Fatima al-Zahra (A.S.) and the Unknown
By: Allama Jafar Murtuza Amili
Someone says that we have no need for whatever historical data is available regarding the marriage of al-Zahra’ (sa) and its unknown aspects, in the heavens celebrating it or in other such relevant things. He also raises reservations about the tradition saying that there were unknown elements or unnatural particulars in the personality of al-Zahra’ (sa), wondering what we could gain or lose, as he puts it, whether she is a noor or not, for such is “knowledge which does not benefit anyone who is familiar with it, nor does it hurt anyone who is ignorant thereof.”
Then he adds saying that we find nothing particular except the circumstances that guaranteed her spiritual and intellectual growth and her practical upholding on the level wherein the elements of one’s personality are balanced naturally in the issue of the personal growth, and that we cannot take for granted the tradition in question saying that there are certain unknown elements which get her out of the level of an ordinary woman because this is not subject to any “undisputable proof”.
We, in as far as the necessity of the education of the unknown is concerned, would like to record the following:
FIRST: Raising issues in such a way may be the catalyst for setting off a “domestic dispute,” since it aims at casting doubt about the importantce of learning about the knowledge of the unknown, something which is not acceptable, nor is it rational, for it is one of the issues of the faith and of the creed. Such issues are unreservedly accepted. There is no doubt that distancing a very important aspect of theological issues from the circle of interest through weakening them or taking them lightly is considered as undermining an important foundation of the creed. It is a genuine confusion of the leading Islamic ideology, and it implies raising question marks about the diction of other theological branches of knowledge, something which will lead to the weakening of people’s conviction, to diverting their interest from Allah, Praise and Exaltation are His, from his Messengers (as) and elite ones.
Their conviction of the facts of Islam and belief will be shaken, and it will raise many question marks about matters which ought not be subjected to a debate which is not based on a procedure or science, for it will then produce nothing but confusion in the general state. It will divert people’s interest to directions which are further from the reality, further from seriously contemplating on their fate issues, from whatever threatens their future and very existence. It will distance them from planning and confronting huge dangers awaiting them in their arena where they face the powers of grudge and haughtiness against which we should all unite. May Allah protect us from losing our minds or deviating in our thinking or action; He is the omni-Potent One, the Able, the One most capable of responding.
SECOND: There is no doubt that there are texts proving the Divine care of al-Zahra’ (sa) even to many of her miracles1 and attributes which were particularly hers and which are all too many in number to deny. They are justified both scientifically and ideologically.
If such size of texts does not prove one’s distinction, status, or Divine care, then there is no room to prove any other Islamic reality. The Mu’tazilites have preceded this man in denying that a miracle can be performed by a wali in the pretext they look like those performed by prophets, so much so that one prophet cannot then be distinguished from another2. They did not pay any heed to the fact that a miracle is performed by a wali only when he upholds the line of the faith in a way whereby he does not claim to be a prophet; otherwise, he would not have been a wali, nor would he have been worthy of Divine care from Allah, nor will Allah enable him to perform one at all.
THIRD: Allah, the most Exalted and Sublime, has said, “Alif Lam, Mim. This Book, there is no doubt in it, is a guide to those who guard (themselves against evil). Those who believe in the unseen and keep up prayer and spend out of what We have given them” (Qur’an, 2:1-3). There is no doubt that matters relevant to the unknown have a strong impact on a Muslim’s conviction, and that the unknown is one of the essential matters in the subject of conviction which Allah, the Praised One, requires of His servants.
Also undoubted is that it is insufficient to believe in the unknown by simply experiencing an ambiguous and mysterious sense of the existence of ambiguities and mysteries in some aspects of life then feeling incapable of attaining them, then developing a sense of fear and awe of them.
Nor is it sufficient to bring conviction, in its essence, in all its circumstances and vocabulary, unknown or otherwise, to reality in order to attain dry ideological satisfaction and arithmetic equation settling in the mind and in the consciousness of man, so that he may draw on such basis the map of his conduct or a life separated from the unknown, or one not in harmony therewith at all.
Neither this nor that suffices, for conviction is an option. It renews itself and continues, for Allah, Glory to Him, has said, “They believe.” He has not said, “They believed.” This is so because the present continuous verb conveys the meaning of renewal and continuity. That is, they choose this conviction, causing it to happen, to exist, personifying it continuously.
Since it is also obvious that fearing the unknown and ambiguously sensing the matters which are absent from our senses is not conviction, it contradicts the belief which sets the heart on an issue, embracing it affectionately, loving and understanding it, then feeling at ease in the heart in feeling comfortable with what it embraces; it feels comfortable with it, being pleased thereby: “Surely by remembering Allah do hearts find rest” (Qur’an, 13:28); “O soul that is at rest! Return to your Lord, well-pleased (with Him), well-pleasing (Him)” (Qur’an, 89:27-28).
