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Qatam bt. Shajna

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Qatam bt. Shajna
Full Name Qaṭām bt. Shajna b. 'Adī
Religious Affiliation Khawarij
Place of Residence Kufa
Known for Motivating Ibn Muljam to martyr Imam 'Ali (a)

Qaṭām bt. Shajna b. 'Adī (Arabic: قطام بنت شجنة بن عدی) was a woman from Kufa who played a role in motivating Ibn Muljam to martyr Imam 'Ali (a). Since her brother and father were killed in the Battle of Nahrawan, she conditioned her marriage with Ibn Muljam upon the murder of 'Ali (a). Qatam was famously very beautiful, and her condition for marriage motivated Ibn Muljam to murder Imam 'Ali (a). Some contemporary scholars take this story to be fictional.

Lineage

Qatam bt. Shajna b. 'Adi b. 'Amir b. 'Awf b. Tha'laba b. Sa'd b. Dhuhl b. Taym al-Rubab was a woman from Kufa.[1] There is a disagreement about the name of her father. Al-Baladhuri referred to her father as 'Alqama[2] in one case, and as Shajna[3] in another. Other sources have referred to her father as Akhdar[4].[5]. Thus, Shajna was Qatam's grandfather, and not her father.

Characteristics

Qatam was famously a very beautiful woman[6] such that when Ibn Muljam saw her, he forgot the reason why he had gone to Kufa.[7] According to al-Bal'ami, she was the most beautiful woman in Kufa at the time.[8] Al-Mas'udi and Abu l-Faraj al-Isfahani have referred to her as the most beautiful woman of her time.[9] According to some sources, Ibn Muljam was head over heels when he saw her.[10]

Hostility to Imam 'Ali (a)

Qatam's hostility to Imam 'Ali (a) was because she was one of Khawarij[11] who held that Imam 'Ali (a) was an unbeliever. Moreover, her father, Shajna b. 'Adi and her brother, Akhdar b. Shajna, were among the Khawarij who were killed in the Battle of Nahrawan.[12]

Meeting Ibn Muljam

Ibn Muljam, who had entered Kufa to kill Imam 'Ali (a), met Qatam and proposed for marriage. Qatam said that she would marry him only if he killed Imam 'Ali (a). On another account, Ibn Muljam married her and spent three nights with her.[13] According to other accounts, Ibn Muljam proposed to Qatam's daughter, Rubab, not Qatam herself.[14]

Sayyid Ja'far Shahidi believes that the story of Qatam's contribution to the martyrdom of Imam 'Ali (a) was fictional because it involves many contradictions. He wrote: "it seems that the story of Qatam was fabricated and associated to the three people in order to make it more attractive".[15]26

The Role of Qatam in the Martyrdom of Imam 'Ali (a)

  • Encouraging and motivating Ibn Muljam:[16] she allegedly accused Ibn Muljam of being a coward to encourage him even more.[17]
  • Conditioning her marriage with Ibn Muljam upon the murder of Imam 'Ali (a).[18]
  • Sending a person, called Wardan, to help Ibn Muljam with the plan to murder Imam 'Ali (a). Wardan b. Mujalid al-Taymi was Qatam's cousin. Wardan had repeatedly told Qatam that he would kill 'Ali (a) if someone helped him. Thus, Qatam introduced Ibn Muljam and Wardan to each other.

Murder

According to Jurji Zaydan, after the martyrdom of Imam 'Ali (a), Qatam fled to Egypt, but she was imprisoned because she had not informed 'Amr b. 'As of the plan for his murder.[19] She then escaped from the prison and departed to Damascus, but she was killed and decapitated on her way.[20] Part of her head was taken to Egypt. 'Amr b. 'As gave 1000 dinars to her murderer.[21]

Qatam in Literary and Dramatic Works

Jurji Zaydan, the Christian writer, wrote a novel under Ramdan 17 concerning the martyrdom of Imam 'Ali (a), highlighting the role of Qatam in the martyrdom of Imam 'Ali (a).

In the Iranian TV series, Imam 'Ali (a), the role of Qatam in the events of Kufa and especially the martyrdom of Imam 'Ali (a) is prominent. In this TV series, Vishka Asayesh played Qatam.

Notes

  1. Ibn al-Athīr, Usd al-ghāba, vol. 3, p. 616.
  2. Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 2, p. 487; Ibn Qutayba al-Dīnawarī, al-Imāma wa l-sīyāsa, vol. 1, p. 180.
  3. Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 11, p. 278.
  4. Mufīd, al-Irshād, vol. 1, p. 18.
  5. Abū l-Faraj al-Iṣfahānī, Maqātil al-ṭālibīyyīn, p. 46.
  6. Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, al-Istīʿāb, vol. 3, p. 1124.
  7. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 5, p. 144; Ibn Kathīr, al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya, vol. 7, p. 326.
  8. Balʿamī, Tārīkhnāma-yi Ṭabarī, vol. 4, p. 673.
  9. Abū l-Faraj al-Iṣfahānī, Maqātil al-ṭālibīyyīn, p. 46; Masʿūdī, Murūj al-dhahab, vol. 2, p. 411.
  10. Ibn al-Athīr, Usd al-ghāba, vol. 3, p. 616.
  11. Ibn Khaldūn, Tārīkh Ibn Khaldūn, vol. 2, p. 381; Ibn Ḥazm al-Andulīsī, Jamharat ansāb al-ʿarab, p. 200.
  12. Balādhurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 2, p. 491.
  13. Ibn Kathīr, al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya, vol. 7, p. 326.
  14. Ibn Aʿtham , Kitāb al-Futūḥ. Translated by Mustawfī, p. 1041.
  15. Shahīdī, Zindigānī-yi Amīr al-Muʾminīn ʿAlī (a), p. 164, 158-159.
  16. Abū l-Faraj al-Iṣfahānī, Farzandān-i Abū Ṭālib, vol. 1, p. 36.
  17. Shūshtarī, Iḥqāq al-ḥaqq, vol. 32, p. 631.
  18. Ibn al-Athīr, Usd al-ghāba, vol. 3, p. 616.
  19. Jurjī Zaydān, Quṭām wa naqsh-i ū dar shahādat risāndan-i Ḥaḍrat-i ʿAlī (a), p. 289.
  20. Jurjī Zaydān, Quṭām wa naqsh-i ū dar shahādat risāndan-i Ḥaḍrat-i ʿAlī (a), p. 302.
  21. Jurjī Zaydān, Quṭām wa naqsh-i ū dar shahādat risāndan-i Ḥaḍrat-i ʿAlī (a), p. 310.

