Friday 22 June 2018
Who is going to wash the dead body of the Imam of the Time (AS) and shroud him after his demise?
ID: 14 Publish Date: 06 January 2016 - 13:33 Count Views: 631
Question & Answer » Mahdism
Who is going to wash the dead body of the Imam of the Time (AS) and shroud him after his demise?

In the Name of God the Most Beneficent the Most Merciful

 

Response:

Giving Ghusl (last bath, major ablution) to and shrouding the corpse of an infallible individual by another infallible person

Giving Ghusl to the Holy Prophet’s (Peace Be Upon Him) corpse by his successor Hazrat Ali (AS)

Giving Ghusl to Hazrat Fatima (AS) by Amir al-Momenin (AS)

Imam should be given Ghusl only by an Imam

Shrouding and burying the Imam of the Time (May God Hasten His Appearance) by Imam Hussein (AS)

Examination of narratives which are apparently contradictory

Narratives about Imam Kazim’s (AS) Ghusl

Angels giving Ghusl to the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him and His Household)

Response:

Giving Ghusl to Imam Sajjad (AS) by Umm Walad (his maid)

Response:

Narratives related to Hazrat Fatima’s (AS) Ghusl by herself before her martyrdom

Giving Ghusl to Hazrat Fatima (AS) by Asma

Conclusion

Who is going to give Ghusl to the last Imam after his demise?

Kiram’s narrative

Ibn Tayyar’s narrative

Response:

A. By former Ma’sumin (infallible individuals)

B. By Angels

C. By the infallible Imam himself

D. Possibility of the martyrdom of the last Ma’sum

E. No need for another Ghusl

Final Conclusion:

 

 

Who is going to wash the corpse of the Imam of the Time (AS) and shroud him after his demise since only an infallible Imam is to give Ghusl to an Imam?

 

Response:

Giving Ghusl (last bath, major ablution) to and shrouding the corpse of an infallible individual by another infallible person:

It has been pointed out in a large number of narratives cited in Shia sources that washing up, shrouding and burying the corpses of the prophets, Imams and Ma’sumin should be carried out by other Imams and Ma’sumin. In his Kafi, late Sheikh Koleini has allocated one complete chapter to this discussion under the title of al-Imam La Yaghsulohu Illa Imam Min al-Aimma (Peace be Upon Them) and has provided related narratives there.

First, we try to bring related narratives into the spotlight to show that giving Ghusl to, shrouding and burying a deceased infallible person should only be carried out by an infallible one. Then, we get to respond the question that who is expected to give Ghusl to Imam Mahdi (AS) after his demise.

 

Giving Ghusl to the Holy Prophet’s (Peace Be Upon Him) corpse by his successor Hazrat Ali (AS)

A number of narratives can be found indicating that Hazrat Ali (AS) has been declared as the one specifically responsible to give Ghusl to the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). In a different account, it has also been said that his responsibility was because he was chosen as the Prophet’s (PBUH) testamentary guardian.

The following is a narrative ‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud has quoted from the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).

حَدَّثَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ أَحْمَدَ الدَّقَّاقُ رَحِمَهُ اللَّهُ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا حَمْزَةُ بْنُ الْقَاسِمِ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو الْحَسَنِ عَلِيُّ بْنُ الْجُنَيْدِ الرَّازِيُّ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو عَوَانَةَ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا الْحَسَنُ بْنُ عَلِيٍّ عَنْ عَبْدِ الرَّزَّاقِ عَنْ أَبِيهِ عَنْ مِينَا مَوْلَى عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ عَوْفٍ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ مَسْعُودٍ قَالَ: قُلْتُ لِلنَّبِيِّ عليه السلام يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ مَنْ‏ يُغَسِّلُكَ‏ إِذَا مِتَ‏ قَالَ يَغْسِلُ كُلَّ نَبِيٍّ وَصِيُّهُ قُلْتُ فَمَنْ وَصِيُّكَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ قَالَ عَلِيُّ بْنُ أَبِي طَالِب‏ عليه السلام

‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud said, “I personally asked the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) who was going to give Ghusl to him after his demise. He replied that the testamentary guardian of any prophet is accountable for his Ghusl. I asked him who his guardian would be. ‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib,’ responded he.”

Al-Saduq, Abu Ja’far Mohammad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn al-Hussein (died in 381 AH), Kamal al-Din wa Tamam al-Ni’mat, p. 27; researched by ‘Ali Akbar al-Ghifari; published by Muassissat al-Nashr al-Islami (al-Tabi’at) Li Jama’at al-Mudarrisin, Qom, 1405 AH. (Maktab Ahl al-Bayt)

Al-Majlisi, Mohamamd Baqir (died in 1111 AH), Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’at Li Durar Akhbar al-Aimma al-Athar, vol. 22, p. 507; researched by Mohammad al-Baqir al-Bihbudi; published by Muassissat al-Wafa, Beirut-Lebanon, the second edition al-Mushaha, 1403 AH-1983 AD.

 

Salman Farsi’s narrative:

عَنْ أَبَانِ بْنِ أَبِي عَيَّاشٍ عَنْ سُلَيْمِ بْنِ قَيْسٍ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ سَلْمَانَ الْفَارِسِيَّ....قَالَ سَلْمَانُ فَأَتَيْتُ عَلِيّاً عليه السلام وَهُوَ يُغَسِّلُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلي الله عليه وآله وَقَدْ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلي الله عليه وآله وسلم أَوْصَى عَلِيّاً عليه السلام أَنْ لَا يَلِيَ غُسْلَهُ‏ غَيْرُه‏.....

Salman said, “I found Ali (AS) while he was giving Ghusl to the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). According to the Prophet’s (Peace Be Upon Him) last will, only Ali (AS) was obliged to wash his corpse not anyone else.”

Salim Ibn Qays (died in 80 AH), Kitab Salim Ibn Qays al-Hilali, p. 143; published by Hadi Publications, Qom, the first edition, 1405 AH.

 

Musa Ibn Ja’far (AS) quoting a narrative from Imam Sadiq (AS)

عَنْ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عَيَّاشٍ عَنْ جَعْفَرِ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ قُولَوَيْهِ عَنْ عُبَيْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ الْفُضَيْلِ الطَّائِيِّ وَ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ سُلَيْمَانَ عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ إِسْمَاعِيلَ بْنِ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ إِسْمَاعِيلَ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ إِسْمَاعِيلَ بْنِ جَعْفَرٍ الصَّادِقِ عليه السلام عَنْ أَبِي يُوسُفَ عَنِ الْأَزْهَرِ بْنِ نَظَّامٍ عَنِ أَبِي الْحَسَنِ بْنِ يَعْقُوبَ عَنْ عِيسَى بْنِ الْمُسْتَفَادِ مِثْلَهُ (عن موسى بن جعفر عن ابيه عليهما السلام) وَقَالَ كَانَ فِي الصَّحِيفَةِ الْمَخْتُومَةِ الَّتِي نَزَلَتْ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ يَا عَلِيُّ غَسِّلْنِي وَلَا يُغَسِّلْنِي غَيْرُكَ قَالَ فَقُلْتُ لِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلي الله عليه وآله بِأَبِي أَنْتَ وَأُمِّي أَنَا أَقْوَى عَلَى غُسْلِكَ وَحْدِي قَالَ بِذَا أَمَرَنِي جَبْرَئِيلُ وَِذَلِكَ أَمَرَهُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ قَالَ فَقُلْتُ فَإِنْ لَمْ أَقْوَ عَلَيْكَ فَأَسْتَعِينُ بِغَيْرِي يَكُونُ مَعِي فَقَالَ جَبْرَئِيلُ يَا مُحَمَّدُ قُلْ لِعَلِيٍّ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ يَأْمُرُكَ أَنْ تُغَسِّلَ ابْنَ عَمِّكَ فَإِنَّمَا السُّنَّةُ أَنْ لَا يُغَسِّلَ الْأَنْبِيَاءَ إِلَّا أَوْصِيَاؤُهُمْ وَإِنَّمَا يُغَسِّلُ‏ كُلَ‏ نَبِيٍ‏ وَصِيُّهُ‏ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ وَهِيَ مِنْ حُجَجِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لِمُحَمَّدٍ صلي الله عليه عَلَى أُمَّتِهِ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ فِيمَا قَدِ اجْتَمَعُوا عَلَيْهِ مِنْ قَطِيعَةِ مَا أَمَرَهُمُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى بِهِ‏ثُمَّ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلي الله عليه وآله وَ اعْلَمْ يَا عَلِيُّ أَنَّ لَكَ عَلَى غُسْلِي أَعْوَاناً هُمْ نِعْمَ الْأَعْوَانُ وَالْإِخْوَانُ قَالَ عَلِيٌّ فَقُلْتُ لِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلي الله عليه واله مَنْ بِأَبِي أَنْتَ وَأُمِّي قَالَ جَبْرَئِيلُ وَمِيكَائِيلُ وَإِسْرَافِيلُ وَمَلَكُ الْمَوْتِ وَإِسْمَاعِيلُ صَاحِبُ سَمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا أَعْوَاناً لَكَ قَالَ عَلِيٌّ فَخَرَرْتُ لِلَّهِ سَاجِداً وَقُلْتُ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي جَعَلَ لِي أَعْوَاناً وَإِخْوَاناً هُمْ أُمَنَاءُ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى

The Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) told Hazrat Ali (AS), “O Ali! As ordered in a sealed letter coming down from the sky, you are the one who is responsible for giving Ghusl to my corpse after my demise and no one else.” I told the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), “May my parents be sacrificed for you! I do not have the ability of washing you alone on my own.” The Prophet (PBUH) explained, “It was Gabriel who has issued this order. And God has also insisted on it.” Hazrat Ali (AS) told the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), “Just in case I was unable to do it alone, can I ask someone else for help?”

Gabiel said, “O Mohammad! Say to Ali that indeed God has ordered him to be the one who gives Ghusl to his cousin. It is the divine tradition that prophets’ corpses can only be washed by their testamentary guardians. And it is a proof from God for Mohammad’s (Peace Be Upon Him) Umma. Following the Prophet’s (Peace Be Upon Him) demise, what God has commanded should be implemented.”

Then, the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) stated, “O Ali! There will be some assistants to help you with my Ghusl. What nice brothers and agents they will be!”  Ali (AS) continued, “May my parents be sacrificed for you! Who are they going to be?”

He replied, “Gabriel, Michael, Seraphiel and Izrael as well as Ishmael who is the owner of the sky will assist you with the job.” Ali (AS) stated, “I prostrate to express gratitude to God for designating such brothers and agents. Truly, they are all God’s trustees.

Al-Majlisi, Mohamamd Baqir (died in 1111 AH), Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’at Li Durar Akhbar al-Aimma al-Athar, vol. 78, p. 304; researched by Mohammad al-Baqir al-Bihbudi; published by Muassissat al-Wafa, Beirut-Lebanon, the second edition al-Mushaha, 1403 AH-1983 AD.

 

Ibn Abbas’ Narrative

حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ بْنِ إِسْحَاقَ رِضْوَانُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ حَمْدَانَ الصَّيْدَلَانِيُّ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ مُسْلِمٍ الْوَاسِطِيُّ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ هَارُونَ قَالَ أَخْبَرَنَا خَالِدٌ الْحَذَّاءُ عَنْ أَبِي قِلَابَةَ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ زَيْدٍ الْجَرْمِيِّ عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ قَالَ لَمَّا مَرِضَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صل الله عليه وآله وَ عِنْدَهُ أَصْحَابُهُ قَامَ إِلَيْهِ عَمَّارُ بْنُ يَاسِرٍ فَقَالَ لَهُ فِدَاكَ أَبِي وَأُمِّي يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ مَنْ يُغَسِّلُكَ مِنَّا إِذَا كَانَ ذَلِكَ مِنْكَ قَالَ ذَاكَ عَلِيُّ بْنُ أَبِي طَالِبٍ لِأَنَّهُ لَا يَهُمُّ بِعُضْوٍ مِنْ أَعْضَائِي إِلَّا أَعَانَتْهُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ عَلَى ذَلِكَ فَقَالَ لَهُ فِدَاكَ أَبِي وَأُمِّي يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صل الله عليه وآله فَمَنْ يُصَلِّي عَلَيْكَ مِنَّا إِذَا كَانَ ذَلِكَ مِنْكَ قَالَ مَهْ رَحِمَكَ اللَّهُ ثُمَّ قَالَ لِعَلِيٍّ عليه ويَا ابْنَ أَبِي طَالِبٍ إِذَا رَأَيْتَ رُوحِي قَدْ فَارَقَتْ جَسَدِي فَاغْسِلْنِي وَأَنْقِ غُسْلِي وََفِّنِّي فِي طِمْرَيَّ هَذَيْنِ أَوْ فِي بَيَاضِ مِصْرَ وَبُرْدِ يَمَانٍ وَلَا تُغَالِ كَفَنِي وَاحْمِلُونِي حَتَّى تَضَعُونِي عَلَى شَفِيرِ قَبْرِي‏

Ibn ‘Abbas said, “When the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) fell ill, a group of his companions went to visit him. ‘Ammar Ibn Yasir got up from among the crowd to ask a question. ‘O the Messenger God! May my parents be sacrificed for you! Which of us is supposed to give Ghusl to you in case something happened to you? ‘It is Ali Ibn Abi Talib who will take care of it because angels will assist him once he wanted to move any part of my body,’ replied the Hazrat.’ I said, ‘May my father and mother be sacrificed for you! In case something happens to you, who is going to perform a prayer for you?’ ‘Be quiet, May God bless you!’ said the Hazrat.

Then the Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) told Ali, ‘O Ibn Abi Talib! As soon as I breathed my last, you should give Ghusl to my corpse. Next, shroud my body in these two pieces of cloth or in white Egyptian woolen cloth. Do not clad me in an expensive shroud. After that, take my corpse towards my grave in a funeral.’”

Al-Saduq, Abu Ja’far Mohammad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn al-Hussein (died in 381 AH), al-Amali, p. 732; researched and published by Qism al-Dirasat al-Islamiyya, Muassissat al-Bi’that,Qom, the first edition, 1417 AH.

 

Abi ‘Own’s Narartive

عَنْ عبدِ الْوَاحِدِ بنِ أَبي عَوْنٍ قَالَ: (قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ لِعَلِي بنِ أَبِي طَالِبٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ فِي مَرَضِهِ الَّذِي تُوُفيَ فِيهِ: اِغْسِلْنِي يَا عَلِيُّ إِذَا مِتُّ، فَقَالَ: يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ مَا غَسَّلْتُ مَيتَاً قَطُّ، فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ: إِنَّكَ سَتُهَيَّأُ أَوْ تُيَسَّرُ، قَالَ عَلِيٌّ: فَغَسَّلْتُهُ، فَمَا آخُذُ عُضْوَاً إِلاَّ تَبِعَنِي، وَالْفَضْلُ آخِذٌ بِحُضْنِهِ يَقُولُ: أَعْجِلْ يَا عَلِيُّ انْقَطَعَ ظَهْرِي ). (ابنُ سعدٍ(

Jami’ al-Ahadith (al-Jami’ al-Saghir wa Zawaidah wa al-Jami’ al-Kabir), al-Hafiz Jalal al-Din ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Siyuti al-Wafat, Jamadi al-Ula, 19, 911 AH; published by Dar al-Nashr

Abi ‘Awn said, “When the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) was ill; the disease which led to his departure, he told Hazrat Ali (AS), ‘O Ali! In case I breathed my last, you give Ghusl to my body.’ Hazrat Ali (AS) said, ‘O the Messenger of God (Peace Be Upon You)! I have never given Ghusl to any deceased person so far.’ The Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) added, ‘You will be soon ready for that.’ Ali (AS) stated, ‘So, I gave Ghusl to him. Any part of his body I wanted to move followed me and moved by itself. Fudayl who was holding his underarm said, ‘Ali! Be quick, I have my back broken.’”

