Part 1: Al-Zahra’ (sa) And Her Tragedy

Status and Infallibility of al-Zahra’ (sa)

We shall start our discourse in this Part by narrating the biography of al-Zahra’ (sa) since some people try to avoid, or even refuse to uphold or be bound by what the glorious Prophet (S) has stated, or by what the Purified Imams (as) have said, that is, that she (sa) was born out of the fruit of Paradise following the isra’ and mi’raj1, and that she (sa) married Ali (as) when she was quite young.

Such person senses a degree of embarrassment, so he avoids being convinced, preferring not to expose himself to such issues. It may neither be this possibility nor that. It may be something else which prompts him to make such a stand, and surely Allah knows the facts of all issues and knows what the hearts conceal.

Then we discuss issues closely connected to the infallibility of the purified one, peace of Allah with her and His blessings.

This discussion of infallibility is an acceptable introduction to the stations of eminence and the degrees of nearness to the Head of all Women of the World, peace and blessings with her, under the divine care and upbringing, without neglecting to point out to the subject of her connection with the unknown on account of the attributes, merits and divine boons which Allah, Glory and Exaltation are His, has bestowed on her, distinguishing her from all other women of mankind.

She was the woman on the occasion of whose marriage with Ali (as) the heavens celebrated before the earth, the woman who was pure and purified from all irreverence, uncleanness or shortcoming, so much so that Allah exempted her from whatever afflicts women of particular things relevant only to them without letting any of that have a negative effect on her personality in as far as pregnancy and childbirth are concerned.

Before exiting the circle of her eminent divine boons, supreme merits and attributes, we have quickly been acquainted with what Allah blessed her: knowledge relevant to the world of the unknown, with what Allah granted her, through a great angel who used to talk to her and to console her after the demise of her father S, the thing which resulted in a very serious book about which the purified Imams, peace with them, were very concerned and of which they were very proud. They used to read it and quote it, and it is known as “Mushaf Fatima,” the book of Fatima (sa), in addition to other books with which she, peace and blessings of Allah with her, was blessed.

We shall read glimpses of all of these matters in this Part, paying a special attention to making a good selection and to being as brief as possible. Success comes from Allah, and so does guidance.

When was al-Zahra’ (sa) Born?

The first that we come across, with regard to the biography of this truthful and purified one, is the date of her birth. Some people claim that she (sa) was born five years before the Prophetic mission. We say that this is incorrect. Accurate is what the followers of Ahl al-Bayt (as) know from their Imams2 (as); the people of the House know best what is therein. They are followed suit by many others. She (sa) was born five years after the inception of the Prophetic mission, i.e. in the year when the migration to Ethiopia took place (615 A.D.), and she died at the age of 19 (in roughly 13 A.H. or 634 A.D.). This is narrated by our Imams (as) according to authentic narrations3.

Let us add to the above that this date can be reached or supported by the following:

1. A number of historians have mentioned that the total number of the children of Khadija, may Allah shower her with His mercy and blessings, were born after the inception of the Prophetic mission, and that Fatima (sa) was their youngest.

2. There are many traditions narrated by a number of the Prophet’s companions, such as ‘A’isha, ‘’Umar ibn al-Khattab, Sa’d ibn Malik, Ibn ‘Abbas, and others, proving that Fatima’s seed came as the result of the fruit of Paradise which the Prophet S had eaten during the isra’ and mi’raj4, the event which we proven as having taken place during the early period of such mission5.

If there is anyone who argues about the premises of some of these narrations in his own way, there is no argument about the others even if the same method is applied.

If anyone claims that this narration cannot be authentic because al-Zahra’ (sa) was born five years before the inception of the Prophetic mission, he actually circumvents the outcome because these traditions, which we are discussing, have been narrated by various narrators, and this is the strongest evidence testifying to the fallacy of such a claim.

3. Al-Nisa’i has narrated saying that when Abu Bakr and ‘’Umar sought the hand of Fatima (sa) in marriage, the Prophet S rejected them saying that she was too young to marry6. Had their claim been that she was born five years prior to the Prophetic mission, her age after the Migration, when both men sought her hand, according to the consensus of historians, she would have been about 18 or 19. Nobody can say that such a person is too young to marry.

4. It is narrated that the women of Quraish abandoned Khadija, may Allah have mercy on her, when she was pregnant with Fatima (sa), so Fatima (sa) used to talk to her and urge her to be patient7.

Some people may find it unlikely that Khadija could have been pregnant with Fatima (sa) five years after the inception of the Prophetic mission because Khadija (may Allah be pleased with her) was too old to get pregnant. But this supposition is inappropriate because I have proven in my book titled Al-Sahih min Sirat al-Nabiyy al-A’zam (S) that her age then was about 50 years or, according to the strongest arguments, even less than that, although there is a great deal of disagreement in this regard. It is also possible that her birth after her mother was past the child-bearing age was a blessing unto Khadija and unto the Messenger of Allah S, one similar to the woman who said, “Shall I bear a son while I am a very old woman and this husband of mine is a very old man?!” (Qur’an, 11:72). This is out of place because had it been so, it would have become widespread, but we find no references to it anywhere.

5. Another evidence is the Abundance of traditions explaining why she was named Fatima, among other names given her, which point out and prove that her name came from the heavens according to the orders of Allah, Exalted and Great is He. These are many in number, and they exist in many references, so refer to them8.

Who is Superior: Maryam or Fatima, peace with them both?

The question of who is superior, Maryam daughter of ‘Imran (sa) or Fatima (sa) daughter of Muhammed S, may be answered by some this way: “Such is useless knowledge. It neither benefits those who know it nor harms those who do not. It is an intellectual luxury item, or even nonsense or backwardness.” Then one may add saying, “Since there is no dispute in this regard between Maryam and Fatima, why should we dispute about it? Fatima has her merits, and so does Maryam, and we see no problem here.”

To me, I would like to say the following:

FIRST: There is no doubt that al-Zahra’ (sa) is the best of all womankind, of the early generations as well as the later ones. As for Maryam, she was the head of the women of her time. Such is narrated about the Messenger of Allah S himself as well as the Imams, peace with them9.

This proves that since she is the head of the women of Paradise, she is superior to Maryam, and Maryam is superior to such women10. Another proof of her superiority is narrated by Imam al-Sadiq (as) who has said, “Had Allah, Exalted and Glorified is He, not created the Commander of the Faithful for Fatima (as a husband), nobody else on the face of earth would have been qualified to be her husband, be he from among the descendants of Adam or from among those of anyone else.”11 This tradition proves the superiority of the Commander of the Faithful (as) as well.

SECOND: Our inquiry about the superiority does not mean that we seek to be different; rather, it is the question of someone who seeks to know more about the status of those who enjoy nearness to Allah Almighty. We are urged to seek more knowledge about them because it requires us to know more about Allah Almighty. If we differ at all, it is not dissension or animosity. Rather, it is a difference of opinion which leads us to research the truth, to increase our knowledge, and to correct what is wrong or what is misunderstood by this party or that.

