Shi‘ite Authorities in the Age of Minor Occultation, Part 3: Shaykh Saduq
Hujjatulislam Ali Naghi Zabihzadeh Translated by Hannaneh Fathollahi
Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Babiwayh al-Qummi was one of the greatest scholars of Shi‘a Islam. His honesty, which earned him the title al-Saduq, assisted him in his success as a great traditionist whose works deeply influenced those with a thirst for understanding Shi’a Islam, and particularly the teachings of Ahlul-Bayt (a). Though not exhaustive, this article makes accessible to the reader an understanding and reference of Sheikh Saduq’s life, works, students, and teachers. A summary of the political conditions during his time is also offered as this had an impact on his role as a scholar in that it gave him the opportunity to exercise his knowledge. ************** Muhammad ibn ‘Ali Babiwayh al-Qummi, known as Sheikh al- Saduq, was the leading Shi‘a traditionist of the 10th century A.D. He was one of the greatest Islamic scholars of all time whose reputation for honesty earned him the title Sheikh al-Saduq. He lived close to the age of the Infallibles (a), and with that opportunity, he compiled the narrations of the Ahlul Bayt (a) and published tens of volumes that proved valuable to the Islamic world, and particularly that of Shi‘a Islam.
Sheikh Saduq was educated in the holy city of Qum, the center of the study of Shi’ite religious learning. Being influenced by his religious schooling, he traveled widely to collect traditions and met many scholars as a result. He experienced his first journey to Rey, the capital of the Buyid dynasty, on an unknown date. What is known about the date of his journey to Rey is that he heard a part of the traditions of ‘Aii ibn Ibrahim Qummi and other traditions of Sharif Hamzah ibn Muhammad ‘Alawi that he had been in Qum during the month of Rajab, 339 A.HIbn Babwayh (Sheikh Saduq), Al-Khisal; Ma‘anz al-Akhbar, p.301; ‘Uyiin Akhbar al-Ridha (a), vol. 1, p.178, cited from Islamic Eencyclopaedia, p. 63. and he had been in Rey in Rajab, 347 A.HAl-Khisal, p. 641. . After the death of Ibn Walid, Saduq’s closest teacher after his father, it is inferred that the Sheikh desired to leave Qum in 343 and reside in Rey. In 352 in the month of Rajab, Sheikh Saduq planned to travel to Mashhad. He consulted with Emir Rukn al-Dawlah, who asked Saduq to pray for him at the holy shrine of Imam Ridha (as). On his way to Mashhad, he stopped at Neyshabur and heard narrations from great religious scholars of the city such as Abd al- Wahid ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abdus Neyshaburi, Hakim Abu ‘Ali Husayn ibn Ahmad Bayhaqi, Abu Tayyib Husayn ibn Ahmad Razi, and other scholarsSheikh Saduq, Al-Tawhid, pp. 328, 387, cited in Ali Akbar Ghaffari, Ibid., p. 20 and Encyclopedia, p. 63. . Upon his return, he left Rey to go on the Islamic pilgrimage (hajj) in the late 353. No evidence shows he benefitted from religious scholars during this trip. In the early 354, he went to Fayd, Iraq and heard narrations from Abu ‘Ali Ahmad ibn Abi Ja‘far Beyhaqi. He also went to Kufah, where he gathered narrations from over ten great scholars and Baghdad, where he had the honor of meeting and learning from Sheikh Mufid. Sheikh Saduq left in the same year, and on his way to Rey, he stopped at Hamadan and continued to gather narrations from great scholars. This was the end of his journey in the west. In 367, Sheikh Saduq began his journey in the east. After his travel to Mashhad, he went to Mawara al-Nahr (present-day Sogdiana). On his way between Mashhad and Turkmenistan, he stayed for a short time in the cities of Sarakhs, Marv, Mervrud, Balkh, and Samarkand where he met yet another group of great scholarsYa‘qubi, Tarzkh, pp. 279, 291; quoted from Encyclopedia, Ibid., p. 293. . Saduq had two journeys from Samarknad to the major cities of Turkmenistan, namely Fergana (southeast of present Uzbekistan) and Ilaq (near present Tashkent). It was in Ilaq that he wrote the book ‘Man La Yahduruh al-Faqih. He benefitted from groups of scholars in both areas. In Fergana, Saduq visited the villages of Akhsikat and Jubal ButagSheikh Saduq, Kamal, p.473, cf., Ibid. where he also gathered narrations. Knowing that another one of his books Kamal al-Din wa Tamam al-Ni‘mah was written after his dourney to Mawara al-Nahr (Sogdiana), it is inferred from the introduction (footnote) that Saduq had traveled to Mashhad again to visit the holy shrine of Imam Ridha (a). He also had a short stay in Neyshabur, where he propagated the Shi‘a belief of Occultation and wrote part of Kamal al-Din wa Tamam al-Ni‘mahFor more information: refer to Da’irat al-Ma‘arif Islamz, vol. 3, “ibn,” pp. 62 & 63; ‘Ali Akbar Ghaffari, The Introduction of Ma‘anz al-Akhbar, pp.17-25 "Rihlatuh-u ila al-Ansar wa Al-Buldan; Abu al-Qasim Gurji,Tarzkh Fiqh wa Fuqaha’,p.130-133. .
Sheikh Saduq held discussions with people of various religions and ideologies about theological issues. He held debates with followers of some Imamate ideologies, including those who held an exaggerated belief about the Imams (a) and those who ignored the Imams’ (a) positions. As a result, he wrote Ibtal al-Ghuluww wa al-Taqsir, portraying his rejection of these two groups. Saduq’s discussions also included issues about Mahdism. To explain Mahdism from the viewpoint of the Shi‘a Twelvers, Saduq wrote various books, the most important being Kamal al- Din wa Tamam al-Ni‘mah in which he rejected criticisms made by the Mu‘tazilites, the Zeydis and other opposing groups. He made serious efforts to dismiss the opinions of those who believed in the existence of a break in the chain of Imamate. He also made efforts to remove doubt of those who were confused. Another aspect of Saduq’s theology was seen in his al-Tawhid which was an effort to redect the charges laid against the Twelvers about the belief of comparing God to creatures (the belief comparing of God about the unity of God) and determinism just as he mentioned in the introduction of the book (p. 17). One of Saduq’s important activities regarding the Twelvers’ theology (kalam) was writing books used as ideological references rather than in a narrative or deductive format. His Risalah I‘tiqadat is the first famous example of these kinds of treatises in the Twelvers’ theology. The continuation of his work is in Majalis 93, Al-Amali (pp. 509-511) and the introduction to al-Hidayah (pp. 46-48). His way was followed by Sayyid Murtadha in the first part of Dumal al-‘Ilm wa al-A‘mal and by Sheikh Tusi in I‘tiqadat and also by other scholars. In addition to his theological works, his jurisprudential works mainly consist of hadiths texts either protecting or omitting their sources. He sometimes offers the meaning of the hadiths instead of directly quoting them; however, Saduq usually suffices to offer the direct quote of the hadiths without presenting its interpretation. He uses the approach of finding similarities between contradicting hadiths, called Asl wa Rukhsat. He also provided references for unauthentic hadiths. This issue is discussed in the history of Usul. If he came across two contradicting hadiths, one of which was agreed by the majority while the other was not, he preferred the hadith in which most people did not agree with. He regarded the hadith in harmony with the opinion of most people as an act of dissimulation.Encyclopedia, ibid., p. 4-63.
