Lesson women can take from the moral and spiritual status of Fatimah Masoumeh (as)

  • Date 19 January 2022
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Ayatullah Fazel Lankarani’s speech about the personality of Fatimah Masoumeh (as)

On the occasion of the birthday anniversary of Fatimah Masoumeh a ceremony named The Scent of Dignity was held whose subject was “Lessons women can take from the moral and spiritual status of Fatimah Masoumeh (as)”.

Ayatullah Lankarani delivered a speech in this program, which was held on July 13 by Center of Management for Women's Seminaries in cooperation with Management of Women's Seminaries in Hamedan. The following includes details of his speech:

In the name of of Allah the All-Compassionate the All-Merciful
Praise be to God, Lord of the universe, and may God’s peace and blessings be upon Muhammad and his pure family

We cherish the arrival of the Decade of Dignity, which begins with the happy birthday anniversary of Hazrat Fatemeh Masoumeh (peace be upon her) and ends with the birthday anniversary of the eighth Imam, Ali Ibn Musa Al-Reza (peace be upon him). I hope that we benefit the most for this world and the hereafter from these two blessed souls.

An important thing to be considered is that our infallible Imams; Imam Sadiq (as), the eighth Imam (as) and Hazrat Javad (as) attached utmost importance on making pilgrimage to the holy shrine of Fatemeh Masoumeh (as) and encouraged the Shiites to visit this Lady's grave, such as the famous statement by Imam Javad (as) which says, "Whoever visits the grave of my aunt in Qom Paradise will be his reward or the eighth Imam's statement (as) which places even more importance to such pilgrimage saying, "Whoever visits her is as if he has visited me." This statements contains deeper meaning than the previous one which promises Paradise to the pilgrim since the latter says if someone visits Lady Masoumeh (as), it is as if he has visited the eighth Imam (as) himself.

Now the question is, is this a simple tribute to this Lady? Did the Imams (as) want the grave of this Lady to be an axis point for the Shiites or is there something regarding her, of which only the Imams (as) themselves were aware? And how much can we obtain from that knowledge? When this Lady arrives in Qom, she stays in the house of Musa ibn Khazraj. Despite being seriously ill, as a result of which she dies after 17 days, during this short stay, she chose a place in this house as for worship. This place still exists today, and it is known as the House of Light or the place of worship of Lady Masoumeh (as).

We should take lessons from this Lady. Her diligence in worship, despite her poor health, indicates how devout she was in worship. Moreover, considering her age (according to narrations she was born in 173 AH and died in 201, making her at about 28 years of age) it can be guessed that she had attained a high stage in terms of worship at a young age.

We do not want to say that she enjoyed the position of infallibility like the fourteen infallibles (as). No! That infallibility is specific to the position of Imamate, but it turns out that in terms of worship, she had such a high status that the Imams (as) were proud that there was such a girl in their descendants.

We should take Lady Masoumeh as a role model in worship, especially taking into account her young age and the severity of her sickness. We would not perform prayers on time and would ignore supererogatory prayers because of some little illness. The fact that Zainab Kobra (as) prays the night prayer on the night of Ashura incident, while sitting, shows that their worship was at its peak. We suffice to obligatory prayers and some supererogatory prayers and think we are worshipers, while if we see the worship of the Imams (as) and their descendants, we realize that we are not worshipers. We take the worship of God lightly and then think we are worshipers.

The second thing that shows that Lady Masoumeh (as), was a unique personality is that she was very knowledgeable even at the age of 10. It is a well-known fact that some Shiites of Qom went to Medina to see Imam Kadhim (as) and ask him about some issues they had previously written. These issues must have been new ones for which did not have answers. They could not either ask the scholars of Qom or if they did, the said scholars did not know the answer. They went to the house of Imam Kadhim (as) and realized that the Imam was not home. Fatemeh Masoumeh (as) opened the door and said, "What is it you want?" They said we are from the Shiites of Qom and we have questions. She said, “give me the questions.” She took the questions and immediately wrote the answers to all of them while she was not more than 10 years old.

On their way back from Medina, the Shiites encountered Imam Kadhim (as). The Imam (as) said, "Where have you been?" They narrated the case and the Imam (as) said, "Give me the answers so that I can see." When the Imam (as) saw the answers, he said that they were all correct. Then he said this sentence, “Her father be sacrificed for her.” It is a very strange thing for an infallible Imam to say about his child, "Her father be sacrificed for her." No, this indicates the status and greatness of Hazrat Zahra (as) and Fatemeh Masoumeh (as) who had reached a stage that the Prophet (pbuh) and Imam Kadhim (as) said about their daughters, “Her father be sacrificed for her.”

