Hazrat Fatimah az- Zahra’s (S.A.) Scientific and Intellectual Heritage
By: Baqir Shareef al-Qurashi
Fatimah, the principal of the women of the worlds, (a.s.) was one of the most knowledgeable, faithful, thinking women. Many men and women narrated traditions from her such as; Imam Ali (a.s.), Imam al-Hasan (a.s.), Imam al-Husayn (a.s.), Anass bin Malik, Fatimah bint Imam al-Husayn (a.s.), Umm Rafi’, Aa’isha, Umm Salamah, Salma1. These are some of those who narrated from her what she had heard from her father.
Fatimah (s.a.) narrated from her father a good quantity of traditions which as-Sayooti has collected in a book called “Musnad of Fatimah”. Other than him, has written a book on her having the same title.
It is worth mentioning that all what she narrated from her father concerned morals, manners of conducts, and nobilities of character which form an important part in the eternal Islamic mission. Here are some examples from her traditions:
Urging on Cleanliness
Al-Husayn bin al-Hasan narrated from his mother Fatimah bint Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) from her father that Fatimah az-Zahra’ (a.s.) said, ‘The messenger of Allah (S) said: he, who sleeps while there is some fat in his hand (after eating), Should not blame except himself.’2
Liberality and Stinginess
Imam Zaynol Aabidin (a.s.) narrated from his father Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) that his mother Fatimah (s.a.) said, ‘The messenger of Allah (S) said to me: beware of stinginess because it is a defect that does not exist in a generous one…beware of stinginess because it is a tree in Fire and its branches are in this life. Whoever clings to one of its branches it will take him to Fire. Liberality is a tree in the Paradise and its branches are in this life. Whoever clings to one of its branches, it will take him to the Paradise.’3
The Virtue of Setting Slaves Free
Al-Hakim bin Abi Na’eem said, ‘I heard Fatimah bint Muhammad (S) narrating from her father saying, ‘The messenger of Allah (S) said, ‘He, who releases a believing slave, will be released from Fire with each organ for each organ (of the freed slave).’4
Islam has invited to release man from slavery and save him from this nightmare. The imams of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) were the most of people in releasing slaves and being very kind to them. Imam Zaynol Aabidin (a.s.) was an example in releasing slaves. He spent all what he had in this way.
The Reward of a Sick
Fatimah bint Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) narrated from her grandmother Fatimah az-Zahra’ (a.s.)5 that the Prophet (S) said, ‘If someone becomes ill, Allah reveals to his angels: stop writing against My slave as long as he is in My tie. I have tied him until I take his soul or release him.’6
Illness is a trial by which Allah tries man and from His kindness to the sick that He expiates their sins in return for sickness except for the major sins.
Negligence of Prayer
Once Fatimah (s.a.) asked her father, the messenger of Allah (S), ‘O father, what about one, man or woman, who neglect his or her prayer?’
He said, ‘O Fatimah, whoever, man or woman, neglects his or her prayer Allah will afflict him or her with fifteen things; six in this life, three at dying, three in his or her grave, and three on the Day of Resurrection when he or she will be taken out of the grave.’
The details are the following:
The six in this life are:
1. Allah removes blessing from his\her age.
2. Allah removes blessing from his\her livelihood.
3. Allah effaces the miens of the benevolent from his\her face.
4. He\she shall not be rewarded for any deed.
5. His\her du’a (supplication) is not taken up to the Heaven.
6. He\she shall not be included by the du’a of the benevolent.
The three things at dying:
1. He\she dies lowly.
2. He\she dies hungrily.
3. He \she dies thirstily.
The three things in the grave:
1. Allah will entrust with him\her an angel who will trouble him\her in the grave.
2. The grave shall be narrow for him\her.
3. The grave shall be dark for him\her.
The three things on the Day of Resurrection:
1. Allah will entrust with him\her and angel who will draw him\her on his\her face while the creatures are looking at him\her.
2. He\she shall face a very strict reckoning.
3. Allah will not look at him\her, nor will He purify him\her, and he\she shall get a painful torment.7
Prayer is the most important ritual among all obligations in Islam. It is the sacrifice of every pious one. If it is accepted, every good deed will be accepted, and if it is refused, all other good deeds will be refused as mentioned in a Prophetic tradition. Allah has said, “So woe to the praying ones, who are unmindful of their prayers.” 107:4-5
The Time when Supplication is Accepted
Zayd bin Ali narrated from his fathers that his grandmother Fatimah (s.a.) said, ‘I heard the Prophet (S) saying: On Friday, there is an hour (certain time) when a Muslim asks Allah for something good, Allah will grant it to him. I (Fatimah) said, O messenger of Allah, which hour is it? He said, when a half of the sun goes downward for setting.’
