Asadi says: I Haven't seen any one bolder to Allah Ta'Ala than him. He used to collect ahadith and forge them together. I haven't seen any one cleverer than him and Sulayman Al-Shazekuni in lying. Baihaqi says: The Imam of Hadith, Ibne Khuzayma does not narrate from him.
Based on the above we can safely conclude that the above evidence (in Tabari) is both insufficient and unreliable.
· Abu Sufian asked Ali to give him his hand for Bay'at and Ali shouted at him and said we had agreed on Abu Bakr.
Please note that here I am not arguing that the above two records are reliable. All I am saying is that an unbiased mind should take all these into consideration and test all of them before any attempts for ruling a judgment.
It is not a rational approach to ignore the rest of the records in books like Tabari and only rely on those parts that suit our belief and even then without any attempts to test the reliability of what they are quoting.
After having examined a number of other sources that are usually referred to by Shia brothers (e.g. Al-Imama wa Al-Syasah, Al Iqd Al-Farid, Qurra Al-Ayn Fi Tafzil Al-Shaykhayn). In none of them have one finds a record that fulfils the following conditions:
· Clearly suggesting that Umar actually burned the door or pushed the door on Fatima (RA).
· Not accompanying with conflicting records.

Death of unborn son?
Doesn’t this seem to be strange that an unborn child has a name before he was born and that his parents even knew he was a boy?  Let us show you the reality that from where and why he got his name. And was it before his birth or was it after it.

We only know of this “Muhassan bin Ali” through the narration of Hani bin Hani who narrates it directly from Ali bin Abi talib RA with a Sahih Chain:

علي بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنه قال : لمَّا ولد الحسن جـاء رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال : أروني ابني ما سميتموه ؟ قلت : سمّيته حرباً ، قال : بل هـو حسن ، فلما ولد الحسين قال : أروني ابني ما سميتموه ؟ قلت سميته حرباً ، قال : بل هو حسين . فلما ولد الثالث جاء النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال : أروني ابني ما سميتموه ؟ قلت حرباً ، قال : بل هو محسَّن ثم قال : إني سمّيتهم بأسماء ولد هارون شبّر وشُبَيْر ومشبّر
Ali bin Abi talib RA said: When al Hassan was born the Prophet PBUh came and said: Show me my boy, what have you named him? I said: I called him Harb, he said: Nay He is Hassan, When al Hussein was born the Prophet PBUH said: show me my boy, what have you named him? I said: Harb, he said: Nay he is Hussein, and when the third was born the Prophet PBUH came then said: Show me my boy, what have you named him? I said: Harb, He said: Nay he is Muhassan, then He said: I have named them after the names of the children of Haroun(Aaron) they are Shibr, Shubeir, Mushabbar.
source: مسند أحمد (1/98) إسناده صحيح .
Musnad Ahmad 1/98, Isnad is SAHIH.

Of course al Muhassan bin Ali RA died as little baby.
source:التبيين في أنساب القرشيين لابن قدامة المقدسي 133
Al Tabyeen fi ansab al Qurashiyeen for Ibn Qudamah al Maqdisi p133.

Thus the story of miscarriage of Fatima(ra) has no base at all, because the son who supposedly died in the womb of Fatima(ra) as per shias. That child took birth in reality during the lifetime of Prophet(saw), but died in a younger age. And the mischievous Shia fabricators took the undue advantage of the early death of this child and manipulated the historical incidents inorder to create one of the most absurd myth that Umar(ra) killed the unborn child of Fatima(ra). But this authentic report exposes the reality of the fairytale of Umar bin al Khattab(ra) slamming the door on Fatima(ra) and crushing her while she was pregnant with Muhassan.

Based on the above it can be concluded that there is no evidence in the mainstream sources that can support the accusation. I am more than happy to examine any other sources that might be put forward.

