Muṣḥaf of Fāṭima (a) (Arabic: مصحف فاطمة عليها السلام, lit. the Book of Fatimah) is the name of a book, the contents of which was revealed to Lady Fatima (a), and was written down by Imam Ali (a). The book contains the position of the Prophet (s) in paradise, and some of the future events. It was kept by Imams of the Shi'a, and would pass from one to another, and people did not have access to it. Today it is with Imam al-Mahdi (a). Some Sunnis have claimed that there is a second Qur'an among the Shi'a, called The Mushaf of Fatima (a), whereas Shi'a Imams have always insisted that this book differs from the Qur'an, and that Shi'a believes in the same Qur'an common among the Muslims.
Messenger and the Writer
It is reported that after the demise of the Prophet (s), an angel of God revealed some matters to the Lady Fatima (a). In some hadiths, the angel is called, "Rasul Allah" (the messenger of God), and in some others, "Gabriel". Al-'Allama al-Majlisi has reconciled these two groups of hadiths, saying that in the first group, Gabriel is meant by the messenger of God, and not the Prophet (s) himself. It is common in the Qur'an and Sunna to use the term "the messenger of God" for the angels and Gabriel.
Possibility of Revelation to Fatima (a)
The descent of a Divine angel and revelation to people other than prophets is possible, as some verses describe the descent of the angel to the Virgin Mary (a). Narrations also suggest that the descent of an angel to the Lady Fatima (a) resembles that of Mary (a).
It is narrated from Imam al-Sadiq (a) that the angels, after expressing her being chosen, her purity, and her superiority over all women, told her to pray to God and prostrate herself, and there, moreover, has been a conversation between Fatima (a) and the angels, such as, in response to her inquiry about the superiority of Mary (a), the angels presented Mary as the sovereign of the women in her time, and then said; "whereas God has made you the sovereign of all women in the world, from the beginning to the end."
According to narrations, the content of the Mushaf of Fatima (a) is not the Qur'an, and nor is it the Islamic Law, but rather some predictions of the future events. As stated in some hadiths, the Lady Fatima (a) was strongly grieved after the demise of the Prophet (s), and so Gabriel would come to her for consolation, and would report her of the position of her father in Paradise, and of what was going to happen to her descendants after her.
It could be concluded from all reports concerning this Mushaf, that such have been the content of the conversations between Jabra'il and the Lady Fatima (a):
- Offering condolences to the Lady Fatima (a),
- Reports of the Prophet (s) and his position in Paradise,
- Reports of the future events,
- Reports of the future rulers over the Islamic Umma, with their, and their father's names,
- Reports of the prophets, and of the believers and unbelievers of the past and future, and their tales.
Sign of Imamate
As reported by many hadiths, the Mushaf of Fatima (a) has been an inheritance of the Shi'a Imams, and they would deliver it to the following Imam by the end of their lives. In some narrations, the possession of the Mushaf is regarded as an indication of Imamate. It is, therefore, a collection of Divine reports, revealed to the Lady Fatima (a) by a Divine angel, and transcribed by Imam Ali (a), and after him was kept with the Shi'a Imams, and now is with the Twelfth Imam (a).
It is reported that a group of hadith transmitters were in the presence of Imam al-Sadiq (a), when one of them addressed the Imam and mentioned Abd Allah b. Hassan's claim about the imamate of Banu Hasan!" After a speech, Imam al-Sadiq (a) said, "I swear to Allah, (pointing to his chest with a hand) the secrets of prophethood, and the sword and armor of the Prophet (s) are with us, and with us is, I swear to Allah, the Mushaf of Fatima."
Sunnis' Doubts Regarding the Mushaf of Fatima
Some Sunnis have accused the Shi'a of having a second Qur'an as the Mushaf of Fatima. 'Allama 'Askari states: "Some Sunni writers accuse the supporters of the school of Ahl al-Bayt (a) and say that they have a second Qur'an called the Mushaf of Fatima, since the name of Fatima's book is Mushaf, and the Qur'an too, was called Mushaf in the early Islamic period."