THIRD: We have to realize, each according to his ability, that we have to know the minute details of all contents of the Book of Allah, and all what was said by the Messenger of Allah S and his wasis, peace with them, which they conveyed to us, if we find a way to do it at all. It is knowledge of a great deal of significance. Those who are ignorant of it will be harmed, and those who know it will be benefitted thereby. Knowing it is not confined to political, material, social or organizational matters or to our daily practice of rituals and the like.

Mankind moves on the path of perfection, a movement which he carries out willingly and energetically and through his persistent effort. He sets out in such a movement prompted by his conviction, relying on the degree of his faith.

Such conviction and faith are nourished by knowing the secrets of life and its minute details, knowledge of the domain of Allah, Glory to Him, of the secrets of creation, of knowing Allah, the praised One, of His Attributes, of Prophets and walis whom He chose from among His servants, and knowing their high status and degree of nearness to Allah, such as our knowledge that Allah, Glory to Him, is the One Who chose a name for Fatima12, that He joined her in marriage in the heavens before doing so on earth13, that she used to talk to her mother when she was in her womb14, and such things.

All such knowledge increases the purity of the soul and deepens conviction. It leads to self-knowledge that leads to knowing the Lord, Glory to Him.

It is, then, quite obvious that the status of the prophets, wasis and the walis, and the degrees of their distinction varies in sublimity and differs according to their level of knowledge of all the above.

Yet, some branches of knowledge may require introductions so that we may absorb them and qualify ourselves to properly benefit from them. It will then be necessary to be gradual in undergoing the stages of such a path, just as a first grade pupil is not usually satisfactorily capable of absorbing the material given to a student of a higher grade like a university student. Instead, he has to go through stages that will prepare him to comprehend and absorb all of that so he may benefit from it.

Whenever one gets closer to Allah, he will be more in need of new branches of knowledge which suit his new station of nearness to Allah, and he will need to be more pure, more cleansed, and to formulate his feelings and emotions, rather, all his condition, accordingly. Such a matter has its originality and reality, and it does not agree with one who says that this is knowledge which does not benefit those who know it nor harms those who do not.

If Imam al-Sadiq (as) did feel above delving into a topic like this, when he was asked about it, and when he did provide an answer, are we, then, right in feeling above an issue which the Imam addressed without having to, while he is our role model?! So, we, indeed, need to know the lofty status and the station of nearness to Allah which Fatima (sa) enjoys and knowing her superiority over other beings. We need to know that she is the head of all women of the world, of the early generations and of the last ones, and that she is superior to Maryam (sa), head of the women of her time.

We are in need of all of this because it deepens our relationship with Fatima (sa) and it permits Fatima (sa) into our hearts, incorporating her into the soul, the feelings, the emotions, so that we may be more aware of what she says or does, so we may feel what she feels, like what she likes and hate what she hates. We are in pain when her soul agonizes, and we are happy when her soul is pleased. This increases our sincerity and purity, and it increases our knowledge of the facts relevant to those who oppressed her and transgressed against her. It makes us acquainted with the magnanimity of the injustice to which she was exposed, with how bad and how ugly it was.

Worthiness of al-Zahra’ (sa)

Some people may wonder saying, “The participation of al-Zahra’ (sa) in the Mubahala issue does not indicate the greatness of her value and distinction because her father, the Prophet (S), had raised all his family members since they were the dearest to him, the ones he loved the most, in order to prove that he was ready to sacrifice them for the sake of the religion, and it does not have any other implication.”

In answer, we would like to say that Allah, Glory to Him, involved al-Zahra’ (sa) in an issue that had something to do with the permanence of the religion and with its being the truth. She affects the essence of believing in it till the Day of Judgment because the Mubahala was to prove that Jesus (as) was only a human being, not a god.

The Holy Qur’an has immortalized her participation in the Mubahala in order to demonstrate that she (sa) had reached the pinnacle in her perfection, eminence and distinction, so much so that Allah, the most Glorified One, made her, in addition to the Prophet (S), the wasi and both grandsons (as) of the Prophet (S)the evident proof that the Prophet (S)was truthful in everything he said. Allah, Glory to Him, was the One Who ordered His Prophet (S) to use these individuals to invoke His curse on the liars; he (S) did not do it on his own.

Therefore, it was not done because they were his family members, his Ahl al-Bayt (as). Rather, it was done because Fatima, peace of Allah and His blessings with her, the Prophet (S), Ali and both grandsons of the Prophet, peace with them all, were, as such, the most precious of everyone in existence and the most distinguished among all of Allah’s creation.

It became quite clear that the most Exalted One wanted all people to realize that sacrificing those chosen elite ones meant sacrificing everything, that there was no value for existence without them, and the sacred hadith carries the same meaning.15

The exclusion of more than one man, and the restriction of the female gender to only al-Zahra’ (sa) in this issue, points out to the fact that no other woman came close to the status of eminence and nearness to Allah, Glory to Him, than did al-Zahra’ (sa). So, there is no room to attribute any merit to anyone else besides her (sa) by way of distinction over all other women. Some people attribute status and distinction to some wives of the Prophet (S), such as ‘A’isha, regarding her as superior to the nation’s women.

This cannot be right especially when we see how ‘A’isha behaved after the demise of the Messenger of Allah (S), how she declared mutiny against the Imam, the Commander of the Faithful (as), how she set out to fight the wasi of the Messenger of the Lord of the Worlds, causing the death of a very large number of innocent people from among those who stood tall in their conviction and service to Islam. Satan did, indeed, show its horns from where the Prophet (S) had pointed; Allah, the Great, said the truth, and so did His glorious Prophet (S).

What ‘A’isha did, then, how she disobeyed Allah, can never be used as a justification for women’s political activity, as some people may claim, nor does it prove that Islam sanctions it or that it does not.

As regarding the conduct of al-Zahra’ (sa), it is but the criterion and the scales because such conduct was in obedience of Allah, for she was the purified and the infallible woman whose statements and actions are relied on when a verdict is to be derived from the Shari’a , be it relevant to a political or an apolitical issue.

Head of the Women of Mankind

What is evident is that discerning, providing an ideological restriction, or issuing verdicts does not grant the verdict, the ideology or the restriction strength or firmness in the hearts as much as when it is personified and formed into a living and moving reality. This is so because the rational or instinctive evidence, for example, may not convince someone or take hold of him. But the personification of an ideology makes one pleased and overwhelmed thereby, feeling contended and satisfied with it, following in the principle of the Qur’anic verse saying,

“He said: What! And do you not believe?! He said: Yes, but so that my heart may be at ease” (Qur’an, 2:260).

Mental, rational and practical satisfaction is based on clear and sufficient evidence free from any shortcoming or defect. But the soul’s tranquility may need a personification of the idea in the outside world so that the psychological tranquility may be in sync with the firm mental, rational and intellectual conviction; perhaps they may both form the rich fountainhead of feelings and emotions.

