“Say: I ask no reward of you except the love of my near and dear ones.” (42:23)
Imam Shaf'i, founder of one of the great schools of jurisprudence said in commentary on this verse:
Ahl al-Bayt, your love is a Divine duty on mankind. God revealed it in His Quran.
It is enough among your great privileges that whoever does not bless you, his prayer is void.
If the love of the members of the House of the Prophet is rafdh (rejection),
Let mankind and the Jinns testify that I am a raafidhi (rejector [what they call the Shi'ah])1
The family of the Prophet(s.a.w), Imam Ali ibn abi Talib(a.s) chief amongst them, were raised literally in the lap of prophethood and was the Muslim who was the longest serving companion and confident of the holy Prophet. The Prophet's daughter, Fatimah(a.s) was herself a great scholar and hafidh (memorizer) of Quran and spiritual beacon for the Muslims and all seekers of light and love that is Islam.
Allah distinguished the Ahl al-Bayt of the Prophet(s.a.w) in many ways. For example, Allah has stated that they only amongst all the Muslims, were thoroughly purified from sin and misguidance in the noble verse,
“Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House, and to purify you a (thorough) purifying” (33:33).
One way that Prophet's(s.a.w) beloved daughter was distinguished was with a book sent to console her upon her father's death. This book is called the “Mushaf Fatimah.” It is a great honor that the lovers of Ahl al-Bayt have carried the legacy of this book.
During unstable times for Muslims, when Muslims everywhere are facing oppression and hardship, we must heed the call to unity, to “grasp the rope of Allah” and not be divided. The family of the prophet(s.a.w) is that rope that unites all Muslims. Unfortunately, some Muslims have taken to accusing the lovers of Ahl al-Bayt, the Shi'ah, of apostasy with deadly results. One of the reasons for this confusion and claim of apostasy is the existence of the Mushaf Fatimah. Some people have thought, mistakenly, that it is “another Quran” or a “secret Quran” that the Shi'ah read.
This small work, thoroughly researched by Mr. Amini, sets to lay to rest any misconceptions that any Muslims may have had about what the Mushaf Fatimah is. For the sake of Muslim unity, and in obedience of Allah's command to love the Prophet's family, I offer this small work of translation to the lovers of light and seekers of peace. I humbly pray that this effort pleases the noble Lady of Light, Fatimah al-Zahra(a.s) and is accepted by the One who has no beginning nor end.
Kamyar M. Hedayat, MD
7 Ramadan, 1424
1. Al-Razi, F. D. Tafsir al-Kabir, v. 27, p.166.
So as not to prejudice the reader, I have elected not to translate the word ”Mushaf” which is the crux of the entire discussion. As it will become clear, the word has many meanings. The appropriate meaning of ”Mushaf” is the raison d'être of this investigation.
The word “hazrat” (Farsi pronounciation of the Arabic, hadhrat) literally means “eminence” or, “presence.” It is a term of respect given to men and women of great spiritual import and erudition, such as prophets and Imams as well as living scholars, and the intimate family (ahl al-bayt) of the Prophet Mohammad(s.a.w). However, I elected to translate the appellation of ”hazrat-e Fatemeh(a.s)” as “Lady Fatimah(a.s)” as this seems to connote in English the respect and grandeur of personality that the Arabic/Farsi implies. Also, I've elected to use transliteration corresponding to the Arabic pronunciation of loan words in Farsi rather than the transliterations of the Farsi pronunciation, e.g. Fatimah (Arabic) vs. Fatemeh (Farsi), except when an original quote, author's name, or title of a book was in Farsi.
Where possible, I have attempted to check all of the references made by the author and translate hadith quoted in Farsi directly from the Arabic and not from the author's Farsi translation.
All mistakes are mine and I implore Allah's forgiveness for any shortcomings and errors in my meager efforts.
7 Ramadhan, 1424
Before answering these questions, there is a more fundamental question: does this Mushaf have authenticity? Has its existence been proven in a credible manner? We will answer all these questions as the discussion proceeds below. Some people are of the opinion that this Mushaf contains the rulings of what is permissible (halal) and impermissible (haram), while others say that it contains no such matter. Others say that the prophet Mohammad(s.a.w) dictated it (to her) and others still say it was the Angel Gabriel(a.s) who dictated it (directly) to her. This itself raises another question, that is, does the Angel Gabriel(a.s) speak to a person who is not a prophet? If he does, then what did he say to Lady Fatimah(a.s), for is it not so that after the prophet's death revelation was ceased? In any case, there are many questions that can be raised in this regard which most certainly will be answered in this tract.
This tract will lay out the research behind these issues. By the writer's leave, we have made great use of “Haqiqat Mushaf Fatimah 'ind ash-shi'eh” by Akram Barakaat. My many thanks to the publisher, Dalil-e Maa who had had utmost confidence in this publication, clarified ambiguous sentences and took up the clarification of sensitive religious issues. I now gift this book to you, the wise reader. I hope we can take example and profit from the paragons of gnosis (naziraat-e arbaab-e ma'refat).