There is no doubt that Sheikh Saduq was the greatest of all Shi‘a narrators and traditionists. He was also renowned for his scholarship of Islamic law (shari‘a). For this reason, many scholars have praised him, some of which are mentioned in the following: 1. Sheikh al-Ta’ifah in his Ridal and FihristIn page 304 of his book, Al-Fihrist, Sheikh al-Ta’ifah praises Sheikh Saduq and then states: “He is the author of nearly 300 books” and then Sheikh al- Ta’ifah mentions names of some books of Sheikh Saduq. 2. Nadashi in his Ridal, Khatib Baghdadi in his Tarikh 3. Rashid al-Din Sarwi in Ma‘alim al-‘Ulama’ 4. Allamah Hilli in Khulasah 5. Hasan ibn Dawud in Ridal 6. Ibn Idris in Sara’ir 7. Sheikh Husayn, the father of Sheikh Baha’i, in Dirayah 8. Sayyid Shafi‘ Dapulqi in Al-Rawdat al-Bahzyyah 9. Fakhr al-Muhaqqiqin in his permission to Sheikh Shams al- Din Muhammad ibn Sadaqah 10. Muhaqqiq Karaki in his permission to Maysi, Shahid al-Thani in his permission to Sheikh Muhammad Taqi Majlisi and othersAbu al-Qasim Gurji, Ibid., p. 130. .
Sheikh Saduq wrote 300 invaluable books used as a reference by great Shi‘a scholars, some of which are: 1. Ibtal al-Ikhtiyar fi Amr al-Imamah va Ithbat al-Nass fi-ha; 2. Ibtal al-Ghuluw va al-Taqsir; 3. Ikmal al-Din wa Itmam al-Ni‘mah on occultation of Imam Zaman (a); 4. Al-Amali which is known as Majalis; 5. Al-Tafsir al-Jami‘ & Al-Tafsir al-Saghir; 6. Al-Tawhid; 7. Thawab al-A‘mal; 8. Al-Khisal; 9. Da‘a’im al-Islam fi Ma‘rifat al-Halal wa al-Haram; 10. Sifat al-Shi’ah; 11. ‘Iqab al-A‘mal; 12. ‘Ilal al-Sharayi‘ wa al-Ahkam wa al-Asbab; 13. ‘Uyiin Akhbar al-Ridha (a); 14. Al-Ghaybah; 15. Ma‘rifat al-Rijal; 16. Man la Yahduruh al-Faqih.
Though there is no clear record on the exact number of his teachers, Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahim Rabbani Shirazi quotes 252 of them in Ma‘ani al-Akhbar, some of whom are: a) Sheikh Saduq’s own father, ‘Ali ibn Babiwayh Qummi b) Muhammad ibn Hasan Walid Qummi c) Ahmad ibn ‘Ali ibn Ibrahim Qummi d) Hasan ibn ’Abdullah ‘Askari e) ‘Ali ibn Muhammad Qazwini, Husayn ibn Ahmad ‘Alawi f) ‘Ali ibn ‘Abdullah Wurraq g) Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn ‘Ali Asadi h) Muhammad ibn Ahmad Shaybani.Dawani, Ibid. p. 183.
Najashi writes: Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Musa ibn Babiwayh Qummi settled in Rey. He was our jurisprudent and an outstanding Shi‘a personality in Khurasan. He entered Baghdad in 355 and the great Shi‘a scholars heard hadiths from him while he was young. Considering what Najashi said indicates that Shi‘a scholars received hadiths from Saduq during his young years. It is clear that he did not merely gather hadiths throughout his journeys; rather, he disseminated the science and propagated the hadiths of Ahl al-Bayt (a). During his lifetime, which is estimated to be over 70 years, he constantly wrote books, held sessions about hadiths, collected the principles of hadith, and spread jurisprudential rules. Therefore, it is inferred that he had many students as well as those who narrated from him. Translators have mentioned the names of a few of the great scholars among them: 1. Husayn ibn ‘Ali ibn Musa ibn Babiwayh Qummi, Saduq's brother; 2. Sheikh Thiqah al-Din al-Hasan ibn al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali ibn Musa ibn Babiwayh, his nephew; 3. Respectable Sheikh, ‘Ali ibn Ahmad ibn al-’Abbas, Sheikh Najashi’s father; 4. Respectable Sheikh, Abu al-Qasim ‘Ali ibn Muhammad ‘Ali Khazzaz, the author of Kifayah al-Athar, etc.; 5. Respectable Sheikh, jurist scholar, Abu ‘Abdullah al-Husayn ibn ‘Ubaydullah ibn Ibrahim Ghada’iri; 6. Great Sheikh, Abu al-Hasan Ja‘far ibn al-Husayn Qummi, a teacher of Sheikh Tusi; 7. Sheikh Abu Ja‘far Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn al-‘Abbas ibn Fakhir Duriyasti, Sheikh Ja‘far Duriyasti’s father, contemporary with Sheikh Tusi; 8. Abu Zakariyya Muhammad ibn Sulayman Hamrani; 9. Sheikh Abu al-Barakat ‘Ali ibn al-Hasan Khuzi; 10. Sheikh Abu al-Hasan, Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn ‘Ali ibn Shadhan Qummi; 11. Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Amuri; 12. Grand Sheikh, the leader of community, Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Nu‘man nicknamed 'Mufid' that Saduq had heard hadiths of him; 13. Grand Sheikh Abu Muhammad Harun ibn Musa Tal‘ukbara; 14. ‘Abd al-Samad ibn Muhammad QummiTo find more information about the students of Sheikh Saduq, see Ali Akbar Ghaffari, the Preface to Ma‘anz al-Akhbar, pp. 68-72 and Abu Al-Qasim Gurji, Ibid., pp. 4-133. and others whose name could be seen in detail in Rijali books.
