On the Threshold of the birth
In this chapter, Lady Hakimah, Imam Hadi’s illustrious sister, will be invited at the night of the birth of the last Imam. We shall see the very respectful, kind behavior of Lady Hakimah toward Nargis. In this section too, the birth of the baby boy and the night prayers of Imam Hasan, along with Lady Hakimah and Nargis herself, are narrated. The last section of this chapter is about Imam Mahdi who shall begin to talk with Lady Hakimah.
Days and nights passed and Nargis was the center of attention in the house of Imamate. No one was aware yet of the important role of Nargis as the future mother of the Last Savior of the World. The only persons who knew about this were Imam Hadi, Imam Hasan her husband and the father of the future baby, and his aunt Lady Hakimah.
After the sad days of the martyrdom of the tenth Imam Hadi, Imam Hasan received the important role of Imamate by the will of God Almighty while he was only twenty-two years old. His wife Nargis was already pregnant. By the will of God Almighty, all signs of her pregnancy were hidden from everyone including Lady Hakimah. She did not know about that and after nine months, there was still no sign of a baby in Nargis’s womb. Finally, on Thursday, Sha`ban 14th, 255 AH, Imam Hasan invited his aunt to his house.
In a letter, the Imam wrote, “My beloved aunt! I would like to invite you to come over here for breaking the fast with us. This very night too, our God Almighty will finally grant us our wishes! At that special night, the beloved baby that all of us have been waiting for his birth a long time ago will come into this world! God Almighty will thus complete His blessings to all human beings with the birth of my son. My aunt, tonight the Patron of the Age will be born and one day he will offer eternal life and perfect justice to the whole world after the death of the earth.”
Lady Hakimah went quickly and happily to Imam Hasan’s house and asked him excitedly, “My lord, are you sure that tonight is the special night you were longing for its arrival?”
With smile, Imam answered, “Of course I am sure, my aunt!”
Lady Hakimah was aware of the details of the life of Nargis and of the glad tidings of her life, but she asked Imam Hasan once more, “My lord, may my life be offered as ransom for you! But… who is the mother of this great child?”
Imam replied, “Of course! Nargis is the mother of my son!”
Lady Hakimah loved Nargis very much and Nargis also showed a lot of respect to her husband’s illustrious aunt; so, when lady Hakimah used to come to their house, Nargis herself used to take off the shoes of lady Hakimah and kiss her hands tenderly.
When Imam Hasan told his aunt about the night of the birth of the Savior of the world, Lady Hakimah went quickly to Imam’s house and entered Nargis’s room. The princess smiled sweetly upon seeing her and stood up respectfully like always and asked her, “My life be offered to you, my dear aunt! How are you?”
Lady Hakimah answered quickly, “Do not ever say that again, my sweet child! It is my life and the entire world that should be offered to you! I’m fine.”
Nargis said kindly, “Dear aunt, let me take off your shoes.” But Lady Hakimah did not let her touch her shoes; rather, she herself bent down and kissed Nargis’s feet and said, “My beloved child! You are my lady from now on! I promise our God that I will not let you touch my shoes ever again! I am at your disposal forever! Please, tell me what I should do for you?”
Nargis began to wonder about Lady Hakimah’s words and strange behavior, because she had never let her do anything! And now, suddenly, Lady Hakimah began to say the strangest thing ever: “My child! God Almighty will grant you a son this very night! He shall be the lord and master of all the people of the world! And one day, he will solve all the hardships and problems of all of his believers, by God’s will!”
Nargis had not expected to hear such words from Lady Hakimah; so, she became very embarrassed and said modestly, “My sweet lady! What are you talking about?”
Lady Hakimah answered her without hesitation, “No, please do not call me like that ever again! You are my lady and you are the greatest lady of this era! Do not wonder nor doubt about your high rank and position, my child!”