Abdullah Amini, Summer, 1382/2003Abdullah Amini, Summer, 1382/2003Abdullah Amini, Summer, 1382/2003
It has gotten to the point that some Shiites believe that Mushaf Fatimah is another Quran. In this way they will assume that the narrations presented in this book have little import (because they are meant to mislead Sunnis) and doubt the chain of authority of the narrators. It is amazing in this light to see that such a personage as Imam Khomeini not only didn't hide or deny its existence, rather, he took pride in it: “We are honored that . . . Sahifah Fatemiyyah (i.e Mushaf Fatemah) which was inspired by God most excellent to Zahra Mardhiyyah (i.e. Lady Fatimah) is our (heritage).”2
What do such people mean that they are honored or take pride in Mushaf Fatimah? It's because no one had seen its contents3 came out after nightfall and said several times: ‘(There will be) a grumbling and a moaning and a dark night, and then the Imam (al-Mahdi) will come out to you wearing the shirt of Adam, and on his hand will be the ring of Solomon, and the staff of Moses.”4.) and it is only through narrations that we know what the subject matter is. Subsequently, I must confess that the existence of the Mushaf Fatimah has been proven and the proofs exist, however, we must approach it in a round about way. Heretofore an independent work has not been published; (other works) have indirectly mentioned it.
Some of the hadith about Mushaf Fatimah have used this very word “Mushaf” in which case the aforementioned thoughts are reinforced. Mohammad bin Muslim narrates from Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq(a.s), “Fatimah left a Mushaf which is not the Quran.”5
'Ali bin Sa'id narrated from Imam al-Sadiq(a.s), “And it is with us. By Allah, Mushaf Fatimah does not contain a single verse from the Book of Allah!”6 Imam al-Sadiq(a.s) says, “In it is what is like your Quran, only three times (in size).”7,8
Some have conjectured that Mushaf is a word exclusively in reference to the Quran. If it is said that “Mushaf Fatimah”, means “Fatimah's Quran” because the last hadith says “It is like your Quran, only three times (in size)”, they conclude that the Shiites believe that the present Quran is inadequate. These people are oblivious to the fact that the preceding hadith stated emphatically that this Mushaf doesn't contain a single verse of Quran. In any case, now we will start the discussion with the meaning of “Mushaf”.
There's no doubt that the word Mushaf has been used in reference to the Quran innumerably but can't be said that it is interchangeable with the word “Quran” even if it is the most common connotation or if it has been used in the sunnah as referring to the Quran. Take for example this narration: “The Prophet(S) said, 'Whosoever recites the collected and bound (Mushaf) Quran will have 2000 good things written for him.'”14 He also said, “Grant your eyes a share from your worship.” They said, “And what is the share for the eyes, oh Prophet of Allah?” He said, “Looking at the Mushaf (i.e. the Quran) and pondering over it…”15
We can take away from this narration that the Quran had been collected and bound in the time of the prophet(s.a.w).
There are three problems with this narration:
This doesn't correspond with the prior narration (in the Sunni canon of hadith) in which the Prophet (S) referred to the Quran as Mushaf.
It opposes the fact that the same narration also demonstrates that the Quran had been bound during the Prophet's(s.a.w) lifetime.
The word “Mushaf” is an 'Arabic word, so it couldn't have been introduced from Abyssinia.
Imam Ali (A) says, “The heart is the Mushaf of the eye.”19
If the term Mushaf in this report meant Quran, it would be redundant. It would be like saying that he (A) was collecting the book of Quran into a book. Then, the literal meaning of Mushaf is clear. The second report comes from Rafi' bin Mehraan who narrated, ”[The companions] collected the Quran into a book (fi Mushaf).”28
1. Qom, Iran is one of the oldest Shiite cities, settled in the 2nd century, AH. It is one of the premiere centers of Shiite theological learning and the pilgrimage site for the sister of the eighth Imam, Fatimah al-Ma’sumah (A).
2. Khomeini SRM. Last Will and Testament, page 3.
3. The Imams(a.s) possessed this mushaf, along with the seal of the Prophet (s.a.w), the staff of prophet Moses(a.s), etc. as proofs of their vice regency. The twelfth Imam, Al-Mahdi(a.s) (may Allah hasten his appearance) currently possesses it. For example, in one hadith it says, “One night, Amir al-Mu’mineen (i.e. Imam ‘Ali(a.s
