- Category: Mahdism
- Written by Ayatullah al-Uzma Lutfullah as-Safi al-Gulpaygani
- Hits: 1847
His miracles during the lifetime of his father, peace be on them both
Comprised of ten traditions
808. Ghaybat al-Shaykh1: Ja`far b. Muḥammad b. Mālik, from Muḥammad b. Ja`far b. `Abd-Allah, from Abū Nu`aim Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-Anṣārī who said:
A group of Mufawwiḍa and Muqassira2 sent Kāmil b. Ibrāhīm al-Madanī to (Imam) Abū Muḥammad, peace be on him. Kāmil said, “I thought to myself that ‘I will ask him [if it is true] that no one will enter Paradise except those who know what I know and say what I say.’ When I went to my master (Imam) Abū Muḥammad, I saw him wearing a soft white dress. I thought, ‘Allah’s friend and His Proof wears soft dresses while he orders us to be charitable to the brothers and restrains us from wearing such dresses.’ He said smilingly, ‘O Kāmil!’ Then he pulled up his sleeve and lo! He was wearing a rough black woolen dress [under the white one]. Then he said, ‘This is for Allah and that is for you.’ I greeted him and sat down before a doorway which was covered with a curtain.
A strong breeze came and uncovered one side of the doorway. [There,] I saw young boy that looked like he was a part of the moon and barely four years old or thereabout. [The boy] said to me, ‘O Kāmil b. Ibrāhīm!’ I shivered at this address and was inspired to reply, ‘Yes, O my master!’ He said, ‘You have come to Allah’s friend, His Proof, and His Gateway to ask him [if it is true] that no one will enter Paradise except those who know what you know and say what you say?’ I replied, ‘Yes, by Allah!’ He continued, ‘If this is the case, then many few will enter it. By Allah! A group called al-Ḥaqqiyya will enter it.’
I asked, ‘O my master! Who are they?’ He replied, ‘A group who on account of their love for `Alī, testify to his rights, but do not know his rights and his excellences.’ He, Allah’s blessings be on him, was silent for a while and then continued, ‘You have also come to ask about the Mufawwiḍa. They have lied. Rather, our hearts are the containers of Allah’s Will. When He wills [to do something] then so do we. Allah says,
“And you don’t will anything except what Allah wills” (Quran Surah Takwir 81:29).’
Then, the curtain went back to where it was and I couldn’t raise it. (Imam) Abū Muḥammad looked at me with a smile and said, ‘O Kāmil! Why are you still sitting here now that the Proof after me has informed you of what you desired?’ I got up and left and didn’t see him again.”
Abū Na`īm said, “I met Kāmil and asked him about this tradition, and he narrated it for me.”
Al-Shaykh (al-Ṭūsī) says, “Aḥmad b. `Alī al-Rāzī has narrated this tradition from Muḥammad b. `Alī, from `Alī b. `Abd-Allah b. `Ā’idh al-Rāzī, from al-Ḥasan b. Wajnā’ al-Naṣībī who said, “I heard Abū Nu`aim Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-Anṣārī . . . (and he mentions the same things).”
809. Kamāl al-dīn3: Narrated to us Muḥammad b. `Alī b. Muḥammad b. Ḥātim al-Naufalī—known as al-Kirmānī—from Abū l-`Abbās Aḥmad b. `Īsā al-Washshā’ al-Baghdādī, from Aḥmad b. Ṭāhir al-Qummī, from Muḥammad b. Baḥr b. Sahl al-Shaibānī, from Aḥmad b. Masrūr, from Sa`d b. `Abd-Allah al-Qummī who said:
I was very fond of collecting books comprised of subtle and complex sciences. I tried hard to uncover the realities in them that seemed correct to me and I memorized their ambiguous and obscure sections. I kept to myself the problematic and deviant [concepts] that I found in them. I firmly believed in the Shi) religion and I kept away from peace and security by quarreling and arguing [with the opponents] and having enmity against them and saying bad things to them.
I would expose the shortcomings of the opponents and I would mention the faults of their Imams and I used to uncover [the defects] of their leaders. This continued until I was afflicted with an enemy who would put forward very strong arguments, showed the greatest enmity, argued the most, asked the most outrageous questions, and was the most steadfast in falsehood.
One day when I was arguing with him, he said, “O Sa`d! Woe on you and your companions! You heretics insult the Muhājirīn and the Anṣār by slanderous remarks. You deny the guardianship and Imamate of [Abū Bakr and `Umar] which was authorized by the Messenger of Allah. This truthful [i.e. Abū Bakr] is superior to all the companions due to his precedence in belief.
Don’t you know that the Messenger of Allah took [Abū Bakr] along with himself to the cave because he knew that he would be the Caliph after him and that he would be the leader in interpreting [the Quran] and that the reins of the umma would be in his hands? He would be relied on to mend the differences, compensate the defeats, close the cracks [in the nation], establish the laws, and dispatch the armies to conquer the lands of the polytheists.
Just as [the Prophet] worried for his own prophethood he also worried for [Abū Bakr’s] caliphate. A fugitive who is fleeing from evil and goes into hiding does not intend to ask someone else for help. Thus, when the Messenger [of Allah] went to the cave—while he did not expect anyone to help him—it is clear that his intention was to take Abū Bakr to the cave like we explained. On the other hand, he ordered `Alī to sleep in his bed, because he did not care much about him and did not bother about him and because he knew that even if `Alī was killed, there would be others who could replace him.”
(Sa`d continued), I answered a number of his questions but he refuted all of them. He then said, “O Sa`d! I have another argument that will cripple you heretics. You believe that the Truthful [i.e. Abū Bakr], who was pure from doubt and skepticism, and Fārūq [i.e. `Umar], who was the protector of Islam, were both hypocrites. You cite the incident of the Night of `Aqaba4 to prove your point. Alright, tell me, did Abū Bakr and `Umar accept Islam willingly or out of coercion?” I talked my way out of this question because I feared being tied down by it.
If I said that they had willingly accepted Islam, then he would say that hypocrisy can only occur and grow in the heart, only when the winds of subjugation and defeat start blowing [i.e. someone becomes a hypocrite if they are forced to accept Islam], and when extreme and burdensome difficulties force someone to utter what he does not believe in his heart.
As Allah, the Exalted, says,
“But when they saw Our might, they said, ‘We believe in Allah alone and we deny what we used to associate with Him.’ But their faith had no benefit for them once they had seen Our might.”5
And if I had said that they believed out of coercion, then he would have answered that there were no swords there to frighten them into [accepting Islam].
I managed to wriggle out of this situation but I was swelling with rage and my heart was crumbling with grief. I had written in a scroll more than forty such difficult questions—for which I could find no answer to. I intended to ask these questions from Aḥmad b. Isḥāq—the most learned person of our city—who was also one of the companions of Imam Abū Muḥammad, peace be on him. He had left on a journey to visit our master at Sāmarrā and I went after him.
After I caught up with him and we greeted each other he asked me, “You have come to meet me [here!]. Is everything ok?” I replied, “The love of seeing you and the habit of asking questions [have caused me to come here].” He answered, “Then we both have the same problem. The urge to meet our master Abū Muḥammad, peace be on him, has displaced me. I intend to ask him some problematic questions about interpretations (ta’wīl) and some difficulties about revelations (tanzīl). So, don’t miss the blessed opportunity of being a companion [in this journey]. [If you come], you will stand on the shores of a sea whose marvels will not end and its wonders will not finish. That [sea] is our Imam.”
We reached Sāmarrā’ and were soon at the door of our masters [residence]. We sought permission to enter, which was granted. Aḥmad b. Isḥāq was carrying a leather sack on his shoulder which he had hidden under a Ṭabarian cloak. It contained 160 purses filled with dirhams and dinars. Every bag had its owners seal on it. I can only compare our masters face—whose light had covered us— with the full moon.
A child was sitting on his right lap, who resembled [the planet] Jupiter in creation and features. His front hair was exactly parted from the middle and curled to the sides just like a line with two curves on each side. In front of our master, there was a golden pomegranate, which was shining with its amazing shape and rare precious stones studded in it. One of the chiefs of Basra had gifted it to him.
He had a pen in his hand and whenever he wanted to write something on a white paper, the child would hold his fingers [and prevent him]. Our master would roll the pomegranate in front of him to keep the child busy with it so that he could write what he wanted. We saluted him and he replied with utmost kindness and beckoned us to seat.
When he finished writing, Aḥmad brought out the leather sack from under his cloak and placed it in front of him. (Imam) al-Hādī looked at the child and said, “O My Son! Break the seals of the gifts of your followers and friends.” The child responded, “O my master! Is it permissible that I extend a pure hand towards impure gifts and unclean wealth whose ḥarām and ḥalāl are mixed together?” Then, my master said, “O ibn Isḥāq! Bring out what is in the leather sack so that he may separate the ḥalāl from the ḥarām.” When ibn Isḥāq removed the first purse, the child remarked, “This belongs to so and so who lives in such and such district of Qum.
It contains sixty-two dinars. Forty-five of those are from the money of a small room which its owner inherited from his father and sold. Fourteen dinars are from the money of nine clothes and three are from the rental money of shops.” Our master said, “My son! You have spoken the truth. Now, tell this man which ones are ḥarām and which ones are ḥalāl.” The child continued, “Find the dinar which was minted in [the city of] Riyy. Its date is so and so and the inscriptions on one side have been partly erased.
Also the gold piece from [the city of] Āmul which weighs a quarter of a dinar. They are ḥarām because their owner had given 1.25 mans6 of wool to his neighbor to weave for him. A thief stole the wool from the weaver and the weaver informed their owner but the owner didn’t believe the weaver and instead, took 1.5 mans of softer wool from him and made a cloth out of them and sold it. This dinar and the piece of gold were paid for it.” When the purse was opened, there was a letter in it which had the name of the person who was described and the number of dinars written on it—exactly as mentioned by the child. The aforementioned dinar and piece of gold were also in it.
Ibn Isḥāq removed another purse. The child said, “This belongs to so and so person who lives in such and such place of Qum. It has fifty dinars and it is not permissible for us to touch them.” [Ibn Isḥāq] said, “Why not?!” He replied, “Because it is from the revenue of wheat belonging to a landlord who has cheated on the peasant [who has planted them].
When they were dividing the shares, he filled the containers completely for himself but left some of it empty when separating [the wheat] for the peasant.” Our master remarked, “My Son, you have spoken the truth.” Then, he said, “O Aḥmad b. Isḥāq! Take back all these purses and return them to their owners or will that they be returned to them because we do not need them. Give us the cloth from the old woman.” Aḥmad b. Isḥāq said, “I left that cloth behind in my bag and I had completely forgotten about it.”
When Aḥmad b. Isḥāq went to fetch the cloth, our master Abū Muḥammad looked at me and said, “O Sa`d! Why have you come here?” I replied, “Aḥmad b. Isḥāq had encouraged me to meet [you], our master.” He said, “What about those questions that you wanted to ask him?” I replied, “Their status hasn’t changed yet.”
He remarked, “Ask them from the apple of my eye” and pointed towards the child. The child said, “Ask whatever you want.” I said, “O my master and the son of my master! It has been narrated to us from you [i.e. your forefathers] that the Messenger of Allah, Allah's blessings be on him and his family, had given Amīr al-Mu’minīn, peace be on him, the right to divorce his [i.e. the Prophet’s] wives.
Therefore, on the day of the Battle of Jamal, he sent a messenger to `Ā’isha and said to her, ‘You have caused riots amongst the Muslims by your mischievous acts. You have brought your children [i.e. the Muslims] to the ponds of death by your ignorance. If you retreat I will leave you alone but if you don’t, I will divorce you.’ How can this be whilst the death of the Messenger of Allah, Allah's blessings be on him and his family, had already caused his women’s divorce [from him]?”
He questioned, “What is the meaning of divorce?” I replied, “Clearing the path [to remarry].” He said, “If the Messenger of Allah’s death, Allah's blessings be on him and his family, was their divorce and the path was cleared for his wives, then why weren’t they allowed to remarry?” I said, “Because Allah, Blessed and Exalted be He, had prohibited them from marrying anybody else.” He said, “‘Why should it be so whilst [the Prophet’s] death had cleared their path [for remarriage]?”
I said, “O Master! Explain for me the meaning of the divorce that the Messenger of Allah, Allah's blessings be on him and his family, had transferred its right to Amīr al-Mu’minīn, peace be on him.” He replied, “Allah, Holy be His Name, raised the status of the Prophet’s wives, Allah's blessings be on him and his family, and designated them as the mothers [of the believers]. The Messenger of Allah, Allah's blessings be on him and his family, said to `Alī, ‘O Abū l-Ḥasan! They will have this honor as long as they obey Allah. After my death, if any of them disobeys Allah by rebelling against you, then divorce her and strip her of the honor of being a mother of the believers.’”
I said, “Please inform me about the ‘evident indecency’ (faḥishatun mubayyina) that if a woman commits during the period of her `idda7, the husband has the right to expel her from his house?” He replied, “‘Evident indecency’ refers to lesbianism, not adultery.
For, if a woman commits adultery and is punished for it [in accordance with Islamic law], then any man who desires to marry her should not refrain from doing so on the grounds that she has been punished. But if a woman commits lesbianism, her punishment is stoning to death. Being stoned to death is absolute disgrace and whosoever Allah has ordered to be stoned, He has truly disgraced him/her. And whoever Allah has disgraced, He has distanced him/her and whoever Allah has distanced, no one has the right to go near him/her.”
I said, “Please inform me about what Allah ordered His Prophet Moses, peace be on him, (when He said), ‘So, remove your shoes [for] you are in the holy valley of Ṭuwā.’8 The scholars of both sects believe that [his shoes] were made from the skin of a dead animal9.” He replied, “Whoever believes this has slandered Moses and has thought him to be ignorant regarding his own prophethood. [If it is as they say], then it was either permissible for Moses to pray in those shoes or it wasn’t.
If it was permissible, then he would also have been allowed to wear them in that valley. Even if that valley was holy and pure, it couldn’t have been holier and purer than the prayers. [On the other hand], if prayers were not allowed in those shoes, then it can be concluded that Moses was not aware about what is permissible and what is prohibited; and that he did not know what things are permissible to wear in prayers and what things are prohibited. Having this opinion [about Moses] is equal to disbelief (kufr).”
I pleaded, “O my master! Please inform me about its interpretation!” He said, “Moses invoked his Lord in the holy valley and said, ‘O Master! My love is purely for You and I have cleansed my heart of all other [affections].’ He [said this whilst he] loved his family very much. Then, Allah, the Exalted, said to him, ‘Remove your shoes,’ meaning, ‘Remove the love of your family from your heart if your love is exclusively for Me and the love of others is washed from your heart.’”
I said, “O Son of Allah’s Messenger! What is the interpretation of ‘Kāf-Hā-Yā-`Ayn-Ṣād’10?” He said, “These letters refer to the unseen news (anbā’ al-ghayb) which Allah informed His servant, Zachariah. He then narrated them to Muḥammad, Allah's blessings be on him and his family. This is the story: Once, Zachariah asked Allah, his Lord, to teach him the names of the five [holy people]. So Gabriel descended and taught them to him.
Whenever Zachariah uttered the names of Muḥammad, `Alī, Fāṭima, and Ḥasan, his worries would disappear, but when he mentioned the name of al-Ḥusayn, he would choke on tears and would nearly perish. One day, he enquired, ‘O Lord! Why is it that when I mention [the first] four, I become calm, but when I mention al-Ḥusayn, my tears flow and I sob.’ So Allah, the Exalted, told him his story and said, ‘“Kāf-Hā-Yā-`Ayn-Ṣād.” Kāf refers to Karbala, Hā refers to hālāk al-`itra (the perishing of the progeny), Yā refers to Yazīd, the one who oppressed al-Ḥusayn, peace be on him, `Ayn refers to `Atashuh (his thirst), Ṣād refers to ṣabruh (his patience).’
When Zachariah heard this, he did not emerge from his prayer-place for three days and did not allow anyone to meet him. He kept crying and wailing and would say, ‘O Lord! Will You make the best of your creatures mourn his son? O Lord! Will you inflict on him such hardships? O Lord! Will you make `Alī and Fāṭima wear the robe of this tragedy? O Lord! Will you allow such a great catastrophe to befall them?’
Afterwards he would say, ‘O Allah! Grant me a son who will be the apple of my eye when I grow old and make him my inheritor and my heir. Make him for me what al-Ḥusayn [was to his grandfather]. Make me extremely attached to him and then afflict me with his grief just as You will afflict your beloved Muḥammad with the sorrow of his son.’ Thus, Allah granted him John and afflicted him with his sorrow. John was born in the sixth month of pregnancy as was the case for al-Ḥusayn, peace be on him. [John’s] story is very long.”
I asked, “Why were the people not given the right to select their own Imam?” He replied, “A righteous [Imam] or a corrupt one?” I answered, “Righteous.” He asked, “Is it possible that a corrupt leader is selected [by the people instead of a righteous one] since no one really knows if another person is really righteous in his heart or corrupt?” I answered, “Yes, it is.” He continued, “This is the reason. I will use another argument that will be acceptable to your intellect.
Consider the Messengers who Allah, the Exalted, chose and sent down for them [divine] texts and assisted by revelation and infallibility. Those who were prominent amongst their people and had the ability to make a better choice than them. [Prophets] like Moses and Jesus, peace be on them. Is it possible—even with their high intellects and great knowledge—that they [wrongly] choose a hypocrite who they think is a true believer?” I said, “No.”
He continued, “But Moses who was the one with whom Allah spoke (Kalīm Allah), who had high intellect and great knowledge, and who revelations descended upon, selected seventy learned people and military commanders from his people for the appointment [he had with] his Lord—in whose faith and sincerity he had no doubts.
But nevertheless, he had selected the hypocrites. Allah, the Almighty says, ‘And Moses chose from his people, seventy men for Our appointment11—to where He says—we will never believe in you until we evidently see our Lord.’12 We observe that even someone who Allah has selected as a Prophet, selects the corrupt instead of the righteous whilst he thinks that he [has selected] the righteous and not the corrupt.
Thus, the right of choosing [an Imam] only belongs to the One who knows what is concealed in the chests, resides in the thoughts, and is aware of the secrets. Therefore, once we see that a Prophet selects corrupt people whilst he intends to select righteous ones, then the selection made by the Muhājirīn and Anṣār has no value.
Then our master said, “O Sa`d! When your enemy said, ‘The Messenger of Allah, Allah's blessings be on him and his family, took along the chosen one from this nation with him to the cave because he knew that he would be the caliph after him, the leader in interpreting [the Quran], the holder of the reins of the nation, the one who would be relied on to mend the differences, compensate the defeats, close the cracks [in the nation], establish the laws, and dispatch the armies to conquer the lands of the polytheists; and Just as [the Prophet] was worried about [his] prophethood he was also worried for [Abū Bakr’s] caliphate.
A fugitive who is fleeing from evil and goes into hiding does not intend to ask someone else for help. On the other hand, he ordered `Alī to sleep in his bed because he did not care much about him and did not bother about him and because he knew that even if `Alī was killed, there would be others who could replace him,’ you should have refuted him by saying, ‘Didn’t the Messenger of Allah, Allah's blessings be on him and his family, say that the caliphate will last for thirty years after me?
And according to your beliefs, these [thirty years] are equal to the years of the caliphate of the four Rightly-Guided caliphs (i.e. Abū Bakr, `Umar, `Uthmān, and `Alī, peace be on him).’ Then he wouldn’t have had any choice but to agree. Then you would have told him, ‘What’s your opinion about this: Just as the Messenger of Allah knew that after him Abū Bakr would be the caliph, he also knew that the caliphs after him would be `Umar, `Uthmān, and then `Alī?’ Again, he would have had no choice but to agree.
Then you would have told him, ‘Thus, it should have been obligatory for the Messenger of Allah, Allah's blessings be on him and his family, to take all of them with him to the cave and worry about all of them just as he worried for Abū Bakr. He shouldn’t have reduced their stature by leaving them back and only taking Abū Bakr with him.’
“When your enemy asked you about the Truthful [i.e. Abū Bakr] and Fārūq [i.e. `Umar] and whether they had accepted Islam willingly or through coercion, why didn’t you give the answer, ‘They accepted Islam because of greed.’ These two used to sit with the Jews and [the Jews] used to inform them about the things written in the Torah and the other ancient Divine Scriptures. They had told them the story of Muḥammad and his fate—Allah's blessings be on him and his family.
The Jews had mentioned that Muḥammad would dominate the Arabs just like Nebuchadnezzar (Bukht al-Naṣr) who had overpowered the Israelites. He would undoubtedly gain victory over the Arabs just like Nebuchadnezzar who gained victory over the Israelites. The only difference is that [Nebuchadnezzar] was a liar in his claim that he was a Prophet.
Consequently, [Abū Bakr and `Umar] both came to the Holy Prophet and assisted him regarding the testimony of “there is no God but Allah” and pledged allegiance with him while they had the greed that when his government was established, he would appoint them as the governor of a province.
When they lost hope [in attaining this goal]—they and a few other hypocrites like them—covered their faces and went up the mountain pass (al-`aqaba) to kill him. But Allah, the Exalted, repelled their foul actions and they retreated with rage without achieving any of their goals. Ṭalḥa and Zubayr also pledged allegiance to `Alī while they too had greed in becoming governors. But once their hopes diminished, they broke their allegiance and rebelled against him. Therefore, Allah, the Exalted, knocked them down the same way that He had knocked down other allegiance-breakers like them.’”
At this point, our master, al-Ḥasan b. `Alī al-Hādī stood up along with the child to perform the prayers. I left and went in search of Aḥmad b. Isḥāq. He came to me crying. I asked him, “What has delayed you and what has made you cry?” He replied, “I have lost the cloth that my master had asked for.” I said to him, “It is not your fault. Go and tell our master.” So he hurriedly went inside and emerged after a while smiling and invoking blessings on Muḥammad and his family. I asked him, “What happened?” He replied, “The cloth was spread under our master’s feet and he was praying on it.”
We thanked Allah, the Exalted, for this event. We visited our master for a number of days but did not see his son. When the time arrived to bid farewell, I and Aḥmad b. Isḥāq went to him accompanied by two elderly men from our city. Aḥmad b. Isḥāq stood in front of him and said, “O Son of Allah’s Messenger! The time to bid you farewell has come and this has saddened us to no end. We ask Allah, the Exalted, to send His blessings upon al-Muṣṭafā, your grandfather; al-Murtaḍā, your father; the Master of all Women, your mother; the Masters of the youths of Paradise, your uncle and your father; and the immaculate Imams after them, who are your fathers.
We [also ask Allah] to send his blessings on you and your son. We hope that Allah elevates your status and disgraces your enemy and does not make this our last meeting with you.” When he said these words our master became saddened to such an extent that he started crying and tears rolled from his eyes. He said, “O son if Isḥāq! Do not over-distress yourself by your invocations because you are going to meet Allah in this very journey.” On hearing this, Aḥmad b. Isḥāq fainted. When he regained consciousness, he pleaded, “I ask you by Allah and by the sanctity of your ancestors that you give me a worn out dress [worn by you] so that I use it as a burial-shroud.
Our master put his hand under the carpet and brought out thirteen dirhams and said, “Take these and don’t spend more than this amount for yourself. What you have asked for will not be neglected. Allah, Blessed and Exalted be He, does not waste the rewards of the good doers.”
After we left our master, we were approximately three kilometers short of Ḥulwān when Aḥmad b. Isḥāq caught such a high fever that he lost all hope of life. On reaching Ḥulwān, we stopped at an inn and Aḥmad b. Isḥāq summoned one of his fellow townsmen who dwelled there. He then said, “Go and leave me alone tonight.” Thus, we all left him and went to our sleeping quarters.
