SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- In the salutation (Ziyārat) of Lady Fatima Masuma (A) which has been narrated from Imam al-Ridā (A) (the salutation is quoted in the final chapter of this book), one reads:
وَاَنْ لا يَسْلُبَنا مَعْرِفَتَكُمْ اِنَّهُ وَلىُّ قَديرٌ
“(We ask from Allah) not to deprive us from understanding your status. Indeed, He is the Protector and has Power over everything.”
And so in this chapter we will attempt to understand something of the great status of this noble lady. Some traditions that are indicative of her status are mentioned below:
1. The authentic tradition from Imam al-Ridā (A):
مَنْ زارَ الْمَعْصومَةَ بِقُمْ كَمَنْ زارَنى
“Whoever visits Masuma in Qum is like the one who has visited me.”28
This tradition implies that the rewards and benefits awarded to a pilgrim are the same whether he does the pilgrimage of Lady Fatima Masuma (A) or Imam al-Ridā (A). Also, from this tradition, as discussed previously, we get the title of Masuma (infallible) that was given to this noble lady by Imam (A) himself.
1. The authentic tradition from Imam al-Sādiq (A):
وَسَتُدْفَنُ فيها امْرَأةٌ مِنْ اَوْلادى تُسَمّى فاطِمَةَ، فَمَنْ زارَها وَجَبَتْ لَهُ الجنّة
“A lady from my children, by the name of Fatima will be buried in Qum. Whoever visits her [shrine], will certainly be admitted to Heaven.”29
This narration also illustrates the high status of this noble lady, because her pilgrim is ensured entry into Heaven.
3. Another authentic tradition from Imam al-Sādiq (A):
تُقبَض فيها امْراةٌ منْ وُلْدي، اِسْمُها فاطِمَةُ بِنْتُ مُوسى، وتَدْخُلُ بِشَفاعَتِها شيعَتي الجنّة بَأجْمَعِهِمْ
“A lady from my children whose name will be Fatima, daughter of Mūsā, will die in Qum. On the day of Judgement this lady will intercede for all my Shi`a to enter Heaven.”30
This narration indicates the honour and position of Lady Fatima Masuma (A), who will be the means of intercession of the Shi`a of the Ahl al-Bayt (A) on the Day of Judgement.
Although there have been other traditions by the Imams (A) stating that, through the intercession of the scholars and the martyrs, people will enter Heaven, never has a non-Ma`sum been specifically named for this intercession, as in the case of Lady Fatima Masuma (A).
4. The Ziyārat to Lady Fatima Masuma (A) that we have in our hand today has been narrated from Imam al-Ridā (A). Interestingly, no other non-Ma`sum has had an Imam dictate the text and manner of their Ziyārat other than Lady Fatima Masuma (A).
Also, because we know that this Ziyārat has been narrated by the Imam (A) through a reliable tradition, the virtues of Lady Fatima Masuma (A) within it must be considered true.
Some extracts from her Ziyārat are discussed here as an example:
i. In this Ziyārat, she is called:
the daughter of the Prophet of God,
the daughter of Fatima and Khadījah,
the daughter of Amīr al-Mu’minīn Ali,
the daughter of Hasan and Husain,
the daughter of the Vicegerent of God (al-Kāđim),
the sister of the Vicegerent of God (al-Ridā),
and the aunt of the Vicegerent of God (al-Jawād)
(may the blessings of Allah be on all of them).
That portion from her Ziyārat is reproduced below:
السلام عليك يا بنت رسول الله
Peace be on You, O Daughter of the Messenger of Allah!
السلام عليك يا بنت فاطمة وخديجة
Peace be on you, O Daughter of Fatima and Khadījah!
السلام عليك يا بنت امير المؤمنين
Peace be on you, O Daughter of the
Commander of the Faithful!
السلام عليك يا بنت الحسن والحسين
Peace be on you, O Daughter of Hasan and Husain!
السلام عليك يا بنت وليّ الله
Peace be on you, O Daughter of the Vicegerent of Allah!
السلام عليك يا أخت وليّ الله
Peace be on you, O Sister of the Vicegerent of Allah!
السلام عليك يا عمّة ولىّ الله
Peace be on you, O Aunt of the Vicegerent of Allah!
The above relation given of Lady Fatima Masuma (A) shows the honourable family that this noble lady comes from and also her nobility due to being a ‘true’ child of the Prophet (S), Lady Khadījah al-Kubrā, Lady Fatima Zahra (A) and the Pure Imams (A).
ii. In this Ziyārat, Imam al-Ridā (A) refers us to her for intercession, due to her nearness, status and special esteem in the eyes of Allah.
يا فاطمة ٱشفعي لي في الجنّة فانّ لك عند الله شأناً مّن الشّأن
O Fatima! Intercede for me, so that I enter Heaven, for indeed you have a great status in the eyes of Allah. 31
The intercession of this noble lady in the matter of our entrance to Heaven has been mentioned before in the authentic traditions from Imam al-Sādiq (A) and in the salutation taught by Imam al-Ridā (A).32
5. One of the noble qualities attributed to Lady Fatima Zahra (A) was that her father, the Prophet (S) would say about her:
“May her father be sacrificed for her.”33
This phrase was also used in reference to Lady Fatima Masuma (A) by her father, Imam al-Kāđim (A).34
This statement is indeed worthy of attention because:
i. it compares the status of Lady Fatima Masuma (A) to that of Lady Fatima Zahra (A), since it is the same phrase that the Prophet (S) also used.
ii. the statement itself comes from an Imam (A) and that further emphasises the status of Lady Fatima Masuma (A).
1. The shrine of Lady Fatima Masuma (A) is equivalent to the shrine of Lady Fatima Zahra (A).35
7. The coming of the two men, whose faces were not clearly seen, at the time of the burial of Lady Fatima Masuma (A). These two men, who are believed to have been Imam al-Ridā (A) and Imam al-Taqī (A), buried the noble lady.36
An infallible is always buried by an infallible. This incident in itself does not necessarily prove that Lady Fatima Masuma (A) was infallible, because the Imams (A) would take part in the burial rituals of many of their followers. However, it does indicate her high status, and the fact that the Imams (A) came from afar and took over the responsibility of her burial is worth noting.
8. The number of traditions from the Imams (A) on the virtues of Qum, (mentioned in section 4.5), due to the fact that this noble lady is buried here. There is no other place where a non-Ma`sum is buried, that has been mentioned so numerously.
9. The number of miracles, that have been narrated by scores of people, in different generations (mentioned in section 3.11) has not occurred in any other place where a Prophet (S) or Imam (A) is not buried, except for the shrine of Hadrat `Abbās (A) in Karbalā and Lady Zaynab (A) in Damascus.
10. The authentic traditions that have been narrated by this noble lady (mentioned in section 1.9) show her high degree of knowledge of the various Islamic sciences and the teachings and merits of the family of the Prophet (S), in addition to her other qualities.