4. Al-Kafi, v.1, hadith #619
5. Majlisi MB. Bihar al-Anwar, v.26, p.41, hadith #73. Darul kutub al islamiyyah, Tehran, Iran.
6. Majlisi MB. Bihar al-Anwar, v.27, p.271, hadith #3. Darul kutub al islamiyyah, Tehran, Iran.
7. Kulaini M. Usul al-Kafi, v.2, p.613.
8. Majlisi MB. Bihar al-Anwar, v. 26, p.39, hadith #10. Darul kutub al islamiyyah, Tehran, Iran.
9. Juhari, Sahah taj al-lughah, and , Sahah al-‘arabiyyah, v. 4, p. 1383
10. Zubaydi, Taj al-‘aroos, v. 6, p.161.
11. Fayyumi, Misbah al-munir, p.197
12. Abu Hilaal al-‘Askari, al-furuq al-lughwiyyeh, p.241, Qom, Basirti Publication
13. Zarqaani, Minahil al-irfaan, v.1, p.384, Beirut, Daaraahiya’ Al-Tiraath Publication, 1412 AH/1994
14. Zarkeshi, Al Burhan fi ‘Ulum al-Quran, v.1, p.546. Beirut, Daar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyeh, 1403 AH/1983
15. Tirmidhi, Navaadir al-Usul, v.3, p.254, Beirut, Daar al-Jeel, 1412 AH/1992
16. Suyuti was a renouned Sunni scholar and prolific author with over 700 extent works attributed to him. He was also a Shadhili Sufi. He was considered to be the foremost authority of hadith and ‘Arabic language of his day. While he lauded Imam ‘Ali in his work, Al-qawl al-jali fi fada'il `Ali (The manifest discourse on the virtues of `Ali ibn Abi Talib), he was no friend of the Shi’a. For example, he penned the polemic, Risala al-sayf al-qati` al-lami` li ahl al-i`tirad al-shawa'i` (Epistle of the sharp and glistening sword to the Shi`i people of opposition) as well.
17. Suyuti J, Al-Atqaan, v.1, p.53
18. Kitaabi, Al-Tarteeb al-Aadaariyyeh, v.2, p.231, Daar al-Kitab al-‘Arabi
19. Ibn Abi Talib A. Nahj al-Balagha, saying #408
20. Ibn S’ad, Tabaqaat al-Kabari, v.1, p.363, Dar Sadr Publications
21. Ibn Hishaam, Seerah al-Nabi, v.1, p.353, Beirut; Dar al-Fikr Publications, 1401 AH/1981
22. Ibn S’ad, Tabaqaat al-Kabari, v.7, p.433, Dar Sadr Publications
23. Tahdheeb al-Kamaal, v.17, p.315, Mu’asassah al-Risalah
24. Baghdadi K, Taqyeed al-‘Ilm, p.36, Beirut; Daar al-Sunnat al-Nabawiyyah, 1974
25. Hafsah was the daughter of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab, the second Caliph. Hafsah was also a wife of the prophet Muhammad (s.a.w).
26. Bukhari M, Sahih al-Bukhari, v.6, book 61, hadith #4938, p.120, Beirut; Daar al-Fikr, 1411 AH/1991 (hadith #510, book 61: Virtues of the Quran according to http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/061.sbt.ht... 
27. Sijstani, Al-Musahaf, p.10, Egypt; Rahmaaniyyah publications
28. Sijstani, Al-Musahaf, p.9, Egypt; Rahmaaniyyah publications
at the end of each section he would write, “thus ends the first Mushaf and begins the second Mushaf. . .”
Also, Sheikh Aba Bakr bin 'Iqaal Saqli in Fawaa'id says, “The sahabah didn't collect the sunnah of the Prophet of Allah(s.a.w) in a book (Mushaf).” 1
It's worth pointing out that the word Mushaf is mentioned neither in the Quran itself nor was it counted among the names of the Quran. Jalaaluddin Suyuti2 and Abu Al-Ma'aali al-Saaleh, who was one of the transmitters of hadith of Islam, counted 55 titles for the Quran and the word “Mushaf” was not among them.
It's interesting to know that no one objected to Seebway's calling his book Al-Keetaab, despite the fact that that was one of the titles of the Quran, but they object to the book of Lady Fatimah(a.s) being called “Mushaf”.
Dr. Nasiraddin Asad in Masaadir al-shu'ur al-jaahili writes, “They called any bound book a “Mushaf” and it strictly refers to a book, not just the Quran.”5
1. Abu Rayhah, Adhwa’‘ala al-sunnat al-mohammadiyyah, p.259, Al-Batha’ publication.
2. Al-Itiqaan fi ‘ulum al-Quran, v.1, pp.51-52, Beirut; Daar al-Fikr
3. Ahmad I, Dalaa’il al-towtheeq al-mobakkir lil sunnah wa al-hadeeth, pp.263-269, A. Amin tr., Pakistan; Islamic Research Publications
4. bin ‘Abdullah B, Ma’rifat al-nasakh wa al-sahhaf al-Hadeeth, pp.23-31, Jeddah; Daar al-Raayah.
