Sunday 4 December 2016
Has Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) birth been only reported by Hakima?
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Question & Answer » Mahdism
Has Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) birth been only reported by Hakima?

Table of contents

Preface:

The first point: Fallacy of Qifari’s reasoning

A.   One’s life proves his birth

B.   In order to prove someone’s birth, no one asks for the testimony of an infallible person.

C.   Regarding the affairs related to women, the testimony of a woman suffices.

D.    Failure to prove Mahdi’s (AS) birth can not bring the principle of Mahdavism into question.

E.    Mahdi’s birth has been authenticated through Mutawatir (widely transmitted) narratives in Shia hadiths.

F.    Is there a requirement for a witness in order to remove disputes over a mother’s name?

The second point: Hakima’s testimony to Hazrat Mahdi’s birth

The first narrative:

The second narrative:

The third narrative:

  

The third point: The lineage and characteristic of Hazrat Hakima (AS)

1.     Name and lineage

2.     Dignity and reliability

The first response: Hakima’s testimony and justification of the belief in Mahdavism

Mahdavism, a deep-rooted belief in Sunni books

1.     Tarmathi

2.     Abu Dawud Sijistani

3.     Ahmad Hanbal

4.     Tabarani

The second response: Other individuals’ testimony to Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) birth

1.     The midwife

2.     & 3. Nasim and Mariya, Imam Hassan ‘Askari’s (AS) servants

4. Imam ‘Askari’s maid

The third response: A number of trustworthy individuals had seen Hazrat Mahdi (AS) after his birthday

1.     ‘Abdullah Ibn Ja’far Hemyari’s narrative

Examination of the narrative’s chain of transmission

Mohammad Ibn ‘Abdullah:

Mohammad Ibn Yahya al-‘Attar:

‘Abdullah Ibn Ja’far al-Himyari:

Ahmad Ibn Ishaq al-Qomi

‘Uthman Ibn Sa’eed al-‘Amri

2.     Mohammad Ibn ‘Uthman ‘Amri along with forty others

Examination of the first narrative’s chain of transmission

1.     Mohammad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Majiluya

2.     Mohammad Ibn Yahya al-‘Attar

3.     Ja’far Ibn Mohamamd Ibn Malik Farazi

4.     Mu’awiya Ibn Hakim

5.     Mohammad Ibn Ayyub Ibn Nuh and Mohammad Ibn ‘Uthman ‘Amri

3.     The narrative of Imam ‘Askari’s servant, Abu Ghanim:

4.     Ahmad Ibn Ishaq Qomi

5.     Ibrahim Ibn Mohammad Ibn Fars al-Neisaburi

6.     Abu Harun

7.     Ya’qub Ibn Manqush

8.     ‘Amr Ahwazi

9.     Mohammad Ibn Isma’il Ibn Musa Ibn Ja’far (Peace be Upon Them)

10.                         Abu Nasr Turayf  Khadim

11.                         Abu ‘Ali Ibn Mutahhar

12.                         Nasim, Imam ‘Askari’s (AS) servant

13.                         A man from Fars

14.                         Kamil Ibn Ibrahim Madani

Conclusion:

The fourth response: Imam ‘Askari had already informed reliable individuals of Mahdi’s existence

1.     Informing Abu Hashim Ja’fari

Examination of the narrative’s chain of transmission

1.     Mohammad Ibn Yahya al-Attar

2.     Ahmad Ibn Ishaq

3.     Abu Hashim al-Ja’fari

2.     Informing Mohammad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Balal

Examination of the narrative’s chain of transmission

1.     ‘Ali Ibn Mohammad

2.     Mohammad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Balal

Result of the examination of narratives:

The fifth response: The acknowledgment of Sunni figures of Hazrat Mahdi’s birth and of holding meetings with him.

1.     Abu al-Fida (died in 732 AH)

2.     Abu al-Wirdi (died in 749 AH)

3.     Ibn Hajar Heithami (died in 973)

4.     Manawi (died in 1031 AH)

5.     ‘Asimi Makki (died in 1111 AH)

6.     Hassan ‘Araqi’s meeting with Hazrat Mahdi (AS)

Who is Hassan ‘Araqi?

Conclusion of this section:

General conclusion

The inquirer S. Hamidi

Doubt:

Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) birth is one of the doubts that Wahhabis have raised about. They claim that in Shia sources the Hazrat’s birth has been only reported by Hakima who was a fallible person. They wonder how Shias can only trust a fallible person to have announced Hazrat Mahdi’s birth as one of the most vital subjects.

Nasir Qifari who is a contemporary Wahhabi theoretician has said,

فمسألة المهدي وغيبته تسربت عن طريق حكيمة وما أدري كيف يقبلون قول امرأة غير معصومة في اصل المذهب.

The issues of Mahdi’s birth and concealment have been quoted only through Hakima. I really wonder how Shias can accept a fallible woman’s report about such an important matter which is the foundation of their school of thinking.

Nasir Ibn ‘Abdullah al-Qifari, Usul Mathhab al-Shi’a, vol. 2, p. 1024; published by Dar al-Reda, al-Jiza.

Preface:

Prior to responding to the doubt, two points need to be taken into account.

The first point: Fallacy of Qifari’s reasoning

In his statement, Qifari has first presented a complicated argument and then has struggled to throw the Shia belief into question through fallacy.

He has first reasoned that Hakima’s testimony to Hazrat Mahdi’s birth is in fact the testimony of a fallible woman and then he has come into a general conclusion that a vital matter like the principle of Mahdavism can hardly be proved by only one fallible woman’s testimony.

A plenty of flaws can be seen in Qifar’s reasoning which we intend to discuss in brief.

G.   One’s life proves his birth

In order to prove one’s existence, there is no need for witnessing or even verifying his birth because when a person does exist or when some people say that they have seen him, his birth is automatically substantiated. It is the case about Hazrat Mahdi’s birth too. We are going to study the related narratives.

In addition to these narratives, a considerable number of Imam Hassan ‘Askari’s (AS) followers and Shias have acknowledged that they had seen Hazrat Mahdi (AS). And so have Sunni figures. Their comments will be shown at the end of the article.

We ask Qifari and individuals like him whether these acknowledgments are not so sufficient for the verification of Mahdavism that they use Hakima’s testimony as a pretext to deny Mahdavism.

B. In order to prove someone’s birth, no one asks for the testimony of an infallible person.

Qifari’s speculation is basically wrong from both Shia and Sunni perspectives because no Shia scholar has ever said or written in his book that an infallible person’s testimony is essential for the substantiation of someone’s birth. And neither has a Sunni scholar. Has anybody ever testified to prove the existence of the first, second or the third caliphs; ‘Ayisha; Hafasa; Abu Harira; Mu’awiya or even Qifari?

Qifari and individuals like him have apparently gone to extremes in dogmatism and have turned a blind eye to the international and conventional rules concerning the issue of Mahdavism.

As a conclusion, his hypothesis is just fallacious just resulted from his negligence of realities. His denial of the Shia belief is unfounded and it can be supported neither by religious principles nor by human wisdom.

      C. Regarding the affairs related to women, the testimony of only one woman suffices.

Given that this issue is an issue requiring testimony (in other words, if a mother’s birth to a baby supposedly needs testimony), it is by no means an issue which can not be verified by one woman’s testimony. The decrees of some of your own scholars do support the idea.

‘Abd al-Razzaq San’ani has elaborated the decrees of Sha’bi and Hassan Basari as follows,

عبد الرزاق عن الثوري قال أخبرني أشعث عن الشعبي والحسن قالا: تجوز شهادة المرأة الواحدة فيما لا يطلع عليه الرجال.

Sha’bi, Hassan Basari have been both quoted to have said, “A woman’s testimony is enough in matters such as birth, Rida’ (fosterage by breastfeeding) and menstrual cycle, etc. which men naturally are unaware of.”

Al-San’ani, Abu Bakr ‘Abd al-Razzaq Ibn Humam (died in 211 AH), Munsif ‘Abd al-Razzaq, vol. 8, p. 333; researched by Habib al-Rahman al-A’zami; published by al-Maktab al-Islami, Beirut, the second edition, 1403.

Regarding the testimony of a woman, Ibn Quddama, a Hanbali scholar, has said,

ولا نعلم بين أهل العلم خلافا في قبول شهادة النساء المنفردات في الجملة، قال القاضي والذي تقبل فيه شهادتهن منفردات خمسة أشياء الولادة والاستهلال والرضاع والعيوب تحت الثياب كالرتق والقرن والبكارة والثيابة والبرص وانقضاء العدة.

There is no dispute among scholars over the endorsement of a woman’s testimony. According to the judge, a woman’s testimony is acceptable in five cases; birth, Istihlal (seeing the new moon), Rida’, disabilities which lead to the revocation of a marriage and the passage of ‘Iddat waiting period (the period a woman must observe after the death of her spouse).

Al-Muqaddasi al-Hanbali, Shams al-Din Abi al-Faraj ‘Abd al-Rahman Ibn Mohammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Quddama (died in 682 AH), al-Sharh al-Kabir ‘Ala Matn al-Muqanna’, vol. 12, p. 97; published by Dar al-Kitab al-‘Arabi lil Nashr wa al-Towzi’, Beirut.

Concerning the sufficiency of a woman’s testimony to one’s birth, Shams al-Din Damishqi, a Sunni scholar, has quoted Ishaq Ibn Mansur as explaining Ahmad Ibn Hanbal’s decree as follows,

وقال إِسْحَاقُ بن مَنْصُورٍ: قُلْت لِأَحْمَدَ: هل تَجُوزُ شَهَادَةُ الْمَرْأَةِ؟ قال: شَهَادَةُ الْمَرْأَةِ في الرَّضَاعِ وَالْوِلَادَةِ فِيمَا لَا يَطَّلِعُ عليه الرِّجَالُ. قال: وَأُجَوِّزُ شَهَادَةَ امْرَأَةٍ وَاحِدَةٍ إذَا كانت ثِقَةً فَإِنْ كان أَكْثَرَ فَهُوَ أَحَبُّ إلَيَّ.

Ishaq Ibn Mansur said, “I asked Ahmad Ibn Hanbal if a woman’s testimony was enough. He answered, ‘It is enough especially when it is related to Rida’, birth and affairs about which men are unaware of.’” Ishaq Ibn Mansur added, “I personally trust one woman to testify. But it would be preferable if there were more than one witness.”

Al-Zar’i, Abu ‘Abdullah Shams al-Din Mohammad Ibn Abi Bakr Ibn Ayyub Ibn Sa’d al-Damishqi (died in 751 AH), al-Turuq al-Hakamiyya fi al-Siyasat al-Shar’iyya, vol. 1, p. 118; researched by D. Mohammad Jamil Ghazi; published by Matba’at al-Madani, Cairo, Tibq Barnama al-Jami’ al-Kabir.

And even though these narratives and decrees were put aside, it seems logical that a woman’s testimony to issues like birth suffices. It is quite common in all religions and schools of thoughts that it is women who are present at a birth site not men. Therefore, the testimony of women such as midwives, their assistance or anyone who is involved in the delivery should be acceptable and undisputable.

Nevertheless, just in an attempt to throw the belief in the principle of Mahdavism into question, Qifari has denied the testimony of women even in their own related affairs.

It is absolutely known to every one that Hazrat Moses (AS) was born far from anyone’s sight. No one except his mother saw his birth to testify that Moses was born from her. However, no one asked for a witness from Moses’ mother. In case the quotations were accepted as evidence for his birth, then the same should apply to Hazrat Mahdi’s (May God Hasten His Appearance) birth as well. But in the meantime, Hakima had testified to the latter’s birth.

D. Failure to prove Mahdi’s (AS) birth can not bring the principle of Mahdavism into question.

Qifari has mixed up two distinct issues, A. the belief of Mahdavism and B. the verification of the birth of someone who is referred to as Mahdi

It is obvious that these two matters are two poles apart. And with failure in proving the birth of the referent of Mahdi, one can not bring the principle of Mahdavism into question.

Qifari will definitely fail to call Mahdavism into question simply by saying that Hakima is not an infallible woman because after all it is Hakima’s claim that will come into question not the belief in Mahdavism. The issue of Mahdavism is such a basic and deep-rooted belief that has nothing to do with Hakima’s testimony to Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) birth. Whether or not Hakima has testified, the principle of Mahdavism remains stable and intact. Mahdavism is easily proved through Quranic verses as well as Sunni and Shia narratives chains of transmission of which are all authentic. Nearly all Muslims, except a handful whose attitudes can never harm Mahdavism, believe that at the end of the time a descendant of Hazrat Fatima (AS) will rise up to fill the world with peace and justice. It is a proven belief whether Hakima’s testimony to Mahdi’s (AS) birth is acceptable or not.

E. Mahdi’s birth has been authenticated through Mutawatir (widely transmitted) narratives in Shia hadiths.

Another point that should be borne in mind is that if supposedly Hakima’s claim were not acceptable, the birth of a baby to Imam Hassan ‘Askari (AS) can not be denied. In accordance with hundreds of narratives cited in Shia sources with authentic chains of transmission, Hazrat Mahdi (May God Hasten His Appearance) is Imam Hassan ‘Askari’s (AS) son. And they clearly indicate that he will ultimately rise up after his long concealment to fill the world with peace and justice as it was full of oppression and injustice.

Now whether or not Hakima’s testimony is accepted, from the Shia perspective Mahdi is a distinctive person. Not only do Mutawatir narratives prove this fact but all Shia scholars have also general consensus on it.

For example, can Abu Harira’s existence come into question only because his exact name and his father’s name are not known? Does it really mean that Abu Harira never existed?

Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalani who is a Sunni scholar has enlisted Abu Harira’s names as follows,

أبو هريرة الدوسي الصحابي الجليل حافظ الصحابة اختلف في اسمه واسم أبيه قيل عبد الرحمن بن صخر وقيل بن غنم وقيل عبد الله بن عائذ وقيل بن عامر وقيل بن عمرو وقيل سكين بن ودمة بن هانئ وقيل بن مل وقيل بن صخر وقيل عامر بن عبد شمس وقيل بن عمير وقيل يزيد بن عشرقة وقيل عبد نهم وقيل عبد شمس وقيل غنم وقيل عبيد بن غنم وقيل عمرو بن غنم وقيل بن عامر وقيل سعيد بن الحارث هذا الذي وقفنا عليه من الاختلاف في ذلك

There is long-running dispute over the names of Abu Harira and his father. 1. ‘Abd al-Rahman Ibn Sakhar; ‘Abd al-Rahman Ibn Ghanam; 3. ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Aith; 4. ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Amir; 5. ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar; 6. Sikin Ibn Wadamat Ibn Hani; 7.  Sikin Ibn ‘Aith; 8. Sikin Ibn Sakhari; 9. ‘Amir Ibn ‘Abd al-Shams; 10. ‘Amir Ibn ‘Amir; 11. Yazid ‘Ashraqa; 12. Yacid Ibn ‘Abd Nuhum; 13. Yazid Ibn ‘Abd al-Shams; 14. Yazid Ibn Ghanam; 15. ‘Abid Ibn Ghanam; 16. ‘Amr Ibn Ghanam; 17. ‘Amr Ibn ‘Amir; 18. Sa’eed Ibn al-Harith.

These are only the names that I myself could find.

Al-‘Asqalani al-Shafi’i, Ahmad Ibn Ali Ibn Hajar Abu al-Fadl (died in 852 AH), Taqrib al-Tahthib, vol. 1, p. 680; researched by Mohammad ‘Awama; published by Dar al-Rashid, Syria, the first edition, 1406 AH-1986 AD.

In other words, when a matter can not be proved through a certain logic, it does not mean that there is no other compelling reason.

The Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) had foretold Mahdi’s (AS) birth beforehand. And based on numerous authentic narratives and Mutawatir Shia narratives (as well as a number of Sunni scholars), he is Imam Hassan ‘Askari’s (AS) son. What his mother’s name was is not important at all. And even if the doubt about his birth from Hazrat Narjis were not removed, Mahdi’s (AS) existence would not again come into question because it is likely that another woman might have given birth to him. From the Shia point of view, it is a father who determines who is who not a mother.

F. Is there a requirement for a witness in order to remove disputes over a mother’s name?

What for do you need the testimony of Hazrat Mahdi’s (May God Hasten His Appearance) mother? If, as an example, someone came up and said that he was skeptical about someone else’s lineage; or if he doubted whether he was born from this mother or not or whether his father is this man or that, would such a doubt or claim ever need a witness or a ruling? No accusation has been leveled at any one in case of Hazrat Mahdi (AS). Neither had his father denied him. Now what are you going to prove that you are in need of a testimony?

According to Mawirdi Shafi’i, when someone claims that he is someone else’s father, there is no need for a witness to testify. Their relationship is authenticated automatically as a consequence.

 

دعوى النسب الخاص وهو الواحد يدعي أبا فيقول: أنا ابن فلان، فإن اعترف له بالأبوة ثبت نسبه أو يدعي الواحد ابناً فيقول: هذا ابني، فإن اعترف له بالبنوة ثبت نسبه وصار جميع من ناسبهما عواقل لكل واحد منهما...

دعوى النسب العام: وهو أن يدعي الرجل أنه من قريش وقريش تسمع دعواه ولا تنكره، أو يدعي أنه من بني هاشم وبنو هاشم يسمعون ولا ينكرونه فيحكم بنسبه فيهم بإقرارهم على دعوى نسبهم وبمثل هذا تثبت أكثر الأنساب العامة، فإن تجرد من أنكر نسبه ونفاه عنهم، وقال: لست منهم لم يقبل نفيه له، ولو شهد أنه ليس منهم؛ لأن الشهادة على مجرد النفي لا تصح.

