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A Comprehensive Compilation of Reliable Narrations


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2.48. Khuzayma b. Thabit



[-/1] فروع الكافي: علي بن إبراهيم، عن محمد بن عيسى، عن يونس، عن معاوية بن وهب عن ابي عبدالله عليه السلام قال: كان البلاط حيث يصلى على الجنائز سوقا على عهد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله يسمى البطحاء يباع فيها الحليب والسمن والاقط وإن أعرابيا أتى بفرس له فأوثقه فاشتراه منه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله ثم دخل ليأتيه بالثمن فقام ناس من المنافقين فقالوا: بكم بعت فرسك؟ قال: بكذا وبكذا قالوا: بئس مابعت، فرسك خير من ذلك وإن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله خرج إليه بالثمن وافيا طيبا فقال الاعرابي: ما بعتك والله، فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله: سبحان الله بلى والله لقد بعتني، و ارتفعت الاصوات فقال الناس: رسول الله يقاول الاعرابي فاجتمع ناس كثير فقال أبوعبدالله عليه السلام: ومع النبي صلى الله عليه وآله أصحابه إذ أقبل خزيمة بن ثابت الانصاري ففرج الناس بيده حتى انتهى إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وآله فقال: أشهد يا رسول الله لقد اشتريته منه فقال الاعرابي أتشهد ولم تحضرنا؟ وقال له النبي صلى الله عليه وآله: أشهدتنا؟ فقال له: لا يا رسول الله ولكني علمت أنك قد اشتريت أفأصدقك بما جئت به من عند الله ولا اصدقك على هذا الاعرابي الخبيث قال: فعجب له رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وقال: يا خزيمة شهادتك شهادة رجلين

[1/-] Furu al-Kafi: Ali b. Ibrahim from Muhammad b. Isa from Yunus from Muawiya b. Wahb from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام who said: al-Balat – where the prayers for the dead are prayed [in our times] – was an open market in the time of the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله called al-Batha` which was sold milk, butter-fat, and milk curds. Once a Bedouin came with a horse and the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله inspected it and bought it from him, then he entered inside to bring him the amount. A group of hypocrites who were around stood and said [to the Bedouin]: how much did you sell it to him for? He said: at such and such price, they said: what a bad bargain, your horse is better than that. The messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله came out with the full agreed-upon price but the Bedouin said: by Allah I have not sold it you, the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله said: glory be to Allah! yes by Allah you have indeed sold it to me, and voices were raised, the people said: the messenger of Allah is arguing with a Bedouin and a crowd gathered around, Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said: the prophet صلى الله عليه وآله was surrounded by his companions when Khuzayma b. Thabit al-Ansari approached, parted the people with his hand, until he reached the prophet صلى الله عليه وآله and said: I bear witness O messenger of Allah that you bought it from him, the Bedouin said: how can you witness when you were not even present! The prophet said to him: did you witness it with your eyes? He said: no O messenger of Allah, but I know that you bought it from him - should I consider you truthful in that which you came with from Allah but then doubt your truthfulness over this nasty Bedouin! He (al-Sadiq) said: the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله was very pleased at that and said: O Khuzayma, your witness is equal to the witnessing of two men.


This narration explains the origin of Khuzayma b. Thabit’s title ‘Dhu al-Shahadatyn’.               

Khuzayma b. Thabit was an early Ansari companion of the messenger of Allah among the Aws. He participated in Badr and the rest of the battles. He carried the banner on behalf of the Khatma [his sub-tribe] on the day of the conquest of Makka.

He is sometimes included in the list of companions who withheld giving the pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr until after Ali had done so. Some have cast doubt on this because he is also mentioned as a participant who cooperated with the official program of compiling a standard unified Mushaf of the Qur’an under Uthman.

Khuzayma willingly confirmed Ali when he challenged the companions at Rahba to bear witness about the saying of the messenger of Ali “to whomsoever I am a master than Ali is also his master” at Ghadir Khumm.

He became particularly close to Ali in later years and even accompanied him to Jamal and Siffin wherein he was martyred in 37 AH.  

He was a capable poet and composed a number of fine pieces to mark various landmark events. These should be studied in depth as they can act as early confirmation of the elevated status of Ali in early Shi`ism as seen by his contemporaries.

I quote here one of his famous pieces of poetry.

