Fatima

Fatima the daughter of Mohammed, was born at Mecca in 606, five years before her father assumed the office of a religious reformer. At the age of fifteen she was married to Ali, the cousin of Mohammed, of whom she was the only wife. She died in 632. The Arabian dynasty of the Fatimites, which from 909 to 1171 ruled over Egypt and the northern part of Africa, and latterly over Syria and Palestine, claimed to be descended from Fatima. The religious tenets of their adherents differed, considerably from those of the orthodox Mohammedans, and in time they sought to give to the Koran an allegorical interpretation, so as to avoid obedience to its literal precepts. The Shiites, including the Mohammedans of Persia, hold both Ali and Fatima, as well as the twelve Imams, in the utmost veneration, while they regard Abubeker, Omar, and Othman as usurpers of the caliphate. They venerate Fatima as a saint, and the Shiites afford us the only instance which occurs in Islamism of giving religious honor to a woman. She was one of the four women whom the prophet regarded as perfect.

 
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