Heartiest congratulations to you all on a very blessed day. Today is the 20th of the month of Jamadi as-Sani, the day when the Noblest Ever Lady graced Planet Earth. To be more precise, it is the birth anniversary of the Most Virtuous Daughter, the Most Ideal Wife, the Most Exemplary Mother, and the Most Perfect Model Par-Excellence for all women to mould their life upon. Following is a special feature on Hazrat Fatem az-Zahra (Peace be upon her) the Immaculate Daughter of the Almighty’s Last and Greatest Messenger, Prophet Mohammad (Blessings of God upon him and his progeny). No wonder, this day is celebrated every year in the Islamic Republic of Iran as “Mother’s Day” and “Women’s Week”. First we recite to you what the Almighty says in the opening ayah of Surah al-Kowthar of the holy Qur’an:
“Indeed We have granted you Kowthar;”
As is clear from the wordings of the revelation of God to His Last Prophet, the tidings are being given of the granting of “Kowthar” to him, which means the fountain or source of perpetually abundant munificence. It is true that God has granted Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny), the heavenly spring of Kowthar to quench the thirst of the believers on the Day of Resurrection, but as is evident by the 3rd ayah of this same surah, which is number 108th of the holy Qur’an, God tells the Prophet:
“Indeed it is your enemy who is without posterity.”
By reflecting on the wording of this ayah, where God says that the enemies of the Prophet will be without posterity, we understand that Kowthar refers to the Prime Source of the pure and pristine everlasting progeny of the Prophet, whose existence ensures the survival of the world. In other words, the message of the Almighty to all people till the end of the world is crystal clear. It means that while the ignorant take pride in the birth of sons and frown upon daughters, the Prophet’s progeny is ensured eternal glory through his only surviving child, that is, the Impeccable Daughter, Hazrat Fatema Zahra (peace upon her). To be more precise, the peerless Fatema (SA) through her blessed marriage to the equally matchless Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), is the firm link between Prophethood and Imamate. In turn, she is not just the mother of two spotlessly pure sons, Imam Hasan and Imam Husain (peace upon them), but through her younger son, she is the ancestress of Nine Infallible Imams, the Last of whom is her father’s 12th Divinely-Decreed Heir, the Lord of our Age, who will reappear in the end times as Mahdi al-Qa’em to establish the global government of peace, prosperity and justice by ridding Planet Earth of all vestiges of oppression and corruption. Now we understand the meaning of Kowthar.
Hazrat Fatema az-Zahra (SA), was not an ordinary lady, nor was her birth an ordinary occurrence, and neither was her mother an ordinary woman. As a matter of fact, her mother Hazrat Khadija (peace upon her), who was a monotheistic lady in the days before the advent of Islam, was famous for her chastity and thus known as “Tahera”. For over 25 long years, Khadija and the Prophet lived a blissful life, and as long as the First Lady of Islam was alive, the Prophet never took another spouse. This is indicative of the arrangements Divine Providence had made for the birth of Hazrat Fatema (SA), who was born five years after the Prophet had publicly proclaimed his universal mission. She was conceived of the Fruit of Paradise that God gave the Prophet to eat during his Me'raj or ascension to the highest points in the ethereal heavens and back again to Planet Earth in the part of a single night. No wonder, we read in the special salutation or Ziyarat for her, the phrase “Tuffah-at-al-Firdows, that is, the Apple of Paradise. It is thus clear that the Me'raj was a physical journey transcending time and space, and certainly not a dream or spiritual ecstasy experienced by the Prophet, as the weak of faith conjecture. Unfortunately, there are some sceptics who also try to cast doubts on the reference to Hazrat Fatema (SA) in the opening Ayah of the above-mentioned Surah of the holy Qur'an, and instead like to restrict Kowthar to the spring in afterlife from which the faithful will quench their thirst. This again shows the fickleness of faith of such persons, if not outright hypocrisy or disbelief. In view of wordings of the last Ayah of Surah al-Kowthar, the reference is clearly to the birth of the propitious daughter and continuation of abundance of progeny to keep alive forever the lineal descent of Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny). As is clear from our explanation of the 3rd ayah of Surah al-Kowthar, persons like Aas bin Wa'el who prided on male issue and mocked at God's Messenger for absence of any son – since they had died in infancy – would be long cut off from any issue.