Al-Zahra’ (sa) was the very first woman in whom the role model and the most exemplary conduct for all women of the world were personified. This happened after humanity marched a great deal. During such march, many women achieved perfection till Fatima (sa) became the pinnacle of such perfection. Just as perfect man was first personified in Adam (as) so that it would be a living reality, a man living his well-balanced humanity wherein nothing happens arbitrarily, a humanity that he lived in all its characteristics and attributes, sincerity, purity and energy in reason, intellect, conduct, wisdom, and management, so much so that he became the role model for all human beings. He was Adam the prophet and the man, not Adam the dust. Rather, the dust that became a perfect human being in the true sense of the word.

The march for humanity’s perfection went on; therefore, many prophets (as) were perfect human beings, and many women achieved perfection, too, such as Asiya daughter of Muzahim, Maryam (Mary) and Khadija (as). Then perfection reached the highest pinnacle in the person of the Messenger of Allah S the man, and in al-Zahra’ (sa) the woman. Whims and desires, ambitions and instincts, as well as challenges, etc. could not prohibit man from personifying his humanity, live a life of conviction, the life of complete perfection and peace, not the one of environmental or social pressures.

Humans’ role models are those who stand and are able to convince man that he has to defy, to face, and to tread his path forcefully, that he can achieve victory so long as his highest examples are the Prophet S and the walis, starting from Adam and ending with the Messenger of Allah S and his purified progeny (as). He does not only receive from them an ideology, he sees the movement and the stand in the Messenger, the wasi and the wali. He, therefore, was not satisfied with just bidding or forbidding, as in the verse saying,

“... Whatever the Messenger gives you, accept it, and from whatever he forbids you, keep back” (Qur’an, 59:7).

Rather, He went beyond it to say,

“Certainly you have in the Messenger of Allah an excellent example for him who sets his hopes on Allah and the latter day and remembers Allah much” (Qur’an, 33:21).

He (God) shows him the movement, the stand and the purity personified before him in the person of the Prophet and the wasi, and in women who faced the greatest trials and tribulations, such as Pharaoh’s wife and al-Zahra’, Fatima (sa), who had to face people’s deviation from the right course. She faced hardship and oppression. And so is the case of Maryam daughter of ‘Imran who had to face pressures around her in matters that were most sensitive to woman’s gender in general.

The Social Activity of al-Zahra’ (sa)

Some people may bring about a point with a loaded meaning. It says, “We do not find anything in history that points out to a social activity undertaken by Lady Fatima al-Zahra’ in the Islamic society except in one or two traditions.”

Commenting on the above, I would like to say the following:

Each generation has its own requirements, technicalities and frameworks. A man or a woman is demanded to be or is judged accordingly. His/her activities, too, are evaluated on the same basis in as far as the size of their impact on the Islamic reality as a whole is concerned.

During the time of the Prophet S, al-Zahra’ (sa) taught women how to recite the Holy Qur’an; she educated them in the injunctions of the Shari’a and in the necessary theological branches of knowledge. She actively and effectively took part in the call to Allah, Glory and Exaltation are His, in various situations, including the Mubahala incident involving the Christians. She had a leading role in defending the issues of the fate of the nation, including that of the Imamate.

Add to this her magnificent statement which she delivered at the (Prophet’s) Mosque which by itself is considered as a school and as a fountainhead which nourishes the generations with knowledge. Add to all of this her participation, which suited her personality and abilities, during Islam’s decisive wars, in addition to her treatment of the needy, such as the orphans, the captives and the indigent, something which Allah, Glory to Him, has immortalized in a Qur’an that is to be recited till the Day of Judgment.

Greater than all the above is her powerful and effective stance wherein she played her role, including her demise and burial, in order to safeguard the fruits of Jihad for Islam’s greatest cause, just as her daughter Zainab (sa) did within the framework of her powerful and effective safeguarding of the fruits of Jihad and momentous sacrifices of Imam Husayn (as) and his companions in Kerbala’.

Yes, all of this and its likes prove that al-Zahra’ (sa) did, indeed, participate in civil activities, in political, educational and doctrinal fields as suited the reality, the dictates and the circumstances of her time and within the frameworks of its activities according to the then prevalent values.

She made essential achievements on the level of having an impact on protecting the Call, its dissemination, deepening the understanding of its concepts and filling the gaps in various fields within which the circumstances of that age permitted her to move. Such achievements may not be equaled by that of any other woman in history, no matter how great her activity might have been, how branched out its fields, and how diverse its particulars, because it aimed at firming the roots [of our Islamic faith]. It, therefore, has the greatest impact in safeguarding the tree of Islam and in granting it more strength, stability and power, and in making its fruits richer, more pleasing and more delightful.

All the above makes it clear that the difference in the fields of activity, its conditions and norms between the generation of al-Zahra’ (sa) and this generation does not place al-Zahra’ (sa) in the circle of backwardness, deficiency or shortcoming, nor does it make the achievement of woman in this generation of a greater influence, even when the demands of life are wider and the fields of activity and movement are more diverse.

It is only natural that the age of firming the foundations of the creed, of properly setting up the facts of conviction, of determining the issues that shape man’s fate as the most important, the most weighty, and the achievement therein being greater and more serious.

Thus, it becomes obvious that there is no sense in judging al-Zahra’ (sa) as having conducted a very small social activity during her time and base such a judgment on the fields of activity of women in this generation.

Having introduced all the above to the kind reader, I would like to remind him of the following matters:

FIRST: We wish that the same individual had mentioned to us the tradition or two to which he referred so that we might know what he meant by “social activity.” Does he mean that she fell short of carrying out her mission and did not fulfil her obligation as an infallible lady and as the daughter of a Prophet and the wife of a wali?

If her opponents find this to be her fault, her father and husband were then obligated to lead her to the right course in this regard. But if by “social activity” he means establishing schools, charities, educational societies, philanthropic organizations, or holding discussion circles, delivering speeches, writing books to give away or to sell..., it is then quite possible that al-Zahra’ (sa) did not do many of such activities which some women nowadays do, and this was not confined to only al-Zahra’ (sa).

It applies to all women of that generation and of the generations that followed. The nature of the social life and its potentials, and also the nature of woman’s life-style at that time, restricted the activity in which she could participate except in certain fields which are different from today’s, regardless of the legislative justifications about which some people talk in one way or another.

But if he means that history has not mentioned that she used to publicly declare the truth, for those who wanted to know the truth, nor did she carry out her obligation in teaching and directing women and in safeguarding the creed, on the level of the major Islamic issues, and on that of others, especially the branches of knowledge which she disseminated, even within the framework of those of her deeds that were relevant to worship..., what she has achieved in this field is as clear to the eyes of the beholder as the rays of the sun.

Her speech, which she delivered at the Mosque of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah with him and his progeny), and with the women of the Ansar, is regarded as a school for the generations and as the fountainhead of knowledge across history only when it is well understood and benefitted from. This she did despite the presence of her father, the Messenger of Allah (S) and her cousin, the Commander of the Faithful (as), who were the axes of the social, human and Islamic activity. Her activity (sa) was part of the whole general activity of the time.

Yet his claim that there are only one or two traditions (referring to her social activities) remains unclear and imprecise. There are many traditions which have referred to her participation in various activities, be they social, political, or educational, and we have already mentioned some of them. Actually, some narrations state that she used to participate even in non-Muslim [social] functions when some Jews invited her to attend one of their weddings.

