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The Blessed Birth of Fātīmah al-Siddīqah (S)

The Blessed Birth of Fātīmah al-Siddīqah (S)

By: Sheikh Hamed Soltanian

Though her earthly existence began on the 20th of the Islamic month of Jamādī al-Thānī, five years after the advent of the prophetic mission of her father, her soul was created before the creation of the heavens and earths.[1] It is narrated from Salmān al-Fārsī that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his progeny, stated, “O Salmān! Allah created me from the purity of his light.[2] He then commanded me and I obeyed. After that, He created `Alī’s light from my light, so then He called him and he obeyed. He then created Fātīmah from my light and `Alī’s. He called her and she obeyed. He created Hasan and Husayn from my light and that of `Alī and Fātīmah. He called them and they obeyed. Allah named us with five names from his own names. Hence, Allah is Mahmūd (laudable) and I am Muhammad (praiseworthy), Allah is A`lā (most high) and this is `Alī (high or eminent), Allah is Fātir (Creator and establisher from nothing) and this is Fātīmah,[3] For Allah is Ihsān (beneficence) and this is Hasan (good and virtuous), Allah is Muhsin (one whom good comes from) and this is Husayn (doer of good). Then, from the light of Husayn, He created the nine Imāms (divinely appointed leaders). He called them and they obeyed. This (i.e., the creation of the Ahlul Bayt) was before the creation of the heavens and earths, air (or atmosphere) and water and angels and human beings. We were bestowed with knowledge from God and were lights that praised him, we heard and were obedient.[4]

Why should anyone find it strange that these pure souls were created before the rest of creation when creation can not exist without God’s divine proofs? The qudsī narration states:[5]

If it was not because of your existence I would not have created the heavens (and the world of creation) and if it was not for the (continuation of religion through the) imamate (leadership) and wilāyah (vicegerency) of `Alī, I would not have created you and if it was not for (protecting and establishing the divine message and the continuance of imamate and vicegerency through) Fātīmah, I would not have created you and `Alī.[6]

The miracle of Fātīmah, the daughter of Muhammad and Khadījah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon them and their progeny, began in the womb. Khadījah was the favourite wife of Prophet Muhammad (s) and the first Muslim woman. She and Imam `Alī (s) were the first two people who believed in the message of Islam.[7] The Messenger (s) did not marry anyone else while he was married to her and did not like being away from her.

On the night of ascension, Allah gifted an apple to his messenger that was so magnificent in its colour and fragrance that the angels were astonished. Allah commanded the Prophet to consume it and when he split the apple a light shined forth. At that time archangel Gabriel stated: eat Messenger of Allah (s) for this guided light is Fātīmah, who will be brought forth from your back.[8]

On the tenth of the Islamic month of Sha`bān, archangel Gabriel came to the Messenger of Allah (s) and brought God’s commandment that he should stay away from Khadījah (as) for forty days. Prophet Muhammad (s) obeyed and stayed in the house of his aunt, Fātīmah bint Asad, the wife of Abu Talib. Each night the Messenger (s) would receive food, dates and grapes from heaven and would cleanse his hands with heavenly water and towel. On the night of the fortieth, Prophet Muhammad (s) received commandment from God, “go to Khadījah’s house for God has promised that tonight He will bring forth from your back an offspring who is pure and virtuous.”

The Prophet (s) obeyed and went to Khadījah’s house. It was at this moment that Fātīmah, al-Zahrā (the shining example of virtue), was conceived by the Mother of the Believers, Khadījah.[9]

When in the womb, Fātīmah (s) would be a console to her mother speaking to her and even being a guide for her. It is narrated from the sixth Imam, al-Sādiq(s) that when Khadījah (as) married the messenger of God (s), the women of Mecca no longer associated with her. They would not even greet her and prevented other women from meeting her. Khadījah (as) became afraid and saddened (because of the situation that had occurred) and was afraid for the life of the Messenger (s). When she conceived Fātīmah (s), Fātīmah transformed her loneliness (and distress) into comfort and companionship. She would speak with her mother from within the womb and would encourage her to be patient and forbearing. Khadījah (s) had not discussed the matter with the Messenger (s) until one day the Messenger(s) entered and saw that lady (Khadījah) was speaking to someone while no one was around. He asked, “O Khadījah! Who do you speak with?”

Khadījah (s) in response pointed towards Fātīmah (s) whom she was carrying and said, “the child within me, she speaks to me and is my companion”.

