Table of Contents

Introduction

In the Name of Allah the Beneficent the Merciful

Praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds and may Allah bless Muhammad and his Purified Progeny.

All the praise is for that God, Who is one, unique and single. He is Needless, Ever-living, All-powerful, All-knowing and Wise. He is pure from the traits of the creatures. He is most high and most exalted. He is glorious and honored, and perfect and of elevated status. He is One with a firm resolve and a perfect intention. Nothing is like Him. And He is all-hearing and all-Seeing. The eyes are unable to perceive Him and He perceives all vision. And He is Kind and All-aware.

And I testify that there is no god except Allah. He is alone and without a partner. He is the Creator of everything, Master of everything, appointer of everything, initiator of everything and the Lord of everything. He judges with truth and he is equitable in judging and commands justice. He commands justice, goodness and fulfillment of the rights of the relatives and he prohibits indecency, evil and injustice.

He does not lay on any soul a burden except to the extent of its ability and He is having the final argument. If He wills, He can guide all the people. He calls the people to the Abode of Peace (Darus Salaam) and guides whoever He likes to the right path.

He does not make haste in punishing and He does not punish without clarifying proof and evidence and without giving His signs and warnings. He does not ask His servants obedience in matters He has not explained to them and He does not command them to obey one He has not appointed for obedience. And with regard to His obedience.

He does not leave the people on their own choice and He does not allow them innovation in the matter of His vicegerency. His being is much higher than all this.

And I testify that Muhammad (S) is His servant and trustworthy messenger. And He performed the duty of propagation on behalf of his Lord as it deserved. And he called to His path with wisdom and a goodly exhortation. And he acted on the Book and commanded its obedience. And along with it and after him he willed the people to remain attached to the Purified Imams (a.s.). And he stressed that the two shall never separate from each other till they meet him at the Pool of Kauthar.

And the attachment of Muslims to both of them is in accordance with clear evidence, based on the straight path and an illuminated faith. Whose night is like the day and the internal is like the external. And he did not miss out any argument or proof to convince the Muslims so that no excuse remains for them. So that whoever goes to perdition should do so after seeing clear evidence and those who get life should also be after obvious proof.

And I testify that indeed no one can become a believer if in some matter Allah and His Messenger command something but he follows his own choice. And indeed Allah creates what He likes and He chooses whatever He likes. And they can never become faithful until they consider the Prophet as a judge in their disputes and after that they follow the decision of the Prophet with utmost sincerity.

And that they should submit to the Prophet’s decision with absolute humility. And indeed one who makes unlawful a lawful act or vice versa or he changes a prophetic practice or reduces an obligatory ordinance or alters a command of the Shariah or creates an innovation so that he may be followed and that people may become attracted to him; then he has indeed considered himself a partner to the Almighty Allah and whoever obeys such a person has in fact claimed existence of a god other than the Almighty Allah and he becomes eligible for divine punishment and his abode is the fire (of Hell) and the abode of the unjust is indeed very bad.

His deeds are wasted and in the Hereafter he shall be from the losers. And benedictions be upon Muhammad and his Purified Progeny.

Shaykhul Fiqh, Abu Ja’far Muhammad bin Ali bin Husain bin Musa bin Babawahy Qummi, the author of this book says (May Allah help him in His obedience): That which motivated me to write this book was that when I was honored by the visit (Ziarat) of Imam Ali Ibne Musa ar-Reza (a.s.) I returned to Nishapur and stayed there.

I realized that most of the Shia people who visited me were confused in the matter of occultation of the Twelfth Imam (a.s.) and doubts haunted them about His Eminence, the Qaim (a.s.).

They had deviated from accepting the correct views and standards. So I began my endeavor to guide to truth and the right path with the help of traditional reports of the Holy Prophet (S) and the Holy Imams (a.s.) till the time a learned and virtuous scholar from Bukhara came to visit us in Qom. I had always wanted to meet him due to his honesty, firm views and correctness of behavior.

He was Shaykh Najmuddin Abu Saeed Muhammad bin al-Hasan bin Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Ali bin Salt Qummi, may Allah continue his Taufeeq (good sense).

My father and I used to narrate traditions on the authority of his grandfather, Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Ali bin Salt (q.s.) and spoke well of his knowledge and actions, piety, excellence and worship.

Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Isa with all his excellence and greatness used to narrate traditions from Abu Talib Abdullah Ibne Salt Qummi (r.a.) and Abdullah bib Salt remained here till he met Muhammad bin al-Hasan Saffar and related traditions from him. When the Almighty Allah enabled me to meet a gentleman of such an excellent family I thanked him for according me such a cordial reception and sincere audience.

One day he told me about his meeting with a great philosopher and logician of Bukhara and he also related to me one of his statements about His Eminence, the Qaim (a.s.) which had put him in confusion, perplexity and doubts with regard to the Holy Imam (a.s.) due to the prolongation of his occultation and due to cutting off of news regarding him.

Therefore, I explained to him some facts about His Eminence and quoted some traditions of the Holy Prophet (S) and the Holy Imams (a.s.) in connection with the Imam (a.s.). As a result of which that person got assurance and the doubts and misgivings that had inflicted his mind were removed.

He listened with full attention to all the authentic traditions that I related to him and accepted them from the depth of his heart. He petitioned me to write a book for him on this subject. I agreed to do so and promised him that when the Almighty Allah would facilitate my return to my hometown, Rayy, I will compile the relevant traditional reports on this topic.

One night, when I drifted into sleep after thinking about my family, friends and the bounties that the Almighty Allah had bestowed on me, I dreamt that I was performing the circumambulation of the Holy Kaaba in Mecca and in the seventh round I was near the Black Stone (Hajar Aswad), and upon reaching it I was kissing it. I was saying that I had repaid my trust and fulfilled my covenant so that it might be a witness of this. At that moment I had the honor of seeing my master, the Master of the Age (a.s.) standing at the door of the Kaaba.

My heart began to beat fast with excitement and he came to know my inner feelings which were reflected in the worried expression on my face. I saluted him and he replied to my salutation and then asked me: Why don’t you write a book regarding the occultation, so that your sadness and worries are removed? I said: O son of Allah’s Messenger, I have compiled a number of books about occultation. He said: Not in this style.

I order you to compile a book on occultation and therein mention about the occultation of the prophets (peace be on them). After that, the Imam (a.s.) departed from there. When I woke up, I began to weep, supplicate and express my humility till dawn break. In the morning, in compliance with the commands of the Proof of Allah, I began the compilation of this book. While I pray for the help of Allah and I rely on Him and seek forgiveness for my shortcomings. My Taufeeq is only from the Almighty Allah, I rely on Him and I turn to Him.

Caliphate before Creation

So to say: The Almighty Allah says in His book:

وَإِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلاَئِكَةِ إِنِّي جَاعِلٌ فِي الأَرْضِ خَلِيفَة

And when your Lord said to the angels, I am going to place in the earth a vicegerent 1

Hence, the Almighty Allah commenced caliphate even before the creation of human beings. This verse proves that the wisdom of caliphate is beyond the imagination of creatures. Therefore, He initiated caliphate first because He is Pure and Wise. A wise being is one who initiates with an important task instead of an unimportant one. This statement is supported by a tradition of Imam Ja’far Sadiq: “The proof of creation arrives before creation, along with it and after it.” If Almighty Allah creates beings without a proof then He has ruined them and left them to foolishness.

His wisdom demands that penalties must be defined so that mischievous are guided and wisdom should not permit even a moment to turn away from the confines of these ordinances. Wisdom is generalized in the same way as obedience is. If a person thinks that the world can be without an Imam even for a second, then it is necessary for him to become a Brahmin because they refute prophethood.

If it would not have been mentioned in the Holy Quran that Muhammad is the last prophet, it would have been necessary for every age to have a prophet. Now that it is already mentioned, there is no chance of arrival of a prophet or a messenger after the Holy Prophet. However, the necessity of a caliph is still in mind. This is because the Almighty Allah does not invite to anything unless He makes the human mind understand its significance.

If it is beyond the imagination of human beings, the invitation is aimless and it is not considered as a divine proof. Everything is influenced by its like and is repelled by its opposite. Therefore, if human mind would have rejected the presence of messengers, the Almighty Allah would never have appointed them.

It can be illustrated by an example that a doctor treats patients by medicines, which are associated with the patient. If a doctor treats a patient using a medicine, which has negative effects on the health, it would prove fatal. This proves that God, who is the wisest among the wise will also not invite to a cause except that which is in accordance with human understanding. The nominator can be identified by looking at the caliph as in general cases.

It is a common fact that if a king appoints an unjust successor, the people will insist that the nominator is unjust. On the other hand, if the successor is just, the nominator too would be considered just. This proves that infallibility is a must for divine caliphate. The caliph appointed by Allah cannot be a non-infallible.

Necessity of Obeying the Caliph

The Almighty Allah made Prophet Adam caliph on the earth and ordered the inhabitants of heavens to obey him. Let alone the people of the earth. Allah made it obligatory on the creatures to have faith on His angels. He made it obligatory on His angels to prostrate in front of one of His creatures. When one of the jinn refused to do so, the Almighty Allah disgraced him till the Judgment Day and cursed him. These facts made us aware of the status and greatness of an Imam.

When the Almighty Allah informed His angels about the appointment of caliph on the earth, he made them bear witness to it. This shows that if a person believes that human beings have right to elect their caliph, all the angels will testify against him. The greatness of the testimony informs of the greatness of the cause. Then how can a person who considers himself rightful save himself from the punishment of Allah where all the angels of Allah have testified against him? On the other hand, how can a person who follows Nass be punished when all the angels of Allah have testified in his favor.

Another point to be considered is that caliphate will continue till the Judgment Day. If a person thinks that divine caliphate implies prophethood only, he has made a mistake because Almighty Allah has promised that He will appoint caliphs who guide as his successors. He says in Holy Quran:

وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنْكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِي ارْتَضَىٰ لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًا ۚ يَعْبُدُونَنِي لَا يُشْرِكُونَ بِي شَيْئًا ۚ وَمَنْ كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَوَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنْكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِي ارْتَضَىٰ لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًا ۚ يَعْبُدُونَنِي لَا يُشْرِكُونَ بِي شَيْئًا ۚ وَمَنْ كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَوَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنْكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِي ارْتَضَىٰ لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًا ۚ يَعْبُدُونَنِي لَا يُشْرِكُونَ بِي شَيْئًا ۚ وَمَنْ كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ

Allah has promised to those of you who believe and do good that He will most certainly make them rulers in the earth as He made rulers those before them, and that He will most certainly establish for them their religion which He has chosen for them, and that He will most certainly, after their fear, give them security in exchange; they shall serve Me, not associating aught with Me 2

If caliphate would have implied only Prophethood, the Almighty Allah would have appointed prophets after Holy Prophet as per the above verse. In such a case, this saying: النَّبِيِّين خَاتَم (Seal of the prophets) 3, would prove to be incorrect. This shows that the promise of Allah concerns non-prophets also. This also differentiates caliphate from Prophethood. It shows that a non-prophet may be a caliph but a prophet is always a caliph.

It also means that Almighty Allah wanted to bring out the hypocrisy of a hypocrite and pure intentions of the virtuous by ordering His creatures to prostrate before Adam. The world took the veil off the faces of both of them – the angels of Allah and Shaitan. If we consider its meaning that the right to appoint the caliph is given to a person who has evil intentions, the world could never have been able to take the veil off his face. In this case, a hypocrite will always elect a person who orders people to obey him and bow down in his presence.

How is it possible to reach out for the hypocrisy hidden deep into the hearts in this case? One more point worth mentioning here is that words are ranked according to the honor of addressee and the addressed. The way a person talks to his slave is completely different from the way he talks to his master. Over here, Allah is the addressee and all His angels are the addressed.

Every general word has a general purpose hidden in it in the same way as a particular word has a particular purpose hidden in it. The reward of a general is more than that of a particular thing. For instance, Tauheed, which is a must for all the creatures is different from other commandments of Shariah like Hajj, Zakat etc. because these are particular things. Hence the words of Allah: “When your Lord informed His angels…” proves that it has one of the meanings of Tauheed hidden in it because the connotation used here is in general form.

If two words have similar meanings, the order of one of them is also implied in the other. Almighty Allah knew that some of His creatures will testify to His oneness and obey Him. This group will have enemies who will accuse and oppress them. If Almighty Allah would have stopped them forcefully then the purpose behind creation would not be fulfilled. This would have expressed forcefulness and the prospect of reward or punishment would have become void. However, this was not the case.

Now it is necessary for Allah to protect His friends in such a way that the prospect of reward and punishment does not become void. It was done by defining penalties like amputation of limbs, hanging to death, killing, imprisoning and usurpation of rights. It is correctly said: No one stops people from reciting Holy Quran as much as a ruler does. The Almighty Allah has pointed this fact out in this verse:

لَأَنْتُمْ أَشَدُّ رَهْبَةً فِي صُدُورِهِمْ مِنَ اللَّهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لَا يَفْقَهُونَ

You are certainly greater in being feared in their hearts than Allah. 4

Hence it is necessary for Allah to appoint a caliph who stops the hands of enemies from reaching his friends in such a way that they do not object because Allah does not befriend a person who has not fulfilled his duties, obligations and who is logically worthy of being dismissed. Allah is too elevated to befriend such persons. The word caliph has quite a different meaning. If a person builds a mosque but does not say Azan (Call for prayer) in it and appoints a muezzin for this purpose, the latter will be called muezzin only.

However if the person says azan for a few days and then appoints a muezzin the latter will be called his caliph or successor. Similar is the case in the fields of knowledge. If a tax collector says that so and so is my successor, then he will be a successor in collecting tax and not in amounts collected from messengers and through oppression. Similarly, the collector or successor of amount collected from envoys and through oppression also does not have right over tribute amount.

This proves that a caliph has different roles. It is one of the attributes of Allah that He provides justice to his friends for the oppression they face from His enemies. He has given this right to His caliph. The meaning of caliphate is apt on this basis and the meaning that they are partners in divinity is not correct. Almighty Allah told Iblees in this regard:

قَالَ يَا إِبْلِيسُ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَنْ تَسْجُدَ لِمَا خَلَقْتُ بِيَدَيَّ أَسْتَكْبَرْتَ أَمْ كُنْتَ مِنَ الْعَالِينَ…

O Iblees! What prevented you that you should do obeisance to him whom I created?5

You have become proud and this lays to rest all excuses and it removes all doubts that he is such a caliph who is a partner in the oneness of Allah. Therefore the Almighty Allah said that after knowing that Allah has created him, what prevented you from prostrating before him. Then he said:

…بِيَدَيَّ أَسْتَكْبَرْتَ…

…With My two hands. Are you proud…?6

Sometimes this is used in the meaning of bounty also. He had two such bounties of Allah that he could gather many other bounties. Like Allah says:

وَأَسْبَغَ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعَمَهُ ظَاهِرَةً وَبَاطِنَةً

…and made complete to you His favors outwardly and inwardly7

There were two such bounties that they gathered many other bounties in them. Then He made His order stricter for him. The announcer of:

بِيَدَيَّ أَسْتَكْبَرْتَ

With My two hands. Are you proud…?

Says: are you attacking me with my sword? Are you firing my arrows at me? This way of talking is eloquent and not despicable. Almighty Allah says: “And when your Lord told His angels that He is going to appoint a caliph on earth”. This is an ambiguous discussion. An illiterate thinks that Almighty Allah takes the opinion of His creatures in ambiguous discussions. While a person having evidence believes that the actions of Allah are solid and has faith on His majesty. He believes that Allah is elevated enough to get stuck in ambiguous discussions or become helpless in any matter. There is nothing in the heavens and the earth, which can make Him helpless.

The way of understanding this ambiguous verse is same as that specified for other ambiguous verses like this. They will be returned back to those strong verses, which will make it certain and ignorant and disbelievers will not have any excuse. Almighty Allah says: “When your Lord…” This statement means that Allah is guiding them towards a great obedience, which is related to Tauheed. Through this obedience, they would shun all their desires, injustice, usurping of rights and all those things, which can deter friendship with Allah. In this way the argument is completed and there was no excuse left for those who keep away from fulfilling their duties.

Another point worth mentioning is that when Almighty Allah knows that a servant by his own will perform one of the worship acts so that he gains servitude and reward and Allah overlooks this. In this case, we can say that there will be a possibility that Allah overlooks the good deeds of every creature but this is not the case with Allah. There is a great reward for one who is responsible for the rights of Allah and His servants.

When a person ponders in this matter, he will come to know some of the minor details because it is not possible to reach the Lord directly due to His greatness and honor. One of the meanings that is from its part is that even ants, mosquitoes and all the animals embrace this golden chance of salvation through a just Imam. This statement is proved by the saying of Allah:

وَمَاأَرْسَلْنَاكَِإال .رَحْمَةًلِّلْعَالَمِينَ

And We have not sent you but as a mercy to the worlds8

This fact is also supported by the following verse of Surah Nuh:

فَقُلْتُاسْتَغْفِرُوارَبَّكُمِْإنَّهُكَانَغَفَّارًايُرْسِل ِالسَّمَاءعَلَيْكُممِّدْرَارًا

“Then I said, ask forgiveness of your Lord, surely He is the most Forgiving. He will send down upon you the cloud, pouring down abundance of rain.9

Every human and animal benefits from the abundance of rain. This rain of abundance is because of those who invite towards the rights of Allah. There are lots of rewards. For those who disobey him, there is a major punishment and their deeds will be accounted for. Therefore we believe that Imam is needed for the existence of the world.

I narrated the tradition implying this meaning in this book in the section named “Necessity of Imam in every age”.

No one can choose a caliph except the Almighty Allah

Almighty Allah says:

وَإِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ إِنِّي جَاعِلٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ خَلِيفَةً

And when your Lord said to the angels, I am going to place in the earth a vicegerent10.

There is a ‘tanween’ on ‘Jaa-il’ here and this is a right, which Allah has kept only for Himself. He says:

إِنِّي خَالِقٌ بَشَرًا مِن طِينٍ

Surely I am going to create a mortal from dust11

Here, there is a ‘tanween’ on ‘khaaliq’, which is an attribute selected by Allah only for Himself. Therefore if a person claims that he has the right to elect a caliph then he should be asked to create a man out of dust. If this is not possible for him, the second thing is also out of his capacity because both of them have same origin.

The angels did not have the right to appoint a caliph inspite of their excellence and infallibility. Almighty Allah did this job on His own and made it a proof on His creatures that there is no way for you to appoint an Imam. Angels did not have any way to appoint Imam in spite of their pure intentions, loyalty and infallibility. Almighty Allah has praised them in many verses as in the following:

بَلْ عِبَادٌ مُّكْرَمُونَ لَا يَسْبِقُونَهُ بِالْقَوْلِ وَهُم بِأَمْرِهِ يَعْمَلُونَ

Nay! They are honored servants; They do not precede Him in speech and (only) according to His commandment do they act.12

And in another verse as:

لَا يَعْصُونَ اللَّهَ مَا أَمَرَهُمْ وَيَفْعَلُونَ مَا يُؤْمَرُونَ

They do not disobey Allah in what He commands them, and do as they are commanded.13

How can a man who has a defective mind, foolishness and ignorance do this job perfectly? We can see that Almighty Allah did not leave any commandment including Salaat, Zakat, and Hajj etc. to the wish of man. Then how is it possible to hand over the choice of the most important of all aspects to man?

Need of only one caliph in every period of time

All the statements of Almighty Allah about a caliph mean that there would be a single caliph only. This invalidates the proofs of those people who say that there can be more than one Imam at a time. If the argument of those people was correct, Almighty Allah would have appointed more than one Imam at a time. Our claim is against those people and Holy Quran supports our stand and not theirs. If two statements are contradictory, the statement supported by Holy Quran will be considered correct.

Need of existence of a caliph

Almighty Allah has addressed His messenger in the verse:

وَإِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلاَئِكَةِ

And when your Lord said to the angels…14

Here ‘Rabbuk’ means ‘Your Lord’ is the best proof that Almighty Allah has reserved this meaning regarding His Imamate till the Judgment Day. Therefore the earth is never devoid of a proof of Allah for the sake of Muhammad’s Ummah. If this is not the fact, there would have been no logic in using the word ‘rabbuk’ or ‘Your Lord’. Instead the word ‘rabbuhum’ or ‘their Lord’ should have been used. Almighty Allah uses the same logic and reasoning for future generations as He has used for the past generations. His wisdom does not change with time because He possesses justice and wisdom. He does not have any special relationship with any of His creatures.

Necessity of Imam’s Infallibility

The verse of Allah: “And when your Lord…” also implies that Almighty Allah will not appoint a person as His caliph unless he is pure from mistake so that he is void of distrust. If He appoints someone who is not pure from inside then he Has (God forbid!) been mistrustful to His creatures. For instance, an agent supplies a dishonest porter to a trader. In this case, the agent will be called dishonest. How is it possible that Almighty Allah becomes mistrustful? For He truly says:

وَأَن .اللّه َال َيَهْدِيكَيْد َالْخَائِنِينَ

And that Allah does not guide the device of the unfaithful15

He had taught etiquette to Prophet Muhammad Mustafa in this verse:

وَلاَ تَكُن لِّلْخَآئِنِينَ خَصِيمًا

And be not an advocate on behalf of the treacherous.16

Then how is it possible for Him to perform an act, which He does not like to see? He has criticized Jews because of their hypocrisy in this verse:

أَتَأْمُرُونَ النَّاسَ بِالْبِرِّ وَتَنسَوْنَ أَنفُسَكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ تَتْلُونَ الْكِتَابَ أَفَلاَ ت عْقِلُونَ

What! do you enjoin men to be good and neglect your own souls while you read the Book; have you then no sense?17

The verse, “And when your Lord…” is a solid proof about the occultation of Imam. The Almighty Allah made it incumbent on everyone to obey the caliph when He said that He was going to appoint a caliph on earth. Shaitan, the enemy of Allah had hypocrisy in his heart and kept it hidden till he became a hypocrite because of it. He intended to disobey the caliph every time he was ordered to obey. His hypocrisy was one of the worst, because it was hidden. Therefore he was disgraced the most among all the hypocrites.

When the Almighty Allah had ordered His angels to obey the caliph, they had faith in him and were eager to do so. They had kept this feeling in their hearts, which was exactly opposite of what Shaitan had. As a result, the rank of angels increased manifold as much as the disgrace that the enemy of Allah had to face. Hence, obedience in seclusion has a great reward because it is free from every doubt. It is narrated that the Holy Prophet said: “If a person prays for his brother in his absence, an angel from heavens calls out: May the same benefit be for you!”

The Almighty Allah has supported the belief on unseen in His religion. He says in this verse:

هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْغَيْبِ

…is a guide to those who guard (against evil). Those who believe in the Unseen…18

Hence belief on unseen has a great reward for believers because such a faith is free of all doubts. If someone pays allegiance to a caliph in his presence, there is a possibility that the person wants to seek some favor or he fears for his life as in the case of people who obey their worldly rulers. However, having faith on unseen is free of all such doubts. The Almighty Allah mentions this fact in the following verse:

قَالُوا آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَحْدَهُ وَكَفَرْنَا بِمَا كُنَّا بِهِ مُشْرِكِينَ فَلَمْ يَكُ يَنفَعُهُمْ إِيمَانُهُمْ لَمَّا رَ أَوْا بَأْسَنَا

They said: We believe in Allah alone and we deny what we used to associate with Him. But their belief was not going to profit them when they had seen Our punishment;19

When obedient servants acquired faith in unseen, the Almighty Allah did not deprive even his angels of this reward. It is narrated that angels had had this conversation with the Almighty Allah seven hundred years before the creation of Adam (a.s.).

During this period, angels got the benefit of obedience accordingly. If a person denies this narration or abovementioned period then he has no option but to have faith in unseen for a moment and even a moment is not devoid of wisdom. When a moment has one unit of wisdom in it, two moments will have two. In this way, a number of moments will have a number of units of wisdom hidden in them. The reward will continue to get multiplied as the time period increases. As the reward increases, the curtains of mercy of Allah will move aside and it will prove His greatness and majesty. Hence, this narration is absolutely correct because it supports wisdom and reward, and propagates the proof.

The statement of Almighty Allah: “And when your Lord…” contains the proof of occultation of the Imam in many ways.

One of them is that the occultation before existence is the most perfect of its kind because the angels had not seen any caliph before whereas we have seen many of them. Holy Quran has discussed about them and many traditions have been narrated about them, which have reached to the level of Tawatur (widely related). The angels had not seen even a single caliph and hence the occultation of that time was perfect of its kind. Secondly, the earlier occultation was because of Allah and this one is because of the enemies of Allah.

When the angels can have faith in that occultation, which was because of Allah then there is no point having a doubt in the occultation caused by the enemies of Allah. There is a pure worship in the occultation of Imam, which was not present in the previous one. It is so because the inhibited Imam is overpowered and oppressed. The enemies of Allah are openly torturing his followers through killing, plundering of wealth, suspension of divine commandments, oppressing the orphans and misusing charity etc.

A person who has faith in the proof and caliphate of Imam will be rewarded along with him and he will accompany the Imam in Jihad. He is like one who is wary of the enemies of Imam. The friends of the Imam will be rewarded for being wary of his enemies and the reward of the friends of Imam is more than the reward of angels who believed the caliph who had not come into existence. The Almighty Allah had informed the angels about Adam so that the latter develops honor and that the angels develop an intention of obeying him.

It can be proved through common sense that a king sends his message or a representative to his friend to inform him that the former is going to visit him so that the people prepare themselves to welcome the king and they do not fail in welcoming him in any way.

Therefore, the Almighty Allah embarked on creation of His caliph firstly by describing him. Now the issue of caliphate is the same for those who were born later or as that of the earlier generations. Whenever He took one of His caliphs away from the earth, he informed the people of his successor. This fact is mentioned by Allah in this verse:

أَفَمَن كَانَ عَلَى بَيِّنَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّهِ وَيَتْ لُوهُ شَاهِدٌ مِّنْه

Is he then who has with him clear proof from his Lord, and a witness from Him recites it…20

In this verse, bayyina (clear proof) denotes Holy Prophet and “that witness who will come after him” denotes the master of faithful, Ali bin Abi Talib. It is proved in this verse of Allah:

وَمِن قَبْلِهِ كِتَابُ مُوسَى إَمَامًا وَرَحْمَة

…and before it (is) the Book of Musa, a guide and a mercy?21

And the verse which proves this meaning for the book of Musa is:

وَوَاعَدْنَا مُوسَى ثَلاَثِينَ لَيْ لَةً وَأَتْمَمْنَاهَا بِعَشْرٍ فَتَمَّ مِيقَاتُ رَبِّهِ أَرْبَعِينَ لَيْلَةً وَقَالَ مُوسَى

لأَخِيهِ هَارُونَ اخْلُفْنِي فِي قَوْمِي وَأَصْلِحْ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعْ سَبِيلَ الْمُفْسِدِينَ

And We appointed with Musa a time of thirty nights and completed them with ten (more), so the appointed time of his Lord was complete forty nights, and Musa said to his brother Harun: Take my place among my people, and act well and do not follow the way of the mischief-makers.22

Why the Almighty Allah ordered angels to prostrate before Adam (a.s.)?

The Almighty Allah ordered His angels to prostrate to Adam as a mark of his respect while the latter was not visible to them. He ordered the angles to prostrate to Adam when he had made the souls of his proofs enter his loins. Thus, that prostration was like Allah’s worship, Adam’s obedience and as a mark of honor for those souls which were present in the loin of Adam. Iblees refused to prostrate to Adam out of jealousy because Allah had made the loins of Adam a source of His proofs and did not do so to Shaitan’s loins.

Hence, he treaded on the way of infidelity because of his jealousy and moved away from the way of obedience of his Lord. Hence he was banished from the neighborhood of the Lord. He was cursed and was given the title of rajeem (the accursed one) because he denied occultation and put forward this excuse of not prostrating before Adam:

أَنَاْ خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَّارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِينٍ

I am better than he: Thou hast created me of fire, while him Thou didst create of dust.23

Thus he denied what he could not see. He made the physical body of Adam an excuse for denial of those who were present in his loins. He did not accept the fact that Adam was made only the Qibla and angels were ordered to prostrate before him so that the personalities present in his loins are honored. Therefore, a person who has faith in the Qaim in his occultation is like the angels of that time who prostrated before Adam and obeyed Allah in this way.

Whereas a person who does not have faith in the Qaim in his occultation is like Shaitan who refused to prostrate to Adam.

It is narrated from Muhammad bin Musa bin Mutawakkil from Muhammad bin Abu Abdullah al-Kufi from Muhammad bin Ismail Barmaki from Ja’far bin Abdullah al-Kufi from Hasan bin Saeed from Muhammad bin Ziyad from Aiman bin Muhriz from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that he said:

“The Almighty Allah told the names of all His proofs to Adam. Then he displayed the soul of Adam to the angels and said: Tell me the names of those people if you are truly more worthy of becoming a caliph on this earth for you are praising Me. All the angels replied: You are pure for we do not have any knowledge except what You taught us. Surely, you are all-knowing and wise. The Almighty Allah asked Adam to tell the names of those persons and he did. The angels became aware of the status of those personalities near Allah.

The angels came to know that those personalities will be Allah’s caliphs and successors and a proof for the creatures. After that, Allah hid those personalities from the eyes of the angels. He ordered his angels to follow them and said: Didn’t I tell you that I am aware of what is hidden in the heavens and the earth and whatever is expressed by you and whatever is hidden inside you?”

It is narrated from Ahmad bin al-Hasan al-Qattan from Husain bin Ali al-Askari from Muhammad bin Zakariya Jauhari from Muhammad bin Ammar from Ja’far bin Muhammad bin Imara from his father from Imam Ja’far Sadiq bin Muhammad that he said:

“The Almighty Allah has made the angels have faith in occultation in this way. The verse started with the discussion of the caliph and the discussion is well ordered if it ends in the similar manner. Proof and understanding are hidden in the order. Now if the Almighty Allah taught the names of all things to Adam, as the opponents say, then the names of Imams are automatically included in it. Thus the entire Ummah is united on what we said.

The best proof of this fact is that when the angels were asked to prostrate before Adam, this act was considered as worship. If it was worship then logically they should also acquire whatever was in that rank either at that moment or some time later because wisdom and proof do not change with time. It is the same from the beginning to the end. It is not possible for divine wisdom to deprive them of any reward and be miserly in allowing them to benefit from the virtues and excellences of Imams because all of them are equal. It proves that if a person has faith on one of the prophets or a group of them and denies others, his faith is not acceptable. It is exactly the same in the case of Imams. All of them from the beginning to the end are alike.

Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) says: One who denies the last among us is like the denier of the first among us. He also said: If one denies anyone of us who is alive, he has denied all of those among us who have passed away.

I will narrate a tradition in this regard in an appropriate place in this book, if Allah wills. Thus, the Almighty Allah taught the names of all Imams by saying: “And we taught all the names to Adam”. The word ‘Asma’ has several meanings and all of them are equal. The adjectives of the word ‘Asma’ are equal. Here ‘Asma’ means that the Almighty Allah taught them all attributes of Imams from the beginning to the end. These attributes include knowledge, forbearance, piety, bravery, infallibility, generosity and loyalty. The book of Allah has mentioned the names of prophets as instances of those attributes as the Almighty Allah says:

وَاذكْرْ فِي الْكِتَابِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ إِنَّهُ كَانَ صِدِّيقًا نَّبِيا

And mention Ibrahim in the Book; surely he was a truthful man, a prophet.24

اذْكُرْ فِي الْكِتَابِ إِسْمَاعِيلَ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ صَادِقَ الْوَعْدِ وَكَانَ رَسُولًا نَبِيًّا

وَكَانَ يَأْمُرُ أَهْلَهُ بِالصَّلَاةِ وَالزَّكَاةِ وَكَانَ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِ مَرْضِيًّا

وَاذْكُرْ فِي الْكِتَابِ إِدْرِيسَ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ صِدِّيقًا نَبِيًّا

وَرَفَعْنَاهُ مَكَانًا عَلِيًّا

And mention Ismail in the Book; surely he was truthful in (his) promise, and he was an apostle, a prophet. And he enjoined on his family prayer and almsgiving, and was one in whom his Lord was well pleased. And mention Idrees in the Book; surely he was a truthful man, a prophet, And We raised him high in Heaven.25.

وَاذْكُرْ فِي الْكِتَابِ مُوسَىٰ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ مُخْلَصًا وَكَانَ رَسُولًا نَبِيًّا وَنَادَيْنَاهُ مِنْ جَانِبِ الطُّورِ الْأَيْمَنِ وَقَرَّبْنَاهُ نَجِيًّا وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ مِنْ رَحْمَتِنَا أَخَاهُ هَارُونَ نَبِيًّ

And mention Musa in the Book; surely he was one purified, and he was an apostle, a prophet. And We called to him from the blessed side of the mountain, and We made him draw nigh, holding communion (with Us). And We gave to him out of Our mercy his brother Harun a prophet.26

Thus, the Almighty Allah praised His prophets in the abovementioned verses. They had pleasing attributes and pure character. These are their attributes. Similarly, the Almighty Allah had taught all the names to Prophet Adam.

Another point full of wisdom in this matter is that the way of knowing the names and act of obedience was only by listening. The mind would have never been attentive to it. If a wise person sees a man coming from a distance, he cannot know his name correctly using his brain. He has no way but to listen in order to know the name. Thus, Allah has also made hearing and listening a good way of knowing the caliph. Hence, he did not give the right of appointment of caliph to the creatures because appointment of an Imam is through seeing. The foundation of caliphate is laid by the knowledge of names and the names are known only through hearing. On this basis, only our opinion regarding Imamate is correct because we prove the obedience through Nass. This type of election is implied in the verse:

كُلَّهَا ثُمَّ عَرَضَهُمْ عَلَى الْمَلاَئِكَةِ

…then presented them to the angels…27

The presentation here is based on the physical existence and the name is based on listening. In this way, the meanings of gesture and name both are proved correct.

Also the word “presented” in the verse: “then (I) presented them…” has two meanings. One of them is showing him in his physical form as I have mentioned in the chapter of zar and derivation of agreement. It can also imply that the Almighty Allah displayed his attributes and relationship to the angels as believed by one of our rival groups. Both mean that the Almighty Allah has ordered the angels to have faith in unseen.

The verse of Almighty Allah:

أَنبِئُونِي بِأَسْمَاء هَؤُلاء إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِين

Tell me the names of those if you are right.28

has a lot of wisdom hidden in it. One of them is that He gave a capability to Adam to teach the names of Imams to the angels. Also, He made angels capable enough to learn the meanings from Adam. Thus the Almighty Allah taught them to Adam and the latter taught them to the angels. Thus Adam is like a knowledgeable teacher and angels are like knowledge-seeking students. This meaning is explained by Holy Quran.