5. Asad N, Masaadir al-shu’ur al-jaahili, p.139, Cairo; Daar al-Ma’aarif, 1969.
Others are of the opinion that this Mushaf contains jurisprudence (shar'i), normative and ethical rulings, all future events, and that Lady Fatimah(a.s) wrote it from all the pronouncements that she heard from her father (the prophet Mohammad(s.a.w)) and her husband (Imam 'Ali(a.s)).2
Imam Khomeini in his last will and testament said, “Sahifah Fatimah was inspired to her from the very presense of the Lord most High to Zahra Mardhiyyah (i.e. Lady Fatimah).”3 Sayyid Muhsin Ameen is of the opinion that this noble Lady (a.s) has two books: one inspired by her Lord, the other the sayings of the prophet of Allah (s.a.w) to Lady Fatimah(a.s).4
There reason that there are so many divergent opinions on the content of this Mushaf, as the above quotes point out, is owing to the fact that the hadith are scattered in various chapters of various books. There are no analytical or theoretical analyses (of the hadith by the scholars who had collected the hadith). Because of this, the foundation of the argument and investigation are narrations that haven't been collected into one chapter (of a book of hadith), rather, they are in various books.
Indeed, none of the books that refer to Lady Fatimah (a.s) have hadith that mention the Mushaf's content mention the same content twice (i.e. every hadith says that the Mushaf contains something different). In this respect, some have thought that the Mushaf is the very one that the reports mention, this because of the divergent opinions that have arisen. However, these hadith speak of the books (kitab) of Lady Fatimah (a.s) and not per se of her Mushaf. In light of this, it is fitting to allude to these other books until we can separate them from and arrive to her Mushaf.
There is another narration which refers to this book. It is clear that the above hadith is actually a partial narration. Sheikh Kulayni quotes the full narration in Usul al-Kaafi from Imam al-Sadiq(a.s)6. Abu Ja'far Mohammad bin Jarir bin Rustam Tabari quotes from the scholars of the fourth (Islamic) century also quotes this hadith—with an even longer narration—in the book Dalaa'il al-Imamah.7
Apparently, the people who said that Mushaf Fatimah is about factual and ethical matters and etiquette had seen this hadith. As we will point out, Mushaf Fatimah does not contain ethical matters. Therefore, there is no basis for this belief.
'Allamah Sayyid Muhsin Amin considered this book to be Mushaf Fatimah,9 however it must be said that there are narrations—to be noted later—that say that the Mushaf of this noble Lady did not contain matters of the permissible and forbidden. If such jurisprudential rulings were noted, there are other hadith by Lady Fatimah(a.s) quoting her eminent father, the prophet of Islam(s.a.w) that say otherwise.10
1. Musawwi, S, Al-Muraaji’aat, p. 521, Iran; Daar al-Kitaab al-Islaami, no date given.
2. Ma’rufulhasani, H, Seerat al-A’immah al-Ithna ‘Ashari, pp. 96-97. Beirut, Daar al-Ta’aaruf.
3. Khomeini, R. Vasiyat nameh siyasi-elahi Emam Khomeini, p. 3, Tehran (no date or publisher given).
4. Ameen, M. “A’ayaan al-Shi’ah, v.1, pp.313-314. Beirut, Al-Ansaaf publications.
5. Kharaa’ati, Makaarim al-aklaaq wa ma’aaliha, p. 43. Maktabah al-Islaam al-‘aalamiyyah, Cairo (no date).
6. Bahrani-Isfahaani, ‘Awalim al-‘ulum, v.11, p.533. Tahqiq mu’assasseh Imam Mahdi, Qom (no date).
7. Tabari, M. Dalaa’il al-Imamah, p.5. A’alami, Beirut (no date).
8. Kulayni, M. Furu’ al-kaafi, v.3, p.705, hadith #2. Daar al-Adhwa’, Beirut (no date).
9. Amin, M. A’ayun al-shi’ah, v.1, p.314-315 (no publisher or date).
10. No author, Sirah al-a’immah al-ithnah ‘ashar, v.1, pp.96-97 (no publisher or date).
11. Karrajaki, A. Al-istinsaar fi al-nafs ‘ala al-a’immah al-athaar, p.13. Daar al-Adhwa’ publications, Qom (no date).
12. The narrator states that there were 12 Imams, and says that there are 3 Imams named Mohammad, 3 named ‘Ali. That makes six. There was another ‘Ali, Imam ‘Ali(a.s), but the narrator was speaking of the Imams amongst the children of Lady Fatimah(a.s), so, he didn’t count Imam ‘Ali(a.s) as it was self-evident to him as he lived as a contemporary of Imam ‘Ali(a.s). That makes 7 Imams, and 5 unaccounted for. There were 2 Hasans: Hasan ibn Ali(a.s) (the 2nd Imam) and Hasan ibn Ali al-‘Askari(a.s) (the 11th Imam), 1 Ja’far: Ja’far ibn Mohammad al-Sadiq(a.s) (the 6th Imam), and 1 Musa: Musa ibn Ja’far al-Kadhim(a.s) (the 7th Imam).
