4th of Rabi’ al-awwal coincides with the sad demise of Fatima Masumah (a), the daughter of Imam al-Kazim (a) and sister of Imam Rida (a). On this sad occasion we condole Imam al-Zaman and the followers of the Ahlul-Bayt.
Here we shall discuss the virtues of Fatimah (a) and the value of the city of Qum.
In the year 200 Hijri, Ma’moon summoned Imam Rida (a) to Marv, his winter capital. Imam Rida (a) arrived in Marv in the year 201 hijri. During this time Fatima (a) who was deeply attached with Imam also left Madineh to visit Imam (a). She continued until Saveh, where she fell ill due to the journey.
She asked how far it was to Qum, to which her servant replied 10 Farsakh (40 miles). She then asked her servant to take her there. As she got close to Qum, Musa son of Khazraj, one of the followers of Ahlul-Bayt went to welcome her with all of his relatives. They took Fatima (a) home and looked after. When she heard of her brothers’ death her illness grew stronger and she died 16 days later.
Before the birth of the seventh Imam, his father Imam as-Sadiq (a) said to a group of people from Rey who had come to visit him (Rey is a small city situation south of Tehran, and there is a shrine of the son of Imam Kazim (a).:
“Hail to the people of Qum”
They replied “But we are from Rey”
Imam repeated “Congratulations to the people of Qum”
The repeated they were from Rey and Imam Explained. Then he said,”There is a shrine for God which is in Makkah, there is a shrine for Prophet Muhammad (s) which is in Madinah, there is a shrine for Imam Ali (a) which is in Kufah and there is a shrine for us which is in Qum. Soon my daughter Fatima (a) will be buried there. So whenever visits her as a pilgrimage will go to heaven.”(Safintul-Behar).
Imam Reza (a) said,”Whoever visit Ma’sumah (a) in Qum his reward is heaven.”
Imam Reza turned to Saad and said:”O Saad! there is one of our graves among you”
Saad asked: “Is that the grave of Fatima (a) daughter of Imam Musa Kazim (a)?”
Imam replied: “Yes, and whoever understands her rights and visits her deserves heaven.”
Imam Jawad (a) said: “Whoever visits my aunt (a) in Qum, his reward is heaven.”
The value of the city of Qum and its’ inhabitants
There are several narratives about this some, which I will summarise below:
1 – The city of Qum will be the centre of Islamic education during the time of Imam Al-Mahdi (a) – as it is now.
2 – Qum is the shrine of Ahlul-Bayt (a) and belongs to them.
3 – The inhabitants of Qum are scholars and pious people.
4 – Some of the supporters of Imam Mahdi (a) are from this city.
5 – It is a safe area and in this city, oppressing people will be severely punished by God.
6 – The people of Qum are supporters of religion and promoters of the work of Ahlul-Bayt (a)
7 – Imam Sadiq (a) said: “Qum is the city of Ahlul Bayt and their Shias. Its’ soil is valuable and holy.”
8 – Imam Sadiq prayed for the people of Qum for protection.
The Great Personalities Buried in the Holy City of Mashhad
As a result of Imam Reza’s (A.S.) burial in the holy city of Mashhad many distinguished notables and great scholars got settled in the holy city and have been buried in the holy shrine’s precincts and also in the holy city. The great notables buried in the holy city of Mashhad are:
1. Shaykh Baha’i
Shaykh Baha-al-Din Muhammad famous as Shaykh Baha’i was the well known Islamic scholar of the eleventh century Hijrah. His genealogy dates back to Haris Hamdani, the famous companion of Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (A.S.). He was born on 17 Muharram, 953 A.H./ 20 March 1546 A.D., in a village near Baal’bak in the Jabal Amel area of Lebanon.