Al-Hakim narrates in his Mustadrak from al-Aswad b. Yazid al-Nakhai that: when Ali b. Abi Talib was given the pledge of allegiance while seated on the puplit of the messsenger of Allah – Khuzayma b. Thabit said after standing in front of the pulpit:

اذا نـحـن بـايـعـنـا عليـاً فـحـسبنا               أبـو حـسن ممـا نـخـاف من الفتن

وجـدنـاه أولى الناس بالنــاس إنـه             أطـب قـريـش بالكتاب وبالسنن

وإن قـريـشــاً ما تـشـق غــبـــاره                إذا ما جرى يوما على ضمَّر  البـدن

فـفـيـه الـذي فيهم من الخير كـلـه               وما فيهم مثل الذي فيه من حسـن

If we have given the pledge to Ali then sufficient for us is     

Abu Hasan to save us from what we fear of strife

We found him to be the best men among men                          

He is the most knowledgeable of the Quraysh in the Book and the Norms

The Quraysh cannot cleave through his raised dust                  

When he rides out some day on the lean-bodied swift ones (horses)

In him is all that which is in them of good                                

But they do not have all that which he has of merit

“cannot cleave through his raised dust” is a metaphor for someone who is “peerless/unsurpassed”. It refers to a horseman who out-rides others leaving them behind, they cannot even reach his dust.

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2.49. Khayran al-Khadim



[1/154] رجال الكشي: حمدويه وإبراهيم، عن محمد بن عيسى، عن خيران الخادم قال: وجهت إلى سيدي ثمانية دراهم وكتبت اليه: قد وجهت إليك ثمانية دراهم كانت أهديت إلي من طرسوس دراهم منهم، وكرهت أن أردها على صاحبها، أو أحدث فيها حدثا دون أمرك، فهل تأمرني في قبول مثلها أم لا؟ لأعرفها إن شاء الله وانتهى إلى أمرك. فكتب وقرأته: أقبل منهم إذا أهدي إليك دراهم أو غيرها، فإن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم لم يرد هدية على يهودي ولا نصراني. قال: و قلت: جعلت فداك ... قال: اعمل في ذلك برأيك فإن رأيك رأيي، و من أطاعك فقد أطاعني

[1/154] Rijal al-Kashshi: Hamduwayh and Ibrahim from Muhammad b. Isa from Khayran al-Khadim who said: I sent to my master [al-Jawad] eight Dirhams and wrote to him: I have sent your way eight Dirhams which had been gifted to me from Tarsus being silver coins from them [non-Muslims in the Roman empire]. I did not want to refuse to accept them or to do anything with them without your instruction. Do you allow me to accept its like [in the future] or not. [I ask] so that I can know what to do - if Allah wills - and to make sure I obey your order? So he wrote [and I the narrator read it]: accept any amount from them if it is gifted to you whether it be monetary or otherwise, for the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم never refused a gift whether it be from a Jew or a Christian. He [Khayran] said: I also said: may I be made your ransom … he said: decide on it based on your own discretion, for your decision is my decision, and whoever obeys you has obeyed me.  


Tarsus is a historic town in what is now south-central Turkey close to the Mediterranean. During the Roman Empire, Tarsus was the capital of the province of Cilicia. It is known for being the birthplace of Paul the Apostle. It remained contested between the Byzantines and the Muslim Caliphate for several decades before al-Ma`mun returned it to Muslim control and recommenced offensive campaigns against Byzantium using it as a base.

It seems that some non-Muslims sent coins to Khayran from this mixed-faith town because of their love for the Imam. This prompted Khayran to write to the Imam asking him what to do with them.

Khayran al-Khadim (the servant) was a Mawla (freed slave) of al-Ridha and lived to the time of al-Hadi because he is enumerated as one of his companions. It would seem from this narration that he acted as a Wakil (agent) of al-Jawad. He is considered Thiqa by al-Tusi. The Imam had such trust in him that he considers obedience to Khayran equivalent to obedience to him and this alludes to his esteemed station which only a few could attain.

Edited by Islamic Salvation

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2.50. - 2.51. Dawud b. Farqad and Harun b. Sa`d



[1/155] رجال الكشي: حمدويه، عن أيوب، عن صفوان، عن داود بن فرقد قال: قلت لأبي عبد الله عليه السلام: إن رجلا خلفي حين صليت المغرب في مسجد رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم فقال فَما لَكُمْ فِي الْمُنافِقِينَ فِئَتَيْنِ وَ اللَّهُ أَرْكَسَهُمْ بِما كَسَبُوا أَ تُرِيدُونَ أَنْ تَهْدُوا مَنْ أَضَلَّ اللَّهُ، فعلمت أنه يعنيني، فالتفت إليه فقلت وَ إِنَّ الشَّياطِينَ لَيُوحُونَ إِلى أَوْلِيائِهِمْ لِيُجادِلُوكُمْ وَ إِنْ أَطَعْتُمُوهُمْ إِنَّكُمْ لَمُشْرِكُونَ، فإذا هو هارون بن سعد، قال: فضحك أبو عبد الله عليه السلام ثم قال: إذا أصبت الجواب قبل الكلام بإذن الله قلت: جعلت فداك لا جرم و الله ما تكلم بكلمة، فقال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام: ما أحد أجهل منهم إن في المرجئة فتيا و علما و في الخوارج فتيا و علما، و ما أحد أجهل منهم

