- Category: Mahdism
- Written by Ayatullah al-Uzma Lutfullah as-Safi al-Gulpaygani
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Comprised of fifteen traditions
881–882. Kashf al-ghumma1: I will mention two incidents which occurred fairly recently and a group of my reliable brothers narrated them to me. In the suburbs of Ḥilla, there was a man called Ismā’īl b. al-Ḥasan al-Hirqalī who belonged to a village called Hirqal. He died during my lifetime but I did not see him. His son, Shams al-Dīn, narrated to me the following:
My father informed me that during his youth, an abscess had appeared on his left thigh which was the size of a fist. Every spring, it would crack and open and blood and puss would flow out of it. Its pain prevented him from performing many of his tasks. He resided in Hirqal and one day went to Ḥilla to see the blessed [scholar] Sayyid Raḍī al-Dīn `Alī b. Ṭāwūs, may Allah be satisfied with him, and complained to him about his suffering and he had expressed his desire to get it treated. [Sayyid Raḍī al-Dīn] had gathered the doctors of Ḥilla and had showed them the abscess.
They had said, “This abscess is on the saphenous vein and its treatment is dangerous. If it is cut, there is a chance of excessive blood loss and consequent death.” Sayyid Raḍī al-Dīn, may Allah sanctify his soul, had said to him, “I am going to Baghdad, where the doctors may be more knowledgeable and skillful than [the doctors] here, so accompany me.” He mounted along with him and they had gone to see the doctors.
[The doctors] had repeated what the [doctors of Ḥilla] had said and he had become heartbroken. Sayyid b. Ṭāwūs had told him, “The sharia permits you to perform prayers in these clothes. Try to keep yourself clean [from the blood] but don’t strain yourself because Allah, the Exalted, and His Messenger have prohibited it.”
My father had replied, “When the state of affairs is such, and since I have come to Baghdad, I will visit the Holy shrines at Sāmarrā’, peace be on them, and then return to my family.” Sayyid (b. Ṭāwūs) had appreciated the idea. So, he had left his clothes and belongings with Sayyid Raḍī al-Dīn and had left. He recounted, “After entering the shrine and visiting the Imams, peace be on them, I descended into the cellar (sardāb) and appealed to Allah, the Exalted, and to the Imam, peace be on him.
I stayed in the cellar for some part of the night and remained in the shrine until Thursday. Then, I went to the River Tigris, bathed, and put on some clean clothes. I filled a jug I had with me with water and mounted to set off towards the shrine. On my way, I saw four horsemen emerging from the gates of the city.
On the outskirts of the city lived some nobles who watched over their sheep and I thought that these men were from them. We reached each other and I saw that there were two youths among them. One of them was a slave who was beginning to grow a beard. They were all armed with swords.
There was an old man amongst them whose face was covered and had a lance in his hand. Another was armed with a sword and had a cloak which was covering the sword and was under his armpit. The old man—who had a lance—stopped on the right side of the road and placed the end of the lance on the ground. The two youths stood on the left side of the road and the man with the cloak stood in front of me.
Then, they all greeted me and I greeted them. The man with the cloak asked, ‘Are you returning to your family tomorrow?’ I replied in the affirmative. He said, ‘Come forward so that I may see what is distressing you.’ I didn’t like them to touch me and I said to myself, ‘These are Bedouins who do not keep away from impure things (al-najāsa). I have just come out of water and my shirt is wet.’ Nevertheless, I went near him.
He held me with his hand and pulled me to himself. Then, he started feeling one side of my body from my shoulder until he reached the abscess. He squeezed it with his hand and I felt its pain. Then, he sat on his saddle as he was earlier. The old man said to me, ‘You have become successful, O Ismā’īl!’ I was amazed that he knew my name. I answered, ‘God willing, we are successful and so are you.’ The old man said to me, ‘This is the Imam.’ I rushed towards him, clung to him, and kissed his thigh.
“He started riding while I was following him and was still clinging to him. He said, ‘Go back.’ I replied, ‘I will never leave you.’ He said, ‘It is better that you return.’ But my answer was the same. The old man said, ‘O Ismā’īl! Don’t you have any shame? Your Imam has ordered you to return twice and you are disobeying him?’ Confronted with such a statement, I let go of him. He went ahead a few steps then turned to me and said, ‘When you reach Baghdad, Abū Ja`far—meaning the caliph al-Mustanṣir—will inevitably ask for you. When you go to him and he offers you something refuse to accept it.
Tell my son, Sayyid Raḍī al-Din, to write to `Alī b. `Iwaḍ. I will advise him to give you what you want.’ Saying this, he went along with his companions. I was standing there and watching them until they disappeared from my sight. The grief of his separation seized me and I sat down on the ground for some time then started walking towards the shrine.
The caretakers of the shrine gathered around me and said, ‘We see that the color of your face has changed. Has something troubled you?’ I replied in the negative. They asked again, ‘Has someone fought with you?’ I answered, ‘No. Nothing of this sort has happened to me. But, I ask you, do you know the horse riders who were with you?’ They replied, ‘These were noble sheep-owners.’ I said, ‘No, he is the Imam, peace be on him.’
They asked, ‘Which one is the Imam? The old man or the man with cloak?’ I replied, ‘The man with the cloak.’ They asked again, ‘Did you show him what was causing you pain?’ I replied, ‘He held it firmly and caused me pain.’ Then, I uncovered my leg but there was no trace of it.
I was confused from astonishment and checked my other leg but there was nothing there too. When the people saw this they took hold of me and tore my shirt. The caretakers took me to the storeroom and withheld the people from coming close to me. The supervisor of Mesopotamia was in the shrine at that time.
He heard the shrieks and had asked about the reason. They had informed him about the incident and he came to the storeroom and asked me my name and the time I had come from Baghdad. I told him that I had come at the beginning of the week. He then left. I slept in the shrine, performed the morning prayers, and left. The people came out with me until I was quite far from the shrine and then they returned.
I reached [the village of] Uwānā and spent the night there, then left early in the morning and set off for Baghdad. [When I reached there] I saw a huge congregation of people at the old arch. They asked anyone who was entering the city about his name and lineage and where he was coming from. They asked me my name and where I had come from. When I informed them, they gathered around me and tore off my clothes and there was no strength left in me [to protect myself].
The supervisor of Mesopotamia had written to Baghdad and informed them about my conditions. Then, they carried me to Baghdad and a massive crowd gathered around me and I was nearly killed by their pressure. The Qummī Minister had summoned al-Sa`īd Raḍī al-Dīn and he had come to verify the authenticity of this news. May Allah have mercy on both of them.
“Sayyid Raḍī al-Dīn b. Ṭāwūs came with a group of people and we met at the gateway of al-Nūbī. His companions dispersed the people who had surrounded me. When he saw me, he asked, “Are they talking about you?” I replied in the affirmative. He dismounted and uncovered my thigh and there was nothing there. He fainted for a while then held my hand and took me to the minister while he was crying.
He said, “Your honor! This is my brother and the closest of people to my heart.” The minster asked me about my story and I informed him. He summoned the doctors who had examined me earlier and had been ordered to cure me. They said, “It has no cure except that it be cut off, which would lead to death.”
The minister said to them, “Suppose it was cut off and he did not die. How much time would it take for it to heal?” They said, “At least two months and a white hole would remain in its place where no hair would grow.” The minister asked, “When did you last see him?” They replied, “Ten days ago.” Then, the minister uncovered the ailing thigh and it was exactly like the other thigh and there was absolutely no sign of [a wound] on it. One of the doctors shrieked, “This is the work of Christ.” The minister remarked, “Since it is not your work, we know whose work it is.”
(His son continued), then, he was taken to al-Mustanṣir, the caliph, who asked him about the story. He had told him what had happened and the caliph had offered him a thousand dinars. When the dinars were brought, the Caliph had said, “Take these and spend them.” He had replied, “I don’t dare to take even one coin.” The Caliph said, “Whom do you fear?” He answered, “From the one who did this to me. He said, ‘Do not accept anything from Abū Ja`far.’” The Caliph started crying and became angry and [my father] left without taking anything from him.