When the night passed and it was near dawn, I started worrying. I opened my eyes and I saw Kāfūr, our master Abū Muḥammad’s servant, saying, “May Allah grant you goodness for this mourning and recompense your calamity through his beloved [successor]. We have finished bathing and shrouding your companion.
Get up and bury him. He was one of the most honorable in the eyes of your master.” He then disappeared from before us. Wailing and crying, we reached his body, paid tribute to him, and buried him. May Allah have mercy on him.”
810. Faḍl b. Shādhān’s al-Ghayba13: Narrated to us Ibrāhīm b. Muḥammad b. Fāris al-Nīsābūrī:
When the governor, `Amr b. `Auf—who was a very staunch enemy of the Ahl al-Bait and was fond of killing their followers—decided to kill me, I was informed about it and I was extremely frightened. I bid farewell to my family and friends and went to Abū Muḥammad’s house, peace be on him, to bid him goodbye as well because I intended to flee [the city]. When I went to him, I saw a boy sitting next to him whose face was shining like the full moon. I was amazed by his light and brightness and nearly forgot my fears and fleeing.
He said to me, “O Ibrāhīm! Don’t flee. Surely, Allah, Blessed and Exalted be He, will soon relieve you of his evil.” This statement increased my astonishment about him. I said to (Imam) Abū Muḥammad, peace be on him, “O Master! May Allah sacrifice me for you! Who is this child who informed me about what is in my heart?” He replied, “He is my son and my successor after me. He is the one who will have a long occultation and will reappear after the earth has been filled with injustice and unfairness.
Then, he will fill it with justice and fairness.” I asked him about his name. He said, “His name and epithet is the same as that of the Messenger of Allah, Allah's blessings be on him and his family. No one is allowed to say his name or his epithet until Allah reveals his government and authority. O Ibrāhīm! Hide whatever you have seen and heard from us today—except from those who are worthy [of being informed].”
I invoked blessings on both of them and their forefathers and emerged while I was awaiting for Allah’s Grace to come to my assistance and was confident about what I heard from the Master, peace be on him. Later, my uncle `Alī b. Fāris gave me the good news that al-Mu`tamid had sent his brother Abū Aḥmad to kill `Amr b. `Auf and Abū Aḥmad had got hold of him on that day and had chopped him into pieces. And all Praise is for Allah the Lord of the worlds.
The traditions with the following numbers also show the above concept: 787, 788, 793, 797, 802, 804, and 814.
1. Ghaybat al-Shaykh, pp. 246–248, no. 216; Dalā’il al-imāma, pp. 273–274, through his chain of narrators from Abū Na`īm; al-Kharā’ij, vol. 1, pp. 458–459, no. 4; Ithbāt al-waṣiyya (Manshūrāt al-Raḍī publications), p. 222, from Ja`far b. Muḥammad b. Mālik; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 25, pp. 336–337, no. 16, and vol. 52, chap. 18, pp. 50–51, no. 35. The first section of this tradition is in in vol. 50, chap. 3, p. 253, no. 7, and vol. 67, chap. 51, p. 117, no. 5, and vol. 76, chap. 109, p. 302, no. 12; Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 59–61, no. 26; Kashf al-ghumma, vol. 2, p. 499; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 31, p. 415, no. 54, and chap. 32, p. 508, no. 320, and chap. 33, p. 683, no. 91; Yanābī` al-mawadda, chap. 82, p. 461, which says: “From Kāmil b. Ibrāhīm al-Madanī who said, ‘I went to Imam Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan al-`Askarī and there was a curtain hanging on the doorway. The wind moved one side of the curtain and I saw a boy who was like the moon. (Imam) Abū Muḥammad said, “O Kāmil! This [is the] Divine Proof after me. He will inform you about what you [had come to] ask.”’”
2. These are two non-Shia sects—Ed.
3. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 43, pp. 454–465, no. 21; Dalā’il al-imāma, chap. “Those who saw him during the lifetime of his father,” pp. 274–281, no. 2, which says: “From Abū l-Qāsim `Abd al-Bāqī b. Yazdād b. `Abd-Allah al-Bazzāz, from Abū Muḥammad `Abd-Allah b. Muḥammad al-Tha`ālibī on Friday Rajab 1, 370 AH, from Abū `Alī Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Yaḥyā al-`Aṭṭār, from Sa`d b. `Abd-Allah b. Abū Khalaf al-Qummī (to where he says), ‘We visited our master for some days but did not see the boy, peace be on him.’”; al-Kharā’ij, vol. 1, pp. 481–484, no. 22 (short version); Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 93–108, no. 48; al-Iḥtijāj, vol. 2, pp. 461–467; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 19, pp. 78–89, no. 1; Ḥilyat al-abrār, vol. 2, pp. 557–568, al-Manhaj, chap. 15, no. 3; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 1, chap. 7, p. 380, no. 106, and vol. 7, chap. 33, p. 347, no. 121 & 122 (short version); Ilzām al-nāṣib, vol. 1, pp. 342–351; Mikyāl al-makārim, vol. 1, chap. 2, pp. 16–24, no. 14.
Some of our contemporary scholars have considered this tradition’s chain of narrators as weak and others have regarded its contents as unreliable. They have even deemed it as fabricated! Since we have already spoken too much in refutation of these claims and have explained the truth and investigated this tradition and its like in an exclusive treatise called al-Nuqūd al-latīfa, we will refrain from further discussing it for the sake of conciseness. God willing, we will mention the entire treatise in the third volume of this book.
Muntakhab al-anwār al-muḍī’a, pp. 145–175; Ta’wīl al-āyāt al-ẓāhira, pp. 292–294, which is a short version, under the first verse from the sura of Maryam; Yanābī` al-mawadda, chap. 81, p. 459; al-Thāqib fī l-manāqib, chap. 15, sect. 2, pp. 585–589, no. 534/1.
4. After the Battle of Tabūk the hypocrites planned to kill the Prophet—while he was crossing a mountain-pass—but failed. This is referred to as the ‘incident of the Night of `Aqaba’—Ed.
5. Quran 40:84–85.
6. A unit of mass—Ed.
7. `Idda is the period of time after a woman’s husband dies or is divorced from her and during that period her meeting and speaking with non-maḥrams must be extremely limited—Ed.
8. Quran 20:12.
9. Meaning an animal that had died naturally or was not slaughtered in accordance with Islamic law—Ed.
10. Quran 19:1.
11. Quran 7:155.
12. Quran 2:55.
13. Kifāyat al-muhtadī (al-`Arba`īn), p. 122, under no. 32; Kashf al-ḥaqq (al-Arba`īn), p. 32, no. 7.
Those who saw him while his father was still alive, peace be on them both
Comprised of twenty traditions
811. Kamāl al-dīn1: Narrated to us Muḥammad b. `Alī Mājīlawayh, may Allah be satisfied with him, from Muḥammad b. Yaḥyā al-`Aṭṭār, from Ja`far b. Muḥammad b. Mālik al-Fazārī, from Mu`āwiyat b. Ḥakīm, Muḥammad b. Ayyūb b. Nūḥ, and Muḥammad b. `Uthmān al-`Amrī, may Allah be satisfied with him, whom all said:
We were forty people in Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan b. `Alī’s house, peace be on him, when he showed us [his son] and said, “This is your Imam after me and my caliph upon you. Obey him and do not scatter after me regarding your religion otherwise you will perish. Know that you will not see him after this day.” After we left, barely a few days had gone by when Abū Muḥammad, peace be on him, passed away.
812. Al-Ṭūsī’s Ghayba2: From (Hibat-Allah b. Muḥammad, from a person that Aḥmad b. `Alī b. Nūḥ Abū l-`Abbās al-Sairāfī has narrated) and Ja`far b. Muḥammad b. Mālik al-Fazārī al-Bazzāz, from a group of Shias which include: `Alī b. Bilāl, Aḥmad b. Hilāl, Muḥammad b. Mu`āwiyat b. Ḥakīm, and al-Ḥasan b. Ayyūb b. Nūḥ (who narrated a long tradition) and all said:
We were forty people who had gathered around Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan b. `Alī, peace be on him, and were asking him about the Proof after him. `Uthmān b. Sa`īd al-Amrī stood up and pleaded, “O Son of Allah’s Messenger! I intend to ask you about an affair which you have more knowledge about than me.” He replied, “Sit down, O `Uthmān!” Then, enraged, he stood up to go out and ordered, “No one shall leave.” None of us left until some time had passed.
He then called `Uthmān—who stood up on his feet—and said, “Shall I inform you about the reason you came here?” They replied, “Yes, O Son of Allah’s Messenger.” He said, “You have come to ask me about the Divine Proof after me.” They replied in the affirmative. Suddenly a boy [appeared] who was like a part of the moon and of all the people, he resembled Imam Abū Muḥammad the most.
He said, “This is your Imam after me and my caliph upon you. Obey him and don’t scatter after me lest you perish in your religion. Beware! You will not see him after this day until he completes his age. Accept from `Uthmān what he will say, obey his orders, and accept his saying, because he is the successor of your Imam and the affair is in his hands . . .”
813. Kamāl al-dīn3: `Alī b. al-Ḥasan b. al-Faraj al-Mu’adhdhin, may Allah be satisfied with him, narrated to us from Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-Karkhī, from Abū Hārūn—who is a man from our companions—who said: “I saw the Master of the Time and his face was shining like the full moon . . . (to the end of the tradition)”
814. Kamāl al-dīn4: Abū Ṭālib al-Muẓaffar b. Ja`far b. al-Muẓaffar al-`Alawī al-Samarqandī, may Allah be satisfied with him, from Ja`far b. Muḥammad b. Mas`ūd, from his father Muḥammad b. Mas`ūd al-`Ayyāshī, from Ādam b. Muḥammad al-Balkhī, from `Alī b. al-Ḥasan [al-Ḥusayn] b. Hārūn al-Daqqāq, from Ja`far b. Muḥammad b. `Abd-Allah b. al-Qāsim b. Ibrāhīm b. al-Ashtar, from Ya`qūb b. Manqūsh [Manfūs], who said:
I went to see Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan b. `Alī, peace be on him, while he was sitting on a bench in the house. On his right was a room with a drawn curtain. I asked him, “O my master! Who is the master of this affair?” He replied, “Raise the curtain.” When I raised the curtain, a boy emerged who was about five hand-spans tall and about ten or eight years old.
He had a wide forehead, white face, glittering eyes, and small hands and he had bent his knees. There was a mole on his right cheek and he had a forelock. He went and sat on Abū Muḥammad’s thigh, peace be on him, who said to me, “This is your Master.” He then leapt up and [the Imam] said to him, “Go inside until the appointed time.” He entered the room while I was [still] looking at him. [The Imam, peace be on him] said, “O Ya`qūb! See who is inside the room.” I went inside the room but found no one there!
815. Al-Kāfī5: `Alī b. Muḥammad, from Ja`far b. Muḥammad al-Kūfī, from Ja`far b. Muḥammad al-Makfūf, from `Amr al-Ahwāzī who said: “Abū Muḥammad, peace be on him, showed me his son and said, ‘This is your master after me.’”
816. Al-Kāfī6: `Alī b. Muḥammad, from al-Ḥusayn and Muḥammad—the sons of `Alī b. Ibrāhīm—from Muḥammad b. `Alī b. `Abd-al-Raḥmān al-`Abdī, a slave of Qays, from Ḍau’ b. `Alī al-`Ijlī, from a Persian man who he named, who said:
I went to Sāmarrā’ and stayed beside the door of Imam Abū Muḥammad’s house and he called me inside. I entered and greeted him and he asked, “What has brought you [here]?” I replied, “The desire to serve you.” He ordered me to be the doorkeeper. So I stayed in the house along with the servants and also [had the duty of] buying their needs from the market and when there were men in the house I would enter without permission.
One day, I went to him while he was in the men’s quarters and I heard some movement in the room. He suddenly called out to me, “Stay in your place and don’t move.” I didn’t dare to enter or go out. A slave-maid came out and with her was a covered thing. He then called out to me and said, “Come in,” and I went in. He called out to the slave-maid and she returned to him. He then said to her, “Uncover what you have with you.”
She removed the veil [which was covering] a white handsome boy. He uncovered his stomach and there was hair from his chest to his navel but it was green, not black. He said, “This is your master.” He then ordered her [to take him away] and she took him away. After this, I did not see him until Abū Muḥammad passed away.
817. Al-Kāfī7: `Alī b. Muḥammad, from Muḥammad b. Ismā’īl b. Mūsā b. Ja`far—who was a very old man from the descendants of the Messenger of Allah, Allah's blessings be on him and his family, in Iraq—who said: “I saw him between the two mosques, while he, peace be on him, was a young boy.”
818. Al-Kāfī8: Muḥammad b. Yaḥyā, from al-Ḥusayn b. Rizq-Allah Abū `Abd-Allah, from Mūsā b. Muḥammad b. al-Qāsim b. Ḥamzat b. Mūsā b. Ja`far, from Ḥakīma—(Imam) Muḥammad b. `Alī’s daughter and the aunt of [the Mahdī’s] father—who said she had seen him in the night of his birth and also after that.
819. Al-Kāfī9: Muḥammad b. Yaḥyā, from al-Ḥasan b. `Alī al-Nīsābūrī, from Ibrāhīm b. Muḥammad b. `Abd-Allah b. Mūsā b. Ja`far, from Abū Naṣr Ẓarīf—the servant—[who said] he had seen him, peace be on him.
820. Al-Kāfī10: `Alī b. Muḥammad from Fatḥ—the slave of al-Rāzī [al-Zurārī]—who said: “I heard Abū `Alī b. Muṭahhar mention that he had seen him and had described his height.”
The traditions with the following numbers also prove the above concept: 786–788, 796–797, 802, 804, and 808–810.
1. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 43, p. 435, no. 2; Yanābī` al-mawadda, chap. 82, p. 460, to where he says, “we left”; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, pp. 25–26, no. 19, which says, “Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan b. `Alī’, peace be on him, showed us his son”; I`lām al-warā, fourth rukn, part 2, chap. 2, sect. 3; Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 48–49, no. 16.
2. Ghaybat al-Shaykh, p. 357, no. 319; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 51, chap. 16, pp. 346–347, no. 1; Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 183–185, no. 76; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 31, pp. 415–416, no. 56, which is its beginning, and chap. 32, p. 511, no. 337, which is its end.
3. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 43, p. 434, no. 1; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, p. 25, no. 18; I`lām al-warā, fourth rukn, part 2, chap. 1, sect. 3.
4. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 43, pp. 436–437, no. 5; Yanābī` al-mawadda, chap. 82, p. 461, similar to it from Ya`qūb; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, p. 25, no. 17; I`lām al-warā, fourth rukn, part 2, chap. 2, sect. 2.
5. Al-Kāfī, vol. 1, p. 328, no. 3, and vol. 1, p. 332, no. 12; I`lām al-warā, fourth rukn, part 2, chap. 2, sect. 3; al-Irshād, p. 349; Ghaybat al-Shaykh, p. 234, no. 203; Yanābī` al-mawadda, chap. 82, p. 461; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, p. 60, no. 48; Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 50–51, no. 19, and p. 275, no. 111.
6. Al-Kāfī, vol. 1, p. 329, no. 6, and a shortened version on p. 332, no. 14, and a longer one on pp. 514–515, no. 2; Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 43, pp. 435–436, no. 4; Ghaybat al-Shaykh, pp. 233–234, no. 202; Yanābī` al-mawadda, chap. 82, p. 461 (short version); Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 51–52, no. 20, and pp. 276–277, no. 115; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, pp. 26–27, no. 21; Taqrīb al-ma`ārif, pp. 184–185.
7. Al-Kāfī, vol. 1, p. 330, no. 2; al-Irshād, chap. “Dhikr man ra’ā al-Imām,” p. 350, with the difference that he said, “I saw the son of al-Ḥasan b. `Alī b. Muḥammad, peace be on him, between the two mosques while he was a boy”; Yanābī` al-mawadda, chap. 82, p. 461; Ghaybat al-Shaykh, p. 268, no. 230; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, p. 13, no. 8; Kashf al-ghumma, vol. 2, p. 449; I`lām al-warā, fourth rukn, part 2, chap. 1, sect. 2; Tabṣirat al-walī, p. 55, no. 22; al-Ṣirāṭ al-mustaqīm, vol. 2, chap. 11, sect. 4, p. 240.
I say: Perhaps the two mosques in the tradition refers to the two mosques of Mecca and Medina.
8. Al-Kāfī, vol. 1, pp. 330–331, no. 3. His saying, “The aunt of his father” refers to the paternal aunt of Imam Abū Muḥammad—al-Ḥujja’s father—peace be on him; al-Irshād, chap. “Dhikr man ra’ā l-Imām,” p. 376, with the difference that he said: “. . . and she is the paternal aunt of al-Ḥasan who had seen the Qā’im . . .” and it mentions “al-Ḥasan b. Rizq-Allah.”
9. Al-Kāfī, vol. 1, p. 332, no. 13; al-Irshād, chap. “Dhikr man ra’ā l-Imām al-Thānī `Ashar,” p. 351; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, pp. 60–61, no. 49; al-Ṣirāṭ al-mustaqīm, vol. 2, chap. 11, sect. 4, p. 241.
10. Al-Kāfī, vol. 1, p. 331, no. 5; al-Irshād, chap. “Dhikr man ra’ā l-Imām al-Thānī `Ashar,” p. 350; Yanābī` al-mawadda, chap. 82, p. 461, which says, “From my father, `Alī b. Muṭahhar, who said, ‘I saw the son of Abū Muḥammad and he was very majestic’”; Tabṣirat al-walī fī man ra’ā l-Qā’im al-Mahdī, p. 55, no. 23, and p. 273, no. 103; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, p. 14, no. 11; Ghaybat al-Shaykh, p. 269, no. 233; Kashf al-ghumma, vol. 2, p. 450; al-Ṣirāṭ al-mustaqīm, vol. 2, chap. 11, sect. 4, p. 240.
Those who were fortunate enough to meet him during the minor occultation, peace be on him1
Comprised of twenty-seven traditions
821. Kamāl al-dīn2: Muḥammad b. Mūsā b. al-Mutawakkil, may Allah be satisfied with him, narrated to us from `Abd-Allah b. Ja`far al-Ḥimyarī who said: “I asked Muḥammad b. `Uthmān al-`Amrī, may Allah be satisfied with him, ‘Have you seen the Master of this Affair?’ He replied, ‘Yes. My last meeting with him was beside the sacred House of Allah while he was saying, “O Allah! Fulfill for me what You have promised me.”’”
822. Kamāl al-dīn3: Muḥammad b. Mūsā b. al-Mutawakkil, may Allah be satisfied with him, from `Abd-Allah b. Ja`far al-Ḥimyarī, who said: “I heard Muḥammad b. `Uthmān al-`Amrī, may Allah be satisfied with him, say, ‘I saw him—Allah’s blessings be on him—while he was holding the curtains of the Ka`ba beside the Mustajār4 and saying, “O Allah! Take revenge for me from my enemies.”’”
823. Al-Kāfī5: He has recorded from `Alī b. Muḥammad and other Shias of Qum, from Muḥammad b. Muḥammad al-`Āmirī, from Abū Sa`īd Ghānim al-Hindī, a long tradition in which Abū Sa`īd mentions how he accepted Islam. In the end, he has mentioned the good fortune he had of meeting the Imam, peace be on him, the miracles that he saw from him, and that he gave him a purse [of money] for his expenses. As we mentioned, this tradition is quite long. Whoever wishes can read it from either al-Kāfī or Kamāl al-dīn.
824. Kamāl al-dīn6: Through the same chain (of narrators) from Ibrāhīm b. Muḥammad al-`Alawī, from Ṭarīf Abū Naṣr who said:
I went to the Master of the Time, peace be on him, who said to me, “Get me a red sandal.” I brought it for him and he said to me, “Do you know who I am?” I replied in the affirmative. He asked, “Who am I?” I answered, “You are my master and the son of my master.” He said, “I did not ask you about this.” I said, “May I be sacrificed for you! Explain for me.” He elaborated, “I am the last of the successors. Through me, Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, repels the calamities from my family and my followers (ahlī wa shī`atī).”
825. Kamāl al-dīn7: Narrated to me Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan, may Allah be satisfied with him, from `Abd-Allah b. Ja`far al-Ḥimyarī who said:
I said to Muḥammad b. `Uthmān al-`Amrī, may Allah be satisfied with him, “I want to ask you a question like the one Abraham asked his Lord—Mighty is his Majesty—when he said, ‘“O Lord! Show me how You give life to the dead.” He asked, “Do you not believe?” He replied, “Yes [I do believe] but [I am asking] for the assurance of my heart.”’8 So, tell me about the Master of this affair; have you see him?” He replied, “Yes, and his neck is like this,” then pointed to his own neck.
826. Kamāl al-dīn9: Al-Muẓaffar b. Ja`far b. al-Muẓaffar al-`Alawī al-`Amrī, may Allah be satisfied with him, narrated to us from Ja`far b. Muḥammad b. Mas`ūd, from his father, from Ja`far b. Ma`rūf, from Abū `Abd-Allah al-Balkhī, from Muḥammad b. Ṣāliḥ b. `Alī b. Muḥammad b. Qanbar al-Kabīr—the slave of (Imam) al-Riḍā, peace be on him—who said:
After Abū Muḥammad al-`Askarī, peace be on him, died, the Master of the Time suddenly emerged from out of no-where upon Ja`far al-Kadhdhāb [the liar] who was arguing about [Abū Muḥammad’s] inheritance. He said to him, “O Ja`far! Why do you seek [what is] my right?” Ja`far was confused and stunned. Then, the Imam disappeared from his sight. Ja`far searched for him amongst the people but did not find him. When [his] grandmother—the mother of (Imam) al-Ḥasan died—she had ordered to be buried in the house but Ja`far had argued with them and had said, “This is my house. She cannot be buried here.” Again, [the Imam] had emerged upon him and had said, “O Ja`far! Is this your house?!” Then he disappeared and after this, Ja`far never saw him again.
827. Kamāl al-dīn10: Muḥammad b. Ibrāhīm b. Isḥāq al-Ṭāliqānī, may Allah be satisfied with him, narrated to us from `Alī b. Aḥmad al-Kūfī—known as Abū l-Qāsim al-Khadījī—from Sulaimān b. Ibrāhīm al-Riqqī, from Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan b. Wajnā al-Naṣībī who said:
During my fifty-fourth Hajj, after one-third of the night had passed, I was in prostration beneath the drainpipe (al-Mīzāb) [of Ka`ba]. I was crying and wailing in supplication when somebody shook me and said, “Stand up, O Ḥasan b. Wajnā!” I stood up and saw a yellow skinny slave-woman who was less than forty years old. I went along with her without asking any questions until we reached Khadīja’s residence, peace be on her. There was a house there whose entrance was in the middle of the wall and had a wooden staircase. The slave-girl went up then I heard, “O Ḥasan! Come up.” I went up and stood at the door.
The Master of the Time said to me, “O Ḥasan! Do you think that I was unaware of you? By Allah! I was with you every moment of your Hajj.” Then, he recounted everything that I had done. I [fainted] and fell on my face. I felt a hand touching me and stood up.
Then, he said to me, “O Ḥasan! Stay at Ja`far b. Muḥammad’s house, peace be on him, and don’t worry about your food, drink, and clothing.” Then, he gave me a book in which the prayer called al-Faraj (du`ā al-faraj) and salutations upon him were written. He said to me, “Say this prayer and send salutations upon me as mentioned over here. Don’t disclose this book to anyone except my rightful friends. Allah, Majestic is His Might, will grant you success.” I asked, “Master! Will I see you after this?” He replied, “O Ḥasan! If Allah wills.”