[1/155] Rijal al-Kashshi: Hamduwayh from Ayyub from Safwan from Dawud b. Farqad who said: I said to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام: I was praying the Maghrib in the mosque of the messenger of the Allah صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم [in Madina] when a man behind me said: “What is [the matter] with you [that you are] two groups concerning the hypocrites, while Allah has cast them back (to disbelief) because of what they have earned. Do you want to guide him whom Allah has made to go astray?” (4:88), I realized that he said this with me in mind, so I turned towards him and said: “and certainly the devils do inspire their allies to dispute with you, and if you obey them in doing so then you would indeed be of the polytheists” (6:121), then I recognized that it was Harun bin Sa`d, he (Dawud) said: so Abu Abdillah عليه السلام laughed when he heard this and said: you pre-empted him with the most fitting reply even before engaging in a debate with him - by the permission of Allah. I said: may I be made your ransom, truly by Allah - he did not utter a single word in reply [he was flummoxed], so Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said: no one is more ignorant than them (the Zaydiyya), among the Murjia there exist jurists and scholars, and among the Khawarij there exist jurists and scholars, but no one is more ignorant than these.


Harun bin Sa`d (Sa`id) al-Ijli was the Kufan leader of those who came to be called the Ijliyya. These were very similar to the Batri Zaydis. Harun himself was very hostile to the pacifist Imams. His followers were known for accepting Abu Bakr and Umar and not considering an unbroken succession of Imams to be necessary. They would consider as Imam any descendant of Ali who would unsheathe the sword and confront the corrupt temporal rulers. Harun lampooned the followers of Ja`far for what he saw as their extreme exaltation of Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq and their uncritical esotericism.

Harun had supported Zayd b. Ali in his revolt, and later joined himself with Ibrahim b. Abdallah [who had taken up the fight against the Abbasids with his brother al-Nafs al-Zakiyya Muhammad b. Abdallah b. al-Hasan b. al-Hasan b. Ali b. Abi Talib] who made him the governor of Wasit.

There he gave an accession-Khuṭba in which he inveighed against al-Manṣūr’s methods of governing and the deplorable social conditions of his time; in so doing, he is supposed to have been well received by the religious scholars of the city.

When the troops of Manṣūr surrounded him in the city in 145 AH, he decided against making a sortie – presumably because, due to his advanced age, he was generally inclined to caution but also out of political considerations as he wished to wait to see the outcome of the encounter at Bākhamrā. Once the result was clear, he fled to Baṣra. Afterwards all trace of him is lost. Many believed that he died while still en route; others held the view that he had managed to escape and died in hiding about 150 AH. In Kūfa the Abbasid governor had his house destroyed.

Dawud b. Farqad was a Kufan client of the Shi`i family of Abu al-Sammal al-Asadı. He was a companion of al-Sadiq and al-Kadhim. An early authority like Ibn Fadhal says about him ‘Thiqatun Thiqa’ which emphasizes his impeccable credentials as a narrator. He is in turn considered trustworthy by both al-Najashi and al-Tusi. He had a famous book of Hadith which was transmitted by a large number of companions. He occurs in the chains of 95 narrations spread out in our books of Hadith that have survived.

Edited by Islamic Salvation

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2.52. Dharih b. Muhammad al-Muharibi



[-/1] الفقيه: باسناده عن عبدالله بن سنان قال: أتيت أبا عبدالله عليه السلام فقلت له: جعلني الله فداك ما معنى قول الله عزوجل: ثُمَّ لْيَقْضُوا تَفَثَهُمْ قال: أخذ الشارب وقص الاظفار وما أشبه ذلك، قال: قلت: جعلت فداك فإن ذريحا المحاربي حدثني عنك أنك قلت: ثُمَّ لْيَقْضُوا تَفَثَهُمْ لقاء الامام وَلْيُوفُوا نُذُورَهُمْ تلك المناسك، قال: صدق ذريح وصدقت، إن للقرآن ظاهرا وباطنا ومن يحتمل ما يحتمل ذريح 

[1/-] al-Faqih: Via his chain to Abdallah b. Sinan who said: I came to Aba Abdillah عليه السلام and said to him: may Allah make me your ransom, what is the meaning of the words of Allah Mighty and Majestic: “then they should remove their untidiness” (22:29), he said: trimming the mustache and cutting the nails, I said: may I be made your ransom, Dharih al-Muharibi narrated to me quoting you as saying: “then they should remove their untidiness” means ‘visit the Imam’ and “fulfill their vows” refers to ‘[perform] the pilgrimage rites’, he said: Dharih was right and so are you, verily for the Qur’an there is an exoteric and esoteric [layered meanings], and who can bear what is borne by Dharih?    


Abu al-Walid Dharih b. Muhammad b. Yazid from the Banu Muharib b. Hasafa was a companion of al-Sadiq and al-Kadhim. He is graded as Thiqa by al-Tusi. About 31 of his narrations can still be found in our books.

