The Companions of Ahlul-Bayt (as)

Some Point of Lady Fatima Masuma (AS) Life


Why did Lady Fatima Masuma (AS) not marry?

It is almost certain that Lady Fatima Masuma (AS) did not marry. The question arises “Why?” We know that marriage is a highly desirable and recommended act in Islam and in regards to marriage, some of the traditions of the Prophet [PBUH] are quoted below: There is no institution more honourable and beloved to Allah, than marriage.(1) Marriage is part of my Sunnah (practice) and whoever disregards my Sunnah is not from me.(2) It has been narrated that in the time of the 5th Imam, Imam al-Baqir (AS), a certain woman did not marry for the sake of honor, self discipline and gaining nearness to Allah. The Imam (AS) told her: “If the abandonment of marriage gave a person more honor, then Lady Fatima Zahra (AS) would not marry, for there is no woman purer and more honorable than her.(3)
Therefore, we can be sure that there must have been a good reason for Lady Fatima Masuma (AS) not marrying. Two possible reasons are cited below:

The first reason may be due to the fact that, the daughters of Imam al-Kadhim (AS), especially Lady Fatima Masuma (AS), were women of great distinction and to find husbands who would be compatible to them was not easy. Imam al-Kadhim (AS) had therefore recommended them to take the advice and opinion of Imam al-Rida (AS) in matters such as marriage, due to his own inaccessibility while he was imprisoned by Hārūn.(4)

The fact that there were no suitable spouses present for the daughters of the Ahlul-Bayt (AS), does not seem so far-fetched when we consider the tradition from Imam al-Sadiq (AS) in reference to Lady Fatima Zahra (AS): “If God had not created the Commander of the Faithful [Ali] for Fatima, then there would not have been a suitable husband for her in the whole world from the time of Adam to the end of mankind.”(5) The second reason is that the fear and anxiety caused by Hārūn’s government at that time was such that no-one dared to get close to the family of the Ahlul-Bayt (AS). To marry one of the daughters of Imam al-Kadhim (AS), and become his son in-law was considered too dangerous. This was one of the many sad difficulties that Imam’s (AS) family faced, due to the tyranny of the rulers of their time.(6) We cannot determine with certainty why Lady Fatima Masuma (AS) did not marry, however, we can be sure it was not due to the abandonment of marriage as a personal choice.


Lady Fatima Masuma (AS) as a narrator of traditions

One of the qualities of Lady Fatima Masuma (AS) was her considerable knowledge of the various Islamic sciences and the teachings and merits of the family of the Prophet [PBUH]. She is counted amongst the highest rank of reliable narrators of traditions. Unfortunately, due to the oppressive rulers at her time, there was great restriction in narrating anything from the Ahlul-Bayt (AS) and so a lot of material has been lost. Some of the traditions (ahādīth) which have been narrated by this noble lady, that have reached us, are given below, with their chain of transmission (sanad).


The tradition of Ghadīr and the tradition of Manzilat

The daughters of Imam al-Kadhim (AS), Fatima (Masuma), Zaynab and Umm Kulthūm have narrated to me:
Fatima daughter of Imam al-Sadiq (AS), narrated to us:
Fatima daughter of Imam al-Baqir (AS) narrated to me:
Fatima daughter of Imam al-Sajjad (AS) narrated to me:
Fatima and Sakinah, daughters of Imam Hussain (AS) narrated to me:
Umm Kulthūm daughter of Lady Fatima Zahra (AS) narrated to us, from her mother, the daughter of the Prophet [PBUH] that she said: “Have you forgotten the words of the Prophet of God on the day of Ghadīr Khum, when he said:  Whosever’s leader I am, then Ali is also their leader’, and his words, to Ali (AS) ‘Your relationship to me is like the relationship of Hārūn to Mūsā.’”(7)

2. With the same chain of narrators as above, Lady Fatima Masuma (AS) narrates from Lady Fatima Zahra (AS): “I heard from my father, the Prophet [PBUH], who said: ‘When I went to Mi`rāj (ascension to the Heavens), I entered Heaven, and there I saw a palace made of white pearls, the door of that palace was decorated with pearls and rubies, and on that door was hanging a curtain. I raised my head towards it and saw written on the door: “There is no God but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, Ali is the Guardian of the community.” I then looked at the curtain and on that was written: “Ah, ah! Who is like the Shi`a of Ali?”

I entered the palace, in it I saw a castle, made of red ‘Aqīq. It had a door of silver, decorated with green topaz and on that door was hanging a curtain. I raised up my head and saw written on that door: Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, Ali is the Successor of Mustafa.”(8)

3. Lady Fatima Masuma (AS), through a reliable chain, has narrated from Safīyah, the daughter of `Abd al-Muttalib, [the paternal aunt of the Prophet [PBUH]], who relates: “When Imam Hussain (AS) was born and I was attending to his mother, the Prophet [PBUH] said to me: Oh aunt ! Bring my child to me. I said: I have not yet washed him [to make him Tāhir (clean)]”. He said: “Oh aunt ! Do you want to wash him, when God the Most High has washed him and made him pure?”(9)

4. It is narrated that:

Fatima (Masuma) daughter of Imam al-Kadhim,
narrates from Fatima daughter of Imam al-Sadiq,
who narrates from Fatima daughter of Imam al-Baqir,
who narrates from Fatima daughter of Imam al-Sajjad,
who narrates from Fatima daughter of Imam Hussain,
who narrates from Zaynab daughter of Imam Ali,
who narrates from Lady Fatima Zahra daughter of the Prophet of God,
who has narrated that the Prophet [PBUH] has said: “Know that whoever dies having the love of the family of Muhammad, dies a martyr (shahīd).”(10) From the above traditions, narrated by Lady Fatima Masuma (AS) with a reliable chain of narrators, we see that not only the men folk of the family of the Prophet [PBUH] narrated traditions from the Prophet [PBUH], but also the women of this family had a role in narrating his traditions.





1. Shaykh Hurr al-‘Āmilī, Wasā’il al-Shī`ah, vol. 14, p. 3.

2. Wasā’il al-Shī`ah, vol. 14, pp. 7 & 8.

3. Wasā’il al-Shī`ah, vol. 14, pp. 117 & 118.

4. Usūl al-Kāfī, vol.1, p. 317. This matter is discussed in section 1.10.

5. Usūl al-Kāfī, vol. 1, p. 261.

6. Another reason that is sometimes given in answer to why Lady Fatima Masuma (AS) did not marry, is from a weak tradition, in which it is narrated that, Ma’mūn, (the 7th Abbasid caliph), wanted to marry Lady Fatima Masuma (AS) for his own political ends, and to avoid this catastrophe, she abandoned marriage altogether. Perhaps it is for this same reason that God did not allow Lady Fatima Masuma (AS) to reach Khurāsān, where her brother was, because Ma’mūn might have forced her to marry him.
(See Ghanjīne-ye Āthār-e Qum, vol. 1, p. 384).

7. `Allāmah Shaykh `Abd al-Husain Amīnī, Al-Ghadīr, vol. 1, p. 197. These traditions have also been reported by many Sunni scholars.

8. Bihār al-Anwār, vol. 68, pp. 76 & 77.

9. Al-Āmālī, p. 82.

10. Muhammad bin Ahmad Chishtī Dāghistānī, Al-Lu’lu’at al-Thamīnat fī al-Athār al-Mu`an`anat al-Marwīyah, p. 217; Ghanjīne-ye Dāneshmandān, vol. 1, pp. 16 & 17.


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