|Chapter 18: Al-Batoul (The Chaste and Pure One)|
Allah, the Exalted, created His creatures and implemented in them certain laws and habits. He also subjected these creatures to laws and habits. For instance, a law that rules fire is incendiary; while plants require certain spans of time and specific environments to grow and produce; likewise, animals require specific conditions that vary according to their sizes, types and colors, to grow.
Generally speaking, humans are subjected to assigned universal laws and physiological, psychological and spiritual peculiarities; yet, certain people who have been chosen by Allah and on account of His far-reaching wisdom, have been excluded from these laws. In other words, Allah subjected special laws to the chosen ones. Fire, for example, turns everything in its way to ashes; yet Allah said to it:
"O fire! Be thou cool, and (a means of) safety for Ibrahim."
When Yunis was "cast forth on the naked shore in a state of sickness," after the whale swallowed him, Allah caused a "spreading plant" to grow quickly and cover Yunis's sick body.
Procreation, too, cannot take place without impregnation and the implementation of sperm in the woman's womb, wherein
the sperm is made into a clot that grows to be a fetus covered with bones that becomes an unborn child. This process takes at least six to nine months; but his natural process that Allah implemented in mankind was invalidated in the case of Maryam (A.S.) who gave birth to Isa (A.S.) without any of these steps. It has been said that she carried him six to nine hours in her womb before giving birth to him under a palm tree in a secluded location.
Likewise, all miracles, which occurred through other prophets, took place in environments that did not conform to natural laws. The examples of such events are tremendous. The Holy Quran narrated many stories about prophets' and Imams' challenges to the laws of nature. Among these stories are Adam's descension from Paradise to Earth, the gushing forth of the fountains of earth in the story of Noah, Sara's pregnancy with Ishaq at an old age, the turning of Musa's stick into a snake, healing the blind and the lepers and raising of the dead by Isa, and Ascension into the Heavens by Allah's last Apostle (P.B.U.H.)
Now that the above is understood, the following conclusion can be derived:
Women's monthly menstruation, which starts at maturity and continues until the fifties or sixties, is nothing but the discharge of spoiled blood and tissues which were to hold the fetus had it been conceived.
Allah, the Almighty, says:
"They ask thee concerning women's menstruation. Say: They are a discomfort and a pollution." This indicates that the discharged blood is a harmful substance, which would harm women if it stayed in their bodies. It is even noticeable that women's psychological and physiological states, including their facial appearance and everyday conduct change at this time of the month. By this, we conclude that the
bleeding which results from monthly menstruation differs from the normal kind of bleeding, which any human being-including women-might suffer.
It is unquestionable that monthly menstruation causes women to feel nervous, shy and dejected despite the fact that this occurrence is an involuntary natural course. Yet women suffer this course, which is unmentionable to anyone especially to men. For this reason, women are not obligated to perform prayers or fast during menstruation. They are also forbidden from staying in Mosques or to enter the Sacred Mosque in Mecca and the Prophet's Mosque in Medina. In addition, reciting the chapters of Qalam, Najm, Alif Lam Mim Tanzil, and Ha Mim as Sajdah are not to be read during women's monthly periods.
These laws, which have just been mentioned, are also valid during confinement in childbed.
Nevertheless, Allah, The Exalted, relieved Fatima Zahra (A.S.) from such pollution, as He removed from her all abomination and purified her a total purification. This fact is authenticated by various traditions among which are the following:
1. Qanduzi reported in Yanabi' al-Mawaddah p.260. that the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) said: "She was safeguarded from menstruation and childbed (bleeding)." 2. Muhammad Salih al-Kashfi al-Hanafi reported in Al-Manaqib that the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) said: "Fatima was called Al-Batoul because she was safeguarded and relieved from that which women encounter every month (menstruation)."
3. A1-Amr-Tasri narrates in Arjah al-Matalib that the Prophet (P.B.U.H.) was asked about the meaning of Batoul-someone said to him: "Messenger of Allah, we have heard you say that Maryam is Batoul and Fatima, too, is Batoul!!"
The Prophet replied: "Batoul is she who never see blood,
meaning that she never discharges menstrual blood; because menstruation is resented if it occurs in Prophet's daughters." The above-mentioned narration was authenticated by Al-Hakim.
4. A1-Hafez Abu Bakr Ash-Shafe'i narrates in Tarikh Baghdad v.13, p.331, on the account of Ibn Abbass that the Prophet said: "My daughter is a human huri, she never menstruates, nor does she encounter any menses."
Nisaee also narrates this tradition.
5. Ibn Asaker mentioned in At-Tarikh al-Kabir v.1, p.391, on the account of Anas Ibn Malik that Umme Salim said:
"Fatima (may Allah be pleased with her) has never menstruated nor discharged childbed blood."
6. Al-Hafez al-Suyuti said:
'Among Fatima's particularities is that she did not menstruate, and when she gave birth to a child, she would immediately become purified from childbed confinement so as not to miss her prayers."
7. Rafae mentioned in At-Tadween that Umme Salama said:
"Fatima never discharged blood during her childbed confinement; nor does she menstruate."
8. Tabari narrates in Dhakhaer al-Uqbi that Asma Bint Umais said:
"When Fatima gave birth to Al-Hassan, she did not bleed; she also does not bleed during periods of menstruation. (When I informed the Prophet of this) he said: 'Do you not know that my daughter is pure and chaste; she does not discharge blood as a result of childbirth or menstruation."'
