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Newsletter for August 2014
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THE ROMAN PRINCESS, MALIKA (HAZRAT NARJIS KHATOON) (S.A.),
THE MOTHER OF IMAM-E-ZAMANA (A.S)
Hazrat Narjis Khatoon (s.a.) was the granddaughter of the Roman Emperor Caesar and her mother was the descendant of Shimeon, the disciple of Jesus. Bishr al-Ansari was a slave of Imam Ali al-Naqi (a.s.). One day, the Imam called him and told him: “You are a loyal and trustworthy person; hence I want to assign you an important duty.”
Bishr says that he became very anxious as the Imam wrote a letter in Roman language, put it in an envelope and placed his sacred seal on it. He then gave me a bundle of 220 golden Dinars and the envelope and told me to go to Baghdad near the Euphrates river on the morning of a certain date and said: “When you see the arrival of ships with many captive women brought in for sale as slave girls, stay put as various panders of Abbasid and a number of young Arab buyers gather around.
Watch from distance as a slave trader by the name of Umar bin Yazid al-Nakhas, brings out a slave girl wearing silk and looks so and so. She will refuse to take out veil from her face, she will decline to show herself off or let any one touch her. She will cry out in Roman language to save her chastity from being attacked.
Imam Ali al-Naqi (a.s.) added: “One buyer admires her chastity and offers the slave trader 300 Dinars to buy her from him. She will say to him ‘I have no desire for you even if you wore King Solomon’s clothes, so do not waste your money. ‘The trader will say to her ‘What is the idea? You are to be sold anyhow. She would reply: what is the hurry, I will choose the buyer whom my heart likes and accepts his honesty and loyalty. Then you approach the trader and tell him that you have a letter from a noble man written in Roman language, describing his nobility, generosity and benevolence.
Show her this letter and tell her if she accepts he will buy her from him. When she read the letter, she started to cry and told the trader to sell her to the writer of this letter, swearing and threatening to kill herself if he did not do so.” The trader ultimately agreed to sell at the amount provided by Imam Ali al-Naqi (a.s.)
She narrated her story as follows: “My name is Malika, daughter of Yashoa, the son of Caesar the Roman king. My mother is a descendant of Shimeon, the disciple of Jesus. My grandfather wanted to marry me to his nephew when I was 13 years old. He arranged a huge meeting inviting all high officials and priests. As soon as the priests started to open the bible, the palace started to shake; his nephew was knocked down and became unconscious. The meeting was cancelled.
That night, I had a vision in which I saw Jesus and Shimeon. The Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) entered with his son-in-law, Imam Ali al-Murtadha and his eleven Imams. Jesus welcomed them and embraced Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s.). Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) said: “O Spirit of God, I came to betroth and engage your Shimeon’s daughter Malika to this son of mine, pointing towards Imam Hasan al-Askari. Jesus said to Shimeon: “Honor has marched towards you. Relate your kin to the kinship of the Progeny of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s.).
Shimeon replied: “I did”. Then Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) delivered an eloquent speech and performed my marriage ceremony with his son Imam Hasan al- Askari. When I woke up, I did not disclose this dream to anyone but I grew in love with Imam Hasan al- Askari. I lost my appetite; I stopped eating any food or drink and became sick. Medical help was sought but of no avail. My grandfather asked me if I had any wish. I told him to treat the Muslims kindly and release the Muslim prisoners. He did that and I started to improve.
After fourteen nights, I saw another vision. I saw Fatima, the daughter of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s.), and Mary with other maids of honor. Mary said to me: “This is Fatima, mother of your husband.” I embraced her, cried and complained to her that Imam Hasan al- Askari did not come to see me. She said that her son will not visit me as long as I was of a different religion. I would have to embrace Islam to see him. She said: “If you are inclined to satisfy God, satisfy Jesus and Mary and wanted Imam Hasan al- Askari to visit you then you will have to say Ash hadu An lailaha Illa Allah wa Anna Muhammad un Rasool Allah (I bear witness that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger). I was willing heart and soul to accept Islam, and spoke those words: Ash hadu An La ilaha Illa Allah Wa Anna Muhammad un Rasool Allah. Fatima, daughter of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) embraced me and said: “Now expect the visit of Imam Hasan Askari, and I will send him to you.”
I woke up very happy and eager to meet my beloved. On the following night, I saw him as if he came to see me and I am saying: “O’ My beloved, you have forsaken me while I was suffering in your love. He said that my belief was the reason for his delay, but from now he would visit me every night until Almighty Allah will join us together. He visited every night ever since.
Bishr al- Ansari asked: “Then how you became a captive?” Narjis Khatoon replied: “Imam Hasan al- Askari told me one night that my grandfather was planning to send a huge army to fight the Muslims on day so on so and then he would join that army later on. When that happens, I am to follow then taking so and so route disguised as a maid with my maids. As I did as was told me to do, I found myself and the maids surrounded by the vanguard of the Muslim army. We were taken captives. Nobody knew that I am a Roman Princess and I never told anyone. Even the old man in whose bounty I became captive, the one you have bought me from, asked me my name. I said it was Narjis (meaning a narcissus flower) He said that it is a maid’s name. The rest of the story you have witnessed in the slave market.” Bishr al-Ansari asked: “How come you are a Roman and you speak Arabic?” She said: “Yes, my grandfather loved me so much he wanted me to learn different literature and languages. He appointed his royal female interpreter as my teacher. She came day and night to teach me Arabic till I became proficient in it.
Bishr al-Ansari said: “When I returned with her to Samarra, she met my master Imam Ali al-Naqi, her husband’s father, who asked her: “How Allah showed you the dignity of Islam and the honor of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) and his Progeny?” She said: “What can I say O’ son of the Messenger of Allah about what you know better than I do.”
Imam Ali al-Naqi said: “I want to honor you. What shall you choose, ten thousand Dinar or the news of good tidings of an everlasting honor?”She replied: “The good news of a son from me!” Imam Ali al-Naqi said: “Glad tidings for you, for you will beget a child who will rule over the East and the West and fill the earth with justice and equity as it will be filled with injustice and tyranny. Narjis Khatoon asked: “By whom (I shall have the son)? Imam Ali al-Naqi replied in Roman language: “By the one for whom Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) had betrothed you on the night of so and so, the month of so and so, and the year of so and so.” Imam Ali al-Naqi described in detail the visions she had. He added: “By the one to whom Jesus gave you in marriage.” She said: “Your son Imam Hasan al- Askari.” Imam Ali al-Naqi said: “Do you know him?” She replied: “There was not a night, he has not visited me since the time I embraced Islam at the hands of Fatima, the daughter of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.s.)”
After some time, she was married to Imam Hasan al-Askari (a.s.)
Reference: Al-Ghaiba by Shaikh Tabrisi
Behar –al Anwar by Allama Majlisi
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