The most needy of Allah’s Mercy from his servants, `Ali b. `Īsā2—may Allah forgive him—says:
I was narrating this incident to a group of people who were with me. Shams al-Dīn Muḥammad (Ismā`īl al-Hirqalī’s son) was present there and I did not know him. When I finished the story he said, “I am his son from his loin.” I was amazed at this coincidence. I asked him, “Had you seen his wound before it was healed?” He said, “No. At that time, I was just a child. But I did see it when it had healed.
There was no sign of the wound and hair had grown on it. I asked Ṣafī al-Dīn Muḥammad b. Muḥammad Bishr al-`Alawī al-Mūsawī and Najm al-Dīn Ḥaidar b. al-Aisar, may Allah have mercy on them, who were respected, noble, and distinguished people. They were my friends and very dear to me.
They informed me that this story is true and that they had both seen him during his illness and after he had been cured.” His son told me that after this incident, his father used to be in a state of intense grief due to his separation; to such an extent, that he had gone to Baghdad in the winter and had every day, visited Sāmarrā’ and returned to Baghdad.
In that year, he had gone back and forth [between Baghdad and Sāmarrā] forty times in the hope that this would occur for him again but we don’t always attain what we desire. He died with this desire and passed off into the Hereafter with his grieves. May Allah be his guardian and ours on account of His Mercy, His Obligation, and His Nobility.
Al-Sayyid Bāqī b. `Aṭwat al-`Alawī al-Ḥusaynī narrated to me that his father `Aṭwa—who was a Zaidī—was suffering from hernia. He used to protest to his sons about their Imāmī beliefs and would say to them, “I will not testify to your beliefs and will not believe in what you believe until your master—i.e. the Mahdī—comes to me and relieves me of this illness.” He used to repeat this sentence quite often.
Once, we were sitting together late at night when my father shrieked and called us to help him. We rushed to him and he said, “Go and join your master. He left me just now.” We went out but saw no one. We returned to him and asked him [what happened]. He replied, “A man came to me and said, “O `Aṭwa!” I said, “Who are you?” He answered, “I am the master of your sons. I have come to relieve you [of your illness].” Then, he extended his hand, squeezed the place of my ailment and left. I touched that place with my hand but found no trace of the ailment.” His son continued, “He then lived like a gazelle without an illness and this incident became very famous.” I asked others—other than his son—who informed me about and acknowledged [this story].
Many similar stories have been narrated about him. For instance, groups of people who had got lost on their way to Ḥijāz and other places had been saved by him and he had taken them to where they had intended to travel. I am not mentioning them for the sake of conciseness. I will suffice with the stories that I have narrated which occurred nearer to my time.
883. Jannat al-ma’wā3: Story Thirty-Two:
In the month of Jumād al-Aulā, 1299 AH, a man named Āqā Muḥammad Mahdī entered the city of Kādhimain. He was a resident of Burma . . . He had traveled at sea for six days with a steamer. His father was from Shiraz but he was born and lived in the aforementioned port. Three years before the aforementioned date, he fell terribly ill. Although he was cured from it, he had become deaf and dumb.
He had beseeched (tawassala) the Imam’s [who were buried] in Iraq, peace be on them, for cure. He had some relatives in Kādhimain—who were amongst its famous traders. He came to them and stayed with them for ten days. By chance, at the time of departure of the steamer for Sāmarrā, the water was turbulent.
So, [his relatives] came to the ship, handed him to the other passengers—who were from Baghdad and Karbala—and asked them to take care of him and look after his needs due to his inability to express them. They also wrote to some of the dwellers of Sāmarrā’ to take care of him.
When they reached that noble land and holy region, he went to the illuminated cellar (sardāb) in the afternoon of Friday, 10th Jumād al-Thānī of the aforementioned year. In the cellar was a group of reliable and holy people. He had gone to the blessed ledge (al-ṣuffa) and cried and pleaded for a long time.
He had written his condition on a wall in front of him and would ask those who were looking at him to pray for him and intercede on his behalf. His crying and beseeching had not come to an end when Allah, the Exalted, returned to him his speech.
Due to the miracle of the Ḥujja, peace be on him, he went out of that holy place with an expressive tongue and eloquent speech. On Saturday, he was taken to the class of the chief of the jurists, the teacher of the scholars, the leader of the Shias, the crown of sharia, the leader of the Imāmiyya, our majestic master and great teacher, al-Ḥāj Mīrzā Muḥammad Ḥasan al-Shīrazī—may Allah delight the Muslims by his long life. This man recited the blessed Sura of al-Fātiḥa in a way that those present acknowledged it was [recited] correctly and pronounced perfectly. That day became a day of witnessing and that place became a place of praise.
On the 21st night [of the month], the scholars and the learned had gathered in the holy courtyard with joy and happiness. The air was lit up with lamps and lanterns. They rendered the above incident into a poem and distributed it in the cities. In the steamer, along with the cured person, was a poet of the Ahl al-Bait, peace be on them, who was none but the learned and intelligent al-Ḥāj Mullā `Abbās al-Ṣaffār al-Zanūzī al-Baghdadi. He had seen this man in both his conditions of sickness as well as complete recovery. He had recited a long poem4 in this regard which he read there.
When this news reached the great composer of poetry, the supported master, the intelligent litterateur, the pride of the seekers, and the honor of the `Alawīs, al-Sayyid Ḥaidar b. al-Sayyid Sulaimān al-Ḥillī, may Allah support him, he sent a letter to Sāmarrā, the contents of which were as follows: “In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. The winds of the Imam’s generosity blew from the Holy Region and its beautiful fragrance has spread far and wide.
The tongue of its dumb visitor was set free after he stood in their presence; beseeching and supplicating. Therefore, from amongst the group who has served His Holiness, I desired to compose a poem about this great miracle and to distribute it. I would also like to congratulate the most learned scholar of the time, the chief of the handsome, the branch of the tree of Muḥammad, the lighthouse of the Islamic nation, the symbol of the sharia, and the Imam of the Shias, so that I may perform both forms of worship in the presence of these two holy personalities.
So, I have composed this poem and I gift it to his place of residence, Sāmarrā’, in the hope of it being accepted. And Allah will bring out what is desired (he then mentions the poem5).
884. Tanbīh al-khawāṭir (aka Majmū`at al-warrām)6: Narrated to me the majestic and noble Sayyid, Abū l-Ḥasan `Alī b. Ibrāhīm al-`Urayḍī al-`Alawī al-Ḥusaynī, from `Alī b. Namā, from Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan b. `Alī b. Ḥamza al-Aqsānī—while they were in the house of the honorable `Alī b. Ja`far b. `Alī al-Madā’inī al-`Alawī. He said:
There was an old cloth-washer in Kūfa who was famous for his piety, asceticism, and worship and followed the path of the righteous. One day, I was sitting with my father and this old man was speaking with him while he was faced towards him. He said, “One night, I was in the mosque of Ju`fī which is an old mosque.
It was midnight and I was there alone for solitude and worship. All of a sudden, three people entered the mosque. When they reached the center of the courtyard, one of them sat down and touched the earth with his right and left hands. Suddenly, water started coming out from it. He performed ablution (wuḍū’) with it and indicated to the other two to do the same. Then, he went forward and they prayed behind him and I too prayed with them.
When he finished his prayers, I was dazed by him and his amazing act of bringing out the water. I asked the person who was on his right, ‘Who is he?’ He replied, ‘He is Ṣāḥib al-Amr, the son of al-Ḥasan.’ I went near him, kissed his hand and asked, ‘O Son of Allah’s Messenger, Allah's blessings be on him and his family! What is your view about `Umar b. Ḥamza? Is he on the right path?’ He replied, ‘No. But perhaps, he may receive guidance. He will not die until he sees me.’”
This news was new for us. A long time passed and `Umar b. Ḥamza died and no one spoke about him having seen the Imam. When I met the pious Shaykh, ibn al-Nādiya, I mentioned the above incident to him. Then, in refutation of the incident, I said, “Didn’t you mention that `Umar b. Ḥamza will not die until he meets the Ṣāḥib al-Amr about which I mentioned?” He answered, “And how do you know that he did not meet him?” Later, I encountered Abū l-Manāqib, the son of `Umar b. Ḥamza and talked with him about his father.