Zayd said, ‘Fatimah (s.a.) often said to her servant: Ascend the hill, and when you see a half of the sun going downward for setting, let me know so that I shall supplicate to Allah.’8
Allah has opened the doors of responding to His people’s supplications. He has said, “Call upon Me, I will answer you.” 40:60
He has assigned some times for responding to supplications such as the last hour of the day of Friday.
The Time when Allah Determines the Livelihood for His People
Fatimah (s.a.) said, “Once, the messenger of Allah (S) came to me while I was lying in the morning. He shook me with his leg and said, ‘O my daughter, get up and witness the gift of your Lord and do not be from the inadvertent, for Allah divides the livelihood of people from the dawn to the sunshine.’”9
The Du’a at Entering a Mosque
Abdullah bin al-Hasan narrated from his mother Fatimah that his grandmother Fatimah az-Zahra’ (a.s.) said, ‘When the messenger of Allah (S) entered the mosque, he recited: “O Allah, forgive me my sins and open to me the doors of Your mercy”, and when he left the mosque, he recited: “O Allah, forgive me my sins and open to me the doors of Your favor”.’10
Two Oppressive Armies
Abdullah bin al-Hasan narrated from his mother from Fatimah az-Zahra’ (a.s.) that the Prophet (S) said, ‘When two oppressive armies meet, Allah abandons them both, and He does not care which of them will be the winning one. When two oppressive armies meet, the more insolent of them will suffer more adversities.’11
When neither of two meeting armies is with the truth, Allah will not include them with His mercy, and He will let them fight each other until one of them will do away with the other.
The Preference of the Shia
Lady Zaynab (a.s.) narrated that her mother Fatimah (s.a.) said, ‘The messenger of Allah (S) said to Ali (a.s.): O Ali, surely you and your Shia (followers) will be in the Paradise.’12
A Happy One is he who Loves Ali
Fatimah (s.a.) narrated that her father the Prophet (S) said, ‘Here is Gabriel. He is telling me that a happy one is he who loves Ali in his (Ali) life and after his death, and a totally unhappy one is he who hates Ali in his life and after his death.’13
Fatimah’s Children belong to the Prophet
Lady Fatimah narrated from her father from Fatimah az-Zahra’ (a.s.) that the Prophet (S) said, ‘Each prophet has a progeny belonging to him, and Fatimah’s children are the progeny that belong to me.’14
Fatimah (s.a.) narrated another tradition like this one that her father said, ‘Every children of a father belong to their father’s parentage, except Fatimah’s children; I am their father and I am their parentage.’15
The Holy Prophet’s charm to al-Hasan and al-Husayn
Fatimah bint Imam al-Hasan (a.s.) narrated from her grandmother Fatimah az-Zahra’ (a.s.) that the Prophet (S) charmed al-Hasan and al-Husayn (peace be upon them) by these words as he taught them Qur’anic verses. He recited: “I seek protection by the perfect words of Allah from every devil and every vermin, and from every envious eye.’16
The Holy Prophet’s gifts to Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn
Fatimah (s.a.) narrated that once she asked her father (a.s.), ‘O messenger of Allah, would you please gift my two children al-Hasan and al-Husayn with something?’
The Prophet (S) said, ‘I gift al-Hasan with gravity and patience, and gift al-Husayn with magnanimity and mercifulness.’17
The Holy Prophet’s Inheritance to his Two Grandsons
Zaynab bint Abi Rafi’ narrated that Fatimah (s.a.) visited the messenger of Allah (S) during his last illness and said to him, ‘O messenger of Allah, these are my two sons. Would you please bequeath to them?’
