Story No. 426 – The migration of the Imam’s sister Ma’soomah (S.A.) from Madina to Merv
One year had passed since the 8th Imam had left for Merv. All the Prophets family members living in Medina yearned and were eager for his return.
It was already a year now that they had not seen their dear Imam and their hearts only desired and yearned to see the Imam’s face. But Fatimah Ma’soomah had waited long enough and now her patience was running out and like the other family members she could only get peace if she met her brother.
During that time Imam Ridha (A.S.) wrote a letter to his sister Fatimah Ma’soomah and sent it to Medina with one of his slave. He ordered the slave not to stop anywhere till he reached Medina and gave him proper instructions and the proper address so the slave could find the house without asking anyone.
The slave arrived with the letter as fast as he could, and in Medina he immediately delivered to Fatimah Ma’soomah. What were the contents of the letter nobody knew, but the Imam’s family became more grieved and yearned more for the Imam. Fatimah Ma’soomah, her brother and other family members decided to go to Merv to visit the Imam. They started preparations for their journey and taking water and minimum provisions decided to leave the city of the messenger of Allah (that is Medina) for Merv. Amongst all the people, Fatimah Ma’soomah was the most excited. That dear Lady with her five brothers whose names were Fadhl, Ja’far, Ha’adi, Qasim and Zayd and their brothers’ children and servants and slave girls were all part of this journey.
This caravan of the lovers of Imam Ridha (A.S. started their journey and apart from waiting for prayers, meals and rest they never stopped. They passed hills, mountains, and deserts and day by day went further away from Medina. This difficult journey through the deserts was so arduous that not only them but also the strong camels were tired and they still had to go a long way to Merv. But their eagerness and their hope of reaching the Imam urged them to move forward.
In those days there was a lot of looting of the caravans. These thieves would take away all belongings and even the camels. If they did not find anything, they would kill the people. This frightened them a lot as they did not want their journey to break or for anything to happen to stop them from going forward.
This thought frightened Fatemah Ma’soomah but putting trust to Allah, they carried forward and gradually progressed towards their goal. Now the distance to Iran was becoming closer. The difficulties of the journey affected Bibi Ma’soomah a lot. For this young woman also there was a lot of suffering. But despite all this the thought of meeting her brother was worth all the pain. She was ready to go through this a hundred times to get this reward. On her journey she remembered the face of her brother and the good and difficult times they had together and now she was happy that in a few days she would look at his handsome face again.
Finally, the difficult part of the journey ended and the caravan reached Iran. Before reaching Merv (later Toos and now Mash-had) they passed through many villages where they would rest and then proceed, finally they reached. The caravan reached Sawa (name of a city in Iraq) and it was here that Fatimah Ma’soomah became very sick. She was so sick that she refused to continue with the journey. The long journey from Medina to Sawa had weakened her but this sickness made her even weaker. With this condition, she was worried. Would she be able to go forward? And would she now be able to see her brother? These were questions that the daughter of Imam Musa al-Kadhim (as) often asked herself when she saw her condition. She made a decision now to proceed to Qum and inquired from people the distance to Qum. They replied 10 miles. Hearing that the distance was not too much they decide to proceed.
In those days Qum was a place, which offered sanctuary and peace for the family of the Prophet. The news of Fatimah Ma’soomah’s arrival from Sawa and her sickness reached Qum.
The people of Qum who had strong unity decided to go to receive Fatimah Ma’soomah and to bring her to Qum. A person called Musa ibn Khazraj undertook this task of going and inviting the daughter of seventh Imam to Qum and requesting her to stay with them in Qum and Fatemah Ma’soomah agreed to the request and the caravan left from Sawa to Qum. Musa ibn Kharaj himself held the camel’s reins and led this noble woman with pride and respect to the people of Qum who were eagerly waiting her arrival.