In the case of those who have no proper cognizance of the Infinite Wisdom of the Almighty Creator, let alone acquaintance with the letter and spirit of the dynamism of Islam, the main reason of sadness at the birth of a daughter (especially when there is no son), is the horrifying thought of the end of lineage – for it is males who are considered the means of continuation of posterity. Thanks to Islam, all such notions regarding daughters were changed for good. For the first time in history, women found themselves placed on the pedestal of dignity and honour, since the laws of God neither allow the abuse and commercialization of women as objects of carnal desire, nor do they impose excessive burden on the parents regarding dowry. At the same time, women have the right to education, own property, and chose the spouse. The Hijab grants women freedom and liberty in the real sense of these terms, and with it dignity and respect in society that gives meaning to life. As the other half of the mankind, it is the woman who, in addition to providing peace and solace to the husband, plays the fundamental role in building a sound and healthy society by bringing up children in the proper manner, on the basis of faith and moral values – factors that rule out immorality and with it any agonizing thoughts for parents. That is the reason Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) told one of the neo Muslim Arabs who frowned on receiving news of the birth of a daughter to him: “The earth bears her, the heavens shade her and the Almighty gives her food. For you, she is like a flower, smell her fragrance”.
In order to remove misconceptions from the society, on another occasion, he said: "Twelve graces descend over the person’s house where there are daughters. Heavenly blessings are showered on that house and angels visit that house for a glimpse”.
Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny) was not a mere preacher but a practical demonstrator of whatever the All-Wise Creator revealed to him for the good of mankind. He set the personal example and it is for this reason the holy Qur'an calls him the "Excellent Exemplar". He used to stand to his feet whenever his daughter, Hazrat Fatema (SA) entered his presence and would make her sit in his place. In view of these undeniable facts, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the faithful throughout the world, mark the 20th of Jamadi as-Sani as Mother's Day and Women's Week in honour of the lady, who is also the mother of such virtuously exemplary daughters, as Hazrat Zainab and Hazrat Omm Kulthoum (peace upon them) – both of whom played immortal roles in the history of humanity. This is indicative of the fact that the Almighty has blessed the Prophet with infinite favours, both in this transient world where he was sent to salvage mankind, and in the Hereafter where his intercession guarantees a drink of the limpid waters of Kowthar and entry into the blissful peace of Paradise. For this reason, the "Mercy unto to the creation", as God calls His Last and Greatest Prophet in the holy Qur’an, made clear at every step that the virtues of his daughter, the Lady of Paradise – as Muslims unanimously hail her – are not restricted to the Day of Resurrection. Since she is the pivotal figure of the blessed group called Ahl al-Bayt by God in the holy Qur'an, they cover all aspects of our life and faith, as is clear from ayah 33 of Surah Ahzaab where the Creator Himself vouches the pristine purity of Fatema, her father, her husband, her sons, and the rest of the Infallible Imams, with the words:
"Indeed, Allah desires to keep away uncleanness from you Ahl al-Bayt, and preserve you thoroughly purified."
Thus, it is only Fatema (Peace be upon her), who as the Perennial Kowthar cleanses the faithful of any worldly blemishes and keeps alive their faith for the eventual journey to the Spring of Kowthar and to Paradise. Here we present to you tribute in verse on the birthday of Hazrat Fatema Zahra (Peace be upon her), by Iran’s English language poet, Dr. Hassan Najafi:
Guardians of our souls turn an eye and survey
Trace the flight of life through all its way.
The Guardian of her husband’s divine right
Her sons courted martyrdom to make Islam bright
What is that she knows?
Her father, the Prophet at her threshold bows,
The Sun can’t be seen by ordinary eye,
See her through the Qur’an, the revelation from sky
Kowthar or the Fountain of Perpetually-Abundant Munificence
Zahra and her progeny shine till this day in full brilliance
She is Great – greatness is short – yet Great
The fragrance of paradise her virtue does emanate.
In her devotion cloudless our faith’s sky
Even in our grave the moon hangs its lamp high.
In these modern times let scientists explore.
To discover through Zahra, Kowthar’s heavenly shore,
So Godly your temper – and celestial your domain,
The Noblest Lady of all times, none could profane.
Your birthday celebrated as Mother’s Day,
Your Immaculate Offspring show Islam’s unwavering way
No better paragon of feminine virtues than Fatema the Gracious,
Your Tasbih –that is, Rosary – manifests the Majesty of God the Glorious
O Lady I seek your intercession on Judgement Day,
Brighten my grave, forgive my faults; leave me not astray.