The Death Anniversary of the Lady al-Masouma (AS)

Name: Fatima
Title: Masouma
Born In: Medina, on the first Day of Dhu al-Qa’dah 173 A.H.
Father’s name: Imam Musa al-Kazim(A.S.)
Mother’s name: Najma Khatoon mother of Imam Rida (A.S.)
Died: at the age 28, in Qum on 10th Rabi al-Thani, 201 A.H.
Buried: in the holy shrine in the holy city of Qum, Iran
Noble Descent:

Hadrat Fatima Masouma (S.A.) the Blessed and the Gracious Divine Lady from the Holy Ahlul Bayt (A.S.) was born in the holy city of Medina on the First Day of the month of Dhu al-Qa’dah 173 A.H. His holy father was Imam Musa al-Kazim (A.S.), the Seventh Holy Imam and Imam Rida (A.S.), the Eighth Holy Imam was her elder brother. Hadrat Fatima Masouma (S.A.) was the most learned scholar and very pious lady and was greatly revered by the Holy Imams (A.S.). She was buried in the holy city of Qum (Iran) and her holy shrine is every year visited by millions of the lovers of Holy Ahlul Bayt (A.S.).

The Learned Divine Lady from the Holy Ahlul Bayt (A.S.):

Hadrat Masouma (S.A.) was brought up in a very noble family. She was daughter of the Holy Imam [Imam Musa al-Kazim (A.S.)], the sister of the Holy Imam [Imam Rida (A.S.)] and the aunt of the Holy Imam [Imam Muhammad Taqi al-Jawad (A.S.)].

She was taught all the Islamic sciences by Imam Musa al-Kazim (A.S.) and Imam Rida (A.S.) and she transmitted ahadith (traditions) from them. She became famous as Aalimah (the Learned Lady) and Muhaddithah (the Learned Lady who transmitted Ahadith).

The traditions quoted by Hadrat Masouma (S.A.) are among the most authentic traditions which are present in various books of traditions.

She was Masouma (the Immaculate):

Hadrat Fatima bint Musa al-Kazim (A.S.) was most pious, noble and reverend lady. Like her holy grandmother Hadrat Fatima Zahra (S.A.) she was always busy in performing Salaat (prayers) and kept fast most of the days. She was greatly respected and revered by her holy father Imam Musa al-Kazim (A.S.) and her elder brother Imam Rida (A.S.). She becomes famous as Masouma (the Immaculate) during her lifetime. Imam Rida (A.S.) has said about Hadrat Fatima Masouma (S.A.)

“Whoever performs the Ziyarah of ‘Fatima Masouma’ in Qum is like the person who has performed my Ziyarah”.

Karimah-i Ahlul Bayt (A.S.):

Hadrat Fatima Masouma (S.A.) is also considered as Karimah-i Ahlul Bayt (A.S.) because she was very kind and gracious. Thousands of miracles have been recorded at the holy grave of her and she fulfills the rightful wishes of the believers and she miraculously heals incurable patients. Imam Jafar Sadiq (A.S.) has quoted “By the intercession of Fatima Masouma (S.A.) all my Shias will enter the paradise”.

Demise of Hadrat Masumah (S.A.): The Burial Ceremonies

In the year 200 A.H. a year after the forced migration of Imam Rida (A.S.) from Medina to Marw in Khurasan by the reigning Abbasid caliph Mamun, Hadrat Masouma accompanied by her brothers left Medina for Khurasan to meet her elder brother Imam Rida (A.S.). When they reached Saveh in central Iran they were attacked by the Abbasid army and many of his brothers were mercilessly martyred.

Hadrat Masouma (S.A.) became severely ill and in this condition she migrated to Qum where the Shias of the city warmly welcomed her. The effect of sickness increased during her short stay in Qum and she attained martyrdom on 10th of Rabi al-Thani 201 A.H. Hadrat Masumah (S.A.) had great longing to meet her brother Imam Rida (A.S.) but due to her sudden death she could not meet him.

Imam Rida (A.S.) was deeply grieved when he came to know about the demise of her beloved sister Hadrat Fatima Masouma (S.A.).