The angels said:

سُبْحَانَكَ لاَ عِلْمَ لَنَا إِلاَّ مَا عَلَّمْتَنَا إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْعَلِيمُ الْحَكِيمُ

Glory be to Thee! We have no knowledge but that which Thou hast taught us; surely Thou art the Knowing, the Wise29

This statement is the best proof of the fact that no one has the right to say anything about the names and attributes of Imams except one who is taught by Allah. If someone has got this right without Allah’s teaching then angels would have been even more rightful to it. The angels glorified Allah and this fact is a proof that saying anything in this matter is against Tauheed (monotheism) because glorification means having faith that Allah is pure from all defects.

There is no occurrence of purification except those after the discussion of a denier of Tauheed or one who doubts in this matter. The angels did not hesitate from expressing their ignorance in this matter. They said: We have no knowledge.

Thus, if a person shows that he has the knowledge but he does not have it then the Almighty Allah will make the stand of angels as an argument on him and will make them testify against him in this world and hereafter. The Almighty Allah made the angels capable enough to learn through the words of Adam even though they were ignorant and said:

قَالَ يَا آدَمُ أَنبِئْهُم بِأَسْمَآئِهِمْ

O Adam! inform them of their names30

A person in the city of Islam (Baghdad) told me: the occultation (of Qaim) is prolonged and it is worrying us. Many people have turned away from the obedience because of this prolongation. What is happening?

I replied: The practices of earlier Ummahs (nations) will become prevalent in this Ummah one by one as narrated in many traditions of Holy Prophet. Prophet Musa had gone away from his Ummah to meet Allah for thirty nights. However the Almighty Allah extended his stay by ten days and he returned after forty nights.

This extension of ten days was enough to hamper the faith of Musa’s Ummah. They became hard-hearted and turned away from the order of their Lord and Prophet Musa. They disobeyed his successor, Prophet Harun. They oppressed him and even intended to slay him. They began to worship a golden calf which mooed like a bull. Samiri told them: This calf is your lord and the lord of Musa. Prophet Harun advised them and stopped them from worshipping the calf. He said:

يَا قَوْمِ إِنَّمَا فُتِنتُم بِهِ وَإِنَّ رَبَّكُمُ الرَّحْمَنُ فَاتَّبِعُونِي وَأَطِيعُوا أَمْرِي قَالُوا لَن نَّبْرَحَ عَل يْهِ

عَاكِفِينَ حَتَّى يَرْجِعَ إِلَيْنَا مُوسَى

O my people! you are only tried by it, and surely your Lord is the Beneficent God, therefore follow me and obey my order. They said: We will by no means cease to keep to its worship until Musa returns to us.31

وَلَمَّا رَجَعَ مُوسَى إِلَى قَوْمِهِ غَضْبَانَ أَسِفًا قَالَ بِئْسَمَا خَلَفْتُمُونِي مِن بَعْدِيَ أَعَجِلْتُمْ أَمْرَ

رَبِّكُمْ وَأَلْقَى الألْوَاحَ وَأَخَذَ بِرَأْسِ أَخِيهِ يَجُرُّهُ إِلَيْهِ

And when Musa returned to his people, wrathful (and) in violent grief, he said: Evil is it that you have done after me; did you turn away from the bidding of your Lord? And he threw down the tablets and seized his brother by the head, dragging him towards him.32

This incident is very famous and there is nothing to surprise us that the ignorant ones of this Ummah will find it difficult to sustain their faith in this prolonged occultation of the Imam of the Time. They will turn away from the belief they had accepted without any reason. They will not take any lesson from this saying of the Almighty Allah:

أَلَمْ يَأْنِ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَن تَخْشَعَ قُلُوبُهُمْ لِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَمَا نَزَلَ مِنَ الْحَقِّ وَلَا يَكُونُوا كَالَّذِ ينَ

أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ مِن قَبْلُ فَطَالَ عَلَيْهِمُ الْأَمَدُ فَقَسَتْ قُلُوبهُُمْ وَكَثِيرٌ مِّنْهُمْ فَاسِقُونَ

Has not the time yet come for those who believe that their hearts should be humble for the remembrance of Allah and what has come down of the truth? And (that) they should not be like those who were given the Book before, but the time became prolonged to them, so their hearts hardened, and most of them are transgressors.33

The person asked me: What has the Almighty Allah revealed about him (the Qaim)? I replied: The Almighty Allah says:

الم . ذَلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لاَ رَيْبَ فِيهِ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْغَيْبِ

Alif Lam Mim. This Book, there is no doubt in it, is a guide to those who guard (against evil). Those who believe in the unseen…34

That is those who believe in the Qaim and his occultation.

It is narrated from Muhammad bin Musa bin Mutawakkil from Muhammad bin Yahya al-attar from Ahmad bin Muhammad Isa from Umar bin Abdul Aziz from a number of people from Dawood Ibne Kathir al-Riqqi from Abu Abdillah (Imam Sadiq) that he said regarding the verse:

الم

ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَيْبَ ۛ فِيهِ ۛ هُدًى لِلْمُتَّقِينَ الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْغَيْبِ

Alif Lam Mim. This Book, there is no doubt in it, is a guide to those who guard (against evil). Those who believe in the unseen35

That the people who have faith in unseen imply those people who believe in the reappearance of the Qaim and who consider it a true.

It is narrated from Ali bin Ahmad from Muhammad bin Abu Abdillah al-Kufi from Musa bin Imran al-Nakhii from his uncle Husain bin Yazid from Ali bin Abi Hamza from Yahya bin Abul Qasim from Imam Ja’far Sadiq bin Muhammad that the latter was asked about the verse:

الم

ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَيْبَ ۛ فِيهِ ۛ هُدًى لِلْمُتَّقِينَ الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْغَيْبِ

Alif Lam Mim. This Book, there is no doubt in it, is a guide to those who guard (against evil). Those who believe in the unseen…36

The Imam said: Here the pious means the Shias of Ali and the unseen implies the hidden proof of Allah. It is proved by the verse:

وَيَقُولُونَ لَوْلَا أُنْزِلَ عَلَيْهِ آيَةٌ مِنْ رَبِّهِ ۖ فَقُلْ إِنَّمَا الْغَيْبُ لِلَّهِ فَانْتَظِرُوا إِنِّي مَعَكُمْ مِنَ الْمُنْتَظِرِينَ

And they say: Why is not a sign sent to him from his Lord? Say: The unseen is only for Allah; therefore wait- surely I too, with you am of those who wait.37

Thus the Almighty Allah has informed that unseen is His sign and Proof. It is proved by the verse:

وَجَعَلْنَا ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ وَأُمَّهُ آيَةً

And We made the son of Maryam and his mother a sign.38

It is narrated from my father from Saad bin Abdullah from Muhammad bin al-Husain Ibne Abi al-Khattab from Ibne Mahbub from Ali bin Raab from Abu Abdillah Imam Ja’far Sadiq that he said with regard to the verse:

يَأْتِي بَعْضُ آيَاتِ رَبِّكَ لَا يَنْفَعُ نَفْسًا إِيمَانُهَا لَمْ تَكُنْ آمَنَتْ مِنْ قَبْلُ

On the day when some of the signs of your Lord shall come, its faith shall not profit a soul which did not believe before.39

Signs imply the Imams and the awaited sign implies the Qaim. The faith of a person will be of no use on that day if he did not believe in him before he rises with the sword, even though he may have had faith in his holy forefathers before.

The Almighty Allah gave the name of Ghaib (unseen) to Prophet Yusuf while narrating his story to Prophet Muhammad. He said:

ذَٰلِكَ مِنْ أَنْبَاءِ الْغَيْبِ نُوحِيهِ إِلَيْكَ ۖ وَمَا كُنْتَ لَدَيْهِمْ إِذْ أَجْمَعُوا أَمْرَهُمْ وَهُمْ يَمْكُرُونَ

This is of the announcements relating to the unseen (which) We reveal to you, and you were not with them when they resolved upon their affair, and they were devising plans.40

One of our opponents spoke to me about this verse. He said that in the verse: “those who believe in unseen” implies the hereafter. I told him: Your stand is full of ignorance and your words are full of misguidance. Don’t Jews, Christians and other non-Muslims believe in the Judgment Day, accounting of deeds and reward and punishment? It is not possible the that Almighty Allah should praise His believers with an attribute which is also possessed by disbelievers. The Almighty Allah has praised the attribute of believers which is unique to them.

Necessity of Marefat (recognition) of the Mahdi

The faith of a person will not be correct till he becomes aware of it. As Almighty Allah says:

 إِلَّا مَنْ شَهِدَ بِالْحَقِّ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ

But he who bears witness of the truth and they know (him).41

Also Allah did not authenticate the testimony of people except when it was based on their knowledge and understanding. Hence one who has faith on Imam Mahdi will not be benefited till he has thorough recognition of his occultation. One should know that Imams had informed of his occultation. They had informed their Shias of his occultation and this is recorded in the books. They are found in the books written about two hundred years before the commencement of occultation. None of the followers of Imam is such that he has not included it in his books. These books are called ‘Usool’ among Shias and they were compiled about two hundred years before the commencement of the occultation.

I have mentioned all the traditions about occultation, which I came across in appropriate places in this book. The writers of these books fall under one of these two conditions – either they had come to know about present occultation before on their own which is logically impossible or they falsely predicted occultation in their books in spite of being from different countries and beliefs and later on it proved to be correct. The second condition is also not acceptable like the first. On this basis, there is no way left but to agree that the writers have recorded the discourse of their holy Imams, who are the protectors of the will of Holy Prophet. As a result of these proofs, truth triumphed and falsehood was devastated as it was bound to be destroyed.

Our enemies have intentions to misguide those who opposed the Qaim’s occultation, decided to put a curtain on the eyes of those who believe in his occultation so that people who do not have solid faith start doubting the truth.

Proofs of Occultation (Ghaibat) and wisdom behind it

By the Taufeeq (good sense) given by Allah I would say that when the occultation of our Imam commenced, its expedience came to light. Its truth is visible and its proof is obvious because we witnessed divine wisdom with regard to His previous proofs who were threatened by the leaders of misguidance of their times. The fact became well-known that disobedient people rise at times and adopt the characteristics of Firon in the same way as they are doing now. These misleaders are overpowering through infidelity, falsehood, injustice and false accusation.

They demand proof of existence of Imam Zaman like previous Imams. They say: You believe that eleven Imams have passed after Holy Prophet, each of which was physically present and was known to general and particular people. If this is not so then your claim about their Imamate is void much in the same way as it is for the current Imam because he is not physically present and it is very difficult to prove his existence. I would like to reply by expedience of Allah: our rivals were not aware of the wisdom of Allah during the times of misguided leaders.

They were unaware of the right path because it is proved that during the times of despotic rulers, the proof of Allah appears in according to the circumstances of that time. On this basis, appearance of Divine Proof among general and particular people is as per the divine policy. If the circumstances are free of dangers then it is obligatory for the Divine Proof to appear physically and guide the people. However if the circumstances are not risk-free then it is necessary for the Divine Proof to remain hidden as we have seen in the case of many proofs of Allah from the time of Adam till date. Some of them were hidden while others were apparent. Many traditions have been narrated about them and even the Holy Quran has mentioned about them.

It is narrated from my father from Saad bin Abdullah from Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Khalid al-Barqi from his father from Muhammad bin Sunan from Ishaq bin Jurair from Abdul Hamid Ibne Abi Dailam from Imam Ja’far bin Muhammad al-Sadiq that he said:

“O Abdul Hamid! Some prophets propagated openly and some of them were hidden. Hence you should supplicate through the sake of apparent as well as hidden messengers.”

The book of Allah supports this statement in this verse:

وَرُسُلًا قَدْ قَصَصْنَاهُمْ عَلَيْكَ مِنْ قَبْلُ وَرُسُلًا لَمْ نَقْصُصْهُمْ عَلَيْكَ ۚ وَكَلَّمَ اللَّهُ مُوسَىٰ تَكْلِيمًا

And (We sent) apostles We have mentioned to you before and apostles we have not mentioned to you; and to Musa, Allah addressed His Word, speaking (to him):42

The proofs of Allah from Adam till Prophet Ibrahim were appointed either openly or hidden form. Prophet Ibrahim was kept hidden by Allah and he was born secretly because there was no possibility of making the proof open during that time. Prophet Ibrahim did not disclose his mission or his personality during the rule of Nimrod. Nimrod used to kill the newborn children of his kingdom because he feared the arrival of a Divine Proof. Later on Prophet Ibrahim revealed his personality and his mission when his occultation came to an end.

It had become incumbent on him to reveal his mission to the people so that the will of Allah regarding sending of His proof and completion of religion is executed. Prophet Ibrahim had many successors after him who were Divine Proofs on the earth. Some of them were apparent and some hidden. This process continued till the time of Prophet Musa. Before the birth of Prophet Musa, Firon started killing the newborn children of Bani Israel in order to eliminate Musa. This story became very famous and the news reached everywhere. Thus, Allah kept his birth hidden and his mother left him to sail in the river as mentioned in the verse:

فَالْتَقَطَهُ آلُ فِرْعَوْنَ

And Firon’s family took him up…43

Prophet Musa grew up near Firon and the latter did not recognize him. He went on killing the children of Bani Israel. Later on Prophet Musa revealed his personality and invited people towards Allah. Prophet Musa also had a number of successors after him who were Divine Proofs. Some of them were apparent and some hidden. This process continued till the time of Prophet Isa.

Prophet Isa expressed his personality at his birth itself. He did not keep himself hidden because there was no harm in expressing himself at that time.

He also had some successors. Some of them were apparent and others were hidden till the arrival of the Holy Prophet. The Almighty Allah addresses His Prophet in this verse:

مَا يُقَالُ لَكَ إِلَّا مَا قَدْ قِيلَ لِلرُّسُلِ مِنْ قَبْلِكَ

Naught is said to you but what was said indeed to the apostles before you.44

The Almighty Allah also says:

سُنَّةَ مَنْ قَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا قَبْلَكَ مِنْ رُسُلِنَا

(This is Our) course with regard to those of Our apostles whom We sent before you.45

All doctrines of the previous prophets are included in the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet and one of them is appointing a successor. Hence, the Holy Prophet appointed his successors and also informed that Imam Mahdi is the last among them and that he would fill the earth with justice as much as it would have been filled with injustice. This narration is recorded by the entire Ummah. He will reappear and Prophet Isa will offer Prayer behind him.

Thus the birth places of all the successors was secured till the Master of the Time (a.s.) who is being awaited to establish justice and equity just as divine wisdom and exigency demanded occultations for Divine Proofs that we have mentioned.

Muslim are well-aware of the fact that the rulers during the time of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) kept close watch on him till his martyrdom. After his martyrdom, his relatives were under strict vigil and most of them were arrested. His newborn son (Imam Zaman) was searched for everywhere. One of the vigilantes was the uncle of Imam Zaman, Ja’far Kazzab (the liar), who was the brother of Imam Hasan bin Ali al-Askari (a.s.) and claimed Imamate for himself. Hence, the Sunnah of occultation was repeated as mentioned in case of many prophets. The hidden wisdom in the occultation of Imam is the same as that in case of abovementioned prophets.

Reply to an objection

Our rivals object, saying: Why is it necessary for an Imam to possess all the qualities of a prophet? The qualities necessary for a prophet and unnecessary for an Imam are not mentioned by you. In spite of the fact that Imams are not like prophets because it is not possible that the conditions of Imams are the same as of the prophets. We need a proof that the qualities of prophet should be present in an Imam. It is true that Imams cannot be like prophets because only equals are compared, which is not so in this case. Therefore your belief is not at all correct unless supported by strong evidence.

I would seek guidance from Allah and reply that our rivals have been ignorant in this matter. If they had pondered a bit and kept away from persistence and hatred, they would have already known that it is necessary that the characteristics of a prophet should be present exactly for an Imam. It is so because prophets are the source of Imamate.

They are successors of prophets and the proof of Allah on the people after the prophets so that the proof of Allah and his commandments are not invalidated and it is obligatory for the people to obey them. And is would also have possible to say that on this basis it is also not correct to call them Imams because only prophets were Imams and these people are not prophets that they should be called Imams like the prophets.

And it is also not correct for them establish commandments like jihad, enjoining good and forbidding evil, as mentioned by the Holy Prophet, because they are neither Holy Prophet nor like him. There are a large number of such improper and baseless objections, which will unduly prolong this book. Thus when these objections are invalidated, our rivals also fall silent.

I would like to put forward all those points which prove the similarity between Imams and prophets. I would also prove that they are proofs of Allah for the creatures in the same way as prophets were proof on the servants of God. It would be clear that their obedience is incumbent just like the obedience of prophets and the Almighty Allah says:

أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ

Obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those in authority from among you.46

Thus the people of authority are successors of Holy Prophet. They are none but Imams, whose obedience is made equivalent to the obedience of the messengers by the Almighty Allah. He made the obedience of Imams incumbent on His servants in the same way as He made the obedience of messengers incumbent. Allah says:

مَنْ يُطِعِ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللَّهَ

Whoever obeys the Apostle, he indeed obeys Allah.47

Imams are proofs of Allah on the people who did not reject the sayings of the Holy Prophet and did not see the Holy Prophet and came in this world after he went away in the same way as the Holy Prophet was the proof on those people who were present during his life but had not seen him. Therefore, as the obedience of Prophet Muhammad is obligatory, the obedience of the holy Imams is also obligatory.

Thus both of them are similar and the similarity proved by us is correct. The greatness of Holy Prophet is more than that of holy Imams but he is similar to them as regards being the proof of Allah and his duties because the Almighty Allah has called many prophets as Imams. For example, he says about Prophet Ibrahim:

إِنِّي جَاعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا ۖ

Surely I will make you an Imam of men.48

The Almighty Allah has informed us that He has made the rank of some of the prophets higher than the rank of some others in this verse:

تِلْكَ الرُّسُلُ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ ۘ مِنْهُمْ مَنْ كَلَّمَ اللَّهُ

We have made some of these apostles to excel the others, among them are they to whom Allah spoke.49

He also says:

وَرَبُّكَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنْ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ

And certainly We have made some of the prophets to excel others.50

Hence, all the prophets are equal as regards prophethood though some of them are ranked higher than others. This similarity exists between the prophets and their successors also. If someone compares holy Imams with the prophets and finds out that the duties of the prophets and holy Imams are the same then he is absolutely correct because I have already mentioned that there exists a similarity between the prophets and their successors.

Second proof of similarity between prophets

Another reason of similarity between the prophets and their successors is mentioned by Allah in this verse:

لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ

Certainly you have in the Apostle of Allah an excellent exemplar.51

He also says:

وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانْتَهُوا

And whatever the Apostle gives you, accept it, and from whatever he forbids you, keep back.52

Thus, the Almighty Allah has ordered us to seek guidance from the Holy Prophet. We should act like the Holy Prophet be it in deed or words. One of the sayings of Holy Prophet, which proves our statement right that there exists a similarity between the prophets and Imams is: Ali is to me as Harun was to Musa except that there would be no prophet after me. Thus the Holy Prophet has informed that Ali is not a prophet but he compared him with Harun who was a prophet. Similarly, he has compared Ali with many other prophets.

It is narrated from Muhammad bin Musa al-Mutawakkil from Ali bin al-Husain al-Sadabadi from Abdul Malik bin Harun Anqarah al-Shaibani from his father from his grandfather from Abdullah bin Abbas that he said:

“We were sitting near the Holy Prophet. He said: If a person wants to see the knowledge of Adam, peacefulness of Nuh, tolerance of Ibrahim, intelligence of Musa, abstinence of Dawood then he should look at him. The Holy Prophet (S) pointed to Ali who was coming towards them. He was taking steps without pride.”

As Holy Prophet has compared one of the Imams with Holy Prophet, it is a satisfactory proof. It is proved that the occultation of the Imam of the time is similar to that of Prophet Musa and other prophets. It is proved that the occultation of our Imam is because of unjust rulers and probably the reason behind it is the same as mentioned in part one.

This tradition has also invalidated that objection of our rivals that successors of all the prophets were prophets only. All the successors after Adam till Holy Prophet were prophets also. For example, the successor of Prophet Adam was Prophet Sheeth who was Hibtullah according to the progeny of Muhammad and he was a prophet. The successor of Nuh was his son Saam who was also a prophet. Prophet Ibrahim’s successor was Prophet Ismail who was a prophet. Prophet Musa’s successor was Yusha bin Nun who was also a prophet.

Prophet Isa’s successor was Shamoon al-Safa who was also a prophet. Prophet Dawood’s successor was Prophet Sulaiman who was a prophet and the successor of Holy Prophet was not a prophet because the Almighty Allah had made Prophet Muhammad His last prophet for the Ummah in order to honor him. Hence there is a similarity between Imams and the prophets as regards successorship. Thus a prophet can be a successor and an Imam can also be a successor. A prophet is a proof and an Imam is also a proof. A successor can be an Imam and a prophet can also be an Imam. A prophet is a proof and an Imam is also a proof. Thus the extent of similarity between the holy Imams and the prophets is not found in any other pair of things.

Also the Holy Prophet has informed about the similarity between deeds of successors in past and the deeds of those successors who were yet to come. He has compared the incident of Yusha bin Nun, the successor of Musa and wife of Prophet Musa, Safra binte Shuaib with the incident of the successor of Holy Prophet, Amirul Momineen and Ayesha binte Abi Bakr.

It is obligatory on the successor of a prophet to give the latter funeral bath (ghusl) after his demise.

It is narrated from Ali bin Ahmad al-Daqaqi from Hamza bin Qasim from Abul Hasan Ali bin al-Junaid Raazi from Abu Awana from Hasan bin Ali from Abdur Razzaq from his father from Abdur Rahman bin Auf’s slave, Maina from Abdullah bin Masud that he said:

“I asked the Holy Prophet, “O Messenger of Allah! Who will perform your ghusl after your demise?” he replied, “Ali Ibne Abi Talib”. He asked, “How long will he live after you?” he said: “he will live for thirty years after me. The successor of Prophet Musa lived for thirty years after him and he was opposed by the wife of Musa in the matter of performing ghusl. She claimed that she was more rightful of this and fought with Yusha. He also fought with her followers and defeated them. She was taken as captive but was treated very nicely. Similarly, Abu Bakr’s daughter will also betray Ali at so and so occasion. One thousand people of my Ummah will join her and fight against Ali. Ali will defeat her followers and hold her as captive and treat her well. The Almighty Allah says regarding this:

وَقَرْنَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الْأُولَىٰ

And stay in your houses and do not display your finery like the displaying of the ignorance of yore.53

The indication here is to Safra binte Shuaib. Thus the similarity between holy Imams and the prophets as regards name, attributes and deeds is proved. Hence all the characteristics of the prophets can be present in holy Imams. If we do not accept the Imamate of Imam Zaman because there was no such occultation of other Imams then it would be necessary to reject the prophethood of Prophet Musa because such conditions were not present during the time of any other prophet.

Hence if the prophethood of Prophet Musa is correct like other prophets in spite of his occultation then the Imamate of Imam Zaman is also correct in spite of his occultation, which was not present in Imams before him.

If it is correct that Prophet Musa grew up near Firon and he could not recognize him and went on killing the newborn children of Bani Israel then it is also correct that Imam Zaman is present among the people, he participates in their gatherings, goes to their markets but people do not recognize him till the Almighty Allah wishes.

It is narrated from Imam Ja’far bin Muhammad al-Sadiq: Qaim possesses a practice of Musa, a practice of Yusuf, a practice of Isa and a practice of Prophet Muhammad. The practice of Musa is that he is fearful; practice of Yusuf is that his brothers paid allegiance to him and talked to him without recognizing him. The practice of Isa is in his policies and the practice of Holy Prophet is in his armed uprising.

Reply to another objection

Another objection raised by our rivals is: You cannot deny that the occultation of Prophet Musa is similar to that of your Imam. The obedience of Prophet Musa was not incumbent at that time. He had not expressed himself and had not invited people towards himself at the time of his occultation. Similarly, it is not obligatory to obey your Imam till the time he is hidden and does not invite people towards him and makes people recognize him. If he does so then his obedience will become obligatory and it is not obligatory to obey him during his occultation.

I would reply this objection through the help of Allah. Our rivals are unaware of how the proofs of Allah can be apparent or hidden. The Almighty Allah has completed his argument in His book and left them on their own. They are as said by Allah:

أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ أَمْ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبٍ أَقْفَالُهَا

Do they not then reflect on the Quran? Nay, on the hearts there are locks.54

The Almighty Allah informs us that some of the Shias of Prophet Musa were aware of his orders and had faith in him even before Prophet Musa’s birth. They awaited the arrival of Prophet Musa even before he had declared his prophethood. Allah says:

وَدَخَلَ الْمَدِينَةَ عَلَىٰ حِينِ غَفْلَةٍ مِنْ أَهْلِهَا فَوَجَدَ فِيهَا رَجُلَيْنِ يَقْتَتِلَانِ هَٰذَا مِنْ شِيعَتِهِ وَهَٰذَا مِنْ عَدُوِّهِ

And he went into the city at a time of unvigilance on the part of its people, so he found therein two men fighting, one being of his party and the other of his foes.55

The Almighty Allah has mentioned the words of the followers of Musa in the verse:

قَالُوا أُوذِينَا مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ تَأْتِيَنَا وَمِنْ بَعْدِ مَا جِئْتَنَا

They said: We have been persecuted before you came to us and since you have come to us.56

Thus the Almighty Allah has proved that there were followers of Prophet Musa even before He declared his prophethood. The people knew Musa and vice versa even before he declared his prophethood. They waited for a Musa who would invite people towards himself but were unaware that he was the same person. Prophet Musa’s prophethood was declared openly when he returned from Prophet Shuaib along with his family after a number of years.

He used to take care of the cattle of Prophet Shuaib during that period in lieu of the Dower (mahr) of his wife. The incident of entering the city and finding two persons fighting occurred after his return only. Similarly, we will find that many communities were aware of Holy Prophet and had faith in him before and after his birth. They were also aware of the place of his birth and the place of his migration.

All these were even before the Holy Prophet had declared his prophethood. People like Salman Farsi, Qais bin Saada Ayyadi, Taba al-Mulk, Abdul Muttalib, Abu Talib, Saif bin Dhiyazn, Rahib Bahiri, Abi Muyahb Rahib who met Prophet Muhammad (S) when he was traveling to Syria, Sateeh Kaahan, Yusuf the Jew, Abu Hawaash al-Habr who had come from Syria, Zaid bin Amr bin Nufail and others knew Holy Prophet’s attributes, name and lineage even before he was born and recognized him after his birth. There are numerous general and particular traditions in this regard.

I have mentioned them in this book along with their chains of narrators at appropriate places. Thus no proof of Allah is such that believers have forgotten his birth. They have known their parents and lineage in every age so that people do not doubt the proof of Allah whether it is apparent or hidden. Now the deviated people left it and they had no knowledge about these commandments. Similarly, the friends of Imam Zaman remembered him, recognized his signs and became aware of his existence and lineage. Thus these people have faith on Imam regardless of whether he is in occultation or apparent and the deniers have left him. Allah says regarding Imam:

يَوْمَ يَأْتِي بَعْضُ آيَاتِ رَبِّكَ لَا يَنْفَعُ نَفْسًا إِيمَانُهَا لَمْ تَكُنْ آمَنَتْ مِنْ قَبْلُ

On the day when some of the signs of your Lord shall come, its faith shall not profit a soul which did not believe before.57

When Imam Ja’far Sadiq was asked the meaning of this verse, he said: Here signs imply holy Imams and the awaited sign implies Qaim Mahdi. When he reappears, no one will be allowed to start having faith in him if he had not done earlier even if they would have had faith in the holy ancestors of Imam.

It is narrated from Ahmad bin Ziyad bin Ja’far Hamadani from Ali bin Ibrahim from his father from Muhammad bin Abi Umair and Hasan bin Mahboob from Ali Ibne Rabb from Imam Ja’far Sadiq as that he said:

This is proved by the Almighty Allah in this verse:

وَجَعَلْنَا ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ وَأُمَّهُ آيَةً

And We made the son of Maryam and his mother a sign.58

It means the Almighty Allah has made him the proof and he says regarding death of Prophet Uzair for a hundred years and making him alive again:

وَانْظُرْ إِلَىٰ حِمَارِكَ وَلِنَجْعَلَكَ آيَةً لِلنَّاسِ

And look at your ass; and that We may make you a sign to men.59

Here also he wanted to make him proof on the people. Thus the Almighty Allah made him proof on the people and called him a sign. The Holy Prophet had made the matter of occultation perfectly imaginable such that some people tried to relate it at wrong occasions. Umar bin al-Khattab was the first to do so. When the Holy Prophet passed away, he declared: By Allah! Muhammad has not passed away. He is not but in occultation like Musa was. He will surely return to you after his occultation.

It is narrated from Ahmad bin Muhammad Saqar the goldsmith who was just, from Abu Ja’far Muhammad bin al-Abbas Ibne Basaam from Abu Ja’far Muhammad bin Yazdan from Nasr bin Sayyar bin Dawood Ashari from Muhammad bin Abde Rabb and Abdullah bin Khalid al-Sulooli from Abu Masher Najeeh al-Madani from Muhammad bin Qais and Muhammad bin Kaab al-Qarzi and Imarah bin Ghazya and Saeed bin Abi Saeed al-Maqbari and Abdullah bin Abi Maleeka and other seniors of Medina that:

“When the Holy Prophet (S) passed away, Umar bin al-Khattab came saying: By Allah, Muhammad has not passed away. He is not but in occultation like Musa went away from his Ummah. He will surely return to you shortly after his occultation. He was repeating these words so much that people began to think that he is out of his mind. People were surprised at what Umar was speaking and surrounded him. Then Abu Bakr came to him and said: O Umar! Behold, do not swear by that name. Certainly, the Almighty Allah has mentioned in his book:

إِنَّكَ مَيِّتٌ وَإِنَّهُمْ مَيِّتُونَ

Surely you shall die and they (too) shall surely die.60

Umar asked: O Abu Bakr! Is this verse really present in the book of Allah? He replied: Yes, I bear witness that Muhammad has passed away. It was either because Umar had not studied the entire Holy Quran or he didn’t remember this verse.

Kaisaniyah sect

Then the Kaisaniyah sect has made a mistake for they proclaimed the occultation of Muhammad bin Hanafiyyah and Sayyid bin Muhammad Himyari has described this belief in this following poem:

Know it, that our Imams from Quraish Are those four personalities who are equal They are Ali and three of his sons For they are proofs and successors for us One of the proofs will not face death He will command an army raising the flag He will remain hidden for a period and will not be seen And he will have honey and water in Razwa with him.

Sayyid has also composed the following poem regarding him:

O valley of Razwa! Why isn’t the one there visible? Till when will he remain hidden though you are near? If he remains away from us for a period equal to Nuh’s age We will not become hopeless of his return.

Sayyid has also composed the following lines about him:

O those who are in the valley of Razwa!

Take the gift of salutation to him

And say: O son of a successor! May I be sacrificed for you

You have extended your stay at that mountain

Now return to those who love you among us

Those who have named you a caliph and Imam

The son of Khawla has not tasted death as yet

Neither the earth has hidden his bones.

Sayyid remained misguided in the matter of caliphate and related it to Muhammad bin Hanafiyyah only till he met Imam Ja’far bin Muhammad al-Sadiq (a.s.). He saw the signs of Imamate in the Imam and asked him about occultation. Imam replied: It is true but it is for the twelfth among holy Imams.

Imam (a.s.) informed the Sayyid about the death of Muhammad bin Hanafiyyah and told him that his father was the witness to his burial. Thus, Sayyid turned away from his previous faith and repented a lot. He returned to the truth when it became manifest and became very close to Imamate.

It is narrated from Abdul Wahid bin Muhammad al-Ataa Nishapuri from Ali bin Muhammad Qutaibah Nishapuri from Hamadan bin Sulaiman from Muhammad bin Ismail bin Bazya from Hayyan al-Siraj from Sayyid bin Muhammad Himyari that he said:

“In the beginning I used to harbor extremist beliefs and had faith in the occultation of Muhammad bin Ali Ibne Hanafiyyah and a long period of time passed in this way in deviation and misguidance. After that the Almighty Allah favored me through Ja’far bin Muhammad Sadiq (a.s.) and saved me from the fire of Hell and guided me to the Right Path. Thus I asked the Holy Imam (a.s.) one day: I found in you those signs and qualities by which it was proved for me and all the people of your time that you are the Divine Proof and that only you are that Imam whose obedience has been compulsory by Allah and made following you incumbent on all.

O son of Allah’s Messenger, traditions have been recorded from your purified ancestors about occultation, stating that it is certain to happen, so please tell us with whom it would occur. He replied: Indeed this occultation shall happen with my sixth descendant and the twelfth of the guiding Imams after the Messenger of Allah (S), the first of whom is Amirul Momineen Ali (a.s.) and the last is Qaim bil Haqq (one who will rise with the truth). He shall be the remnant of Allah on His earth and the Master of the Age. By Allah, even if his occultation becomes as long as the age of Nuh (a.s.) he will not depart from the world without reappearing and filling up the earth with justice and equity in the same way as it would be fraught with injustice and oppression.

The Sayyid says: When I heard this from my master Ja’far bin Muhammad as-Sadiq (a.s.), I repented to Allah in his presence and composed the panegyric which began as follows:

1 - When I saw that the people have become deviated in the matter of religion, I became a Ja’fari with other ja’faris in the name of Allah.

2 - I called with the name of Allah and only Allah is the Greatest. And I became certain that He is the forgiving and condoning.

3 - And I adopted the religion of Allah instead of that which I had made my religion. And from which the master of all men Ja’far had restrained me.

4 - So I said: Just suppose I remained a Jew for a time. Or that my faith was the faith of those who are Christians.

5 - And I am of those who repent to the Beneficent. And I certainly accepted Islam and Allah is the Greatest.

6 - I shall not have extremist beliefs till I live nor would I turn back to that which I used to hide and show.

7 - Neither am I of the confession that Muhammad is in Razwa even though the ignorant may criticize me and commit excess in it.

8 - But he (Muhammad bin Hanafiyyah) is from those who have passed away upon the best conditions and with those who are pure and chaste.

9 - In the company of the purified and the chaste ones and those who are pure descendants of Mustafa.

And he also composed the following panegyric:

1 - O rider who marches valiantly towards Medina, who is crossing the deserts like a lion.

