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Section One

Those who were fortunate enough to meet him during the minor occultation, peace be on him1

Comprised of twenty-seven traditions

821. Kamāl al-dīn2: Muḥammad b. Mūsā b. al-Mutawakkil, may Allah be satisfied with him, narrated to us from `Abd-Allah b. Ja`far al-Ḥimyarī who said: “I asked Muḥammad b. `Uthmān al-`Amrī, may Allah be satisfied with him, ‘Have you seen the Master of this Affair?’ He replied, ‘Yes. My last meeting with him was beside the sacred House of Allah while he was saying, “O Allah! Fulfill for me what You have promised me.”’”

822. Kamāl al-dīn3: Muḥammad b. Mūsā b. al-Mutawakkil, may Allah be satisfied with him, from `Abd-Allah b. Ja`far al-Ḥimyarī, who said: “I heard Muḥammad b. `Uthmān al-`Amrī, may Allah be satisfied with him, say, ‘I saw him—Allah’s blessings be on him—while he was holding the curtains of the Ka`ba beside the Mustajār4 and saying, “O Allah! Take revenge for me from my enemies.”’”

823. Al-Kāfī5: He has recorded from `Alī b. Muḥammad and other Shias of Qum, from Muḥammad b. Muḥammad al-`Āmirī, from Abū Sa`īd Ghānim al-Hindī, a long tradition in which Abū Sa`īd mentions how he accepted Islam. In the end, he has mentioned the good fortune he had of meeting the Imam, peace be on him, the miracles that he saw from him, and that he gave him a purse [of money] for his expenses. As we mentioned, this tradition is quite long. Whoever wishes can read it from either al-Kāfī or Kamāl al-dīn.

824. Kamāl al-dīn6: Through the same chain (of narrators) from Ibrāhīm b. Muḥammad al-`Alawī, from Ṭarīf Abū Naṣr who said:

I went to the Master of the Time, peace be on him, who said to me, “Get me a red sandal.” I brought it for him and he said to me, “Do you know who I am?” I replied in the affirmative. He asked, “Who am I?” I answered, “You are my master and the son of my master.” He said, “I did not ask you about this.” I said, “May I be sacrificed for you! Explain for me.” He elaborated, “I am the last of the successors. Through me, Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, repels the calamities from my family and my followers (ahlī wa shī`atī).”

825. Kamāl al-dīn7: Narrated to me Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan, may Allah be satisfied with him, from `Abd-Allah b. Ja`far al-Ḥimyarī who said:

I said to Muḥammad b. `Uthmān al-`Amrī, may Allah be satisfied with him, “I want to ask you a question like the one Abraham asked his Lord—Mighty is his Majesty—when he said, ‘“O Lord! Show me how You give life to the dead.” He asked, “Do you not believe?” He replied, “Yes [I do believe] but [I am asking] for the assurance of my heart.”’8 So, tell me about the Master of this affair; have you see him?” He replied, “Yes, and his neck is like this,” then pointed to his own neck.

826. Kamāl al-dīn9: Al-Muẓaffar b. Ja`far b. al-Muẓaffar al-`Alawī al-`Amrī, may Allah be satisfied with him, narrated to us from Ja`far b. Muḥammad b. Mas`ūd, from his father, from Ja`far b. Ma`rūf, from Abū `Abd-Allah al-Balkhī, from Muḥammad b. Ṣāliḥ b. `Alī b. Muḥammad b. Qanbar al-Kabīr—the slave of (Imam) al-Riḍā, peace be on him—who said:

After Abū Muḥammad al-`Askarī, peace be on him, died, the Master of the Time suddenly emerged from out of no-where upon Ja`far al-Kadhdhāb [the liar] who was arguing about [Abū Muḥammad’s] inheritance. He said to him, “O Ja`far! Why do you seek [what is] my right?” Ja`far was confused and stunned. Then, the Imam disappeared from his sight. Ja`far searched for him amongst the people but did not find him. When [his] grandmother—the mother of (Imam) al-Ḥasan died—she had ordered to be buried in the house but Ja`far had argued with them and had said, “This is my house. She cannot be buried here.” Again, [the Imam] had emerged upon him and had said, “O Ja`far! Is this your house?!” Then he disappeared and after this, Ja`far never saw him again.

827. Kamāl al-dīn10: Muḥammad b. Ibrāhīm b. Isḥāq al-Ṭāliqānī, may Allah be satisfied with him, narrated to us from `Alī b. Aḥmad al-Kūfī—known as Abū l-Qāsim al-Khadījī—from Sulaimān b. Ibrāhīm al-Riqqī, from Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan b. Wajnā al-Naṣībī who said:

During my fifty-fourth Hajj, after one-third of the night had passed, I was in prostration beneath the drainpipe (al-Mīzāb) [of Ka`ba]. I was crying and wailing in supplication when somebody shook me and said, “Stand up, O Ḥasan b. Wajnā!” I stood up and saw a yellow skinny slave-woman who was less than forty years old. I went along with her without asking any questions until we reached Khadīja’s residence, peace be on her. There was a house there whose entrance was in the middle of the wall and had a wooden staircase. The slave-girl went up then I heard, “O Ḥasan! Come up.” I went up and stood at the door.

The Master of the Time said to me, “O Ḥasan! Do you think that I was unaware of you? By Allah! I was with you every moment of your Hajj.” Then, he recounted everything that I had done. I [fainted] and fell on my face. I felt a hand touching me and stood up.

Then, he said to me, “O Ḥasan! Stay at Ja`far b. Muḥammad’s house, peace be on him, and don’t worry about your food, drink, and clothing.” Then, he gave me a book in which the prayer called al-Faraj (du`ā al-faraj) and salutations upon him were written. He said to me, “Say this prayer and send salutations upon me as mentioned over here. Don’t disclose this book to anyone except my rightful friends. Allah, Majestic is His Might, will grant you success.” I asked, “Master! Will I see you after this?” He replied, “O Ḥasan! If Allah wills.”

I finished my Hajj and stayed in Ja`far b. Muḥammad’s house, peace be on him. I would go out of the house and only return to it to do one of three things: To renew my ablutions, to sleep, or to eat food. Whenever I entered the house to eat, I would find there a square bowl filled with water; on top it there would be a loaf of bread and on top of that whatever I had desired [to eat] during the day. I would eat it and it would be enough for me.

During the winter there would be winter-clothing and during summer, summer-clothing. During the day, I would bring the water in and sprinkle some of it in the house and I would leave the jug empty. Sometimes, food would be brought for me that I didn’t need and I would give it in charity at night so that those who stayed with me would not find out about my affair.”

828. Kamāl al-dīn11: Narrated to us Muḥammad b. Ibrāhīm b. Isḥāq al-Ṭāliqānī, may Allah be satisfied with him, from Abū l-Qāsim `Alī b. Aḥmad al-Khadījī al-Kūfī, from al-Azdī who said:

I was performing ṭawāf12 and had finished six rounds and had just intended to start the seventh round when I saw that on the right side of the Ka`ba a circle [of people had gathered]. There was a very handsome youth there, who had a fragrant smell. He was very majestic and with all his majesty he would come close to the people and speak with them.

I had never heard a better speech, sweeter words, and a better session than his. I went forward to speak with him but the crowd pushed me back. I asked some of them, “Who is he?” They replied, “He is the son of Allah’s Messenger and appears for his close companions once every year and speaks with them.” I cried out, “O my master! I have come to you for guidance, so guide me; May Allah guide you!”

[On hearing this], he, peace be on him, gave me a pebble and I turned back. One of the people asked, “What did he give you?” I replied, “A pebble,” and opened my fist but found a piece of gold instead! I continued going and suddenly there he was, beside me. He said to me, “My proof has been completed upon you and the truth has become manifest for you and blindness has been removed from you? Do you know who I am?” I replied in the negative.

He answered, “I am the Mahdī. I am the Qā’im of the time. I am the one who will fill [the earth] with justice just as it will be filled with injustice. The earth will never be devoid of Allah’s Proof and the people will not be left without a divine proof. This is a trust [secret]; don’t talk about it to anyone except your brothers who are on the right path.”

829. Kamāl al-dīn13: Narrated to us Aḥmad b. Ziyād b. Ja`far al-Hamdānī, from Abū l-Qāsim Ja`far b. Aḥmad al-`Alawī al-Riqqī al-`Urayḍī, from Abū l-Ḥasan `Alī b. Aḥmad al-`Aqīqī, from Abū Nu`aim al-Anṣārī al-Zaidī, who said:

I and a group from the Muqaṣṣira were in Mecca beside the Mustajār. Among them were: al-Maḥmūdī, `Allān al-Kulainī, Abū l-Haytham al-Dīnārī, and Abū Ja`far al-Aḥwal al-Hamdānī and they were approximately thirty people. I knew not a single sincere person amongst them except Muḥammad b. al-Qāsim al-`Alawī al-`Aqīqī.

On that day—which was Dhū l-Ḥijja 6, 293 AH—a youth emerged from the ṭawāf who was wearing two pieces of clothing which he had used as iḥrām-clothing14 and he was carrying his slippers with him. When we saw him, we all stood up because of his majesty. None of us remained except that he stood up and greeted him. He then sat down and looked towards his right and his left.

Then, he said, “Do you know what (Imam) Abū `Abd-Allah used to say in the prayer of al-Ilḥāḥ?” We replied, “What did he say?” He said, “He used to say, ‘O Allah! Surely, I ask You by Your Name by which the sky and the earth stand, and you differentiate between the truth and the falsehood, and You gather the scattered ones, and You scatter the gathered ones, and You enumerate the number of sand particles, the weight of the mountains, and the capacity of the ocean, that You send Your blessings upon Muḥammad and the family of Muḥammad and that You grant me relief and an exit-way regarding my [difficult] affairs.’” Saying this, he stood up and continued the ṭawāf. When he stood up to go, we too stood up but forgot to ask him who he was.

The next day—at the same time—he emerged again from the ṭawāf and came to us. Like the previous day, we stood up. He sat in his place right in the middle, then looked towards his right and then left, and asked, “Do you know what Amīr al-Mu’minīn `Alī, peace be on him, used to say after his obligatory prayers?” We replied, “What did he say?” He said, “He used to invoke, ‘O Allah! Voices are raised towards You, [invocations are made to You], faces are downcast before You, necks bow down for You, and You judge about the deeds. O the Best Who is asked and the Best Who gives! O Truthful, O Creator, O the One Who does not violate His promises! O the One Who has ordered to invoke and has taken the responsibility of responding [to the invocations]!

O the One Who said,

“Invoke Me, I will answer your prayers” (Quran Surah Ghafir 40:60).

O the One Who said,

“And when My servants ask you about Me, [tell them] surely I am Near, I respond to the supplication of the supplicant when he supplicates to Me; They should invoke Me and believe in Me; perhaps they may be guided” (Quran Surah Baqarah 2:186).

O the One Who said,

“O My servants who have been extravagant to themselves! Don’t despair of Allah’s Mercy, surely Allah forgives all the sins; Verily, He is the Forgiving, the Merciful” (Quran Surah Najm 53:39).’”

After saying this supplication, he looked left and right, then said, “Do you know what Amīr al-Mu’minīn, peace be on him, used to say in the prostration-of-thanking (sajdat al-shukr)?” We replied, “What did he say?” He answered, “He used to say, ‘O He who the insistence of the insisters (ilḥāḥ al-muliḥḥīn) increases nothing in Him except generosity and munificence! O He who owns the treasures of the skies and the earth! O He who owns the large and small treasures! let not my misdeeds prevent You from Your obligations on me. I ask You that You deal with me as is worthy of You and You are Worthy of generosity, munificence, and forgiveness.

O Lord! O Allah! Deal with me as is worthy of You. You have the power to punish me and I am eligible for it. I have no argument and no excuse before You. I confess to all my sins and I acknowledge them all so that You may pardon me while You are more Aware of them than I am. I confess to all the sins that I have engaged in and to all the mistakes that I have committed and to all the bad deeds that I have performed. O Lord! Forgive me, have mercy, and ignore what You know [of my sins]. Surely, You are the Mightiest, the most Munificent.’”

Then, he stood up and continued the ṭawāf and we too stood up in his reverence. He returned at the same time the next day and we stood up to welcome him as we had done in the past. He sat in the middle, looked right and left, and said, “Imam `Alī b. al-Ḥusayn, the Master of the Worshippers, used to recite the following supplication in prostration at that place—and he pointed towards the Ḥijr near the drainpipe (al-Mīzāb)—‘Your servant is at Your doorstep, Your beggar is at Your door, I ask You what no one can fulfill but You.’”