There is an incident narrating how she gave a bedouin her necklace and a bed on which al-Hassan and al-Husayn (as) used to sleep, so ‘Ammar ibn Yasir  bought them back. This is well documented.

Even Allah, Glory to Him, tells us how she and her Ahl al-Bayt (as) are of the habit of feeding the indigent, the orphan and the newly released captive seeking His Pleasure.

When she delivered her famous speech at the Mosque, she went there accompanied by a crowd of women who supported her demands. Some historians discuss the presence of a bloc of women who supported her (sa) versus others who opposed her. Besides, she is famous for admonishing her children to look after the neighbor before looking after their own family.

This provides us with a picture depicting the nature of her concerns. Had she found any opportunity to carry out any social, civil or educational activity, she would have set out swiftly with full awareness and interest.

SECOND: The Prophet (S) continuously stressed her status and role, her position in Islam, belief and knowledge. This granted her a special status; she became an authority for the people who referred to her. Her house was often frequented by women coming in and out all the time16. The women of Medina [in general], as well as her neighbors [in particular] used to quite often visit her.17 People sought her to teach them from the knowledge that she had with her.18

The Prophet (S) used to personally send people who were in need of something materialistic to go to the house of Fatima (sa) as in the story of the bedouin whom she gave her necklace and a bed belonging to both her sons as we have just stated.

People used to frequent her house seeking knowledge, too. All this must have filled her life with movement and activity, in addition to her domestic activity, during a time when she used to use the grind-stone till her hands bled.

THIRD: Nobody, no matter who he/she is, can be evaluated based on his/her social achievements and activities or political shrewdness, for there are many politicians who are quite shrewd and who are not adorned by the true value of humanity. A social activity or shrewdness does not provide any value for a politician or a political stance.

Politics are ruled by their own principles and interests, and they are to be derived from an infallible person such as a prophet or a wasi, and from al-Zahra’ (sa), too. She (sa) defines for us where the political value lies, or the value of any other action, be it social or non-social. Al-Zahra’ (sa) does not derive her worthiness from her policies or social activities; otherwise, some criminals or deviators would have been valued as greater than prophets, walis or wasis, if one of them had conducted a huge social or political activity due to the Abundance of wealth, prominence and authority at the disposal of a prophet or a wali, peace with them all.

The truth is that the worthiness of a human being stems from within him, from the values which he personifies, from his ideals and humanitarianism, from his useful knowledge which produces piety and fear of Allah, Glory to Him. Anything other than these falls in the category of causes and outcomes, and it may be found on the other side of the equation.

FOURTH: We have first to verify the status of al-Zahra’ (sa) with relevance to the conviction of any Muslim and also verify the reality of the responsibilities expected to be undertaken in support of this religion and its structure. So, let us say the following:

The loyalty of a Muslim to the Prophet (S), to the Imams and to al-Zahra’ (sa), plays a major and crucial role in crystallizing his conviction and realizing his identity, personality and humanity. The presence of al-Zahra’, the woman, who is neither an Imam nor a prophet, being a woman perfect in her humanity, is what we need by necessity to be mandated by life, belief, conduct and daily process. As regarding her social or political activity, this does not have the same degree of significance or sensitivity in the presence of her father and husband.

We need such a presence so that we may be linked to it, so that our hearts may lean towards it, for it embodies for us values and principles and the human perfection which we need, too, so that our hearts may embrace it through embracing al-Zahra’ (sa), then it participates in building our creed and firming the Islamic concepts, the values and the principles in our hearts and minds…, so that it may coin our feelings and emotions, actually our existence altogether. Such is the role of Fatima (sa). Her role or theirs is not to establish foundations, civil organizations or charities, etc.

FIFTH: There is no doubt that al-Zahra’ (sa) plays a serious and sensitive role in keeping this religion alive and pure. Had it not been for her, it would have been distorted and become a thing of the past. Al-Zahra’ (sa) is the window of light, the proof of righteousness, the mirror of Islam that reflects its teachings, injunctions, concepts and outlooks towards the cosmos and life itself, as is the case with her husband, the Commander of the Faithful (sa). She and the truth are inseparable companions.

She is the criterion and the scales whereby people’s conviction is weighed, and so is their uprightness on the path of guidance, goodness, honesty and sincerity. We know thereby whether Allah and His Messenger (S) are pleased or displeased. This is referred to by the tradition of the Prophet (S) wherein he says, “She is part of me; she is my heart within my ribs; whoever harms her harms me, and whoever harms me in fact harms Allah,” or “I am pleased with whoever pleases her, and I am angered by anything/anyone which/who angers her,” or some such wording.

Notice how he has made her part of him, the very criterion for his pleasure with whatever/whoever pleases her and his displeasure with whatever/whoever displeases or harms her.19

It is quite evident that her being part of his physical body, being his daughter, is not the reason that whatever pleases her pleases him for two reasons:

FIRST: He does not set out from a point of bias towards his kinship or blood relation, etc. Rather, he wishes that all the particularities and privileges, material or immaterial abilities, should be at the service of this religion.

SECOND: Being the biological or non-biological father is insufficient by nature to win privileges of such a level of significance, though they may be important since they refer to the purity of the element and the purification of the kind, since she (sa) was a nur in the lofty loins and the purified wombs. When the son of Noah (as) who, according to some traditions, was adopted20, did not exert such an effort, he strayed and perished, so much so that Allah said the following about him to his father Noah,

“O Noah! Surely he is not of your family; surely he is (the doer of) other than good deeds; therefore, do not ask of Me that of which you have no knowledge; surely I admonish you lest you should be among the ignorant” (Qur’an, 11:46).

Thereupon, the pleasure of Noah’s son was surely not the Pleasure of Allah and His Messenger, nor was his anger theirs.

What is intended, in as far as her being part of him is concerned, should be a meaning hinging on her pleasure being also his, and her being harmed is his harm, especially since we know that he said so when she answered the following question: “What is the best for a woman?” She said, “That she does not see men, nor do men see her,” as will be discussed, God willing. Or it may have been said to Ali (as) in the presence of those who harmed Fatima (sa) when they told her that he had sought the hand of the daughter of Abu Jahl. Ali (as) said to him, “By the One Who sent you with the truth as a Prophet, there is no truth whatsoever in what she was told that I have done, nor did I ever contemplate doing anything like that.” The Prophet S said to him, “You have said the truth, and you are the truthful one.” Fatima (sa) then felt glad about it. She smiled till her father saw her teeth. One of the two men said to his companion, “What caused you to call on me during a time such as this?”

The Prophet S, then, wanted to tell the person who brought that false news to Fatima that he had caused her and him harm. No matter what, the meaning of this statement harmonizes with: harming her means harming him. Her characteristics are derived from those of the Messenger of Allah S and so is her perfection. Discussing her connotes that she is part of the Prophet S and his human and prophetic existence in all its attributes, in its particularities, minute characteristics, as a perfectly holy human being who represents humanity, perfection, purity, truth and righteousness, in the most precise and manifest of such means and in their most sublime.

