Conclusive proof Shaykh al-Mufid did not deny Sayyida Fatima’s miscarriage
Sayyid Fadlallah claims in his book al-Zahra’ al-Qudwa, that Shaykh al-Mufid showed doubt in the miscarriage of Fatima and existence of her miscarried child al-Muhsin.
As evident by the statement below in which he says “among the Shi’ites” are those who believe in the miscarriage - instead of all of them. Let us analyze this.
Shaykh al-Mufid in al-Irshad:
“Among the Shiites, there are those who mention that Fatima, blessings of God be upon her, miscarried after the Prophet, may God’s prayers and peace be upon him and his family, a male son who was named by the Messenger of God, peace be upon him, while he was still a fetus. According to this sect, the children of the Commander of the Faithful, peace be upon him, are twenty-eight, and God knows best.”
وفي الشيعة من يذكر أن فاطمة صلوات الله عليها أسقطت بعد النبي صلى الله عليه وآله ولدا ذكرا كان سمّاه رسول الله عليه السلام وهوحمل محسنا، فعلى قول هذه الطائفة أولاد أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام ثمانية وعشرون، والله أعلم
First of all, why does Shaykh al-Mufid say “among the Shi’ites”?
It is because of his special definition of Shi’i, as will be seen below.
(Shaykh al-Mufid’s Awa’il al-Maqalat, page 38)
Shaykh al-Mufid believes that anyone who believes in the Imamate of Imam Ali deserves the title of Shi’i and can be described as Shi’i - even if his belief is contradictory to most Shi’a.
“The one who deserves the name of Tashayyu’ and be described as such (i.e, as Shi’i) is whoever believes in the Imamate of the Commander of the Faithful - peace be upon him - according to what we have presented.
And even if this individual has beliefs which are denied and refused by many Shi’ites.
Likewise, Dirar ibn Amr was a Mu'tazilite even if he believed in concepts related to creation and the essence - in a view contrary to the majority of Mu’tazila.
Similarly, Hisham ibn Al-Hakam was a Shiite, even if he went against the beliefs of all Shiites in the names of God Almighty and what he believed in the meanings of Allah’s attributes.”
كما يستحق اسم التشيع ويغلب عليه (2) من دان بإمامة أمير المؤمنين - عليه السلام - على حسب ما قدمناه، وإن ضم إلى ذلك من الاعتقادما ينكره (3) كثير من الشيعة ويأباه، وكذلك ضرار بن عمرو كان معتزليا وإن دان بالمخلوق والماهية على خلاف جمهور أهل الاعتزال، وكانهشام بن الحكم شيعيا وإن خالف الشيعة كافة في أسماء الله تعالى وما ذهب إليه في معاني الصفات.
Now that we know Sh al-Mufid adopts this definition of Shi’i.
In the previous page (37) of Awa’il al-Maqalat, he clarifies that (Batri) Zaydis and Jarudi (Zaydis) fit his definition of Shi’i.
However, he understands that some may disagree with his definition, hence says “if what we have described is proven..” As on page 37, he attempt to prove his idea of who is deserving of the title of Tashayyu through analogies.
“And if what we have indicated by the attribute of Shiism as we have described is proven, it is necessary for the Imamiyyah, Zaydiyyah, and al-Jarudiyya to be described as Shi’i - separate the rest of the ummah’s sects, because of their conformance in its meaning (2) and their obtaining what is required for it. And they did not depart from it even if they joined it in agreement or disagreement in parts of aqeeda.”
وإذا ثبت ما بيناه بالسمة بالتشيع كما وصفناه وجبت (1) للإمامية والزيدية الجارودية من بين سائر فرق الأمة لانتظامهم بمعناها (2) وحصولهم على موجبها. ولم يخرجوا عنها وإن ضموا إليها وفاقا بينهم أو خلافا في أنحاء (3) من المعتقدات
Secondly, what do we make of Shaykh al-Mufid’s words if Zaydis are included in his definition of Shi’i?
Zaydis - in particular Batriyya denomination, do not believe in the burning of the door nor the miscarriage of Sayyida Fatima.
This is why Shaykh al-Mufid did not say all of the Shi’a believe in the miscarriage.
And that only a denomination of Shi’a believed in it, as Imamiyyah are only one sect of the Shi’a.
Lastly, Shaykh al-Tusi clarifies that none of the Imamiyya scholars rejected the incident of Sayyida Fatima’s miscarriage.
If his teacher al-Mufid rejected it or doubted it, then it is impossible for Sh al-Tusi to not mention this fact.
Talkhis al-Shafi by Shaykh al-Tusi (9) (d. 460 AH / 1067 CE):
مما أنكر عليه -أي على أبي بكر- ضربهم لفاطمة عليها السلام، وقد روي أنهم ضربوها بالسياط، والمشهور -الذي لا خلاف فيه بين الشيعة- أن عمر ضرب على بطنها حتى أسقطت. فسمي السقط: محسنا، والرواية بذلك مشهورة عندهم. وما أرادوا من إحراق البيت عليها حينالتجأعليها قوم وامتنعوا من بيعته، وليس لأحد أن ينكر الرواية بذلك، لأنا قد بينا الرواية الواردة من جهة العامة من طريق البلاذري وغيره،وروايةالشيعة مستفيضة به في ذلك
“And from what I condemn regarding him [Abu Bakr] is their beating of Fatima, and it has been narrated that they beat her with a whip.
And the mashhoor (popular) - to which there is no dispute among the Shi’a - is that Umar beat her on the stomach until she miscarried. So the miscarried [infant] was called ‘Muhsin’.
And the narration is popular with them (Sunnis), and what they desired to burn the house on her (Fatima)..”
Wa Allahu A’lam