I finished my Hajj and stayed in Ja`far b. Muḥammad’s house, peace be on him. I would go out of the house and only return to it to do one of three things: To renew my ablutions, to sleep, or to eat food. Whenever I entered the house to eat, I would find there a square bowl filled with water; on top it there would be a loaf of bread and on top of that whatever I had desired [to eat] during the day. I would eat it and it would be enough for me.
During the winter there would be winter-clothing and during summer, summer-clothing. During the day, I would bring the water in and sprinkle some of it in the house and I would leave the jug empty. Sometimes, food would be brought for me that I didn’t need and I would give it in charity at night so that those who stayed with me would not find out about my affair.”
828. Kamāl al-dīn11: Narrated to us Muḥammad b. Ibrāhīm b. Isḥāq al-Ṭāliqānī, may Allah be satisfied with him, from Abū l-Qāsim `Alī b. Aḥmad al-Khadījī al-Kūfī, from al-Azdī who said:
I was performing ṭawāf12 and had finished six rounds and had just intended to start the seventh round when I saw that on the right side of the Ka`ba a circle [of people had gathered]. There was a very handsome youth there, who had a fragrant smell. He was very majestic and with all his majesty he would come close to the people and speak with them.
I had never heard a better speech, sweeter words, and a better session than his. I went forward to speak with him but the crowd pushed me back. I asked some of them, “Who is he?” They replied, “He is the son of Allah’s Messenger and appears for his close companions once every year and speaks with them.” I cried out, “O my master! I have come to you for guidance, so guide me; May Allah guide you!”
[On hearing this], he, peace be on him, gave me a pebble and I turned back. One of the people asked, “What did he give you?” I replied, “A pebble,” and opened my fist but found a piece of gold instead! I continued going and suddenly there he was, beside me. He said to me, “My proof has been completed upon you and the truth has become manifest for you and blindness has been removed from you? Do you know who I am?” I replied in the negative.
He answered, “I am the Mahdī. I am the Qā’im of the time. I am the one who will fill [the earth] with justice just as it will be filled with injustice. The earth will never be devoid of Allah’s Proof and the people will not be left without a divine proof. This is a trust [secret]; don’t talk about it to anyone except your brothers who are on the right path.”
829. Kamāl al-dīn13: Narrated to us Aḥmad b. Ziyād b. Ja`far al-Hamdānī, from Abū l-Qāsim Ja`far b. Aḥmad al-`Alawī al-Riqqī al-`Urayḍī, from Abū l-Ḥasan `Alī b. Aḥmad al-`Aqīqī, from Abū Nu`aim al-Anṣārī al-Zaidī, who said:
I and a group from the Muqaṣṣira were in Mecca beside the Mustajār. Among them were: al-Maḥmūdī, `Allān al-Kulainī, Abū l-Haytham al-Dīnārī, and Abū Ja`far al-Aḥwal al-Hamdānī and they were approximately thirty people. I knew not a single sincere person amongst them except Muḥammad b. al-Qāsim al-`Alawī al-`Aqīqī.
On that day—which was Dhū l-Ḥijja 6, 293 AH—a youth emerged from the ṭawāf who was wearing two pieces of clothing which he had used as iḥrām-clothing14 and he was carrying his slippers with him. When we saw him, we all stood up because of his majesty. None of us remained except that he stood up and greeted him. He then sat down and looked towards his right and his left.
Then, he said, “Do you know what (Imam) Abū `Abd-Allah used to say in the prayer of al-Ilḥāḥ?” We replied, “What did he say?” He said, “He used to say, ‘O Allah! Surely, I ask You by Your Name by which the sky and the earth stand, and you differentiate between the truth and the falsehood, and You gather the scattered ones, and You scatter the gathered ones, and You enumerate the number of sand particles, the weight of the mountains, and the capacity of the ocean, that You send Your blessings upon Muḥammad and the family of Muḥammad and that You grant me relief and an exit-way regarding my [difficult] affairs.’” Saying this, he stood up and continued the ṭawāf. When he stood up to go, we too stood up but forgot to ask him who he was.
The next day—at the same time—he emerged again from the ṭawāf and came to us. Like the previous day, we stood up. He sat in his place right in the middle, then looked towards his right and then left, and asked, “Do you know what Amīr al-Mu’minīn `Alī, peace be on him, used to say after his obligatory prayers?” We replied, “What did he say?” He said, “He used to invoke, ‘O Allah! Voices are raised towards You, [invocations are made to You], faces are downcast before You, necks bow down for You, and You judge about the deeds. O the Best Who is asked and the Best Who gives! O Truthful, O Creator, O the One Who does not violate His promises! O the One Who has ordered to invoke and has taken the responsibility of responding [to the invocations]!
O the One Who said,
“Invoke Me, I will answer your prayers” (Quran Surah Ghafir 40:60).
O the One Who said,
“And when My servants ask you about Me, [tell them] surely I am Near, I respond to the supplication of the supplicant when he supplicates to Me; They should invoke Me and believe in Me; perhaps they may be guided” (Quran Surah Baqarah 2:186).
O the One Who said,
“O My servants who have been extravagant to themselves! Don’t despair of Allah’s Mercy, surely Allah forgives all the sins; Verily, He is the Forgiving, the Merciful” (Quran Surah Najm 53:39).’”
After saying this supplication, he looked left and right, then said, “Do you know what Amīr al-Mu’minīn, peace be on him, used to say in the prostration-of-thanking (sajdat al-shukr)?” We replied, “What did he say?” He answered, “He used to say, ‘O He who the insistence of the insisters (ilḥāḥ al-muliḥḥīn) increases nothing in Him except generosity and munificence! O He who owns the treasures of the skies and the earth! O He who owns the large and small treasures! let not my misdeeds prevent You from Your obligations on me. I ask You that You deal with me as is worthy of You and You are Worthy of generosity, munificence, and forgiveness.
O Lord! O Allah! Deal with me as is worthy of You. You have the power to punish me and I am eligible for it. I have no argument and no excuse before You. I confess to all my sins and I acknowledge them all so that You may pardon me while You are more Aware of them than I am. I confess to all the sins that I have engaged in and to all the mistakes that I have committed and to all the bad deeds that I have performed. O Lord! Forgive me, have mercy, and ignore what You know [of my sins]. Surely, You are the Mightiest, the most Munificent.’”
Then, he stood up and continued the ṭawāf and we too stood up in his reverence. He returned at the same time the next day and we stood up to welcome him as we had done in the past. He sat in the middle, looked right and left, and said, “Imam `Alī b. al-Ḥusayn, the Master of the Worshippers, used to recite the following supplication in prostration at that place—and he pointed towards the Ḥijr near the drainpipe (al-Mīzāb)—‘Your servant is at Your doorstep, Your beggar is at Your door, I ask You what no one can fulfill but You.’”
Then, he looked right and left, then looked at Muḥammad b. al-Qāsim al-`Alawī and said, “O Muḥammad b. al-Qāsim! You are on [the path of] goodness (anta `alā khair), if Allah wills.” Saying this, he got up and resumed the ṭawāf. None of us remained but that he had learnt the supplications which he had mentioned. We forgot to discuss him until the end of the day. Al-Maḥmūdī said to us, “O people! Do you know him?” We replied in the negative. He said, “By Allah! He was the Master of the Time, peace be on him.”
We enquired, “Why so, O Abū `Alī?” He replied that he had been asking his Lord, Mighty and Majestic be He, for the last seven years that He show him the Master of the Affair. Then he said, “On the night of the day-of-`Arafa, I saw the same person. He was reciting a supplication that I memorized. I asked him who he was. He replied, ‘From the people.’ I questioned, ‘From which people? The [free] Arabs or their slaves and servants?’ He replied, ‘From the [free] Arabs.’ I asked, ‘From which Arabs?’ He replied, ‘From the noblest and highest amongst them.’
I asked, ‘And who are they?’ He replied, ‘The Banī-Hāshim.’ I asked, ‘From which tribe from the Banī-Hāshim?’ He replied, ‘The highest and most elite of them.’ I asked, ‘From whom amongst them?’ He said, ‘From those who split the skulls [of the enemies], fed food [to the people], and prayed during the night while the people were asleep.’ I said: ‘He is an `Alawī [i.e. a descendant of Alī b. Abī Ṭālib] and I love the `Alawīs.’
Then, he disappeared from right in front of my eyes. I didn’t know where he went, [up] in the sky or [down] in the earth. I asked the people who were around him, ‘Do you know this `Alawī?’ They replied, ‘Yes. He performs Hajj with us every year on foot.’ I exclaimed, ‘Glory be to Allah! By Allah, I did not see the effect of walking in him [i.e. swollen or bruised feet, etc.].’ I went to Muzdalifa15 while I was grieving and sorrowful because of his separation. When I slept that night, I saw the Messenger of Allah, Allah's blessings be on him and his family, in my dream and he said, ‘O Muḥammad! Did you see what you were looking for?’
I asked, ‘And what is that, my Master?’ He replied, ‘The person whom you met at the beginning of the night. He is the master of your time.’” When we heard this [story] from him, we protested to him for not informing us [earlier]. He said that he had completely forgotten about it until he mentioned it to us.
(Al-Ṣadūq says): `Ammār b. al-Ḥusayn b. Isḥāq al-Asrūshanī, may Allah be satisfied with him, also narrated this tradition to us at the mountain of Būtak in the land of Farghāna16. He said, “Abū l-Ḥusayn Muḥammad b. `Abd-Allah al-Iskāfī narrated to me, from Sulaim, from Abū Nu`aim al-Anṣārī who said, “I and a group of the Muqaṣṣira were in Mecca beside the Mustajār. Among them were: al-Maḥmūdī, `Allān al-Kulainī, and . . .” He mentioned the exact same tradition.
And also narrated to us Abū Bakr Muḥammad b. Muḥammad b. `Alī b. Muḥammad b. Ḥātim, from Abū l-Ḥusayn `Ubaid-Allah b. Muḥammad b. Ja`far al-Qaṣabānī al-Baghdādī, from Abū Muḥammad `Alī b. Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. al-Ḥusayn al-Mādharā’ī, from Abū Ja`far Muḥammad b. `Alī al-Munqidhī al-Ḥasanī at Mecca who said, “I and a group of the Muqaṣṣira were in Mecca beside the Mustajār. Amongst them were: al-Maḥmūdī, `Allān al-Kulainī, and al-Ḥasan b. al-Wajnā and they were approximately thirty people . . .” He mentioned the exact same tradition.
830. Kamāl al-dīn17: Abū l-Adyān narrates that
I used to serve Imam al-Ḥasan b. `Alī b. Muḥammad b. `Alī b. Mūsā b. Ja`far b. Muḥammad b. `Alī b. al-Ḥusayn b. `Alī b. Abī Ṭālib, peace be on them, and I used to carry and convey his letters to the cities. I went to him when he was afflicted with the disease that became the cause of his death. He wrote a letter and said to me, “Take it to Madā’in. You will be absent for fifteen days and when you return to Sāmarrā’ on the fifteenth day, you will hear the voices wailing in my house and you will find me in the place where I will be given the ritual bath.”
I said, “O my master! When that happens then who [will succeed you?]” He replied, “The one who will seek the reply of these letters from you.” I asked for more [explanations on the issue]. He said, “The one who will lead my funeral prayers is the Qā’im after me.” I asked for more. He said, “The one who will inform about the contents of the money-bag.” Awe prevented me from asking him about the contents of the money-bag.
I took the letters to Madā’in received their answers and entered Sāmarrā’ on the fifteenth day like he—peace be on him—had said to me. I heard the wails from his house and saw his body at the place of the ritual bath. His brother Ja`far b. `Alī was standing at the doorway. People had surrounded him and were expressing their condolences to him and congratulating him [on being the next Imam]. I thought to myself, “If this person is an Imam, then the position of Imamate has been scrapped.” I knew him too well. He would drink alcohol, gamble in the royal palace, and would play the Ṭanbūr18.
Anyway, I went forward and expressed my condolences to him and congratulated him but he did not ask me about anything. At this juncture, `Aqīd the servant emerged from the house and said, “O master! Your brother has been shrouded. Kindly come and say the [funeral] prayers.”
Hence, Ja`far b. `Alī and the Shias who were with him entered the house accompanied by al-Sammān and Ḥasan b. `Alī—known as Salma who was later killed by al-Mu`taṣim. When we entered the house, I saw the shrouded body of al-Ḥasan b. `Alī, peace be on him, on the bier. Ja`far b. `Alī stepped forward to lead his brothers [funeral] prayers. Just as he intended to say the Takbīr [i.e. the commencing Allah-Akbar of the prayer], a child emerged whose complexion was neither dark nor white, had curly hair, and his teeth had spaces between them.
He pulled Ja`far b. `Alī’s robe and said, “O Uncle! Step back. I am more worthy of leading the [funeral] prayers for my father.” Ja`far stepped back while he had turned pale. The child came forward and led the prayers and [the Imam] was buried beside his father’s grave, peace be on them.
Then, he said to me, “O Baṣrī! Bring forth the replies of those letters that are with you.” I handed him the replies of the letters and thought to myself that [I saw] two of the signs but the issue of the money-bag is still pending. Then I went out to Ja`far b. `Alī who was breathing heavily with grief.
Ḥājiz al-Washshā asked him, “O my Master! Who is this child so that we establish an argument against him?” He replied, “By Allah, I had not seen him before this day and I don’t know who he is.” While we were sitting, a group of people came from Qum and asked for (Imam) al-Ḥasan b. `Alī, peace be on him. They were informed about his death and wanted to know to whom [they must offer their condolences]. The people pointed to Ja`far b. `Alī. They went towards him, said hello, and expressed their condolences and congratulated him. They said, “We have with us letters and money. Inform us about the owners of the letters and the amount of the money.” On hearing this, Ja`far stood up and shook his clothes and said, “Do you expect us to have knowledge about the unseen?”
Instantly, the servant appeared and said, “You have with you letters from so and so and you have a money-bag which contains a thousand dinars, of which ten are worn out.” They immediately handed over the letters and the money and said, “The one who has asked you to take these is the Imam.” Ja`far went to al-Mu`tamid and told him what had happened. Al-Mu`tamid dispatched his soldiers and they arrested Ṣaqīl the slave-woman and demanded the child from her. She denied [he was born] and claimed she was presently pregnant, to divert them [from investigating further] about the child. She was handed over to ibn Abū l-Shawārib the judge. The unexpected death of `Ubaid-Allah b. Yaḥyā b. Khāqān and the revolt of Ṣāḥib al-Zanj in Baṣra, kept them busy and they ignored the slave-woman who managed to escape from them. And all praise is for Allah, the Lord of the worlds.
831. Al-Kāfī19: `Alī, from Abū `Alī Aḥmad b. Ibrāhīm b. Idrīs, from his father who said: “I saw him, peace be on him, after the death of (Imam) Abū Muḥammad when he was an adolescent. I kissed his hands and his forehead.”
832. Kamāl al-dīn20: Abū l-`Abbās Aḥmad b. al-Ḥusayn b. `Abd-Allah b. Muḥammad b. Mihrān al-Ābī al-`Arūḍī, may Allah be satisfied with him, narrated to us at Marv, from [Abū] l-Ḥusayn [b.] Zaid b. `Abd-Allah al-Baghdādī, from Abū l-Ḥasan `Alī b. Sinān al-Mauṣilī, from his father who said:
When our master—Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan b. `Alī al-`Askarī, peace be on him—passed away, a delegation from Qum and from the mountains came with the wealth that was customary for them to bring and they were not aware of (Imam) al-Ḥasan’s death. When they reached Sāmarrā’ they asked about our master, al-Ḥasan b. `Alī, peace be on him, and they were informed that he had died.
They asked, “Who is his inheritor?” They were told, “His brother, Ja`far b. `Alī.” They asked, “Where is he?” They were told that “He is drinking [wine] in a boat on the Tigris River accompanied by some singers.” The delegates consulted amongst themselves that these [acts] are not the attributes of an Imam. Some of them suggested that they go back and return the wealth to their respective owners. Abū l-`Abbās Muḥammad b. Ja`far al-Ḥimyarī al-Qummī said, “Let us wait for this person to return and verify the news ourselves.”
When he returned, they went to him and greeted him and said, “O our master! We are residents of Qum and amongst us, there are some Shias and some others. We used to bring the wealth and give it to Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan b. `Alī.” (Ja`far) asked, “Where is [the wealth]?” They replied, “It is with us.” He said, “Bring it for me.” They argued, “We can’t. There is a method of handing over this wealth.”
He said, “And what is that?” They explained, “This wealth has been collected from the Shias one coin or a few coins at a time. These are then put in a sack and sealed. Whenever we presented them to our master Abū Muḥammad, peace be on him, he would say, ‘The total number of dinars in the sack is so and so. Such and such person has sent so and so number of them . . .’ and he would mention the name of all the people. He would even describe the inscriptions on the seals of the money-bags.” Ja`far answered, “You are lying! You are attributing to my brother what he did not do. [What you except from me] is the knowledge of the unseen that no one knows except Allah.” When they heard this statement from Ja`far, they exchanged glances amongst themselves. Then, he said, “Hand this wealth over to me.” They replied, “We are only the deliverymen.
The owners of this wealth have entrusted them to us. We will not hand them over except after [seeing] the signs that we know from our master, al-Ḥasan b. `Alī, peace be on him. If you are the Imam, then prove it; otherwise we will return these monies to their owners and then, let them do whatever they like.”
Ja`far complained to the caliph who happened to be in Sāmarrā’ at that time. The caliph summoned them and ordered them to give the money to Ja`far. They said, “May Allah make the Emir righteous! We are a group who have been paid and entrusted to these money by their owners whom we represent. They have given them to us on the condition that we only hand them over [after seeing] signs and proofs. This was our custom when Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan b. `Alī, peace be on him, was still alive.” The Caliph responded, “What was the sign that Abū Muḥammad used to show?” They said, “He used to describe the dinars, their owners, the wealth, and their amount.
When he did this, we handed over the wealth to him. We have come to him many times and always, this was the sign and proof. Now that he has died, if this man is the owner of his affairs, then he should show us [the miracles] that his brother used to. Otherwise, we will return them to their original owners.” Ja`far said, “O Emir! These people are liars and are lying about my brother.
This is the knowledge of the unseen (`ilm al-ghayb).” The caliph shot back, “They are merely messengers and a messenger duty is to convey the message.” Ja`far was stunned and had no option but to keep silent. The delegation then said, “May the caliph oblige us by sending an escort with us until we exit the city.” So al-Mu`tamid sent one of his servants and he escorted them out of the city. Just as they exited the city, a very handsome boy appeared who looked like a servant.
He called out, “O son of so and so and O son of so and so! Answer the call of your master.” They asked, “Are you our master?” He replied, “I seek refuge in Allah! I am the slave of your master, so proceed towards him.” We walked along with him until we entered the house of our master, al-Ḥasan b. `Alī, peace be on him. We saw his son, our master, the Qā’im, peace be on him, sitting on a chair. He visage was like the moon and he was wearing a green robe. We exchanged greetings then he said, “The total number of coins is so much dinars; such and such person carried so and so amount of it . . .” He continued describing until he had described everything. He then described our clothes, belongings, and animals.
[On hearing these], we fell down in prostration to thank Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, for what we had recognized. We kissed the earth in front of him and asked him what we wanted and he answered everything. We handed the wealth to him and the Qā’im ordered us not to bring wealth to Sāmarrā’ anymore. He said that he would appoint a person in Baghdad to whom all the money should be given to and that all the signed letters (al-tauqī`āt) would come through him.
When we were about to return, he gave Abū l-`Abbās Muḥammad b. Ja`far al-Qummī al-Ḥimyarī, some ḥunūṭ21 and a shroud, saying, “May Allah give you great reward concerning yourself!” Abū l-`Abbās had barely reached the passageway of Hamadan when he passed away; may Allah have mercy on him. Ever since, we have been taking the money to Baghdad to the appointed deputies and his signed letters are with them.
833. Al-Ṭūsī’s al-Ghayba22: It has been narrated from Rashīq Ṣāḥib al-Mādrāy that
Al-Mu`taḍid sent for us and we were three people. He ordered each of us to mount a horse and take a spare one with him and take along the least things necessary [for travel]. He told us to go to Sāmarrā’ and he described for us the exact area and house. He then said, “When you reach there, you will see a black slave at the door. Raid the house and bring for me the head of whoever you find in it.” We reached Sāmarrā’ and found the facts exactly as he had told us. At the entrance, there was a black slave, in whose hand was a cloth which he was weaving. We asked him about the house and those who were inside.
He replied, “Its owner.” By Allah! He did not pay attention to us and didn’t even care [about what we were going to do]. We raided the house as ordered and found a dark room in it. Opposite the room, there was a curtain; we had never seen anything finer than it before. It was as if it had just been woven a few moments ago.
So, we raised the curtain and we saw a huge house filled with water like a sea. In the farthest end of the room, there was a mat which we realized was [floating] on water. Standing on the mat was a very handsome man who was praying. He neither paid heed to us nor to any of our means. Aḥmad b. `Abd-Allah took the lead in crossing the room but started drowning in the water.
He was struggling until I stretched my hand towards him, rescued him, and brought him out. He became unconscious and remained in this condition for some time. Our second companion repeated the same act and met the same fate. I was stunned and said to the owner of the house, “I seek apology from Allah and from you. By Allah! I did not know about this [affair] and had no idea to whom I was coming. I repent to Allah.” But the owner of the house did not pay any attention to what I said and did not cease from what he was doing.
We were struck with fear and left him. Meanwhile, Mu`taḍid was waiting for us and had instructed his doorkeepers to let us in regardless of the time we arrived. We arrived at night and they allowed us to see him. He asked us about our expedition and we informed him about what we had seen. He said, “Woe to you! Have you met anyone before me or have you spoken to anyone [about this]?” We said, “No.” He said, “I am not my ancestor’s descendant23—and he solemnly vowed—if I don’t instantly chop off your heads if any news about this incident reaches me [from someone other than you].” So, we didn’t dare mention this incident to anyone except after he died.
834. Al-Kāfī24: `Alī b. Muḥammad, from Muḥammad b. `Alī b. Ibrāhīm, from Abū `Abd-Allah b. Ṣāliḥ that he saw him near the Black-Stone (Ḥajar al-Aswad) while the people were [wrestling each other] to reach it, and he was saying, “They have not been ordered to do this.”
835. Ghaybat al-Shaykh25: A group informed us from al-Talla`ukbarī, from Aḥmad b. `Alī al-Rāzī, from `Alī b. al-Ḥusayn, from a man—who he said was from Qazwīn but did not mention his name—from Ḥabīb b. Muḥammad b. Yūnus b. Shādhān al-Ṣan`ānī who said:
I went to `Alī b. Mahziyār al-Ahwāzī and asked him about the family of (Imam) Abū Muḥammad, peace be on them. He said, “My brother! You have asked about a great matter! I performed Hajj twenty times with the purpose of seeing the Imam with my eyes but had no luck. One night, I was sleeping in my sleeping-place, when someone called out to me, ‘O `Alī b. Ibrāhīm! Allah has given me permission to perform Hajj.’
I was restless the whole night until morning. I was in deep thought about my affair and was waiting for the Hajj season, day and night. When the Hajj season finally arrived, I made preparations and started my journey towards Medina. I continued until I reached Yathrib. I asked about the family of (Imam) Abū Muḥammad, peace be on him, but found no trace of them nor heard any news about them. I kept thinking about this affair until I went out of Medina and commenced my journey towards Mecca.
I entered Ju`fa and stayed there for a day then set of for al-Ghadīr which is about four mīls26 beyond Ju`fa. There, I entered the mosque, prayed, and put my forehead on the earth [in prostration] and greatly prayed to Allah and invoked Him, asking about them. Then, I set off for `Usfān and continued until I entered Mecca. I stayed in Mecca for a few days performing ṭawāf and worshipping Allah. One night, while I was performing ṭawāf, I noticed a handsome fragrant youth who walked nicely and was circumambulating Ka`ba. My heart inclined towards him and I stopped near him and slightly touched him. He asked me, “Where are you from?” I replied, “From Iraq.”
