When Fatima (a.s.) grew youth, the great companions hurried to the
Prophet (a.s.) one after the other so that he might honor them by
marrying his pure daughter to them but the Prophet (a.s.) responded to
none of them. From those who had asked the Prophet (a.s.) for his
daughter’s hand was Abu Bakr whom the Prophet (a.s.) refused his
request and said to him, ‘I am waiting, regarding her, for the Fate
(of Allah).’ After him came Umar and the Prophet (a.s.) replied to him
as he had replied to his former friend.1
The Prophet (a.s.) announced that the marriage of Fatima (a.s.) was in
the hand of Allah and he himself had nothing to do concerning the
matter. When Muslims knew that, they refrained from asking the Prophet
(a.s.) for his daughter’s hand any more.
Sometime later, some companions met Imam Ali (a.s.) and mentioned to
him his close kinship to the Prophet (a.s.), his great jihad for
Islam, and his support to the Prophet (a.s.) in all his battles and
situations. They asked him to propose to Fatima (a.s.) and win the
honor of the Prophet’s affinity. Imam Ali (a.s.) went to the Prophet
(a.s.) hesitatingly because of shyness. He came to the Prophet (a.s.)
lowering his sight to the ground. The Prophet (a.s.) asked him,
‘What do you want, my brother?’
Imam Ali (a.s.) was silent for a while out of shyness and then said,
‘O messenger of Allah, I remembered Fatima.’
The Prophet (a.s.) answered smilingly while delight appeared on his
face, ‘Welcome! Allah has ordered to marry my daughter to you.’
1 Tabaqat ibn Sa’d, vol.8 p.11, Tareekh al-Khamees, vol.1 p.407,
Thakha'ir al-Uqba, p.29.
 Noor Al-Absar, p.42, Kanzol Ummal, vol.6 p.318, Mustadrak al-Hakim, vol.3
Imam Ali’s heart was filled with delight for the honor that Allah
granted him. He was the Prophet’s cousin and then he was going to be
his son-in-law. It has been mentioned in some tafsirs that this verse
(And He it is Who has created man from the water, then He has made for
him blood relationship and marriage relationship, and your Lord is
powerful. 25:54) concerned Imam Ali (a.s.).1
The Prophet (a.s.) told his companions that Allah had ordered him to
marry his daughter to Imam Ali (a.s.). He said to them, ‘An angel came
and said to me: O messenger of Allah, Allah sends you greeting and
says to you: I have married Fatima to Ali in the high Heaven, so you
marry her to him in the earth.’
Then, the Prophet (a.s.) went to Fatima (a.s.) and said to her, ‘I
marry you to the best one of my umma. He is the most knowledgeable,
the most prudent, and the first Muslim.’
On another occasion, he said to her, ‘O Fatima, do you not know that
Allah observed the people of the earth, and then He chose your father
from among them and sent him a messenger, and once another He observed
and then He chose your husband and revealed to me so that I married
him (to my daughter) and took him my guardian?’
On a third occasion he said to her, ‘He (Imam Ali) is the first of my
companions in being Muslim, the most of them in knowledge, and the
greatest of them in prudence.’
All high qualities, ideals, and values were available in Imam Ali
(a.s.) and therefore, Allah had chosen him a husband for the daughter
of the Prophet (a.s.). In traditions it is mentioned that: “If Ali was
not created, there would be no equal for Fatima.’
1 Majma’ al-Bayan, vol.9 p.175.
 Thakha'ir al-Uqba, p.32.
 Jam’ al-Jawami’, vol.6 p.398.
 Thakha'ir al-Uqba, p.32.
 Kanzol Ummal, vol.6 p.153.
 Musnad of Ahmad bin Hanbal, vol.5 p.36, Majma’
az-Zawa’id, 6 p.101, Ar-Riyadh an-Nadhirah, vol.2 p.194.