Houri in Human Feature
By Azra Ansari
Once the Noble Prophet (SAW), Imam Ali (AS), and some of his companions such as Ammar, Yasser, Hamzeh, and Abbas were sitting in Abtah. Gabriel revealed in his main face, and said: "God says hello to you and asks: You to keep away from Lady Khadija (SA) for 40 days."
So, the Prophet (SAW) didn't go home anymore. He was fasting during the days, and praying all the nights till morning. The Prophet (SAW) sent Ammar to his own house to remove the loneliness of his faithful wife and asked him to tell her: " I haven't left you because of unkindness, but this is the God's command. As if there is an important affair. Don't worry, you are superior in goodness and you are a worthy woman. The Almighty Allah is proud of you several times a day to the angels. Every night close the door and relax in your bed. I will stay in the house of Fatima (SA), the daughter of Asad, till the end of determined period by the All-wise Allah."
Lady Khadija (SA) cried the whole days because of separation from her kind husband and was very sad because she could not see his auspicious face for sometime.
Gabriel descended on the Prophet (SAW) after forty days and said: "O Muhammad (SAW)! Allah sends hello to you and says 'Prepare yourself for my gift and generosity tonight.'" After him Michael put a tray forward which was covered with a heavenly silk handkerchief in front of the Prophet (SAW) and said: "Allah said: 'Break your fast by this meal tonight.'"
Imam Ali (AS) said about it: The Prophet (SAW) told me every night at break-time: "Open the door and let everyone who wants to break his fast with the Prophet (SAW), come in. But that night he said: Sit inside the house and don't allow anybody to enter, because this meal is forbidden (haram) to eat except for me."
The Prophet (SAW) took the silk handkerchief from the tray. In the tray there were a bunch of date, a bunch of grapes, and a cup of heavenly water. The Prophet (SAW) ate the dish that he was cloyed, and then drank the heavenly water until he became full. After that, Gabriel poured water on his hands from the heavenly jar of water. Michael washed the Prophet's (SAW) hands and Israfeel dried his hands with a tissue. Then the rest of the food was returned to the Heaven. When the Prophet (SAW) prepared himself for praying, Gabriel said: "It is not necessary to perform the recommended (Mostahab) prayer now, at once go to Lady Khadija's (SA) house and stay with her because Almighty Allah has determined to create pure seed from your generation tonight. Therefore, the Prophet (SAW) went quickly to the Khadija's (SA) house.
Khadija (SA) has expressed the adventure of her forty days' separation and reunion: I associated with the loneliness. I locked the doors and closed the curtains and performed the prayer at nights. Then, I turned the light off and went to bed. On the 40th night, while I was almost sleeping, I noticed someone was knocking at the door. I asked who is knocking at the door whereas nobody has allowed do that except the Prophet (SAW)? Suddenly I heard a gentle voice at the door who said: "This is me, Muhammad. Open the door." When I heard his cheerful voice, I rose so eagerly and opened the door.
The Prophet (SAW) entered. This time, despite his habit, he did not ask for water to renew his ablution and perform Mostahab prayer before sleeping. He just came to bed. Soon after, I found the light of Lady Fatima (SA) inside myself. [Fatima (SA) from Cradle to Grave, p. 54; Rayahin Ash-Shariah, C.1/p.52 Lady Fatima (SA) Cheerfulness of the Prophet's (SAW) heart, p. 140]
In related to the beautiful adventure of lady Fatima's (SA) birth, there are some important points that worth mentioning:
1. The presence of Gabriel in his main form, as it happened in the Mission of the Prophet (SAW) of Islam, shows the greatness of Sadiqe-e-Tahireh's (SA) birth.
2. Separation from the people, association with Allah, praying and forty days fasting show Fatima's (SA) holiness and heavenly personality. The Prophet (SAW) had done such a thing before the mission. He separated from people and prayed fervently in the Cave of Hira. The eagerness of Khadija (SA) to see the Prophet (SAW), acceptance of Allah's gift during the Prophet's (SAW) mortification, and prosperous effects of the forty days are very important to be noticed. So Fatima (SA) is the fruit of praying and forty days of mortification.
3. This kind of separation from people, having close relation with Allah and leaving desires have special auspiciousness for bearer and also for consignee. It will guide human beings and make the world cheerful.
4. The descent of three specific angels, Gabriel, Michael, and Israfeel who came down to this world. Specially Israfeel who had never come on the earth except that time that he came down with ceremonies, special preparations and a tray of heavenly meal. Everything shows the special greatness of the Prophet (SAW) and paying respect to Lady Fatima (SA) for her arrival to this world. These three angels were willing to serve the father and the child.
5. The combination of heavenly fruits and variety of them show the blessing and the prosperous effects.
6. Feeling the light of Fatima (SA) by Khadija (SA) when the baby was placed, shows the existence of pure Zahra (AS) that there is any dispute between the beginning and the end because she had come from the alive world. She could hear and see in her mother's womb after that night.
7. Fatima (SA) talked to her mother many times when she was in her womb and this was one of her miracles.
8. Giving the glad tidings to the Prophet (SAW) on the arrival of an auspicious daughter, arrival of four prominent women of the world and bringing Kawthar's water, a washtub, and a cloth from the Paradise.
