Chapter 7: Fatima az-Zahra (sa)
1. It was reported in Bihar, v. 10, 1 that Imam Abu Ja'far Al-Baqir (as) said:
"When Fatima was born, Allah (Exalted is His Name) revealed to an angel to speak the name Fatima with Muhammad's tongue. Allah then said:
"I have bestowed knowledge upon you, and safeguarded you from menstruation." Then Abu Ja'far (as) added:
"By Allah, Allah (Blessed and Exalted is His Name) bestowed knowledge on her and safeguarded her from menstruation with the covenant." 2
2. Imam Ar-Ridha’ and Imam Jawad (as) said:
"We heard Ma'moon narrating from Rashid, from Al-Mahdi, from Al-Mansoor, from his father, from his grandfather that Ibn Abbas said to Mu'awiya:
'Do you know why Fatima was given that name?'
He said: `No.'
Ibn Abbas said:
`Because she and her followers are protected from Hell, I heard Allah's Messenger say thus.'
3. Imam Ar-Ridha’, quoting his Fathers (as) said:
"The Messenger of Allah (S) said:
`O Fatima, do you know why you have been given the name Fatima?'
‘Ali (as) said:
`Why was she named (Fatima)?'
`Because she [Fatima az-Zahra], and her followers (Shiites) are protected from Hell. "'
4. Imam Sadiq (as) said:
"Do you know the explanation of (the name) Fatima?
`Inform me my Master.'
`She is safeguarded from evil.'
He then added:
`Had Amir-Al-Mu'mineen not married her, no man on earth from Adam on would have been suitable for her until the Day of Rising. "'
This narration was also reported by a group of Sunni scholars, among them being Ibn Shirooyah Ad-Dailami who said:
"Um Salamah said: 'The Messenger of Allah said:
`Had Allah not created ‘Ali (as), there would not have been an equal to Fatima.'
Besides Ad-Dailami, Khawarazmi in Al-Manaqib, Munawi in Kunz al-Haqaeq, and Qandouzi in Yanabea al-Mawaddah have reported this tradition by quoting Um Salamah and Al-Abbas, the Prophet's uncle.
5. Kharghoushi and Ibn Batta reported in their books Sharaf An-Nabi and Ibaneh that Imam Sadiq (as) said:
"The Messenger of Allah (S) said to ‘Ali (as):
`Do you know the reason why Fatima was given that name?'
‘Ali (as) said:
`Why was she given that name?'
He (as) said:
`Because she [Fatima az-Zahra], and her followers (Shiites) are safeguarded from the fire."
6. Imam Ar-Ridha’ (as) said that his father quoted Amir Al-Mu’mineen (as) as saying:
"I heard Allah's Messenger say:
'Fatima was given that name because Allah has safeguarded her, and her progeny from the Fire; those who meet Allah as monotheists and believers in what I preach. " 3
The above mentioned traditions have also been narrated by a large group of Sunni scholars, among them are:
1. Khwarazmi in Maqtal al-Husayn, p. 51, said:
"‘Ali Ibn Abu Talib said: 'The Messenger of Allah said:
`My daughter was named Fatima az-Zahra because Allah (Glory be to Him) safeguarded her from the Fire. '"
2. Tabari in Dhakhaer al-Uqbi, Qandouzi in Yanabea al-Mawaddah p. 194 and Safawi in Nuzhat al-Majalis reported that ‘Ali Ibn Abu Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) said:
"The Messenger of Allah (S) said to Fatima az-Zahra (sa):
`O Fatima, do you know why you have been named Fatima?'
‘Ali (as) said:
`O Messenger of Allah, why was she named Fatima?'
`Because Allah will surely safeguard her and her progeny from the Fire on ‘The Day of Resurrection.’ "
Fatima's name was dear to Ahlul-Bayt; they respected the name, and those who held it. For instance, Imam Sadiq (as) inquired from one of his companions about the name to be given to his newborn daughter, the man replied:
"I named her Fatima."
Imam Sadiq (as) then said:
"Fatima?! May the peace of Allah be upon Fatima. Now that you have given her the name Fatima, refrain from slapping, or, abusing her, rather honour her."
Besides this tradition, it was reported in Wasa'el v. 7, on the authority of Sukunei as:
"O Sukunei; what grieves you?
A girl has been born to me...'
`What have you named her?'
Then he said:
`Fatima!! Oh, Oh, Oh (in admiration). He then said, `Now that you have named her
Fatima, refrain from abusing, cursing, or, slapping her. "
Also, in Safinat al-Bihar, Imam Abu Al-Hasan Al-Kadhim said:
"Poverty shall not enter a house inhabited by people having the names Muhammad, and Fatima from among women."
The first of these three traditions was commented on by Imam Baqir (as), he stated:
"By Allah, He (Glory be to Him) bestowed her [Fatima az-Zahra (sa)] with knowledge, and safeguarded her from menstruation with the covenant."
The covenant mentioned here refers to the corpuscle (seeds) world mentioned in the Holy Qur’an in the following verse:
"When thy Lord drew forth from the children of Adam from their loins- their descendants, and made them testify concerning themselves (saying): Am I not your Lord?'
They said: `yea!" (7: 172)
In summary, this means that Allah Almighty drew forth from Adam (from his loin), his [Adam (as)] descendants in the form of seeds (or corpuscles), then presented them to him, and said:
"I will make a covenant with your descendants that they shall worship me without associating anything with me; I shall-in turn-guarantee their sustenance."
He [Allah ((SwT))] then said to them: "Am I not your Lord?"
They said: "Yes, we bear witness that you are our Lord."
He (Glory be to Him) said to the angels: "Bear witness."
The angels said: "We bear witness."