Then, he looked right and left, then looked at Muḥammad b. al-Qāsim al-`Alawī and said, “O Muḥammad b. al-Qāsim! You are on [the path of] goodness (anta `alā khair), if Allah wills.” Saying this, he got up and resumed the ṭawāf. None of us remained but that he had learnt the supplications which he had mentioned. We forgot to discuss him until the end of the day. Al-Maḥmūdī said to us, “O people! Do you know him?” We replied in the negative. He said, “By Allah! He was the Master of the Time, peace be on him.”

We enquired, “Why so, O Abū `Alī?” He replied that he had been asking his Lord, Mighty and Majestic be He, for the last seven years that He show him the Master of the Affair. Then he said, “On the night of the day-of-`Arafa, I saw the same person. He was reciting a supplication that I memorized. I asked him who he was. He replied, ‘From the people.’ I questioned, ‘From which people? The [free] Arabs or their slaves and servants?’ He replied, ‘From the [free] Arabs.’ I asked, ‘From which Arabs?’ He replied, ‘From the noblest and highest amongst them.’

I asked, ‘And who are they?’ He replied, ‘The Banī-Hāshim.’ I asked, ‘From which tribe from the Banī-Hāshim?’ He replied, ‘The highest and most elite of them.’ I asked, ‘From whom amongst them?’ He said, ‘From those who split the skulls [of the enemies], fed food [to the people], and prayed during the night while the people were asleep.’ I said: ‘He is an `Alawī [i.e. a descendant of Alī b. Abī Ṭālib] and I love the `Alawīs.’

Then, he disappeared from right in front of my eyes. I didn’t know where he went, [up] in the sky or [down] in the earth. I asked the people who were around him, ‘Do you know this `Alawī?’ They replied, ‘Yes. He performs Hajj with us every year on foot.’ I exclaimed, ‘Glory be to Allah! By Allah, I did not see the effect of walking in him [i.e. swollen or bruised feet, etc.].’ I went to Muzdalifa15 while I was grieving and sorrowful because of his separation. When I slept that night, I saw the Messenger of Allah, Allah's blessings be on him and his family, in my dream and he said, ‘O Muḥammad! Did you see what you were looking for?’

I asked, ‘And what is that, my Master?’ He replied, ‘The person whom you met at the beginning of the night. He is the master of your time.’” When we heard this [story] from him, we protested to him for not informing us [earlier]. He said that he had completely forgotten about it until he mentioned it to us.

(Al-Ṣadūq says): `Ammār b. al-Ḥusayn b. Isḥāq al-Asrūshanī, may Allah be satisfied with him, also narrated this tradition to us at the mountain of Būtak in the land of Farghāna16. He said, “Abū l-Ḥusayn Muḥammad b. `Abd-Allah al-Iskāfī narrated to me, from Sulaim, from Abū Nu`aim al-Anṣārī who said, “I and a group of the Muqaṣṣira were in Mecca beside the Mustajār. Among them were: al-Maḥmūdī, `Allān al-Kulainī, and . . .” He mentioned the exact same tradition.

And also narrated to us Abū Bakr Muḥammad b. Muḥammad b. `Alī b. Muḥammad b. Ḥātim, from Abū l-Ḥusayn `Ubaid-Allah b. Muḥammad b. Ja`far al-Qaṣabānī al-Baghdādī, from Abū Muḥammad `Alī b. Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. al-Ḥusayn al-Mādharā’ī, from Abū Ja`far Muḥammad b. `Alī al-Munqidhī al-Ḥasanī at Mecca who said, “I and a group of the Muqaṣṣira were in Mecca beside the Mustajār. Amongst them were: al-Maḥmūdī, `Allān al-Kulainī, and al-Ḥasan b. al-Wajnā and they were approximately thirty people . . .” He mentioned the exact same tradition.

830. Kamāl al-dīn17: Abū l-Adyān narrates that

I used to serve Imam al-Ḥasan b. `Alī b. Muḥammad b. `Alī b. Mūsā b. Ja`far b. Muḥammad b. `Alī b. al-Ḥusayn b. `Alī b. Abī Ṭālib, peace be on them, and I used to carry and convey his letters to the cities. I went to him when he was afflicted with the disease that became the cause of his death. He wrote a letter and said to me, “Take it to Madā’in. You will be absent for fifteen days and when you return to Sāmarrā’ on the fifteenth day, you will hear the voices wailing in my house and you will find me in the place where I will be given the ritual bath.”

I said, “O my master! When that happens then who [will succeed you?]” He replied, “The one who will seek the reply of these letters from you.” I asked for more [explanations on the issue]. He said, “The one who will lead my funeral prayers is the Qā’im after me.” I asked for more. He said, “The one who will inform about the contents of the money-bag.” Awe prevented me from asking him about the contents of the money-bag.

I took the letters to Madā’in received their answers and entered Sāmarrā’ on the fifteenth day like he—peace be on him—had said to me. I heard the wails from his house and saw his body at the place of the ritual bath. His brother Ja`far b. `Alī was standing at the doorway. People had surrounded him and were expressing their condolences to him and congratulating him [on being the next Imam]. I thought to myself, “If this person is an Imam, then the position of Imamate has been scrapped.” I knew him too well. He would drink alcohol, gamble in the royal palace, and would play the Ṭanbūr18.

Anyway, I went forward and expressed my condolences to him and congratulated him but he did not ask me about anything. At this juncture, `Aqīd the servant emerged from the house and said, “O master! Your brother has been shrouded. Kindly come and say the [funeral] prayers.”

Hence, Ja`far b. `Alī and the Shias who were with him entered the house accompanied by al-Sammān and Ḥasan b. `Alī—known as Salma who was later killed by al-Mu`taṣim. When we entered the house, I saw the shrouded body of al-Ḥasan b. `Alī, peace be on him, on the bier. Ja`far b. `Alī stepped forward to lead his brothers [funeral] prayers. Just as he intended to say the Takbīr [i.e. the commencing Allah-Akbar of the prayer], a child emerged whose complexion was neither dark nor white, had curly hair, and his teeth had spaces between them.

He pulled Ja`far b. `Alī’s robe and said, “O Uncle! Step back. I am more worthy of leading the [funeral] prayers for my father.” Ja`far stepped back while he had turned pale. The child came forward and led the prayers and [the Imam] was buried beside his father’s grave, peace be on them.

Then, he said to me, “O Baṣrī! Bring forth the replies of those letters that are with you.” I handed him the replies of the letters and thought to myself that [I saw] two of the signs but the issue of the money-bag is still pending. Then I went out to Ja`far b. `Alī who was breathing heavily with grief.

Ḥājiz al-Washshā asked him, “O my Master! Who is this child so that we establish an argument against him?” He replied, “By Allah, I had not seen him before this day and I don’t know who he is.” While we were sitting, a group of people came from Qum and asked for (Imam) al-Ḥasan b. `Alī, peace be on him. They were informed about his death and wanted to know to whom [they must offer their condolences]. The people pointed to Ja`far b. `Alī. They went towards him, said hello, and expressed their condolences and congratulated him. They said, “We have with us letters and money. Inform us about the owners of the letters and the amount of the money.” On hearing this, Ja`far stood up and shook his clothes and said, “Do you expect us to have knowledge about the unseen?”

Instantly, the servant appeared and said, “You have with you letters from so and so and you have a money-bag which contains a thousand dinars, of which ten are worn out.” They immediately handed over the letters and the money and said, “The one who has asked you to take these is the Imam.” Ja`far went to al-Mu`tamid and told him what had happened. Al-Mu`tamid dispatched his soldiers and they arrested Ṣaqīl the slave-woman and demanded the child from her. She denied [he was born] and claimed she was presently pregnant, to divert them [from investigating further] about the child. She was handed over to ibn Abū l-Shawārib the judge. The unexpected death of `Ubaid-Allah b. Yaḥyā b. Khāqān and the revolt of Ṣāḥib al-Zanj in Baṣra, kept them busy and they ignored the slave-woman who managed to escape from them. And all praise is for Allah, the Lord of the worlds.

831. Al-Kāfī19: `Alī, from Abū `Alī Aḥmad b. Ibrāhīm b. Idrīs, from his father who said: “I saw him, peace be on him, after the death of (Imam) Abū Muḥammad when he was an adolescent. I kissed his hands and his forehead.”

832. Kamāl al-dīn20: Abū l-`Abbās Aḥmad b. al-Ḥusayn b. `Abd-Allah b. Muḥammad b. Mihrān al-Ābī al-`Arūḍī, may Allah be satisfied with him, narrated to us at Marv, from [Abū] l-Ḥusayn [b.] Zaid b. `Abd-Allah al-Baghdādī, from Abū l-Ḥasan `Alī b. Sinān al-Mauṣilī, from his father who said:

When our master—Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan b. `Alī al-`Askarī, peace be on him—passed away, a delegation from Qum and from the mountains came with the wealth that was customary for them to bring and they were not aware of (Imam) al-Ḥasan’s death. When they reached Sāmarrā’ they asked about our master, al-Ḥasan b. `Alī, peace be on him, and they were informed that he had died.

They asked, “Who is his inheritor?” They were told, “His brother, Ja`far b. `Alī.” They asked, “Where is he?” They were told that “He is drinking [wine] in a boat on the Tigris River accompanied by some singers.” The delegates consulted amongst themselves that these [acts] are not the attributes of an Imam. Some of them suggested that they go back and return the wealth to their respective owners. Abū l-`Abbās Muḥammad b. Ja`far al-Ḥimyarī al-Qummī said, “Let us wait for this person to return and verify the news ourselves.”

When he returned, they went to him and greeted him and said, “O our master! We are residents of Qum and amongst us, there are some Shias and some others. We used to bring the wealth and give it to Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan b. `Alī.” (Ja`far) asked, “Where is [the wealth]?” They replied, “It is with us.” He said, “Bring it for me.” They argued, “We can’t. There is a method of handing over this wealth.”

He said, “And what is that?” They explained, “This wealth has been collected from the Shias one coin or a few coins at a time. These are then put in a sack and sealed. Whenever we presented them to our master Abū Muḥammad, peace be on him, he would say, ‘The total number of dinars in the sack is so and so. Such and such person has sent so and so number of them . . .’ and he would mention the name of all the people. He would even describe the inscriptions on the seals of the money-bags.” Ja`far answered, “You are lying! You are attributing to my brother what he did not do. [What you except from me] is the knowledge of the unseen that no one knows except Allah.” When they heard this statement from Ja`far, they exchanged glances amongst themselves. Then, he said, “Hand this wealth over to me.” They replied, “We are only the deliverymen.

The owners of this wealth have entrusted them to us. We will not hand them over except after [seeing] the signs that we know from our master, al-Ḥasan b. `Alī, peace be on him. If you are the Imam, then prove it; otherwise we will return these monies to their owners and then, let them do whatever they like.”

Ja`far complained to the caliph who happened to be in Sāmarrā’ at that time. The caliph summoned them and ordered them to give the money to Ja`far. They said, “May Allah make the Emir righteous! We are a group who have been paid and entrusted to these money by their owners whom we represent. They have given them to us on the condition that we only hand them over [after seeing] signs and proofs. This was our custom when Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan b. `Alī, peace be on him, was still alive.” The Caliph responded, “What was the sign that Abū Muḥammad used to show?” They said, “He used to describe the dinars, their owners, the wealth, and their amount.

When he did this, we handed over the wealth to him. We have come to him many times and always, this was the sign and proof. Now that he has died, if this man is the owner of his affairs, then he should show us [the miracles] that his brother used to. Otherwise, we will return them to their original owners.” Ja`far said, “O Emir! These people are liars and are lying about my brother.

This is the knowledge of the unseen (`ilm al-ghayb).” The caliph shot back, “They are merely messengers and a messenger duty is to convey the message.” Ja`far was stunned and had no option but to keep silent. The delegation then said, “May the caliph oblige us by sending an escort with us until we exit the city.” So al-Mu`tamid sent one of his servants and he escorted them out of the city. Just as they exited the city, a very handsome boy appeared who looked like a servant.

He called out, “O son of so and so and O son of so and so! Answer the call of your master.” They asked, “Are you our master?” He replied, “I seek refuge in Allah! I am the slave of your master, so proceed towards him.” We walked along with him until we entered the house of our master, al-Ḥasan b. `Alī, peace be on him. We saw his son, our master, the Qā’im, peace be on him, sitting on a chair. He visage was like the moon and he was wearing a green robe. We exchanged greetings then he said, “The total number of coins is so much dinars; such and such person carried so and so amount of it . . .” He continued describing until he had described everything. He then described our clothes, belongings, and animals.

[On hearing these], we fell down in prostration to thank Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, for what we had recognized. We kissed the earth in front of him and asked him what we wanted and he answered everything. We handed the wealth to him and the Qā’im ordered us not to bring wealth to Sāmarrā’ anymore. He said that he would appoint a person in Baghdad to whom all the money should be given to and that all the signed letters (al-tauqī`āt) would come through him.

