Tomorrow is Women’s Day. It is the day when (the birth of) a woman is commemorated of whom the world is proud. It is the day commemorating a woman whose daughter stood against tyrannical governments, who recited that sermon and uttered those words, of which you are all aware. (1)
16 May 1979 (26 Urdibihisht 1358 AHS)
If a day is to be designated ‘Women’s Day’, what day is more deserving, is prouder, than the day commemorating the joyous birth of Fatima Zahra, upon whom be peace, a woman who is the pride of the family of divine revelation, and who, like a sun, shines brightly in the crown of beloved Islam. (2)
5 May 1980 (15 Urdibihisht 1359 AHS)
It is a great day, on which a woman came into the world who compared with all men. A woman came into the world who was an exemplar for mankind. A woman came into the world in whom all traits of a (true) human being were manifest. So today is a great day. It is the day of you women. (3)
17 May 1980 (7 Urdibihisht 1359 AHS)
I convey my best wishes and felicitations to the noble nation of Iran, in particular the respected women, on the immensely happy occasion of the birthday of Fatima Zahra, the most felicitous day to commemorate Women’s Day.
This joyous birthday occurred in a place and time when women were not considered to be human beings and their very existence was seen as a source of shame for families among the different tribes of the pre-Islamic times. In such a corrupt and barbaric environment, the great Prophet of Islam took woman’s hand and delivered her from the slough of pagan customs. The history of Islam testifies to the limitless respect the Messenger of God, peace and blessings be upon him and his descendants, showed this noble infant, so as to demonstrate that woman has a special greatness in society, and if she is not superior to man, she is certainly no less than him. So this day is the day of woman’s revivification, and the day to establish her honour and the great role she plays in society. (4)
24 April 1981 (4 Urdibihisht 1360 AHS)
Felicitations to the mighty nation of Iran, in particular its great women, on this blessed day of the woman, this illustrious day commemorating a lustrous being who lays the foundations on which mankind’s virtues and the exalted values of God’s representative in this world are built. And even more blessed and precious is the most felicitous selection of the 20th day of Jumada II (as Women’s Day), the proud day of the birth of a woman who is one of history’s miracles and who is a source of pride for the world of creation. (5)
14 April 1982 (25 Farvardin 1361 AHS)
I congratulate all you ladies and women in all Islamic countries on this joyous holiday marking the glorious birth of Hazrat Fatima Zahra, upon whom be peace. I ask God, the Blessed and Exalted, to guide all the respected women along the path that He has laid down, so that they can achieve lofty Islamic goals. It is a source of great pride for the women that they have designated Hazrat Fatima’s birthday as Women’s Day; it is a source of pride and responsibility. (6)
2 March 1986 (11 Isfand 1364 AHS)
In fact, according to the traditions that have been handed down to us, the Most Noble Messenger (peace be upon him and his descendants) and the Imams (upon whom be peace) existed before the creation of the world in the form of lights2 situated beneath the divine throne; they were superior to other men even in the sperm from which they grew and in their physical composition. Their exalted station is limited only by the divine will, as indicated by the saying of Gabriel recorded in the traditions on the mi‘raj:3 “Were I to draw closer by as much as the breadth of a finger, surely I would burn.”4
The Prophet himself said: “We have states with God that are beyond the reach of the cherubim and the prophets.”5 It is part of our belief that the Imams (upon whom be peace) too enjoy similar states, before the question of government even arises. For example, according to the traditions, Hazrat Fatima Zahra, upon whom be peace, also possessed these states, even though she was not a ruler, a judge or a governor. These states are quite distinct from the function of government. So when we say that Hazrat Fatima Zahra, upon whom be peace, was neither a judge nor a ruler, this does not mean that she was like you and me, or that she has no spiritual superiority over us.
Islamic Government, pp. 64-65.