The Burial Ceremonies
The women of the Shi’as and the friends of Ahlil-baiyt (A.S.) took up on themselves the vitual ablution of the Holy body of the Lady Ma’sooma (A.S.) and shroweded her.

When the time of the burial took place, the bigshot people from the Ashariam and their important men saw, that the pure body must be buried in a special place other than the common cemetry, and that was because of their great and high estimation towards the daughter of Imam Al-Kaadhum (A.S.), since they never desire to bury her body besides the graves of common people.

Musa bin Khazraj the antecedent in this affair, specialized a vast orchard at a location named “Bablaan” on the coast of Qom river, “and that is the location of the current holy shrine” in order to bury the pure body, so all the arrangements are ready now for the burying, but who will be the appointed one, who shall take up on himself in order to bury the immaculate body?

The people present exchanged the views about this affair between them, and finally they decided to recommend this affair for a virtuous old man, who is called Kaadir, thus they sent a person in order to fetch him, but he didn’t find him, and suddenly two persons came from the river side, approached towards the burial location, and when they approached to the pure body location, they came down from their horses, performed the ritual praying; then they took upon themselves the burial arrangement and buried the pure body.

Then they amounted their horses and moved far and far fastly, while the common people were astonished.

Thus the ceremony of the body burial finished in high estimation with the cry and sadness of the Shi’a, so Qom became the true shelter of Muhammad’s progeny, and the sanctuary of the daughter of Imam Musa Al-Kaadhum (A.S.).

Respecting the Lady’s Shrine Musa bin Hkazraj intailed his orchard for the Muslims, in order that the followers of Ali (A.S.) could bury their deads surrounding the holy grave.

The Merits of the Ziyarah of Hadrat Fatima Masumah (S.A.):

There are many traditions from the Holy Imams (A.S.) recommending the Shias to perform the Ziyarah of the holy grave of Hadrat Masouma (S.A.) in the holy city of Qum.

Imam Ali al-Rida (A.S.) said: “Whoever performs the Ziyarah of Fatima Masouma (S.A.) will be awarded heaven”.

Imam Muhammad Taqi al-Jawad (A.S.) said: “Whoever performs the Ziyarah of my aunt [Fatima Masouma (S.A.)] in Qum will enter paradise”.

Imam Ali al-Rida (A.S.) said: “Whoever performs the Ziyarah of ‘Fatima Masouma’ with the knowledge of her status will attain paradise”.

The Holy City of Qum:

The holy city of Qum in central Iran, 150 km to the south of Tehran became one of the first bastions Shi’ism and till the present day it is the leading center of Islamic seminaries where more than forty thousand scholars and students are learning Islamic sciences in the numerable Islamic seminaries present in this holy city. At present about two hundred Islamic research and cultural centers are active in this holy city.

In the year 83 A.H. the Arabs belonging to the Ash’ari tribe migrated and settled in this region and laid the foundation of this city. From the beginning of its establishment the city of Qum became the dwelling place of the Shias and by the end of first century Hijrah more than 6000 Shias settled in this city.

The Shias of this city revolted against the Umayyad caliphs and after the inception of the Abbasid caliphate in 132 A.H. they also opposed the Abbasid caliphs.

In the year 200 A.H. Hadrat Fatima Masouma (S.A.) took refuge in this city and Her Holiness expired in the year 201 A.H. and was buried in this city. The sacred grave of Hadrat Fatima Masouma (S.A.) became the pilgrimage center of the Shias and this city became famous as Qum-i Muqaddas. Since then it also emerged as a leading Shia learning center in the world. The holy shrine of Hadrat Fatima Masouma (S.A.) and the city’s reputation as a center of theological education of the Shias contributed most to its fame.

In June1963 Imam Khomeini (R.A.) started Islamic movement against the rule of Shah from the holy city of Qum. The uprising of people of Qum in January 1978 convulsed the whole of Iran and led to the victory of Islamic revolution and the establishment of Islamic Republic in Iran in February 1979.

