Chapter 35: Statements of ar-Reza (a.s.) regarding the occurrence of Ghaibat
1 - Narrated to us Muhammad bin Hasan bin Ahmad bin Walid (r.a.): Narrated to us Muhammad bin Hasan al-Saffar from Yaqoob bin Yazid from Ayyub bin Nuh that he said: I said to ar-Reza (a.s.):
“We hope that you will be the master of this affair and that may Allah, the Exalted restore power to you without taking up arms. You have been pledged allegiance to and coins have been struck in your name.” He said, “There is no one of us that letters come and go to him, is asked questions, pointed with fingers, and religious dues taken to, but he will be assassinated or he will die on his bed, until Allah, the Exalted, sends for this matter a man whose birth and place of growth will be hidden and he will not be hidden in his lineage.”
2 -Narrated to us my father (r.a.): Narrated to us Saad bin Abdullah: Narrated to us Ja’far bin Muhammad bin Malik Fazari from Ali bin Hasan bin Faddal from Rayyan bin Salt that he said: I heard him say: Abul Hasan ar-Reza was asked regarding the Qaim. He replied:
“His person will not be seen and his name will not be pronounced.”
3 - Narrated to us my father (r.a.): Narrated to us Abdullah bin Ja’far Himyari from Ahmad bin Hilal Abartai from Hasan bin Mahboob from Abil Hasan Ali bin Musa ar-Reza (a.s.) that: He said to me:
“Definitely, there will occur the dumb, catastrophic mischief, in which every secret and close relation will be dropped. That will happen when the Shia will miss my third descendant. The dwellers of the heavens and the earth, and every worthy and merited man, every contrite and sorrowful person will cry for him.”
Then he said, “May my parents be sacrificed for the namesake of my grandfather and my look-alike and the look-alike of Musa the son of Imran. He is dressed in the garments of light, shining with rays of illumination of sanctity. How abundant worthy men of faith and how abundant sorrowful men of belief will be perplexed and grievous at the loss of that crystal spring. As if I see them in their utmost despair, they are being called by a call that is heard from far away as it is heard from the near, a call that is a blessing for the faithful and a curse for the unbelievers.”
4 - Narrated to us Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Yahya al-Attar (r.a.): Narrated to us my father from Muhammad bin Ahmad from Muhammad bin Mehran from his uncle Ahmad bin Zakariya that: Ar-Reza Ali bin Musa (a.s.) asked me:
“Where is your house in Baghdad?” I said, “At al-Karkh.” He said, “That is the safest of places. There has to happen the deaf catastrophe mischief in which every secret and close relation will be dropped. That will happen after the Shia will miss my third descendant.”
5 - Narrated to us Ahmad bin Ziyad bin Ja’far Hamadani (r.a.): Narrated to us Ali bin Ibrahim bin Hashim from his father from Ali bin Mabad from Husain bin Khalid that: Ali bin Musa ar-Reza said:
“One who does not have piety does not have religion and whosoever does not have dissimulation (Taqayyah) does not have faith and indeed the most honored among you near Allah is the one most pious of you. His Eminence was asked: Till when does he have to observe Taqayyah? He replied: Till the day of the appointed hour and on that day is the reappearance of our (Ahlul Bayt’s) Qaim.
Thus whosoever abandons Taqayyah before his reappearance is not from us. It was asked: O son of Allah’s Messenger, from which of Ahlul Bayt is the Qaim? He replied: He is my fourth descendant, the son of the best of the maidservants. The Almighty Allah would, through him, purify the earth from every kind of oppression and remove every type of injustice from it. He is the one in whose birth the people would doubt and he is the one who would have an occultation before his reappearance.