If the matter is as such, and since we can neither embrace the vacuum, nor feel at ease, nor be pleased thereby, there has to be an evidence leading to what is ambiguous, personifying it in man’s awareness, so that it may get out of its unknown status and into the reality of conviction and consciousness, becoming an evidence for conviction, even if it may be in its reality and existence not conducive with the senses, nor does it appear to them but remains separated and absent therefrom.
From such a junction, there is a justification for tying this unknown to the subjective reality so that it may become more effective in consciousness, deeper and more firmly settled in one’s beliefs. Such vocabulary words, which express it and lead to it, take it out of its state of cloudiness and uncertainty, making it more firm and more defined to the degree of realistic personification of the unknown meaning which prepares man to set his heart on it, so that the believing Muslim may be convinced about the unknown according to the Will of Allah, Glory to Him.
All this is accomplished according to the divine plan for its realization. Thus, we can understand, in depth, the statement by Ali (as) wherein he says, “Had the veil been removed from me, it would not have increased my conviction.”3 And when he was asked how he worshiped a God Whom he never saw, he said, “I am not one who worships a God Whom he does not see. Eyes never saw Him, but the hearts saw him through convincing facts.”4
Likewise, hearts do find rest in the remembrance of Allah, Praise to Him: “Surely when remembering Allah, hearts find rest” (Qur’an, 13:28), for the heart does not touch on the Divine reality itself; rather, it touches on its effects and actions, finding comfort in the remembrance of Allah. The Almighty has also said, “And Allah’s are the best names, so call on Him thereby” (Qur’an, 7:180); “Read in the name of your Lord Who created…” (Qur’an, 96:1); “In the Name of Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful.”
It becomes clear from all the above that when Islam mandated belief in the unknown, it did not intend it to be cloudy and without a direction, empty and ambiguous. Rather, it wanted it as an objective and conscious unknown which is personified on the page of the heart and the soul. It becomes more clear, more deeply rooted and firm through the means whereby Allah, Praised is He, wanted to transmit the unknown element to our consciousness so that it may be its ever-present companion, depending and leaning on it.
The knowledge of the unknown, then, distances belief in the unknown from being a state of fear of the unknown, so that it may be a true vision of the heart on which one sets his mind, strengthening his conviction, subjecting his feelings thereto, setting out to be the life and the awareness of the conscience, and so that it may become a stand, a movement, a conduct, an attitude and a spontaneous norm of conduct which is honest and sincere.
At the same time, such unknown remains independent of the senses which cannot fathom it, remaining helpless towards it, for it is connected to what is superior to them, to what makes it independent of them, upholding its own means, setting out in its own sphere.
If we cast a general look at the means and proofs which personify this unknown in man’s heart, transforming him into an effective element of belief, we find out that Islam, in its treatment of this sensitive aspect, has intended the unknown to free itself from the bondage of reason and awareness, so it may settle in the heart, and so that such a heart may embrace it with affection, so that it may find with it pleasure and tranquility, and so that it may, thereafter, wander in the sphere of the soul, in an amalgamation of feelings, and so that it may be a shining and overwhelming feeling.
And it flows in man’s existence to coin his feelings and sentiments, and so that it may become his hearing, vision, intellect, character, language, attitude, conduct, stand and everything in his life.
For the sake of all the above, the intellect has to be incorporated into the feeling, so the tragedy of al-Zahra’ (sa) the memory of al-Husayn (as) during ‘Ashura’, and the tragedy of his infant son..., etc., may become part of the ideological fact. Thus, everything uttered by the Messenger of Allah S and by the Purified Imams (as) represents an educational necessity to complement the belief in the facts of Islam, including believing in the unknown.
No wonder, then, that such a meaning given to the unknown is personified as a divine miracle and a living reality that influences man’s awareness. It is personified in the Black Stone to which Allah gave the trusts of the creations, in the isra’ and mi’raj, in the settling of Yunus (Jonah) in the belly of the whale, in the speech of the ant about which Solomon smiled, in the transporting of the throne of Balqees from Yemen [to Jerusalem] in a blink of an eye, in Fatima’s talk to her mother while she was in her womb, in the heavenly bridal when she was wedded to Ali (as) and in the angel’s talk to her which Ali (as) called “Mushaf Fatima,” and that the angels used to call on her just as they used to call on Maryam daughter of ‘Imran saying, “O Fatima! Allah has chosen you and purified you..., etc.,” so she was for this reason called “muhaddatha ãÍÏËÉ.”5
No wonder, then, when such unknown is personified in the fact that Fatima is a noor, and that she is a human huri created from the fruit of Paradise6 which is different from worldly fruits in its purity and purification.
Fatima increased this purity and purification due to the effort which she exerted and which was crowned with success through her knowledge of Allah and to what she achieved of seeing the secrets of creation and the laws of life. She, hence, earned the prize of being divinely guided, so she was the infallible woman: Allah is pleased when she is pleased and is wrathful when she is angry. She became the Head of the women of mankind, from the early generations and the last. All these matters prove that she (sa) was strongly linked to the unknown due to her status and to the divine bliss which she earned, one which our minds cannot grasp and our comprehension falls short of.