Obviously, when Fatima (sa) is angry, she is angered when humanity is belittled, and when values and principles are violated. She is pleased when humanity is honored and values are firmed. Her being exposed to oppression does not anger her as an individual; it angers her because it is an aggression against humanity, spiritual perfection and ideological sublimity, and because it is an attempt to belittle this sacred existence.

To assault Fatima (sa) is to assault righteousness, natural disposition and honor, and this is what angers her and angers Allah and His Messenger. Every deed which is done according to natural disposition, safeguarding this existence, pleases her and pleases the Messenger and Allah.

Thus, she fits to be a criterion and a scale when she is pleased and when angered. We may make this meaning clearer when we refer to the Qur’anic verse saying, “Whoever slays a soul, unless it be for manslaughter or for mischief in the land, it is as though he slew all men; and whoever keeps it alive, it is as though he kept all men alive” (Qur’an, 5:32). The body, which is composed of flesh and bones, remains present, and what is missing is its power of will, the ability to choose, reason as well as human characteristics of nobility, generosity, feelings, emotions... The body is emptied of its contents when the soul is separated from it.

Al-Zahra’ : Her Father’s Mother

One of the most strange of what we have ever heard is a statement someone made claiming that al-Zahra’ (sa) compensated the Prophet S for his mother who had died when he was still a child, and that for this reason, she was called “mother of her father.”

The same individual says the following verbatim: “The Prophet started his life complaining about having lost his mother’s love because such love could not be provided by a wet nurse or a governess... So she [al-Zahra’ (sa)]provided him with her maternal affection by embracing him, and the Messenger of Allah said to her that the gap which he had felt through the loss of his mother he could now fill through his daughter.”21

I would like to say to him that such talk is not acceptable, for we cannot agree that the Prophet (S) used to suffer from an inferiority complex resulting from losing his mother, so he needed someone to compensate him for what he had lost. Rather, it simply means that al-Zahra’ (sa) used to take care of her father like a mother taking care of her son. This does not mean that doing so was a compensation for the Prophet (S) for an emotion which he missed, nor was it to complement a shortcoming.

Can this person accept that someone else other than al-Zahra’ (sa) was able to fill that “gap” had she cared for the Messenger of Allah (S) and given him the emotion which he needed?!

Finally, “mother of her father” explains only the fact and the dimension of how Lady al-Zahra’ (sa) treated her father. It does not connote any “filling of a gap” or untying an inferiority complex in the sacred personality of the Prophet, God forbid.

Does Infallibility Force One Not to Commit Sins?!

1. The same individual says that the infallibility which manifested itself in al-Zahra’ (sa) was the result of the environment and the iman surrounding her wherein she lived and grew up because it was an environment of belief, purity, virtue and righteousness.

It is clear that this statement implies something which requires a bold and sensitive question: What if al-Zahra’ (sa) had lived in another environment, in one stained with vices and abominations?! What if someone else other than her had lived in the same environment? Will the result be the same? Some women did, indeed, live in such a stained environment, so why was the case not so?

2. Despite all of this, we find the same person talking about the “forming” of infallibility, implying endorsement of the theory saying that the Almighty “forces” some people (to be infallible), a theory the error of which has been proven and which Ahl al-Bayt (as) rejected, saying that there is neither forcing nor commissioning but something in-between.

I say that I do not wish to go into detail in making a distinction between obedience and disobedience. Rather, I contend myself with referring to the following:

FIRST: Leaving aside acts of obedience is by itself an act of disobedience. One, therefore, cannot afford to leave them out. How can he, then, have a choice in doing or not doing them, and what do you mean when you say that he has the option regarding certain acts of obedience?!

SECOND: Such a distinction lacks evidence, and nothing leads to it. Rather, it is merely judging things. Why not reverse the case and give him the option to leave aside disobedience while being obligated to do acts of obedience...?

What is noteworthy here is that when the writer had to face these questions, he resorted once to citing al-Balkhi, who says that rewards for obedience are granted out of God’s favors, not because His servant deserves them, and once to what some claim that one who deserves to be rewarded is, indeed, rewarded out of God’s favors. This, like al-Balkhi’s, is a statement unworthy of anyone’s attention due to the evidence that obedience is earned when one deserves it, not due to preference.

The evidence referred to above is this: Obedience is a hardship mandated by Allah on His servant. If there is no purpose behind it, it is then oppression, it is senseless, something too ugly to be attributed to the all-Wise One. But if there is a purpose behind it, if it comes from Him, the most Exalted One, it is false because He is not in need of anything at all. But if it is relevant to the obligated person, and if the purpose is to harm him, it would be ugly oppression. But if it is for one’s own benefit, it must have been right for the Almighty to initiate it for the benefit of His servant; obligation will then become senseless. But if it is not initiated by the Almighty, and it requires obligating so that one may be worthy of its benefit, it will then be exactly what is required.

The outcome is this: Rewards are granted because someone earns them, not because they come due to preference.

As regarding al-Balkhi’s statement, it is wrong from its foundations because he derives his conclusion from the assumption that an obligation is mandated as means to thank the Almighty for His blessing, so one does not deserve, because of it, any rewards. Rewards are granted as a favor from the most Exalted One. There is no doubt that this statement is erroneous.

What we are discussing is what is pleasant and what is ugly. Wise people consider it ugly for someone to be preferred over another by receiving a blessing, then he is obligated to thank the Giver for it without receiving any rewards for carrying out the same obligation. They consider it a shortcoming and attribute it to love for power and authority and such ugly meanings which do not come from the all-Wise One; so, we have to say that rewards are earned, deserved.

The ultimate goal is that it can be said, though this statement does not agree with what al-Balkhi says who also contradicts it and rejects it, that although Allah, Praise belongs to Him, is the Owner of everything, and His ownership makes Him the Originator in deciding the initiation of the rewards for those whom He owns for their good deeds, but, having determined this under the label of “wages,” granting them for it many times its worth, making it a divine law, it enters the circle of deserved rewards after it had not been there.

Because of the above, reason does not permit that Allah should grant those who disobey Him and withhold it from those who obey him. Had rewards been initiated out of His favors, this would have been permissible. This is similar to the case of a man who decided to grant his son a prize if he passed his school examination. If the son passes, he will demand his father to give him the prize, considering himself wronged and insulted if he does not receive it, let alone if his father gives it to his brother who did not pass.

Do Environment and Surroundings Affect Infallibility?

As regarding what is said about the effect of the environment and the surrounding atmosphere of conviction on the personality of al-Zahra’ (sa), we would like to say the following:

Al-Zahra’ (sa) is the noor that was created from the fruit of Paradise; she used to talk to her mother when she was inside her womb before she was born. She is among the best of the creation of Allah, Praise belongs to Him. He chose her to be infallible22, the purified one, the selected elite one, prior to her entering the environment which some people discuss, claiming that it is the main reason for the status and prestige enjoyed by al-Zahra’ (sa).

The individual’s statement implies that had al-Zahra’ (sa) lived in another environment, one which lacks righteousness, goodness, and piety, she would then have been stamped by its particular stamp, becoming an evil and a deviated woman, and we seek Allah’s protection against making such assumptions! Is this acceptable or rational?!

