Chapter 6: Yemen During The Time Of The Ahlul Bayt (‘A)
In one narration, we read the following:
Jabir ibn ʿAbdullah al-Ansari narrates from her holiness, Lady Fatima az-Zahra (‘a) who said, “One day, my father the Messenger of Allah (S) visited me and said, ‘Peace be upon you, O Fatima!’ ‘Peace be upon you too,’ I answered. ‘I can feel some fatigue in my body,’ he said to me, so I answered, ‘I pray Allah to protect you O father against fatigue.’
The Prophet (S) then said, ‘O Fatima, bring me the Yemeni cloak and cover me with it.’ Fatima said, ‘I brought him the Yemeni cloak and covered him with it. I then kept on looking at his face, which was glittering like the moon at night due to its fullness and perfection...’”1
In another narration, we read the following:
Salam ibn Saʿid al-Makhzumi said, “Once I was in the presence of Abu ʿAbdillah (Imam Jaʿfar al-Sadiq) (‘a) when ʿAbbad ibn Kathir, a devoted worshipper of Basra, and Ibn Shurayh, the scholar of the people of Mecca, came to visit the Imam (‘a). In the presence of the Imam (‘a) was also Maymun al-Qaddah, the servant of Abu Jaʿfar (Imam al-Baqir (‘a)). ʿAbbad asked Abu ʿAbdillah, ‘How many pieces of cloth were used to shroud the Messenger of Allah?’ The Imam (‘a) replied, ‘Three pieces were used. Two of them were Suhari (made in Suhar, Yemen) and one Hibaran (made in Hibara, Yemen). Burd (a type of fabric also made in Yemen) was rare to find.’
Al-Makhzumi continues, ʿAbbad seemed to frown at this, not believing in the rarity of the fabric used for the Prophet (S).’ The Imam (’a) responded by explaining, ‘The palm tree of Lady Mariam (‘a) was ajwa (a type of palm tree) and it had come from the heavens. Whatever grew from its roots were also ajwa and whatever grew from the pits of the dates were from lower quality.’
When they left the house of the Imam (‘a), ʿAbbad said to Shurayh, ‘By Allah, I did not understand the smile that Abu ʿAbdillah put forward to me (while talking).’ Ibn Shurayh said, ‘Ask this boy (Maymun). He will explain it to you because he is from them (the household). Maymun asked, ‘Is it correct that you did not understand what was being said to you?’
Maymun continued, ‘The Imam (‘a) referred to his own self. He informed you that he is one of the Divine children of the Messenger of Allah (S) and that the knowledge of the Messenger of Allah (S) is with them. Whatever knowledge comes from them is true and correct and whatever comes from other sources is not genuine.’”2
In a third narration, we read the following:
Imam ʿAli ibn Musa al-Ridha (‘a) narrated on the authority of his grandfathers (‘a) from Imam ʿAli ibn Abi Talib (‘a) who said, “The Messenger of Allah (S) came to us having an agate ring from Yemen on his finger. He (S) prayed with us. When he finished praying, he gave it to me and said, ‘O ʿAli! Pray while wearing this. Do you not know that praying with an agate ring on one’s finger has the reward of seventy prayers? The agate recites glorifications, repents and its reward will be given to its wearer. Piety is due to God and by Him we may succeed.’”3
Imam Al-ʿAskari (‘A) Visited By A Man From Yemen
Abu Hashim Dawud ibn al-Qasim al-Jaʿfari mentioned, “I was in the presence of Abu Muhammad (Imam Hasan ibn ʿAli al-ʿAskari (‘a)) when permission was requested for a man from Yemen to see the Imam (‘a). A tall and heavy man came in and greeted the Imam with a greeting of wilayah (acknowledging the Divinely-granted authority) and received acceptance in response.
The Imam asked him to sit and he sat right next to me. I then said to myself, ‘I wish I knew who he is!’ Abu Muhammad (‘a) then said, ‘He is from the children of the Arab lady for whom my grandfathers had printed their insignia on a pebble which the print took in an engraving form. He has brought it with him and wants me to press my insignia on it as well.’
He then asked the man to give it to him. The man took out a pebble and on one side there was a smooth place. Abu Muhammad took it, brought his insignia and imprinted it on the pebble. Even now it is as if I see the print of his insignia on the pebble.
I then asked the man from Yemen, ‘Have you ever met him (Abu Muhammad) before?’ He replied, ‘No, I have not seen him before, however, I swear by Allah that I had always been anxious for this hour to see him when a young man came to me whom I had not seen before. He said, ‘Stand up and come in’ and I came in (meaning he was called in at the request of the Imam to see him).’’
The man from Yemen then left saying, ‘May Allah’s grace and blessings be with you O the people of family of the Prophet (the Ahlul Bayt) whose generations are just like the generations before. I testify before Allah that it is obligatory to preserve your rights just as it was the case with preserving the right of the Commander of the Faithful ʿAli ibn Abi Talib (‘a) and the Imam’s after him, may Allah grant them all his blessings.’ He then left and I never saw him after that.”
Ibn Ishaq has said that Abu Hashim al-Jaʿfari stated, ‘I asked him his name.’ He said, ‘My name is Mahjaʾ ibn al-Salt ibn ʿAqaba ibn Samʾan ibn Ghanim ibn Umm Ghanim.’ She was the Arab lady from Yemen had had a pebble on which the Commander of the Faithful ʿAli (‘a) had printed his insignia and also his descendants up to the time of Abu al-Hasan (Imam ʿAli al-ʿAskari).”4
- 1. Bahrani, ʿAbdullah ibn Nurullah al-; The narration is famously referred to as Hadith al-Kisa or The Event of the Cloak. For the full narration see http://www.duas.org/hadis-e-kisa.htm (Last accessed on July 25, 2018).
- 2. Kulayni, Shaykh al, Usul Al-Kafi, vol. 1, chapter 101, hadith no. 6.
- 3. Uyun al-Akhbar al-Ridha, vol. 2, p. 276.
- 4. Usul al-Kafi, vol. 1, chapter 81 - The Criterion to Discern the Truthful and False Claims of Entitlement to Leadership, hadith no. 4.