References

  • Abū l-Faraj al-Iṣfahānī, ʿAlī b. al-Ḥusayn. Maqātil al-ṭālibīyyīn. Edited by Sayyid Aḥmad al-Ṣaqar. Beirut: Dār al-Maʿrifa, [n.d].
  • Abū l-Faraj al-Iṣfahānī, ʿAlī b. al-Ḥusayn. Farzandān-i Abū Ṭālib. Translated to Farsi by Jawād Faḍil. Tehran: Kitābfurūshī-yi ʿAlī Akbar Aʿlamī, 1339 Sh.
  • Balādhurī, Aḥmad b. Yaḥyā al-. Ansāb al-ashrāf. Edited by Suhayl Zakār & Riyāḍ al-Ziriklī. 1st edition. Beirut: Dār al-Fikr, 1417 AH.
  • Balʿamī, Abū ʿAlī. Tārīkhnāma-yi Ṭabarī. [n.p]. [n.d].
  • Dīnawarī, Aḥmad b. Dāwūd al-. Al-Akhbār al-ṭiwāl. Translated to Farsi by Aḥmad Mahdawī Dāmaghānī. 4th edition. Tehran: Nashr-i Ney, 1371 Sh.
  • Dīnawarī, Aḥmad b. Dāwūd al-. Al-Akhbār al-ṭiwāl. Edited by ʿAbd al-Munʿim ʿĀmir and Jamāl al-Dīn Shiyāl. Qom: Manshūrāt al-Sharīf al-Raḍī, 1368 Sh.
  • Ibn al-Athīr al-Jazarī, ʿAlī b. Muḥammad. Usd al-ghāba fī maʿrifat al-ṣaḥāba. Beirut: Dār al-Fikr, 1409 AH.
  • Ibn Aʿtham al-Kūfī, Aḥmad b. Aʿtham. Kitāb al-Futūḥ. Translated to Farsi by Muḥammad b. Aḥmad Mustawfī. Edited by Ghulām Riḍā Ṭabāṭabāʾī Majd. Tehran: Intishārāt wa Āmūzish-i Inqilāb-i Islāmī, 1372 Sh.
  • Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, Yūsuf b. ʿAbd Allāh. Al-Istīʿāb fī maʿrifat al-aṣḥāb. Edited by ʿAlī Muḥammad al-Bajāwī. Beirut: Dār al-Jīl, 1412 AH.
  • Ibn Khaldūn, ʿAbd l-Raḥmān b. Muḥammad. Tārīkh Ibn Khaldūn. [n.p]. [n.d].
  • Ibn Kathīr al-Dimashqī, Ismāʿīl b. ʿUmar. Al-Bidāya wa l-nihāya. Beirut: Dār al-Fikr, 1407 AH-1986.
  • Ibn Qutayba al-Dīnawarī, ʿAbd Allāh b. Muslim . Al-Imāma wa l-sīyāsa al-mʿrūf bi-tārīkh al-khulafāʾ. 1st edition. Edited by ʿAlī Shīrī. Beirut: Dār al-Awḍāʾ. 1410 AH-1990.
  • Jurjī Zaydān. Quṭām wa naqsh-i ū dar shahādat risāndan-i Ḥaḍrat-i ʿAlī (a). Translated to Farsi by Īraj Muttaqīzūda. Qom: Mirath-i Mandigar, 1381 Sh.
  • Masʿūdī, ʿAlī b. al-Ḥusayn al-. Murūj al-dhahab wa maʿadin al-jawhar. Edited by Asʿad Dāghir. Qom: Dār al-Hijra, 1409 AH.
  • Mufīd, Muḥammad b. Muḥammad al-. Al-Irshād. 1st edition. Qom: Kungira-yi Shaykh al-Mufīd, 1403 AH.
  • Shūshtarī, Nūr Allāh al-. Iḥqāq al-ḥaqq. 1st edition. Qom: 1409 AH.
  • Shahīdī, Sayyid Jaʿfar. Zindigānī-yi Amīr al-Muʾminīn ʿAlī (a). Tehran: Daftar-i Nashr-i Farhang Islāmī, 1379 Sh.
* Ṭabarī, Muḥammad b. Jarīr al-.Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk. Edited by Muḥammad Abu l-faḍl Ibrāhīm. 2nd edition. Beirut: Dar al-Turāth, 1387 AH.