Safari narrates this tradition in Nuzhat al-Majalis p.227.
9. It was mentioned in v.10 of Al-Bihar that Abu Basir quoted Imam Sadiq (A.S.) as saying:
'Allah, the Exalted, forbade Ali (A.S.) from marrying women while Fatima was still alive."
Abu Basir exclaimed: "Why was that?"
The Imam replied: "Because she was pure and does not menstruate." Sheikh Majlisi commented on this narration by the following:
"This narration means either. First: Because Fatima did not menstruate, Ali (A.S.) had no reason to marry another woman. So Allah forbade him to marry other women in observance of her sanctity. Or, Second: Her eminence disallowed him from marrying another woman; where as this particularity of hers is part of this eminence."
Fatima's exaltation from encountering menstrual or childbed blood, confirms to the verse of purification which has already been discussed.
Chapter 19: Al-Adhra (The Virgin or the Chaste)
This is one of the names given to Fatima. This name declares that she was always a virgin, in the meaning that she was chaste. Many traditions have already been mentioned, which attest to the fact that she was conceived of heavenly food, and that Fatima was a human huri. There is not exaggeration in this expression, rather, stating that Fatima was always virgin, is nothing but the absolute truth. Besides the narrations that verify this fact, the Holy Quran states:
"We have created (the huri) of special creation; and made them virgin pure (and undefiled)." (56: 35-36) This clarifies that huris are always virgins. Majma al-Bayan explains this verse as follows: "(What is meant by virgin pure) is that whenever their husbands come near them (have sexual intercourse with them), they find them virgins."
Imam Sadiq (A.S.) was asked: "How can a huri always be a virgin (no matter how many times her husband comes near her)?" The Imam (A.S.) answered: "Because (huris) are created from pure goodness where no blight can alter them, nor does decrepitude inflict them... menstruation does not pollute them..."
Chapter 20: Fatima's Youth
Lady Fatima Zahra (A.S.) opened her eyes to the world to enjoy prophetic fatherly love and to suckle Khadija's milk, which was mixed with excellent morals and perfection.
Growing in the house of revelation, gave her the chance to achieve the highest degree of perfection and excellence. The Prophet (P.B.U.H.) taught her divine knowledge and endowed her with special intelligence, so that she realized the true meaning of faith, piety, and the reality of Islam.
The virtuous upbringing of Fatima by Allah's Messenger as accompanied by her capability to perceive divine facts and her spiritual brilliance and preparedness to ascend to the highest levels of perfection.
Parallel to this, was Allah's will that Fatima Zahra should face many sorrows and live in anguish from the very beginning of her life. She opened her eyes to see her father being fought by his relatives and strangers and treated with hostility by the infidels and polytheists. For instance, Fatima might have entered the Sacred Mosque and seen her father reading Quran in the private chamber of Ismael (around Kaaba), while polytheists were harming him and waging a psychological war against him. One day, Fatima saw the infidels pour camel placenta on her father while he was prostrating to Allah; so she cleaned his back and while bitterly crying, cursed he unbelievers and supplicated to Allah to punish them. But the
infidels were sarcastic, in the same respect as any lowly people and rubble would be.
Ibn Abbas reported that the Quraishians once held a meeting in the Sacred Mosque and vowed by their Idols that as soon as they saw Muhammad, they would all participate in killing him; upon hearing this, Fatima (A.S.) went crying to her father and informed him of their conspiracy.
The crisis became more intense when the Messenger of Allah was forcefully confined to Abu Talib's trail (valley) along with his family and all the members of Abu Talib's family. They lived in an atmosphere overtaken by fear and anxiety of the constantly expected attack by the infidels at night. The situation grew even worse when the polytheists drew up a treaty to besiege Bani Hashim and impose economic sanctions against them; this treaty allowed no one to sell or buy anything from them, including food supplies.
Therefore, the cries of starving children reached the ears of all Meccan inhabitants. The people of Mecca were divided into two groups: One who was enjoying the misfortunes of the Bani Hashim and the other was deeply affected with their misery.
This situation continued for more than three years. Fatima was one of those who suffered from this siege, which resulted in awakening the spirit of struggle, honesty and endurance in her; it was as if she was spending a period of training and exercise for the near future.
Nevertheless, the predicament was made easier when Fatima saw the courageous hero, Abu Talib, aided by Hamza keeping steadfast and helping her father in every way against the infidels' aggression. Abu Talib declared his adherence to Islam through uttering poetry. Once, the Quraishan heads objected to Abu Talib's support of the Prophet; they said to him: "We will give you a
handsome, generous, and courageous Quraishan youth (Amarh Ibn al-Walid) to become your son, if you give us your nephew -Muhammad - who disunites us and humiliates our idols, so that we may kill him!"
Abu Talib said: "This is an unfair offer! Do you mean to give me your son, so I can feed him for you and I give you my nephew to kill? (If this is your way of dealing) then each one of you should give me his son to kill if you want me to give you Muhammad to kill."
Abu Talib's honorable stands in protecting the Prophet were numerous. Had it not been for his faith and strong adherence to Islam, he would not have been steadfast in defending the Messenger and his divine faith. Contrary to Abu Talib, another uncle of the Prophet (P.B.U.H.), Abu Lahab-fought fiercely and opposed the Prophet. His shameful conduct was recorded in various history books and in the Holy Quran.