The Messenger (s) stated, “Gabriel informed me that this child will be a girl. She and her offspring are pure and successful and God will continue my progeny through her.[10] It is from her that the Imams (leaders) of religion will be born and God, almighty, will place them (i.e., the Imams) as his inheritors on earth after revelation has ceased.”

(Hence,) Fātīmah (as) was Khadījah’s (as) companion until she was born. (When she felt the pangs of labour,) she sent someone to the women of Quraysh and the sons of Banī Hāshim so that they would come (to her aid). The person came back bringing message from them saying, “You did not listen to us and became the wife of the orphan, Muhammad ibn Abdullah, a man who is poor and with no assets. Therefore, we too will not listen to you and not come!”

By hearing this Khadījah (as) became grieved, but at that moment she saw four tall women with olive complexions standing in front of her and became frightened. One of the women spoke and said, “Do not be afraid. We have been sent by the Lord and have come to your aid. I am Sarah, (Prophet) Abraham’s (as) spouse. This is Asīyah the daughter of Muzāhim, your friend and your husband’s spouse in heaven. The third is Mary, the daughter of Imrān and the fourth (woman) is Kulthūm, the sister of (Prophet) Moses (as). God has sent us so that during the birth (of your daughter) we are with you and assistance for you.”

After the conversation (between the women of paradise), they gathered around Khadījah until Fātīmah was born completely pure and clean. When born, a light shined forth from Fātīmah that not only lit the houses of Mecca but the entire (world from) east and the west. From among the Hūr al-`Ayn, ten individuals came to Khadījah’s house, each carrying two vessels containing water from Kawthar.[11] The woman who was in front of Khadījah took Fātīmah and bathed her in Kawthar water. She brought out white garments, the colour of which was purer than milk and more fragrant than ambergris. She wrapped Fātīmah in one cloth and made a head covering with another and then spoke to her. Fātīmah’s first words were, “I bear witness that verily, there is no god but Allah and my father is the messenger of Allah, the master of all prophets, that `Alī is the master of the vicegerents (of Prophets) and that my children are the masters of the progenies (of God’s prophets).”

She then sent peace (and salutations) on the women and called each one by their name. Those women celebrated and the heavenly Hūr al-`Ayn became happy and gave each other good tidings. The inhabitants of the heaven also gave glad tidings of the birth of the mistress of the women of the worlds.[12] At that moment a bright light appeared in the sky. Its brightness was incomparable to anything before it. The women turned to Khadījah and said, “Take this girl who is pure and will purify and is filled with blessings. God has blessed her and her offspring.”

Khadījah (s) took the child in her hands and was filled with delight. She placed Fātīmah’s (s) mouth to her chest.[13] Thus, was Fātīmah al-Siddīqah (the truthful) born into this world.

In reports from the Ahlul Bayt (s), two main reasons have been given for why the chaste daughter of Prophet Muhammad (s) was called ‘Fātīmah’. It is narrated in al-Kāfī of al-Kulaynī from Imam Bāqir (s) that, “When Fātīmah was born, God revealed to an angel so that through that angel the name Fātīmah was recited on Muhammad’s (s) tongue and then it was stated, ‘I have weaned you away from milk with knowledge and have disallowed menstruation for you.”[14]

Imam Bāqir (as) then stated, “By God, she was weaned away from milk with knowledge and God removed her from menstruating from the day of the covenant.”[15]

In another report from Imam Bāqir (s), it has been narrated that Fātīmah (s) will stop at the door of hell in the hereafter. On the forehead of every person it will be written either ‘a believer’ or ‘an infidel’. It will be commanded (by God) to those followers and devotees (of Fātīmah and Ahlul Bayt) who have committed many sins to go towards hell. Fātīmah (as) will read the word devotee (muhib) between his or her eyes and will ask Allah, “My God and master! You have named me Fātīmah and through me have reserved salvation for those who are my devotees and followers and those who are my offspring and children. Your promise is just and you never break your promise (as it is a sign of imperfection and therefore impossible for you).”