 

 

 

Imam Hussein’s (AS) Narrative

عَنْ جَعْفَرٍ بنِ مُحَمَّدٍ عَنْ أَبِيهِ عَنْ جَدهِ: أَنَّ عَلِيًّا رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ غَسَّل النَّبِيَّ وَالْعَبَّاسُ يَصُبُّ المَاءَ، وَأُسَامَةُ وَشقرانُ يَحْفَظَانِ الْبَابَ

Truly, it was Ali (AS) who gave Ghusl (bath) to the Holy Prophet’s (Peace Be Upon Him) body. ‘Abbas poured water [to help Ali] and, at the same time, Usama together with Shaqran were patrolling in front of the door.

Al-Siyuti, al-Hafiz Jalal al-Din ‘Abd al-Rahman Jami’ al-Ahadith (al-Jami’ al-Saghir wa Zawaid wa al-Jami’ al-Kabir, vol. 16, p. 18; published by Dar al-Nashr.

It can be concluded from the narratives above that Taghsil (giving Ghusl), Tadfin (shrouding), burial and performing prayer for the corpses of the prophets are all considered the responsibilities of their successors. It has been a tradition since the tenure of the former prophets. And Hazrat Ali (AS) was the one who gave Ghusl to the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) as his successor. It was also him who took care of his burial.

 

Giving Ghusl to Hazrat Fatima (AS) by Amir al-Momenin (AS)

In the narrative quoted from Imam Sadiq (AS) regarding the Ghusl of Hazrat Fatima (AS) by Hazrat Ali (AS), the word الا (only) is the center of attention. That is because Hazrat Fatima (AS) was infallible, thus an infallible person must have washed up her body. That infallible person was no one except Hazrat Ali (AS), her husband.

 

Imam Baqir (AS) quoting a narrative from Imam Hussein (AS)

مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَلِيِّ بْنِ الْحُسَيْنِ (عليهما السلام) قَالَ: سُئِلَ أَبُو عَبْدِ اللَّهِ (عليه السلام) عَنْ فَاطِمَةَ (سلام الله عليها) مَنْ غَسَّلَهَا قَالَ غَسَّلَهَا أَمِيرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ- لِأَنَّهَا كَانَتْ صِدِّيقَةً لَمْ‏ يَكُنْ‏ لِيُغَسِّلَهَا إِلَّا صِدِّيقٌ‏.

Imam Ja’far Sadiq (AS) has asked about who had given Ghusl to Fatima’s (AS) corpse. The Imam responded, “It was Hazrat Amir al-Momenin Ali (AS). Since Hazrat Zahra (AS) was صديقه Siddiqa (honest), only a صديق Siddiq person was allowed to wash her body.

Al-Hurr al-‘Amili, Mohammad Ibn  al-Hassan (died in 1104 AH), Tafsil Wasail al-Shi’a Ila Tahsil Masail al-Shari’at, vol. 2, p. 533, H. 2834; researched and published by Muassissat Al al-Bayt ‘Alayhum al-Salam Li Ihya al-Turath, the second edition, 1414 AH.

 

Khazaz Qomi’s narrative quoted from Imam Sadiq (AS)

أَبُو الْحَسَنِ الْخَزَّازُ الْقُمِّيُّ فِي الْأَحْكَامِ الشَّرْعِيَّةِ سُئِلَ أَبُو عَبْدِ اللَّهِ عَنْ فَاطِمَةَ مَنْ غَسَّلَهَا فَقَالَ غَسَّلَهَا أَمِيرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ لِأَنَّهَا كَانَتْ‏ صِدِّيقَةً لَمْ‏ يَكُنْ‏ لِيُغَسِّلَهَا إِلَّا صِدِّيق

Ibn Shahr Ashub, Rashid al-Din Abi ‘Abdullah Mohammad Ibn ‘Ali al-Sururi al-Mazandarani (died in 588 AH), Manaqib Al Abi Talib, vol. 3, p. 138; researched by Li Jannat Min Asatitha al-Najaf al-Ashraf; published by al-Maktabat wa al-Matba’at al-Heidariyya, 1376 AH-1956 AD.

In a follow-up to the narrative, Allame Mohammad Taqi Majlisi has said that صديق literally means very honest and truthful. In other words, he is the one who approves what the Prophet (PBUH) has commanded or practices what he preaches. But the term is commonly defined as infallible.

Majlisi, Mohammad Taqi Ibn Maqsud Ali, Lawami’ Sahibqarani known as Sharh Fiqh, vol. 2, p. 222; published by Muassissat Isma’iliyan, Qom, 1414 AH.

Sayyid Ni’mat Allah Jazayiri has also made a comment concerning the issue.

المراد بالصديق هنا المعصوم‏

In this narrative, by the word صديق (honest), infallibility is in fact meant.

Jazairi, Ni’hmat Allah Ibn ‘Abdullah, Riyad al-Abrar Fi Manaqib al-Aimma al-Athar, vol. 1, p. 64; published by Muassissat al-Tarikh al-‘Arabi, the first edition, Beirut, 1427 AH-2006 AD.

 

Mufaddal’s narrative quoted from Imam Sadiq (AS)

عِدَّةٌ مِنْ أَصْحَابِنَا عَنْ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ أَبِي نَصْرٍ عَنْ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ سَالِمٍ عَنِ الْمُفَضَّلِ عَنْ أَبِي عَبْدِ اللَّهِ (عليه السلام) قَالَ: قُلْتُ لِأَبِي عَبْدِ اللَّهِ (عليه السلام) مَنْ غَسَلَ فَاطِمَةَ قَالَ ذَاكَ أَمِيرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَ كَأَنِّي اسْتَعْظَمْتُ ذَلِكَ مِنْ قَوْلِهِ فَقَالَ كَأَنَّكَ ضِقْتَ بِمَا أَخْبَرْتُكَ بِهِ قَالَ فَقُلْتُ قَدْ كَانَ ذَاكَ جُعِلْتُ فِدَاكَ قَالَ فَقَالَ لَا تَضِيقَنَّ فَإِنَّهَا صِدِّيقَةٌ وَ لَمْ يَكُنْ يَغْسِلُهَا إِلَّا صِدِّيقٌ أَمَا عَلِمْتَ أَنَّ مَرْيَمَ لَمْ يَغْسِلْهَا إِلَّا عِيسَى.

Mufaddal said, “I asked Imam Sadiq (AS) who had given Ghusl to Fatima’s (AS) corpse. He responded, ‘Amir al-Momenin (AS)’. The response caught me by surprise. So the Imam asked me, ‘Did my answer surprise you?’ Yes. May my soul be sacrificed for you! He went on to say, ‘Do not be surprised. That is because she was Siddiqa (infallible). And only an infallible person could give Ghusl to her. Haven’t you heard that it was Jesus who washed Mary’s body after her decease?’

Al-Koleini al-Razi, Abu Ja’far Mohammad Ibn Ya’qub Ibn Ishaq (died in 328 AH), al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 459, H. 4; published by Islamiyya, Tehran, the second edition, 1362 AH.

Al-Saduq, Abu Ja’far Mohammad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn al-Hussein (died in 381 AH), ‘Ilal al-Sharai’, vol. 1, p. 184; researched by al-Sayyid Mohammad Sadiq Bahr al-‘Ulum; published by al-Maktabat al-Heidariyya, al-Najaf, 1385 AH, 1966 AD.

In spite of the fact that women generally give Ghusl to dead women, Hazrat Zahra (AS) was given the last bath by her husband, Hazrat Ali (AS) because she was Ma’suma (infallible) and an infallible person ought to give Ghusl to another infallible person as a fixed rule. The third narrative has pointed out that Hazrat Mary was given Ghusl by her son, Jesus, who was also Ma’sum (infallible).

 

An Imam should be given Ghusl only by another Imam

In Hadith-related sources, there are narratives which prove that the responsibility of giving Ghusl to, shrouding and burying a deceased Imam is on the shoulders of another Imam. In their wills also, Aimma Athar (Peace Be Upon Them) have insisted on the fact that only an Imam ought to wash up a deceased Imam.

Imam Sajjad’s (AS) will to his son, Imam Baqir (AS)

Qutb al-Din Rawandi has recounted as follows,

مَا رَوَى أَبُو بَصِيرٍ عَنْ أَبِي جَعْفَرٍ عليه السلام قَالَ‏ كَانَ فِيمَا أَوْصَى بِهِ إِلَيَّ أَبِي عَلِيُّ بْنُ الْحُسَيْنِ عليه السلام أَنْ قَالَ يَا بُنَيَّ إِذَا أَنَا مِتُّ فَلَا يَلِي غُسْلِي غَيْرُكَ فَإِنَّ الْإِمَامَ لَا يُغَسِّلُهُ إِلَّا إِمَامٌ مِثْلُه

Al-Rawandi, Qutb al-Din (died in 573 AH), al-Kharaij wa al-Jaraih, vol. 1, p 264; researched and published by Muassissat al-Imam al-Mahdi (AS), Qom, the first edition, 1409 AH.

Imam Baqir (AS) stated, “My father ‘Ali Ibn Hussein (AS) advised me in his will, ‘O my son! After I passed away, no one else is responsible to give Ghusl to me but you because an Imam should be given Ghusl by only an Imam.’”

Similar narratives can also be found in following sources.

Al-Irbili, Abu al-Hassan ‘Ali Ibn ‘Isa Ibn Abi al-Fath (died in 693 AH), Kashf al-Ghumma fi Ma’rifat al-Aimma, vol. 2, p. 351; published by Dar al-Adwa, Beirut, the second edition, 1405 AH-1985 AD.

Al-Majlisi, Mohamamd Baqir (died in 1111 AH), Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’at Li Durar Akhbar al-Aimma al-Athar, vol. 46, p. 166; researched by Mohammad al-Baqir al-Bihbudi; published by Muassissat al-Wafa, Beirut-Lebanon, the second edition al-Mushaha, 1403 AH-1983 AD.

 

Imam Sadiq’s (AS) recommendation to his son, Imam Kazim (AS)

Ibn Shahr Ashub’s narrative from Imam Musa Ibn Ja’far (AS):

قَالَ مُوسَى بْنُ جَعْفَرٍ (عليه السلام)‏ فِيمَا أَوْصَانِي بِهِ أَبِي أَنْ قَالَ يَا بُنَيَ‏ إِذَا أَنَا مِتُ‏ فَلَا يُغَسِّلْنِي‏ أَحَدٌ غَيْرُكَ فَإِنَّ الْإِمَامَ لَا يُغَسِّلُهُ إِلَّا إِمَامٌ

Imam Kazim (AS) stated, “My father ‘Ali Ibn Hussein (AS) advised me in his will, ‘O my son! After I pass away, no one else is responsible to give Ghusl to me but you because an Imam should be given Ghusl by only an Imam’.”

Ibn Shahr Ashub, Rashid al-Din Abi ‘Abdullah Mohammad Ibn ‘Ali al-Sururi al-Mazandarani (died in 588 AH), Manaqib Al Abi Talib, vol. 3, p. 351; researched by Li Jannat Min Asatitha al-Najaf al-Ashraf; published by al-Maktabat wa al-Matba’at al-Heidariyya, 1376 AH-1956 AD.

             

Imam Kazim’s (AS) will to Imam Reza (AS)

Abu Basir’s narrative from Imam Kazim (AS)

روى الحسن، قال: أخبرنا أحمد، قال: حدثنا محمد بن علي الصيرفي، عن علي بن محمد، عن الحسن، عن أبيه، عن أبي بصير، قال: سمعت العبد الصالح (عليه السلام) يقول: لما حضر أبي الموت قال: يا بني لا يلي غسلي غيرك، فإني غسلت أبي، و غسل أبي أباه، و الحجة يغسل‏ الحجة

Abu Basir said, “I heard Imam Kazim (AS) stating, ‘Just before breathing his last, my father told me, ‘O my son! You are the one who must give Ghusl to me because it was me who gave Ghusl to my father and he had done so to his own father. Only a Hujjat can give Ghusl to a deceased Hujjat.

Tabari Amuli Saghir, Mohammad Ibn Jarir Ibn Rustam, Dalail al-Amama, p. 328; researched and edited by Qism al-Dirasat al-Islamiyya Muassissat al-Bi’tha; published by Bi’that, Iran, Qom, the first edition, 1413 AH.

The evidence confirming that this narrative belonged to Imam Kazim (AS) is that the nickname of عبد صالح (a righteous servant) in Shia narratives is attributed to this Imam. In his Naqd al-Rijal, late Tafrishi has written,

وكلما ورد عن أبي إبراهيم أو العبد الصالح أو عبد صالح أو عن الفقيه فهو: الكاظم (عليه السلام(

Any narrative quoted by Abu Ibrahim, ‘Abd Salih or Faqih is attributed to the Imam Kazim (AS).

Al-Tafrishi (died in 11 AH), Naqd al-Rijal, vol.5, p. 316; researched by Muassissat Al al-Bayt ‘Alayhum al-Salam Li Ihya al-Turath; published by Muassissat Al al-Bayt ‘Alayhum al-Salam Li Ihya al-Turath, Qom, the first edition, Shawwal, 1418.

Based on the narratives in which the sense of exclusiveness has been highlighted by the word الّا (only), no one except an Imam or a Hujjat is allowed to give Ghusl to another Imam or Hujjat.

 

Imam Reza’s (AS) narrative concerning giving Ghusl to an Imam

Abu Mu’ammar’s narratives from Imam Reza (AS):

الْحُسَيْنُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ عَنْ مُعَلَّى بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ جُمْهُورٍ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو مَعْمَرٍ قَالَ سَأَلْتُ الرِّضَا عليه السلام عَنِ الْإِمَامِ يَغْسِلُهُ الْإِمَامُ قَالَ سُنَّةُ مُوسَى بْنِ عِمْرَانَ (عليه السلام

Abu Mu’ammar said, “I asked Imam Reza (AS) about the rule that only an Imam can wash up a deceased Imam. He responded, ‘It has been a tradition since the time of Musa (Moses) Ibn ‘Imran’.”

Al-Koleini al-Razi, Abu Ja’far Mohammad Ibn Ya’qub Ibn Ishaq (died in 328 AH), al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 385, H. 2; published by Islamiyya, Tehran, the second edition, 1362 AH.

As assumed by Allame Majlisi, it was Moses’ testamentary guardian, Yusha’, who gave Ghusl to him.

فان الظاهر من الاخبار أن موسى عليه السلام غسلته الملائكة، والمراد أنه كما غسل موسى المعصوم لا يغسل الامام إلا معصوم، مع أنه يحتمل أن يكون حضر يوشع لغسله عليهما السلام

It has been surfaced by reports that angels gave Ghusl to Moses. It means that since Moses was washed up by infallible creatures, an Imam should be given Ghusl by an infallible person as well. There is also speculation that it was Yushi’ who gave the prophet the last bath.

Al-Majlisi, Mohamamd Baqir (died in 1111 AH), Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’at Li Durar Akhbar al-Aimma al-Athar, vol. 27, p. 29; researched by Mohammad al-Baqir al-Bihbudi; published by Muassissat al-Wafa, Beirut-Lebanon, the second edition al-Mushaha, 1403 AH-1983 AD.

In this narrative, Imam Reza’s (AS) response to Abu Mu’ammar’s question verifies that the rule of giving Ghusl to an infallible Imam by another infallible Imam has been a tradition since the former prophets’ terms. As a matter of fact, he unveiled the truth through an example, stating that it is a Ma’sum (infallible person) who has the responsibility of giving Ghusl to another Ma’sum.