I insist that the environment wherein al-Zahra’ (sa) lived was not the reason for reaching a station of nearness to Allah, nor did it formulate and crystallize her believing personality or caused her infallibility or human perfection. Rather, her sound inner self, her pure soul, her wise mind, her balanced characteristics and human perfection, in addition to the care with which Allah Almighty surrounded her, being kind to her, guiding her and granting her success, and also her own individual and voluntary effort to attain more sincerity, purity and purification so that she could reach the degrees of nearness to Allah and to achieve His Pleasure. All that produced the personality of al-Zahra’ (sa), the infallible lady, the purified one.

Infallibility does not mean the inability to do something [prohibitive]. It means the ability and the knowledge, making the right option, the strong and the effective will that works with the great mind, in addition to the divine kindness, care and support. Being a senior or a junior or the amount of bodily growth are not the criteria in the purity of the soul or the perfection of faculties and human attributes, nor is it in giving the lead to reason, or the power of reason and realization, or in vast knowledge and being worthy of attaining the stations of divinely-granted glory.

Allah granted wisdom to Yahya [John the Baptist (as)] when he was a child, and Jesus (as) spoke even when he was in the cradle thus: “Surely I am a servant of Allah; He has given me the Book and made me a prophet; and He has made me blessed wherever I may be, and He has enjoined on me prayer and zakat as long as I live and [to be] dutiful to my mother, and He has not made me insolent, unblessed” (Qur’an, 19:30-32).

Al-Zahra’ (sa) in no time had the mentality of a child, nor was she ever on the level of abilities, realizations or ambitions of a child. Ali spoke, and so did al-Zahra’, peace with both of them, at the time of their birth, and al-Zahra’ (sa) spoke to her mother before her birth. Narratives and history books, and others, of both parties, mentioned for us all of this and its likes in relevance to Ahl al-Bayt, peace with them. This proves that she and they were as such; may Allah shower them with His blessings and shower her Shi’as and those who love her till the Day of Judgment.

The Ability to Revolt Against the Environment And the Surroundings

As regarding what is related to the environment and the surroundings, we do not deny their effects on one’s soul, psychology and moral code. But we say that this is not the absolute rule with all people, nor is it inevitable to the degree that one loses with it his power of will, confining him and preventing him from choosing, prohibiting him from making options, chaining him against moving in the right direction, the direction of goodness, righteousness, success and salvation.

The Holy Qur’an has made all of this clear for us in a way that leaves no room for doubt when it told us about women who were role models such as Maryam daughter of ‘Imran and Asiya daughter of Muzahim. Then it talked about others from whom we may derive admonishment and warning such as the wives of Noah and Lot.

Referring to one of the wives of the Prophet (S) to whom he confided about a very important matter and who revealed that confidential matter, adding to it something from her own self, the Holy Qur’an states the following:

“Allah sets forth an example to those who disbelieve the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot: They were both under two of Our righteous servants, but they acted treacherously towards them so they (their husbands, the prophets) availed them naught against Allah, and it was said: ‘Enter, both of you, into the Fire with those who enter’. And Allah sets forth the example for those who believe the wife of Pharaoh when she said: ‘Lord! Build for me a house with Thee in the Garden and deliver me from Pharaoh and his deeds, and deliver me from the unjust people’. And Maryam, the daughter of ‘Imran, who guarded her chastity, so We breathed into her of Our inspiration, and she accepted the truth of the words of her Lord and His books, and she was of the obedient ones” (Qur’an, 66:12).

We find Him, Glory to Him, providing an exemplary conduct for those who believe, not specifically for believing women, of that of Asiya daughter of Muzahim and Maryam daughter of ‘Imran. For those who disbelieve, not specifically for disbelieving women, He provides the example of the wives of Noah and Lot. In order to explain all of this, let us say the following:

Wives of Prophets Noah and Lot (as)

What aids in clarifying what we want to explain as the meaning of the verses cited above is to observe the following matters:

1. He has pointed out in the verse how a woman stood in the face of a man. Perhaps some people see men as having a distinction over women in certain areas. This distinction provides preference and precedence in many matters.

2. Both men (prophets) are husbands, and a husband enjoys a strong position, at least in his wife’s house.

3. Regardless of the above, a husband usually is the most knowledgeable of all people, including the parents, of the conditions of his wife, of her habits, of the points of her weakness or strength, because he is practically in continuous contact with her, and she usually lives with him. Such knowledge is most clear to him and is held in the highest degree.

4. This man possesses attributes of perfection and means of power, especially in his awareness, management, mind and wisdom, in his intellectual level and the soundness of such mentality, as well as in his ability to convince, let alone other things. He actually is the pinnacle in all of that, so much so that he has deserved to be a prophet, even a messenger of Allah. One of them, namely Noah (as), is one of “ulul-’azm” who possess the highest degrees of firmness, immunity and power. Who else more than a prophet/messenger who knows the means of convincing others, its methods and tools? Or is there anyone else more than him in his acquisition of the intellectual diction or anything else needed to do so?!

5. Moreover, this woman lived in an environment of guidance, in the atmospheres of purity, cleanliness, straightforwardness, virtue, conviction, goodness and righteousness where all of this is personified as a concrete reality which could be directly felt, rather than being mere abstracts.

As regarding deviation, evil and apostasy, these will be in such an environment strange, rejected, outcast, having no freedom of movement, and they will never be accepted.

6. Both of these men/prophets (as), one of whom belongs to “ulul-’azm,” had to bear the responsibility of guiding the nation, defending it, distancing it from the slippery venues of deviation and their ills. Providing such guidance is their primary and basic responsibility, and it is everything in their lives as a guiding message. It is not something casual, such as money which can be compensated, or authority which one can live without, nor is it power nor influence, nor house management. And it is not a materialistic interest, nor is it any of life’s affairs which can be overlooked. Rather, undermining it means undermining destiny and existence, the future, this life and the life hereafter. This mission is regarded and treated as a sacred thing from the standpoint of worship and adoration.

His wife defies him although she does not possess any of what we have listed above, rebelling against him in the depth of his responsibility and in the most precious thing which he had had.

7. Such defiance was a defiance of the environment and the surroundings because it sprung up from within the environment of righteousness, conviction, goodness and guidance.

8. What increases the pain is that she defied him in something towards which he aimed instinctively, something to which his heart and conscience were tied, and so were his feelings, soul and existence.

Yet even more bitter is that she wants to be the antithesis which is not confined to mere deviation, but she tries to demolish what he was building, taking advantage of the deviating environment which could help her achieve her objective, grant her a boost and enhance her determination.

On the other hand, this matter is not confined to one source which can be regarded as incidental or as the exception to the rule, for this same matter repeated itself and involved Noah and Lot, peace with them both, whom Allah puts forth as examples for what happened to them.

Maryam (sa) Facing the Challenge

As for the challenge in the case of Maryam (sa) it, too, is harsh and bitter. It is a challenge in a matter that touches her own person and being, a most sensitive challenge for a female who regards herself as the pioneer of purity and virtue, deploring her people’s sins and deviation. It is a challenge regarding chastity and purity. It came in a way wherein she lost with it all the means of self-defense.