He said, “One night we were with my father while he was suffering from the illness that ultimately led to his death. His energy was sapped, his voice could hardly be heard, and all the doors of the house were closed. Suddenly a man came to us. His entry frightened us but we were too astonished to ask him. He sat beside my father and talked to him for a long time and my father was crying.
Then, he stood up and when we no longer saw him, my father faintly said, ‘Make me sit up.’ We made him sit up and he opened his eyes and asked, ‘Where is the man who was with me?’ We replied, ‘He left from where he had come.’ He said, ‘Go look for him.’ We went in search of him but all the doors were locked and there was no sign of him. We returned to our father and informed him of the situation and that we could not find him. We asked him about that person and he replied, ‘He is the Ṣāḥib al-Amr.’ Then, his condition worsened and he lost consciousness.”
885. Al-Sulṭān al-mufarrij `an ahl al-īmān7: In the month of Ṣafar, 759 AH, my master, the great, the majestic, the most learned, the complete example, the precise researcher, the possessor of all great characteristics, the one who the learned referred to, the honor of the scholars, the one with perfect faith, `Abd al-Raḥmān b. al-`Ammānī, informed me the following through a letter with his own handwriting:
The servant of Allah, the Exalted, who is in dire need of His mercy, `Abd al-Raḥmān b. Ibrāhīm al-Qabā’iqī states, “I used to hear in [the city of] Ḥilla—may Allah the Exalted protect it—that the revered Jamāl al-Dīn, the son of the most majestic Shaykh, the jurist, Najm al-Dīn Ja`far b. al-Zahdarī was afflicted with paralysis. His paternal grandmother treated him after the death of his father with every possible treatment for paralysis but to no avail.
She was advised to take him to the doctors in Baghdad and she took him to them who treated him for a very long time but without success. Someone told her, ‘Why don’t you put him for one night under the dome of the famous place in Ḥilla called ‘Maqām Ṣāḥib al-Zamān’? Perhaps, Allah, the Exalted, may make him healthy and cure him.’ She did so and put him under its dome for one night and the Master of the Time, peace be on him, made him stand up and rid him of his paralysis.
“After this incident, we became companions and it seemed that we would continue [being friends] forever. His house was a place of companionship and all the high statured people of Ḥilla, their youth, and the children of their kind would gather there. I asked him about this incident and he said, ‘I was paralyzed and the doctors failed to cure me . . .’ and he told me the story that I had heard many times in Ḥilla.
He said, ‘The [Divine] Proof, Ṣāḥib al-Zamān, peace be on him, told me, when my grandmother had put me under the dome, “Stand up.” I pleaded, “O Master! I have not been able to stand up for more than a year.” He repeated, “Stand up, with the permission of Allah, the Exalted,” and he helped me stand up. I stood up and my paralysis was dispelled. The people rushed towards me and almost killed me. They tore off my clothes and took them as blessings and [some others] gave me some clothes to wear. I returned to my house whilst there was so sign of paralysis in me and I sent the clothes to their owners.’
I heard him narrating this story repeatedly to the people and to those who would ask him to narrate it, until he died. May Allah have mercy on him.”
886. Al-Sulṭān al-mufarrij `an ahl al-īmān8: A reliable person narrated to me an incident that is very famous amongst the inhabitants of Najaf al-Ashraf, may Allah protect it. It goes as follows:
The house which I am living in now—and the year is 789 AH—belonged to a good and righteous person called Ḥusayn al-Mudallal. The sābāṭ9 called Mudallal, which connects the two walls of the Holy Shrine are named after him and [the story] is well known in the holy city of Najaf. He had a wife and children and was struck with paralysis. Consequently, he couldn’t stand up and his wife would make him stand up when it was necessary. This continued for a long time and his family experienced extreme tribulations. Soon, they became dependent on the people who treated them harshly. In the year 720 AH, one night, after a quarter of the night had passed, he woke up his family.
They got up and saw that the entire house and the roof were shining with light to the extent that their eyes were dazzled. They asked him, “What has happened?” He had replied, “The Imam, peace be on him, came to me and said, ‘Stand up, O Ḥusayn!’ I answered, ‘O Master! Do you think I can stand?’ So he held my hand and helped me up. And here I am, as healthy as I can be.
He then said to me, ‘O Ḥusayn! I use this sābāṭ to visit my ancestor [Amīr al-Mu’minīn]. Lock it every night.’ I responded, ‘I heard and I will obey Allah and you, my Master.’” Then, he had stood up and had gone to the holy shrine at Najaf, visited the grave of the Imam, peace be on him, and had praised Allah, the Exalted, for the graces that he had received. To this day, that sābāṭ is a place that the needy go to fulfill their desires and no seeker returns disappointed due to the blessings of the Qā’im, peace be on him.
887. Qabas al-miṣbāḥ10: The truthful shaykh, Abūl Ḥasan Aḥmad b. `Alī b. Aḥmad al-Najāshī al-Ṣairafī—known as ibn al-Kūfī in Baghdad and who was a brilliant and reliable person and was considered truthful by both Shias and Sunnis—informed us in the last days of the month of Rabī` al-Awwal, in the year 442 AH, from al-Ḥasan b. Muḥammad b. Ja`far al-Tamīmī, from Abū l-Wafā’ al-Shīrazī, who was a friend, that
Abū `Alī Ilyās, the governor of Kerman, arrested and imprisoned me. Those who were guarding me kept telling me that he intended to harm me. I became very worried and began supplicating to Allah, the Exalted, through the Prophet and the Imams, peace be on them. On the eve of Friday, I finished my prayers and went to sleep.
I saw the Prophet, Allah's blessings be on him and his family, in my dream and he said to me, “Don’t ask me, my daughter, and my sons from the desires of this world except what you seek for the obedience and satisfaction of Allah, the Exalted. As for my brother, Abū l-Ḥasan [`Alī b. Abī Ṭālib], he will take revenge for you on he who has oppressed you.” I asked, “O Messenger of Allah! How can he take revenge from the one who has oppressed me whilst a rope was put around his neck and he did not take revenge and his rights were taken from him and he said nothing?!”
He, peace be on him, looked at me with a state of surprise and said, “That was because of a covenant that I had taken from him and an order that I had given him. He had permission for nothing but to act in accordance [with what I told him] and he did so. Woe to those who act aggressively towards the guardian [appointed] by Allah. As for `Alī b. al-Ḥusayn, [you must ask him] to save you from the rulers and insinuations of the devils.
As for Muḥammad b. `Alī and Ja`far b. Muḥammad, peace be on them, [you must ask them] for the Hereafter and the obedience of Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He. As for Mūsā b. Ja`far, peace be on him, seek safety through him from Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He. As for `Alī b. Mūsā, peace be on him, ask him for safety on the land and the seas. As for Muḥammad b. `Alī, peace be on him, seek sustenance through him from Allah, the Exalted. As for `Alī b. Muḥammad, peace be on him, ask through him for the recommended-tasks (mustaḥab), doing good for the brothers [in religion], and the obedience of Allah, the Exalted.
As for al-Ḥasan b. `Alī, peace be on him, ask him for the Hereafter. As for the Master of the time, when the sword reaches here—and he put his hand on his neck—seek help from him for he will help you.” I cried out in my sleep, “O Ṣāḥib al-Zamān! Help me, for I have lost my patience.” I woke up from my sleep and the guards were releasing my shackles.
888. Kashf al-astār11: During these days, a splendid miracle appeared from the Mahdī, peace be on him, for the relatives of the officials of the Ottoman Empire who lived in Najaf. It was as apparent and manifest as the midday sun. We seek blessings and are privileged to mention it here using a reliable chain of narrators: The respected scholar, Sayyid Muḥammad Sa`īd Afandī al-Khaṭīb, narrated in a letter in which he wrote himself:
There is a miracle performed by the progeny of the Messenger, Allah's blessings be on him and his family, which is appropriate for mentioning here for our Muslim brothers. There was a woman whose name was Malika bint `Abd al-Raḥmān, the wife of Mullā Amīn, who helped us in the Ḥumaidī School in the holy city of Najaf. In the second night of Rabī` al-Awwal, 1317 AH, which was the eve of Tuesday, she got a terrible headache. In the morning, she had lost her eyesight and couldn’t see anything.