 

Ahmad Ibn ‘Umar’s narrative from Imam Reza (AS)

الْحُسَيْن بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ عَنْ مُعَلَّى بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ عَنِ الْحَسَنِ بْنِ عَلِيٍّ الْوَشَّاءِ عَنْ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ عُمَرَ الْحَلَّالِ أَوْ غَيْرِهِ عَنِ الرِّضَا عليه السلام قَالَ قُلْتُ لَهُ إِنَّهُمْ يُحَاجُّونَّا يَقُولُونَ إِنَّ الْإِمَامَ لَا يَغْسِلُهُ إِلَّا الْإِمَامُ قَالَ فَقَالَ مَا يُدْرِيهِمْ مَنْ غَسَلَهُ فَمَا قُلْتَ لَهُمْ قَالَ فَقُلْتُ جُعِلْتُ فِدَاكَ قُلْتُ لَهُمْ إِنْ قَالَ ‏مَوْلَايَ إِنَّهُ غَسَلَهُ تَحْتَ عَرْشِ رَبِّي فَقَدْ صَدَقَ وَ إِنْ قَالَ غَسَلَهُ فِي تُخُومِ الْأَرْضِ فَقَدْ صَدَقَ قَالَ لَا هَكَذَا قَالَ فَقُلْتُ فَمَا أَقُولُ لَهُمْ قَالَ قُلْ لَهُمْ إِنِّي غَسَلْتُهُ فَقُلْتُ أَقُولُ لَهُمْ إِنَّكَ غَسَلْتَهُ فَقَالَ نَعم

Washa said, “I guess it was Ahmad Ibn ‘Umar or someone else told Hazrat Imam Reza (AS), ‘They (people from Waqifiyya who deny both the Imamat of Imam Reza (AS) and his father’s demise) have been in dispute with us arguing that if an Imam should be given Ghusl only by another Imam, how was it possible that Musa Ibn Ja’far (AS) (your father) passed away in Baghdad while you were in Medina.’ He asked me, ‘How do they know that who gave Ghusl to him? What did you tell them in return?’ I said, ‘May my soul be sacrificed for you! I told them, ‘If my master said that he gave Ghusl to his father under the throne of heaven, he was telling the truth. If he said that he did it beneath the ground, again he was right.’ He continued, ‘Do not react in this way!’ I asked him what I should have said though. He replied, ‘Tell them that I myself gave Ghusl to him.’ I asked him to my surprise, ‘Did you really give him Ghusl?’ ‘Yes’, responded he.

Al-Koleini al-Razi, Abu Ja’far Mohammad Ibn Ya’qub Ibn Ishaq (died in 328 AH), al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 385, H. 1; published by Islamiyya, Tehran, the second edition, 1362 AH.

It is clearly revealed in this narrative that the rule of giving Ghusl to an Imam by another Imam was completely in practice at the time of Aimma’s lifetime. It has been, in fact, considered a requisite. Imam Reza (AS) ascribed the Ghusl of his father to himself despite the fact that he was too far from where he passed away.

 

 

 

Isma’il Ibn Sahl’s narrative quoted from Imam Reza (AS) through an intermediary

مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ مَسْعُودٍ عَنْ جََعفرِ بْنِ أَحْمَدَ عَنْ حَمْدَانَ بْنِ سُلَيْمَانَ عَنْ مَنْصُورِ بْنِ الْعَبَّاسِ عَنْ إِسْمَاعِيلَ بْنِ سَهْلٍ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا بَعْضُ أَصْحَابِنَا وَ سَأَلَنِي أَنْ أَكْتُمَ اسْمَهُ قَالَ كُنْتُ عِنْدَ الرِّضَا عليه السلام فَدَخَلَ عَلَيْهِ عَلِيُّ بْنُ أَبِي حَمْزَةَ وَ ابْنُ السَّرَّاجِ وَ ابْنُ الْمُكَارِي........قَالَ لَهُ عَلِيٌّ(ابْنُ أَبِي حَمْزَةَ) إِنَّا رَوَيْنَا عَنْ آبَائِكَ (عليهم السلام) أَنَّ الْإِمَامَ لَا يَلِي أَمْرَهُ إِلَّا إِمَامٌ مِثْلُهُ فَقَالَ لَهُ أَبُو الْحَسَنِ فَأَخْبِرْنِي عَنِ الْحُسَيْنِ بْنِ عَلِيٍّ (عليه السلام) كَانَ إِمَاماً أَوْ كَانَ غَيْرَ إِمَامٍ قَالَ كَانَ إِمَاماً قَالَ فَمَنْ وَلِيُّ أَمْرِهِ قَالَ عَلِيُّ بْنُ الْحُسَيْنِ قَالَ وَ أَيْنَ كَانَ عَلِيُّ بْنُ الْحُسَيْنِ كَانَ مَحْبُوساً فِي يَدِ عُبَيْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ زِيَادٍ قَالَ خَرَجَ وَ هُمْ كَانُوا لَا يَعْلَمُونَ حَتَّى وَلِيَ أَمْرَ أَبِيهِ ثُمَّ انْصَرَفَ فَقَالَ لَهُ أَبُو الْحَسَنِ عليه السلام إِنَّ هَذَا [الَّذِي‏] أَمْكَنَ عَلِيَّ بْنَ الْحُسَيْنِ عليه السلام أَنْ يَأْتِيَ كَرْبَلَاءَ فَيَلِيَ أَمْرَ أَبِيهِ فَهُوَ يُمْكِنُ صَاحِبَ الْأَمْرِ أَنْ يَأْتِيَ بَغْدَادَ فَيَلِيَ أَمْرَ أَبِيهِ ثُمَّ يَنْصَرِفَ وَ لَيْسَ فِي حَبْسٍ ولَا فِي إِسَارٍ.....

Isma’il Ibn Sahl said, “One of the Sahaba (companions) who talked on the condition of anonymity said, ‘I was with Hazrat Imam Reza (AS) when ‘Ali Ibn Abi Hamza, Ibn Siraj and Ibn Mikari came in. Ibn Abi Hamza who was a Waqifiyya leader told the eighth Imam, Imam Reza (AH), ‘According to narratives left from your ancestors, it is an infallible Imam who should give Ghusl to, shroud and perform prayer for a deceased infallible Imam. If you really are the Imam after your father Hazrat Imam Kazim (AS), why didn’t you perform prayer for your father’s dead body then?’

In response to the man’s question, the Hazrat stated, ‘Isn’t Imam Hussein (AS) a true Imam in your opinion?’ ‘Ali Ibn Abi Hamza Bataini said, ‘Why not. Of course he is.’ The Imam continued, ‘Who did perform prayer for him?’ ‘Hazrat Imam Sajjad (AS),’ replied he. ‘Where was Imam Sajjad (AS) at that time then?’ asked the Imam, adding, ‘He was kept behind the bars by the Umawi ‘Ubaydullah.’ The Imam went on to say, ‘The Hazrat exited the prison thanks to his miraculous power of Imamat and headed to Karbala. And following the implementation of the affairs, he returned to the jail before the wardens get informed of his absence.’ Hazrat Imam Reza (AS) added, ‘If it were feasible for Imam Sajjad (AS) to do his job while he was in prison behind the bars, why shouldn’t it have been possible for another real Imam who was free to head from Medina to Baghdad to perform prayer for his father’s corpse and then return to Medina again’.”

Al-Majlisi, Mohamamd Baqir (died in 1111 AH), Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’at Li Durar Akhbar al-Aimma al-Athar, vol. 48, p. 270, H. 29; researched by Mohammad al-Baqir al-Bihbudi; published by Muassissat al-Wafa, Beirut-Lebanon, the second edition al-Mushaha, 1403 AH-1983 AD.

Once again, it is inferred from this narrative that only one Imam should give Ghusl to another Imam. This issue has been so well-known that the group of Waqifiyyah tried to use it as a tool to verify their claim during the term of Hazrat Imam Reza (AS) and challenge him. But Imam Reza (AS) gave a crushing response and proved that if an Imam were even too far from his infallible predecessor, who was on the verge of death, he could reach him thanks to his divine power and personally take care of his funeral procession including Ghusl, burial and prayer.

Here is Sheikh ‘Abbas Qomi’s take on this matter.

اعلم أنه قد ثبت في محله أنه لا يلي أمر المعصوم إلا المعصوم و أن الإمام لا يغسله إلا الإمام، و لو قبض إمام في المشرق و كان وصيه في المغرب لجمع اللّه بينهما

Be aware that it has been proven fact that an infallible person is only responsible for burying and shrouding another infallible individual. Similarly an Imam should only be washed up by an Imam. In case an Imam passed away in the eastern part of the world whereas his successor was in the west, God would help the two to reunite.

Sheikh ‘Abbas Qomi, Nafs al-Mahmum fi Musibat Sayifina al-Hussein al-Mazlum wa Yalih Nafathat al-Masdur Fima Yatajaddad Bahi Huzn al-‘Ashur, p. 354; published by al-Maktabat al-Heidariyya, Najaf, the first edition, 142

 

Shrouding and burying the Imam of the Time (May God Hasten His Appearance) by Imam Hussein (AS)

Now after making clear the issue of an Imam’s Ghusl, we intend to shed light on the speculation about the person who is going to give Ghusl to, shroud and bury the Imam of the Time (AS).

There are narratives indicating that at the end of Hazrat Mahdi’s (May God Hasten His Appearance) life, Imam Hussein (AH) along with his companions will resurrect. The Imam of the time (AH) is going to introduce his forefather Imam Hussein (AH) and his companions to people before his demise. And Imam Hussein (AH) is expected to take care of his Ghusl, shroud, prayer and burial.

A number of narratives have also been cited in confirmation of the sixth verse of the chapter of the Night Journey,

ثُمَّ رَدَدْنا لَكُمُ الْكَرَّةَ عَلَيْهِمْ وَ أَمْدَدْناكُمْ بِأَمْوالٍ وَ بَنينَ وَ جَعَلْناكُمْ أَكْثَرَ نَفيرا

Then We gave back to you a return victory over them. And We reinforced you with wealth and sons and made you more numerous in manpower.

This Quranic verse has implicitly referred to Ghusl, shroud and burial of the Imam of the Time (May God Hasten His Appearance).

 

 

Salih Ibn Sahl’s narrative quoted from Imam Sadiq (AS)

عن صالح بن سهل عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام …( ثم رددنا لكم الكرة عليهم وأمددناكم بأموال وبنين وجعلناكم أكثر نفيرا )، خُرُوجُ الْحُسَيْنِ (عليه السلام) فِي الْكَرَّةِ فِي سَبْعِينَ رَجُلًا مِنْ أَصْحَابِهِ الَّذِينَ قُتِلُوا مَعَهُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْبِيضُ الْمُذَهَّبُ لِكُلِّ بِيضَةٍ وَجْهَانِ وَ الْمُؤَدِّي إِلَى النَّاسِ أَنَّ الْحُسَيْنَ قَدْ خَرَجَ فِي أَصْحَابِهِ حَتَّى لَا يَشُكَّ فِيهِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَ أَنَّهُ لَيْسَ‏ بِدَجَّالٍ‏ وَ لَا شَيْطَانٍ الْإِمَامُ الَّذِي بَيْنَ أَظْهُرِ النَّاسِ يَوْمَئِذٍ فَإِذَا اسْتَقَرَّ عِنْدَ الْمُؤْمِنِ أَنَّهُ الْحُسَيْنُ لَا يَشُكُّونَ فِيهِ وَ بَلَغَ عَنِ الْحُسَيْنِ الْحُجَّةُ الْقَائِمُ بَيْنَ أَظْهُرِ النَّاسِ وَ صَدَّقَهُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ بِذَلِكَ جَاءَ الْحُجَّةَ الْمَوْتُ فَيَكُونُ الَّذِي يَلِي غُسْلَهُ وَ كَفْنَهُ وَ حَنُوطَهُ وَ إِيلَاجَهُ حُفْرَتَهُ الْحُسَيْنَ وَ لَا يَلِي الْوَصِيَّ إِلَّا الْوَصِيُّ وَ زَادَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ فِي حَدِيثِهِ ثُمَّ يَمْلِكُهُمُ الْحُسَيْنُ حَتَّى يَقَعَ حَاجِبَاهُ عَلَى عَيْنَيْهِ.

Imam Sadiq (AS) said, “The actual implication of the verse of ثُمَّ رَدَدْنا لَكُمُ الْكَرَّةَ

is that Imam Hussein (AH) along with his seventy two close companions who were killed alongside with him will resurrect while they have golden helmets on. And any of the helmets has two layers. The people will be told that it is Imam Hussein (AS) who has been brought back to life along with his companions in a bid to leave no doubt to those who might imagine that he is the Satan or Dajjal. Meanwhile, Hujjat Ibn al-Hassan ‘Askari (May God Hasten His Appearance) is among the people.  As soon as a strong faith emerged in the hearts of the believers that he was Hussein (AH); making them support him, it would be then the time for the departure of the twelfth Imam. It is Imam Hussein (AS) who is going to give Ghusl to him, shroud and finally bury him following performing a prayer for him. No other people are responsible for the processions that follow an Imam’s demise except his testamentary guardian.

And it has been quoted by Ibrahim that right after the demise of the Imam of the Time (May God Hasten His Appearance) and his burial, Imam Hussein (AS) will take the helm of the power and will continue with running the universal government [established by Imam Mahdi (AS)]. He will reportedly rule over the world so long that his eyebrows will grow long downward covering his face.

Al-‘Ayyashi al-Silmi al-Samarqandi, Mohammad Ibn Mas’ud Ibn ‘Ayyash (died in 320 AH), Tafsir al-‘Ayyashi, vol. 2, p. 281; researched by al-Sayyid Hashim al-Rasuli al-Mahallati; published by al-Maktabat al-‘Ilmiyya al-Islamiyya, Tehran.

Al-Koleini al-Razi, Abu Ja’far Mohammad Ibn Ya’qub Ibn Ishaq (died in 328 AH), al-Kafi, vol. 6, p. 206, H.251; published by Islamiyya, Tehran, the second edition, 1362 AH.

Al-Majlisi, Mohamamd Baqir (died in 1111 AH), Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’at Li Durar Akhbar al-Aimma al-Athar, vol. 51, p. 56, H. 46; researched by Mohammad al-Baqir al-Bihbudi; published by Muassissat al-Wafa, Beirut-Lebanon, the second edition al-Mushaha, 1403 AH-1983 AD.

 

‘Abdullah Ibn Qasim’s narrative from Imam Sadiq (AS)

عِدَّةٌ مِنْ أَصْحَابِنَا عَنْ سَهْلِ بْنِ زِيَادٍ عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ الْحَسَنِ بْنِ شَمُّونٍ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ الْأَصَمِّ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ الْقَاسِمِ الْبَطَلِ عَنْ أَبِي عَبْدِ اللَّهِ (عليه السلام‏).....«.ثُمَّ رَدَدْنا لَكُمُ الْكَرَّةَ عَلَيْهِم‏، خُرُوجُ الْحُسَيْنِ (عليه السلام) فِي سَبْعِينَ مِنْ أَصْحَابِهِ عَلَيْهِمُ الْبَيْضُ الْمُذَهَّبُ لِكُلِّ بَيْضَةٍ وَجْهَانِ الْمُؤَدُّونَ إِلَى النَّاسِ أَنَّ هَذَا الْحُسَيْنَ قَدْ خَرَجَ حَتَّى لَا يَشُكَّ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ فِيهِ وَ أَنَّهُ لَيْسَ بِدَجَّالٍ وَ لَا شَيْطَانٍ وَ الْحُجَّةُ الْقَائِمُ بَيْنَ أَظْهُرِهِمْ فَإِذَا اسْتَقَرَّتِ الْمَعْرِفَةُ فِي قُلُوبِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَنَّهُ الْحُسَيْنُ (عليه السلام) جَاءَ الْحُجَّةَ الْمَوْتُ فَيَكُونُ الَّذِي يُغَسِّلُهُ وَ يُكَفِّنُهُ وَ يُحَنِّطُهُ وَ يَلْحَدُهُ فِي حُفْرَتِهِ الْحُسَيْنَ بْنَ عَلِيٍّ )عليه السلام( وَ لَا يَلِي الْوَصِيَّ إِلَّا الْوَصِي‏.

Al-Koleini al-Razi, Abu Ja’far Mohammad Ibn Ya’qub Ibn Ishaq (died in 328 AH), al-Kafi, vol. 8, p. 206, H.250; published by Islamiyya, Tehran, the second edition, 1362 AH.

In a separate narrative cited in Mukhtasar al-Basair wa Bahar al-Anwar, the same point has been underlined that Imam Hussein (AS) would be the first person restoring to life to take care of the responsibility of the Ghusl and funeral procession of his son, Imam Mahdi (May God Hasten His Appearance).