Saduq’s respected father passed away during the reign of Muttaqi, the son of Muqtadir in 329/941 - 333/945 who became a caliph after Radi’s death with the agreement of the minister Abu al-Qasim Sulayman and other officials. In that period, some were involved in fighting over the ministry and the caliph had to act in favour of some and against the other. In such a situation, the Buyid dynasty gained power in Iraq. This dynasty was the most important one in Iran and then Iraq along with the Samanids of Khurasan and of Mawara’ al-Nahr. The three brothers who founded the dynasty, namely Ali, al-Hasan, and Ahmad, named it after their father, Buyeh. Ten years before the Buyid dynasty had entered Baghdad in 324/936, Iraq was under absolute dominance of the first prime minister, Ibn Ra’iqRa'iq was a servant of Mu‘tadid Abbasi who was sent to fight with Husayn ibn Hamdan in 303 A.H. The sons of Ra’iq who had been appointed as the rulers of Basrah and its suburb gradually seized lands and gained wealth in those regions and extended their possessions to Ahwaz in the period of Qahir the ‘Abbasid. These lands were under the control of the sons of Ra’iq until Abu al-Hasan ‘Ali ibn Buyah gained control over them in the period of Radi, the caliph, in 322 A.H. But because Abu al-Hasan ‘Ali made peace with the caliph and returned to Fars, Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Ra'iq was appointed for the second time as the ruler over those regions. Abu Bakr was allied with Ibn Muqallah who was the minister and the enemy of Muhammad ibn Yaqut. Afterwards, Muhammad ibn Yaqut was sent to prison by Ibn Muqallah and died there. The power and glory of Abu Bakr ibn Ra’iq increased and attracted others. Mardawij was later killed by his Turkish slaves in Isfahan; the Turkish murderers escaped from the fear of the brave Daylamite men. A group of Turkish slaves went to Shiraz under the protection of Abu al-Hasan ‘Ali ibn Buyah and another group went to Ahwaz under the command of Badkum and joined Muhammad ibn Ra’iq. Counting on them, Muhammad ibn Ra’iq openly refused to send tax and governmental properties to Baghdad in 324 A.H and sent a message to Baghdad that he himself needed the tax for military expenses. The caliph and his minister could not cope with him. Finally, Radi removed Ibn Muqallah of his ministry position; he had changed him several times since he was incapable of working efficiently and was a stooge of militaries. Moreover, the agents of the suburban areas did not send money to Baghdad in such a terrible financial situation. To ease the situation, he called Abu Bakr ibn Ra'iq to Baghdad to handle the affairs of the ministry and charged him with all duties (Hasan Pirnya,’Abbas Iqbal: Tarzkh-e Iran, Section Tarikh-e Islam, p. 151 and pp. 4 – 153. and the Abbasid caliph had been deprived of a real executive power. The Buyid dynasty had previously achieved dominance over Fars, Rey, Isfahan, and Jibal. Kerman was under the command of Muhammad ibn Ilyas. Al-e Hamdan had also dominance on Musil and Diyarat (Diyar Rabi‘ah, Diyar Bakr and Diyar Mudir). Egypt and Damascus were under the dominance of Al-e Muhammad ibn Tughd al-Akhshid. West and Africa were under the command of the Fatimids. The Samanids were ruling over Khurasan and Sogdiana. Ahwaz, Wasit, and Basrah were under the command of BarididsThe Samanids (Samani) are related to Saman Khajat, the Iwani family who ruled over Khurasan, Sogdiana and a part of central Iran from 261 A.H to 389 A.H (874 – 999 AD). After Saman Khadat, his son, Asad became the ruler of Khurasan. The caliph Ma’mun turned his attention to all four sons of Asad. He appointed each of them to rule on a region in 204 AH (819 AD). He appointed Nuh as a ruler in Samarkand, Ahmad in Fergana, Yahya in Chad and Ilyas in Herat. Among those four brothers, Ahmad was superior to others. Ahmad’s second son Isma‘il ended the Saffarids’ occupation of Khurasan in 290 A.H (903 A.D) and defeated Muhammad ibn Zayd, the ‘Alawi ruler of Tabaristan, and occupied all regions between Kavir-e Lut and the Persian Gulf and border of India to the suburbs of Baghdad. Principally, the centre of power of Isma‘il was in Sogdiana and during his period of ruling, Bukhara and Samarkand developed so much that it helped the progress of civilization, sciences, literature, and art in most parts of the Islamic world. The Samanid government at the time of the successors of Isma‘il were weakened because of the revolutions in Khurasan and Sistan, and the credit of the Daylamites aggravated this situation as well so that Samanids after Isma'il, in addition to Khurasan and Sogdiana, ruled over another country for half a century; gradually, the Turkish slaves who were in the Samanid court took the reins of government. The Alp Tigin established the Ghaznavid dynasty in 384 A.H (994 AD) and it replaced the Samanids in the lands around the south of the Oxus (Amu Darya) river and lands on the north of it were possessed by the rulers of Ilkhanate of Turkmenistan. These rulers were presided by Turkish tribes and ruled from Farghanah to China. After domination over Sogdiana, they also conquered Bukhara in 380 A.H (990 AD) and finally overthrew the Samanids in 389 A.H (990 A.D). (Mu‘zn Dictionary, Proper Names Entry: Samanids). For more information about the beginning of history of Samanids refer to Tarzkh-e Iran, Hassan Pirnya and Abbas Iqbal, ch. 5, p. 221. . Carmathians had occupied Yamamah and Bahrain. Tabaristan and Jurjan were under the domination of Daylamites and Umayyads were ruling over SpainRasul Ja'fariyan, Tarikh-e Tashayyu‘ dar Iran (The History of Shi‘ism in Iran), vol. 1, p. 359. . Daylamite Buyids who descended from Shirdel were living in the mountains of Gilan south of the Caspian Sea. Secure shelter of the Daylamites gradually accepted ‘Alawid refugees who had escaped from the tyranny and oppression of the ‘Abbasids since 175 AH and these refugees had created a pocket of resistance in that area until 250 A.HSayyid Zahir ad-Din ibn Sayyid Nasir ad-Din Mar‘ashi, Tarzkh-e Tabaristan va Riiyan va Mazandaran. . One of the ‘AlawidsThe ‘Alawids of Tabaristan: A group of great ones among the descendants of Hasan ibn Imam ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (a) known as ‘Alawi or Zaydi Leaders revolted in the 2nd century A.H in Tabaristan. Zayd known as Da‘i al-Kabir rose in 250 AH and many dissatisfied persons as well as the Caliph’s minions (such as Tahirids) supported him. He propagated Shi‘ism and advocated the Family of Imam Ali (a) (Da‘ al-Khalq). His successors ruled over Tabaristan from 250/864 to 424 A.H (1034 AD). His last successor was Abu Talib Yahya Natiq Bil-Haq who passed away in 424 A.H. Their capital city was mostly Amul. They were eventually ousted by the Samanids and the Ziyarids. (Mu‘zn Dictionary, vol. 5, ‘The ‘Alawids of Tabaristan’. For more information see Tarzkh-e Iran (The History of Iran), Ibid., p.109 to end. , Hasan ibn Zayd, Da‘i al-Kabir (d. 270 A.H) propagated Shi‘ism in Daylam and established the ‘Alawi independent government in Daylam and GilanMar‘ashi, op cit., p.211, cf. Ali ibn Muhammad (ibn Athir) Al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh, vol. 6, p. 403. . After Hasan ibn Zayd, his brother, Abu ‘Abdullah Muhammad ibn Zayd al-Da‘i Ila al-Haqq (d. 287 AH) succeeded to the throne after him;Mar‘ashi writes in Tarikh-e Tabaristan: "…after a while, Isma'il ibn Ahmad Samani sought to gain control over Tabaristan and he sent Muhammad ibn Harun along with a large army to Tabaristan…The first one they killed was Da‘i (Muhammad ibn Zayd) and beheaded him.” p. 214. but after a while, the Samanids overthrew the ‘Alawi governmentMar'ashz, op cit., p. 215 - 221; Tarikh-e Tabari, vol. 8, p. 33, “The events in 302 A.H”, Al-‘Ibar, Tarikh-e Ibn Khaldun, vol. 3, p. 483. and established their own government for thirteen years. After that period, Hasan ibn Ali, known as Nasir al-Atrush, reinstalled the ‘Alawi government and ruled from 301 until the end of his life (304 A.H). He left the government before he died and taught jurisprudence and hadith in the school he built in Amul where he is currently buriedMas'udi, Murawwid al-Dhahab, vol. 5, p. 273. . He propagated Zaydi thoughts among the people of Deylam and Gilan and reformed common social and political organizations. From the beginning of the fourth century, the Daylamites penetrated the west of Iran chiefly by mercenary soldiers and armed bandits; very soon, the Daylamite commanders (Leyli ibn Nu‘man, Makan ibn Kaki, Asfar ibn Shiruyeh, and Mardawid ibn Ziyar) succeeded to establish small governments; however, none of these forked forces of the Daylamites had an influence comparable with the influence which the Buyids as the greatest family of the Daylamites had gained in the west. After Mardawij died, the three brothers who had established the Buyid dynasty invaded Fars, Kerman, and KhuzistanDoel Kremer, Ihyay-e Farhangi dar ‘Ahd-e Al-e-Biiye (Cultural Revival in the Period of Buyid Dynasty), pp. 67 – 72. . Later, the caliph Mustakfi, nicknamed them respectively: ‘Imad al- Dawlah, Rukn al-Dawlah, and Mu‘izz al- Dawlah. In this period, the political power of the ‘Abbasid caliph was being weakened while it was shifting to the supreme commander. The first supreme commander, Ibn Ra’iq was overthrown by the commander of his army, Abu al-Hasan Badkum Turk in 324/936 – 326/938. After Badkum was dismissed from his position, a period of disorder began with the interference of the Baridids of Basra and Kurankid Deylami and then regaining the throne by Ibn Ra’iq for the second time who was killed by the order of Hamdani commander of Mosul, Hasan ibn ‘Abdullah (Nasir al-Dawlah) in 330/942 who had become the supreme commander. Also, Nasir al-Dawlah was removed by a Tuzun Turk.