2 - When Allah guides you and you meet Ja’far, then you says to this friend of Allah and the son of the cultured one:

3 - O son of the trustworthy one of Allah and the trustworthy one of Allah, I seek forgiveness of the Beneficent Lord and I am tuning back

4 - Towards you in the matter in which I had exaggerated. I shall fight like a holy warrior with everyone who is uncultured.

5 - My exaggerated statement regarding the son of Khawla was not based on my enmity towards the pure and chaste progeny.

6 - But we have received the tradition from the successor of Muhammad and whatever he has said is not based on falsehood.

7 -That the master of the affair shall remain in concealment; hiding like someone who is afraid and fearful.

8 - The properties of this absent and hidden one shall be distributed in such a way as if he is dead and buried in the earth.

9 - He shall remain in this way for sometime and then he would reappear like a shooting star that appears on the horizon.

10 - With the help and assistance of Allah he would set out from the House of his Lord. And with leadership and command bestowed by Him.

11 -He shall move towards his enemies along with his standard. Then he would slay them in such a way that uncontrollable and furious horses kill.

12 - When it was reported that the son of Khawla has disappeared, we turned our saying towards him and did not say anything false.

13 - And we said that he is that same Mahdi and Qaim that due to whose justice and equity every draught stricken one will get the happiness of life.

14 - Thus if you denied it, your statement is right. Whatever you have been commanded is sure to happen and there is no bias in it.

15 - And I make my Lord a witness that your word is proof on all whether they be obedient or sinners.

16 - That the master of the affair and the Qaim for my heart is anxious and yearning

17 - For him there is such an occultation that it is necessary for him to go into occultation. And Allah has bestowed His mercy upon this hidden one.

18 - He will wait for more time and then reappear according to his schedule. Then rule upon those in the east and the west.

19 - I am having faith in him whether he be seen or concealed. Even if I am ridiculed for this I shall not worry about it.

Hayyan Siraj, the narrator of this tradition hails from Kaisaniyah sect. Thus when the death of Muhammad bin Hanafiyyah is proved, all traditions about his occultation are automatically invalidated.

Narrations regarding demise of Muhammad bin Hanafiyyah

One of them is narrated from Muhammad bin Isaam from Muhammad bin Yaqoob Kulaini from Qasim bin Alaa from Ismail bin Ali Quzooni from Ali bin Ismail from Hammad bin Isa from Husain bin Mukhtar: One day Hayyan Siraj came to Imam Ja’far bin Muhammad al-Sadiq. Imam (a.s.) said:

“O Hayyan! What do your companions say about Muhammad bin Hanafiyyah? He replied: They say that he is alive and receiving his sustenance. Imam said: My father had told me that he is among those who visited him while he was ill, closed his eyes when he passed away, laid him to rest in the grave, married off his widows and distributed his wealth among his heirs. He said: O Aba Abdillah! Muhammad bin Hanafiyyah is like Isa bin Maryam (a.s.) to this community for people have started having doubts about him.

Imam said: Are his enemies having doubts or the friends? He replied: His enemies. Imam said: Do you think that Abu Ja’far bin Ali al-Baqir was the enemy of his Uncle Muhammad bin Hanafiyyah? He replied in negative. Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) said: O Hayyan! You people have turned away from the signs of Allah and the Almighty Allah says:

…سَنَجْزِي الَّذِينَ يَصْدِفُونَ عَنْ آيَاتِنَا سُوءَ الْعَذَابِ بِمَا كَانُوا يَصْدِفُونَ 

We will reward those who turn away from Our communications with an evil chastisement because they turned away.61

Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: Muhammad bin Hanafiyyah did not die before confessing to the Imamate of Ali bin al-Husain. He passed away in 84 A.H.

It is narrated from my father from Ahmad bin Idrees from Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Yahya from Ibrahim bin Hashim from Abdus Samad bin Muhammad from Hannan bin Sudair from Abu Ja’far Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that he said:

“When I came to Muhammad bin Hanafiyyah, he had lost the ability to speak. I asked him to make a will but he couldn’t speak. I ordered a copper vessel used to wash hands to be brought. It was brought near him after putting dust in it.

I ordered him to inscribe his will on the utensil. He inscribed his will on that dust and I copied it on a paper.

Invalidity of stand of Nawoosi and Waqifi sects about occultation

Later on the Nawoosi sect committed mistake in the matter of occultation. They knew that one of the Imams will have occultation so they related it to Imam Ja’far bin Muhammad al-Sadiq (a.s.) out of their ignorance. This stand was invalidated by the martyrdom of Imam Sadiq (a.s.) and appointment of Imam Abu Ibrahim Musa bin Ja’far (a.s.).

Similarly, Waqifiya sect had made a similar claim about Imam Musa bin Ja’far (a.s.) but the Almighty Allah made his martyrdom and the place of mausoleum known to all, appointed Ali bin Musa al-Reza (a.s.) and exhibited the signs of his Imamate. His Imamate was also proved right by Nass and the traditions of his holy ancestors. Thus the claim of those people was invalidated.

Narrations regarding the martyrdom of Imam Musa bin Ja’far (a.s.)

One of them is narrated from Muhammad bin Ibrahim bin Ishaq from Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Ammar from Hasan bin Muhammad Qatii from Hasan bin Ali Nakhkhas Adl from Hasan bin Abdul Wahid Khazzaz from Ali bin Ja’far from Umar bin Waqid that he said:

“One night, Sandi bin Shahik called me. I was staying in Baghdad at that time. I feared that he would hurt me. Hence I willed to my relatives and recited: Indeed we belong to Allah and to Him we shall return. Then I started towards him. When he saw me coming towards him, he said: O Abu Hafs! May be I have scared you. I nodded in agreement. He said: O Abu Hafs! Do you know why I called you? I replied in negative. He said: Do you know Musa bin Ja’far? I replied: Yes, by Allah. I have been friends with him for a long time.

He said: Do you know any trustworthy people in Baghdad who know him? I told him the names of a few groups of such people and I remembered that the Imam has already passed away. Then he summoned those like me and asked them: Do you know anyone who knows Musa bin Ja’far? Those people named a group of such people who were summoned by him. This process continued till morning and more than fifty persons had gathered in his house. Then Sandi got up and went inside.

We offered Salaat by that time. His accountant returned with a long scroll in his hands and noted down our names, addresses and profession on it. Then Sandi came out, pointed his finger at me and said: O Aba Hafs! Get up. I got up from my seat along with my companions and we entered (the prison). He told me: O Aba Hafs! Take the cloth off the (holy) face of Musa Ibne Ja’far. I took the cloth off only to find that he had attained martyrdom. I cried and said: Indeed we belong to Allah and to Him we shall return. He told the group of those people: Have a look at him.

People came forward one by one to look at him. He ordered each one of us to bear witness that he was Musa bin Ja’far bin Muhammad. All of us said: Yes, we bear witness that he is Musa bin Ja’far bin Muhammad. Then he ordered one of his slaves to take off the Imam’s clothes and cover his private parts. The slave did so. Then he asked us: Do you find any wound on his body? We said: No, we don’t find any wound and he has died of a natural death. He said: You all shall not leave this place till you perform his ghusl and I bury him after shrouding him. We waited there till his ghusl was performed and his funeral procession started.

Then Sandi bin Shahik offered his funeral prayer and we buried him and returned to our houses. There is no one who knows about Musa bin Ja’far more than me. How can you people say that he is alive when I have already buried him?

It is narrated from Abdul Wahd bin Muhammad al-attar from Ali bin Muhammad bin Qutaibah from Hamadan bin Sulaiman Nishapuri from Hasan bin Abdullah Sairani from his father that he said:

“Musa bin Ja’far was martyred by Sandi bin Shahik. Then his funeral procession started and it was announced – know him, this is the Imam of Rafidis. When his bier was brought to the soldiers, four persons lifted it and shouted: “Know that, whoever wants to have a look at the evil son of an evil person, Musa bin Ja’far should come out.” Sulaiman bin Abu Ja’far came out of his palace and walked towards river. Suddenly he heard cries and shouts. He asked his sons and slaves: What is this commotion? They said: Sandi bin Shahik is shouting at the funeral of Musa bin Ja’far. He told his sons and slaves: A similar scene would happen at the western side of the river.

When they pass by, come down along with slaves and take the bier from them. If they refuse to give, fight with them and defeat them. When they passed by, the slaves moved towards them and took the bier from them. The slaves also beat them up and defeated them. They brought the bier at a crossroad and announced: Know it, whoever wants to have a look at Musa bin Ja’far, the pure son of a pure person should come out. People came out and performed his ghusl, brought a Yemeni cloth worth twenty-five hundred dinar, which had whole Holy Quran inscribed on it.

He came to his corpse barefoot and moved behind wearing clothes for mourning occasions with his collar torn. He came near the graves of Quraish and buried the Imam over there. He wrote to Rashid (Harun) about this news. He replied to Sulaiman bin Abi Ja’far: O Uncle! You have done good to your relative and will be rewarded for it. By God, whatever Sandi bin Shahik (l.a.) did was not ordered by us.

It is narrated from Ahmad bin Ziyad Hamadani from Ali bin Ibrahim from his father Ibrahim bin Hashim from Muhammad bin Sadaqa Anbari that he said:

“When Abu Ibrahim Musa bin Ja’far was martyred, Harun Rashid gathered the seniors of Taalbiya, Abbasids and the rulers of all the states and showed them the body of Abu Ibrahim Musa bin Ja’far and said: This is Musa bin Ja’far who died a natural death and I did nothing to him, for which I will have to repent in front of God.

Come and have a look at him. Come forward and look at him. Seventy of his Shias entered and saw Musa bin Ja’far. There was no injury or a sign of poisoning on his body. His hands had color of henna. Sulaiman bin Abu Ja’far lifted his body and took the responsibility of performing his ghusl, shrouding and burying him. He went to the funeral bare-feet sans his turban.

It is narrated from Ja’far bin Muhammad bin Masroor from Husain bin Muhammad bin Aamir from Mualla bin Muhammad Basri from Ali bin Rabat that he said:

“I asked Ali bin Musa al-Reza: There is a person who says that your holy father is alive though you know about him very well. Imam said: Glory be to Allah! The Holy Prophet has passed away and Musa bin Ja’far has not? Yes, by Allah, certainly he has passed away, his property is distributed among his heirs and his slave-girls have remarried.”

Claim of Waqifiya sect about occultation of Imam Askari (a.s.)

Later on, Waqifiya sect claimed that Hasan bin Ali bin Muhammad is in occultation because they were not clear about the concept of occultation. They made a mistake and considered him as Imam Mahdi al-Qaim. Then his martyrdom was proved and their belief was proved incorrect. According to correct sources mentioned in this book, it is proved that it was his son who had occultation and not Imam Askari (a.s.).

Some Narrations proving the martyrdom of Imam Hasan bin Ali bin Muhammad al-Askari (a.s.)

It is narrated from my father and Muhammad bin Hasan bin Ahmad bin Walid from Saad bin Abdullah from those people who were present at the time of martyrdom and funeral of Hasan bin Ali bin Muhammad al-Askari. They are countless in number and it is impossible that all of them are telling lies. We came to the court of Ahmad bin Ubaidullah bin Yahya bin Khaqaan in Shaban, 278 AH, nearly 18 years after the martyrdom of Abu Muhammad Hasan bin Ali al-Askari. Khaqan was in charge of collecting taxes in the district of Qom during that time. He was the greatest enemy of Ahlul Bayt.

The issue of belief, sect, deeds and status in the eyes of the ruler of the people of progeny of Abu Talib in Samarrah was raised unknowingly. Ahmad bin Ubaidullah said: I have not seen a person from the family of Ali who is like Hasan bin Ali bin Muhammad bin Ali al-Reza nor have I heard about a person who has character, calmness, chastity, intelligence and honor among his Ahlul Bayt, rulers and entire Bani Hashim. It was not only they who preferred him over their seniors but also commanders of army, viziers, secretaries of court and common people honored him. One day, I was standing with my father.

It was the day for the court to be held. The guard came in and informed that Ibne Reza was waiting outside. My father ordered in a loud voice that he should be permitted inside. A man having wheatish complexion and large eyes entered. He was tall, had a beautiful face and a handsome young body. He was full of majesty. When my father saw him, he got up and walked towards him. I remember that he had not treated any one from Bani Hashim or commanders of armies or any of the heir-apparent.

He embraced him and kissed his forehead and eyes. He held his hand and asked him to sit at the place were he used to offer Salaat and sat near him. He looked at him and started talking to him. He addressed him by his agnomen. He repeated the words: ‘May I and my parents be sacrificed for you.’ I was taken aback at his behavior. Then the guard entered and informed that Muwaffiq had come (Muwaffiq was the brother of caliph Mutamid Ali Allah Ahmad bin Mutawakkil and the commander of his army). Whenever Muwaffiq visited my father, it was customary that a battalion of his personal security guards used to enter the house and stand in a row starting from the door till my father’s seat. They used to stand in the same position till he entered. My father sat carelessly (with Imam) and talked to him.

Then he said, ‘You take the leave if you want. May I be sacrificed on you.’ Then he asked his slaves to take him behind the row of guards so that Amir (Muwaffiq) does not see him. The Imam got up and my father followed suit. He embraced the Imam, kissed his forehead and the Imam left. I asked the slaves: Woe be on you! Who is this person? They replied: He is a man from the family of Ali called Hasan bin Ali. He is well-known by the name Ibne Reza. I was even more surprised then.

I felt uneasy the whole day about what I saw. My father used to review the governmental affairs, which needed to be sent to the caliph after Isha prayer. After he did all his works, I came and sat in front of him. He asked: O Ahmad! Do you want anything? I said, “Yes, O father! Please permit me to ask a question. My father said: O my son! You may ask whatever you want. I said: O father! Who was that man who came in the morning to meet you and you treated him with extreme honor? You repeatedly said: May I and my parents by sacrificed for you to that person. Father replied: O son! He is the Imam of Rafidis.

He is Ibne Reza. He paused for a moment and said: O son! If caliphate is taken away from Abbasids then no one is more worthy of caliphate among Bani Hashim than him. He is worthy of caliphate because of his matchless excellence, chastity, honor, piety, abstinence, worship, excellent character and deeds. If you would have seen his father you would have found a great, intelligent, chaste and excellent person in him. Hearing this, my uneasiness and anger on my father increased. I had no option but to ask about him and know his details. I asked the soldiers, writers, judges, jurists and other people of Bani Hashim as well as of other tribes about him. Everybody said that he was honored, supreme and soft-speaking person and that they preferred his advice over the advice of the seniors of their house.

Everybody said that he was the Imam of Rafidis and he is a respected personality because I have not found any of his friend or enemy talking anything about him except good and everyone praised him.

One of the Ashari from court asked, “O Aba Bakr! What do you say about his brother, Ja’far?” he said: Ja’far is a person not to be talked of. Surely, Ja’far does mischief openly, he is careless and the worst drunkard. I have seen very few people like him who disgrace themselves.

He is foolish, drunkard, full of inferiority complex and unwise. When he appeared in front of the caliph and his companions after the demise of Hasan bin Ali, by Allah, I was not surprised. I had never expected him to do so. When he (Imam) fell sick, he sent his men to my father and informed about the illness of Ibne Reza. Immediately, he mounted a horse and moved towards Darul Khilafa. Then He came back hurriedly, accompanied by five reliable servants of the master of faithful. One of them was Nahrir.

He ordered the servants to keep a vigil on the house of Hasan bin Ali and gather information about him from time to time. He called a group of informers and asked them to visit him from time to time. After two days, a person informed that Imam has become very weak. My father started out to meet him and stayed with him till morning and then ordered his servants to stay with him. Then he called chief justice and ordered him to select ten such persons from the community who were known for their honesty and trustworthiness.

The selected persons were thus sent to the house of (Imam) Hasan. They were ordered to stay there day and night. They were supposed to stay in his house till his demise. After a few days of the month of Rabi I, 260 A.H. passed by, the news spread in entire Samarrah that Ibne Reza had passed away. The caliph sent a few persons for enquiry.

Those persons sealed everything of Imam. They wanted to see the sons and heirs. Such women were brought who could detect the pregnancy. They checked all the wives of Imam. Some of them informed that one of the slave-girls was pregnant. She was kept inside a room under close observation of a man named Nahrir, his companions and a few women. Then he made preparations for the rites of Imam. He closed all the markets. My father, people of Bani Hashim, soldiers, secretaries and other people attended his funeral. It was like a judgment-day in Samarrah.

When the rites were completed, the caliph called Abu Isa Ibne Mutawakkil and asked him to offer funeral prayer. The coffin was prepared for prayer and Abu Isa moved near it and removed the cloth off the face of Imam and addressed the people, “This is Hasan bin Ali bin Muhammad bin al-Reza who died a natural death and the servants of Amirul Momineen, and so-and-so judges are witness to it. Then he covered his face and stood up to offer the funeral prayer. He recited five takbirs and the bier was ordered to be lifted. The bier was taken from his house and the Imam was buried near the grave of his father.

When the people dispersed after burying him, the caliph and his companions began looking for the Imam’s son. They raided his houses. They halted the distribution of his property among heirs and the slave-girl who supposed to be pregnant was watched for about two years by the same people. Then his property was divided amongst the mother of Imam and his brother, Ja’far. His mother claimed that she had the will of Imam regarding distribution of wealth and proved it in front of the chief justice.

The caliph was constantly in search of his son during this time. Ja’far came to my father after distribution of wealth and said, “Give me the rank of my father and my brother. I shall pay twenty thousand dinar every year.” My father scolded him and said: Get lost, you king of foolishness. If your people consider you Imam there is no need for any ruler to declare you as such. However, if you don’t have such a rank among them then we cannot give it to you. You are a degraded and a lowly person.” Then his entry into the court was banned by my father. After my father’s death, we left that place. The conditions remained the same and the caliph was in search of Hasan’s till even today.

Is something superior to death? How is it possible to deny a fact seen with one’s eyes? The king didn’t stop looking for his son because he had heard that a son was already born a few years before the martyrdom of his father and Imam had presented his son to his companions and said: He will be your Imam after me. He will be my successor. Follow him after me and do not get divided. If you get divided in the matter of religion, you will be destroyed. You will not see him from now on. Then Imam made his son disappear and he did not appear again. Hence, the king was continuously on a lookout for him.

It is narrated that occultation is for one whose birth is secret and who disappeared from the sight of people so that when he reappears, there would be no one who has allegiance from him. He is the very person whose property was distributed among his heirs even though he was alive. I have narrated this tradition in this book along with its chain of narrators in an appropriate place.

The reason behind narrating this tradition was to prove that Imam Hasan bin Ali (a.s.) was already martyred. Therefore all the claims of occultation of Muhammad bin Hanafiyyah, Imam Ja’far bin Muhammad al-Sadiq, Imam Musa bin Ja’far and Imam Hasan bin Ali al-Askari (a.s.) are incorrect. When they were martyred, it was known that occultation is for one about whom the Holy Prophet and the eleven Imams have predicted to be Hujjat (proof), the son of Imam Hasan bin Ali bin Muhammad al-Askari (a.s.). I have narrated the tradition in this matter along with the chain of narrators in the chapters discussing the predictions about Imam.

The people questioning us about the Qaim fall under two categories namely, those who follow our eleven Imams and those who don’t. If a person believes in eleven Imams then it is necessary for him to have faith in the twelfth Imam as well because the statements of his father who was an Imam are present about the Imamate of his son along with his name and lineage. All his Shias believe that he is an Imam and Qaim and he shall reappear after a long occultation and fill the earth with justice as it would have been filled with injustice. If the questioner is not a believer in eleven Imams then it is not necessary for us to reply him. Instead we will have to prove to him the Imamate of eleven Imams before Imam Qaim.

It is like a Jew asking us why do you offer four rakat for Zuhr, Asr and Isha prayer, two rakat for Fajr prayer and three rakat for Maghrib prayer? It would not be necessary for us to reply him. It is necessary that we tell him, “You deny the prophet who brought orders of these prayers. Let us make the matter of prophethood clear first. Salaat would not be clear to you unless you accept prophethood. Otherwise it is not necessary for you to ask. If prophethood is proved, you will automatically consider Salaat as an obligation along with the specified number of rakats because the authenticity of the person who brought those orders is proved and his Ummah agrees with it whether you know the reason behind it or not. The same is the case with a disbeliever who asks about the Qaim.

Reply to an objection

Sometimes an objection is raised in the interest of an ignorant community or by unlearned person: Why is occultation only for your Imam and not for his ancestors who are also considered as Imams by you? We see that the Shias of the progeny of Muhammad are facing much easier circumstances as compared to those during the time of Bani Umayyah. During that time, Shias were forced to shun the master of faithful, Ali Ibne Abi Talib. They had to suffer heinous atrocities like killings and threats etc. Shias are safe today and continuously increasing in number. They are becoming famous because of the love of rulers for them.

I would reply this question with the help of Allah. Surely, ignorance is not away from careless, liars and doubters. We have already discussed that the state of the proof of Allah either apparent or hidden is based upon divine wisdom. It is according to the faith and understanding of believers. If this is the case then we can say that if the circumstances were stern during the times of previous Imams then the Imams used to inform their near ones among their followers. Slowly, it became known to his enemies that the twelfth among the Imams is the bearer of sword.

He will not reappear till he is called out by his full name from the heaven. Now the people were eager to publish what they had heard and spread it everywhere. This was known to the Shias and enemies of the progeny of Muhammad. They were aware of the true status of our Imams, their knowledge and excellence and kept away from hurting them because the divine wisdom demanded that they remain apparent so that a person can choose right or wrong depending on his worth. As the Almighty Allah says:

فِي فَجْوَةٍ مِنْهُ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ مِنْ آيَاتِ اللَّهِ ۗ مَنْ يَهْدِ اللَّهُ فَهُوَ الْمُهْتَدِ ۖ وَمَنْ يُضْلِلْ فَلَنْ تَجِدَ لَهُ وَلِيًّا مُرْشِدًا

Whomsoever Allah guides, he is the rightly guided one, and whomsoever He causes to err, you shall not find for him any friend to lead (him) aright.62

And the Almighty Allah says:

وَمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْكُمْ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ ۗ وَلَيَزِيدَنَّ كَثِيرًا مِنْهُمْ مَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِنْ رَبِّكَ طُغْيَانًا وَكُفْرًا ۖ فَلَا تَأْسَ عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ

And surely that which has been revealed to you from your Lord shall make many of them increase in inordinacy and unbelief; grieve not therefore for the unbelieving people.63

In this age, the guidance of people through traditions is completed. The number of traditions have reached it maximum. The signs have become manifest that Imam of this time is the bearer of sword and people are eager to publish what they have heard and seen. If Imam would have been apparent now Shias would have spread this news and it would have reached his enemies because many of the Shias speak well about those persons who have become very familiar to them and express their love to them.

They point out the status of Imam as Hisham bin al-Hakam pointed at Imam Ja’far Sadiq during a debate with a Syrian. The Syrian asked Hisham: Who is the person you refer to and describe his attributes? Hisham said: He is that person. Saying this he pointed at Imam Ja’far Sadiq. If this would have been the case, people would have known well the name, lineage and location of Imam. Then his enemies would not have given them a single chance. Firon used to kill the children of Bani Israel because he had known from the people that Musa is one of them and is going to destroy him.

Similarly, Nimrod killed the children of his people in order to avoid the birth of Prophet Ibrahim who was believed to come and put an end to the reign of Nimrod and his men. The condition was same during the reign of caliph who was in search of the son of Imam Hasan bin Ali al-Askari (a.s.). He kept a close watch on the house of Imam and his wives so that they come to know of any newborn immediately. If they did not have intentions like the rulers during the time of Prophet Ibrahim and Musa then they would not have done so. Imam Hasan (a.s.) had left behind his family and a son.

They knew that according to religion, only wife and husband are entitled to inheritance as long as parents or sons who are alive. Thus an intelligent person cannot understand anything except this. Divine wisdom demands him to remain in occultation for a fixed period and then reappear. Thus Imam is in occultation and hidden. People are not aware of his place of residence. If one of the Shias spread the news about him in such a state as we have discussed earlier that he is hiding and if a mischievous group would have tried to search him after knowing the traditions about his occultation then they would not have found the person being talked of. We do not find a doubt about him so that this group would have dispersed, mischief would come to an end and anger would calm down.

In such circumstances, the enemies would have an excuse to take a step against Shias and issues related to him. They would not have any option. The fire of enmity and hatred will be extinguished. That group will keep away from enmity. His attributes will become evident and those who ponder about him will have their doubts cleared. A believer and a researcher will plunge into the details of his sect and an ignorant person will adjoin the friends of the proof of Allah. The conspiracies about denying right to unjust would become manifest to them when they get clear proofs during their research. It is just like they would be clear after pondering over the content of this book.

They would be included among those who seek salvation and run away from misguidance. They would adjoin those who have received bounties from Allah earlier and thus, they prefer the way of guidance over a misleading path.

Reply to the second objection

One of the objections raised by those who hate the truth is: Does Imam proclaim his Imamate now or not? We would then go to him and discuss with him the right path of our religion. If he replies and proclaims his Imamate, we would accept him. If he does not proclaim his Imamate and does not answer our questions when we approach him, there is no difference between him and common people.

I would answer this question saying that the predecessors of our truthful Imam have talked about him. There is no need for the Imam to proclaim his Imamate once again. He should remind people about those traditions. There is no need for him to proclaim through a proof of his Imamate because his truthful predecessors have predicted about him and made his issue manifest. They have freed him from the need of proclaiming his Imamate. This standpoint is the same as that in the case of Ali bin Abi Talib.

The Holy Prophet declared him the successor and freed him from the obligation of proclaiming the Imamate. Now let us consider the demand of objectors that Imam should discuss the religious issues with them. If you go to him with the intention of seeking knowledge after having thorough recognition and complete faith in him, he would surely meet you and provide you with knowledge. If you go to him with enmity and intention of slandering about him to his enemies and to reveal the secrets of religion to all, he would not answer the questions because he fears such persons. If this answer to the objection does not satisfy anyone, we would turn the question to the Holy Prophet.

When he was hiding in the cave, it was not possible for the people to meet him and enquire about religion at that time or even reach him. If it was possible for people to reach him, it would be improper that the Holy Prophet hid himself in the cave. If people could not have reached him then according to your belief, the presence and absence of the Holy Prophet in this world does not matter. If you say that hiding of the Holy Prophet was temporary then it can be said that Imam’s occultation is also temporary.

If you say that the Holy Prophet came out later and proclaimed his Imamate then we can say that it does not make any difference. Wasn’t he a prophet before coming out? He was hiding in the cave and at the same time his prophethood was perfect. Similarly, we can say that he is an Imam even though he has hidden his Imamate from those he fears. What can we say about some of the most truthful companions of Prophet Muhammad? Whenever the polytheists were in search of the Holy Prophet and if they enquired about him the companions used to say that they were completely unaware of where Muhammad was residing. Were those companions liars? If you say that they were liars, you are out of the religion of Islam because you have declared the Prophet a liar.

You may say that the case was different and they had transformed their statements to retain truth in them and convey a wrong message and hence, they are not liars and worthy of being appreciated because they defended the Prophet from getting martyred.

Similarly, if the Imam says that he is not an Imam and does not answer the questions of his enemies; his Imamate is not invalid because he fears for his life. If his Imamate is proved invalid because he does not declare it in the presence of his friends out of fear then the answer of the companions of Holy Prophet would be a lie. If such answer did not affect the truthfulness of the companions then hiding of Imamate by Imam would not affect him in any way. There is no difference between these two things.

If a Muslim is arrested by infidels who kill any Muslim they find and they ask him about his religion; if he denies being a Muslim in front of them, this act would not take him out of the pale of Islam. Similarly, if the Imam denies his Imamate in front of his friends and those whom he fears, it would not take him out of the boundaries of Imamate.

They may object saying: One Muslim is not appointed to teach people and set the laws. Hence the orders of two persons will be different. Hence it is necessary for the Imam to never remain in hiding. We can answer by saying that we did not consider it necessary for the Imam to keep himself completely hidden from all the people because the Almighty Allah has appointed him and informed His servants about his status through those truthful Imams who were his predecessors.

We have just said that the Imam does not confess it in front of his enemies out of fear that he may get martyred by them. However this is not the case with all creatures because if it is asked: Who is the Imam of Imamiyah sect? The answer would be so and so, the son of so and so. This is known to the entire Ummah. We talked only about whether he confesses it in front of his enemies or not. Hence we compared it with the example of Holy Prophet’s hiding in the cave. He was already appointed as prophet and had miracles with him. He had a new Shariah with him which abrogated all the previous Shariats.

It was proved that if he fears for his life then it is permissible for the Imam to deny his Imamate and not answer their questions. This act does not let him out of the confines of Imamate. There is no difference in the two cases. They may raise an objection saying: If you consider it permissible for an Imam to deny his caliphate in front of his enemies out of fear of his life then is it the same for a prophet also? The answer is: One of the sects is of the opinion that there is a difference between a prophet and an Imam. They say that a prophet preaches religion among the people of his own openly.

Hence, if he hides his prophethood and does dissimulation (Taqayyah), his prophethood is invalidated for there would be no one to take his place. The Holy Prophet has completed the argument for an Imam and made the issue of his Imamate clear. Now even if he keeps quiet or denies, he is an Imam. However, this is not the answer given by us. We say that the case of a prophet and Imam about dissimulation is same after he has already delivered the message of God and displayed his miracles but dissimulation is not possible before it. At the time of the treaty of Hudaybiya the Holy Prophet erased his name from the agreement when Sahl bin Amr and Hafs bin al-Ahnaf denied his prophethood.

The Holy Prophet asked Ali to erase his name and rewrite as Muhammad bin Abdullah. This did not affect his prophethood in any way because the prophethood was clearly proved through strong proofs before that. Similarly the Almighty Allah accepted the excuse of Ammar. The polytheists forced him to talk ill about the Holy Prophet or get killed. Ammar talked ill about the Holy Prophet in order to save his life. When he narrated this to the Holy Prophet, he replied: O Ammar! Indeed you have succeeded. Ammar said: O messenger of Allah! I have not succeeded because I talked ill about you. The Holy Prophet asked: Did you have complete faith on our religion at that time? He said: Yes, O messenger of Allah! Then, the Almighty Allah revealed the verse:

إِلَّا مَنْ أُكْرِهَ وَقَلْبُهُ مُطْمَئِنٌّ بِالْإِيمَانِ

Not he who is compelled while his heart is at rest on account of faith.64

It is against Shariah to permit an act at one place and to prohibit at another. If it is possible for an Imam to keep his Imamate secret then it is also permissible for him to keep his personality hidden till the situation demands. If he is permitted to remain in occultation for a day then it is also permissible for him to remain in occultation for a year, a hundred years or more till it is required for him according to divine wisdom for there is no power except Allah.

We say that whatever we get from Imam whether he is hidden or apparent is through the Holy Prophet as narrated in a tradition of our Imams:

It is narrated from Muhammad bin Musa bin Mutawakkil from Ali bin Ibrahim from his father from Abdus Salam bin Salih al-Harwi from Abul Hasan Ali bin Musa from his forefathers from Ali that the Holy Prophet (S) said:

“I swear by Him who appointed me to deliver the truth, certainly the Qaim from my progeny will remain hidden till the time people start asking, “What has Allah got to do with the progeny of Muhammad?” while others will doubt his existence. Therefore, whoever lives in his age should hold on tightly to his religion and not open doors for Shaitan because of doubts. Otherwise Shaitan will turn him away from the right path and deviate him from my religion as he got your father and mother removed from Paradise. Surely the Almighty Allah has made Shaitan the leader of those who do not have faith.

Objections of Ibne Bishar

Abul Hasan bin Ahmad bin Bishar has issued statements against Occultation and Abu Ja’far Muhammad bin Abdur Rahman bin Quraibah Razi has refuted them. Among Ali bin Ahmad bin Bishar’s statements regarding our belief in Occultation, is that he writes in his book: I say: That which all the people of falsehood claim, and they remain attached to it and are firm upon it, there are needless of proving his existence because he is himself present and his presence is proved.

And these people, that is our companions (Shias) are in need of the fact that the people of falsehood are needless of; for whom I am compelled to prove the obligation of obedience. Thus they are needful of that from which all the people of falsehood are needless and they have differed in another particular matter due to which they moved closer to falsehood. And in this way they became more debased in comparison to other people of falsehood because excess of falsehood brings decadence and more truthfulness bestows exaltation and all praise is for Allah the Lord of the worlds.

Then he said: And I will make such a statement in which you will find more justice from my side though it is not obligatory upon us. I say: It is absolutely clear and it is known that it is not necessary for every plaintiff and defendant to be on the right and all those who demand from the claimant to prove the veracity of his claim, are equitable. And this group has claimed that they are having a personality whose Imamate is proved to them clearly and people are obliged to submit to him and obey him.

And we accept the claim of this group and agree that we are wrong. Although it is very much impossible. But on the condition that they show to us the existence and person of the one whose Imamate they claim. In that case we would not even insist on them to prove their claim. Thus if in our statement there is something more than justice, we have fulfilled our promise. Thus if they are able to fulfill our demand they would have disproved our statement and if they failed to do so, it would clearly prove what we have stated about it; that they are more helpless to prove their claim than all others who fail to prove their claims.

And these people are distinguished among all kinds of false ones due to which they become the lowliest among the people of falsehood, because previously all the claimants of falsehood had the right to show the existence of that which they were claiming. While these people are helpless even in the matter in which the people of falsehood are competent. Except that we turn to what they say: The point is that through anything the Proof (Hujjat) of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime becomes obligatory, its existence is obligatory. Yes, its presence is more necessary than its mere existence. So in addition to making claim about it, you must also show us his existence.

And I was informed regarding Abu Ja’far bin Abu Ghanim who said in reply to the question: Now would you prove your claim that the existence of a person from this family is necessary? He said to him (Abu Ja’far): I told them: It is Ja’far.

What a strange thing! This person is trying to refute people through something from which he himself is not absolved. An elderly man lived in that area. He used to say: I call them ‘La badiya’. He means to imply that they do not have any refuge or a firm base, except that they may be forced to say that the existence of him is necessary although he does not exist at all. Thus he has named them as such. And we also called them same.

These people are different from all groups who bow down before someone due to helplessness. Among the idol worshippers there is a group called Buddhist, they also bowed before something that had existence even though they were people of falsehood. While these people became related to a non-entity which is absolutely non-existent and is completely false; and they really deserve to be called La badiya. That is they are helpless to bow before it, because anyone that is obeyed is in fact a deity. In this way our stand becomes clear that these people are peculiar with a particular type of falsehood from all the types. Due to which they are baser. Praise be to Allah.