It was mentioned that Allah Almighty gave Adam's descendants the ability to realize, understand, and hear His speech. He then placed them back in Adam's loin. Therefore, mankind is held in Adam until everyone shall be brought forth by Allah at the time, which has been destined by Him. So whoever adheres to Islam holds to the covenant; and whoever disbelieves and rejects it, violates that covenant.
This account was derived from a large number of traditions (hadiths), and verified narrations. Imam Baqir (as) pointed out that it was decreed that Fatima az-Zahra would be safeguarded from menstruation in that world, which is also called the "World of Covenant."
In relation to the many traditions that spoke of the “World of Covenant”, we mention some of them herein as examples:
1. It was reported in Tafsir al-Burhan that Imam Sadiq (as) said:
The Prophet was asked: "How do you excel over mankind?"
The Prophet answered: "I was the first one to bear witness to my Lord; when Allah took the oath from the Prophets, and made them testify concerning themselves (our Lord Said): Am I not your Lord?'
They replied: 'Yes. Therefore, I was the first of them to reply."
Abu Basir: "I asked Abu Abdullah-Imam Sadiq (as)
How did they answer Him [Allah (SwT)) when they were corpusclens?
He said: `He implemented in them that with which they could answer Him when He asked;
Aisha added: "He means the covenant."
2. Zurareh reported that he inquired from Imam Baqir (as) about what is meant by:
"When thy Lord drew forth from the children of Adam, from their loins, their descendants"
He said: "(It means that He drew forth) from Adam's loins his descendants until the Day of Resurrection, so they came forth in the form of corpusclens. He then taught and acquainted them to His creation; and had He not done so, no one would have known His Lord."
3. When Umar Ibn al-Khattab performed pilgrimage, and embraced the (Black) Stone, he said:
"I know by Allah-that you are a stone which neither harms nor benefits, and had I not seen Allah's Messenger embrace you, I would not have embraced you."
However, Imam ‘Ali (as) said:
"Abu Hafz, do not say this, for Allah's Messenger did not embrace it (the black stone) save for wisdom he knew, and had you read the Qur’an and realized its interpretation, as others have, you would have understood that it can harm as well as bring benefits to you. It has two eyes, and two lips, and possesses a keen tongue that testifies for those who fulfill their obligations to it."
Umar Ibn Al-Khattab then said: "Then show me that in Allah's book, Abu Al-Hasan."
Imam ‘Ali (as) said: 'Allah Almighty said:
"When thy Lord drew forth from the children of Adam (from their loins) their descendants, and made them testify concerning themselves (saying): Am I not your Lord? They answered: Yea! we do testify. Thus, when they affirmed their obedience to Him as their Lord and as His slaves, He make a covenant with them that they would make pilgrimage to His sacred House. He then created parchment finer than water, and said to the Pen: Write down My creatures' fulfillment of pilgrimage to my Sacred House. The pen wrote mankind's fulfillment of pilgrimage on the parchment, then it was said to the (Black) Stone: Open your mouth; it opened it and the parchment was inserted there.”
He then said:
`Safeguard it and testify for My worshippers their fulfillment (of pilgrimage). The Stone then descended in obedience to Allah.'
"O Umar, do not you say when you embrace the stone- I have fulfilled my covenant, and kept my oath, so you may testify for me?'
Umar said: "Yes, by Allah."
Imam ‘Ali (as) then said: "It is for this reason that you do so."
A large group of narrations, which include a study regarding the “World of Covenant”, can be found such as al-Kafi collected by al-Kulayni, al-Bihar by al-Majlisi, and other collections of traditions.
Nevertheless, some scholars, may Allah forgive them--misunderstood these narrations, which leads them to doubt their authenticity despite the unambiguous meaning of the verse.
In conclusion, it was since, or, even prior to the events of the world of seeds (which is also called the “World of Covenant”) that the Messenger of Allah, and his Progeny's-including Fatima's-virtue was recognized.
This fact should not be doubted for there are many narrations, which have been successively reported by scholars of both sects (Sunni and Shiite). All these narrations support this affair; the traditions that have been mentioned by the Shiite scholars are too numerous to include here. As for those, which have been reported by the Sunni scholars, Safuri Shafe'i mentioned in his book Nuzhat al-Majlis v. 2, p. 223, that Kesae and others said:
"When Allah created Adam... (until He said) there was a brilliant girl from whom light was illuminating, and on her head was a golden crown ornamented with diamonds; the like of whom Adam had never seen.
Adam asked: `My Lord who is this girl?'
Allah said: 'Fatima Bint Muhammad.'
Adam said: `My Lord, who is her husband?'
Allah said: `O Gabriel, open the gate of the ruby palace;' when Gabriel did, Adam saw a dome of camphor and inside it was a golden bed equipped by a young man as beautiful as [Prophet] Yusef (as).'
He then said: "this is her husband, ‘Ali Ibn Abu Talib."
Also, Asqalani in his book Lisan al-Mizan v. 3, p. 346, writes that Imam Al-Hasan Ibn ‘Ali Al-Askari (as) reported that his Fathers quoted Jabir Ibn Abdullah as saying: "The Messenger of Allah (S) said: 'When Allah created Adam and Eve, they strutted through paradise and said: `Who are better than we?' At that moment they noticed an image of a girl like they had never seen before; from this girl came an illuminating light so bright that it almost blinded the eyes.
They said: 'O Lord, what is this?'
He [Allah ((SwT))] answered: 'This is the image of Fatima, the mistress of your women descendants.'
Adam asked: 'What is this crown on her head?'
Allah said: 'Her husband ‘Ali (as)'
Adam then asked: 'What are her two earrings?'
Allah replied: 'Her [Fatima az-Zahra (sa)] (two) sons, they were ordained in My ever-existent knowledge two thousand years before I created you'