When we were about to return, he gave Abū l-`Abbās Muḥammad b. Ja`far al-Qummī al-Ḥimyarī, some ḥunūṭ21 and a shroud, saying, “May Allah give you great reward concerning yourself!” Abū l-`Abbās had barely reached the passageway of Hamadan when he passed away; may Allah have mercy on him. Ever since, we have been taking the money to Baghdad to the appointed deputies and his signed letters are with them.

833. Al-Ṭūsī’s al-Ghayba22: It has been narrated from Rashīq Ṣāḥib al-Mādrāy that

Al-Mu`taḍid sent for us and we were three people. He ordered each of us to mount a horse and take a spare one with him and take along the least things necessary [for travel]. He told us to go to Sāmarrā’ and he described for us the exact area and house. He then said, “When you reach there, you will see a black slave at the door. Raid the house and bring for me the head of whoever you find in it.” We reached Sāmarrā’ and found the facts exactly as he had told us. At the entrance, there was a black slave, in whose hand was a cloth which he was weaving. We asked him about the house and those who were inside.

He replied, “Its owner.” By Allah! He did not pay attention to us and didn’t even care [about what we were going to do]. We raided the house as ordered and found a dark room in it. Opposite the room, there was a curtain; we had never seen anything finer than it before. It was as if it had just been woven a few moments ago.

So, we raised the curtain and we saw a huge house filled with water like a sea. In the farthest end of the room, there was a mat which we realized was [floating] on water. Standing on the mat was a very handsome man who was praying. He neither paid heed to us nor to any of our means. Aḥmad b. `Abd-Allah took the lead in crossing the room but started drowning in the water.

He was struggling until I stretched my hand towards him, rescued him, and brought him out. He became unconscious and remained in this condition for some time. Our second companion repeated the same act and met the same fate. I was stunned and said to the owner of the house, “I seek apology from Allah and from you. By Allah! I did not know about this [affair] and had no idea to whom I was coming. I repent to Allah.” But the owner of the house did not pay any attention to what I said and did not cease from what he was doing.

We were struck with fear and left him. Meanwhile, Mu`taḍid was waiting for us and had instructed his doorkeepers to let us in regardless of the time we arrived. We arrived at night and they allowed us to see him. He asked us about our expedition and we informed him about what we had seen. He said, “Woe to you! Have you met anyone before me or have you spoken to anyone [about this]?” We said, “No.” He said, “I am not my ancestor’s descendant23—and he solemnly vowed—if I don’t instantly chop off your heads if any news about this incident reaches me [from someone other than you].” So, we didn’t dare mention this incident to anyone except after he died.

834. Al-Kāfī24: `Alī b. Muḥammad, from Muḥammad b. `Alī b. Ibrāhīm, from Abū `Abd-Allah b. Ṣāliḥ that he saw him near the Black-Stone (Ḥajar al-Aswad) while the people were [wrestling each other] to reach it, and he was saying, “They have not been ordered to do this.”

835. Ghaybat al-Shaykh25: A group informed us from al-Talla`ukbarī, from Aḥmad b. `Alī al-Rāzī, from `Alī b. al-Ḥusayn, from a man—who he said was from Qazwīn but did not mention his name—from Ḥabīb b. Muḥammad b. Yūnus b. Shādhān al-Ṣan`ānī who said:

I went to `Alī b. Mahziyār al-Ahwāzī and asked him about the family of (Imam) Abū Muḥammad, peace be on them. He said, “My brother! You have asked about a great matter! I performed Hajj twenty times with the purpose of seeing the Imam with my eyes but had no luck. One night, I was sleeping in my sleeping-place, when someone called out to me, ‘O `Alī b. Ibrāhīm! Allah has given me permission to perform Hajj.’

I was restless the whole night until morning. I was in deep thought about my affair and was waiting for the Hajj season, day and night. When the Hajj season finally arrived, I made preparations and started my journey towards Medina. I continued until I reached Yathrib. I asked about the family of (Imam) Abū Muḥammad, peace be on him, but found no trace of them nor heard any news about them. I kept thinking about this affair until I went out of Medina and commenced my journey towards Mecca.

I entered Ju`fa and stayed there for a day then set of for al-Ghadīr which is about four mīls26 beyond Ju`fa. There, I entered the mosque, prayed, and put my forehead on the earth [in prostration] and greatly prayed to Allah and invoked Him, asking about them. Then, I set off for `Usfān and continued until I entered Mecca. I stayed in Mecca for a few days performing ṭawāf and worshipping Allah. One night, while I was performing ṭawāf, I noticed a handsome fragrant youth who walked nicely and was circumambulating Ka`ba. My heart inclined towards him and I stopped near him and slightly touched him. He asked me, “Where are you from?” I replied, “From Iraq.”

He asked, “Wherefrom in Iraq?” I answered, “Ahwāz27.” He asked, “Do you know al-Khaṣīb in Ahwāz?” I replied, “May Allah have mercy on him! He was called and he has answered the call [i.e. he has died].” He rejoined, “May Allah have mercy on him! How lengthy were his nights, how intense was his devotion, and how plentiful were his tears! Do you know `Alī b. Mahziyār?” I replied, “I am `Alī b. Ibrāhīm.” He greeted me, “May Allah keep you safe, O Abū l-Ḥasan! What did you do to the sign that was between you and (Imam) Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan b. `Alī, peace be on him?”

I replied, “It is with me.” He said, “Bring it out.” I put my hand in my pocket and brought it out. When he saw it, he could not control the tears from pouring out of his eyes. He cried and wailed until his old clothes became wet. He said, “O son of Mahziyār! You have been permitted now. Pack up and prepare yourself until it becomes pitch dark in the night and its darkness overwhelms the people. Go to the Canyon of Banī `Āmir and you will meet me there.” I returned to my residence and when I felt that the time had come, I prepared my saddle, readied my she-camel, packed my belongings, sat on my mount, and traveled very fast until I reached the Canyon.

There, I saw the youth standing. He called out, “O Abū l-Ḥasan! Come to me.” I went towards him and when I reached him, he greeted me first and said, “O brother! Come along with me.” He talked with me and I with him until we crossed the mountains of `Arafāt and set off towards the mountains of Minā. When the rays of the first dawn (al-fajr al-awwal) appeared, we still hadn’t reached the mountains of Ṭā’if. On reaching there, he ordered me to dismount and said, “Descend and perform the night-prayers.” I performed the prayers.

He told me to perform the Watr prayer and I obliged—this was a useful lesson from him. Then, he ordered me to perform the thanking-prostration (sajdat al-shukr) and the advised deeds after the prayers. After he finished his prayers, he mounted his ride and told me to do so too. We traveled until we reached the pinnacle of Ṭā’if.

He asked me, “Do you see anything?” I replied, “Yes. I can see a sand-dune on which is a hair-tent. The tent glows with light.” When I saw it, I felt inclined towards it. He said to me, “That is [the place of] wishes and hopes.” He then said, “Come along with me, O brother!” He went and I went along with him until he descended from the peak and reached the foot of the mountain. He told me, “Come down, for it is here that every arrogant is degraded and every despot has to bow down.” He continued, “Drop the reins of the she-camel.” I asked, “In whose care should I leave it?” He replied, “[This is] the sanctuary of the Qā’im, peace be on him. No one enters it except a believer and none exits it except a believer.” So, I dropped the reins of my camel.

He walked and I walked along with him until he reached the tent’s door. He went inside and ordered me to wait until he came out. [When he came out] he said, “Enter! Therein lies safety.” I entered and saw him sitting wearing one garment on top and another as a trouser. His outer garment was tied around him in such a way that one of its ends was on his shoulder. He was like a purple daisy on which dew had formed . . . He was like a bān28 tree branch or basil sprout. He was benevolent, generous, pious, pure, and neither very tall nor very short, but had average height.

He had a round head, a wide forehead, long thin eyebrows, aquiline nose, thin cheeks, and on his right cheek was a mole like a grain of musk on a piece of ambergris. When I saw him, I greeted him and he returned my greetings in a better way. He spoke to me and asked me about the people of Iraq. I replied, “They have been forced to wear the robe of disgrace and they are lowly amongst the nation.”

Then, he said to me, “O son of Mahziyār! Soon, your [people] will rule them like they are ruling you now and then, on that day, they will be the lowly ones.” I said, “My master! Indeed, my homeland is far and it has taken me a long time to reach to you.” He answered, “O son of Mahziyār! My father, Abū Muḥammad, has taken a covenant from me that I not stay in the neighborhood of a people on whom is Allah’s wrath and His curse and whom are disgraced in this world and the Hereafter and will have a painful torment.

He has ordered me that I not stay in the mountains except the rugged ones and in the lands except the dusty ones. Allah, your Guardian, has manifested dissimulation (al-taqiyya) and has ordered me to practice it. So, I will practice dissimulation until the day I am given permission to emerge.” I asked, “My master! When will this happen?” He replied, “When the path to Ka`ba is blocked, the sun and the moon come together, and the planets and the stars revolve around them.” I enquired, “When, O son of Allah’s Messenger?” He said, “In such and such year when the Land-Creature (Dābat al-Arḍ) emerges from between (the mountains) of Ṣafā and Marwa. He will have with him the Staff of Moses and the Ring of Solomon. He will drive the people to the gathering place.”

I stayed with him for a few days. He permitted me to leave after I reached my greatest desire and set off for my home. By Allah! I journeyed from Mecca to Kūfa and with me was a slave who served me. I saw nothing except goodness. And Allah’s blessings be on Muḥammad and his family.

836. Kamāl al-dīn29: Muḥammad b. Mūsā b. al-Mutawakkil, may Allah be satisfied with him, narrated to us from `Abd-Allah b. Ja`far al-Ḥimyarī, from Ibrāhīm b. Mahziyār who said:

I entered the city of the Messenger, Allah's blessings be on him and his family, and sought news about the family of Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan b. `Alī, peace be on him, but found nothing. I went to Mecca for the same reason and during ṭawāf, I saw a youth who had a tanned complexion and was very handsome and good-looking. I went to him with the hope of finding what I was seeking. I greeted him and he replied to my greetings nicely, and asked me, “Which city do you belong to?” I replied, “I am from Iraq.” He enquired, “Which city of Iraq?” I answered, “I am an inhabitant of Ahwāz.”

On hearing this, he said, “Good to meet you! Do you know Ja`far b. Ḥamdān al-Ḥuṣaynī in Ahwaz?” I responded, “He was called and he answered [i.e. he passed away].” On hearing this, he remarked, “May Allah have mercy on him! His nights were long and his reward will be great. Do you know Ibrāhīm b. Mahziyār?” I answered, “I am Ibrāhīm b. Mahziyār.”

He embraced me for a long time and exclaimed, “Welcome, O Abū Isḥāq! Where is the sign which was between you and (Imam) Abū Muḥammad, peace be on him?” I replied, “You mean the ring from Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan b. `Alī al-Ṭayyib, peace be on him, by which Allah, the Exalted, granted me high stature.” He answered, “I am asking for nothing else.” I took out the ring and when he saw it he cried and kissed it.

He then readout what was written on it: “O Allah, O Muḥammad, and O `Alī.” He then said, “May my father be sacrificed for the hand that wore it . . . O Abū Isḥāq! Tell me what you intend to do after completing your Hajj.” I said, “I swear by your father, my aim was nothing but what I will ask you about its hidden [affairs].”

He replied, “Ask whatever you intend and God Willing, I will explain them for you.” I questioned, “Do you have any news about the family of (Imam) Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan, peace be on him?” He replied, “By Allah, I observe light in the foreheads of Muḥammad and Mūsā, the two sons of (imam) al-Ḥasan b. `Alī, peace be on him. I am a courier sent by both of them to you, to inform you about their affair.” If you desire to meet them and decorate yourself by their blessings, then come along with me to Ṭā’if but don’t inform any of your friends about it.”

So, I went along with him and passed through sandy lands until we reached the outskirts of a large desert. There, we saw a fur-tent which had been erected on top of a sand dune, due to which the lands around it were glittering. He hurried forward to seek permission and entered and greeted them and told them about me. The older one emerged from the tent. He was M-U-Ḥ-A-M-M-A-D, the son of (Imam) al-Ḥasan b. `Alī, peace be on him.

He was a youngster whose facial hair had barely started growing and his complexion was pure-white. He had a shiny forehead, separated eyebrows, smooth cheeks, aquiline nose . . . and was exceptionally handsome like a bān tree branch. His forehead was like a shining star. There was a mole on his right cheek [which was] like a piece of musk on the whiteness of silver. He had thick black hair which was hanging over his ears.

His visage was so fine that I had never seen such beauty, grace, and modesty. I rushed towards him and started kissing his feet and hands. He said, “O Abū Isḥāq! The passing days were [telling me] that I would meet you very soon. Although our residences were far apart and we were far from meeting, but the love for each other and the desire to meet you, had created for me an image of you that it was as if a single moment had not passed but that we were having pleasant conversations with each other and were imagining seeing each other. I express my gratitude to my Lord who is the owner of all praise for making this meeting possible and bringing to an end our waiting and separation.”

