The Uprising of the Imam of the Time (‘atfs)
There are different hadiths regarding the day of the uprising of Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘atfs). Some say, Nu Ruz (Iranian New Year) is the day when the uprising begins while others mention ‘Ashura’ (Muharram 10) as the day. A number of hadiths say Saturday while others say Friday as the day of the uprising.
There is no contradiction for it to be on Nu Ruz and ‘Ashura’ at the same time because the two are calculated based on the Islamic solar and lunar calendars respectively, and the occurence of these two occasions at the same time as well as their coincidence with either Friday or Saturday is possible. What seems problematic and contradictory is the mention of two days of the week (Friday and Saturday) as the day of the uprising.
This group of hadiths, however, can also be reconciled, for if we grant that the chains of transmission of the hadiths are authentic, then the hadiths that specify Friday as the day of advent (zuhur) allude to the day of the advent and uprising (qiyam) while those that specify Saturday can be interpreted to mean the day of the establishment and stabilization of the divine system and the subjugation of opponents.1
It must be stated that the hadiths that regard Saturday as the day of uprising are worthy of consideration in terms of the chains of transmission. But from the same perspective the hadiths that mention Friday also do not present a problem.
Now, let us draw our attention to the pertinent hadiths:
• Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) said: “The Qa’im of ours, the Ahl al-Bayt, will appear on Friday.”2
• Imam al-Baqir (‘a) said: “It is as if I can see Hadrat Qa’im on Saturday on the day of ‘Ashura’ standing between Rukn and Maqam (Mecca) with Jibril (Archangel Gabriel) standing in front of him and calling on the people to pay allegiance to him.”3
• Imam al-Baqir (‘a) also said: “Hadrat Qa’im (‘a) will stage the uprising on Saturday on the day of ‘Ashura’, the day when Imam Husayn (‘a) was martyred.”4 He (‘a) also said: “Do you know what day—’Ashura’—is this? It is the day when God accepted the repentance of Adam (Adam) and Hawwa (Eve); the day when God split the sea for the Children of Israel, drowned Pharaoh and his legion and made Musa (Moses) triumphant over Pharaoh; the day when Ibrahim (Abraham) was born; the day when God accepted the repentance of the people of Yunus (Jonah); the day when Hadrat ‘Isa was born; and the day when Hadrat Qa’im will stage the uprising.”5
• Another hadith with the same content has also been reported from Imam al-Baqir (‘a),6 but in this hadith the reliability of Ibn Bata’ini who is included in the chain of transmitters is debatable.
• Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) said: “On the night of twenty-third (Dhu’l-Hijjah), there will be a call in the name of Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘atfs) and on the day of ‘Ashura’, the day of the martyrdom of Husayn ibn ‘Ali (‘a), he will stage the uprising.”7
• He (‘a) also said: “Nu Ruz (Iranian New Year) is the day when the Qa’im from among us, the Ahl al-Bayt, will appear.”8
The advent of Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘a) will be announced first by a heavenly harbinger. Then, while leaning against the Ka‘bah (in Mecca) he (‘a) will announce his advent in inviting to the truth.
The Commander of the Faithful (‘a) said: “When the harbinger from heaven calls, ‘The truth is with the Progeny of Muhammad; if you are looking for guidance and felicity, cling steadfastly to the Progeny of Muhammad (S),’ Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘atfs) will appear.”9
Imam al-Baqir (‘a) also said in this regard: “Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘atfs) will appear in Mecca during the ‘Isha’ (night) prayer. Having with him the banner and shirt of the Prophet and having performed the ‘Isha’ prayer, he will raise his voice, saying: ‘O people! I remind you to remember God and your standing before God (on the Day of Resurrection) while He has completed His proof (in the world) on you, commissioned the prophets, and sent down the Qur’an.
God commands you not to associate partners with Him and be obedient to Him and His prophets. Revive that which has been enjoined by the Qur’an to revive, and extinguish that which has been urged by the Qur’an to be extinguished. Be the votaries of the path of guidance and have piety and virtue because the annihilation and doom of the world has come and the trumpet of farewell has already been blown.