They informed me about her condition and I said to her husband, “Tonight, take her to the holy shrine of (Imam) al-Murtaḍā [`Alī b. Abī Ṭālib], peace be on him, to seek intercession from him and to make him an intermediary between her and Allah; perhaps Allah, Glorified and Exalted be He, may cure her.” She did not go there that night—which was Wednesday eve—because of the discomfort that she was in.
She had slept part of the night and had dreamt that her husband and a lady called Zainab were going with her to visit the shrine of Amīr al-Mu’minīn, peace be on him. On their way, they had seen a great mosque filled with people.
They had entered to see it and the afflicted woman had heard a man from amongst the congregation saying, “O woman who has lost her sight! Don’t fear. God willing, both [your eyes] will be cured.” She had asked, “God bless you! Who are you?” He had replied, “I am the Mahdī.” She had woken up rejoicing and in the morning—which was Wednesday—she had gone to the station (maqām) of our master, the Mahdī, which is outside the city, accompanied by a large group of women. She had entered it alone and had begun crying, wailing, and beseeching, due to which she had lost consciousness.
In her state of unconsciousness, she had seen two majestic men; the elder of the two was in front and the younger, a youth, was behind him. The elder had addressed her, “Don’t fear.” She had asked, “Who are you?” He had replied, “I am `Alī b. Abī Ṭālib and the man behind me is my son, the Mahdī.” Then, the elder had said to a woman who was there, “Stand up, O Khadīja, and touch the two eyes of this needy woman.” She had touched both her eyes and she had woken up and could see even better than before [becoming blind]. All the women had started cheering, rejoicing, and sending blessings on the Prophet and his family. Then, they had accompanied her to visit the holy shrine of (Imam) al-Murtaḍā [Amīr al-Mu’minīn], peace be on him. Thank God, now her eyesight is even better than before [her illness].
What we have mentioned here is very little because many more instances have occurred for their righteous servants with the permission of Allah, the Majestic . . .
These were what this humble preacher, Sayyid Muḥammad Sa`īd, has been informed about in the holy city of Najaf.
889. Ithbāt al-hudāt12:
We—a group of students and righteous people—were sitting in the village of Mashgharā13 in our homeland in one of the Eids. I said to the others, “I wish I knew how many of us would be alive next year on the same Eid and how many of us would have died?” A person whose name was Shaykh Muḥammad and who was my colleague in the class, said, “I know that I will be alive in the next Eid and the next and the next until twenty six years.” From his talk, it appeared that he was really serious about what he was saying and was not joking.
I asked him, “Do you have knowledge of the unseen?” He replied, “No. But I saw the Mahdī, peace be on him, in a dream while I was afflicted with a serious illness. I said to him, ‘I am ill and I fear that I will die whilst I don’t have any good deeds to meet Allah with.’ He reassured, ‘Don’t worry! Surely, Allah will cure you of this ailment and you will not die by it. Rather, you will live for twenty six years.’ Then, he handed me a cup which he was holding. I drank from it and my ailment was dispelled and I became cured. I sat down and I was sure that this was not [a dream] from Satan.”
When I heard this talk from this man, I wrote down the date which was in the year 1049 AH. A long time passed from this incident and I went to the holy city of Mashhad in the year 1072 AH. When the last year passed, I felt in my heart that the [twenty six] years had passed.
I referred to the note I had written and saw that exactly 26 years had passed. I thought to myself, “In all likelihood, that person must have died.” Barely a month or two had passed when I received a letter from my brother—who was in our homeland—in which he informed me about the death of that person.
890. Al-Imāma wa l-mahdawiyya14: The incident in which the righteous wife of Shaykh Muḥammad al-Muttaqī al-Hamdānī—the highly learned scholar at the Islamic Seminary at Qum—was cured. He was famous for the purity of his soul and his piety. I have known him for many years for his religiousness and virtuous moralities. The following are the exact words that he wrote to narrate this incident:
I deemed it appropriate to mention my tawassul to the Imam—which is the remnant of Allah on His earth—al-Ḥujjat b. al-Ḥasan al-`Askarī, and his attention towards me; because the subject of this book is about proving his existence through miracles and extraordinary feats.
It was Tuesday, Safar 18, 1397 AH. There was an issue that shook us and hundreds of others. The wife of this servant—Muḥammad Muttaqī Hamdānī—was in a constant state of sorrow, grief, crying, and weeping, for more than two years, due to the death of two of her children in the prime of their youth in the mountains of Shimīrān.
On this day, she was inflicted with a [disease similar to] malaria and despite spending whatever possible on the doctors, there was no cure. She remained in this state until the eve of Friday, 22nd of Safar, four days after she had been inflicted with the illness. It was approximately 11 o’clock and I had gone to my room to rest. After reciting some verses from the Holy Quran and a few brief supplications of the eve of Friday, I supplicated to the Exalted Lord to permit my master and my chief, Ṣāḥib al-Zamān, al-Ḥujjat b. al-Ḥasan—Allah’s blessings be on him and his infallible forefathers—to come to my aid.
The reason that I made tawassul to this great master and did not ask Allah directly was that approximately a month before the strike, my younger daughter Fāṭima had asked me to narrate for her some stories and incidents about those people who were fortunate to receive the direct grace of his Honor, Baqiyyat-Allah, and his beneficence and obligations, may I and the souls of the inhabitants of the worlds be sacrificed for him.
I had responded to her request by reading to her some of the incidents in al-Nūrī’s al-Najm al-thāqib. Thus, it occurred to me that why shouldn’t I be one of those hundreds who have received salvation at his hands. So I made tawassul to the awaited proof, the twelfth of the infallible Imams, peace be on them. Therefore—as I mentioned earlier—at approximately 11 p.m., I invoked this great master with a heart laden with sorrow and eyes overflowing with tears. I went to sleep and woke up as usual at about 4 a.m. Suddenly, I felt a sound and a murmur coming from the room downstairs where my ill [wife] was sleeping. The sounds became louder and then completely ceased. At 5.30 a.m.—which in those days was the time of the morning prayers—I went down to perform ablution.
Suddenly, I saw my older daughter—who was usually asleep at this time—and she was extremely happy and joyous. On seeing me, she screamed, “Daddy! Good news! Good news!” I asked her, “What has happened?” I thought that either my brother or my sister had arrived from Hamadan. She said, “Good news! My mother has been cured.” I asked surprisingly, “Who has cured her?” She said, “Four hours after midnight, she woke us up with a loud, panicked, and distressed voice. Her daughter, her brother Haj Mahdī, and her nephew Ghaffārī—the engineer—who had come from Tehran to take her there for treatment were all sleeping in the room to keep a watch on her.
All of a sudden, they had heard her cries and shouts and she was saying, ‘Get up and follow the master . . . get up and follow the master . . .’ She had thought that if she had waited until they got up from their sleep, the Imam would leave.
Therefore, she had got up from her bed and had followed the Imam to the door—although she had not been able to move for the last four days. Her daughter, who was nursing her mother, had woke up by her loud screams of follow the master and had followed her mother to the door to see where she had gone.
When her mother had come to herself, she could not believe that she had gone there by herself and had asked her daughter Zahra: ‘Zahra! Am I dreaming or am I awake?’ She had answered, ‘Mother! You have been cured . . . Where is the master about whom you were saying, “follow the master,” because we cannot see anyone?’ Her mother had replied, ‘He was a majestic Sayyid who was dressed like the scholars and was very high statured. He was neither very young nor very old. He came and stood beside me and said, “Get up for you have been cured.” I replied, “I cannot get up.”
He repeated with a stronger tone, “Get up for you have been cured,” and then I moved in awe of his majesty. He said, “You have been cured, so don’t take any more medicines and don’t cry.” When he was about to leave the room, I woke you all up so that you may follow him. But since you were too slow, I stood up to follow the master myself.’”
All praise is for Allah! After this incident which I have mentioned, her condition immediately improved and her left eye, with which she could not see with clearly due to the stroke, was cured for good. In these four days, she had no appetite but [after this incident] she had immediately said, “I am hungry. Get me some food.” We gave her a bowl of milk which we had in the house and she drank it with great appetite.