‘Aqaba’s narrative quoted from Imam Sadiq (AS)

مِمَّا رَوَاهُ لِي السَّيِّدُ الْجَلِيلُ بَهَاءُ الدِّينِ عَلِيُّ بْنُ عَبْدِ الْحَمِيدِ الْحُسَيْنِيُّ رَوَاهُ بِطَرِيقِهِ عَنْ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ الْإِيَادِيِّ يَرْفَعُهُ إِلَى أَحْمَدَ بْنِ عُقْبَةَ عَنْ أَبِيهِ عَنْ أَبِي عَبْدِ اللَّهِ (عليه السلام)‏ سُئِلَ عَنِ الرَّجْعَةِ أَ حَقٌّ هِيَ؟ قَالَ: نَعَمْ. فَقِيلَ لَهُ: مَنْ أَوَّلُ مَنْ يَخْرُجُ؟ قَالَ الْحُسَيْنُ‏ يَخْرُجُ‏ عَلَى‏ أَثَرِ الْقَائِمِ‏ عليه السلام. قُلْتُ: وَ مَعَهُ النَّاسُ كُلُّهُمْ؟ قَالَ: لَا بَلْ كَمَا ذَكَرَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى فِي كِتَابِهِ‏ «يَوْمَ يُنْفَخُ فِي الصُّورِ فَتَأْتُونَ أَفْواجاً» قَوْمٌ بَعْدَ قَوْمٍ.

وَ عَنْهُ (عليه السلام)‏ وَ يُقْبِلُ الْحُسَيْنُ (عليه السلام) فِي أَصْحَابِهِ الَّذِينَ قُتِلُوا مَعَهُ وَ مَعَهُ سَبْعُونَ نَبِيّاً كَمَا بَعَثُوا مَعَ مُوسَى بْنِ عِمْرَانَ فَيَدْفَعُ إِلَيْهِ الْقَائِمُ (عليه السلام) الْخَاتَمَ فَيَكُونُ الْحُسَيْنُ‌ (عليه السلام)‌ هُوَ الَّذِي يَلِي غُسْلَهُ وَ كَفْنَهُ وَ حَنُوطَهُ وَ يُوَارِيهِ فِي حُفْرَتِهِ

In his Muntakhab al-Basair, Sheikh Hassan Ibn Sulayman has quoted a narrative from Baha al-Din Sayyid Ali Ibn ‘Abd al-Hamid Husseini. It has been earlier quoted by Ahmad Ibn ‘Aqaba, citing his father who had initially quoted Hazrat Imam Sadiq (AS) as responding to a question whether resurrection was true. He stated, “Definitely true.” He was asked who would be the first to resurrect. “Hussein (AS) will be brought back to life after the appearance of Qaim (AS)”. “Will all dead people be revived together?” the Imam was asked. “No, as God has stated, يَوْمَ يُنْفَخُ فِي الصُّورِ فَتَأْتُونَ أَفْواجاً a group of people will resurrect after another”, answered he. “Imam Hussein (AS), his companions, who were killed beside him, along with seventy prophets including Moses son of Imran will all be brought back to life. Qaim will hand in his ring to Imam Hussein (AS). As soon as Qaim passes away, Imam Hussein (AS) will be the one who is going to give Ghusl to him, shroud, perform prayer for and bury him”, he concluded.

Al-Hilli, al-Hasan Ibn Sulayman, Mukhtasar Basair al-Darajat, p. 48; published by Manshurat al-Matba’at al-Heidariyya, al-Najaf al-Ashraf, the first edition, 1370 AH-1950 AD.

Al-Majlisi, Mohamamd Baqir (died in 1111 AH), Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’at Li Durar Akhbar al-Aimma al-Athar, vol. 53, p. 39, H. 103; researched by Mohammad al-Baqir al-Bihbudi; published by Muassissat al-Wafa, Beirut-Lebanon, the second edition al-Mushaha, 1403 AH-1983 AD.

According to these narratives, Imam Hussein (AS) is going to be the only Imam from among all Imams who will give Ghusl to, shroud and bury the Imam of the Time (AS). He will resurrect just before the demise of the Imam Mahdi (May God Hasten His Appearance) to take control of his offspring’s universal government.

 

Examination of narratives which are apparently contradictory

Based on the narratives which were provided before as evidence, the conclusion that can be drawn is that the Ghusl of prophets, Imams and Ma’sumin (infallible individuals) should only be carried out by their successors or other infallible people. But on the other hand, there are conflicting reports suggesting that this task has been on the shoulder of non-Imam and fallible individuals.

 

Narratives about Imam Kazim’s (AS) Ghusl

Abi Sammal’s narrative quoted from Imam Reza (AS)

مُعَاوِيَةُ بْنُ حُكَيْمٍ عَنْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ بْنِ أَبِي سَمَّالٍ‏ قَالَ: كَتَبْتُ إِلَى أَبِي الْحَسَنِ الرِّضَا عليه السلام أَنَّا قَدْ رَوَيْنَا عَنْ أَبِي عَبْدِ اللَّهِ عليه السلام أَنَّ الْإِمَامَ لَا يُغَسِّلُهُ إِلَّا الْإِمَامُ وَ قَدْ بَلَغَنَا هَذَا الْحَدِيثُ فَمَا تَقُولُ فِيهِ فَكَتَبَ إِلَيَّ أَنَّ الَّذِي بَلَغَكَ هُوَ الْحَقُّ قَالَ فَدَخَلْتُ عَلَيْهِ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ فَقُلْتُ لَهُ- أَبُوكَ مَنْ غَسَّلَهُ وَ مَنْ وَلِيَهُ فَقَالَ لَعَلَّ الَّذِينَ حَضَرُوهُ أَفْضَلُ مِنَ الَّذِينَ تَخَلَّفُوا عَنْهُ قُلْتُ وَ مَنْ هُمْ قَالَ حَضَرُوهُ الَّذِينَ حَضَرُوا يوسف عليه السلام مَلَائِكَةُ اللَّهِ وَ رَحْمَتُه‏.

Abu Sammal said, “In a letter to Imam Reza (AS), I informed him of receiving a narrative from Imam Hussein (AS) which insisted on the fact that only an Imam can wash another Imam’s corpse. I asked him his take on the narrative. In response, the Imam assured that the content of the narrative was absolutely true.”

Sammal added, “Later on, I went to meet Imam Reza (AS). I asked him who the one who gave Ghusl to his father really was. He stated, ‘Those who appeared for the job have been probably superior to those who balked at doing it. I asked him who they were. He added that they were God’s angels who emerged beside Imam Kazim (AS) to do the job. “They were in fact those who had appeared for Joseph as well.”

Hilli, Hassan Ibn Sulayman Ibn Mohammad, Mokhtasar al-Basair, p. 77; researched and edited by Muzaffar, Mushtaq, Qom, Muassissat al-Islami, the first edition, 1421 AH.

 

Talha’s narrative quoted from Imam Reza (AS)

الْحُسَيْنُ‏ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ عَنِ الْمُعَلَّى عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ جُمْهُورٍ عَنْ يُونُسَ عَنْ طَلْحَةَ قَالَ‏ قُلْتُ لِلرِّضَا عليه السلام إِنَّ قال: قلت للرضا عليه السلام: إِنَّ الْإِمَامَ لَا يُغَسِّلُهُ إِلَّا الْإِمَامُ، فَقَالَ أمَا تَدْرُونَ مَنْ حَضَرَ يُغَسِّلُهُ قَدْ حَضَرَهُ خَيْرٌ مِمَّنْ غَابَ عَنْهُ الَّذِينَ حَضَرُوا يُوسُفَ فِي الْجُبِّ ‏.

Talha said, “I asked Imam Reza (AS) whether a deceased Imam should only be washed up by another Imam. He asked in response, ‘Don’t you know who will be present for his procession? Someone will be present beside him who is much better than the one who is absent. As a matter of fact, he will be exactly the one who appeared in front of the well in which Joseph was stuck while his family members including his father were absent.

Al-Majlisi, Mohammad Baqir (died in 1111 AH), Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’at Li Durar Akhbar al-Aimma al-Athar, vol. 27, p. 289, H. 2; researched by Mohammad al-Baqir al-Bihbudi; published by Muassissat al-Wafa, Beirut-Lebanon, the second edition al-Mushaha, 1403 AH-1983 AD.

What can be inferred from the surface of these two narratives is that angels were actually the ones who gave Ghusl to Imam Kazim (AS). That is because angels were exactly the creatures which appeared in front of the well to give Joseph a help.

Response:

These two narratives do not contradict the giving of Ghusl to an Imam in general. It might only imply the precautionary dissimulation. It is exactly what Allame Majlisi believes.

لعل الخبرين محمولان على التقية إما من أهل السنة أو من نواقص العقول من الشيعة مع أن كلا منهما صحيح في نفسه إذ الرحمة في الخبر الأول إشارة إلى الإمام و في الخبر الثاني لم ينف صريحا حضور الإمام و حضور الملائكة لا ينافي حضوره و سيأتي في باب تاريخ موسى عليه السلام أخبار كثيرة دالة على حضور الرضا عليه السلام عند الغسل‏.

These two reports probably are referring to precautionary dissimulation due to the existence of opponents and the weak-minded Shias. Any of the two possibilities can be considered correct owing to the fact that in the first report, the word of blessing is implying the Imam. And in the second one, the presence of the Imam is not explicitly rejected.

And indeed the presence of the angels is by no means in contradiction to the presence of an Imam.

Al-Majlisi, Mohamamd Baqir (died in 1111 AH), Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’at Li Durar Akhbar al-Aimma al-Athar, vol. 27, p. 289, H. 2; researched by Mohammad al-Baqir al-Bihbudi; published by Muassissat al-Wafa, Beirut-Lebanon, the second edition al-Mushaha, 1403 AH-1983 AD.

 

Angels giving Ghusl to the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him and His Household)

Imam Sadiq’s (AS) narratives

أَحْمَدُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ وَ أَحْمَدُ بْنُ إِسْحَاقَ عَنِ الْقَاسِمِ بْنِ يَحْيَى عَنْ بَعْضِ أَصْحَابِنَا عَنْ أَبِي عَبْدِ اللَّهِ (عليه السلام‏) لَمَّا قُبِضَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ (صلى الله عليه وآله) هَبَطَ جَبْرَئِيلُ وَ مَعَهُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَ الرُّوحُ الَّذِينَ كَانُوا يَهْبِطُونَ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ قَالَ فَفُتِحَ لِأَمِيرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ بَصَرُهُ فَرَآهُمْ فِي مُنْتَهَى السَّمَاوَاتِ إِلَى الْأَرْضِ يُغَسِّلُونَ النَّبِيَّ مَعَهُ وَ يُصَلُّونَ مَعَهُ عَلَيْهِ وَ يَحْفِرُونَ لَهُ وَ اللَّهِ مَا حَفَرَ لَهُ غَيْرُهُمْ حَتَّى إِذَا وُضِعَ فِي قَبْرِهِ نَزَلُوا مَعَ مَنْ نَزَلَ فَوَضَعُوهُ فَتَكَلَّمَ وَفُتِحَ لِأَمِيرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ عليه السلام سَمْعُهُ فَسَمِعَهُ يُوصِيهِمْ بِهِ فَبَكَى وَ سَمِعَهُمْ يَقُولُونَ لَا نَأْلُوهُ جُهْداً وَإِنَّمَا هُوَ صَاحِبُنَا بَعْدَكَ إِلَّا أَنَّهُ لَيْسَ يُعَايِنُنَا بِبَصَرِهِ بَعْدَ مَرَّتِنَا هَذِهِ حَتَّى إِذَا مَاتَ أَمِيرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ (عليه السلام) رَأَى الْحَسَنُ وَ الْحُسَيْنُ مِثْلَ ذَلِكَ الَّذِي رَأَى وَ رَأَيَا النَّبِيَّ (صلى الله عليه وآله) أَيْضاً يُعِينُ الْمَلَائِكَةَ مِثْلَ الَّذِي صَنَعُوا بِالنَّبِيِّ حَتَّى إِذَا مَاتَ الْحَسَنُ رَأَى مِنْهُ الْحُسَيْنُ مِثْلَ ذَلِكَ وَ رَأَى النَّبِيَّ وَ عَلِيّاً يُعِينَانِ الْمَلَائِكَةَ حَتَّى إِذَا مَاتَ الْحُسَيْنُ رَأَى عَلِيُّ بْنُ الْحُسَيْنِ مِنْهُ مِثْلَ ذَلِكَ وَ رَأَى النَّبِيَّ وَ عَلِيّاً وَ الْحَسَنَ يُعِينُونَ الْمَلَائِكَةَ حَتَّى إِذَا مَاتَ عَلِيُّ بْنُ الْحُسَيْنِ رَأَى مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَلِيٍّ مِثْلَ ذَلِكَ وَ رَأَى النَّبِيَّ وَ عَلِيّاً وَ الْحَسَنَ وَ الْحُسَيْنَ يُعِينُونَ الْمَلَائِكَةَ حَتَّى إِذَا مَاتَ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَلِيٍّ رَأَى جَعْفَرٌ مِثْلَ ذَلِكَ وَ رَأَى النَّبِيَّ وَ عَلِيّاً وَ الْحَسَنَ وَ الْحُسَيْنَ وَ عَلِيَّ بْنَ الْحُسَيْنِ يُعِينُونَ الْمَلَائِكَةَ حَتَّى إِذَا مَاتَ جَعْفَرٌ رَأَى مُوسَى مِنْهُ مِثْلَ ذَلِكَ هَكَذَا يَجْرِي إِلَى آخِرِنَا

Imam Sadiq (AS) stated, “When the soul of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) was claimed, Gabriel along with the angels who usually come down unto the earth at the Night of Power or Destiny, came down again for the loss. As soon as Ali (AS) opened his eyes, he could see them extending from the farthest point of the sky to the earth. They gave Ghusl to the prophet’s (PBUH) corpse together with Ali (AS) before performing a prayer for him. They dug a grave for him together and no one else was there. When the Prophet (Peace Be upon Him) was laid down into the grave, he began talking. Ali (AS) was able to hear what he was saying. He was advising the angels to respect Ali (AS). Ali (AS) could hear the angels assuring the Prophet (PBUH) that they would spare no assistance to Hazrat Ali (AS). They told the Prophet (Peace Be upon Him) that Ali (AS) would be their leader after him. They said that he would no longer see them with his eyes and he would only hear their voice.

And just when Amir al-Momenin (AS) passed away, his successor Imam Hassan (AS) witnessed what his father had. He saw the Holy Prophet (Peace Be upon Him) giving help to the angels at the time.

Similarly, upon Imam Hassan’s (AS) departure, Imam Hussein (AS) witnessed the same scenes. He saw the Holy Prophet (Peace Be upon Him) along with Imam Ali (AS) giving help to the angels.

And when Imam Hussein (AS) was slain, Imam Sajjad (AS) could see the similar event. He witnessed the Holy Prophet (Peace Be upon Him), Imam Ali (AS) and Imam Hassan (AS) giving assistance to the angels busy with giving Ghusl to him. And alike, when Imam Sajjad (AS) passed away, Imam Baqir (AS) saw the Holy Prophet (Peace Be upon Him), Imam Ali (AS), Imam Hassan (AS) as well as Imam Hussein (AS) giving aid to the angels. Exactly the same scenes were what Imam Kazim (AS) witnessed following the decease of Imam Sadiq (AS). It happened to all other  successive Imams likewise.

Saffar, Mohammad Ibn Hassan (290 AH), Basair al-Darajat fi Fadail Al Mohammad (PBUH), vol. 1, p. 225; researched and edited by Kuche Baghi, Mohsen Ibn ‘Abbas ‘Ali, Qom, Maktabat Ayatullah al-Mar’ashi al-Najafi, the  second edition, 1404 AH.

Al-Majlisi, Mohamamd Baqir (died in 1111 AH), Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’at Li Durar Akhbar al-Aimma al-Athar, vol. 27, p. 290; researched by Mohammad al-Baqir al-Bihbudi; published by Muassissat al-Wafa, Beirut-Lebanon, the second edition al-Mushaha, 1403 AH-1983 AD.

Qutb al-Din Rawandi has cited the same narrative from Imam Reza (AS) with just a slight difference.

Al-Rawandi, Qutb al-Din (died in 573 AH), al-Kharaij wa al-Jaraih, vol. 2, p 778; researched and published by Muassissat al-Imam al-Mahdi (AS), Qom, the first edition, 1409 AH.

Sayyid Buhrani has also quoted it from Imam Hadi (AS).

Buhrani, Sayyid Hashim Ibn Sulayman (1107 AH), Madinat Ma’ajiz al-Aimma al-Ithna ‘Ashar, vol. 4, p. 434, Muassissat al-Ma’ar al-Islamiyya, Iran, the first edition, 1413 AH.