Then he says: We end the book on the statement that: Our debate is with one who before this was in agreement with us that it is necessary that there should be an Imam from this family (Ahlul Bayt a.s.) through whom the Proof of Allah becomes obligatory on us and through whom the poverty and hunger of the people ends and those who are not in agreement with us in this matter are absolved from seeing our book even though we may demand him.

And we say to all those who are in agreement with us regarding this matter and who before us are inclined to reach an agreement on the point that not a room of any house is without it in which there is light. Then we entered that house and except for one room we did not find any other. On the basis of this, it became necessary and it was proved that there was a lamp in that house. And praise be to Allah the Lord of the worlds.

Abu Ja’far Muhammad bin Abdur Rahman bin Qubba Razi has replied to this. He has said (and the Taufeeq is from Allah): To practice excess in claim and to make allegation against the opponent is not among those things that prove a mater and if it had been like this, it would have ended the conflict between the warring sides and each party would have remained content by relying on ones own opinion about ones opponent.

While the fact is that conflict and difference of opinion among the people became the basis of debates and discussions and observing justice is that the best characteristic that the people of religion adopt and the statement of Abul Hasan is neither our refuge to which we refer nor is it a valid statement towards which we may be inclined nor is it a document of evidence and pillar due to which we may accept his statement to be a proof and take resort to it, because this claim of his is devoid of proof and evidence. And when a claim is lacking proof and evidence it is not acceptable to intelligent and sensible people. And we do not find ourselves incapable to say that: Yes, by the Grace of Allah we have that personality to whom we refer to and whose directions we follow, whose being the Divine Proof has been proved and arguments supporting this have become clear.

If they say: Tell us where he is? We will reply: How do you want us to show him to you? Do you want us to order him to ride a horse and come to you and present himself to you? Or you are demanding that we construct a house for him to move there; and then inform all the people of the east and the west about it? If you want this, we are not capable of it neither is it obligatory for him to do this. And if you say:

Then how do you consider his proof necessary on us and declare his Imamate to be obligatory on us? We shall say: We admit that it is necessary that there should be a man from the children of Abul Hasan Ali bin Muhammad Askari (a.s.) through whom the Proof of Allah may become obligatory on us. We have guided you towards him so that if you are inclined to justice and the very first thing that is obligatory on us is that we should not go beyond that which is agreed upon by thinking people and that which they have put into practice and it is their belief that whosoever opposes it, has abandoned the attitude of the scholars (Ulama).

And also we are not talking about a branch and secondary matter whose root is not firm and the personality whose existence you deny is proved after his father and you are the group who has no dispute with us regarding his father. Thus it is meaningless that you leave off contemplation about the right of Imamate of his father. Therefore if the right is proved for his father, in that case according to your own admission it would have been proved and if no right is proved for his father, the matter turns to your statement. And we would be on falsehood. And it is certain that there is increase in the strength of truth and falsehood goes on weakening even though the people of falsehood may present it in a nice way.

The proof for the validity of the matter of his father that we have consensus that it is necessary that there must be a son of Abul Hasan (a.s.) through which the Divine proof may be established and no excuse remains for the people and this man will necessarily be the Divine Proof on every Muslim even though he may be far away from them just as it is necessary for one who has seen him and met him. And we and most of the people are such that the Proof has become obvious for us without meeting him.

So we shall have to ponder that what is the cause and proof due to which the Proof has become incumbent on us? And then we shall have to see that apart from those two sons of Abul Hasan (Imam Ali Naqi), except whom there is no successor, who else is eligible for it. Thus whichever of them will be superior will be the Proof and the Imam and there is no need to prolong the matter. Then we shall think upon it on the basis of which evidence and cause does the proof become necessary on those who are away from the Prophet and the Imams.

Hence its necessity is proved from the established traditional reports that prove the necessity of Divine Proof and the number and condition of those reports that those who have related it are absolved from connivance on falsehood. And it exonerates them from the allegation that they have fabricated it. When we do further research we find that the narrators themselves are two groups. One of them was under the impression that the previous Imam has mentioned Nass for Hasan Askari (a.s.). That he pointed him out, made bequest about him and also mentioned some arguments due to the fact that he was the elder son. He also mentioned some signs. And we saw that the other group is saying the same things about Ja’far.

Now when we see we find that those who relate traditions about Ja’far are very few in number. And it is possible to say regarding a small group and few numbers that they have connived to fabricate traditions. They reached consensus about it and informed each other through correspondence. So the traditions related by them fell in the circle of doubt and did not reach to the level of evidence. And the Divine Proofs are not proved through suspicions. When we glanced on the traditions of the other faction we found that there were many groups who were separate from each other in different places.

Their aims are different, their views and opinions are diverse and it is not possible for them to fabricate lies because they are far away from each other and neither they have consensus of opinion nor do they keep in touch with each other through correspondence, nor do they gather at one place to fabricate traditions. Thus it shows that traditions related by them are correct and it is these people who are on the right because if we reject traditions narrated by them along with their qualities mentioned above, no report narrated on the earth can be correct. So think upon it. May Allah bestow you with good sense.

So, you see from these two groups the one you shall find to be on the right is the one that we have indicated. And the tendency of rejecting traditions is harmful for Islam while considering narrations to be correct will prove that our report is correct. And the evidence of the correctness of our statement is present in this. And praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.

And then you saw that they themselves have a dispute that on what basis the Imamate of Ja’far becomes obligatory. Thus one of their groups say that he is the Imam after his brother, Muhammad. And the other group says that he is the Imam after his brother, Hasan al-Askari. And we witnessed that each of those groups is resolute on its stand, whereas we have seen their predecessors and our elders narrating a tradition even before the occurrence of this event that prove the Imamate of Hasan al-Askari and it is the one quoted from Imam Abu Abdillah (Imam Sadiq) that he said:

When three names, that is Muhammad, Ali and Hasan come after one another, the fourth shall be the Qaim and this is among the traditional reports that prove the Imamate of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.). And except for Imam Hasan Askari and Ja’far there is no third person. Thus if during the lifetime of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) the proof is not established for Ja’far on those who have seen him, while the Imam is one for whom is established the proof on those who have seen him and on those who have not seen him. So it is learnt that Imamate is proved for Hasan al-Askari. Thus when Imamate has been proved for Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) and in your view Ja’far is one against whom aloofness is expressed and the Imam never expresses aloofness and immunity from another Imam. Now Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) has passed away, so on the basis of this it is agreed between you and us that it is necessary that there should be a man from the children of Hasan al-Askari (a.s.), through whom the Divine Proof may be established. Thus on the basis of this it is proved that there is a son of Hasan al-Askari (a.s.), who is the Qaim.

I say: O Aba Ja’far, may Allah make you successful, Abul Hasan Aghrallah says that Muhammad bin Abdur Rahman says that one whom we have raised the claim of, we have presented his existence to you. So where will you run? Do you admit being on the wrong as you have promised us or your selfish desire is preventing you from this? In that case you will be the implication of this statement of the Almighty Allah:

وَإِنَّ كَثِيرًا لَيُضِلُّونَ بِأَهْوَائِهِمْ بِغَيْرِ

…and most surely many would lead (people) astray by their low desires out of ignorance…65

It is very odd to name righteous people to be ‘La badiya’ on the basis of their statement that it is ‘La badiya’ or necessary that there should be someone through whom the Divine Proof may become necessary. Does Abul Hasan not himself say that his existence is necessary and ‘La badiya’ through whom the Divine Proof may become necessary? And why he should not have said it while he has mentioned it narrating through us: Yes, his presence is ‘La badiya’ and necessary; what to say about his existence? Thus if he admits this, he and his companions are also from ‘La badiya’ and in that case, he has given himself this title and revealed the deficiency of his co-religionists and if he does not admit this, no need remains to reply to the example he has given about the light in the room of a house.

And this same bad condition afflicts all those who harbor enmity with the divine saints. They end up making statements against themselves while they are under the impression that they are speaking against their opponents. And all the praise is for Allah Who supports truth through His proofs and signs and we call these people ‘Badiya’ because they are the slaves of ‘bad’ and they are bowing in front of one who neither hears nor sees anything and he does not make them needless of anything. And same is the condition of these people. And we say, O Abul Hasan may Allah guide you.

This one (Imam Zaman) is the proof of Allah on men and Jinns and whose being the proof of Allah on the creatures will not be proved except through the statements of the Messenger of Allah (S). He had concealed himself in the cave in such a way that except for five persons all those may not come to know about it on whom the Almighty Allah established His proof through him. If you raise the objection that this occultation is after an advent and it is after that there is a successor for him on his bed.

We shall reply that we are not proving the veracity of our claim through the fact of his advent or his appointing a successor for one who does not know what he is saying. Rather we say that does his being the proof not gets established during the time he is in occultation on the one who, due to some reason does not know his whereabouts? Here you will have to reply in proofs. So we shall say that we also prove that the Imam is the proof of Allah even though he may be in occultation due to some reason.

But what is the difference between the two? And this Imam also did not go into occultation till his father and forefathers did not repeatedly emphasize on their followers that occultation was imminent and they told their supporters how they should conduct themselves during his occultation, and what type of deeds they must perform. Thus if you speak about his birth we shall ask you to take into consideration the birth of Prophet Musa (a.s.).

Inspite of the severe steps Firon had taken to search for him and what all he did with the women and children, he survived till the Almighty Allah permitted him to reveal himself. And Imam Reza (a.s.) said in his description thus: May my parents be sacrificed on him; he resembles me and has the name as that of my venerable grandfather and he is also similar to Prophet Musa (a.s.).

We present another argument. O Abul Hasan, do you admit that Shias have narrated traditions about occultation? If he says: ‘No’, we shall present those traditions to him. If he says: ‘Yes’, we shall ask him: What would be the condition of the people when their Imam is in occultation? And how proof will be established on them during the occultation? If he says: ‘In that case he (the Imam) will appoint someone as his representative,’ we will say that it is agreed between us that only an Imam can be the representative of the Imam.

Thus when the representative is also an Imam, occultation is meaningless. And apart from this, if he presents some argument for this occultation it would be just like our proof and argument and there would be no difference in it. An argument which exposes the defect of Ja’far’s matter is his co-operation with Faris bin Hatim, may Allah curse him, and considering him pure whereas his own father had renounced him. This information spread in the town and even his opponents became aware of this matter, what to say of the friends?

Among the arguments against him is his seeking help from some people to obtain inheritance from the mother of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.), whereas there is consensus among the Shias that his forefathers had unanimity on the point that when the mother is alive, the brother has no right to get inheritance. And among the arguments that expose the shortcoming of this matter is his claim that he was an Imam after his brother, Muhammad.

If only we could know how Imamate of his brother is proved, when he had died during the lifetime of his venerable father? So how can be proved the Imamate of the Caliph of this person? And how odd that Muhammad should appoint his successor and Imam after him, while his father is yet alive and established! And if he himself is the proof of Allah and the Imam what is the role of his father? And since when such types of narrational reports have gained currency among the Imams and their descendants; that we should be obliged to accept your claim? So please tell us on what basis is the Imamate of Muhammad proved so that the Imamate of his successor may also be proved for us. And the praise is for the Almighty Allah Who made the truth strong and falsehood weak.

And whatever is narrated from Ibne Abi Ghanim (may Allah have mercy on him), his statements do not prove the Imamate of Ja’far in our view, he only meant to say that all the people of this family have not died that we cannot find a person from them.

However, as for his saying that all those who are obeyed are deities; it is a very serious mistake because we do not regard anyone as a deity except for the Almighty Allah whereas we obey the Messenger of Allah (S) but do not worship him. But he says: We end this book on the statement that we argue with and we address those who are agree with us that the existence of one person from this family is necessary through whom the proof of Allah may become obligatory. And it is also correct that there is only one lamp in this room and there is no need for us to enter it. May Allah give you good sense.

We do not oppose this and it is necessary that there must be a standing Imam from this family so that the proof of Allah becomes obligatory through him, rather our objection and our opposition is regarding the manner in which that Imam will be established and how he would reappear, and how he would disappear.

And the example he gave about the room and the light, was only a failed hope and it is said that hope and aspiration is the property of the destitute. Now we present an example based on facts, in which neither shall we pressurize any of our opponents, nor be unreasonable to any of the enemies. Rather our aim in this shall be only to reach the truth. Therefore we say that we and our opponents are unanimous on the point that so and so died leaving behind two sons, and he had only one house.

Now just suppose that the one who is eligible to inherit the house would be the one who can lift one thousand ratal weight with one hand. And that the house shall remain in the possession of only his descendants who can lift this weight. And suppose that we also know that one of them would be capable of lifting the weight and the other would not be able to. Then we needed to know which of the two lifted the weight. To find out this we moved to their place but someone hindered us from seeing the two of them but we saw a huge group of people living in various far off places and they testify that the elder of the two sons lifted the weight.

On the other hand we saw a small group of people who had gathered at one place and they began to testify that the younger son performed that task. In addition to this, the said group did not have any other particular argument to support their contention. In these circumstances, reason dictates as such and the normal course of action that is proved through experience is that we do not reject the testimony of the larger group and accept the claims of the smaller batch. Moreover, the smaller group will be blamed to have forged lies and the bigger group would be clear of this blame.

If our opponents ask our opinion regarding the testimony of Salman, Abu Zar, Ammar and Miqdad in favor of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) on one hand and the testimony of a large number of people in favor of another person. Which of the two were true?

We shall say that Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and his companions in comparison to their opponents were possessing some special characteristics and those merits were peculiar to them only. If you can prove that you also have those characteristics we would admit that you are true to your claim. The first point is that even his enemies admitted his superiority, purity and knowledge. It is mentioned in the traditions of the Prophet that he said: The Almighty Allah loves those who love him (Ali) and He is inimical to those who are inimical to him. On the basis of this, it is not allowed to follow anyone except him. And the second specialty is that his enemies did not claim that the Holy Prophet (S) had specified the other person to be Imam or made his proof on the people.

Instead, as you also know, those people selected him for themselves on the justification that they were empowered to do so. And the third specialty is that his enemies used to testify regarding a companion of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) that he never lied because the Prophet had himself said: There is no one between the sky and the earth more truthful than Abu Zar. On the basis of this, the testimony of Abu Zar alone is weightier than all of those people put together. The fourth specialty is that his enemies have narrated the same traditions that their friends have and through which the proof is established. But they have turned away from it due to wrong interpretation.

And the fifth specialty is that his enemies have narrated the tradition that Hasan and Husain (a.s.) are the chiefs of the youths of Paradise and also quoted that he said: One who knowingly fabricates my sayings, makes Hellfire his abode. Thus when these two testified in favor of their venerable father, and it is also true that according to the testimony of the Holy Prophet (S) they are folks of Paradise, to consider them truthful became obligatory, because if they are untruthful in this they shall not be among the folks of Paradise, and instead shall be folks of Hell and those two personalities are purified from this.

They are pure, chaste and truthful. Now the followers of Ja’far Kazzab should mention some of his specialties that are not present in their opponents so that their claim may be accepted. Without this it is meaningless to reject a widely narrated tradition (Mutawatir), which is free of any defect in both, the text and reporters. Neither is it worth accepting a tradition whose narrators are not free from the accusation of having connived on falsehood. Whereas they do not even have any such specialty through which their claim could be proved. And such an action is committed only by a confused and deviated person. So please think upon it! May Allah give you righteousness.

Whatever I have written about you and regarding which an intelligent person ponders about his religion, and he thinks upon the Judgment Day fearing the consequences of infidelity and denial. Be suitable, Insha Allah, may the Almighty Allah give you a long life and bestow you strength and support and may He make you steadfast make you righteous. And may He guide you towards Himself. May He not make you of those whose efforts in the world are wasted, while they were under the impression that it was good. And may He also not make you of those, whom the Satan deviates through deceit and fraud.

And some Imamites have written a letter to Abu Ja’far bin Qubba in which they ask him a few questions. He replied as follows: But your statement, may Allah support you, which you are narrating from the Motazela that they think that the Imamites are under the impression that Nass about an Imam is necessary from the logical point of view, there are two possibilities in this. If they take it to be logically obligatory before the arrival of the prophets and religious codes of law, it is wrong. But if they take that human intellects guides to the fact that after the arrival of the prophets there is necessity of Imam, they came to know through faith and logical arguments that and they have understood through this tradition narrated from this personality in whose Imamate they believe.

And the statement of the Motazela that: We came to know with certainty that Hasan bin Ali (a.s.) passed away without stating the Nass of Imamate in favor of any person. So their statement is a claim that shall be opposed and they shall be needful that they must prove the veracity of their claim. What is that point which gives them precedence in their claim from their opponents that they have certainty in something which exactly opposed to their claim?

And among the arguments is one which is about the Nass on the proof of the Imamate of Hasan bin Ali (a.s.) and among the traditions of Shias quoted from those truthful personalities is that an Imam does not die without having clearly indicated the Imamate of another person after himself. As the Holy Prophet (S) has said that since people in every age are needful of only one personality whose statements and reports are not contradicting and refuting each other.

Like the traditions that our opponents possess are contradictory and refuting each other. And an Imam should be such that if he orders something it should be complied with and there should be none superior to them. He should neither forget nor commit mistakes, and he should possess knowledge that he can teach people about which they are ignorant. He should be equitable and judge with truth and justice. And if one is having such traits, the Almighty Allah would issue Nass about him by the tongue of one through whom He completes His argument while in his apparent creation there is nothing that proves his infallibility.

If Motazela object that these are your claims that you shall have to prove through evidences, we shall say that indeed arguments are necessary to prove the veracity of our statements. You have asked us about a secondary matter and no indication is found on the correctness of the secondary matter except that its root should be proved correct. The arguments in favor of the rightfulness of our principles are present in our books and by way of example we can ask that if a person demands proofs for the correctness of the Shariah, do we need to first prove the correctness of divine revelation, rightfulness of the prophethood of the Holy Prophet (S) and the correctness of his legislations on the basis of this Shariat? Before that we would have to prove that Allah, the Mighty and Sublime is one and He is the Knower of exigencies and after that we would have to prove the incidentally of the universe.

He has asked us exactly the same question. And when I contemplated on the aim of that question, I realized that their aim is absolutely foolish, and they say that if Hasan bin Ali (a.s.) has issued Nass about the one in whom you believe, the matter of occultation would be proved invalid.

The reply is that occultation certainly does not mean inexistence. Sometimes a man goes to a land where is well-known and people observe him; at the same time he has disappeared from other places. In this way sometimes a person disappears from the view of some people but he is not unseen by others. And sometimes he is concealed from his enemies and not from his friends. So it is said that he has disappeared.

With regard to Imam Mahdi (a.s.) his being hidden implies that he is (only) hidden from his enemies and those of his friends who are not capable to keep his secret; and also that like his purified ancestors, he is not apparent to the people and his friends. Inspite of that they narrate his presence and his dos and don’ts and in our view they are such that their narration establishes the proof.

While their abundant numbers, the variation of their aims and the necessity of accepting their reports removes every excuse. Such people have narrated about him the same things as they have narrated about the Imamate of his purified ancestors, even though their opponents have opposed them in this matter in the same way as the statements of Muslims regarding the Holy Prophet (S) prove the signs of his prophethood except Quran, even though the enemies, People of the Book, Magians, heretics and atheists may oppose them and deny his signs. And this matter is not such that it should be difficult for you to understand and I am aware of your intelligence.

As for their question that when he would reappear how would it be known that he is the same Muhammad bin al-Hasan bin Ali (a.s.)? The reply is that this matter shall be possible through the statements of his friends by whose statements the proof is established in the same way as his Imamate is proved to us through their statements.

Another reply is that it is also possible that he may display a miracle which proves that he is the same person and it is this second reply on which we depend and present it as a rebuttal to our opponents even though the first reply is also correct. As for the question of Motazela that why Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.) did not show a miracle and established his claim on the day of Shura? In reply we say that prophets and divine proofs only display those miracles that are in compliance to the command of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime and that which the Almighty Allah considers to be to the interest of the people.

Thus if his proof can be established through the sayings of the Holy Prophet (S) and divine texts, in that case he does not need to show a miracle. Though if someone says that indeed in those circumstances it would have been better to have shown a miracle, we shall ask what is the argument of the correctness of your position? It is also possible that the opponent may reject that also and it is also possible that after seeing a miracle at his hand they might have gone deeper into disbelief, and would have alleged that he is a magician. And when this is possible, it is not proved that it would have been better if he had shown a miracle at that time.

If Motazela say that on what basis do you think it is better for the one, who is Imam to show a miracle to prove that he is Hasan Ibne Ali (a.s.)? We shall tell them that we are nor certain that it is necessary to show a miracle under such circumstances, we only think that it may probably be as such. Except that apart from miracle no other evidence is available, in that case it is inevitable to establish the proof. And when it is inevitable, it is learnt that it is obligatory and when it is learnt that it is obligatory, it is learnt that it is due to divine exigency and not due to deficiency.

And we know that sometimes prophets showed miracles and sometimes they did not. They did not show a miracle on any day any time to anyone so that he may accept Islam. They showed it sometimes and sometimes they did not for the reason known best to Allah, the Mighty and Sublime. And Allah, the Mighty and Sublime has mentioned about the polytheists that they asked the Messenger of Allah (S) to fly up to the sky and break up the sky into pieces throwing it upon them, or that he reveal a book to them that they may read etc. as mentioned in the verses. But the Holy Prophet (S) did not do such things.

They told him to bring back to life Qusayy bin Kilab and to take away the Tahama Mountains from their city. But the Messenger of Allah (S) did not oblige them. Though he showed other miracles to the people. It is just as Motazela have asked. So they shall be told that as they have said to us that we have presented the clearest arguments and proofs regarding which help is taken from repetition of miracles and excess of arguments.

As for the statement of Motazela that in this argument help is taken in which there is possibility of interpretation. It will be said that in our view, the argument which is established for the people of Shura is only on the basis of the Nass received from the Holy Prophet (S). Because these leaders were not such that they were unaware of the facts and we cannot put them with others (like Tabiin) in a single row.

Now we turn the same query to Motazela that why Allah, the Mighty and Sublime did not send more prophets than the ones He sent? And why did not He send one or more than one prophet to each village till the time Qiyamat occurs. And why did not He clarify the meaning of Quran so that no doubter doubt it and they say that He left it in such a way that scope remained of interpretation in it. And these are such matters that they are obliged to explain.

End of the discourse of Ibne Ja’far bin Qubba (r.a.).

Statement of a Mashayakh in refutation of the Zaidiyyah Sect

Apart from him, one of the great scholastic theologians of the Imamiyah sect has said: Most of our opponents ask us regarding such matters on this subject whereas they should know that to believe in the occultation of the Imam of the Age is based on the fact that we should first believe in the Imamate of his purified ancestors. And to believe in the Imamate of his purified ancestors based on the fact that we testify to the prophethood of Prophet Muhammad (S) and accept his Imamate and leadership, because right from the beginning it is a related matter not a pure academic subject. Discussion in religious topics should be based on Quran and traditions as Allah, the Mighty and Sublime says:

تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ

…then if you quarrel about anything, refer it to Allah and the Apostle…66

Thus when Quran, traditions and logical arguments prove the correctness of a matter, our stand shall be most preferable. And we say that all the groups of Zaidiyyah and Imamiyah are unanimous that the Messenger of Allah (S) said: “Indeed, I leave behind among you two weighty things; one is the Book of Allah and the other is my progeny, my Ahlul Bayt, and these two shall be my successors after me. And the two shall not separate from each other till they arrive to me at the Kauthar Pool.”

This tradition is accepted as authentic by the both sects. On the basis of this it is necessary that along with Quran there should be a person from Progeny possessing perfect knowledge about the revelation and interpretation of Quran, and who informs the people about what Allah, the Mighty and Sublime implies. While the Messenger of Allah (S) used to inform the people about its meanings and interpretation. And his Marefat (divine recognition) should not be such that he should interpret Quran through corollaries and deductions, just as the Marefat of the Holy Prophet (S) was neither based on corollaries nor on deductions. Nor was it on the basis of the principles of language or the way people speak among themselves.

He used to inform about the divine implication in such a way that as soon as he said something it became a proved matter for the people. In the same way it is necessary that the Prophet’s Progeny should have perfect recognition of Quran and insight. Allah, the Mighty and Sublime says describing the qualities of the Messenger of Allah (S) thus:

قُلْ هَٰذِهِ سَبِيلِي أَدْعُو إِلَى اللَّهِ ۚ عَلَىٰ بَصِيرَةٍ أَنَا وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِي

Say: This is my way: I call to Allah, I and those who follow me being certain…67

Thus his followers are from his family and his progeny and they are same and they shall explain the Book of Allah through their perfect knowledge and insight. And when the interpreter of Allah’s commands is not apparently visible, it would become obligatory on us that we should believe that there is always a person from the progeny of the Holy Prophet (S) who possesses all the knowledge of meanings and interpretations of Quran, because the Prophet’s tradition mentions that it is imminent.

Imamiyah scholars have said: Allah, the Mighty and Sublime said:

ذُرِّيَّةً بَعْضُهَا مِنْ بَعْضٍ ۗ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

Surely Allah chose Adam and Nuh and the descendants of Ibrahim and the descendants of Imran above the nations. Offspring, one of the other…68

Thus in this verse, on the basis of generality it becomes necessary that from the progeny of Ibrahim (a.s.) till now and forever there will always be a chosen one. It is so because Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, in His Book, has divided the people into two groups. One is the group of prophets, messengers and caliphs and the other comprises of those whom the Almighty Allah has commanded us to follow. Therefore till the time there exist people on the earth who need guidance and directions there has to be a chosen person from the progeny of Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.). And it is also necessary that some descendants of Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.) be preferred over others as Allah, the Mighty and Sublime says:

ذُرِّيَّة ًبَعْضُهَ امِ نبَعْضٍ

Offspring, one of the other…

Moreover it is an established fact that the Messenger of Allah (S), Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and Hasan and Husain (a.s.) were the preferred ones from the progeny of Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.). On the basis of this verse after Husain (a.s.), it is necessary that the chosen ones should be from his descendants. And if they are not from his descendants the words of “Offspring, one of the other…” will not be proved true. And also that he should not be from their womb. Also that the Imamate was transferred from Imam Hasan (a.s.) to his brother Imam Husain (a.s.). Therefore it is necessary that his successor should only be from his descendants. This is the actual implication of this verse:

ذُرِّيَّةً بَعْضُهَا مِنْ بَعْضٍ ۗ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

Offspring, one of the other; and Allah is Hearing, Knowing.69

So this verse implies that which is stated in the Sunnah and traditions.

Argument for an Imam in occultation who will reappear and fill the earth with justice and equity

Some Imamiyah scholars have said: It is necessary for us and for all those who believe in Allah, His Messenger, Quran and all the prophets preceding the Messenger of Allah (S), to ponder upon the past nations and previous centuries. When we think upon it we find that the circumstances of prophets and past nations resemble our times and Ummah. And the cause of the resemblance is that the glory and strength of every religion during the time of their prophets was dependant upon the fact that whenever those nations adopted belief in those prophets, and during his tenure the number of followers increased. Thus there was no nation which preceded this Ummah in obedience of their prophet. Although after the position of the prophet of this nation was established. Before our Prophet Muhammad (S) all prophets who commanded a central position were Nuh, Ibrahim, Musa and Isa (a.s.) and their heritage and reports are in possession of the people. And we saw the condition of those nations that there developed sloth in the people who were attached to these religions and they abandoned many things that they should have followed sincerely and which had become obligatory on them during the lifetime of their prophets as well as after their passing away. Therefore Allah, the Mighty and Sublime says:

قَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولُنَا يُبَيِّنُ لَكُمْ كَثِيرًا مِمَّا كُنْتُمْ تُخْفُونَ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ وَيَعْفُو عَنْ كَثِيرٍ

Indeed Our Apostle has come to you making clear to you much of what you concealed of the Book and passing over much…70

Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, has described the condition of those as follows:

فَخَلَفَ مِنْ بَعْدِهِمْ خَلْفٌ أَضَاعُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَاتَّبَعُوا الشَّهَوَاتِ ۖ فَسَوْفَ يَلْقَوْنَ غَيًّا

But there came after them an evil generation, who neglected prayers and followed sensual desires, so they will meet perdition.71

While regarding this Ummah Allah, the Mighty and Sublime says:

وَلَا يَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ مِنْ قَبْلُ فَطَالَ عَلَيْهِمُ الْأَمَدُ فَقَسَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ

And (that) they should not be like those who were given the Book before, but the time became prolonged to them, so their hearts hardened.72

Also it is mentioned in traditions that: “Indeed, there will come such a time on the people in which except for its name nothing shall remain from Islam among them and nothing shall remain of Quran except for its name and calligraphy.” The Messenger of Allah (S) also said: “Islam certainly began strange and it will revert to being strange. Thus blessed be the strange ones.”

The Almighty Allah used to send a messenger to those nations in every age in order to revive whatever had perished from the laws and customs of religion and the whole community is unanimous on this except for a group whose opposition is not worth paying attention to and logical arguments have also proved that Allah, the Mighty and Sublime ended the series of prophets and messengers with His Eminence, Muhammad Mustafa (S), therefore there will be no prophet after him.

And we noted the condition of this Ummah that they want falsehood to gain precedence over truth and deviation to be dominated over rightfulness. So much so that many people began to think that the present age is the age of infidelity and not that of Islam. After that the circumstances that befell Imamate did not befall any of the principles of Islam. Because this Ummah began to say: After the martyrdom of Imam Husain (a.s.) no just Imam came to lead them neither from Bani Umayyah nor from Bani Abbas whose laws may be enforceable on the majority of the people. And we, Zaidiyyah, common Motazela and majority of Muslims say that: Indeed, none can be Imam except one whose outward appearance is an expression of justice and equity.

And the condition of the Ummah was such that it had been a toy in the hands of oppressive and tyrannical people who issued their own laws regarding the lives and property of people, which were opposed to divine laws and in this way evil and corrupted people became dominant over the righteous and unity of the people disappeared. Then we saw that different groups among the Ummah began to accuse each other of infidelity and declared aloofness from each other.

When we contemplated on the traditions of the Prophet we saw that they also mentioned that the earth would be filled with justice and equity as it was fraught with injustice and oppression. And this will take place through a man from the Prophet’s progeny. Thus this tradition indicates that apocalypse shall come to this Ummah till the earth is not filled with justice and equity.

It is because for this religion in which abrogation and change is not possible, there would be a helper whom Allah, the Mighty and Sublime shall support just as He had supported the prophets when He sent them to renew the Shariats and to remove the atrocities of oppressors. On the basis of this there should be proofs for the fulfillment of this gigantic task. We obtained knowledge about different sayings of the Ummah and studied the conditions of all the sects and reached to the conclusion that truth is in favor of the followers of the Twelve Imams (a.s.) and not in support of other sects.

It was also learnt that the Imam of this age is the twelfth of them and he is the one about whom the Holy Prophet (S) has informed and issued the textual certificate (Nass). And very soon, if Allah wills, we will quote the traditions of the Messenger of Allah (S) that are recorded, with regard to their number, that they are twelve in all, and that the twelfth of them shall be the Qaim. Also traditions regarding his occultation before his reappearance and armed uprising.

First objection of Zaidiyyah sect

Some Zaidiyyah say: Traditions that specify the number of Imams to be twelve have been fabricated by the Imamiyah sect sometime ago.

We say: Good sense (Taufeeq) is only from Allah. Indeed there are a large number of traditions on this subject and in this regard we rely on the narrators of the tradition and indeed the tradition narrators from our opponents have also reported the tradition to the level of usefulness. Among the traditions of Abdullah bin Masud that is narrated to us from Ahmad bin al-Hasan al-Qattan known as Abi Ali bin Abde Rabb ar-Razi and he is a noted tradition scholar he says: Narrated to me Abu Yazid Muhammad bin Yahya bin Khalaf bin Yazid al-Maruzi in the city of Rayy in 302 A.H. in the months of Rabi I from Ishaq bin Ibrahim Hanzali who was there in 238 A.H. and was known as Ishaq bin Rahuya from Yahya bin Yahya from Hisham from Mujalid from Shobi from Masrooq that he said: One day we were in the company of Abdullah bin Masud to get our copies of Quran checked by him so that they were free of errors. A young man asked: Has your Prophet told you about the number of his successors? He replied: You are very young and it is something that no one has asked me before. Now I will tell you about it. Yes, our Prophet informed us that indeed there would twelve successors after him and it would be equal to the number of the chiefs of Bani Israel.

We have mentioned some chains of narrators of this tradition in this book of ours and some others are mentioned in our another book, An-Nass Alaal Aaimmatul Ithna Ashar (a.s.) bil Imamiyah. In this way, from our opponents some have narrated the traditions of reappearance to the level of usefulness. Among these is the report of Jabir bin Samura that Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Ishaq ad-Dinawar, a tradition scholar, has narrated. He says: Narrated to me Abu Bakr bin Abi Dawood from Ishaq bin Ibrahim bin Shazan from Walid bin Hisham from Muhammad bin Zukwan from his father from his father from Ibne Sirreen from Jabir bin Samura as-Sawai that he said: We were in the company of the Messenger of Allah (S) when he said: There are twelve leaders for this Ummah. Samura said: A clamor arose so I couldn’t hear what else the Prophet said. So I asked my father who was nearer to the Prophet, what he had said. My father said: He said: All of them shall be from Quraish, such that their like is not seen.

I have also mentioned the various chains of reporters of this tradition. Some versions say: There will be twelve Amirs (chiefs) and some say: There will be twelve successors. Thus it proves that traditions in Imamiyah books regarding the twelve Imams are authentic.

Zaidiyyah say: If the Holy Prophet (S) has introduced the names of twelve Imams to his Ummah, why it has moved away from it and gone hither tither and become highly deviated? We reply that: You say that the Holy Prophet (S) appointed Ali as his successor and Imam after himself. He issued Nass for him and indicated him clearly as there remains no doubt about it. Then what happened to this Ummah that it turned away from Ali and abandoned him completely, such that he went away from Medina to Yanba73 and whatever befell him is known to all.

And if you say that the Holy Prophet (S) did not appoint Ali as his successor, we shall ask why have you mentioned it in your books, and why are you talking about it? People turn away from the truth if it might be absolutely clear and reject a matter even if it is explained in detail. Such as the people move from belief in monotheism to apostasy and inspite of Allah’s statement that: “There is nothing like Him”, they start believing in comparison.

Second objection of Zaidiyyah sect

And among the arguments that falsify the Zaidiyyah claim is that they are under the impression that Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) issued Nass in favor of Ismail and when he (Ismail) was alive, indicated that he is Imam. Later on Ismail passed away during the lifetime of his father. So they said: The Almighty Allah did not effect change (Bada) in anything like He did regarding my son, Ismail. So if the tradition of twelve Imams had been correct, at least Ja’far bin Muhammad must have been aware of it, and he would have told his selected followers so that neither they err nor other people commit such a blunder.