The claim of specific relationship: It means that when a man claims that he is someone’s son and if he approves that he is his father, their relationship will be determined. And similarly when a man claims that he is someone’s father and if he approves it, their relationship will be verified. And all persons being related to them would be included in the lineage.

The claim of general relationship: It means that when someone claims to belong to the tribe of Quraysh or the Hashemite and the tribes hear the claim and avoid dismissing it, this person’s link to that specific tribe will be verified. And it is the way by which the general lineages of people were specified. For that reason, if someone from outside a tribe claimed that you do not belong to that specific tribe; his claim is by no means acceptable. Even if he brings someone for a witness to testify to his claim, it is rejected too.

Al-Mawirdi al-Basari al-Shafi’i, ‘Ali Ibn Mohammad Ibn Habib (died in 450 AH), al-hawi al-Kabir fi Fiqh Mathhab al-Imam al-Shafi’i wa Huwa Sharh Mukhtasar al-Mazani, vol. 12, p. 368; researched by al-Sheikh ‘Ali Mohammad Mu’awad, al-Sheikh ‘Adil Ahmad ‘Abd al-Mowjud; published by Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya, Beirut-Lebanon, the first edition, 1419 AH-1999 AD.

Therefore, even though the question is about Hazrat Mahdi’s (May God Hasten His Appearance) family, not Mahdavism, it is per se a wrong and irrational question because it does not require a testimony.

The second point: Hakima’s testimony to Hazrat Mahdi’s birth

Since Qifari’s comments are mainly about Hazrat Hakima’s testimony to Hazrat Mahdi’s (May God Hasten His Appearance) birth, we would rather provide a number of narratives which show her testimony to the Imam’s birth before responding to his doubt.

The first narrator:

In Kafi and Irshad, late Koleini and Sheikh Mufid have respectively cited Hakima’s testimony to Hazrat Mahdi’s (S) birth as follows:

مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ يَحْيَى عَنِ الْحُسَيْنِ بْنِ رِزْقِ اللَّهِ أَبُو عَبْدِ اللَّهِ قَالَ: حَدَّثَنِي مُوسَى بْنُ‏ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ الْقَاسِمِ بْنِ حَمْزَةَ بْنِ مُوسَى بْنِ جَعْفَرٍ قَالَ: حَدَّثَتْنِي حَكِيمَةُ ابْنَةُ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عَلِيٍّ وَهِيَ عَمَّةُ أَبِيهِ أَنَّهَا رَأَتْهُ لَيْلَةَ مَوْلِدِهِ وَبَعْدَ ذَلِك‏.

Musa Ibn Mohammad said, “Hakima, the daughter of Mohammad Ibn ‘Ali (Imam Jawad) who is the aunt of the Hazrat’s father told me that she saw the Hazrat right on the night of his birth and afterwards.

Al-Koleini al-Razi, Abu Ja’far Mohammad Ibn Ya’qub Ibn Ishaq (died in 328 AH), al-Usul Min al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 331, Bab Tasmiya Min Rah, H. 3; published by Islamiyya, Tehran, the second edition, 1362 AH.

Al-Sheikh al-Mufid, Mohammad Ibn Mohammad Ibn al-Nu’man Ibn al-Mu’allim Abi ‘Abdullah al-‘Akbari al-Baghdadi (died in 413 AH), AL-Irshad fi Ma’rifat Hujaj Allah ‘Ala al-‘Ibad, vol. 2 , p. 351 ; researched by Muassissat Al al-Bayt ‘Alayhumu al-Salam Li Tahqiq al-Turath; published by Dar al-Mufid Lil Taba’at wa al-Nashr wa al-Towzi’, Beirut-Lebanon, the second edition, 1414 AH-1993 AD.

The second narrative:

Sheikh Saduq has cited a longer narrative from Hakima, Imam Jawad’s (AS) daughter as below,

بَعَثَ إِلَيَّ أَبُو مُحَمَّدٍ الْحَسَنُ بْنُ عَلِيٍّ عليه‌ السلام فَقَالَ: يَا عَمَّةُ اجْعَلِي إِفْطَارَكِ هَذِهِ اللَّيْلَةَ عِنْدَنَا فَإِنَّهَا لَيْلَةُ النِّصْفِ مِنْ شَعْبَانَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى سَيُظْهِرُ فِي هَذِهِ اللَّيْلَةِ الْحُجَّةَ وَهُوَ حُجَّتُهُ فِي أَرْضِهِ قَالَتْ: فَقُلْتُ لَهُ وَمَنْ أُمُّهُ؟ قَالَ: لِي نَرْجِسُ قُلْتُ لَهُ: جَعَلَنِي اللَّهُ فِدَاكَ مَا بِهَا أَثَرٌ؟ فَقَالَ: هُوَ مَا أَقُولُ لَكِ قَالَتْ: فَجِئْتُ فَلَمَّا سَلَّمْتُ وَجَلَسْتُ جَاءَتْ تَنْزِعُ خُفِّي وَقَالَتْ لِي: يَا سَيِّدَتِي وَسَيِّدَةَ أَهْلِي كَيْفَ أَمْسَيْتِ؟ فَقُلْتُ: بَلْ أَنْتِ سَيِّدَتِي وَسَيِّدَةُ أَهْلِي قَالَتْ: فَأَنْكَرَتْ قَوْلِي وَقَالَتْ: مَا هَذَا يَا عَمَّةُ؟ قَالَتْ فَقُلْتُ لَهَا: يَا بُنَيَّةُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَعَالَى سَيَهَبُ لَكِ فِي لَيْلَتِكِ هَذِهِ غُلَاماً سَيِّداً فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ قَالَتْ: فَخَجِلَتْ وَاسْتَحْيَتْ فَلَمَّا أَنْ فَرَغْتُ مِنْ صَلَاةِ الْعِشَاءِ الْآخِرَةِ أَفْطَرْتُ وَأَخَذْتُ مَضْجَعِي فَرَقَدْتُ فَلَمَّا أَنْ كَانَ فِي جَوْفِ اللَّيْلِ قُمْتُ إِلَى الصَّلَاةِ فَفَرَغْتُ مِنْ صَلَاتِي وَهِيَ نَائِمَةٌ لَيْسَ بِهَا حَادِثٌ ثُمَّ جَلَسْتُ مُعَقِّبَةً ثُمَّ اضْطَجَعْتُ ثُمَّ انْتَبَهْتُ فَزِعَةً وَهِيَ رَاقِدَةٌ ثُمَّ قَامَتْ فَصَلَّتْ وَنَامَتْ- قَالَتْ حَكِيمَةُ: وَخَرَجْتُ أَتَفَقَّدُ الْفَجْرَ فَإِذَا أَنَا بِالْفَجْرِ الْأَوَّلِ كَذَنَبِ السِّرْحَانِ وَهِيَ نَائِمَةٌ فَدَخَلَنِي الشُّكُوكُ فَصَاحَ بِي أَبُو مُحَمَّدٍ عليه السلام مِنَ الْمَجْلِسِ فَقَالَ: لَا تَعْجَلِي يَا عَمَّةُ فَهَاكِ الْأَمْرُ قَدْ قَرُبَ قَالَتْ فَجَلَسْتُ وَقَرَأْتُ الم السَّجْدَةَ وَيس فَبَيْنَمَا أَنَا كَذَلِكَ إِذِ انْتَبَهَتْ فَزِعَةً فَوَثَبْتُ إِلَيْهَا فَقُلْتُ: اسْمُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكِ ثُمَّ قُلْتُ لَهَا: أَ تَحِسِّينَ شَيْئاً؟ قَالَتْ: نَعَمْ يَا عَمَّةُ فَقُلْتُ لَهَا: اجْمَعِي نَفْسَكِ وَاجْمَعِي قَلْبَكِ فَهُوَ مَا قُلْتُ لَكِ قَالَتْ: فَأَخَذَتْنِي فَتْرَةٌ وَأَخَذَتْهَا فَتْرَةٌ فَانْتَبَهْتُ بِحِسِّ سَيِّدِي فَكَشَفْتُ الثَّوْبَ عَنْهُ فَإِذَا أَنَا بِهِ عليه السلام سَاجِداً يَتَلَقَّى الْأَرْضَ بِمَسَاجِدِهِ فَضَمَمْتُهُ إِلَيَّ فَإِذَا أَنَا بِهِ نَظِيفٌ مُتَنَظِّفٌ فَصَاحَ بِي أَبُو مُحَمَّدٍ عليه السلام هَلُمِّي إِلَيَّ ابْنِي يَا عَمَّةُ فَجِئْتُ بِهِ إِلَيْهِ فَوَضَعَ يَدَيْهِ تَحْتَ أَلْيَتَيْهِ وَظَهْرِهِ وَوَضَعَ قَدَمَيْهِ عَلَى صَدْرِهِ ثُمَّ أَدْلَى لِسَانَهُ فِي فِيهِ وَأَمَرَّ يَدَهُ عَلَى عَيْنَيْهِ وَسَمْعِهِ وَمَفَاصِلِهِ ثُمَّ قَالَ تَكَلَّمْ يَا بُنَيَّ فَقَالَ أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَ أَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّداً رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلي الله عليه وآله ثُمَّ صَلَّى عَلَى أَمِيرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَعَلَى الْأَئِمَّةِ عليهم السلام إِلَى أَنْ وَقَفَ عَلَى أَبِيهِ...

Hakima (the tenth Imam’s sister) said, “Hassan Ibn ‘Ali sent someone to pick me up. When I got to him, he told me, ‘Dear aunt, tonight is the fifteenth of (the month of) Sha’ban, stay in our house and break your fast here because God is going to unveil his Hujjat tonight. He will be God’s successor on the earth.’ I asked him who his mother is.” He answered, ‘Narjis’. I told him, “May my soul be sacrificed for you! There is no sign of pregnancy on her!” he replied, “It is what I am telling you.” Hakima added, “I went into the room. And I sat down after saying hello to Narjis. She took off my shoes and said, “O my Sayyida (lady), you are my family’s Sayyida. Have a good night!” But I told her, “You are my Sayyida, you are my family’s Sayyida.” She overlooked what I said and asked, “Dear aunt, what are you talking about?” I told her, “My dear daughter, God is going to grant you a son as a blessing tonight. He is the master of both this world and the Hereafter.” She felt ashamed. After I did my Night (‘Isha) Prayer, I broke my fast and then I went to bed. I fell asleep. At midnight I woke up for a prayer. I finished my prayer while Narjis was still asleep. Nothing happened yet. As soon as I took another nap, I woke up in a panic. But she was still asleep calmly. After a short while she woke up to do her prayer. She went to bed again after she was done. I became doubtful just before Abu Mohammad called me and said, “My dear aunt! Do not rush; the event I told you about is drawing closer.” Hakima added, “I sat down and began reciting the chapters of Prostration and Yaseen. She woke up in a panic at once. I jumped to sit beside her. I told her, “In the name of God. Do you feel any pain?” She answered, “Yes, dear aunt.” I asked her to squat and relax. “What I told you is happening.” Hakima added, “She and I fainted for a couple of minutes. But we became conscious by our Master’s cry. When I took away the dress from Narjis, I found my Master in lying prostrate on the floor. I lifted the baby and I found him quite clean. Abu Mohammad shouted asking me to take his son to him. When I passed the baby to him, he hugged him with his hips and back in his two hands. He put the baby’s two legs on his own chest and put his tongue into his mouth. Then he patted his eyes and ears, telling him to talk. “My dear son, say something.” He said in response, “  اشهد ان لا اله الا اللَّه وحده لا شريك له و ان محمدا رسول اللَّه ( I testify that there is none to be worshipped but Allah and I testify that Prophet Mohammad is the Messenger of Allah). Then, he sent peace and blessings to Amir al-Momenin and to all Imams one by one up to his father…

Al-Saduq, Abu Ja’far Mohammad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn al-Hussein (died in 381 AH), Kamal al-Din wa Tamam al-Ni’mat, p. 424; published by Islamiyya, Tehran, 1395 AH.

The third narrative:

 The story of Hazrat Mahdi’s birth has also been recounted by Qunduthi Hanafi in his Yanabi’ al-Mawaddat quoting Hakima,

فلما كانت ليلة النصف من شعبان سنة خامس وخمسين ومائتين، دخلت حكيمة عند الحسن فقال لها: يا عمتي كوني الليلة عندنا لأمر، فأقامت. فلما كان وقت الفجر اضطربت نرجس، فقامت إليها حكيمة، فوضعت المولود المبارك، فلما رأته حكيمة أتت به الحسن (رضي الله عنهم) وهو مختون، فأخذه ومسح بيده على ظهره وعينيه، وأدخل لسانه في فيه، وأذن في أذنه اليمنى وأقام في الأخرى، ثم قال: يا عمة إذهبي به إلى أمه، فردته إلى أمه. قالت حكيمة: ثم جئت من بيتي إلى أبي محمد الحسن فإذا المولود بين يديه في ثياب صفر، وعليه من البهاء والنور، أخذ حبه مجامع قلبي، فقلت: يا سيدي هل عندك من علم في هذا المولود المبارك ؟ فقال: يا عمة هذا المنتظر الذي بشرنا به...

It was the fifteenth of Sha’ban in 255 AH when Hakima went to Hassan ‘Askari’s house. He told Hakima, “O my aunt! Stay here with us for an event that is about to take place.” Hakima stayed there for that night. It was at dawn when Narjis felt labor pain. Hakima rushed to stand aside her. She was with Narjis when she bore a blessed baby. Hakima took him to his father, Hassan ‘Askari. The baby was already circumcised. Hassan ‘Askari hugged him and then rubbed his back and eyes with his hand. He put his tongue into the baby’s mouth. He recited Adhan (call to prayer) into his right ear and Iqama into his left ear. Then, he gave him back to Hakima to take him to his mother. Hakima said, “I took him to his mother.”

Hakima said, “Another day, I went to Abu Mohammad Hassan ‘Askari. I found him with the shining new-born baby wrapped into a yellow piece of cloth lying in front of him. All of a sudden, my heart became filled with the baby’s affection, upon seeing him. I asked him if he had been aware of his birth. Hassan ‘Askari answered, “O aunt! He is the one about whose birth a glad-tiding has been already given.

Al-Qunduzi al-Hanafi, al-Sheikh Salman Ibn Ibrahim (died in 1294 AH), Yanabi’ al-Mawaddat Li Thawi al-Qurba, vol. 3, p. 172; researched by Sayyid ‘Ali Jamal Ashraf al-Husseini; published by Dar al-Aswad Lil Taba’at wa al-Nashr, Qom, the first edition, 1416 AH.

As indicated in this narrative, Hazrat Hakima saw Hazrat Mahdi (AS) both on the night of his birth and even after that and reported her observations in detail.

The third point: The lineage and characteristic of Hazrat Hakima (AS)

Because Qifari had said that Hazrat Hakima was a fallible person, so Shias should not have trusted his testimony to Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) birth we have no other choice but analyzing this revered lady’s character and lineage to remove the ambiguities.

1.     Name and lineage

Similar to other narrators, Hazrat Hakima is not an unknown person to doubt about her. She is related to the infallible Ahl al-Bayt (Peace Be Upon Them) and the daughter of an infallible Imam.

Tabarasi has said that Hazrat Hakima is one of the children of Imam Jawad (AS).

وَخَلَّفَ مِنَ الْوَلَدِ عَلِيّاً عليه السلام ابْنَهُ الْإِمَامَ وَمُوسَى وَمِنَ الْبَنَاتِ حَكِيمَةَ وَخَدِيجَةَ وَأُمَّ كُلْثُوم‏.

Imam Jawad (AS) had two sons and three daughters. Hazrat Hadi (AS) was one of his sons. His second son was Musa. Hakima, Khadija as well as Umm Kulthum were his daughters.

Al-Tabarsi, Abi ‘Ali al-Fadl Ibn al-Hassan (died in 548 AH), I’lam a;-Wara bi I’lam al-Huda, p. 355; researched and published by Tahqiq Muassissat Al al-Bayt ‘Alayhum al-Salam Li Ihya al-Turath, Qom, the first edition, 1417 AH.

The following is what ‘Allame Majlisi has written in this regard,

سم المعتصم محمد بن علي عليهما السلام وأولاده علي الامام وموسى وحكيمة وخديجة وأم كلثوم

Mu’tasam ‘Abbasi poisoned Imam Jawad (AS) to death. Ali (Imam Hadi (AS)), Musa, Hakima, Khadija and Umm Kulthum were his children.

Al-Majlisi, Mohammad Baqir (died in 1111 AH), Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’at Li Durar Akhbar al-Aimma al-Athar, vol. 50, p. 8; researched by Mohammad al-Baqir al-Bihbudi; published by Muassissat al-Wafat, Beirut/Lebanon, the second edition, al-Musahiha, 1403 AH-1983 AD.

 

2.     Dignity and reliability

The dignity and reliability of this revered lady comes from his link to the family of Imam Jawad (AS). Being a confidant to Imam Hassan ‘Askari (AS) clearly reveals his piety, quality and knowledge because he had informed her of his son’s birth by inviting her to his house at the time.

‘Allame Majlisi and Sayyid Mohsen Amin, two top Shia figures, have both described this lady as Najiba (decent), Karima (generous), ‘Alima (knowledgeable), Fadila (learned), Taqiyya (pious), Saliha (righteous) and ‘Abida (worshipper).