‘I invite you toward God and His Messenger, the implementation of His Book, the annihilation of falsehood, and the revival and restoration of the life conduct (sirah) of the Prophet (S).’ Then, he will appear in the midst of his three hundred and thirteen companions.”10
Every government has a flag by which it can be recognized, and uprisings and revolutions also have particular flags whose logos bespeak of the objectives of their leaders. The global revolution of Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘a) has also a specific flag on which a slogan has been inscribed. Of course, although there are differences with respect to the slogan on his flag, there is a common point in all the statements and that is: It invites the people to obey him (‘a).11
Now, it would suffice to mention some pertinent instances:
It has been recorded in a hadith: “It is thus written on the flag of Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘atfs): ‘Listen and obey him’.”12
Elsewhere, we read: “The slogan of al-Mahdi’s (‘atfs) flag is al-bay‘atu lillah (the allegiance for the sake of Allah).”13
It can be understood from the hadiths that the uprising of al-Mahdi (‘a) will bring delight to the people of the world. This gladness and pleasure has been expressed in various forms. Some hadiths mention the gladness of the inhabitants of the heaven and the earth while others mention the gladness of the dead ones. Some hadiths discuss the people’s reception of the uprising and others mention their wish for their dead to be revived.
Here, we will quote some of these hadiths:
• The Messenger of Allah (S) said: “All the inhabitants of the heaven and the earth—the birds, beasts of prey, and fishes of the sea—will be happy and glad at the advent of Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘atfs).”14
• The Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali (‘a) said in this regard: “When Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘atfs) appears, his blessed name will be mentioned on different tongues and people will be so full of love for him that no name other than his will be on their minds and tongues and friendship with him will enliven their spirits.”15
• The phrase “yashribuna hubbuh”—“they are imbibing his love”—has been used in hadith where love for him has been compared to water or a pleasant beverage, which the people will drink with the utmost pleasure and their love for him will influence their existence.
• While enumerating the painful events and seditions prior to the advent of al-Mahdi (‘a), Imam ar-Rida (‘a) said concerning the progress and relief after the advent (zuhur): “At that time, progress and relief will be experienced by the people such that the dead will wish for a new life.”16
• Imam as-Sadiq also said in this regard: “It is as if I can see the Qa’im (‘atfs) sitting on the pulpit of Kufah and wearing the armor of the Messenger of Allah (S).” Then, he (‘a) mentioned some of his characteristics and continuing, he said: “No believer will be left in the grave without having such a delight and rejoicing that the dead will visit one another and congratulate each other on his advent.”
In some hadith the phrase “tilka’l-farajah”—“progress in the affair”—has been used. By the blessing of his advent, the dead will be revived, and based on this report, the grandeur of the movement and leadership of the uprising will be such that it will also impact upon souls.17
There is no doubt that the uprising of Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘atfs) will lead to the establishment of justice and the uprooting of all deprivations from human society. In this section, we will examine the steps he (‘a) will take at the time of the uprising for the oppressed and the deprived, which will render him as the sanctuary of the deprived.
The Noble Prophet of Islam (S) said: “The Mahdi (‘atfs) will appear from my ummah. God will send him as the redresser of the people’s grievances. At that time, the people will live in grace.”18
The Messenger of Allah (S) did not confine the redresser of grievances to a particular sect or nationality; rather, by using the word “nas” (people or mankind) he (S) regarded him (‘atfs) as the savior of all human beings. Prior to his advent, therefore, the state of affairs will be such that all peoples of the world would pray for his advent.
Jabir said: Imam al-Baqir (‘a) said: “Hadrat Mahdi will appear in Mecca… God will relieve the land of Hijaz (through him) and he (‘a) will set free the prisoners from among the Bani Hashim.”19
Abu Artat said: “(From Mecca) Hadrat Mahdi will go to Medina and set free the prisoners from among the Bani Hashim. Then, he will go to Kufah and set free again the prisoners from among the Bani Hashim there.”20
Sha‘rani said: “When Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘atfs) arrives in the west, the people of Andalus (Spain) will meet him, saying: ‘O Wali (Friend) (and Proof) of Allah! Assist the Iberian Peninsula as it and its people have been in perdition.”21
In studying the hadiths on the role of women before and after the advent of Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘atfs), we find that a few important points need to be made. Although some hadiths say that most of the followers of Dajjal (Anti-Christ) would consist of the Jews and women,22 there would be also faithful and chaste women, who had experienced hardships in preserving their faith, and would have been profoundly affected by the state of affairs prior to the advent (zuhur).
Some women would possess firmness of stance and jihad-like spirits, and wherever they go, they would expose the inhuman essence of the Dajjal as part of their propaganda war against him.
Some hadiths say that during the uprising of al-Mahdi (‘atfs) four-hundred women will accompany him and most of them will be engaged in activities concerned with health and medical treatment. Of course, there is disagreement in the hadiths concerning the number of women who will be accompanying al-Mahdi (‘atfs) during his uprising.