In reply we asked them: On what basis do you say that Ja’far bin Muhammad had issued Nass on the Imamate of Ismail? What type of a report is it, who has narrated it and who has accepted it? They had no replies to offer. It was only a story concocted by those who believe in the Imamate of Ismail. It has no basis, because the traditions regarding the Twelve Imams are narrated by the Shias as well as the Sunnis from the Imams and the Prophet.

Whatever has been recorded from them on this is mentioned in this book. As for his statement that: ‘The Almighty Allah did not effect change (Bada) in anything like He did regarding my son, Ismail.’ What the Imam means to say is that: ‘No divine matter became known to me as was in the case of my son, Ismail; that he died during my lifetime so that it is known that he is not an Imam after me. And on the basis of our belief, if one believes that today Allah, the Mighty and Sublime comes to know something He was unaware of the day before, such a person will be a disbeliever and it would be obligatory to keep aloof from such a person as is narrated from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.).

Narrated to us my father, from Muhammad bin Yahya al-Attar from Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Yahya bin Imran Ashari that he said: narrated to us Abu Abdillah ar-Razi from Hasan bin al-Husain Lulu from Muhammad bin Sinan from Ammar from Abi Baseer and Sama-a from Abu Abdillah, Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that he said:

“It is obligatory to declare immunity from one who thinks that something may be exposed to Allah today which He was ignorant about yesterday.”

However the Bada in which the Imamiyah sect believes is that Allah’s affair which was concealed from us is now revealed. The Arabs say: ‘Badaa li Shakhsun’, meaning: A person became visible to me. Or ‘Laa Badaa Nidamah’, meaning: He showed no remorse. Whereas the Almighty Allah is much above this.

And how is it possible that Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) should announce Ismail’s Imamate when the Imam himself used to say that: “He (Ismail) is sinful, neither he resembles me nor any of my purified forefathers.”

Narrated to us Muhammad bin Musa bin al-Mutawakkil that he said: narrated to us Muhammad bin Yahya al-Attar from Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Yahya bin Imran Ashari from Yaqoob bin Yazid from Muhammad bin Abi Umair from Hasan bin Rashid that he said:

I inquired from Aba Abdillah, Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) regarding Ismail. He said: “He is sinful, neither he resembles me nor any of my purified forefathers.”

Narrated to us Hasan bin Ahmad bin Idrees that: narrated to us my father narrating from Muhammad bin Ahmad from Yaqoob bin Yazid and Barqi from Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Abi Nasr from Hammad from Ubaid bin Zurarah that he said:

I mentioned Ismail in the presence of Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.). He said: “By Allah, neither he resembles me nor any of my purified forefathers.”

Narrated to us Muhammad bin Hasan bin Ahmad bin al-Walid that: Narrated to us Saad bin Abdullah narrating from Muhammad bin Abdul Jabbar from Ibne Abi Najran from Husain bin Mukhtar from Walid bin Sabih that he said:

A man came to me and said: Come with me, so that I may show you the son of the man (Imam). He says: I went along with him and we came to a group of people who were drinking wine and Ismail bin Ja’far was also among them. He says: I came out shocked and went to Hajar al-Aswad. In the meantime I saw Ismail bin Ja’far clinging to the Holy Kaaba and the covering of the Kaaba was wet with his tears.

He says: When I came out of there I saw Ismail in that same group which was drinking wine. Again I returned to Kaaba and saw Ismail clinging to the Kaaba covering and the curtain was wet with his tears. He says that when he related this incident to Abu Abdillah Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) he said: Indeed such a satan has come upon my son who assumed his form.

And it is narrated that the Satan can in no case assume the form of a prophet or a successor of a prophet. Then how is it possible that the Imam should have indicated Ismail to be an Imam while having issued such a right statement about him?

Third objection of Zaidiyyah sect

Zaidiyyah say: Through which argument do you reject the Imamate of Ismail and what evidence and proof you have against the Ismailia sect which follows this belief?

We shall reply: We reject the claim of his Imamate, that we have mentioned and through the traditions that have come as indicative text (Nass) for the Twelve Holy Imams (a.s.); and through the traditions that prove Ismail’s death during the lifetime of his father.

We have mentioned the narrated reports that have been recorded as indicative texts for the Twelve Holy Imams (a.s.) in this book. Among the reports that prove his death during the lifetime of his father is one that was related to me by my father, who says: Narrated to us Saad bin Abdullah from Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Isa from Hasan bin Saeed from Fuzala bin Ayyub and Hasan bin Ali Fuzzal from Yunus bin Yaqoob from Saeed bin Abdullah Al-Araaj who said: Abu Abdillah Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) said: When Ismail died I ordered that the cloth should be removed from his face.

Then I kissed his forehead, chin and upper breast. After that I ordered him to be covered with cloth again. Then I said: Uncover his face. And again I kissed his forehead, chin and upper breast. Then I again ordered him to be covered. Then I ordered and he was given the funeral bath. I came to his corpse when he had been shrouded and said: Uncover his face. And again I kissed his forehead, chin and upper part of breast.

The author of this book says: Many points can be derived from this narration. One is that it is lawful to kiss the forehead, chin and upper part of breast of the corpse before and after it is given the funeral bath. Except for the fact that one that has touched a corpse before it is given funeral bath while the body is still is warm is not obliged to perform the ritual bath for touching a dead body, but if he has touched the dead after it has gone cold, the ritual bath for touching a dead body is obligatory on him.

And if one has touched a dead body after it has been give the funeral bath no ritual bath is obligatory. Thus if this narration has mentioned that Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) performed the ritual bath after that or not we would have learnt whether he touched it before it was given the ritual bath, while it was still warm or he touched it after it had gone cold.

Another point derived from this narration is that the Imam (a.s.) said: ‘I ordered that the funeral bath be given to him’ and he did not say: ‘I gave him the funeral bath myself’. And this tradition also mentions that which disproves the Imamate of Ismail. None other than Imam can give a funeral bath to an Imam, in his presence.

Narrated to us Muhammad bin Hasan bin Ahmad bin Walid, who said: narrated to us Muhammad bin Hasan Saffar narrating from Ayyub bin Nuh and Yaqoob bin Yazid from Ibne Abi Umair from Muhammad bin Shuaib from Abi Kahmas that he said:

I was present at the time of Ismail’s death, while Abu Abdillah Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) was sitting near him. When he died, Imam (a.s.) tied up his jaws and covered his face with a piece of cloth. Then he ordered that he should be given the funeral bath and shrouded. After this was accomplished he called for his shroud cloth and wrote on its periphery: Ismail testifies that there is no god except Allah.

Narrated to us my father who said: Narrated to us Abdullah bin Ja’far Himyari quoting from Ibrahim bin Mahziyar from his brother, Ali bin Mahziyar from Muhammad bin Abi Hamza from Marrah the slave of Muhammad bin Khalid that he said:

“When Ismail passed away, Abu Abdillah (Imam Ja’far Sadiq) came upto the grave and squatted on side of it and did not descend into the grave. Then he said: It was the same that the Messenger of Allah (S) had done when his son, Ibrahim had died.”

Narrated to us Muhammad bin Hasan who says: narrated to us Husain bin Hasan bin Aban quoting from Husain bin Saeed from Qasim bin Muhammad from Husain bin Umar from a man of Bani Hashim that he said:

“When Ismail passed away, Abu Abdillah Imam Sadiq (a.s.) came with us and began to walk barefooted and with a cloak ahead of the bier.”

Narrated to us my father who said: Narrated to us Saad bin Abdullah from Ibrahim bin Mahziyar from his brother Ali bin Mahziyar from Hammad bin Isa from Jurair from Ismail bin Jabir and Arqat, the cousin of Abu Abdillah (Imam Ja’far Sadiq) that:

Abu Abdillah Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) was with Ismail at the time of his death. When Arqat saw his restlessness he said: O Aba Abdillah, indeed, the Messenger of Allah (S) has passed away from the world. He (the narrator) says: The Imam stopped being restless and then said: “You said the right thing and I thank you this day.”

Narrated to us Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Yahya Attar: Narrated to us Saad bin Abdullah quoting from Ibrahim bin Hashim and Muhammad bin Husain bin Abi Khattab from Anr bin Uthman Thaqafi from Abi Kahmas that he said:

“I was present at the time of the death of Ismail bin Abu Abdillah (Imam Ja’far Sadiq a.s.). At that time I saw that Abu Abdillah (Imam Ja’far Sadiq a.s.) prostrated and remained in that position for a long time. After that he raised his head and continued to stare at his face for some time. The narrator says that after that again he prostrated and remained in that position for a longer time. Then he raised his head, and at time Ismail had died.

The Imam closed the eyelids, tied up fast both the jaws and covered the face with a piece of cloth. After that he stood up and I saw such an expression on his face that only Allah knew what it was. The narrator says: Then the Imam arose and went to his quarters, remained there for sometime and then returned to us with the hair oiled and having applied antimony (Surma) to his eyes. He had also changed his clothes and did not have the expression he had at the time of entering his quarters. Then he began to issue instructions about the funeral procedures. Finally he called for the shroud cloth and when it was brought to him, he wrote on its edge: Ismail testifies that there is no god except Allah.

Narrated to us my father from Saad bin Abdullah quoting from Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Isa from Muhammad bin Ismail bin Bazi from Abul Hasan Zareef bin Naseh from Hasan Ibne Zaid that he said:

When a daughter of Abu Abdillah (a.s.) died, he mourned for her a whole year. After that another son died and he mourned him also for a whole year. Then Ismail died; and the Imam was extremely aggrieved for sometime but stopped mourning after that. The narrator says: Abu Abdillah (a.s.) was asked: “May Allah bless you, does your family mourn and lament in this way?” He replied: “When Hamza passed away the Messenger of Allah (S) said: Hamza must be mourned because there is no one to weep on him.”

Narrated to us Muhammad bin Hasan from Hasan bin Matteel Waqqaq (flour seller) who said: Narrated to us Yaqoob bin Yazid from Hasan bin Ali bin Fuzzal from Muhammad bin Abdullah Kufi that he said:

“When Ismail bin Abu Abdillah (Imam Ja’far Sadiq a.s.) died, Abu Abdillah was extremely disturbed and aggrieved.” The narrator says: “After having closed his eyelids he called for a shirt that was washed clean or absolutely new. He wore it and emerged from his room to issue directions regarding the funeral procedure.” The narrator says: “Some of the Imam’s companions asked him: ‘May we get sacrificed on you, when we saw your restlessness and grief we thought that we would not be able to speak to you for a long time as you would be in mourning.’ He replied: ‘We Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) are such that we express sorrow and restlessness till the time the tragedy befalls, when it does, we observe patience.’”

Narrated to us Ali bin Ahmad bin Muhammad Waqqaq: Narrated to us Muhammad bin Abdullah Kufi that he said: Narrated to us Muhammad bin Ismail Barmaki from Husain bin Haitham from Abbad bin Yaqoob Asadi from Anba bin Bajjad Abid that he said:

“When Ismail bin Ja’far bin Muhammad died and we finished his funeral ceremonies, Imam Sadiq Ja’far bin Muhammad (a.s.) sat down and we sat in his company. After a while the Imam raised his head and said: O people, indeed this world is an abode of separation. It is an unsuitable place and not suitable, separation from a close one is such a tragedy that cannot be forgotten and it is such a sorrow that cannot be dispelled and people are superior to each other in the matter of observing a nice way of mourning and right contemplation. Thus one who does not have to mourn for his brother will have to taste death. After that Imam (a.s.) recited the couplet of Abu Kharash Dauzali that he had composed while mourning for the death of his brother:

Don’t think that I have forgotten the old brotherhood.

O one who has gone ahead, it is my goodly patience.

Fourth objection of Zaidiyyah sect

Zaidiyyah say: If the tradition regarding the number of Imams to be twelve had been correct, people would not have doubted in the successorship of Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.). So much so that there is a group among Shias that believed in the Imamate of Abdullah and some adopted the belief in Imamate of Ismail and some others remained confused. The matter reached such an extent that when some people put Abdullah, the Imam’s son under a test and didn’t find in him the necessary qualities they came out saying: “Now where do we go? To Murjiah or to Hururiya?” And Musa Ibne Ja’far heard this and he said: “Neither to Murjiah or Qadariya or Hururiya; come to me.” So, note due to how many things the tradition regarding the number of Imams to be twelve is invalidated.

One is that Abdullah occupied the seat of Imamate, secondly Shias approach him, thirdly after having tested him they are confused and do not know that their Imam is Musa Ibne Ja’far and the position is such that Musa Ibne Ja’far is compelled to call the people to himself. And a jurisprudent (Faqih) of this period, Zurarah bin Uyun, dies in that condition saying with a copy of the Quran on his breast: “O Lord, I testify for the Imamate of the one, whose Imamate is proved in this Quran.”

Our reply is: Indeed, all these things are misleading and false because we have not claimed that all the Shias of that period knew the names of all the twelve Imams. Rather we said that the Holy Prophet (S) informed that the Imams after him shall be twelve who would be his successors and that the Shia scholars have narrated this tradition with their names. And this fact also cannot be denied that there were among the Shias one or two persons or even more than that who had not heard this tradition.

However the matter of Zurarah bin Uyun is such that he died before he met a person who could have informed him about this report and he had not heard the appointment text (Nass) of Musa bin Ja’far. And since the tradition and narration had not reached him, his excuse was acceptable because he placed the Quran on his breast and said: “O Lord, I testify for the Imamate of the one, whose Imamate is proved in this Quran.”

And does any religious jurisprudent, when an issue is doubtful for him, acts in any other way? Apart from that it is also said: Zurarah believed in and knew about the Imamate of Imam Musa bin Ja’far and he sent his son, Ubaid, to Imam Musa bin Ja’far (a.s.) to inquire if he (Zurarah) was permitted to reveal what he knew about his Imamate, or that he should keep it confidential through dissimulation. And such a thing is in consonance with the position of Zurarah bin Uyun and acceptable for the level of his divine recognition (Marefat).

Narrated to us Ahmad bin Ziyad bin Ja’far al-Hamadani from Ali bin Ibrahim bin Hashim, from Muhammad bin Isa bin Ubaid from Ibrahim bin Muhammad al-Hamadani that he said:

I asked Imam Ali Reza (a.s.): O son of Allah’s Messenger, tell me whether Zurarah was aware of the Imamate of your venerable father. He replied: Yes. I further asked: Then why he sent, Ubaid, his son to inquire who Imam Sadiq, Ja’far bin Muhammad (a.s.) had appointed as his successor? Imam Ali Reza (a.s.) said: Indeed, Zurarah was aware of the Imamate of my venerable father and also knew about the clear textual appointment (Nass) of my honorable grandfather about him.

And when his son was late in returning, Zurarah was requested to mention his opinion about my father. Since he did not prefer to proceed in this matter without the leave of my father, he picked up the Quran and said: “O Lord, my Imam from among the sons of Imam Ja’far bin Muhammad is one, whose Imamate is proved in this Quran.”

Also the narration that Zaidiyyah had presented as argument does not say that Zurarah was unaware about the Imamate of Musa bin Ja’far. Rather it is proved therein that he sent his son, Ubaid to inquire about something.

My father narrated to us from Muhammad bin Yahya Attar from Muhammad bin Ahmad bin Yahya bin Imran Ashari from Ahmad bin Hilal from Muhammad bin Abdullah bin Zurarah from his father who said:

When Zurarah sent his son, Ubaid, to Medina to inquire about the report and it was after the demise of Abu Abdillah (Imam Ja’far Sadiq a.s.), his condition became serious he took the Quran and said: “My Imam is only the one, whose Imamate this Quran will prove.”

And this narration does not say that Zurarah was not having recognition of the Imam. Moreover, the narrator of this report is Ahmad bin Hilal and this person is not reliable in the view of our senior scholars.

Narrated to us my teacher, Muhammad bin Hasan bin Ahmad bin Walid that he said: I heard Saad bin Abdullah say:

Neither we have seen or heard about any Shia person leaving the Shia faith and adopting Nasibi beliefs, except for Ahmad bin Hilal. And it is the view of these people that it is not lawful to use a traditional report narrated solely by Ahmad bin Hilal. And we are sure that the Messenger of Allah (S) and the Holy Imams (a.s.) will not intercede for anyone except one whose faith Allah had liked. And the one who doubts in the Imamate of an Imam is following a religion other than the religion of Allah. And it is narrated that Imam Musa bin Ja’far will seek Zurarah from his Lord.

Narrated to us Muhammad bin Hasan bin Ahmad bin Walid from Muhammad bin Hasan Saffar quoting from Muhammad bin Abi Sahban from Mansur bin al-Abbas from Marook bin Ubaid from Darast Ibne Abi Mansur Wasti from Abul Hasan Imam Musa bin Ja’far.

The narrator says that when Zurarah was mentioned in the presence of Imam (a.s.), the Imam said: By Allah, on Judgment Day I would seek Zurarah from my Lord, for myself, and He would give him to me. Woe be on you, indeed, Zurarah bin Uyun bore malice to our enemy for the sake of Allah and for His sake had regard for our friends.

Narrated to us my father and Muhammad bin Hasan that: Narrated to us Ahmad bin Idrees and Muhammad bin Yahya Attar; both said narrating from Muhammad bin Ahmad from Yaqood bin Yazid from Ibne Abi Umair from Abul Abbas Fadl bin Abdul Malik from Abu Abdillah Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that he said:

“Four persons are very dear to me, whether they are alive or dead: Buraid al-Ajali, Zurarah bin Uyun, Muhammad bin Muslim and Ahwal (Muhammad bin Noman Bajali, alias Momin Taq). These four are my favorite men.”

So it is not possible that Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) should have made such a statement about Zurarah when the latter was ignorant of the Imamate of Musa bin Ja’far.

Fifth objection of Zaidiyyah sect

Zaidiyyah say: It is not possible that it should be a statement of prophets that the number of Imams be twelve because the Divine Proof (Hujjat) on this Ummah shall remain till the Judgment Day and after His Eminence, Muhammad (S), from the twelve, eleven have passed away, whereas the Imamites believe that the earth is never devoid of the Divine Proof (Hujjat).

We reply as follows: Imams are indeed twelve in number and it is the twelfth of them that would fill up the earth with justice and equity. And then it would be as he says; that whether there would be another Imam after him of there will be apocalypse. We do not confess to anything more than that the Imams are twelve and we believe that whatever the twelfth Imam says will be there after him.

Narrated to us Muhammad bin Ibrahim bin Ishaq from Abdul Aziz bin Yahya from Ibrahim bin Fahad quoting from Muhammad bin Uqbah from Husain bin Hasan from Ismail bin Umar from Umar bin Musa Wajihi from Minhal bin Amr from Abdullah bin al-Harith that he said: I asked Ali (a.s.):

“O Amiral Momineen, please inform me of the events that shall occur after your Qaim.” He replied: “O Ibne Harith it is something that only he is entrusted to say. And the Messenger of Allah (S) made me promise that except for Hasan and Husain, I shall not tell anyone anything about it.”

Narrated to us Muhammad bin Ibrahim bin Ishaq who said: Narrated to us Abdul Aziz bin Yahya al-Jaloodi from Husain bin Maaz from Qais bin Hafas from Yunus bin Arqam from Abu Sinan Shaibani from Zahhak bin Muzahim from Nizal bin Sabra from Amirul Momineen Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.) in a tradition in which there is description of Dajjal. At the end of this tradition the Imam says:

“Do not ask me about the conditions following this. This is a covenant that I have made with my dearest one (the Prophet) that I would not inform about this to anyone except my descendants.” Nizaal bin Sabra says that I asked Sa’sa bin Sauhan what Amirul Momineen (a.s.) meant by this? He replied, ‘O Ibne Sabra, he is the same behind whom Prophet Isa (a.s.) would pray. He shall be the twelfth descendant and he would be the ninth descendant of Husain bin Ali (a.s.). He would be the one for whom the Sun would rise from the west and he shall reappear between the Rukn and Maqaam.

Then he would purify the earth and establish the scales of justice. Then no one would be able to oppress another. Then Amirul Momineen (a.s.) said that the dearest one of Amirul Momineen (a.s.), the Messenger of Allah (S) had taken an oath from him that he must not inform anyone about the events after this except his purified descendants.

And Zaidiyyah shall be asked: Can you deny that the Messenger of Allah (S) said that the Imams after him would be twelve? If they say that the Messenger of Allah (S) did not make such a statement they would be asked: If it is possible for you to reject this report inspite of the fact that it is well-known, beneficial and it is accepted by Imamiyah sect, it is just as if someone were to allege that the Messenger of Allah (S) did not say: I am the master of…

Sixth objection of Zaidiyyah sect

Zaidiyyah say: When Imam Hasan bin Ali (Askari) passed away there was a dispute in the Imamiyah sect. Thus some people said that his son was seven years old while some said that he was a little child or an infant. Whatever may be the case, it is absurd to say that in those conditions he can lead and guide the community and should be the representative of God on the earth and that he is the leader and appointed one of Allah. And that when the Muslims face a war he should be a refuge for them.

He should command their forces and one who battles on their behalf and protect their frontiers and defend their sanctities. Now this child is helpless in these matters because a suckling infant is not able to do all these things. And whether it is in the past or the present it is something abnormal that the enemy should be confronted with children, who can neither ride a steed properly nor stay on the ground nor they are conversant to grip the reins properly or lift the swords or throw a spear. Neither are they capable to attack the enemies in the raging battle. Whereas it is among the qualities of an Imam that he should be most courageous and valiant among the people.

Reply

Whoever has stated the above shall be told: You have forgotten the Book of Allah and if it had not been so you would not have blamed the Imamiyah sect that its followers do not learn the Quran by heart; whereas you have yourself forgotten the story of Prophet Isa (a.s.) who was yet in the cradle when he said:

قَالَ إِنِّي عَبْدُ اللَّهِ آتَانِيَ الْكِتَابَ وَجَعَلَنِي نَبِيًّا وَجَعَلَنِي مُبَارَكًا أَيْنَ مَا كُنْتُ

Surely I am a servant of Allah; He has given me the Book and made me a prophet; And He has made me blessed wherever I may be.74

Now the one who has raised that objection should tell us that if Bani Israel had brought faith in him, and if they had to face hostilities, what Prophet Isa (a.s.) would have done at that time. And the same thing applies to Prophet Yahya (a.s.) also that the Almighty Allah gave him the kingdom while he was yet a child. If the opponents deny these facts it would imply that they have denied the Quran and one who is not capable of defeating his enemy but he denies the Book of Allah, the falsity of his claim is absolutely clear.

And in the reply of this section we say that if the circumstances they have mentioned appear for the people of today the Almighty Allah would suspend the law of nature and normality and He would make him a matured, perfect, rider, brave and a physically strong man, who can confront the enemies. Who can defend Islam and repel the enemies from the Islamic boundaries. Anyway, this was the reply some Imamiyah scholars had given to the objection of Abul Qasim Balkhi.

Seventh objection of Zaidiyyah sect

Zaidiyyah say: People are indeed confused and doubtful in the genealogy of this child because a majority of them deny that Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) left a son.

The reply of this would be: Bani Israel people doubted in the prophethood of Prophet Isa (a.s.) and made allegation against Lady Maryam that: “O Maryam! You have done a bad thing.” So Prophet Isa (a.s.) spoke up in defense of his mother and said: Surely I am a servant of Allah; He has given me the Book and made me a prophet. Hence the sensible people realized that neither Allah, the Mighty and Sublime appoints for conveying and fulfillment of prophethood a person whose genealogy is unknown nor one who is not having nobility.

Such is the matter about the Imam; that when he shall reappear, he would be having with him irrefutable signs and clear evidences which will show that it is that same personality. He is different from people and that he is the successor and representative of Hasan bin Ali (a.s.). Some people say ask what the proof is that Hasan bin Ali (a.s.) has died? They will be told: Traditional reports recorded about his passing away are clearer, more famous and more in number than the reports about the demise of Abul Hasan Musa bin Ja’far (a.s.) because Abul Hasan (Imam Kazim a.s.) passed away at the hands of the enemies while Abu Muhammad al-Hasan bin Ali (a.s.) breathed his last in his home and on his bed and regarding this those events occurred that are mentioned in traditions that I have presented in this book along with their chains of narrators.

Now if they raise the objection and ask: Does the dispute of inheritance between the mother of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) and Ja’far not make you suspect that the Imam did not leave a son? Because such matters indicate that the deceased had not left any heir and when the inheritance had been divided among other people what else can we conclude?

The reply to this would be: The above circumstances are very common and the reason is that sometimes the hidden wisdom of the Almighty Allah with regard to His prophets and messenger is according to convention and sometime He acts against it. Thus his case can never be compared with ordinary circumstances, just as we don’t find the case of Prophet Isa (a.s.) to be normal.

He might say: If it is correct to imagine that he left an heir, why is not acceptable to imagine about every person that dies heirless that he might have left a son?

The reply shall be: We do not doubt in the fact that there is a successor and heir of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) and that he is from the sons of Hasan and Husain as proved by the testimonies of the Imam’s close confidants that he was the Imam’s son. And in addition to this there are many people among the Shias also that state this.

Because the testimony that must be necessarily accepted is that which is given to prove something and not the testimony that disproves something even though the number of those who negate it are more than those who prove it. And we have seen a similarity to the above with the story of Prophet Musa (a.s.). Because when the Almighty Allah decided to rescue Bani Israel from slavery and to once again revive His religion at their hands, He revealed to the mother of Musa (a.s.):

فَإِذَا خِفْتِ عَلَيْهِ فَأَلْقِيهِ فِي الْيَمِّ وَلَا تَخَافِي وَلَا تَحْزَنِي ۖ إِنَّا رَادُّوهُ إِلَيْكِ وَجَاعِلُوهُ مِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ

Then when you fear for him, cast him into the river and do not fear nor grieve; surely We will bring him back to you and make him one of the apostles75

Now if at that time his father, Imran had died, the circumstances of his inheritance would have been as they were in the case of the inheritance of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.). Moreover there is not even an indication that Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) did not leave a son.

Since the facts remained concealed from our opponents they said: At that time Musa (a.s.) was not the Divine Proof while according to you the Imam was the Divine Proof at that time. And we have compared the birth and occultation of the Imam with those of Prophet Musa (a.s.), while the occultation of Yusuf (a.s.) is most strange. His father was having no knowledge about him while the distance between them was not one that could not have been traversed. But it was nothing except the destiny that the Almighty Allah fixed for His creatures that the father should remain in dark about his son. While the case of his brothers was that they meet him, and Yusuf (a.s.) recognizes them but they do not recognize him.

And we have also compared the Imam’s life with that of the People of the Cave, because they remained alive in their cave for 309 years. Now if someone were to say: Though such things have indeed occurred, we don’t have any evidence of the veracity of your claims.

He would be told that through these examples we have taken out our views from the limits of impossibility and brought it under the scope of possibility and we have provided evidences for the veracity of our claims and the fact is that the Book of Allah never separates from the Prophet’s Progeny, which may explain the lawful and the unlawful and the clear and the ambiguous mentioned in it. In addition to this the traditions of the Holy Prophet (S) that we have mentioned in this book prove the veracity of the above claim of ours.

If they ask: How is possible to contact him when neither we know where he lives nor is anyone capable to bring him to us? He shall be told: We maintain contact with him by admitting that he is present and that his Imamate is rightful. Along with this we maintain attachment with those who are noble, righteous, learned and truthful; who believe in his Imamate and prove the correctness of his birth and guardianship (Wilayat).

That is those from among the Shias who testify perfectly the statements that have come down from the Prophet and the Imams regarding his name and genealogy. And it is also that they are scholars of Quran and traditions, they have divine recognition of the Oneness of the Almighty Allah. They negate the doubtful traditions narrated by traditionists, consider analogy unlawful and accept all the authentic traditions that have come from the Prophet and the Holy Imams (a.s.).

If it is said: If it is correct to presume that having attachment with people who have the above qualities could be construed to having attachment with the unseen Imam, why is it not allowed to claim that the Messenger of Allah (S) left the world leaving no successor? And that his followers should have been content with logical, Quranic proofs and proof of the Sunnah? The reply to this would be: We don’t have the right to interfere in the selection of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime.

On the other hand it is obligatory on us to follow their commands and evidences show that obedience of the previous eleven Imams was obligatory. If they sit down and remain silent we shall also be obliged to remain quiet. And it is obligatory to rise up when they arise. And we have to listen to them when they speak. Thus all the time at every moment it is obligatory on us to do only that towards which the evidences guide us.

Eighth objection of Zaidiyyah sect

Some Zaidiyyah have said: The Waqifiya sect has the right to object against this claim of yours. Imam Musa bin Ja’far (a.s.) passed away and you learnt about it through public information, normal conditions and visible proof. And it is that Allah, the Mighty and Sublime mentioned this about Prophet Isa (a.s.):

وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ وَمَا صَلَبُوهُ وَلَٰكِنْ شُبِّهَ لَهُمْ ۚ وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ لَفِي شَكٍّ مِنْهُ ۚ مَا لَهُمْ

And they did not kill him nor did they crucify him, but it appeared to them so (like Isa).76

Thus this group on the basis of normal conditions and visual proof saw that Prophet Isa (a.s.) has been crucified and killed. Therefore if it is said about the occultation of Imams, it is not improper.

They shall be told in reply: Here the example of the Imams (a.s.) is not like Prophet Isa Ibne Maryam (a.s.) because regarding Isa Ibne Maryam (a.s.) when the Jews claimed that he had been killed the Almighty Allah refuted them through this statement:

وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ وَمَا صَلَبُوهُ وَلَٰكِنْ شُبِّهَ لَهُمْ ۚ وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ لَفِي شَكٍّ مِنْهُ ۚ مَا لَهُمْ

And they did not kill him nor did they crucify him, but it appeared to them so (like Isa).77

While regarding our Imams (a.s.) no such statement has come from the Almighty Allah that they appeared to others to have been killed. Although an extremist (ghluat) group had made such a claim. The Messenger of Allah (S) had informed in advance about the martyrdom of Amirul Momineen Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.) as mentioned in Al-Irshad that his beard shall be colored by the blood of his head. And the Imams who followed Ali (a.s.) also told us about his martyrdom.

In the same way with regard to Imam Hasan and Imam Husain also, the Holy Prophet (S) narrated from Jibraeel that the two of them shall be martyred in the near future and the two of them have also informed about themselves that it shall indeed come to pass. And each of the Imams who came after the two, that is from Ali bin al-Husain to Hasan Askari (a.s.) informed all about that was to befall the succeeding Imam.

While the succeeding one also confirmed all that had occurred with his predecessor Imam. Thus among those who informed about the news of the death of the Imams include the Holy Prophet (S) and each of the Imams one after another. While it were the Jews that brought the news of Isa’s death. Thus on the basis of this we say that the event that passed on our Imams are based on truth and not on possibilities or doubt. It is so because it is impossible for them to lie about their death as all of them are infallible while it is possible for the Jews to tell untruths.

Doubts of opponents and their removal

Our adversaries say that the normal conditions and visibilities in the world prove your belief in occultation false. We shall only say this to them:

Brahma people can say to Muslims regarding the miracles and signs of the Messenger of Allah (S) that: All of you have not witnessed those signs and miracles, so it is possible that you may be following something that you are not obligatory to follow or you may be having faith in something regarding which your excuse will not be acceptable by Allah on the Judgment Day.

Due to this opposition and doubt a majority of the people of Motazela sect, as is mentioned about them, say that except for the Holy Quran the Messenger of Allah (S) did not have any other miracle. But one who admits to the factuality of miracles and signs other than the Holy Quran should say that it is possible by the Almighty Allah to allow such things because He is capable of it. And then he may speak of those happenings about whose authenticity we have seldom become familiar through the narrators.

The Imamiyah say: Now we shall prove the authenticity of those traditions and reports that are only found in our collections and which our Imams (a.s.) have mentioned. They prove that it is possible with the explanation that the Almighty Allah is capable of it. And on the basis of logical and Quranic proofs and the traditions that are acceptable in the view of narrators of Ahle Sunnat, they are true.

Now the disputing party will say that: There is no group in our opposition that narrates a tradition from the Messenger of Allah (S) that may contradict and refute this report or claims that our first is not like our last.

He shall be asked: Then why did you deny the statement of Brahmi who told that normal conditions in the world, visible facts and laws of Nature show as impossible for a poisoned and a burnt up hand to speak and how is it possible for the Moon to break into pieces? And if the Moon is broken up into pieces the system of the Universe will fall into disarray. But he says that there is no one who could refute their claim that their first is not like their last. Regarding this he shall be told that this shall be severely refuted.

Then if a large number of people have witnessed those signs their factuality is just like the authenticity of Quran. Hence it is proved that the disputer is creating a misunderstanding and inventing a difference in something which has no difference.

The disputer says: Are you refuting our statement that during the lifetime of our Prophet and after his passing away innumerable followers had witnessed those miracles and signs like the shading cloud, the speaking hand, the crying of the tree trunk and such other sensational things? The whole community says that these signs and miracles are such that in fact very few have narrated them. Then why did you claim that no one can refute your stand?

The disputer says: If the matter is thus, the traditional reports regarding the miracle of the Holy Prophet (S) are like the reports about the miracles of Prophet Musa and Prophet Isa (a.s.) that the Christians claim. And in this way they are like the reports that Magians and Brahmas relate about their forefathers and past people of theirs. We shall reply: We have understood that people of Brahma sect are of the opinion that the examples and similarities of their ancestors and past people are visible even today, that is why they have willingly accepted them and it is something that cannot be denied.

The disputer says that there are in opposition of this sect groups that are having superiority and some groups narrate in the same way as those who support their reports with chains of narrators from whom they have related those reports and from the aspect of textual proof (Nass) their reports are in total contradiction of the reports of this group. He shall be asked: What are those groups who possess precedence? And where do they live on the earth? It is not necessary for you to know that this book of yours shall not be read and even the art of disputation which you are not unaware of, will know how you create misunderstanding.

The disputant says: I do not doubt that any Muslim can permit himself to consider traditions regarding the miracles of the Messenger of Allah (S) to be equal to the traditions that prove the occultation of Ibnul Hasan bin Ali bin Muhammad bin Ali bin Musa bin Ja’far (a.s.) and that he should claim that they are same in the matter of being widely related (Tawatur). And help is sought from only the Almighty Allah.

He shall be told: You have indeed explained the reason why we have claimed similarities in this matter. And we have told that the report we label as widely related (Mutawatir) is one that is related by at least three or more narrators. And the traditional reports on the miracles of the Messenger of Allah (S) are in fact related by a lesser number of reporters.

