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Chapter 17: Al-Batoul

Allah, the Exalted, created His creatures, and implemented in them certain laws, and habits. He also subjected these creatures to laws, and habits. For instance, a law that rules fire is an incendiary and spontaneous; while plants require certain spans of time, and specific environments to grow and produce; likewise, animals require specific conditions that vary according to their sizes, types and colours, to grow.

Generally speaking, humans are subjected to assigned universal laws and physiological, psychological and spiritual peculiarities; yet, certain people who have been chosen by Allah (SwT), and on account of His far-reaching wisdom, have been excluded from these laws. In other words, Allah (SwT) subjected special laws to the chosen ones. Fire, for example, turns everything in its way to ashes; yet Allah said to it:

"O fire! Be thou cool, and (a means of) safety for Ibrahim."

When Prophet Yunis (as) was "cast forth on the naked shore in a state of sickness," after the whale swallowed him, Allah caused a "spreading plant" to grow quickly, and cover Yunis's (as) sick body.

Procreation, too, cannot take place without impregnation, and the implementation of sperm in the woman's womb, wherein the sperm is made into a clot that grows to be a foetus, covered with bones, which becomes an unborn child. This process takes at least six to nine months; but his natural process that Allah implemented in mankind was invalidated in the case of Maryam (as) who gave birth to Prophet Isa (Jesus) (as) without any of these steps. It has been said that she carried him six to nine hours in her womb before giving birth to him under a palm tree in a secluded location.

Likewise, all miracles, which occurred through other prophets, took place in environments that did not conform to natural laws. The examples of such events are tremendous. The Holy Qur’an narrated many stories about prophets' and Imams' challenges to the laws of nature. Among these stories are Prophet Adam's (as) descension from Paradise to Earth, the gushing forth of the fountains of earth in the story of Prophet Noah (as), Sara's pregnancy with Prophet Ishaq (as) at an old age, the turning of Prophet Musa's (as) stick into a snake, healing the blind, and the lepers, and raising of the dead by Prophet Isa (as), and Ascension into the Heavens by Allah's last Apostle (as).

Now that the above is understood, the following conclusion can be derived:

Women's monthly menstruation, which starts at maturity, and continues until the fifties, or, sixties, is nothing but the discharge of spoiled blood, and tissues which were to hold the fetus had it been conceived.

Allah, the Almighty, says:

"They ask thee concerning women's menstruation. Say: They are a discomfort, and pollution."

This indicates that the discharged blood is a harmful substance, which would harm women if it stayed in their bodies. It is even noticeable that women's psychological and physiological states, including their facial appearance and everyday conduct change at this time of the month. By this, we conclude that the bleeding which results from monthly menstruation differs from the normal kind of bleeding, which any human being, including women, might suffer accidentally.

It is unquestionable that monthly menstruation causes women to feel nervous, shy, and dejected despite the fact that this occurrence is an involuntary natural course. Yet, women suffer this course, which is inevitable. For this reason, women are not obligated to perform prayers, or, fast during menstruation. They are also forbidden from staying in Mosques, or, to enter the Sacred Mosque in Mecca, and the Prophet's Mosque in Medina. In addition, reciting the chapters of Qalam, Najm, Alif Lam Mim Tanzil, and Ha Mim as ayahs (verses) of “Sajdah” (which require performance of obligatory prostration) are not to be read during women's monthly periods.

These laws, which have just been mentioned, are applicable during confinement in accouchement.

Nevertheless, Allah, The Exalted, relieved Fatima az-Zahra (sa) from such pollution, as He removed from her all abomination, and purified her into a total purification. This fact is authenticated by various traditions among which are the following:

1. Qanduzi reported in Yanabi' al-Mawaddah p.260. that the Prophet (S) said: "She was safeguarded from menstruation, and childbed (bleeding)."

2. Muhammad Salih al-Kashfi al-Hanafi reported in Al-Manaqib that the Prophet (S) said: "Fatima was called Al-Batoul because she was safeguarded and relieved from that which women encounter every month (menstruation)."

3. A1-Amr-Tasri narrates in Arjah al-Matalib that the Prophet (S) was asked about the meaning of Batoul-someone said to him: "Messenger of Allah, we have heard you say that Maryam is Batoul and Fatima, too, is Batoul!!"

The Prophet replied: "Batoul is she who never see blood, meaning that she never discharges menstrual blood; because menstruation is resented if it occurs in Prophet's daughters."

The above-mentioned narration was authenticated by Al-Hakim.

4. A1-Hafez Abu Bakr Ash-Shafe'i narrates in Tarikh Baghdad v.13, p.331, on the account of Ibn Abbass that the Prophet said: "My daughter is a human huri, she never menstruates, nor, does she encounter any menses."

Nisaee also narrates this tradition.

5. Ibn Asaker mentioned in At-Tarikh al-Kabir v.1, p.391, on the account of Anas Ibn Malik that Umm Salim said:

"Fatima (may Allah be pleased with her) has never menstruated, nor, discharged childbed blood."

6. Al-Hafez al-Suyuti said:

'Among Fatima's particularities is that she did not menstruate, and when she gave birth to a child, she would immediately become purified from childbed confinement so as not to miss her prayers."

7. Rafae mentioned in At-Tadween that Umm Salama said:

"Fatima never discharged blood during her childbed confinement, nor, does she menstruate."

8. Tabari narrates in Dhakhaer al-Uqbi that Asma Bint Umais said:

"When Fatima gave birth to Al-Hasan (as), she did not bleed; she also does not bleed during periods of menstruation. (When I informed the Prophet of this) he said: `Do you not know that my daughter is pure, and chaste; she does not discharge blood as a result of childbirth, or, menstruation."'

Safari narrates this tradition in Nuzhat al-Majalis p.227.

9. It was mentioned in v.10 of Al-Bihar that Abu Basir quoted Imam Sadiq (as) as saying:

'Allah, the Exalted, forbade ‘Ali (as) from marrying women while Fatima was still alive."

Abu Basir exclaimed: "Why was that?"

The Imam (as) replied: "Because she was pure and does not menstruate."

Sheikh Majlisi commented on this narration by the following:

"This narration means either. First: Because Fatima did not menstruate, ‘Ali (as) had no reason to marry another woman. So, Allah forbade him to marry other women in observance of her sanctity. Or, Second: Her eminence disallowed him from marrying another woman; where as this particularity of hers is part of this eminence."

Fatima's exaltation from encountering menstrual, or, accouchement blood, confirms to the verse of purification which has already been discussed.

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