‘Abbas Pazwiz, Tarikh-e Diyalameh va Ghaznawiyan (The History of Daylamites and Ghaznavids), p. 75. Muttaqi, the caliph who had previously sought refuge with Nasir al-Dawlah Hamdani in the disputes between the Baridid brothers and Tuzun returned to Baghdad under the protection of Tuzun, commander of army; however, the next day Tuzun blinded him and appointed Mustakfi as the caliph. Tuzun died in 334/946and country affairs fell in the hands of Ibn Shirzad, the Tuzun’s hired writer‘Azizullah Bayat, Ibid, pp. 141-end, ‘Abbas Pazwiz, Ibid, p. 69. . He barely could pay the salary of the army and so allowed them to plunder people’s properties. Thus, the throne was thrown into disorder. People were not physically and financially secure and so emigrated. In that situation, Ibn Shirzad sent an army with Yanan Kushah and appointed him as the governor of Wasit and Takrit; but they revolted and called Ahmad ibn Buyah to capture Iraq. Ahmad went to Baghdad with an army. Ibn Shirzad could not resist and escaped to Mosul and Ahmad ibn Buyah captured Khuzestan in 334/946 A.H and then entered BaghdadMiskiwayh, Ibid, vol. 2, p. 85; ‘Ali Asghar Faqihi Shahanshah-ye‘Adud ad- Dawla, p. 28. It is mentioned in page 45: Daylamites believed in the ‘Alawites’ caliphate and considered ‘Abbasids usurpers, so Mu‘izz ad-Daula appointed Abu al-Hasan, Muhammad ibn Yahya Zeydi as a governor who was a well- mannered and pious man and Abu al-Hasan wanted to remove the ‘Abbasids from the government. When Abu Ja‘far Muhammad Humayri, who was the minister, found out about that said to Mu‘izz al-Dawlah, “If there is a man (sayyid) who is worthy of Imamate, will you obey him or not?” He replied, “I will try to keep him content of myself.” The Minister answered, “If he said that you must resign from power and be satisfied with its titles, would you accept?” He replied, “He would not ask me such a thing.” The minister asked, “What will you do if he does?” Mu‘izz al-Dawlah answered, “I will forget government if I can convince myself, unless I will be a wrongdoer and will go to the Hell.” Humayri stated: “Why should not the caliph be someone who is contented with a title and do not expect obedience from you and if later he tries to rule [strictly]? You could remove him and appoint someone else instead.” (Quoted from Rawdah as-Safa, vol. 3, p. 520. and Hamedani, Takmileh-ye Tarikh-e Tabari, p. 149) . The next day, he went to Mustakfi and the caliph nicknamed him ‘Mu‘izz ad-Dawlah’, his brother Ali as and his last brother ‘Imad al-Dawlah' and Hasan as ‘Rukn al- Dawlah.’ With this, he ordered to forge these nicknames on the current money of that period, the dirham and dinar.Khand Mir (Ghiyath ad-Din ibn Humam ad-Din al-Husayni ), Tarikh-e Habib al-Sayyid, vol. 2, p. 426. Mu‘izz al-Dawlah ordered to curse Mu‘awiyah in written format and those who had seized the right of Fatima (a)Faqihi, Ibid, p. 119. Regarding the events of 352 AH, Ibn Dowzi says, “Mu‘izz al-Dawlah ordered people gather on the Day of ‘Ashura and express their grief. In ‘Ashura, markets were closed. Buying and selling were stopped. Butchers did not slaughter sheep. Those who were cooking Harisah (a soft dish consisting of ground wheat and meat), did not cook. People did not drink water. They set up tents in market areas and hanged coarse woolen cloth from the tents. Women hit their heads and faces and wept for Imam Husayn (a). On that day, people mourned for Imam Husayn (a). (Abu al-Farad Abd ar-Rahman ibn ‘Ali ibn Muhammad ibn al-Jawzi, Al-Muntazam fi Tarikh al-'Umam-i va al-Muluk, vol. 14, p. 150.); About the events of the same year, Ibn al-Athir says, “Sunnites did not have power to prevent Shi‘ites from doing these acts [of mourning] because they were many and the king supported them.” (Al- Kamil, vol. 7, following the events of 352 A.H) Since then, the same ceremony was being performed every year until the end of the Buyid government. In ‘Ashura, the inhabitants of Karkh would gather and mourn. It is clear from the writings of Ibn Athir and Ibn Kathir that the Shi‘ites of Karkh would simulate the events of Karbala (Al-Kamil, vol. 7, p. 51 and Al-Bidayah wa al- Nahayah, vol.11, p. 275, quoted from Faqihi, Ibid). However, after Daylamites’ victory and removing the influence of the Caliph, the Shi‘ites and Sunnites formed two political parties in this city. The Shi‘a backed the Buyids and the Sunnites supported Sabuktigin and Turks. This favoritism led to many disputes and conflicts. In 363, the people of Baghdad were divided into two parties: the Sunnites shouted slogans for Sabuktigin, the great chamberlain, and the Shi’a shouted for ‘Adud al-Dawlah Daylami (Takmalah Tarikh-e Tabari, Hamadani, p. 215, quoted from Faqihi, Ibid, p. 126). This division initiated many fights. Blood was shed and houses were plundered (quoted from Muntazam, vol. 7, p. 68; quoted from Faqihi, Ibid, p. 127). . The caliph was obliged to obey the Buyid ruler. Mu‘izz al-Dawlah publicized mourning for the Commander of the Martyrs, Imam Husayn (a) in Baghdad in 352/963 and appointed ‘Ashura as a public holiday. He ordered that women come out of their houses and mourn and lament for the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (a) by hitting their chests and heads and disheveling their hair.Ibn Jawzi, Muntazam, vol. 7, p. 16; Faqihi, Ibid, p. 121. Contrary to the day of ‘Ashura, Mu‘izz al-Dawlah, would also order people to express their happiness in the Feast of Ghadir. On the eve of Feast of Ghadir in ‘Shurtah’ neighborhood, fire was set on, drums were beaten, horns were blown, and people sacrificed a camel in the morning.Miskiwayh, Tajarub al-Umam, vol. 2, p. 87. Only after some months of during the occupation of Baghdad, Mu‘izz al-Dawlah was informed about Mustakfi’s plot. He ordered two Daylamite chiefs to tie a turban around the caliph’s neck and pull him from his residence to the seat of Mu‘izz al- Dawlah. This way they deposed him of the caliphate and threw him into prison. After a few days, Mu‘izz al-Dawlah deposed Mustakfi and appointed the son of Muqtadir, Abu al-Qasim as caliph nicknamed ‘al-Muti‘ Billah’.Ibid, vol. 2, pp. 337 & 338. Since then, the ‘Abbasid caliphs fully obeyed the Buyids. Ahmad ibn Buyah and his successors would pretend to respect the caliphs in order to achieve their goals and benefit from their favor among the Sunnis. lbn Muqtadir (Muti‘ ‘Abbasi) who attempted to achieve the caliphate in the time of Mustakfi, hid for a while. After Mustakfi’s deposition, Mu‘izz al-Dawlah appointed Fadl ibn Muqtadir as caliph nicknamed as ‘Al-Muti‘’ in 334 A.H; but only Mu‘izz al-Dawlah alone had full authority. During his caliphate, the north eastern regions of Iran were under the control of the Samanids and the western parts of the Caspian Sea were under the control of the Ziyarids (Al-e Ziyar). Also, the south and west of Iran were occupied by the Buyids. The Buyids ruled over Baghdad in place of the Chief Commander as well. Muti‘ was deposed of being a caliph because of paralysis and was asked to leave the caliphate to his son, ‘Abd al-Karim, to which he accepted.Bayat, ibid, p. 141 – 145. ‘Abd al-Karim, nicknamed Ta’i‘ ‘Abbasi, ruled from 361 to 381/991; the end of his rule coincided with Sheikh Saduq's death in Rey. During the rule of Ta’i‘, ‘Azud al-Dawlah, son of Mu‘izz al- Dawlah, was the ruler of Baghdad after his father’s death; however, due to irresponsibility and conflicts among his companions, ‘Adud al-Dawlah Daylami, the son of Rukn al- Dawlah, took the ruling of Baghdad from him and ruled over the city and made significant changes in Baghdad.Research: Madelung, Wilferd (editor) - Arabic Texts Concerning The History of The Zaydi Imams of Tabaristan, Daylaman And Gilan, Franz Steiner, 1987 trans. as Akhbar al-A'immah al-Zaydiyyah, fi Tabaristan wa Daylaman wa Jilan, Beirut, Dar al-Nashr; “Al-Masabih, Abu al-‘Abbas Hasani" pp. 55 – 57, quoted by Rasul Ja'fariyan, Tarikh-e Tashayyu‘ dar Iran (The History of Shi'ism in Iran), vol. 1, p. 288. Other records are mostly quoted by professor Ja'fariyan and we thank him. About this issue, you may refer to Ayati, Tardumah Ibn Khaldun, vol. 3, pp. 9, 603.
