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Mourning of Fatimiyya in Mashhad 2014

Fāṭimīyya (Arabic:الفاطمية) is an adjectival term, referring to the anniversary of Lady Fatima al-Zahra's martyrdom, during which Shi'a community holds mourning sessions and rituals.

According to different historical reports within Shi'a traditions, several different dates have been recorded for this incident. Among Iraqi Shi'as, especially in Najaf, three different days, and in Iran two days of the year, are held as the anniversary of her martyrdom. Out of different historical accounts, third of Jumada II is regarded as more reliable; hence it is an official holy day in Iran, as an occasion for mourning and lamentation.

Variance of Historical Reports

Shi'a marja's in mourning procession of Fatimiyya

The exact date of Lady Fatima al-Zahra's martyrdom remains uncertain due to different historical reports and narrations from the Ahl al-Bayt (a). There are different and incompatible records of that date, such as forty days after the demise of the Prophet (s), seventy-two or seventy-five days after it, ninety-five days, three or six months after the demise.[1]

Iraqi Shi'as hold ceremonies in three of these reports: forty days after the demise of the Prophet (s) (Rabi' II 8), seventy-five days after it (Jumada I 13), and ninety-five days (Jumada II 3). Iranian Shi'a, however, hold ceremonies in two last ones, that are called "the first Fatimiyya" and "the second Fatimiyya," respectively.

According to what Abu Basir has narrated from Imam al-Sadiq (a), Lady Fatima al-Zahra (a) was martyred on Tuesday, third of Jumada II.[2] This occasion has been revitalized after the establishment of the Islamic Seminary in Qom by Shaykh 'Abd al-Karim Ha'iri.[3]

As a Holiday in Iran

Since 2000, Jumada II 3 (the second Fatimiyya) has been declared as a national holiday in Iran. After this decision, the mourning ceremonies expanded in Iran. Some Shi'a marja's attend ritual mourning procession, walking toward the Holy Shrine of Imam al-Rida (a) in Mashhad, and the Holy Shrine of Lady Fatima al-Ma'suma (a) in Qom.[4]

Time of Mourning

There is no specific period of time in Shi'a tradition for mourning and the popular titles of the "first 10-days" or the "second 10-days" of Fatimiyya in recent years has followed the tradition of the "first 10-days of Muharram" and no hadith or tradition is recommending it. The great position of the Prophet's (s) daughter, her martyrdom defending Imam Ali (a) and her hardships are the reasons behind this tradition among Shi'a.[5]

The time of these two 10-day periods is different in different cities but, usually according to the 75-day report, the second 10-days of Jumada I (from 10th to 20th of Jumada I) is called the "first 10-days" and based on the 95-day report, the first 10-days of Jumada II (from 10th to 20th of Jumada II) is called the "second 10-days" of Fatimiyya.[6] Some grand Shi'a authorities have advised that in both 10-day Fatimiyya, three days should be dedicated to mourning ceremonies; so that mourning ceremonies should be held on 13th, 14th, and 15th of Jumada I in the first Fatimiyya time and 1st, 2nd and 3rd of Jumada II in the second Fatimiyya period.[7]

Making the Model of the House of Lady Fatima (s)

In recent years, during the days of Fatimiyya, some models of Banu Hashim neighborhood, the house of Lady Fatima (s), Bayt al-Ahzan, Baqi' cemetery, Ghadir Khumm, etc. are built for public exhibition in some cities of Iran, especially in Qom and Tehran.[8]

Fatimiyya in other Countries

Mourning of Fatimiyya in Lahore, Pakistan, 2005.

In other countries including Iraq, Pakistan,[9] Azerbaijan, Tajikistan[10] and Australia,[11] mourning ceremonies are held in Fatimiyya time. In Europe, centers such as the Islamic Center of Hamburg,[12] Islamic Center of England and Imam Ali (a) Islamic Center in Stockholm hold mourning ceremonies in these times. Fatimiyya ceremonies are held for 3 to 5 nights.[13]

See Also