13. Kulayni, M. Usul al-Kaafi, v.1, p.533.
14. Sadduq, M. ‘Uyun akhaar al-ridha, v.1, p.47, hadith #7. Reza Mashhadi Publications, Qom, 1363/1984.
15. Kulayni, M. Usul al-Kaafi, v.1, p.527, hadith #4, Sadduq M, Kaamal al-Din wa Tamaam al-Ni’mah, v.1, p.303, Nashr-e Islaami Foundation, Qom (no date).
16. Sadduq, M. Kaamal al-Din wa Tamaam al-Ni’mah, v.1, p.311, Nashr-e Islaami Foundation, Qom.
17. Mufid, M. Kitaab al-‘Irshaad, p.262, Basirati Publication, Qom (no date); also in, Sadduq, M. Kaamal al-Din wa Tamaam al-Ni’mah, v.1, p.312, Nashr-e Islaami Foundation, Qom (no date), and in, Majlisi, M. Bihaar al-Anwaar, v.36, p.201.
18. Tusi M. Tahdhib al-Ahkaam, v.9, p.144, hadith #50. Daar al-Adhwa’, Beirut.
19. The seven orchards refer to the area around Fadak which was a war spoil after the conquest of Khaybar. It belonged to the Prophet(s.a.w) Mohammad and he bequeathed it to Lady Fatimah(a.s). The Caliphs who took power after the Prophet’s demise stated that Prophets only bequeath knowledge, not property, thus they usurped it from that noble Lady(a.s).
20. Majlisi, M. Bihaar al-Anwaar, v.103, p.135-136, hadith #14.
1st: Examining the (credibility and lives of the) men mentioned in the chain of narrators of a hadith.1 If the men are considered to be reliable (i.e. pious and honest at the time of the narration) then the hadith is reliable.
2nd: There are indications other than the chain of narration that sometimes, even though there are multiple chains of narration; the occasion arises that all the narrators possess the necessary qualifications (of piety), but a single narrator in the chain didn't apply that hadith in theory or practice. The scholars consider such a hadith to be weak, otherwise, they wouldn't have disregarded it. Likewise, there are hadith which are not altogether sound, but there are indications that reliable scholars accepted and applied the subject, thus it is considered to be a credible hadith. In such a situation, the narration is considered authentic (???) but not well-documented (???).
3rd: Believability and lack of discrepancy between the legislative, doctrinal and historical hadith. Regarding the first type, that is to say, jurisprudential hadith, it is sufficient for the hadith to have a sound chain of narrators. However, regarding the other two, the acceptance of and consensus of opinion between scholars is sufficient (to prove a hadith's reliability).
If you substitute the latter method (believability and consensus of opinion) for the former (multiplicity of chains of narration), then in any case, the proof of credibility of a hadith is one's belief in its credibility without needing to examine who the narrators in the chain are.
We will answer these reproaches. For the time being, it suffices to quote 'Allamah Muhsin Amin who said, “it is neither improbable nor is there room for doubt to believe that Jibra'il(a.s) would speak to Zahra(a.s) and that 'Ali(a.s) could hear it. It's recorded in a book by the name of Mushaf Fatimah. What's more, the reliable companions of the Imams(a.s) have narrated such a thing. To those who doubt this, or think it to be improbable, or who think it to be exaggerated or lacking impartiality, I say, 'Do you doubt the power of Allah the most high? Is Zahra(a.s)2, who is of the very essence of the Prophet(s.a.w) not worthy of this grace? Do you doubt the soundness of a narration despite the fact that they were uttered from the very Imams of guidance who were the issue of this noble lady and are totally reliable? Given the fact that this same honor was bestowed on Aasif bin Barkhiyaa and also Sulaymaan(a.s), and they certainly not more dear to Allah than the family of Mohammad(a.s)!3
The reliability of the hadith concerning the Mushaf Fatimah can also be demonstrated by the first method. For example, Kulayni in Al-Kafi considered the hadith and narrations about this book to be acceptable (????).4 In one of these hadiths, Imam al-Sadiq(a.s) says, “Fatimah(a.s) lasted 75 days after the departure of the Prophet of Allah(s.a.w). Because of her father's (death), she suffered a profound sadness. Jibra'il(a.s) alighted to her in order to abate her grieving and to give her something pleasing. He informed her about her father's (state in heaven) and his (exalted) rank and told her what would happen to her descendents. 'Ali(a.s) recorded all this (information), and this is Mushaf Fatimah.5
1. This referred to as ‘Ilm al-Rijaal, the science of the narrators of hadith. It is a field of study on to its own in which the lives and beliefs of the narrators of hadith are studied.
2. Zahra (the radiant one) is one of the titles of Lady Fatimah(a.s).
3. Amin, H. A’ayaan al-Shi’a, p.314. NB: The author’s son has removed this quote from the recent edition of the book.
4. Kulayni, M. Usul al-Kaafi, v.1, p.239, hadith #1; also in, Majlisi, M. Bihaar al-Anwaar, v.26, p.39, hadith #70; also in, Rijaal Najaashi, v.1, p.204-205; and in Rijaal Tusi, p.366.
