and pour down peace on them, O most merciful of all those who show mercy.
She was the daughter of Imam Musa al-Kadhim (peace be upon him). Her generosity earned her the title of Kareema-e-Ahlulbayt, meaning the Munificent Lady of the Household of the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him and his family). Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him) is reported to have said, ”Whoever visits her shrine will certainly be admitted to heaven.”Her shrine in the city of Qom draws millions of pilgrims every year, and has transformed this Iranian city into a prime centre of Islamic learning.
drat Fatima Masumah(A.S.) the Blessed and the Gracious Divine Lady from the Holy Ahlul Bayt(A.S.) was born in the holy city of Medina on the First Day of the month of Zee Qa'dah 173 A.H. Her holy father was Imam Musa al-Kazim(A.S.),the Seventh Holy Imam of the Shi'ites and Imam Reza(A.S.),the Eighth Holy Imam was her elder brother.
Hadrat Fatima Masumah(A.S.) was a most learned scholar and very pious lady and was greatly revered by the Holy Imams(A.S.). She was buried in the holy city of Qum(Iran) and her holy shrine is every year visited by millions of the lovers of Holy Ahlul Bayt(A.S.).
She was brought up in a very noble family. She was daughter of the Holy Imam[Imam Musa al-Kazim (A.S.)], the sister of
the Holy Imam[Imam Reza(A.S.)] and the aunt of the Holy Imam[Imam Muhammad Taqi al-Jawad(A.S.)]. She was taught all the Islamic sciences by Imam Musa al-Kazim(A.S.) and Imam Reza(A.S.) and she transmitted Ahadith(traditions) from them. She became famous as Aalimah(the Learned Lady) and Muhaddithah(the Learned Lady who transmitted Ahadith).
The traditions quoted by Hadrat Masumah(A.S.) are among the most authentic traditions which are present in various books of traditions.
She was most pious,noble and reverend lady. Like her holy grand-mother Hadrat Fatima Zahra (A.S.) she was always busy in performing Salaat(prayers) and maintained fast on most days. She was greatly respected and revered by her holy father Imam Musa al-Kazim(A.S.) and her elder brother Imam Reza(A.S.). She become famous as Masumah(the Immaculate) during her lifetime. Imam Reza(A.S.) has said about Hadrat Fatima Masumah(A.S.) that "Whoever performs the Ziyarah of 'Fatima Masumah' in Qum is like the person who has performed my Ziyarah"
Karimah-i Ahlul Bayt(A.S.)
Hadrat Fatima Masumah(A.S.) is also considered as Karimah-i Ahlul Bayt(A.S.) because she was very kind and gracious. Thousands of miracles have been recorded at the holy grave of her and the rightful wishes of the believers are fulfilled by her and incurable patients are miraculously healed by her. Imam Jafar Sadiq(A.S.) has quoted "By the intercession of Fatima Masumah(A.S.) all my Shias will enter the paradise”.
Demise of Hadrat Masumah(A.S.)
In the year 200 A.H. a year after the forced migration of Imam Reza(A.S.) from Medina to Marw in Khurasan by the reigning Abbasid caliph Mamun, Hadrat Masumah accompanied by her brothers left Medina for Khurasan to meet her elder brother Imam Reza(A.S.).When they reached Saveh in central Iran they were attacked by the Abbasid army and many of her brothers were mercilessly martyred. Hadrat Masumah(A.S.) during her stay in Saveh was poisoned by a lady servant on the orders of the Abbasid commander.
Hadrat Masumah(A.S.) became severely ill and in this condition she migrated to Qum where she was warmly welcomed by the Shias of the city. The effect of poisoning increased during her short stay in Qum and she attained martyrdom on 10th of Rabi al-Thani 201 A.H. Hadrat Masumah(A.S.) had great longing to meet her brother Imam Reza(A.S.) but due to her sudden death she could not meet him. Imam Reza(A.S.) was deeply grieved when he came to know about the demise of her beloved sister Hadrat Fatima Masumah(A.S.).
The Merits of the Ziyarah of Hadrat Fatima Masumah(A.S.)
There are many traditions from the Holy Imams(A.S.) recommending the Shias to perform the Ziyarah of the holy grave of Hadrat Masumah(A.S.) in the holy city of Qum.