He said, ‘As for al-Hasan, he has my gravity and glory, and as for al-Husayn he has my courage and generosity.’18
Doing Good to Fatimah’s Children
Fatimah (s.a.) narrated from Imam Ali (a.s.) that the Prophet (S) said, ‘Whoever does good to anyone of my (grand) children and he does not reward him for it I will be the rewarder of him for it.’19
The Tradition of Thaqalayn
Fatimah (s.a.) said, “I heard my father (a.s.) during his last illness, where his room was full of his companions, saying: ‘O people, I am about to die. I say to you to be excused before you. I am leaving among you the Book of my Lord, glory be to Him, and my progeny my household.’ Then he took Ali’s hand and said: ‘This is Ali. He is with the Qur’an and the Qur’an is with Ali. They will never separate until they will come to me at the Pond (in the Paradise). I will ask you how you have obeyed me through your doing to them both (the Book and the progeny).’20
This tradition is one of the true mutawatir (coming successively) traditions. Ibn Hajar said, ‘This tradition has been narrated by thirty companions (of the Prophet). Most of its ways of narration are true and approved.21
This tradition has a great importance in protecting the nation from deviation and loss. If Muslims had obeyed the Prophet (S) in that, they would have been the masters of nations and peoples.
Declaring Ali’s Imamate
Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) narrated from his mother Fatimah (s.a.) that the Prophet (S) said, ‘Whoever I am his guardian, Ali is to be his guardian, and whoever I am his imam, Ali is to be his imam.’22
The Imams from Al-Husayn’s Offspring
Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) narrated that his mother Fatimah (s.a.) said to him, “When I gave birth to you, the messenger of Allah (S) visited me. I gave you wrapped in a yellow rag to him. He threw the yellow rag away, took a white one, and wrapped you in it. He recited the azan in your right ear and the eqamah23 in your left one. Then, he said, ‘O Fatimah, take him! He is the father of the imams. Nine of his children will be pious imams. The ninth of them will be al-Mahdi.’”24
Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) was a gift from the Prophet’s gifts, and he was the restorer of Islam through his immortal revolution which tore down the thrones of tyranny. Therefore, Allah rewarded him with His divine mercies and favors and made the pure imams from his progeny.
Imam Ali’s Virtue
Aa’isha narrated that Fatimah (s.a.) said, “The messenger of Allah (S) said to me: ‘Your husband is the most knowledgeable of people, the first of them in being Muslim, and the best of them in patience and discernment.’”25
The Men of A’raf
Abu Tharr narrated that he heard Fatimah (s.a.) saying, “Once, I asked my father about this saying of Allah the Almighty: “…and on the A’raf (great screen between Paradise and Hell) will be men who would know everyone by his marks.” 7:46
And he said, ‘They are the imams after me; Ali, my two grandsons, and nine ones from al-Husayn’s progeny. They are the men of A’raf. No one enters the Paradise except one who knows (believe in) them and whom they know, and no one enters the Fire except one who denies them and whom they deny. Allah the Almighty is not known except by the means of knowing them.’26
Fatimah (s.a.) is from the Earliest to Allah’s Contentment
Once Fatimah (s.a.) said to her father (a.s.), ‘O messenger of Allah, Salman wondered at my clothes. By Him Who has sent you with the truth, since five years I and Ali have had but a sheepskin on which we feed our camel in the day and when night comes, we sleep on it. Our pillow is of leather stuffed with fiber.’
The Prophet (S) said, ‘O Salman, my daughter is among the first marchers (to Allah’s contentment).’27
Allah has endowed Fatimah (s.a.) with wisdom and eloquence. She had inherited her father’s wisdom and maxims which were the mines of skills and eloquence. Therefore, she was the most eloquent woman in Islam. Here are some of the words transmitted from her:
1. She said, ‘The mirth towards a believer makes one deserve to be in the Paradise, and the mirth towards a resisting opponent protects one from the Fire.’28
From the manners that Islam has established in the life of Muslims is to smile and be mirthful towards all people, because this spreads love and cordiality in the society.
2. She said, ‘Whoever sends up to Allah his sincere worship, Allah sends down to him the best of what benefits him.’29
3. She said, ‘Allah has imposed justice as musk for hearts.’30
4. Fatimah bint Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) narrated from her father that her grandmother Fatimah (s.a.) said, ‘The best of you are the most lenient and most generous to their women (wives).’31
5. She said, ‘What is the use of one’s fasting if he does not restrain his tongue, ears, eyes and senses?’
Allah has imposed fasting on man in order to purify him from sin and guilt. A fasting person must restrain his tongue from lying, ears from hearing backbiting, eyes from looking at what Allah has prohibited, abdomen from eating ill-gotten things,…etc.