It becomes quite obvious from all the above that if the unknown is personified in certain symbols such as the prophets of Allah, or His chosen ones, His friends and those who enjoy a special status with Him due to the blessings which He bestowed on them, and in many other symbols, our hearts will then embrace her and will embrace with her the known deposited in her, so she becomes the axis of conviction and the hope of the hearts so that our souls may live in tranquility and pleasure, and our emotions may yearn for her, tickling our senses. Knowledge will then become useful for those familiar with it, and those who are ignorant of it will be grievously harmed by their ignorance.
The vocabulary of the unknown being personified in certain individuals, such as the prophets, the wasis and the walis, does not necessarily cause us to prefer this person over that. On the contrary; the nature of the stage or certain circumstances may be the ones that mandate such a particularity of the unknown.
As regarding making a preference, it has its own criteria. These have been mentioned in the Holy Qur’an and by the Honored Prophet (S). This is not one of them. All such knowledge of the unknown relevant to al-Zahra’ (sa) and to others is part of this religion.
It enjoys a great deal of significance in formulating one’s belief, humanity and awareness of the message due to the attributes that bring about one’s humanity, existence, uniqueness, distinction and grants him a high degree of purity and purification. It also brings about a degree of connection with the friends of Allah and His elite, making him love them more and feeling a conscious interaction with everything which they say and do.
The Imams (as) have informed some of their close followers about some knowledge of the unknown. Among such followers are: Maytham al-Tammar, Zurarah, Muhammed ibn Muslim, and others. Surely useful is the knowledge of the unknown for those who learn it, and how magnificent the esteem, how great and how effective, and how badly we need it! How magnificent the Great Qur’an is as it depends on many terms in this procedure, announcing their extreme significance in building the civil and believing character that bears a message!
Ideological Connection is Insufficient
It is not accurate, then, what is repeated by some people who claim that we need to ideologically be connected with them through our knowledge of their policies, the norms of their personal conduct, and their social activities so that they may be our role models to emulate and in whose footsteps to follow, and so that this will make us feel happy, admiring them as individuals as we admire many a genius and many a thinker such as Addison or Ibn Sina (Avicenna).
No; what we need is an ideological, conscientious and emotional connection wherein the feelings participate and to which the senses respond spontaneously and willingly, one that causes shakes the whole being of a man, stressing the depth of his existence, willingly and unconditionally. What is needed is that these elite ones enter our hearts to be the life that sustains them. What is needed is that they enter our souls so that they may more intensely shine and glitter. What is needed is that they enter our being so that they may become more pure, serene and sincere.
What is needed is that they should have the greatest share in coining our believing personality, and that they participate in coining our feelings and formulating our senses.
Let us forever dismiss the argument of those who say that this is knowledge which does not benefit those who know it, nor does it harm those who do not. It surely is a harmful statement which certainly brings us loss and disappointment.
If we overlook all of this, the scales of benefit and harm about which they talk is not clearly defined. It varies in conditions and sources. To talk about medicine to a carpenter may not be of any benefit for his career. So is to talk about astronomy to the smith, or to the weaver, or to the administrator, each in his own career. But the matter relevant to the issues of belief and conduct do not necessarily fall in this category, although the degrees of knowledge of them and of their requirements varies from one to another, following the principle of, “We have been ordered to talk to people, each according to his level of understanding.”
Al-Zahra’ (sa) was above Menstruation and Postpartum
Someone says that the fact that Lady al-Zahra’ (sa) did not menstruate is considered a health problem which needed treatment, or at least it was a deficiency in her womanhood or in her personality as a woman, and it cannot be counted among her esteems or merits, and so is the case with her postpartum. He even labels such a condition as “nonsense.”
FIRST: It may happen to some women, though rarely, that one does not bleed while delivering, or she may bleed a little, and this is not seen as a deficiency in her womanhood or personality as a woman. As regarding al-Zahra’ (sa) having no menstruation, we say that slipping out of the straits of nature is not regarded as a deficiency. Rather, it is an esteem for her and a trait just like that bestowed on Mary (Maryam) (sa) who was pregnant by Jesus (as) although no man had ever touched her before, and like the wife of Abraham (as) who became pregnant at a very advanced age, and like the wife of Zacharias (Zakariyya) (as) who also became pregnant although she was sterile. There are many such super-natural esteems and blessings.
The fact that al-Zahra’ (sa) was above menstruation points out to her lofty status, to her uniqueness and distinction from all others since menstruation is a discomfort as described by the One Who has all the Glory7.
Such a “discomfort” causes the woman to be embarrassed, to feel psychologically and physically out of the ordinoory. It is an indication of a woman’s bad health, according to some traditions, and a sick condition, according to the physicians’ researches in this subject. It invalidates her fast and prayers and forbids her from entering mosques and from doing other things which point out to the woman being unable to live the spiritual environments with all her energy, tranquility, purity and strength...