Hadrat Masouma (A.S.), the Great Narrator of Ahadith
The narrators of the Hadiths, Muhaddith1 from Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) and the Infallible Imams (A.S.) bear a great right on the neck of the Islamic nation; and if it was not for their serious efforts, the Islamic teachings would not have reached us. The great Prophet (S.A.W.) used to encourage his companions to listen to and narrate Hadiths, and said: “May Allah enlighten anyone who listens to our Hadiths and preaches them”2. Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (A.S.) has said in this regards: “If you learn a Hadith about Halal (Permissible) and Haram (Prohibited) from an honest person, it is better than the entire world and all the gold and silver in it”3.

Amongst the narrators of Hadith, we come across several virtuous women who have recorded their names as Muhaddiths, the most prominent of which are the women of the family of the Prophet (A.S.). Lady Masouma (A.S.) is one of those virtuous women, who has narrated Hadiths, with their chain of narrators,4 from Lady Fatimah Zahra (A.S.), and due to her significance, both Shiites and Sunnis have paid attention to such Hadiths. One of those Hadiths is as follows:

Hafiz Shams al-Din Jazari (died 833 AH), one of the Sunni scholars, has authored a valuable book named “Asna al-Matalib fi Manaqib Sayyidina Ali ibn Abi Talib (A.S.)”. While mentioning some Hadiths about the event of Ghadir, he narrates a Hadith from Hadrat Fatimah (A.S.) which Lady Masumah (A.S.) is in its chain of narrators. In this Hadith, Lady Fatimah Masouma (A.S.) narrates that: “Have you forgotten the saying of the messenger of Allah on the day of Ghadir in which he said: ‘Whosoever I am his/her Master (Mawla), Ali is his/her Master (Mawla)’ and also said: ‘You are to me as Aaron was to Moses.”5

This Hadith has also been narrated by other Sunni Muhaddiths, such as Amritsari and Shoukani, in the same words and the same chain of narrators from Lady Masumah (A.S.). As for the Shia references, scholars such as Mir Hamed Hussain and Allamah Amini have narrated this Hadith from the same source. According to this statement, Lady Masouma (A.S.) has been recognized as a Muhaddith lady in both Shia and Sunni sources, and several Hadiths have been narrated from her, one example of which is the aforementioned one.

We, Muslims, are proud that the Hadiths of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) and the Ahl al-Bayt (A.S.) have been conveyed and reached us through such virtuous people, and it is on us to contribute to our share in protecting and passing on these subjects.* Selection taken from: “The Generous Lady of the Ahl al-Bayt (A.S.)”, by Ali Akbar Mahdipour
1- Muhaddith is an Islamic title, referring to one who profoundly knows and narrates hadiths, the chains of their narration (Sanad), and the original and famous narrators
2- Sunan Ibn Majah, vol. 1, p. 85- Al-Ghadir by Allamah Amini , vol. 8, p. 154
3- Wasa’il al-Shia, vol. 27, p. 98
4- The chain of narrators mean the set of persons who have narrated a certain Hadith from one to another.
5- Asna al Matalib, pp. 49 & 50

Fatimah Masouma (A.S.) similar to Hadrat Fatimah (A.S.)
On the first of Dhi al-Qa’dah in 173 AH, the city of Medina was enlightened by the birth of Hadrat Fatimah Masouma (A.S.)1. She was born to Imam Moosa ibn Ja’far (A.S.) and her mother, Najmah.

Hadrat Fatimah Masouma (A.S.) was the second and last child of Najmah, after her older brother, Imam Ali ibn Moosa al-Rida (A.S.). In fact, after Imam Rida (A.S.), she has the highest status and position amongst the children of Imam Moosa al-Kadhim (A.S.).2

One year after Imam Rida (A.S.) was forcibly taken to Khurasan (in year 201 AH) by the orders of Ma’moon, Hadrat Masouma (A.S.), along with her brothers and some of her relatives, left Medina for Marw in order to visit her brother, Imam Rida (A.S.).

On their way, when they reached the city of Saweh, the enemies of Ahl al-Bait attacked them. After a serious struggle, many of her relatives were martyred, and a woman in Saweh poisoned her.3

Grief over the loss of her relatives and the effects of the poison put Hadrat Masouma (A.S.) into a severe illness. She asked her companions to take her to the city of Qum, for she had heard her father say, “Qum is the center of our Shiites.”