6. When the Prophet (S) left to the better world, Muslim women began mentioning the Prophet’s virtues, qualities and exploits. Fatimah (s.a.) said to them, ‘Give up this mentioning and keep on invoking!’32
Mentioning the dead one’s virtues and qualities does not benefit him with anything. What benefits him is to pray to Allah for him and invoke Allah to forgive him. It has been mentioned that she said to the Hashemite women who consoled her, ‘Give up mourning and keep on invocation!’33
The Mus’haf (Book) of Fatimah
Fatimah (s.a.) had compiled a book after the dictations of the Prophet (S) to her. She recorded in it, the events that would take place without talking about the matters of lawfulness and unlawfulness. Later on, this book was called “Mus’haf Fatimah”. This book was with the infallible imams (a.s.). They referred to it to see the events that human beings would face in their coming life. It is too false and silly to say that the “Mus’haf Fatimah” is a Qur’an other than the Qur’an which is in the hands of Muslims. The enemies of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and the opponents of the Shia waged a violent attack against them and accused them of distorting the Qur’an and claimed that the “Mus’haf Fatimah” is another Qur’an different from the Qur’an known among all Muslims. We have refuted all that in our book “The purity of the Qur’an from distortion”.
1. Tahthib at-Tahthib, vol. 12 .447, Tahthib al-Kamal fee Asma’ ar-Rijal, vol. 3 p.247.
2. Musnad of Fatimah az-Zahra’, p.220.
3. Al-Kawthar fee Ahwaal Fatimah bint an-Nabiy al-At~har, vol. 4 p. 427, quoted from Musnad of Fatimah az-Zahra’, p. 221.
4. Musnad of Fatimah az-Zahra', p. 221.
5. Fatimah bint Imam al-Husayn (a.s.) had not met her grandmother Fatimah az-Zahra’ (a.s.), but she narrated from her by means of others.
6. Musnad of Fatimah az-Zahra', p. 220.
7. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 83 p.21, Falah as-Sa’il, p.22.
8. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 89 p.269, Ma’ani al-Akhbar, p.399, Dala’il al-Imamah, p.5, Majma’ az-Zawa’id, vol. 2 p. 166.
9. Al-Kawthar fee Ahwaal Fatimah bint an-Nabiy al-At~har, vol. 4 p. 72, quoted from Musnad of Fatimah az-Zahra’, p. 218.
10. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 81 p.22, Amali of Sheikh at-Toosi, p.401.
11. Ath-Thuriyyah at-Tahirah an-Nabawiyyah (the pure Prophetic progeny), p.107, Musnad of Fatimah az-Zahra’, p.223.
12. Al-Kawthar fee Ahwaal Fatimah bint an-Nabiy al-At~har, vol. 4 p. 61.
13. Majma’ az-Zawa’id, vol. 9 p.132, Thakha’ir al-Uqba, p.92, Fadha’il al-Khamsah, vol. 2 p. 212.
14. Al-Kawthar fee Ahwaal Fatimah bint an-Nabiy al-At~har, vol. 4 p. 433.
15. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 37 p.70.
16. Ath-Thuriyyah at-Tahirah an-Nabawiyyah, p.107.
17. The Life of Imam al-Husayn bin Ali, vol. 1 p. 217.
18. Kanzol Ummal, vol. 7 p. 268.
19. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 93 p. 225.
20. Yanabee’ al-Mawaddah, p.294.
21. As-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah, p. 136.
22. Al-Kawthar fee Ahwaal Fatimah bint an-Nabiy al-At~har, vol. 4 p. 357.
23. A certain wording recited before the beginning of prayers.
24. Muntakhab al-Athar, p.89, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 36 p.352.
25. Ath-Thuriyyah at-Tahirah an-Nabawiyyah, p. 103, Musnad of Fatimah az-Zahra’, p.292.
26. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 36 p. 315, Manaqib ibn Shahrashub, vol. 1 p.254.
27. Al-Kawthar fee Ahwaal Fatimah bint an-Nabiy al-At~har, vol. 4 p. 445, quoted from Fatimah az-Zahra’ Bahjat Qalb al-Mustafa, p.273.
28. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 75 p. 401.
29. Ibid., vol. 70 p. 249.
30. Al-Kawthar fee Ahwaal Fatimah bint an-Nabiy al-At~har, vol. 4 p. 440.
31. Musnad of Fatimah, p. 221.
32. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10 p.96.
33. Ibid., p.97