 

Response:

It can be inferred from this narrative that the angels, who are infallible themselves, used to take part in Aimma’s funeral processions including giving Ghusl to, shrouding and burying to help another infallible person. However, it has no contradiction with the rule that only a Ma’sum (infallible individual) should wash up another Ma’sum’s dead body. The Holy Prophet (Peace Be upon Him) together with the Imam who preceded the deceased one was also present at the scene to have a share in the procession.

 

 

Giving Ghusl to Imam Sajjad (AS) by Umm Walad (his maid)

There is a narrative indicating that Imam Sajjad (AS) recommended his maid, Umm Walad, who gave Ghusl to him. This one is in complete contradiction with other narratives.

مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ الْحَسَنِ بِإِسْنَادِهِ عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ يَحْيَى عَنِ‏

الْحَسَنِ بْنِ مُوسَى الْخَشَّابِ عَنْ غِيَاثِ بْنِ كَلُّوبٍ عَنْ إِسْحَاقَ بْنِ عَمَّارٍ عَنْ جَعْفَرٍ عَنْ أَبِيهِ‏ أَنَّ عَلِيَّ بْنَ الْحُسَيْنِ عليهما السلام أَوْصَى‏ أَنْ‏ تُغَسِّلَهُ‏ أُمُ‏ وَلَدٍ لَهُ‏ إِذَا مَاتَ فَغَسَّلَتْهُ.

Imam Sadiq (AS) has quoted his noble father as stating that Imam Ali Ibn Hussein (AS) has demanded his son in a will to give Ghusl to him. But it was Umm Wallad who did so after he passed away

Al- Tusi, al-Sheikh Abu Ja’far Mohammad Ibn al-Hassan Ibn ‘Ali Ibn al-Hassan (died in 460 AH), Tahthib al-Ahkam, vol. 1, p. 444; researched by al-Sayyid Hassan al-Musawi al-Khursan; published by Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyya, Tehran, the fourth edition, 1365 solar year.

 

Response:

Allame Majlisi has considered this narrative as a weak report, saying

لعله عليه السلام إنما أوصى بذلك تقية، لئلا يتعرض المخالفون لغسله، فيتمكن الإمام من غسله على نهج الحق، لأنه معلوم من مذهب الشيعة و أخبارهم أن الإمام لا يغسله إلا إمام. و يحتمل أن تكون معاونة للإمام عليه السلام في غسله.

There is a possibility that Imam Sajjad (AS) made this will only because of observing the precautionary dissimulation to ward off the enemies’ ill intention seeking to cause disruption in his procession. He, as a matter of fact, wanted Imam Baqir (AS) to abide by the tradition and take care of his Ghusl. It is evident that from the Shia perspective and according to their reports, a deceased Imam can never be washed up by someone other than an Imam. There is another possibility that the Imam’s testament to Umm Walad implied her assistance to Imam Baqir (AS).

Al-Majlisi, Mohamamd Baqir  Ibn Mohammad Taqi , Malath al-Akhyar fi Fahm Tahthib al-Akhbar, vol. 3, p. 254; researched and edited by Rajai, Mahdi; published by Ayatullah Mar’ashi Najafi Library, Qom, the first edition, 1406 AH.

Although this narrative appears to be in contradiction with the previous narratives, its chain of transmission is quite weak. Therefore, it is not powerful enough to challenge the existing huge number of narratives insisting on the fact that an Imam should only be given Ghusl by another Imam. In addition, prominent Shia figures believe that this narrative has been made due to the precautionary dissimulation.

In follow up to this narrative, Sheikh Hurr ‘Amili has said,

أَقُولُ: الْمَرْوِيُّ فِي أَحَادِيثَ كَثِيرَةٍ أَنَّ الْإِمَامَ لَا يُغَسِّلُهُ إِلَّا إِمَامٌ فَمَعْنَى الْوَصِيَّةِ هُنَا الْمُسَاعَدَةُ عَلَى الْغُسْلِ وَ الْمُشَارَكَةُ فِيهِ كَمَا مَرَّ فِي حَدِيثِ أَسْمَاءَ أَوْ بَيَانُ الْجَوَازِ أَوِ التَّقِيَّةُ وَ إِنْ كَانَ الْمُتَوَلِّي لَهُ بَاطِناً هُوَ الْبَاقِرُ عليه السلام كَمَا وَقَعَ التَّصْرِيحُ بِهِ فِي الْأَخْبَارِ وَ اللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ.

I say that based on a large number of narratives, an Imam should not be given Ghusl by someone else other than an Imam. And here the testament is actually meant as cooperation and assistance. It is similar to the Hadith of Asma implying either the sense of permission or precautionary dissimulation although indeed it was Imam Baqir (AS) who should have mainly shouldered the responsibility. It is exactly what has been clearly mentioned in historical reports.

Al-Hurr al-‘Amili, Mohammad Ibn  al-Hassan (died in 1104 AH), Tafsil Wasail al-Shi’a Ila Tahsil Masail al-Shari’at, vol. 2, p. 535; researched and published by Muassissat Al al-Bayt ‘Alayhum al-Salam Li Ihya al-Turath, the second edition, 1414 AH.

Also in Rowdat al-Muttaqin and Bihar al-Anwar, Allame Majlisi has considered this will as a prelude to the ritual of Ghusl. He believes that this testament had been originally for the purpose of the precautionary concealment to avoid any possible harm to Imam Baqir (AS).

Majlisi, Mohammad Taqi Ibn Maqsud ‘Ali, Rowdat al-Muttaqin fi Sharh Man La Yahduruhu al-Faqih (the old edition), vol. 1, p. 371; researched and edited by Musawi Kirmani, Hussein Ishtihardi Ali Panah; published by Muassissat Farhangi Islami Kushanpur, Qom, the second edition, 1406 AH.

Al-Majlisi, Mohamamd Baqir (died in 1111 AH), Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’at Li Durar Akhbar al-Aimma al-Athar, vol. 78, p. 303; researched by Mohammad al-Baqir al-Bihbudi; published by Muassissat al-Wafa, Beirut-Lebanon, the second edition al-Mushaha, 1403 AH-1983 AD.

With the thorough examination of a large number of narratives, we can come to this conclusion that giving Ghusl to, shrouding and burying an Imam or an infallible person are all the responsibility of another Imam or infallible person. Furthermore, this single narrative is by no means able to challenge the previous narratives.

 

Narratives related to Hazrat Fatima’s (AS) Ghusl performed by herself before her martyrdom

A number of narratives can be found suggesting that Hazrat Fatima (AS) carried out Ghusl by herself before her martyrdom. And they are clearly in contradiction to the general rule that the Ghusl of an infallible person is on another Ma’sum’s shoulder.

The first narrative

ابْنُ حَمَّوَيْهِ عَنْ أَبِي الْحُسَيْنِ عَنْ أَبِي خَلِيفَةَ عَنِ الْعَبَّاسِ بْنِ الْفَضْلِ عَنْ عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ أَبِي رَجَاءٍ عَنْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ عَنْ سَعْدٍ عَنْ أَبِي إِسْحَاقَ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَلِيِّ بْنِ أَبِي رَافِعٍ عَنْ أَبِيهِ عَنْ سَلْمَى امْرَأَةِ أَبِي رَافِعٍ قَالَتْ مَرِضَتْ فَاطِمَةُ فَلَمَّا كَانَ الْيَوْمُ الَّذِي مَاتَتْ فِيهِ قَالَتْ هَيِّئِي لِي مَاءً فَصَبَبْتُ لَهَا فَاغْتَسَلَتْ كَأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانَتْ تَغْتَسِلُ ثُمَّ قَالَتِ ائْتِينِي بِثِيَابٍ جُدُدٍ فَلَبِسَتْهَا ثُمَّ أَتَتِ الْبَيْتَ الَّذِي كَانَتْ فِيهِ فَقَالَتِ افْرُشِي لِي فِي وَسَطِهِ ثُمَّ اضْطَجَعَتْ وَ اسْتَقْبَلَتِ الْقِبْلَةَ وَ وَضَعَتْ يَدَهَا تَحْتَ خَدِّهَا وَ قَالَتْ إِنِّي مَقْبُوضَةٌ الْآنَ فَلَا أُكْشَفَنَّ فَإِنِّي قَدِ اغْتَسَلْتُ قَالَتْ وَ مَاتَتْ فَلَمَّا جَاءَ عَلِيٌّ أَخْبَرْتُهُ فَقَالَ لَا تُكْشَفُ فَحَمَلَهَا يَغْسِلُهَا عليهما السلام.‏

Sheikh Tusi has quoted Silmi, the wife of Abu Rafi’, the day on which Hazrat Zahra (AS) was about to succumb and breathe her last, she asked me for some water. I prepared the water with which she gave herself Ghusl. Then she asked for new clean clothes. I brought the clothes for her and she put them on. A while later, she told me to make her bed in the middle of the house. Next the lady lied down towards the Qibla (Ka’ba) and put her hands under her cheeks. She announced that she was about to die. But adamantly she warned that no one should take off her clothes because she had already carried out her Ghusl. She departed just after she said that.  When Hazrat Ali (AS) came back, I recounted the story to him. For his part, he warned that no one is allowed to take of her clothes. Afterwards, he took Zahra’s (AS) corpse and gave Ghusl to it.

Al- Tusi, al-Sheikh Abu Ja’far Mohammad Ibn al-Hassan Ibn ‘Ali Ibn al-Hassan (died in 460 AH), al-Amali, p. 400; researched by Qisam al-Dirasat al-Islamiyya, Muassissat al-Bi’that; published by Dar al-Thaqafa, Qom, the first edition, 1414 AH.

Al-Majlisi, Mohamamd Baqir (died in 1111 AH), Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’at Li Durar Akhbar al-Aimma al-Athar, vol. 43, p. 172; researched by Mohammad al-Baqir al-Bihbudi; published by Muassissat al-Wafa, Beirut-Lebanon, the second edition al-Mushaha, 1403 AH-1983 AD.

The second narrative

رَوَى مَرْفُوعاً إِلَى سَلْمَى أُمِّ بَنِي رَافِعٍ قَالَتْ كُنْتُ عِنْدَ فَاطِمَةَ بِنْتِ مُحَمَّدٍ صلى الله عليه وآله فِي شَكْوَاهَا الَّتِي مَاتَتْ فِيهَا قَالَتْ فَلَمَّا كَانَ فِي بَعْضِ الْأَيَّامِ وَ هِيَ أَخَفُّ مَا نَرَاهَا فَغَدَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ أَبِي طَالِبٍ فِي حَاجَتِهِ وَ هُوَ يَرَى يَوْمَئِذٍ أَنَّهَا أَمْثَلُ مَا كَانَتْ فَقَالَتْ يَا أُمَّهْ اسْكُبِي لِي غَسْلًا فَفَعَلْتُ فَاغْتَسَلَتْ كَأَشَدِّ مَا رَأَيْتُهَا ثُمَّ قَالَتْ لِي أَعْطِينِي ثِيَابِيَ الْجُدُدَ فَأَعْطَيْتُهَا فَلَبِسَتْ ثُمَّ قَالَتْ ضَعِي فِرَاشِي وَ اسْتَقْبِلِينِي ثُمَّ قَالَتْ إِنِّي قَدْ فَرَغْتُ مِنْ نَفْسِي فَلَا أُكْشَفَنَّ إِنِّي مَقْبُوضَةٌ الْآنَ ثُمَّ تَوَسَّدَتْ يَدَهَا الْيُمْنَى وَ اسْتَقْبَلَتِ الْقِبْلَةَ فَقُبِضَتْ فَجَاءَ عَلِيٌّ عليه السلام وَ نَحْنُ نَصِيحُ فَسَأَلَ عَنْهَا فَأَخْبَرْتُهُ فَقَالَ إِذاً وَ اللَّهِ لَا تُكْشَفُ فَاحْتُمِلَتْ فِي ثِيَابِهَا فَغُيِّبَت‏.

Umm Salame said, “Fatima was suffering from the pain in her rib. She was very ailing in bed; the illness which finally claimed her life. One morning when Ali left home for a purpose, Fatima (AS) told me, ‘Bring some water for me, I want to wash myself up’.” Umm Salame added, “I took some water for her. She washed herself in a way that I had never seen before. Then she said, ‘Umm Salame! Bring up my new clean clothes.’ I did bring them. She put them on and said, ‘Make my bed in the middle of the house.’

I did what she said. Next the lady lied down towards the Qibla (Ka’ba) and put her hand under her face. She announced that she was about to breathe her last. She warned that no one should take off her clothes because she had already washed herself up. She departed this life just after she made the warning.  When Hazrat Ali (AS) came back, I recounted the story to him. For his part, he warned that no one is allowed to take off her clothes. Afterwards, he took away Zahra’s (AS) corpse and buried her with clothes.”

In this narrative, Hazrat Zahra (AS) has warned against taking off her clothes because she had given herself the Ghusl before.

 

 

The third narrative

ابْنُ حَمَّوَيْهِ عَنْ أَبِي الْحُسَيْنِ عَنْ أَبِي خَلِيفَةَ عَنِ الْعَبَّاسِ بْنِ الْفَضْلِ عَنْ عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ أَبِي رَجَاءٍ عَنْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ عَنْ سَعْدٍ عَنْ أَبِي إِسْحَاقَ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَلِيِّ بْنِ أَبِي رَافِعٍ عَنْ أَبِيهِ عَنْ سَلْمَى امْرَأَةِ أَبِي رَافِعٍ قَالَتْ مَرِضَتْ فَاطِمَةُ فَلَمَّا كَانَ الْيَوْمُ الَّذِي مَاتَتْ فِيهِ قَالَتْ هَيِّئِي لِي مَاءً فَصَبَبْتُ لَهَا فَاغْتَسَلَتْ كَأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانَتْ تَغْتَسِلُ ثُمَّ قَالَتِ ائْتِينِي بِثِيَابٍ جُدُدٍ فَلَبِسَتْهَا ثُمَّ أَتَتِ الْبَيْتَ الَّذِي كَانَتْ فِيهِ فَقَالَتِ افْرُشِي لِي فِي وَسَطِهِ ثُمَّ اضْطَجَعَتْ وَ اسْتَقْبَلَتِ الْقِبْلَةَ وَ وَضَعَتْ يَدَهَا تَحْتَ خَدِّهَا وَ قَالَتْ إِنِّي مَقْبُوضَةٌ الْآنَ فَلَا أُكْشَفَنَّ فَإِنِّي قَدِ اغْتَسَلْتُ قَالَتْ وَ مَاتَتْ فَلَمَّا جَاءَ عَلِيٌّ أَخْبَرْتُهُ فَقَالَ لَا تُكْشَفُ فَحَمَلَهَا يَغْسِلُهَا ع‏

Sheikh Tusi has quoted Silmi, the wife of Abu Rafi’, the day on which Hazrat Zahra (AS) was about to succumb and breathe her last, she asked me for some water. I prepared the water with which she gave herself Ghusl. Then she asked for new clean clothes. I brought the clothes for her and she put them on. A while later, she told me to make her bed in the middle of the house. Next the lady lied down towards the Qibla (Ka’ba) and put her hands under her cheeks. She announced that she was about to breathe her last. She warned that no one should take off her clothes because she had already carried out her Ghusl. She breathed her last breath just after she said that.  When Hazrat Ali (AS) came back home, I recounted the story to him. For his part, he warned that no one is allowed to take off her clothes. Afterwards, he took away Zahra’s (AS) corpse and gave Ghusl to it.

Al- Tusi, al-Sheikh Abu Ja’far Mohammad Ibn al-Hassan Ibn ‘Ali Ibn al-Hassan (died in 460 AH), al-Amali, p. 400; researched by Qisam al-Dirasat al-Islamiyya, Muassissat al-Bi’that; published by Dar al-Thaqafa, Qom, the first edition, 1414 AH.

Al-Majlisi, Mohamamd Baqir (died in 1111 AH), Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’at Li Durar Akhbar al-Aimma al-Athar, vol. 43, p. 172; researched by Mohammad al-Baqir al-Bihbudi; published by Muassissat al-Wafa, Beirut-Lebanon, the second edition al-Mushaha, 1403 AH-1983 AD.

