The Lady Fāṭimah Maʿṣūmah
Fāṭimah Maʿṣūmah (a) is the daughter of Imam Musā ibn Jaʿfar (a) and she was born in the city of Medina on the first day of the Dhī al-Qaʿdah in the year 173 AH. Her birth had been foretold by Imam al-Ṣādiq (ʿa). Today is the birthday anniversary of this blessed lady and so it is necessary that we look into the various aspects of her character. Towards this end, we will look into what Grand Ayatollah Makārim Shīrāzī has said in this regard. We will delve into the lofty position of Fāṭimah Maʿṣūmah according to the Imams (ʿa), as well as other aspects of her character and life:
The Intellectual Grandeur of the Lady Fāṭimah Maʿṣūmah
Fāṭimah Maʿṣūmah is a source of virtues and goodness and she is respected all around the Shia world because of being related to three of the Infallible Imams (ʿa) in one form or another, including Imam Musā ibn Jaʿfar (ʿa), Imam ʿAlī ibn Musā (ʿa), and Imam Muḥammad ibn ʿAlī (ʿa). Although she is not one of the infallibles, there have been many traditions narrated in regards to her and therefore, it is necessary that we better understand her position and rank.
Grand Ayatollah Makārim Shīrāzī has explained the rank and position of this noble lady as follows: ‘the Lady Fāṭimah Maʿṣūmah enjoyed a very high intellectual status. During the time of Imam al-Kāẓim (ʿa), a number of Shias entered the city of Medina and they went to visit the Imams (ʿa) in order to ask him a number of their questions. When they arrived there, they heard that the Imam (ʿa) was on a journey. They decided to give their questions to the family of the Imam (ʿa) so that when the Imam (ʿa) returned, he could answer their questions.
When their stay in Medina was nearing its end, they came back to the house of Imam al-Kāẓim (ʿa) in order to say goodbye to the household. When they arrived there, Fāṭimah Maʿṣūmah gave them their response to the questions which they had asked. The Shias became very happy and they began to travel towards their homeland. Coincidentally, they came across Imam al-Kāẓim on their return journey and they told him what had happened. Imam al-Kāẓim (ʿa) took a look at the questions and the answers which had been given and all of the answers which Fāṭimah Maʿṣūmah had given were correct. The Imam (ʿa) repeated three times: May her father be sacrificed for her… Thus, considering that Fāṭimah Maʿṣūmah was very young during that time, it is clear that she was very advanced in knowledge and wisdom.’
The Spiritual Rank of Fāṭimah Maʿṣūmah
Referring to the sacred spiritual rank of the Lady Fāṭimah Maʿṣūmah (a), Grand Ayatollah Makārim Shīrāzī has stated the following:: “The lofty spiritual position of this lady is not only due to her familial relation to Imam Musā ibn Jaʿfar (ʿa) and Imam al-Riḍā (ʿa); it is also due to her level of piety and spirituality as well. Grand Ayatollah Makārim Shīrāzī has then continued and said: “There are many traditions in regards to the greatness of Fāṭimah Maʿṣūmah as well. The late Muḥaddith al-Qummī has narrated in this regard that: One of the notables of Qom by the name of Saʿd went to visit Imam al-Riḍā (ʿa); Imam al-Riḍā (ʿa) said to him: O Saʿd, one of the tombs of our kin is located in your homeland. Saʿd replied: May I be sacrificed for you, are you referring to the tomb of Fāṭimah the daughter of Musā (a)? Imam al-Riḍā (ʿa) said: Yes, whoever visits her while recognizing and understanding her status will have paradise as their reward.
The reality is that knowing the position and rights of Fāṭimah Maʿṣūmah entails that we know who she is descended from and what their rank and position is. When we realize who her father is and who she has descended from, we must come to the conclusion that they are ones who must be obeyed and we must implement this obedience on a practical level in our day to day lives. The end result of this obedience and daily plan will be paradise.
The Lineage of Fāṭimah Maʿṣūmah and its Link with her Position
Grand Ayatollah Makārim Shīrāzī has also explained the link between the lineage of Fāṭimah Maʿṣūmah and its relationship with her lofty position. He has stated: When we look at the lineage of Fāṭimah Maʿṣūmah, we see that she is linked to nine of the Infallibles and this is something which shows the greatness of this lady.
The Reason behind the great significance of the Visitation of Fāṭimah Maʿṣūmah’s Shrine
Grand Ayatollah Makārim Shīrāzī has placed great importance on the act of visiting the tomb of Fāṭimah Maʿṣūmah and he has mentioned the following in this regard: ‘It is enough in regards to the rank of this great lady that her visitation prayer contains many virtues attributed to her.’