1-Imam Reza(A.S.) said "Whoever performs the Ziyarah of Fatima Masumah(A.S.) will be awarded heaven".
2-Imam Muhammad Taqi al-Jawad(A.S.) said"Whoever performs the Ziyarah of my aunt[Fatima Masumah(A.S.)] in Qum will enter paradise"
3-Imam Reza(A.S.) said" Whoever performs the Ziyarah of 'Fatima Masumah'with the knowledge of her status will attain paradise.
The Holy Shrine of Hadrat Fatima Masumah(A.S.) in Qum.
The construction of the present Bargah (Holy Court) and the holy shrine of Hadrat Masumah in Qum, was started in the middle of the third century A.H. and continued during the 4th, 5th, and 6th centuries A.H. (mid 9th century through 12th century A.D.), when it was completed with a dome and vault.
In 447 A.H.,Mir Abul Fazl Iraqi,the Vazier of Tughril Beg constructed a magnificent dome on the grave of Hadrat Masumah(A.S.) and the height of that dome was 14 metres.In 925 A.H.,Shah Baigi Begum the daughter of Shah Ismail,the Safawid ruler of Iran renovated the dome and illuminated it with intrinsic mosaic tiles.
The holy shrine was greatly expanded during the Safavid period. Shah Ismail ordered the construction of the northern ivan. During the reign of Shah Tahmasb I, 939 A.H. (1532A.D.) and Shah Abbas II, 1055 A.H. (1654 A.D.), the buildings of the (Astaneh) were completed and some important decorative works were undertaken, which have been continued ever since.
The main structure of the holy shrine consists of the old and new courtyards, a mirror-decorated ivan, a number of Mu`azin`s cages, a portico, a sepulcher, the holy burial chamber, the Holy Tomb(Zareeh), Masjid-i-Bala-sar, Ladies Courtyard (Sahn-i-Zananeh), an ivan,the golden dome, and several golden, silver and inlaid doors.
There are a number of verse inscriptions in the holy shrine, composed by Muhtasham Kashani, Fath Ali Khan Saba, and Shurideh Shirazi. The tileworks of the holy tomb of Hazrat-i-Masumeh, which have been accomplished during the years 605 to 613 A.H. (1208 to 1218 A.D.), bear the following designs and colors.
On the tomb, there are 15 pieces of enameled tiles covering a space of 2.95 meters long and 1.20 meters wide. The sides of the tomb are covered with three kinds of tiles, namely enameled tiles with curved sides, full star-shaped (Kuakabi) tiles, and enameled tiles on which the latter are installed.
There are three inscriptions on the tomb: the first is a relief inscription in Naskh style and is vermilion in color; the second, also vermilion, is in Kufic script;and the third is golden and in Naskh calligraphy. The background is azure, golden, brown or silver, and is further adorned with various ornamental motifs.
According to the inscriptions, the tiles of the Holy Sepulcher have been donated by Muzaffar ibn Ahmad ibn Ismail and the calligraphers Muhammad ibn Abi-Tahir ibn Abi-Hussain and Abu-Zaid have been responsible for the inscriptions, the former having also undertaken the manufacturing of the tiles. The Holy City of Qum
The holy city of Qum in central Iran, 150 km to the south of Tehran became one of the first bastions Shi'ism and till the present day is the leading centre of Islamic seminaries where more than forty thousand scholars and students are learning Islamic sciences in the numerable Islamic seminaries present in this holy city. At present about two hundred Islamic research and cultural centres are active in this holy city.
In the year 83 A.H. the Arabs belonging to the Ash'ari tribe migrated and settled in this region and laid the foundation of this city.From the beginning of its establishment the city of Qum became the dwelling place of the Shias and by the end of first century Hijrah more than 6000 Shias settled in this city.The Shias of this city revolted against the Umayyad caliphs and after the inception of the Abbasid caliphate in 132 A.H. they also opposed the Abbasid caliphs.
In the year 200 A.H. Hadrat Fatima Masumah(A.S.) took refuge in this city and Her Holiness expired in the year 201 A.H. and was buried in this city.The sacred grave of Hadrat Fatima Masumah(A.S.) became the pilgrimage centre of the Shias and this city became famous as Qum-i Muqaddas.Since then it also emerged as a leading Shia learning centre in the world.The holy shrine of Hadrat Fatima Masumah(A.S.) and the city's reputation as a centre of theological education of the Shias contributed most to its fame.