In this narrative, in spite of Hazrat Zahra’s (AS) warning against uncovering her body after her decease, it is being pointed out at the end of the narrative that Imam Ali (AS) gave her Ghusl following her martyrdom.

The fourth narrative

حدثنا عبد اللَّهِ حدثني أبي ثنا أبو النَّضْرِ ثنا إِبْرَاهِيمُ بن سَعْدٍ عن مُحَمَّدِ بن إِسْحَاقَ عن عبد اللَّهِ بن علي بن أبي رَافِعٍ عن أبيه عن أُمِّ سَلْمَى قَالَتِ اشْتَكَتْ فَاطِمَةُ شَكْوَاهَا التي قُبِضَتْ فيه فَكُنْتُ أُمَرِّضُهَا فَأَصْبَحَتْ يَوْماً كَأَمْثَلِ ما رَأَيْتُهَا في شَكْوَاهَا تِلْكَ قالت وَخَرَجَ علي لِبَعْضِ حَاجَتِهِ فقالت يا أُمَّهِ اسكبي لي غُسْلاً فَسَكَبْتُ لها غُسْلاً فَاغْتَسَلَتْ كَأَحْسَنِ ما رَأَيْتُهَا تَغْتَسِلُ ثُمَّ قالت يا أُمَّهْ أعطيني ثيابي الْجُدُدَ فَأَعْطَيْتُهَا فَلَبِسَتْهَا ثُمَّ قالت يا أُمَّهْ قدمي لي فراشي وَسَطَ الْبَيْتِ فَفَعَلْتُ وَاضْطَجَعَتْ وَاسْتَقْبَلَتِ الْقِبْلَةَ وَجَعَلَتْ يَدَهَا تَحْتَ خَدِّهَا ثُمَّ قالت يا أُمَّهْ اني مَقْبُوضَةٌ الآنَ وقد تَطَهَّرْتُ فَلاَ يكشفني أَحَدٌ فَقُبِضَتْ مَكَانَهَا قالت فَجَاءَ علي فَأَخْبَرْتُهُ.

Ahmad Ibn Hanbal has quoted Umm Salame as recounting,

“Fatima was very ailing in bed; the illness which finally claimed her life. I was responsible for looking after her. One day when she felt a little bit better, Ali left home for a purpose, Fatima (AS) told me, ‘Bring some water for me. I want to wash myself up’.” She washed herself in a way that I had never seen before. Then she said, ‘Umm Salame! Bring up my new clean clothes.’ I did bring them. She put them on and said, ‘Make my bed in the middle of the house.’

After a while she lied down on her side towards the Qibla (Ka’ba) and put her hands under her cheek. She said, ‘O mother! I am about to breathe my last, I have washed myself up’. She warned that no one should take off her clothes. She breathed her last shortly after she said that.  When Hazrat Ali (AS) came back, I recounted the story to him.

Al-Sheibani, Abu Abdullah Ahamd Ibn Hanbal (died in 241 AH), Masnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, vol. 6, p. 461, H. 27656; published by Muassissat Qurtabat, Egypt.

In other Sunni sources, the following words were added to the narrative with a little difference.

....فَجَاءَ علي فَأَخْبَرْتُهُ فقال: والله لا يكشفها أحد فدفنها بغسلها ذلك

When Ali (AS) returned home, I told her the story. He stated, “I swear by God that no one is going to uncover her corpse.” Then he laid her body to rest with the same Ghusl she had earlier performed herself.

Al-‘Asqalani al-Shefi’i, Ahmad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Hajar Abul Fadl (died in 852 AH), al-Isabat fi Tamiz al-Sahaba, vol. 8, p. 267; researched by Ali Mohammad al-Bajawi; published by Dar al-Jayl. Beirut, the first edition, 1412 AH-1992 AD.

Al-Zuhri, Mohammad Ibn Sa’d Ibn Muni’ Abu ‘Abdullah al-Basari (died in 230 AH), al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, vol. 8, p. 27; published by Dar Sadir, Beirut.

Allame Majlisi has quoted this narrative from both Saduq and Ahmad Ibn Hanbal.

Al-Majlisi, Mohamamd Baqir (died in 1111 AH), Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’at Li Durar Akhbar al-Aimma al-Athar, vol. 43, p. 188; researched by Mohammad al-Baqir al-Bihbudi; published by Muassissat al-Wafa, Beirut-Lebanon, the second edition al-Mushaha, 1403 AH-1983 AD.

1. Sunni and Shia scholars’ review of this narrative:

A. Sunni scholars

This narrative has been the matter of dispute among a large number of Sunni scholars. Here is what Ibn Kathir has said in this regard.

وما روي من أنها اغتسلت قبل وفاتها وأوصت أن لا تغسل بعد ذلك فضعيف لا يعول عليه

The recount that Fatima (AS) had performed Ghusl right before her passing away and the speculation that she had warned against giving another Ghusl later is absolutely weak and unreliable so it should be ignored indeed.

Ibn Kathir al-Damishqi, Abu al-Fida Isma’il Ibn ‘Umar al-Qurishi (died in 774 AH), al-Bidayat wa al-Nihayat, vol. 6, p. 367; published by Maktabat al-Ma’arif, Beirut.

And according to Ibn Jowzi,

هذا حديث لا يصح. أما محمد بن إسحاق فمجروح شهد أنه كذاب: مالك وسليمان التيمي ووهب بن خالد وهشام بن عروة ويحيى بن سعيد. وقال ابن المديني: يحدث عن المجهولين بأحاديث باطلة.

ثم إن الغسل إنما يكون لحدث الموت فكيف يغتسل قبل الحدث. هذا لا يصح إضافته إلى علي وفاطمة رضي الله عنهما، بل يتنزهون عن مثل هذا

This narrative is by no means authentic although Mohammad Ibn Ishaq has praised it. Malik, Sulayman, Wahab, Husham and Yahya have all dismissed his compliment, labeling him as a liar.

And regarding him, Ibn Madini has said that Ibn Ishaq is used to citing fabricated narratives from unknown reporters.

Ghusl Mayyit (washing up a dead person’s body) can only be performed in case someone is not alive any longer. How can such a Ghusl be performed before death? Furthermore, it is not at all acceptable to attribute such an action to Ali (AS) and Fatima (AS) because they are quite pure of doing such things.

Ibn al-Jowzi al-Hanbali, Jamal al-Din Abu al-Faraj ‘Abd al-Rahman Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Mohammad (died in 597 AH), al-Mowdu’at, vol. 3, p. 277; researched by Towfiq Hamdan; published by Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya, Beirut, the first edition, 1415 AH-1995 AD.

In regard with this narrative, ‘Abd al-Hadi Hanbali has said as follows.

هذا حديث لا يصح.

وكيف يكون صحيحا والغسل إنما شرع لحدث الموت فكيف يقع قبله، وحاشا علي وفاطمة أن يخفى عليهما مثل هذا

هذا الحديث منكر جدا أنكره الإمام أحمد وغيره، وإن كان قد رواه في مسنده عن أبي النضر عن إبراهيم بن سعد، قال حنبل وسمعت أبا عبد الله أنكر حديث إبراهيم بن سعد عن محمد بن إسحاق أن فاطمة غسلت نفسها وكفنتها.

This narrative is not authentic. How can it be reliable when Ghusl Mayyit is only possible to be performed in case of death! How can it be possible before death? It is quite far from Ali and Fatima (Be upon Both of Them) from whom nothing is hidden.

This narrative is worth being denied as a consequence since Imam Ahamd and others have denied it. Although Ahmad has cited it in his Masnad from Abi Nadr, he has said, “I heard from Abu ‘Abdullah that he dismissed Ibrahim Ibn Sa’d’s narrative quoted from Mohammad Ibn Ishaq about Fatima (AS) performing Ghusl and shrouding herself before passing away.

Al-Hanbali, Shams al-Din Mohammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn ‘Abd al-Hadi al-Hanbali (died in 7448 AH), Tanqih Tahqiq Ahadith al-Ta’liq, vol. 2, p. 126; researched by Ayman Salih Sha’ban; published by Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya, Beirut, the first edition, 1998 AD.

And the following is what Thahabi has said.

وهذا باطل، لا يليق أن ينسب إلى فاطمة وعلي؛ فإن الغسل لوجود الموت لا بد منه

It is the false belief that Hazrat Zahra (AS) performed Ghusl by herself and that Hazrat Ali (AS) considered it sufficient. It is by no means fair to attribute such a thing to Fatima and Ali (Peace Be upon Both of Them) because the Ghusl of Mayyit is compulsory only in case of death.

Al-Thahabi, Shams al-Din Mohammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn ‘Uthman (died in 748 AH), Talkhis Kitab al-Mowdu’at Li Ibn al-Jowzi, vol. 1, p. 360; researched by Abu Tamim Yasir Ibn Ibrahim Ibn Mohammad; published by Maktabat al-Rushd, the first edition, Riyadh, 1419 AH-1998 AD.

In his book, ‘Umdat al-Qari, ‘Iyni has referred to the issue of Hazrat Zahra’s (AS) Ghusl as below.

وقال الكرماني: غسلها علي وصلى عليها ودفنها ليلاً بوصيتها

Kirmani said, “Hazrat Ali (AS) gave Ghusl to Fatima (AS) himself, performed prayer for her and laid her to rest overnight exactly like what she had wanted”.

Al-‘Iyni al-Ghaytabi al-Hanafi, badr al-Din Abu Mohammad Mahmoud Ibn Ahmad (died in 855 AH), ‘Umdat al-Qari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 16, p. 249; published by Dar Ihya al-Turath al-‘Arabi, Beirut.

B. Shia scholars:

Allame Majlisi has made the following comment.

لعلها (عليها السلام) إنما نهت عن كشف العورة والجسد للتنظيف، ولم تنه عن الغسل

Hazrat Zahra (AS) might have probably warned against giving Ghusl to her corpse only because she did not want her sexual organ be uncovered for cleaning.

Al-Majlisi, Mohamamd Baqir (died in 1111 AH), Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’at Li Durar Akhbar al-Aimma al-Athar, vol. 43, p. 172; researched by Mohammad al-Baqir al-Bihbudi; published by Muassissat al-Wafa, Beirut-Lebanon, the second edition al-Mushaha, 1403 AH-1983 AD.

This response is in line with Shia narratives because according to these narratives and in follow-up to informing the Hazrat of her testament, Amir al-Momenin (AS) gave Ghusl to Fatima Zahra (AS) while she was dressed. It is a clear indication of the fact that Amir al-Momenin (AS) had clearly understood what Hazrat Siddiqa Tahira (AS) had really meant. It was not about prevention of giving Ghusl to her. In fact, it was aimed at showing that her body was clean enough beforehand.

And according to Muhaqiq Irbili,

واتفاقهما من طرق الشيعة والسنة على نقله مع كون الحكم على خلافه عجيب فإن الفقهاء من الطريقين لا يجيزون الدفن إلا بعد الغسل إلا في مواضع ليس هذا منه، فكيف رويا هذا الحديث ولم يعللاه ولا ذكرا فقهه، ولا نبها على الجواز ولا المنع، ولعل هذا أمر يخصها (عليها السلام) وإنما استدل الفقهاء على أنه يجوز للرجل أن يغسل زوجته بأن عليا غسل فاطمة (عليهما السلام) وهو المشهور.

 

The unanimity of Saduq and Ahmad Ibn Hanbal to quote this narrative through the Sunni and Shia chains of transmission is not the matter of surprise because the scholars of both sects are of this belief that someone’s burial is out of the question before giving Ghusl to his corpse. It is only an exception in several certain situations. But how have these two figures cited this narrative without giving enough explanation about its jurisdictional aspects or clarifying whether it is permissible or forbidden. It might be considered as one of the specifications of Hazrat Fatima’s (AS). The jurists have pointed out that a man is allowed to give Ghusl to his wife as Amir al-Momenin (AS) was the one who gave Ghusl to Fatima (AS).

Al-Irbili, Abu al-Hassan ‘Ali Ibn ‘Isa Ibn Abi al-Fath (died in 693 AH), Kashf al-Ghummat fi Ma’rifat al-Aimma, vol. 2, p. 125; published by Dar al-Adwa, Beirut, the second edition, 1405 AH-1985 AD.

Al-Majlisi, Mohamamd Baqir (died in 1111 AH), Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’at Li Durar Akhbar al-Aimma al-Athar, vol. 43, p. 188; researched by Mohammad al-Baqir al-Bihbudi; published by Muassissat al-Wafa, Beirut-Lebanon, the second edition al-Mushaha, 1403 AH-1983 AD.

The following is what Sayyid Mohsen Amin has said concerning the issue.

والظاهر أن هذا الغسل الذي اغتسلته صلى الله عليه وآله كان لأجل التنظيف والتطهر لتغسل بعد وفاتها في ثيابها طاهرة نظيفة ولا تكشف لأنه أبلغ في الستر وأقل كلفة على من يغسلها لا أنه كان غسل الأموات لعدم جواز تقديمه على الموت في مثل المقام وتوهم بعضهم أنه غسل الأموات وليس بصواب.

Apparently, the Ghusl Hazrat Fatima (AS) did perform herself was as a matter of fact for cleaning purposes so that it would not be necessary to make her naked after her passing away. Her action was more like concealment that could make it easier for the one who was supposed to give her the Ghusl. It is not right to claim that the Ghusl Hazrat Fatima(AS) did perform was the Ghusl of Mayyit because such a Ghusl is not possible before her death. Some people imagine that what she did was the Ghusl of Mayyit. It is not true at all.

Al-Amin, al-Sayid Mohsen, A’yan al-Shi’at, vol. 1, p. 321; researched by Hassan al-Amin; published by Dar al-Ta’aruf Lil Matbu’at, Beirut, Lebanon.

As a conclusion, the Ghusl Hazrat Zahra (AS) performed was never the Ghusl of Mayyit. It was just for cleaning and sanitation purposes.

 

2. The narratives regarding Hazrat Ali (AS) giving Ghusl to Hazrat Zahra (AS)

In case the narrative which suggests the Ghusl before death implies that Hazrat Zahra (AS) was not given Ghusl by Amir al-Momenin (AS), it is, then, in clear contradiction with the narratives which insist on Hazrat Fatima’s (AS) Ghusl given by Hazrat Ali (AS) along with Asma Bint ‘Umays.

 

Mohammad Ibn Musa’s narrative:

أخبرنا عبد الله بن مسلمة بن قعنب حدثنا عبد العزيز بن أبي حازم عن محمد بن موسى أن علي بن أبي طالب غسل فاطمة.

Mohammad Ibn Musa said, “Truly, Ali (AS) gave Ghusl to Fatima (AS).

Al-Zuhri, Mohammad Ibn Sa’d Ibn Muni’ Abu ‘Abdullah al-Basari (died in 230 AH), al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, vol. 8, p. 28; published by Dar Sadir, Beirut.

Meanwhile, Ibn Quddama has made the following comment.

ما روي ابن المنذر أن عليا رضي الله عنه غسل فاطمة رضي الله عنها واشتهر ذلك في الصحابة فلم ينكره فكان اجماعا

What Ibn Munthar has recounted concerning Fatima’s (AS) Ghusl given by Ali (AS) is well-known among Sahaba (the Prophet’s companions). There is a general consensus about the matter and no one denies it.

Al-Muqaddasi al-Hanbali, Abu Mohammad ‘Abdullah Ibn Ahmad Ibn Quddama (died in 620 AH), al-Mughni Fi Fiqh al-Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal al-Sheibani, vol. 2, p. 398; published by Dar al-Fikr, Beirut, the first edition, 1405 AH.

 

Imam Hassan Ibn Ali’s (AS) narrative

رَوَى ابْنُ بَابَوَيْهِ مَرْفُوعاً إِلَى الْحَسَنِ بْنِ عَلِيٍّ (ع) أَنَّ عَلِيّاً غَسَّلَ فَاطِمَةَ (ع)‏

According to Ibn Babuya, there is a narrative ascribed to Imam Hassan Ibn Ali (AS) indicating that it was Amir al-Momenin (AS) who gave Ghusl to Fatima (AS).