Some hadiths mention thirteen women who will be with Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘atfs) during his advent, who perhaps would be among his earlier forces. Other hadiths have mentioned seven thousand eight hundred as the number of women who will assist him (‘atfs), and they are the women who will accompany him (‘atfs) after the uprising and help him (‘atfs) in many activities.
In the book, Fitan, Ibn Hammad said: “The number of the faithful at the coming of Dajjal will be twelve thousand men and seven thousand seven or eight hundred women.”23
The Messenger of Allah (S) said: “‘Isa ibn Maryam (Jesus the son of Mary) will descend from heaven in the midst of eight hundred men and four hundred women who would be the best inhabitants on the surface of the earth and the most righteous of the people of the past.”24
Imam al-Baqir (‘a) said: “By God, three thousand or so will come and there will be also fifty women from among them.”25
Mufaddal ibn ‘Umar said: Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) said: “Thirteen women will accompany Hadrat Qa’im.” I asked: “What will they be doing and what role will they play?” He (‘a) replied: “They will treat the wounded and attend to the sick just like what the (female) companions of the Messenger of Allah (S) were doing.” I asked: “Will you mention the names of the thirteen women?” He (‘a) said: “They are Qanwa the daughter of Rashid, Umm Ayman, Hababah Walabiyyah, Sumayyah the mother of ‘Ammar ibn Yasir, Zubaydah, Umm Khalid Ahmasiyyah, Umm Sa‘id Hanafiyyah, Siyanah Mashatah, and Umm Khalid Jahaniyyah.”26
In the book, Muntakhab al-Basa’ir, two women with the name of Watirah and Ahbashiyyah have been mentioned and they have been considered as among the companions and supporters of Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘atfs).27 Some hadiths have only mentioned the existence of women among those who will accompany him (‘a) and have not mentioned their number.
In the hadiths Mufaddal ibn ‘Umar has clearly mentioned the number of women who will accompany Hadrat al-Qa’im (‘a) at thirteen but among this number only nine have been introduced by name and description. Imam as-Sadiq’s (‘a) emphasis on the names was meant for us to study their biographies and salient features, and after research we obtained some points that give a convincing indication to a possible reason behind Imam as-Sadiq’s (‘a) emphasis on mentioning their names.
Each of these individuals has her own special features, but all of them have shown their own merits in the struggle against the enemies of God. Some, such as Siyanah, the mother of martyrs, have also attained martyrdom in a heartrending manner. Others such as Sumayyah had endured the most difficult tortures in the path of defending their Islamic convictions, and remained steadfast till the last breaths in defending their faith.
Another group such as Umm Khalid had deprived themselves of the favor of having healthy physical bodies and became disabled for the sake of preserving Islam. Another group such as Zubaydah had never exchanged Islam for the glitters of the world and material fortune.
On the contrary, they utilized those facilities in the way of faith and helped patronize the Hajj, which is one of the important manifestations of Islam and pillars of the religion. Yet another group had the honor of being wet nurses of the leaders of the Islamic ummah and rearing outstanding children while they themselves possessed lofty spiritual stations proverbial to all and sundry. Some of them had been from the family of martyrs and they themselves had carried their half-dead bodies and talked with them.
Yes, they have blazing hearts, who by demonstrating those acts of bravery, have proved that they could take part in shouldering the heavy burden of the global Islamic government.
Now, we will embark on introducing a number of them:
It is stated in the book, Khasa’is Fatimiyyah: “In the government of al-Mahdi (‘atfs) thirteen women will be revived and return to the world to treat the wounded. One of them is Siyanah who had been the wife of Hizqayl (Ezekiel) and hairdresser of the daughter of Pharaoh. Her husband, Hizqayl (Ezekiel), was the cousin and treasurer of Pharaoh. It has been said that Hizqayl is a believer from the family of Pharaoh and believed in Musa (Moses), the prophet of his time.28
The Prophet (S) said: “During the night of ascension (mi‘raj) on the way between Makkah al-Mu‘azzamah (Holy Mecca) and Masjid al-Aqsa (in Jerusalem) I suddenly smelled something pleasant, which I had never smelled before. I asked Jibra’il (Archangel Gabriel): “What is this pleasant smell?” He answered: “O Messenger of Allah (S)! It is that of the wife of Hizqayl; she believed in Hadrat Musa ibn ‘Imran (Prophet Moses, the son of Amran) and used to hide her faith.