How can a woman bring her people her newborn then claim that she never committed a sin nor had she had a relationship with any man? She claims that she was big with child without having been touched by a man, insisting that she preserved the meaning of virtue and purity in the precise sense of the word. She accepts no other interpretation in that regard, not even one wherein a forceful action (such as rape) is applied and because of which a woman is excused.

Even when a married woman gives birth, she is shy during the first days to a high degree especially before those who knew her and whom she knew. So, how is it if she goes to her people carrying a newborn to whom she had given birth without having gotten married, insisting that she was not touched by any man at all?! Could she not expect them to think or imagine that something else must have taken place?!

Yet Maryam’s belief was not shaken, nor did she retreat, nor did she hide that infant, nor did she send him away or dissociate herself from him. Rather, she accepted and was pleased, and she persevered and tolerated everything, seeking to please Allah, Praise is His. She was rightfully the head of the women of her time, and she was quite worthy of it, because she believed in the Words of Allah, and she supplicated to Him.

As for the truthful and pure lady, Fatima al-Zahra’, peace of Allah and His blessings with her, the greatest Messenger of Allah S had said that she was better than all the women of mankind from the early generations to the last ones, including Maryam, Asiya and others despite what the latter had been through, and despite what they had to face. This informs you of how great her status is and how tremendous her trial and tribulation based on the hadith saying, “The most to be afflicted with trials are the prophets, then those who are less than them in status, then the most exemplary, and so on.”23

Deductions from the Above

Many results have become clear from what is stated above; among them are:

1. From the examples provided by Allah, it has become clear that the environment and the surroundings do not make up one’s personality although they may sometimes have an influence on him, in the absence of an aware self-supervision, when man surrenders to submission and bondage.

There is no room, then, for anyone to say that the personality of al-Zahra’ (sa) is the outcome of the environment and the surroundings wherein she lived, and we will never accept anyone’s statement that had she (sa) lived in other surroundings, i.e. corrupt ones, she, too, would have lived the realities of her corrupt environment.

2. Maryam faced the pressures of the deviated environment surrounding her regarding the most sensitive and serious issue relevant to her without having any known means to defend herself except her pure conviction and great trust in Allah, the most Exalted One. Asiya daughter of Muzahim moved around in the depth of the den of deviation and apostasy, in the midst of its surroundings, facing the most powerful man, the one with the most means of oppression, enticement, challenge, injustice, iniquity and arrogance. Both of these examples prove that there is no room to justify the deviation that results from the pressures of the environment and the surroundings or the authority, nor to succumbing to the will of the husband, etc.

3. All the above has made it clear that a woman, as well as a man, possesses a real power and strength to determine the final decision regarding any issue. This stands on the same level with the Divine call, and it can reach the highest degrees that qualify her for the most sublime status within the scope of dignity and divine care.

4. The impulse to support justice, the upholding of the laws of Allah, the acting on His commandments, the upholding of the path of guidance and righteousness..., is undoubtedly something conducive to nature and reason. To deviate from it is nothing short of lagging behind the requirements of nature, taking rational thinking lightly and sacrificing the meanings of humanity, straight-forwardness and guidance.

