All praise and thanks are due to Allah, Who has guided us to this, for we would not have been guided except by His guidance. May the salutation and blessings of Allah shower on the last and best of His Prophets, Muhammad Mustafā (S) and the sinless members of his progeny (A).

In the autumn of 2002, my family and I were blessed with the opportunity to come and pursue our studies in the city of Qum in Iran. I was immediately struck by the influence and effect that the presence of Lady Fatima Masuma (A) has on the inhabitants of the city.

I tried to find out more about this holy personality and discovered that hardly any material is available about her in the English language; of course, there was material in Persian, which I had just started to learn.

I distinctly remember sitting at her shrine, upset because the Persian language was proving difficult to master; at the time I made a pact with the noble lady, “Bless me in the task of learning this language and I will first use this knowledge to write your biography in English!”

This book is the result of that noble lady’s blessing and love for all those who reside in her city. Alhamdulillah, it was completed on the birthday of her noble father, Imam Mūsā al-Kāđim (A).

I would like first and foremost to thank Allah for giving me the opportunity to have spent 9 months in this holy city. I would next like to thank my children, Shaahid Hasan, Tahira Mahdiyya and Mujtaba Husain for their help in typing this book and their enthusiasm. And of course my husband, Abbas for his encouragement, criticism, editing and patience.

I would also like to thank my tutor, Agha Mohammed Ali Shomali, for meticulously proof-reading the book and for his valuable suggestions and input.

This book is dedicated for the pleasure and approval of Allah, and in honour of Lady Fatima Masuma (A) and her grandfather the Prophet of Allah (S) and the Pure Members of his household (A). May Allah accept this small token from all of us.

Some Notes on the Transliteration

In the book, some of the names of individuals and places, that may be less well-known, have been transliterated as a guide to pronunciation.
The key is as follows:

Arabic letter Transliteration
ع `
ض D
ذ dh
ح h
ص s
ط t
ث th
ظ đ

ā for the long vowel, pronounced as in car
ī for the long vowel, pronounced as in meet
ū for the long vowel, pronounced as in boot

Masuma Jaffer
Qum, Iran
7th Safar 1424 A.H
10th April 2003 C.E