She used to work as a hairdresser in the harem of Pharaoh. One day, she was busy dressing the hair of Pharaoh’s daughter when the comb suddenly fell from her hand and she inadvertently said, “Bismillah” (in the name of Allah). Pharaoh’s daughter asked her: “Do you worship my father?”
She answered: “No, but I do worship the One Who has created your father and will take him away. Pharaoh’s daughter hurriedly went to her father and said: “The woman who dresses hair in our palace has faith in Musa (Moses). The Pharaoh summoned and asked her: “Do you not recognize my divinity?” Siyanah answered: “I will never turn away from the Real Lord and I will never worship you.” The Pharaoh ordered a cupreous furnace be set ablaze and as the furnace became red-hot, he ordered all her children thrown into the fire in her presence.
At the moment when they wanted to take her sucking baby in her arms and throw him into the fire, Siyanah was moved and became inclined to disavow her religion when suddenly, by the decree of God, the child spoke and said to its mother: “O mother! Be patient for you are on the right path.” The soldiers of Pharaoh threw Siyanah and her sucking child into the fire and burned them alive. Their ashes were poured into this very ground and until the Day of Resurrection this ground will have this pleasant scent…”29
She is among the women who will be revived and returned to the world and render service under the command of Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘atfs).
Her name is Burkah. She was a bondwoman of the Prophet (S) who took her as an inheritance from his honorable father, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abdil-Mutallib, and she took the responsibility of attending to the Messenger of Allah (S).30
The Prophet (S) used to address her as mother and say: “She is among the surviving members of my family.” She had a son from her first husband, ‘Ubayd Khazarji, whose name was Ayman. Ayman was among the migrants (muhajirin) (from Mecca to Medina) and the strugglers (mujahidin), and he attained martyrdom in the Battle of Hunayn.
Umm Ayman is the person who, when intense thirst overpowered her on the way to Medina from Mecca (during the migration) and was about to die, a bucket of water was sent down to her from heaven. When she drank from it, she never became thirsty again.31
She cried profusely during the death of the Prophet (S). When they asked her for the reason behind her profuse crying, she said in reply: “By God! I knew that he (S) will pass away, but I’m weeping because of the termination of revelation.”32
In relation to the issue of Fadak, Fatimah az-Zahra (‘a) introduced her as a witness and testifier, and she finally passed away during the Caliphate of ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan.
She is the wife of Harun ar-Rashid33 and had been one of the Shi‘ah. When Harun was informed of her faith, he swore to divorce her. She was famous for doing good deeds. At the time when a goatskin of water cost one gold dinar in Mecca, she gratuitously gave water to the pilgrims and perhaps to the people of Mecca as well.
By constructing tunnels across the mountains, she brought water to Masjid al-Haram from a place 10 miles away. Zubaydah had a hundred bondswomen all of whom were memorizers (huffaz) of the Qur’an. Each of them was obliged to read one-tenth of the Qur’an so much so that from her place of residence the loud voice of Qur’an recital, like the buzz of bees, could be heard.34
She was the seventh person to embrace Islam and on account of this, she was subjected to the most horrible tortures. When the Prophet (S) saw ‘Ammar and his parents on the hot ground being tortured in the scorching heat of Mecca, he said to them: “O family of Yasir! Be patient; you have to know that your meeting place is heaven.”
Finally, Sumayyah attained martyrdom from the spear of the bloodthirsty chief, Abu Jahl, and she became the first woman martyr in Islam.35
When the governor of Iraq, Yusuf ibn ‘Umar, martyred Zayd ibn ‘Ali in the city of Kufah, he also cut off the hand of Umm Khalid for the “crime” of being a Shi‘ah and supporting Zayd’s uprising.
Abu Basir said: “We were in the company of Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) when Umm Khalid came with her amputated hand. He (‘a) said: ‘O Abu Basir! Do you want to listen to the speech of Umm Khalid?’
He answered: ‘Yes, I would be pleased to listen to her.’ Umm Khalid went up to the Imam (‘a) and started delivering a speech. I knew her for having perfect eloquence and fluency. He also spoke to her about the issue of wilayah and the disavowal of enemies…”36
Shaykh at-Tusi regarded her as among the companions of Imam al-Hasan (‘a) while Ibn Dawud considered her as among the companions of Imam al-Hasan, Imam al-Husayn, Imam as-Sajjad, and Imam al-Baqir (‘a). Others have regarded her as among the companions of the first eight Imams, i.e. up to Imam ar-Rida (‘a).