What proves our suggested possibility concerning the truth of the ‘Night of Power’ (or Decree) Lailat al-qadr6 is the lengthy noble hadith,7 which appears in the exegesis of al-Burhan (Tafsir al-Burhan) and is quoted from the book al-Kafi, 8 in which it is said that when a Christian asked Imam Musa ibn Ja‘far9 about the hidden meaning of the Qur’anic verse: “Ha Mim. By the book that makes things clear. We sent it down during a blessed night, for We ever wish to warn against evil. In that night is made distinct every affair of wisdom,” (Qur’an 44:1-4),10 he replied, “As to the meaning of Ha Mim, it is Muhammad, peace be upon him and his descendants. The ‘book that makes things clear’ is Amir al-Muminin ‘Ali, upon whom be peace, and the ‘night’ is Fatima, upon whom be peace.”11
Adab al-Salat, p. 329
Amongst the supererogatory prayers to be performed after the prescribed prayer (salat) are the tasbihat12 of Fatima Zahra, upon whom be peace, which the Messenger of God, peace be upon him and his descendants, taught her and which are the most preferred of such prayers.13 It is in the hadith that had there been anything better, the Messenger of God, peace be upon him and his descendants, would have presented Fatima, upon whom be peace, with it.
Adab al-Salat, p. 377
1. The word Hazrat is used as a respectful form of address.
2. Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 25, pp. 1-103.
3. The archangel Gabriel accompanied the Most Noble Messenger on his mi‘raj (ascension to the Divine Presence), but being of lowlier station than the Messenger, he was unable to endure the splendour of the Divine Presence.
4. Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 18, p. 382, ‘History of the Prophet’, Chapter ‘Proof of the Ascension’, Narrative 85.
5. Al Arba‘in, Allama Majlisi, p. 177, description of tradition 15.
6. Lailat al-Qadr: The Night of Power (or Decree), has a very special significance in the Muslim calendar because it is the anniversary of that night when the Qur’an was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. This night has been described as ‘better than a thousand months’, and tradition holds that requests made to God during Lailat al-Qadr will be granted.
7. This Arabic word has a large number of meanings including ‘speech’, ‘report’ and ‘narrative’. It also has the very important specialist sense of ‘tradition’, i.e. a record of the sayings and doings of the Prophet Muhammad and his descendants, and as such is regarded by Muslims as a source of Islamic law, dogma and ritual second only in importance to the Qur’an itself.
8. Al-Kafi: one of the most important collections of Shi`ite hadith compiled by Shaykh `Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn-i Yaqub ibn Ishaq Kulayni (d. 941 AD). Al-Kafi includes 16,199 traditions that can be traced back to the Prophet and his family by an unbroken chain of transmission. The traditions in this book cover ideological, ethical and jurisprudential matters to name but a few. Kulayni lived relatively close in time to the period of the Prophet and the twelve Imams, this, along with the method of gathering, classifying and specifying the chain of transmission, has given al-Kafi a special importance amongst the collections of traditions and puts it alongside three other books as the most important collections of Shi`ite traditions collectively famous as the Kutub al-Arba'a (The Four Books). Al-Kafi is divided into three sections: Usul al-Kafi; Furu' al-Kafi and Rauda al-Kafi. Usul al-Kafi covers ideological and ethical matters and consists of the books of: Reason and Ignorance; the Excellence of Knowledge; Divine Unity; Divine Proof; Belief; Unbelief; Qur'an and Supplicatory Prayer. Furu' al-Kafi, on the other hand, consists of books and sections on jurisprudence and is one of the authoritative reference books for deduction and independent reasoning (ijtihad) from Islamic law for the Shi`ite jurisprudents. Rauda al-Kafi comprises different traditions on numerous matters. This book, also known as Sharif al-Kafi, has for centuries been used by the Shi`ite ‘ulama and jurisprudents as a reference book. Muslim scholars have written extensive expositions on al-Kafi, amongst them Mullah Sadra Shirazi and Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi.
9. - Imam Abu ‘l-Hasan Musa, son of Ja‘far: seventh of the Twelve Imams, and generally known as Imam Musa al-Kazim. He was born in Medina in 744 AD and died in prison in Baghdad in 799 AD.
10. - Tafsir al-Burhan, Vol. 4, p. 158.
11. - Usul al-Kafi, Vol. 2, p. 326. Kitab al-Hujjat, section on the birth of the Prophet, peace be upon him and his descendants, Hadith 4.
12. - Tasbihat = words uttered in praise of God.
13. - Furu’ al-Kafi, Vol. 3, p. 343, Kitab al-Salat, the section on supererogatory prayers performed after the prescribed prayer, and supplications. Hadith 14.