5. Kulayni, M. Usul al-Kaafi, v.1, p.241, hadith #5; also in Majlisi, M. Bihaar al-Anwaar, v.26, p.41, hadith #72.
Furthermore, we said that this book does not contain a single verse from the Quran, and in this respect, it contains nothing of the exegesis of the Quran or any Quranic matters whatsoever. Meanwhile, the prior discussions alluded to the fact that this Mushaf was scribed or written via Lady Fatimah(a.s) and because of that it was called Mushaf Fatimah.1 It was a divine gift to her. Thus, who was the author or narrator of these words? If the content of this Mushaf is not the Quran, what can be found in it? What are the dimensions of the book? And ...
However, ibn Rustam al-Tabari in Dalaa'il al-A'immah relates a hadith saying that Mushaf Fatimah descended (from Heaven) bound, that no one dictated it; Imam 'Ali(a.s) became the one to scribe it.3
There are two points worth mentioning:
The meaning of “descended (from heaven)” doesn't mean that it literally came (down to earth) as a (bound) book, rather it's the content and message that descended (by the instrument of angels). There's nothing to say that Imam 'Ali(a.s) was not ready to write down the subject matter when the angels descended. However, this explanation is doubtful.
Perhaps the only way to resolve this matter is to not accept al-Tabari's narration. The chain of authorities is weak. Ja'far bin Mohammad bin Maalik Fazaari is included in the chain and Najashi (the great expert on chains of authority) considers him to be weak in reporting hadith and corrupt in his religious beliefs and narrations.4 Others have also rejected him.5
Angels: Others believe that it was the speech of an angel. There is a hadith by Imam al-Sadiq(a.s) which supports this possibility,
“Indeed Allah sent her an angel to console her in her grief and speak with her.”10
Gabriel:11 Imam al-Sadiq is quoted in Sahih Abu 'Ubaidah that it came from the arch-angel Gabriel: “Gabriel went to her to lighten her sorrow regarding her father and lift her spirits and inform here of her father and his position (in heaven) and inform her of what will become of her descendants.”12
Allah's Messenger: Imam Husein(a.s) says, “Mushaf Fatimah is with us but—and I swear by Allah—that there is nothing of the Quran in it. Allah's messenger ( رسول اﷲ ) dictated it and 'Ali wrote it.”13 So according to this hadith, the one who dictated it was sent by Allah. 'Allaamah Majlisi (the compiler of Bihar al-Anwaar) writes in commentary that the mean of “Allah's messenger” is Gabriel. There are many verses (of the Quran) which refer to the angels as being Allah's messengers.14
Whether we say that the utterance of this Mushaf is from Allah or Gabriel makes no difference because these sayings are from Allah through the agency of Gabriel.15 But, we can't be certain as to whether what is meant by “Allah's messenger” is the (human) Messenger of Islam (or Islam's messenger, i.e the one who brought Islam from the heavenly abode—Gabriel), because there are numerous narrations declaring that the utterances in the Mushaf were said after the demise of the Messenger of Allah (i.e. the Prophet Mohammad[s.a.w]) and in consolation of his eminence's (death) that it was said to and for Lady Fatimah (A).
It can be said that Lady Fatimah (A) had 2 Mushafs. One was a collection of her father's sayings, the other from Gabriel. Or, it is possible to say that Mushaf Fatimah was but one book but had two sections—words of the Messenger of Allah(s.a.w) and the inspirations of Gabriel (to and for Fatimah[a.s]). In his most valuable book A'ayan al-Shi'ah, Seyyed Muhsin Amin is of the first opinion.16
What is more correct is that Lady Fatimah(a.s) had in her possession two other books, one on ethics and morals, the other legislative. So, we could say that Mushaf Fatimah was uttered the Allah's messenger (i.e. Gabriel) based on the narrations saying that Gabriel dictated it (to Fatimah, or, 'Ali) and that [Gabriel] didn't mention legislative commands.17 Thus, if Lady Fatimah (A) were to have in her possession a book on legislative matters, it is clear that the Messenger of Allah (i.e. Prophet Mohammad [S]) would have taught it to her (in which case she would have been preserving the legislative commands received by her father from Gabriel).
So, now that we know that Allah—by way of Gabriel—spoke these words to Lady Fatimah (A) and that Imam 'Ali (A) wrote them down, it comes to mind to ask why this Mushaf is associated with Lady Fatimah (A)? After all, she was neither its author nor its scribe!
In response, it must be said that it was intended for her as a consolation and because of her it was descended from heaven. It is in this sense that it bears her name as Mushaf Fatimah. This can be seen in the way that the Torah is attributed to Moses (A), the Gospel to Jesus (A) or the Psalms to David (A). In the same sense, in the Quran it says, “Most surely this (message) is in the earlier scriptures, the scriptures of Ibrahim and Musa صُحُفِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمُوسَى).” ( 87:18-19)
Even though these scriptures came from Allah because they were revealed for a particular prophet, it bears his name.