And the contest between you and us is that we ask the tradition scholars as to who are the reporters of traditions about the splitting the Moon and speaking of hand and etc? Then if it is possible for him to narrate each of those reports on the authority of ten companions of the Holy Prophet (S) who had witnessed that miracle with his own eyes, his claim would be correct. If not, why is it that he has claimed similarities and equality between the two? Praise be to Allah.

And I say: And the good sense (Taufeeq) is from Allah only. We have confessed to the infallibility of the Imams and have faith in it, while the fact is that infallibility is not any tangible or visible thing. Now if we confess to the Imamate of an Imam and deny his infallibility it would tantamount to be denial of his Imamate. If it is lawful and possible, we confess to all the matters about the Holy Imams (a.s.) that are unseen to us. Consequently it is also lawful to believe in the Imamate of an Imam who is unseen (in occultation). And this occultation is also due to some exigency that only Allah, the Mighty and the High knows.

It makes no difference whether we may be able to reach to its reality or not. And I say: Indeed the circumstance of the occultation of our Imam (a.s.) is like the advent of the Holy Prophet (S) and it is like that because when His Eminence was in Mecca he was not present in Medina and vice versa. And when he was in journey he was not at home and vice versa. And His Eminence (S) in all conditions was present in one place and absent from other places. In spite of that the proof did not become invalid for those in whose vicinity he was absent.

In the same way the proof of the Imam is not invalidated by us even though he may be unseen by us. From the rules and regulations of Islam the most important factors of servitude of men is the confession to the occultation of the Holy Imam. And it is so because Allah, the Mighty and the High has described a believer to be one who has faith in the unseen before saying that he should pray, pay Zakat and believe in all that He has revealed on His prophets. Thus the Almighty Allah says:

It is a guide to those who guard (against evil). Those who believe in the unseen and keep up prayer and spend out of what We have given them. And who believe in that which has been revealed to you and that which was revealed:

ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَيْبَ ۛ فِيهِ ۛ هُدًى لِلْمُتَّقِينَ الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْغَيْبِ وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنْفِقُونَ وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْكَ وَمَا أُنْزِلَ مِنْ قَبْلِكَ وَبِالْآخِرَةِ هُمْ يُوقِنُونَ أُولَٰئِكَ عَلَىٰ هُدًى مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

before you and they are sure of the hereafter. These are on a right course from their Lord and these it is that shall be successful.78

It is also a fact that sometimes in the presence of his companions the Holy Prophet (S) used to become unconscious and profusely perspire and when he regained consciousness he said that Allah, the Mighty and Sublime had said this, ordered you this and prohibited you from that. And most of our opponents say that it was so when Jibraeel descended for him.

Hence it was inquired from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) whether unconsciousness occurred for the Holy Prophet (S) only when Jibraeel (a.s.) came to him? He replied: “No, whenever Jibraeel came to the Messenger of Allah (S) he did not enter without first seeking permission. And when he entered he used to sit before the Prophet like a slave sits before his master. The above condition used to occur on the Prophet when Allah, the Mighty and Sublime addressed the Holy Prophet (S) directly without any intervening medium.”

Narrated to us Hasan bin Ahmad bin Idrees (r.a.) narrating from his father from Ja’far bin Muhammad bin Malik from Muhammad bin Husain bin Zaid from Husain bin Alawiyan from Amr bin Thabit from His Eminence, Ja’far bin Muhammad as-Sadiq (a.s.) that he said:

“People did not see Allah, the Mighty and the High speaking secretly to the Messenger of Allah (S) and neither did they see the divine revelation, whereas it has become obligatory on them to confess belief in the unseen. And in this regard they must testify to the Messenger of Allah (S) and consider him truthful. And in his Clear Book, Allah, the Mighty and Sublime has told us:

مَا يَلْفِظُ مِنْ قَوْلٍ إِلَّا لَدَيْهِ رَقِيبٌ عَتِيدٌ

He utters not a word but there is by him a watcher at hand.79

And the Almighty Allah also says:

وَإِنَّعَلَيْ وَإِنَّ عَلَيْكُمْ لَحَافِظِينَ كِرَامًا كَاتِبِينَ يَعْلَمُونَ مَا تَفْعَلُونَ

And most surely there are keepers over you. Honorable recorders. They know what you do.80

Neither we have seen nor met them and if we do not testify to it we shall go out of the pale of Islam. We shall be rejecters of the statement of the Almighty Allah, whereas Allah has ordered us to beware of the deception of Satan and He says:

يَابَنِ يآدَمَال َيَفْتِنَنَّكُم ُالشَّيْطَانُكَمَاأَخْرَجَأَبَوَيْكُممِّن َالْجَنَّةِ

O children of Adam! Let not the Shaitan cause you to fall into affliction as he expelled your parents from the garden.81

We cannot see the Satan whereas it is obligatory on us that he bring faith in his existence and be careful of him. And the Holy Prophet (S) says regarding the matter of grave that when a dead body is asked about something and it does offer the correct answer, Munkir and Nakeer will hit it with such a blow that as a result of it, except for the two weighty things (Thaqlayn), all that the Almighty Allah has created will shudder.

And we have not seen any of these neither have we heard about it. In the same way we have been told that His Eminence (S) went up to ascension (Meraj) whereas we have not seen anything from it nor heard it directly through the Holy Prophet (S). And the Holy Prophet (S) has told us that: “Behind one, who visits his brother-in¬faith for the sake of Allah’s pleasure, will walk seventy thousand angels saying: You are fortunate and may you enjoy Paradise.” Now it is something that we can neither see nor hear. So if we do not accept the authenticity of traditions that speak about such matters of Islam we will go out of the pale of Islam.

Author’s debate with an atheist in the court of Rukn ad-Daula

An atheist had a discussion with me in the court of Rukn as-Daula as follows:

Denier: It is imperative on your Imam to revolt and come out of occultation because soon Romans will overcome Muslims?

Shaykh Sadooq (r.a.): In the time of the Holy Prophet (S) the number of disbelievers were much more than our times. By the command of the Almighty, the Holy Prophet (S) kept his mission of prophethood a closely guarded secret for forty years. Even after that, he disclosed it to a few who earned his trust. He did for three years. At one stage, the infidels of Quraish unanimously decided to boycott and ostracize the Bani Hashim and all those who supported the Holy Prophet (S). Consequently, the Holy Prophet (S), along with his companions and family took refuge in the She’be Abi Talib and resided there for three years.

Now listen! If skeptics would have asked as to why the Holy Prophet (S) is not rising when the polytheists have subjugated Muslims, we would have replied that when the Holy Prophet (S) left for She’be Abi Talib, it was at the instance of Allah and remained in occultation with His consent. Even the reappearance of the Holy Prophet (S) in Makkah was not on his own accord; rather, it was at the behest of the Almighty.

The details of the Holy Prophet’s (S) return to Mecca are related thus: the pact to boycott the Bani Hashim was signed by 40 signatories of various tribes of the Quraish. The document was kept in the custody of Zuma’ah b. Aswad. Allah revealed to the Holy Prophet (S) that the termites had eaten up the whole document barring portions that bore Allah’s Name.

The Holy Prophet (S) apprised his uncle Abu Talib (a.s.) of this miraculous development. Abu Talib (a.s.) immediately left for Makkah to meet the chieftains of Quraish and inform them about this amazing phenomenon. When the chiefs and leaders saw Abu Talib (a.s.), they presumed that perhaps he had buckled under pressure and now wanted to hand over his nephew to the Quraish so that they could either kill him or make him renounce his claims of Prophethood. Encouraged at this presumption, they treated Abu Talib (a.s.) quite reverentially and gave him a warm reception.

However, Abu Talib (a.s.) had no such plans. He addressed them, ‘O People of Quraish! I have never heard my nephew lying. And he had informed me that the Almighty Allah has revealed to him that He had sent termites to devour all the oppressive clauses pertaining to sanctions and leave those portions that bear Allah’s Name. So, O Quraish, the document has now become mere fodder for termites that have spared nothing except His Name.’

Stunned by this revelation, Quraish sought to see the document and were shocked to find that the document was exactly as described by Abu Talib (a.s.). After this turn of events, some of the Quraish leaders embraced Islam while others persisted in their infidelity. However, the Holy Prophet (S) along with his kith and kin returned to Makkah. Ditto shall be the circumstances of our Imam (a.t.f.s.). Whenever Allah will permit, he will reappear from his occultation.

Denier: It can be inferred from your statement that Allah holds much bigger sway on the infidels than the Imam; then why has He given respite to His Enemies and why doesn’t He annihilate them, while they deny His existence or associate others with Him?

Shaykh Sadooq (r.a.): Allah does not have any fear that these people will manage to wriggle out of His Power and Authority that He makes haste in their retribution. There is none who can question Allah about His Actions, while He can question anyone.

لَا يُسْأَلُ عَمَّا يَفْعَلُ وَهُمْ يُسْأَلُونَ

‘He cannot be questioned concerning what He does and they shall be questioned.’82

The questions of ‘why’ and ‘how’ in context with Allah does not arise. Similarly, Allah cannot be criticized about the reappearance of Imam (a.t.f.s.). Imam (a.t.f.s.) is in occultation by His Command and whenever He Wishes, He will make him reappear.

Denier: I cannot believe in an Imam who I cannot see. And until the time I don’t see him, his mastership is not acceptable to me.

Shaykh Sadooq (r.a.): Then it is equally imperative for you to admit that even Allah’s authority is not acceptable to you since you have not seen Him either. Similarly, even the authority of the Holy Prophet (S) is not mandatory on you since you have not seen him.

Irritated at this strong argument, the denier turned towards Rukn al-Daulah and addressed him thus:

Denier: O Amir, just look at what the Shaykh is saying that Imam is not seen because Allah too is not visible?!

Rukn Al Daulah: You have distorted his statement and alleged something totally misleading to him. This is an indication of your defeat and an admission of your helplessness and loss of face.’

Similarly, those who argue with us about our Imam (a.t.f.s.) resort to all kinds of inane and illogical arguments which are lame attempts to mislead the common folks.

At the end of his book, Tanbiyah, Abu Sahl Ismail bin Ali Naubakhti writes: Our opponents often say: If your claim regarding text (Nass) had been true, after the passing away of the Messenger of Allah (S), Ali (a.s.) would have indeed claimed it. This can be replied thus: How could he have made the claim and presented himself as a claimant, who needs witnesses in order to prove his claim.

When those people had not accepted the statement of the Holy Prophet (S) how they could have accepted his claim to his right? And his keeping aloof from the allegiance of Abu Bakr and his performing the funeral of Lady Fatima Zahra in such a way that none of them should know about it; so much so that he buried her secretly; all this is the best evidence that he was not in support of their actions.

Thus if they say why Ali (a.s.) accepted the caliphate after Uthman it must be replied that it was so because those people gave him something from that was his rightful share and in this matter his example was like that of the Holy Prophet (S) when His Eminence had accepted the hypocrites and those with wavering faith.

And sometimes our opponents say that if the proof becomes obligatory on them that it is necessary that there should be an Imam who has been specified in the hadith text, that he must also be knowledgeable about the Quran and Sunnah and he should be trustworthy regarding them, neither should he be forgetful of them nor should he commit mistake; then opposition to him will also not be lawful. And that he has to be obeyed compulsorily. On the basis of this the preceding one had issued statement (Nass) about his appointment. Thus you must tell us who that Imam is and what his name is. You should guide us to him.

They will be told that this matter is related to the traditions and in fact it is transferring to another, what we are talking about because the topic of our discussion was that when the Holy Prophet (S) passes what is it that is considered necessary my human reason? And whether it is possible that he should not have appointed anyone as his successor and that he should not issue text of appointment (Nass) about an Imam who has the above-mentioned qualities? Thus when it is proved through arguments that it should be so, it is incumbent on us and on them that we investigate about the Imam of every period through traditional reports. The Shias have narrated the text of appointment (Nass) in favor of Ali (a.s.), and today in spite of their such large numbers and so many different countries they are holding fast to something which becomes a cause for us to have knowledge and act upon.

Especially when there is no sect opposed to them which may claim that the Holy Prophet (S) issued a statement for some other person. Thus if they oppose us from that which supporters of Zarathusht (opponents of truth) and other people of falsehood make, they shall be told:

Since today the condition of the Shias is like this that due to their large numbers and being far away from each other, they are like other Muslims, they do not recognize each other. On the basis of this the conditions of their past co¬religionists must also have been the same. Rather the Shia traditions and reports are stronger by way of truthfulness because neither is there any government backing them, nor any armed power or fear or greed. Traditions are fabricated when there is some greed, fear of death or sponsorship of some regime, whereas in Shia traditions nothing of the sort is found.

Hence if the text (Nass) of Holy Prophet (S) in favor of Ali (a.s.) as related by the Shias is correct it would also ratify the appointment of Hasan through Ali (a.s.) and of Husain through Hasan (a.s.) and then Ali bin al-Husain Zainul Abideen till Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) and then the Hidden Imam (a.s.). It is so because all the trustworthy companions of his father, Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.), have testified to his Imamate and the Twelfth Imam disappeared because the tyrant ruler was in his hot pursuit and he had placed surveillance on his home and his ladies since the past two years.

If it is said whether in that time the disappearance of the Imam is the best proof of the correctness of his Imamate we shall say: Yes, because the reports that have passed regarding this are based on the truth and are well-known also.

A person who was present in the company of Imam Hasan bin Ali al-Askari (a.s.) and who was also among the close confidants of the Imam says his contact with Imam Hasan bin Ali al-Askari (a.s.) continued and the Imam’s letters and commands and prohibitions used to reach the Shias through him. This continued till this intermediary breathed his last. After that another Shia person, whose identity was guarded closely was appointed as the successor to the first intermediary.

And we are asked regarding occultation that if it is possible and all right for the Imam to remain hidden for thirty years or more, how can you deny that the world is empty of his presence? They shall be replied: The end of his existence would imply that the Divine Proof would vanish from the earth and the religious law would become ineffective because there would be no one to protect it. But if the Imam, by the order of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime and due to risk to his life remains concealed and a well-known reason related to this is present and the Divine Proof is established, because he himself is present in the world and his gate and reason both are recognized.

However, apparently not issuing verdicts (Fatwa) and not commanding and prohibiting is not the reason that the Divine Proof has become invalid. And there are precedents for this. The Holy Prophet (S) remained in the Sheb (valley) of Abu Talib and in the initial period of his ministry and called the people secretly till his position strengthened and a community developed. In all those circumstances he was a Messenger Prophet and divinely appointed and his precautionary measures and secretive behavior with some persons regarding religious propagation did not invalidate his prophethood and neither had it ended his position as Divine Proof.

After that he entered the cave and stayed in it, while no knew about his location; this also did not invalidate his prophethood. However if his being would have vanished, his prophethood would have also ended. The same thing applies to the Imam. It is possible that the despot may keep him under arrest for a long time and does not allow anyone to meet him so he can neither issue a verdict nor teach anyone or explain the divine commands. But in any case the Divine Proof shall remain in effect and obligatory for all because he himself is present with his being in this world.

And if a prophet or an Imam does not explain the divine law, teach people and issue verdicts, his prophethood and Imamate does not end but if his being itself vanishes the Divine Proof shall also go away and become invalid. Therefore it is possible and permissible that the Imam may remain concealed for a period of time if he fears something and this does not invalidate the Divine Proof.

Thus if they object that what should one who needs to know about a religious problem do? He shall be told: He will do same as a person who might have accepted Islam at the time when the Holy Prophet (S) was hiding in the cave. If according to divine wisdom the latter is permissible, the former shall also be allowed and possible.

Among the clearest proofs regarding Imamate is that a miracle and a sign that Allah, the Mighty and Sublime bestowed to the Holy Prophet (S) was that he presented the stories of all the previous prophets and the knowledge of Torah, Injeel and Zaboor, whereas apparently he could not read or write, and he had also not met any Christian or Jew. And this was among his clearest and greatest miracle.

Husain bin Ali (a.s.) was martyred and he left behind Ali bin al-Husain as his successor, while he was a young man of hardly twenty years. He remained aloof from the people and did not meet anyone except his close companions. With regard to the ritual worship he was at an advanced stage and very less could be obtained from his knowledge because the circumstances were extremely severe and it was the time of Umayyad oppression. After him came his son, Muhammad bin Ali (a.s.) who had the title of Baqir (splitter) because he expounded knowledge.

Thus he left a great legacy in knowledge of religion, Quran, Sunnah, biography and military events. After him Ja’far bin Muhammad (a.s.) also dispensed knowledge in such a way that none of the arts and sciences remained deprived of his treasure of information. Thus he interpreted and explained the Quran and Sunnah and related the events of battles and prophets that neither he nor his father, Muhammad bin Ali or his grandfather. Ali bin al-Husain had seen. The traditional reports of all the Muslims also do not make a mention of his having obtained this knowledge from anyone. And this is the greatest proof that knowledge of the Prophet reached to Ali (a.s.) and then to every subsequent Imam.

After that from the same things he brought so many and spread them among the people in such a way that there did not remain anything from the arts and sciences but that he made many of the points clear in it. He interpreted the Quran and Sunnah narrated the battles and stories of prophets so that even the Ahle Sunnat tradition narrators and jurisprudents cannot say that he, his respected father, Muhammad bin Ali or grandfather Ali bin al-Husain have received instruction from a particular person.

It is the best proof that they had received all knowledge from the Holy Prophet (S), then from Ali (a.s.) and other Imams one after another. Hence it had been the practice of the Holy Imams (a.s.) that when they are asked about any prohibited or lawful matter of Islam they give similar replies, without having obtained knowledge from any of the people. Then what argument can be better than this to prove their Imamate and that the Holy Prophet (S) had appointed them, taught them and transferred the knowledge and sciences of the previous prophets to them? And have we in normal conditions, ever seen anyone talking of such things as did Muhammad bin Ali and Ja’far bin Muhammad (a.s.), whereas they had not learnt any of these things from the people?

If someone says that they might be learning about these things in a secret manner, he would be told: The same allegation has been made by the atheists and materialists regarding the Holy Prophet (S) that he had learnt to write and also obtained knowledge of Quran. How is it possible to think in such a way about Muhammad bin Ali and Ja’far bin Muhammad (a.s.), whereas as the sciences and knowledge that they expounded was such that other than them no one else had spoken about it?

We are asked that the son of Hasan Askari (a.s.) never became clearly apparent to either a Shia or a Sunni, then how you people concluded that he is present in the world. Have you seen him or some people have told you about it in a widely related report (Mutawatir) that they had met him?

They shall be replied: Indeed all the information regarding religion is obtained through deduction. Hence we recognized Allah, the Mighty and Sublime through arguments and proofs, whereas we have not seen Him through our physical eyes, and neither has any person told us that he has seen God. And we recognized the Holy Prophet (S) and knew about his presence in the world through traditions and reports came to know about his prophethood and truthfulness through deduction and also concluded through deduction that he had appointed Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.) as his successor after him.

We also learnt that the Holy Prophet (S) and all the Imams after him are the scholars of Quran and Sunnah and it is not possible for them to make a mistake in any of these things, forget them or lie about them. We derived this also through deduction. In the same way we learnt that Hasan bin Ali is an Imam who is necessary to be obeyed and we knew through widely related (Mutawatir) traditions and through the truthful Imams that after Imam Hasan and Imam Husain (a.s.) Imamate can go only to the son of an Imam and it cannot pass on to the brother or any other relative.

On the basis of this it became necessary that no Imam shall leave the earth without leaving one of his sons as the Imam. Therefore when the Imamate of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) was proved, and it was also proved that he has passed away from the world, it is naturally concluded that he must have left one of his sons as his succeeding Imam and this is a proof of the existence of Imam Qaim (a.s.).

The above objection can also be replied by saying that Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) also left behind a trustworthy and reliable group of people who during his lifetime used to narrate matters of Islamic law on his authority and also conveyed to him correspondence from his followers and their questions. They used to take replies to the peoples’ queries and take them back to the people. These secret agents of the Imam were absolutely trustworthy and righteous because the Imam has certified to their reliability during his lifetime.

When Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) passed away, all these agents were unanimous that he has left a son, who is the next Imam and they advised the people not to ask his name and allow him to remain concealed from the enemies. The despot searched for him in the severest manner and had since long ago kept the house of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) and his pregnant slave-wives under surveillance. Anyhow, after Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) the letters of his son regarding religious problems reached to the Shias through more than twenty reliable companions of the Imam. After that the correspondence ceased because most companions of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) had breathed their last.

Only one person remained among those who had witnessed the affair of Imamate with their own eyes, regarding whose reliability and righteousness all were agreed. This person advised the Shia people to remain silent and not publicize the matter of Imamate, and the correspondence with the Imam had also ceased. Thus the evidence that I have mentioned, on the basis of that, the Imam’s existence is proved. And apart from this, whatever I have explained about the companions of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) proves the correctness of traditions they narrated about the Imam, traditions about the Imam’s occultation, and the fact that there shall be two occultations, one being more difficult than the other.

Our belief and tenets of faith today, regarding the occultation of the Imam, does not in any way resemble the Waqifiya sect that believes in the occultation of Imam Musa bin Ja’far (a.s.), because the matter of his death is a well-known fact. His death and burial was witnessed by multitude of people and more than 150 years have passed after that, but during this period no one has reported seeing him or having correspondence with him.

Their claim that he is alive implies the refutation of those senior people of faith who had seen him dead, whereas many Imams came after him, who presented many of the things that Musa bin Ja’far had presented before. And in this claim of ours the Imam’s occultation is neither a refutation of a sighting or feeling nor is it an impossible claim. It is also not a claim that reason may deny and something that is opposed to normality.

Regarding him there are still present some among his reliable and secret Shias who claim that only they are the means to reach him and a channel through which the Imam’s verdicts are conveyed to his Shias. And so far the occultation has not even prolonged to an extent that could be against the normality of a concealed one. Thus to testify to these traditions leads one to have faith in the Imamate of the son of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) as I have explained. Also that he has gone into occultation as mentioned in traditions on that matter. These traditions are well-known and even widely related (Mutawatir). It was also a fact that the Shias were expecting it and they repose hope in him just as they expect that Qaim (a.s.) would rise up with truth to establish justice, and we pray to the Almighty Allah that He give us a goodly patience and good sense (Taufeeq) to remain firm on this belief.

Abu Ja’far Muhammad bin Abdur Rahman bin Qubba ar-Razi, says in refutation of Abu Zaid Alawi’s Al-Ashaad that: The author of this book after writing about many non-controversial matters says, and the Zaidiyyah and the Mutamma (Imamiyah) have said that the Divine Proof shall be from the progeny of Fatima (s.a.) and it is based on the saying of the Messenger of Allah (S) in the Farewell Hajj about which all are unanimous.

And also on the day when he came out to lead the prayers when he was in his terminal illness he said: “O people, I leave behind among you two weighty things, the Book of Allah and my progeny. Remember that the two shall not separate from each other till they do not reach me at the Kauthar Hauz (pool). Know that, you shall never go astray as long as you remain attached to these two.” Then the author has emphasized on this tradition and mentioned points about which there is no controversy.

Then he says that Imamiyah opposed the consensus (Ijma) and they claim Imamate to be exclusively reserves for only one line of descendants from the Prophet’s progeny. After that they claim it for only one particular person and that also for every period of time.

Relying fully and solely on the Almighty Allah I say: Without any doubt, in the saying of the Messenger of Allah (S) there is clear indication and proof of the veracity of the claim of the Imamiyah sect. And it is that the Holy Prophet (S) said: “Indeed I am leaving something among you. As long as you remain attached to it you will not deviate, and they are the Book of Allah and my progeny and Ahlul Bayt.” This proves that after him neither the Divine Proof shall be from non-Arabs nor from any other Arab tribe.

Then the Holy Prophet (S) made his statement conditional in such a way that it clarified and explained its meaning. Hence he said: “Know that, they shall never separate from each other till arrive to me at the Kauthar Hauz (pool).” Thus he conveyed to us that the Divine Proof from his progeny will never separate from the Quran. So if we remain attached to this progeny which never separates from Quran, we shall never go into misguidance. Another point is that the personality which would never separate from the Book of Allah and which the Ummah is obliged to follow, must be under the dictates of reason such that it should have complete knowledge of the Book. Such a person should be trustee and defender of Quran. He should be able to distinguish between the abrogator and the abrogated and the general and conditional verses of this Book. He should know the difference between its recommended and obligatory, the clear and the ambiguous so that he place everything in its proper place as the Almighty Allah has done.

He should neither prefer the unpreferrable nor ignore the preferable. And it is necessary that he should have encompassing knowledge about religion so that it may be possible to remain attached to (or rely on) him and that it should be possible and right to take his opinion in matters of Quran and Sunnah in which there is difference of opinion among the Ummah. Because if there is a part of religious knowledge that he is unaware of it won’t be possible to remain attached to him. When such would be his position he will not remain reliable about the Book of Allah. And he would not be immune from error. He might construe the abrogator to be abrogated, the clear to be ambiguous and the obligatory to be recommended and such other things.

When this happens, the Divine Proof and the one who follows him would be equal and same. But since this is absurd and impossible, what the Imamiyah have said is correct. It is that the Divine Proof shall be from the Prophet’s progeny, and that he should be knowledgeable about the religion, infallible and trustworthy with regard to Quran. Thus, if Zaidiyyah people may find such qualities in their Imams, we shall be foremost in following them and if it is not so, truth is more deserving to be followed.

A senior scholar of the Imamiyah says: Our statement that the Divine Proof shall be from the progeny of Fatima is not an unqualified statement. There are conditions presented in it. And this is not deducted from only one tradition. Other narrations are also utilized to reach to this conclusion. First of all when we saw the Holy Prophet (S) from among his progeny and Ahlul Bayt accorded special attention to Amirul Momineen (a.s.), Hasan and Husain through various ways and told us about their exalted status in the view of the Almighty and that also with his practical actions that he performed, and which were so well-known that there cannot be any controversy regarding them between Zaidiyyah and us. And whatever we have said about their exalted glory, the Almighty Allah has guided us to it in Quran:

Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! And to purify you a (thorough) purifying.83

In the same way through Surah Hal Ataa and similar other statements. Thus when the Messenger of Allah (S) presented those things and clearly informed his Ummah that from among his descendants who can precede them in status and he is not a person with whom one can claim relationship, and neither is he such that he should make anyone superior or inferior except on the basis of religion. Thus all this showed that the Imams have achieved this position due to their eligibility; and they were eligible because they had some special qualities.

After all this when the Holy Prophet (S) said: ‘Indeed I have left two things for you; one is the Book of Allah and the other is my progeny’, we understood that he implied the same Imams and not some other people; because if there had been from his progeny such a person also, he would have appointed him also and would have informed about his exalted grade so that his attitude towards Amirul Momineen, Hasan and Husain (a.s.) would not have been partial as it is very much clear. And all praise is for Allah. Later we were guided to the fact that Imam Hasan (a.s.) is the Imam after Amirul Momineen (a.s.) because the latter appointed him as his successor and his brother (Imam Husain) followed him with absolute willingness.

As for your saying that we have gone against consensus and restricted the Imamate to only one family, we ask you against which consensus have we gone? We have no idea about it. Except that the opposition of Imamiyah to Zaidiyyah sect should be construed as going against consensus. If this is the case there is no problem in your associating the Imamiyah with which you are doing and the consensus that was given for Quran can also be there for you. Do you not say that Imamate is not lawful except for the descendants of Hasan and Husain? Now why have you restricted this for only the descendants of these two? And why did you exclude other members of the clan? Shall we present a better argument than what you have presented? If Allah wills we shall further clarify what we have said in the coming pages.

Further on the author says: Zaidiyyah people say that Imamate is lawful for all the people of the Prophet’s progeny because the statement of the Messenger of Allah (S) is general, in which he has not specified anyone and Allah, the Mighty and Sublime has said about them, excluding others:

ثُمَّ أَوْرَثْنَا الْكِتَابَ الَّذِينَ اصْطَفَيْنَا مِنْ عِبَادِنَا

Then We gave the Book for an inheritance to those whom We chose from among Our servants.84

I say: And the good sense (Taufeeq) is from only Allah. The author of this book has committed an error in what he has said because Zaidiyyah restrict Imamate to the descendants of Hasan and Husain (a.s.) and the dictionary meaning of ‘Itrah’ is descendants of the uncle; that is whoever is closer in relation he would be included in that. This matter is established among the experts of lexicology and neither anyone of them have said that ‘Itrah’ does not include anyone except the son of the daughter of paternal uncle.

It was something that they used to repose hope in and they are deceiving themselves through this and they are alone in this claim to support which there is neither any explanation nor any evidence, because what they claim is neither logically correct nor such a thing is present in Quran, Sunnah or the science of Arabic language. You can see the lexicon and ask the experts of language who will tell you that ‘Itrah’ refers to the closest relatives among the paternal uncles and their children.

If the author says: Then why are you of the view that Imamate shall not go to such and such person and his sons even though they are ‘Itrah’ in your view?

We shall reply that what we have said is not on the basis of analogy (Qiyas), it is only the attitude of Messenger of Allah (S) towards the three holy personalities that we have quoted. Thus if His Eminence has the same attitude and behavior with any other person, we would have had no choice but to follow him. But as for his saying that Allah, the Mighty and the High said:

ثُمَّ أَوْرَثْنَا الْكِتَابَ الَّذِينَ اصْطَفَيْنَا مِنْ عِبَادِنَا ۖ

Then We gave the Book for an inheritance to those whom We chose from among Our servants.85

He would be told that among your opponent from Motazela or others, people have opposed you with regard to the interpretation of this verse. And the Imamiyah also oppose you; and you know from the Imamiyah takes precedence in righteousness. The least that was obligatory on you was that you should have supported your claims with solid proofs as you have claimed to have written the book to guide the people to truth. And if you had not been able to completely prove your point at least you should have given satisfactory justifications. If that were also not possible you could have at least refrained from trying to disprove the stance of the opposite party. It is so because there is no one who cannot quote the Quran and try to prove his stand on the basis of personal interpretation. Indeed, your and our enemies have claimed that the saying of the Almighty Allah:

كُنْتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ

You are the best of the nations raised up for (the benefit of) men…86

implies that all scholars, scholars from the progeny and scholars of Murjia are the same and walk the same path and there is no consensus and the proof is not established except through the knowledge of the progeny. So is there any different between that and your claim? Are you satisfied with that which is claimed or you would ask them for proof? If he says I will ask for proof, he will be told to first bring the proof for the verse which he says implies the progeny. That progeny is the same descendants and except for Hasan and Husain there are no other descendants. Like the descendants of Ja’far or others whose mother was not Fatima.

Then he said: The Mutamma (Imamiyah) will be asked: What is your proof that Imamate is the right of one and not of others, and others have been restrained from it? Thus if they present inheritance as a proof they will be told that these Mughairiya people claim that Imamate belongs to the descendants of Imam Hasan (a.s.) and they believe that it was transferred from one to another in his generations, and that also through the will of his father. In this way they are opposing you in your claim just as you are opposing others who claim that.

So I say: Reliance is only on Allah. The proof that Imam should only be one and it is that indeed none can be Imam except the most superior one and being superior is possible in two cases: that is either he could be superior to all or superior to each of them. In any case not more than one can be the superior most, because it is impossible for anyone to be superior to the Imam. When this is proved and Zaidiyyah also agree to it, then the only thing possible is that in every age there can be only one Imam.

The difference between our stand and that of the Mughairiya is absolutely clear. The favor is from Allah alone, and it is that the Holy Prophet (S) clearly pointed out to Hasan and Husain (a.s.) and restricted the Itrat to them as we have mentioned before. Thus when Imam Hasan (a.s.) passed away, Imam Husain (a.s.) was more rightful for that because Imam Hasan (a.s.) had himself pointed to him. It was so because the Holy Prophet (S) had indicated to the Imamate of Imam Husain (a.s.) and restricted it to him.

Hence if Imam Hasan (a.s.) has made a will about the Imamate of his son, it would have been in opposition to the Messenger of Allah (S), and Imam Hasan (a.s.) is immune from this. Also we have no doubt that Imam Husain (a.s.) was superior to Hasan Muthanna Ibne Imam Hasan bin Ali and in fact only the superior one can be an Imam in our view and in view of Zaidiyyah. Thus whatever we have mentioned proves the falsity of Mughairiya and the bases on which they had constructed their belief were destroyed.

When we considered Ali bin al-Husain bin Ali (a.s.) for having those special qualities, it was not due to our partiality to him, neither have imitated anyone in this regard. We had heard traditions and reports about him while we did not come across similar reports about Hasan Muthanna.

Whatever has been related about his knowledge of lawful and unlawful things clearly shows that he was unaware of it. In the same way from his successor and from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.). We did not hear anything from Hasan Ibne Hasan through which can be compared to what we have heard about the knowledge of Ali bin al-Husain (a.s.). And the one who is knowledgeable about religion is more deserving of Imamate than the one who has no knowledge.

So, O Zaidiyyah people, if you have received some knowledge of the lawful and the prohibited things from Hasan bin al-Hasan, tell us about it. If not, think deeply as per the saying of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime:

يَهْدِي لِلْحَقِّ ۗ أَفَمَنْ يَهْدِي إِلَى الْحَقِّ أَحَقُّ أَنْ يُتَّبَعَ أَمَّنْ لَا يَهِدِّي إِلَّا أَنْ يُهْدَىٰ ۖ فَمَا لَكُمْ كَيْفَ تَحْكُمُونَ

Is He then Who guides to the truth more worthy to be followed, or he who himself does not go aright unless he is guided? What then is the matter with you; how do you judge?87

We don’t deny the merits, purity, nobility and justice of Hasan Muthanna, but Imamate is not given except to one who has knowledge of religion, recognition of divine laws and interpretation of the Book. We have not seen Zaidiyyah sect having faith in an Imam who believes in interpretation (Tawil) of Quran according to personal opinion and deriving laws of Shariah through analogy (Qiyas).

While the interpretation of Quran is not possible without deducing because there was a strong possibility that if Quran had been revealed in only one dialect and the scholars of that language would have known its implications.

But the fact is that the Quran was revealed in many (Arab) dialects and its interpretation is not possible except with the help of the explanation of law-maker. Like the prayer, Zakat, Hajj and whatever is mentioned in this regard. And there are some things in it whose implication is not known except through the explanation of the law-maker (Tauqeef). On the basis of this it is not right to take its literal meaning, because prior to this you are all needful to know that in the discourse that you want to interpret there is no scope at all in its explanation and interpretation; neither in brief nor in detail.

If someone says that it cannot be denied that whatever is supposed to be learnt through the explanation of the law-maker, the Almighty Allah taught it know to His Messenger (S). And whatever is to be known from deduction was entrusted to the scholars, and made each part of Quran an explanation of another. Therefore we are excepted from replying to this claim which you are making about this explanation of the law-maker.

