Story No. 424 – The beginning of her grief and the martyrdom of her father
At that time, the Prophet’s offspring were tortured by the governors and the kings, especially Imam Musa al-Kadhim (as) who was also being continuously suffered at the hands of the cruel Khalifas. Fatimah Ma’soomah’s heart hurt to see her father in discomfort and pain. She was grieved and very sad and it was only her brother, Imam Ridha (A.S.) who calmed and comforted her and her other family members.
During the time of the 7th Imam, till his death, he saw the reign of 5 Khalifas whose names were Abul Abbas Saffah, Mansur Dawaniqi, Hadi, Mahdi and Harun Rashid. Each of them tortured the Imam in their own way and not only the Imam but also the Alawites (followers of Imam Ali [A.S.]) were subjected to harsh cruelty and harassment, which was beyond human endurance.
Three years of Harun’s caliphate had elapsed when Fatimah Ma’soomah was born. Harun was the most tyrannical of all the Khalifas that had gone before him in cruelty, bullying, looting, robbing the public treasury and trampling on the rights of people. He was a Caliph of the worldly desires and mammoth. Imam Musa al-Kadhim (as) could not bear to watch quietly the oppression of the Muslims and the plunder of the wealth of the Ummah. He started a movement and used different methods to oppose and revolt against the cruel government. Harun, aware of Imam Musa al-Kadhim (as) and his follower’s opposition, also did as much as he could against them. He gave a lot of money to poets to write poetry against the offspring of the Prophets. The Alawites were either imprisoned or exiled and some were put in cages and tortured till they suffered martyrdom. Later he also used his strength and power to arrest Imam Musa al-Kadhim (as).
After his arrest, till his death, Fatemah Ma’soomah (S.A.) could not meet her father. She, who was brought up and educated by her father, was now deprived of meeting her father and also getting the education. Her father’s arrest saddened her. She was less than 10 years old at that time and was always in grief and parting from her father saddened her even more.
As for Imam Musa al-Kadhim (as) it was difficult for him to call or see his pure and pious children, Imam Ridha and Ma’soomah. The dark room of his prison became bright and scented with his prayers.
He changed his hard days into sweet ones by continuous prostration but whenever he remembered Fatimah Ma’soomah and her innocent sinless appearance, his heart throbbed and palpitated.
During the last years of Imam Musa al-Kadhim (as), he was transferred from one prison to another, for a year he was in the prison of Isa bin Jaf’ar the governor of Basra. Isa bin Jaf’ar became affected by the great qualities of the high leadership of Muslims that he had no alternative but to persuade the officer of the prison to be lenient to the Imam.
After that, Harun gave the order for Imam to be taken to Baghdad. First he was in the prison of Fadhl bin Rabi. Then Fadhl bin Rabi transferred him to the prison of Sindi bin Shahik.
This shifting and transferring continued and every time Harun would tell all the jailers to kill Imam. Nobody was ever ready to think about that until Sindi bin Shahik complied with the order of Harun to poison the Imam.
Harun definitely knew that the result would be dangerous if the people found out that the Imam was killed by him, so before the martyrdom of Imam he took a group of leading personalities to give witness that the dear Imam was so sick that it was possible he would die and that there was no intention of anyone to kill the Imam. But Imam was also clever, and before Harun could say anything. Imam himself told the group who were near to him that “I have been poisoned by nine pieces of dates. Tomorrow my body will turn green and I will leave the world the day after tomorrow”.
And exactly two days later, on the 25th of Rajab 183 (A.H.) as the Imam had predicted the day of his martyrdom had come. The Imam went to join the soul of his great grandfathers. When the Muslims heard about the martyrdom of the Imam, they were grief stricken, and with mourning clothes and tears in their eyes, they went into mourning. They loved the Imam and had sworn allegiance to Him and now they had lost him. Nothing could console them on the loss of this noble Imam. Also amongst them was a ten year old girl, Fatimah Ma’soomah (S.A.) who was engrossed in grief.
She sat and waited in hope for years that one day the door of the house would open and her father would enter and hug her. But finally her little heart accepted this grief as she had no choice but to be patient.