In the House of Imamate
Here begins a new chapter in Nargis’s story:
In this chapter, we will narrate how a loyal Shi`ite (i.e. a follower of the Holy Imams) happened to go to Baghdad to accompany and bring princess Nargis to Imam Hadi’s house. It was truly a difficult journey for the young princess, but the thought of going to her husband made hardships of that tiring journey most seem to be pleasurable and happy for her. It was the beginning of her new life in the Household of Imamate…
Bashshar ibn Sulayman was a slave trader and one of Imam Hadi’s loyalists; he lived near the Imam’s house in Samarra'.
One night, a servant of Imam Hadi went to the house of Bashshar to summon him to be present before the Imam Hadi. Bashshar responded and quickly went to the house of his beloved Imam. Once he arrived there, he found Imam Hadi talking to his son Imam Hasan and his sister who was behind a curtain.
Imam Hadi said, “Bashshar! You are one of Abu-Ayyub Ansari’s trusted sons, we know that you have accepted our wilayah (i.e. the divinely ordained leadership of the Holy Imams) most obediently and you have always believed us in your heart. I am going to let you in a secret: you have to go to Baghdad and buy a female slave from the salve market. I would like to tell you that this will bring about full joy to your heart and it will increase your rank in the presence of our God.”
After that private conversation, Imam Hadi wrote a letter in Latin; he then stamped it with his special ring and gave it to Bashshar. He gave him a yellow purse inside which there were two hundred and twenty dinars and told him that he should travel to Baghdad and in a specific day at noon, be in the riverside of Tigris. He should wait then for the arrival of a merchant’s boat on which he should find a man named `Amr ibn Yazid. He should wait until this slave trader would start exhibiting his slaves in the slave market. After a while, `Amr would bring a young female slave who wears two thick silk dresses. Unlike all others, this slave would not let people see her face and moan and cry in Roman language [Latin], saying “O Good God…! I can bear no longer such an insult and such a misery…!”
Suddenly, a man from among the people would stand in front of that young slave and announce, “The purity and the virtuous qualities of this slave urge me to buy her. I am ready to give you three hundred dinars to buy your slave…” But that young slave would reply with a fluent Arabic, saying, “Even if you were like the Prophet Solomon the son of David and have lots of jinn around you, my answer is still no! So, take pity on your money and do not waste it vainly!”
At that moment, `Amr ibn Yazid the slave trader would say pitifully, “So, what am I supposed to do?! I need to sell you, girl!”
But the young slave would respond, “Do not hurry! I must find some one suitable to me… someone I can trust.”
At that moment, it should be your turn to go near them and tell them that you have a letter from a nobleman. Tell them that your master has described himself in his letter to her and that he has written that letter in Latin. Then, take this letter to the young woman and ask her to read it. Then, tell `Amr ibn Yazid that if the young slave is content and satisfied, you in your turn are ready to purchase her for your master…”
With these detailed instructions of the Imam, Bashshar went to Baghdad without wasting any more time. He did as exactly as he had been told and found `Amr and his slaves at the right spot. He then waited for his moment…
Bashshar watched all the events and found them going as exactly as had been described by Imam Hadi! When he heard the words of the young slave asking `Amr not to hurry too much, he got closer and stood in front of Nargis. Addressing `Amr, he said, “I have a letter with me from a nobleman. My master has described himself in this letter. Please, do give this letter to that slave. If she will be satisfied, I am ready to purchase her for my lord and master.”
When `Amr gave the letter to Nargis, she opened it and after having read the first line, she began to cry. She then said joyfully, “Please! Sell me at once to this man; otherwise, I will kill myself.”
Bashshar and `Amr talked and negotiated for a few minutes about the price of the slave and `Amr finally agreed to sell her with two hundred and twenty dinars! It was exactly the same price Imam Hadi had given to Bashshar. He then purchased Nargis and took her to the place he had rented in Baghdad.
After so many hard days and nights, princess Nargis felt happy finally; Bashshar saw with stupor that she used to smile and kiss the letter written by Imam Hadi frequently.
Bashshar asked her with astonishment, “What are you doing? You do not even know who the writer of this letter is!”
Nargis smiled and narrated her life story to him from the moment the crosses fell down until her meeting with Lady Fatimah Zahra’ and her husband Imam Hasan in the realm of dreams.”
Bashshar told her curiously, “It is very strange that you are Roman but you can also speak Arabic so fluently!”
Nargis smiled and explained, “Yes, because my grandfather loved me very much, he was very serious about my studies. He appointed a woman who could speak many languages as my teacher. Therefore, I learned Arabic from the best teacher ever!”
The next morning, Bashshar and Nargis reached Samarra’ and went to the house of Imam Hadi. The illustrious Imam welcomed Nargis gracefully and told her with great affection, “Welcome my dear child! Now, do you believe in the majesty and greatness of Islam and the honorable behavior of the Ahl al-Bayt (i.e. the members of the Holy Prophet’s Household)?”
Nargis responded obediently to her lord and said, “O son of Allah’s Messenger! How can I express my thoughts and feelings whereas you are wiser and more knowledgeable than me in so many ways?”
Imam Hadi said, “My child, I would like to give you a gift. Do you like to receive one thousand dinars or to convey to you a glad tidings that will bring you an eternal honor and dignity?”
Nargis who had tolerated all the hardships of her long journey and waited only to hear this joyful news answered, “My lord! With all due honor, I am ready to hear the joyful news.”
Imam Hadi smiled and said, “My child! Our God will give you a son who will be the sovereign of all the worlds from east to west and everything will be under his command! He will bring justice and equity when the earth would be filled with tyranny, oppression, and injustice! ”
Nargis asked, “My lord! Who will be the father of this child?”
Imam Hadi answered, “The father of the child is the same one that our Holy Prophet, on that special night, came into your dream and recited the marriage vows between you and him in the presence of Jesus the son of Mary and his successor. Do you remember?”
Nargis answered quickly, “Yes, of course. I remember! How can I forget this sweet and important event?! That special night, when Lady Fatimah Zahra’ came to my dream and I converted to Islam on her holy hands. From then on, my husband comes in my dream every night.”
After that conversation, Imam Hadi asked his servant to call his sister Lady Hakimah to join them. When she entered the room, Imam Hadi said to her, “My beloved sister! Nargis is the one that I had talked about her before.” Lady Hakimah welcomed her kindly and embraced her. Imam Hadi smiled and said, “My good sister! Please, take Nargis with you and teach her the teachings of Islam because this sweet and innocent girl is the legitimate wife of my son and also the mother of the last Imam to come.”