He asked, “Wherefrom in Iraq?” I answered, “Ahwāz27.” He asked, “Do you know al-Khaṣīb in Ahwāz?” I replied, “May Allah have mercy on him! He was called and he has answered the call [i.e. he has died].” He rejoined, “May Allah have mercy on him! How lengthy were his nights, how intense was his devotion, and how plentiful were his tears! Do you know `Alī b. Mahziyār?” I replied, “I am `Alī b. Ibrāhīm.” He greeted me, “May Allah keep you safe, O Abū l-Ḥasan! What did you do to the sign that was between you and (Imam) Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan b. `Alī, peace be on him?”
I replied, “It is with me.” He said, “Bring it out.” I put my hand in my pocket and brought it out. When he saw it, he could not control the tears from pouring out of his eyes. He cried and wailed until his old clothes became wet. He said, “O son of Mahziyār! You have been permitted now. Pack up and prepare yourself until it becomes pitch dark in the night and its darkness overwhelms the people. Go to the Canyon of Banī `Āmir and you will meet me there.” I returned to my residence and when I felt that the time had come, I prepared my saddle, readied my she-camel, packed my belongings, sat on my mount, and traveled very fast until I reached the Canyon.
There, I saw the youth standing. He called out, “O Abū l-Ḥasan! Come to me.” I went towards him and when I reached him, he greeted me first and said, “O brother! Come along with me.” He talked with me and I with him until we crossed the mountains of `Arafāt and set off towards the mountains of Minā. When the rays of the first dawn (al-fajr al-awwal) appeared, we still hadn’t reached the mountains of Ṭā’if. On reaching there, he ordered me to dismount and said, “Descend and perform the night-prayers.” I performed the prayers.
He told me to perform the Watr prayer and I obliged—this was a useful lesson from him. Then, he ordered me to perform the thanking-prostration (sajdat al-shukr) and the advised deeds after the prayers. After he finished his prayers, he mounted his ride and told me to do so too. We traveled until we reached the pinnacle of Ṭā’if.
He asked me, “Do you see anything?” I replied, “Yes. I can see a sand-dune on which is a hair-tent. The tent glows with light.” When I saw it, I felt inclined towards it. He said to me, “That is [the place of] wishes and hopes.” He then said, “Come along with me, O brother!” He went and I went along with him until he descended from the peak and reached the foot of the mountain. He told me, “Come down, for it is here that every arrogant is degraded and every despot has to bow down.” He continued, “Drop the reins of the she-camel.” I asked, “In whose care should I leave it?” He replied, “[This is] the sanctuary of the Qā’im, peace be on him. No one enters it except a believer and none exits it except a believer.” So, I dropped the reins of my camel.
He walked and I walked along with him until he reached the tent’s door. He went inside and ordered me to wait until he came out. [When he came out] he said, “Enter! Therein lies safety.” I entered and saw him sitting wearing one garment on top and another as a trouser. His outer garment was tied around him in such a way that one of its ends was on his shoulder. He was like a purple daisy on which dew had formed . . . He was like a bān28 tree branch or basil sprout. He was benevolent, generous, pious, pure, and neither very tall nor very short, but had average height.
He had a round head, a wide forehead, long thin eyebrows, aquiline nose, thin cheeks, and on his right cheek was a mole like a grain of musk on a piece of ambergris. When I saw him, I greeted him and he returned my greetings in a better way. He spoke to me and asked me about the people of Iraq. I replied, “They have been forced to wear the robe of disgrace and they are lowly amongst the nation.”
Then, he said to me, “O son of Mahziyār! Soon, your [people] will rule them like they are ruling you now and then, on that day, they will be the lowly ones.” I said, “My master! Indeed, my homeland is far and it has taken me a long time to reach to you.” He answered, “O son of Mahziyār! My father, Abū Muḥammad, has taken a covenant from me that I not stay in the neighborhood of a people on whom is Allah’s wrath and His curse and whom are disgraced in this world and the Hereafter and will have a painful torment.
He has ordered me that I not stay in the mountains except the rugged ones and in the lands except the dusty ones. Allah, your Guardian, has manifested dissimulation (al-taqiyya) and has ordered me to practice it. So, I will practice dissimulation until the day I am given permission to emerge.” I asked, “My master! When will this happen?” He replied, “When the path to Ka`ba is blocked, the sun and the moon come together, and the planets and the stars revolve around them.” I enquired, “When, O son of Allah’s Messenger?” He said, “In such and such year when the Land-Creature (Dābat al-Arḍ) emerges from between (the mountains) of Ṣafā and Marwa. He will have with him the Staff of Moses and the Ring of Solomon. He will drive the people to the gathering place.”
I stayed with him for a few days. He permitted me to leave after I reached my greatest desire and set off for my home. By Allah! I journeyed from Mecca to Kūfa and with me was a slave who served me. I saw nothing except goodness. And Allah’s blessings be on Muḥammad and his family.
836. Kamāl al-dīn29: Muḥammad b. Mūsā b. al-Mutawakkil, may Allah be satisfied with him, narrated to us from `Abd-Allah b. Ja`far al-Ḥimyarī, from Ibrāhīm b. Mahziyār who said:
I entered the city of the Messenger, Allah's blessings be on him and his family, and sought news about the family of Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan b. `Alī, peace be on him, but found nothing. I went to Mecca for the same reason and during ṭawāf, I saw a youth who had a tanned complexion and was very handsome and good-looking. I went to him with the hope of finding what I was seeking. I greeted him and he replied to my greetings nicely, and asked me, “Which city do you belong to?” I replied, “I am from Iraq.” He enquired, “Which city of Iraq?” I answered, “I am an inhabitant of Ahwāz.”
On hearing this, he said, “Good to meet you! Do you know Ja`far b. Ḥamdān al-Ḥuṣaynī in Ahwaz?” I responded, “He was called and he answered [i.e. he passed away].” On hearing this, he remarked, “May Allah have mercy on him! His nights were long and his reward will be great. Do you know Ibrāhīm b. Mahziyār?” I answered, “I am Ibrāhīm b. Mahziyār.”
He embraced me for a long time and exclaimed, “Welcome, O Abū Isḥāq! Where is the sign which was between you and (Imam) Abū Muḥammad, peace be on him?” I replied, “You mean the ring from Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan b. `Alī al-Ṭayyib, peace be on him, by which Allah, the Exalted, granted me high stature.” He answered, “I am asking for nothing else.” I took out the ring and when he saw it he cried and kissed it.
He then readout what was written on it: “O Allah, O Muḥammad, and O `Alī.” He then said, “May my father be sacrificed for the hand that wore it . . . O Abū Isḥāq! Tell me what you intend to do after completing your Hajj.” I said, “I swear by your father, my aim was nothing but what I will ask you about its hidden [affairs].”
He replied, “Ask whatever you intend and God Willing, I will explain them for you.” I questioned, “Do you have any news about the family of (Imam) Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan, peace be on him?” He replied, “By Allah, I observe light in the foreheads of Muḥammad and Mūsā, the two sons of (imam) al-Ḥasan b. `Alī, peace be on him. I am a courier sent by both of them to you, to inform you about their affair.” If you desire to meet them and decorate yourself by their blessings, then come along with me to Ṭā’if but don’t inform any of your friends about it.”
So, I went along with him and passed through sandy lands until we reached the outskirts of a large desert. There, we saw a fur-tent which had been erected on top of a sand dune, due to which the lands around it were glittering. He hurried forward to seek permission and entered and greeted them and told them about me. The older one emerged from the tent. He was M-U-Ḥ-A-M-M-A-D, the son of (Imam) al-Ḥasan b. `Alī, peace be on him.
He was a youngster whose facial hair had barely started growing and his complexion was pure-white. He had a shiny forehead, separated eyebrows, smooth cheeks, aquiline nose . . . and was exceptionally handsome like a bān tree branch. His forehead was like a shining star. There was a mole on his right cheek [which was] like a piece of musk on the whiteness of silver. He had thick black hair which was hanging over his ears.
His visage was so fine that I had never seen such beauty, grace, and modesty. I rushed towards him and started kissing his feet and hands. He said, “O Abū Isḥāq! The passing days were [telling me] that I would meet you very soon. Although our residences were far apart and we were far from meeting, but the love for each other and the desire to meet you, had created for me an image of you that it was as if a single moment had not passed but that we were having pleasant conversations with each other and were imagining seeing each other. I express my gratitude to my Lord who is the owner of all praise for making this meeting possible and bringing to an end our waiting and separation.”
He then asked me about all [my brothers]. I said, “May my father and mother be sacrificed for you! Ever since Allah took the life of my master Abū Muḥammad, I have been in search of your affairs from one land to another—and your affair was hidden from me until Allah obliged me by someone who guided and leaded me to you.
All praise is for Allah who obliged me by guiding me to your generosity. He then introduced himself and his brother Mūsā to me and then took me to another place and said, “My father took a covenant from me that I reside in no land but those who are the most concealed and the farthest away; so that my affairs would remain hidden and my place would remain protected from the plots of the deviated people and the conspiracies of those who are astray.
Thus, he sent me to the great deserts and the lonely lands. An ending awaits me in which this [problem] will be solved and the sorrows will be dispelled. He, peace be on him, acquainted me with the treasures of wisdom and hidden knowledge. If I make you aware of a small part of them, you will be needless of the others.
“O Abū Isḥāq! [My father], peace be on him, said, ‘Allah, the Exalted, will not leave any region of his earth and those who stride in obeying and worshipping him, without a (Divine) proof who will be the cause of their promotion, the leader they will follow, and will be their model whose customs they will practice and his clear path they will stride on. O my son! I have great hope that you will be one of those whom Allah, the Exalted, has enumerated amongst those [who He has selected] to spread the truth, eliminate falsehood, give stature to religion, and extinguish deviation. So O son! Stay in the most concealed of places and far-off locations, because for every friend of Allah, there is a harsh enemy and a disputing opponent, because they must fight the hypocrites and uproot the heretics and the stubborn. This should not scare you.
Be certain that the hearts of the people of obedience and sincerity fly towards you with desire like the birds towards their nests. They are a people who are regarded as lowly and humble, but before Allah, they are very dear. They seem disturbed and needy but [in reality] they practice contentment and abstention.
They have understood the religion and assist it against those who try hard in opposing it. Allah has destined them to suffer from oppression in this world so that He greatly honors them in the eternal abode [of Paradise]. He has created them with the characteristic of forbearance so that they attain the best of outcomes and the respects [of the Hereafter].
Therefore, my son, take the light of forbearance in all your tasks and you will be successful in reaching what Allah has made. Make honor the slogan of your intentions and God willing you will obtain the praised things. O my son! [It is as if I am seeing the time] when you will be assisted with divine help and its time will have arrived, victory will have been facilitated, and dominance will have been brought forward.
[It is as if I am seeing] you beside yellow flags and white banners which are flapping over you between the Ḥaṭīm and the Zamzam [in Mecca]. I see you [amongst your followers] who are in line to pledge allegiance to you and are expressing their love. They are organized around you like pearls on a necklace. [I hear] beside the Black-Rock (Ḥajar al-Aswad) the hands being [pressed against each other as a gesture] of allegiance. They seek refuge to you and are those whom Allah has created out of clean birth (ṭahārat al-wilāda)30 and the best essence (nafāsat al-turba).
Their hearts (qulūbuhum) are sanctified from the impurity of hypocrisy and their hearts (af’ida) are purified from the filth of heresy. They are gentle towards religion and very harsh towards tyranny. Their faces are shining with grace. They believe in the true religion and its followers. When their columns become firm and their pillars become upright, then with their support, the different ranks of the nation will come to the Imam.
They will pay allegiance to you under the shadow of a large tree whose branches stretch over the Sea of Galilee (Lake Tiberias)31. It is then that the morning of truth will dawn and the darkness of falsehood will vanish. Allah will break tyranny by you and will bring back the teachings of faith. By you the resistance of the horizons and the peace of leniency will become manifest (istiqāmat al-āfāq wa salām al-rifāq).
The children in the cradle would wish that they could get up and come to you and the wild [animals] would wish that they had a path towards you. By you, the world will shake with joy. The branches of honor will sprout over your head, the framework of truth will firmly settle in its place, the runaways from religion will return to their nests, and the clouds of victory will pour onto you.
Then, you will choke the enemies and will assist all the friends. There will remain on the face of earth no powerful oppressor, no ungrateful denier, no vengeful hater, and no opposing enemy. Whoever relies on Allah, [Allah] is sufficient for him. Allah will surely complete His affairs and Allah has appointed to everything a value.’”
He then said, “O Abū Isḥāq! Keep this meeting a secret except from those who are the people of acknowledgement and are your true brothers in religion. So, when the signs of reappearance and victory appear for you, don’t lag behind your brothers in coming to us and rush towards the banners of certitude and the light of the lamps of religion, so that God willing, you will acquire guidance.”
I stayed with him for some time and learnt from him lucid knowledge and illuminating laws. I irrigated the plants of my chest by the freshness of the refreshing wisdoms and delicate sciences Allah had stored in him. This continued until I feared that I might lose those who I had left behind in Ahwāz because such a long time had passed [since I last saw them]. I sought his permission to return and also informed him about the intense loneliness that I felt because I was going to leave him and had no choice but to depart.
Thus, he granted me permission and bestowed me with great supplications, which God Willing, will be reserved for me with Allah and useful for my descendants and relatives. When my departure neared and I was ready to set off, I gave him the more than fifty thousand dirhams that I had with me and asked him to accept them from me.
He smiled and said, “O Abū Isḥāq! Use it for your return because the [long Journey] will be hard and you will have to pass many deserts. Don’t be sad that we have refused to accept it. We thank you and will remember this. May Allah bless what he has given you, maintain his bounties [upon you], grant you the best reward of the good-doers, and the most magnificent abode of the obedient.
Undoubtedly, grace is for Him and from Him. I ask Allah to return you to your companions with maximum benefits and safety and that you be in the shade of welfare because of a comfortable return. May Allah not make your course difficult and not baffle you in finding your way. I entrust you to Him. God willing, you will not get lost nor perish because of His Benevolence and Obligation. O Abū Isḥāq! We are satisfied with the favors of what he has bestowed upon us and the welfare of what He has obliged us with. He has made the sincere intentions of our friends, them seeking goodness for us, and them doing what is immaculate, closer to piety, and has greater honor as an alternative to them helping us.”
Then, I set off while I was thanking Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, for guiding me and putting me on the right path. I then knew that Allah would not leave His earth empty of an evident proof or a standing Imam.
(Al-Ṣadūq the author of Kamāl al-dīn says,) I mentioned this narration to increase the insight of those who possess certitude and to portray to them Allah’s grace upon us by obliging us with this immaculate progeny. By narrating this report I intended to convey the [knowledge] entrusted to me so that Allah fortifies the illuminated path of [this religion] and its correct course through the power of determination, correct intentions, and firm will.
837. Kamāl al-dīn32: Abū l-Ḥasan `Alī b. Mūsā b. Aḥmad b. Ibrāhīm b. Muḥammad b. `Abd-Allah b. Mūsā b. Ja`far b. Muḥammad b. `Alī b. al-Ḥusayn b. `Alī b. Abī Ṭālib, peace be on him, who said that he saw written in his father’s book, may Allah be satisfied with him, from Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-Ṭuwāl, from his father, from al-Ḥasan b. `Alī al-Ṭabarī, from Abū Ja`far Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan b. `Alī b. Ibrāhīm b. Mahziyār, from his father, from his grandfather, who said:
I was sleeping in my bed when I dreamt that somebody said to me, “Perform Hajj, for you will meet the master of your time.” I woke up and was joyous and delighted. I continuously performed prayers (ṣalāt) until twilight, then, I finished the prayers and went out and asked about the Hajj pilgrimage. I saw a group who were ready for departure and very quickly joined [the caravan] that was ready to leave first.
I kept [joining the caravans that were ahead of my caravan] until one left for Kūfa and I was with them. When I reached Kūfa, I dismounted from my camel and left my luggage with my trustworthy brothers and left in search of the family of (Imam) Abū Muḥammad, peace be on him. But I found no trace nor did I hear any news [about them]. From there, I left for Medina with the first caravan.
When I reached it, I dismounted from my camel involuntarily and left my luggage with my trustworthy brothers and left to ask about and search for a sign of him, but I heard no news about him and found no trace of him. This continued until the people started to leave for Mecca and I joined them.
On reaching Mecca, I descended [from my mount], entrusted my luggage [to trustworthy people], and went in seek of the family of (Imam) Abū Muḥammad, peace be on him. Yet again, I heard no news nor found a trace. I was constantly in a state between hope and despair and I kept thinking and scolding myself until it became night. I said to myself, “I’ll wait until the area around Ka`ba becomes less crowded then I’ll perform ṭawāf and pray to Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, to fulfill my desire.” When it became less crowded, I got up to perform ṭawāf. I spotted a handsome youth who was very fragrant and was wearing two clothes—one on his shoulders and another as a trousers.
I startled him and he turned towards me and said, “Where are you from?” I replied, “From Ahwaz.” He asked, “Do you know ibn al-Khaṣīb?” I answered, “May Allah have mercy on him! He was called and he answered [i.e. he died].” He said, “May Allah have mercy on him! He used to fast during the days and used to stand up [in prayer] during the nights. He recited the Holy Quran and loved us.” Then, he asked, “Do you know `Alī b. Ibrāhīm b. Mahziyār?” I answered, “I am `Alī [b. Ibrāhīm b. Mahziyār].”
On hearing this, he said, “Welcome O Abū l-Ḥasan! Do you know who are the Ṣariḥayn? I replied in the affirmative. He asked, “Who are they?” I said, “Muḥammad and Mūsā.” He asked, “What did you do with the sign which was between you and (Imam) Abū Muḥammad, peace be on him?” I said, “It is with me.” He said, “Show it to me.” I brought out a beautiful ring. On its gem was inscribed “Muḥammad and `Alī.”
On seeing the ring, he cried for a long time while he was saying, “May Allah have mercy on you O Abū Muḥammad! You were a just Imam, the son of an Imam, and the father of an Imam. May Allah make you reside in the most exalted Paradise along with your forefathers!” He then said, “O Abū l-Ḥasan! Go to your lodging place and prepare your belongings for the journey. When a third of the night passes and two thirds remain, then come to us and [you will God willing], see what you wished.”
I went to my lodging place and was deep in thought until the time for departure came. I got up, readied my mount, sat on it, and moved. When I reached the gully I found the youth there. He said, “Welcome, O Abū l-Ḥasan! Congratulations, for you have been given permission [to meet your Imam].
He set off and I went along with him until I passed by `Arafāt and Minā and I reached the lowest hill of the Ṭā’if mountains. He then said to me, “O Abū l-Ḥasan! Dismount and ready yourself for prayers (al-ṣalāt).” He dismounted and I did too. He completed [his prayers] and so did I. He then said, “Perform the morning prayers and keep it brief.” He briefly performed the prayers and said the [finishing] salutations and then put his face on the earth.
Then, he mounted and ordered me to do so. I obliged and he set off and I went along with him until we reached the highest hill. He said to me, “Take a look. Can you see anything?” I took a look and saw a lush piece of land filled with grass and pasture which was different from its surroundings. I replied, “Yes, my master. I can see a lush piece of land filled with grass and pasture which is different from its surroundings.” He asked again, “Do you see anything on its most elevated section?” I looked [again] and saw a tent made of fur on a sand dune from which light was radiating.
He said, “Do you see anything?” I answered, “Yes, I can see such and such.” He said, “O son of Mahziyār! Purify [your] soul and light up [your] eyes! Therein lies the hope of the hopeful.” He then said, “Come with me,” and set off. I followed him until we reached the lowest hill. He then said, “Dismount, for this is the place where you will overcome all your difficulties.” He dismounted and I did too and he said, “O son of Mahziyār! Release the reins of your camel.” I asked [surprised], “To whom should I entrust my mount? There is no one here!” He answered, “This is a sanctuary where only the friends [of Allah] can enter and only the friends [of Allah] can exit.” Hence, I released the camel.
He went forward and I followed him until we were near the tent. He then went ahead and said, “Stay here until you are given permission.” He returned shortly and said, “Congratulations! What you had desired has been given to you.” I went inside and saw him—may Allah’s blessings be on him—seated on a mattress which was covered by a red leather and he was leaning on a leather pillow.
I greeted him and he greeted me. I took a look at him and his face was like a piece of the moon, it was neither thin nor fat and not very long nor very short. He was tall and had a smooth forehead. He had long thin eyebrows, large dark eyes, an aquiline nose, and smooth cheeks and there was a mole on his right cheek.
When I saw him, his attributes and characteristics bewildered me. He then said to me, “O son of Mahziyār! In what condition did you leave your brothers in Iraq?” I replied, “In miseries and hardships. The swords of Banī l-Shaiṣabān are continuously above their [heads].” He said, “May Allah kill them! Where are they deviating to? As if I am seeing a people who have been killed in their lands and the order of their Lord seizes them day and night.” I asked, “When will this occur, O Son of Allah’s Messenger?” He replied, “When the path between you and Ka`ba will be blocked by a group who are empty of goodness and Allah and His Messenger detest them. [When] redness appears in the sky for three days and silver pillars of light shine out of it. Then, al-Sarūsī will rise from Armenia and Azerbaijan with the intention [of reaching] the Black Mountain beyond Riyy33 which is connected to the Red Mountain and joined to the mountain of Ṭāliqān.
A catastrophic battle will occur there between him and al-Marwazī34 [which will be so severe that] children’s hair will turn white and grown men will become old. When bloodshed occurs between the two, then expect him to move to Zaurā’. From there, he will travel to Bāhāt and then to Wāsiṭ in Iraq. He will stay there for a year or less then he will move to Kūfa and a battle will occur between them between Najaf, Ḥīra, and Gharī35. [It will be so intense] that the intellects (al-`uqūl) will be stupefied.
It is then that the two groups will be destroyed and their survivors will be mowed down by Allah.” He then recited His saying, Exalted be He: “In the name of Allah, the Beneficent the Merciful. Our command came to it—by night or by day—so We reaped it as though it had not sprouted [at all] the day before.”36 I asked, “My master! O Son of Allah’s Messenger! What does command mean [in this verse]?” He replied, “We are the command of Allah and His army.” I asked, “My Master, O son of Allah’s Messenger! Has that time arrived?” He replied, “The hour drew near and the moon split.”37
838. Ghaybat al-Shaykh38: Aḥmad b. `Ubdūn—known as ibn al-Ḥāshir—from Abū l-Ḥasan Muḥammad b. `Alī al-Shujā`ī al-Kātib, from Abū `Abd-Allah Muḥammad b. Ibrāhīm al-Nu`mānī, from Yūsuf b. Aḥmad [Muḥammad] al-Ja`farī who said:
I performed Hajj in the year 306 AH and stayed there in that year and the following years to 309 AH. Then, I exited Mecca and moved towards Syria. I was travelling on a path and had missed my morning prayers (ṣalāt). I descended from the howdah39 and was preparing for the prayers when I saw four people in the howdah. I stopped in amazement when one of them said, “Why are you surprised? You have missed your prayers and opposed your religion.”
I responded to the one who addressed me, “And what do you know about my religion?” He answered, “Would you like to see the master of your time?” I replied in the affirmative. He pointed towards one of the four individuals.
I said, “Surely, [my master] has evidences and signs [as proof].” He asked, “Which one do you prefer: Do you want to see the camel and what is on it ascending to the sky? Or, do you want to see the howdah ascending to the sky?” I responded, “Either of them is [enough as] evidence.” Then I saw the camel and what was on it ascending towards the sky. That man had pointed towards another person with a golden-tanned complexion who had the mark of prostration between his eyes.”