Fast and constant socio-political changes in the third and fourth centuries caused various Shi‘a groups to meet many of their goals in the political-cultural fights. These changes were also a result of the dominance of the ‘Abbasid Caliphs. Since then, the ‘Abbasid Caliphs could not continue to exert violence and force against the Shi‘a. The most powerful Shi‘a government in the fourth century was the Buyid government whose origin of emergence was sought among ‘Alawi government of Tabaristan. Before the emergence of the Shi‘a in Tabaristan, after being released from the Fakhkh movement, Yahya ibn ‘Abdullah ibn al-Hasan ibn al-Husayn (a) entered in Tabaristan and fought along with 170 of his Basri, Kufi, and Khurasani companions in the time of Musa and Harun ar-Rashid in 172 A.H.Abu al-Farad Isfahani, Maqatil at-Talibiyyin, p. 465, 468; Ibn Khaldun, Ibid. Harun wanted Fadl ibn Yahya Barmaki to capture him anyway.Ibn Khaldun, Ibid., Akhbar al-A'immah al-Zaydiyah, Al-Taji, p. 11, Al- Masabih, Abu al-‘Abbas Hasani, pp. 57 – 70, quoted from Ja‘fariyan, p. 288; Maqatil at-Talibin, p. 472. Fadl ibn Yahya entered Daylam and a great crowd of people gathered around him. By sending a safe conduct from Rashid, Fadl ibn Yahya forced him to accept peace and was finally murdered in Rashid's prison.Mar‘ashi, op cit., p. 201 – 210. In the first half of the third century, Tabaristan was ruled by the Tahirids. The intrusion of the Tahiri dynasty on properties which did not have any owner in Gilan and people had authority over them, led them to revolt and people sent out Jabir ibn Harun from this region. Two men, Muhammad and Ja‘far, the sons of Rustam, were leaders of the revolt. Because they wanted to create a strong alliance among themselves, they decided to invite one of the ‘Alawids who lived in Rey to this region. The Daylamites invited one of the ‘Alawids of Tabaristan, Muhammad ibn Ibrahim, but he did not accept and guided them toward Hasan ibn Zayd Hasani [first Da‘i or great Da‘i, 250-270 A.H].Akhbar al-A'immah, Al-Tadi, p. 21, quoted from Ja‘fariyan, Ibid., p. 291. Hasan ibn Zayd who was living in Rey, one of other ‘Alawite centers, went to Tabaristan by this invitation; he took an allegiance of the people and fought with the rulers of Tahirids. After conquering them, he established his government in Amul. Amul, Sari, Gurgan with Gilan, and Daylam were among the regions ruled by the Daylamites for 20 years.Zaydids would consider someone as an Imam who is one of the descendant of Fatimah (A), brave, generous and revolts by sword. Although Hasan ibn Zayd was a Zaydi, he believed in Hanafi jurisprudence. And although Zaydids were members of Ashab al-Sayf (“Men of the Sword”)Mar‘ashi, Ibid, p. 211. against Imamiyyah, the Zaydi jurisprudence had shared several ideologies with Imamiyyah jurisprudence.Ja‘fariyan, ibid., vol. 1, p. 292. During this period, the Tahirids and Ya‘qub Layth sometimes engaged in war with them. They would be defeated after a while and retracted, but the ‘Alawites who followed the people would occupy these regions again. During these years, the ‘Alawites revolted many times in Egypt, Iraq, Hijdaz, and Iran that Tabari and Ibn Athir have written a detailed account of them. The ‘Abbasid caliphs would see the origin of all of such movements in Tabaristan; therefore, the ‘Abbasids themselves or their stooges provoked other governments to attack this Shi‘a government. For example, during the time of the Caliph Mu‘tazz, they provoked the Saffarids to attack this government. The successor of Hasan ibn Zayd was his brother Muhammad ibn Zayd who established his government in Tabaristan by taking the advantage of the conflict between ‘Amr ibn Layth and the Samanids.Mar‘ashi, Ibid, p. 211. Historians have written that Muhammad ibn Zayd supported the ‘Alawites who were under the dominance of Iraq and Hidaz by sending financial helpAl-Kamil, vol. 4, p. 577. ; but after the dominance of the Samanids over Sogdiana and overcoming on ‘Amr ibn Layth in Khorasan, Isma‘il ibn Ahmad Samani sent an army to Tabaristan. This army killed Da‘i in 287 A.HIbid, vol. 6, p. 403. and the Samanids had established their government in Tabaristan. At that time, the Shi‘ites revolted. Even the owner of al-Zand revolted having the claim of ‘Alawite descendant and Zangi army resisted for 15 years (255 – 270 A.H). He ruled many years as an ‘Alawi (using ‘Alawi identity) in the south of Iraq and Iran until he was finally suppressed; however, Shi‘i belief had attracted great numbers of people and even Muntasir. Contrary to his father, ‘Abbasi, the son of Mutawakkil, had a tendency toward the Shi‘ites by being inclined toward the Household of the Prophet.Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, p. 636. ‘Abbasi respected the ‘Alawites as a result.Compiled by Muhammad Ramaani and revised by Malik al-Shu‘ara Bahar, Mudmal al-Tawarikh va al-Qisas, p. 368. Abu ‘Abdullah al-Shi‘i revolted in order to support of the Imam of Isma‘ilites and ‘Ubaydullah al-Mahdi in 286 A.H and dominated Africa, Egypt, and Damascus. In Yemen, Yahya ibn Husayn revolted in 290 A.H and achieved dominance over it.Tarikh ibn Khaldun, vol. 1, p. 13. Hasan ibn Ali, known as Nasir Kabir al-Atrush, was a pious and virtuous man. He was one of the descendants of Imam Zayn al- ‘Abidin (a) and attempted to call people to Islam in Gilan and DaylamanMas‘udi, the well-known Islamic historian and great geographer, who was contemporary with Nasir Kabir, spoke about Nasir Kabir with the name of 'Atrush' in two places in his book ‘Tarzkh-e Muriid al-Dhahab’ and writes: “Atrush revolted in Tabaristan (now