After this brief conversation, Lady Hakimah looked at the body of Nargis but could not see any sign of pregnancy! She asked Nargis about her general condition, and she answered that she was well; she felt neither headache nor pains. Then both of them went to see Imam Hasan to whom Lady Hakimah said, “My lord, I didn’t see any sign of pregnancy on Nargis’s body!” Imam Hasan smiled kindly and replied, “Dear aunt! Be assured that my son will be born tonight! The mother of my son is like the mother of Prophet Moses; so, there shall not be any sign of pregnancy on her until the time of birth. At that time, Pharaoh’s soldiers by his direct order used to kill all pregnant women they would see so as to find and kill Moses. My son is like Moses. My sweet wife, know that your baby is a boy, his name is Muhammad, and he is the next and last Imam after me.”
Serenity and tranquility appeared on Nargis’s pure and innocent face after she had heard those words from her beloved husband.
Calmly, she asked him, “My lord, what is the right time for the birth of my baby?” Imam responded, “Beloved wife! It will coincide with the rise of dawn.”
At the sunset of the fourteenth day of Sha`ban after the time of the ritual sunset and evening prayers, Imam Hasan, Lady Hakimah, and Nargis broke their fast and ate their dinner. After a while, Nargis went to her room to rest a little and she slept peacefully. Lady Hakimah went inside her room to be beside Nargis, perhaps she might need something; so, she could help her quickly. Imam Hasan sat in one corner of the room to rest for a moment.
After resting for an hour, Lady Hakimah woke up sooner than usual for offering the Night Prayer. She went to the backyard to perform the ritual ablution. When she returned inside the room, she was thinking still about the birth of that illustrious baby; so she looked up at Nargis but the young woman was deep asleep! She slept deeply and serenely and did not move in her bed as pregnant women usually do.
After performing the rituals of the Night Prayer, Lady Hakimah sat in a corner of the room to rest for some moments, but she slept once again. After a while, she woke up suddenly and saw that Imam Hasan and Nargis readying themselves for the Night Prayer. Each one of them headed for the prayer-place to pray God.
After finishing her prayer, Nargis returned to her bed and slept, while Imam Hasan and lady Hakimah remained in their places to pray and wait for the beginning of that great event.
After an hour, Lady Hakimah went to the backyard and gazed at the nightly sky… It seemed that the rising of the dawn was close. For a moment, Lady Hakimah felt a kind of doubt about the time of the birth of the baby in her heart and said to herself dubiously, “And now, dawn is beginning to come… But still, there is no sign of the promise of my Imam…”
Suddenly, Imam Hasan, from inside the house, said loudly, “My dear aunt! Do not let your heart and mind have such thoughts! Do not doubt! We are so close to the will of God Almighty!”
Lady Hakimah, most embarrassed from her thoughts and doubt, returned quickly inside the house and read some Qur'anic verses from Surah (Qur'anic Chapter) Sajdah and Surah Yasin.
A few minutes later, Lady Hakimah went to Nargis’s room and saw her trembling. She took her quickly in her arms and asked, “Why, my sweet lady! Are you well? Do you think the time of your giving birth to your son has finally come?”
Nargis answered, “Yes, I think the time has come!”
Then, Imam Hasan ordered from another room, “My aunt! Do please read loudly the verses of Surah al-Qadr!”
While Lady Hakimah recited the verses of Surah al-Qadr, she heard suddenly that the baby from inside Nargis’s womb began to recite the same Surah along with Lady Hakimah! After having finished that, the baby inside Nargis’s womb said his greetings to Lady Hakimah.
For a moment, Lady Hakimah got frightened and ran toward Imam Hasan who said to her, “My aunt! Do not be afraid and do not wonder about the will of God Almighty! Do you not know that God Almighty make us, the Imams, skillful speakers from our infancy and in our adulthood and appoint us as His living proofs on earth?”
Lady Hakimah returned to Nargis’s room and with her soft hands, held Lady Hakimah’s hands tightly and shut her eyes. Then she began to recite verses of the Holy Qur'an.
At that moment, Nargis vanished in front of Lady Hakimah’s eyes! It seemed that an invisible curtain had suddenly dropped down and separated Lady Hakimah from Nargis! Once again, Lady Hakimah ran quickly toward Imam’s room but Imam Hasan did not let her explain what she had just witnessed; rather, he said to her, “Do not worry, my dear aunt! Go back to the room and you will see her once again in her place.”