Such a continuous condition, which neither ablution nor ghusul nor tayammum can remove till it is no more, was removed by Allah, Glory is His, from the Head of the Women of Mankind whom He purified from all filth with a perfect purification. She was chosen by Allah, Glory to Him, for His favour and esteem without in any way altering her feminine nature. Allah, the most Exalted One, is the One Who causes all causation, the omni-Potent Who can override the law of cause and causation not by “violating” it or annihilating it but through the law of causation itself. He, the most Exalted One, is the One Who brings about the miracles of His prophets through causes for them, the knowledge of which is with Him, and only with Him, and humans are not familiar with it, nor is it well known to them. This is the meaning of the super-natural which they discuss in the subject of miracles and super-natural phenomena. This may be more clear than needing additional explanations, proofs or evidences.
SECOND: Labelling the exemption of al-Zahra’ (sa) from menstruation and postpartum as “nonsense” is unacceptable from one who follows the statements of the Prophet (S) and the purified Imams (as) because everything articulated by the Prophet S and by the purified Imams (as) can never be nonsense, nor can it be useless knowledge for those who know it.
Such an exemption has been narrated by Shi’as and Sunnis who cite the Messenger of Allah S and the purified Imams (as) in numerous texts which are so many, they reach the degree of consecutive reporting. They all prove that Allah, Glory and Exaltation are His, exempted al-Zahra’ (sa) from going through menstruation or postpartum. Among such narrations are the following:
1. The Prophet S has said, “Fatima is called ‘al-batul’ because she was exempted from menstruation and postpartum.”8
2. He S has also said, “My daughter, Fatima, is a huri who never menstruated nor went through postpartum.”9
3. Al-Saduq, through his own isnad, has cited ‘’Umar ibn Ali quoting his father saying that the Prophet S was asked, “What is ‘batul’? We have heard you, O Messenger of Allah, saying that Maryam is batul and Fatima is batul.” He said, “Batul ÈÊæá is a woman who never menstruates, for it is contemptible for the daughters of prophets to menstruate.”10
4. Al-Qattan, quoting al-Sukkari quoting al-Jawahiri quoting al-’Abbas ibn Bakar from Abdullah ibn al-Muthanna from his uncle Thumamah ibn ‘Abdullah from Anas ibn Malik who quotes his mother saying that Fatima never saw any blood in any menstruation, nor did she undergo any postpartum.11
5. Abu Ja’far has cited his forefathers saying that she (sa) was called “al-Tahira” (the pure one) for many reasons one of which is that she never underwent any menstruation or postpartum.12
6. Imam al-Sadiq (as) has said, “Do you know what the meaning of ‘Fatima’ is? She was weaned from evil, and it is said that she is named so because she was weaned from menstruation.”13
7. The Prophet S said once to ‘A’isha, “O Humayra’! Fatima is not like other women; she does not suffer from (green) sickness like they do.”14
8. Abu ‘Abdullah al-Sadiq (as) is quoted as having said, “Allah forbade Ali (as) from taking another wife as long as Fatima was alive because she was purified and never menstruated.”15
The author/compiler of Bihar al-Anwar, Shaikh al-Islam ‘allama al-Majlisi II, has spoken very well about this issue; so, refer to him.
9. ‘A’isha is quoted as having said, “Whenever Fatima came along, her gait was similar to that of the Messenger of Allah (S), and she never menstruated because she was created from the apple of Paradise.”16
10. The author of Dala’il al-Imama, through his own isnad going back to Asma' daughter of ‘Umays, cites the latter saying, “I have been around Fatima and she had given birth to some of her children. The Messenger of Allah said to me, ‘O Asma'! Fatima was created as a human huri.’”17
11. Ali (as) is quoted as having said that the Messenger of Allah (S) said to him that Fatima was created as a huri in human form, and that the daughters of prophets do not menstruate.18
12. In a tradition from Abu Ja’far (as) he said, “So He called her Fatima (sa). Then He said, ‘I have weaned you with knowledge and weaned you from menstruation.’” Then Abu Ja’far (as) continued to say, “By Allah! Allah, the most Exalted and Sublime, weaned her with knowledge and from menstruation according to His covenant.”19
Al-Majlisi I described this tradition as strong.20
13. Al-Saduq, may Allah have mercy on him, has cited his father quoting Sa’d from Ibn ‘Isa from Ali ibn al-Hakam from Abu Jameela from Abu Ja’far (as) saying, “Daughters of the prophets, peace and blessings of Allah be on them, do not menstruate, for menstruation is a penalty, etc.”21
14. Abu ‘Abdullah (as) is quoted as having said, “Daughters of the prophets do not menstruate.”22
15. Al-Sayyuti has said, “One of the characteristics of Fatima (sa) is that she never menstruated.”23
16. Al-Sabban has said, “She was called al-Zahra’, which means the purified one, because she never bled in a menstruation nor during childbirth.”24
17. The Prophet S is cited in a tradition as saying, “Fatima was called batul because she was exempted from women’s ordinoory monthly periods.”25
18. Asma' daughter of ‘Umays has said, “I acted as the midwife for Fatima (sa) and I never noticed any bleeding, so I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! I never noticed any bleeding in Fatima during a menstruation or postpartum.’” The Messenger of Allah (as) said to her, “Have you not come to know that my daughter is pure and purified and she undergoes no bleeding during any menstruation or childbirth?”26
19. The author of ‘Umdat al-Akhbar has said, “Al-Hassan son of Ali (as) was born in the middle of the month of Ramadan. His mother conceived al-Husayn (as) after having given birth to al-Hassan (as) because Fatima (sa) never underwent any menstruation or postpartum.”27
20. Ibn ‘Abbas has said, “The Messenger of Allah (S) has said, ‘My daughter Fatima is a huri; she has never menstruated, nor has she ever been through postpartum.’”