It has also been said that Imam ar-Rida (‘a) buried her in his own personal shirt. She was more than 240 years old at the time of death. She returned to her youth twice. The first time was through the miracle (mu‘jizah) of Imam as-Sajjad (‘a) and the second time was through the miracle of the eighth Imam (‘a). It was she on whose stone the first eight Infallible Imams inscribed their seal one after the other.37
Hababah Walibiyyah said: “…I said to the Commander of the Faithful (‘a): ‘May God shower His mercy on you! What is the proof of your Imamate (imamah)?’ He (‘a) said in reply: ‘Bring that small stone to me.’ I brought it to him (‘a). ‘Ali (‘a) sealed it with his ring such that the seal was inscribed on the small stone, and then he said to me: ‘O Hababah! Anyone who claims the Imamate and has succeeded in inscribing his seal on this stone the way I did is an Imam, obedience to whom is obligatory. The Imam is he who knows whatever he wishes.’
I continued my usual occupation till the Commander of the Faithful (‘a) departed from this world. Then, I went to see Imam al-Hasan (‘a) who succeeded ‘Ali (‘a) when the people were asking him questions. When he (‘a) saw me, he said: ‘O Habbabah Walibiyyah!’ I said: ‘Yes, O my leader!’ He (‘a) said: ‘Take out that thing with you.’ I brought it out and gave the small stone to him (‘a). He, like ‘Ali (‘a), inscribed a seal with his ring on the spot where the previous inscribed seal was.
After some time, I went to Imam al-Husayn (‘a) who was then in the Mosque of the Messenger of Allah (S). He (‘a) asked to me to come to him. He welcomed me and said: ‘The proof for the thing you want exists. Do you want to see the sign of Imamate?’ I replied: ‘Yes, O my chief!’ He (‘a) said: ‘Take out that thing with you.’ I gave the small stone to him. He (‘a) stroke his ring against it and his seal was inscribed therein.
After Imam al-Husayn (‘a), I went to Imam as-Sajjad (‘a) and I had become so old by then that I was trembling all over; I was one hundred and thirteen years old. He (‘a) was then in the state of bowing (ruku‘) and prostration (sujud), and did not pay attention to me. I lost hope in obtaining the proof of his Imamate. He (‘a) pointed to me with his forefinger and through this I became young again. I said: ‘O my chief! To what extent has passed from the world and to what extent remains?’
He replied: ‘As to what has passed, yes, but as to what has remained, no; that is, we have knowledge of the past but the future is part of the unseen (ghaybah) which is known to no one except God, and it is not expedient for us to say anything about it.’ Then he (‘a) said to me: ‘Take out that thing you have.’ I gave the stone to him (‘a) and he put his seal on it.
As time passed by, I went to Imam al-Baqir (‘a) and he also put a seal on that stone. After him I went to Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) and he also inscribed a seal. After the passage of many years, I went to Imam al-Kazim (‘a) and he also inscribed his seal on it. After him I went to visit Imam ar-Rida (‘a) and he also inscribed his seal on it.” Thereafter, Hababah remained alive for nine months.38
Although nothing has been mentioned in both Sunni and Shi‘ah books concerning the personality of this lady, the events related to the manner of the captivity and martyrdom of her esteemed father at the hands of Ibn Ziyad, which she narrated, clearly shows the degree of her firmness and steadfastness in faith, her attachment to Islam and Shi‘ism, and her love for the Commander of the Faithful (‘a).
Abu Hayyan Bajali said: “I asked Qanwa’, the daughter of Rashid Hijri: ‘What hadiths and narrations have you heard from your father?’ She said: ‘My father reported from the Commander of the Faithful (‘a) that he (‘a) said: ‘O Rashid! To what extent will be your patience when the adopted son of the Bani ‘Umayyah (Ibn Ziyad) summons you and amputates your two hands, two feet and tongue?’ He asked: ‘Will my destination be heaven…?’ He (‘a) replied: ‘O Rashid! You will be in my company both in this world and in the hereafter.’”
Qanwa’ said: “By God! After a little while Ibn Ziyad summoned my father and asked him to denounce ‘Ali (‘a), but my father never did it. Ibn Ziyad asked: ‘How has ‘Ali described the manner in which you will be killed?’ My father answered: ‘My friend ‘Ali has informed me that you will ask me to denounce him but I will refuse. Then you will amputate my two hands, two feet and tongue.’ Ibn Ziyad said: ‘By God! I will do something with respect to you that is contrary to ‘Ali’s prediction.’