And when he arises, the earth shall be lit up with his effulgence. He would establish the scales of justice among the people so that no one may oppress the other. He is the one for whom the earth would warp itself and he would not throw a shadow. And he is the one by whose name the caller would call out from the sky inviting people to the Imam which all the people of the earth would be able to hear. The caller would say: Know that the Proof of Allah has appeared near the House of Allah, so follow him as truth is with him, and that is the meaning of the statement of the Almighty Allah:
إِن نَّشَأْ نُنَزِّلْ عَلَيْهِم مِّن السَّمَاء آيَةً فَظَلَّتْ أَعْنَاقُهُمْ لَهَا خَاضِعِينَ
“If We please, We should send down upon them a sign from the heaven so that their necks should stoop to it.”1
6 - Narrated to us Ahmad bin Ziyad bin Ja’far Hamadani: Narrated to us Ali bin Ibrahim from his father from Abdus Salam bin Salih Harawi that: I heard Dibil bin Ali Khuzai say:
I recited my long poem to my master, Ali Ibne Musa ar-Reza, the beginning of which is:
Schools of verses empty of recitations
And the House of revelation horrendously empty.
When I reached to my verse:
The rise of an Imam who will definitely rise
And stand by the name of Allah and His blessings
He will make distinction between all rights and wrongs
And will proffer requital for charities and malevolence.
Imam Reza (a.s.) cried very profusely and then raised his head and said to me, “O Khuzai, the Blessed Spirit has spoken on your tongue in these two verses. Do you know who this Imam is and when he will rise?” I said, “No, my master, except I have heard that an Imam of yours will rise and clean the earth from mischief and will fill up the earth with equity as it will be full of oppression.”
He said, “O Dibil, the Imam after me is my son, Muhammad; after Muhammad his son, Ali; after Ali his son Hasan; and after Hasan his son, al-Hujja al-Qaim, the Awaited during his occultation, the one obeyed in his time of appearance. Even if not more than one day should remain from the world, Allah will prolong that day so much that he will rise and fill the world with equity just as it will be full of injustice.
As for when it will happen, that is to describe its time, and my father has narrated to me through his forefathers through Amirul Momineen (a.s.) that the Messenger of Allah (S) was asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah (S), when is the Qaim from your progeny going to rise?’ He said, ‘His example is like the example of the Hour:
لاَ يُجَلِّيهَا لِوَقْتِهَا إِلاَّ هُوَ ثَقُلَتْ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ لاَ تَأْتِيكُمْ إِلاَّ بَغْتَة
None but He shall manifest it at its time. It will be momentous in the heavens and the earth. It will not come on you but suddenly.’”2
There is another tradition of Dibil which also we shall mention here.
7 - Narrated to us Ali bin Ibrahim bin Hashim (r.a.): from his father from his grandfather Ibrahim bin Hashim from Abdus Salam bin Salih Harawi that: Dibil bin Ali Khuzai came to Abil Hasan Ali bin Musa ar-Reza (a.s.) in Merv and said to him:
“O son of Allah’s Messenger, I have composed a panegyric in your honor and I vowed that I will not recite it to anyone before you. The Imam said: Recite it for me. And he recited as follows: Schools of verses empty of recitations And the House of revelation horrendously empty.
When I reached the verse: Their property has been distributed to others Their hands are empty of their own wealth.
Imam Ali Reza (a.s.) began to weep and said: O Dibil you have said the truth.
When Dibil reached to the verse: When they are being oppressed they stretch to the enemies Their hands which cannot hold the bow.
Imam Ali Reza (a.s.) began to rub his hands and then said: By Allah my hands are tied. When Dibil reached to the verse: Indeed I am fearful of the world and the changing times Thus I hope in peace and security after my death.
Imam Ali Reza (a.s.) said: O Dibil, May Allah keep you in His protection till the Judgment Day. When Dibil recited the last verse of the panegyric: There is a tomb of a purified personality in Baghdad Whom Allah has given place in the gardens of Paradise.
Imam Ali Reza (a.s.) said: O Dibil, would it not be better if you add the following two verses at the end of your panegyric? Dibil said: Indeed, O son of Allah’s Messenger. The Imam recited:
And a tomb shall be made in Tus by whose tragedy
The inner portion of the body will be scorched.