Regarding the Infallibles Imams (as), it has been proven that their knowledge was divine and in connection to the unseen world, but only the Imams (as) had this divine knowledge and we cannot say that Fatimah Masoumeh (as) also had divine knowledge, so what should we say? We must say that she had been taught religion, the Quran, hadiths and Islam since an early age. The Imams did not say that their children were young and did not need to benefit from the Qur'an or hadith, no! They used to teach their children. It was common practice of the Imams (as) that they were constantly in connection with the Qur'an and hadiths, they did not spend their time in vain, but made the most of their lives. Although we deny the existence of divine knowledge for other than the infallibles, we believe that special divine blessings were bestowed upon such esteemed personalities.

My main question is: why did three Imams say about Lady Masoumeh (as) that visiting her grave would be rewarded with paradise? Why did the eighth Imam (as) say that whoever visits Lady Masoumeh (as) it is as if he has visited me? According to us, seminary students, this clause i.e. "as if he has visited me" is Tanzir (simile). If such a clause is not issued for a specific purpose, it is generally interpreted as Tanzir. There are similar narrations about making pilgrimage to the holy shrine of the Eighth Imam (as).

Bazanti says that the eighth Imam (as) himself said, “Whoever visits me his reward would be as if he has performed one thousand acceptable Hajj." This sounded very extraordinary to Bazanti. When Imam Jawad (as) saw him he said: Bazanti! It is more than that. My father said that visiting him is equal to a thousand Hajj, but I say that visiting him is equal to one million hajj.” That is, if the pilgrim is an ordinary Shiite, he will be given the reward of a thousand Hajj, but if he knows the position of the Imam (as) and considers the Imam (as) as the proof of God and the mine of knowledge, and is aware of the attributes mentioned in the ziarat of Jami’ah Kabirah, his reward would be one million accepted Hajj.

The same is true about pilgrimage to the holy shrine of Lady Masoumeh (as). Whoever goes to visit the holy shrine of Lady Masoumeh (as) because she is the daughter of Musa ibn Ja'far (as) they will be rewarded one level of reward, but who is aware of the position of this Lady in the eyes of the Imams (as) they will be rewarded additional levels.

Why didn't our Imams (as) say such thing about the rest of their descendants? The Imams (as) had many daughters, many descendants, but why did they emphasize the position of this Lady and the abundant reward for whomever visits her grave? Why is there not such emphasis on other Imamzadehs, why do we have ziararnameh which is issued from the Imams only for Lady Masoumeh (as)? That is because of her high position before God. In her ziaratnameh we read, "Verily for you is a high position before Allah," such proposition is very extraordinary.

According to the eighth Imam’s words, Fatemeh Masoumeh (as) has a special position before God, that is, she has a special status and position before God in terms of knowledge, asceticism, worship and piety. This makes the pilgrim pay more attention to his pilgrimage. We believe that Fatemeh Masoumeh, peace be upon her, has the status of intercessor and this has been alluded to in her ziaratnameh where it says, “Oh Fatemeh, intercede with God on our behalf.” This is but one of the virtues of Hazrat Ma’soumeh. More importantly than that it says, “Verily for you is a high position before God.” Why is it suggested in her ziaratnameh that anyone who wishes to achieve salvation recite, “O God, I beseech you to end my life in eternal felicity.” This indicates that this blessed personality can play an important role in human eternal happiness. If a person wants to achieve eternal bliss, he must be associated with this holy shrine of Fatima Masoumeh (as).

Dear brothers and sisters, remember the value of this blessing that God Almighty has bestowed on us by placing the grave of this Lady in Qom. Why did our great philosophers, jurists and scholars turn to this Lady to solve their scientific problems? According to the law of agreement, if Fatemeh Masoumeh (as) does not have extensive knowledge and a unique position before God, that is, if there is not much agreement between God and Lady Masoumeh (as), such propositions would not make sense. It turns out that Lady Masoumeh (as) has a very high scientific status that our philosophers resorted to her grave.