Then he ordered that my father’s two hands and two feet be amputated but that his tongue be spared. I carried my father on my shoulder and along the way I asked him: ‘O father! Do you feel pain and agony?’ He said: ‘No. I am only annoyed at the amount of pressure that the crowd would exert on me.’ As I took my father and brought him to the palace of Ibn Ziyad, the people gathered around him. My father took advantage of the opportunity and said: ‘Bring pen, ink and paper so that I could narrate events to you. When Ibn Ziyad was informed of it, he ordered that his tongue be cut off and my father attained martyrdom that very night.”39
In view of the fact that the women in the government of Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘atfs) will have the same role as that which they had had during the early period of Islam, we shall examine the role of women during that period.
Although hadiths indicate that they will treat the wounded and attend to the sick just like the (female) companions of the Messenger of Allah (S) did, perhaps this is just one example of the important services rendered by the women during that period. They might have performed other activities as well. They will perform the same roles during the period of Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘atfs). Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) said: “During the time of Hadrat al-Qa’im (‘a), the women will perform the same tasks they did during the time of the Prophet (S).”
Women during the wars of the Prophet (S) also shouldered other responsibilities such as delivering food and water to the combatants, cooking, keeping the belongings of the combatants, procuring medicine, delivering weapons, repairing equipment, transporting the martyrs, participation in defensive wars, encouraging combatants to go to the warfront, encouraging them at the scene of combat, and so on.
Imam as-Sadiq’s (‘a) comparison of the women in the period of al-Mahdi (‘a) with the women in the period of the Prophet (S) prompted us to mention some of their activities during the early period of Islam.
Some of the women who played important roles in these activities are the following:
Her acts of bravery in the Battle of Uhud were such that they were profoundly praised and appreciated by the Prophet.42
She was one of the six women who made their way to the castle of Khaybar. The Prophet (S) asked them: “By whose order did you come here?” Umm Ubayyah said: “Since we could notice the sign of anger on his countenance, I said: ‘We have come here with some medicine to treat the wounded,’ so, the Prophet (S) agreed for us to stay. Our assignment in that war was treating the wounded and cooking food.”
She used to treat the wounded in the wars.43
She used to deliver water to the wounded and treat them. She lost her husband, brother and maternal uncle in the battlefield.44
She used to treat the wounded.45 She said: “We went to the battlefield with the Prophet (S) and transported the martyrs to Medina.”
She was among the six women who went to the war region of Khaybar to treat the wounded.46
She became Muslim after the migration (hijrah) to Medina. She said: “I went to see the Prophet (S) along with a group of women from Bani Ghaffar. I said: ‘We want to be with you in going to Khaybar to treat the wounded and assist the combatants.’ Showing his happiness, the Prophet (S) said: ‘You move by the grace of God!’”47
She said: “I was a woman who used to go to the war along with the Prophet (S) to treat the wounded.”48
While pregnant, she delivered water to the combatants in the Battle of Uhud. She also participated in the Battle of Hunayn.49
She used to attend to the sick and treat the wounded.50
When going to the Battle of Khaybar, she said to the Prophet: “I want to go with you and treat the wounded, attend to the sick, assist the combatants, safeguard their belongings, and deliver water to the thirsty in the battle field. The Prophet (S) said: “You are permitted. Go with my wife, Umm Salamah.”51
Muhammad ibn Muslimah said: “In the Battle of Uhud the women were engaged in looking for water and they were fourteen in all. Fatimah (‘a) was also one of them.”52
The women used to carry the food and water on their shoulders, engage in the treatment of the wounded and give water to them.53
‘Umar ibn al-Khattab said: “During the Battle of Uhud, Umm Sulayt used to carry goatskins of water for us and engage in repairing weapons and equipment.”54
She participated in the Battle of Uhud along with her husband and son. She used to carry goatskins of water and give water to the wounded. When the war became intense, she also participated in the battlefield and sustained twelve wounds by the sword.55
In the Battle of Uhud she went to see the Prophet (S) and said: “O Messenger of Allah! My son, ‘Abdullah ibn Salamah, was among the combatants in the Battle of Badr. Now, in the Battle of Uhud, he has been martyred. I want to bring him to Medina and bury him there so that his grave would be near (our house) and I would be near to him.” The Prophet (S) gave her permission. Anisah transported the pure corpse of her martyred son by means of a camel along with the corpse of another martyr of Islam named Mujdar ibn Ziyad, which was wrapped in a cloak, to Medina.56
This was just a glimpse of the activities and roles of women in the battles of Islam under the command of the Messenger of Allah (S). Perhaps, the cooperation of women in military and defense was meant to maximize all the combatant forces in the war and in confronting enemies. With the same objective in view, the women in the government of Hadrat al-Mahdi (‘atfs) will also play the roles the women played during the time of the Prophet (S).
