Wisdom of Lady Fatimah al-Ma’sumah (PBUH)
Sacrificed by her father,
is a phrase echoing the legacy of Lady Fatimah al-Ma’sumah. She lived a life perpetually basked in the radiance of Imamate, absorbing the profound knowledge of her father, Imam al-Kazim, and her brother, Imam al-Rida (Peace Be Upon Them). Despite her youthful years, Ma’sumah attained a remarkable stature, proficient in addressing theological and jurisprudential inquiries, earning the admiration and approval of her venerable father.
A poignant tale, as recounted by the late Hajj Sayyid Nasrallah al-Mustanbit (son-in-law of the late Ayatollah al-Khoei), paints a vivid picture of her wisdom and compassion. Derived from the esteemed book “Kashf al-Thani,” the story unfolds when a group of Shia pilgrims arrive in Medina, bringing with them letters filled with questions for Imam al-Kazim (Peace Be Upon Him). Finding the Imam away and Imam al-Rida absent from the city, the disheartened visitors decided to return home, saddened for not having the honor of seeing the Imam.
Moved by their sorrow, the young Ma’sumah, not yet of the age of religious obligation, took it upon herself to respond to their queries. Taking leave of Medina with hearts filled with joy, the pilgrims met Imam al-Kazim outside the city, recounting their encounter and presenting Ma’sumah’s written responses. Overjoyed, the Imam expressed his pleasure, uttering, ‘Her father would be sacrificed for her.’
This touching narrative, conveyed by al-Mustanbit, originates from the book “Kashf al-Thani” by the Shia scholar Ibn al-Arundas, who passed away around the year 840 Hijri. The book, yet unpublished, resides in manuscript form in the library of al-Shushtari in Najaf al-Ashraf, preserving the heartfelt stories and the cherished wisdom of Lady Fatimah al-Ma’sumah (Peace Be Upon Her).
The Elevated Status of Lady Fatimah al-Ma’sumah (PBUH)
The esteemed Lady Fatimah al-Ma’sumah (Peace Be Upon Her) holds a venerable position, evident in the narrations and traditions conveyed by the luminaries of Islam.
A narration from Judge Noorullah recounts the words of Imam al-Sadiq (Peace Be Upon Him): “Verily, Allah has a sanctuary, and it is Mecca. Verily, the Messenger of Allah has a sanctuary, and it is Medina. Verily, Amir al-Mu’minin (Peace Be Upon Him) has a sanctuary, and it is Kufa. Verily, Qom is the little Kufa. Verily, paradise has eight doors, three of which open to Qom where a woman from my children named Fatimah bint Musa (Peace Be Upon Her) will be taken, and through her intercession, all of my Shia will enter paradise.”
Further enhancing the revered status of Lady Ma’sumah, Imam al-Rida (Peace Be Upon Him) is narrated to have said, “O Sa’d, whoever visits her [Lady Ma’sumah], will undoubtedly enter paradise.” He also conveyed, “Whoever visits my aunt in Qom will enter paradise,” and “Whoever visits al-Ma’sumah in Qom, it is as if he has visited me.”
In another narration, Imam al-Sadiq (Peace Be Upon Him) expressed, “Whoever visits her, recognizing her right, will enter paradise.” He also emphasized the sanctity of her place by saying, “Verily, my sanctuary and the sanctuary of my children after me is Qom.”
Imam al-Rida, furthermore, honored her by the title of ‘Ma’sumah,’ saying, “Whoever visits the Ma’sumah in Qom, it is as though they have visited me.”
The additional title “Karimah Ahl al-Bayt” (The Generous Lady of the Household of the Prophet) was conferred upon Lady Ma’sumah in a credible vision experienced by a venerable scholar, Ayatollah Sayyid Mahmoud al-Mar’ashi al-Najafi. He, driven by a desire to know the location of the pure lady’s grave, undertook devoted spiritual practices. In a vision, the Imam directed him to “Karimah Ahl al-Bayt,” clarifying that it referred to Lady Fatimah al-Ma’sumah in Qom. Consequent to the divine guidance, Ayatollah al-Mar’ashi decisively journeyed from Najaf to Iran, aimed at visiting and paying homage to Lady Fatimah al-Ma’sumah’s resting place.
These narrations underscore the esteemed position and significant spiritual status of Lady Fatimah al-Ma’sumah, manifesting the divine blessings and grace associated with her reverence and visitation.
Marvels of Lady Ma’sumah (Peace Be Upon Her):
Protection and Preservation of the Seminary
The late Grand Ayatollah Hajj Sayyid Sadr al-Din (May Allah be pleased with him) narrates:
After the demise of the late Grand Ayatollah al-Ha’iri (May Allah be pleased with him), I assumed responsibility for the affairs of the religious seminary for a while, being in charge of distributing monthly salaries to the students of knowledge. A month came when we received no funds, and I was compelled to borrow money to disburse the monthly salaries. This situation repeated itself in the following month. When the time to pay the salaries arrived in the third month, I found myself in a challenging position, unable to borrow more.
Some students, driven by necessity, came to my house to ask for their salaries. I told them, “I have no money, and I am already in significant debt.” A student asked, “So, what should we do now?” He explained that there was no security at the school, as the government of Reza Khan was exerting immense pressure at that time, and it was impossible for them to return to their homelands. The absence of the monthly salary, coupled with these issues, would bring humiliation and disgrace to the scholars and students of the seminary before the enemies.
