The Cause of the Death of Hisham

The fame of Hisham had spread everywhere and people used to come from every corner of the world in groups to listen and witness the fascinating debates.

Haroon who was very much annoyed and alarmed by the matter considered the speeches of Hisham as the biggest danger to the caliphate, and had decided several times to kill Hisham. He had warned him of his death, especially on that very day when Yahya ibn Khaled had arranged the meeting by the order of Haroon and he had listened to the convincing speech of Hisham personally and had sworn to kill him.

At last he called for Hisham and ordered to imprison and kill him. So, Hisham had to escape to Kufa and hid away for some time in the house of Bashir Nabbal where he was too ill. However much they asked him to see a doctor he would refuse saying: I shall die and shall not recover from this illness. Finally Bashir brought a few doctors. When they finished their examinations Hisham asked them about his illness.

Some of them said: We do not know what the illness is, and others told him something else as a result of their examinations. Hisham said: You are telling a lie; my illness is due to my heart trouble which is affected by the fear I have. It cannot be treated.

After a time, he died of the same heart illness in 379 A.H. in Kufa. At the time of his death, he made his will to take out his corpse at night after bathing and shrouding and put a note on his coffin which noted that: This is Hisham ibn Hakam. This was done so that the couflien of the caliph would know that he has died and free from prison those who were arrested due to being his relatives.

When the news of his death reached Haroon, he said: "Thank God, I got rid of his mischief."

When the news of the death of Hisham was brought to the 8th Imam (a), he prayed to God for his forgiveness and said: A great pillar of defence for Wilayah and Imamate has vanquished.1

Hazrat Jawad al-Aimma (a) also used to say about him that: God may bless him as he used to endeavor to clarify the doubts of the opponents and defend our right cause and faith.

The date of Hisham's death is also not free from ambiguity and controversy. Some have written2 that Hisham died in 179 A.H. in Kufa during the caliphate of Haroon al-Rashid and others have thought his date of death to be 188 A.H.3 and other writers as 199 A.H.4

This was the brief story of the life and bold debates of Hisham, his defence of the cause of Wilayah and Imamate and his ultimate fate. Countless blessings be showered upon his sacred soul and all followers and searchers of the Truth! Now we will finish this book with Hisham's own prayer as quoted by Younus ibn Yaqub. Hisham always prayed as follows:

O' Creator bestow upon us the reward for the necessary or unnecessary deeds we have done or will perform in the future which are according to the commands of your Apostle and his sacred household (s). (Peace be upon him and all of them according to the merit). O God, accept all these deeds from them and us and bestow upon us the blessing according to your own lofty and proper dignity.

  • 1. Ghahramanan e Islam, Heroes of Islam by. Mr. Ali Akbar Tashaiod, vol.2.
  • 2. Rejal, by Abu Umar Kashi, quoted through Fazl ibn Shazan.
  • 3. Al Fehrest, by Ibn Nadim.
  • 4. (Ayan- al- Shiah)