called ‘Mazandaran’) and expelled ‘Siyah Damegan’h who were followers of ‘Abbasids in 301 A.H. He had a comprehensive understanding and knowledge in religious beliefs. He lived among Daylamites for a while. In that period, Daylamites were Magian unbelievers who were ignorant (as if living in the Age of Pre-Islamic Ignorance). The people of Gilan were the same in that period. Nasir Kabir called them to One God and they accepted Islam. At that time, the territory of Muslims reached to Qazvin, Chalus and other parts of Tabaristan. He built many mosques in Daylam…” (Muriid al-Dhahab, vol. 5, p. 260) . He propagated Islamic names among them, taught them the Holy Qur’an and took revenge for Muhammad ibn Zayd’s death from the Samanids. He also seized Tabaristan from the Samanids in 301 A.H. He called himself al-Nasir Li’l-Haqq and named Amul as the capital of his government. After 3 years, he died in 304 A.HAkhbar al-A’immah al-Zaydiyyah, p. 71, quoted from Ja'fariyan, ibid, pp. 345 – 349, Cf. Sayyid Kazim Rawhani, Nihzat-hay-e Siyasi Dini-ye Iran (Political-religious movements of Iran), pp. 3 – 20; Isma‘il Mahduri, Tarzkh-e Mazandaran, pp. 86 – 122. and was buried in Amul. It is stated that Ahmad, the son of Nasir Kabir, believed in ImamateIbn Isfandiyar (Baha al-Din Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Hasan), Tarihk-e Tabaristan, p. 97, quoted from Ja‘fariyan, p. 347; Tarikh-e Ibn Khaldun, vol. 3, p. 13. and criticized his father for being Zaydi. According to Madelung’s report, the Buyids were the Daylamites of Lahidan who became commander by serving in the army of al-Nasir Li’l- Haqq and his successor, Hasan ibn Qasim. Although they later supported the ‘Abbasid Caliphate for political reasons, they would support the ‘Alawites’ ruling in their own territory. The children of the Buyid Mu‘izz al-Dawlah respected Abu ‘Abdullah al- Mahdi, the son of Hasan ibn Qasim Da‘i and the next Zaydi Imam after him. Abu ‘Abdullah al-Mahdi was appointed as a leader of the ‘Alawites with the privilege that neither did he have to wear black formal clothes nor did he attend the caliph’s court. We mentioned previously that Mu‘izz al-Dawlah considered him as his Imam.Akhbar al-A'immah al-Zaydiyyah, Madelung, quoted from Ja‘fariyan, ibid, pp. 353-54. First, Buyah’s sons were among Nasir al-Haqq ‘Alawi’s army though they doined Mardavid’s army afterwards. Because of the great competence they demonstrated, Mardavid appointed them as the rulers of Rey. From there, they entered Shiraz in 322 A.H and prepared themselves to occupy Baghdad. At the same time, they had constant conflicts with Mardavid and his brother, Wushmgir. Finally, Mu‘izz al-Dawlah entered Baghdad in 334 A.H and after a while, he dismissed Mustakfi and appointed Muti‘ Lillah. One of the main causes of the growing Shi‘a population in the 4th century lies in creating Shi‘ite governments. Iraqi Fatimids were ruling Egypt, Buyids were ruling Iran, Hamdani Shi’ites were ruling Syria, Zaydids were ruling Yemen, and the Qarmatians as extremist Shi‘a were ruling some regions. Judge Abd al-Dabbar, the opponent of the Shi‘ites, admitted to this matter.Judge' ‘Abd al-Jabbar Hamidani, Tathbit Dala'il al-Nabuwwah, p. 433, op. cit., p. 361. Another Shi'ite government was Hamdaniyyan government which was formed in the early 4th century. This Shi'ite government rose from the inside of Arabic tribes and gained independence autonomy against ‘Abbasid Caliphate. The major cities of this government were in Mosul and Aleppo. Nasir al-Dawlah Hamdani was the ruler of Mosul since 317 AH. Sayf al- Dawlah Hamdani became the ruler of Aleppo in 332. Shi'ite tendencies of this government were well-known (Jamal al-Din Abu al-Mahasin Dsuf Atabaki, Fi al-Muliik al-Misr wa al-Qahirah, vol. 4, 5; Abd ar-Rahman Sayf Azad, Tarihk-e Khulafa-ye Fatimz (History of Fatimid Caliphs), cited in the journal of Hawzah, no. 54, Bahman and Isfand 1371 (Jan. & Feb. 1993 CE) (Millennium Memorial Sheikh Mufid) p. 7. On remaining coins of Hamdaniyan government, Imamate and guardianship of Imam ‘Ali (A) has been inscribed (Ahmad Amin Misri, Suhr al-Islam, vol. 2, p. 74, quoted op. cit.). … Hamdanid government was a longer experience of a Shi'ite government. Although it did not last long in the north of Iraq and fell after some decades because of conflicts with Buyids, but Hamdaniyan government of Aleppo lasted until 394 AH and then it became one of the dependent territories of Fatimid government. The powerful Fatimid government was an experience of a Shi'ite government. Although it developed from the west of Africa, but quickly settled in the borders of ‘Abbasid Caliphate and was considered as a serious danger to their government. Hostilities and competitions between ‘Abbasids and Fatimids lasted three decades until Fatimid government was removed by Ayyubids (Cf. Al-Nujum al-Zahirah, vol. 5, p. 384 op cit., p. 8). However, before the entering Buyids, interest in Shi‘ism was increasing in Baghdad. The activities of the Shi‘a in the Buratha mosque were the reason why Muqtadir ‘Abbasi ordered to ruin it to suppress revolt of Hanbalites in 313 A.H. Before that, it was warned that the Caliph would not force anyone who badmouthed the companions of the Prophet.Ibn al-Jawzi (Abu al-Faraj ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn ‘Ali) Al-Muntazam, vol. 13, pp. 313 & 314. After the Buyids came to power, a fair degree of security was provided for the Shi‘ites and during 113 years of Buyid government, Shi‘ites could develop Shi‘ite ideology using relative freedom and present their beliefs and hadiths in the form of books and treatises.