He then asked me about all [my brothers]. I said, “May my father and mother be sacrificed for you! Ever since Allah took the life of my master Abū Muḥammad, I have been in search of your affairs from one land to another—and your affair was hidden from me until Allah obliged me by someone who guided and leaded me to you.

All praise is for Allah who obliged me by guiding me to your generosity. He then introduced himself and his brother Mūsā to me and then took me to another place and said, “My father took a covenant from me that I reside in no land but those who are the most concealed and the farthest away; so that my affairs would remain hidden and my place would remain protected from the plots of the deviated people and the conspiracies of those who are astray.

Thus, he sent me to the great deserts and the lonely lands. An ending awaits me in which this [problem] will be solved and the sorrows will be dispelled. He, peace be on him, acquainted me with the treasures of wisdom and hidden knowledge. If I make you aware of a small part of them, you will be needless of the others.

“O Abū Isḥāq! [My father], peace be on him, said, ‘Allah, the Exalted, will not leave any region of his earth and those who stride in obeying and worshipping him, without a (Divine) proof who will be the cause of their promotion, the leader they will follow, and will be their model whose customs they will practice and his clear path they will stride on. O my son! I have great hope that you will be one of those whom Allah, the Exalted, has enumerated amongst those [who He has selected] to spread the truth, eliminate falsehood, give stature to religion, and extinguish deviation. So O son! Stay in the most concealed of places and far-off locations, because for every friend of Allah, there is a harsh enemy and a disputing opponent, because they must fight the hypocrites and uproot the heretics and the stubborn. This should not scare you.

Be certain that the hearts of the people of obedience and sincerity fly towards you with desire like the birds towards their nests. They are a people who are regarded as lowly and humble, but before Allah, they are very dear. They seem disturbed and needy but [in reality] they practice contentment and abstention.

They have understood the religion and assist it against those who try hard in opposing it. Allah has destined them to suffer from oppression in this world so that He greatly honors them in the eternal abode [of Paradise]. He has created them with the characteristic of forbearance so that they attain the best of outcomes and the respects [of the Hereafter].

Therefore, my son, take the light of forbearance in all your tasks and you will be successful in reaching what Allah has made. Make honor the slogan of your intentions and God willing you will obtain the praised things. O my son! [It is as if I am seeing the time] when you will be assisted with divine help and its time will have arrived, victory will have been facilitated, and dominance will have been brought forward.

[It is as if I am seeing] you beside yellow flags and white banners which are flapping over you between the Ḥaṭīm and the Zamzam [in Mecca]. I see you [amongst your followers] who are in line to pledge allegiance to you and are expressing their love. They are organized around you like pearls on a necklace. [I hear] beside the Black-Rock (Ḥajar al-Aswad) the hands being [pressed against each other as a gesture] of allegiance. They seek refuge to you and are those whom Allah has created out of clean birth (ṭahārat al-wilāda)30 and the best essence (nafāsat al-turba).

Their hearts (qulūbuhum) are sanctified from the impurity of hypocrisy and their hearts (af’ida) are purified from the filth of heresy. They are gentle towards religion and very harsh towards tyranny. Their faces are shining with grace. They believe in the true religion and its followers. When their columns become firm and their pillars become upright, then with their support, the different ranks of the nation will come to the Imam.

They will pay allegiance to you under the shadow of a large tree whose branches stretch over the Sea of Galilee (Lake Tiberias)31. It is then that the morning of truth will dawn and the darkness of falsehood will vanish. Allah will break tyranny by you and will bring back the teachings of faith. By you the resistance of the horizons and the peace of leniency will become manifest (istiqāmat al-āfāq wa salām al-rifāq).

The children in the cradle would wish that they could get up and come to you and the wild [animals] would wish that they had a path towards you. By you, the world will shake with joy. The branches of honor will sprout over your head, the framework of truth will firmly settle in its place, the runaways from religion will return to their nests, and the clouds of victory will pour onto you.

Then, you will choke the enemies and will assist all the friends. There will remain on the face of earth no powerful oppressor, no ungrateful denier, no vengeful hater, and no opposing enemy. Whoever relies on Allah, [Allah] is sufficient for him. Allah will surely complete His affairs and Allah has appointed to everything a value.’”

He then said, “O Abū Isḥāq! Keep this meeting a secret except from those who are the people of acknowledgement and are your true brothers in religion. So, when the signs of reappearance and victory appear for you, don’t lag behind your brothers in coming to us and rush towards the banners of certitude and the light of the lamps of religion, so that God willing, you will acquire guidance.”

I stayed with him for some time and learnt from him lucid knowledge and illuminating laws. I irrigated the plants of my chest by the freshness of the refreshing wisdoms and delicate sciences Allah had stored in him. This continued until I feared that I might lose those who I had left behind in Ahwāz because such a long time had passed [since I last saw them]. I sought his permission to return and also informed him about the intense loneliness that I felt because I was going to leave him and had no choice but to depart.

Thus, he granted me permission and bestowed me with great supplications, which God Willing, will be reserved for me with Allah and useful for my descendants and relatives. When my departure neared and I was ready to set off, I gave him the more than fifty thousand dirhams that I had with me and asked him to accept them from me.

He smiled and said, “O Abū Isḥāq! Use it for your return because the [long Journey] will be hard and you will have to pass many deserts. Don’t be sad that we have refused to accept it. We thank you and will remember this. May Allah bless what he has given you, maintain his bounties [upon you], grant you the best reward of the good-doers, and the most magnificent abode of the obedient.

Undoubtedly, grace is for Him and from Him. I ask Allah to return you to your companions with maximum benefits and safety and that you be in the shade of welfare because of a comfortable return. May Allah not make your course difficult and not baffle you in finding your way. I entrust you to Him. God willing, you will not get lost nor perish because of His Benevolence and Obligation. O Abū Isḥāq! We are satisfied with the favors of what he has bestowed upon us and the welfare of what He has obliged us with. He has made the sincere intentions of our friends, them seeking goodness for us, and them doing what is immaculate, closer to piety, and has greater honor as an alternative to them helping us.”

Then, I set off while I was thanking Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, for guiding me and putting me on the right path. I then knew that Allah would not leave His earth empty of an evident proof or a standing Imam.

(Al-Ṣadūq the author of Kamāl al-dīn says,) I mentioned this narration to increase the insight of those who possess certitude and to portray to them Allah’s grace upon us by obliging us with this immaculate progeny. By narrating this report I intended to convey the [knowledge] entrusted to me so that Allah fortifies the illuminated path of [this religion] and its correct course through the power of determination, correct intentions, and firm will.

837. Kamāl al-dīn32: Abū l-Ḥasan `Alī b. Mūsā b. Aḥmad b. Ibrāhīm b. Muḥammad b. `Abd-Allah b. Mūsā b. Ja`far b. Muḥammad b. `Alī b. al-Ḥusayn b. `Alī b. Abī Ṭālib, peace be on him, who said that he saw written in his father’s book, may Allah be satisfied with him, from Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-Ṭuwāl, from his father, from al-Ḥasan b. `Alī al-Ṭabarī, from Abū Ja`far Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan b. `Alī b. Ibrāhīm b. Mahziyār, from his father, from his grandfather, who said:

I was sleeping in my bed when I dreamt that somebody said to me, “Perform Hajj, for you will meet the master of your time.” I woke up and was joyous and delighted. I continuously performed prayers (ṣalāt) until twilight, then, I finished the prayers and went out and asked about the Hajj pilgrimage. I saw a group who were ready for departure and very quickly joined [the caravan] that was ready to leave first.

I kept [joining the caravans that were ahead of my caravan] until one left for Kūfa and I was with them. When I reached Kūfa, I dismounted from my camel and left my luggage with my trustworthy brothers and left in search of the family of (Imam) Abū Muḥammad, peace be on him. But I found no trace nor did I hear any news [about them]. From there, I left for Medina with the first caravan.

When I reached it, I dismounted from my camel involuntarily and left my luggage with my trustworthy brothers and left to ask about and search for a sign of him, but I heard no news about him and found no trace of him. This continued until the people started to leave for Mecca and I joined them.

On reaching Mecca, I descended [from my mount], entrusted my luggage [to trustworthy people], and went in seek of the family of (Imam) Abū Muḥammad, peace be on him. Yet again, I heard no news nor found a trace. I was constantly in a state between hope and despair and I kept thinking and scolding myself until it became night. I said to myself, “I’ll wait until the area around Ka`ba becomes less crowded then I’ll perform ṭawāf and pray to Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, to fulfill my desire.” When it became less crowded, I got up to perform ṭawāf. I spotted a handsome youth who was very fragrant and was wearing two clothes—one on his shoulders and another as a trousers.

I startled him and he turned towards me and said, “Where are you from?” I replied, “From Ahwaz.” He asked, “Do you know ibn al-Khaṣīb?” I answered, “May Allah have mercy on him! He was called and he answered [i.e. he died].” He said, “May Allah have mercy on him! He used to fast during the days and used to stand up [in prayer] during the nights. He recited the Holy Quran and loved us.” Then, he asked, “Do you know `Alī b. Ibrāhīm b. Mahziyār?” I answered, “I am `Alī [b. Ibrāhīm b. Mahziyār].”

On hearing this, he said, “Welcome O Abū l-Ḥasan! Do you know who are the Ṣariḥayn? I replied in the affirmative. He asked, “Who are they?” I said, “Muḥammad and Mūsā.” He asked, “What did you do with the sign which was between you and (Imam) Abū Muḥammad, peace be on him?” I said, “It is with me.” He said, “Show it to me.” I brought out a beautiful ring. On its gem was inscribed “Muḥammad and `Alī.”

On seeing the ring, he cried for a long time while he was saying, “May Allah have mercy on you O Abū Muḥammad! You were a just Imam, the son of an Imam, and the father of an Imam. May Allah make you reside in the most exalted Paradise along with your forefathers!” He then said, “O Abū l-Ḥasan! Go to your lodging place and prepare your belongings for the journey. When a third of the night passes and two thirds remain, then come to us and [you will God willing], see what you wished.”

I went to my lodging place and was deep in thought until the time for departure came. I got up, readied my mount, sat on it, and moved. When I reached the gully I found the youth there. He said, “Welcome, O Abū l-Ḥasan! Congratulations, for you have been given permission [to meet your Imam].

He set off and I went along with him until I passed by `Arafāt and Minā and I reached the lowest hill of the Ṭā’if mountains. He then said to me, “O Abū l-Ḥasan! Dismount and ready yourself for prayers (al-ṣalāt).” He dismounted and I did too. He completed [his prayers] and so did I. He then said, “Perform the morning prayers and keep it brief.” He briefly performed the prayers and said the [finishing] salutations and then put his face on the earth.

Then, he mounted and ordered me to do so. I obliged and he set off and I went along with him until we reached the highest hill. He said to me, “Take a look. Can you see anything?” I took a look and saw a lush piece of land filled with grass and pasture which was different from its surroundings. I replied, “Yes, my master. I can see a lush piece of land filled with grass and pasture which is different from its surroundings.” He asked again, “Do you see anything on its most elevated section?” I looked [again] and saw a tent made of fur on a sand dune from which light was radiating.

He said, “Do you see anything?” I answered, “Yes, I can see such and such.” He said, “O son of Mahziyār! Purify [your] soul and light up [your] eyes! Therein lies the hope of the hopeful.” He then said, “Come with me,” and set off. I followed him until we reached the lowest hill. He then said, “Dismount, for this is the place where you will overcome all your difficulties.” He dismounted and I did too and he said, “O son of Mahziyār! Release the reins of your camel.” I asked [surprised], “To whom should I entrust my mount? There is no one here!” He answered, “This is a sanctuary where only the friends [of Allah] can enter and only the friends [of Allah] can exit.” Hence, I released the camel.

He went forward and I followed him until we were near the tent. He then went ahead and said, “Stay here until you are given permission.” He returned shortly and said, “Congratulations! What you had desired has been given to you.” I went inside and saw him—may Allah’s blessings be on him—seated on a mattress which was covered by a red leather and he was leaning on a leather pillow.

I greeted him and he greeted me. I took a look at him and his face was like a piece of the moon, it was neither thin nor fat and not very long nor very short. He was tall and had a smooth forehead. He had long thin eyebrows, large dark eyes, an aquiline nose, and smooth cheeks and there was a mole on his right cheek.

