بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم
Fadak is the name of a village situated near Khayber at a distance of 140 km from Madinah, where the Jews resided. The Prophet (S) conquered the place after the battle of Khayber without any battle on the agreement that half of the produce would be given to the Muslims. Therefore, it would be treated as ‘Fai’. Fai includes every such property of the unbelievers which the Prophet (S) seized without any battle. It is mentioned clearly in the Holy Quran:
And what Allah restored [of property] to His Messenger from them – you did not spur for it [in an expedition] any horses or camels, but Allah gives His messengers power over whom He wills, and Allah is over all things competent. And what Allah restored to His Messenger from the people of the towns – it is for Allah and for the Messenger and for [his] near relatives and orphans and the [stranded] traveler – so that it will not be a perpetual distribution among the rich from among you. And whatever the Messenger has given you – take; and what he has forbidden you – refrain from. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty.
Hence, Fadak was to be treated as Fai.
The Inheritance of the Prophets According to the Authentic Narrations:
The Sunnis believe that the Prophets don’t inherit wealth, their inheritance is knowledge. And this is what Abu Bakr, Umar, Ali, Uthman, Zubair, Saeed ibn Waqas, Abbas and Ibn Awf believed, according to the narration in Sahih Bukhari:
Umar said “Wait I beseech you, by Allah, by Whose permission both the Heaven and the earth stand fast! Do you know that Allah’s apostle said ‘We (Prophets) our properties are not to be inherited, and whatever we leave is to be spent on charity, and he said it about himself”? They said “He did say it”. Umar then turned towards Ali and Abbas and said, “I beseech you both by Allah! Do you know that Allah’s apostle said this?” They replied in the affirmative.
Similarly we read in the Sahih narration in al-Kafi that Imam Jafar said that the Prophet (S) said:
“Truly the scholars are the heirs of Prophets, the Prophets bequeathed not a single Dinar or Dirham, instead they bequeathed knowledge, and whoever acquires it has indeed acquired a generous portion of their legacy”.
The grand Shia scholar Ayatullah Khomeini says regarding the authenticity of this narration:
“The narrators in the chain of transmission of this tradition are all trustworthy, in fact Ibrahim ibn Hashim, the father of Ali ibn Ibrahim, is not moderately trustworthy but outstandingly so.”
This tradition has been authenticated by Mulla Baqir Majlisi as well.
This Shia authentic tradition clearly supports the Sunni view that the Prophet don’t inherit wealth, rather they inherit knowledge only.
The Inheritance of the Prophets in the Holy Quran:
While trying to refute the Sunnis, the Shias try to argue from a few verses of the Holy Quran that the Prophets do inherit their wealth. We will discuss these verses one by one.
1. Allah instructs you concerning your children: for the male, what is equal to the share of two females.
This verse states the general rule, but the inheritance of the Prophets is a particular case regarding which Sunnis say that there is exception. Even Shias themselves claim that there are certain exceptions to the general rule laid down in this verse. According to Shias, wife can’t inherit land, though this is not mentioned in this verse. Secondly, according to Shias, a Kafir can’t inerit from a Muslim. And the Shias base these opinions on the basis of their own traditions attributed to their Imams. Similarly, we base our opinion on Prophetic traditions.
2. And Solomon inherited David. 
This verse doesn’t mention the inheritance of wealth. Only inheritance is mentioned here, and we know that inheritance can be of different types besides wealth. For example, the inheritance of knowledge, the inheritance of book, the inheritance of wisdom and the inheritance of kingdom etc. In this verse, the type of inheritance is not mentioned. Our view is that this verse can’t be regarding the inheritance of wealth, and there are few reasons. David had 19 sons, and only one son i.e Solomon has been mentioned here. This means that it refers to a particular type of inheritance which the other sons didn’t receive. And that is the inheritance of knowledge and wisdom. It can also refer to the inheritance of prophethood and kingdom. Someone may say that prophethood is not inherited. That is true, but it can be said in a metaphorical way. For example, wisdom is not necessarily inherited, but if a child is wise like his father, it can be said that the child inherited wisdom from his father.
3. [This is] a mention of the mercy of your Lord to His servant Zechariah. When he called to his Lord a private supplication. He said, “My Lord, indeed my bones have weakened, and my head has filled with white, and never have I been in my supplication to You, my Lord, unhappy. And indeed, I fear the successors after me, and my wife has been barren, so give me from Yourself an heir. Who will inherit me and inherit from the family of Jacob. And make him, my Lord, pleasing [to You].”
