The Days of the Newborn
In this part, we will read about the ceremony of immolation of a sacrificial lamb for Imam Mahdi (may God hasten his reappearance) and his conversation with the servants as a little example of the numerous miracles of the newborn infant, Imam Hasan’s order to keep the news of his son’s birth a secret, and the episode in which Imam Mahdi shone in his cradle in front of Lady Hakimah. We will then read about the brilliant perfect horoscope of Imam Mahdi which stupefied many great astrologists in this final chapter.
Performing the ceremony of `Aqiqah (a prescribed ritual ceremony seven day after the birth of a child, the parents offer a sacrifice to God and then shave the child’s hair and give alms to the destitute by the weight of the baby’s hair) for Imam Mahdi was a ritual that Imam Hasan respected and complied to it happily.
When Imam Mahdi (may God hasten his reappearance) was born, Imam Hasan ordered his servants to immolate three hundred sheep for his son. Narrating this occasion, one of the followers says, “I remember one day, Imam Hasan sent a sacrificed sheep for me and said that it was a sacrifice for his newborn son.”
According to another narration, one of the Imam’s servants said that when Imam Mahdi was born, all of them congratulated each other for this happy, joyful event.
One day, Imam Hasan summoned his assistant and ordered him to buy twenty five thousand measures of bread, along with twenty five thousand measures of meat. He was to distribute all these things to the poor families of Banu-Hashim. Ibrahim ibn Idris narrated in his turn: “One day, Imam Hasan sent four sheep to me and in his letter to me, he had written: In the name of God. Please, immolate these sheep for your lord and master Mahdi who is also my son, and give them to your brothers and the poor families.”
Hamzah ibn Abu’l-Fath narrated: “One day, a man came to my house and congratulated me for the birth of the newborn of Imam Hasan. He then insisted that I should keep this news to myself. I asked him what was the name of Imam’s son, and he replied that the name was Muhammad and the surname Abu-Ja`far.”
One of Imam Hasan’s servants narrated the following:
One night after the birth of our master Imam Mahdi, I went to see him. While I was watching him in his cradle, I suddenly sneezed, and Imam Mahdi said tenderly, ‘May God’s grace be on you!’ I was very excited about the fact that a baby had spoken to me! A lot more, because he had asked God’s grace for me! Then Imam Mahdi (may God hasten his reappearance) said to me, ‘Do you like me to give you a good news?’ I said, ‘Yes my lord, I do!’ Imam Mahdi said, ‘Be aware that each sneeze will keep you away from a sudden death during the next three days.’
Lady Hakimah narrated the following:
Three days after the birth of our master Imam Mahdi, I missed him so much that I decided impulsively to go and see him. I went to Imam Hasan’s house and went to Nargis’s room to see her little boy. She wore a yellow dress and had tied her head with some cloth. I greeted her and she kindly welcomed me. I saw the cradle in a corner in the room. She had spread a green cloth on the baby’s body; I drew away the cloth and saw my sweet little master who was fast sleep! His mother had not tied his hands and feet. When Imam Mahdi (may God hasten his reappearance) opened his innocent eyes, he smiled at me and played with my fingers. I embraced him tenderly and held him in my arms while I was kissing him all over the face! I smelled once again his ethereal, unique body perfume. I had never smelled a better perfume than that in my whole life! At that moment, Imam Hasan came and said, “My dear aunt! Bring on my little sweet son here to me.”
When I took him to his father, he kissed him tenderly, gazed at him for a moment, and said, “My son, I entrust you with God Almighty just as the mother of Moses entrusted her son with Him! May God Almighty be your protector! My beloved aunt! Bring back my son to his mother and know that you should hide the news of his birth from everyone.”
I brought back my lord Mahdi (may God hasten his reappearance) to his mother and returned to my house after that.”
On the third day after the birth of Imam Mahdi (may God hasten his reappearance), Imam Hasan introduced his son formally to his special companions and said, “This is my successor and your next Imam after me. It is he to whom the masses of people will pray for his reappearance during his long occultation! When the earth will be filled with tyranny and corruption, he will come to save the world and along with his faithful, loyal believers, he will spread justice and equity all over the world!”
Lady Hakimah narrated the following:
On the seventh day of Imam Mahdi’s birth, I went to the house of Imam Hasan who, having greeting me warmly, asked, “Dear aunt! Bring on my child to me.” I brought Imam Mahdi (may God hasten his reappearance) quickly to his father while the baby was dressed in yellow. Imam Hasan embraced his son and put his tongue inside his mouth, and Imam Mahdi sweetly smiled. Then, Imam Hasan said, “Speak up my son!” Imam Mahdi thus said, “I testify that there is no god but Allah and greetings to the holy Imams!” Mentioning them by names, he reached to his own name. He then said this holy verse:
“And We desired to bestow a favor upon those who were deemed weak in the land, and to make them the Imams, and to make them the heirs and to grant them power in the land, and to make Pharaoh and Haman and their hosts see from them what they feared. (28:5-6)”
Another time, Lady Hakimah recounted the following:
Forty days after my last visit to Imam Hasan’s house, I visited my lord and master Imam Mahdi (may God hasten his reappearance).
One of Imam Hasan’s servants narrated this incident:
One day, I felt I should see my lord Imam Mahdi (may God hasten his reappearance); so, I went to his room and while he was fast sleep in his cradle, he said suddenly, “Bring me a red sandal.” I obeyed him quickly and gave him the red sandal. He then asked, “Do you know me?” I answered, “Yes, my lord!” Imam asked me again, “Who am I?” I replied, “You are my lord and the son of my lord.” On another occasion, Imam Mahdi said, “I didn’t ask you to give me this answer” I said, “May my life be offered to you! Please tell me yourself who you are!” Imam Mahdi said, “I am the last Imam and because of my existence, God Almighty shall verily protect my true believers from all disasters! I am the one who establishes the religion of God.”
After the birth of Imam Mahdi (may God hasten his reappearance), Imam Hasan wrote a letter to Ahmad ibn Ishaq Qummi, saying to him, “God Almighty gave me a son and you should keep this joyful news to yourself. We did not unveil this news to anyone except those who are very close to us and those who have already accepted our wilayah in their hearts. I wanted to tell you this news to make you happy. I know you will rejoice at this blessed event just like us!”
In the city of Qumm, there lived a famous astrologist. When Ahmad ibn Ishaq read the news of Imam Mahdi’s birth, he summoned this famous astrologist to his house and told him that God had given him a son. He then informed him of the time of the baby’s birth. The astrologist calculated the horoscope of the newborn.
After studying the horoscope, he said to Ibn Ishaq, “My friend! I can truly say that this baby is not yours. He should be the child of a prophet or a successor of a prophet! Because his horoscope showed me that everything will be under his command! In fact, the entire world, from east to west, and all deserts, mountains, oceans, and mainland will obey him and only him! No one shall remain on earth but only those who believe in him and accept him as his or her true legitimate Imam!”
Sayed Ali Farid Muhammadi
Monday Muharram 1st, 1430
Dey 9th, 1387
December 29th, 2008