The color of her face returned to normal. She was relived of her grieves and sorrows due to the Imam ordering her not to cry. Although she was suffering from rheumatism for the last five years and the doctors had failed to treat her, she was cured of this as well due to the grace of Imam, peace be on him.
To complete the story, it is worth mentioning that since it was near the anniversary of the martyrdom of Fāṭimat al-Zahrā, peace be on her, we expressed our gratitude for this great favor by holding a commemoration service.
Later, I mentioned the story of her being cured to the revered doctor Sayyid Dānishwar, who was one of her doctors. He remarked, “Surely, her illness was the result of a stroke and it is not possible to treat it through ordinary means. By Allah! It can only be cured through miracles and extraordinary feats.” All Praise is for Allah the Lord of the worlds. Allah’s blessings be on Muḥammad and his infallible progeny, specially the Imam of the Time, the Honor of the Era, the Pivot of this Abode, the Imam and the Master of the Humans and the Jinn, the King of the Earth and Time, the one in whose hand are the reins of the universe, al-Ḥujjat b. al-Ḥasan al-`Askarī, Allah’s blessings be on him and his infallible forefathers until the Day of Judgment.
The traditions with the following numbers also show the above concept: 892, 895, 897, 898, and 899.
1. Kashf al-ghumma, vol. 2, pp. 493–497; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, pp. 61–66, no. 51; al-Anwār al-nu`māniyya, vol. 2, pp. 44–46.
2. The author of Kashf al-ghumma.
3. Jannat al-ma’wā, printed with the 53rd volume of Biḥār al-anwār, pp. 265–269.
4. The poem can be found in Jannat al-ma`wā—Ed.
5. The poem can be found in Jannat al-ma`wā—Ed.
6. Tanbīh al-khawāṭir, vol. 2, pp. 303–305; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, pp. 55–56, no. 39; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 7, sect. 15, chap. 364, p. 365, no. 151.
7. Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, p. 73, under no. 55, citing the aforementioned book.
8. Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, pp. 73–74, under no. 55, citing the aforementioned book.
9. An arched roof which covers a section of an alley—Ed.
10. Al-Kalim al-ṭayyib, pp. 63–66, citing the book Qabas al-miṣbāḥ by Shaykh al-Sihrashtī.
I say: The majestic Sayyid `Alī Khan, may his grave be sanctified, has mentioned in al-Kalim al-ṭayyib from al-Ṣihrashtī, a tawassul to the Prophet and the Imams, peace be on them, and after that, another one.
11. Kashf al-astār, p. 206.
12. Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 33, p. 712, no. 170; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 53, pp. 273–274; Jannat al-ma’wā, 37th incident.
13. Located in southern Lebanon—Ed.
14. Al-Imāma wa l-mahdawiyya (Persian = Imāmat wa mahdawiyyat) written by the author of the current book: vol. 2, pp. 171–174.
I say: Numerous similar incidents have been mentioned in Biḥār al-anwār and in Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 7. Likewise, al-Muḥaddith al-Nūrī has mentioned many incidents in Dār al-salām, Jannat al-ma’wā, and al-Najm al-thāqib, as has al-Maithamī al-`Irāqī in Dār al-salām and many other traditionists and scholars who have recorded numerous miracles that far exceed the limit of tawātur. The chains of many of these narrations are extremely authentic and strong and comprise of the most pious and God-fearing of scholars. These are in addition to what we witness every day and night, from the blessings of his existence and the results of asking him to help us and to intercede on our behalf. May Allah, the Exalted, enlist us amongst his helpers, followers, and those who fight alongside him, for the sake of Muḥammad and his pure family, Allah’s blessings be upon them all.
Those who have seen him during the Major Occultation
Comprised of Thirteen Traditions
891. Al-Anwār al-nu`māniyya1: (After mentioning the great precautionary-piety [wara`] of Muqaddas al-Ardabīlī and his abstinence, piety, and miracles), he says: Narrated to me the most reliable of my teachers in knowledge and practice that this man—referring to Muqaddas al-Ardabīlī—had a student from Tafrish. His name was Mīr `Allām [Faiḍ-Allah] and he was very virtuous and pious. The student had said:
I had a room in the school which was surrounded by the Holy Dome. I had finished my studies and a considerable part of the night had elapsed. I went out of the room to look at the courtyard of the shrine and it was terribly dark. Suddenly, I saw a man moving towards the holy shrine. I thought to myself “perhaps he is a thief who has come to steal the lanterns.” I came down and approached him and I could see him but he couldn’t see me. He went to the door and stopped.
The lock opened by itself and the second door opened for him [too]. Then, the same happened with the third door. He approached the holy grave and said hello. Someone replied to him from the holy grave. I recognized the voice of this man and he was discussing some religious issues with the Imam.
[When he finished], he went out of the city towards the Mosque of Kūfa. I followed him but he couldn’t see me. When he reached the Mosque’s prayer-niche, I heard him speaking to another man about the same issue. He returned and I returned behind him. When he reached the city gates, the morning had become bright. I announced myself to him and said, “Our master! I was with you right from the beginning to the end.
Please inform me about the first person with whom you spoke to in the Holy Shrine and the other one with whom you spoke in the Mosque of Kūfa?” He took a covenant from me that I will not inform anyone about his secret until he dies. He then enlightened me, “My son! When some issues were unclear for me I would some nights go to the grave of our master Amīr al-Mu’minīn, peace be on him, to discuss the issues with him and hear the answers from him. Last night, he referred me to our master Ṣāḥib al-Zamān and said to me, ‘Tonight my son Mahdī is in the Mosque of Kūfa. Go to him and ask your questions.’ The [second] person was the Mahdī, peace be on him.”
892. Biḥār al-anwār2: A group from the citizens of Najaf informed me that
A person from Qāshān came to Najaf on the way to the Sanctuary, the House of Allah (Bait Allah al-ḥarām). He became severely ill to the extent that both his legs became paralyzed and he was unable to walk. His friends left him behind and entrusted him to a righteous person—who lived in a room in the school surrounded by the holy shrine—and went ahead for Hajj. Every day, this righteous man would lock the door and go to the desert to seek sustenance. One day, the ill-man said to him, “I am bored and I am fed up with being confined to this place. Today, take me someplace and leave me there and go wherever you like.” (The ill-man narrates,) “He accepted and carried me to the Station (maqām) of the Qā’im outside Najaf. He made me sit there, washed his shirt in the pond, and hung it on a tree, then left for the desert. I was alone and sorrowful and was thinking about my fate. Suddenly, I saw a handsome youth with a tanned complexion. He entered the courtyard, greeted me, and went inside the building and started praying some units (rak`a) in the prayer-niche with a humility and humbleness the like of which I had never witnessed before. When he finished his prayers, he came out to me and enquired about my condition. I said to him, ‘I have been afflicted with a calamity that has straitened me. Allah neither cures me so that I am freed from it nor does he make me die so that I am relieved of it.’
He said, ‘Don’t be sad! Soon, Allah will give you both.’ Saying this, he left. When he went away, I saw that the shirt had fallen on the ground from the tree. I stood up and washed it and hung it back on the tree. Then, it struck me that I could not move. So how did I get up and do all these things? I inspected myself but found nothing of [my ailment].
I realized that he was the Qā’im—Allah’s blessings be on him. I went out in the desert but saw no one and became very sorrowful. When the owner of the room returned, he asked me about my condition and was amazed at my condition. I informed him about what had happened. He too became sorrowful about the opportunity both of us had lost and I walked along with him to his room.”
He was in sound and healthy condition until the pilgrims and his friends returned. When he saw them, he stayed with them for a short time but fell ill and died. He was buried in the courtyard [of the Holy Shrine]. The truth about what the Imam, peace be on him, had said became evident—for both things had occurred.