‘Allame Majlisi has said,

ثمّ اعلم أنّ في القبّة الشريفة قبراً منسوباً إلى النجيبة الكريمة العالمة الفاضلة التقية الرضية حكيمة بنت أبي جعفر الجواد عليه السلام ولا أدري لِمَ لم يتعرضوا لزيارتها مع ظهور فضلها وجلالتها وإنّها كانت مخصوصة بالأئمّة عليهم السلام، ومودعة أسرارهم، وكانت اُمّ القائم عندها، وكانت حاضرة عند ولادته عليه السلام، وكانت تراه حيناً بعد حين في حياة أبي محمّد العسكري عليه السلام، وكانت من السفراء والأبواب بعد وفاته، فينبغي زيارتها بما أجرى الله على اللسان ممّا يناسب فضلها وشأنها.

Be aware that this tomb belongs to Hakima, a lady who is decent, generous, wise, pious and pleased. She is Abu Ja’far, Imam Jawad’s (AS) daughter. With regard to this lady’s qualities and dignity, I wonder why paying homage to her tomb has not been recommended. She was a confidant to Aimma. She was beside Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) mother at the time of delivery. She used to see him when Imam ‘Askari (AS) was alive. It is really preferable to make a pilgrimage to the tomb of this lady.

 Al-Majlisi, Mohammad Baqir (died in 1111 AH), Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’at Li Durar Akhbar al-Aimma al-Athar, vol. 99, p. 79; researched by Mohammad al-Baqir al-Bihbudi; published by Muassissat al-Wafat, Beirut/Lebanon, the second edition, al-Musahiha, 1403 AH-1983 AD.

Sayyid Mohsen Amin has alike admired her as a real worshipper and pious lady.

حكيمة بنت الإمام محمد الجواد بن علي الرضا بن موسى الكاظم بن جعفر الصادق بن محمد الباقر بن علي بن الحسين بن علي بن أبي طالب عليهم السلام. مدفونة بسامراء هي ونرجس أم المهدي مع الإمامين العسكري والهادي عليهما السلام... كانت من الصالحات العابدات القانتات.

Hakima who is the daughter of Imam Jawad, son of the eighth Imam, son of Musa Kazim, son of Ja’far Sadiq, Mohammad Baqir, son of Imam Zayn al-‘Abidin, son of Hussein, son of ‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib (Peace Be Upon Them) is buried in Samera alongside with Narjis, Hazrat Mahdi’s mother; Imam Hadi (AS) and Imam ‘Askari (AS). She was a worshipper and a righteous and pious woman.

Al-Amin, al-Sayyid Mohsen (died in 1371 AH), A’yan al-Shi’at, vol. 6, p. 217; researched by Hassan al-Amin; published by Dar al-Ta’aruf Lil Matbu’at, Beirut/Lebanon, 1403 AH-1983 AD.

Therefore, as a daughter of an infallible Imam, a confidant to an infallible Imam and a reliable person for the Imam and Shias, Hazrat Hakima’s report of Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) birth is absolutely acceptable.

Now after the citation of narratives including Hakima’s report of Hazrat Mahdi’s birth, we provide detailed responses.

The first response: Hakima’s testimony and justification of the belief in Mahdavism

Every now and then, Dr. Nasir Qifari labels the Shia belief about Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) birth and concealment as an invention of ‘Uthman Ibn Sa’eed ‘Amri and his followers. But sometimes he claims that such a belief has pushed its way into the Shia beliefs through Hakima’s report who was not an infallible woman. As a matter of fact, he keeps making such conflicting comments that the audience gets confused of which one to believe.

The belief of Mahdavism is not only deep-rooted in the Shia school of thought, but also an Islamic principle. In a bid to declare this belief null and void, he resorts to any tool. But his efforts reach a complete deadlock and gets into the trouble he has made himself.

The first response to this doubt is that although Hakima was one of those individuals who witnessed Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) birth and recounted it to others, it was not indeed her testimony which originally shaped the belief of Mahdavism. Exactly the same as monotheism, Nabuwwat (prophethood), Imamt and Ma’ad (resurrection), this belief is considered as a fundamental Shia principle in Imamat. The Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) and Aimma had all introduced Hazrat Mahdi (AS) with his detailed names and linage, foretelling his birth and concealment.

Thus, the issue of Mahdavism is not a new issue to push its way into the Shia beliefs by a testimony. Instead, the existence of the Imam of the Time (AS) was only substantiated by that testimony. It is not the case that Qifari and his henchmen claim.

The biggest mistake Qifari has made is that he has failed to search about the deep root of the issue of Mahdavism. This belief with all its manifestations have been discussed in the books of a number of senior Sunni figures such as Ahmad Hanbal, Tarmathi, Tabarani, etc. They have cited authentic narratives from the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) to some of which we do refer to here.

1. Tarmathi

In his Sunan, Tarmathi, a well-known Sunni narrator, has initially quoted a narrative from ‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud and at the end he has cited one from Abu Harira, describing it sound and authentic.

حدثنا عبد الْجَبَّارِ بن الْعَلَاءِ بن عبد الْجَبَّارِ الْعَطَّارُ حدثنا سُفْيَانُ بن عُيَيْنَةَ عن عَاصِمٍ عن زِرٍّ عن عبد اللَّهِ عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: يَلِي رَجُلٌ من أَهْلِ بَيْتِي يُوَاطِئُ اسْمُهُ اسْمِي قال عَاصِمٌ وأنا أبو صَالِحٍ عن أبي هُرَيْرَةَ قال: لو لم يَبْقَ من الدُّنْيَا إلا يَوْمٌ لَطَوَّلَ الله ذلك الْيَوْمَ حتى يَلِيَ...

قال أبو عِيسَى: هذا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ صَحِيحٌ

Ibn Ma’ud has quoted the Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) as stating, “A  man from my household whose name is like mine would finally rise up. And according to Abu Harira, the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) had added, “Even if only one day is left from the world, Allah will prolong that day until a man from my household who is named after me will rise up.”

According to Abu ‘Isa, this narrative is sound and authentic.

 

Al-Tarmathi al-Sulmi, Mohammad Ibn ‘Isa Abu ‘Isa (died in 279 AH), Sunan al-Tarmathi, vol. 4, p. 505; researched by Ahmad Mohammad Shakir wa Akharun; published by Dar Ihya al-Turath al-‘Arabi, Beirut.

3.     Abu Dawud Sijistani

With a reliable chain of transmission, Sijistani has quoted Umm al-Salama as saying that Mahdi is a descendant of Hazrat Fatima Zahra (AS).

حدثنا أَحْمَدُ بن إبراهيم ثنا عبد اللَّهِ بن جَعْفَرٍ الرَّقِّيُّ ثنا أبو الْمَلِيحِ الْحَسَنُ بن عُمَرَ عن زِيَادِ بن بَيَانٍ عن عَلِيِّ بن نُفَيْلٍ عن سَعِيدِ بن الْمُسَيِّبِ عن أُمِّ سَلَمَةَ قالت: سمعت رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول: الْمَهْدِيُّ من عِتْرَتِي من وَلَدِ فَاطِمَةَ

I heard the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) as stating, “Mahdi is from my household and a descendant of Fatima.”

Al-Sijistani al-Azud, Sulayman Ibn al-Ash’ath Abu Dawud (died in 275 AH), Sunan Abi Dawud, vol. 4, p. 1071; researched by Mohammad Muhyi al-Din ‘Abd al-Hamid; published by Dar al-Fikr.

3. Ahmad Hanbal

Ahmad Hanbal, who was the leader of Hanbalism, has cited five narratives in his Masnad from ‘Asim and Zurr Ibn Habish. One of them is as follows,

حدثنا عبد اللَّهِ حدثني أبي ثنا سُفْيَانُ بن عُيَيْنَةَ ثنا عَاصِمٌ عن ذر عن عبد اللَّهِ عَنِ النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: لاَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ حتى يلي رَجُلٌ من أَهْلِ بيتي يواطي اسْمُهُ اسمي

The Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) has stated that the world would not end until a man from his household whose name is like his would rise up to rule.

Al-Sheibani, Abu ‘Abdullah Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (died in 241 AH), Masnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, vol. 1, pp. 376, H. 3571; published by Muassissat Qurtaba, Egypt.

 

4. Tabarani

In his al-Mu’jam al-Kabir, Tabarani has presented more than 13 narratives with different wordage. In one way or another, they all include ‘Asim Ibn Bi Hadla and Zurr Ibn Habish (both are narrators mentioned in Sahih Bukhari) as well as ‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud in their chains of transmission. Here is one of them.

حدثنا مُوسَى بن هَارُونَ ثنا عبد اللَّهِ بن دَاهِرٍ الرَّازِيُّ ثنا عبد اللَّهِ بن عبد الْقُدُّوسِ عَنِ الأَعْمَشِ عن عَاصِمِ بن أبي النَّجُودِ عن زِرِّ بن حُبَيْشٍ عن عبد اللَّهِ بن مَسْعُودٍ رضي اللَّهُ عنه قال: قال رسول اللَّهِ صلى اللَّهُ عليه وسلم: لا تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ حتى يَمْلِكَ رَجُلٌ من أَهْلِ بَيْتِي يواطىء اسْمُهُ اسْمِي يَمْلأُ الأَرْضَ عَدْلًا وَقِسْطًا كما مُلِئَتْ ظُلْمًا وَجَوْرًا

The Holy Prophet (PBUH) stated, “The Day of Judgment will not come until a man from my descendants whose name is like mine will rise up to fill the world with peace and justice as it was full of oppression and injustice”. 

Al-Tabarani, Abu al-Qasim Suleiman Ibn Ahmad Ibn Ayyub (died in 360 AH), al-Mu’jam al-Kabir, vol. 10, p. 133, H. 10214; researched by Hamdi Ibn ‘Abd al-Majid al-Salafi; published by Maktabat al-Zahra, Mosul, the second edition, 1404 AH-1983 AD.

In a separate article entitled, ‘Was Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) father named after ‘Abdullah?’, it was comprehensively discussed that Hazrat Mahdi (AS) was from Hazrat Imam Hassan ‘Askari’s family. You can access it at

http://www.valiasr-aj.com/fa/page.php?bank=question&id=12872

 

As a conclusion, Hazrat Hakima’s testimony only proved Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) birth which had been announced beforehand in numerous narratives. It never initiated the belief of Mahdavism in the Shia school of thought. This belief has not merely deep roots in Shiism, but it is also approved in Sunnism. We did provide a number of authentic narratives from reliable sources to support the idea.

 

The second response: Other individuals’ testimony for Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) birth

If Qifari and his supporters have problem with Hazrat Hakima’s testimony, they can search in Shia sources to find out that four other women had similarly reported Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) birth. If you take the case of the Hazrat’s birth to a court, the testimonies of five witnesses altogether will be definitely accepted. Here are the names of the women who saw his birth with their own eyes.

1. The midwife

Ahmad Ibn Bilal Ibn Dawud has been born with the help of the same midwife who witnessed Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) birth. He recounted the Imam’s birthday to his friend Hanzala, quoting the midwife.

 - 208   أحمد بن علي الرازي، عن محمد بن علي، عن حنظلة بن زكريا قال: حدثني أحمد بن بلال بن داود الكاتب...

فَقَالَ: يَحْتَاجُ إِلَيْكِ بَعْضُ الْجِيرَانِ لِحَاجَةٍ مُهِمَّةٍ فَادْخُلِي وَلَفَّ رَأْسِي بِالْمُلَاءَةِ وَأَدْخَلَنِي الدَّارَ وَأَنَا أَعْرِفُهَا فَإِذَا بِشِقَاقٍ مَشْدُودَةٍ وَسَطَ الدَّارِ وَرَجُلٌ قَاعِدٌ بِجَنْبِ الشِّقَاقِ فَرَفَعَ الْخَادِمُ طَرَفَهُ فَدَخَلْتُ وَإِذَا امْرَأَةٌ قَدْ أَخَذَهَا الطَّلْقُ وَامْرَأَةٌ قَاعِدَةٌ خَلْفَهَا كَأَنَّهَا تَقْبَلُهَا فَقَالَتِ الْمَرْأَةُ تُعِينُنَا فِيمَا نَحْنُ فِيهِ فَعَالَجْتُهَا بِمَا يُعَالَجُ بِهِ مِثْلُهَا فَمَا كَانَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا حَتَّى سَقَطَ غُلَامٌ فَأَخَذْتُهُ عَلَى كَفِّي وَصِحْتُ غُلَامٌ غُلَامٌ وَأَخْرَجْتُ رَأْسِي مِنْ طَرَفِ الشِّقَاقِ أُبَشِّرُ الرَّجُلَ الْقَاعِدَ فَقِيلَ لِي: لَا تَصِيحِي فَلَمَّا رَدَدْتُ وَجْهِي إِلَى الْغُلَامِ قَدْ كُنْتُ فَقَدْتُهُ مِنْ كَفِّي فَقَالَتْ لِيَ الْمَرْأَةُ الْقَاعِدَةُ: لَا تَصِيحِي وَأَخَذَ الْخَادِمُ بِيَدِي وَأَخْرَجَنِي مِنَ الدَّارِ وَرَدَّنِي إِلَى دَارِي...

One of the neighbors called me to go to her house because she was in urgent need of help. I put on my scarf before she took me to a house which I had never been to. There was a large curtain in the middle of the house. A man was standing by the curtain. When the servant accompanied me into a room, I saw a woman in the process of giving birth. Another woman was sitting right behind her just like a midwife. She asked me if I could help them. I did help them. After a short while a boy was born. I lifted him, shouting, “Boy, boy!” When I struck my head out of the curtain to inform that man of his son’s birth, a woman told me not to make noise. All of a sudden I figured out that the baby was not in my hands any more. The same woman again told me, “Do not make noise!” The servant took me to my house then.

After recounting the story of the birth of the Imam of the Time to Ahmad Ibn Bilal, this woman went on saying,

إِنَّ لِهَؤُلَاءِ الْقَوْمِ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ شَأْناً وَمَنْزِلَةً وَكُلُّ مَا يَدَّعُونَهُ حَقٌّ..

I recounted this story to let you know that this tribe (the Prophet’s household) enjoy an extraordinary dignity before God and whatsoever they claim is really true.

Al-Tusi, al-Sheikh Abu Ja’far, Mohammad Ibn al-Hassan Ibn ‘Ali Ibn al-Hassan (died in 460 AH), Kitab al-Ghayba, pp. 240-242; researched by al-Sheikh ‘Ibad Allah al-Tihrani, al-Sheikh ‘Ali Ahmad Nasih; published by Muassissat al-Ma’arif al-Islamiyya, the first edition, 1411 AH.

 

2 & 3. Nasim and Mariya, Imam Hassan ‘Askari’s servants

Nasim and Mariya were both Imam Hassan ‘Askari’s (AS) servants who had witnessed Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) birth. Below is what they had to say about the event.

حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَلِيٍّ مَاجِيلَوَيْهِ وَأَحْمَدُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ يَحْيَى الْعَطَّارُ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ يَحْيَى الْعَطَّارُ قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا الْحُسَيْنُ بْنُ عَلِيٍّ النَّيْسَابُورِيُّ عَنْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ مُوسَى بْنِ جَعْفَرٍ عليه السلام عَنِ السَّيَّارِيِّ قَالَ: حَدَّثَتْنِي نَسِيمٌ وَمَارِيَةُ قَالَتَا: إِنَّهُ لَمَّا سَقَطَ صَاحِبُ الزَّمَانِ عليه السلام مِنْ بَطْنِ أُمِّهِ جَاثِياً عَلَى رُكْبَتَيْهِ رَافِعاً سَبَّابَتَيْهِ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ ثُمَّ عَطَسَ فَقَالَ: الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعالَمِينَ وَصَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِهِ زَعَمَتِ الظَّلَمَةُ أَنَّ حُجَّةَ اللَّهِ دَاحِضَةٌ لَوْ أُذِنَ لَنَا فِي الْكَلَامِ لَزَالَ الشَّك‏.

Nasim and Mariya said, “As soon as the Imam of the Time (AS) was born, he laid his two knees on the floor and held both of his index fingers up to the sky. He sneezed and said, ‘Gratitude is all for Allah who is the Lord of the two worlds.’ He sent blessings to the Holy Prophet and his household. Enemies imagine that God’s Hujjat is not alive. But if we had the permission to talk, all doubts and ambiguities would be removed.”

Al-Saduq, Abu Ja’far Mohammad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn al-Hussein (died in 381 AH), Kamal al-Din wa Tamam al-Ni’mat, p. 430; published by Islamiyya, Tehran, 1395 AH.

4.     Imam ‘Askari’s maid

Imam Hassan ‘Askari’s (AS) maid was yet another person who has testified to Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) birth. She got married with Abu ‘Ali Kheizarani after the Imam’s house was looted by Ja’far Kaththab.

حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَلِيٍّ مَاجِيلَوَيْهِ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ يَحْيَى الْعَطَّارُ قَالَ: حَدَّثَنِي أَبُو عَلِيٍّ الْخَيْزَرَانِيُّ عَنْ جارِيََةٍ لَهُ كَانَ أَهْدَاهَا لِأَبِي مُحَمَّدٍ عليه السلام فَلَمَّا أَغَارَ جَعْفَرٌ الْكَذَّابُ عَلَى الدَّارِ جَاءَتْهُ فَارَّةً مِنْ جَعْفَرٍ فَتَزَوَّجَ بِهَا قَالَ أَبُو عَلِيٍّ: فَحَدَّثَتْنِي أَنَّهَا حَضَرَتْ وِلَادَةَ السَّيِّدِ عليه السلام وَأَنَّ اسْمَ أُمِّ السَّيِّدِ صَقِيلُ....