Some Sunnis also have suggested that believing in such a book is in contradiction with the belief that the Prophet Muhammad (s) is the last prophet and the descent of revelation has ceased after his demise. A contemporary Wahhabi scholar, Dr. Nasir al-Qaffari, for instance, has argued that the Shi'a, believing in the descent of revelation to Ahl al-Bayt, "have actually claimed prophethood for their Imams… and such as the Mushaf of Fatima… ."
It could be concluded from some narrations that the first criticism has for long been known to the Sunnis, and they supposed that the Shi'a believe that some verses of the Qur'an are distorted and eliminated, and that they survived in the Mushaf of Fatima. The Imams have thus strongly denied the existence of any part of Qur'an in this book. It is narrated from Imam al-Sadiq (a):
- "By Allah, the Mushaf of Fatima is with us, and there is not a single verse of the Qur'an in it."
Also in another narration:
- "That (Mushaf of Fatima) is three times bigger than this book of yours (the Qur'an). By Allah, not a single word of your mushaf (the Qur'an) is in it."
In addition to the Imams, Shi'a scholars have unanimously announced that:
- "This book is believed by all the Shi'a to be different form the holy Qur'an, and is not regarded as a second Qur'an beside it."
In response to the second criticism, Shi'as believe that the revelation sent to the Imams (a) and Lady Fatima (a) is different and does not indicate that they are prophet. To distinguish between this kind of revelation with that one of the prophets, Shi'as use the term muhaddath (a man with whom angels talk) for Imams (a) and muhaddatha (a woman with whom angels talk) for Lady Fatima (a).
- Ṣaffār, Baṣā'ir al-darajāt, p. 152-154.
- Mahdawī Rad, Mushaf Fatima, p. 72.
- See: Quran 6:61, 10:21, 11:81, 19:19, 22:75, 29:31, 35:1
- Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 2, p. 365; Ṣadūq, ʿUyūn akhbār al-Riḍā, vol. 2, p. 244; Ibn Ṭāwūs, Fatḥ al-abwāb, p. 194.(as cited in Mahdawī Rād, Muṣḥaf-i Fāṭima, p. 73.)
- Mahdawī Rād, Muṣḥaf-i Fāṭima, pp. 72-73.
- Mahdawī Rād, Muṣḥaf-i Fāṭima, p. 73; See also: Ṣaffār, Baṣā'ir al-darajāt, pp. 153-155.
- See: Qur'an 3:43-45.
- See: Ṣadūq, ʿIlal al-sharāʾiʿ, vol. 1, p. 182.
- Ṣadūq, ʿIlal al-sharāʾiʿ, vol. 1, p. 182; (as cited in Sitāyish, Muḥaddithī būdan-i Fāṭima (a), p. 63).
- Ṣaffār, Baṣā'ir al-darajāt, pp. 156-157.
- Ṣaffār, Baṣā'ir al-darajāt, pp. 154-157; Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 1, pp. 186-187.
- Āqā Buzurg al-Tihrānī, ' 'al-Dharīʿa ilā taṣānīf al-Shīʿa, vol. 21, p. 126; Mahdawī Rād, Muṣḥaf-i Fāṭima, pp. 83-84.
- Ṣaffār, Baṣā'ir al-darajāt, p. 153; Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 26, p. 40.
- ʿAskarī, Maʿālim al-madrasatayn, vol. 2, p. 32.
- Kīyānī, Kudāmīn rāh?, p. 5.
- Mughnīya, al-Shīʿa fī al-Mīzān, p. 61.
- Kulaynī, al-Kāfī, vol. 1, p. 238.
- Mūsawī, al-Kawthar fī aḥwāl-i Fāṭima, vol. 4, p. 320.
- Faḍl Allāh, Fāṭimat al-Zahrā, (Ma'muri trans.) p. 163.
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