During that period or prior to that, women will have various roles to play; propaganda against the Dajjal (the Anti-Christ) and warning the people against him will be among their roles and duties.
Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri said: “Wherever the Dajjal wants to go, a woman with the name of La’ibah (Tayyibah) will go there before him and say: “The Dajjal will come to you; keep away from him and beware of the consequences of his work!”57
- 1. The specification of Friday vis-à-vis Saturday and Nu Ruz vis-à-vis ‘Ashura’ as the day of uprising in two sets of hadiths can also be reconciled in another way. It is possible that the day of uprising falls on a Saturday (Nu Ruz, or ‘Ashura’) in the eastern part of the world while it is still the preceding Friday (Nu Ruz, or ‘Ashura’ as the case may be) in the western part of the globe. For example, 9:40 am of a certain day in Tehran, Iran (GMT +03:30) is still 7:10 pm the preceding day in Hawaii, USA (GMT -10:00). (Trans.)
- 2. Ithbat al-Hudah, p. 496; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 52, p. 279.
- 3. Shaykh at-Tusi, Ghaybah, p. 274; Kashf al-Ghammah, vol. 3, p. 252; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 52, p. 290.
- 4. Kamaluddin, vol. 2, p. 653; Shaykh at-Tusi, Ghaybah, p. 274; At-Tahdhib, vol. 4, p. 333; Maladh al-Akhyar, vol. 7, p. 174; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 52, p. 285.
- 5. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 52, p. 285.
- 6. At-Tahdhib, vol. 4, p. 300; Ibn Tawus, Iqbal, p. 558; Khara’ij, vol. 3, p. 1159; Wasa’il ash-Shi‘ah, vol. 7, p. 338; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 98, p. 34; Maladh al-Akhyar, vol. 7, p. 116.
- 7. Shaykh at-Tusi, Ghaybah, p. 274; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 52, p. 290.
- 8. Al-Muhadhdhab al-Bari‘, vol. 1, p. 194; Khatunabadi, Arba‘in, p. 187; Wasa’il ash-Shi‘ah, vol. 5, p. 228; Ithbat al-Hudah, vol. 3, p. 571; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 52, p. 208.
- 9. Al-Hawi Li’l-Fatawa, vol. 2, p. 68; Ihqaq al-Haqq, vol. 13, p. 324.
- 10. Ibn Hammad, Fitan, p. 95; ‘Aqd ad-Durar, p. 145; Safarini, Lawa’ih, vol. 2, p. 11; Ibn Tawus, Mulahim, p. 64; Sirat al-Mustaqim, vol. 2, p. 262.
- 11. Imam al-Baqir (‘a) said to Abu Hamzah: “It is as if I can see the Qa’im from among us, the Ahl al-Bayt, entering Najaf and when he reaches the innermost point of Najaf, he will hoist the banner of the Messenger of Allah (S). Once the banner is unfurled, the angels who were present at the Battle of Badr will descend upon him.” ‘Ayyashi, Tafsir ‘Ayyashi, vol. 1, p. 103; Nu‘mani, Ghaybah, p. 308; Kamaluddin, vol. 2, p. 672; Tafsir Burhan, vol. 1, p. 209; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 52, p. 326.
- 12. Ithbat al-Hudah, vol. 3, p. 582; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 52, p. 305.
- 13. Ibn Hammad, Fitan, p. 98; Ibn Tawus, Malahim, p. 68; Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar, p. 24; Yanabi‘ al-Mawaddah, p. 435; Ash-Shi‘ah wa’r-Raj‘ah, vol. 1, p. 210.
- 14. ‘Aqd ad-Darar, pp. 84, 149; Al-Bayan, p. 118; Hakim, Mustadrak, vol. 4, p. 431; Ad-Durr al-Manthur, vol. 6, p. 50; Nur al-Absar, p. 170; Ibn Tawus, Malahim, p. 142; Ihqaq al-Haqq, vol. 13, p. 150.
- 15. Al-Hawi Li’l-Fatawa, vol. 2, p. 68; Ihqaq al-Haqq, vol. 13, p. 324.
- 16. Khara’ij, vol. 3, p. 1169; Shaykh at-Tusi, Ghaybah, p. 268.