The verse in question is in Surat al-Hajj. It contains instructions to the those making the Hajj. It says: “Then they should remove their untidiness, fulfill their vows and circumambulate the Ancient House” (22:29)

The apparent meaning of ‘remove their untidiness’ is for a pilgrim to groom himself, and this would involve acts like trimming the mustache and cutting the nails, as the Imam answers Abdallah b. Sinan. But he had given a different answer to Dharih consonant with his spiritual maturity. As is well known - the `Aimma used to answer the people based on the levels of their ability. Abdallah b. Sinan had heard something different from Dharih and wanted to confirm it from the Imam himself. This is when the Imam reveals to him the exterior and interior meaning of the verse. What the Imam said to Dharih is the removal of dirt of the heart like sins by meeting the Imam while what he said to Abdallah b. Sinan is the removal of physical uncleanliness by grooming. There is no contradiction between the two, rather they complement each other.

Edited by Islamic Salvation

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2.53. al-Rayyan b. al-Salt



[1/156] رجال الكشي: محمد بن مسعود، عن علي بن الحسن، عن معمر بن خلاد قال: سألني رجل أن أستأذن له عليه يعني الرضا عليه السلام و أسأله أن يكسوه قميصا و يهب له من دراهمه فلما رجعت من عند الرجل أصبت رسوله يطلبني، فلما دخلت عليه، قال: أين كنت؟ قلت: كنت عند فلان، قال: يشتهي أن يدخل على فقلت: نعم جعلت فداك، قال: ثم سبحت، فقال: ما لك تسبح فقلت له: كنت عنده الآن في هذا، فقال: إن المؤمن موفق ثم قال: لو يأتيك فأعلمه قال: فلما دخل عليه جلس قدامه، و قمت أنا في ناحية، فدعاني فقال: اجلس فجلست، فسأله الدعاء ففعل، ثم دعا بقميص فلما قام وضع في يده شيئا، فنظرت فإذا هي دراهم من دراهمه

قال محمد بن مسعود، قال علي بن الحسن: و الرجل الذي سأل الدعاء و الكسوة هو الريان بن الصلت، و قال: حدثني الريان بهذا الحديث

[1/156] Rijal al-Kashshi: Muhammad b. Masud from Ali b. al-Hasan from Muammar b. Khallad who said: a man asked me to seek permission for him to come see him, that is al-Ridha عليه السلام, and he also asked me to ask him (the Imam) to gift him a cloak and some of his silver coins [which had been minted in his name]. When I returned back from the man I encountered his [the Imam’s] messenger looking for me [with instructions to go see the Imam]. When I entered upon him he said: where were you? I said: with so and so, he said: he wishes to come see me? I said: yes, may I be made your ransom. Muammar said: then I glorified Allah, he said: why do you glorify? I said to him: I was just with him when he first broached this! [how could you know?] he said: a believer is facilitated. Then he said: If he comes to you then inform him [that he can visit]. He [Muammar] said: so when he [the man] came in he took a seat in front of him [the Imam], and I was standing in a corner, so he [the Imam] called me and said: be seated, so I sat, then he [the man] asked him to supplicate for him, which he did, then he [the man] asked for a cloak, so when he stood to depart he [the Imam] placed into his hands something, I glanced at it and saw that it was some coins from among his special coins. 

Muhammad b. Masud said: Ali b. al-Hasan said: the man who asked for supplication and a cloak was al-Rayyan b. al-Salt. He also said: al-Rayyan himself narrated the same to me. 


The silver coins requested were ones that al-Ma`mun had minted naming Ali al-Ridha as his successor and the crown-prince.

When the Imam says that a believer is موفق 'Muwaffaq' meaning 'facilitated to get it right', he probably means that the Imam [the chief of the believers] is assisted by unseen forces i.e. the spirit which always accompanies the Imam to make him aware of what he does not know. This is similar to him being 'Muhaddath', that is, spoken to by the angels.   

Two other variants recount the same event:

و عن طاهر بن بن عيسى، عن جعفر بن أحمد، عن عليّ بن محمّد بن شجاع، عن محمّد بن الحسن، عن معمّر بن خلاد، قال: قال لي الريّان بن الصلت بمرو و كان الفضل بن سهل بعثه إلى بعض كور خراسان فقال: احبّ أن تستأذن لي على أبي الحسن عليه السّلام فاسلّم عليه و اودّعه، و أحبّ أن يكسوني من ثيابه و أن يهب لي من دراهمه الّتي ضربت باسمه قال: فدخلت عليه، فقال لي مبتدءا: يا معمّر! ريّان يحبّ أن يدخل علينا و أكسوه من ثيابي و اعطيه من دراهمي؟ قال: قلت: سبحان اللّه! و اللّه ما سألني إلّا أن أسألك ذلك له! فقال: يا معمّر! إنّ المؤمن موفّق، قل له: فليجي‏ء قال: فأمرته، فدخل عليه فسلّم عليه، فدعا بثوب من ثيابه فلمّا خرج قلت: أيّ شي‏ء أعطاك؟ فاذا في يده ثلاثون درهما