The city was patronised by the Shia Buyid(Buwayhid) rulers and during that era many leading Shia theologians emerged from this city.The holy city of Qum was also patronised by Timurids,the Qara Qoyunlu and Aq Qoyunlu sultans and the Safawid rulers showed great respect to the holy city of Qum.
During the stay of Ayatullah Abdul Karim Haeri Yazdi in this holy city in the first half of twentieth century Qum established itself as the leading Shia theological centre in the world and most of the leading Maraje(the Grand Ayatullah ) of the Shias reside and teach Islamic sciences to the scholars in this holy city.
In June1963 Imam Khomeini (R.A.) started Islamic movement against the rule of Shah from the holy city of Qum.The uprising of people of Qum in January 1978 convulsed the whole of Iran and led to the victory of Islamic revolution and the establishment of Islamic Republic in Iran in February 1979. Short Discussion of the Dignity and Exaltation of Hazrat Faatemah Ma’soomah (s.a.)
If anyone gets an opportunity to go for ziyaarat of Hazrat Faatemah Ma’soomah (a.s.) having her cognizance and dignity in the heart will be deserving for heaven.
The discourse of Imam Reza (a.s.) that whoever visits the shrine of Hazrat Faatemah Ma’soomah (a.s.) having her cognizance and dignity in heart, will deserve for heaven, expresses that her status is so much munificent and bountiful that as soon as a pilgrim recites her ziyaarat, taking into consideration of her high status and cognizance, enters into the strong fort of her dominance and status and thus he is secured from the Hell fire and gets a palce in Paradise.
Owing to this reason this group also expects like the former group that would enter the Heaven through the medium of her intercession.
Every year millions of pilgrims, from far and near, come to visit the holy shrine of Hazrat Faatemah Ma’soomah (a.s.) and are honored. But how many people are acquainted of her status and dignity?
We are sorry to say that the Shias did not truly recognize such a great and dignified lady Hazrat Faatemah Ma’soomah (a.s.) as she should be recognized.
Fakhrul Waezeen late Sayed Mohammad Baqar Khalkhali in the Book ‘Jannaat-e-Samaaniyyah, p. 858’ and famous historian Sepehr0 in ‘Naasekh al-Tawaareekh’, vol. 7, p. 33 narrate that Imam Reza (a.s.) said about the dignity of Faatemah Ma’soomah (a.s.):
مَنْ زَارَ الْمَعْصُوْمَةَ بِقُمْ (فِيْ قُمْ) كَمَنْ زَارَنِيْ
“Whoever visits Ma’soomah in Qum is like the one who has visited me.”
On behalf of these narrations the status and dignity of Hazrat Faatemah Ma’soomah (a.s.) can very well be understood.
In view of this tradition, we may comprehend about the dignified personality of Faatemah Ma’soomah (a.s.) on the Day of Judgement to some extent.
Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (a.s.) said:
وَ تُدْخَلُ بِشَفَاعَتِهَا شِيْعَتِي الْجَنَّةَ بِاَجْمَعِهِمْ.
“Through the medium of the intercession of (Hazrat Faatemah Ma’soomah (a.s.)) all my Shias will enter into Paradise.”0
On this account through the medium of intercession of Faatemah Ma’soomah (a.s.) people in mass will set on towards the eight gates of Paradise.
We recite in the ziyaarat of the dignified and splendid lady:
یَا فَطِمَۃُ اِشْفَعِیْ لِیْ فِیْ الْجَنَّۃِ.
“O Faatemah! Please intercede me for Heaven.”
An important point about the intercession of Faatemah Ma’soomah (a.s.)
Hereunder we shall mention an important point with regard to the intercession of Hazrat Faatemah Ma’soomah (a.s.) for Shias and lovers (of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.)).
The grandeur and stateliness of Hazrat Faatemah Ma’soomah (a.s.) is deserving for two reasons:
1. Hazrat Faatemah Ma’soomah (a.s.)’s connection with the Infallible Imams (a.s.) and also her lineage and relationship with them. Because Hazrat Faatemah Ma’soomah (a.s.) is the daughter of an Imam (a.s.), sister of an Imam (a.s.), father’s sister of an Imam (a.s.), granddaughter of an Imam (a.s.) and we recite her ziyaarat.