When I saw him, his attributes and characteristics bewildered me. He then said to me, “O son of Mahziyār! In what condition did you leave your brothers in Iraq?” I replied, “In miseries and hardships. The swords of Banī l-Shaiṣabān are continuously above their [heads].” He said, “May Allah kill them! Where are they deviating to? As if I am seeing a people who have been killed in their lands and the order of their Lord seizes them day and night.” I asked, “When will this occur, O Son of Allah’s Messenger?” He replied, “When the path between you and Ka`ba will be blocked by a group who are empty of goodness and Allah and His Messenger detest them. [When] redness appears in the sky for three days and silver pillars of light shine out of it. Then, al-Sarūsī will rise from Armenia and Azerbaijan with the intention [of reaching] the Black Mountain beyond Riyy33 which is connected to the Red Mountain and joined to the mountain of Ṭāliqān.

A catastrophic battle will occur there between him and al-Marwazī34 [which will be so severe that] children’s hair will turn white and grown men will become old. When bloodshed occurs between the two, then expect him to move to Zaurā’. From there, he will travel to Bāhāt and then to Wāsiṭ in Iraq. He will stay there for a year or less then he will move to Kūfa and a battle will occur between them between Najaf, Ḥīra, and Gharī35. [It will be so intense] that the intellects (al-`uqūl) will be stupefied.

It is then that the two groups will be destroyed and their survivors will be mowed down by Allah.” He then recited His saying, Exalted be He: “In the name of Allah, the Beneficent the Merciful. Our command came to it—by night or by day—so We reaped it as though it had not sprouted [at all] the day before.”36 I asked, “My master! O Son of Allah’s Messenger! What does command mean [in this verse]?” He replied, “We are the command of Allah and His army.” I asked, “My Master, O son of Allah’s Messenger! Has that time arrived?” He replied, “The hour drew near and the moon split.”37

838. Ghaybat al-Shaykh38: Aḥmad b. `Ubdūn—known as ibn al-Ḥāshir—from Abū l-Ḥasan Muḥammad b. `Alī al-Shujā`ī al-Kātib, from Abū `Abd-Allah Muḥammad b. Ibrāhīm al-Nu`mānī, from Yūsuf b. Aḥmad [Muḥammad] al-Ja`farī who said:

I performed Hajj in the year 306 AH and stayed there in that year and the following years to 309 AH. Then, I exited Mecca and moved towards Syria. I was travelling on a path and had missed my morning prayers (ṣalāt). I descended from the howdah39 and was preparing for the prayers when I saw four people in the howdah. I stopped in amazement when one of them said, “Why are you surprised? You have missed your prayers and opposed your religion.”

I responded to the one who addressed me, “And what do you know about my religion?” He answered, “Would you like to see the master of your time?” I replied in the affirmative. He pointed towards one of the four individuals.

I said, “Surely, [my master] has evidences and signs [as proof].” He asked, “Which one do you prefer: Do you want to see the camel and what is on it ascending to the sky? Or, do you want to see the howdah ascending to the sky?” I responded, “Either of them is [enough as] evidence.” Then I saw the camel and what was on it ascending towards the sky. That man had pointed towards another person with a golden-tanned complexion who had the mark of prostration between his eyes.”

839. Ghaybat al-Shaykh40: Aḥmad b. `Alī al-Rāzī, from Abū Dhar Aḥmad b. Abī Saura—who is Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan b. `Abd-Allah al-Tamīmī, a Zaidī—who said:

I heard this incident from a group who narrated it from my father, may Allah have mercy on him. He had set off for Ḥayr and he had reported, “When I reached Ḥayr, I saw a handsome youth who was praying (yuṣallī). [After finishing his prayers], he came out and so did I. We came out and went to the riverside.

He then asked me, ‘O Abū Saura! Where are you going?” I replied, “Kūfa.” He asked, “With whom?” I answered, “With the people.” He said, “Don’t [go with the people]. We will go together.” I asked, “And who is with us?” He answered, “We don’t want anyone with us.” We walked through the night until we reached the graves of the Mosque of Sahla. He said, “This is your destination. If you want, go ahead.” He continued, “You will pass by ibn al-Zurārī `Alī b. Yaḥyā.

Tell him to give you the wealth that is with him.” I said, “He won’t give it to me.” He said, “Tell him the sign that they are so and so dinars, so and so dirhams, and they are in such and such place covered with such and such things.” I asked him, “Who are you?” He replied, “I am Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan.”

I continued, “If it is not accepted from me and evidence is demanded from me?” He answered, “I am behind you.” So, I went to ibn al-Zurārī and told him [what I had been ordered] but he rejected me. I said to him, “He has told me that I am behind you.” He replied, “That is enough evidence and no one knew about this [money] except Allah the Exalted,” and he handed them over.

840. Al-Hidāya41: From him (i.e. Al-Ḥusayn b. Ḥamdān), from Abū Muḥammad `Īsā b. Mahdī al-Jauharī who said:

In the year 268 AH, I set off for Hajj. My destination was Medina because we believed then that the Master of the Time had appeared. While we were leaving Faid42, I fell ill but had an irresistible desire to eat fish [and dates]. When I entered Medina and met our brothers, they gave me the good news that he, peace be on him, had appeared at Ṣāriyā. I went to Ṣāriyā and when I went to the top of the valley I saw some ferocious Arab nomads.

I entered the palace and was waiting for something to happen until after I performed the two night prayers (ṣallaytu al-`ishā’ayn). Meanwhile, I was supplicating, pleading, and invoking. Suddenly, Badr the servant called out to me, “O `Īsā b. Mahdī al-Jauharī! Enter.” I said “Allāhu akbar, la Ilāha illā Allāh” and excessively praised Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, and glorified Him. When I reached the courtyard of the palace, I saw a spread tablecloth. The servant took me to it and sat me beside it.

He said, “Your master has ordered you to eat what you had desired in your illness while you were emerging from Faid.” I said to myself, “This is sufficient proof for me. But, how can I eat while I have not seen my master and my guardian?” He called out to me, “O `Īsā! Eat from your food; for surely, you will see me.” I sat down on the tablecloth and saw a hot sizzling fish and beside it were dates most similar to our dates and there was milk next to the dates. I thought, “I am ill and there is fish, dates, and milk here [which will deteriorate my health].” He called out to me, “O `Īsā! Do you have doubts about our affair? Do you know more [than me] as to what will benefit you and harm you?” I cried, sought forgiveness from Allah, and ate from everything.

Whenever I raised my hand from the [food to put something in my mouth], its empty place could not be seen [i.e. food would be replaced from where I had taken some]. I found it to be the most delicious thing I had ever tasted in the world. I ate a lot until I felt ashamed. He called out to me, “O `Īsā! Do not feel ashamed. These are from the foods of Paradise. They have not been prepared by the creations.”

I resumed eating until I realized I would not become full of it. I said, “O Master! I have had enough.” He called out to me, “Come to me.” I thought to myself, “How can I go to my master while I have not washed my hands?” He called out, “O `Īsā! How [do you say this] whilst you hadn’t washed your hands when you started eating?” I smelled my hand and it was more fragrant than musk and camphor.

I went near him and a light covered my vision. I became frightened to an extent that I thought I had lost my mind. He said to me, “O `Īsā! You would not have seen me if it wasn’t for the deniers who are saying: ‘Where is he? When did he come into existence? When was he born? Who has seen him? Has anyone received anything from him? What has he informed you about? Has he shown you any miracles?’ I swear by Allah, they rejected Amīr al-Mu’minīn despite all the things they had narrated [about him] and they chose others instead of him and conspired against him and killed him.

They did the same to my forefathers and they did not acknowledge them. Instead, they attributed them to magicians, cohens, and the serving of Jinn.” He then continued explaining until he said, “O `Īsā! Inform our friends about what you have seen and refrain from disclosing them to our enemies, else this grace will be taken from you.” I said, “My master! Pray that I remain steadfast.” He replied, “If Allah had not made you steadfast, you would not have seen me. Now go with your need rightly fulfilled.” I left while I was greatly praising and thanking Allah.

841. Al-Kāfī43: `Alī b. Muḥammad, from Muḥammad b. Shādhān b. Nu`aim, from the female-servant of Ibrāhīm b. `Abda [`Ubaida] al-Nīsābūrī, who said: “I was standing with Ibrāhīm on [the mountain of] Ṣafā when he, peace be on him, came and stopped near Ibrāhīm and took his book of Hajj rituals then spoke with him about some things.”

842. Muhaj al-da`awāt44: I found in a very old copy of a book from our companions whose date of writing was [the month of] Shawwāl, 396 AH, these words:

A supplication taught by our hoped-for master, Allah’s blessings be on him, to a man from his followers in a dream. He was oppressed, so Allah granted him relief and killed his enemy: Informed me Abū `Alī Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. al-Ḥusayn b. Isḥāq b. Ja`far b. Muḥammad al-`Alawī al-`Urayḍī at Ḥarrān, from Muḥammad b. `Alī al-`Alawī al-Ḥusaynī—who was a resident of Egypt—who said, “A serious matter and great worry from the ruler of Egypt had distressed me and I feared for my life for he had complained about me to Aḥmad b. Ṭūlūn.

I left Egypt to perform Hajj and then departed from Ḥijāz to Iraq and set off to visit the martyrdom-place of my master Abū `Abd-Allah al-Ḥusayn b. `Alī, Allah’s blessings be on them, to seek refuge to him, take shelter at his grave, and ask him for protection from the aggression of whom I feared. I stayed in Ḥā’ir [i.e. Karbala] for fifteen days—praying and supplicating day and night.

The Guardian of the Time and the Friend of the Beneficent appeared before me while I was [in a state] between sleeping and awake. He said to me, ‘Al-Ḥusayn says to you, “O my son! Do you fear from so and so?”’ I replied, ‘Yes. He intends to kill me and hence, I have taken refuge in my master and have complained to him about the intensity of what he wants to do against me.’ He said, ‘Why didn’t you invoke Your Lord Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He, and the Lord of your forefathers, using the supplication through which the bygone prophets invoked Him? Indeed, they too [were suffering] from hardships but Allah granted them relief.’

I asked, ‘What was their supplication?’ He replied, ‘On the night [before] Friday, perform the ritual bath (ghusl) and pray the night-prayers (ṣalāt al-layl). After you perform the thanksgiving-prostration (sajdat al-shukr), recite this supplication while you are on your knees.’ He then mentioned the supplication for me. I saw him again at the same time [on another night] while I was in a state between asleep and awake. He appeared to me for five consecutive nights and repeated the same things and the supplication until I memorized it.

He didn’t appear on the night [before] Friday, so I performed the ritual bath, changed my clothes, applied perfume, performed the night-prayers, and the thanksgiving-prostration. Then, I knelt down and invoked Allah, Majestic and Exalted be He, using the supplication [he taught me]. On the night [before] Saturday, he came to me and said, ‘Your prayers have been answered, O Muḥammad! Your enemy was killed—the moment you finished your supplication—in the presence of the one he had complained to, against you.’ In the morning, I bid farewell to my master and left for Egypt.

When I reached Jordan, I saw a man from amongst my neighbors in Egypt who was faithful. He informed me that your enemy was captured by Aḥmad b. Ṭūlūn and he ordered that he [be executed] and his head was cut off from behind his neck. He continued, ‘This happened in the night [before] Friday and he gave orders that His [body] be thrown in the Nile River.’ A group of my family members and our Shia brothers also informed me that it was reported to them that this event coincided with the time of the completion of my supplications—as was informed to me by my master—Allah’s blessings be on him.”

843. Kamāl al-dīn45: Narrated to us Muḥammad b. Muḥammad al-Khuzā`ī, may Allah be satisfied with him, from Abū `Alī al-Asadī, from his father, from Muḥammad b. Abī `Abd-Allah al-Kūfī, that he mentioned the number of those he knew that had witnessed the miracles of Ṣāḥib al-Zamān, peace be on him:

Amongst his representatives, those who saw him are as follows, From Baghdad: (1) al-`Amrī, (2) his son, (3) Ḥājiz, (4) al-Bilālī, (5) al-`Aṭṭār. From Kūfa: (6) al-`Āṣimī. From Ahwāz: (7) Muḥammad b. Ibrāhīm b. Mahziyār. From Qum: (8) Aḥmad b. Isḥāq. From Hamdān: (9) Muḥammad b. Ṣāliḥ. From Riyy: (10) al-Bassāmī, (11) al-Asadī—meaning himself. From Azerbaijan: (12) al-Qāsim b. al-`Alā. From Nīsābūr: (13) Muḥammad b. Shādhān.