  • 1. Refer to my book titled Al-Sihah min Sirat al-Nabiyy al-A`zam (a), Vol. 3, in the chapter discussing the isra’ and mi`raj.
  • 2. Refer to Diya’ al-`Alamin, Vol. 2, p. 2 (manuscript). Ibn al-Athir, Jami` al-Usul, Vol. 12, pp. 9-10.
  • 3. al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, p. 101, quoting Al-Kafi through an authentic tradition, and also Al-Misbah al-Kabir, Dala’il al-Imama, Misbah al-Kaf`ami, Al-Rawda, Ibn Shahr Ashub, Kashf al-Ghumma, Vol. 2, p. 75, and Ithbat al-Wasiyya. Refer also to Thakha’ir al-`Uqba, p. 52, Tarikh al-Khamis, Vol. 1, p. 278 quoting the book about the dates of the births of Ahl al-Bayt (as) by Imam Ahmed ibn Nasr ibn `Abdullah al-Darra`. Refer also to al-Mas`udi’s Muruj al-Dhahab, Vol. 2, p. 289, and to other books.
  • 4. You can find such narrations in the books of the Shi`as such as: al-Majlisi’s Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, pp. 4-6; al-Saduq’s Amali, as well as `Uyun Akhbar al-Rida, Ma`ani al-Akhbar, `Ilal al-Shara’i`, al-Qummi, Tafsir; al-Tibrisi, Al-Ihtijaj, and in others. Refer also to Al-Anwar al-Nu`maniyya, Vol. 1, p. 80 or any other book, modern or classic, which discusses al-Zahra’ (sa).
  • 5. In non-Shi`a books, you can find them in works such as Al-Mustadrak `Alal Sahihihayn, Vol. 3, p. 156; al-Dhahbi, Talkhis al-Mustadrak (as referred to in a footnote in Al-Mustadrak); Nuzul al-Abrar, p. 88; Al-Durr al-Manthur, Vol. 4, p. 153; al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, Tarikh Baghdad, Vol. 5, p. 87; Ibn al-Maghazli, Manaqib al-Imam Ali ibn Abu Talib, p. 357; Tarikh al-Khamis, Vol. 1, p. 277; Thakha’ir al-`Uqba, p. 36; Lisan al-Mizan , Vol. 1, p. 134; Al-La’ali’ al-Masnu`a, Vol. 1, p. 392; and Al-Durra al-Yatima fi Ba`d Fada’il al-Sayyida al-`Azima, p. 31.
    In the Appendices Section of Ihqaq al-Haqq, Vol. 10, pp. 1-10, they are quoted from some of the references cited above as well as from Mizan al-I`tidal, Al-Rawd al-Fa’iq, Nuzhat al-Majalis, Mujma` al-Zawa’id, Kanz al-`Ummal, Muhadarat al-Awa’il, al-Khawarizmi’s Maqtal al-Husayn; Miftah al-Najat, Al-Manaqib by `Abdullah al-Shafi`i, I`rab Thalathin Sura, and Akhbar al-Duwal.
    The author of Diya’ al-`Alamin discusses it on pp. 4-5, Vol. 4, of his work and in his manuscript, citing a large number of references.
    There are other references which we mentioned while discussing the isra’ and mi`raj, while discussing the biography of the Greatest Prophet (S) to which you may refer.
  • 6. Refer to Khasa’is Amir al-Mu`minin Ali ibn Abu Talib, p. 228, critiqued by al-Mahmudi; p. 393, Vol. 3, of Al-Manaqib by Ibn Shahr Ashub (Dar al-Adwa’ edition); Tathkirat al-Khawass, pp. 306-307; and Diya’ al-`Alamin, Vol. 2, p. 36 (manuscript).
  • 7. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, p. 2.
  • 8. Refer to Yanabi` al-Mawadda and to p. 219, Vol. 6, of Kanz al-`Ummal by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi; to pp. 221 & 229 of Al-Manaqib by Ibn al-Maghazli; to Diya’ al-`Alamin (manuscript), Vol. 4, pp. 6 & 9, where there is a plenty of researched material. Refer also to al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, p. 13 and to its footnotes citing `Ilal al-Shara'i`, Vol. 1, p. 178. Refer also to Thakha’ir al-`Uqba, p. 26; to Vol. 2, p. 400 as well as Vol. 3, p. 439 of Mizan al-I`tidal; to Lisan al-Mizan, Vol. 3, p. 267; to Tawali` al-Anwar, pp. 112-113 (Tabriz, 1395); to p. 51 (Dar al-I`tisam, Beirut, 1392) of Ma`rifat ma Yajib li Al al-Bayt al-Nabawi by Ahmed ibn Ali al-Maqrizi, and to Ahmed Fahmi’s book titled Al-Batul al-Tahira, pp. 11 & 15.
  • 9. Refer to Thakha’ir al-`Uqba, p. 43; to Siyar A`lam al-Nubala’, Vol. 2, p. 126; to Al-Jawhara, p. 17; to Al-Isti`ab (as referred to in a footnote in Al-Isaba), Vol. 4, p. 376; to Tarikh Dimashq (to the section dealing with the biography of Imam Ali and researched by al-Mahmudi), Vol. 1, pp. 247-248; to Al-Majalis al-Saniyya, Vol. 5, p. 63 citing al-Saduq’s Amuli; to Al-Istu`ab and p. 56, Vol. 3, of Sharh al-Akhbar; to p. 79, Vol. 1, of Maqtal al-Husayn by al-Khawarizmi; to pp. 178-179 of Nazm Durar al-Simtayn; to Ma`ani al-Akhbar, pl. 107; to p. 182, Vol. 1, of `Ilal al-Shara’i`; to al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, p. 37, Vol. 39, p. 278 and p. 68, Vol. 37; and to Ibn Shahr Ashub’s Manaqib.
  • 10. Refer to p. 459 of Al-Rasa’il al-I`tiqadiyya, citing p. 36, Vol. 5, of al-Bukhari’s Sahih and also p. 262 of Al-Tara’if, citing Al-Jam` Baynal Sihah al-Sitta, and p. 61, Vol. 1, of Mir’at al-Jinan, and pp. 19-21, Vol. 2, of Diya` al-`Alamin.
  • 11. Refer to p. 461, Vol. 1, of Al-Kafi, to pp. 10 & 107, Vol. 43, of Bihar al-Anwar; to p. 11, Vol. 2, of Diya’ al-`Alamin (manuscript) citing `Uyun al-Mu`jizat; and to p. 48 of Kitab al-Firdaws.
  • 12. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, p. 13 citing p. 178, Vol. 1, of `Ilal al-Shara’i`.
  • 13. Refer to p. 31 of Thakha’ir al-`Uqba; p. 98, Vol. 2, of Kashf al-Ghumma. Refer also to Kunuz al-Haqa’iq by al-Mannawi in a footnote on p. 75, Vol. 2, of Al-Jami` al-Saghir; and to pp. 141 & 145, Vol. 43, of al-Majlisi’s Bihar al-Anwar.
  • 14. Al-Qazwini, Fatima al-Zahra’ Minal Mahd ilal Lahd, p. 49; al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 43, p. 2; p. 227, Vol. 2, of Nuzhat al-Majalis; and pp. 27, 38, Vol. 2, of Diya’ al-`Alamin.
  • 15. Refer to pp. 179 and 198 of Al-Kafi; and to pp. 138-139 of al-Nu`mani’s Ghayba; to pp. 488-489 of Basa’ir al-Darajat. Refer also to p. 359, Vol. 8, of Al-Sihah min Sirat al-Nabiyy al-A`zam (S) where they are quoted.
  • 16. Ibn Abul-Hadid al-Mu`tazilite al-Shafi`i, Sharh Nahjul-Balagha, Vol. 9, p. 198.
  • 17. Ibid., Vol. 9, p. 193.
  • 18. The story of how someone went to her seeking to learn from her, so she asked for a book which the Messenger of Allah (S) had given her will come later in this book. When she [actually her maid, Fidda] did not first find it, the man had to wait.
  • 19. There is no doubt in the consecutive reporting of this tradition or in its authenticity. Shaikh Ja`far Kashif al-Ghita’, on p. 12 of his famous book Kashf a-Ghita’, has noted its being consecutively reported by both parties, so refer to it. Since this tradition is mentioned in various references which discuss al-Zahra’ (sa), listing its references is very hard, even impossible, and we find no need to do so here. We, however, will contend ourselves by mentioning some of them. Anyone who wishes to know more should review the books which discuss the biography of al-Zahra’ (sa), her miracles or merits. He will find this tradition cited wherever he goes. The references to which we would like to point out here are:
    Fara’id al-Simtayn, Vol. 2, p. 46; Mujma` al-Zawa’id, Vol. 9, p. 203; al-Khawarizmi’s Maqtal al-Husayn, Vol. 1, pp. 52-53; Kifayat al-Talib, pp. 364-365; Thakha’ir al-`Uqba, pp. 37-39; Usd al-Ghaba, Vol. 5, p. 522; al-Bukhari’s Sahih, Muslim’s Sahih; Yanabi` al-Mawadda, pp. 173-174, 179, 198; Nazm Durar al-Simtayn, pp. 176-177; al-Hakim’s Mustadrak, Vol. 3, pp. 154, 158-159 and its Talkhis by al-Dhahbi as referred to in the latter’s footnote; Kanz al-`Ummal, Vol. 13, pp. 93 & 96 and Vol. 6, p. 219 and Vol. 7, p. 111; Al-Ghadir, Vol. 7, pp. 231 & 236; Siyar A`lam al-Nubala’, Vol. 2, p. 132; Al-Sawa`iq al-Muhriqa, pp. 186 & 188; al-Zarqani’s Sharh al-Mawahib, Vol. 4, p. 335; in addition to many others.
  • 20. It does not make any sense when some people say that Noah’s paternal feelings affected him, so he followed his emotions, not paying attention to Allah’s address in this regard. Refer to Vol. 2, p. 220, of Al-Burhan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an.
  • 21. Kitab al-Nadwa, p. 58.
  • 22. Infallibility in prophets and wasis is fixed by reason because the station of the Prophetic Mission and Imamate requires it. It is supported by narrations which may also explain its limits, scopes and other particulars.
    As regarding the infallibility of al-Zahra’ (sa), it is fixed by authentic traditions of the Messenger of Allah (S) and by Qur’anic texts, and it is one of the necessities of the sect and its fixed tenets. It goes without saying that infallibility cannot be known except from such traditions because the divine orders to do or not to do are not confined to deeds of the senses but transcend them to incorporate the heart, the self, the soul, and to coining the characteristics of a human being, his feelings, emotions such as courage, generosity, jealousy, love, hatred, belief, hypocrisy, intentions and other things with which we cannot be familiar without traditions quoting the infallible person.
  • 23. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 64, p. 200.