He shall be told: It is not possible that it should be as you are saying because we would find two different contradictory interpretations for one and the same verse and both will be correct according to lexicon and both can be followed and through both we can serve Allah. And it is not right for a wise speaker to make a statement having two contradictory meanings.

If someone says that no one denies that in Quran of the two meanings only one is proved, but the thing is that when those who have knowledge of Quran, whenever they make effort they would be able to know the correct implication.

This person will be told: We reject this statement of yours and we shall inform you of the reason also and it is that the indication in Quran to the correctness of one of the two implications is not without two possibilities. Either there is a scope of interpretation in it or it is not open to interpretation. If there is scope of interpretation in it, the same thing will apply as was said about the mentioned verse. But if there is no scope of interpretation, it is certainly explanation of the law-maker and in its meaning a text (Nass) and it is necessary that anyone who understands the language will not have any difficulty in arriving at the correct meaning.

It is something that reason cannot deny, and such an act can be rightly performed by a wise one. However if we ponder upon the verses of Quran, we will not find them as such. Rather we will find that differences of opinion with regard to their interpretation are still there among the experts of language. Also, if there are some verses that explain other verses, in such a way that there is no scope of interpretation, a group that contradicts would be stubborn and it is impossible to expose them with a little effort.

One who have interpreted the verse must be ignorant of lexicon and someone other than a language expert, because when there is no scope of interpretation in a statement but you have imposed weird implications on it, it will be completely distorted. So, O you Zaidiyyah people, tell us about one verse of Quran which proves interpretation by way of text (Nass) or explanation of the law-maker and regarding which the intellectuals have had a difference of opinion. And its being difficult itself proves that there must be such an interpreter of Quran who is aware of the aim and implication of the Almighty Allah and says that he is absolutely certain of it.

Then the author says that the Khattabiya group claims Imamate for Ja’far bin Muhammad and says that he had received it through the will of his respected father. They believe in his return (Rajat) and oppose all those who believe in Imamate after Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.). They consider you Imamiyah to be in agreement with them in the Imamate of Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) and they differ with you in the Imamate of other Imams.

Thus I say and only upon the Almighty Allah I rely that Imamate is not proved through anyone’s agreement or disagreement. It is proved through evidences based on the truth. And I think that this author has tried to create a misunderstanding because Khattabiya is an extremist group and there is no connection between them and the Imamiyah. He may reply: I meant the sect that has stopped at the Imamate of Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) and which does not believe in the other Imams.

So this sect will be told that we believe Imam Musa Kazim (a.s.) to be the Imam after Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) as you have believed that after Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) the Imam is Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.). And we have believed that Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) has passed away and that his venerable father has also passed away. And the difference between you and us is the same as that between the Sabaiya and the group that has stopped at the Imamate of Amirul Momineen (a.s.). Thus you may say whatever you like.

Moreover the author will be told: You should know that the difference between you and those who believe in that Imamate is the right of the descendants of Abbas, Ja’far and Aqil, of those who are knowledgeable and virtuous among them; they also try to prove through lexicology that they are also from the progeny of the Prophet and they say that indeed the Messenger of Allah (S) had implied the whole progeny and not restricted the Imamate to three persons, that is Amirul Momineen, Hasan and Husain (a.s.) about whom we have explained before.

Then the author says: The Shamtiya sect claims that Imamate was transferred through will of the father from Abdullah bin Ja’far bin Muhammad, while the Qahtiya sect claims the Imamate for Ismail bin Ja’far that he got it through the will and inheritance of his father and before that they believed in the Imamate of Abdullah bin Ja’far.

Today they are called Ismailiya because the generations of believers in the Imamate of Abdullah bin Ja’far have become extinct. There is also a group from the Qahtiya call Qaramtiya and they believe in the Imamate of Ismail bin Imam Ja’far Sadiq and they say that he received it through the will and inheritance of his father. Another group is of the Waqifiya that claims the Imamate of Imam Musa bin Ja’far (a.s.) and they expect him to return.

However the invalidity of the argument of the Qahtiya group is so clear that it cannot remain concealed because Ismail died before Abu Abdillah Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) and a deceased man cannot be the successor of one who is alive. On the contrary a living person can be a successor of one who is dead. However this sect has blindly followed their leaders and ignored the evidences against their stand. NO more explanation is required as their falsehood is very much obvious and deserves to be condemned.

As for the Qaramatiya! They have opposed Islam in everything because they distorted the acts of Shariah and committed all sorts of indecent acts and included them in their religion, in spite of the fact that the Imam is needed to protect religion and to establish the law of Shariah. Hence if the Qaramatiya claim that Ja’far bin Muhammad or his successor appointed one as the successor who opposes Islam and Shariah and deviates the Ummah from the right path it treads, their falsehood will at once become obvious for all, no other proof would be required for that.

The difference between us and all other sects is that we have among us scholars of traditions who live in different places far away from each other and all of them have narrated the verdicts of lawful and the unlawful from Ja’far bin Muhammad (a.s.). In this way under normal circumstances it is impossible that all of them should be fabricated untruths. These people have also narrated from their predecessors that Abu Abdillah Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) has made a bequest for the Imamate of Imam Musa Kazim (a.s.). Then reports have been narrated about the merits, superiority and knowledge of Imam Musa Kazim (a.s.) and these reports are well-known, whereas we have not heard except claims being made by the other sects.

How can widely related (Mutawatir) reports be compared with unreliable traditions? Hence if you ponder upon the correct narrational reports you would come to know the difference between Imam Musa Kazim (a.s.) and the other two sons of Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.), Muhammad and Abdullah. In this matter we test through those five verdicts of the lawful and the unlawful whose reply was given by Imam Musa Kazim (a.s.).

If we had received the correct replies from the followers of anyone of them (Muhammad and Abdullah) we would have said that they are right. The Imamiyah have narrated that Abdullah bin Ja’far was asked what is the quantity of Zakat applicable on an amount of two hundred Dirhams? He said: Five Dirhams. Then he was asked what is the Zakat of a hundred Dirhams. He said: Two and a half Dirhams.

If someone challenges Islam and Muslims that he is having someone who has created a like of the Quran and asks what is the difference between that and the Quran we will tell him that the Quran is well-known and available in every home and that he should bring the book he has compiled so that we may see what the difference is between the two. It is exactly the same thing that we say about the Imamiyah and other sects.

Our traditions and narrational reports are in possession of Shia scholars residing all over the world, but you show us the reports regarding what you claim so that we may clarify the difference between them or you might claim to have traditions that none has heard or known about. If you ask us the difference between these unknown traditions and the famous ones, it would be something that anyone can claim and if such claims can invalidate the authentic traditions of the people of the truth, that is the Imamiyah sect, the same type of claim by the Brahma can invalidate the traditions, narrations and happenings of Muslims. This is very much clear and thanks be to Allah.

The Sanawiya sect has claimed that the founder of their group, has shown miracles and they are in possession of such things that prove their veracity. So the Muslims told them it is a claim that anyone can make. So you tell us something so that we may guide you to that. It cannot remove any sort of excuse and neither can anything be proved from it and this is just like the reply of the author of this book.

The author shall be told that the Bakaria and the Baziya sects have claimed that the Holy Prophet (S) has issued statement of appointment (Nass) on the caliphate of Abu Bakr and you refuted this claim of theirs like we refuted your claim that Abu Abdillah Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) had made a bequest regarding the Imamate of those two. So you must present your evidence and clarify the difference between yourself and the Bakaria and the Baziya sects so that we may inform you what the difference is between us and those you mentioned.

The author shall also be told that he is one who claims that Ja’far bin Muhammad Sadiq (a.s.) was following Zaidiyyah faith and that he did not claim his Imamate in the way Imamiyah say he did. While the fact is that Muhammad bin Ismail bin Ja’far bin Muhammad has made a claim against the claim of your companions and they say that they are quoting from their elders. So you tell us what is the difference between you and them? So, we may present something better; and this is in consonance with justice and much better for you.

Another difference is that believers in the Imamate of Muhammad bin Ja’far and Abdullah bin Ja’far admit that Husain (a.s.) appointed (did Nass) for Ali (Zainul Abideen) and Ali did for Muhammad (Baqir) and Muhammad for Ja’far and our argument that Ja’far did Nass for Musa Kazim (a.s.) is the same that we present and it is that Husain (a.s.) appointed (did Nass) for Ali (Zainul Abideen).

Another point is that if the Imam reappears and Shias begin visiting him, his knowledge will become open, his awareness of religion will be clear for all. We have seen that narrators and scholars of traditions having recorded reports about the knowledge of Imam Musa Kazim (a.s.) about Islamic law; these traditional reports have been compiled in book and hadith collections and are well-known. Also the personal merits of Imam Musa Kazim (a.s.) are so famous that no scholar of Shia and Sunni is unaware of it. It is a distinctive quality of Imamate. When we found it in Imam Musa Kazim (a.s.) and not in others we concluded that he alone is the Imam after his father and not his brother.

One more point is that: Abdullah bin Ja’far died without leaving a son and neither did he appoint anyone. Hence those who had believed in his Imamate returned to the belief in the Imamate of Imam Musa Kazim (a.s.). After that the only difference between our traditions and theirs is that traditions do not bring certainty till there are people in the way of their narration such that if they narrate a report all the excuses should disappear.

Now we do not argue about their elders, we remain content with asking them only to tell us how many tradition scholars are there in their sect in the present age so that the wide narration (Tawatur) of their traditions may be proved, just as we are able to prove this on our part. Hence if they are capable of this, they should bring it out and if not, the difference between them and us is very much clear. And praise be to Allah.

And those who stop at the Imamate of Imam Musa Kazim (a.s.) are treading the same path as that of those who have stopped at Abu Abdillah Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.). We have not seen the death of any elder scholar; its testimony has reached us only through reports and narrations. So we shall ask anyone who has stopped at the Imamate of any of the Imams that what is the difference between them and those who have stopped at the Imamate of some other Imam. They will have no answer to this.

Then the author says: There is a sect among them that after Imam Musa Kazim (a.s.) believes in the Imamate of his son, Ali bin Musa (a.s.) and does not accept any other son of Imam Musa Kazim (a.s.) as the Imam. They think that he (Ali) has obtained the right to Imamate through the will of his father. After that Imamate was transferred to his descendants till it reached to Imam Hasan bin Ali (Askari) (a.s.). After this they claim that Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) had a son and they call him by the title of Righteous Successor (Khalaf Salih), who died during the lifetime of his father.

So after Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) Imamate went to his brother, Hasan. What they believed about Muhammad is falsified. They began to say regarding this: Allah has changed (did Bada) from Muhammad to Hasan as it was changed from Ismail bin Ja’far to Musa bin Ja’far as Ismail has died during the lifetime of Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.). Thus Hasan bin Ali al-Askari passed away in 263 A.H. and some of his companions referred to the Imamate of Ja’far bin Ali like the companions of Muhammad bin Ali, after his death, had turned to Hasan al-Askari (a.s.). Some of them were of the view that Ja’far bin Ali (Naqi) became rightful for Imamate on the basis of the will of his father and not his brother, Hasan bin Ali al-Askari.

After that they continued to transfer Imamate in the descendants of Ja’far considering it to be based on will and inheritance. All the sects are arguing with each other in the matter of Imamate and they label each other as infidels. They falsify each other and announce immunity from the Imamate of each other. Every sect is claiming the Imamate of his Imam to be based on will and inheritance and prove it through things like the knowledge of the Unseen, whereas nonsense is better than that. None of the sects is having evidence to prove its claim and each of them is opposed to others but in the claim of will and inheritance, all are the same.

Their proof in support of their claim is their own testimony and not the statement of someone else. It is something bereft of truth and a claim sans proof. If in addition to the matter of will and inheritance those claimants had any other evidence they would have indeed brought it out. And if to prove Imamate there is nothing other than will and inheritance, the Imamate itself is invalid because those who claim on the basis of will and inheritance are too many in number. There is no way one can reject the claim of one and accept that of the other, as the subject matter is the same for all. In other words, all of them are in agreement on falsifying each other and each sect is distinct from others regarding its claim.

Therefore I reply as follows: And it is only Allah that gives the good sense (Taufeeq) to follow the right path. If Imamate has been proved wrong because there are too many claimants for it, you accept the same about prophethood. We certainly know that many people have claimed prophethood. The author of that book has made such baseless allegations against the Imamiyah sect that it seems that all have faith in it. And there is no sect among them that does not believe in the change of destiny (Bada).

Infidel is the one who says that there are occurrences for Allah and that His knowledge is an attainment and if it is something other than this it is the belief of the Mughairiya sect. If someone attributes knowledge of the Unseen to the Imams, it is denial of Allah and in our view he has gone beyond the pale of Islam.

The least amount of justice that this author could have practiced was that he should have quoted the views of the rightful people accurately and he should not have said that since all the sects oppose each other it means that belief in Imamate itself has become invalid.

Now in our view, the Imam is recognized through some particular methods that we shall soon mention. Then we shall consider the statements of those people. If we find that there is no difference between the two we shall rule that the sect and belief is false. Then we shall ask the author which of those views and beliefs is correct.

His statement that ‘one sect believed in the Imamate of Musa (Kazim) and after him accepted his son, Ali bin Musa (a.s.) as the Imam’, seems to be coming from someone who is absolutely ignorant of the history and traditions of the Imamiyah faith, because except for those few who stopped at the Imamate of Imam Musa Kazim (a.s.) and those who adopted the belief in the Imamate of Ismail and Abdullah bin Ja’far, the majority of the Imamiyah reached consensus on the Imamate of Ali bin Musa (a.s.). They related traditions about him that are collected in books. Among the tradition narrators there were only five persons who at the beginning of this incident became associated with those beliefs, after that their number increased.

So how the author deemed it right to say: A group went to Musa Kazim? More surprising is the fact that he said: Till they reached to Hasan Askari and claimed that he had a son, whereas during the blessed lifetime of Ali bin Muhammad (a.s.) there was only one group among the associates of Faris bin Hatim that believed in the Imamate of his son, Muhammad. Thus it does not become a sensible man to ridicule his opponent with something that is utterly baseless.

What proves the falsity of the belief of those who believe in the Imamate of Muhammad, is exactly the same as what we have said about Ismail bin Ja’far because the story of both of them is the same and both of them died before the demise of their respective fathers. It is impossible that a living person should appoint as his successor one who has died and issue will in his favor. Since it is such an obvious thing there is no need of any further discussion.

The difference between us and those who believe in the Imamate of Ja’far (Kazzab/liar) is that his followers make contradictory statements because is related through his followers and also through us that Ja’far said: “I am the Imam after my brother, Muhammad.” And some of them narrate that he said: “I am the Imam after my brother, Hasan Askari.” There are also some who have quoted him saying: “I am the Imam after my father, Ali bin Muhammad.”

As you see these reports refute each other, whereas our narration regarding Abi Muhammad Hasan bin Ali Askari (a.s.) is widely related (Mutawatir) and there is no contradiction in it. This is the clear difference between us and them. Then it also became clear on us that Ja’far (Kazzab/liar) was ignorant of divine laws because he was demanding from the mother of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) a brother’s share in inheritance, whereas according to the law of inheritance followed by his ancestors when the deceased mother is alive the brothers are not supposed to get any share.

Thus when Ja’far (Kazzab/liar) didn’t know this basic rule of inheritance and his ignorance was clear, how he could have been an Imam? In these matters we have to submit to Allah on the outward appearance. If we like we can say a great deal in clarification, but what we have said so far is enough to prove that Ja’far (Kazzab/liar) was not an Imam.

As for his saying that “They have claimed that Hasan Askari had a son,” is wrong, because those people have not claimed, it is something that has been narrated from their elders and not only this, the narrated reports also explain the circumstances of this son going into occultation. The people created controversies only at a later stage. Thus one who likes may refer to their books for all the details.

As for his statement that, “All these sects argue with each other and accuse each other of infidelity,” is absolutely true but the condition of Muslims is also the same. They also accuse each other of infidelity. Let him say whatever he likes and ridicule in any way, but the fact is that the Brahma people are just like him; they similarly accuse and ridicule Islam. It means that whoever is opposed is questioned in a matter in such a way that it is intended to be a ridicule of his religion and belief; if the same thing is turned on the questioner, the same objection will apply to his religion and belief that he had leveled against his opponent sect.

Thus that person is like one who is questioning himself and ridiculing his own religious belief. The same applies to the author of that book. Prophethood is the root and Imamate is its branch. Thus, when the author has admitted the root it is not correct to ridicule the branch. And help is sought from only Allah.

Then he says that if Imamate of a person about whom it is claimed can be proved through will and inheritance without a unanimous argument the Mughairiya are most deserving of this because all are having consensus regarding the Imamate of Hasan bin Ali. Regarding the Imamate of Hasan bin Ali also, the argument of the Mughairiya is that he became eligible for it after his father through will and inheritance.

This sect has not considered right the Imamate of someone else after consensus on the Imamate of Imam Hasan (Askari), on the contrary through the same argument they have appointed the Imamate among his descendants. Apart from this, the Imamiyah sects have contradictions regarding their religion. Some of them believe in corporeality (of God) and others have faith in the transmigration of soul. Some are of the view that Unity (Tauheed) is abstract and some believe that God is just.

Along with this they try to prove reward and retribution and some others follow the belief of predestination and think that reward and retribution is false. Some think that God is visible and some deny it but believe in change of destiny (Bada) and such other things of which the details will prolong the book. In these ways these people accuse each other of infidelity and announce aloofness from each other’s religion. Each of these sects has its own reliable tradition narrators and scholars who have conveyed the codes of religion from their respective Imams to the people and the people follow them.

Then the author says that when it is true that must also be true and it is something that is not possible and correct in our view and we have quoted the statement without making any additions. So there is no need to prolong the book through a discussion that has neither any evidence nor any benefit.

Therefore, relying only on the Almighty Allah I say: If the truth cannot be proved without a consensual argument no truth can ever be proved. First of all it would prove the invalidity of Zaidiyyah religion because their argument is not having consensus. Whatever he has mentioned about Mughairiya is like an argument that he has taken from the Jews because they always present this argument as a proof of their veracity that we and they both agree on the prophethood of Musa (a.s.) while we have difference of opinion with them as regards the prophethood of His Eminence, Muhammad (S).

However to condemn us for having different beliefs and that all our groups follow what has been narrated from its respective Imam, he has taken this method from the Brahma because they ridicule Islam in exactly the same way.

As for Imamate, may Allah give you felicity, it is proved for us through text of appointment (Nass), apparent excellence, knowledge; along with this duties related to hearing and through his needlessness of analogy and personal deduction regarding the practical law. We have known about the Imamate of every Imam only through this. Very soon we shall present a satisfactory explanation regarding differences among Shias.

After that the author says: Their difference is either from their personal side or it is from the narrators of traditions or from their Imams. Thus if this difference is from their Imams we shall say that an Imam is one that unites all people on a matter not that he should cause dissension in the Ummah, especially when his followers are less in number against their enemies and there is no guaranteed that each of them is safe from the other.

What is the difference between the Imamiyah sect and other sects when inspite of being with the Imams and Divine Proofs it is having more defects than those who have no Imam? While the fact is that they are much behind the Imamiyah in differences in religion and in making accusation of infidelity towards each other. However if these differences are from the side of those who have brought the religion to them (narrators of traditions), what is the guarantee of the correctness of this Imamate, which has reached them through such people? Especially when one for whom Imamate is claimed is such that his existence is absent and his person is not seen. Also, he is the Divine Proof and is having the knowledge of the Unseen.

Thus when his best associates, who are intermediaries between him and his followers, are liars and they attribute falsehood to him, how can the one who is having the knowledge of the Unseen is unaware of this? The third possibility is that this difference in the religion of Mutama is from their own side and not from the side of their Imams. Thus what is the need of Imams for Mutama when they themselves are needless and accomplished in knowledge and their Imam is behind them, who does not restrain them in anything? Even though he is the interpreter of religion and Divine Proof.

It is the best proof that he is non-existent and if he is there, he is not having the knowledge of Unseen that they claim; because if he had been present there would have not been any scope of him not explaining the divine laws for their Shias. As Allah, the Mighty and Sublime has said:

وَمَا أَنْزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ إِلَّا لِتُبَيِّنَ لَهُمُ الَّذِي اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ

And We have not revealed to you the Book except that you may make clear to them that about which they differ,88

Thus as the Prophet explained to his Ummah, it is also obligatory for the Imam to explain to his Shias.

So I say, relying on the Almighty Allah: The difference between Imamiyah is from those liars who, like in every period of time, entered their folds till the problem became serious. The elders of Shias were pious, striving and they referred to the righteous people. They never had personal views and could not discriminate.

That is why they accepted traditions from and trusted even those who had concealed their identity. When this went on increasing and the reality became known to the people they complained to their Imams about it, so the Imams ordered them to take those traditions and narrations that are accepted by all. But they did not do so and continued in their previous attitude. Thus betrayal was from their side and not from their Imams. The Imams also did not become aware of the false and true traditions that had got mixed as they were not having the knowledge of the Unseen (except what Allah informed them).

He was a righteous slave of Allah having knowledge of the Book and Sunnah and among the traditions of Shias he becomes familiar only with those that reach him. As for his saying: Then what is it that could keep them safe when such is their way in the matter of Imamate also? We shall say: There is a difference between the two as Imamate has reached them through widely related traditions (Tawatur) and there is no falsehood in Tawatur.

Also the fact is that traditions about matters other than Imamate are mostly solitary reports and solitary reports do not create certainty. Solitary reports can sometimes be true and sometimes false, which is not so in the case of Tawatur. This is our reply and whatever more is said about it would be invalid and unreliable. Then we would object: Can the difference of Ummah be devoid of the divisions that he has mentioned? If he replies in the negative, we shall say: Was the Prophet not sent to unite everyone? He would definitely say yes. He will be asked: Did Allah, the Mighty and Sublime not say:

وَمَا أَنْزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ إِلَّا لِتُبَيِّنَ لَهُمُ الَّذِي اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ

And We have not revealed to you the Book except that you may make clear to them that about which they differ.89

Again he will reply positively. Then he will be asked: “Did he make clear?” He will indeed agree to it. Thus he will be asked: “Then tell us what the reason for differences is? And satisfy us.”

As for his statement that: Thus what is the need of Imams for Mutama when they themselves are needless and accomplished in knowledge and their Imam is behind them, who does not restrain them in anything? As reply he will be told that justice is the best thing for the people of religion. What statement have we made that shows that we are needless in ourselves? The author should tell us through what evidence he is making such an allegation against us. In fact when one who confronts without knowing who is he confronting, he is assailed by questions and answers.

However, his saying that: This is the best argument that he is not present, because if he had been present he would have mentioned the facts to end differences among his Shias. As Allah, the Mighty and Sublime has said:

وَمَا أَنْزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ إِلَّا لِتُبَيِّنَ لَهُمُ الَّذِي اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ

And We have not revealed to you the Book except that you may make clear to them that about which they differ.90

The author will be told: Tell us about the guiding progeny of the Prophet, is it possible for them that they do not explain the complete truth for the Ummah? If he says, ‘yes’, he has argued against himself and it can create trouble for him; because in spite of that the Ummah has differed and groups opposed to each other have appeared, some of which have accused others of infidelity. If he says: ‘no’, he will be told: This the best proof that the progeny is not present and this will also prove the invalidity of Zaidiyyah’s claim, because the progeny, as Zaidiyyah say, had it been present it would have definitely narrated the truth to the Ummah and there would have been no scope for them to remain silent as Allah, the Mighty and Sublime has said:

وَمَا أَنْزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ إِلَّا لِتُبَيِّنَ لَهُمُ الَّذِي اخْتَلَفُوا فِيهِ

And We have not revealed to you the Book except that you may make clear to them that about which they differ.91

If he claims that the Progeny has narrated the truth for the Ummah but the Ummah did not accept it being inclined to selfish desires, he will be told that the same applies to what he has said about the Imamiyah sect, their Imams and their Shias and believes. And good sense is sought from the Almighty Allah.

Then the author says: They shall be asked why their Imam is hiding from the people? If they say: For safety of his life, then those who follow him should also be allowed to observe dissimulation regarding the pursuit of Imam. Especially when the follower is in hope and fear and had no knowledge about his Imam. If dissimulation is allowed for the Imam it will be first permitted for the public. What has happened to the Imam that he observes dissimulation from his followers and hides fearing for his life? Whereas he does not practice any dissimulation in consuming their wealth. The Almighty Allah has said:

اتَّبِعُوا مَنْ لَا يَسْأَلُكُمْ أَجْرًا وَهُمْ مُهْتَدُونَ

Follow him who does not ask you for reward.92

And He said:

إِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِنَ الْأَحْبَارِ وَالرُّهْبَانِ لَيَأْكُلُونَ أَمْوَالَ النَّاسِ بِالْبَاطِلِ وَيَصُدُّونَ عَنْ سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ

Most surely many of the doctors of law and the monks (of Jews and Christians) eat away the property of men falsely, and turn (them) from Allah’s way.93

This proves that the followers of falsehood are in pursuit of material wealth, while those who are attached to the Book do not ask for any recompense from the people; and only they are the guided. Then he says: If they say something else we shall reply to that also. Thus they will say only what a deficient ignorant says.

The reply for this objection is as follows: Indeed the Imam has not gone into concealment from his followers who seek his guidance. He is hiding from the enemies to survive. As for his saying that: If dissimulation (Taqayyah) is allowed for the Imam it will be first permitted for the public, he will be told: If you mean that the follower is allowed to save himself and flee for his life as it is allowed for the Imam, I would say that by Allah it is allowed.

If however you mean that it is allowed for the follower not to remain a believer in the Imamate of the Imam because he is supposed to observe dissimulation (Taqayyah), then such a thing is not allowed when the traditions tell him the same thing. Because an authentic report is as good as seeing with ones eyes and there is no dissimulation (Taqayyah) for conscience. Except for Allah no one knows what one believes in.

As for his statement that: What has happened to the Imam that he observes dissimulation (Taqayyah) from his followers and hides fearing for his life? Whereas he does not practice any dissimulation (Taqayyah) in consuming their wealth. The Almighty Allah has said:

اتَّبِعُوا مَنْ لَا يَسْأَلُكُمْ أَجْرًا

Follow him who does not ask you for reward.94

This can be replied as follows: Imam is not in dissimulation (Taqayyah) in guiding the people. How can it be so when he has narrated the truth for them and called them towards it? When he has made them inclined to follow the rules of the Shariah. So much so that they became famous for this only and began to be recognized as such. They do not consume people’s wealth, they only take the Khums (one-fifth part) that Allah has made obligatory on the people so that it may be utilized in the proper manner that Allah has also specified. It was the Holy Prophet (S) who announced the law of Khums and the Holy Quran has also mentioned it as follows:

وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا غَنِمْتُمْ مِنْ شَيْءٍ فَأَنَّ لِلَّهِ خُمُسَهُ وَلِلرَّسُولِ وَلِذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ

And know that whatever thing you gain, a fifth of it is for Allah and for the Apostle and for the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer.95

The Almighty Allah also said:

خُذْ مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ صَدَقَةً

Take alms out of their property.96

Hence if there is anything wrong in collecting money it is when one does on his own without any divine command – help is sought is from Allah.

The author will be asked: Tell us when your Imam reappears whether he will collect Khums or not? Would he collect land tax and some share in war booty or not? If he says, ‘no’ it would mean that his Imam has opposed the Islamic command. If he says, ‘yes’, he will be asked that if someone were to object to them on the basis of the verse:

اتَّبِعُوا مَنْ لَا يَسْأَلُكُمْ أَجْرًا

Follow him who does not ask you for reward.97

And the verse:

إِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِنَ الْأَحْبَارِ وَالرُّهْبَانِ

Most surely many of the doctors of law and the monks (of Jews and Christians)…98

What reply would you offer so that you can wait for the same reply from the Imamiyah sect? May Allah bestow you good sense (Taufeeq), it is something through which the atheists and infidels ridiculed the Muslims and I don’t know who has kept them in this misunderstanding? Know that, may Allah give you the knowledge of righteousness and make you eligible for it, one should act only based on the Book and the Sunnah and they should not be opposed. Hence if our opponents can prove that what we have taken is against the Book and Sunnah, I swear by my life that the opponent’s argument is right, but if it is not possible for them to do this, they should know that there is nothing wrong in acting in accordance with the Book of Allah and Sunnah as is very much clear.

Now the author says: They shall be told: We do not consider Imamate valid for one who cannot be recognized, therefore is there any way through which the recognition of your Imam can be obtained, whose Imamate you claim? So that we may also consider Imamate valid and possible for him like we consider for those from the Ummah who are present. If you cannot do so there is nothing which can permit Imamate for people who are absent. And all those who are not present, are absent. Hence the one for whom you claim the Imamate is proved as one for whom Imamate is invalid.

So I say: I seek Allah’s help. The author shall be asked: Do you have any doubt in the existence of Ali bin Husain and his descendants whom we consider as Imams? Hence if he says, ‘no’, we shall say: Is it then permissible for them to be Imams? If he says, ‘yes’, we will say: Then perhaps you don’t know that we are right in believing in their Imamate and may be you are wrong, and this is enough to exhaust the argument on you.

If he says, ‘no’, we will say: Then what is the use of proving the existence of our Imam? While you are not admitting to the Imamate of Ali bin Husain (a.s.) when their fame in knowledge and excellence is agreed to by both the friends and foes alike. Then he would be told: We recognized these personalities from the Progeny from the tradition that was mentioned. These personages are familiar with the interpretation of Quran and the laws of religion. Apart from this also we are in need of such personalities who may impart the knowledge of the meanings of Quran and clarify the difference between the commands of Allah and the instigations of Satan.

Then we came to know that among the descendants of Imam Husain (a.s.) the truth is with this group because we have seen that from the progeny whoever is opposed to their opinion, when he explains the divine law or interprets the Quran, he does so in the method the scholars of Ahle Sunnah do. That is they follow personal opinion and analogy in deriving the laws of the Shariah which the Almighty Allah wants them to follow without questioning as it is only for their well being. Through this we came to know that those opponents are on falsehood.

Apart from this, whatever we have learnt from a pure group from the progeny, regarding the lawful and prohibited and divine laws, such things have never come to us from any other person. After that each Imam issued appointment text (Nass) in traditions for his successor till the matter reached to Imam Hasan bin Ali Askari (a.s.). When he passed away and no text became known to us and we could not find who the successor was after him, we referred to the books of our predecessors. In those books they had narrated about the occultation of Imam even at that time. Hence whatever we found in those books showed what the matter shall be with the successor of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.).

It is that he shall remain concealed from the people and there shall be discord among the Shias, people will be confused about him. So we came to know that since our predecessors did not have the knowledge of the Unseen, therefore only our Imams must have informed them about all these matters through the traditions of the Holy Prophet (S). In this way, the Imam’s existence and occultation was proved for us to the level of certainty. Thus if at this point there is some evidence that can prove our claims wrong, we ask Zaidiyyah to bring it out because we have no enmity with truth. And thanks be to Allah.

Then the author objected to us that with the claim that is used by those who stop at the Imamate of Musa Ibne Ja’far to prove their rightfulness. We have not stopped at the Imamate of anyone and we inquire about the differences between all those sects who have stopped at the Imamate of one or the other Imam. We have stated before that we are sure that Imam Musa Kazim (a.s.) has passed away, just as we came to know that Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) has passed away and if one doubts in the passing away of one of them, one automatically begins to doubt in the demise of the other also.

The fact is that the group which stopped at the Imamate of Imam Musa Kazim (a.s.) denied the rightfulness of the group that stopped at the Imamate of Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.). In the same way they rejected the belief of the sect that had stopped at the Imamate of Amirul Momineen (a.s.). Thus we shall tell them that our argument to prove the falsity of your belief is the same that you use to prove the invalidity of the beliefs of your opponent sect, so you only tell us what argument you will present against yourself?

After quoting us you said that we had been telling the Waqifiya sects that Imam is only one who is present and apparent. Now this is like the statement of one who is not familiar with the statements and beliefs of his opponent. The Imamiyah sect has always believed that an Imam is one who is either apparent or hidden. Their traditions are so famous in this regard that they are known to all. To fabricate beliefs on behalf of the opponents is something that anyone can do but a religious and learned person cannot do this. In this regard even if we did not have any other report except the one narrated from Kumayl Ibne Ziyad it would have been sufficient for us.

Then he says: If they say this they will be replied in the same manner. It is that in which we do not believe and our argument is what you heard and it is sufficient, praise be to Allah.

Then he says: As you are of the opinion that Imamate is for Bani Hashim because the Holy Prophet (S) has indicated his progeny to his Ummah. And both of us have agreement on this. The progeny is from his special relatives, and no one is nearer to them in relationship. Therefore Imamate is for them and not for the descendants of those who were given reprieve on the day of the conquest of Mecca. Also, from the Progeny only one person will be eligible because there can be only one Imam so that he may be necessary with the Book of Allah. And he remains with it and invites us towards the establishment of commands of the Book because the Messenger of Allah (S) has guided us to them saying: “Doubtlessly they can never separate from the Book till they arrive to me at the Pool.”

And there is consensus upon this and you have brought Bani Hashim by way of argument. You should remember that they are the offspring (Dhurriyat) of the Messenger of Allah (S) even though they might not have been born because the children of all women are related to their father except the children of Fatima and the children of Fatima are related to the Messenger of Allah (S), while the meaning of offspring (Dhurriyat) is ‘children’ because Allah, the Mighty and Sublime has said:

وَإِنِّي أُعِيذُهَا بِكَ وَذُرِّيَّتَهَا مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ

And I commend her and her offspring into Thy protection from the accursed Shaitan.99

I say: I seek the refuge of Allah. This belief is not correct according to our consensus. Its correctness is possible only through ‘manifest evidence’ (Burhan). So you tell us what is your proof of the correctness of your claim? Apart from this our agreement is only regarding the three personalities of Amirul Momineen, Hasan and Husain (a.s.) and the Messenger of Allah (S) never mentioned ‘offspring’ anywhere. He has only mentioned his ‘Itrah’ (progeny). Hence you were inclined to some from the progeny and abandoned others without having any manifest proof.

We have supported our argument with the help of traditions narrated through our predecessors till their report reached to the point that Husain bin Ali (a.s.) has issued text (Nass) for the Imamate of his son, Ali bin al-Husain (a.s.) and Ali (Zainul Abideen) issued Nass for his son, Muhammad (Baqir) and Muhammad (Baqir) did it for his son, Ja’far (Sadiq). And then we proved that only the Imamate of these personages is rightful and the claim of anyone else is not valid because it was made clear to us that only those personages could impart knowledge of religion and only they possessed excellence and superiority. Obtaining knowledge from them only, their friends and enemies conveyed this matter to every corner of the world and all this is well-known to the narrators of traditions.