Those who were not his representatives, From Baghdad: (14) Abū l-Qāsim b. Abī Ḥulais, (15) Abū `Abd-Allah al-Kindī, (16) Abū `Abd-Allah al-Junaydī, (17) Hārūn al-Qazzāz, (18) al-Niylī, (19) Abū l-Qāsim b. Dubays, (20) Abū `Abd-Allah b. Farrūkh, (21) Masrūr the Chef—the slave of (Imam) Abū l-Ḥasan—peace be on him, (22) Aḥmad, (23) and Muḥammad, the two sons of al-Ḥasan, (24) Isḥāq the writer (al-Kātib) from Banī-Nībakht, (25) Ṣāḥib al-Nawā’, (26) the owner of the sealed purse. From Hamdān: (27) Muḥammad b. Kishmard, (28) Ja`far b. Ḥamdān, (29) Muḥammad b. Hārūn b. `Imrān. From Dīnawar: (30) Ḥasan b. Hārūn, (31) Aḥmad b. Ukhayya, (32) Abū l-Ḥasan. From Iṣfahān: (33) ibn Bāzshāla. From Ṣaimara: (34) Zaydān. From Qum: (35) al-Ḥasan b. al-Naḍr, (36) Muḥammad b. Muḥammad, (37) `Alī b. Muḥammad b. Isḥāq, (38) his father, (39) al-Ḥasan b. Ya`qūb. From Riyy: (40) al-Qāsim b. Mūsā, (41) his son, (42) Abū Muḥammad b. Hārūn, (43) Ṣāḥib al-Ḥḥaṣat, (44) `Alī b. Muḥammad, (45) Muḥammad b. Muḥammad al-Kulainī, (46) Abū Ja`far al-Rifā’. From Qazwīn: (47) Mirdās, (48) `Alī b. Aḥmad. From Fāqtar: (49) & (50) Two men. From Shahrazūr: (51) Ibn al-Khāl. From Fāris: (52) al-Maḥrūj. From Marw: (53) The owner of one thousand dinars, (54) The owner of some wealth, (55) The owner of the white paper, (56) Abū Thābit. From Nīsābūr: (57) Muḥammad b. Shu`ayb b. Ṣāliḥ. From Yemen: (58) al-Faḍl b. Yazīd, (59) His son al-Ḥasan, (60) al-Ja`farī, (61) Ibn al-A`jamī, (62) al-Shimshāṭī. From Egypt: (63) Father of two sons, (64) The owner of some wealth at Mecca, (65) Abū Rajā’. From Naṣībayn: (66) Abū Muḥammad b. al-Wajnā. From Ahwāz: (67) al-Ḥusaynī.

I say: Al-Nūrī, may Allah have mercy on him, in the beginning of the seventh chapter of al-Najm al-thāqib, has narrated the aforementioned tradition in Persian. Then, he has mentioned another group of people who have witnessed the miracles of Ṣāḥib al-Amr, peace be on him, and have had the honor of meeting him and the privilege of seeing him.

There is no harm in mentioning their names here. Whoever intends to know more about them and the details of their reports, must refer to the writings of our fellow companions concerning the occultation and the rijāl books.

Here, we will only mention their names as has been recorded in the aforementioned book: (68) Al-Shaykh Abū l-Qāsim al-Ḥusayn b. Rūḥ, (69)Abū l-Ḥasan `Alī b. Muḥammad al-Samurī, (70) Ḥakīma, the daughter of Imam Muḥammad al-Taqī, peace be on him, (71) Nasīm, the servant of (Imam) Abū Muḥammad, peace be on him, (72) Abū Naṣr al-Ṭarīf, the servant, (73) Kāmil b. Ibrāhīm al-Madanī, (74) Al-Badr, the servant, (75) The old woman who had brought up Aḥmad b. Bilāl b. Dāwūd al-Kātib, (76) Māriya, the female-servant, (77) The slave-girl of Abū `Alī al-Khayzarānī, (78) Abū Ghānim, the servant, (79) A group of (our Shia) companions, (80) Abū Hārūn, (81) Mu`āwiyat b. Ḥakīm, (82) Muḥammad b. Ayyūb b. Nūḥ, (83) `Umar al-Ahwāzī, (84) A man from Fāris, (85) Muḥammad b. Ismā’īl b. Mūsā b. Ja`far, peace be on them, (86) Abū `Alī b. Muṭahhar, (87) & (88) Ibrāhīm b. `Abda al-Nīsābūrī and his slave-girl, (89),(90) & (91) Rashīq and his two companions, (92) Abū `Abd-Allah b. Ṣāliḥ, Abū `Alī Aḥmad b. Ibrāhīm b. Idrīs, (93) Ja`far b. `Alī al-Hādī, peace be on him, (94) A guard, (95) Abū l-Ḥusayn Muḥammad b. Muḥammad b. Khalaf, (96) Ya`qūb b. Manfūs, (97) Abū Sa`īd al-Ghānim al-Hindī, (98) Muḥammad b. Shādhān al-Kabulī, (99) `Abd-Allah al-Sūrī, (100) Al-Ḥāj al-Hamdānī, (101) Sa`d b. `Abd-Allah al-Qummī al-Ash`arī, (102) Ibrāhīm b. Muḥammad b. Fāris al-Nīsābūrī, (103) `Alī b. Ibrāhīm b. Mahziyār, (104) Abū Nu`aim al-Anṣārī al-Zaidī, (105) Abū `Alī Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-Maḥmūdī, (106) Allān al-Kulainī, (107) Abū l-Haytham al-Anbārī [or al-Dīnārī], (108) Sulaimān b. Abī Nu`aim and Abū Ja`far al-Aḥwal al-Hamdānī, (109-139) Muḥammad b. Abī al-Qāsim al-`Alawī al-`Aqīqī along with a group of about thirty men, (140) The grandfather of Abū l-Ḥasan b. Wajnā, (141) Abū l-Adyān, (142) Abū l-Ḥasan Muḥammad b. Ja`far al-Ḥimyarī and a group of people from Qum, (143) Ibrāhīm b. Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-Anṣārī, (144) Muḥammad b. `Abd-Allah al-Qummī, (145) Yūsuf b. Aḥmad al-Ja`farī, (146) Aḥmad b. `Abd-Allah al-Hāshimī al-`Abbāsī, (147-186) Ibrāhīm b. Muḥammad al-Tabrīzī along with thirty-nine people, (187) Al-Ḥasan b. `Abd-Allah al-Tamīmī al-Zaidī, (188) al-Zuhrī, (189) Abū Sahl Ismā’īl b. `Alī al-Naubakhtī, (190) Al-`Aqīd al-Nūbī, the servant, (191) The lady who had taken care of Imam Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan al-`Askarī, peace be on him, (192) Ya`qūb b. Yūsuf al-Ḍarrāb al-Ghassānī or al-Iṣfahānī, the narrator of al-ṣalawāt al-kabīra, (193) The old female-servant of Imam al-`Askarī, peace be on him, who lived in Holy Mecca, (194) Muḥammad b. `Abd-Allah al-Ḥamīd, (195) `Abd-Aḥmad b. al-Ḥasan al-Mādirānī, (196) Abū l-Ḥasan al-`Amrī, (197) `Abd-Allah al-Sufyānī, (198) Abū l-Ḥasan al-Ḥasanī, (199) Muḥammad b. `Abbās al-Qaṣrī, (200) Abū l-Ḥasan `Alī b. al-Ḥasan al-Yamānī, (201) & (202) Two men from Egypt, (203) The great worshipper (al-`ābid al-mutahajjid) from Ahwāz, (204) Umm Kulthūm, the daughter of Abū Ja`far Muḥammad b. `Uthmān al-`Amrī, (205) The messenger from Qum, (206) Sinān al-Mauṣilī, (207) Aḥmad b. Ḥasan b. Aḥmad al-Kātib, (208) Ḥusayn b. `Alī b. Muḥammad, known as ibn al-Baghdādī, (209) Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-Ṣairafī, (210) Al-Bazzāz al-Qummī, (211) Ja`far b. Aḥmad, (212) Al-Ḥasan b. Waṭāt al-Ṣaidalānī who was in charge of the endowments (waqf) in Wāsiṭ, (213) Aḥmad b. Abī Rūḥ, (214) Abū l-Ḥasan Khiḍr b. Muḥammad, (215) Abū Ja`far Muḥammad b. Aḥmad, (216) The woman from al-Dīnawar, (217) Al-Ḥasan b. al-Ḥusayn al-Asbābābadī, (218) A person from Astarābād, (219) Muḥammad b. al-Ḥusayn al-Kātib from Marv, (220) Two people from Madā’in, (221) `Alī b. Ḥusayn b. Mūsā b. Bābawayh al-Qummī, the father of al-Ṣadūq, (222) Abū Muḥammad al-Da`lajī, (223) Abū Ghālib Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Sulaimān al-Zurārī, (224) Ḥusayn b. Ḥamdān Nāṣir al-Daula, (225) Aḥmad Abū Sūra, (226) Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan b. `Ubaid-Allah al-Tamīmī, (227) Abū Ṭāhir `Alī b. Yaḥyā al-Zurārī [al-Rāzī], (228) Aḥmad b. Ibrāhīm b. Makhlad, (229) Muḥammad b. `Alī al-Aswad al-Dāwūdī, (230) Al-`Afīf, (231) Abū Muḥammad al-Thumālī, (232) Muḥammad b. Aḥmad, (233) A man to whom a signed letter (tauqī`) was given at `Ukbarā, (234) `Alyān, (235) Al-Ḥasan b. Ja`far al-Qazwīnī, (236) A man from Fāynamī, (237) Abū l-Qāsim al-Jalīsī, (238) Naṣr b. Ṣabbāḥ, (239) Aḥmad b. Muḥammad al-Sarrāj al-Dīnawarī, (240) Abū l-`Abbās, (241) Muḥammad b. Aḥmad b. Ja`far al-Qattān, the representative, (242) Ḥusayn b. Muḥammad al-Ash`arī, (243) Muḥammad b. Ja`far, the representative, (244) A person from Āba, (245) Abū Ṭālib, the servant of a man from Egypt, (246) Mirdās b. `Alī, (247) A person from Rabaḍ Ḥamīd (248) Abū l-Ḥasan b. Kathīr al-Naubakhtī, (249) Muḥammad b. `Alī al-Shalmaghānī, (250) The companion of Abū Ghālib al-Zurārī, (251) Ibn al-Ra’īs, (252) Hārūn b. Mūsā b. al-furāt, (253) Muḥammad b. Yazdād, (254) Abū `Alī al-Nīlī, (255) Ja`far b. `Amr, (256) Ibrāhīm b. Muḥammad b. al-Faraj al-Zaḥjī, (257) Abū Muḥammad al-Sarwī, (258) The slave-girl of Mūsā b. `Īsā al-Hāshimī, (259) The female owner of a small box, (260) Abū l-Ḥasan Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Jābir al-Balādhurī, the author of Tārīkh al-ashrāf, (261) Abū l-Ṭayyib Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b. Buṭṭa, (262) Aḥmad b. al-Ḥasan b. Abī Ṣāliḥ al-Khujandī, (263) The nephew of Abū Bakr al-`Aṭṭār al-Ṣūfī, (264-302) Muḥammad b. `Uthmān al-`Amrī, as is recorded in Tārīkh Qum, from Muḥammad b. `Alī Mājīlawayh, through an authentic chain of narrators, from him, who said: “One day, (Imam) Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan b. `Alī, peace be on him, presented to us his son, M-U-Ḥ-A-M-M-A-D, the Mahdī, peace be on him, while we were in his house and we were forty people . . . (to the end of the tradition).”

Some contemporary scholars have narrated from the book Bughyat al-ṭālib, the names of those who have seen him and have witnessed his miracles during the minor occultation and have recorded their stories. Some of these have been mentioned in al-Najm al-thāqib and the rest in other books.

In Tadhkirat al-ṭālib, the names of three hundred people have been recorded who have seen him.

Al-Sayyid Hāshim Baḥrānī has written an exclusive book on this subject which he has named Tabṣirat al-walī fī man ra’ā l-Qā’im al-Mahdī. He has mentioned in it the names of a large number of people who had the privilege of seeing him during the lifetime of his father, peace be on him, and during the minor occultation.

The following traditions from this chapter also prove the above point: 859 (it is probable that this incident occurred during the major occultation),862,864,and867.