Al-Majlisi, Mohamamd Baqir (died in 1111 AH), Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’at Li Durar Akhbar al-Aimma al-Athar, vol. 43, p. 188; researched by Mohammad al-Baqir al-Bihbudi; published by Muassissat al-Wafa, Beirut-Lebanon, the second edition al-Mushaha, 1403 AH-1983 AD.

 

Asma Bint ‘Amis’ narrative:

وأخبرنا أبو حازم الحافظ أنبأ أبو الحسن أحمد بن عمير بن يوسف الدمشقي ثنا عبد الله يعني بن حمزة الزبيري ثنا عبد الله بن نافع عن محمد بن موسى عن عون بن محمد الهاشمي عن أمه عن أسماء بنت عميس أن فاطمة بنت رسول الله أوصت أن يغسلها زوجها علي بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنه فغسلها هو وأسماء بنت عميس

Mohammad has quoted his mother who had originally cited Asma as saying that Fatima (AS) made deathbed wish asking her husband, Ali (AS) to give Ghusl to her. It was then according to her will that Ali together with Asma washed her up after her passing away.

Al-Beihaqi, Ahmad Ibn al-Hussein Ibn Ali Ibn Musa Abubakr (died in 458 AH), Sunan al-Beihaqi al-Kubra, vol. 3, p. 396; published by Maktabat Dar al-Baz, Mecca; researched by Mohammad ‘Abd al-Qadir ‘Ata, 1414 AH-1994 AD.

This narrative can also be seen in Imam Shafi’i’s Masnad with a different chain of transmission.

Al-Imam al-Shafi’i, Mohammad Ibn Idris Abu ‘Abdullah al-Shafi’i (died in 204 AH), al-Masnad, p. 361; published by Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya, Beirut, Lebanon.

Salihi Shami has described this narrative as sound.

قد روى البيهقي باسناد حسن عن أسماء بنت عميس

Beihaqi has cited it from Asma with what he called a sound chain of transmission.

Al-Salihi al-Shami, Mohammad Ibn Yusuf (died in 942 AH), Sabal al-Huda wa al-Rishad fi Sirat Khayr al-‘Ibad, vol. 10, p. 486; researched by ‘Adil Ahmad ‘Abd al-Mowjud and Ali Mohammad Mu’awwad; published by Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya, Beirut, the first edition, 1414 AH.

                                                

Another narrative quoted from Asma:

و عن أسماء بنت عميس‏ أن فاطمة بنت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله قالت لأسماء إني قد استقبحت ما يصنع بالنساء أنه يطرح على المرأة الثوب فيصفها لمن رأى فقالت أسماء يا بنت رسول الله أنا أريك شيئا رأيته بأرض الحبشة قال فدعت بجريدة رطبة فحسنتها ثم طرحت عليها ثوبا فقالت فاطمة عليها السلام ما أحسن هذا و أجمله لا تعرف به المرأة من الرجل قال قالت فاطمة فإذا مت فاغسليني‏ أنت‏ و لا يدخلن علي أحد فلما توفيت فاطمة عليها السلام جاءت عائشة تدخل عليها فقالت أسماء لا تدخلي فكلمت عائشة

أبا بكر فقالت إن هذه الخثعمية تحول بيننا و بين ابنة رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله و قد جعلت لها مثل هودج العروس فقالت أسماء لأبي بكر أمرتني أن لا يدخل عليها أحد و أريتها هذا الذي صنعت و هي حية فأمرتني أن أصنع لها ذلك فقال أبو بكر اصنعي ما أمرتك فانصرف و غسلها علي عليه السلام و أسماء

It has been quoted from Asma Bint ‘Amis as saying that, “Fatima, the daughter of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be upon Him) told me that I hate it when the women’s corpses are covered with only one piece of cloth so that everyone can figure out the shape and size of their bodies.” Asma said, “O, daughter of the Prophet! I can show you something similar to the coffin which I saw in Ethiopia.” Then, she had someone bring fresh branches cut from the palm trees to make the coffin. She put a piece of cloth over it afterwards. Hazrat Zahra (AS) got surprised and said, “What a nice coffin! The body inside it cannot easily be recognized whether it belongs to a woman or a man.”

After that, Hazrat Fatima (AS) told Asma, “After I passed away, give Ghusl to me. And let no one to come and see me.” Just after Fatima (AS) breathed her last, ‘Ayisha came to bid farewell to her but Asma did not allow her in saying, “Keep away from Fatima (AS)!”

‘Ayisha rushed to file a complaint with Abubakr. She told her father, “Asma prevented me to see the Holy Prophet’s daughter. Asma had made a litter for Fatima similar to a bride litter.”

Asma assured Abubakr that Fatima (AS) herself had demanded her to bar people from seeing her corpse and that she had made the litter just at Fatima’s behest before her demise.

Abubakr told her in response, “No problem! Carry out what Fatima has ordered.” Abubakr said this and returned. Then it was Ali (AS) together with Asma who gave Ghusl to the lady’s corpse.

Al-Majlisi, Mohamamd Baqir (died in 1111 AH), Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’at Li Durar Akhbar al-Aimma al-Athar, vol. 43, p. 190; researched by Mohammad al-Baqir al-Bihbudi; published by Muassissat al-Wafa, Beirut-Lebanon, the second edition al-Mushaha, 1403 AH-1983 AD.

 

Ibn ‘Abbas’ narrative:

ذَكَرَ وَهْبُ بْنُ مُنَبِّهٍ عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ... يَا عَلِيُّ أَنَا فَاطِمَةُ بِنْتُ مُحَمَّدٍ زَوَّجَنِيَ اللَّهُ مِنْكَ لِأَكُونَ لَكَ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَ الْآخِرَةِ أَنْتَ أَوْلَى بِي مِنْ غَيْرِي حَنِّطْنِي وَ غَسِّلْنِي وَ كَفِّنِّي بِاللَّيْلِ وَ صَلِّ عَلَيَّ وَ ادْفِنِّي بِاللَّيْلِ وَ لَا تُعْلِمْ أَحَداً وَ أَسْتَوْدِعُكَ اللَّهَ وَ أَقْرَأُ عَلَى وُلْدِيَ السَّلَامَ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ فَلَمَّا جَنَّ اللَّيْلُ غَسَّلَهَا عَلِيٌّ وَ وَضَعَهَا عَلَى السَّرِير..

“O Ali! I am the daughter of the Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be upon Him). God has chosen me as your wife both in this world and the Hereafter. No one is closer to me than you. Embalm my body and give Ghusl to me overnight, perform a prayer for me overnight and bury me overnight. Inform no one of my death. Goodbye until the Day of Judgment. And give peace and blessings to my children.”

As soon as the night fell, Hazrat Amir al-Momenin Ali (AS) gave Ghusl to Hazrat Fatima’s (AS) corpse and put it in a coffin.

Al-Majlisi, Mohamamd Baqir (died in 1111 AH), Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’at Li Durar Akhbar al-Aimma al-Athar, vol. 43, p. 214; researched by Mohammad al-Baqir al-Bihbudi; published by Muassissat al-Wafa, Beirut-Lebanon, the second edition al-Mushaha, 1403 AH-1983 AD.

 

Mohammad Ibn Ali’s narrative quoted from Imam Sadiq (AS):

مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَلِيِّ بْنِ الْحُسَيْنِ قَالَ: سُئِلَ أَبُو عَبْدِ اللَّهِ (عليه السلام) عَنْ فَاطِمَةَ( سلام الله عليها) مَنْ غَسَّلَهَا قَالَ غَسَّلَهَا أَمِيرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ- لِأَنَّهَا كَانَتْ صِدِّيقَةً لَمْ‏ يَكُنْ‏ لِيُغَسِّلَهَا إِلَّا صِدِّيقٌ‏.

Imam Ja’far Sadiq (AS) was asked about who gave Ghusl to Fatima (AS). He responded, “It was Hazrat Amir because Hazrat Zahra Athar (AS) was a Sidiqa (truthful, infallible). No one except a Sidiq person was allowed to give Ghusl to her.

Al-Hurr al-‘Amili, Mohammad Ibn  al-Hassan (died in 1104 AH), Tafsil Wasail al-Shi’a Ila Tahsil Masail al-Shari’at, vol. 2, p. 533, H. 2834; researched and published by Muassissat Al al-Bayt ‘Alayhum al-Salam Li Ihya al-Turath, the second edition, 1414 AH.

By taking the existing large number of narratives about Hazrat Zahra’s (AS) Ghusl by Hazrat Ali (AS) with the help of Asma into consideration, we can come to this conclusion that the Ghusl the Hazrat performed before her passing away was for cleaning purposes and it was never a Ghusl of Mayyit because this kind of Ghusl is only compulsory to be performed after one’s death. And it was Hazrat Ali (AS) who gave Ghusl to her following her martyrdom.

3. This narrative does not authenticate the Ghusl of an infallible person being performed by a fallible one.

Just in case the assumption that Hazrat Zahra’s (AS) Ghusl was not performed by Amir al-Momenin (AS) is true, one point requires a second thought in this narrative.

If it shows that the Hazrat performed Ghusl herself, it might be as one of the exclusive religious laws only specified for Masumin (infallible individuals) which allows them to perform the Ghusl of Mayyit themselves before their deaths.

 

 

Asma giving Ghusl to Hazrat Fatima (AS)

There are a number of narratives insisting that Asma Bint ‘Amis was the one who gave Ghusl to Hazrat Zahra (AS); a number of them were mentioned earlier.

قال (عليه السلام): يا أسماء غسليها وحنطيها وكفنيها قال: فغسلوها وكفنوها وحنطوها وصلوا عليها ليلا ودفنوها بالبقيع وماتت بعد العصر

 

Amir al-Momenin (AS) told Asma, “Give Zahra (AS) the Ghusl, embalm her body and shroud her.” As soon as she was done, a prayer was performed for the corpse of the great lady. Then she was laid to rest in Baqi’ Cemetery overnight.

Al-Majlisi, Mohamamd Baqir (died in 1111 AH), Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’at Li Durar Akhbar al-Aimma al-Athar, vol. 43, p. 187; researched by Mohammad al-Baqir al-Bihbudi; published by Muassissat al-Wafa, Beirut-Lebanon, the second edition al-Mushaha, 1403 AH-1983 AD.

 

Response:

The narratives which point to Asma as the one who gave Ghusl to Hazrat Fatima (AS) are not in contradiction with the fact that Hazrat Ali (AS) gave her the Ghusl. It is owing to the fact that according to some other narratives, Asma only assisted the Hazrat for doing the job.

 

Asma’s own recount:

وَ قَالَتْ أَسْمَاءُ بِنْتُ عُمَيْسٍ أَوْصَتْ إِلَيَّ فَاطِمَةُ أَنْ لَا يُغَسِّلَهَا إِذَا مَاتَتْ إِلَّا أَنَا وَعَلِيٌّ فَأَعَنْتُ عَلِيّاً عَلَى غُسْلِهَا.

Asma said, “Fatima made a deathbed wish that no one could give her the Ghusl except Ali (AS) and me. I gave assistance to Ali (AS) in carrying out the task.

Al-Majlisi, Mohamamd Baqir (died in 1111 AH), Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’at Li Durar Akhbar al-Aimma al-Athar, vol. 43, p. 184; researched by Mohammad al-Baqir al-Bihbudi; published by Muassissat al-Wafa, Beirut-Lebanon, the second edition al-Mushaha, 1403 AH-1983 AD.

 

Ibn Jowzi’s discourse:

According to Ibn Jowzi,

والاصح ان عليا (ع) غسلها وكانت اسماء تصب عليها

The accurate quotation is that Ali (AS) gave the Ghusl to Fatima (AS) while Asma was pouring water over her body.

Sibt Ibn al-Jowzi al-Hanafi, Shams al-Din Abu al-Muzaffar Yusuf Ibn Farghuli Ibn ‘Abdullah al-Baghdadi (died in 654 AH), Tathkirat al-Khawas, p. 286; published by Manshurat al-Sharif al-Radi, Qom, the first edition 1418 AH.

Supposedly, in case the narratives which referred to Asma as the one who personally gave Ghusl to the Hazrat are reliable, they contradict the narratives which we discussed earlier showing that Hazrat Zahra (AS) was given the Ghusl by Amir al-Momenin Ali (AS).

The fact that can be inferred from the narratives is that Hazrat Fatima (AS) was given the Ghusl by Hazrat Ali (AS) who was an infallible person. Asma was just an assistant.

 

 

Conclusion

With regard to a large number of narratives cited about the Ghusl of Imams and infallible individuals in gerneral, the conclusion that can be drawn is that the responsibility of washing up a deceased Imam, praying for him and burying him is only and only on the shoulder of another Imam or infallible person. The infallible persons include the Holy Prophet (Peace Be upon Him), the Imam before the deceased person, the Imam after him as well as the angels.

The narratives predicting the return of Imam Hussein (AS) at the end of the life of Imam Mahdi (May God Hasten His Appearance) on the one hand and all the narratives discussed earlier in the article on the other hand show that when Imam Mahdi (AS) passed away, it will be his great grandfather, Imam Hussein (AS), who will take care of his funeral procession.

 

Who is going to give Ghusl to the last Imam after his demise?

As indicated in numerous narratives, Imam and God’s Hujjat will be the last person to depart this world. The following narrative is quoted from Imam Sadiq (AS) in Kafi.

 

Kiram’s narrative

محمد بن يعقوب، عن محمد بن يحيى، عمن ذكره، عن الحسن بن موسى الخشاب، عن جعفر بن محمد، عن كرام قال: قال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام: لو كان الناس رجلين لكان أحدهما الامام عليه السلام، وقال: إن آخر من يموت الإمام عليه السلام لئلا يحتج أحد على الله أنه تركه بغير حجة [لله] عليه

Imam Sadiq (AS) stated, “If only two people were supposed to remain in the world, one of them would be an Imam. Truly, Imam would be the last person who dies so that no one will remain on the earth without God’s Hujjat.

Al-Koleini al-Razi, Abu Ja’far Mohammad Ibn Ya’qub Ibn Ishaq (died in 328 AH), al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 180; published by Islamiyya, Tehran, the second edition, 1362 AH.

 

Ibn Tayyar’s narrative

مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ يَحْيَى عَنْ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ سِنَانٍ عَنِ ابْنِ الطَّيَّارِ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ أَبَا عَبْدِ اللَّهِ عليه السلام يَقُولُ لَوْ لَمْ يَبْقَ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلَّا اثْنَانِ لَكَانَ أَحَدُهُمَا الْحُجَّة

Ibn Tayyar has said, “I heard Imam Sadiq (AS) saying that if only two people were supposed to remain on the earth, one of them would be an Imam

Al-Koleini al-Razi, Abu Ja’far Mohammad Ibn Ya’qub Ibn Ishaq (died in 328 AH), al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 179; published by Islamiyya, Tehran, the second edition, 1362 AH.

 

Who is going to give Ghusl to the last infallible Imam according to the narratives?

Response:

It is not quite clear who is going to take care of the funeral procession including Ghusl, shroud and burial of the last Imam.

A number of possibilities which have been derived from narratives and were referred to earlier can be discussed here.

A. By former Ma’sumin (infallible individuals)

The first possibility is that another Ma’sum (infallible person) resurrects and takes care of the funeral procession of the last infallible Imam.

The point which can be found in a narrative cited from Imam Sadiq (AS) is that former Ma’sumin along with the angels are responsible to give Ghusl to a deceased infallible individual, perform prayer for him and finally lay him to rest.

...... إِذَا مَاتَ الْحُسَيْنُ رَأَى عَلِيُّ بْنُ الْحُسَيْنِ مِنْهُ مِثْلَ ذَلِكَ وَ رَأَى النَّبِيَّ وَ عَلِيّاً وَ الْحَسَنَ يُعِينُونَ الْمَلَائِكَةَ حَتَّى إِذَا مَاتَ عَلِيُّ بْنُ الْحُسَيْنِ رَأَى مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَلِيٍّ مِثْلَ ذَلِكَ وَ رَأَى النَّبِيَّ وَ عَلِيّاً وَ الْحَسَنَ وَ الْحُسَيْنَ يُعِينُونَ الْمَلَائِكَةَ......