21. In the Sihah books, Ali ibn Ja’far quotes his brother Abul-Hassan (as) saying, “Fatima is a truthful woman, a Witness, and the daughters of prophets do not menstruate.”28
22. Anas ibn Malik quotes Umm Salamah wife of Abu Talhah al-Ansari as saying that she never saw Fatima (sa) suffering from bleeding during menstruation or childbirth, that she was created of the water of Paradise, and that when the Messenger of Allah (S) went during his isra’ journey and entered Paradise, he ate of the fruit of Paradise and drank of its water. He also narrated the same from the Prophet.29
23. Ahl al-Bayt (as) are also quoted as having said that the way with the mothers of all the Imams, peace with them, is the same like that with Fatima: menstruation was removed from them.30
24. It is agreed on that the Prophet S is quoted as having said, “Fatima is not like any of you; she never sees any bleeding during menstruation or childbirth, like a huri.”31
When someone has to face such numerous texts, he is puzzled and unable to reject them because they are consecutively reported or almost so. He will then tell you that we have simply to “interpret” these texts just as the case with those relevant to the raj’a (return) or other beliefs.
We say that there is no room here for interpretation, neither of these texts nor of those. Rather, we have, if our comprehension cannot absorb them, to render their knowledge to Allah, just as al-Khawajoo’i al-Mazandarani32 has said when he discussed the subject of raj’a, and here is his statement: “We ought not express our astonishment at it, for the issues whose causes are unknown should not be regarded as odd. Have you not heard that our master, the Commander of the Faithful, peace and blessings be on him, saying, ‘This is knowledge of which people are vastly ignorant; refer its knowledge to Allah’? Yet some of such knowledge, like the walis winning the honour of being the supporters and the helpers (of Imam al-Mahdi (as)) and their elation at the inception of his State and Government, and like seeking revenge against the enemies and their punishment and the chastisement which they deserve, in addition to other matters all of which are recorded.”33
Yes, there is no room here for interpretation due to the following considerations:
1. If the text contains a binding order which is not subject to rationalizing, nor does it violate what is theologically or rationally fixed, it has to be accepted as is.
2. If we do not comprehend such a text, nor can we understand the wisdom behind it, we have no right to reject it, nor are we permitted to interpret it. Time may come when our intellectual power, our minds, ascend the ladder of supremacy, a time when our knowledge increases, and it will be then that we understand the wisdom behind it. Scores of years, even centuries, may pass for mankind to take a stride in his intellectual and scholarly progress so we may ascertain the secret in it or the wisdom behind it or the precise meaning of some texts.
Many meanings of the verses of the Qur’an, such as those dealing with the cosmos, and others, have been grasped in the twentieth century, especially during the last couple of decades. Those which we do not yet comprehend are many more.
3. Interpreting the text takes place if it superficially appears to contradict reason or differs from what is already agreed on or taken for granted by the Shari’a or others provided such an interpretation is acceptable, reasonable and plausible.
4. If the text does not permit an interpretation acceptable to linguists, and it is one which clearly contradicts what is taken for granted, to reason and to the Shari’a , while contradicting the clear text of the Qur’an, it will then have to be rejected and thrown out of the window since no infallible person has stated or articulated it.
Hence, it becomes obvious that relying on what is far-fetched and what is recommended in issues relevant to the unknown, to what we cannot see, and also the lack of ability to rationalize or comprehend some issues which the text contains, does not justify rejecting such a text, nor does it obligate us to interpret it, and this is quite obvious and clear.34
Sayyid al-Murtada, may Allah have mercy on his soul, then, says that:
1. The raj’a is fixed among the consensus beliefs of Imamites.
2. Consensus is a rational proof and, as such, it is not subject to interpretation because it is not among the texts which accept interpretation.
3. Those who act contrariwise have done so after verifying that the Imamites have collectively agreed on it. Their action does not harm the consensus. Rather, it is an evidence which indicts them and obligates them to accept it and to rely on it.
4. Raj’a is not among what can be conceived rationally, so that one may resort to reason to comprehend it. Rather, it is something unknown recognized by citation or by consensus from an Infallible one who conveys it to the public. The consensus, according to Sayyid al-Murtada, has revealed to us their knowledge of such a binding issue which they learned from the Infallible Ones (A).