God will respond by saying, “You are telling the truth Fātīmah. I have named you Fātīmah and through you will give salvation and protection from hell fire to your devotees who have accepted your vicegerency, love your offspring and accepted their vicegerency. My promise is just and I do not go back on my promise and the reason I told this servant of mine to go towards the (hell) fire was so that you intercede on his or her behalf and that I accept your intercession and show the status you have with me to the angels and the prophets and messengers. Whoever (you see from among the people) that the word believer is written between his or her two eyes, take their hand and enter them into heaven.”[16]

Fātīmah, through whom flowed the spring of life

The pond of God’s vicegerency, `Alī’s virtuous wife

Upsetting you is displeasing God, then O one so kind

Who can make you upset except the worst among all mankind



Footnotes:

[1]See: Al-Kulaynī, Abī J`afar Muhammad ibn Yaqūb ibn Ishāq. Al-Usūl Min al-Kāfī. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyah, 1383 H.S., v.1, p.458; Irbilī, `Alī ibn Īsā. Kashf al-Ghumah. Tabrīz: Maktab Banī Hāshim, 1381 A.H., v.1, p.449; Majlisī, Muhammad Bāqir. Bihār al-Anwār. Beirut: Mu`assisah al-wafā` 1404 A.H., v.43, pp.6-7.

[2]In this statement, the term ‘light’ is figurative and does not suggest similarity between God and light as some philosophers have suggested. That God created Prophet Muhammad (s) from the purity of His light is also figurative and is not an indication that God is made up of substance and that part of the substance can be separated from Him to create another being. The meaning of such a statement, in our view, is that the Messenger of God, Muhammad al-Mustafā (s), is the best of creation and there are no intermediaries or intercessors between him and God.

[3]The relation between the name Fātir and Fātīmah has been the subject of many complicated theological treatises. The word Fātīmah, which is the feminine form of Fatīm, means a child that has been weaned. A more detailed explanation about the name will follow below.

[4]See: Majlisī, Muhammad Bāqir. Bihār al-Anwār. Beirut: Mu`asisah al-wafā` 1983, v.25, p.6 and v.53, p.142. There is no contradiction between this narration and Prophet Adam (as) being the first human being on earth. This is because the above narration is referring to the souls of the Ahlul Bayt (s) and not their physical creation on earth. Prophet Adam (as) was the first human being on earth in terms of his physical existence and the presence of human beings on earth.

[5]Hadīth al-qudsī. It is the words of God that has not been revealed for the purpose of being a miracle. Hadīth scholars have mentioned six features for distinguishing between Qur`ān and hadīth al-qudsī. One, the Qur`ān is a miracle while there is no need for hadīth al-qudsī to be a miracle. Two, with the Qur`ān, in addition to the meaning and content, every word and its pronunciation is from God. The hadīth al-qudsī on the other hand can include words from the Prophet (s) and only the meaning and content have to be from God. Three, unlike hadīth al-qudsī the ritual prayer (salāt) is not valid without the Qur`ān. Four, a person who denies the Qur`ān is not a Muslim (i.e., is a kafir) but if a person denies a hadīth al-qudsī, he could still be considered a Muslim. Five, ritual purity is required for touching the Qur`ān, but that is not the case with hadīth al-qudsī. Six, the Qur`ān must be revealed with archangel Gabriel as an intermediary, but that is not a requirement for hadīth al-qudsī.

[6]Shāhrūdī, Namāzī. Mustadrak Safīnah al-Bihār. Qom: Jame`ah Modarresīn, v.3, p. 334. It report is narrated by Sheikh Ibrāhīm ibn Hasan dharāq, from Sheikh `Alī ibn Hilāl Jazā`irī, from Sheikh Ahmad ibn Fahad Hillī, from Sheikh Zaynuddīn `Alī ibn Hasan Khāzin Ha`irī, from the martyr Sheikh Abī Abdillāh Muhammad ibn Makkī with sanad (chain of transmission) going back to Abi Ja`far Muhammad ibn `Alī ibn Mūsā ibn Bābāwayh Qummī with sanad (chain of transmission) connected to Jābir ibn Yazīd Ja`fī, from Jābir ibn Abdullāh Ansāri, from the Messenger of God (s) from Allah, the most high. Also see: Sheikh al-Sadūq, Muhammad ibn `Alī ibn Bābāwayh al-Qummī. Al-I`tiqādāt, edit. `Asām Abdu al-Sayyid. Markaz al-Abhāth al-`Aqā`idiyah, pp.92-96 and for the English translation of the same book see: Ash-Shaykh As-Sadūq. A Shī`ite Creed: A translation of I`tiqādātu ’l-Imāmīyyah (The Belief of the Imāmīyyah). Tehran: WOFIS, 1999 C.E., pp.83-85; Astarābādī, Sharaf al-Dīn Husaynī. Ta`wīl al-Āyāt al-Zāhirah. Qom: Jame`ah Modarresīn, 1409 A.H., p.30.