“It is not the Quran.”18
“I do not posit that it is the Quran.”19
“Nothing of the Quran is in it.”20
“Nothing of the book of Allah is in it.”21
“It does not contain a single verse from the book of Allah.”22
“It doesn't contain a single word from the Quran.”23
“There is not a single word from your Quran in it.”24
In Bihaar al-Anwaar, 'Allamah Majlisi relates a narration in Khati's Jawaame' al-Fawaa'id from Abu Basir: “Imam al-Sadiq (A) read this ayah as so:
All this confirmation and repeated denial of the existence of any Quranic material in Mushaf Fatimah leads us to conclude that in the time of Imams Baqir(a.s) and Sadiq(a.s)28 “Mushaf” was widely used to mean “the Quran”. One wonders why the Imams still used “Mushaf” and not “book (كتاب) of Fatimah”? If they had only called it “book” there wouldn't have been the need for all this clarification and reminder (of it's uniqueness separate from the Quran). In response it must be said that due to the fact that the Mushaf of that noble lady originated with Allah and was called “Mushaf Fatimah” and at that time “Mushaf” did not carry the connotation of “Quran”, it was still referred to by that name even in later times.
Even if we were to accept that the name “Mushaf” was chosen later—and at a time when the term was used for the Quran—it would have been to show the similarity in origin between the two books: they were both brought down by the Archangel Gabriel(a.s), although in content they differ.
Thus, with respect to clarifying the content of the white jafr, the Imam, at his command, says, “In the white jafr is there is this and that.
This hadith, along with the one from Imam al-Ridha(a.s), confirms that in enumerating the contents of the white jafr—in the manner that al-Sadiq(a.s) has—they (the Imams) considered Mushaf Fatimah to be something else altogether. Imam Ridha(a.s), enumerating the proofs (hajaat) of an Imam's Imamate, says, “And with him is the greater jafr (al-jafr al-akbar) and the lesser jafr (al-jafr al-asghar)…and he also possesses Mushaf Fatimah.34
This is the entire content of Mushaf Fatimah from the reliable hadith transmitted to us that we have laid our hands upon. However, there is one more hadith from Tabari in is Dalaa?il al-Imamah which details another matter contained in Mushaf Fatimah to which he refers. Unfortunately, the chain of this hadith is weak. In this sense we can't count it to be amongst the miscellaneous matters of the Mushaf. Abu Basir says,
I asked [Imam al-Baqir(a.s), the fourth Imam] about Mushaf Fatimah and he said, 'It was brought to her after the death of her father.' I said, 'Is there anything from the Quran in it?' 'There is nothing in the Quran in it,' he replied. 'Clarify the matter for me.' 'Its front and back covers are made of ruby (zabarjad sorkh).' 'May I be your sacrifice! What are its pages made of?' 'The pages are of white pearl.' 'May I be your ransom, what is in it?' 'News of what happened and what will happen until the Day of Judgment. News of celestial occurrences, the number of angels in the heavenly abode, the number of all Allah?s creatures—messengers and non-messengers—their names and the names of all the people of their respective nations to whom they were sent, the names of those who gave lie to their message and those who answered to the call (to righteousness), the names of all Allah?s creatures—believers and non-believers—the names of all towns and the particulars of each town in the East and West, the number of believers and non-believers in each town, the particulars of those who belied religion, and of the particulars of men and their tales from the first centuries, the debaucherous rulers and the duration of their rule, the names and details of each Imam and the period of their Imamate…
In the Mushaf is the name of everyone Allah created and the time of their death, the number and details of those bound for heaven, the number of people going to hellfire; also in the Mushaf is knowledge of the Quran—whatever was brought down in it, and of the Torah—whatever was brought down in it, and knowledge of the gospel of Jesus(a.s)40—whatever was brought down in it, and knowledge of the Psalms, the number of trees and their movements in every town…It was the second 1/3 of the nit, on a Friday evening when Allah sent Gabriel(a.s), Mika?il(a.s), and Israfil(a.s) to [Lady Fatima(a.s)] to revealed Mushaf to her. She was in the middle of (superogatory) prayer. The angels stood (watching and waiting for her prayer to end) until se sat down. Once she ad completed her prayer and had left that state (of deep concentration), they gave her salutations.
They said, 'Salaam. Allah also sends His salaams.' Then they set the book down in her room. She said, 'Salaam to Allah, peace is from Him and is due unto Him. And peace be unto you, oh angels of Allah!' Subsequently the angels alighted to the heavens, and lady Zahra (i.e. Fatima) read the Mushaf after morning prayer until she reached the end of it. It was obligatory for Lady Zahra to have knowledge of all the creature of Allah, of the jinn and men, of bird and beast, of prophets and angels.' 'May I be your ransom! After Lady Zahra, to whose ands did the Mushaf pass?' 'She gave it to the Command of the Faithful (i.e. Imam Ali(a.s)). After him, (it was given) to Hasan(a.s) then Husein(a.s), and after that to those worthy of it (i.e. the other Imams, offspring of Imam Husein(a.s) and Bibi Shahr Banu) so that they may give it to the Master of the affair (Imam Mahdi(a.s), the 12th and final Imam and savior of humanity).' 'There is so much knowledge in the Mushaf!' 'Oh Abu Mohammad, what I have told you is contained in the first 2 pages. I have not told you anything of the rest!'