If the raj’a is already fixed through consecutively reported traditions, then the transmissions relevant thereto must not be subjected to interpretation, as we have suggested above, except when they collide with a rational instinctive judgment. Yet even this does not justify its interpretation, as we have indicated.
What we have mentioned applies here, and there is no room to deny it.
In order to provide evidence for what we have stated, that is, that the raj’a is unequivocally proven through irrefutable evidence, we would like to quote here some of what prominent people have said: On p. 250 of his book titled Jawahir al-Fiqh, Ibn al-Barraj, counting the beliefs of the Ja’faris, says, “Our Prophet and Infallible Imams have indicated that during the time of al-Mahdi, a sect of past and future nations will be resurrected in order to declare their State and rights, and this has been fixed in consecutively reported traditions and verses.”
Sayyid ‘Abdullah Shubbar, on pp. 2-3 of his book titled Haqq al-Yaqin, says the following: “Be informed that the raj’a is agreed on by true Shi’as, the rightful sect. Nay! It is one of the basics of their sect. ‘Allama al-Majlisi, may Allah have mercy on his soul, has said, ‘The Shi’as have all agreed about the reality of the raj’a in all periods and is famous among them like the sun at midday, so much so that they composed poetry about it and used to argue with those who differ from them in their views, asserting the same in their books and chronicles. Among them is al-Razi and al-Naishapuri and others.
How can a believer cast doubt about the truthfulness of the Purified Imams in this regard despite more than two hundred clear traditions narrated by more than 40 trusted renown scholars in more than fifty of their books? Among the latter are: Thiqatul-Islam al-Kulayni, al-Saduq Muhammed ibn Babawayh, Shaikh Abu Ja’far al-Tasi, Sayyid al-Murtada, al-Najjashi, al-Kashshi, al-’Ayyashi, Ali ibn Ibraham, Salam al-Hilali, Shaikh al-Mufid, al-Karakchi, al-Nu’mani, al-Saffar, Sa’d ibn ‘Abdullah, Ibn Qawlawayh, Ali ibn ‘Abd al-Hamad, Sayyid Ali ibn Tawus and his son, the writer of Kitab al-Tanzal wal-Tahraf, Abul-Fadl al-Tibrisi, Abu Talib al-Tibrisi, Ibraham ibn Muhammed al-Thaqafi, Muhammed ibn al-’Abbas ibn Marwan, al-Barqi, Ibn Shahr Ashub, al-Hassan ibn Sulayman, al-Qutub al-Rawandi, ‘allama al-Hilli, Sayyid Baha’ ad-Dan Ali ibn ‘Abd al-Karam, Ahmed ibn Dawud ibn Sa’d, al-Hassan ibn Ali ibn Abu Hamzah, al-Fadl ibn Shathan, the martyred Shaikh Muhammed ibn Mekki, al-Husayn ibn Hamdan, al-Hassan ibn Muhammed ibn Jumhar, al-Hassan ibn Mahbab, Ja’far ibn Muhammed ibn Malik al-Kafi, Tahr ibn ‘Abdullah, Shathan ibn Jibra’il, the author of the book titled Kitab al-Fada’il, the author of the book titled Al-’Ataq, the author of the book titled Kitab al-Khutab, and many other authors of books anonymously written.
‘If such is not regarded as consecutively reported, then what is, despite what is narrated by all Shi’a scholars, sons from fathers? I think that anyone who doubts these personalities and doubts the Imams of the creed and yet is unable to come out with a justification for such doubt resorts to the annihilation of the straight faith by stating what feeble minds state of the doubts of pedants and atheists: ‘They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah will perfect His light, though the unbelievers may be averse thereto’ (Qur’an, 61:8).
A sect of ancient scholars categorized books and proved the [concept of the] raj’a. Among them is Ahmed ibn Dawud ibn Sa’d al-Jurjani. The Shaikh has said in his table of contents that al-Jurjani has written a book about the mut’a and another about the raj’a. Also among them is al-Hassan ibn Ali ibn Abu Hamzah al-Bata’ini. A book about the raj’a is counted among the works of al-Najjashi. Also among them is al-Fadl ibn Shathan al-Naishapuri. The Shaikh, in his table of contents, stated that al-Najjashi had a book proving the raj’a. Also among them is al-Saduq Muhammed ibn Ali ibn Babawayh who has listed a book about the raj’a as belonging to al-Najjashi. Also among them is Muhammed Ibn Mas’ud al-Najjashi. The Shaikh has referred to al-Najjashi in his table of contents, stating that the latter has a book about the raj’a. Also among them is al-Hassan ibn Sulayman who will soon be quoted.’”
I say that transmissions supporting each other from the Purified Imams (as) say: “None of us is one who does not believe in our raj’a.” Al-Faqah quotes al-Sadiq (as) as saying, “None of us is one who neither believes in our return nor considers our mut’a as permissible.”