893. Jannat al-ma’wā3: The 9th Incident: The practicing-scholar (al-`ālim al-`āmil), the complete mystic, the diver in the depths of fear and hope, the traveler in the lands of abstinence and piety, our beneficial companion, our true friend, al-Āghā `Alī Riḍā, the son of the great scholar al-Ḥāj Maulā Muḥammad al-Nā’īnī—may Allah have mercy on them both—informed me from the pious scholar, the possessor of miracles and high stations, Maulā Zain al-`Ābidīn b. Muḥammad al-Salmāsī, may Allah have mercy on him, who was the student of Ayatollah al-Sayyid . . . Muḥammad Mahdī, known as Baḥr al-`Ulūm, may Allah elevate his position. The aforementioned person was one of [Baḥr al-`Ulūm’s] very special students regarding both secret and open matters. He said:
I was present in the assembly of the Sayyid in the Shrine of Najaf when Muḥaqqiq al-Qummī—the author of al-Qawānīn—came to visit him. This occurred in the year in which he had returned to Iraq from Iran to visit the graves of the Imams, peace be on them, and to perform Hajj. All those who were present in the assembly dispersed—and were about a hundred people who had come to learn from him.
Only three people remained who were all pious and righteous and had attained the high position of Ijtihād. The Muḥaqqiq turned towards the Sayyid and said, “You [who live in Najaf] have seen many miracles . . . please narrate some of these to us so that the hearts may become assured.” The Sayyid replied without hesitation, “Three nights ago or less (the doubt is from the narrator), I was in the Great Mosque of Kūfa and was performing the night-prayers (ṣalāt al-layl). I had the intention of returning to Najaf early in the morning so that the religious debates and classes would be performed on schedule—and this was his practice for many years.
When I came out of the Mosque, I felt a great desire to go to the Mosque of Sahla but I dropped the idea fearing that I might not reach the city in time to perform the classes. But my desire increased every moment and my heart was inclined to that place. I would take one step forward and would stop the other one.
Suddenly, a wind blew which was full of dust and I lost my way [in the dust]. But since divine-success (taufīq) is the best of friends, I landed at the gate of the Mosque of Sahla. I entered and it was empty of worshippers and visitors except for a majestic man, who was engrossed in supplicating to Allah. He was using words that would melt the hardened hearts and would make tears flow from the dried eyes.
My tiredness vanished, my condition changed, my knees started trembling, and my tears started flowing by hearing these words—that my ears hadn’t heard and my eyes had seen nothing like them in the prayer-books. I realized that the supplicant was making up the words at the same moment that he was reciting them and he wasn’t saying something he had memorized. I stood in my place and listened with pleasure until he finished supplicating.
Then, he turned to me and called out in Persian, ‘Come here, O Mahdī!’ I went a few steps toward him and stopped. Again, he ordered me to come forward. I walked a little then I stopped. Once again, he ordered me to proceed, saying, ‘Surely, etiquette lies in obedience.’ I went ahead and our distance was such that my hand reached him and his hand reached me. He then said some words.”
Al-Salmāsī, may Allah have mercy on him, said, “When the talk of the Sayyid reached this stage, he stopped and started answering another of Muḥaqqiq al-Qumī’s questions. Muḥaqqiq al-Qummī changed the topic again and asked about those words. He indicated with his hand—in a gesture of denial—that this was a secret that could not be disclosed.”
894. Jannat al-ma’wā4: The 11th Incident: Through the same chain of narrators (from al-Salmāsī):
We were praying behind the Sayyid in the holy shrine of the `Askariyyain [in Sāmarrā’]. When he intended to proceed from the tashahhud to the third unit (rak’a), his conditions changed. He stopped for a while then stood up.
When we finished, we were all surprised and could not understand its reason. None of us dared to ask him until we returned to the house and the dining cloth was laid. One of the Sayyids from amongst our companions indicated to me to ask him about it. I said, “No. You are closer to him than me.” He, may Allah have mercy on him, turned to me and said, “What are you speaking about?” I replied—and I was the most audacious of all towards him—“They want to know as what happened to you during the prayers.” He responded, “The Ḥujja—may Allah hasten his reappearance—entered the holy shrine to salute his father, peace be on him.
So, whatever you saw of the change in my condition was on account of witnessing his illuminated beauty, until he went out.”
895. Al-Kharā’ij wa l-jarā’iḥ5: From them is what has been narrated from Abū l-Qāsim Ja`far b. Muḥammad b. Qūlawayh, who recounts:
When I reached Baghdad in the year 339 AH, I decided to go to Hajj. It was the year when the Qarāmiṭa returned the Black-Stone (Ḥajar al-Aswad) to its place in Ka`ba.6 My greatest concern was to reach the one who would place the stone [back in its place] because it had been written in some books that whenever it had been removed [the only person that had been able to] put it back in its place had been the Divine Proof of that time.
For example, during the reign of al-Ḥajjāj, Imam Zain al-`Ābidīn, peace be on him, had placed it back and it had stayed in its place. Meanwhile, I became so ill that I feared for my life and it became impossible for me to do what I had intended. I appointed a representative who was known as ibn Hishām and gave him a sealed letter in which I had asked about the length of my life and that whether I would die in this illness or not.
I told [ibn Hishām] that my concern was to convey this letter to the one who would place the Black-Stone back in its place and to get the answer to it. [After he returned), ibn Hishām reported, “When I reached Mecca, I spent a lot [of money] on the custodians of the Holy House until they allowed me to see who places the Black Stone back in its place. I stood there and some of them remained with me to keep away the crowd of people.
Whenever someone put it in its place, it would start shaking and would not remain in its place. Then, a youth with a tanned complexion and handsome visage came forward. He took it and placed it in its place and it stuck there as if it had never been taken out. Due to this, [the crowd] roared and the youth returned and left from the door. I stood up from where I was and followed him and tore the crowd apart [sending them] right and left.
The people thought I had lost my mind and moved out of my way. My eyes were fixed on him until he moved out of the crowd. I rushed towards him yet I couldn’t reach him, although he was walking calmly. When he reached a place that no one could see him except me, he stopped, turned to me, and said, ‘Bring forth what is with you.’ I gave him the letter and without reading it he said, ‘Tell him that there is no fear for him in this illness. The inevitable [i.e. death] will occur after thirty years.’ I was astonished to the extent that I could not move and He left me and went away.”
In the year 369 AH, Abū l-Qāsim became ill. He started organizing his affairs, acquiring the needs for his grave, and writing his will and was very serious in this regard. He was asked, “What do you fear? We hope that Allah, the Exalted, will grant you good health? You need not fear!” He had replied, “This is the year I was told to fear,” and he died from his illness.
896. Muhaj al-da`awāt7: I was in Sāmarrā’ when I heard him, peace be on him, supplicating in the morning. I memorized a part of his supplication in which he mentioned the living and the dead then said: “And make them survive—or—and make them live in our honor, our nation, our kingdom, and our government.” This was on the eve of Wednesday, Dhū l-Ḥijja 13, 638 AH.
897. Dār al-salām8 (Comprised of the stories of those who had the honor of meeting the Imam of our time, peace be on him): The 19th Incident: The virtuous scholar Mīrzā Muḥammad al-Tunkābunī in his book Qiṣaṣ al-`ulamā, from the learned al-Lāhījī Maulā Ṣafar `Alī, from the author of al-Mafātīḥ, al-Sayyid Muḥammad—the son of the author of al-Riyāḍ—from Ayatollah al-`Allāma in the margins of one of his books in which he mentions that
One night he went to visit the grave of our master, Imam Abū `Abd-Allah al-Ḥusayn, peace be on him. He was riding a donkey and in his hand was a whip to drive his beast. On his way, he met a man dressed like an Arab, who joined him [on the journey] while the latter was walking in front of him. Gradually, they started talking and discussing.
From the talks of the Arab, he realized that this Arab was very learned and well informed and very few people were like him [in knowledge]. So, he informed him about some difficult problems and found him to be the solver of problems and puzzling issues and the key to scientific dilemmas. He asked him the questions that had baffled him and [the Arab] had revealed the answer to all of them.
The discussion reached an issue in which the Arab’s fatwa differed with his view. He refuted him by saying, “Your fatwa is absolutely against the basic principles and laws [of jurisprudence]. It is necessary that some proof be put forward to establish it.” The Arab replied, “The proof is the tradition recorded by al-Ṭūsī in al-Tahdhīb.” `Allāma answered, “I am not aware of any such tradition in al-Tahdhīb and neither Shaykh nor anyone else have recorded it.” He replied, “Refer to the manuscript of al-Tahdhīb which is with you now; go to such and such page and such and such line and you will find it.” When the `Allāma heard this from him and realized that this news was of the unseen (al-ghayb), he was astonished and became startled.
