Chapter 49: Regarding Hababa Walbiya
It is narrated that Hababa al-Walbiya met Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and the Imams (a.s.) after him, and that she lived till the time of Imam Reza (a.s.) and no one has denied the long age of Hababa. Then how can they deny the long age of the Qaim?
1 - Narrated to us Ali bin Ahmad Daqqaq (r.a.) that he said: Narrated to us Muhammad bin Yaqoob: Narrated to us Ali bin Muhammad from Abi Ali Muhammad bin Ismail bin Musa bin Ja’far from Ahmad bin Qasim Ijli from Ahmad bin Yahya alias Kurd from Muhammad bin Khadai from Abdullah bin Ayyub from Abdullah bin Hisham from Abdul Kareem from Amr Khathami from Hababa Walbiya that she said:
“I saw Amirul Momineen (a.s.), peace be upon him, among [some of] the shurtatu ‘l-khamis1, he had a two-pronged horsewhip with which he was tapping [the shoulders] of [some] fishmongers selling al-jarri, al-marmahi, and az-zimmar, saying to them: ‘O sellers of [fish like] the monsters [musukh] of Banu Israel and [like] the army of Banu Marwan [Ibn al-Hakam].’ Furat Ibn Ahnaf stood up before him, and said: ‘O Amirul Momineen (a.s.), what is the army of Banu Marwan?’ “[Hababa] said: “He said to him: ‘[This is a name I give] to groups who shave their beards and curl their moustaches and become monsters (musikhu).’2
I have not seen anyone speak in a more composed way then he [did then]. I followed him, and continued in his steps, till he sat down in the rahbah (open space) [facing] the mosque in Kufa]. Then I said to him: ‘O Amirul Momineen (a.s.), what is the evidence of the Imamate, may Allah have mercy upon you?’ “
She said: “He said: ‘Give me that small stone,’ and he pointed to a stone. I gave it to him, and he made an impression on it for me with his seal. Then he said to me: ‘O Hababa. When someone claims the Imamate, if he can make an impression like the one you see, know that he is the Imam who must be obeyed. In nothing with the Imam wants [to do], will anything [he needs] be far from him.’”
She said: “Then I went away, and [later] Amirul Momineen (a.s.), peace be upon him, passed away. And I came to al-Hasan, peace be upon him, when he was sitting in the place [in the rahbah] of Amirul Momineen (a.s.), peace be upon him. They were asking him question. He said: ‘O Hababa al-Walbiya!’ I said: ‘Yes, my Master.’ He said: ‘Give me what you have with you.’ “She said: “I gave it to him and he made an impression on it as Amirul Momineen (a.s.), peace be upon him, had done.”
She said: “Then I came up to al-Husayn, peace be upon him, who was in the mosque of the Messenger of Allah, may the blessing and peace of Allah be upon him and his descendants. He beckoned [me] to approach and greeted [me]. Then he said: ‘With me is the evidence which proves what you want [to know]. Do you want [to know] the evidence for the Imamate?’ I said: ‘Yes, my master.’ He said: ‘Give me what [you have] with you.’ and I handed him the stone; he made an impression on it for me.”
She said: “Then I came up to Ali Ibn al-Husain, peace be upon him, and I had reached such an old age that I trembled; I was then 113 years old. I saw him in Ruku and sujud, busy with worship. I had no hope [that he would show me] the sign. Then he pointed at me with his forefinger and my youth returned to me.”
She said: “I said: ‘O my Master, how much of the world has passed away, and how much remains?’ He said: ‘As for what has passed away, it can be told; but what remains cannot.’ “She said: “Then he said to me: ‘Give me what [you have] with you,’ and I gave him the stone; he made the impression on it for me. Then I came to Abu Ja’far, peace be upon him, and he made the impression on it for me. Then I came to Abul-Hasan Musa, peace be upon him, and he made the impression on it for me. Then I came to ar-Reza, peace be upon him, and he made the impression on it for me.”
Hababa lived nine months beyond this, according to what Abdullah Ibn Hisham has mentioned.
2 - Narrated to us Muhammad bin Muhammad bin Isaam (r.a.) that he said: Narrated to us Muhammad bin Yaqoob Kulaini that he said: Narrated to us Ali bin Muhammad that: Narrated to us Muhammad bin Ismail bin Musa bin Ja’far that: Narrated to me my father from his father Musa bin Ja’far from his father Ja’far bin Muhammad from his father Muhammad bin Ali (a.s.) that:
“When Imam Ali Ibne Husain (a.s.) prayed for Hababa Walbiya, Allah returned her youth and when he pointed to her with his finger she began to menstruate although she was 113 years old at that time.”
The author says: When it is possible for Hababa Walbiya that Allah returns her youth due to the prayer of Imam Ali Ibne Husain (a.s.) when she was 113 years old and she lived for nine months after meeting Imam Ali Reza (a.s.) why is it not possible for Allah to keep the Qaim young and alive? And that He may keep him alive till he would fill the earth with justice and equity as it would be fraught with injustice and tyranny? In addition to this clear authentic traditions have been recorded from the Messenger of Allah (S) and the Holy Imams (a.s.) regarding the Qaim.
Our opponents also narrate about Abu Duniya Muammar Maghribi that his name was Ali bin Uthman bin Khattab bin Marra bin Muwayyad. At the time of the passing away of the Holy Prophet (S) his age was around three hundred years. After the Messenger of Allah (S) he served Amirul Momineen Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.) and when the rulers of the time asked him the secret of his long age he said that he had drunk the elixir of life. He remained alive till the age of Muqtadar. Our opponents do not even accept his death. Then why do they deny the long lifespan of the Qaim?
- 1. A group from the companions of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) who pledged to fight with him to the death and not to give up till victory was obtained. It consisted of five or six thousand men, and was formed after the battle of Nahrawan. One of their commanders was Qays Ibn Saad Ibn ‘Ubadah al-Ansari. They disbanded after the assassination of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and the truce arranged by the Imam al-Hasan, peace be upon them both. (See al-Kishshi, pp.5-6, 103,110; al-Ikhtisas, p.2.)]
- 2. The custom of shaving the beard and curling the moustache belonged to the Persians. In contrast with this, the custom among the Arabs was to grow a long beard and trim the moustache. After the time of Amirul Momineen (a.s.), in the time of the descendants of Marwan Ibn al-Hakam (2/623-reigned 64/684-65/685), it became the custom among the court and the army to adopt the Persian style. Since the Arab style was recommended by the religion, the Persian fashion came to be thought of as a kind of religious monstrosity. Thus the fish are compared, as regards their monstrous form, with the “monsters” (musukh, pl. of mamsukh: turned monster) who adopted shaved beards. The hadith thus contains a prophecy by Amirul Momineen (a.s.), peace be upon him, to the effect that a style will be adopted.]