Only knowledge is that element through which the Divine Proof can be recognized and the difference between Divine Proof and others is known. Through it, the Imam is identified and the difference between Imam (leader) and Mamoom (follower) is realized. So, O people of Zaidiyyah sect, what happened to the proof of your claim?

After this the author says: Thus if Imamate had been lawful for all Bani Hashim, in addition to Hasan and Husain (a.s.) it would have been lawful for the descendants of Abde Manaf also, and if in addition to Bani Hashim, it had been lawful for descendants of Abde Manaf, it would also have been lawful for all the descendants of Qusayy and if you take this matter further it would give a very bad result.

In reply to this it will be said: O one who is arguing on behalf of the Zaidiyyah sect, this Imamate is not something that one becomes eligible for it on the basis of close relationship. The criteria of its eligibility is excellence and knowledge that is proved through clear traditions and Shariah. Thus if Imamate had become lawful for one from the progeny who was nearest in relationship because of his relationship, it would have become lawful also for those who are distantly related. So you tell us about the difference between yourself and the belief of those who are making such claims.

You present your proof and tell us what is the difference between you and one who says that if Imamate is lawful for the descendants of Hasan (a.s.) it should be lawful for the descendants of Ja’far also. And if it is lawful for the descendants of Ja’far (a.s.) it should be lawful for the descendants of Abbas (Prophet’s uncle) too. Now it is not at all possible for Zaidiyyah sect to mention any of these differences but that he turns to our belief and it is that every Imam informs about the Imam after him through clear traditional reports and textual appointment (Nass) and the succeeding Imam should become clear to the people through his knowledge about the lawful and the prohibited aspects.

Then he says: If those people ask us about the reason for the Imamate of Ali (a.s.) and ask what you say about Ali (a.s.); he was from the progeny or not? They would be told: He was not from the progeny but he is superior to the progeny and all other relatives because the traditional report of the Ghadeer Day and the text of appointment (Nass) regarding which there is unanimity, is enough to prove his Imamate.

Seeking help from Allah, I reply: The author would be told: Narration reports and appointment texts about the Ghadeer Day are absolutely correct, however your denial that Amirul Momineen (a.s.) is not included in the circle of progeny is a very serious matter. We challenge you to give a proof to support your claim. The fact is that scholars of lexicon consider the uncle and the descendants of uncle in the progeny of man.

Another thing is that through this you have subjected your belief and religion to doubt because having the belief that Amirul Momineen (a.s.) was among those whom the Prophet had left among his Ummah and in this regard he says the Holy Prophet (S) has left the Book and his Progeny among the people, but now he says that Amirul Momineen (a.s.) is not included in the progeny. This implies that Amirul Momineen (a.s.) is beyond the circle of two things that the Messenger of Allah (S) had left for his Ummah. And as you can see both these statements contradict each other.

There is only one possibility that he can say: This tradition of the Messenger of Allah (S) implies that he has spoken about leaving the progeny after the martyrdom of Amirul Momineen (a.s.). Then we would ask him what reply he would offer to one that says that the Holy Prophet (S) left the Book also at that same time (after the martyrdom of Amirul Momineen), because he had left the Book and the progeny together, and the report also says the same thing – and the favor is only from Allah.

Then the author has turned his attention to that which goes against him when he says: And we ask those who admit of Imamate for some among the progeny and not for others, to furnish evidence for the veracity of their claim, whereas the fact is that this person has also restricted the Imamate to the descendants of Hasan and Husain (a.s.) and does not consider others from the progeny to be having a share in it. After that he says:

Thus if they present absurd matters like the incidence of knowledge of the Unseen and such nonsense that do not have any reality, and it is only a claim, such claims can be presented for others as well. So if the claim is itself the evidence, the progeny will be included among those who oppress their souls.

The author will be told: You are talking too much about Progeny and except for Allah no one knows the Unseen. If anyone from human beings claims it, he is a polytheist and an infidel. We have told you and your associates that what we claim, the proof of that is only knowledge and understanding. If you have something like that, you may show it and if not, ridiculing and making allegations is something that any extremist can do against everybody. And only Allah is sufficient for us and He is the best support.

After that the author says: Now we turn to explain the argument of the Zaidiyyah that they present under the support of the following statement of Allah, the Mighty and the High:

ثُمَّ أَوْرَثْنَا الْكِتَابَ الَّذِينَ اصْطَفَيْنَا مِنْ عِبَادِنَا

Then We gave the Book for an inheritance to those whom We chose from among Our servants.100

He will be told: So we accept that this verse was revealed for the Progeny. But how do you prove that only the descendants of Hasan and Husain (a.s.) are those who take precedence in good deeds and others from the Progeny do not fit this description? We know that you only want to ridicule your opponents, while the fact is that you are claiming the same thing about which you condemn your opponents.

Then he says: Allah, the Mighty and Sublime addressed all the general as well as special people of the Ummah of His Prophet and said:

وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا

And hold fast by the covenant of Allah all together.101

Then the author says: After that the address to general Muslims ended and addressing only the special people Allah said:

كُنْتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ

You are the best of the nations raised up for (the benefit of) men…102

And he (the author) says that these are the offspring of Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.) and other people are not included in it. From the offspring of Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.) are only those who have embraced Islam and not the polytheists; and He made them as witnesses on them. Thus Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ارْكَعُوا وَاسْجُدُوا وَاعْبُدُوا رَبَّكُمْ وَافْعَلُوا الْخَيْرَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ وَجَاهِدُوا فِي اللَّهِ حَقَّ جِهَادِهِ ۚ هُوَ اجْتَبَاكُمْ وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ مِنْ حَرَجٍ ۚ مِلَّةَ أَبِيكُمْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ ۚ هُوَ سَمَّاكُمُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ مِنْ قَبْلُ وَفِي هَٰذَا لِيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ شَهِيدًا عَلَيْكُمْ وَتَكُونُوا شُهَدَاءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ

O you who believe! bow down and prostrate yourselves and serve your Lord, and do good that you may succeed. And strive hard in (the way of) Allah, (such) a striving as is due to Him; He has chosen you and has not laid upon you any hardship in religion; the faith of your father Ibrahim; He named you Muslims before and in this (Quran), that the Apostle may be a bearer of witness to you, and you may be bearers of witness to the people.103

This special way is from the offspring of Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.). Then this author has tried to prove his claim with the help of similar verses.

He shall be told: You know that Motazela and all the sects of Islam differ with you greatly regarding the verse that you have quoted. Thus your condition is such that you are not presenting anything more than a claim. We accept your claim but we object to the argument that is peculiar to you; that is your stand that this verse implies only descendants of Hasan and Husain (a.s.) and no one else. So, how long will you continue reiterating your claim and keep avoiding submission of proof? By quoting verses of Quran you are trying to overawe us and creating the misunderstanding that there is in it some proof in support of your veracity that is not in favor of your opponent.

Then the author says: Among the Progeny those who invite to righteousness, like one who enjoins good and forbids evil and struggle in the way of Allah as it deserves; they are not like other members of the Progeny who neither invited to righteousness nor struggled in the way of Allah like it deserved. He is like one from the people of the book who the Allah Almighty has not given such a position.

They and other people of the book are equal. Even though one who leaves off the acts may be a pious worshipper, because worship is recommended and Jihad is obligatory like other obligations as one who performs this is such that he takes up arms to confront arms and puts awe into the enemies. After that the author has quoted some verses of Surah Waqiya regarding Jihad and then he had mentioned his claim to prove it through those verses, whereas the fact is that none of them can become the proof. Therefore first of all we challenge him to first prove the correctness of his arguments.

Thus praying for Allah’s help, I say: If more excellence of Jihad had become the proof of knowledge and Imamate, Imam Husain (a.s.) would be more deserving of Imamate than Imam Hasan (a.s.) because Imam Hasan (a.s.) made peace with Muawiyah and Imam Husain (a.s.) performed Jihad till he was martyred. Then how can the author claim that? How can he refute the objection? Another point is that we do not deny the obligatory nature of Jihad nor reject its excellence but we have seen that the Messenger of Allah (S) did not fight with anyone till he could muster supporters.

After that he fought against the infidels. We also saw that Amirul Momineen (a.s.) also followed the same practice. After that Imam Hasan (a.s.) also intended to fight but when his supporters deserted him he signed a treaty of peace and made himself aloof from the people. So we came to know that Jihad was obligatory when you have supporters. Whereas the scholar, according to the unanimous opinion of all intellectuals, is superior to that religious fighter (Mujahid) who is not a scholar. And it is also not that anyone that calls towards Jihad would be aware of the laws of Jihad that he would know when fighting is obligatory and under what circumstances peace is a better option and what attitude he should have with regarding to the subjects.

What he should do about the life, property and honor of the people? After this we ask our brothers to show us one person from the Progeny of the Prophet that resorts to comparison in the being of Allah, negates destiny, uses personal opinion and analogy in interpreting the religious laws, is sufficiently knowledgeable on a personal level so that in case he fights Jihad we may also accompany him because enjoining good and forbidding evil is such an obligation that is dependant on power and possibilities, as human intellect testifies that it is unlawful to impose more responsibility than one can bear.

And to deceive ones self is very bad. Among the things that can be construed as cheating is that one musters up a small band of people who have neither learnt the art of warfare nor have experience in this field to confront those who are experts of warfare, have much experience, they rule the kingdom and have killed thousands of people. They also have a large number of men and weapons and in addition to soldiers they have a large number of supporters among the general public who have the belief that one who opposes them becomes liable for execution.

In such circumstances how can the author make us obliged to join the ranks of those who are novice in the art of warfare, and if one calls to fight against the oppressors, how many people familiar with the art of fighting can he hope to muster? No, no, it can never be so. It is a sequence that cannot decline without the help of Allah, the Knowing and the Wise.

After this the author quotes some verses of Quran, then he gives very bizarre interpretations of these verses without justifying such interpretations with the help of logical or religious proofs. So, may Allah have mercy on you, who all are more deserving of this that he should become witness from Allah, invite to righteousness as He has ordered, and forbid evil and enjoin good and fight in the way of Allah in such a way as it deserves, till he is martyred.

Or one whom neither anyone has seen nor identified. Then how can Allah make him His witness on something to which he has neither guided His servants nor prohibited them, or enjoined them? Thus if they obey him they have fulfilled his right which was obligatory on them and if they killed him he went away becoming a witness from Allah.

If a person asks witness from a group on the demand of a right that they have not seen him or testified, then would that person be called a martyr? Whether under such circumstances he would be considered rightful except that those people testify that which they have not seen; in that case they shall be liars and in the view of Allah, people of falsehood.

If such a thing is normal and allowed for a common man, how can it be possible for a just ruler who does not commit any oppression? If he asks a group to testify who have seen and heard and they give the testimony, would he not be on the right? And would those who give the testimony not be rightful, and their opponents not be false? Would the testimony not be acceptable and the judgment not in their favor? The same point is mentioned by the Almighty Allah when He says:

إِلَّا مَنْ شَهِدَ بِالْحَقِّ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ

But he who bears witness of the truth and they know (him).104

Can’t you see that the testimony is not concealed from the view? On the contrary it is very much obvious? In the same way Prophet Isa (a.s.) said:

وَكُنْتُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيدًا مَا دُمْتُ فِيهِمْ

And I was a witness of them so long as I was among them.105

In reply to this, seeking the refuge of Allah, I say to the author: It is not your stand but that of Motazela. who are against you as well as us, because we say that the Progeny is not apparent and those from them whom we have seen don’t have the capability of Imamate and it is impossible and not permissible that Allah, the Mighty and Sublime should ask us to remain attached to those whom we neither identify nor our predecessors have seen them. And in our life we have not seen one from the Progeny who is capable for Imamate of Muslims and those who are unseen are not proofs for us.

This is the best proof that meaning of the saying of the Messenger of Allah (S) that: I leave among you two things, the Book of Allah and my Progeny, if you remain attached to them you will never go astray. Is not as understood by Imamiyah and Zaidiyyah sects. Nazzam Abu Ishaq Ibrahim bin Sayyar bin Hani Basri, Shaykh of Motazela Abi Hudhail Hallaf’s nephew and his associates have the right to say: That which we never saw separating from the Book of Allah is the Sunnah that ends all excuses. It is so because Sunnah is as clear as the Book and none can take advantage of it.

To follow it is also possible and remaining attached to it is right. However we have not seen any such scholar in the Progeny who can be followed. If from one of them we get one sect from the other we find a contradictory sect; and it is wrong to follow those who are at contradiction with each other. Hence how can the author make such a statement?

Know that when the Holy Prophet (S) ordered us to remain attached to the Progeny, intellect, common sense and human nature proves that when he told people to remain attached with the Progeny he must have meant those from the Progeny who have knowledge and not the ignorant ones. He must have meant the righteous and pious and not others. So it is our duty to see who, in addition to knowledge, has intelligence, excellence, forbearance, abstemiousness and firm judgment, so that he can be followed and with the Book of Allah we become attached to him.

If it is said: If these qualities come together in two persons, and one of them is a follower of Zaidiyyah religion and another follows the Imamiyah faith, in that case which of them has to be followed? We shall reply as follows: It never happens like this and even if it does there would be a clear difference between them. It may be that from the preceding Imam there would be textual appointment for him or some aspects of his knowledgebility will become apparent, like in the case of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) on the occasion of the Day of the River (Yaumun Nahar) when he said:

By Allah, they did not cross the river, neither can they cross it. And by Allah neither would they kill ten of you nor will ten of them survive. Or from the two a sect comes out that proves the invalidity of following him as has become apparent from Zaidiyyah sect that with regard to the obligations mentioned by Allah that are in need of His explanation, in those matters they use personal judgment and analogy.

This shows that such people cannot be Imams. By this I do not mean Zaid bin Ali and other personalities because undeniable things have not come from them, neither have they claimed Imamate for themselves. On the contrary, they called the people to the Book of Allah and among the Aale Muhammad they have called towards Imam Reza (a.s.) and this call is based on sincerity.

His saying that: Then how can Allah make him His witness on something to which he has neither guided His servants nor prohibited them, or enjoined them? This will be replied thus: According to your opponents the meaning of witness is not as you think. But if he condemns Imamiyah sect on this point that it is not possible for one to have this position (of Imamate) who can neither be seen not identified, we ask him: Who from the Progeny today is the witness having the post of Imamate? If he says that he does not know him, he would also become of those whom he is criticizing and the same objection will apply to him.

If he says: So and so is Imam we would say we have neither seen his face nor identified him, then how he can be our Imam and be a witness on us ? If he says: If even though you may not recognize him, his being is present and well-known, in such a way that one who knows about him recognizes him and one who does not recognize him is unaware of his existence; this does not affect his existence. In reply we shall say: We put you under the oath of Allah and ask you: Do you even imagine that people of Motazela, Khawarij, Murjia and Imamiyah sect recognize him or have they heard about him? Or something regarding them has been imprinted in their minds? If he says:

This is neither harmful for his Imamate nor is there is any objection against us because since the country is ruled by oppressors and there is paucity of helpers, he is not recognized. In reply we shall say: The same defect applies to you and the same objection is applicable against you that you employed against your opponents. And the occultation you have mentioned, it very much resembles Imamiyah belief of occultation, but you are not sincere about truth and justice.

Then he would be told: You have mentioned a great deal about Jihad and the importance of enjoining good and forbidding evil till you put us in doubt that one who stages an armed uprising is not on the right. If it is so, what has happened to the Imams and scholars of your sect that they do not rise up? Why are they sitting quietly in their homes and content only to remain on their religious beliefs? Thus whatever he says in reply to this, the same will be the response of Imamiyah sect.

Then he would be gently told: Whatever allegations you have made against Imamiyah sect and the manner in which you have ridiculed them and criticized their Imams in your book; now at last you are caught in the same thing. You have admitted its correctness. You have taken the support of same arguments to prove your point. Thus, thanks be to Allah for guiding us to His religion.

Then we shall ask him: Tell us, whether in today’s age there is anyone from the Progeny who can be capable to be appointed at the post of Imamate? He would definitely reply in the positive. So he would be asked: Can his Imamate be right without religious text (Nass) that Imamiyah believe in? Or along with the text there is a proof that shows that he is Imam? There is no other option for you; like creating consensus among the people of substance in the Ummah or seeking counsel on it, and then choose him and give allegiance to him.

This option is also closed for you. Hence if he says: ‘yes’, he will be asked: Then what is the method of recognizing and identifying him? If he says: His Imamate will be known through the consensus of the Progeny, we shall tell them: How can the Progeny reach consensus on this? If he is from Imamiyah sect, Zaidiyyah will agree and if he is from Zaidiyyah, Imamiyah will not accept. Thus if he says: In such matters the claim of Imamiyah is not acceptable, we shall tell him: Zaidiyyah are also of two types: one Motazela and the other Mushtaba (those who believe in comparison).

If he says: In that case the claim of the Mushtaba will not be accepted, we shall say: Motazela are also of two types: One is the group that resorts to personal deduction in deriving the laws of the Shariah and another group considers personal opinion a deviation. So if it is said that one who negates personal opinion, his claim is not acceptable, he will be told: They may remain among the superior most of those who believe in personal opinion and on the other hand remain among the superior most of those who negate personal opinion and the condition is such that each of them are announcing immunity from the other, so whom we shall remain attached with or come to know which of them is on the right? Shall we consider as right one that you and your associates follow and leave the other? Now if he says:

It will be seen which of them is right in the principles of faith and then he will be followed, we shall ask him: What we should do if the difference increases and the reality becomes doubtful for us and how can we remain faithful to the tradition of the Prophet that: ‘I leave among you two things, as long as you remain attached with them you shall never go astray; they are the Book of Allah and my Progeny and Ahlul Bayt’? It is not possible for anyone to recognize the one who is the Divine Proof in his Progeny till one does not ponder on the fundamentals of faith and one does not come to know that his beliefs are absolutely correct, and one who opposes him is in error.

Thus if his attitude is such, there is no difference between his path and the path of every qualified one, so he should say what is the peculiarity of the Progeny regarding this? He should tell us about those things through which we can differentiate between the learned and the non-learned in the Progeny.

Another point is that we shall ask them about the Imam of this age. Does he possess the knowledge of the lawful and the prohibited? If they say he has that knowledge we shall say: Tell us something from the knowledge present with him but is not there in the widely narrated (Mutawatir) reports. Is it the same as that possessed by Shafei, Abu Hanifa and people like him or it contrary? If he says that it is the same as the two have, he will be told: In that case why the people need this knowledge of your Imam whom they have not even heard, whereas the books of Shafei and Abu Hanifa are available everywhere?

But if he gives the alternate reply and says that whatever that Imam is having is opposed to this, he will be asked: If it is opposed to their knowledge it must either be according to the claim of some leaders of Motazela, texts obtained from intellectual deduction and that in every matter the dictates of reason is authentic except that in which a tradition has come that removes the excuse, like the belief of Nazzam and his followers.

Or it would be like the belief of Imamiyah that all the laws are promulgated through religious texts (Nass) and one should know that when we say text it does not mean a sentence whose meaning is immediately understood, on the contrary it can be statements having underlying meaning also; that the one who understands them will be able to recognize the laws, and in understanding them, he does not need analogy and personal deduction. Now if they say: ‘Our Imam has a thing opposed to all those possibilities’, we will say that they are beyond the circle of common sense and normal circumstances even though they might have attached themselves to one religion or another.

They will be asked: Where is that knowledge about which you claim? Has a person whose integrity we can trust, has narrated from your Imam? If they say, ‘yes’, they will be told: We are living with you for a long time but so far we have not heard a single letter of this knowledge, whereas you are such a sect that does not consider dissimulation (Taqayyah) as lawful, neither does your Imam consider dissimulation (Taqayyah) lawful. So where is his knowledge? Why doesn’t he reveal and spread it? Apart from that what is the guarantee that you have not attributed falsehood to your Imam like you claim that Imamiyah attribute lies to Ja’far bin Muhammad? There is no difference between the two.

Another matter is that he shall be asked: Is it not there in your books that Ja’far bin Muhammad (Sadiq) believed in a matter that Imamiyah sect claimed and he was a follower of the religion that you follow? In reply to this they would indeed say, ‘yes’. The alternative possibility is only that you announce aloofness from him. Thus they will be asked: Have the Imamiyah resorted to lying in whatever they have stated from him? And the books that they possess; are they all false? If they say, ‘yes’ they will be asked: If that is possible is it also not possible that your Imam was also the follower of the Imamiyah and all that your elders narrate from him is all fabricated and baseless.

If they say: At this time we do not have an Imam whom we recognize as such and narrate the knowledge of the lawful and the prohibited from him; but this much we know that there is someone in the Progeny who is having this status and he is eligible for it. Here we shall tell them: You are yourself guilty for what you were blaming Imamiyah for. In addition to this if you compare the narrations of the Imams of Imamiyah regarding the hidden Imam and about the good news of his reappearance etc the truth will become manifest.

And all those tales you told about Jihad, enjoining good and forbidding evil, will be proved false. The conclusion is that neither can you meet the Imam not his recognition is possible for you. See what you were aiming for and what happened? We seek refuge of Allah from disgrace.

The author further says: Like the Allah Almighty ordered the Progeny to invite to righteousness in the same way he has praised those who take precedence in it. He has called them as witness and He has commanded them justice. The Almighty Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُونُوا قَوَّامِينَ لِلَّهِ شُهَدَاءَ بِالْقِسْطِ

O you who believe! Be upright for Allah, bearers of witness with justice.106

After that the author has presented a sort of interpretation of this verse and quoting some verses of Quran claimed that all these verses are with regard to the Progeny and whatever he presents by way of proof is nothing but hollow claims. Then he says that the Almighty Allah ordered His Prophet to leave enjoining good and forbidding evil till supporters could be prepared for him; then He said:

وَإِذَا رَأَيْتَ الَّذِينَ يَخُوضُونَ فِي آيَاتِنَا فَأَعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَخُوضُوا فِي حَدِيثٍ غَيْرِهِ ۚ وَإِمَّا يُنْسِيَنَّكَ الشَّيْطَانُ فَلَا تَقْعُدْ بَعْدَ الذِّكْرَىٰ مَعَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ وَمَا عَلَى الَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ مِنْ حِسَابِهِمْ مِنْ شَيْءٍ وَلَٰكِنْ ذِكْرَىٰ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ

And when you see those who enter into false discourses about Our communications, withdraw from them until they enter into some other discourse, and if the Shaitan causes you to forget, then do not sit after recollection with the unjust people. And naught of the reckoning of their (deeds) shall be against those who guard (against evil), but (theirs) is only to remind, haply they may guard.107

Hence those who do not take precedence in good deeds, and neither do they fight in the way of Allah nor in enjoining good and forbidding evil when there is need for supporters, those who observe precaution are indeed included in those who have oppressed their souls and this is the method that was followed by the offspring of the prophets preceding us. After that the author has sought support with some other verses also.

He would be told: This does not go against us and who is implied in it? But we ask him: The Imam that you have from the Progeny; to which category does he belong? If he says that he is from the fighters (Mujahideen) he will be asked who he is. Who has performed Jihad? Tell us who has staged an uprising? Where are his vehicles of war and his armed men? If he says: He an Imam from those who is enjoining good and forbidding evil, remains content with only giving good counsel when he is needful of supporters; he shall be asked: Who has heard him enjoining good and forbidding evil.

If he says: His friends and close associates; we will say: Thus if his obligations are suspended due to lack of friends and it was allowed for him not to enjoin good and forbid evil except for his special associates, the question is what is the objection against the Imamiyah sect? What was your aim behind compilation of this book? Who have you confronted? If only I had come to know it! Who have you overawed through Quranic verses, made Jihad obligatory on him? Then he and the entire Zaidiyyah sect will be told: Tell us supposing the Messenger of Allah (S) passes away without appointing Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and without telling the people about him clearly; would it be permissible for him to do so? Would it be considered an exigency?

If they say, ‘yes’, we shall ask: Would it have been all right if the Prophet hadn’t told anything about the Progeny? If they say, ‘yes’, we will say: If he hadn’t told about the Progeny, what you would have had to object to the Motazela, Murjia and Khawarij? And if not issuing text (Nass) had been permissible, the matter would have been settled through the consensus of intellectuals and through consultation; and it is something apart from which there is no alternative.

But if on the contrary they say: No, issuing text for Amirul Momineen (a.s.) is necessary and it is also a must that the Messenger of Allah (S) should inform the people about the Progeny; in this they will be asked: Why? When they give the correct reasonings for this, we shall transfer each of these reasonings towards the Imam of every age because if issue of text (Nass) is obligatory in one period of time, it has to be obligatory in every period of time because the cause which makes it obligatory exists in all periods of time and forever. And we seek refuge of Allah from disgrace.

Another point is that they shall be asked: If such widely related (Mutawatir) traditions are proofs that both the Progeny and the Ummah have related and the solitary report narrated by the Progeny is exactly same as the solitary report narrated by the Ummah, that is there is possibility of purposely attributing falsehood or error to any one person of the Progeny as there is possibility for a person of the Ummah.

As for the report that is neither found in widely related (Mutawatir) reports nor from the solitary reports, there is only one option for you regarding that and that is of deducing through arguments. Those of you who resort to bizarre interpretations, it is possible for things to be committed by them that are committed by ordinary persons of the Ummah, in that case how can the Progeny become proof? If the author says that if they reach consensus it would be proof; he will be told: Then if the Ummah also reaches consensus, its stand would be justified. And this shows that there is difference between the Progeny and the Ummah.

That is why there is no use of the tradition of the Prophet: ‘I leave among you the Book of Allah and my Progeny,’ except that there should be a person in the Progeny who is the proof in religion. This is the very belief of the Imamiyah sect.

May Allah give you good fortune, you should know that the author has occupied himself in presenting verses of Quran and interpreting them in his own way and has not brought anything special. He has only stated that for him the proof of the correctness of those things is such and such. It is something that even children are not incapable of.

His only aim is to besmear the Imamiyah sect that it does not believe in Jihad, enjoining good and forbidding evil, whereas the fact is that he has committed error because the Imamiyah sect considers them to be related with how much strength one has. The Imamiyah also believe that one should not throw oneself into perdition and we should not rise up in revolt with one who is neither cognizant of Quran nor familiar with the Sunnah, who is not capable of ruling the people on the basis of justice.

More surprising fact is that our companions from Zaidiyyah sect are sitting at home; they neither enjoin good nor forbid evil, nor do they undertake armed resistance; but they condemn us for the same behavior. It is really a serious matter and a poof of bigotry. We seek the refuge of Allah from following the selfish desires and that is sufficient for us and the best of support.

Another point is that the author shall be asked: Is there anyone superior to Amirul Momineen (a.s.) among the rightful Imams? He would say, ‘no’. He will be asked: Is there anything worse than polytheism and infidelity that the people of Saqifah had committed? He will say, ‘no’. He will be told: You have more knowledge about enjoining good and forbidding evil and Jihad or Amirul Momineen (a.s.) had? He will definitely say: Amirul Momineen (a.s.). It will be said:

Then why he did not do Jihad against those people? Thus if he tries to justify it somehow, he will be told: You must accept the same types of arguments that Imamiyah sect is giving, because all know that falsehood in the present age is more powerful than it was on that day and the number of Satan’s cohorts is more now; so don’t talk of Jihad and overawe us. The Almighty Allah has made Jihad obligatory subject to some conditions and if you had been familiar with those conditions you would have talked less and your book had been shorter. And we seek good sense (Taufeeq) from Allah.

One more thing that shall be reminded to the author is that: Do you consider the treaty of Hasan bin Ali (a.s.) with Muawiyah to be right? Or you say that the Imam had erred in it? If he says that he considers it the right thing, he will be told: You are considering the Imam’s stand right, whereas he had left Jihad and enjoining good and forbidding evil, and you consider him Imam as he had fulfilled it.

If he says that they consider it all right only because people had taken away their support for him and he was not safe from them; also there were not as many people with foresight with him who could have made him capable of fighting against Muawiyah. Hence if they consider it right, they shall be told: If the excuse of Hasan bin Ali (a.s.) for leaving Jihad is acceptable, even though the army of his father was with him, and he exhorted the people from the pulpit and pulled out his sword and set out to fight his and Allah’s enemies, but as you mentioned his leaving Jihad was allowed, why you don’t accept the excuse of Ja’far bin Muhammad in this regard? Even though the number of his enemies was many times more of those in the time of Muawiyah and among the associates of Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) not even a hundred were experts of warfare.

On the contrary his group consisted of people who had neither seen the battlefield not participated in any attack. Hence if he presented his justification he is absolutely on justice. If anyone from Zaidiyyah does not accept this, he should say the difference between the circumstances of Imam Hasan (a.s.) and Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.).

After that if the analogy of Zaidiyyah is right it would mean that Zaid bin Ali was superior to Imam Hasan bin Ali (a.s.) because Imam Hasan (a.s.) signed the peace treaty and Zaid fought a war and was killed. This much is sufficient for the defect of a sect that it should consider Zaid bin Ali superior to Hasan bin Ali – and help is sought only from the Almighty and only Allah is sufficient for us and the best of the helpers.

We mentioned these matters in the beginning of our book because all these are related to Zaidiyyah and the objections they raise and this sect is most antagonistic to us. In this book we have also given the accounts of those prophets and Divine Proofs for whom occultation occurred. At the end there is a discussion about those had extremely long lives so that whatever is considered impossible with regard to occultation and longevity may be proved possible.

After that we have proved the correctness of the textual evidences (Nusoos) mentioned by the Holy Imams (a.s.) with regard to the Qaim of the Progeny of Muhammad. The texts issued by the Almighty Allah, His Messenger and the eleven Imams on the incidence of occultation. Later we have also described the circumstances related to the birth of the Twelfth Imam and those who had the honor of seeing him with their own eyes; all that guides to him, and the correct signs.

Also that which bears his signature; so that the argument may be exhausted for those who deny the existence of the Proof of Allah in occultation – only Allah it is that give good sense (Taufeeq) and only He is the helper.

  • 1. Surah Baqarah 2:30
  • 2. Surah Noor 24:55
  • 3. Surah Ahzab 33:40
  • 4. Surah Hashr 59:13
  • 5. Surah Saad 38:75
  • 6. Surah Saad 38:75
  • 7. Surah Luqman 31:20
  • 8. Surah Anbiya 21:107
  • 9. Surah Nuh 71:10-11
  • 10. Surah Baqarah 2:30
  • 11. Surah Saad 38:71
  • 12. Surah Anbiya 21:26-27
  • 13. Surah Tahrim 66:6
  • 14. Surah Baqarah 2:30
  • 15. Surah Yusuf 12:52
  • 16. Surah Nisa 4:105
  • 17. Surah Baqarah 2:44
  • 18. Surah Baqarah 2:2-3
  • 19. Surah Momin 40:84-85
  • 20. Surah Hud 11:17
  • 21. Surah Hud 11:17
  • 22. Surah Araaf 7:142
  • 23. Surah Araaf 7:12
  • 24. Surah Maryam 19:41
  • 25. Surah Maryam 19:54-57
  • 26. Surah Maryam 19:51-53
  • 27. Surah Baqarah 2:31
  • 28. Surah Baqarah 2:31
  • 29. Surah Baqarah 2:32
  • 30. Surah Baqarah 2:33
  • 31. Surah Taha 20:90-91
  • 32. Surah Araaf 7:150
  • 33. Surah Hadid 57:16
  • 34. Surah Baqarah 2:1-3
  • 35. Surah Baqarah 2:1-3
  • 36. Surah Baqarah 2:1-3
  • 37. Surah Yunus 10:20
  • 38. Surah Mominoon 23:50
  • 39. Surah Anaam 6:158
  • 40. Surah Yusuf 12:102
  • 41. Surah Zukhruf 43:86
  • 42. Surah Nisa 4:164
  • 43. Surah Qasas 28:8
  • 44. Surah Fussilat 41:43
  • 45. Surah Isra 17:77
  • 46. Surah Nisa 4:59
  • 47. Surah Nisa 4:80
  • 48. Surah Baqarah 2:124
  • 49. Surah Baqarah 2:253
  • 50. Surah Isra 17:55
  • 51. Surah Ahzab 33:21
  • 52. Surah Hashr 59:7
  • 53. Surah Ahzab 33:33
  • 54. Surah Muhammad 47:24
  • 55. Surah Qasas 28:15
  • 56. Surah Araaf 7:129
  • 57. Surah Anaam 6:158
  • 58. Surah Mominoon 23:50
  • 59. Surah Baqarah 2:259
  • 60. Surah Zumar 39:30
  • 61. Surah Anaam 6:158
  • 62. Surah Kahf 18:17
  • 63. Surah Maidah 5:68
  • 64. Surah Nahl 16:106
  • 65. Surah Anaam 6:119
  • 66. Surah Nisa 4:59
  • 67. Surah Yusuf 12:108
  • 68. Surah Aale Imran 3:33-34
  • 69. Surah Aale Imran 3:34
  • 70. Surah Maidah 5:15
  • 71. Surah Maryam 19:59
  • 72. Surah Hadid 57:16
  • 73. In some narrations it is ‘Baqi’.
  • 74. Surah Maryam 19:30-31
  • 75. Surah Qasas 28:7
  • 76. Surah Nisa 4:157
  • 77. Surah Nisa 4:157
  • 78. Surah Baqarah 2:2-5
  • 79. Surah Qaaf 50:18
  • 80. Surah Infitar 82:10-12
  • 81. Surah Araaf 7:27
  • 82. Surah Anbiya 21:23
  • 83. Surah Ahzab 33:33
  • 84. Surah Fatir 35:32
  • 85. Surah Fatir 35:32
  • 86. Surah Aale Imran 3:110
  • 87. Surah Yunus 10:35
  • 88. Surah Nahl 16:64
  • 89. Surah Nahl 16:64
  • 90. Surah Nahl 16:64
  • 91. Surah Nahl 16:64
  • 92. Surah Yasin 36:21
  • 93. Surah Taubah 9:34
  • 94. Surah Yasin 36:21
  • 95. Surah Anfaal 8:41
  • 96. Surah Taubah 9:103
  • 97. Surah Yasin 36:21
  • 98. Surah Taubah 9:34
  • 99. Surah Aale Imran 3:36
  • 100. Surah Fatir 35:32
  • 101. Surah Aale Imran 3:103
  • 102. Surah Aale Imran 3:110
  • 103. Surah Hajj 22:77-78
  • 104. Surah Zukhruf 43:86
  • 105. Surah Al- Ma’ida 5:117
  • 106. Surah Maidah 5:8
  • 107. Surah Anaam 6:68-69