اَلسَّلَامُ عَلَیْكِ یَا بِنْتَ رَسُوْلِ اللہِ ... اَلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكِ يَا بِنْتَ مُوْسَي بْنِ جَعْفَرٍ
2. In addition to the apparent conection and relationship of Hazrat Faatemah Ma’soomah (a.s.) with infallible Imams (a.s.) her meaningful nearness is also worth to be considered.
This is also worth to be noted that many of the sublime sons of Holy Imams (a.s.) are equal to the status of Hazrat Faatemah Ma’soomah (a.s.) due to their evident relationship and nearness but on account of the meaningful and dignified and spiritual personality of Hazrat Faatemah Ma’soomah (a.s.) none is equal to her.
Comprehending on the discourses of Imam Reza (a.s.) about the ziyaarat and magnificent personality of Hazrat Faatemah Ma’soomah (a.s.) we can come to the conclusion that Hazrat Faatemah Ma’soomah (a.s.), in view of her connection with the holy family of infallible Imams (a.s.) and at the same time in spite of her magnificence, she herself has got the status of wilayat.
Imam Reza (a.s.) stated her relationship with the infallible Imams (a.s.) so that everybody could know that Hazrat Faatemah Ma’soomah (a.s.) has got the grand status of intercession. This does not mean that Hazrat Faatemah Ma’soomah (a.s.) has got close relationship with infallible Imams (a.s.) instead it is ordered that the pilgrims should say: یَا فَطِمَۃُ اِشْفَعِیْ لِیْ فِیْ الْجَنَّۃِ And they should claim for the intercession of Hazrat Faatemah Ma’soomah (a.s.).
Further this is also worth to be considered that the sentence did not start with يَا بِنْتَ رَسُوْلِ اللهِ or يَا بِنْتَ اَمِیْرِ الْمُؤْمِنِیْنَ so that the pilgrims should seek her intercession as she is the daughter of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) or the daughter of the Commander of Faithful (a.s.) but by dint of the sentence یَا فَطِمَۃُ اِشْفَعِیْ (O Faatemah! Intercede) Hazrat Faatemah Ma’soomah (a.s.) has been asked for intercession. By way of subtlety in the interpretation used by Imam Reza (a.s.) he (a.s.) has explained us that grand status of intercession is not because of her relationship with the family of Divine Revelation (a.s.) but this grand lady herself posses this sublime status.
In order to further clarify this fact some more sentences of her ziyaarat are stated hereunder:
فَاِنَّ لَكِ عِنْدَ اللہِ شَاْنًا مِنَ الشَّاْنِ
This sentence is for expressing the actual reality that Hazrat Faatemah Ma’soomah (a.s.) posseses the grandeur of Wilayat and nearness to Almighty Allah.
On this ground we see that by the sentences in her ziyaarat ‘daughter of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.)’, ‘daughter of the Commander of faithful (a.s.)’ or ‘the sister of Imamat’ or ‘father’s sister’, the magnificence of Hazrat Faatemah Ma’soomah (a.s.) has been stated. But at the time of requesting for her intercession, the interpretation of the ziyaarat changes and the name of Hazrat Faatemah Ma’soomah (a.s.) is taken instead of the previous sentences and after calling her name she is asked for her intercession for entry in Heaven.
By the way Hazrat Faatemah Ma’soomah (a.s.), by rescuing the people from the horrors of the Day of Judgement, will direct them towards Heaven. In the same way she posseses the dignity and magnificence during the era of occultation also. She could get the people rid of the difficulties of the period of occultation and by dint of her status of intercession, she will relieve the people from the troubles and difficulties and will become the medium for the early reappearance of Imam of the time (a.t.f.s.).
That is why it is incumbent upon the pilgrims to concentrate on the point that whenever they are blessed by the meaningful ziyaarat of the dignified personalities they not only should take care of their own situation but they should also pray for the salvation of this universe and its residents and pray to enlighten the candle of Wilayat on this world and they should determine this request as their most important prayer so that the universal sovereignty of Hazrat Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) could be witnessed and the promised Heaven could be observed in this world.