[7]Prophet Muhammad (s) was a prophet of God even before he was given the mission to bring the message of Islam to the general public. Both Imam `Alī and Khadījah knew this fact. Certainly, Imam `Alī (s) had the knowledge that Muhammad (s) was a prophet and messenger of God from birth. See: Al-Kulaynī, Abī J`afar Muhammad ibn Yaqūb ibn Ishāq. Al-Usūl Min al-Kāfī. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyah, 1384 H.S., v.1, p.454, Al-Mufīd, Abū Abdullāh Muhammad al-Hārithī al-Baghdādī. Al-Irshād. Qom: Congre Sheikh Mufīd, 1413 A.H., v.1, pp.29-33. and for the same book in English see: Shaykh al-Mufid. Kitāb Al-Irshād, trans. I.K.A. Howard. Qom: Ansariyan Publications, pp.18-20; Ahmad ibn Abī Ya`qūb. Tārīkh Ya`qūbī, trans. Muhammad Ibrahīm Āyatī (Persian translation). Tehran: Enteshārāt Elmī wa Farhangī, 1382 H.S.,v.1, p.379; Tūsī, Kawjah Nasīr al-Dīn. Kashf al-Murād: Sharh Tajrīd al-I`tiqād, edit. Allamah Jamāl al-Dīn Hillī and Abul Hasan Sha`rānī. Tehran: Islāmīyah, 1383 H.S., p.520; Majlisī, Muhammad Bāqir. Bihār al-Anwār. Beirut: Mu`asisah al-wafā` 1404 A.H., v.16, p.20; Subhānī, Ja`far. Forūgh Welāyat. Qom: Mo`ssesaye Imām Sādiq (as), 1384 H.S., pp.28-30. Also see: Ibn Hanbal, Ahmad. Al-Musnad. Cairo: Mu`assisah Qurtabah, v.1, p.209.

[8]Majlisī, Muhammad Bāqir. Bihār al-Anwār. Beirut: Mu`asisah al-wafā` 1404 A.H., v.43, p.18.

[9]Majlisī, Muhammad Bāqir. Bihār al-Anwār. Beirut: Mu`asisah al-wafā` 1404 A.H., v.16, pp.77-80.

[10]For Fātīmah being the only child that was alive when the Messenger (s) left this world, also see: Ahmad ibn Abī Ya`qūb. Tārīkh Ya`qūbī, trans. Muhammad Ibrahīm Āyatī (Persian translation). Tehran: Enteshārāt Elmī wa Farhangī, 1382 H.S., v.1, p.511.

[11]Hūr al-`Ayn are heavenly creatures that can be men or women, as the term is gender neutral, and are the promised companions of believers in heaven. According to some traditions, the children of Prophet Adam (as) and Eve (as), married these creatures, creating the third generation of human beings who, being cousins, were then free to marry each other. Kawthar is a pond in heaven the water of which is given to the believers by Imam `Alī (s) in the hereafter.

[12]Sayyidah al-Nisā` al-`Ālamīn (mistress of the women of the worlds) is of the most famous titles given to Fatima bint Muhammad (s), stating her position, in both Shī`ah and Sunnī narrative texts.

[13]Majlisī, Muhammad Bāqir. Bihār al-Anwār. Beirut: Mu`asisah al-wafā`, 1404 A.H., v.43, pp.2-3. Also see: Majlisī, Muhammad Bāqir. Bihār al-Anwār. Beirut: Mu`asisah al-wafā` 1404 A.H., v.16, p.80.

[14]Women who go through their menstrual cycle must, according to Islamic law, abstain from certain ritual practices until the end of their menstruation and once a ritual wash has been done by them. By not having any menstruation Fātīmah was pure in every way.

[15]Al-Kulaynī, Abī J`afar Muhammad ibn Yaqūb ibn Ishāq. Al-Usūl Min al-Kāfī. Tehran: Dār al-Kutub al-Islāmīyah, 1384 H.S., v.1, p.460.

[16]Majlisī, Muhammad Bāqir. Bihār al-Anwār. Beirut: Mu`asisah al-wafā` 1404 A.H., v.8, p.51 and v.43, pp.14-15; Sheikh al-Sadūq, Muhammad ibn `Alī ibn Bābāwayh al-Qummī. `Ilal al-Sharāy`i. Qom: Maktabah al-Dāwarī, v.1, p.179.