Our late father (may God bless him and grant him peace) used to say, "I had many unresolved questions regarding the verse of Tathir which says, 'Allah desires to repel all impurity from you, O People of the Household, and purify you with a thorough purification.' I went to the holy shrine – My father was a sayyid from his mother’s side so Hazrat Fatimah Masoumeh (as) was his aunt - I said that day, 'Oh my aunt! I have not come today for worldly needs nor am I looking for a position or a house, I just have many questions and ambiguities about this noble verse. I beseech to you to solve them for me.' When I came out of the shrine, with every step I took towards the house, one of those questions was solved and the answer came to my mind." At that time, my father was writing a book about the verse of Tathir in cooperation with late Ayatollah Ishraqi (son-in-law of Imam Khomeini, may God bless his soul and grant him peace). The next day, Mr. Ishraqi said to my father, "Where did you get this information? Have you received a book?" My father said, "I visited the holy shrine yesterday and these blessings are due to the blessing of this Lady."

Respected sisters, if you want knowledge, appeal to Lady Masoumeh (as); if you want this world and the hereafter, appeal to Lady Masoumeh (PBUH). We have heard many narrations that whoever visits Lady Masoumeh (as), Paradise becomes obligatory for him, but we do not ask why is such abundant reward? The answer lies in her high position in science and worship, as well as her high position in politics.

After Ma'mun, the Abbasid caliph, ordered Imam Reza (as) to be brought to Khorasan, Lady Masoumeh (as) after some time set off for Merv to visit his brother. This trip was not only because she missed her brother, I think this trip was a political initiative by Lady Masoumeh (as) to strengthen the institution of Imamate.

Hazrat Masoumeh (as), who was famous for her knowledge and piety from a young age, decided to set off for Khorasan to visit her brother and benefit from his knowledge. This teaches a lesson to our sisters that when it is necessary, they must play their role and strive in the path of God. Jihad is not obligatory on women, but it is necessary to be aware of politics, and be influential in education and propagation of religion. Lady Masoumeh's answer to the questions of the Shiites in the absence of Imam Kadhim (as) -some of these Shiites were probably scholars themselves- should be a model for our sisters to try to reach the highest degrees of knowledge. Our sisters can reach the level of ijtihad in the seminary.

Why is it that today, if there are mujtahids among women, their number does not exceed the number of fingers of one hand? While the intellectual aptitude of the sisters is, in some cases, stronger than that of men. They have more perseverance in gaining knowledge.  They should make use of these capacities. When we request that women think of Lady Masoumeh (as) as a role model, it means that they are very important in education of the society in our country and have a pivotal role. Today, they should show how much a woman can be aware of the Qur'an, hadiths, history, jurisprudence and Islamic rulings. Today, one of the most urgent needs of our society is the existence of educated women, women who reach the status of ijtihad.

Today, one question raised against Islam is that why God Almighty has differentiated between men and women in the rulings? Women who are studying religious subjects should be able to answer such questions easily.

A big mistake in response to such questions regarding Islamic rulings and the reasons lying behind them is that many consider justice as one of the causes leading to issuance of a ruling. They say that every ruling should be fair. They consider justice as an indisputable thematic principle and then say that the difference between a woman's inheritance and a man is not just, or the difference between the testimony of a man and a woman is not fair, as well as some of the rulings on marriage are not fair and in today world we have to change these rulings. All we say is why justice has to be involved in forging the rulings?

Rulings have criteria. In some cases justice is involved, but in many cases, justice is not involved, like the rulings for women during menstruation and monthly period according to which a woman does not have to make up her prayer, but she should make up her fast. This ruling cannot be explained on the basis of justice at all! There are other reasons involved.

We have talked about this issue in detail in the Infallible Imams' Jurisprudential Center. Today, our women can and should play, as much as they can, the same role of Lady Masoumeh (as) who was a source of knowledge even for scholars. Women should make use of this opportunity, i.e. seminary studies - which was made available by our Islamic revolution. In some fields women can defend Islam more strongly than men and thus, they should be present in these fields.

These are some examples of how we can take lessons from the scientific, spiritual, devotional and political position of Lady Masoumeh (peace be upon her). We should try to implement these lessons in our lives as much as we can. The hadiths narrated for us from Lady Masoumeh (peace be upon her) are few, but they have certainly been hundreds of times more than this. There are very important hadiths narrated from her about Ghadir, or the famous hadith "Whoever dies for the love of the family of Muhammad (s.a.w.a) dies as a martyr" and other narrations in which Lady Masoumeh (peace be upon her) was the narrator of the hadiths of her ancestors. Having few hadiths narrated from her, we need to study her life in an in-depth manner. We hope that we learn more from her life.

Peace be upon you and may God have mercy on you and bless you








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