Battle of Khaybar
After the Battle of Khandaq where Muslims defeated their opponents. The Jewish people of Fadak sent their representative to Prophet Muhammad (s) in order to negotiate and make peace with Muslims. According to their peace treaty Jews were supposed to give half of their gardens and fields of Fadak to Prophet (s). As dictated in the Quran, the properties achieved for Muslims, which they did not fight for, are owned only by Prophet (s). Such properties are called fay’ which belong to Prophet Muhammad (s) and he can transfer the ownership or control of such properties to whomever he decides. The Holy Prophet (s) would give away the income achieved from Fadak to Banu Hashim, the poor, and travelers in need of support. Subsequently, he (s) gave Fadak to Lady Fatima (a). Following the revelation of verse 26 of chapter 17 of the Quran, Prophet Muhammad (s) gave Fadak to Lady Fatima (a).
Ownership in Different Periods
After the first three caliphs, Fadak was in the hands of caliphs during the time of Umayyads and Abbasids and only in some periods, was given to the descendants of Lady Fatima (a):
Rule of Umar b. Abd al-Aziz
Rule of Abu l-Abbas al-Saffah
Rule of al-Mahdi al-Abbasi
Rule of al-Ma’mun
After al-Ma’mun, al-Mutawakkil ordered to change Fadak’s ownership to the condition before the order of al-Ma’mun. Most historical books have not mentioned anything about Fadak after the caliphate of al-Ma’mun. When al-Ma’mun (ruled 198/813-14 – 218/833) decided to return Fadak to descendants of Lady Fatima (a), many oppositions arose. Thus, he invited two hundred prominent scholars of his time and asked them to mention their opinions about Fadak’s ownership. After the presentation of ideas, the conclusion of the meeting was that Fadak belonged to Lady Fatima (a) and needed to return to its original inheritors. The insistence of objectors made al-Ma’mun hold another meeting with more scholars from around the Islamic world. The result of this session was similar to the result of the first meeting. Therefore, in 210/825-26, he wrote to the governor of Medina, Qutham b. Ja’far, to return Fadak to children of Lady Fatima (a).
Fadak is today located in Ha’it province of Saudi Arabia. According to a report (in 2008), the region of Fadak is known as “Wadi Fatima” and its palm gardens are known as “Bustan Fatima”. Also, there are a mosque and wells in this area which are called “Masjid Fatima” and “Uyun Fatima”. Houses and towers of this area are turned to ruins and most palm trees have died.