Manifestation of the Light
Before we mention about the blessed birth of the great universal reformer and the hope of humanity, the great leader of the people, the Awaited Imam (a.s.), it would be most fitting to mention in brief about the exalted family and genealogy of the holy Imam (a.s.), and the true loftiness and exaltedness that is present in this pure family tree and is the source of heavenly light.
He it is who would illuminate the horizon of the world and eradicate oppression and darkness of ignorance and stupidity and destroy the mischief-makers and their centers of destruction and oppression.
The eleventh of the Imams of guidance is Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.). Like all the Imams, he was the source of contemplation and awakening of the Islamic world and one who made the people proximate to God, one who entreats and pleads in the court of the Lord of the world.
According to unanimity of historians and biographers, Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) was the greatest personality of Islam of his time and the leader of opposition of the usurper and oppressor Abbaside ruler, whose rule was based on injustice and the rights of the people were being trampled upon.
The Abbaside rule kept on increasing pressure and force on the Imam (a.s.) till they finally imprisoned the Holy Imam (a.s.). And he was forcibly taken to Samarrah and put under surveillance and house arrest. Every type of communication between the Imam (a.s.) and his Shias was stopped. The complete life history of this holy Imam (a.s.) has been discussed by us in the book, Life of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.). In the forthcoming discussion we would again touch upon some aspects of his blessed life.
The genealogy of the respected mother of the Awaited Imam (a.s.) can be traced to the great Roman personalities on the basis of traditional reports and clear statements of the historians. She was the daughter of Yusha whose genealogy goes back to Caesar of Rome. In the same way her mother’s lineage could be traced to Simon, the successor and one of the companions of Prophet Isa (a.s.).1
This chaste lady is one of the greatest ladies of the Muslims by way of purity, faith and chastity, and she is the mother of the greatest reformer of human society after his honorable forefathers, throughout history. This alone is sufficient for her from the viewpoint of dignity and honor.
In spite of the fact that Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) himself possessed absolute perfections and virtues, he used to accord utmost respect to this esteemed lady, just as the respected aunt of His Eminence, Askari (a.s.) paid due honor to her since her nephew informed her that the Awaited Imam (a.s.) would be born through her.2
Historians have mentioned the following good names of this honorable lady: Susan3, Raihana4, Narjis5, Saqeel6, Khamt7. From the aspect of her being pregnant with the holy effulgence of the Promised Mahdi (a.s.) and that she was the mother of that respectable personality she was surrounded by effulgence and light, therefore she was addressed by these blessed names.
In history a part of traditional reports and narrations of the Imam of guidance is recorded in praise of this honored lady. We mention below a few of them.
1. In the final stages of the Battle of Naharwan the matter of the advent and reappearance was presented before His Eminence, Amirul Momineen (a.s.). Ali (a.s.) praised and glorified the mother of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) and said thus:
“O Son of the best of the maidservants! How long would you wait? I give good news of a near victory from the Merciful Lord.”8
2. Abu Basir (a.r), a student of the school of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) says, “I asked Imam Sadiq (a.s.), ‘O Son of the Messenger of Allah (S)! Who is the Qaim among you Ahlul Bayt (a.s.)?’ He replied: ‘O Abu Basir! He is my fifth descendant from my son, Musa (a.s.). He would be the son of the chief of the maidservants and the greatest of ladies. He would go into an occultation and the followers of falsehood would doubt in him. After that, the Almighty Allah (SwT) would make him reappear, and conquer the east and west of the earth through his powerful hands.’”9
3. Muhammad, the son of Asaam, through his own chain of narrators narrates from Abu Basir (a.r) that he quotes Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) or Imam Jafar as Sadiq (a.s.) that he said, “There are two signs in His Eminence, Qaim (a.s.), a black spot on the head and a black spot between the shoulders, just as the leaf of the sweet basil. He is the son of the female prisoner and the best of maidservants.”10
History mentions numerous narrative reports of such kinds from the Imams of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) describing the lofty station of this exalted lady and her greatness and majesty. Inspite of the fact that she was a slave maid there is no negative effect in her status because the great religion of Islam has destroyed and eradicated all types of criteria, standards and baseless veils and made piety and obedience of the Lord of the world to be a distinction and merit.