  • 1. Know that numerous traditions—some of which we mentioned in the twenty-seventh section of the third chapter—indicate that he has two occultations and one is longer than the other. The minor occultation lasted until 329 AH, the same year that Abū l-Ḥasan `Alī b. Muḥammad al-Samurī died. By his death, the period of the special representation (al-niyābat al-khāṣṣa) came to an end and the period of ambassadorship was terminated. Its duration was seventy-four years—if we calculate it from the birth of al-Ḥujja, peace be on him—and sixty nine years if we calculate it from the death of his father in the year 260 AH. During this period, the representatives were the media between him and his followers. His representatives and some special Shias had access to him and signed letters (al-tauqī`āt) were written by him to these elite. The representatives also brought his replies to those who had questions about religious issues and laws and other matters. The Shia elite knew his holy hand-writing and recognized it.
    Perhaps, the secret of the minor occultation was to make the Shias familiar with complete occultation. Therefore, the minor occultation took place before the major one so that they would not feel hopeless when it occurred. A quick look into history will show that they, peace be on them, used to accustom their Shias to the occultation of the Imam since the time of Imam Abū l-Ḥasan `Alī b. Muḥammad al-Hādī, peace be on him. Al-Mas`ūdī, the great historian, has mentioned in Ithbāt al-waṣiyya that “It has been narrated that Abū l-Ḥasan al-`Askarī was concealed from most of the Shias except for a small number of people who were close to him. When the affair [of Imamate] was handed to Abū Muḥammad, he would speak with his close followers and also others from behind a curtain—except those times when he rode to the royal court. This behavior practiced by him and his father was a prelude to the occultation of Ṣāḥib al-Zamān so that the Shias would become familiar with the occultation and not deny it and so that they would become accustomed with hiding and concealment.”
    After the minor occultation ended, the major occultation began. His reappearance will take place only after Allah, the Exalted, permits. No one will be permitted to be in his service except a very few. The doors of special representation and ambassadorship were closed and the matters were delegated to the jurists (al-fuqahā), who were proficient in divine laws and are the bearers of the traditions and sciences of the immaculate Imams. Al-Ṣadūq has narrated in Kamāl al-dīn from Muḥammad b. Muḥammad b. `Iṣām, from Muḥammad b. Ya`qūb, from Isḥāq b. Ya`qūb who reports, “I asked Muḥammad b. Uthmān al-`Amrī to convey for me a letter [to Imam Mahdī] in which I had asked numerous problematic issues. Soon, a signed letter (tauqī`) reached me with the handwriting of our Master Ṣāḥib al-Zamān, peace be on him, which said, ‘As for what you have asked, may Allah guide you and make you steadfast . . . As for the events that will occur [in the future], then regarding those, refer to the narrators of our traditions (ruwāt ḥadithinā); for undoubtedly, they are my proof upon you and I am the proof of Allah upon them.’” Al-Ṭūsī has recorded the same tradition in al-Ghayba from a group of people, from Ja`far b. Muḥammad al-Qūlawayh, Abū Ghālib al-Zurārī, and others, who have all narrated it from Muḥammad b. Ya`qūb. It has also been narrated in al-Iḥtijāj from Muḥammad b. Ya`qūb, from Isḥāq. Imam Abū `Abd-Allah has said in a famous tradition recorded by al-Kulainī through his chain of narrators from `Umar b. Ḥanẓala that “Whoever from amongst you who narrates our traditions, has insight into what we have allowed or prohibited, and knows our laws, then they should be satisfied with him as a judge because I have appointed him as a judge upon you. When he judges [in accordance] with our judgment but [his judgment] is not accepted, then [the one who has not accepted the judgment] has neglected the judgment of Allah and has rejected us; and he who rejects us is like he who rejects Allah and [he who performs this act] is standing on the borderline of polytheism.” Shaykh (al-`Āmilī) has also narrated it through his chain of narrators in Wasā’il al-shī`a, vol. 18, chap. 11, from the chapters about the attributes of a judge, no. 1.
    It has been narrated in al-Iḥtijāj from Imam Abū Muḥammad al-`Askarī, in a tradition from (Imam) Abū `Abd-Allah, peace be on him, who said, “From amongst the jurists (fuqahā), whoever protects himself (ṣā’inan li nafsih), guards his religion (ḥāfiẓan li dīnih), disobeys his desires (mukhalifīn li hawāh), and obeys the commands of his Master, then it is obligatory upon the people to follow him.” It has also been narrated in al-Iḥtijāj through his chain of narrators from Imam Abū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan, from his father `Alī b. Muḥammad al-Hādī who said, “After the occultation of your Qā’im, if it was not for those scholars who will call towards him, guide to him, will protect his religion with Allah’s proofs, and will save the servants of Allah from the traps of Iblīs and his rebels and the snares of the enemies of the Ahl al-Bait, no one would remain but that he would reject the Religion of Allah. These scholars are those who firmly hold the reins of the hearts of the weak Shias just like captains who firmly grip the ships steering wheel. These are the most superior people before Allah, Mighty and Majestic be He.” The Second Martyr (Shahīd al-Thānī) has recorded a similar tradition from Imam al-Hādī, peace be on him, in Munyat al-murīd. This concept can be inferred from traditions other than those that we mentioned which our companions have narrated in their books. May Allah be satisfied with them.
    An important note: Know that—as we have indicated earlier—special representation and ambassadorship terminated with the end of the minor occultation and the commencement of the major occultation. Thereafter, no one has the right to claim the esteemed positions of being an ambassador (safīr), door (bāb), representative, special attorney (wikālat al-khāṣṣa), or a medium between the Imam and the people until Allah manifests the affair of the guardian appointed by him and His proof, peace be on him. Whoever makes any of the above claims must be refuted and rejected. This is one of the necessary beliefs of our religion—that has been unanimously agreed upon by all the great scholars, generation after generation without exception. This is also proved by the traditions which speak about his major occultation and mention that the people will be tested with intense examinations and calamities. For our purpose, the quote of the majestic teacher, Abū l-Qāsim Ja`far b. Muḥammad b. Ja`far b. Mūsā al-Qūlawayh (d. 368 or 369 AH)—the author of the book Kāmil al-ziyārāt—will suffice: “We believe that whoever claims the affair [of representation or deputyship] after al-Samurī, may Allah have mercy on him, is a mischievous, deviated, and deviating disbeliever.”
  • 2. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 43: “Those who have witnessed the Qā’im, peace be on him, seen him, and talked to him, p. 440, no. 9; Ghaybat al-Shaykh, p. 251, no. 222; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 51, p. 351, and vol. 52, chap. 18, p. 30, no. 23; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 32, p. 452, no. 69; Tabṣirat al-walī, p. 71, no. 37; Ḥilyat al-abrār, vol. 2, p. 607.
  • 3. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 43: “Those who have witnessed the Qā’im, peace be on him, seen him and talked to him,” p. 440, no. 9; Ghaybat al-Shaykh, p. 251, no. 222, which says, “O Allah! Take revenge for me from Your enemies”; Yanābī` al-mawadda, chap. 83, p. 463; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 32, p. 453, no. 70; Tabṣirat al-walī, p. 71, no. 38; Ḥilyat al-abrār, vol. 2, p. 607.
  • 4. A section of Ka`ba approximately located on the side which is opposite its door—Ed.
  • 5. Al-Kāfī, vol. 1, chap. “The birth of the Master, peace be on him,” pp. 515–517, no. 3; Kamāl al-dīn has narrated it using three different chains (chap. 43, pp. 437–440, no. 6); Yanābī` al-mawadda, chap. 83, p. 463.
  • 6. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 43, p. 441, no. 12; Ghaybat al-Shaykh, p. 246, no. 215, which says, “from Ẓarīf”; al-Kharā’ij, chap. “al-`Alāmāt al-dālla `alā Ṣāḥib al-Zamān”; Ithbāt al-waṣiyya, pp. 221–222; Yanābī` al-mawadda, chap. 83, p. 463 (similar to it); Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, p. 30, no. 25; Kashf al-ghumma, vol. 2, p. 499; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 32, p. 508, no. 219 (short version); Ḥilyat al-abrār, vol. 2, pp. 544–545; Tabṣirat al-walī, p. 72, no. 39.
  • 7. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 43, p. 435, no. 3, and pp. 441–442, no. 14. The latter has some differences like: “from his father and Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan, may Allah be satisfied with both of them, from `Abd-Allah b. Ja`far al-Ḥimyarī,” and an addition at its end which indicates the prohibition of saying his name; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, p. 26, no. 20; Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 49–50, no. 17; Ḥilyat al-abrār, vol. 2, chap. 20, p. 581.
  • 8. Quran 2:260.
  • 9. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 43, p. 442, no. 15; Yanābī` al-mawadda, chap. 82, p. 461 (similar) to it; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, p. 42, no. 31; Iḥqāq al-ḥaqq, vol. 19, p. 642.
  • 10. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 43, pp. 443–444, no. 17; Yanābī` al-mawadda, p. 464 (similar to it); Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, pp. 31–32, no. 27; Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 76–78, no. 44; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 33, p. 671, no. 38.
  • 11. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 43, pp. 444­–445, no. 18; Ghaybat al-Shaykh, pp. 253–254, no. 223, through his chain of narrators from al-Awdī; Yanābī` al-mawadda, chap. 83, p. 464 (similar to it); Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, pp. 1–2, no. 1; I`lām al-warā, fourth rukn, part 2, chap. 3, sect. 2; Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 78–79, no. 45; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 33, pp. 670–671, no. 39; Ḥilyat al-abrār, vol. 2, p. 573; al-Thāqib, pp. 613-614, no. 559/7; al-Kharā’ij, chap. 15, pp. 784–785.
    I say: al-Azdī or al-Awdī is Aḥmad b. al-Ḥusayn (or al-Ḥasan) b. `Abd al-Malik al-Awdī or al-Azdī. He was a Kūfī, a reliable person (thiqa), and referred to [by the people for their needs/questions]. See Jāmi` al-ruwāt, etc.
  • 12. The ritual circumambulation around Ka`ba—Ed.
  • 13. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 43, pp. 470–473, no. 24, which has narrated “Abū l-Qāsim Ja`far b. Aḥmad al-`Alawī” instead of “Abū l-Qāsim Ja`far b. Muḥammad al-`Alawī”; Ghaybat al-Shaykh, pp. 259–263, no. 227, which has recorded it using two chains: “From Aḥmad b. `Alī al-Rāzī, from `Alī b. `Ā’idh al-Rāzī, from al-Ḥasan b. Wajnā al-Naṣībī, from Abū Nu`aim Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-Anṣārī” and “A group informed us from Abū Muḥammad Hārūn b. Mūsā al-Talla’ukbarī, from Abū `Alī Muḥammad b. Hammām, from Ja`far b. Muḥammad b. Mālik al-Kūfī, from Muḥammad b. Ja`far b. `Abd-Allah, from Abū Nu`aim Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-Anṣārī.” He then mentions all the tradition; Dalā’il al-imāma, pp. 298–300, no. 3, which says: “Narrated to me Abū l-Ḥusayn Muḥammad b. Hārūn, from his father, from Abū `Alī Muḥammad b. Hammām, from Ja`far b. Muḥammad b. Mālik al-Fazārī al-Kūfī, from Muḥammad b. Ja`far b. `Abd-Allah, from Ibrāhīm b. Muḥammad b. Aḥmad al-Anṣārī who said, ‘I was present at the Mustajār . . . (to the end of the tradition)’”; Yanābī` al-mawadda, chap. 83, pp. 465–466; Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 115–122, no. 50; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, pp. 6–9, no. 5, and vol. 61, chap. 35, pp. 187–190, no. 2, and vol. 62, p. 157, and vol. 83, pp. 27–28; Mustadrak al-wasā’il, vol. 5, pp. 70–72, no. 5382/3 and 5383/4; Falāḥ al-sā’il, pp. 179–182; Nuzhat al-nāẓir, chap. “A gleam from the words of al-Imam al-Ḥujjat ibn al-Ḥasan b. `Alī, peace be on him,” pp. 147–151
  • 14. Special garments worn by those who are performing Hajj—Ed.
  • 15. After the stay in `Arafāt, the pilgrim must stay at Muzdalifa. Muzdalifa is the name of a place which is about six kilometers from `Arafāt and fourteen kilometers from Mecca—Ed.
  • 16. A place in modern-day Afghanistan—Ed.
  • 17. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 43: “Those who have seen the Qā’im, peace be on him,” pp. 475–476; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 50, chap. 5, pp. 322–333, no. 4, and vol. 52, chap. 18, pp. 67–68, no. 53; Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 127–130, no. 41; Yanābī` al-mawadda, chap. 82, p. 461 (similar to it from Abū l-Adyān); Ḥilyat al-abrār, vol. 2, pp. 547–549; al-Thāqib fī l-manāqib, pp. 607–608, no. 554/2; al-Kharā’ij, chap. “al-`Alāmāt al-dālla `alā l-Ṣāḥib al-Zamān”
  • 18. A guitar-like musical instrument—Ed.
  • 19. Al-Kāfī, vol. 1, p. 331, no. 8; Ghaybat al-Shaykh, p. 268, no. 232, through his chain from Ibrāhīm b. Idrīs; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, p. 14, no. 10; al-Irshād, chap. “Those who have seen the twelfth Imam, peace be on him,”; Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 61 and 274, no. 18 and 107; Kashf al-ghumma, vol. 2, p. 450; Yanābī` al-mawadda, chap. 82, p. 461, which says: “From the book al-Ghayba, from Ibrāhīm b. Idrīs who said, ‘I saw the Mahdī while he was an adolescent after Abū Muḥammad passed away. I kissed his hand and his holy head.’”