The raj’a means that some people from among those who have already died and who follow and support al-Mahdi (as) will be resurrected during the time when al-Qa’im (as) comes out in order to win the rewards of supporting him and assisting him, and so that they may feel elated at the inception of his State.
Likewise, some of his own enemies will be resurrected so that he may seek revenge against them, and so that they may receive some of the pain which they deserve and be killed at the hands of his Shi’as and be insulted and humiliated when they see how lofty his word is. This, according to us, is restricted to those whose conviction or the lack thereof has been ascertained, whereas the others will be ignored, according to many texts. The Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (S), in addition to consensus, prove its necessity for the sect.
1. Abul-Salah al-Halabi, as stated on pp. 102-103 of Al-Kafi, says that miracles happen to also those who are not prophets, and that they are not confined to the prophets facing challenges to their mission, as some people claim. He provides an example for this from the story of Asif ibn Barkhiya and how he brought the throne of Balqees in less than the blink of an eye, in addition to the miracles which appeared for Mary (sa), such as her obtaining sustenance, and the miracles of the disciples of Jesus, and others.
2. Al-Taftazani, Sharh `Aqa’id al-Nasfiyya, p. 177.
3. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 40, p. 153 and Vol. 46, p. 135.
4. Ibid., Vol. 4, pp. 27, 32, 33, 44, 52, 54, 304, and Vol. 10, p. 118, and Vol. 36, p. 406.
5. Kashf al-Ghumma, Vol. 2, p. 94. Dala’il al-Imama, p. 56. Refer to Vol. 1, pp. 182-183 of `Ilal al-Shara'i` and Vol. 5, p. 345 of Rawdat al-Muttaqin.
6. Refer to Vol. 1, pp. 183-184 of `Ilal al-Shara'i` and numerous other references too many to count here.
7. The Almighty has said, “They ask you about menstruation. Say: It is a discomfort; therefore, stay away from women during menstrual discharge and do not go near them unil they have become clean” (Qur’an, 2:222).
8. Al-Qanduzi, Yanabi` al-Mawaddah, p. 260. Ihqaq al-Haqq (in the Appendices section), Vol. 10, p. 25, where it is quoted from the previous reference and from p. 103 of Mawaddat al-Qurba.
9. Thakha’ir al-`Uqba, p. 26. Sharh Bahjat al-Mahafil, Vol. 2, p. 138. Refer to Vol. 11, p. 54 of `Awalim al`Ulum and in one of its footnotes citing Vol. 12, p. 331 of Tarikh Baghdad and Vol. 12, p. 109 of Kanz al-`Ummal and many other references. Refer also to Is`af al-Raghibin as cited in a footnote on p. 173 of Nur al-Absar.
10. Ma`ani al-Akhbar, p. 64. Manaqib al Abu Talib, Vol. 3, p. 330, citing Abu Salih, the caller to prayers, in Al-Arba`een. Taj al-Mawalid, p. 20. Kashf al-Ghumma, Vol. 2,p. 90. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, pp. 15-16; also refer to Vol. 78, p. 112. Al-Qanduzi, Yanabi` al-Mawaddah, p. 260. Mustadrak al-Wasa'il, Vol. 2, p. 37. `Ilal al-Shara'i`, Vol. 1, p. 181. Musbah al-Anwar, p. 223. Al-Kaf`ami, Musbah, p. 659. Rawdat al-Wa`izin, p. 149. Dala’il al-‘Imama, p. 55. Al-Rawda al-Fayha’ fi Tarikh al-Nisa’, p. 252. Habib al-Siyar, Vol. 1, p. 433. Diya’ al-`Alamin (manuscript), Vol. 2, p. 7. Ihqaq al-Haqq, Vol. 10, pp. 25, 310 and Vol. 19, p. 11, citing other references. Tarikh al-`Awalim, Vol. 11, p. 153 in the footnote of which there are many references.
11. Al-Saduq, Al-Amali, p. 154. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, p. 21. Refer also to Tarikh al-`Awalim, Vol. 1, p. 153 in the footnote of which there are many references.
12. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, p. 19 citing Musbah al-Anwar. `Awalim al-`Ulum, Vol. 11, p. 66.
13. Manaqib al Abu Talib, Vol. 3, p. 330. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, p. 16.
14. Refer to both above-cited references and to Vol. 9, p. 202 of Mujma` al-Zawa’id citing al-Tabrani. I`lam al-Wara, p. 148. Mir’at al-`Uqul, Vol. 5, p. 345. Al-Tara’if, p. 111. Al-`Awalim (in a section about the biography of al-Zahra’), p. 64. Diya’ al-`Alamin (manuscript), Vol. 2, p. 7.
15. Al-Khawarizmi, Maqtal al-Husayn, Vol. 1, p. 64. Manaqib al Abu Talib, Vol. 3, p. 330. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, pp. 16, 153 where the latter reference is cited and so is al-Tusi’s Amali, Vol. 1, p. 42. Mustadrak al-Wasa'il, Vol. 2, p. 42. Refer to Al-Tahthib, Vol. 7, p. 475 and Bisharat al-Mustafa, p. 306. Refer also to `Awalim al-`Ulum, Vol. 11, pp. 66 &387 and Diya’ al-`Alamin (manuscript), Vol. 2, p. 7.