قَالَ أَبُو عَلِيٍّ: وَسَمِعْتُ هَذِهِ الْجَارِيَةَ تَذْكُرُ أَنَّهُ لَمَّا وُلِدَ السَّيِّدُ عليه السلام رَأَتْ لَهَا نُوراً سَاطِعاً قَدْ ظَهَرَ مِنْهُ وَبَلَغَ أُفُقَ السَّمَاءِ وَرَأَتْ طُيُوراً بَيْضَاءَ تَهْبِطُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ وَتَمْسَحُ أَجْنِحَتَهَا عَلَى رَأْسِهِ وَوَجْهِهِ وَسَائِرِ جَسَدِهِ ثُمَّ تَطِيرُ فَأَخْبَرْنَا أَبَا مُحَمَّدٍ عليه السلام بِذَلِكَ فَضَحِكَ ثُمَّ قَالَ: تِلْكَ مَلَائِكَةٌ نَزَلَتْ لِلتَّبَرُّكِ بِهَذَا الْمَوْلُودِ وَهِيَ أَنْصَارُهُ إِذَا خَرَج‏.

Abu ‘Ali Kheizarani had a maid whom he granted to Imam Hassan ‘Askari (AS) as a gift. But when Ja’far Kaththab stormed in and looted the Imam’s house, she fled and got married with Abu ‘Ali. Abu ‘Ali said that she had told him that she had witnessed the Sayyid’s (the Imam of the Time (AS)) birth. The Sayyid’s mother was named Saqil…

Abu ‘Ali said, “I heard the same maid saying that when the Sayyid (the Imam of the Time (AS)) was born, she saw illuminating light around him which extended to the sky. She had seen white birds flying down from the sky and rubbing their feathers onto the baby’s head, face and other parts of his body. We talked to Imam Hassan ‘Askari (AS) about the observations. He smiled and said, ‘Those birds were angels coming down to seek blessings from the new-born baby. They will give assistance to him upon his appearance.’”

Al-Saduq, Abu Ja’far Mohammad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn al-Hussein (died in 381 AH), Kamal al-Din wa Tamam al-Ni’mat, p. 431; published by Islamiyya, Tehran, 1395 AH. 

 

The third response: A number of trustworthy individuals had seen Hazrat Mahdi (AS) right after his birthday

In addition to the five individuals mentioned above who had testified to seeing Hazrat Mahdi’s birth, there were a number of followers and companions of Imam Hassan ‘Askari (AS) who had seen his son, Hazrat Mahdi (AS), during the last five years of his life. Hazrat Hakima was the most important of those five individuals that we enumerated above. We are going to discuss her dignity from the Shia perspective later on. Now we intend to enlist some other people who had seen the Hazrat.

1. ‘Abdullah Ibn Ja’far Hemyari’s narrative

One of the individuals who had the honor of meeting Hazrat Mahdi (AS) was ‘Uthman Ibn Sa’eed ‘‘Amri, the Imam’s envoy.

In response to a question posed by ‘Abdullah Ibn Ja’far Hemyari, who has been a reliable narrator, he had asserted that he had met the Imam of the Time (AS). Late Koleini has presented the narrative with an authentic chain of transmission.

مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ وَمُحَمَّدُ بْنُ يَحْيَى جَمِيعاً عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ جَعْفَرٍ الْحِمْيَرِيِّ قَالَ: اجْتَمَعْتُ أَنَا وَالشَّيْخُ أَبُو عَمْرٍو رَحِمَهُ اللَّهُ عِنْدَ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ إِسْحَاقَ فَغَمَزَنِي أَحْمَدُ بْنُ إِسْحَاقَ أَنْ أَسْأَلَهُ عَنِ الْخَلَفِ فَقُلْتُ لَهُ: يَا أَبَا عَمْرٍو إِنِّي أُرِيدُ أَنْ أَسْأَلَكَ عَنْ شَيْ‏ءٍ وَمَا أَنَا بِشَاكٍّ فِيمَا أُرِيدُ أَنْ أَسْأَلَكَ عَنْهُ فَإِنَّ اعْتِقَادِي وَدِينِي أَنَّ الْأَرْضَ لَا تَخْلُو مِنْ حُجَّةٍ إِلَّا إِذَا كَانَ قَبْلَ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ بِأَرْبَعِينَ يَوْماً فَإِذَا كَانَ ذَلِكَ رُفِعَتِ الْحُجَّةُ وَأُغْلِقَ بَابُ التَّوْبَةِ فَلَمْ يَكُ يَنْفَعُ نَفْساً إِيمَانُهَا لَمْ تَكُنْ آمَنَتْ مِنْ قَبْلُ أَوْ كَسَبَتْ فِي إِيمَانِهَا خَيْراً فَأُولَئِكَ أَشْرَارٌ مِنْ خَلْقِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ وَهُمُ الَّذِينَ تَقُومُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْقِيَامَةُ وَلَكِنِّي أَحْبَبْتُ أَنْ أَزْدَادَ يَقِيناً وَإِنَّ إِبْرَاهِيمَ عليه السلام سَأَلَ رَبَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ أَنْ يُرِيَهُ «كَيْفَ يُحْيِي الْمَوْتَى قَالَ أَ وَ لَمْ تُؤْمِنْ قَالَ بَلَى وَ لَكِنْ لِيَطْمَئِنَّ قَلْبِي

ثُمَّ قَالَ: سَلْ حَاجَتَكَ فَقُلْتُ لَهُ: أَنْتَ رَأَيْتَ الْخَلَفَ مِنْ بَعْدِ أَبِي مُحَمَّدٍ عليه السلام؟ فَقَالَ: إِي وَاللَّهِ وَرَقَبَتُهُ مِثْلُ ذَا وَأَوْمَأَ بِيَدِهِ....

‘Abdullah Ibn Ja’far Hemyari has said, “I was in the house of Ahmad Ibn Ishaq, the lawyer of the Imam of the Time (AS) along with ‘Uthman Ibn Sa’eed ‘Amri, an envoy to the Imam. Ahmad Ibn Ishaq signaled me to ask him about Imam ‘Askari’s successor. I told the Imam’s envoy, ‘Uthman Ibn Sa’eed, “I want to ask a question. But my question is not at all because I am doubtful. I am absolutely faithful that the earth would never remain empty of a Hujjat except forty days before the Day of Judgment when God’s Hujjat would depart. It is a day on which the path of repentance is closed. From then on, neither one’s conversion to the religion would be accepted nor one’s good deeds would be rewarded. The people who are left on the earth during those forty days would be in fact malefactors. The universe would be torn down over them. Although this is what I deeply believe in, I would like to know something just for my information. It is similar to the question Abraham asked God. He asked Him to show how He could revive the dead. God asked Abraham, “Don’t you have faith in?” Abraham replied, “Certainly, I do. I just want to get sure and tranquil?” And I fully trust you as an envoy to the Imam of the Time. ‘Uthman Ibn Sa’eed said, “Ask me any question you have and make any request you have from me.” I said, “Have you ever seen Imam Hassan ‘Askari’s successor?” He responded, “Yes. By God I have. Once I saw him his neck had grown only this big (he showed it with his hands).”

Al-Koleini al-Razi, Abu Ja’far Mohammad Ibn Ya’qub Ibn Ishaq (died in 328 AH), al-Usul Min al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 330; published by Islamiyya, Tehran, the second edition, 1362 AH.

 

Examination of the narrative’s chain of transmission

Mohammad Ibn ‘Abdullah:

Concerning him, Najashi has made the following comment,

محمد بن عبد الله بن جعفر بن الحسين بن جامع بن مالك الحميري أبو جعفر القمي، كان ثقة، وجها، كاتب صاحب الامر عليه السلام

Al-Najashi al-Asadi al-Kufi, Abu al-‘Abbas Ahmad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Ahmad Ibn al-‘Abbas (died in 450 AH), Fihrist Asma Musnafi al-Shi’a al-Mushtahar bi Rijal al-Najashi, p. 355; researched by al-Sayyid Musa al-Shubeyri al-Zanjani; published by Muassissat al-Nashr al-Islami, Qom, the fifth edition, 1416 AH.

Mohammad Ibn Yahya al-‘Attar:

محمد بن يحيى أبو جعفر العطار القمي، شيخ أصحابنا في زمانه، ثقة، عين، كثير الحديث.

Rijal al-Najashi, p. 353

‘Abdullah Ibn Ja’far al-Himyari:

عبد الله بن جعفر بن الحسين بن مالك بن جامع الحميري أبو العباس القمي. شيخ القميين و وجههم

Rijal al-Najashi, p. 219

Ahmad Ibn Ishaq al-Qomi:

أحمد بن إسحاق بن عبد الله بن سعد بن مالك بن الأحوص الأشعري، أبو علي القمي، وكان وافد القميين، وروى عن أبي جعفر الثاني وأبي الحسن عليهما السلام، وكان خاصة أبي محمد عليه السلام.

Rijal al-Najashi, p. 91

‘Uthman Ibn Sa’eed al-‘Amri

 22 [ 5877 ]  - عثمان بن سعيد العمري الزيات، ويقال له: السمان، يكنى أبا عمرو، جليل القدر ثقة، وكيله عليه السلام.

Al-Tusi, al-Sheikh Abu Ja’far, Mohammad Ibn al-Hassan Ibn ‘Ali Ibn al-Hassan (died in 460 AH), Rijal al-Tusi, p. 401; researched by Jawad al-Qayyumi al-Isfahani; published by Muassissat al-Nashr al-Islami, Qom, the first edition, 1415 AH.

This narrative’s chain of transmission is authentic and its narrators are all considered as the best narrators in the Shia history.

2. Mohammad Ibn ‘Uthman ‘Umri along with forty others

Following Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) birth, forty followers and Shias of Imam Hassan ‘Askari (AS) went to meet him in his house. Imam ‘Askari (AS) showed them his son and advised them to obey him. Sheikh Saduq has cited this reliable narrative in his Kamal al-Din with an authentic chain of transmission.

حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَلِيٍّ مَاجِيلَوَيْهِ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ يَحْيَى الْعَطَّارُ قَالَ: حَدَّثَنِي جَعْفَرُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ الْفَزَارِيُّ قَالَ: حَدَّثَنِي مُعَاوِيَةُ بْنُ حُكَيْمٍ وَمُحَمَّدُ بْنُ أَيُّوبَ بْنِ نُوحٍ وَمُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عُثْمَانَ الْعَمْرِيُّ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالُوا عَرَضَ عَلَيْنَا أَبُو مُحَمَّدٍ الْحَسَنُ بْنُ عَلِيٍّ عليه السلام وَنَحْنُ فِي مَنْزِلِهِ وَكُنَّا أَرْبَعِينَ رَجُلًا فَقَالَ: هَذَا إِمَامُكُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِي وَخَلِيفَتِي عَلَيْكُمْ أَطِيعُوهُ وَلَا تَتَفَرَّقُوا مِنْ بَعْدِي فِي أَدْيَانِكُمْ فَتَهْلِكُوا أَمَا إِنَّكُمْ لَا تَرَوْنَهُ بَعْدَ يَوْمِكُمْ هَذَا قَالُوا فَخَرَجْنَا مِنْ عِنْدِهِ فَمَا مَضَتْ إِلَّا أَيَّامٌ قَلَائِلُ حَتَّى مَضَى أَبُو مُحَمَّدٍ عليه السلام.‏

Mu’awiyat Ibn Hakim, Mohammad Ibn Ayyub Ibn Nuh and Mohammad Ibn ‘Uthman ‘Amri have said, “Abu Mohammad Hassan Ibn ‘Ali (AS) showed his son to us. There were forty of us in his house. He told us, ‘He will be your Imam after me and my successor among you. Obey him and keep away from any disputes after me to avoid your annihilation. Be aware that you will not be able to see him from today on.’ They added, “Abu Mohammad passed away just a couple of days after we met him.”

Al-Saduq, Abu Ja’far Mohammad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn al-Hussein (died in 381 AH), Kamal al-Din wa Tamam al-Ni’mat, p. 435; published by Islamiyya, Tehran, 1395 AH.

Al-Majlisi, Mohammad Baqir (died in 1111 AH), Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’at Li Durar Akhbar al-Aimma al-Athar, vol. 52, p. 25, H. 19; researched by Mohammad al-Baqir al-Bihbudi; published by Muassissat al-Wafat, Beirut/Lebanon, the second edition, al-Musahiha, 1403 AH-1983 AD.

In another narrative also, Mohammad Ibn ‘Uthman ‘Amri has affirmed that he had met the Imam of the Time (AS).

حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ الْحَسَنِ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ جَعْفَرٍ الْحِمْيَرِيُّ قَالَ: قُلْتُ لِمُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عُثْمَانَ الْعَمْرِيِّ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ: إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ سُؤَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ رَبَّهُ جَلَّ جَلَالُهُ حِينَ قَالَ لَهُ «رَبِّ أَرِنِي كَيْفَ تُحْيِ الْمَوْتى‏ قالَ أَ وَلَمْ تُؤْمِنْ قالَ بَلى‏ وَلكِنْ لِيَطْمَئِنَّ قَلْبِي» فَأَخْبِرْنِي عَنْ صَاحِبِ هَذَا الْأَمْرِ هَلْ رَأَيْتَهُ قَالَ: نَعَمْ وَلَهُ رَقَبَةٌ مِثْلُ ذِي وَأَشَارَ بِيَدِهِ إِلَى عُنُقِه‏.

‘Abdullah Ibn Ja’far Himyari said, “I told Mohammad Ibn ‘Uthman ‘Amri that I was going to ask him the same question Abraham had asked God.” Abraham (AS) said, “O Lord! Show me the way you revive the dead.” He said, “Don’t you believe it?” “Definitely, I do. I just want to get sure”, said Abraham in response. “Now tell me if you have met the Imam of the Time.”, He said, “Yes, I have. His neck was this big (showing it with his hands).”

Al-Saduq, Abu Ja’far Mohammad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn al-Hussein (died in 381 AH), Kamal al-Din wa Tamam al-Ni’mat, p. 435, H. 3; published by Islamiyya, Tehran, 1395 AH.

Examination of the first narrative’s chain of transmission

In the chain of transmission of the first narrative, we try to analyze the narrators involved such as 1. Mohammad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Majiluya; 2. Mohammad Ibn Yahya al-‘Attar; 3. Ja’far Ibn Mohamamd Ibn Malik Farazi; 4. Mu’awiya Ibn Hakim; 5. Mohammad Ibn Ayyub Ibn Nuh; 6. Mohammad Ibn ‘Uthman ‘Amri.

   1. Mohammad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Majiluya

محمد بن علي بن ماجيلويه: ثقة على الأقوى. هو وأخوه أحمد ممن يكثر الصدوق من الرواية عنهما مترضيا عليهما. وتقدم جدهما محمد بن أبي القاسم الملقب بما جيلويه. وعد من تلامذة الكليني.

As said by many, there is a strong possibility that Mohammad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Majiluya is a reliable narrator. He and his brother Ahmad are among the individuals from whom Sheikh Saduq has quoted a large number of narratives. Their grandfather was Mohammad Ibn Abi al-Qasim known as Majiluya. He was a student of Koleini.

Al-Shahrudi, al-Sheikh ‘Ali al-Namazi (died in 1405 AH), Mustadrakat ‘Ilm Rijal al-Hadith, vol. 7, p. 242; published by Ibn al-Mualif, Shafaq, Tehran, 1412 AH.

ومحمد بن علي ماجيلويه الذي يروي الصدوق عنه ممن عد العلامة خبره صحيحا

Mohammad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Majiluya is an individual from whom Sheikh Sadud has quoted narratives. Allame considers his narrative as authentic.

Al-Kalbasi, Abi al-Ma’ali Mohammad Ibn Mohammad Ibrahim (died in 1315 AH), al-Rasail al-Rijaliyya, vol. 1, p. 348; researched by Mohammad Hussein al-Dirayati; publsiehd by Dar al-hadith Lil Tana’at wa al-Nashr, Qom, the first edition, 1423 AH-1381 solar year.

   2. Mohammad Ibn Yahya al-‘Attar

The second in line in the narrative’s chain of transmission is Mohammad Ibn Yahya al-‘Attar whom Najashi has admired as a reliable reporter.

محمد بن يحيى أبو جعفر العطار القمي، شيخ أصحابنا في زمانه، ثقة، عين، كثير الحديث

Mohammad Ibn Yahya al-‘Attar has been from Qom. He was a prominent figure at that time. He was an honest and reliable narrator who has reported a large number of narratives.

Al-Najashi al-Asadi al-Kufi, Abu al-‘Abbas Ahmad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Ahmad Ibn al-‘Abbas (died in 450 AH), Fihrist Asma Musnafi al-Shi’a al-Mushtahar bi Rijal al-Najashi, p. 353; researched by al-Sayyid Musa al-Shubeyri al-Zanjani; published by Muassissat al-Nashr al-Islami, Qom, the fifth edition, 1416 AH.

And Sheikh Tusi has praised him as one of the narrators of Sheikh Koleini.

محمد بن يحيى العطار، روى عنه الكليني، قمي، كثير الرواية

Al-Tusi, al-Sheikh Abu Ja’far, Mohammad Ibn al-Hassan Ibn ‘Ali Ibn al-Hassan (died in 460 AH), Rijal al-Tusi, p. 439; researched by Jawad al-Qayyumi al-Isfahani; published by Muassissat al-Nashr al-Islami, Qom, the first edition, 1415 AH.

   3.  Ja’far Ibn Mohamamd Ibn Malik Farazi

There is a dispute among scholars over Ja’far Ibn Mohamamd Ibn Malik. Najashi together with Ibn Ghadairi have played him down. But Sheikh Tusi has admired him as follows.