839. Ghaybat al-Shaykh40: Aḥmad b. `Alī al-Rāzī, from Abū Dhar Aḥmad b. Abī Saura—who is Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan b. `Abd-Allah al-Tamīmī, a Zaidī—who said:
I heard this incident from a group who narrated it from my father, may Allah have mercy on him. He had set off for Ḥayr and he had reported, “When I reached Ḥayr, I saw a handsome youth who was praying (yuṣallī). [After finishing his prayers], he came out and so did I. We came out and went to the riverside.
He then asked me, ‘O Abū Saura! Where are you going?” I replied, “Kūfa.” He asked, “With whom?” I answered, “With the people.” He said, “Don’t [go with the people]. We will go together.” I asked, “And who is with us?” He answered, “We don’t want anyone with us.” We walked through the night until we reached the graves of the Mosque of Sahla. He said, “This is your destination. If you want, go ahead.” He continued, “You will pass by ibn al-Zurārī `Alī b. Yaḥyā.
Tell him to give you the wealth that is with him.” I said, “He won’t give it to me.” He said, “Tell him the sign that they are so and so dinars, so and so dirhams, and they are in such and such place covered with such and such things.” I asked him, “Who are you?” He replied, “I am Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan.”
I continued, “If it is not accepted from me and evidence is demanded from me?” He answered, “I am behind you.” So, I went to ibn al-Zurārī and told him [what I had been ordered] but he rejected me. I said to him, “He has told me that I am behind you.” He replied, “That is enough evidence and no one knew about this [money] except Allah the Exalted,” and he handed them over.
840. Al-Hidāya41: From him (i.e. Al-Ḥusayn b. Ḥamdān), from Abū Muḥammad `Īsā b. Mahdī al-Jauharī who said:
In the year 268 AH, I set off for Hajj. My destination was Medina because we believed then that the Master of the Time had appeared. While we were leaving Faid42, I fell ill but had an irresistible desire to eat fish [and dates]. When I entered Medina and met our brothers, they gave me the good news that he, peace be on him, had appeared at Ṣāriyā. I went to Ṣāriyā and when I went to the top of the valley I saw some ferocious Arab nomads.
I entered the palace and was waiting for something to happen until after I performed the two night prayers (ṣallaytu al-`ishā’ayn). Meanwhile, I was supplicating, pleading, and invoking. Suddenly, Badr the servant called out to me, “O `Īsā b. Mahdī al-Jauharī! Enter.” I said “Allāhu akbar, la Ilāha illā Allāh” and excessively praised Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, and glorified Him. When I reached the courtyard of the palace, I saw a spread tablecloth. The servant took me to it and sat me beside it.
He said, “Your master has ordered you to eat what you had desired in your illness while you were emerging from Faid.” I said to myself, “This is sufficient proof for me. But, how can I eat while I have not seen my master and my guardian?” He called out to me, “O `Īsā! Eat from your food; for surely, you will see me.” I sat down on the tablecloth and saw a hot sizzling fish and beside it were dates most similar to our dates and there was milk next to the dates. I thought, “I am ill and there is fish, dates, and milk here [which will deteriorate my health].” He called out to me, “O `Īsā! Do you have doubts about our affair? Do you know more [than me] as to what will benefit you and harm you?” I cried, sought forgiveness from Allah, and ate from everything.
Whenever I raised my hand from the [food to put something in my mouth], its empty place could not be seen [i.e. food would be replaced from where I had taken some]. I found it to be the most delicious thing I had ever tasted in the world. I ate a lot until I felt ashamed. He called out to me, “O `Īsā! Do not feel ashamed. These are from the foods of Paradise. They have not been prepared by the creations.”
I resumed eating until I realized I would not become full of it. I said, “O Master! I have had enough.” He called out to me, “Come to me.” I thought to myself, “How can I go to my master while I have not washed my hands?” He called out, “O `Īsā! How [do you say this] whilst you hadn’t washed your hands when you started eating?” I smelled my hand and it was more fragrant than musk and camphor.
I went near him and a light covered my vision. I became frightened to an extent that I thought I had lost my mind. He said to me, “O `Īsā! You would not have seen me if it wasn’t for the deniers who are saying: ‘Where is he? When did he come into existence? When was he born? Who has seen him? Has anyone received anything from him? What has he informed you about? Has he shown you any miracles?’ I swear by Allah, they rejected Amīr al-Mu’minīn despite all the things they had narrated [about him] and they chose others instead of him and conspired against him and killed him.
They did the same to my forefathers and they did not acknowledge them. Instead, they attributed them to magicians, cohens, and the serving of Jinn.” He then continued explaining until he said, “O `Īsā! Inform our friends about what you have seen and refrain from disclosing them to our enemies, else this grace will be taken from you.” I said, “My master! Pray that I remain steadfast.” He replied, “If Allah had not made you steadfast, you would not have seen me. Now go with your need rightly fulfilled.” I left while I was greatly praising and thanking Allah.
841. Al-Kāfī43: `Alī b. Muḥammad, from Muḥammad b. Shādhān b. Nu`aim, from the female-servant of Ibrāhīm b. `Abda [`Ubaida] al-Nīsābūrī, who said: “I was standing with Ibrāhīm on [the mountain of] Ṣafā when he, peace be on him, came and stopped near Ibrāhīm and took his book of Hajj rituals then spoke with him about some things.”
842. Muhaj al-da`awāt44: I found in a very old copy of a book from our companions whose date of writing was [the month of] Shawwāl, 396 AH, these words:
A supplication taught by our hoped-for master, Allah’s blessings be on him, to a man from his followers in a dream. He was oppressed, so Allah granted him relief and killed his enemy: Informed me Abū `Alī Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. al-Ḥusayn b. Isḥāq b. Ja`far b. Muḥammad al-`Alawī al-`Urayḍī at Ḥarrān, from Muḥammad b. `Alī al-`Alawī al-Ḥusaynī—who was a resident of Egypt—who said, “A serious matter and great worry from the ruler of Egypt had distressed me and I feared for my life for he had complained about me to Aḥmad b. Ṭūlūn.
I left Egypt to perform Hajj and then departed from Ḥijāz to Iraq and set off to visit the martyrdom-place of my master Abū `Abd-Allah al-Ḥusayn b. `Alī, Allah’s blessings be on them, to seek refuge to him, take shelter at his grave, and ask him for protection from the aggression of whom I feared. I stayed in Ḥā’ir [i.e. Karbala] for fifteen days—praying and supplicating day and night.
The Guardian of the Time and the Friend of the Beneficent appeared before me while I was [in a state] between sleeping and awake. He said to me, ‘Al-Ḥusayn says to you, “O my son! Do you fear from so and so?”’ I replied, ‘Yes. He intends to kill me and hence, I have taken refuge in my master and have complained to him about the intensity of what he wants to do against me.’ He said, ‘Why didn’t you invoke Your Lord Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, and the Lord of your forefathers, using the supplication through which the bygone prophets invoked Him? Indeed, they too [were suffering] from hardships but Allah granted them relief.’
I asked, ‘What was their supplication?’ He replied, ‘On the night [before] Friday, perform the ritual bath (ghusl) and pray the night-prayers (ṣalāt al-layl). After you perform the thanksgiving-prostration (sajdat al-shukr), recite this supplication while you are on your knees.’ He then mentioned the supplication for me. I saw him again at the same time [on another night] while I was in a state between asleep and awake. He appeared to me for five consecutive nights and repeated the same things and the supplication until I memorized it.
He didn’t appear on the night [before] Friday, so I performed the ritual bath, changed my clothes, applied perfume, performed the night-prayers, and the thanksgiving-prostration. Then, I knelt down and invoked Allah, Majestic and Exalted be He, using the supplication [he taught me]. On the night [before] Saturday, he came to me and said, ‘Your prayers have been answered, O Muḥammad! Your enemy was killed—the moment you finished your supplication—in the presence of the one he had complained to, against you.’ In the morning, I bid farewell to my master and left for Egypt.
When I reached Jordan, I saw a man from amongst my neighbors in Egypt who was faithful. He informed me that your enemy was captured by Aḥmad b. Ṭūlūn and he ordered that he [be executed] and his head was cut off from behind his neck. He continued, ‘This happened in the night [before] Friday and he gave orders that His [body] be thrown in the Nile River.’ A group of my family members and our Shia brothers also informed me that it was reported to them that this event coincided with the time of the completion of my supplications—as was informed to me by my master—Allah’s blessings be on him.”
843. Kamāl al-dīn45: Narrated to us Muḥammad b. Muḥammad al-Khuzā`ī, may Allah be satisfied with him, from Abū `Alī al-Asadī, from his father, from Muḥammad b. Abī `Abd-Allah al-Kūfī, that he mentioned the number of those he knew that had witnessed the miracles of Ṣāḥib al-Zamān, peace be on him:
Amongst his representatives, those who saw him are as follows, From Baghdad: (1) al-`Amrī, (2) his son, (3) Ḥājiz, (4) al-Bilālī, (5) al-`Aṭṭār. From Kūfa: (6) al-`Āṣimī. From Ahwāz: (7) Muḥammad b. Ibrāhīm b. Mahziyār. From Qum: (8) Aḥmad b. Isḥāq. From Hamdān: (9) Muḥammad b. Ṣāliḥ. From Riyy: (10) al-Bassāmī, (11) al-Asadī—meaning himself. From Azerbaijan: (12) al-Qāsim b. al-`Alā. From Nīsābūr: (13) Muḥammad b. Shādhān.
Those who were not his representatives, From Baghdad: (14) Abū l-Qāsim b. Abī Ḥulais, (15) Abū `Abd-Allah al-Kindī, (16) Abū `Abd-Allah al-Junaydī, (17) Hārūn al-Qazzāz, (18) al-Niylī, (19) Abū l-Qāsim b. Dubays, (20) Abū `Abd-Allah b. Farrūkh, (21) Masrūr the Chef—the slave of (Imam) Abū l-Ḥasan—peace be on him, (22) Aḥmad, (23) and Muḥammad, the two sons of al-Ḥasan, (24) Isḥāq the writer (al-Kātib) from Banī-Nībakht, (25) Ṣāḥib al-Nawā’, (26) the owner of the sealed purse. From Hamdān: (27) Muḥammad b. Kishmard, (28) Ja`far b. Ḥamdān, (29) Muḥammad b. Hārūn b. `Imrān. From Dīnawar: (30) Ḥasan b. Hārūn, (31) Aḥmad b. Ukhayya, (32) Abū l-Ḥasan. From Iṣfahān: (33) ibn Bāzshāla. From Ṣaimara: (34) Zaydān. From Qum: (35) al-Ḥasan b. al-Naḍr, (36) Muḥammad b. Muḥammad, (37) `Alī b. Muḥammad b. Isḥāq, (38) his father, (39) al-Ḥasan b. Ya`qūb. From Riyy: (40) al-Qāsim b. Mūsā, (41) his son, (42) Abū Muḥammad b. Hārūn, (43) Ṣāḥib al-Ḥḥaṣat, (44) `Alī b. Muḥammad, (45) Muḥammad b. Muḥammad al-Kulainī, (46) Abū Ja`far al-Rifā’. From Qazwīn: (47) Mirdās, (48) `Alī b. Aḥmad. From Fāqtar: (49) & (50) Two men. From Shahrazūr: (51) Ibn al-Khāl. From Fāris: (52) al-Maḥrūj. From Marw: (53) The owner of one thousand dinars, (54) The owner of some wealth, (55) The owner of the white paper, (56) Abū Thābit. From Nīsābūr: (57) Muḥammad b. Shu`ayb b. Ṣāliḥ. From Yemen: (58) al-Faḍl b. Yazīd, (59) His son al-Ḥasan, (60) al-Ja`farī, (61) Ibn al-A`jamī, (62) al-Shimshāṭī. From Egypt: (63) Father of two sons, (64) The owner of some wealth at Mecca, (65) Abū Rajā’. From Naṣībayn: (66) Abū Muḥammad b. al-Wajnā. From Ahwāz: (67) al-Ḥusaynī.
I say: Al-Nūrī, may Allah have mercy on him, in the beginning of the seventh chapter of al-Najm al-thāqib, has narrated the aforementioned tradition in Persian. Then, he has mentioned another group of people who have witnessed the miracles of Ṣāḥib al-Amr, peace be on him, and have had the honor of meeting him and the privilege of seeing him.
There is no harm in mentioning their names here. Whoever intends to know more about them and the details of their reports, must refer to the writings of our fellow companions concerning the occultation and the rijāl books.
Here, we will only mention their names as has been recorded in the aforementioned book: (68) Al-Shaykh Abū l-Qāsim al-Ḥusayn b. Rūḥ, (69)Abū l-Ḥasan `Alī b. Muḥammad al-Samurī, (70) Ḥakīma, the daughter of Imam Muḥammad al-Taqī, peace be on him, (71) Nasīm, the servant of (Imam) Abū Muḥammad, peace be on him, (72) Abū Naṣr al-Ṭarīf, the servant, (73) Kāmil b. Ibrāhīm al-Madanī, (74) Al-Badr, the servant, (75) The old woman who had brought up Aḥmad b. Bilāl b. Dāwūd al-Kātib, (76) Māriya, the female-servant, (77) The slave-girl of Abū `Alī al-Khayzarānī, (78) Abū Ghānim, the servant, (79) A group of (our Shia) companions, (80) Abū Hārūn, (81) Mu`āwiyat b. Ḥakīm, (82) Muḥammad b. Ayyūb b. Nūḥ, (83) `Umar al-Ahwāzī, (84) A man from Fāris, (85) Muḥammad b. Ismā’īl b. Mūsā b. Ja`far, peace be on them, (86) Abū `Alī b. Muṭahhar, (87) & (88) Ibrāhīm b. `Abda al-Nīsābūrī and his slave-girl, (89),(90) & (91) Rashīq and his two companions, (92) Abū `Abd-Allah b. Ṣāliḥ, Abū `Alī Aḥmad b. Ibrāhīm b. Idrīs, (93) Ja`far b. `Alī al-Hādī, peace be on him, (94) A guard, (95) Abū l-Ḥusayn Muḥammad b. Muḥammad b. Khalaf, (96) Ya`qūb b. Manfūs, (97) Abū Sa`īd al-Ghānim al-Hindī, (98) Muḥammad b. Shādhān al-Kabulī, (99) `Abd-Allah al-Sūrī, (100) Al-Ḥāj al-Hamdānī, (101) Sa`d b. `Abd-Allah al-Qummī al-Ash`arī, (102) Ibrāhīm b. Muḥammad b. Fāris al-Nīsābūrī, (103) `Alī b. Ibrāhīm b. Mahziyār, (104) Abū Nu`aim al-Anṣārī al-Zaidī, (105) Abū `Alī Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-Maḥmūdī, (106) Allān al-Kulainī, (107) Abū l-Haytham al-Anbārī [or al-Dīnārī], (108) Sulaimān b. Abī Nu`aim and Abū Ja`far al-Aḥwal al-Hamdānī, (109-139) Muḥammad b. Abī al-Qāsim al-`Alawī al-`Aqīqī along with a group of about thirty men, (140) The grandfather of Abū l-Ḥasan b. Wajnā, (141) Abū l-Adyān, (142) Abū l-Ḥasan Muḥammad b. Ja`far al-Ḥimyarī and a group of people from Qum, (143) Ibrāhīm b. Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-Anṣārī, (144) Muḥammad b. `Abd-Allah al-Qummī, (145) Yūsuf b. Aḥmad al-Ja`farī, (146) Aḥmad b. `Abd-Allah al-Hāshimī al-`Abbāsī, (147-186) Ibrāhīm b. Muḥammad al-Tabrīzī along with thirty-nine people, (187) Al-Ḥasan b. `Abd-Allah al-Tamīmī al-Zaidī, (188) al-Zuhrī, (189) Abū Sahl Ismā’īl b. `Alī al-Naubakhtī, (190) Al-`Aqīd al-Nūbī, the servant, (191) The lady who had taken care of Imam Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan al-`Askarī, peace be on him, (192) Ya`qūb b. Yūsuf al-Ḍarrāb al-Ghassānī or al-Iṣfahānī, the narrator of al-ṣalawāt al-kabīra, (193) The old female-servant of Imam al-`Askarī, peace be on him, who lived in Holy Mecca, (194) Muḥammad b. `Abd-Allah al-Ḥamīd, (195) `Abd-Aḥmad b. al-Ḥasan al-Mādirānī, (196) Abū l-Ḥasan al-`Amrī, (197) `Abd-Allah al-Sufyānī, (198) Abū l-Ḥasan al-Ḥasanī, (199) Muḥammad b. `Abbās al-Qaṣrī, (200) Abū l-Ḥasan `Alī b. al-Ḥasan al-Yamānī, (201) & (202) Two men from Egypt, (203) The great worshipper (al-`ābid al-mutahajjid) from Ahwāz, (204) Umm Kulthūm, the daughter of Abū Ja`far Muḥammad b. `Uthmān al-`Amrī, (205) The messenger from Qum, (206) Sinān al-Mauṣilī, (207) Aḥmad b. Ḥasan b. Aḥmad al-Kātib, (208) Ḥusayn b. `Alī b. Muḥammad, known as ibn al-Baghdādī, (209) Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-Ṣairafī, (210) Al-Bazzāz al-Qummī, (211) Ja`far b. Aḥmad, (212) Al-Ḥasan b. Waṭāt al-Ṣaidalānī who was in charge of the endowments (waqf) in Wāsiṭ, (213) Aḥmad b. Abī Rūḥ, (214) Abū l-Ḥasan Khiḍr b. Muḥammad, (215) Abū Ja`far Muḥammad b. Aḥmad, (216) The woman from al-Dīnawar, (217) Al-Ḥasan b. al-Ḥusayn al-Asbābābadī, (218) A person from Astarābād, (219) Muḥammad b. al-Ḥusayn al-Kātib from Marv, (220) Two people from Madā’in, (221) `Alī b. Ḥusayn b. Mūsā b. Bābawayh al-Qummī, the father of al-Ṣadūq, (222) Abū Muḥammad al-Da`lajī, (223) Abū Ghālib Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Sulaimān al-Zurārī, (224) Ḥusayn b. Ḥamdān Nāṣir al-Daula, (225) Aḥmad Abū Sūra, (226) Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan b. `Ubaid-Allah al-Tamīmī, (227) Abū Ṭāhir `Alī b. Yaḥyā al-Zurārī [al-Rāzī], (228) Aḥmad b. Ibrāhīm b. Makhlad, (229) Muḥammad b. `Alī al-Aswad al-Dāwūdī, (230) Al-`Afīf, (231) Abū Muḥammad al-Thumālī, (232) Muḥammad b. Aḥmad, (233) A man to whom a signed letter (tauqī`) was given at `Ukbarā, (234) `Alyān, (235) Al-Ḥasan b. Ja`far al-Qazwīnī, (236) A man from Fāynamī, (237) Abū l-Qāsim al-Jalīsī, (238) Naṣr b. Ṣabbāḥ, (239) Aḥmad b. Muḥammad al-Sarrāj al-Dīnawarī, (240) Abū l-`Abbās, (241) Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. Ja`far al-Qattān, the representative, (242) Ḥusayn b. Muḥammad al-Ash`arī, (243) Muḥammad b. Ja`far, the representative, (244) A person from Āba, (245) Abū Ṭālib, the servant of a man from Egypt, (246) Mirdās b. `Alī, (247) A person from Rabaḍ Ḥamīd (248) Abū l-Ḥasan b. Kathīr al-Naubakhtī, (249) Muḥammad b. `Alī al-Shalmaghānī, (250) The companion of Abū Ghālib al-Zurārī, (251) Ibn al-Ra’īs, (252) Hārūn b. Mūsā b. al-furāt, (253) Muḥammad b. Yazdād, (254) Abū `Alī al-Nīlī, (255) Ja`far b. `Amr, (256) Ibrāhīm b. Muḥammad b. al-Faraj al-Zaḥjī, (257) Abū Muḥammad al-Sarwī, (258) The slave-girl of Mūsā b. `Īsā al-Hāshimī, (259) The female owner of a small box, (260) Abū l-Ḥasan Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Jābir al-Balādhurī, the author of Tārīkh al-ashrāf, (261) Abū l-Ṭayyib Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Buṭṭa, (262) Aḥmad b. al-Ḥasan b. Abī Ṣāliḥ al-Khujandī, (263) The nephew of Abū Bakr al-`Aṭṭār al-Ṣūfī, (264-302) Muḥammad b. `Uthmān al-`Amrī, as is recorded in Tārīkh Qum, from Muḥammad b. `Alī Mājīlawayh, through an authentic chain of narrators, from him, who said: “One day, (Imam) Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan b. `Alī, peace be on him, presented to us his son, M-U-Ḥ-A-M-M-A-D, the Mahdī, peace be on him, while we were in his house and we were forty people . . . (to the end of the tradition).”
Some contemporary scholars have narrated from the book Bughyat al-ṭālib, the names of those who have seen him and have witnessed his miracles during the minor occultation and have recorded their stories. Some of these have been mentioned in al-Najm al-thāqib and the rest in other books.
In Tadhkirat al-ṭālib, the names of three hundred people have been recorded who have seen him.
Al-Sayyid Hāshim Baḥrānī has written an exclusive book on this subject which he has named Tabṣirat al-walī fī man ra’ā l-Qā’im al-Mahdī. He has mentioned in it the names of a large number of people who had the privilege of seeing him during the lifetime of his father, peace be on him, and during the minor occultation.
The following traditions from this chapter also prove the above point: 859 (it is probable that this incident occurred during the major occultation),862,864,and867.
1. Know that numerous traditions—some of which we mentioned in the twenty-seventh section of the third chapter—indicate that he has two occultations and one is longer than the other. The minor occultation lasted until 329 AH, the same year that Abū l-Ḥasan `Alī b. Muḥammad al-Samurī died. By his death, the period of the special representation (al-niyābat al-khāṣṣa) came to an end and the period of ambassadorship was terminated. Its duration was seventy-four years—if we calculate it from the birth of al-Ḥujja, peace be on him—and sixty nine years if we calculate it from the death of his father in the year 260 AH. During this period, the representatives were the media between him and his followers. His representatives and some special Shias had access to him and signed letters (al-tauqī`āt) were written by him to these elite. The representatives also brought his replies to those who had questions about religious issues and laws and other matters. The Shia elite knew his holy hand-writing and recognized it.
Perhaps, the secret of the minor occultation was to make the Shias familiar with complete occultation. Therefore, the minor occultation took place before the major one so that they would not feel hopeless when it occurred. A quick look into history will show that they, peace be on them, used to accustom their Shias to the occultation of the Imam since the time of Imam Abū l-Ḥasan `Alī b. Muḥammad al-Hādī, peace be on him. Al-Mas`ūdī, the great historian, has mentioned in Ithbāt al-waṣiyya that “It has been narrated that Abū l-Ḥasan al-`Askarī was concealed from most of the Shias except for a small number of people who were close to him. When the affair [of Imamate] was handed to Abū Muḥammad, he would speak with his close followers and also others from behind a curtain—except those times when he rode to the royal court. This behavior practiced by him and his father was a prelude to the occultation of Ṣāḥib al-Zamān so that the Shias would become familiar with the occultation and not deny it and so that they would become accustomed with hiding and concealment.”