16. Akhbar al-Duwal, p. 87 (Baghdad edition) according to the contents of the Appendices of Ihqaq al-Haqq, Vol. 10, p. 244. Refer to `Awalim al-`Ulum, Vol. 11, p. 60.
17. Dala’il al-Imama, pp. 53, 55. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 78, p. 112. Refer to Vol. 43, p. 7 of Kashf al-Ghumma.
18. Dala’il al-Imama, p. 52. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 78, p. 112. Mustadrak al-Wasa'il, Vol. 2, p. 37.
19. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, p. 13 citing Misbah al-Anwar. Kashf al-Ghumma, Vol. 2, p. 89. `Ilal al-Shara'i`, p. 179. `Awalim al-`Ulum, Vol. 11, p. 55 and in its footnote are the following references: Al-Kafi, Vol. 1, p. 46; Al-Muhtadir, pp. 132, 138; Al-Mukhtasar, pp. 172, 218 and others.
20. Rawdat al-Muttaqin, Vol. 5, p. 439.
21. `Ial al-Shara'i`, Vol. 1, p. 290. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, p. 25 and Vol. 12, p. 107 and Vol. 81, p. 81. `Awalim al-`Ulum, Vol. 11, p. 153. Mustadrak al-Wasa'il, Vol. 2, p. 38.
22. Al-Khara’ij wal Jara’ih, Vol. 2, p. 527.
23. Ihqaq al-Haqq (Appendices), Vol. 10, p. 309 from al-Sayyuti’s Al-Sharif al-Mu’abbad. Refer to `Awalim al-`Ulum, Vol. 11, p. 63.
24. Refer to Is`af al-Raghibin (as appears in a footnote in Nur al-Absar), p. 172, which is attributed to al-Muhibb al-Tabari and to the Hanafi author of Al-Fatawa al-Zahariyya.
25. Ihqaq al-Haqq, Vol. 10, p. 25 from Al-Manaqib al-Murtadawiyya, p. 78 and from `Awalim al-`Ulum, Vol. 11, p. 64.
26. Refer to Al-`Awalim (in the biography of al-Zahra’), pp. 66, 153 from Sahifat al-Rida (as) and Thakha’ir al-`Uqba, p. 44, and Ithaf al-Sa’il, p. 90, and Tarikh al-Khamis, Vol. 1, p. 417, and Nuzhat al-Majalis, Vol. 2, p. 183, and Diya’ al-`Alamin (manuscript), Vol. 2, p. 7.
27. Al-`Awalim (in the biography of al-Zahra’), p. 66 from `Umdat al-Akhbar, p. 349.
28. Rawdat al-Muttaqin, Vol. 5, p. 342. Al-Kafi, Vol. 1, p. 458.
29. I`lam al-Wara, p. 148.
30. Al-Tibrisi, Taj al-Mawalid, p. 20, where it is included among a sect of precious letters and is published by Intisharat Baseerti, Qum, Iran.
31. Al-Saduq has narrated this tradition in his Faqah book in a chapter about taking a bath following menstruation in “Kitab al-Tahara” (the book of purification).
32. According to p. 401, Vol. 3, of A`yan al-Shi`a encyclopedia of Sayyid Muhsin al-Amin, his full name is Isma`il al-Mazandarani al-Isfahani, one of the scholars of many sciences. He distinguished himself in the science of logic, fiqh (jurisprudence), tafsir (exegesis) and hadith (traditions of the Prophet (S)), in particular. He memorized the entire text of the Holy Qur’an and wrote a number of books that discuss logic and wisdom. He died in 1177 A.H./1763 A.D. – Tr.
33. Al-Rasa’il al-I`tiqadiyya, p. 115.
34. The raj`a is another example. Similar to what we say is said by someone else because there are issues which prove consensus or through rational evidence. Both are rational proofs, and there is no room to interpret a rational proof as stated by Sayyid Murtada (may Allah sanctify him) when he responded to someone who said that the traditions relevant to the raj`a have to be interpreted as the return of the Government (to its rightful owners), to bid and to forbid. He said: “Some Shi`as, having felt incapable of supporting the concept of the raj`a and explain how it is possible and that it does not contradict what is obligatory, resorted to such an interpretation of statements regarding the raj`a. This is not correct. The raj`a was not proven by transmitted traditions, so it could be interpreted. How can what is already proven as authentic be proven by traditions which do not necessitate knowing? What is relied upon, in order to prove the raj`a, are the consensus of the Imamites regarding what it means, that is, that Allah Almighty will bring back to life some of those who are already deceased at the time when al-Qa’im (as) comes out of his occultation, from among his followers as well as from among his foes as we explained; so, how can there be any interpretation of what is already known?” This is recorded on p. 126, Vol. 1, of the messages of al-Sharif al-Murtada.