[al-Kashshi] Tahir b. Isa – Ja`far b. Ahmad – Ali b. Muhammad b. Shuja` – Muhammad b. al-Husayn [b. Abi al-Khattab] – Muammar b. Khallad who said: al-Rayyan b. al-Salt said to me in Marw after al-Fadhl b. Sahl [Ma`mun’s vizier] had dispatched him to some of the villages in Khurasan: I would like you to seek permission on my behalf from Abi al-Hasan [to allow me to meet him] so that I can greet him and bid him farewell. I would also like it if he could give me a piece of clothing from among his clothes and gift me a few of his silver coins that were minted in his name. He [Muammar] said: I entered in to see him [al-Ridha] but he pre-empted me in speaking saying: O Muammar! Rayyan desires to come see us and that I give him a piece of clothing from my clothes and some of my coins? I said: glory be to Allah! he just requested me to ask this of you! he [the Imam] said: O Muammar! the believer is assisted - say to him: ‘you can come’, he [Muammar] said: I informed him [Rayyan] of that. He [Rayyan] entered and greeted him, then he [the Imam] called for a piece of clothing from among his clothes [to give it to him]. When he [Rayyan] exited I [Muammar] said to him: what did he give you? lo and behold there were thirty silver coins in his hand.  

روى العيون في باب دلالاته عليه السّلام عنه، قال: الهمداني، عن علي بن إبراهيم، عن عبيه، عن الريان بن الصلت قال: لمّا أردت الخروج إلى العراق و عزمت على توديع الرضا عليه السّلام قلت في نفسي: إذا ودّعته سألته قميصا من ثياب جسده لاكفّن به و دراهم من ماله أصوغ بها لبناتي خواتيم، فلمّا ودّعته شغلني البكاء و الأسف على فراقه عن مسألة ذلك فلمّا خرجت من عنده صاح بي: يا ريّان! ارجع، فرجعت، فقال لي: أما تحبّ أن أدفع إليك قميصا من ثياب جسدي تكفّن فيه إذا فنى أجلك! أو ما تحبّ أن أدفع إليك دراهم تصوغ بها لبناتك خواتيم؟ فقلت: يا سيّدي! قد كان في نفسي أن أسألك ذلك فمنعني الغمّ بفراقك، فرفع الوسادة و أخرج قميصا فدفعه إليّ، و رفع جانب المصلّى فأخرج دراهم فدفعها إليّ، و عددتها، فكانت ثلاثين درهما

[al-Uyun] al-Hamdani – Ali b. Ibrahim – Ibrahim b. Hashim frm al-Rayyan who said: When I wanted to set out to Iraq I decided to bid farewell to al-Ridha and said to myself: ‘while taking his leave I will ask him for a shirt, one which he has worn over his body so that I can use it as my shroud, also some of his silver coins from which I will make rings for my daughters. When saying good-bye to him I was too busy crying and regretting at having to be separated from him that I forgot to ask him for those items. When I had departed his room he called out to me: O Rayyan! come back. I returned, he said to me: wouldn’t you like it if I were to hand you one of my worn shirts so that you can use it as your shroud when your time is over? wouldn’t you like it if I were to hand to you some silver coins which you then use to make rings for your daughters? I said: O my master! this is what I had in mind to ask you but grief at having to be far from you prevented me! then he raised the pillow and took out a shirt which he gave to me, and he lifted a side of the prayer mat and took out coins and gave them to me. I later counted them and they were thiry Dirhams.

Who is al-Rayyan b. Salt?

Abu Ali Rayyan b. Salt al-Ash`ari  al-Qummi is listed in the Fihristat as companion of al-Ridha. It seems that he was an official in the Abbasid hierarchy in Marw who came into the contact with the Imam when the latter was called there under Ma`mun’s order. The Imam’s magnetic force of personality is so strong that he became a devoted follower.

Najashi grades him as being ‘Thiqa Saduq’ meaning ‘Trustworthy and Truthful’. He also mentions that he had a book in which he gathered what al-Ridha had to say about the differences between the Al [family of the prophet] and the Umma [community of believers].

al-Tustari says that this is preserved and can be found quoted under the chapter 23 of al-Uyun min Akhbar al-Ridha:

باب مجلس الرضا عليه السّلام مع المأمون في الفرق بين العترة و الامّة

Chapter on the session of al-Ridha with al-Ma`mun about the difference between the Itra [descendants of the prophet] and the Umma.  It can also be found in al-Saduq’s Amali Majlis 79.