After the minor occultation ended, the major occultation began. His reappearance will take place only after Allah, the Exalted, permits. No one will be permitted to be in his service except a very few. The doors of special representation and ambassadorship were closed and the matters were delegated to the jurists (al-fuqahā), who were proficient in divine laws and are the bearers of the traditions and sciences of the immaculate Imams. Al-Ṣadūq has narrated in Kamāl al-dīn from Muḥammad b. Muḥammad b. `Iṣām, from Muḥammad b. Ya`qūb, from Isḥāq b. Ya`qūb who reports, “I asked Muḥammad b. Uthmān al-`Amrī to convey for me a letter [to Imam Mahdī] in which I had asked numerous problematic issues. Soon, a signed letter (tauqī`) reached me with the handwriting of our Master Ṣāḥib al-Zamān, peace be on him, which said, ‘As for what you have asked, may Allah guide you and make you steadfast . . . As for the events that will occur [in the future], then regarding those, refer to the narrators of our traditions (ruwāt ḥadithinā); for undoubtedly, they are my proof upon you and I am the proof of Allah upon them.’” Al-Ṭūsī has recorded the same tradition in al-Ghayba from a group of people, from Ja`far b. Muḥammad al-Qūlawayh, Abū Ghālib al-Zurārī, and others, who have all narrated it from Muḥammad b. Ya`qūb. It has also been narrated in al-Iḥtijāj from Muḥammad b. Ya`qūb, from Isḥāq. Imam Abū `Abd-Allah has said in a famous tradition recorded by al-Kulainī through his chain of narrators from `Umar b. Ḥanẓala that “Whoever from amongst you who narrates our traditions, has insight into what we have allowed or prohibited, and knows our laws, then they should be satisfied with him as a judge because I have appointed him as a judge upon you. When he judges [in accordance] with our judgment but [his judgment] is not accepted, then [the one who has not accepted the judgment] has neglected the judgment of Allah and has rejected us; and he who rejects us is like he who rejects Allah and [he who performs this act] is standing on the borderline of polytheism.” Shaykh (al-`Āmilī) has also narrated it through his chain of narrators in Wasā’il al-shī`a, vol. 18, chap. 11, from the chapters about the attributes of a judge, no. 1.
It has been narrated in al-Iḥtijāj from Imam Abū Muḥammad al-`Askarī, in a tradition from (Imam) Abū `Abd-Allah, peace be on him, who said, “From amongst the jurists (fuqahā), whoever protects himself (ṣā’inan li nafsih), guards his religion (ḥāfiẓan li dīnih), disobeys his desires (mukhalifīn li hawāh), and obeys the commands of his Master, then it is obligatory upon the people to follow him.” It has also been narrated in al-Iḥtijāj through his chain of narrators from Imam Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan, from his father `Alī b. Muḥammad al-Hādī who said, “After the occultation of your Qā’im, if it was not for those scholars who will call towards him, guide to him, will protect his religion with Allah’s proofs, and will save the servants of Allah from the traps of Iblīs and his rebels and the snares of the enemies of the Ahl al-Bait, no one would remain but that he would reject the Religion of Allah. These scholars are those who firmly hold the reins of the hearts of the weak Shias just like captains who firmly grip the ships steering wheel. These are the most superior people before Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He.” The Second Martyr (Shahīd al-Thānī) has recorded a similar tradition from Imam al-Hādī, peace be on him, in Munyat al-murīd. This concept can be inferred from traditions other than those that we mentioned which our companions have narrated in their books. May Allah be satisfied with them.
An important note: Know that—as we have indicated earlier—special representation and ambassadorship terminated with the end of the minor occultation and the commencement of the major occultation. Thereafter, no one has the right to claim the esteemed positions of being an ambassador (safīr), door (bāb), representative, special attorney (wikālat al-khāṣṣa), or a medium between the Imam and the people until Allah manifests the affair of the guardian appointed by him and His proof, peace be on him. Whoever makes any of the above claims must be refuted and rejected. This is one of the necessary beliefs of our religion—that has been unanimously agreed upon by all the great scholars, generation after generation without exception. This is also proved by the traditions which speak about his major occultation and mention that the people will be tested with intense examinations and calamities. For our purpose, the quote of the majestic teacher, Abū l-Qāsim Ja`far b. Muḥammad b. Ja`far b. Mūsā al-Qūlawayh (d. 368 or 369 AH)—the author of the book Kāmil al-ziyārāt—will suffice: “We believe that whoever claims the affair [of representation or deputyship] after al-Samurī, may Allah have mercy on him, is a mischievous, deviated, and deviating disbeliever.”
2. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 43: “Those who have witnessed the Qā’im, peace be on him, seen him, and talked to him, p. 440, no. 9; Ghaybat al-Shaykh, p. 251, no. 222; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 51, p. 351, and vol. 52, chap. 18, p. 30, no. 23; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 32, p. 452, no. 69; Tabṣirat al-walī, p. 71, no. 37; Ḥilyat al-abrār, vol. 2, p. 607.
3. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 43: “Those who have witnessed the Qā’im, peace be on him, seen him and talked to him,” p. 440, no. 9; Ghaybat al-Shaykh, p. 251, no. 222, which says, “O Allah! Take revenge for me from Your enemies”; Yanābī` al-mawadda, chap. 83, p. 463; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 32, p. 453, no. 70; Tabṣirat al-walī, p. 71, no. 38; Ḥilyat al-abrār, vol. 2, p. 607.
4. A section of Ka`ba approximately located on the side which is opposite its door—Ed.
5. Al-Kāfī, vol. 1, chap. “The birth of the Master, peace be on him,” pp. 515–517, no. 3; Kamāl al-dīn has narrated it using three different chains (chap. 43, pp. 437–440, no. 6); Yanābī` al-mawadda, chap. 83, p. 463.
6. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 43, p. 441, no. 12; Ghaybat al-Shaykh, p. 246, no. 215, which says, “from Ẓarīf”; al-Kharā’ij, chap. “al-`Alāmāt al-dālla `alā Ṣāḥib al-Zamān”; Ithbāt al-waṣiyya, pp. 221–222; Yanābī` al-mawadda, chap. 83, p. 463 (similar to it); Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, p. 30, no. 25; Kashf al-ghumma, vol. 2, p. 499; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 32, p. 508, no. 219 (short version); Ḥilyat al-abrār, vol. 2, pp. 544–545; Tabṣirat al-walī, p. 72, no. 39.
7. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 43, p. 435, no. 3, and pp. 441–442, no. 14. The latter has some differences like: “from his father and Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan, may Allah be satisfied with both of them, from `Abd-Allah b. Ja`far al-Ḥimyarī,” and an addition at its end which indicates the prohibition of saying his name; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, p. 26, no. 20; Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 49–50, no. 17; Ḥilyat al-abrār, vol. 2, chap. 20, p. 581.
8. Quran 2:260.
9. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 43, p. 442, no. 15; Yanābī` al-mawadda, chap. 82, p. 461 (similar) to it; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, p. 42, no. 31; Iḥqāq al-ḥaqq, vol. 19, p. 642.
10. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 43, pp. 443–444, no. 17; Yanābī` al-mawadda, p. 464 (similar to it); Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, pp. 31–32, no. 27; Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 76–78, no. 44; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 33, p. 671, no. 38.
11. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 43, pp. 444–445, no. 18; Ghaybat al-Shaykh, pp. 253–254, no. 223, through his chain of narrators from al-Awdī; Yanābī` al-mawadda, chap. 83, p. 464 (similar to it); Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, pp. 1–2, no. 1; I`lām al-warā, fourth rukn, part 2, chap. 3, sect. 2; Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 78–79, no. 45; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 33, pp. 670–671, no. 39; Ḥilyat al-abrār, vol. 2, p. 573; al-Thāqib, pp. 613-614, no. 559/7; al-Kharā’ij, chap. 15, pp. 784–785.
I say: al-Azdī or al-Awdī is Aḥmad b. al-Ḥusayn (or al-Ḥasan) b. `Abd al-Malik al-Awdī or al-Azdī. He was a Kūfī, a reliable person (thiqa), and referred to [by the people for their needs/questions]. See Jāmi` al-ruwāt, etc.
12. The ritual circumambulation around Ka`ba—Ed.
13. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 43, pp. 470–473, no. 24, which has narrated “Abū l-Qāsim Ja`far b. Aḥmad al-`Alawī” instead of “Abū l-Qāsim Ja`far b. Muḥammad al-`Alawī”; Ghaybat al-Shaykh, pp. 259–263, no. 227, which has recorded it using two chains: “From Aḥmad b. `Alī al-Rāzī, from `Alī b. `Ā’idh al-Rāzī, from al-Ḥasan b. Wajnā al-Naṣībī, from Abū Nu`aim Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-Anṣārī” and “A group informed us from Abū Muḥammad Hārūn b. Mūsā al-Talla’ukbarī, from Abū `Alī Muḥammad b. Hammām, from Ja`far b. Muḥammad b. Mālik al-Kūfī, from Muḥammad b. Ja`far b. `Abd-Allah, from Abū Nu`aim Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-Anṣārī.” He then mentions all the tradition; Dalā’il al-imāma, pp. 298–300, no. 3, which says: “Narrated to me Abū l-Ḥusayn Muḥammad b. Hārūn, from his father, from Abū `Alī Muḥammad b. Hammām, from Ja`far b. Muḥammad b. Mālik al-Fazārī al-Kūfī, from Muḥammad b. Ja`far b. `Abd-Allah, from Ibrāhīm b. Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-Anṣārī who said, ‘I was present at the Mustajār . . . (to the end of the tradition)’”; Yanābī` al-mawadda, chap. 83, pp. 465–466; Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 115–122, no. 50; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, pp. 6–9, no. 5, and vol. 61, chap. 35, pp. 187–190, no. 2, and vol. 62, p. 157, and vol. 83, pp. 27–28; Mustadrak al-wasā’il, vol. 5, pp. 70–72, no. 5382/3 and 5383/4; Falāḥ al-sā’il, pp. 179–182; Nuzhat al-nāẓir, chap. “A gleam from the words of al-Imam al-Ḥujjat ibn al-Ḥasan b. `Alī, peace be on him,” pp. 147–151
14. Special garments worn by those who are performing Hajj—Ed.
15. After the stay in `Arafāt, the pilgrim must stay at Muzdalifa. Muzdalifa is the name of a place which is about six kilometers from `Arafāt and fourteen kilometers from Mecca—Ed.
16. A place in modern-day Afghanistan—Ed.
17. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 43: “Those who have seen the Qā’im, peace be on him,” pp. 475–476; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 50, chap. 5, pp. 322–333, no. 4, and vol. 52, chap. 18, pp. 67–68, no. 53; Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 127–130, no. 41; Yanābī` al-mawadda, chap. 82, p. 461 (similar to it from Abū l-Adyān); Ḥilyat al-abrār, vol. 2, pp. 547–549; al-Thāqib fī l-manāqib, pp. 607–608, no. 554/2; al-Kharā’ij, chap. “al-`Alāmāt al-dālla `alā l-Ṣāḥib al-Zamān”
18. A guitar-like musical instrument—Ed.
19. Al-Kāfī, vol. 1, p. 331, no. 8; Ghaybat al-Shaykh, p. 268, no. 232, through his chain from Ibrāhīm b. Idrīs; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, p. 14, no. 10; al-Irshād, chap. “Those who have seen the twelfth Imam, peace be on him,”; Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 61 and 274, no. 18 and 107; Kashf al-ghumma, vol. 2, p. 450; Yanābī` al-mawadda, chap. 82, p. 461, which says: “From the book al-Ghayba, from Ibrāhīm b. Idrīs who said, ‘I saw the Mahdī while he was an adolescent after Abū Muḥammad passed away. I kissed his hand and his holy head.’”
20. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 43, pp. 476–479, no. 26; al-Kharā’ij, vol. 3, p. 1104, no. 24, similar to it through his chain of narrators from al-Mauṣilī; Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 130–136, no. 55; Yanābī` al-mawadda, chap. 82, p. 462 (short version); Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, pp. 47–50, no. 34. A part of it has been narrated in vol. 73, chap. 108, pp. 63–64, no. 4; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 7, chap. 33, p. 301, no. 43; al-Kharā’ij, chap. “al-`Alāmāt al-dālla `alā Ṣāḥib al-Zamān”; al-Thāqib, pp. 608–611, no. 555/3.
21. Any kind of aromatic powder which is used to make a corpse fragrant—Ed.
22. Ghaybat al-Shaykh, pp. 248–250, no. 218, in the section concerning the birth of Ṣāḥib al-Zamān, peace be on him; al-Kharā’ij, vol. 1, chap. 13, p. 460, no. 5; Yanābī` al-mawadda, chap. 81: “The extraordinary feats and miracles of the Mahdī which he will show to the people,” p.248; Faraj al-mahmūm, p. 248; Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 56–58, no. 25; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, pp. 51–52, under footnote of no. 36; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 33, pp. 683–684, no. 92; Rashīq was the slave of al-Mu`taḍid (see al-Kāmil, vol. 7, p.365).
Amongst the made-up beliefs of some Sunnis and their baseless accusations, is attributing the belief to the Shias that the Qā’im disappeared in the cellar (sardāb) and he has remained there and not emerged from it until now; No one has seen him and he will reappear from it and the Shias are waiting for his reappearance from it. They have gone to the extent that ibn Ḥajar writes in al-Ṣawā`iq a couplet which says: How can a cellar give birth to a child and how can the Shias believe in such things.
I say: Allah, the Exalted, says, “Those who forge lies are those who do not believe in the signs of Allah and they are the liars” (Quran 16:105). O scholars! O reciters of the Quran! O people of justice! These are the books of the Shia scholars—since the period of occultation and even before it, until now. They are in front of you. Browse through them so that the intensity of prejudice and enmity dawns upon you. Go through them and realize that these are worthless lies. Read them thoroughly so that you see that there is no sign—absolutely whatsoever—of these accusations even in a single book written by the lowest statured Shia scholars, let alone the renowned and celebrated ones like al-Kulainī, al-Ṣadūq, al-Nu`mānī, al-Mufīd, al-Shaykh al-Ṭūsī, the two Sayyids—al-Murtaḍā and al-Raḍī—al-Ḥillī, and etc. Browse through these books so that you become aware of the only reason that this umma is divided and the single obstacle in their unity and oneness of their word. By Allah! Such accusations make one tremor and baffle the intellects. These are men who regard themselves as scholars, thinkers, researchers, and Muslims but forge such lies and accusations against a large group of the Muslims. A group amongst whom, in every era and generation, thousands of scholars, philosophers, litterateurs, poets, theologians, writers, compilers, and experts of different fields of sciences have lived who have written books read by the Muslims, the scientists, and the knowledgeable, generation after generation. Through these books they can understand the level of their knowledge and the extent of their efforts. We seek refuge in Allah from all those things that the pens and tongues say!
If we place the Shia books—old and new—in front of our eyes, we will definitely find them filled with traditions, narrations, and stories, all of which deny and falsify these baseless and unfounded accusations and fabrications. We have mentioned a large group of these traditions in the current book. The great traditionist, al-Nūrī, may Allah have mercy on him, writes in Kashf al-astār: “No matter how much we searched and investigated, we could not find the slightest trace of what they have mentioned. In fact, there is no mention of the cellar (sardāb) at all except in the incident of al-Mu`taḍid which has been narrated by Nūr al-Dīn `Abd al-Raḥmān al-Jāmī in Shawāhid al-nubuwwa, which has also been recorded in Sunni books and with their chains of narrators. Instead, they have narrated what Rashīq Ṣāḥib al-Mādrāy has mentioned (he then mentions what we mentioned here from Ghaybat al-Shaykh from Rashīq, then says,) And there is no mention of the cellar in it whatsoever, except that al-Quṭb al-Rāwandī has mentioned this narration in al-Kharā’ij and according to our companions, he has said in another place (although we could didn’t find such thing in the copy available with us) that ‘Then they sent a huge army. When they entered the house, they heard the recitation of Quran from the cellar. So, they gathered at its door and guarded it so that no one could come up or exit it. The chief was standing there until the entire army had come. He, peace be on him, emerged from the alley adjacent to the door of the cellar and passed through them. When he disappeared, the chief ordered, “Go down and get him.” They said, “Didn’t he just pass by you?” He replied, “I did not see him. Why did you let him go?” They said, “We thought you were watching him.”’ Apparently, this narration is the reason that some of the scholars have called the cellar as the Cellar of Occultation (Sardāb al-Ghayba). This can particularly be seen in the books of ziyāra.” What has been narrated from al-Kharā’ij (although I could not find it in the copy available with me), does in no way prove or indicate what the Shias have been accused of. Rather, it invalidates such unfounded allegations because it clearly mentions he came out of the cellar then disappeared.
Moreover, this incident occurred many years after the beginning of his occultation. His occultation, peace be on him, commenced in 260 AH while al-Mu`taḍid became the caliph in the month of Rajab, 279 AH. If you seek more details, refer to the book Kashf al-astār because he has indeed discussed it as it is worthy of being discussed. As for the Shia custom of visiting the cellar and reciting the ziyāra of our master, the Mahdī, peace be on him, it is certainly not on account of the belief that he is hiding in the cellar and that he will reappear from it. Rather, it is because this place—which is known as the cellar (al-sardāb)—and the shrines of the tenth and the eleventh Imams, were the place of their residence and their blessed houses, which Allah has permitted to be Exalted and His Name be mentioned in. Moreover, it is the birthplace of the Qā’im and the place some of his miracles and extraordinary feats occurred. Besides the above, there is nothing special about it, but these are enough to attract his Shias and lovers there, to recite his ziyāra and the Quran and to pray to Allah for his relief and the hastening of his appearance and to send blessings upon him, his father, his grandfather, and his mother, peace be on them all. Besides the cellar, Shias recite his ziyāra in many other holy sites that have been proven to be a place that he, peace be on him, has visited.
23. Meaning I am not from the Abbasids.
24. Al-Kāfī, vol. 1, chap. “Those who have seen him, peace be on him,” p. 331, no. 7; al-Irshād, chap. “Those who have seen the Imam, peace be on him,” p. 377; Yanābī` al-mawadda, p. 463; Tabṣirat al-walī, p. 61, no. 27, from Muḥammad b. Ya`qūb through his chain of narrators from Abū `Abd-Allah b. Ṣāliḥ; Kashf al-ghumma, vol. 2, p. 450.
25. Ghaybat al-Shaykh, chap. “Those who have seen him, peace be on him,” pp. 263–267, no. 228; Dalā’il al-imāma, chap. “Those amongst our companions who have seen Ṣāḥib al-Ẓamān, peace be on him, and recognized him during his occultation,” pp. 269 and 297; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, pp. 9–12, no. 6; Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 143–147, no. 60, and pp. 156–161, no. 65.
26. A unit of distance—Ed.
27. Ahwāz is now part of Iran—Ed.
28. A tree that has long leaves and fragrant white blossoms—Ed.
29. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 43, pp. 445–452, no. 19; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, pp. 32–37, no. 28; Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 80–90, no. 46; al-Kharā’ij, vol. 3, pp. 1099–1101.
I say: Apparently, what has been recorded in Yanābī` al-mawadda (chap. 83, p. 466) from the Book al-Ghayba, from Ibrāhīm b. Mahziyār, is a short version of this tradition.
30. This literally means that the child was born to parents who were legally married to each other—Ed.
31. Located in northeastern Palestine—Trans.
32. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 43, pp. 465–470, no. 23; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, pp. 42–46, no. 32; Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 109–115, no. 49.
I say: It is very probable that the last three traditions and the narration we cited from Dalā’il al-imāma are all the same. The difference in their wordings, the difference in their contents, the existence of concepts in them that are not popular amongst the Shias, and the narrator being `Alī b. Ibrāhīm b. Mahziyār in traditions 835 and 837 but Ibrāhīm b. Mahziyār in tradition 836—which we narrated from Kamāl al-dīn from a correct chain of narrators—do not weaken the tradition and the meeting of Ibrāhīm b. Mahziyār or `Alī b. Ibrāhīm b. Mahziyār with the Mahdī, peace be on him, even though his name has not been recorded in the rijāl books. Such differences occur where the tradition has not been narrated word-for-word and errors have occurred in the names because of the existence of many similar names or other reasons. We have completely discussed this issue in a treatise which we have named al-Nuqūd al-latīfa, which will be mentioned in the third volume of this book, if Allah, the Exalted, wills.
Moreover, when a tradition is narrated through many different chains of which one or more of the chains are unreliable, the correctness of the contents of the tradition cannot be disputed, especially when scholars like al-Ṣadūq and al-Ṭūsī, may Allah be satisfied with them, have relied on them and have even used them as arguments.
33. A city located just south of present-day Tehran (Iran)—Ed.
34. Al-Marwazī means ‘the person from Marw’. Marw is a city located in northeastern Iran in the province of Khurāsān—Ed.
35. Najaf, Ḥīra, and Gharī are all places located near Kūfa—Ed.
36. Quran 10:24.
37. Quran 54:1.
38. Ghaybat al-Shaykh, pp. 257–258, no. 225; al-Kharā’ij, vol. 1, chap. 13, pp. 466–467, no. 13; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, p. 5, no. 3; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 33, p. 684, no. 93; al-Thāqib, pp. 614–615, no. 562.
39. A seat or pavilion on the back of an elephant or camel (Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary)—Ed.
40. Ghaybat al-Shaykh, pp. 269–270, no. 224 ; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, p. 14, no. 12; Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 161–162, no. 66; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 33, pp. 684–685, no. 94.
41. Al-Hidāya (Manuscript), chap. “The twelfth Imam, Allah’s blessings be on him and his forefathers”; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, pp. 68–70, no. 54, citing the writings of some of our companions from al-Ḥusayn b. Ḥamdān, from Abū Muḥammad `Īsā b. Mahdī al-Jauharī; Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 195–198, no. 83.
42. A fort near Mecca.
43. Al-Kāfī, vol. 1, chap. 135, p. 331, no. 6; I`lām al-warā, fourth rukn, part 2, chap. 1, sect. 3: Through his chain of narrators from the female-servant of Ibrāhīm b. `Abda—and she was a righteous person—who said, “I was standing with Ibrāhīm on [the mountain of] Ṣafā when the Master of the affair, peace be on him, came and stopped beside him . . . (to the end)”; al-Wāfī, vol. 1, chap. “The names of those who have seen him,” p. 172; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, pp. 13–14, no. 9; al-Irshād, chap. “Those who have seen the twelfth Imam, peace be on him,” p. 350; Ghaybat al-Shaykh, chap. “Those who have seen him,” p. 268, no. 231, which mentions “Ibrāhīm b. `Abda”; Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 55–56, no. 24, and p. 274, no. 105; Kashf al-ghumma, vol. 2, p. 450.
I say: I did not find the biography of this female-servant in the rijāl books available to me, although her name has been mentioned in al-Kulainī’s chain of narrators. As for Ibrāhīm b. `Abda, al-Kashī has recorded in his Rijāl that signed letters (al-tauqī`āt) have been sent in his favor from Imam Mahdī, peace be on him. Tanqīḥ al-maqāl mentions that he was above justness and reliability (fauq martabat al-`idāla wa l-thiqa).
44. Muhaj al-da`awāt, pp. 278–279; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 51, chap. 15, pp. 307–308, no. 23, and vol. 92, chap. 107, pp. 266–279, no. 34; Tabṣirat al-walī, chap. 233, p. 210, no. 90–91.
I say: Similar to it has also been narrated in Muhaj al-da`awāt (p. 280) under the explanation of this supplication from Abū l-Ḥasan `Alī b. Ḥammād al-Miṣrī, from al-Ḥusayn b. Muḥammad al-`Alawī, from Muḥammad b. `Alī al-`Alawī al-Ḥusaynī al-Miṣrī . . . The supplication is quite long and whoever desires it, should refer to Muhaj al-da`awāt and other supplication compilations.
45. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 43, pp. 442–443, no. 16; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, pp. 30–31, no. 26; Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 74–76, no. 43, and pp. 269–271, no. 99.