  • 20. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 43, pp. 476–479, no. 26; al-Kharā’ij, vol. 3, p. 1104, no. 24, similar to it through his chain of narrators from al-Mauṣilī; Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 130–136, no. 55; Yanābī` al-mawadda, chap. 82, p. 462 (short version); Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, pp. 47–50, no. 34. A part of it has been narrated in vol. 73, chap. 108, pp. 63–64, no. 4; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 7, chap. 33, p. 301, no. 43; al-Kharā’ij, chap. “al-`Alāmāt al-dālla `alā Ṣāḥib al-Zamān”; al-Thāqib, pp. 608–611, no. 555/3.
  • 21. Any kind of aromatic powder which is used to make a corpse fragrant—Ed.
  • 22. Ghaybat al-Shaykh, pp. 248–250, no. 218, in the section concerning the birth of Ṣāḥib al-Zamān, peace be on him; al-Kharā’ij, vol. 1, chap. 13, p. 460, no. 5; Yanābī` al-mawadda, chap. 81: “The extraordinary feats and miracles of the Mahdī which he will show to the people,” p.248; Faraj al-mahmūm, p. 248; Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 56–58, no. 25; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, pp. 51–52, under footnote of no. 36; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 33, pp. 683–684, no. 92; Rashīq was the slave of al-Mu`taḍid (see al-Kāmil, vol. 7, p.365).
    Amongst the made-up beliefs of some Sunnis and their baseless accusations, is attributing the belief to the Shias that the Qā’im disappeared in the cellar (sardāb) and he has remained there and not emerged from it until now; No one has seen him and he will reappear from it and the Shias are waiting for his reappearance from it. They have gone to the extent that ibn Ḥajar writes in al-Ṣawā`iq a couplet which says: How can a cellar give birth to a child and how can the Shias believe in such things.
    I say: Allah, the Exalted, says, “Those who forge lies are those who do not believe in the signs of Allah and they are the liars” (Quran 16:105). O scholars! O reciters of the Quran! O people of justice! These are the books of the Shia scholars—since the period of occultation and even before it, until now. They are in front of you. Browse through them so that the intensity of prejudice and enmity dawns upon you. Go through them and realize that these are worthless lies. Read them thoroughly so that you see that there is no sign—absolutely whatsoever—of these accusations even in a single book written by the lowest statured Shia scholars, let alone the renowned and celebrated ones like al-Kulainī, al-Ṣadūq, al-Nu`mānī, al-Mufīd, al-Shaykh al-Ṭūsī, the two Sayyids—al-Murtaḍā and al-Raḍī—al-Ḥillī, and etc. Browse through these books so that you become aware of the only reason that this umma is divided and the single obstacle in their unity and oneness of their word. By Allah! Such accusations make one tremor and baffle the intellects. These are men who regard themselves as scholars, thinkers, researchers, and Muslims but forge such lies and accusations against a large group of the Muslims. A group amongst whom, in every era and generation, thousands of scholars, philosophers, litterateurs, poets, theologians, writers, compilers, and experts of different fields of sciences have lived who have written books read by the Muslims, the scientists, and the knowledgeable, generation after generation. Through these books they can understand the level of their knowledge and the extent of their efforts. We seek refuge in Allah from all those things that the pens and tongues say!
    If we place the Shia books—old and new—in front of our eyes, we will definitely find them filled with traditions, narrations, and stories, all of which deny and falsify these baseless and unfounded accusations and fabrications. We have mentioned a large group of these traditions in the current book. The great traditionist, al-Nūrī, may Allah have mercy on him, writes in Kashf al-astār: “No matter how much we searched and investigated, we could not find the slightest trace of what they have mentioned. In fact, there is no mention of the cellar (sardāb) at all except in the incident of al-Mu`taḍid which has been narrated by Nūr al-Dīn `Abd al-Raḥmān al-Jāmī in Shawāhid al-nubuwwa, which has also been recorded in Sunni books and with their chains of narrators. Instead, they have narrated what Rashīq Ṣāḥib al-Mādrāy has mentioned (he then mentions what we mentioned here from Ghaybat al-Shaykh from Rashīq, then says,) And there is no mention of the cellar in it whatsoever, except that al-Quṭb al-Rāwandī has mentioned this narration in al-Kharā’ij and according to our companions, he has said in another place (although we could didn’t find such thing in the copy available with us) that ‘Then they sent a huge army. When they entered the house, they heard the recitation of Quran from the cellar. So, they gathered at its door and guarded it so that no one could come up or exit it. The chief was standing there until the entire army had come. He, peace be on him, emerged from the alley adjacent to the door of the cellar and passed through them. When he disappeared, the chief ordered, “Go down and get him.” They said, “Didn’t he just pass by you?” He replied, “I did not see him. Why did you let him go?” They said, “We thought you were watching him.”’ Apparently, this narration is the reason that some of the scholars have called the cellar as the Cellar of Occultation (Sardāb al-Ghayba). This can particularly be seen in the books of ziyāra.” What has been narrated from al-Kharā’ij (although I could not find it in the copy available with me), does in no way prove or indicate what the Shias have been accused of. Rather, it invalidates such unfounded allegations because it clearly mentions he came out of the cellar then disappeared.
    Moreover, this incident occurred many years after the beginning of his occultation. His occultation, peace be on him, commenced in 260 AH while al-Mu`taḍid became the caliph in the month of Rajab, 279 AH. If you seek more details, refer to the book Kashf al-astār because he has indeed discussed it as it is worthy of being discussed. As for the Shia custom of visiting the cellar and reciting the ziyāra of our master, the Mahdī, peace be on him, it is certainly not on account of the belief that he is hiding in the cellar and that he will reappear from it. Rather, it is because this place—which is known as the cellar (al-sardāb)—and the shrines of the tenth and the eleventh Imams, were the place of their residence and their blessed houses, which Allah has permitted to be Exalted and His Name be mentioned in. Moreover, it is the birthplace of the Qā’im and the place some of his miracles and extraordinary feats occurred. Besides the above, there is nothing special about it, but these are enough to attract his Shias and lovers there, to recite his ziyāra and the Quran and to pray to Allah for his relief and the hastening of his appearance and to send blessings upon him, his father, his grandfather, and his mother, peace be on them all. Besides the cellar, Shias recite his ziyāra in many other holy sites that have been proven to be a place that he, peace be on him, has visited.
  • 23. Meaning I am not from the Abbasids.
  • 24. Al-Kāfī, vol. 1, chap. “Those who have seen him, peace be on him,” p. 331, no. 7; al-Irshād, chap. “Those who have seen the Imam, peace be on him,” p. 377; Yanābī` al-mawadda, p. 463; Tabṣirat al-walī, p. 61, no. 27, from Muḥammad b. Ya`qūb through his chain of narrators from Abū `Abd-Allah b. Ṣāliḥ; Kashf al-ghumma, vol. 2, p. 450.
  • 25. Ghaybat al-Shaykh, chap. “Those who have seen him, peace be on him,” pp. 263–267, no. 228; Dalā’il al-imāma, chap. “Those amongst our companions who have seen Ṣāḥib al-Ẓamān, peace be on him, and recognized him during his occultation,” pp. 269 and 297; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, pp. 9–12, no. 6; Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 143–147, no. 60, and pp. 156–161, no. 65.
  • 26. A unit of distance—Ed.
  • 27. Ahwāz is now part of Iran—Ed.
  • 28. A tree that has long leaves and fragrant white blossoms—Ed.
  • 29. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 43, pp. 445–452, no. 19; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, pp. 32–37, no. 28; Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 80–90, no. 46; al-Kharā’ij, vol. 3, pp. 1099–1101.
    I say: Apparently, what has been recorded in Yanābī` al-mawadda (chap. 83, p. 466) from the Book al-Ghayba, from Ibrāhīm b. Mahziyār, is a short version of this tradition.
  • 30. This literally means that the child was born to parents who were legally married to each other—Ed.
  • 31. Located in northeastern Palestine—Trans.
  • 32. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 43, pp. 465–470, no. 23; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, pp. 42–46, no. 32; Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 109–115, no. 49.
    I say: It is very probable that the last three traditions and the narration we cited from Dalā’il al-imāma are all the same. The difference in their wordings, the difference in their contents, the existence of concepts in them that are not popular amongst the Shias, and the narrator being `Alī b. Ibrāhīm b. Mahziyār in traditions 835 and 837 but Ibrāhīm b. Mahziyār in tradition 836—which we narrated from Kamāl al-dīn from a correct chain of narrators—do not weaken the tradition and the meeting of Ibrāhīm b. Mahziyār or `Alī b. Ibrāhīm b. Mahziyār with the Mahdī, peace be on him, even though his name has not been recorded in the rijāl books. Such differences occur where the tradition has not been narrated word-for-word and errors have occurred in the names because of the existence of many similar names or other reasons. We have completely discussed this issue in a treatise which we have named al-Nuqūd al-latīfa, which will be mentioned in the third volume of this book, if Allah, the Exalted, wills.
    Moreover, when a tradition is narrated through many different chains of which one or more of the chains are unreliable, the correctness of the contents of the tradition cannot be disputed, especially when scholars like al-Ṣadūq and al-Ṭūsī, may Allah be satisfied with them, have relied on them and have even used them as arguments.
  • 33. A city located just south of present-day Tehran (Iran)—Ed.
  • 34. Al-Marwazī means ‘the person from Marw’. Marw is a city located in northeastern Iran in the province of Khurāsān—Ed.
  • 35. Najaf, Ḥīra, and Gharī are all places located near Kūfa—Ed.
  • 36. Quran 10:24.
  • 37. Quran 54:1.
  • 38. Ghaybat al-Shaykh, pp. 257–258, no. 225; al-Kharā’ij, vol. 1, chap. 13, pp. 466–467, no. 13; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, p. 5, no. 3; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 33, p. 684, no. 93; al-Thāqib, pp. 614–615, no. 562.
  • 39. A seat or pavilion on the back of an elephant or camel (Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary)—Ed.
  • 40. Ghaybat al-Shaykh, pp. 269–270, no. 224 ; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, p. 14, no. 12; Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 161–162, no. 66; Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 3, chap. 33, pp. 684–685, no. 94.
  • 41. Al-Hidāya (Manuscript), chap. “The twelfth Imam, Allah’s blessings be on him and his forefathers”; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, pp. 68–70, no. 54, citing the writings of some of our companions from al-Ḥusayn b. Ḥamdān, from Abū Muḥammad `Īsā b. Mahdī al-Jauharī; Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 195–198, no. 83.
  • 42. A fort near Mecca.
  • 43. Al-Kāfī, vol. 1, chap. 135, p. 331, no. 6; I`lām al-warā, fourth rukn, part 2, chap. 1, sect. 3: Through his chain of narrators from the female-servant of Ibrāhīm b. `Abda—and she was a righteous person—who said, “I was standing with Ibrāhīm on [the mountain of] Ṣafā when the Master of the affair, peace be on him, came and stopped beside him . . . (to the end)”; al-Wāfī, vol. 1, chap. “The names of those who have seen him,” p. 172; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, pp. 13–14, no. 9; al-Irshād, chap. “Those who have seen the twelfth Imam, peace be on him,” p. 350; Ghaybat al-Shaykh, chap. “Those who have seen him,” p. 268, no. 231, which mentions “Ibrāhīm b. `Abda”; Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 55–56, no. 24, and p. 274, no. 105; Kashf al-ghumma, vol. 2, p. 450.
    I say: I did not find the biography of this female-servant in the rijāl books available to me, although her name has been mentioned in al-Kulainī’s chain of narrators. As for Ibrāhīm b. `Abda, al-Kashī has recorded in his Rijāl that signed letters (al-tauqī`āt) have been sent in his favor from Imam Mahdī, peace be on him. Tanqīḥ al-maqāl mentions that he was above justness and reliability (fauq martabat al-`idāla wa l-thiqa).
  • 44. Muhaj al-da`awāt, pp. 278–279; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 51, chap. 15, pp. 307–308, no. 23, and vol. 92, chap. 107, pp. 266–279, no. 34; Tabṣirat al-walī, chap. 233, p. 210, no. 90–91.
    I say: Similar to it has also been narrated in Muhaj al-da`awāt (p. 280) under the explanation of this supplication from Abū l-Ḥasan `Alī b. Ḥammād al-Miṣrī, from al-Ḥusayn b. Muḥammad al-`Alawī, from Muḥammad b. `Alī al-`Alawī al-Ḥusaynī al-Miṣrī . . . The supplication is quite long and whoever desires it, should refer to Muhaj al-da`awāt and other supplication compilations.
  • 45. Kamāl al-dīn, vol. 2, chap. 43, pp. 442–443, no. 16; Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 52, chap. 18, pp. 30–31, no. 26; Tabṣirat al-walī, pp. 74­–76, no. 43, and pp. 269–271, no. 99.

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