The Islamic community is greatly indebted to narrators of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH&HP) and his Ahl al-Bayt’s (PBUT) sayings (Ahadith). Were it not for these narrators’ determined efforts, Islamic teachings would not have reached us. The great Prophet of Islam (PBUH&HP) would encourage his companions to listen to and narrate the Ahadith: “May Allah enlighten the person who hears a Hadith from us, and preaches it” (2). Similarly, Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (PBUH) has said: “Learning a Hadith from a reliable person regarding permissible and forbidden matters is far worthier than the entire world with all its gold and silver.” (3)
Amongst the narrators of Hadith, we come across several virtuous women, whose names have been recorded as Muhaddithin; and the most prominent of them are the women from the family of the Prophet (PBUT).
Lady Ma’soomah (PBUH), a virtuous member of this family, has narrated a series of Ahadith backed by their chain of narrators, (4) from Lady Fatimah al-Zahra (PBUH). Due to her exalted character, both Shia and Sunni narrators have paid close attention to her narrations. The following is an example of one of her accounts:
Hafiz Shams al-Din Jazari (died 833 A.H.), a prominent Sunni scholar, has authored a valuable book entitled “Asna al-Matalib fi Manaqib Sayyidina Ali ibn Abi Talib (PBUT)”. In narrating the event of Ghadir, he mentions a Hadith by Lady Fatimah (PBUH), of which Lady Ma’soomah (PBUH) is in its chain of narrators. In this Hadith, Lady Fatimah (PBUH) has said: “Have you forgotten the speech of the Messenger of Allah on the day of Ghadir, in which he said: “Whosoever I am his/her Master (Mawla), Ali is his/her Master (Mawla),” and how he also said: “(O Ali)! You are to me as Aaron was to Moses.” (5)(6)
This exact form and chain of this Hadith from Lady Ma’soomah (PBUH), has also been narrated by other Sunni Muhaddithin, namely Amrtesri and Shawkani. As for the Shia references, scholars such as Mir Hamed Hussain and Allamah Amini have narrated this Hadith from the same source.
According to the above example, Lady Ma’soomah (PBUH) has been recognized as a Muhaddith in both Shia and Sunni sources.
We, Muslims, are honored to have received the Ahadith of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) and his Ahl al-Bayt (PBUT) through such virtuous people. And it is on our part to contribute in protecting and passing on these narrations.
(Selection taken from: “The Generous Lady of the Ahl al-Bayt (PBUT)”, by Ali Akbar Mahdipour, with some summarization and addition)
We offer our condolences to all Muslims, especially to you dear friend, upon the 10th of Rabi’ al-Thaani, demise of the generous lady of the Ahl al-Bayt (PBUT), Lady Fatimah Mas’oomah (PBUH).
1- Muhaddith is an Islamic title, referring to one who profoundly knows and narrates Ahadith, the chain of their narration (Sanad), and the original and well-known narrators.
2- Sunan Ibn Majah, vol. 1, p. 85- Al-Ghadir by Allamah Amini , vol. 8, p. 154
3- Wasa’il al-Shia, vol. 27, p. 98
4- The chain of narrators refer to the set of persons who have narrated a certain Hadith from one to another.
5- Asna al-Matalib, pp. 49 & 50
6- For more explanation on this subject and to know of more Sunni or Shia scholars who have narrated this Hadith, you can refer to the following article “The Event of Ghadir and its Importance”