He thought to himself, “Perhaps this man who has been walking in front of me for such and such time whilst I was on my mount, is the pivot around whose existence the universe rotates.” Due to him being engrossed in deep thought and astonishment, his whip fell from his hand. While the whip was falling down from his hand, he asked, “Is it possible to have the privilege of meeting our master and guardian, Ṣāḥib al-Zamān, during the Major Occultation? The man bent down and picked up the whip and put it in `Allāma’s hand and said, “Why is it impossible whilst his hand is in your hand?” On hearing this, `Allāma threw himself on [the Imam’s] feet and became unconscious. On regaining consciousness, he saw no one and became sorrowful and sad. He returned to his family and browsed through the copy of al-Tahdhīb. He found the tradition just as the Imam had informed him in the margins of his copy. He wrote in his own handwriting on that place, “My master and my chief informed me about this tradition—which is in such and such page and such and such line.”
The virtuous al-Tunkābunī has narrated from Maulā Ṣafar `Alī, from the aforementioned Sayyid, may Allah have mercy on him, that he had seen that copy with `Allāma’s writing in its margin.
898. Dalā’il al-imāma9: Abū l-Ḥusayn Muḥammad b. Hārūn b. Mūsā al-Talla`ukbarī, narrated to me from Abū l-Ḥusayn b. Abī l-Baghl al-Kātib, who said:
I accepted a responsibility from Abū Manṣūr b. al-Ṣāliḥān but something occurred between me and him that I went into hiding. He sought me and frightened me and I remained in hiding and was fearful. On the eve of Friday, I went to the graves of the Quraish and stayed there that night to pray and supplicate.
It was a windy and rainy night and I asked the warden, ibn Ja`far, to close the doors so that I could pray and supplicate in solitude and be safe from the entry of anyone with whom I felt unsafe with and feared to meet. He did so accordingly and locked the doors. As it became midnight, heavy wind and rain prevented anyone from venturing to that place. I stayed there and supplicated, recited ziyārats, and prayed.
Suddenly, I heard footsteps near the grave of our Master (Imam) Mūsā, peace be on him. There was a man visiting [his grave]. He sent salutations to Adam and the Resolute Prophets (Aulū l-`Azm) followed by the Imams, one by one, up to Ṣāḥib al-Zamān. I was stunned and thought to myself, “Perhaps, he has forgotten [the last Imam] or he does not know or this is the religion of this man.” When he finished his ziyārat, he performed two units of prayers. I feared him because I did not know him. He was a youth and a perfect man.
He was wearing a white dress and a turban—whose ends were suspended and lowered around his shoulders. He said to me, “O Abū l-Ḥusayn b. Abī l-Baghl! Why don’t you recite the supplication of Faraj?” I replied, “What (supplication) is that, my master?” He replied, “Perform two units of prayers, then say, ‘O He who exposed the beautiful [deeds] and covered the nasty ones, O He who does not rebuke for crimes and does not rip the veil [which covers our crimes], O generous pardoner, O noble excuser, O He who has broad forgiveness, O He who has opened His hands with mercy, O He who all whispers [of supplications] end at Him, O He who all complaints are sent to Him, O helper of all those who seek help, O He who bestows graces before they are deserved, O my Lord (ten times), O my Master (ten times), O my chief (ten times), O my final destination (ten times), O my uttermost desire (ten times), I ask you for the sake of these Names, and for the sake of Muḥammad and his pure family, to remove my agony, and to remove my worries, and to free me from my sorrows, and to set right my affairs.’ After this, supplicate as you wish and ask your need. Then, place your right cheek on the earth and say a hundred times while in prostration, ‘O Muḥammad O `Alī, O `Alī O Muḥammad, suffice me for you are sufficient for me, help me for you are my helpers.’
Then place your left cheek on the earth and say a hundred times, ‘Reach me (adriknī),’ and repeat it many times. Then, say, ‘Aid me (al-ghauth),’ until you run out of breath. Then, raise your head, because Allah will surely fulfill your needs on account of His munificence, if He, the Exalted, wills.”
I started the prayer and supplication and he left. After finishing, I went to ibn Ja`far to ask him about the man and how he had entered. But I saw that all the doors were closed and locked like earlier. I was surprised and thought to myself, “Perhaps there is another door which I am not aware of.” I called ibn Ja`far and he came out of the lamp-oil store and I asked him about the man and how he had entered.
He replied, “All the doors are locked and as you can see I have not opened them.” I informed him about what had happened and he said, “That was our master, Ṣāḥib al-Zamān. I have seen him many times in such nights when no one is here.” I became sorrowful because of what I had missed. I left near morning and set off for Karkh—near the place where I had been hiding in.
The sun was rising when the companions of ibn al-Ṣāliḥān requested to meet me and were asking about me from my friends. They had a letter of amnesty from the vizier and a note in his own handwriting in which he had greatly praised me. I went to him with a few of my reliable friends.
He stood up and hugged me and dealt with me in a manner that he had not done before. He said, “You reached such a state that you complained about me to Ṣāḥib al-Zamān.” I replied, “I only supplicated and asked.” He answered, “Woe to you! Last night—meaning the eve of Friday—I saw my master Ṣāḥib al-Zamān in a dream.
He ordered me to be gracious [to you] and he treated me so harshly that I became scared.” I said, “There is no God but Allah! I bear witness that the [the Imams] are the truth and the pinnacle truthfulness. Last night, I saw our master Ṣāḥib al-Zamān while I was awake. He instructed me to do so and so,” and I explained in detail what I had seen the previous night in the Holy Shrine. He was surprised and I attained things that I had not expected and I acquired such a position before him that I could not even think of. All these were because of the blessings of our master, Ṣāḥib al-Zamān.
899. Al-Imāma wa l-mahdawiyya10: In the Name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful. His Holiness Shaykh Muḥammad al-Kūfī was famous for abstinence, piety, and righteousness amongst the great scholars and learned men of Najaf al-Ashraf.
He would continuously go to Najaf on the eve and day of Friday. I had heard from a scholar about his meeting with the Master of the Time—may Allah hasten his relief (faraj)—on a Friday in the Sadr School in Najaf, in the room of one of his noble friends. He had the privilege of being in his presence and at his service.
I asked him to recount the story of his meeting with the Imam, may Allah hasten his relief (faraj), so that I could hear it directly from him. Here, I am narrating what I remember from the things he mentioned to me. He said:
I had gone with my father to Mecca and we only had one camel with us. My father would ride it while I walked and my main concern was to serve him. When we were returning, we reached al-Samāwa where we hired a mule from a Sunni, whose profession was to transfer corpses between al-Samāwa and Najaf.
[We hired the mule] because our camel travelled slowly and would usually stop and lie down and we had to make him stand up again with great difficulty. My father mounted the mule and I sat atop the camel. We moved from al-Samāwa and the camel was lagging behind because in most places, the path was filled with mud and water. I was afflicted with the bad temper of this Sunni whose mule we had hired.
This situation continued until we reached a land which was extremely muddy. The camel lied down and refused to budge. We tried our best to make it move but to no avail. Due to our attempts in making it move, our clothes became soaked in mud. The Sunni was forced to stop so we could wash our clothes with the water that was there. I distanced myself a little from them to take off my clothes and wash them.
I was worried about our fate and bewildered because I didn’t know what would happen to us and how everything would end. Moreover, the valley was dangerous because of bandits. I felt the need to make tawassul to the Guardian of the Time, may our souls be sacrificed for him; but nothing happened.
The desert was empty to where the eyes could see. Suddenly, I saw near me a youth who resembled Sayyid Mahdī b. Sayyid Ḥusayn al-Karbalā’ī. [I don’t recollect whether he said that there were two people or only this person. Also, I don’t remember who greeted the other first.]11 I said, “What’s your name?” He replied, “Sayyid Mahdī.” I asked, “The son of Sayyid Ḥusayn?” He replied, “No, the son of Sayyid Ḥasan.” I asked again, “Where are you coming from?” He replied, “From Khuḍair.” In this desert, there is a place known as Maqām al-Khiḍr, peace be on him.
I thought that he was referring to that place. He asked, “Why have you stopped here?” I told him about the incident in detail and that the camel had lied down and complained to him about my bad condition. He looked at the camel and put his hand on the camel’s head and it immediately stood up on its feet.