- 17. Ithbat al-Hudah, vol. 3, p. 530.
- 18. ‘Aqd ad-Darar, p. 167.
- 19. Ibn Hammad, Fitan, p. 95; Ibn Tawus, Malahim, p. 64; Al-Fatawa al-Hadithiyyah, p. 31; Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar, p. 23.
- 20. Ibn Hammad, Fitan, p. 83; Al-Hawi Li’l-Fatawa, vol. 2, p. 67; Muttaqi Hindi, Burhan, p. 118; Ibn Tawus, Malahim, p. 64.
- 21. Qurtubi, Mukhtasar Tadhkirah, p. 128; Ihqaq al-Haqq, vol. 13, p. 260.
- 22. Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Musnad Ibn Hanbal, vol. 2, p. 76; Firdaws al-Akhbar, vol. 5, p. 424; Majma‘ az-Zawa’id, vol. 7, p. 15.
- 23. Ibn Hammad, Fitan, p. 151.
- 24. Firdaws al-Akhbar, vol. 5, p. 515; Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 14, p. 338; At-Tasrih, p. 254.
- 25. ‘Ayyashi, Tafsir ‘Ayyashi, vol. 1, p. 65; Nu‘mani, Ghaybah, p. 279.
- 26. Dala’il al-Imamah, p. 259; Ithbat al-Hudah, vol. 3, p. 75.
- 27. Bayan al-A’immah, vol. 3, p. 338.
- 28. Riyahin ash-Shari‘ah, vol. 5, p. 153; Khasa’is Fatimiyyah, p. 343.
- 29. Minhaj ad-Dumu‘, p. 93.
- 30. Tarikh at-Tabari, vol. 2, p. 7; Halabi, Sirah, vol. 1, p. 59.
- 31. ‘Abd ar-Razzaq, Musannif, vol. 4, p. 309; Al-Isabah, vol. 4, p. 432.
- 32. Tanqih al-Maqal, vol. 3, p. 70.
- 33. Harun ar-Rashid: the ‘Abbasid caliph who reigned from 180-193 AH (786-809 CE) and was the contemporary of the seventh and eighth Imams, Musa al-Kazim and ar-Rida (‘a). (Trans.)
- 34. Tanqih al-Maqal, vol. 3, p. 78.
- 35. Asad al-Ghabah, vol. 5, p. 481.
- 36. Mu‘jam Rijal al-Hadith, vol. 14, pp. 23, 108, 176; Riyahin ash-Shari‘ah, vol. 3, p. 381.
- 37. Tanqih al-Maqal, vol. 23, p. 75.
- 38. Al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 346; Tanqih al-Maqal, vol. 3, p. 75.
- 39. Ikhtiyar Ma‘rifah ar-Rijal, “Sharh Hal Rashid,” p. 75; Tanqih al-Maqal, vol. 1, p. 431; vol. 3, p. 82; Mu‘jam Rijal al-Hadith, vol. 7, p. 190; A‘yan ash-Shi‘ah, vol. 32, p. 6; Safinah al-Bihar, vol. 2, p. 522; Riyahin ash-Shari‘ah, vol. 5, p. 40.
- 40. Abu ‘Awanah, Musnad, vol. 4, p. 331.
- 41. Waqidi, Maghazi, vol. 1, p. 270.
- 42. Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 4, p. 345.
- 43. Al-Isabah, vol. 4, p. 433.
- 44. Ibn Sa‘d, Tabaqat, vol. 8, p. 241.
- 45. Asad al-Ghabah, vol. 5, p. 451; Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 14, p. 168.
- 46. Al-Isabah, vol. 4, p. 444.
- 47. Asad al-Ghabah, vol. 5, p. 405.
- 48. Naqsh-e Zanan dar Jang, p. 22.
- 49. Ibn Sa‘d, Tabaqat, vol. 8, p. 425.
- 50. A‘lam an-Nisa’, vol. 5, p. 61.
- 51. Riyahin ash-Shari‘ah, vol. 3, p. 410.
- 52. Waqidi, Maghazi, vol. 1, p. 249.
- 53. Ibid.
- 54. Bukhari, Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 12, p. 153.
- 55. Waqidi, Maghazi, vol. 1, p. 268.
- 56. Asad al-Ghabah, vol. 5, p. 406. See Hujjat al-Islam Muhammad Jawad Tabasi, Naqsh-e Zanan.
- 57. Ibn Hammad, Fitan, p. 151; Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 14, p. 602.