Edited by Islamic Salvation

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3.54. Zurara b. A`yan


Narrations that are pro-Zurara


[1/157] رجال الكشي: حمدان بن أحمد، عن معاوية بن حكيم، عن أبي داود المسترق قال: كنت قائد أبي بصير في بعض جنائز أصحابنا فقلت له: هو ذا زرارة في الجنازة قال لي: اذهب بي إليه قال: فذهبت به إليه، قال: فقال له: السلام عليك أبا الحسن فرد عليه زرارة السلام و قال له: لو علمت أن هذا من رأيك لبدأتك به، قال: فقال له أبو بصير: بهذا أمرت

[1/157] Rijal al-Kashshi: Hamdan b. Ahmad from Muawiya b. Hukaym from Abi Dawud al-Mustariq who said: I was the attendant leading Abi Basir [who was blind] in the funeral procession of one of our companions when I said to him: there is Zurara in the procession, he [Abi Basir] said to me: take me to him [Zurara], so I took him to him, he said: peace be upon you O Aba al-Hasan [Zurara], Zurara returned the greeting to him and said: if I thought that this was of your own volition I would have preceded you in it [greeted you first], so Abu Basir said to him: this is what I have been ordered to do.


This narration alludes to some kind of “bad blood” between Abu Basir and Zurara. Zurara claims that he would have been the first to extend his greetings if he knew that the blind Abu Basir was being sincere in coming to him. Abu Basir’s rejoinder points to the truth of Zurara’s words because he admits that he has been ordered to do this. Whether this is to be interpreted as a command from the Imam which Abu Basir had to follow specifically in his interactions with Zurara or a more general recommendation by the Imam to treat all believers cordially while attempting a reconciliation remains to be seen. 


 [2/158] رجال الكشي: حمدويه بن نصير، عن يعقوب بن يزيد، عن محمد بن أبي عمير، عن جميل بن دراج قال: سمعت أبا عبد الله عليه السلام يقول: بشر المخبتين بالجنة بريد بن معاوية العجلي و أبو بصير ليث بن البختري المرادي و محمد بن مسلم و زرارة، أربعة نجباء أمناء الله على حلاله و حرامه، لو لا هؤلاء انقطعت آثار النبوة و اندرست

[2/158] Rijal al-Kashshi: Hamduwayh b. Nusayr from Ya`qub b. Yazid from Muhammad b. Abi Umayr from Jamil b. Darraj who said: I heard Aba Abdillah عليه السلام say: give glad tidings of paradise to the humble: Burayd b. Muawiya al-Ijli, Abu Basir Layth b. al-Bukhtari al-Muradi, Muhammad b. Muslim and Zurara. Four possessors of nobility and the trustees of Allah upon his Halal and Haram, if it wasn’t for them the traces of prophethood would have perished and been destroyed.


[3/159] رجال الكشي: محمد بن مسعود، عن علي بن الحسن بن فضال، عن أخواي محمد و أحمد ابنا الحسن، عن أبيهما الحسن بن علي بن فضال، عن ابن بكير، عن زرارة قال: قال أبا عبد الله عليه السلام: يا زرارة إن اسمك في أسامي أهل الجنة بغير ألف، قلت: نعم جعلت فداك اسمي عبد ربه و لكني لقبت بزرارة

[3/159] Rijal al-Kashshi: Muhammad b. Masud from Ali b. al-Hasan b. Fadhal from his two brothers Muhammad and Ahmad from their father al-Hasan b. Ali b. Fadhal from Ibn Bukayr from Zurara who said: Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said: O Zurara, your name is among the names of the people of paradise without the letter Alif in it. I said: yes, may I be made your ransom, my name is Abd Rabbi, Zurara was just a nick-name given to me. 


[4/160] رجال الكشي: حمدويه بن نصير، عن يعقوب بن يزيد و محمد بن الحسين بن أبي الخطاب، عن محمد بن أبي عمير، عن إبراهيم بن عبد الحميد و غيره قالوا: قال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام: رحم الله زرارة بن أعين لو لا زرارة و نظراؤه لاندرست أحاديث أبي عليه السلام

[4/160] Rijal al-Kashshi: Hamduwayh b. Nusayr from Ya`qub b. Yazid and Muhammad b. al-Husayn b. Abi al-Khattab from Muhammad b. Abi Umayr from Ibrahim b. Abd al-Hamid and others apart from him - they all said: Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said: may Allah have mercy on Zurara b. A`yan, if it was not for Zurara and his peers the narrations of my father عليه السلام would have perished.


When the Imam exclaims that their narrations would have been lost without Zurara and his fellows then this is not an exaggeration. It is enough to note that Zurara has more than 2000 surviving narrations in our books to validate this. That is an incredible number.