When she arrived in Qum, the people of the city welcomed her. Moosa ibn Khazraj, who was amongst the great people of Qum, respectfully invited her to his house.

17 days later, on the 10th of Rabi’ al-Thani of the year 201 AH, after 28 years of sufferance and difficulty, Hadrat Ma’soomah (A.S.) no longer could endure her sickness and the effects of the poison. She left this world with a broken heart, while she had not been able to see her brother. She was buried in Qum and her shrine became the beauty of this city since then.

From amongst the narrators, we come across to narrators who happen to be women. One of these virtuous women is Hadrat Ma’soomah (A.S.), who has narrated many Hadiths from Lady Fatimah (A.S.) and the other Infallibles (PBUT). Actually, because of her prominence, both Shia and Sunni narrators have considered the Hadith narrated by her as authentic.

The Hadiths narrated about Hadrat Ma’soomah (A.S.) reveal her superiority in knowledge and virtue6. From the point of view of Ahl al-Bait (PBUT), Hadrat Ma’soomah possesses a high status. In regards to her particular status, Imam Rida (A.S.) has said: “One who visits the shrine of Ma’soomah (PBUH) in Qum is like one who has visited my shrine.”7

As this Hadith illustrates, not only the Ziarat of Lady Ma’soomah is stated to be similar to doing the Ziarat of an Infallible Imam, but also she has been given the title of a Ma’soomah (infallible woman) by an Imam. Considering the fact that an infallible does not exaggerate, one can come to this conclusion that Lady Ma’soomah owns some sort of infallibility.

Also in regards to her particular status, Imam Sadiq (A.S.) has said:

“… A lady from my children, named Fatimah daughter of Mousa, will pass away there (Qum), which all our Shiites will enter paradise with her intercession”.8

Imam Sadiq (A.S.) said this Hadith at a time when neither Lady Ma’soomah (A.S.) nor her father was born yet, and this expresses her high status.

One of her virtues is that she has a special script for Ziarat dictated by an Infallible Imam. She is the only women after Lady Fatimah (A.S.)- who is the most superior lady in the two worlds – to have a script for Ziarat dictated by an Infallible Imam.9

Now on the occasion of her demise let us go over on a phrase from her Ziarat:

“O Fatimah! Intercede for me in heaven, as you have an outstanding position from Allah (SWT) for intercession.”

* Selection taken from “The Generous Lady of Ahl al-Bait”, by Ali Akbar Mahdipour, and some other sources
1- No other days or months have been narrated regarding her birthday, but two have been mentioned for the year she was born: a)173 AH (according to Mustadrak al-Saqifah) b) 183 AH (according to Nuzhat al-Abrar – Lawaqih al-Anwar) Considering the date of martyrdom of Imam Moosa ibn Ja’far (A.S.), the first date seems more likely to be true.
2- Tawarikh al-Nabi Wal’al, p. 65
3- Wasilah al-Ma’soomiah, by Mirza Aboutalib Byouk, p. 68; Al-Hayat al-Siasiah lel Imam al-Rida (A.S.), by Ja’far Mortaza Ameli, p. 428
4- Nothing else has been narrated for the year of her martyrdom; however, 3 have been narrated for the day and month: a) 10th of Rabi’ al-Thani (according to Nuzhat al-Abrar and Lavaqih al-Anwar) (which coincides with the 40th day after the martyrdom of Imam Rida (A.S.)) b) 12th of Rabi’ al-Thani (according to Mustadrak al-Saqifah) c) 8th of Sha’ban (according to Hayat al-Sitt) The first one seems more likely to be true
5- Kashf al-Le’ali, Salih ibn Arandas Helli
6- Nasikh al-Tawarikh, vol. 3, p. 68; Mustadrak Wasael al-Shia, vol. 10, p. 368
7- Al-Naqd, p. 196; Majalis al-Mu’minin, vol. 1, p. 83; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 60, p. 216
8- Allamah Majlisi has narrated this Ziarat from Imam Rida (A.S.)in his valuable book of “Tuhfah al-Za’ir” in addition to Bihar al-Anwar. He has stated in the introduction of Tuhfah al-Za’ir that he had only narrated the Ziarat which were proved to be authentic in that book.

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