… After Imam Hussein (AS) was martyred, Imam Sajjad (AS) could see the similar event. He witnessed the Holy Prophet (Peace Be upon Him), Imam Ali (AS) as well as Imam Hassan (AS) giving assistance to the angels busy with giving Ghusl to him… And alike, when Imam Sajjad (AS) passed away, Imam Baqir (AS) saw the Holy Prophet (Peace Be upon Him), Imam Ali (AS), Imam Hassan (AS) as well as Imam Hussein (AS) giving aid to the angels.

Saffar, Mohammad Ibn Hassan (died in 290 AH), Basair al-Darajat fi Fadail Al Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him), vol. 1, p. 225; researched and edited by Kuche Baghi, Mohsen Ibn ‘Abbas Ali, Qom, Maktabat Ayatullah al-Mar’ashi al-Najafi, the second edition, 1404 AH.

Al-Majlisi, Mohamamd Baqir (died in 1111 AH), Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’at Li Durar Akhbar al-Aimma al-Athar, vol. 27, p. 290; researched by Mohammad al-Baqir al-Bihbudi; published by Muassissat al-Wafa, Beirut-Lebanon, the second edition al-Mushaha, 1403 AH-1983 AD

 

B. By Angels

There is another possibility that angels might be solely responsible to give Ghusl to, shroud, perform the prayer and bury the last infallible Imam. As pointed out by Saduq, angels are all infallible.

اعتقادنا في الأنبياء والرسل والأئمة والملائكة صلوات الله عليهم أنهم معصومون مطهرون من كل دنس، وأنهم لا يذنبون ذنبا، لا صغيرا ولا كبيرا، ولا يعصون الله ما أمرهم، ويفعلون ما يؤمرون. ومن نفي عنهم العصمة في شئ من أحوالهم فقد جهلهم

Our belief concerning the prophets, Imams and angels is that they are all infallible and free from any wrongdoing. In our opinion, they never commit any mistakes. Neither do they disobey God. Anyone who fails to consider them infallible is in fact on the wrong track.

Al-Saduq, Abu Ja’far Mohammad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn al-Hussein (died in 381 AH), al-I’tiqadat fi Din al-Imamiyya, vol. 96; researched by ‘Isam ‘Abd al-Sayyid; published by Dar al-Mufid Lil Taba’at wa al-Nashr wa al-Towzi’, Beirut, the second edition, 1414 AH.

Based on Shia and Sunni narratives, there is the possibility of giving Ghusl to humans by angels.

 

Hazrat Musa Ibn Ja’far’s (AS) Ghusl

In a narrative discussed earlier, Sammal asked Imam Reza (AS) about the Ghusl of his father, Hazrat Imam Kazim (AS). He stated as follows in response.

حَضَرُوهُ الَّذِينَ حَضَرُوا يوسف عليه السلام مَلَائِكَةُ اللَّهِ.

They were present beside him (Imam Kazim (AS)). They were the ones who appeared for Joseph. They were in fact God’s angels.

Hilli, Hassan Ibn Sulayman Ibn Mohammad, Mukhtasar al-Basair, p. 77; researched and edited by Muzaffar, Mushtaq, published by Muassissat al-Nashr al-Islami, Qom, the first edition, 1421 AH.

 

 

Angels giving Ghusl to Adam

San’ani’s narrative:

6088 عبد الرزاق عن معمر عن ثابت البناني قال نزلت الملائكة حين حضر آدم الوفاة فلما رآهم عرفهم فقبضوه وغسلوه وكفنوه وصلوا عليه ودفنوه وبنوه ينظرون

 

According to Thabit Banani, angels appeared shortly before Adam passed away. As soon as he saw the angels, he recognized them right away. Then the angels claimed his life, gave Ghusl to him, shrouded, performed a prayer for him and buried him at last before the eyes of his sons.

Al-San’ani, Abubakr ‘Abd al-Razzaq Ibn Humam (died in 211 AH), al-Musnaf, vol. 3, p. 400; researched by Habib al-Rahman al-A’zami; published by al-Maktab al-Islami,Beirut, the second edition, 1403 AH.

 

Abi Ibn Ka’b’s narrative:

َعَنْ أُبَيِّ بن كَعْبٍ أَنَّ آدَمَ عليه السَّلامُ قَبَضَتْهُ الْمَلائِكَةُ وَغَسَّلُوهُ وَكَفَّنُوهُ وَحَنَّطُوهُ وَحَفَرُوا له وَأَلْحَدُوا وَصَلُّوا عليه ثُمَّ دَخَلُوا قَبْرَهُ فَوَضَعُوهُ في قَبْرِهِ وَوَضَعُوا عليه اللَّبِنَ ثُمَّ خَرَجُوا من الْقَبْرِ ثُمَّ حَثَوْا عليه التُّرَابَ ثُمَّ قالوا يا بَنِي آدَمَ هذه سُنَّتُكُمْ

Abi Ibn Ka’b has said, “Truly, it was the angels who claimed Adam’s life, gave Ghusl to him, shrouded and embalmed him. They took care of digging a grave for him and performing a prayer for him. They laid him inside the grave and poured back the spoil. Then they told Adam’s sons to learn it as a ritual.

Al-Showkani, Mohammad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Mohammad (died in 1255 AH), Neil al-Awtar Min Ahadith Sayyid al-Akhyar Sharh Muntaqi al-Akhbar, vol. 4, p. 54; published by Dar al-Jeil, Beirut, 1973 AD.

Ibn Kathir al-Damishqi, Abu al-Fida Isma’il Ibn ‘Umar al-Qurishi (died in 774 AH), al-Bidayat wa al-Nihayat, vol. 1, p. 98; published by Maktabat al-Ma’arif, Beirut.

Therefore, Hazrat Adam’s (AS) funeral procession was carried out by angels who were infallible right before the eyes of his sons.

 

Angels giving Ghusl to Hamza

عن الحسن قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم (رأيت حمزة تغسله الملائكة(

The Holy Prophet (Peace Be upon Him) stated, “I witnessed angels giving Ghusl to Hamza.”

Al-Tabari, Abu Ja’far Muhib al-Din Ahmad Ibn ‘Abdullah Ibn Mohammad (died in 694 AH), Thakhair al-‘Uqba fi Manaqib Thawi al-Qurba, vol. 1, p. 185; published by Dar al-Kutub al-Misriyya, Egypt.

 

Waqidi’s narrative quoted from the Holy Prophet (Peace Be upon Him)

قال الواقدي: حمزة بن عبد المطلب أول من جيء به إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم بعد انصراف قريش - أو كان من أولهم - فصلى عليه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم، ثم قال: رأيت الملائكة تغسله - قالوا: لأن حمزة كان جنباً ذلك اليوم.

Waqidi said, “Hamza was the first martyr whose corpse was brought to the Holy Prophet (Peace Be upon Him) after the members of the Quraysh made up their mind to return from the Battle of Uhud. The Holy Prophet (Peace Be upon Him) performed a prayer for his corpse and stated that he witnessed the angels giving him the Ghusl. His companions said that the Ghusl was because Hamza was Junub (ritually impure) on that day.

Ibn Abi al-Hadid al- Madaini al-Mu’tazili, Abu Hamid ‘Izz al-Din Ibn Hibat Allah Ibn Mohammad Ibn Mohammad (died in 655 AH), Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 15, p. 23; researched by Mohammad ‘Abd al-Karim al-Numuri; published by Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya, Beirut, Lebanon, the first edition, 1418 AH-1998 AD.

 

Angels giving Ghusl to Hanzala

Tabarsi’s narrative:

كتاب ابان بن عثمان في سياق غزوة احد قال: وقال رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وآله من ذلك الرجل الذي تغسله الملائكة في سفح الجبل؟ " فسألوا امرأته؟ فقالت: انه خرج وهو جنب وهو حنظلة بن ابي عامر.

The Holy Prophet (Be upon Him) asked, “Who is the man whom the angels are giving Ghusl to at the heel of the mountain?” The Prophet’s companions asked the man’s wife. She answered, “He is Hanzalat Ibn Abi ‘Amir. When he left home for the purpose of Jihad (taking part in the war), he was Junub. That is why angels are giving Ghusl to him.”

Al-Tabarsi, Abi ‘Ali al-Fadl Ibn al-Hassan (died in 548 AH), A’lam al-Wara bi A’lam al-Huda, vol. 1, p. 182; researched and published by Tahqiq Muassissat Al al-Bayt ‘Alayhum al-Salam Li Ihya al-Turath, Qom, the first edition, 1417 AH.

 

Hakim Neishabur’s narrative:

فأخبرني أبو الحسين بن يعقوب الحافظ أنا محمد بن إسحاق بن إبراهيم ثنا سعيد بن يحيى الأموي حدثني أبي قال قال بن إسحاق حدثني يحيى بن عباد بن عبد الله عن أبيه عن جده رضي الله عنه قال سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول عند قتل حنظلة بن أبي عامر بعد أن التقي هو وأبو سفيان بن الحارث حين علاه شداد بن الأسود بالسيف فقتله فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إن صاحبكم تغسله الملائكة فسألوا صاحبته فقالت إنه خرج لما سمع الهائعة وهو جنب فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لذلك غسلته الملائكة

‘Abdullah’s grandfather said, “I heard the Holy Prophet (Peace Be upon Him) stating that when Hanzala was grappling with Abusufyan (who was about to lose his life in the fighting against Hanzala), Shaddad Ibn al-Aswad (from among the disbelievers) drew out his sword and slew Hanzala.”

The Holy Prophet (Peace Be upon Him) added, “Angels gave Ghusl to your friend.” His companions asked his wife what he had done to take him to this high rank. She answered, “As soon as Hanzala heard the call for the Battle of Uhud, he rushed out of home despite being Junub.” The Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) stated, “Angels were giving Ghusl to him because he was Junub.”

Neishaburi, Mohammad Ibn ‘Abdullah Abu ‘Abdullah al-Hakim (died in 405 AH), al-Mustadrak Ala al-Sahihayn, vol. 3, p. 225; researched by Mustafa ‘Abd al-Qadir ‘Ata; published by Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya, Beirut, 1411 AH-1990 AD, the first edition.

Following the citation of the narrative, the writer of Mustadrak has said.

هذا حديث صحيح على شرط مسلم ولم يخرجاه

Based on the criteria stipulated by Muslim, this narrative is accurate although he has failed to cite it in his book.

In a commentary on Sayr A’lam al-Nubala, the following has been said about this narrative’s chain of transmission.

هذا سند جيد وصححه الحاكم وأقره الذهبي

Its chain of transmission is sound and Hakim Neishaburi has considered it authentic. Thahabi has acknowledged it likewise.

Al-Thahabi al-Shafi’i, Shams al-Din Mohammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn ‘Uthman (died in 748 AH), Sayr A’lam al-Nubala, vol. 3, p. 321; researched by Shu’ayb al-Arnawut, Mohammad Na’im al-‘Arqasusu; published by Muassissat al-Risalat, Beirut, the ninth edition, 1413 AH.

Al-Bani has alike considered this narrative sound.

صحيح على شرط مسلم وسكت عنه الذهبي وإنما هو حسن فقط

Based on the criteria stipulated by Muslim, this narrative is considered authentic. However, Thahabi has refused to make any comments about it. But in fact this narrative is only considered sound.

Al-Bani, Mohammad Nasir (died in 1420 AH), Arwa al-Ghalil fi Takhrij Ahadith Minar al-Sabil, vol. 3, p. 167; researched by Ishraf Zahir al-Shawish; published by al-Maktabat al-Islami, Beirut, Lebanon, the second edition, 1405 AH-1985 AD.

From the Sunni perspective, the Ghusl given to Hamza Sayyid al-Shuhada as well as Hanzala by angels were only because they were Junub. It is a general rule that Ghusl and shroud is unnecessary for the person who loses his life at war.

 

Hazrat Musa (Moses) Ibn ‘Imran given Ghusl by angels

Allame Majlisi has said,

فان الظاهر من الاخبار أن موسى عليه السلام غسلته الملائكة

According to reports, Moses (AS) was apparently given Ghusl by angels.

Al-Majlisi, Mohamamd Baqir (died in 1111 AH), Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’at Li Durar Akhbar al-Aimma al-Athar, vol. 27, p. 29; researched by Mohammad al-Baqir al-Bihbudi; published by Muassissat al-Wafa, Beirut-Lebanon, the second edition al-Mushaha, 1403 AH-1983 AD.

Based on the general rule that only an infallible person is allowed to give Ghusl to another infallible individual, there is a possibility that angels will shoulder the responsibility of giving Ghusl to, performing a prayer for and burying the last infallible Imam. In accordance with provided historical evidence, some individuals have been washed up by angels after their deaths.

C. By the infallible Imam himself

As discussed earlier concerning Hazrat Fatima’s (AS) Ghusl performed by her, the shown narratives did not openly clarify the matter and only implied her sanitation purposes.

In case the narratives did specifically indicate that the Hazrat performed Ghusl herself, it might be as one of the exclusive religious laws only specified for Masumin (infallible individuals) which allows them to perform the Ghusl of Mayyit themselves prior to their deaths.

 

D. Possibility of the martyrdom of the last Ma’sum

It is also likely that the last infallible person would not die naturally, he might get killed. If so, no Ghusl or shroud would be needed.

 

E. No need for another Ghusl

Yet, there is another probability. Since Ma’sumin have once passed away before their resurrection, either they have been already given Ghusl or they have been martyred, so there will be no need for them to be washed up. In other words, giving a second Ghusl would seem unnecessary. For instance, such a matter happened when Hazrat Yahya (John) Ibn Zakarya (AS) was brought back to life by Jesus Christ (AS). Following his revival, he returned to his grave without being given a second Ghusl.

عَلِيُّ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ عَنْ بَعْضِ أَصْحَابِنَا عَنْ عَلِيِّ بْنِ الْحَكَمِ عَنْ رَبِيعِ بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ سُلَيْمٍ الْعَامِرِيِّ عَنْ أَبِي عَبْدِ اللَّهِ عليه السلام قَالَ إِنَّ عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ جَاءَ إِلَى قَبْرِ يَحْيَى بْنِ زَكَرِيَّا عليهما السلام وَ كَانَ سَأَلَ رَبَّهُ أَنْ يُحْيِيَهُ لَهُ فَدَعَاهُ فَأَجَابَهُ وَ خَرَجَ إِلَيْهِ مِنَ الْقَبْرِ فَقَالَ لَهُ مَا تُرِيدُ مِنِّي فَقَالَ لَهُ أُرِيدُ أَنْ تُؤْنِسَنِي كَمَا كُنْتَ فِي الدُّنْيَا فَقَالَ لَهُ يَا عِيسَى مَا سَكَنَتْ عَنِّي حَرَارَةُ الْمَوْتِ وَ أَنْتَ تُرِيدُ أَنْ تُعِيدَنِي إِلَى الدُّنْيَا وَ تَعُودَ عَلَيَّ حَرَارَةُ الْمَوْتِ فَتَرَكَهُ فَعَادَ إِلَى قَبْرِه

Imam Sadiq (AS) stated, “Truly, Jesus (AS) went to John’s (AS) grave and pleaded God to breathe new life into him. His demand was met immediately. John came out of the grave toward Jesus. John asked Jesus (AS), ‘What do you want from me?’ Jesus answered, ‘I want you to become a companion to me as you were before your death.’ But John said, ‘O Jesus! I can still feel the hardship and the ordeal of the death. Do you want me to return to this world and experience that pain of death once again?’ Then, John (AS) left Jesus (AS) alone on his own and went back into his grave.”

Al-Koleini al-Razi, Abu Ja’far Mohammad Ibn Ya’qub Ibn Ishaq (died in 328 AH), al-Kafi, vol. 3, p. 260, H. 37; published by Islamiyya, Tehran, the second edition, 1362 AH.

 

Final Conclusion:

The fact that an infallible individual cannot be given Ghusl by someone other than another infallible person is an absolute and undeniable rule. The Imam of the Time, Imam Mahdi (May God Hasten His Appearance) is going to be given Ghusl of Mayyit by Imam Hussein (AS).

 

Good Luck

The Group Responsible for Answers to Doubts

Hazrat Valiasr (AS) Research Institute

 

 

 



Share
* Name:
* Email:
* Comment :
* Security code:
  

Latest Articles
Most Comments
Most viewed
Index | Contact us | Archive | Search | Link | List Comments | About us | RSS | Mobile | urdu | فارسی | العربیة |