He came to Iran in 966 A.H./ 1558 A.D., and attained the highest religious position of Shaykh-al-Islam in isfahan, the capital of the later Safavid rulers of Iran. Shaykh Baha’i had compiled 88 books and treatises in various fields of Islamic sciences. His famous works include Jame Abbasi (jurisprudence), Miftah al-Falah (supplications), Kitab al-Arba’een (hadith), Kashkul (literature), Khulasat al-Hisab (mathematics), Kitab al-Jabr wa’l Muqabala (algebra), Tashreeh al-Aflak (astronomy) and a discourse on astrolabe and geometry.
Shaykh Baha’i passed away in Isfahan in 1031 A.H., and his body was carried to the holy city of Mashhad and laid to rest in the Riwaq which became famous as Shaykh Baha’i Riwaq.
This Riwaq is located in the south-eastern side of the holy shrine and opposite to Dar al-Ibadah. It is visited through three passages, first a passage from the south of Azadi courtyard, second from the court of Dar al-Zuhd porch. Three other courts on the southern side connects this porch to the Imam Khomeini (R.A.) courtyard.
Shaykh Baha’i Riwaq is quadrangular in shape with 10.30 meters length and 10 meters breadth. The floor and the plinth upto 1.60 meters is covered with green marbles. The grave of Shaykh Baha’i is located in the middle of the porch. On the epitaph of the grave the details of his birth and demise are inscribed.
All the walls above the plinth and the roof is completely decorated with mirrors. The roof is in the form of hanging arches in checkered style with 25 fountains. Below the arches, on three sides of the porch a brief biography and the books written by Shaykh Baha’i are inscribed on marble stones in Thulth script.
2. Shaykh Hur Ameli
Mohammad ibn Hasan ibn Ali ibn Mohammad ibn al-Husain Hur Ameli, was the famous Shi’ite theologian and traditionist. His genealogy traces back to Hurr ibn Yazid al-Riyahi. He was born in 1033 A.H./ 1623 A.D., in one of the villages of Jabal Amel in Lebanon. He had compiled 22 books, the most famous is “Wasa’el ush-Shia”, a comprehensive and vast collection of Shia ahadith(traditions). He settled in Iran living over 25 years of his life in the holy city of Mashhad, where he breathed his last in 1104 A.H./ 1692 A.D., and was buried in the holy shrine of Imam Reza (A.S.). His tomb is located in the north-eastern part of the Inqilab Courtyard on the side of the Madrasa Mirza Jafar. Shaykh Hur Ameli’s tomb was renovated in 1984 A.D. by Astan Quds Razavi.
3. Shaykh Tabarsi
Amin al-Islam Abu Ali Fazl ibn Hasan al-Tabarsi, the great Shi’ite commentator of the Holy Qur’an expired in the year 548 A.H./1153 A.D., in Sabzewar and was buried in Bagh-i Rezwan, the cemetery situated between the Bast Shaykh Toosi and Bast Shaykh Tabarsi, at the entrance of the holy shrine of Imam Reza (A.S.). The avenue and the sanctuary (Bast) next to his grave has been named after him. He is the author of Majma al-Bayan and Jawameh al-Jameh, the two famous Shi’itess commentaries on the Holy Qur’an.
4. Khwajah Abasalt Heravi
Khwajah Abasalt of Herat was a pious person and servant of Imam Reza (A.S.) and had narrated many traditions from the Imam Reza (A.S.). He died in 203 A.H./818 A.D., and was buried beside the road to Neishabour, 12 kilometers from the holy city of Mashhad. The tomb of Khwajah Abasalt Heravi have been recently renovated on a grand scale.
5. Khwajah Rabie
Rabie ibn Haitham al-Asadi as–Thawri was among the Tabiyeen[the early Muslims following the companions of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)] and among the eight persons in the early history of Islam famous for abstinence and virtuousness.Being the resident of Kufah he was also famous as Kufi. He was a close companion of Amir-al-Momineen Imam Ali(A.S.) and friend of Ibn Masood companion of the Holy Prophet of Islam (S.A.W.) .