I saw him, peace be on him, speaking with the camel and pointing right and left with his index finger and showing it the path. Then, he turned to me and asked, “Do you need anything else?” I answered, “I have a lot of needs but I cannot mention them in this state of restlessness and discomfort. Specify a place for me so that I may come there prepared and I will ask you.” He said, “The mosque of Sahla,” and suddenly disappeared from before my eyes. I went to my father and asked, “Where did the person who was talking with me go?” (I wanted to know whether he had seen him, peace be on him, or not). He replied, “No one came here and I can’t see anyone—as far as my eyes can see—in this desert.” I said, “Mount [the mule]! Let’s go.” He asked, “What will you do with the camel?” I replied, “Leave it to me.” They mounted and I sat atop the camel. It moved very fast and overtook them. The Sunni hirer screamed, “We cannot catch up with you with this speed.” Everything had turned upside-down. The Sunni asked amazingly, “What has happened? The camel is the same camel and the path is the same path?!” I answered, “That is a secret.” Suddenly, a big river appeared right in the middle of the road.
For a second time, I was bewildered and didn’t know what to do with the water. While I was in the state of bewilderment, the camel went inside the river. Sometimes he would go to the right and other times to the left. When my father and the Sunni hirer reached the river, they called out, “Where are you going? You will drown. It is not possible to cross this river.” But when they saw how fast I was crossing it with the camel and nothing was happening to me, they too dared to cross. I said to them, “Go right and left and follow the same path the camel had crossed.” They crossed accordingly and we safely reached [the other side]. It was then that I remembered the Imam pointing right and left to the camel with his index finger. He had been showing [the camel how to cross] the river.
Anyway, we started traveling until we reached some nomads in the night and we dismounted near them. They all asked us surprisingly, “Where did you come from?” We replied, “Al-Samāwa.” They all said, “The bridge has collapsed and there is no other way to cross the river except with a ship.” They were all amazed and the most amazed amongst them was the Sunni hirer. He pleaded, “Inform me about the secret of this whole affair.” I said, “When the camel sat down, I made tawassul to the twelfth Imam of the Shias. He came to me and solved all our problems. [I don’t remember whether he said that he (the Sunni) became a Shia along with the others or not].12 Then, we traveled a few miles towards Najaf. The camel sat down again and I put my head near its ear and said, “You have been ordered to take us to Kūfa.” I had barely finished my sentence when it got up from its place and completed the journey. At the door of our house in Kūfa, it lowered its knees and sat down on the ground. I neither sold it nor slaughtered it until it died. During the day, it would go around Kūfa for grazing and in the evening, it would return to the house to sleep.
After this, I asked him, “Did you have the honor of meeting our great master in the Mosque of Sahla?” He answered, “Yes. But I am not permitted to disclose the details of that conversation.”
Āqā Imām al-Sidihī.
The traditions with the following numbers also show the above meaning: 881, 882, 884, and 886
What we mentioned in this section are only a handful from the many incidents and stories that have been mentioned in reliable books. We have sufficed with these because we did not want to make the book lengthy. Moreover, these incidents are so many that it is impossible to enumerate all of them.
The scholars have mentioned many of them in their books. To realize their vast number, you can refer to Biḥār al-anwār, al-Najm al-thāqib, Jannat al-ma’wā, Dār al-salām (comprised of the accounts of those who had the privilege of meeting the Imam), al-`Abqarī al-ḥisān, and etc. Whoever browses through the books which have mentioned such incidents, narratives, and accounts—most of which are authentic and reliable due to the correctness of their chains of narrators, and the fact that their narrators were famous for their trustworthiness, knowledge, and piety—will become sure and certain about his existence, peace be on him.
We ask Allah to grants us the grace to compile an exclusive and large book in this regard. Surely, He is the Best Facilitator and Helper.
1. Al-Anwār al-nu`māniyya, vol. 2, p. 303; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 24, pp. 174–175
I say: The aforementioned Mīr Faiḍ-Allah, is the glorious Sayyid Amīr Faiḍ-Allah b. `Abd al-Qāhir al-Ḥusaynī al-Tafrishī. The author of Amal al-āmil writes: “He was a virtuous and great traditionist. He has penned several books like Sharḥ al-mukhtalif and a book about Uṣūl. My father’s maternal uncle, Shaykh `Alī b. Maḥmūd al-`Āmilī, informed us about these two books. He had the privilege of being his student in the city of Najaf and was given permission by him to narrate traditions. He used to describe his virtues, knowledge, righteousness, and worships. Sayyid Muṣṭafā al-Tafrishī has described him in his Rijāl as “Our immaculate Sayyid who had vast knowledge and great forbearance. He was a dialectical-theologian (mutakallim), a jurist, reliable, and respected. He was born in Tafrish and acquired knowledge in the city of Mashhad. He now resides under the dome of the shrine of his ancestor, `Alī [b. Abī Ṭālib], peace be on him, in Najaf. He had great manners, was soft in nature, and very polite. All the attributes of the righteous, the scholars, and the pious were accumulated in him. He has written some books like Sharḥ al-mukhtalif and Sharḥ al-Ithnā `Ashariyya. He has narrated from Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan Shahīd al-Thānī al-`Āmilī.”
It has been mentioned in al-Rauḍāt that he was one of Muqaddas al-Ardabīlī’s special students and was aware of his secrets.
2. Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 24, pp. 176–177; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, pp. 708–709, chap. 33, no. 163.
3. Jannat al-ma’wā (printed with Biḥār al-anwār), vol. 53, pp. 234–236.
4. Jannat al-ma’wā (printed with Biḥār al-anwār), vol. 53, p. 237.
5. Al-Kharā’ij wa l-jarā’iḥ, vol. 1, chap. “Concerning the miracles of the master of the time, peace be on him,” pp. 475–478, no. 18; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, pp. 58–59, no. 41; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 33, pp. 694–695, no. 119; Faraj al-mahmūm, pp. 254–255, with minor difference in some of the words; Kashf al-ghumma, vol. 2, chap. 25, p. 502.
6. The Qarāmiṭa were followers of the Ismailia sect who had taken Ḥajar al-Aswad to Bahrain and had kept it there for twenty-two years before returning it to Mecca again—Ed.
7. Muhaj al-da`awāt, p. 296.
8. Dār al-salām, 15th story; al-Tunkābunī, Qiṣaṣ al-`ulamā, p. 359.
9. Dalā’il al-imāma, chap. “Those from amongst our companions who have seen the Master of the Time, peace be on him, during his occultation and have recognized him,” pp. 304–306, no. 5; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 33, p. 702, no. 145; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 51, chap. 15, pp. 304–306, the last part of no. 19, with some variations and additions in the wording and some parts of the prayer; Faraj al-mahmūm, pp. 245–247, with some variations in the prayer.
I say: Abū Manṣūr b. al-Ṣāliḥān was a Buyid vizier. A part of his biography can be found in al-Kāmil, vol. 9. Sharaf al-Daula appointed him as a vizier in the year 374 AH. Bahā’ al-Daula endorsed him in 379 AH but put him aside in 380 AH. Then, he and Abū Naṣr b. Sābūr were appointed as viziers in 382 AH. Finally, he resigned in the year 383 AH. Anyway, there is no doubt that this incident occurred during the major occultation. This is also confirmed by the fact that Hārūn b. Mūsā al-Talla`ukbarī was from the tenth generation (al-ṭabagha—in the chain of narrators) and his son Muḥammad b. Hārūn (d. 413 AH)—who was a contemporary of al-Mufīd, may Allah have mercy on him—was from the eleventh generation (of narrators).
10. Al-Imāma wa l-mahdawiyya (Originally in Persian = Imāmat wa mahdawiyyat), vol. 2, pp. 168–171. The narrator of this story is the majestic, righteous, and pious scholar, al-Sayyid Āghā Imām al-Sidihī—Allah’s mercy be on him—who wrote this incident by my request and I have his Persian notes which are in his own hand-writing.
11. What is within the brackets is the quote of the person who narrated from Shaykh Muḥammad al-Kūfī.
12. What is within the brackets is the quote of the person who narrated from Shaykh Muḥammad al-Kūfī.