The Buyids supported famous scholars such as Sheikh Saduq (d. 381 A.H). He also had relationships with Rukn al-Dawlah. Rey was the major city of his government. He is called the sole authority of Khurasan.Rijal Najashi, p. 389. The most distinguished student of Saduq was Sheikh Mufid (d. 413 A.H) who revived the Shi‘a in different aspects, especially theologically at the time of Buyids’ rule. Sahib ibn ‘Abbad, Buyids’ learned and powerful minister, was very fond of the Household of the Prophet (s). More than half of his poems are in praise of the Household of the Prophet (s).Cf. Divan of Sahib ibn ‘Abbad; About Sahib’s religion, refer to Al-e Yasin with the titles inside such as Al-Sahib ibn ‘Abbad, Hayatuh-u wa Adabuh, cited in Ja‘fariyan, ibid, p. 339. The Shi‘ites built many libraries and schools during the Buyid period, some of which were destroyed by Sultan Muhammad Qaznawi who had deep predudice against the Shi‘a and oppressed the Shi‘a as a result. However, Shi‘ism continued to develop there. In the period of Buyids in Rey, an educated class of Shi‘ites developed in the city who participated in politics and were remarkable authors of scientific works. One of them was Abu Sa‘id Abi who was the Madd al-Dawlah Buwayhi’s minister and passed away in 421 A.H. He was one of the students of Sheikh Saduq and is considered a Shi‘ite minister of the Buyids. For the first time, he prepared an index of verses of the Qur'an according to their subjects called ‘Nathr al-Durr.’ Sheikh Saduq had a close relationship with the Buyids. He gifted the book ‘Uyiin Akhbar al- Ridha to Sahib ibn ‘Abbad. His brother, Husayn ibn Ali, wrote a book to redect Tashbih (comparison with God) and gave it to Sahib ibn ‘Abbad.Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalani, Lisan al-Mzzan, vol. 2, p. 306, quoted from Ibid, p. 401; Ma‘anz al-Akhbar, Preface by ‘Ali Akbar Ghaffari, p. 84. Sheikh Saduq tried to support the Shi‘ite government of the Buyids and lead them. The withdrawal of this Shi‘ite scholar would make the cruel ‘Abbasid caliphs and the contradictory religion more dominant; thus, the Babiwayh family and Sheikh Saduq settled in Rey for Islamic and Shi'ite interests. They presented their books to the Buyid ministers, which proved to be effective in their assistance to Shi'ism. The Buyids could not satisfy the ‘Abbasid caliphs because they weakened the base of the caliphate and also supported the Shi'ites. The ‘Abbasid caliphate wanted to put the Buyids under pressure in any possible way. One way of doing so was the zealous Sunni governments ruling the east of Iran. The Samanids and after them the Ghaznavids were both anti-Shi'ite governments; their most significant action in Rey was Sultan Mahmud Ghaznawi’s attack on it.Sultan Mahmud Ghaznawi rose in Khurasan in 389 A.H and established a powerful government in the east of the Islamic caliphate through numerous victories. He demonstrated himself as a loyal person to ‘Abbasid caliphate. He knew himself as an implacable enemy against the enemies of the caliph, especially the Karmathians and Shi'ites; this was favourable to the ‘Abbasids. (The Hawzah Journal, no. 54, 1371, p. 9) He carried out this attack to take revenge on the ‘Abbasid caliph who did not feel content by neither the Buyids, Shi‘ites, or the Mu‘tazilites. The attack of the Ghaznavids on Buyids’ land satisfied the caliph. Historians and Sultan Mahmud Ghaznawi state that attacking Rey was to suppress the Shi'ites and Mu‘tazilites. Khajeh Ni:fam al-Mulk quoted from a letter of Sultan Mahmud Ghaznawi saying: He has come here not to occupy Iraq but to improve the corrupted conditions of this region. In his letter, he mentioned the conflicts between Sunni Turks and the Daylamites who were Shi'ite. He wrote, "…I preferred to come to Iraq rather than attack India. I also appointed an army of pious Turks and Hanafite Muslims as chiefs over the Daylamites, atheists (Zindiqs) and Esotericists (Bafinzs) with the intention of destroying them completely. Some were killed by the Turks’ swords, sent to prison, or became homeless. I ordered all masters and those who have occupied a property in Khurasan to be Hanafi or a pure Shafi‘i. The two families of our enemy are the Batinis and extremist Shi‘ah; both are in harmony with the Turks.Khajeh Nizam al-Mulk, Siyasat Nameh, pp. 87 & 88, cited in ja‘fariyan, ibid, p. 402. According to Ibn Kathir, Sultan Mahmud Ghaznawi informed the ‘Abbasid caliph through a letter in 420 A.H and wrote that he had brutally killed Batinis and Shi‘as who lived in Rey. They were hanged and the properties of their leader worth 1000 dinars were seized.Abu al-Fida’ ibn Kathir al-Damishqi, Al-Bidayah wa al-Nahayah, vol. 12, p. 26, cited from Ibid. According to Ibn Kathir’s report, the Sultan hanged the Batinis who were companions of Madd al-Dawlah who spent their time studying, destroyed philosophical books, and exiled the Mu‘tazilites to Khurasan.Mahdi Muhaqqiq, Duvvumin Bist Guftar, p. 221, Quoted from Ibid. The appearance of Shi‘ite governments created a calm period for religious scholars. Shi‘ite jurisprudents, narrators of hadith, theologians, and philosophers recollected scattered Shi‘ite resources and were able to both revive and refine collections of hadiths. They restated the truth of Shi'ite thoughts in jurisprudential and theological areas and wiped unreal extras out from them. They prepared the way for regaining new powers under the available social security. Religious scholars understood that the existing opportunity was an effective and useful means for spreading Shi'ite thoughts. They eventually established good relations with them. When the Buyids dominated, the political situations changed in favour of the Shi‘ites. It was then that the ‘Abbasid caliphs became obedient to the Buyids and the history of the Shi‘ites entered a new phase in which Shi‘ite scholars changed their policies and came out of dissimulation. They approached Shi'ite governors and introduced and propagated thoughts of Imams (a); thus, by using Shi'ite suitable political situation, Sheikh Saduq posed jurisprudential and theological subjects and wrote books in various Islamic fields with Shi'ite tendency. He took a big step in introducing Shi‘a Islam, in protecting the foundation of Shi'ah intellectuals, and introducing truths for Islamic society which became well-known among the people. With regards to Saduq’s travels to Baghdad, Khatib Baghdadi in Tarikh-e Baghdad wrote: He came to Baghdad and narrated hadiths of his father to narrators of hadiths. He was a Da'fari follower and one of the most famous Rafidis. Muhammad ibn Tall;ah Na‘al narrated hadiths from him for us.Quoted from Mudarrisi Gilani, Muqaddamah-ye Khisal (The Introduction of Khisal), p. 7. The relationship between Ali ibn Babiwayh and Rukn al-Dawlah in Rey was so close that king respected him in the meetings and would push him to speak in presence of Sunni scholars by asking questions about Imamate and guardianship (wilayah)‘Ali Asghar Faqihi, Shahanshahz-ye ‘Adud al-Dawlah, p. 117. . The author of Majalis al-Mu’minzn writes: In an independent treatise, Sheikh Ja‘far Duriyasti counted some of the considerable fruits he had had in some meetings of Rukn al-Dawlah. Because his treatise was very rare and it was a sample of the great Sheikh’s thoughts and it was related with the goal of this book, speaking about virtues of that pious scholar became frequent among people. Malik Rukn al-Dawlah heard about Sheikh Saduq’s reputation for leadership and authority among Shi‘ites and became eager to hear his delicate words. Showing great courtesy, Rukn al- Dawlah entreated to take Sheikh Saduq to him. When he entered in Rukn al-Dawlah’s meeting, Malik Rukn al-Dawlah seated him by himself and greatly respected him. When meeting started, he addressed Sheikh and said: ‘O’ Sheikh! A group of scholars have gathered here and have differences of opinion among themselves about those who are cursed by Shi‘ites. Some say that cursing them is obligatory and some say it is not obligatory and not permissible either. What is your opinion about this? Sheikh said: ‘O Malik! Be aware that God, the Exalted, does not accept servants’ acknowledgment of His Divine Unity unless they reject whatever among gods or idols rather than Him; as in the expression of 'La Ilah-a Illa’llah’ (There is no god but Allah) and He would not accept savants’ acknowledgment of prophethood of the holy Prophet (s) unless they reject every false prophet at that time; such as Musaylamah-e Kadhdhab [liar], Aswad ‘Ansi and Sajal; and the like. Allah would not accept savants’ acknowledgment of Imamate of the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (a) unless they reject those who dishonestly have come to power as the caliph instead of him. Malik admired his answer and praised himJudge Nurullah Shushtari, Majalis al-Mu’minin, vol. 1, p. 456. To bring this issue to a conclusion refer to the thesis of the author under the title Rishehhay- e Rawabet-e ‘Ulamay-e Tashayyu‘ ba Safavzyan [Roots of relations between Shi'ite scholars and Safavids] available in the library of ‘Imam Khomeini Education and Research Institute’. . Malik Rukn al-Dawlah also asked many questions to which Sheikh Saduq answered. The following are a few of them: Malik: ‘Although our opponents consider Imamate necessary, they say that the holy Prophet (s) did not appoint anyone as his successor after his death; thus, the people appointed a caliph.’ Sheikh Saduq: ‘If it is true, then the succession of the first and second caliphs was contrary to the action of the Prophet (s) and was null and void; and if their action was true, then the action of the Prophet (s) would have been wrong! Would God (swt) make a mistake, or the people? If someone as simple as poor rural man with spades and baskets as his possession writes a will for his children and family, how would the holy Prophet (s) pass away and not mention anyone in his will about his successor? If the holy Prophet (s) did not really appoint anyone as his successor, then Abu Bakr acted contrary to the action of the holy Prophet (s) and appointed ‘Umar as the next caliph after himself. Also, ‘Umar acted contrary to Abu Bakr and the holy Prophet (s). He elected a council with six members to appoint his successor.’ Malik: ‘What did they assume to appoint Abu Bakr as the Imam?’ Sheikh Saduq: They thought that the holy Prophet (s) had appointed him as the leader of the prayer during the time of his illness while the holy Prophetm went to the mosque with the help of Imam Ali (a) and ‘Abbas, and pushed Abu Bakr aside. They would also narrate from Hafsah [the daughter of Abu Bakr] that the holy Prophet (s) had appointed her father as the leader of the prayer… Why do we have to accept narrations of Hafsah and Ayisha while they did not accept what Lady Fatimah (a) said about Fadak according to the fact that the holy Prophet (s) had granted it to her before he (s) passed away? This was done disregarding the position of Lady Fatimah (a) as the master of all women in the world. She was infallible and the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (a), Imam Hasan (a), Imam Husayn (a) and Umme Ayman could testify Fatimah’s (a) claim. How could Abu Bakr and ‘Umar did not accept their testimony? How can the reports of Hafsah and Ayesha be accepted while they themselves narrated [from the Prophet (s)] that the testimony of a daughter for his father is not credible. Also accepting the testimony of women is not credible in 10 dirhams and more unless a man gives testimony about it? Malik: Why do the Shi’a insist on the existence of twelve Imams (as)? Sheikh Saduq: It is due to the Divine statement through the holy Prophet (s) just as the general principles of prayer are mentioned in the holy Qur‘an though the number of rak‘as was determined by the holy Prophet (s). With regards to Imamate, the Qur’an tells us to, ‘…Obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those vested with authority among you …’ (4:59) which is in agreement with the statement of the holy Prophet (s) about the twelve Imams (a) after himself.Ibid. Thus, when Sheikh Saduq found Buyids’ political condition ready to launch his plans, he stopped hiding his beliefs and revealed the truth by explaining the Shi‘ite sciences. He took advantage of the ideal political condition of the Buyids and wrote books to introduce the Shi‘ite system from the political, jurisprudential, and exegetical viewpoints, all resources possibly adding up to 300 books.Rijal, Najashi, p. 389.
Rukn al-Dawlah, the older brother of Mu‘izz al-Dawlah, ruled over Isfahan, Qazwin, Rey, and Hamadan for more than 44 years. He was a Shi‘a follower and was considerably interested in the household of the Prophet (s). When Sheikh Saduq came to Rey by his invitation, Mu‘izz al-Dawlah and people of Rey welcomed him warmly. He stayed there for a while and propagated religion and Imamate. When Sheikh Saduq wanted to go to Mashhad, Rukn al-Dawlah asked him to pray for him in the holy shrine of Imam Ridha (a). Sheikh Saduq wrote about this in one of his books: It was Rajab in 352 A.H. I asked for permission from the prosperous Emir Rukn al-Dawlah to go to Mashhad for a visit. After I left him, he called me and said, ‘Mashhad is a pure and holy place. I have visited there and prayed to God for my requests. He granted my requests; so do not forget me and pray for me, because prayer is accepted in that place.’ [Sheikh Saduq writes:] I accepted and kept my promise. After returning from Mashhad, I paid him a visit. When he saw me, he asked if I prayed for him and made pilgrimage on his behalf to which I replied that I did.‘Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha, vols. 1 & 2, p. 718. The Buyid rulers tried to select their ministers and commanders from the followers of the Household of the Prophet (s). One of them was the pious scholar, Isma‘il ibn ‘Abbad, the minister of Rukn al-Dawlah. He was the minister for 18 years and in this period, he offered valuable services for propagating Shi‘ism. He composed many poems praising the Imams (a) and propagated his beliefs. Sheikh Saduq deeply respected Sahib ibn ‘Abbad. We can find the depth of Sheikh Saduq’s respect for Ibn ‘Abbad in the introduction of ‘Uyiin Akhbar al-Ridha’. Sheikh Saduq wrote this book for Sahib ibn ‘Abbad and dedicated it to him. In the introduction of ‘Uyiin Akhbar ar-Ridha’, he writes: The author of this book, Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Babiwayh-e Qummi says: ‘I saw two odes of Sahib ibn ‘Abbad, (May God prolong his life) which were about offering salutations to Imam Ridha (a). I wrote this book for the library he has built because I did not find anything more valuable for him than the knowledge of Ahl al-Bayt (a). I want to bring up the two odes of him in the beginning of this book; it is these two verses that inspired me write this book.Ibid, p. 1. Then Sheikh Saduq mentioned three hadiths of the Imams (a) and stated: Imam Sadiq (a) states: ‘Whoever composes one couplet in praising us, God the Exalted grants him a house in paradise. No poet composes poems for us unless the Holy Spirit helps him.’ So God may grant great rewards to the composer of these poems, Sahib ibn 'Ubbad, and fulfils his wishes, and may God grant him the intercession of those whose names are imprinted on his ring.’Ibid., p. 6. Muhammad Taqi Majlisi stated about Sahib ibn ‘Abbad in Naqd al-Rijal: He [Sheikh Saduq] was the best jurist among early jurists and contemporary ones and he was superior to what is mentioned as the knowledge and eminence.Khansari wrote: “He was known as Shi‘ite in Rijal books and in Kashf al- Yaqin, Sayyid Radi ad-Din (Ibn Tawus) and also the author of al-Ma‘alim al- ‘Ulama praised him and considered him as the poet of Ahl al-Bayt (a) (Rawdat al-Jannat, vol. 2, p. 26). There were twenty thousand books in the library of Sahib ibn ‘Abbad which were listed in ten volumes of books. Sheikh Saduq benefited from that great library. Sheikh Saduq passed away in 381 A.H while he was a little over seventy years old. He is buried near the tomb of Abd al-‘Azim al- Hasani in the city of Rey where people continuously visit to pay their respects and seek blessings.