[5/161] رجال الكشي: حمدويه، عن يعقوب بن يزيد، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن هشام بن سالم، عن سليمان بن خالد الأقطع قال: سمعت أبا عبد الله عليه السلام يقول: ما أحد أحيا ذكرنا و أحاديث أبي عليه السلام إلا زرارة و أبو بصير ليث المرادي و محمد بن مسلم و بريد بن معاوية العجلي و لو لا هؤلاء ما كان أحد يستنبط هذا، هؤلاء حفاظ الدين و أمناء أبي عليه السلام على حلال الله و حرامه، و هم السابقون إلينا في الدنيا و السابقون إلينا في الآخرة

[5/161] Rijal al-Kashshi: Hamduwayh from Ya`qub b. Yazid from Ibn Abi Umayr from Hisham b. Salim from Sulayman b. Khalid al-Aqta who said: I heard Aba Abdillah عليه السلام saying: there is no one who has enlivened our remembrance and the narrations of my father عليه السلام except for Zurara, Abu Basir Layth al-Muradi, Muhammad b. Muslim and Burayd b. Muawiya al-Ijli. If it wasn’t for them there wouldn’t be anyone who could derive these [the Ahkam]. They are the protectors of the religion and the trustees of my father عليه السلام upon the Halal of Allah and His Haram. They are the foremost to us in this world, and the foremost to us in the hereafter.


[6/162] رجال الكشي: حمدويه، عن محمد بن عيسى، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن ابن أذينة، عن زرارة قال: كنت قاعدا عند أبي عبد الله عليه السلام أنا و حمران، فقال له حمران: ما تقول فيما يقول زرارة فقد خالفته فيه قال: فما هو؟ قال: يزعم أن مواقيت الصلاة مفوضة إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم و هو الذي وضعها، قال: فما تقول أنت؟ قال: قلت: إن جبريل عليه السلام أتاه في اليوم الأول بالوقت الأول و في اليوم الثاني بالوقت الآخر ثم قال جبريل: يا محمد ما بينهما وقت فقال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام: يا حمران إن زرارة يقول إنما جاء جبريل مشيرا على محمد عليه السلام، صدق زرارة، جعل الله ذلك إلى محمد عليه السلام فوضعه و أشار جبريل عليه

[6/162] Rijal al-Kashshi: Hamduwayh from Muhammad b. Isa from Ibn Abi Umayr from Ibn Udhayna from Zurara who said: I was seated in the presence of Abi Abdillah عليه السلام together with Humran when Humran said to him: what do you say about what Zurara says - and I have opposed him in it? Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said: and what is that? He (Humran) said: he (Zurara) believes that the timings of the prayers were delegated to the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله and that he صلى الله عليه وآله was the one who fixed them. Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said: and what do you say? I (Humran) said: Jibril عليه السلام came to him the first day with the starting time and on the second day with the ending time - and then Jibril said [to the messenger]: what is between these two points is the time. So Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said: O Humran, verily what Zurara means is that Jibril came to the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله with mere indications, and Zurara has spoken the truth, for that was left to to Muhammad صلى الله عليه وآله, and he was the one who fixed them, Jibril only gave indications about them.


[7/163] رجال الكشي: محمد بن قولويه، عن سعد، عن أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى ومحمد بن عبد الله المسمعي، عن علي بن أسباط، عن محمد بن عبد الله بن زرارة، عن أبيه قال: بعث زرارة عبيدا ابنه يسئل عن خبر أبي الحسن عليه السلام فجائه الموت قبل رجوع عبيد إليه فأخذ المصحف فأعلاه فوق رأسه وقال: ان الامام بعد جعفر بن محمد من اسمه بين الدفتين في جملة القرآن منصوص عليه من الذين أوجب الله طاعتهم على خلقه، أنا مؤمن به قال: فأخبر بذلك أبو السحن الأول عليه السلام فقال: والله كان زرارة مهاجرا إلى الله تعالى

[7/163] Rijal al-Kashshi: Muhammad b. Qulawayh from Sa`d from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa and Muhammad b. Abdallah al-Mismai from Ali b. Asbat from Muhammad b. Abdallah b. Zurara from his father (Abdallah b. Zurara) who said: Zurara sent Ubayd his son to ask about the affair [Imama] of Abi al-Hasan عليه السلام but death came to him (Zurara) before his son Ubayd could come back to him [with the answer]. So he (Zurara) took a Mushaf [just before he died] and put it above his head and said: the Imam after Ja`far b. Muhammad is the one whose name is between the two covers in the generality of the Qur`an, appointed in a clear designation by those whose obedience has been made obligatory by Allah upon His creation - and I am a believer in him. Abu al-Hasan the first (al-Kadhim) عليه السلام was later informed of this so he said: by Allah - Zurara was an emigrant (Muhajir) to Allah the Exalted.