جعفر بن محمد بن مالك، كوفي، ثقة

Rijal Tusi, p. 418.

Likewise, in his al-Istighasa, Abu al-Qasim Kufi (died in 352 AH) has lauded him as a reliable person.

حدثنا جماعة من مشايخنا الثقاة منهم جعفر بن محمد بن مالك الكوفي

al-Istighasa, vol.1, p. 77.

In comparing to the compliment by Sheikh Tusi, the criticisms of Najashi and Ibn Ghadairi are worthless because the pair’s disapproval was only due to the citation of a number of narratives the contents of which included exaggeration, in their opinions. But today the included matters are regarded as basic principles in Shiism.

Right after pointing out the criticism of Najashi and Ibn Ghadairi, Allame  Haj Sheikh ‘Abdullah Mamaqani has written in his Tanqih al-Maqal that

وأقول قد نبهنا في المقدمة فوائد عشر علي أنّ جملة ممّا هو من ضروريات مذهبنا اليوم قد كان يعد في السلف الزّمان غلوّا و عليه فرّعوا تضعيف جمع من الثقات و ظنّي أنّ ما صدر في المقام في حقّه من الغمز و التضعيف ناش من روايته جملة من معجزات الأئمة سيما معجزات ولادة القائم... و تحقيق المقال أنّ الأقوي كون الرجل ثقة اعتماداً علي توثيق الشيخ

Regarding the ten advantages, we discussed in the introduction of our book that some of the issues which are today considered as the religion’s requisites, used to be called over-exaggeration. It was for this reason that some of the reliable narrators were played down. As far as I am concerned, what has been said about Ja’far Ibn Malik’s unreliability was due to his report of the miracles of the Aimma especially his account of Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) birth… The result of this research is that he is a reliable narrator according to Sheikh Tusi.

Tanqih al-Maqal, vol. 1, p. 226, Bab Ja’far

And here is what Allame Muhaqiq Namazi Shahrudi has written about him.

والتحقيق أن الأقوى كون الرجل من الثقات المعتمدين اعتمادا على توثيق الشيخ، وأبي القاسم الكوفي في كتاب الاستغاثة، والعلامة المامقاني في رجاله.

The stronger idea about Ja’far Ibn Mohammad Malik Kufi is that he is considered reliable based on what Sheikh Abu al-Qasim Kufi and Mamaqani have both said in Istighasa and Rijal respectively.

Mustadrakat ‘Ilm Rijal al-Hadith, vol. 2, p. 213, No. 2830.

     4. Mu’awiya Ibn Hakim

Mu’awiya Ibn Hakim stands the first on the three-people line who have reported this narrative. Shia scholars call him reliable.

In his Rijal, Najashi has said,

معاوية بن حكيم بن معاوية بن عمار الدهني ثقة، جليل، في أصحاب الرضا عليه السلام. قال أبو عبد الله الحسين بن عبيد الله: سمعت شيوخنا يقولون: روى معاوية بن حكيم أربعة وعشرين أصلا لم يرو غيرها

Mu’awiya Ibn Hakim Ibn Mu’awiya Ibn ‘Ammar Dahani is a reliable and respectable person and one of the companions of the Eighth Imam (AS). I have heard from notable figures that Mu’awiya Ibn Hakim has reported twenty four principles which no other narrator has ever reported.

Al-Najashi al-Asadi al-Kufi, Abu al-‘Abbas Ahmad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Ahmad Ibn al-‘Abbas (died in 450 AH), Fihrist Asma Musnafi al-Shi’a al-Mushtahar bi Rijal al-Najashi, p. 412; researched by al-Sayyid Musa al-Shubeyri al-Zanjani; published by Muassissat al-Nashr al-Islami, Qom, the fifth edition, 1416 AH.

    5.  Mohammad Ibn Ayyub Ibn Nuh and Mohammad Ibn ‘Uthman ‘Amri

These two highly regarded figures were representatives of the Imam of the Time (AS). So there is no need to examine their reliability. For Shias, they are trustworthy. Because they are placed in the same rank as Mu’awiyat Ibn Hakim whose reliability was already proved, there is, thus, no need for the assessment of other narrators in the same rank.

 

    3.  The narrative of Imam ‘Askari’s servant, Abu Ghanim:

Abu Ghanim was a servant working in Imam Hassan ‘Askari’s (AS) house. As reported by him, three days after Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) birth, Imam Hassan ‘Askari (AS) showed his son to his companions and introduced him as his successor.

Sheikh Saduq has said,

ابْنُ الْمُتَوَكِّلِ عَنِ الْحِمْيَرِيِّ عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ أَحْمَدَ الْعَلَوِيِّ عَنْ أَبِي غَانِمٍ الْخَادِمِ قَالَ: وُلِدَ لِأَبِي مُحَمَّدٍ عليه السلام وَلَدٌ فَسَمَّاهُ مُحَمَّداً فَعَرَضَهُ عَلَى أَصْحَابِهِ يَوْمَ الثَّالِثِ وَقَالَ: هَذَا صَاحِبُكُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِي وَخَلِيفَتِي عَلَيْكُمْ وَهُوَ الْقَائِمُ الَّذِي تَمْتَدُّ إِلَيْهِ الْأَعْنَاقُ بِالانْتِظَارِ فَإِذَا امْتَلَأَتِ الْأَرْضُ جَوْراً وَظُلْماً خَرَجَ فَمَلَأَهَا قِسْطاً وَعَدْلا.

Abu Ghanim has recounted that when the Imam of the Time (AS) was born, his father named him Mohammad. Three days later, he showed him to his companions, stating, “This baby will be your Imam and my successor after me. He is the one for his arrival people have been waiting. He will appear to fill the world with peace and justice when it was full of oppression and injustice.”

Al-Saduq, Abu Ja’far Mohammad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn al-Hussein (died in 381 AH), Kamal al-Din wa Tamam al-Ni’mat, p. 431, Chapter 42, H. 8; published by Islamiyya, Tehran, 1395 AH.

Al-Majlisi, Mohammad Baqir (died in 1111 AH), Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’at Li Durar Akhbar al-Aimma al-Athar, vol. 51, p. 6, Bab Wiladat wa Ahwal Umma, H. 11; researched by Mohammad al-Baqir al-Bihbudi; published by Muassissat al-Wafat, Beirut/Lebanon, the second edition, al-Musahiha, 1403 AH-1983 AD.

 

 

    4.  Ahmad Ibn Ishaq Qomi

In his Kamal al-Din, Sheikh Saduq has recounted how the Imam of the Time (AS) was seen when Imam Hassan ‘Askari (AS) was still alive, quoting Ahmad Ibn Ishaq.

حَدَّثَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ الْوَرَّاقُ قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا سَعْدُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ عَنْ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ إِسْحَاقَ بْنِ سَعْدٍ الْأَشْعَرِيِّ قَالَ: دَخَلْتُ عَلَى أَبِي مُحَمَّدٍ الْحَسَنِ بْنِ عَلِيٍّ عليه السلام وَأَنَا أُرِيدُ أَنْ أَسْأَلَهُ عَنِ الْخَلَفِ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ فَقَالَ لِي مُبْتَدِئاً: يَا أَحْمَدَ بْنَ إِسْحَاقَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى لَمْ يُخَلِّ الْأَرْضَ مُنْذُ خَلَقَ آدَمَ عليه السلام وَلَا يُخَلِّيهَا إِلَى أَنْ تَقُومَ السَّاعَةُ مِنْ حُجَّةٍ لِلَّهِ عَلَى خَلْقِهِ بِهِ يَدْفَعُ الْبَلَاءَ عَنْ أَهْلِ الْأَرْضِ وَبِهِ يُنَزِّلُ الْغَيْثَ وَبِهِ يُخْرِجُ بَرَكَاتِ الْأَرْضِ قَالَ فَقُلْتُ لَهُ: يَا ابْنَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ فَمَنِ الْإِمَامُ وَالْخَلِيفَةُ بَعْدَكَ فَنَهَضَ عليه السلام مُسْرِعاً فَدَخَلَ الْبَيْتَ ثُمَّ خَرَجَ وَعَلَى عَاتِقِهِ غُلَامٌ كَأَنَّ وَجْهَهُ الْقَمَرُ لَيْلَةَ الْبَدْرِ مِنْ أَبْنَاءِ الثَّلَاثِ سِنِينَ فَقَالَ: يَا أَحْمَدَ بْنَ إِسْحَاقَ لَوْ لَا كَرَامَتُكَ عَلَى اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ وَعَلَى حُجَجِهِ مَا عَرَضْتُ عَلَيْكَ ابْنِي هَذَا إِنَّهُ سَمِيُّ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلي الله عليه وآله وَكَنِيُّهُ الَّذِي يَمْلَأُ الْأَرْضَ قِسْطاً وَعَدْلًا كَمَا مُلِئَتْ جَوْراً وَظُلْماً يَا أَحْمَدَ بْنَ إِسْحَاقَ مَثَلُهُ فِي هَذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ مَثَلُ الْخَضِرِ عليه السلام وَمَثَلُهُ مَثَلُ ذِي الْقَرْنَيْنِ وَاللَّهِ لَيَغِيبَنَّ غَيْبَةً لَا يَنْجُو فِيهَا مِنَ الْهَلَكَةِ إِلَّا مَنْ ثَبَّتَهُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ عَلَى الْقَوْلِ بِإِمَامَتِهِ وَوَفَّقَهُ فِيهَا لِلدُّعَاءِ بِتَعْجِيلِ فَرَجِهِ فَقَالَ أَحْمَدُ بْنُ إِسْحَاقَ فَقُلْتُ لَهُ: يَا مَوْلَايَ فَهَلْ مِنْ عَلَامَةٍ يَطْمَئِنُّ إِلَيْهَا قَلْبِي؟ فَنَطَقَ الْغُلَامُ عليه السلام بِلِسَانٍ عَرَبِيٍّ فَصِيحٍ فَقَالَ: أَنَا بَقِيَّةُ اللَّهِ فِي أَرْضِهِ وَالْمُنْتَقِمُ مِنْ أَعْدَائِهِ فَلَا تَطْلُبْ أَثَراً بَعْدَ عَيْنٍ يَا أَحْمَدَ بْنَ إِسْحَاقَ....‏

Ahmad Ibn Ishaq Ibn Sa’d Ash’ari said, “I went to meet the Eleventh Imam, Abu Mohammad Hassan Ibn ‘Ali. I decided to ask him about his successor. He began talking himself, saying, ‘O Ahmad Ibn Ishaq! Truly, God Almighty has never left the earth without a Hujjat ever since He created Adam. And neither will He do so until the Day of Judgment. Thanks to the existence of His Hujjat, He has kept away calamities from the earth, sending a barrage of blessings instead.’ I asked him who his successor would be after him. Hastily, he stood up and went to another room. When he returned I saw a small child over his shoulder. His face was shining bright like full moon. He looked to be three years old. He said, ‘O Ahmad Ibn Ishaq! If you were not so revered before God Almighty and before his Hujjats, I would never show my son to you. His name and nickname is like those of the Holy Prophet. He is the one who will fill the world with peace and justice as it was full of oppression and injustice. His story is similar to those of Khidr (AS) and Zul Qarnayn. By God, he will have a lengthy concealment during which only those who are steadfast in their beliefs and promises and pray for his reappearance will be saved.’ I asked him if he had any sign as evidence to make me certain. Suddenly, the child started to talk, saying, ‘I am God’s reservoir on the earth. I will take revenge on His enemies. O Ahmad Ibn Ishaq! Now with witnessing the sign of evidence with your own eyes, stop searching for it any more.’….”

Al-Saduq, Abu Ja’far Mohammad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn al-Hussein (died in 381 AH), Kamal al-Din wa Tamam al-Ni’mat, p. 384; published by Islamiyya, Tehran, 1395 AH.

Al-Majlisi, Mohammad Baqir (died in 1111 AH), Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’at Li Durar Akhbar al-Aimma al-Athar, vol. 52, p. 24; researched by Mohammad al-Baqir al-Bihbudi; published by Muassissat al-Wafat, Beirut/Lebanon, the second edition, al-Musahiha, 1403 AH-1983 AD.

       5.  Ibrahim Ibn Mohammad Ibn Fars al-Neisaburi

Ibrahim Ibn Mohammad Ibn Fars al-Neisaburi was a companion of Imam Hassan ‘Askari (AS) who had the honor of seeing the Imam of the Time (AS) in their house. Mirzaye Nuri has quoted a narrative from Ithbat al-Hudat, quoting Fadl Ibn Shathan’s Ithbat al-Raj’at as follows,

حَدَّثَنَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ فَارِسِيٍّ النَّيْسَابُورِيُّ قَالَ: لَمَّا هَمَّ الْوَالِي عَمْرُو بْنُ عَوْفٍ بِقَتْلِي وَهُوَ رَجُلٌ شَدِيدٌ وَكَانَ مُولَعاً بِقَتْلِ الشِّيعَةِ فَأُخْبِرْتُ بِذَلِكَ وَغَلَبَ عَلَيَّ خَوْفٌ عَظِيمٌ فَوَدَّعْتُ أَهْلِي وَأَحِبَّائِي وَتَوَجَّهْتُ إِلَى دَارِ أَبِي مُحَمَّدٍ عليه السلام لِأُوَدِّعَهُ وَكُنْتُ أَرَدْتُ الْهَرَبَ فَلَمَّا دَخَلْتُ عَلَيْهِ رَأَيْتُ غُلَاماً جَالِساً فِي جَنْبِهِ كَانَ وَجْهُهُ مُضِيئاً كَالْقَمَرِ لَيْلَةَ الْبَدْرِ فَتَحَيَّرْتُ مِنْ نُورِهِ وَضِيَائِهِ وَكَادَ أَنْ أَنْسَى مَا كُنْتُ فِيهِ مِنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْهَرَبِ فَقَالَ: يَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ لَا تَهْرُبْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى سَيَكْفِيكَ شَرَّهُ فَازْدَادَ تَحَيُّرِي فَقُلْتُ لِأَبِي مُحَمَّدٍ عليه السلام: يَا سَيِّدِي جَعَلَنِيَ اللَّهُ فِدَاكَ مَنْ هُوَ وَقَدْ أَخْبَرَنِي بِمَا كَانَ فِي ضَمِيرِي؟ فَقَالَ: هُوَ ابْنِي وَخَلِيفَتِي مِنْ بَعْدِي وَهُوَ الَّذِي يَغِيبُ غَيْبَةً طَوِيلَةً وَيَظْهَرُ بَعْدَ امْتِلَاءِ الْأَرْضِ جَوْراً وَظُلْماً فَيَمْلَأُهَا قِسْطاً وَعَدْلًا فَسَأَلْتُهُ عَنِ اسْمِهِ فَقَالَ: هُوَ سَمِيُّ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلي الله عليه وآله وَكَنِيُّهُ وَلَا يَحِلُّ لِأَحَدٍ أَنْ يُسَمِّيَهُ أَوْ يُكَنِّيَهُ بِكُنْيَتِهِ إِلَى أَنْ يُظْهِرَ اللَّهُ دَوْلَتَهُ وَسَلْطَنَتَهُ فَاكْتُمْ يَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ مَا رَأَيْتَ وَسَمِعْتَ مِنَّا الْيَوْمَ إِلَّا عَنْ أَهْلِهِ فَصَلَّيْتُ عَلَيْهِمَا وَآبَائِهِمَا وَخَرَجْتُ مُسْتَظْهِراً بِفَضْلِ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى وَاثِقاً بِمَا سَمِعْتُ مِنَ الصَّاحِبِ عليه السلام.

Ibrahim Ibn Mohammad Farsi Neishaburi said, “When the mayor of the Abbasid dynasty, ‘Amr Ibn ’Uf, who was a stone-hearted man thirsty of Shias’ blood, decided to kill me, I was so terrified that I made up my mind to run away. I bid farewell to my family and friends first. Then, I went to say goodbye to Imam Hassan ‘Askari. As soon as I stepped into his house, I saw a little boy whose face was shining bright like a full moon. I was so astonished of the light and brightness that I was about to forget my fright and decision to flee. That child told me, ‘O Ibrahim! Do not escape. God Almighty is enough for you.’ I got much more astounded. I asked Imam ‘Askari (AS), ‘May my soul be sacrificed for you, my master! Who is this child who is aware of my secrets?’ The Hazrat replied, ‘He is my son and successor after me. He is the one who will be concealed from sights for a very long time. He will reappear to fill the earth with peace and justice as it was full of oppression and injustice.’ I asked him what his name was. He answered, ‘His name and nickname is like those of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). No one is allowed to call him with this name and nickname until he reappears and establishes a government. O Ibrahim! Keep secret whatsoever you saw and you heard here from every one except trustworthy people.’ I sent blessings to both of them as well as their ancestors and left the house while I was absolutely certain about what Hazrat Mahdi (AS) had told me.”

Al-Tabarsi, Mirza al-Sheikh Hussein al-Nuri (died in 1320 AH), Khatama al-Mustadrak, vol. 12, p. 281; researched by Muassissat Al al-Bayt ‘Alayhum al-Salam Li Ihya al-Turath; published by Muassissat Al al-Bayt ‘Alayhum al-Salam Li Ihya al-Turath, Qom-Iran, the first edition, 1415 AH.

Mu’jam Ahadith al-Imam al-Mahdi (AS), al-Sheikh ‘Ali al-Kurani al-‘Amili, vol. 4, p. 238.