The Reward of Visiting the Shrine of Fāṭimah Maʿṣūmah
Grand Ayatollah Makārim Shīrāzī has explained the effects and blessings of visiting the shrine of Fāṭimah Maʿṣūmah by saying: The author of the book Kāmil al-Ziyārāt has narrated from Imam al-Jawād (ʿa) that: ‘Whoever visits the tomb of my aunt (Fāṭimah Maʿṣūmah) in Qom will be rewarded with a life in Paradise.’
A Visitation Worthy of Paradise
Grand Ayatollah Makārim Shīrāzī has referred to a tradition from the Prophet (ṣ) in regards to Fāṭimah Maʿṣūmah. He has mentioned: The Prophet (ṣ) has said that a piece of me will be buried in Qom and whoever visits this individual will have paradise become obligatory upon them. This reference of the Prophet (ṣ) to ‘a piece of me’ has been mentioned in only another tradition where it is in reference to Fāṭimah al-Zahrā, his daughter. Therefore, the term ‘a piece of me’ has only been used in reference to Fāṭimah al-Zahrā and Fāṭimah Maʿṣūmah. In light of this tradition, there is no doubt that anyone who visits her in Qom will have paradise become obligatory for them.
The Spread of Shiaism is Indebted to the Coming of Fāṭimah Maʿṣūmah to Qom
Grand Ayatollah Makārim Shīrāzī has explained the effects of the coming of Fāṭimah Maʿṣūmah to Qom and how it relates to the promotion of the Shia school of thought. A glance at the history of the city of Qom reveals that Shia school of thought was first introduced to this city during the first century AH, following which this school began to gradually grow in this re-gion. Before long, the city of Qom was formed into a completely Shia city which was a refuge and haven for the followers of the Ahl al-Bayt (ʿa) school. Since then, the city of Qom has been a safe haven for the descendants of the Prophet (s) as well as the true followers of the Prophet’s Ahl-al-Bayt (a), i.e. the Shias, and the people of Qom have welcomed them with all respect and with open arms. Thus, many of those who migrated to this city were descendants of the Prophet (ṣ) and those of the Infallible Imams (a), the most notable among them was the daughter of Imam al-Kāẓim (ʿa), Fāṭimah Maʿṣūmah.
In the year 201 AH, Fāṭimah Maʿṣūmah left the city of Medina and set out on a journey to Khurāsān with the intention of visiting her brother, Imam al-Riḍā (ʿa). When she reached the city of Sāveh (in Iran), she fell ill and could not continue her journey. Since Fāṭimah Maʿṣūmah knew about the city of Qom, she told her caretaker to take her there. At the same time, when the people of Qom had heard that she was coming to Sāveh, they had decided to invite her to visit them.
Towards this end, the sons and grandsons of Saʿd al-Ashʿarī went to see her and they brought her back to Qom with the utmost respect. Unfortunately, Fāṭimah Maʿṣūmah passed away a short period after. In spite of this, her coming to Qom and her shrine, as well as the many other descendants of the Ahl al-Bayt (ʿa) and the scholars and narrators of tradition from Kūfah and other regions who came to settle in this city caused the city to become a center of Shia knowledge and power.
The Establishment of the Religious Seminary in the City of Qom Next to the holy shrine of Fāṭimah Maʿṣūmah
Grand Ayatollah Makārim Shīrāzī has explained the effects and blessings of the presence of Fāṭimah Maʿṣūmah in the establishment and strengthening of the religious seminary in Qom. He has stated that: ‘With the coming of Fāṭimah Maʿṣūmah, a new chapter was opened in the his-tory of the city of Qom. It was due to the presence of this lady, who was a descendant of the Prophet (s) and that of the Ahl-al-Bayt (a), that many great scholars migrated to the city, and the presence of so many great scholars in this city helped to bring about the establishment of the religious seminary.’ In reality, the coming of Fāṭimah Maʿṣūmah to Qom was what caused the religious seminary to be established there.
A Final Word
From the perspective of Grand Ayatollah Makārim Shīrāzī, the creation of the ten days of Karāmah, starting from the birthday anniversary of Fāṭimah Maʿṣūmah and ending with the birthday anniversary of Imam al-Riḍā (ʿa), was a very beneficial creation. The enemies of Iran and Shiaism must today know how much we love the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt (ʿa) and this is a love which will never diminish or end, God willing. Without any doubt, the establishment of various cultural and artistic endeavors during this ten day celebration only serves to spread the teachings of the Ahl al-Bayt (ʿa) amongst the people. Let these days of celebration serve as a blow to the Wahhabis and the other enemies of the Ahl al-Bayt (ʿa), and serve as a source of pride and honor for the Shias. We should consider this ten day celebration to be a very good initiative which will help to spread the light and message of Shia school all across the world.
Researched and edited at editorial deputy of his eminence office
. Biḥār al-Anwār, vol. 48, p. 317.