Some of his miracles during the minor occultation
Comprised of twenty-nine traditions
844. Al-Kāfī1: `Alī b. Muḥammad, from Muḥammad b. `Alī b. Shādhān al-Nīsābūrī, who said:
Four hundred and eighty dirhams had been given to me [from different people] and I disliked sending [this odd amount] which was twenty [dirhams] less than five hundred; so I added twenty dirhams to it from my own money and sent it to al-Asadī [to give it to the Imam] without mentioning that twenty of them were my own. Later, a letter reached me which said, “Five hundred dirhams have been received—of which twenty dirhams belonged to you.”
845. Al-Kāfī2: `Alī b. Muḥammad recounts:
A person from al-Sawād3 conveyed some wealth to [the Mahdī] but he returned it to him saying, “Remove from it what belongs to your cousin and is four hundred dirhams.” The man had in his possession the estate of his cousin and had withheld their share. When he paid attention, he realized that his cousin’s share was exactly four hundred dirhams. He removed it and handed over the remaining, which was accepted.
846. Kamāl al-dīn4: Narrated to me my father, may Allah be satisfied with him, from Sa`d b. `Abd-Allah, from `Alī b. Muḥammad al-Rāzī, from a group of our (Shia) companions that
Once, [the Imam] sent a slave to Abū `Abd-Allah b. Junayd, who was in Wāsiṭ, and ordered him to sell it. He sold [the slave] and received its fee. When he weighed the dinars, he realized that they were about eighteen-twentieth of a dinar short. He added the missing amount from his [own wealth] and sent them [to the Imam]. A dinar was returned to him that weighed the exact amount that he had added [from himself].
847. Kamāl al-dīn5: Narrated to us Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan, may Allah be satisfied with him, from Sa`d b. `Abd-Allah, from `Alī b. Muḥammad al-Rāzī, known as `Allān al-Kulainī, from Muḥammad b. Jabra’īl al-Ahwāzī, from Ibrāhīm and Muḥammad the two sons of al-Faraj, from Muḥammad b. Ibrāhīm b. Mahziyār that He entered Iraq as a skeptic and in a state of confusion. He received a letter which said:
Say to Mahziyār, “We have heard what you have narrated from our friends in your homeland. Tell them [i.e. our friends in your homeland], “Have you not heard the saying of Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, ‘Obey Allah and obey His Messenger and those who have authority amongst you.’6 Won’t this order be valid until the Day of Judgment? Don’t you see that Allah has granted you forts that you take refuge in and known people that you are guided with? [This has been happening] from the era of Adam until the appearance of the one who has passed away [meaning Abū Muḥammad], peace be on him.
Whenever a sign disappears, another becomes manifest and whenever a star sets, another rises. Did you [people] think that when Allah took him towards Himself, he had ripped the rope that was between Himself and His creations? No! It will never be so until the Hour is established and the commands of Allah become manifest and they will dislike it. O Muḥammad b. Ibrāhīm! Don’t let skepticism enter your [heart] regarding what you were in seek of, for Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, will never make the earth empty of a proof. Didn’t your father say to you before he died that ‘Quickly bring someone here to weigh the dinars that are with me.’ There was a delay and the Shaykh feared that he would die soon, so he ordered you to weigh those dinars yourself and gave you a big bag.
You had three bags yourself and a purse which contained dinars with different [weights]. You weighed them and the shaykh put a seal on them with his ring and asked you to seal them too. He then said, ‘If I live, I am more worthy of them than you [i.e. I know what to do with them], and if I die, then fear Allah regarding yourself firstly and regarding me secondly.
Then free me [from this debt] and do what I believe you will do. May Allah have mercy on you! Separate the extra dinars from amongst the money— which are more than ten dinars—and send the remaining on your own behalf for the times are much harsher than they used to be. And Allah is enough for us and He is the Best that can be relied upon.’”
(Muḥammad b. Ibrāhīm continued,) I went to the garrison [of Sāmarrā’] as a pilgrim and wanted to go to the [Holy] Region when a woman came to me and asked, “Are you Muḥammad b. Ibrāhīm?” I replied in the affirmative. She said, “Return! You cannot meet at this time. Come back at night and the door will be kept open for you. Enter the residence and go to the room in which there will be a lamp.” I did accordingly and went to the door. It was open and I entered the residence and went to the room she had described. I [came to myself] and found myself wailing and crying between two graves. Suddenly, I heard a voice saying, “O Muḥammad! Fear Allah (ittaq Allāh) and repent from the beliefs that you had for you have accepted a great responsibility.”
848. Kamāl al-dīn7: Narrated to us Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan b. Aḥmad b. al-Walīd, may Allah be satisfied with him, from Sa`d b. `Abd-Allah, from `Alī b. Muḥammad al-Rāzī, from Naṣr b. Ṣabbāḥ al-Balkhī who said:
In Marv, there was a scribe who was from Khūzistān8—and al-Naṣr told me his name. He had accumulated One thousand dinars from the Imam’s money and he consulted me [to see who he should give the wealth to]. I advised him to send it to al-Ḥājizī. He asked, “Will you claim responsibility for them if Allah questions me about them on the Day of Judgment?” I answered, “Yes.” I departed from him and after two years I went to meet him and asked him about the money. He informed me that he had sent 200 dinars from the money to al-Ḥājizī. A receipt had been given to him in which he had prayed for him and he had then said, “The money was one thousand dinars of which you have sent two hundred dinars. If you want to transact [with us], then do it through al-Asadī at Riyy.”
When the [news about] the death of al-Ḥājizī reached me, I became extremely anxious and very sorrowful.9 I said to him, “Why are you sorrowful and anxious. Allah has obliged you through two signs: One, you were informed about the total and exact amount of wealth and two, you were informed about the death of al-Ḥājizī beforehand.”
849. Kamāl al-dīn10: Abū Ja`far Muḥammad b. `Alī al-Aswad, may Allah be satisfied with him, who said:
After the death of Muḥammad b. `Uthmān al-`Amrī, may Allah be satisfied with him, `Alī b. al-Ḥusayn b. Mūsā b. Bābawayh, may Allah be satisfied with him, requested that I tell Abū l-Qāsim al-Rauḥī to ask our master, Ṣāḥib al-Zamān, peace be on him, to pray to Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, to grant him a son. I asked him to do so and he conveyed [the request]. After three days, he informed me that [the Imam] had prayed for `Alī b. al-Ḥusayn and that he will soon be [the father] of a blessed son whom [Allah] will make to be a cause of benefit; and after him, more children [would come].
I too requested that he pray to Allah to grant me a son but my request was not answered and he had said, “This is not possible.” Soon, Muḥammad b. `Alī was born to `Alī b. al-Ḥusayn, may Allah be satisfied with him, and after him, more children. But I had no children.
The author of this book [i.e. al-Ṣadūq] says:
Whenever Abū Ja`far Muḥammad b. `Alī al-Aswad, may Allah be satisfied with him saw me attending the classes of our teacher Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan b. Aḥmad b. al-Walīd, may Allah be satisfied with him, and my crave for seeking knowledge and memorizing the books, he would say to me, “I am not surprised that you have such crave in seeking knowledge; because you were born through the prayers of Imam [Mahdī], peace be on him.
850. Kamāl al-dīn11: Muḥammad b. Hārūn al-Qāḍī, may Allah be satisfied with him, narrated to us from Muḥammad b. `Abd-Allah b. Ja`far al-Ḥimyarī, from his father, from Isḥāq b. Ḥāmid al-Kātib, who said:
There was a faithful cloth-seller in Qum who had a partner who belonged to the Murji’a sect. Once, they received a precious cloth. The believer said, “This cloth is appropriate for my master.” The partner answered, “I don’t know your master. But you can do as you please.” When the cloth reached the Imam, peace be on him, he cut it into two from top to bottom and kept one half and returned the other and said, “We do not need the wealth of the Murji’a.”
851. Dalā’il al-imāma12: Abū l-Mufaḍḍal Muḥammad b. `Abd-Allah narrated to me, from Abū Bakr Muḥammad b. Ja`far b. Muḥammad al-Muqrī, from Abū l-`Abbās Muḥammad b. Shābūr, from al-Ḥasan b. Muḥammad b. Ḥayawān al-Sarrāj al-Qāsim, from Aḥmad al-Dīnawarī al-Sarrāj—whose epithet was Abū l-`Abbās and his title was Istāra—who said:
I went from Ardabīl to Dīnawar with the intention of performing Hajj. This was a year or two after the death of (Imam) Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan b. `Alī and the people were in a state of confusion. The people of Dīnawar were giving each other the good news that I had arrived and the Shias gathered around me.
They told me, “We have sixteen thousand dinars which we must give to [the Imam]. We want you to take them with yourself and give them to the one to whom they must be given.” I said, “O people! [We are in] a state of confusion and we don’t know who the door to the Imam is [i.e. representative of the Imam].” They responded, “We have chosen you to carry this wealth because of what we know about your reliability and nobility. So, take them with the condition that you don’t hand them over [to anyone] except that [he shows you] proof.”
They gave me the money in various purses with the names [of the owners written] on them. I took the money and left. When I reached Qarmīsīn, I went to say hello to Aḥmad b. al-Ḥasan who lived there. He was delighted by seeing me and he gave me one thousand dinars in a sack and a bag of dark colored clothes that I couldn’t figure out what it contained. He said, “O Aḥmad! Carry this along with you but don’t hand it over to anyone except [he who shows you] proof.” I took the money from him and the bag of clothes with whatever was in it.
When I entered Baghdad, I had no worry but to search for someone who would be pointed to as the bāb (door) [to Imam Mahdī, peace be on him]. I was told, there is a man here known as al-Bāqaṭānī who claims to be a bāb (door); another person called Isḥāq al-Aḥmar also claims to be a bāb; and there is yet another person known as Abū Ja`far al-`Amrī, who also claims to be the bāb. I started with al-Bāqaṭānī.
I went to him and found him to be a radiant old man. He showed apparent pomp and had Arabian carpets [or horses]. He had many slaves and people had gathered around him and were speaking. I went to him and greeted him. He welcomed me, called me near him, showed me kindness, and expressed his joy. I sat with him for a long time until most of the people left. He then asked me the reason of my visit.
I introduced myself as a person from Dīnawar and that I had some wealth which I wanted to hand over to him. He said, “Hand it over to me.” I said, “I need proof.” He replied, “Come back tomorrow.” I returned the next day but he failed to show any proof. I returned the third day but he showed no proof again.
So, I went to Isḥāq al-Aḥmar and found him to be a neat young man. His house was bigger than that of al-Bāqaṭānī. His carpets [or horses], clothes, and pomp were better than that of al-Bāqaṭānī and he had more slaves and more visitors than him. I went in and greeted him. He welcomed me and asked me to come near him. I waited until the crowds dwindled. He then asked me why I had come. I said to him what I had said to al-Bāqaṭānī, and went to see him for three days but he failed to show any proof.
Finally, I went to Abū Ja`far al-`Amrī. I found him to be a humble old man. He was wearing a white garment and was sitting on a felt mattress in a small house. He neither had slaves nor apparent pomp nor the carpets [or horses] that I found with the others. I greeted him and He replied to my salutations. He brought me close to himself and reached towards me. Then, he asked about me.
I told him that I had come from the region of Jabal and was carrying wealth. He replied, “If you desire to transfer this wealth to where [it should be transferred], then it is necessary that you go to Sāmarrā’ and ask for the house of ibn al-Riḍā13 and ask for so and so person, the representative—whose house will be teeming with its residents. You will find there what you are after.” I left his company and went to Sāmarrā. I reached the house of ibn al-Riḍā and asked for the representative.
The door-keeper said that he is busy inside the house and will come out soon. I sat beside the door waiting for him to come out. He emerged after some time and I stood up and greeted him. He held my hand and took me inside his house. He asked me how I was and the reason for my visit. I told him that I was carrying some wealth from the land of Jabal and intended to hand it over to him after [he showed me] proof. He said, “Yes.” Then, he brought food for me and said, “Eat this and rest because you are tired and there is still some time left until prayer time. I will bring for you what you want.” I ate and slept.
When the time of prayers arrived, I got up and prayed. I went to the stream, had a bath, and returned. I waited until about one-fourth of the night had passed when he came to me and with him was a piece of paper, on which was written: “In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. Aḥmad b. Muḥammad al-Dīnawarī has come and is carrying sixteen thousand dinars and they are in so many purses.
One of them belongs to so and so and contains so many dinars. Another belongs to such and such and contains so many dinars . . .” Until he enumerated all the purses and finally said, “the purse of al-Dharrā` which contains sixteen dinars.” At this juncture, Satan tempted me [to ask myself], “Is it possible that my master knows more about these purses than me?” Then I started mentioning the purses—one after the other along with the names of their owners—until I reached the last one.
[The letter] continued, “He has brought a bag from Qarmīsīn from Aḥmad b. al-Ḥasan al-Bādarānī—the brother of the moneychanger—which contains one thousand dinars and so many clothes. One of them belongs to so and so person. Another’s color is such and such . . .,” until he described [all] the clothes as to whom they belonged to and their colors. I praised Allah and thanked Him for what He had obliged me by dispelling the doubts from my heart. He had also ordered me to give everything that I was carrying to whoever Abū Ja`far al-`Amrī ordered. [I left for Baghdad and went to Abū Ja`far al-`Amrī] and my entire journey to Sāmarrā’ and back was completed in three days.
When Abū Ja`far al-`Amrī saw me, he asked, “Why haven’t you gone yet?” I replied, “My master! I have [just] returned from Sāmarrā.” I was informing Abū Ja`far about [my journey] when a note was brought to him from our master, peace be on him, accompanied with a piece of paper like the one which was with me.
The money and clothes had been mentioned in it and he had ordered that they all be handed over to Abū Ja`far Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. Ja`far al-Qattān al-Qummī. Abū Ja`far al-`Amrī wore his clothes and said to me, “Take what is with you to the house of Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. Ja`far al-Qattān al-Qummī.” I carried the money and the clothes to the house of Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. Ja`far al-Qattān al-Qummī, handed them to him, and then left for Hajj.
When I returned to al-Dīnawar, the people gathered around me. I brought out the scroll which the representative of our Master had given to me and read it out for the people. When they heard [me] mention the purse with the name of al-Dharrā`, [its owner] fell down and fainted. We revived him until he regained consciousness. Immediately, he went into prostration to thank Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, and said, “All Praise is for Allah Who obliged us with guidance. Now, I am sure that the earth cannot be empty of a [divine] proof. By Allah, this purse was handed over to me by this al-Dharrā` and no one was aware of this except Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He.”
I left and after some time met Abū l-Ḥasan al-Bādarānī and informed him about the entire incident and read the scroll for him. He exclaimed, “O subḥān Allah! I have never doubted anything and you should never doubt that Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, will empty His earth of a (divine) proof.
Know that when Irtakūkīn attacked Yazīd b. `Abd-Allah at Suhraward, conquered his cities, and took hold of his treasury, a man came to me and said that Yazīd b. `Abd-Allah had put aside such and such horse and sword for our master, peace be on him. I started transferring the treasures of Yazīd b. `Abd-Allah to Irtakūkīn and was protecting the horse and the sword until nothing remained [in the treasury] except these two things.
I was hoping that I could keep these two things for our master but the demand of Irtakūkīn intensified and I had no choice but to hand them over. I estimated that they were worth one thousand dinars and I gave this sum to the treasurer and said, ‘Put these dinars in the safest of places and don’t ever give them to me—no matter how intense [my] need to them may be.’ Then I handed over the horse and the sword. Later, I was sitting at my [special place] at Riyy, settling affairs, listening to reports, and giving orders, when Abū l-Ḥasan al-Asadī came to me. He would visit me time after time and I used to fulfill his needs. He stayed with me for a very long time and I was extremely miserable.
I asked him, ‘What do you want?’ He replied, ‘I want some privacy.’ So, I ordered the Treasurer to prepare for us a private place in the Treasury. We entered the Treasury and He took out a small piece of paper from our master, on which was written, ‘O Aḥmad b. al-Ḥasan! Hand over to Abū l-Ḥasan al-Asadī the thousand dinars that belong to us and are the price of the sword and the horse.’ I immediately went into prostration for Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, to express my gratitude for His obligation on me and then I knew that he was truly Allah’s Caliph because no one was aware of this except me. So, I added to that money three thousand more dinars because of my delight at the obligation of Allah upon me on account of this event.”
852. Dalā’il al-imāma14: Informed us Abū l-Mufaḍḍal Muḥammad b. `Abd-Allah, from Muḥammad b. Ya`qūb, from al-Qāsim b. al-`Alā who said:
I wrote three letters to the Master of the Time and mentioned my needs. I informed him that I am an old man and have no children. He replied to me about my needs but said nothing about children. So, I wrote a fourth letter to him and asked him to pray for me to Allah to grant me a son. He replied to me and wrote about my needs and wrote, “O Allah! Grant him a boy which will be the apple of his eyes and make [the child] from this pregnancy his heir.” When I received the letter, I was not aware about any pregnancies. I asked my slave-girl about it and she informed me that she was no longer experiencing menstruations. [Some time later], she gave birth to a boy.
853. Dalā’il al-imāma15: `Alī b. Muḥammad narrated to me from Naṣr b. al-Ṣabbāḥ who said: “A person from Balkh sent five dinars to the Master along with a [note] in which he had changed his name. When he sent it to the Master, he received a receipt in which his [real] name and lineage had been mentioned and he had prayed for him.”
854. Dalā’il al-imāma16: Abū Ja`far said, “A son was born to me and I wrote to [the Imam] seeking permission to circumcise him on the seventh day. The reply was, ‘No.’ The child died on the seventh day and I wrote to him and informed him about his death. He replied, ‘Allah will replace him with another [son] then another. Name [the new child] Aḥmad and the next one Ja`far.’ It happened like he had said.”
855. Al-Kāfī17: `Alī b. Muḥammad, from Abū `Aqīl `Īsā b. Naṣr who said: “`Alī b. Ziyād al-Ṣaimarī wrote [a letter to him] and asked for a burial-shroud. He wrote in reply, ‘You will need it at eighty.’ He died at eighty and [the Imam] sent him a shroud a few days before his death.”
856. Al-Kāfī18: From Al-Qāsim b. al-`Alā who said: “A number of sons were born to me and I wrote to him asking him to pray (for the). But, he did not write anything to me about them and (soon) all of them died. When my son al-Ḥasan was born, I wrote to him and asked him to pray (for him), I received the response, ‘He will survive and all praise is for Allah.’
857. Al-Kharā’ij19: And from amongst them (meaning the miracles of Imam Ṣāḥib al-Zamān, peace be on him) is:
Abū Muḥammad al-Da`lajī had two sons and he was one of our best companions and had heard a lot of traditions. One of his two sons was on the right path. His name was Abū l-Ḥasan and he used to bathe the dead. His second son was walking on the path of the youth who indulged in prohibited acts. Abū Muḥammad had been given some money to perform Hajj on behalf of Ṣāḥib al-Zamān, peace be on him, and this was the practice of the Shias in those times. He handed over some of this to his second son who was infamous for his corruption and left for Hajj.
When he returned, he narrated that while he was at one of the stations [during the pilgrimage], a handsome young man with a tanned complexion and with two locks of hair who was busy supplicating, praying, invoking, and worship.
When some of the people went near [him], he turned towards me and said, “O Shaykh! Are you not ashamed?” I asked, “Why, O my Master?” He replied, “You have been given some money to perform Hajj from whom you know and you handed some of it over to a corrupt [man] who drinks wine. The time that you will lose one of your eyes is close” and he pointed towards my eye. From that day on, I was in a state of constant alarm and fright.
Abū `Abd-Allah Muḥammad b. Muḥammad al-Nu`mān heard about this and said, “Barely forty days had passed from his return [from the Hajj pilgrimage] that he developed an ulcer in the eye which had been pointed to and he lost his eyesight.”
858. Kamāl al-dīn20: Narrated to me my father, may Allah be satisfied with him, from Sa`d b. `Abd-Allah, from `Allān al-Kulainī, from al-A`lam al-Miṣrī, from Abū Rajā’ al-Miṣrī who said:
After the death of Imam Abū Muḥammad, peace be on him, I went out in search [of his successor] for two years but in these two [years] I found nothing. In the third year, I was in Medina seeking the son of Abū Muḥammad, peace be on him, at Ṣuryā’ and Abū Ghānim had asked me to have dinner with him. I was sitting, engrossed in deep thought, and saying to myself, “If there was anything, it should have appeared after three years.”
Suddenly, a caller who I could hear but I could not see, called out, “O Naṣr b. `Abd-Rabbih! Say to the people of Egypt, ‘Did you become believers in the Messenger of Allah, Allah's blessings be on him and his family, only after you saw him?’” I did not know my father’s name because I was born in Madā’in and al-Naufalī had adopted me when my father had died and had brought me up. When I heard this voice, I instantly got up and instead of going to Abū Ghānim, I took the road to Egypt.
Two men from Egypt had written [to the Imam] about their two sons. The answer they received was: “As for you, O so and so, may Allah reward you!” And he prayed for the other. Soon, the son of the one who had been consoled died.
859. Al-Ghayba (by the renowned jurist, traditionist, and ascetic, al-Ḥasan b. Ḥamza, may Allah be satisfied with him [d. 385 AH])21: A righteous person from our companions narrated to us:
One year, I went to the Holy Ka`ba to perform Hajj. It was a year of extreme heat and intense hot winds. I was separated from my caravan and lost my way. I was so overcome with thirst that I fell down and was about to die when I heard a horse neighing. I opened my eyes and saw a handsome fragrant youth riding a white animal.
He gave me water to drink—that was colder than ice and sweeter than honey—and he saved me from death. I asked, “O My Master! Who are you?” He replied, “I am the Proof of Allah upon His servants and the Remnant of Allah on His earth. I am the one who will fill the earth with fairness and justice just as it will be filled with injustice and unfairness. I am the son of al-Ḥasan b. `Alī b. Muḥammad b. `Alī b. Mūsā b. Ja`far b. Muḥammad b. `Alī b. al-Ḥusayn b. `Alī b. Abī Ṭālib, peace be on them.” He then said, “Close your eyes” and I closed them. Then, he said, “Open them.” I opened my eyes and I saw myself ahead of the caravan. Then, he disappeared from my sight, Allah’s blessings be on him.
860. Al-Dalā’il (by al-Shaykh Abū l-`Abbās `Abd-Allah b. Ja`far al-Ḥimyarī—one of the great scholars of the third century AH)22: A person from the outskirts of Ḥumaid wrote to [the Imam] and asked him to pray for his child who was not born yet. The reply was: a prayer is (useful) only within the first four months of pregnancy and that he will soon have a son. Things turned out as he had said, Allah’s blessings be on him.
861. Faraj al-mahmūm23: From the aforementioned book (apparently referring to al-Ḥimyarī’s al-Dalā’il) is what we have narrated from al-Shaykh al-Mufīd and have recorded it from a very old manuscript from the Usūl’s of our companions that was written during the life of the representatives. This is what he cites from Al-Ṣafwānī, may Allah have mercy on him:
I saw al-Qāsim b. al-`Alā who lived for 117 years. Of these, he could see until the age of eighty. In those [eighty years], he had seen our Master Abū l-Ḥasan and our Master Abū Muḥammad, peace be on them. After the age of eighty, he became blind but regained his sight seven days before his death. I lived with him in the city of Arān in Azerbaijan.
The letters (tauqī`āt) of our master, Ṣāḥib al-Zamān, Allah’s blessings be on him, would continuously reach him through Abū Ja`far Muḥammad b. `Uthmān al-`Amrī and after him, through Abū l-Qāsim b. Rūḥ, may Allah sanctify their souls. For about two months, no letters came to him and he became worried, may Allah have mercy on him.
We were with him when the doorkeeper entered with good news and said, “The messenger from Iraq has entered.” Al-Qāsim became delighted and turned his face towards the Qibla and prostrated. A short man entered carrying parcels and wearing the messengers uniform. He was wearing an Egyptian overcoat, shoes from Amul24 adorned his feet, and on his shoulder was a bag. He stood up, embraced him, removed the bag from his neck, called for a tray of water, washed his face, and made him sit next to himself.