Makayi; al-Makarim, Mirza Mohamamd Taqi al-Isfahani, vol. 1, p. 237.

      6.   Abu Harun

The following is what Sheikh Saduq has written in his Kamal al-Din.

حَدَّثَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ الْحَسَنِ بْنِ الْفَرَجِ الْمُؤَذِّنُ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ الْحَسَنِ الْكَرْخِيُّ قَالَ: سَمِعْتُ أَبَا هَارُونَ رَجُلًا مِنْ أَصْحَابِنَا يَقُولُ: رَأَيْتُ صَاحِبَ الزَّمَانِ عليه السلام وَوَجْهُهُ يُضِي‏ءُ كَأَنَّهُ الْقَمَرُ لَيْلَةَ الْبَدْرِ وَرَأَيْتُ عَلَى سُرَّتِهِ شَعْراً يَجْرِي كَالْخَطِّ وَكَشَفْتُ الثَّوْبَ عَنْهُ فَوَجَدْتُهُ مَخْتُوناً فَسَأَلْتُ أَبَا مُحَمَّدٍ عليه السلام عَنْ ذَلِكَ فَقَالَ:‏ هَكَذَا وُلِدَ وَهَكَذَا وُلِدْنَا وَلَكِنَّا سَنُمِرُّ الْمُوسَى عَلَيْهِ لِإِصَابَةِ السُّن.

Mohammad Ibn Hassan Kirikhi said, “I heard from Abu Mohammad who was one of our companions, saying, ‘I saw the Imam of the Time while his face was shining bright like full moon. There was a hair on his navel. When I drew away his clothes, I found him circumcised. I asked the reason from the Eleventh Imam. He answered, ‘It is the way he was born. We were also born like this. But in order to observe the Islamic Sunna (tradition), we draw razor blade on it.’”

Al-Saduq, Abu Ja’far Mohammad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn al-Hussein (died in 381 AH), Kamal al-Din wa Tamam al-Ni’mat, vol. 2, p. 435; published by Islamiyya, Tehran, the second edition, 1395 AH.

Al-Majlisi, Mohammad Baqir (died in 1111 AH), Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’at Li Durar Akhbar al-Aimma al-Athar, vol. 52, p. 25, H. 18; researched by Mohammad al-Baqir al-Bihbudi; published by Muassissat al-Wafat, Beirut/Lebanon, the second edition, al-Musahiha, 1403 AH-1983 AD.

         7.   Ya’qub Ibn Manqush

Sheikh Sadiq has cited Ya’qub Ibn Manqush’s recount of how he saw the Imam of the Time (AS) as follows. He was one of Imam Hassan ‘Askari’s (AS) companions.

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو طَالِبٍ الْمُظَفَّرُ بْنُ جَعْفَرِ بْنِ الْمُظَفَّرِ الْعَلَوِيُّ السَّمَرْقَنْدِيُّ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا جَعْفَرُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ مَسْعُودٍ عَنْ أَبِيهِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ مَسْعُودٍ الْعَيَّاشِيِّ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا آدَمُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ الْبَلْخِيُّ قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي عَلِيُّ بْنُ الْحَسَنِ بْنِ هَارُونَ الدَّقَّاقُ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا جَعْفَرُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ الْقَاسِمِ بْنِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ بْنِ الْأَشْتَرِ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا يَعْقُوبُ بْنُ‏ مَنْقُوشٍ قَالَ: دَخَلْتُ عَلَى أَبِي مُحَمَّدٍ الْحَسَنِ بْنِ عَلِيٍّ عليه السلام وَهُوَ جَالِسٌ عَلَى دُكَّانٍ فِي الدَّارِ وَعَنْ يَمِينِهِ بَيْتٌ وَعَلَيْهِ سَتْرٌ مُسْبَلٌ فَقُلْتُ لَهُ: يَا سَيِّدِي مَنْ صَاحِبُ هَذَا الْأَمْرِ فَقَالَ ارْفَعِ السِّتْرَ فَرَفَعْتُهُ فَخَرَجَ إِلَيْنَا غُلَامٌ خُمَاسِيٌّ لَهُ عَشْرٌ أَوْ ثَمَانٌ أَوْ نَحْوُ ذَلِكَ وَاضِحُ الْجَبِينِ أَبْيَضُ الْوَجْهِ دُرِّيُّ الْمُقْلَتَيْنِ شَثْنُ الْكَفَّيْنِ مَعْطُوفُ الرُّكْبَتَيْنِ فِي خَدِّهِ الْأَيْمَنِ خَالٌ وَفِي رَأْسِهِ ذُؤَابَةٌ فَجَلَسَ عَلَى فَخِذِ أَبِي مُحَمَّدٍ عليه السلام ثُمَّ قَالَ لِي: هَذَا هُوَ صَاحِبُكُمْ ثُمَّ وَثَبَ فَقَالَ لَهُ: يَا بُنَيَّ ادْخُلْ إِلَى الْوَقْتِ الْمَعْلُومِ فَدَخَلَ الْبَيْتَ وَأَنَا أَنْظُرُ إِلَيْهِ ثُمَّ قَالَ لِي: يَا يَعْقُوبُ انْظُرْ إِلَى مَنْ فِي الْبَيْتِ فَدَخَلْتُ فَمَا رَأَيْتُ أَحَدا

Ya’qub Ibn Manqush has said, “I went to meet Imam Hassan ‘Askari (AS). I found him sitting on a platform in his house. There was a room on his right with its curtains drawn closed. I asked him who really was the Imam of the Time. He responded, ‘Go draw back the curtains.’ As soon as I did so, I saw a small boy eight or ten years of age. His forehead and face were shining bright. His eyes were like pearls. His hands looked large and his knees curved. He had a mole on his right cheek and a thick head of hair. He came and sat on his father’s lap. He told me then, ‘He is your master.’ When he got up, the Imam told him, ‘My son, go in and stay there until due time.’ I kept looking at him. He told me, ‘O Yaqub! Go in and see where he is.’ Once I went inside, there was no one there.”

Al-Saduq, Abu Ja’far Mohammad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn al-Hussein (died in 381 AH), Kamal al-Din wa Tamam al-Ni’mat, p. 407; published by Islamiyya, Tehran, 1395 AH.

Al-Majlisi, Mohammad Baqir (died in 1111 AH), Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’at Li Durar Akhbar al-Aimma al-Athar, vol. 52, p. 25; researched by Mohammad al-Baqir al-Bihbudi; published by Muassissat al-Wafat, Beirut/Lebanon, the second edition, al-Musahiha, 1403 AH-1983 AD.

     8.  ‘Amr Ahwazi

‘Amr Ahwazi is one of the individuals who had seen the Imam of the Time (AS). Late Koleini and Sheikh Mufid have both cited his account.

عَلِيُّ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ عَنْ جَعْفَرِ بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ الْكُوفِيِّ عَنْ جَعْفَرِ بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ الْمَكْفُوفِ عَنْ عَمْرٍو الْأَهْوَازِيِّ قَالَ: أَرَانِيهِ أَبُو مُحَمَّدٍ عليه السلام وَقَالَ: هَذَا صَاحِبُكُم.

‘Amr Ahwazi said, “Imam Hassan ‘Askari (AS) showed him to us, saying, ‘Here is your master.’”

Al-Koleini al-Razi, Abu Ja’far Mohammad Ibn Ya’qub Ibn Ishaq (died in 328 AH), al-Usul Min al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 332, H. 12; published by Islamiyya, Tehran, the second edition, 1362 AH.

Al-Sheikh al-Mufid, Mohammad Ibn Mohammad Ibn al-Nu’man Ibn al-Mu’allim Abi ‘Abdullah al-‘Akbari al-Baghdadi (died in 413 AH), Al-Irshad fi Ma’rifat Hujaj Allah ‘Ala al-‘Ibad, vol. 2 , p. 354 ; researched by Muassissat Al al-Bayt ‘Alayhumu al-Salam Li Tahqiq al-Turath; published by Dar al-Mufid Lil Taba’at wa al-Nashr wa al-Towzi’, Beirut-Lebanon, the second edition, 1414 AH-1993 AD.

 

     9.   Mohammad Ibn Isma’il Ibn Musa Ibn Ja’far (Peace be Upon Them)

Mohammad Ibn Isma’il who was one of the descendants of Musa Ibn Ja’far (AS) had seen the Imam of the Time (AS).

عَلِيُّ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ إِسْمَاعِيلَ بْنِ مُوسَى بْنِ جَعْفَرٍ وَكَانَ أَسَنَّ شَيْخٍ مِنْ وُلْدِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلي الله عليه وآله بِالْعِرَاقِ فَقَالَ: رَأَيْتُهُ بَيْنَ الْمَسْجِدَيْنِ وَهُوَ غُلَامٌ عليه السلام.‏

Mohammad Ibn Isma’il Ibn Musa Ibn Ja’far, the most elderly offspring of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him), was living in Iraq. He said, “I saw the Hazrat between two mosques (of Mecca or Medina; Kufa or Sahla; Sahla or Sa’sa’a. He was still immature.”

Al-Koleini al-Razi, Abu Ja’far Mohammad Ibn Ya’qub Ibn Ishaq (died in 328 AH), al-Usul Min al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 330, Bab Tasmiya Min Rah, H. 2; published by Islamiyya, Tehran, the second edition, 1362 AH.

    10.   Abu Nasr Turayf Khadim

Abu Nasr Turayf was another servant of Imam Hassan ‘Askari (AS). He said, “I have seen Hazrat Mahdi. He told me that he was the last successor to the Holy Prophet.”

عَنْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ الْعَلَوِيِّ قَالَ: حَدَّثَنِي طَرِيفٌ أَبُو نَصْرٍ قَالَ: دَخَلْتُ عَلَى صَاحِبِ الزَّمَانِ عليه السلام فَقَالَ: عَلَيَّ بِالصَّنْدَلِ الْأَحْمَرِ فَأَتَيْتُهُ بِهِ ثُمَّ قَالَ: أَ تَعْرِفُنِي قُلْتُ: نَعَمْ فَقَالَ: مَنْ أَنَا فَقُلْتُ: أَنْتَ سَيِّدِي وَابْنُ سَيِّدِي فَقَالَ: لَيْسَ عَنْ هَذَا سَأَلْتُكَ قَالَ: طَرِيفٌ فَقُلْتُ: جَعَلَنِيَ اللَّهُ فِدَاكَ فَبَيِّنْ لِي قَالَ: أَنَا خَاتَمُ الْأَوْصِيَاءِ وَبِي يَدْفَعُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ الْبَلَاءَ عَنْ أَهْلِي وَشِيعَتِي.‏

Turayf Ibn Nasr said, “I went to see the Imam of the Time (AS). He asked for red sandals. I brought them for him. Then he asked me, ‘Do you know me?’ ‘Yes’, responded I.‘Who am I?’, he asked. I replied, ‘You are my master and the son of my master.’ He added, ‘It is not the answer that I wanted.’ I said, ‘May my soul be sacrificed for you, you say it yourself.’ He went on saying, ‘I am the seal of Osiya (guardians). God Almighty keeps away the calamities from my family and my Shias thanks to my existance.

Al-Saduq, Abu Ja’far Mohammad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn al-Hussein (died in 381 AH), Kamal al-Din wa Tamam al-Ni’mat, p. 441, H. 12; published by Islamiyya, Tehran, 1395 AH.

Al-Tusi, al-Sheikh Abu Ja’far, Mohammad Ibn al-Hassan Ibn ‘Ali Ibn al-Hassan (died in 460 AH), Kitab al-Ghayba, p. 246, H. 215; researched by al-Sheikh ‘Ibad Allah al-Tihrani, al-Sheikh ‘Ali Ahmad Nasih; published by Muassissat al-Ma’arif al-Islamiyya, the first edition, 1411 AH.

 

     11.  Abu ‘Ali Ibn Mutahhar

Abu ‘Ali Ibn Mutahhar was one of the individuals who had the honor of seeing the Hazrat. Here is the way Koleini has recounted his observation.

عَلِيُّ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ عَنْ فَتْحٍ مَوْلَى الزُّرَارِيِّ قَالَ سَمِعْتُ أَبَا عَلِيِّ بْنَ مُطَهَّرٍ يَذْكُرُ أَنَّهُ قَدْ رَآهُ وَوَصَفَ لَهُ قَدَّه‏.

Fath said, “I heard from Abu ‘Ali Ibn Mutahhar recounting that he himself saw the Hazrat, describing himself for him.”

Al-Koleini al-Razi, Abu Ja’far Mohammad Ibn Ya’qub Ibn Ishaq (died in 328 AH), al-Usul Min al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 329, Bab Tasmiya Min Rah, H. 5; published by Islamiyya, Tehran, the second edition, 1362 AH.

     12.  Nasim, Imam ‘Askari’s (AS) servant

Nasim was Imam Hassan ‘Askari’s (AS) servant who had seen Hazrat Mahdi (AS) at the time of his birth.

The following is what Sheikh Saduq and Hurr ‘Amili have quoted from her.

حدَّثَنَا أَبُو طَالِبٍ الْمُظَفَّرُ بْنُ جَعْفَرِ بْنِ الْمُظَفَّرِ بْنِ جَعْفَرِ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عُمَرَ بْنِ عَلِيِّ بْنِ أَبِي طَالِبٍ عليه السلام قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا جَعْفَرُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ مَسْعُودٍ قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو النَّضْرِ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ مَسْعُودٍ قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا آدَمُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ الْبَلْخِيُّ قَالَ: حَدَّثَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ الْحَسَنِ الدَّقَّاقُ قَالَ: حَدَّثَنِي إِبْرَاهِيمُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ الْعَلَوِيُّ قَالَ: حَدَّثَتْنِي نَسِيمُ خَادِمَةُ أَبِي مُحَمَّدٍ عليه السلام قَالَتْ: دَخَلْتُ عَلَى صَاحِبِ هَذَا الْأَمْرِ عليه السلام بَعْدَ مَوْلِدِهِ بِلَيْلَةٍ فَعَطَسْتُ عِنْدَهُ قَالَ لِي: يَرْحَمُكِ اللَّهُ قَالَتْ نَسِيمُ: فَفَرِحْتُ بِذَلِكَ فَقَالَ لِي عليه السلام: أَ لَا أُبَشِّرُكِ فِي الْعُطَاسِ قُلْتُ: بَلَى قَالَ: هُوَ أَمَانٌ مِنَ الْمَوْتِ ثَلَاثَةَ أَيَّام‏.

Nasim, Imam Hassan ‘Askari’s servant said, “One night after the birth of the Imam of the Time (AS), I went to see him. I sneezed when I was there with him. He said, يرحمك اللَّه(Bless you).” Nasim said that she got very happy to hear that. He asked, “Do you want me to give you a glad-tiding about sneezing?” “Of course”, replied I. “Any one who sneezes, he will be immune from death for three days,” he said.

Al-Saduq, Abu Ja’far Mohammad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn al-Hussein (died in 381 AH), Kamal al-Din wa Tamam al-Ni’mat, p. 441, Chapter 41, H. 13; published by Islamiyya, Tehran, 1395 AH.

Al-Hurr al-‘Amili, Mohammad Ibn al-Hassan (died in 1104 AH), Tafsil Wasail al-Shi’at Ila Tahsil Masail al-Shari’at, vol. 12, p. 89; researched and published by Muassissat Al al-Bayt ‘Alayhum al-Salam Li Ihya al-Turath, the second edition, 1414 AH.

 

     13.   A man from Fars

A man from Fars was one of the supporters of Imam Hassan ‘Askari (AS). He had seen Hazrat Mahdi (AS) when he used to be a servant in their house. Hazrat Hassan ‘Askari (AS) had introduced his son to him.

In Kafi, late Kafi has said,

عَنْ ضَوْءِ بْنِ عَلِيٍّ الْعِجْلِيِّ عَنْ رَجُلٍ مِنْ أَهْلِ فَارِسَ سَمَّاهُ قَالَ: أَتَيْتُ سُرَّ مَنْ رَأَى فَلَزِمْتُ بَابَ أَبِي مُحَمَّدٍ عليه السلام فَدَعَانِي مِنْ غَيْرِ أَنْ أَسْتَأْذِنَ فَلَمَّا دَخَلْتُ وَسَلَّمْتُ قَالَ لِي: يَا أَبَا فُلَانٍ كَيْفَ حَالُكَ؟ ثُمَّ قَالَ لِي: اقْعُدْ يَا فُلَانُ ثُمَّ سَأَلَنِي عَنْ رِجَالٍ وَنِسَاءٍ مِنْ أَهْلِي ثُمَّ قَالَ لِي: مَا الَّذِي أَقْدَمَكَ عَلَيَّ؟ قُلْتُ: رَغْبَةً فِي خِدْمَتِكَ قَالَ لِي فَقَالَ: الْزَمِ الدَّارَ قَالَ: فَكُنْتُ فِي الدَّارِ مَعَ الْخَدَمِ ثُمَّ صِرْتُ أَشْتَرِي لَهُمُ الْحَوَائِجَ مِنَ السُّوقِ وَكُنْتُ أَدْخُلُ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ غَيْرِ إِذْنٍ إِذَا كَانَ فِي دَارِ الرِّجَالِ فَدَخَلْتُ عَلَيْهِ يَوْماً وَهُوَ فِي دَارِ الرِّجَالِ فَسَمِعْتُ حَرَكَةً فِي الْبَيْتِ فَنَادَانِي مَكَانَكَ لَا تَبْرَحْ، فَلَمْ أَجْسُرْ أَخْرُجُ وَلَا أَدْخُلُ، فَخَرَجَتْ عَلَيَّ جَارِيَةٌ وَمَعَهَا شَيْ‏ءٌ مُغَطًّى، ثُمَّ نَادَانِي ادْخُلْ فَدَخَلْتُ وَنَادَى الْجَارِيَةَ فَرَجَعَتْ فَقَالَ لَهَا: اكْشِفِي عَمَّا مَعَكِ فَكَشَفَتْ عَنْ غُلَامٍ أَبْيَضَ حَسَنِ الْوَجْهِ وَكَشَفَتْ عَنْ بَطْنِهِ فَإِذَا شَعْرٌ نَابِتٌ مِنْ لَبَّتِهِ إِلَى سُرَّتِهِ أَخْضَرُ لَيْسَ بِأَسْوَدَ فَقَالَ: هَذَا صَاحِبُكُمْ ثُمَّ أَمَرَهَا فَحَمَلَتْهُ فَمَا رَأَيْتُهُ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ حَتَّى مَضَى أَبُو مُحَمَّدٍ عليه السلام.