In this verse as well, it is not mentioned which sort of inheritance is meant here. But since it includes the inheritance of the posterity of Yaqub (as) as well, hence we can understand that this can’t mean the inheritance of wealth. Because no one inherits wealth from a whole posterity. Hence it can only refer to knowledge, wisdom and prophethood.
Was Fadak a Gift?
Fadak was definitely not a gift and there is no authentic Sunni narration which shows that Fadak was a gift. Rather it is against the authentic narrations according to which Fatima (ra) asked Fadak as inheritance from her father, and not as a gift. Almost all of these traditions include a weak narrator ‘Atiyah al-Awfi’ who is weak according to the majority of scholars. Moreover, how can the Prophet gift a whole piece of land to his daughter, when he didn’t allow a golden necklace to his daughter saying:
“O Fatima (ra)! Will not the people say that Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad (S) is dressed in the attire of the oppressors?”
Similarly, in another Shia tradition, Fatima requested a servant from her father, which Prophet (S) didn’t give to her, and instead taught her a supplication.
This clearly shows that the Prophet (S) didn’t gave worldly objects to his daughter. So how could he gave a huge piece of land to his daughter?
Ali (ra) never returned Fadak to the Children of Fatima (ra)
This is a historical fact that Ali (ra) never returned Fadak to the Children of Fatima (ra) and it clearly shows that he agreed with the view of Abu Bakr (ra). In order to answer this, Shias fabricated a tradition and attributed it to their Imam, according to which Imam Jafar said :
Ali (ra) followed in the footsteps of Prophet (S). When he conquered Makkah, he found out that Aqeel (the brother of Ali) has sold his house, so he was asked, ‘O Prophet (S), why don’t you take your house back? So he said, “Has Aqeel left any house for us?” And we belong to the household who never take anything back that is taken from us unjustly. So that is why Ali (ra) didn’t take Fadak back.
Now this is a very wrong excuse, because Caliphate was also snatched from the Imams. Because when Fadak was purportedly snatched from Fatima, she herself went to the caliph to take it back. Why would she go and ask that Fadak be given to her, if it was snatched unjustly, and if ahlelbayt don’t take back what is unjustly snatched from them? Moreover, the 12th Imam will fight to restore his caliphate, wasn’t caliphate snatched from the ahlelbayt according to the Shias? And most importantly, if Abu Bakr had oppressed Fatima by snatching Fadak as the Shias say, then didn’t Aqeel also oppress the Prophet (S) by selling his home without his permission? Why don’t Shias accuse Aqeel of the same crime, and declare him a tyrant?
Was Fatima (ra) angry upon Abu Bakr (ra) throughout her life?
Fatima (ra) wasn’t angry at Abu Bakr (ra) throughout her life. These are the words of Zuhri, which are mentioned in Sahih Bukhari, and not the words of Ayesha (ra). The evidence is that before these words, the pronoun change from feminine to masculine, which indicate that these words are not the words of a female, but a male. Similarly the words that Abu Bakr (ra) didn’t participate in her funeral also belong to this category. Hence, even if these words are present in Sahih Bukhari, they are the view of a narrator, and not a companion. And the views of a narrator who didn’t witness these events can’t make these statements as facts, even if they are in Sahih Bukhari.
Moreover, this also negates the high status of Lady Fatima (ra). Why would she become angry at someone for her entire life just because of a piece of land? And why would she not allow anyone to her funeral due to it, while her father was the most merciful upon the Ummah, so much so that he forgave a person like Wahshi, who had killed his dearest uncle, i.e Hamzah? We can’t expect it from her daughter that she would get angry at someone for her entire life just because of a piece of land.
And all praises belong to Allah!
Written by Kalaam
 Surah Hashr 59:6-7
 Sahih Bukhari, Hadith # 3756
 Al-Kafi, Vol. 1, p. 42
 Islamic Government, by Ayatullah Khomeini
 Surah Nisa, Verse 11
 Surah 27, Verse 16
 Surah Maryam 19:2-6
 Uyun akhbar al-Reza Vol. 2, p. 57
 Ilal al-Shara’ie, Vol. 2, p. 288
 Ilal al-Shara’ie, Vol. 1, p. 155