II. Evidence in Shia Sources
It is one of the basic rules of judgement that evidences for an accusation should not be taken from the sources of those who have accused. Having said that, and while appreciating that there are records in support of the accusation in some of the Shia sources, I would like to point out that it is very strange that in some of the more popular and old Shia sources there are no mention of the incident.
For instance the book Al-Irshad by Mufid:
In his book, when it came to naming the children of Ali, (RA) initially we find no mention of the name of the miscarried infant (Muhsin).
Mufid then says:
It is interesting that Mufid is not approving the miscarriage and attributes the story to some of Shia. It is also interesting that even here there is no mention of the alleged attack on Fatima (RA). This is while the book of Irshad is dedicated to narrate the important incidents of the life of Shia Imams, including Ali (RA).
In Kafi, one of the four main books of Shi'ism there is again no mention of the incident in the chapter on life of Fatima. It merely says that Fatima was angry with Umar without any references to any attacks taken place.
In Kashf Al-Qumah another classical book of Shi'ism again we read that there are differences of opinion about Muhsin and that some of Shia consider him to be the son of Ali from Fatima who died because of miscarriage. Again no mention of the incident itself.
Based on the above I think no judge can conclude that the Shia sources can provide us with satisfactory evidence.

III. Rationality

Ali according to Shia was the bravest of Arabs. In the Shia book Nahj Al-Balaqah we read that he has said something to the effect that he was not afraid of anything when it comes to protecting the right. I find it very strange that such an incident could take place without Ali trying to protect his wife (the daughter of the Prophet). We fail to find anything about such natural reaction by Ali.

Later we find no attempts by Ali or any of the other companions or people closed to Ali's family to bring Umar to justice.

Not only this, we even find Ali give the name of "Umar" to one of his children. I do not want to claim that Ali named his son after Umar the second Khalifa. I am well aware of the answer given by our Shia brothers implying that the naming was not after Umar the second Khalifa. However I find it very strange that someone like Ali could give the name of the murderer of his wife (the daughter of the Prophet) to his son. Ali was from the same family as the Prophet. It is narrated that the Prophet never wanted to see the face of Wahshi the killer of his uncle Hamzah even when Wahshi embraced Islam. This is a very serious issue. Today you find no Shia with the name Umar. The other two sons of Ali, Uthman and Abu Bakr were present in Karbala with Husayn and were brutally martyred in protecting their brother. Yet when you go to the mourning ceremonies of Shia brothers you will hear the story of all the Ahl Albayt of Husayn except Uthman and Abu Bakr merely because of their name. This attitude of Shia about names is very understandable and acceptable if one holds the same view that Shia hold for these companions. One wonders why Ali's attitude was not as would have been expected from any human being. How many people do we know who are happy to give the name of the murderer of their wife to their son? Any one who is slightly familiar with the culture of Arab will appreciate that this is even stranger for an Arab.
To see the further complication, we will be amazed to find that according to records in Shia books Ali gave her daughter Umme Kulthom to Umar as his wife (although some Shia brothers make some arguments to deny this). So here we have the husband of the victim not only calling his son with the name of the murderer of his wife but also giving his daughter to the murderer of his wife!
It is also very strange to think that such a huge crime has been taken place, and (not only Ali, but) none of the companions of the Prophet (sws) ever bothers to complain about it and to bring the sinner to the justice.
It is safe to conclude that even rationality does not support the accusation.

Now all discussed above was in a generic form, trying to forget the personality of Umar. I think a Muslim who wants to be closer to Allah Ta'ala and have better Taqwa should even have more cautious and fear in accusing a close companion of the Prophet (sws) of such incident. Let us not forget that we are advised in the Qur'an to pray that Allah cleanse our hearts from any bad feelings about the early immigrants (i.e. Muhajerin) and Helpers (i.e. Ansar). This of course does not mean that we cannot academically challenge views or actions of any of them but at least we should be fair enough by basing our criticism on sound evidence. I can guarantee we would not criticise an ordinary man in our time of a crime as simple as theft with evidences as irrelevant and as unreliable as the ones mentioned above.