Of what we have reproduced here is of the hadith with a weak chain of narration and is not well documented.
Imam al-Sadiq(a.s) says, The Mushaf, of what is in it, is like the Quran, only 3 times larger.41
It's possible that the Imam wasn't comparing the physical size of the book in the same way that sometimes numbers are used to refer to magnitude and multiplicity, as in the verse,
Even if you seek forgiveness 70 times Allah will not forgive them; this is because they disbelieve in Allah and His apostle, and Allah does not guide the transgressing people.(9:80)
Obviously, the point of this verse is that the hypocrites would never be forgiven; the point is not that if the prophet were to seek forgiveness for them more than 70 times (that they would be forgiven). No matter how many times they were to seek forgiveness (while in a state of hypocrisy) they would not be forgiven (In other words, the number seventy is allusion to an innumerable repetition and not a literal numeric.)
1. For example, the famous du’a named “Kumayl” recited every Thursday was not authored by Kumayl ibn Ziyad, but taught to him, by Imam ‘Ali (a.s). It is called the du’a of Kumayl because it was gifted to him due to his devotion to the Ahl al-Bayt. In truth, its authorship is attributed to hadhrat Khidr (a.s), and was taught to Imam ‘Ali(a.s) by the prophet Mohammad (s.a.w). So, it’s not a leap of understanding to say that what is called “Mushaf Fatimah” was named after Lady Fatimah (a.s) as the person to whom it was gifted, and not as an attribution of authorship.
2. Kulayni, M. Usul al-Kaafi, v.1, p.240, hadith #2; also in Majlisi, M. Bihaar al-Anwaar, v.26, p.44, hadith #77.
3. Al-Tabari, Dalaa’il al-A’immah, p. 30, Aa’lami publications, Beirut, 1403 AH/1983 AD, and, Sheikholislami SH, Musnad Fatimat al-Zahra, p. 199, Daar al-Qur’aan al-Karim publications, Qom, 1412 AH/1992.
4. Najashi, Rijaal Najashi, v.1, p.302.
5. Khu’i, Ma’jam rijaal al-hadith, v.4, p.117.
6. When it is says that Allah says something, it is not by agency of tongue, or by words or even tones. Allah does not have or need physicality to communicate. The words used to describe Allah’s communication with humans are a metaphor due to our limitations of understanding. Imam Musa al-Kadhim(a.s) says, “[Allah] has neither body nor any sort of limitation. Each and every thing, except Allah, is a thing created by Allah. He creates things as He wills and desires, without any word or planning in the mind or without any utterance by the tongue (because he has not tongue).” Al-Kafi, v.1, p.106, hadith #289.
7. Majlis MB, Bihar al-Anwaar, v.36, p.39, hadith #70.
8. The author goes into a discussion of ‘Arabic grammar which is omitted by the translator as it is not germane to the discussion for English readers.
9. The reader should not be surprised to read that Lady Fatimah(a.s) received inspiration. Inspiration means being spoken to by angels. Al-Ahwal narrates, “I asked [Imam al-Kadhim] about messengers, prophets, and those who are spoken to (muhaddath). He said, ‘A messenger (rasul) is one before whom the angel Gabriel comes; [the messenger] sees him and [Gabriel] speaks with him; such is a messenger. A prophet (nabi) is one who sees in his dreams as with the dreams of prophet Abraham (A)…One who is muhaddath is one who is spoken to and who hears but he does not see [the angel Gabriel] with the eyes or in his dreams.” Al-Kafi, v.2, hadith #441. Besides the mother of prophet Moses(a.s), prophet Abaraham’s(a.s) wife also heard the angels speaking when the came to her husband 11:69-73 as was Maryam(a.s), mother of Jesus(a.s) (19:17-19). The Imams(a.s) were also muhaddath, as were others, such as Salman al-Farsi. Some traditions relate that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab was also muhaddath. Refer to chapter 5, Angelic discourse with those who are not prophets, for a full discussion.
10. Kulayni, M. Usul al-Kaafi, v.1, p.245, hadith #2.
11. Gabriel is an angel, but, as the arch-angel, sometimes he is referred to separately even when speaking of other angels. For example, if you say, “The president and the elected officials of the state. . .” you don’t mean to imply that the president is not elected but other are. They are all elected officials, but the president’s singular role deserves separate mention. Some people feel that the “ruh” or “ruh al-Quddus” (holy spirit) mentioned in the Quran is really the angel Gabriel as in “The angels and the spirit descend in [this night] by the per