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Abū Rayhān Birūnī’s Scientific Refutation of the Sunnī Claim about the Day of `Āshūrā

Abū Rayhān Birūnī’s Scientific Refutation of the Sunnī Claim about the Day of `Āshūrā

By: Zahra Soltanian

There is enough evidence within the Shī`ah traditions about the importance of `Āshūrā and the organization of mourning (azādārī) programmes for Imam Husayn (AS).  There are also many traditions about deeds (`amāl) that are recommended for the blessed day of `Āshūrā.  One example of a recommended deed is abstinence (ṣawm/rūzeh) for the day of `Āshūrā or for half of the day after which one takes some of the turbah (soil) of Karbala.[1]

     Unfortunately, there are certain people who either out of ignorance or because of enmity towards the Ahlul Bayt (AS) try to prevent the organization of mourning programmes for the Master of Martyrs, Imam Husayn (AS).  Mourning programmes for Imam Husayn (AS) was first established by Imam Zayn al-Ābidīn and Haḍrat Zaynab (AS) and has continued since among the Shī`ah for many centuries.  Even certain school of thought within Sunnis conduct such programmes.  There is also the phenomenon of non-Muslims joining in the mourning programmes for Imam Husayn (AS) in many countries such as in India, Lebanon, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.

     Among those who attempt to weaken the importance of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (AS) on the day of `Āshūrā are some who try to do so through false stories that were fabricated by the enemies of the Ahlul Bayt.  Such myths have unfortunately taken root among some creeds associated with Islam.  To those who try to weaken the organization of mourning programmes for Imam Husayn (AS) we narrate the following narration (ḥadīth) from the Prophet Muhammad (S):

Whenever the leaders of the unbelievers and the followers of error [who have enmity towards the Ahlul Bayt and their Shī`ah] make their best efforts to suppress the signs [of Karbala], [the result thereof is that] everyday its effect becomes more apparent and its name more and more popular.[2]

      One false story attributed to the Islamic day of `Āshūrā is about the arrival of the Prophet Muhammad (S) to the city of Medina after migrating from Mecca.  This story was fabricated many centuries ago in an attempt to weaken the importance of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (AS) on the day of `Āshūrā  among the Muslims.  However, no matter how many claims are made whether true or false about what happened on the day of `Āshūrā before the Martyrdom of Imam Husayn (AS), after his martyrdom, there is not a single event that compares to it or is more important than it.  The Prophet (S) has said about Imam Husayn (AS):

God!  [It is me] Mohammad, your slave and messenger and these two are the purest of my kinsmen and my best foundation and progeny and my vicegerent among my people.  [Angel] Gabriel gave me the news that [evil individuals] will desecrate and kill this son of mine [Husayn].  God!  Bless his martyrdom and make him the master of martyrs.  God! Do not bless his killers and make them wretched individuals.[3]

      Also Imam Reḍā (AS) stated, “The day of [the martyrdom] of Imam Husayn (AS) has wounded our [i.e., the Ahlul Bayt’s (AS)] eyelids [from the effect of crying] and has filled our eyes with tears.”[4]

     People who make false claims in most instances cannot fathom all the different aspects associated with their claim and therefore their claims eventually do not stand up to scientific scrutiny.  Interestingly, Abū Rayḥān al-Bīrūnī (362A.H./973C.E.-440A.H./1048C.E.), a great Shī`ah scientist of the fourth and fifth century who is known for his accurate calculation of the Earth’s circumference in his book titled Āthār al-Bāqīyyah provides scientific evidence for why the Sunni version of the reason behind the abstinence of the day of `Āshūrā is an unfounded myth.  Below is the English translation of al-Bīrūnī’s evidence translated by C. Edward Sachau:

Some people say that `Āshūrā is an Arabized Hebrew word, viz. Āshūr, i.e. the 10th of the Jewish month Tishrī, in which falls the fasting Kippūr; that the date of this fasting was compared with the months of the Arabs, and that it was fixed on the 10th of the first month, as it with the Jews falls on the 10th of their first month.