Others spoke at length, and I cried listening to them. I said, “Gentlemen, please leave now, and God willing, I will work tomorrow to secure the salaries.”
After the students left, I spent the night pondering, but I couldn’t find a solution. Finally, I woke up for the pre-dawn prayer, performed ablution, and headed towards the sacred shrine of Lady Ma’sumah (Peace Be Upon Her), which was empty of visitors at that time. I performed the morning prayer, recited some supplications, and then, with a sense of urgency and anger, approached the sacred burial chamber. I spoke to Lady Ma’sumah, saying, “O Aunt! Is this how you honor your guests, letting some of your neighboring students of knowledge starve to death? If you can manage these affairs, then please do so, or else delegate the matter to your venerable brother, Ali ibn Musa al-Rida (Peace Be Upon Him), or your grandfather, the Commander of the Faithful (Peace Be Upon Him).” – The latter part insinuating the transfer of the seminary from Qom to Mashhad or Najaf al-Ashraf.
I uttered these words passionately, left the sacred shrine, and entered the house of the late Ayatollah Sadr. I sat down between the room and the courtyard, when suddenly I heard a knock on the door. I told the visitor to enter. An elderly servant named Muhammad opened the door and said, “Sir, there is a man wearing a state official’s hat and carrying a bag. He insists on meeting you immediately, saying he doesn’t have time for a second visit.” I asked the servant, “Has the Sayyid returned from the shrine or not? What do you think I should do now, sir?”
I told the servant, “Let him in, maybe he will relieve me from my current stress.” – Considering it was early morning, and the elderly servant thought this man was a government officer who came to arrest the Sayyid.
Moments later, the servant returned with a dignified man who wore that particular hat and carried a bag in his hand. He placed the bag aside, removed his hat, and greeted me. I returned his greeting. He moved closer, kissed my hand, and then apologized, saying, “I’m sorry to disturb you at this time. As we were passing through the winding mountainous road, my eyes fell upon the dome of Lady Ma’sumah, and I suddenly started to think. I’m in this car, traveling on this dangerous road. I said to myself: If an accident happens, and I die, and my wealth gets lost, and I still owe the debt to God and the share of the Imam, what will I do?” – It seemed that at the same time the late Ayatollah Sadr was presenting his need to Lady Ma’sumah (Peace Be Upon Her), these thoughts crossed the mind of this believing man. He then added, “For this reason, when we reached Qom, I asked the driver to stop for a while to allow the travelers to perform the visitation, and I came to serve you.”
The late Sayyid said: The man counted his money, and it appeared that he had to pay a significant amount as religious dues. He opened his bag and paid what he owed. In addition to paying off the previous debts and the salaries for that month, I managed to pay the students’ monthly salaries for a whole year.
I headed towards the shrine of Lady Ma’sumah and entered her sacred chamber (Peace Be Upon Her), offering verses of gratitude.
The Healing of the Student from Nakhchivan
Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi says: After the collapse of the former Soviet Union and the independence of the Muslim republics, including the Republic of Nakhchivan, the Shiites of Nakhchivan resolved to send some of their youth to the religious seminary in Qom, so they would become preachers when they returned to their homeland.
Preparations for this matter started significantly. Finally, fifty individuals were chosen out of 300, who had high privileges qualifying them to join the religious seminary in Qom. Meanwhile, among those selected was a student who had an apparent defect in his eye, preventing him from going with the others. However, his father’s insistence on the responsible official made him agree to send him along. The photographer capturing a film to bid farewell to these students focused the camera lens on the defective eye of this person, making it appear prominently in this film, which caused harm to this student and hurt his feelings. Eventually, these individuals headed towards Qom and settled in the school allocated for them. Later, this student visited the holy shrine, imploring Lady Ma’sumah with devotion and sincerity. After that, he had a dream, and when he woke up from his sleep, that defect in his eye had completely disappeared.
When the news of this miracle reached Nakhchivan, its people insisted that this healed student, who had regained his eye’s health, should return. They believed that this would guide others and strengthen the bond with Islamic beliefs.
The Gift of Lady Masuma
A prominent scholar, who was also a representative in the Islamic Consultative Assembly and a respected figure in East Azerbaijan, recounted the following story:
During the years before the leadership of the late Grand Ayatollah al-Broujerdi, students of knowledge faced severe living conditions. The scholar, living in a rented house in Khakfaraj, found himself in debt to the local grocer and felt ashamed to even step outside. He wondered about the hardships they were facing and how long they would have to endure such circumstances. Unable to find a solution, he decided to visit the shrine of Lady Masuma (peace be upon her), express his anguish, and accept whatever outcome followed.
With a heavy heart and full of emotion, he headed towards the sacred shrine. As he walked through the corridor between the old and the new courtyards, a dignified lady, her face covered with a mask, approached him and handed him an envelope, insisting it was for him. Curious, he opened the envelope and found two thousand tomans inside. He tried to find the lady to ask about this money, but she was nowhere to be found.
Overwhelmed, the scholar believed that the money might have been a gift from Lady Masuma (peace be upon her), as everything seemed to indicate so. This belief brought a significant change in his heart, filling him with emotions and tears. He expressed his gratitude and apologies to the sacred lady and returned home.
The scholar, moved to tears while narrating his story, mentioned that the money became a blessing, improving his financial situation, and with the grace of Allah, he never faced any need afterwards.