Du Ibn ‘Ali ‘Ijili has quoted a man from Fars as saying, “I went to meet the Eleventh Imam in his house. He let me in before I ask for permission. I entered and said hello to him. He greeted me and told me to sit down. He asked me about all my family members. Then he asked me why I had come to meet him. ‘That is only because I am so eager to be at your service’, I replied. He accepted, saying, ‘Ok, you can stay here’. I stayed in his house along with other servants. I did shopping for them, buying whatever they needed. I was allowed to go and see him in men’s room without asking for permission. One day, the Hazrat was alone sitting in men’s room. I went in. I heard a sound in the room. The Hazrat told me, ‘Stay there and do not move!’ I did not dare to go back or go into the room. I saw a maid coming out with something wrapped in her hands. Shortly afterwards, he told me to go in. The Hazrat called the maid in as well. She returned. He told her, ‘Unveil what you have in your hands.’ She drew away the wrapping cloth, revealing a shining white and cute baby. There was a hair on his tummy which was green from below the throat up to his navel. The Hazrat (Imam Hassan ‘Askari) said, ‘He is your Imam of the Time.’ Then he told her to take him away. From then on until the demise of Abu Mohammad, I did not see him any more.”

Al-Koleini al-Razi, Abu Ja’far Mohammad Ibn Ya’qub Ibn Ishaq (died in 328 AH), al-Usul Min al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 329, H. 6; published by Islamiyya, Tehran, the second edition, 1362 AH.

        14. Kamil Ibn Ibrahim Madani

Kamil Ibn Ibrahim had gone to Imam ‘Askari’s house to ask him a question. He got his answer from Hazrat Mahdi (AS) instead.

جَعْفَرُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ جَعْفَرٍ عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ أَحْمَدَ الْأَنْصَارِيِّ قَالَ وَجَّهَ قَوْمٌ مِنَ الْمُفَوِّضَةِ وَالْمُقَصِّرَةِ كَامِلَ بْنَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ الْمَدَنِيَّ إِلَى أَبِي مُحَمَّدٍ عليه السلام قَالَ كَامِلٌ: فَقُلْتُ فِي نَفْسِي أَسْأَلُهُ لَا يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّةَ إِلَّا مَنْ عَرَفَ مَعْرِفَتِي وَقَالَ بِمَقَالَتِي قَالَ: فَلَمَّا دَخَلْتُ عَلَى سَيِّدِي أَبِي مُحَمَّدٍ عليه السلام نَظَرْتُ فَسَلَّمْتُ وَجَلَسْتُ إِلَى بَابٍ عَلَيْهِ سِتْرٌ مُرْخًى فَجَاءَتِ الرِّيحُ فَكَشَفَتْ طَرَفَهُ فَإِذَا أَنَا بِفَتًى كَأَنَّهُ فِلْقَةُ قَمَرٍ مِنْ أَبْنَاءِ أَرْبَعِ سِنِينَ أَوْ مِثْلِهَا فَقَالَ لِي: يَا كَامِلَ بْنَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ فَاقْشَعْرَرْتُ مِنْ ذَلِكَ وَأُلْهِمْتُ أَنْ قُلْتُ لَبَّيْكَ يَا سَيِّدِي فَقَالَ: جِئْتَ إِلَى وَلِيِّ اللَّهِ وَحُجَّتِهِ وَبَابِهِ تَسْأَلُهُ هَلْ يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّةَ إِلَّا مَنْ عَرَفَ مَعْرِفَتَكَ وَقَالَ بِمَقَالَتِكَ فَقُلْتُ إِي وَاللَّهِ قَالَ إِذَنْ وَاللَّهِ يَقِلَّ دَاخِلُهَا وَاللَّهِ إِنَّهُ لَيَدْخُلُهَا قَوْمٌ يُقَالُ لَهُمُ الْحَقِّيَّةُ قُلْتُ: يَا سَيِّدِي وَمَنْ هُمْ؟ قَال:َ قَوْمٌ مِنْ حُبِّهِمْ لِعَلِيٍّ يَحْلِفُونَ بِحَقِّهِ وَلَا يَدْرُونَ مَا حَقُّهُ وَفَضْلُهُ ثُمَّ سَكَتَ عليه السلام عَنِّي سَاعَةً ثُمَّ قَالَ: وَجِئْتَ تَسْأَلُهُ عَنْ مَقَالَةِ الْمُفَوِّضَةِ كَذَبُوا بَلْ قُلُوبُنَا أَوْعِيَةٌ لِمَشِيَّةِ اللَّهِ فَإِذَا شَاءَ شِئْنَا وَاللَّهُ يَقُولُ وَما تَشاؤُنَ إِلَّا أَنْ يَشاءَ اللَّهُ ثُمَّ رَجَعَ السِّتْرُ إِلَى حَالَتِهِ فَلَمْ أَسْتَطِعْ كَشْفَهُ فَنَظَرَ إِلَيَّ أَبُو مُحَمَّدٍ عليه السلام مُتَبَسِّماً فَقَالَ: يَا كَامِلُ مَا جُلُوسُكَ وَقَدْ أَنْبَأَكَ بِحَاجَتِكَ الْحُجَّةُ مِنْ بَعْدِي؟ فَقُمْتُ وَخَرَجْتُ وَلَمْ أُعَايِنْهُ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ.

Ja’far Ibn Mohammad Ibn Malik has quoted Mohammad Ibn ‘Abdullah Ibn Ja’far, quoting Mohammad Ibn Ahmad Ansari as saying that a group of Mufawade and Mussara, sent Kamil Ibn Ibrahim Madani to Imam Hassan ‘Askari (AS). Kamil said, “I said to myself that once I saw the Imam, I would tell him that no one would enter the Paradise unless he knew what I knew and believed in what I did believe. But when I went in, I saw him wearing white and soft clothes. I thought to myself why God’s Hujjat should wear such soft and delicate clothes while advising us to think about our religious brothers. ‘Why should he prohibit us from wearing such clothes?’, I was thinking to myself. Suddenly, I found the Hazrat smiling at me. He rolled up his sleeves and showed me rough black clothes he was wearing under the soft white clothes. He said, ‘O Kamil! I am wearing these rough clothes for God but the soft clothes for you. I said hello and sat down by a door from which a curtain was hanging. All of a sudden, the curtain swayed in the wind. I saw a child with a face shining like the moon. He looked four years old or so. He called me by name, ‘O Kamil Ibn Ibrahim!’ Upon hearing him speaking, I got so astonished that my hair stood on end. As if I was inspired to respond, I said ‘Yes my master.’ He asked me, ‘Have you come to ask a question and say that no one would enter the Paradise unless he knew what you knew and believed in what you did believe.’ I said, ‘Yes, I swear by God that I have come for this purpose.’ He said, ‘By God, the number of people who will finally get into the Paradise will reduce. Only those people who are called Haqiyya will manage to enter the Heaven.’ ‘Who are they?’, I asked. ‘They are people who feel so much affection to Ali (AS) and have faith in him being absolutely right but they are not well aware of his rights and eminence’, he answered. He kept silent for a moment and continued, ‘Have you come to ask about the beliefs of Muwaffada as well? They have lied about their beliefs. (No, God has not assigned us the universal affairs. But instead, He has made our hearts as tools to realize His wills. Therefore, when God wants something, we will also want it as a consequence. He has stated,

وَ ما تَشاؤُنَ إِلَّا أَنْ يَشاءَ اللَّهُ

They will not want anything unless God wants it.’

Abruptly, the curtain returned to its normal form, preventing me to see him. Imam Hassan ‘Askari (AS) looked at me with a smile on his face and said, ‘O Kamil! Why are you still sitting? You heard from the Imam after me what you wanted to.’ I stood up and left but from then on I did not see the Hazrat (Imam of the Time) any more.

Al-Tusi, al-Sheikh Abu Ja’far, Mohammad Ibn al-Hassan Ibn ‘Ali Ibn al-

Hassan (died in 460 AH), Kitab al-Ghayba, p. 247; researched by al-Sheikh ‘Ibad Allah al-Tihrani, al-Sheikh ‘Ali Ahmad Nasih; published by Muassissat al-Ma’arif al-Islamiyya, the first edition, 1411 AH.

Al-Majlisi, Mohammad Baqir (died in 1111 AH), Bihar al-Anwar al-Jami’at Li Durar Akhbar al-Aimma al-Athar, vol. 69, p. 163; researched by Mohammad al-Baqir al-Bihbudi; published by Muassissat al-Wafat, Beirut/Lebanon, the second edition, al-Musahiha, 1403 AH-1983 AD.

Conclusion:

With regard to what was shown so far, there had been a number of individuals who had seen Hazrat Mahdi (AS) during and even after his father’s life. As a conclusion, other than Hazrat Hakima who was the most reliable person concerning this issue, there are other trustworthy narrators who have reported the Hazrat’s birth. Some people met with him even after his birth.

The fourth response: Imam ‘Askari had informed reliable individuals of Mahdi’s existence in advance. In addition to showing his son, Mahdi, to a group of his Shias and companions, Imam Hassan ‘Askari had informed another group who were dependable.

Here, we refer to two authentic and reliable narratives in this regard.

1.       Informing Abu Hashim Ja’fari

Abu Hashim Ja’fari was one of the reliable narrators whom Imam Hassan ‘Askari (AS) had informed of the existence of his son, Hazrat Mahdi (AS). Late Koleini has cited his narrative with an authentic chain of transmission.

مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ يَحْيَى عَنْ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ إِسْحَاقَ عَنْ أَبِي هَاشِمٍ الْجَعْفَرِيِّ قَالَ: قُلْتُ لِأَبِي مُحَمَّدٍ عليه السلام: جَلَالَتُكَ تَمْنَعُنِي مِنْ مَسْأَلَتِكَ فَتَأْذَنُ لِي أَنْ أَسْأَلَكَ فَقَالَ: سَلْ قُلْتُ: يَا سَيِّدِي هَلْ لَكَ وَلَدٌ؟ فَقَالَ: نَعَمْ فَقُلْتُ: فَإِنْ حَدَثَ بِكَ حَدَثٌ فَأَيْنَ أَسْأَلُ عَنْهُ؟ قَالَ: بِالْمَدِينَةِ.

Abu Hashim Ja’fari said, ‘Can I ask you a question although your dignity and charisma prevents me from asking?’ He allowed me to ask. ‘Do you have any children?’, I asked. ‘Yes’, replied he. ‘Where can I ask him my questions in case I could not find you?’ I continued. ‘In Medina’, said he.

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

 

Examination of the narrative’s chain of transmission

Three individuals can be seen in the chain of transmission of this narrative. We are going to bring each of them under scrutiny separately.

1.       Mohammad Ibn Yahya al-Attar

Mohammad Ibn Yahya al-Attar is the first narrator of this narrative. This man is considered as a reliable narrator from the Shia perspective. Let’s see what Najashi who is a prominent figure in Rijal (the study of the people who have transmitted a hadith) had to say about him.

محمد بن يحيى أبو جعفر العطار القمي، شيخ أصحابنا في زمانه، ثقة، عين، كثير الحديث

Mohammad Ibn Yahya Abu Ja’far ‘Attar al-Qomi was one of the top figures of Imamiyya at his time. He is considered as a reliable narrator who has reported a large number of narratives.

Al-Najashi al-Asadi al-Kufi, Abu al-‘Abbas Ahmad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Ahmad Ibn al-‘Abbas (died in 450 AH), Fihrist Asma Musnafi al-Shi’a al-Mushtahar bi Rijal al-Najashi, p. 353; researched by al-Sayyid Musa al-Shubeyri al-Zanjani; published by Muassissat al-Nashr al-Islami, Qom, the fifth edition, 1416 AH.

 

 

2.       Ahmad Ibn Ishaq

Ahmad Ibn Ishaq stands the second in line. Here is what Najashi has said about him.

أحمد بن إسحاق بن عبد الله بن سعد بن مالك بن الأحوص الأشعري، أبو علي القمي، وكان وافد القميين، وروى عن أبي جعفر الثاني وأبي الحسن عليهما السلام، وكان خاصة أبي محمد عليه السلام.

Ahmad Ibn Ishaq Ibn ‘Abdullah Ibn Sa’d Ibn Malik Ibn Ahwas Ash’ari, Abu ‘Ali Qomi, was a representative from Qom. He has quoted narratives directly from Abi Ja’far and Imam ‘Ali al-Naqi (Peace be Upon Them). He was a close companion of Imam Hassan ‘Askari (AS).

Al-Najashi al-Asadi al-Kufi, Abu al-‘Abbas Ahmad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Ahmad Ibn al-‘Abbas (died in 450 AH), Fihrist Asma Musnafi al-Shi’a al-Mushtahar bi Rijal al-Najashi, p. 91; researched by al-Sayyid Musa al-Shubeyri al-Zanjani; published by Muassissat al-Nashr al-Islami, Qom, the fifth edition, 1416 AH.

In his Fihrist, Sheikh Tusi has similarly admired him, adding that he had seen the Imam of the Time (AS).

الأشعري، أبو علي، كبير القدر، وكان من خواص أبي محمد عليه السلام، ورأى صاحب الزمان عليه السلام، وهو شيخ القميين ووافدهم.

Al-Tusi, al-Sheikh Abu Ja’far, Mohammad Ibn al-Hassan Ibn ‘Ali Ibn al-Hassan (died in 460 AH), al-Fihrist, p. 70; researched by al-Sheikh Jawad al-Qayyumi; published by Muassissat al-Nashr al-Islami, Qom, the first edition, 1415 AH.

Furthermore in his Rijal, he has regarded him as a reliable narrator.

أحمد بن إسحاق بن سعد الأشعري، قمي، ثقة

Al-Tusi, al-Sheikh Abu Ja’far, Mohammad Ibn al-Hassan Ibn ‘Ali Ibn al-Hassan (died in 460 AH), Rijal al-Tusi, p. 397; researched by Jawad al-Qayyumi al-Isfahani; published by Muassissat al-Nashr al-Islami, Qom, the first edition, 1415 AH.

3.       Abu Hashim al-Ja’fari

Abu Hashim’s name is Dawud. His is Qasim’s son. Abu Hashim is his nickname. He is seen as a respectable and reliable figure.

Najashi has described him as follows,

داود بن القاسم بن إسحاق بن عبد الله بن جعفر بن أبي طالب، أبو هاشم الجعفري رحمه الله كان عظيم المنزلة عند الأئمة عليهم السلام، شريف القدر، ثقة، روى أبوه عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام.

Dawud Ibn Qasim Ibn Ishaq Ibn ‘Abdullah Ibn Ja’far Ibn Abi Talib, Abu Hashim Ja’fari was viewed as a prominent person from the Aimma point of view. He is now considered as a reliable and honest narrator. His father has also reported a number of narratives from Imam Sadiq (AS).

Al-Najashi al-Asadi al-Kufi, Abu al-‘Abbas Ahmad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Ahmad Ibn al-‘Abbas (died in 450 AH), Fihrist Asma Musnafi al-Shi’a al-Mushtahar bi Rijal al-Najashi, p. 156; researched by al-Sayyid Musa al-Shubeyri al-Zanjani; published by Muassissat al-Nashr al-Islami, Qom, the fifth edition, 1416 AH.

Likewise, Sheikh Tusi has praised his reliability and dignity.

داود بن القاسم الجعفري، يكنى أبا هاشم، من ولد جعفر بن أبي طالب عليه السلام، ثقة جليل القدر

Dawud Ibn al-Qasim al-Ja’fari whose nickname was Abu Hashim was a descendant to Ja’far Ibn Abi Talib (AS). He was a trustworthy and honorable man.

Al-Tusi, al-Sheikh Abu Ja’far, Mohammad Ibn al-Hassan Ibn ‘Ali Ibn al-Hassan (died in 460 AH), Rijal al-Tusi, p. 375; researched by Jawad al-Qayyumi al-Isfahani; published by Muassissat al-Nashr al-Islami, Qom, the first edition, 1415 AH.

With the assertion of experts about the narrators mentioned above, the chain of transmission of this narrative is perfect as a result. The narrative clearly indicates that Imam Hassan ‘Askari (AS) had a son, of whose existence he had informed Abu Hashim.

2.       Informing Mohammad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Balal

Mohammad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Balal said, “Imam ‘Askari (AS) had informed me of the existence of his son twice.” This authentic narrative has been quoted by late Koleini and Sheikh Mufid.