And this will continue till the resurrection till Allah sends a Qaim
Through him would He remove the calamities from us.
Dibil asked: O son of Allah’s Messenger, whose tomb would be made at Tus? The Imam said: Mine. I would soon move to Tus where my tomb will become a place of visitation for my Shias. Thus one who visits me in my isolation in Tus, he shall be with me on the Judgment Day and he shall get salvation.
After listening to the verses of Dibil Imam Ali Reza (a.s.) went home. A servant of the Imam came to Dibil with a hundred dinars minted in the Imam’s name and said: The Imam has sent these for your traveling expenses. Dibil said: I don’t need it and neither did I compose the panegyric for monetary gain. But I beseech the Imam to give me a cloth he has worn so that it be a blessing and honor for me.
The Imam sent a gown to Dibil and also gave him the dinars saying that he would need them. Dibil took all the things and departed along with a caravan of Merv. When the caravan camped at Qauhan they were attacked by robbers who looted everything and took the travelers as hostages. Then they began to divide the loot among themselves. One of the robbers hummed the following verse of Dibil:
Their property has been distributed to others
Their hands are empty of their own wealth.
Dibil asked him: Whose verse is it? He replied: A person of the Khuzai tribe, a person called Dibil bin Ali. Dibil said: I am the same Dibil who has compose these verses. That robber took Dibil to his leader who was praying on top of a mound and he was from the Shias. When he informed the leader he himself came down to meet Dibil. He asked: Are you Dibil? Dibil said: Yes. He said: Recite that panegyric. He recited it. The robbers released all the hostages and returned with respect everything they had looted.
When Dibil reached Qom it was announced that he would recite the panegyric composed by him in the mosque. A time was fixed and people gathered in the Jame mosque. Dibil mounted the pulpit and presented the panegyric. People gifted him in cash and kind. When they came to know that Dibil had a gown of Imam Ali Reza (a.s.) they offered a thousand dinars for the same but he refused. They said: Give us a piece from this gown for a thousand dinars. But Dibil refused and he departed from Qom.
He has hardly left the Qom area when a desert tribe attacked and looted the Imam’s gown also. Dibil came back and demanded them to return it, but they refused. They asked for a ransom of 8000 dinars but Dibil refused. At last when Dibil became helpless he told them to give only a piece from this gown. So they gave him a piece of gown and also gave him 8000 dinars.
Dibil returned to his hometown but on the way dacoits surrounded him and looted everything he had. He was left with only a hundred dinars that the Imam had given. Dibil converted these into 10000 dirhams. At that time he remembered the Imam’s statement that he would need that money. Dibil was also accompanied by a maidservant who was seriously ill. The doctors said that her right eye was lost, but it was possible to cure the left eye.
Dibil was shocked and wept much. Then he remembered that he was having a piece of that gown. In the early evening Dibil rubbed that piece of cloth against the maid’s eyes and by the morning next both her eyes were cured and by the blessings of Maula Abul Hasan (a.s.) even the signs of disease did not remain.”
8 - Narrated to us Ahmad bin Ziyad bin Ja’far Hamadani (r.a.): Narrated to us Ali bin Ibrahim from his father from Zayyan bin Salt that he said: I asked ar-Reza (a.s.):
“Are you the Sahibul Amr (Master of Affair)? He replied: I am also Sahibul Amr but not the Sahibul Amr who will fill the earth with justice as it would have been fraught with tyranny and oppression. And how can I be that person? While you can see that I am physically weak. Whereas the Qaim is the one who at the time of his reappearance will be senior in age but have the appearance of the youth.
His body shall be so strong that if he catches hold of the biggest tree of the earth he shall be able to uproot it and if he shouts between the mountains, their stones will roll down. The staff of Prophet Musa and the seal ring of Prophet Sulaiman (a.s.) are with him. He is my fourth descendent. The Almighty Allah will keep him in occultation as long as Divine wisdom dictates. Then He will reveal him so that he may fill the earth with justice and equity just as it would fraught with injustice and oppression.”