     The Prophet gave orders to fast on this day in the first year of the Hijra, but afterwards this law was abrogated by other law, to fast during the month of Ramaḍān, which falls later in the year.  People relate that the Prophet of God on arriving in Medina saw the Jews fasting `Āshūrā.  On inquiring of them, he was told that this was the day on which God had drowned Pharao and his people and had saved Moses and the Israelites.  Then the Prophet said: “We have a nearer claim to Moses than they.”  In consequence he fasted in that day and ordered his followers to do the same.  But when he afterwards issued the law regarding the fasting of Ramaḍān, he no longer ordered them to fast on `Āshūrā, but neither did he forbid them.

     The tradition, however, is not correct, since scientific examination proves against it.  For the 1st of Muharram in the year of the hijra was a Friday, the 16th Tammūz, A. Alexanderi 933.  But if we compute the Jewish New-Year’s day for the same year, it was a Sunday, the 12th of Elūl, corresponding to the 29th of Ṣafar.  Therefore the fasting `Āshūrā fell on Tuesday, the 9th of Rabī` I., and the flight of the Prophet occurred in the first half of Rabī` I.

     When the Prophet was asked regarding the fasting of Monday, he said: “On this day I was born, I received my prophetical mission and divine revelation, and on this day I fled.”

     Further, it is a question on which Monday the flight occurred.  According to some, it was the 2nd of Rabī` I., according to others the 8th, according to others the 12th of Rabī` I.  However, according to the generally-adopted view, it was the 8th of Rabī` I.  Both the 2nd and the 12th are excluded, since they were not Mondays, because the 1st of Rabī` I. of this year was a Monday (in consequence the 2nd was a Tuesday and the 12th a Friday).  Now, for this reason the arrival of the Prophet in Medina (on Monday, the 8th of Rabī` I.) falls one day before the Jewish `Āshūrā (on Tuesday the 9th of Rabī` I.), and `Āshūrā did not fall in Muharram, except at the time 3-10 years before the year of the flight, or 20-30 years after the year of the flight.

     Therefore you could not maintain that the Prophet fasted `Āshūrā on accounts of it coinciding with the 10th in this year, unless you transfer `Āshūrā from the first of the Jewish months to the first of the Arabian moths, so as to make them fall together.  (In the first year of the flight the 1st of Muharram was a Friday, and therefore the 10th or `Āshūrā, Monday).  Also in the second year of the flight the Jewish `Āshūrā and the date of Muḥammad’s arrival in Medina cannot have coincided.

     The assertion of the Jews that on this day God drowned Pharao is refuted by the Thora itself.  For this book place on the 21st of Nīsān, the seventh of the days of unleavened bread.  Now, the beginning of the Jewish Passover after the arrival of the Prophet in Medina was a Tuesday, the 22nd Adhār, A. Alex. 933, coinciding with the 17th Ramaḍān, and the day on which God drowned Pharao was the 23rd Ramaḍān.  Therefore this tradition is altogether unfounded.[5]

 

References:

Albīrūnī.  The Chronology of Ancient Nations: An English Version of the Arabic Text of the Athār-ul-Bākiya of Albīrūnī, or ‘Vestiges of the Past’.  Translated by C. Edward Sachau.  London: W.H. Allen & Co., 1879.

Ibn Ṭāwūs, Sayyid.  Al-Luhūf.  Tehran: Enteshārāte Jahān, 1348 H.S.

Qommī, Ibn Qūlawayh.  Kāmil al-Zīyārāt.  Najaf: Enteshārāte Murtaḍawiyah, 1356 A.H.

Qommī, Sheikh Abbas.  Mafātīḥ al-Jinān.  Tehran: Ketābforūshī Muhammad Hasan `Elmī, 1386 A.H.

Ṣadūq.  Al-Amālī.  Enteshārāt Ketābkhāneye Eslāmīyah, 1362 H.S.

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     [1]Sheikh Abbas Qommī, Mafātīḥ al-Jinān, Tehran: Ketābforūshī Muhammad Hasan `Elmī, 1386 A.H., 585.

 

     [2]Ibn Qūlawayh Qommī, Kāmil al-Zīyārāt, Najaf: Enteshārāte Murtaḍawiyah, 1356 A.H., 262.

     [3]Sayyid ibn Ṭāwūs, Al-Luhūf, Tehran: Enteshārāte Jahān, 1348 H.S., 17-18.

     [4]Sheikh Ṣadūq, al-Amālī, Enteshārāt Ketābkhāneye Eslāmīyah, 1362 H.S., 128.