9. Testimony of the born baby, and counting the names of Infallible Imams at her birth's time.
10. Abandonment of the recommended acts of the Prophet (SAW) for doing a superior affair that was the creation of Fatima (SA).
11. Appearance of Zahra's light in the heaven made the angels surprised since they had never seen such a light before. Then they bowed down for the light and gave good tidings to each other for Fatima's (SA) birth.
12. Honor of Khamseh-e-Tayyibeh (those five who were purified) and the special place of Fatima (SA) as the heart of them based on the Sunni scholar Jarollah Zamkhashri's discourse which says: "These [Ali (AS), Fatima (SA), Hassan (AS) and Hussain (AS)] are those whom God has ordered us about loving them and Fatima (SA) is my heart and this heart is my hope and resort to her pure ancestors during hard times.
Imam Ali (AS) said: Mecca was shaken by a great earthquake At the night of Fatima's (SA) light by which big rocks of Abouqais Mountain were split, rolled over the low and high lands. This shaking continued so much that Abi Taleb went at a top place and prayed to Allah and resorted to the Holy Prophet (SAW), Imam Ali (AS) and Fatima (SA) and asked Allah to stop it. Then for the prosperous effect of Zahra's (SA) name the earth calmed down at once. (Rayahin Ash Shariah, C.1/p.58)
Zahra's birth from the Heavenly Fruits
While the Prophet (SAW) was kissing Fatima (SA), one of the companions objected. The Prophet (SAW) said: I went to the Heaven and entered Paradise. Gabriel took me near the Tuba Tree. Then, he picked a fruit and gave it to me. I ate the fruit and it was placed in my loins from which Fatima (SA) was made. Whenever I kiss Fatima (SA), I feel the scent of the Tuba Tree.
It is not specified what the fruit was in this discourse, but in previous discourse the Prophet (SAW) had told about the apple and in another discourse he said: "In the fourth Heaven I prayed with the Heaven's inhabitants. Gabriel held my hand and took me to the Paradise. There he gave me a date that was softer than butter, sweeter than honey and had sweeter smelling than misk. I ate it and Fatima (SA) is the result of the date. Fatima (SA) is a Houri in human feature." (Ibid. C.1/p.51 - Lady Fatima (SA), Cheerfulness of the Prophet's (SAW) Heart, p. 134)
In narratives about formation of Lady Zahra (SA), it is talked about some fruits like apple, date, grapes, a fruit of Tuba Tree, and Kawthar's water.
Lady Fatima (SA) was created in the best conditions of body and spirit and the Prophet (SAW) was the most eager to Lady Khadija (SA).
Give Good Tiding - It a Baby Girl
Mofazzel says: I asked Imam As-Sadiq (AS): How Fatima (SA) was born? He answered: "When the Prophet (SAW) married Khadija (SAW), women of Mecca cut their relations with her. Khadija (SA) talked alone to the child in her womb and in this manner she associated with her. One day while Khadija (SA) was talking to her child, the Prophet (SAW) noticed and said: "O Khadija (SA)! This was Gabriel who arrived and gave good tidings that your infant is a girl. A girl who is so pure and auspicious, and my generation continue from her.
When Khadija (SA) was pregnant, she spent days with her darling child and she was far from women of Mecca until the day of delivery. She was sad and she did not know what to do. In this period, all women feel the need of a nurse and have fear of loneliness and solitude. Khadija (SA) sent someone after women of Mecca to help her for bearing the infant. They answered: "As you accepted and married Muhammad (SAW), who was not in your position and who was poor. As you did not pay attention to our advices, we would not help you and we will leave you alone." Since Khadija (SA) was disappointed from them, entreated Allah. At once four swarthy, tall women arrived. One of them said: "Don't worry Allah has sent us to help you. We are your sisters. Then she introduced herself and said: I am Sarah and she is Asieh, the third is Maryam, and the last is Kulthum, Mose's (AS) sister.
Then all the four surrounded Lady Khadija (SA) in four directions. That time pure Fatima (SA) was born and her light reached the Mecca's houses. The ray of light reached Mecca from Khadija's (SA) house. Then, ten Houries from the Paradise arrived with a jar of Kawthar's water and a washtub and washed the infant with the water of Kawthar. Then they put her clothes like a scarf. Fatima (SA) started to talk and said these words: "I testify that there is no god except Allah and Muhammad (SAW) (my father) is the Messenger of Allah and he is the greatest Prophet (SAW).
Then she greeted to them and called their names. Those Houris laughed cheerfully. They gave Fatima (SA) to Khadija (SA) and said: "She herself and her generation are pure, holy, clean and auspicious." O' Khadija (SA)! Embrace her since Imams (AS) and the leaders of all believers are from her generation. Khadija (SA) embraced her sweetheart and feed her. (Managheb, C.1/p.340; Rayahin-Ash-Shariah, C.1/p.64; Bihar-ul-Anwar, C.16/p.80, C.43/p.3; Leader's Reasons, p. 8 - Lady Fatima (SA), Cheerfulness of the Prophet's (SAW) Heart, p. 138