Whether her sickness was because of poison, which had been inserted into her food, or because of the great tiredness and sufferings that she had faced, she died after seventeen days only after arriving at Qom. She was as a guest of Musa bin Khazraj until she died after some days to be buried in a land called Babulan belonging to this man.
After a period of time, this land became a great graveyard containing bodies of thousands of narrators, speechers, leaders and rulers. This peace of land became the central part of the city, which began to grow rapidly.
The shrine (of Fatima al-Ma’ssooma) was at first as a shed of straw mat erected according to the order of Musa bin Khazraj al-Ash’ari to be now as a high gold dome, around which high minarets rising towards the Heaven.
Through twelve centuries the shrine has been rebuilt many times.
Sadly, her sojourn met with grief. The encounter inflicted upon the caravan near Saweh was overwhelming. Seventeen days after her arrival on the 10th of Rabee-us-Thani, 201A.H., she died. Sorrow pervaded the Shi’a community. Obsequies were gloriously held for Fatimah and her tomb was embellished with a dome. Musa bin Khazraj’s house, where she had sojourned, was converted to the school of Sittiyah. Her mihrab was called “The Brilliant House’.
Lady Fatima Masuma’s (A) journey from Saweh to Qum
She asked Lady Fatima Masuma (A) became ill at Saweh, she enquired from her companions, how far Qum was. She was told 10 farsakh (approx 60 km). She asked to be taken to Qum, which at the time was a centre of the Shi’a. Saweh, on the other hand, was hostile to wards the family of the Prophet (S). Allamah Majlisi narrates:
“The more accurate narration is that, when it become known to the family of Sa’d Ash’ari, the leading Shi’a family in Qum at the time, that Lady Fatima Masuma (A) was in Saweh and that she was ill, all of them went to Saweh to invite her to come to Qum.
Prominent amongst this family was Musa ibn Khazraj ibn Sa’d Ash’ari who was a companion of Imam al-Rida (A). When he reached Lady Fatima Masuma (A), he took the reins of her camel and brought her to Qum, to is own house. Here she spent the last few days (16 or 17 dayd) of her life.
It is believed that Lady Fatima Masuma (A) died on the 1th or the 12th of Rabi al-Thani and that she spent the last 16 or 17 days of her life in Qum, therefore we can estimate that she arrived in Qum around the 24th Rabi al-Awwal, 201 A.H. The house of Musa ibn Khazraj ibn Sa’d Ash’ari, where lady Fatima Masuma (A) lived for the few days that she was in Qum, has now become a school named “Madres-ye Sittiyeh”. [Sittiy means Lady – hence the name of the school is “School of the Lady”]. Till today, opposite the gates of this school and within its grounds there remains the alter of worship (mihrab ibadat) of this noble lady, where she spent hours of the last days of her life worshiping Allah. It has been named “Bayt al-Nur’ – “the House of Radiance.”. The site is popular with pilgrims, who go there to pay their respects.
The events at that burial of Lady Fatima Masuma (A)
The place where Lady Fatima Masuma (A) is buried was known at the time of her burial as “Babelan”. It was a deserted area with no buildings. It belonged to Musa ibn Khazraj, who donated it for the purpose of the burial of this noble lady.
After the place of burial of Lady Fatima Masuma (A) was selected, the family members of Sa’d prepared her final resting place by digging a crypt in which to place the holy body. Once the Ritual Bath (ghusl) and the shrouding (kafan) of the holy body had been completed, the family of Sa’d began discussing who would have privilege of entering the cript ot lay the holy body into the groun. After much discussion, they finally agreed on a man by the same of Qadir, who was a pious and God-fearing old man from the family of the Prophet (S).
At that moment, they saw two masked riders appear, from the direction of the desert. These two masked riders approached swiftly and dismounted at the burial site. They came forward and recited the prayer for dead (salat al-mayyit) for Lady Fatima Masuma (A). Then, one of them entered the cript while the other passed the holy body of Lady Fatima Masuma (A) to him. In this way her burial took place.
After the ceremonies of burial were completed, these two masked riders, without uttering a word to anyone, mounted their horses and rode off into the distance.
No one knows for certain who these masked men were, but those who were familiar with the character and behaviour of the Imams (A), were in no doubt that these two personalities were Imam al-Rida (A) and his son Imam al-Taqi (A).
They had come from Khurasan and Madina respectively, by the miracle of being able to cross vast distances in an instances in an instant (tayy al-ard), to participate in the burial ceremonies of Lady Fatima Masuma (A).
The presence of an Imam (A) at the burial ceremony of a true Shi’a is not in itself unusual as there are many examples of this in hisroty. In one instance, Imam al-Kazim (A) came from Madina to Neyshabur to participate in the burial ceremonies of an old woman by the name of ‘shatiteh’ who was sincere and devout Shi’a. at that time, Imam (A) said to Abu Ja’far Neyshaburi, who was present and wondered at Imam’s (A) presence so far from Madina :
“I, and whoever is the Imam of the Ahl al-Bayt
after me in my pace, has to be present in the
escorting of your dead bodies, in which ever land
you die in. So be God-fearing and pious and
persist in doing good, so that we come and help
free you from the fire of Hell.”
From the tradition above, it would not be unjustified to assume that the two masked riders who appeared from nowhere, to take part in the burial ceremonies of Lady Fatima Masuma (A) were, in fact, Imam al-Rida (A) and Imam al-Taqi (A).
After the burial of Lady Fatima Masuma (A), Musa ibn Khazraj placed a ceiling made of wicker over the grave, which remained unchanged until Zaynab, daughter of Imam Taqi (A), came to Qum and had a dome built on the grave.1 The dome was built of bricks and morter. This event occured in the middle of the third Islamic century.
After the passing of some time, two other domes were built near the first dome and it was under the third dome that Zaynab, daughter of Imam al-Taqi (A) was herself buried.
These three domes remained till they year 457 A.H, when thei vizier of Tughrul the Great, Mir Abu al-Fadl al- Iraqi, at the urging of the great scholar, shaykh Tusi (d. 460 A.H) built one high dome in place of the three domes.