     [5]Albīrūnī, The Chronology of Ancient Nations: An English Version of the Arabic Text of the Athār-ul-Bākiya of Albīrūnī, or ‘Vestiges of the Past’, trans., C. Edward Sachau, London: W.H. Allen & Co., 1879, 327-328.

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Birth of Imam `Ali ibn Abi Talib (Commander of the Faithful)

Birth of Imam `Ali ibn Abi Talib (Commander of the Faithful)

From the book Dorr Thamīn

Translated by: Sheikh Hamed Soltanian

The birth of the Commander of the Faithful was on Friday, thirteenth of the blessed month of Rajab, thirty years after [the event of] `Ām al-Fīl [Year of the Elephant].  `Ām al-Fīl was the year in which the irreligious [people] of Abyssinia brought elephants to Mecca for the purpose of destroying it just as it has been mentioned in the blessed [Qur’ānic] verse: {Have you not considered…}[1]

     And the birth of His Excellency was inside the House of Ka`bah and no one beside His Excellency was ever born in that place, neither before him nor after him.

     The author of the book Bishārat al-Muṣṭafā from Yazīd ibn Qa`nab who said: I with `Abbās ibn Abdul Muṭṭalib and a group [of people] from the [tribe known as the] Children of `Abdul `Uzzā who were idol worshipers-and `Uzzā is the name of the idol that they worshipped and believed themselves to be his servants- were sitting across from the sacred House of God.  Suddenly, Fāṭimah the daughter of Asad, the mother of the Commander of the Faithful (peace be on him) came and she was pregnant with him. Nine months had passed in her pregnancy and labour pains had overtaken her.  She said, “O God!  I have faith in you and that which has come from you, from prophets and your [divine] books.  I believe in what was said by my ancestor Abraham (peace be on him) your friend, and it was he who constructed this House of Atīq (i.e., a house where anyone who enters it shall be free from calamites).  Hence, I ask thee by the right of this House and by the right of the child which I carry that you make easy for me the pains of pregnancy.”

     The narrator continues: I saw the House of Ka`bah split apart from the rear and Fāṭimah entered it and she disappeared from sight and the House returned to its original state.  We wanted to open the lock of the House [of Ka`bah].  No matter how hard we tried it did not open.  We realised this was by the command of God the most high.

     On the fourth day she came out [of Ka`bah] and His Excellency was on her arms.  She said, “I found myself to be more blessed than the women who came before me since Āsīyah -the daught of Mozāḥim- worshiped God the most high in secret, in a place where God the most high did not like to be worshipped unless it was out of necessity; and Mary –the daughter of Imrān- shook with her own hands the dried palm tree until it became fresh again and bore ripened date fruits which she ate from; and I entered the sacred House of God and He fed me with heavenly fruits and its blessings.  So when I wanted to come out an announcer proclaimed: O Fāṭimah!  Name him `Ali because he is of high status.  God the highest of the high states that I have derived his name from My name and have taught him my ways, and have given him of my knowledge.  He is the one who will break the idols in my house and he is the one who will call to prayer on the top of My House and will remember me in a way that is excellent and purified.  Therefore, fortunate is he who loves him and follows him and woe to him who is his enemy and disobeys him.[2]

     Fāṭimah [bint Asad] used to say: When `Ali (peace be on him) was born, the Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) was thirty years old, and His Excellency [the Prophet Muhammad] loved him very much and stated, “Place his cradle next to my sleeping place.”  The majority of his [i.e., Imam `Ali’s] upbringing was by his [i.e., the Prophet’s] hands.  When it came to washing him, he would cleanse him with his own blessed hands, and he would feed him milk whenever he wanted to drink milk and would rock his cradle when putting him to sleep and would be kind to him when he woke up.  He would pick him up and put him on his chest and state, “This is my brother and my friend and the one who will assist me and the one chosen by me, my vicegerent, the husband of my daughter and the one trustworthy enough to be entrusted with my will and message.”  His Excellency (peace be on him and his progeny) would always pick him up and take him with himself [everywhere] to the mountains and through the streets and pass the rivers of Mecca.[3]

 
 



     [1]Qur’ān 105:1.

 

     [2] Imād al-DīnṬabarī.  Bishārat al-Muṣṭafā.  Najaf: Kitābkhāneye Haydarīyah, 1383 A.H., p.8.

     [3] Muhammad Bāqir Shahrestānī Mūsawī.  Dorr Thamīn.  Tehran: Society for the Appreciation of Cultural Works and Dignitaries, pp.19-21.

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