عَلِيُّ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عَلِيِّ بْنِ بِلَالٍ قَالَ: خَرَجَ إِلَيَّ مِنْ أَبِي مُحَمَّدٍ قَبْلَ مُضِيِّهِ بِسَنَتَيْنِ يُخْبِرُنِي بِالْخَلَفِ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ ثُمَّ خَرَجَ إِلَيَّ مِنْ قَبْلِ مُضِيِّهِ بِثَلَاثَةِ أَيَّامٍ يُخْبِرُنِي بِالْخَلَفِ مِنْ بَعْدِه.‏

Mohammad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Balal said, “It was two years before the demise of Imam Hassan ‘Askari (AS) when he sent me a message informing me of the existence of his son. The second time was just three days before his demise when he sent me a message informing me of the existence of his successor after him.”

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

Al-Sheikh al-Mufid, Mohammad Ibn Mohammad Ibn al-Nu’man Ibn al-Mu’allim Abi ‘Abdullah al-‘Akbari al-Baghdadi (died in 413 AH), Al-Irshad fi Ma’rifat Hujaj Allah ‘Ala al-‘Ibad, vol. 2 , p. 348 ; researched by Muassissat Al al-Bayt ‘Alayhumu al-Salam Li Tahqiq al-Turath; published by Dar al-Mufid Lil Taba’at wa al-Nashr wa al-Towzi’, Beirut-Lebanon, the second edition, 1414 AH-1993 AD. 

 

Examination of the narrative’s chain of transmission

There are two narrators in the chain of transmission of this narrative.

1.       ‘Ali Ibn Mohammad

علي بن محمد بن إبراهيم بن أبان الرازي الكليني المعروف بعلان يكنى أبا الحسن. ثقة، عين. له كتاب أخبار القائم [ عليه السلام [.

Rijal al-Najashi, p. 261

2.       Mohammad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Balal

محمد بن علي بن بلال، ثقة.

Al-Tusi, al-Sheikh Abu Ja’far, Mohammad Ibn al-Hassan Ibn ‘Ali Ibn al-Hassan (died in 460 AH), Rijal al-Tusi, p. 401; researched by Jawad al-Qayyumi al-Isfahani; published by Muassissat al-Nashr al-Islami, Qom, the first edition, 1415 AH.

 

Result of the examination of narratives:

Beneath the third response, fourteen narratives were provided. All of them are clear evidence that some reliable individuals including Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) representatives and Imam Hassan ‘Askari’s close companions had seen the Hazrat after his birth and had acknowledged it later.

Based on a number of narratives, Imam Hassan ‘Askari (AS) had informed some reliable individuals of the existence of his son, Hazrat Mahdi (AS). Two authentic narratives were provided in this regard.

The most considerable point is that the infallible Imam, Hazrat Imam Hassan ‘Askari (AS) himself had announced the existence of his son and successor. Two narratives with authentic chains of transmission were given to show the fact.

In response to Qifari, it can be said that if supposedly the narrators’ reports about the birth of the Imam of the Time (AS) were not acceptable, his birth and existence were announced by his father who was an infallible Imam. It, subsequently, removes any ambiguity and all pretexts for those who are seeking to throw doubts on such notions.

 

The fifth response: The acknowledgment of Sunni figures of Hazrat Mahdi’s birth and of holding meetings with him.

As we pointed out earlier, Mr. Qifari had better take a look at the quotations of senior Sunni figures to see how they have admitted to Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) birth. They have asserted that Mahdi, son of Hassan ‘Askari and Narjis, was born in 255 AH. We ask Qifari to find out how these Sunni figures got certain about Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) birth and how they have acknowledged the truth.

Here, we refer to the acknowledgment of some Sunni scholars and recount an example of a meeting that they had with Hazrat Mahdi (AS).

1.       Abu al-Fida (died in 732 AH)

‘Imad al-Din Isma’il Abu al-Fida has emphasized that Imam Hassan ‘Askari (AS) was the father of Mohammad Muntazar who is also called as Qaim, Mahdi and Hujjat.

وكانت ولادة الحسن العسكري المذكور... هو والد محمد المنتظر، صاحب السرداب، ومحمد المنتظر المذكور هو ثاني عشر الأئمة الاثني عشر، على رأى الإِمامية، ويقال له القائم، والمهدي، والحجة. وولد المنتظر المذكور، في سنة خمس وخمسين ومائتين

Hassan ‘Askari who was mentioned above is the father of Mohammad Muntazir, the owner of the cellar. Mohammad Muntazar is the twelfth Imam of the Imamiyya (Shias) who is also called as Qaim, Mahdi and Hujjat. Mahdi Muntazar was born in 255 AH.

Abu al-Fida ‘Imad al-Din Isma’il Ibn ‘Ali (died in 732 AH), al-Mukhtasar fi Akhbar al-Bashar, vol. 1, p. 178, Tibq Barnama al-Jami’ al-Kabir.

2.       Abu al-Wirdi (died in 749 AH)

Zayn al-Din Ibn al-Wirdi has also affirmed that Mohammad Muntazar is Hassan ‘Askari’s (AS) son. He was born in 255 AH.

والحسن العسكري والد محمد المنتظر صاحب السرداب، والمنتظر ثاني عشرهم ويلقب أيضا القائم والمهدي والحجة، ومولد المنتظر سنة خمس وخمسين ومائتين

Hassan ‘Askari is the father of Mohammad Muntazir, the owner of the cellar. Mohammad Muntazar is the twelfth Imam of the Shias. He is also called as Qaim, Mahdi and Hujjat. He was born in 255 AH.

Ibn al-Wirdi, Zayn al-Din ‘Umar Ibn Mudaffar (died in 749 AH), Tarikh Ibn al-Wirdi, vol. 1, p. 223; published by Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya, Lebanon/Beirut, the first edition, 1417 AH-1996 AD.

3.       Ibn Hajar Heithami (died in 973)

In his anti-Shia book, al-Sawa’iq al-Muhraqa, Ibn Hajar Heithami, has acknowledged that Imam Hassan ‘Askari (AS) had a son named Abu al-Qasim al-Hujjat.

ولم يخلف غير ولده أبي القاسم محمد الحجة، وعمره عند وفاة أبيه خمس سنين، لكن أتاه الله فيها الحكمة، ويسمى القائم المنتظر....

Imam ‘Askari (AS) had no son other than Abu al-Qasim Muhammad Hujjat. He was five years of age when his father passed away. God taught him Hikmat (wisdom). He is also named as Qaim Muntazir.

Al-Heithami, Abu al-‘Abbas Ahmad Ibn Mohammad Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Hajar (died in 973 AH), al-Sawaiq al-Muhraqa ‘Ala Ahl al-Rafd wa al-Dalal wa al-Zandaqiyya, vol. 2, p. 601; researched by ‘Abd al-Rahman Ibn ‘Abdullah al-Turki, Kamil, Mohammad al-Kharrat; published by Muassissat al-Risalat, Lebanon, the first edition, 1417 AH-1997 AD.

4.       Manawi (died in 1031 AH)

Manawi who is a Sunni scholar has said, “Bastami has admitted to the fact that Mahdi’s (AS) mother was Narjis.”

قال العارف البسطامي في الجفر... وأما أمه فاسمها نرجس من أولاد الحواريين.

‘Arif Bastami has said in Jafar, “Mahdi’s mother was Narjis. She was one of the disciples.”

Al-Manawi, Mohammad ‘Abd al-Rauf Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Zayn al-‘Abidin (died in 1031 AH), Fayd al-Qadir Sharh al-Jami’ al-Saghir, vol. 6, p. 277; published by al-Maktabat al-Tijarat, Egypt, the first edition, 1356 AH. 

5.       ‘Asimi Makki (died in 1111 AH)

‘Asimi Makki is another Sunni scholar who has stressed that Imam Hassan ‘Askari’s (AS) only son was Muhammad. He has also admitted to his Imamat.

الإمام الحسن العسكري بن على الهادي بن محمد الجواد بن على الرضا بن موسى الكاظم وهو الإمام بعد أبيه وحادي عشر الأئمة

كنيته أبو محمد... خلف ولده محمدا أوحده وهو الإمام محمد المهدي بن الحسن العسكري بن على التقي بن محمد الجواد ابن على الرضا بن موسى الكاظم بن جعفر الصادق بن محمد الباقر بن على زين العابدين بن الحسين بن على بن أبي طالب رضي الله تعالى عنهم أجمعين ولد يوم الجمعة منتصف شعبان سنة خمس وخمسين ومائتين وقيل سنة ست وهو الصحيح أمه أم ولد اسمها أصقيل وقيل سوسن وقيل نرجس كنيته أبو القاسم ألقابه الحجة والخلف الصالح والقائم والمنتظر وصاحب الزمان.

Imam Hassan ‘Askari, Imam Hadi’s son, was the eleventh Imam after his father. His nickname was Abu Mohamamd. His only son was Mohammad who is Imam Mohamamd, Mahdi, son of Hassan ‘Askari. Mohammad was born on Friday, the fifteenth of Sha’ban, 255 AH. Some other people believe that he was born in 256 AH. This narration is authentic. Mohammad’s mother was Umm Walad. She was named Seiqal. But some say that she was Narjis. Mohammad’s nickname is Abu al-Qasim and his titles are Hujjat, Khalaf al-Salih, Qaim, Muntazar and Sahib al-Zaman.

Al-‘Asimi al-Makki, ‘Abd al-Malik Ibn Hussein Ibn ‘Abd al-Malik al-Shafi’i (died in 1111 AH). Samt al-Nujum al-‘Awali fi Anba al-Awail wa al-Tawali, vol. 4, p. 150; researched by ‘Adil Ahmad ‘Abd al-Mowjud, ‘Ali Mohammad Mu’awwad; published by Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya.

There are some other Sunni figures who have also been of the same views. We have discussed them in a separate article. See the following link

http://www.valiasr-aj.com/fa/page.php?bank=question&id=11914 

 

6.       Hassan ‘Araqi’s meeting with Hazrat Mahdi (AS)

What we discussed above was about Sunni scholars’ clear assertion of Hazrat Hujjat’s (May our soul be sacrificed for him) birth. Now we are going to illustrate examples concerning Sunni scholars’ acknowledgment of meetings they had held with the Hazrat.

Sha’rani is a Sunni scholar who is the writer of al-Tabaqat al-Kubra known as Li Waqa’i al-Anwar fi Tabaqat al-Akhyar. In this book, he has recounted the biographies of scholars and Awliya (Friends of God) up to the tenth century. He has given a fascinating recount of Hassan ‘Araqi who had the honor of meeting Hazrat Mahdi (AS).

ومنهم الشيخ العارف بالله تعالى سيدي حسن العراقي رحمه الله تعالى المدفون بالكوم خارج باب الشعرية رضي الله عنه بالقرب من بركة الرطلي، وجامع البشيري ترددت إليه مع سيدي أبي العباس الحريثي، وقال أريد أن أحكي لك حكايتي من مبتدأ أمري إلى وقتي هذا كأنك كنت رفيقي من الصغر، فقلت له: نعم فقال: كنت شاباً من دمشق، وكنت صانعاً، وكنا نجتمع يوماً في الجمعة على اللهو واللعب، والخمر، فجاءني التنبيه من الله تعالى يوماً ألهذا خلقت ؟ فتركت ما فيهم فيه، وهربت منهم فتبعوا ورائي فلم يدركوني، فدخلت جامع بني أمية، فوجدت شخصاً يتكلم على الكرسي في شأن المهدي عليه السلام، فاشتقت إلى لقائه فصرت لا أسجد سجدة إلا وسألت الله تعالى أن يجمعني عليه فبينما أنا ليلة بعد صلاة المغرب أصلي صلاة السنة، وإذا بشخص جلس خلفي، وحسس على كتفي، وقال لي: قد استجاب الله تعالى دعاءك يا ولدي مالك أنا المهدي فقلت تذهب معي إلى الدار، فقال نعم، فذهب معي، فقال: أخل لي مكاناً أنفرد فيه فأخليت له مكاناً فأقام عندي سبعة أيام بلياليها، ولقنني الذكر، وقال أعلمك ورعي تدوم عليه إن شاء الله تعالى تصوم يوماً، وتفطر يوماً، وتصلي كل ليلة خمسمائة ركعة، فقلت: نعم فكنت أصلي خلفه كل ليلة خمسمائة ركعة وكنت شاباً أمرد حسن الصورة فكان يقول: لا تجلس قط إلا ورائي فكنت أفعل، وكانت عمامته كعمامة العجم، وعليه جبة من وبر الجمال فلما انقضت السبعة أيام خرج، فودعته، وقال لي: يا حسن ما وقع لي قط مع أحد ما وقع معك فدم علي ورعك حتى تعجز، فإنك ستعمر عمراً طويلا انتهى كلام المهدي.

Hassan ‘Araqi , a mystic sheikh, is laid to rest in Kowm outside the Bab Sha’riyya, by the Pond of Ritli and Jami’ Bashiri. Abi al-‘Abbas Harithi and I both went to see Hassan ‘Araqi. He said, “Because you have been my pals since childhood, I want to tell you a true story.” I said, “OK, go ahead” He said, “When I was young, I was an artisan fromDamascus. My friends and I used to have fun and get drunk on Fridays. One day I received a message from God, telling me, “Have I created you for this job?” Immidiately, I broke up with my friends and gave up my old habits. My friends looked for me hard but they could not find me. Once, when I was in Grand Mosque of Bani Ummayya, I saw a preacher, talking about Mahdi (AS) on the pulpit. After hearing his speech, I got extremely enthusiastic to see Mahdi. From then on, in every prostration I pleaded God to help me see him.

One night, following the Maghrib (evening) Prayer, I was performing a Mustahab (voluntary) prayer. Someone came and sat right behind me. He gripped my arm and told me, “My dear, God has met your demand. I am Mahdi.” I said, “Will you come to my house?” “Yes”, responded he. He came to my house with me. He called for a private place. I did prepare a private place for him. He stayed there for as long as seven days and taught me how to remember God. He said, “I teach you from my piety so that you can be persistent in practicing it. Do fasting for one day and break your fasting the other day. Perform five hundred Rak’ah (unit of prayer) of prayers.” “Sure”, I said. Every night, I performed five hundred Rak’ah of prayers behind him. I was a beardless and handsome youth then. He asked me to only sit behind him. I did exactly what he ordered. His turban looked like those of people of ‘Ajam (non-Arabs). And his cloak was made of the camel fur. After seven days, he bid farewell and left. But before leaving, he told me, “O Hassan! What happened between you and me has not happened for others. So, keep observing piety as much as you can. I am supposed to stay alive for a very long time.”

Al-Sha’rani, Abu al-Mawahib ‘Abd al-Wahhab Ibn Ahmad Ibn ‘Ali al-Ma’ruf  Bil Sha’rani (died in 973 AH), al-Tabaqat al-Kubra al-Mismat Bil Waqih al-Anwar Fi Tabaqat al-Akhyar, vol. 1, p. 475; researched by Khalil al-Mansur; published by Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya, Beirut, the first edition, 1418 AH-1997 AD.

Who is Hassan ‘Araqi?

Najm al-Din Mohammad Ibn Mohammad, a Sunni scholar, has introduced Hassan ‘Araqi as follows,

حسن العراقي: حسن العراقي نزيل مصر، الشيخ الصالح العابد الزاهد صاحب الأحوال العجيبة، والكشف الصحيح، كان عن طريقه إذا أتاه أحد بشيء من الأثواب النفيسة ويقول هذا نذر لك يا شيخ حسن يقبلها ثم يأخذ السكين فيقطعه قطعاً ثم يخيطها بخيط ومسلة، ويقول: إن العبد إذا لبس الجديد تصير النفس سارقة بالنظر إليه، وتعجب به، فإذا قطعناها تقطع خاطر النفس، وحكى عنه الشيخ عبد الوهاب الشعراوي حكاية عجيبة أخبر بها عن نفسه

Al-Ghazi, Najm al-Din Mohammad Ibn Mohammad (died in 1061 AH), al-Kawakib al-Sairat Bi A’yan al-Miat al-‘Ashirat, vol. 1, p. 114; published by Tibq Barnama al-Jami’ al-Kabir.

 

Conclusion of this section:

From the Sunni and Shia perspectives, Hazrat Mahdi’s (AS) birth is an undeniable fact. And the belief in Mahdavism is not just limited to the borders of Shiism. Therefore, by throwing such doubts on the notion, it can never be brought into question.

 General conclusion:

Following conclusions can be reached from the issues discussed above.

1. From the Shia perspective, the issue of Mahdavism is a deep-rooted belief which dates back to the time of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him). In various narratives, the Prophet (PBUH) had not only foretold the arrivals of his twelve successors in advance, but had also introduced them one by one in details.

2. Despite Qifari’s view, the testimonies of Hazrat Hakima as well as others to the birth of the Imam of the Time (AS) only prove the existence of Mahdi (AS). It is by no means the case that they have lately inserted the issue of Mahdavism into Shiism.

3.  In addition to Hazrat Hakima, at least four other people from among Imam Hassan ‘Askari’s (AS) servants and maids had witnessed and then reported Hazrat Mahdi’s birth. Together with these five individuals, a large number of Imam ‘Askari’s (AS) companions had seen Hazrat Mahdi (AS) at the presence of his father. Furthermore, according to a number of authentic and reliable narratives, the Hazrat himself had informed some other people of his son’s existence. Even though other people’s reports were not supposedly recorded, the narrative in which Imam Hassan ‘Askari (AS) himself has declared his son’s existence was quite enough per se.

Above all, Sunni scholars have also acknowledged that they had meetings with Hazrat Mahdi (AS) in person. Hassan ‘Araqi’s account was provided as an example.

 

 Good Luck

The Group Responsible for Answers to Doubts

Hazrat Valiasr (AS) Research Institute




 



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