We ate and washed our hands then the man stood up and removed a note greater in size than half a paper. He handed it over to al-Qāsim who kissed it and gave it to his scribe called `Abd-Allah b. Abī Salma. He took it, opened it, read it, and started crying to the extent that al-Qāsim sensed his weeping. Al-Qāsim asked, “O `Abd-Allah! Is everything okay?” He replied, “Nothing unpleasant.” He asked, “And what is that?” He said, “The Shaykh will pass away forty days after he receives this letter. He will become ill on the seventh day after receiving this letter. Then, Allah will restore his eyesight and seven clothes will be taken to him.’’ Al-Qāsim asked, “[Will I die] while my faith is safe?” He replied, “Yes, while your faith is safe.” [On hearing this], he laughed—may Allah have mercy on him—and remarked, “What more can I expect after this age?” The man stood up, removed from his bag three red Yemeni trousers, a turban, two clothes, and a handkerchief and the Shaykh took them.
With him was a shirt that was given to him by our Master Abū l-Ḥasan b. al-Riḍā, peace be on him. He had a friend called `Abd al-Raḥmān b. Muḥammad al-Sarī who had great enmity towards the Shias. But, between him and al-Qāsim—may Allah brighten his face—there was great affection in worldly matters and he was fond of him.
`Abd al-Raḥmān would come to Arān to reconcile between Abū Ja`far b. Ḥumdūn al-Hamdānī and Ḥayyān al-`Ayn and would often visit him. [Al-Qāsim] said to the two elderly people who lived with him—who were called Abū Ḥāmid `Imrān b. al-Mufallas and Abū `Alī Muḥammad—, “I want to read this letter for `Abd al-Raḥmān because I would love him to be guided and I hope that Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, guides him by this letter.”
[One of them] said, “There is no god except Allah! When the Shias do not have the capacity to bear the contents of this letter, how can `Abd al-Raḥmān do so?” He answered, “I know that I am revealing a secret that I should not, but for the sake of my affection for `Abd al-Raḥmān, I desire that Allah guides him towards this affair, so I will read it for him.” That day passed and it was a Thursday, Rajab 13, 304 AH. `Abd al-Raḥmān entered and greeted him. He said, “Read this letter and see for yourself.”
He started reading it and when he reached the part where his death was foretold, he threw the letter and said to al-Qāsim, “O Abū Muḥammad! Fear Allah! You are a learned person in your religion and sound in intellect. Verily, Allah says, ‘And no one knows what it will achieve tomorrow and no one knows in which land it will die.’25 And He says, ‘Knower of the unseen; He does not reveal his unseen for anybody.’26” Al-Qāsim laughed and said, “The verse is finished by ‘Except for a Messenger he approves of’27 and my master is one who is an approved messenger.
I knew that you would say such things but take note of this day. If I live after the mentioned date in the letter, then be sure that I was wrong [in my beliefs]. And if I die [as mentioned in the letter] then check [the date again].” `Abd al-Raḥmān took note of that day and they left each-other.
On the seventh day after the letter was received, al-Qāsim caught a fever and became severely ill. He was leaning towards the wall while in bed and his son, al-Ḥasan b. al-Qāsim who was an alcohol addict, was married to [the daughter of] Abū `Abd-Allah b. Ḥumdūn al-Hamdānī. Abū `Abd-Allah b. Ḥumdūn al-Hamdānī was sitting in one corner of the house and he had covered his face with his cloth while Abū Ḥāmid was in another corner.
Abū `Alī b. Muḥammad and a group of people from the city were crying when al-Qāsim leaned back on his hand and began to say: “O Muḥammad! O `Alī! O Ḥasan! O Ḥusayn . . . (to the last Imam). O my masters! Be my intercessors before Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He.” He repeated this for a second time and started saying it for the third time. When he reached “O Mūsā! O `Alī!”, his eyelids burst open like the windflowers which are burst open by children.
His irises opened and he began rubbing his eyes gently with his sleeve. A liquid oozed out from his eyes which was similar to blood serum. Then, he looked at his son and said, “O Ḥasan! Come to me. O Abū Ḥāmid! Come to me. O Abū `Alī! Come to me.” They all gathered around him and looked at his cured pupils. Abū Ḥāmid asked, “Can you see us?”
Then he placed his hand on each one of us. The news [about al-Qāsim regaining his eyesight] spread amongst the people who flocked to see him. The Chief Justice of Baghdad, `Ayniyyat b. `Ubaid-Allah Abū Thābit al-Mas`ūdī28, came to him and said, “O Abū Muḥammad! What is on my hand?” He then showed him his ring with a turquoise gem on it and brought it closed to him. He replied, “It is a ring with a turquoise gem and three lines have been written on it.” Al-Qāsim then took it from him but could not read [what was written on it]. The people left in amazement and were spreading his story.
Then, al-Qāsim turned to his son al-Ḥasan and said, “O my son! Allah, Mighty is His Name, has made your position my position and your status my status. So, accept it with gratitude.” Al-Ḥasan replied, “I accepted it.” Al-Qāsim said, “With what conditions?” He replied, “With [the conditions] you order me [to accept].” He said, “On the condition that you stop drinking wine.” Al-Ḥasan said, “O father! I swear by the One Whom you are mentioning, I will stop drinking wine and also those things which you do not know about.” Al-Qāsim raised his hands towards the sky and said three times, “O Allah! Inspire al-Ḥasan with Your obedience and keep him away from Your disobedience.”
Then, he called for a piece of paper and wrote his will with his own hands, may Allah have mercy on him. The estates which were in his position belonged to our master, peace be on him, and were endowed to [the Imam] by his father (waqafahā lahū). [Al-Qāsim] had written in his will to al-Ḥasan, “If you become eligible for this affair—meaning the representation (wikāla) of our master—you will get a share of half of my estates at Farjand and the rest of it is the property of my master, and if you do not become eligible, then seek goodness from wherever Allah sends it to you.” Al-Ḥasan accepted the will on these terms. On the fortieth day, al-Qāsim died after the break of dawn.
On hearing the news of his death, `Abd al-Raḥmān b. Muḥammad came to him while running in the markets barefooted and head uncovered, crying, “O my master!” The people were amazed at this behavior and were asking him, “What are you doing to yourself?” He replied, “Keep quiet! I have seen what you have not seen.” Then, he participated in his funeral procession and converted from his previous beliefs and endowed (waqafa) most of his estates [to the Imam]. Abū `Alī b. Muḥammad undertook the task of giving al-Qāsim [the burial] bathe and Abū Ḥāmid poured water for him.
He was wrapped in eight clothes. On his body was the shirt of our Master followed by the seven clothes that had come from Iraq. After a short period, al-Ḥasan received a letter of condolence from our Master and he had prayed at the end of it that Allah Inspire him with His obedience and keep him away from His disobedience. This was the same prayer invoked by his father. The letter finished like this: “Indeed, we made your father as an Imam for you and set his actions as examples.”
We narrated this narration—which we have also mentioned from Abū Ja`far al-Ṭūsī—may Allah be satisfied with him.
862. Al-Kharā’ij wa l-jarā’iḥ29: It has been narrated from Abū l-Ḥasan al-Mustariq al-Zarīr:
One day, I was in the court of al-Ḥasan b. `Abd-Allah b. Ḥamdān Nāṣir al-Daula. We started discussing the Imam and I said, “I used to neglect the affair of the [Holy] Region (al-nāḥiya) until one day, I went to the court of my uncle al-Ḥusayn and I began discussing this topic. He said, ‘O my son! I used to have your belief until I was told to take the governorship of Qum as it had become a difficult problem for the King.
Anybody who entered it on behalf of the King was met with stubborn resistance from its inhabitants. He gave me an army and I marched towards it. When I reached the area of Ṭirz, I went out for hunting and [my arrow] missed an animal and I rushed after it until I reached a river.
I went in the river and the more I went forward, the vaster it became. In this state, a rider appeared before me on a white mount, wearing a green silky turban. I could see nothing of [his face] but his eyes and he was wearing red shoes. He addressed me, “O Ḥusayn,” without saying my title—Emir—or my epithet. I asked, “What do you want?” He said, “Why do you neglect the affair of the (Holy) Region30 (al-nāḥiya)? And why do you prevent my companions from one-fifth of your wealth?” I was indeed a lordly person who feared no one but there I was trembling and overcome by fright.
I replied, “My Master! I will do whatever you order.” He commanded, “When you reach the place you intend to go [i.e. Qum], enter it and pardon [its inhabitants]. After you acquire what you will acquire, give a fifth of it to those who deserve it.” I said, “I have heard and I will obey.” He said, “Go with guidance.” Then, he turned the reins of his horse and went away.
I did not understand which path he took. I searched for him right and left but he was concealed from me. This frightened me even more and I returned to my camp and forgot the entire incident. When I reached Qum with the intention of fighting them, its citizens came out and said, “We fought those who came to us because they opposed us. But you have come and there is no opposition between us.
Enter the city and govern it as you like.” I stayed there for quite some time and acquired more wealth than I had calculated. Some of the commanders complained against me to the King because they were jealous of my long stay and the excessive wealth I had acquired. Consequently, I was dismissed and I returned to Baghdad. I directly went to the King, greeted him, and then went to my house.
Amongst my visitors was Muḥammad b. `Uthmān al-`Amrī. He overtook the people and sat on my sitting place [beside me]. This angered me but he continued to sit and didn’t get up while the people were coming and going and my anger was increasing. When the people left and the gathering dispersed, he came close to me and said, “Between you and me is a secret, so listen to it.” I said, “Speak.”
He said, “The companion of the white horse and the river says, ‘We fulfilled what we promised.’” Suddenly, I remembered the entire incident and changed my attitude and said, “I listen and I obey.” Then, I stood up, held his hand and opened the treasury. Then, he started separating one-fifth of the wealth until he even removed one-fifth from those things that I had forgotten that I had collected. He then left. After this incident, my doubts were dispelled and the affair was proved.’
Ever since I heard this from my uncle, Abū `Abd-Allah, all my doubts were dispelled.”
The following traditions also prove the concept of this chapter: 823, 827, 828, 830, 832, 833, 838, 839, 840, and 868.
1. Al-Kāfī, vol. 1, pp. 523–524, no. 23; Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 45, pp. 485–486, no. 5, through his chain of narrators from Muḥammad b. Shādhān b. Na`īm al-Nīsābūrī; al-Irshād, p. 383, (pp. 353 and 354, [Beirut: Mu’assisat al-A`lamī]); Kashf al-ghumma, vol. 2, chap. “Proofs of the Master of the time, peace be on him,” p. 456; I`lām al-warā, fourth rukn, part 2, chap. 3, sect. 2; Dalā’il al-imāma, p. 286, all of them through their chains of narrators from Muḥammad b. Shādhān; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 51, chap. 15, p. 295, no. 8, and p. 325, no. 44; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 33, pp. 663–664, no. 22; al-Thāqib fī l-manāqib, p. 604, no. 552/16, from Muḥammad b. Shādhān b. Na`īm al-Nīsābūrī.
I say: The aforementioned Muḥammad b. Shādhān in Kamāl al-dīn, al-Irshād, Kashf al-ghumma, and al-Dalā’il, is either Muḥammad b. `Alī b. Shādhān who has been mentioned in the chain of narrators of al-Kāfī, or he is Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. Shādhān whose biography has been recorded in the rijāl books—as some of the authors of the lexicons have mentioned. It is also possible that he is other than Muḥammad b. `Alī b. Shādhān although, apparently, it is the same incident. However, neither of these possibilities is a cause of weakness for the chain, because his high stature will become obvious by referring to the rijāl and Hadith books. He has been mentioned amongst the representatives (al-wukalā) in the sixteenth tradition of the chapter on those who have seen the Qā’im, peace be on him, in Kamāl al-dīn. Therefore, no attention should be paid to the view of some contemporary scholars who believe he was unknown (al-majhūl).
As for Muḥammad b. `Alī b. Shādhān—if we suppose he is other than Muḥammad b. Shādhān—it will suffice in proving his reliability the fact that he has narrated the tradition of `Alī b. Muḥammad from him, who was from the teachers of al-Kulainī, and that many traditions have been narrated from him in al-Kāfī. If it is argued that this does not prevent him from still being unknown (al-majhūl), the reply will be as follows: His reliability can be deduced from the fact that al-Kulainī has narrated numerous traditions from him and has trusted his narrations and has recorded them in his book. This argument is enough to prove that al-Kulainī had regarded him as reliable. Even if we overlook this argument, this narration in particular can be relied upon due to the fact that there is no doubt that it occurred just like other narrations that we have no doubt about their occurrence because of the existence of legitimate presumptions.
It is appropriate to mention here that we believe it strongly probable that `Alī b. Muḥammad—the aforementioned in the narrations of al-Kāfī, al-Irshād, and Kamāl al-dīn—is `Alī b. Muḥammad b. Ibrāhīm b. Abān al-Rāzī, known as `Allān, who was one of al-Kulainī’s teachers. For, he had a book named Akhbār al-Qā’im, peace be on him. He was amongst the most respected scholars of the third century and had apparently lived during the periods of two Imams: Imam Abū Muḥammad, peace be on him, and his son al-Mahdī, peace be on him, during the minor occultation.
2. Al-Kāfī, vol. 1, chap. “Birth of the Master, peace be on him,” p. 519, no. 8; al-Irshād, p. 378 , no. 3, with a minor difference ([Beirut: Mu’assisat al-A`lamī], p. 352); Similar to it, Dalā’il al-imāma, chap. “Ma`rifat shuyūkh al-ṭā’ifa al-ladhīna `arafū Ṣāḥib al-Zamān `alayhi al-salām,” pp. 286–287, no. 6, from Abū al-Mufaḍḍal, from Muḥammad b. Ya`qūb, from Isḥāq b. Ya`qūb, from al-Shaykh al-`Amrī Muḥammad b. Uthmān, who said, “Two people from the inhabitants of al-Sawād . . . (to the end).” He has narrated it from `Alī b. Muḥammad.; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 51, chap. 15, p. 326, no. 45; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 33, p. 659, no. 7; al-Thāqib fī l-manāqib, p. 597, no. 540/4, from Isḥāq b. Ya`qūb, from al-Shaykh al-`Amrī; I`lām al-warā, fourth rukn, part 2, chap. 3, sect. 2, from `Alī b. Muḥammad.
3. The dwellings and villages near Kūfa—Ed.
4. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 45, p. 486, no. 7; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 51, chap. 15, p. 326, no. 46; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 33, p. 673, no. 45; I`lām al-warā, fourth rukn, part 2, chap. 3, sect. 2; al-Thāqib, p. 597.
5. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 45, pp. 486–487, no. 8; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 51, chap. 15, p. 326, no. 47. He has only mentioned the last part of the tradition; Dalā’il al-imāma, chap. “Ma`rifatu shuyūkh . . .,” p. 287, no. 7, similar to it through his chain of narrators from Muḥammad b. Ibrāhīm b. Mahziyār, to where he says, “Some dinars.”
6. Quran 4:59.
7. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2. chap. 45, p. 488, no. 9; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 51, chap. 15, pp. 326–327, no. 48, with the difference that he says, “he sent two hundred dinars from the wealth to Ḥijāz”; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 33, p. 673, no. 46.
8. A province in southwest Iran—Ed.
9. Apparently part of the tradition has been deleted. See al-Kharā’ij, vol.2, p.696, no. 10.
10. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 45, pp. 502–503, no. 31; Ghaybat al-Shaykh, p. 320, no. 266; Rijāl al-Najāshī, pp. 184–185; al-Kharā’ij wa l-jarā’iḥ, vol. 3, p. 1124, no. 42; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 51, chap. 15, pp. 335–336, no. 61; Faraj al-mahmūm, pp. 258 and 130; Yanābī` al-mawadda, chap. 81, p. 460; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 33, p. 678, no. 76 and 77; al-Thāqib fī l-manāqib, p. 614, no. 560/8.
11. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 45, p. 510, no. 40; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 51, chap. 15, p. 340, no. 66; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 33, p. 680, no. 83; al-Thāqib, p. 600, no. 547/11.
12. Dalā’il al-imāma, chap. “Ma`rifat al-shuyūkh al-ṭā’ifa alladhīna `arafū Ṣāḥib al-Zamān `alayhi al-salām,” pp. 282–285, no. 1; Faraj al-mahmūm, pp. 239–244, through his chains of narrators from Muḥammad b. Jarīr; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 51, chap. 15, pp. 300–303, no. 19.
13. Ibn al-Riḍā refers to the tenth and eleventh Imams who were known by this title because they were the descendants of Imam al-Riḍā, peace be on them—Ed.
14. Dalā’il al-imāma, p. 286, no. 4; Faraj al-mahmūm, p. 244, citing al-Ḥimyarī and al-Ṭabarī; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 51, chap. 15, pp. 303–304, under no. 19; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 33, p. 701, no. 141.
15. Dalā’il al-imāma, p. 287, no. 8; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 51, chap. 15, p. 327, no. 49; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 33, p. 673, no. 47.
16. Dalā’il al-imāma, p. 288, no. 10; Faraj al-mahmūm, p. 244, citing al-Ṭabarī and al-Ḥimyarī, with a very minor variation; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 51, chap. 15, p. 308, no. 24, which says, “name the first one Aḥmad”; al-Irshād, p. 355; Ghaybat al-Shaykh, p. 283, no. 242, with a very minor variation; al-Kāfī, p. 522, no. 17, with a very minor variation; Kashf al-ghumma, vol. 2, p. 455, with a very minor variation; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 33, p. 662, no. 16.
17. Al-Kāfī, vol. 1, chap. 125, p. 524, no. 37; Mir`āt al-uqūl, vol. 6, chap. “Birth of the Master,” p. 199, no. 27. “Eighty” can either mean his age or the year 280 AH; Ghaybat al-Shaykh, pp. 283–284, no. 243, similar to it through his chain of narrators from Abū `Aqīl; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 51, chap. 15, p. 306, no. 20; Kashf al-ghumma, vol. 2, p. 456; Taqrīb al-ma`ārif, p. 196; al-Thāqib, p. 590, no. 535/1; In Dalā’il al-imāma, a similar miracle has been narrated which occurred for `Alī b. Muḥammad al-Samurī (pp. 285–286). It has been mentioned in Faraj al-mahmūm, p. 244, what has been narrated in Dalā’il al-imāma, from al-Ṭabarī—the author of Dalā’il al-imāma—and al-Ḥimyarī; Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 45, p. 501, no. 26; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 32, p. 664, no. 26; I`lām al-warā, sect. 2, p. 421; al-Kharā’ij wa l-jarā’iḥ, vol. 1, pp. 463–464, no. 8.
I say: It is probable that some error has occurred while copying from Dalā’il al-imāma because `Alī b. Muḥammad al-Samurī died in 328 or 329 AH. Otherwise, he might have meant eighty years of his age.
18. Al-Kāfī, vol. 1, chap. 125, p. 519, no. 9; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 51, chap. 15, p. 309, no. 27; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 33, p. 659, no. 8; I`lām al-warā, sect. 2, pp. 418–419.
19. Al-Kharā’ij, vol. 1, chap. “The miracles of Imam Ṣāḥib al-Zamān,” p. 480, no. 21, printed at al-Imam al-Mahdī Organization; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, p. 59, no. 42; Faraj al-mahmūm, p. 256, with a very minor variation at its end. He also says, “Al-Da`lajī refers to those attributed to a place behind the gateway of Kūfa—towards Baghdad—whose inhabitants are called al-Da`ālaja. He was a jurist (faqīh) and an `ārif. Al-Najāshī has mentioned him in his rijāl book likewise.” He writes, “I learned the laws of inheritance from him and he has a book on Hajj.” Therefore, it most possible that this miracle took place during the major occultation, because al-Najāshī was born in 372 AH and died in 450 AH; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 33, p. 695, no. 120; Wasā’il al-Shī`a, vol. 8, chap. 24, p. 147, no. 2; Mustadrak al-wasā’il, vol. 8, pp. 70–71, no. 4.
20. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 45, pp. 491–492, no. 15; al-Kharā’ij wa l-jarā’iḥ, vol. 2, pp. 698–699, no. 1, with some variations, published at al-Imam al-Mahdī Organization; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 51, chap. 15, p. 295, no. 10; Faraj al-mahmūm, sect. “Dalā’il al-Mahdī `alayhi al-salām,” p. 239; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, p. 696, with differences in the wording.
21. Al-Arba`īn known as Kifāyat al-muhtadī, p. 140, no. 36; al-Arba`īn by al-Khātūn Ābādī, p. 49, no. 12.
I say: Although, this miracle possibly occurred in the major occultation, the probability of it taking place in the minor occultation is greater due to what we have mentioned here. And Allah knows the best.
Know that the rijāl scholars have praised this person with the attributes of profound knowledge, piety, asceticism, etc. Al-Ṭūsī writes, “He was noble (fāḍil), a litterateur (adīb), a mystic (`ārif), a faqīh, an ascetic, God-fearing (warā`), and had many good characteristics. He wrote a number of books . . .” Al-Najāshī says, “He was amongst the most famous of the Shias.” Tanqīḥ al-maqāl mentions, “He was amongst the chiefs of the good (people) and one of the greatest of the teachers. The rijāl scholars have mentioned him, praised him with every beautiful (attribute), and have immensely glorified him.”
22. Faraj al-mahmūm, p. 247. He says: “A section about what we have narrated through our chain of narrators from al-Shaykh Abū l-`Abbās `Abd-Allah b. Ja`far al-Ḥimyarī from vol. 2 of the book al-Dalā’il . . .”; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 33, p. 675, no. 558; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 51, chap. 15, p. 332, no. 56.
23. Faraj al-mahmūm, pp. 248–253. Wherever this copy contained errors, we have corrected them using Biḥār al-anwār; Ghaybat al-Shaykh, pp. 310–315, no. 263, which mentions `Abd-Allah b. `Ubaid-Allah. Apparently, this is the scribe’s error, because `Utbat b. `Abd-Allah is correct. The latter is ibn Mūsā b. `Abd-Allah al-Hamdānī who was a judge in Marāgha, then Azerbaijan, Hamdān, and Baghdad. He died in 351 AH and lived for eighty six years. See Siyaru a`lām al-nubalā’, vol. 16, p. 47, and Tārīkh Baghdād, vol. 12, p. 320; Al-Thāqib fī l-manāqib, p. 590, no. 536/2, which mentions Abū l-Sā’ib `Utbat b. `Ubaid-Allah al-Mas`ūdī; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 51, chap. 15, pp. 313–316, no. 37, which also mentions `Utbat b. `Ubaid-Allah; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 33, pp. 690–692, no. 106; Muntakhab al-anwār al-muḍī’a, pp. 130–134; al-Kharā’ij wa l-jarā’iḥ, vol. 1, pp. 467–470, no. 14, which also mentions Abū l-Sā’ib `Utbat b. `Ubaid-Allah al-Mas`ūdī.
24. A city located in Iran on the southern coast of the Caspian sea—Ed.
25. Quran 31:34.
26. Quran 72:26.
27. Quran 72:27.
28. As we already mentioned, it seems that the correct name is `Utbat b. `Ubaid-Allah Abū l-Sā’ib al-Mas`ūdī.
29. Al-Kharā’ij wa l-jarā’iḥ, vol. 1, pp. 472–475, no. 17; Faraj al-mahmūm, pp. 253–254; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, pp. 56–57, no. 40; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 33, sect. 3, p. 694, no. 118 (short version); Kashf al-ghumma, vol. 2, pp. 500–501, under “The miracles of the Master of the time, peace be on him.”
30. Meaning what is related to the Mahdī, peace be on him—Ed.