He along with some other persons requested in the presence of Imam Ali(A.S.) to visualize the visage of the pious people.Then Imam Ali(A.S.) delivered the famous sermon explaining the characteristics and qualities of the pious persons. Hammam, his nepbew who was present on this occasion was deeply mored and overwhelmed by contents of the sermon and died on the spot the very moment.
It was famous about Khwajeh Rabie that whenever he used to prostrate he used to remain stand still for a long perod as if a cloth sheet has been spread on the ground.
He led a very abstemious and virtuous life but was also busy in teaching Tafsir (Interpretation of the Holy Qur’an) and Hadith (the traditions of the Holy Prophet(S.A.W). Shaykh Tabarsi has considered him as the Precursor Master in these sciences. The kind and generous nature were the radiant characteristics of Khwajeh Rabie. He used to bring the needy people to his house and served them with the food which he had prepared.
During the last phase of his life he came to Khorasan along with the Islamic army and passed away in the year 63 A.H./ 682 A.D. He is buried underneath a magnificent dome in the middle of the garden and the public cemetery.
The dome and the gates of his burial chamber has been decorated with glazed tiles and differents styles of inscriptions. The grave and the dome of Khwajeh Rabie is highly respected by the general public and is considered as one of the important pilgrimage centers in Mashhad and Khorasan province. After the victory of the Islamic revolution in Iran the dome and the garden around it has been extensively renovated by Astan Quds Razavi.
6. Imamzadeh Sultan Mohammad
Sultan ibn Mohammad ibn Hamzah ibn Imam Musa al-Kazim (A.S.) was martyred in 199 A.H./ 814 A.D. He is buried under a dome in the holy city of Mashhad known as Gonbad Kheshti, which is situated in one of the streets in the east of Shaykh Tabarsi Avenue.
7. Khwajah Morad
Herthameh ibn Ayun famous as Khwajah Morad was a close companion of Imam Reza (A.S.). His death occurred in 210 A.H. / 825 A.D. His tomb is 14 kilometres off in south-east of the holy city of Mashhad on the outskirts of Binalood mountains on the country road in front of Behest-e-Reza (A.S.) Cemetery.
8. Peer-e- Palandooz
Shaykh Mohammad Aref, one of the most pious persons of his time passed away in the year 985 A.H./ 1577 A.D., and was famous as Peer-e- Palandooz (The Old Pack Saddler). He was called so, since he made pack saddles to earn his living. His tomb is in front of the Lower Bast called Bast Hur Ameli. His tomb was originally built by Sultan Mohammad Khudabandeh, the Mongol ruler of Iran. The tomb of Peer-e- Palandooz has recently been reconstructed by Astan Quds Razavi on a grand scale.
9. Shaykh Muhammad Momen Astarabadi
Shaykh Muhammad Momen Aref Astarabadi, one of the famous physicians and a great scholar passed away in the year 90 A.H./ 708 A.D. His dome is located in the Khaki Avenue of the holy city of Mashhad and the colour of the dome has a colour close to turquoise. He wrote Tohfeh-i Hakim Momen, which is a famous work on Islamic medicine. The beautiful turquoise colour dome on his grave was built by Shah Abbas Safavi in 1011 A.H./ 1602 A.D., and is famous as Gonbad Sabz (Green Dome).
10. Imamzadeh Yahya
Imamzadeh Yahya was Zayd’s son and the grandson of Imam Zayn al-Abedin (A.S.). He was born in 107 A.H. / 725 A.D. As his life was threatened by Umayyads, he migrated from Karbala to Madaen and from there he went to Khorasan. Finally he was martyred at the young age of 18 by the Umayyads in the year 125 A.H./ 742 A.D., and his shrine is on the Sarakhs Highway, 50 kilometres away from the holy city on Mashhad, 1 kilometre to Miami village. The construction of the shrine of Imamzadeh Yahya dates back to the tenth century Hijrah/sixteenth century A.D