[8/164] رجال الكشي: حمدويه بن نصير، عن محمد بن عيسى بن عبيد، عن محمد بن أبي عمير، عن جميل بن دراج و غيره قال: وجه زرارة عبيدا ابنه إلى المدينة، يستخبر له خبر أبي الحسن عليه السلام و عبد الله بن أبي عبد الله، فمات قبل أن يرجع إليه عبيد ... قلت لأبي الحسن الأول عليه السلام و ذكرت له زرارة و توجيهه ابنه عبيدا إلى المدينة، فقال أبو الحسن: إني لأرجو أن يكون زرارة ممن قال الله تعالى وَ مَنْ يَخْرُجْ مِنْ بَيْتِهِ مُهاجِراً إِلَى اللَّهِ وَ رَسُولِهِ ثُمَّ يُدْرِكْهُ الْمَوْتُ فَقَدْ وَقَعَ أَجْرُهُ عَلَى اللَّهِ

[8/164] Rijal al-Kashshi: Hamduwayh b. Nusayr from Muhammad b. Isa b. Ubayd from Muhammad b. Abi Umayr from Jamil b. Darraj and others apart from him - he (Jamil) said: Zurara sent his son Ubayd to Madina to investigate for him the matter of Abi al-Hasan عليه السلام and Abdallah b. Abi Abdillah [another son of al-Sadiq who had also announced his Imama], but he (Zurara) died before Ubyad could return to him (with news) ... I talked to Abi al-Hasan the first (al-Kadhim) عليه السلام and mentioned to him Zurara and his act of sending his son Ubayd to Madina, so Abu al-Hasan عليه السلام said: I do hope that Zurara is among those about whom Allah the Exalted has said: “and whoever comes out of his home emigrating to Allah and his messenger - and death overtakes him (in such a state) - then he has already secured his reward from Allah” (4:100).


[9/165] كمال الدين: أحمد بن زياد بن جعفر الهمداني، عن علي بن إبراهيم بن هاشم، عن محمد بن عيسى بن عبيد، عن إبراهيم بن محمد الهمداني قال: قلت للرضا عليه السلام: يا ابن رسول الله أخبرني عن زرارة هل كان يعرف حق أبيك؟ فقال عليه السلام: نعم، فقلت له: فلم بعث ابنه عبيدا ليتعرف الخبر إلى من أوصى الصادق جعفر بن محمد عليهما السلام؟ فقال: إن زرارة كان يعرف أمر أبي عليه السلام، ونص أبيه عليه، وإنما بعث ابنه ليتعرف من أبي هل يجوز له أن يرفع التقية في إظهار أمره، ونص أبيه عليه؟ وأنه لما أبطأ عنه طولب باظهار قوله في أبي عليه السلام، فلم يحب أن يقدم على ذلك دون أمره فرفع المصحف وقال: اللهم إن إمامي من أثبت هذا المصحف إمامته من ولد جعفر بن محمد عليهما السلام

[9/165] Kamal al-Diin: Ahmad b. Ziyad b. Ja`far al-Hamdani from Ali b. Ibrahim b. Hashim from Muhammad b. Isa b. Ubayd from Ibrahim b. Muhammad al-Hamdani who said: I said to al-Rida عليه السلام: O the son of the messenger of Allah inform me about Zurara - did he know of the right of your father [al-Kadhim to be the Imam]? He عليه السلام said: yes he did. I said: then why did he send his son Ubayd to investigate the question of the succession to al-Sadiq Ja`far b. Muhammad? He said: Zurara knew of the affair of my father [his Imama] and the designation of his father [al-Sadiq] to him, he only sent his son to know from my father [al-Kadhim] whether it was permitted for him to lift the Taqiyya in announcing the affair [Imama] and the designation of his father to him. When the answer delayed he was asked to declare his opinion about my father but he did not wish to proceed in doing so without his instruction so he raised the Mushaf and said: O Allah my Imam is the one whose Imama this Mushaf establishes among the sons of Ja`far b. Muhammad عليهما السلام    


That most of the Ashab would not know of the identity of the next Imam should not be seen as surprising because this was a very closely guarded secret not easily dispensed with. These narration fall in line with the guidelines of what the Shia should do when faced with such a situation.

Muhammad bin Yahya from Muhammad bin al-Husayn from Safwan from Ya'qub bin Shuayb who said: I said to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام: if something happens to the Imam (i.e. he dies) - what should the people do? he عليه السلام said: why should they not apply the words of Allah عز وجل – “a delegation should go forth from each of their sections to become learned in the Diin, and to warn their people when they return to them - so that they may guard” (9:122); then he عليه السلام said: they (i.e. the delegation) are excused as long as they are seeking (i.e. the identity of the new Imam), and those who are waiting for them to come back have an excuse until their people (i.e. the delegation) return to them (i.e. and inform them).

Despite this, it is hard to think of someone of the caliber of Zurara [who, together with Muhammad b. Muslim, Abu Basir and Burayd, is part of the Big Four] not knowing, this is why the last narration is so important in explaining this.

Edited by Islamic Salvation

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Narrations that are anti-Zurara

At the outset, it is important to clarify that when compared to the effusive praise for Zurara [and other members of the big four] in the narrations of the `Aimma, the mountain of  narrations he narrated [showing his favourable position with the Sadiqayn], and the positive historical consensus around his memory in the sect, the examples of censure he is supposedly receiving in the narrations below is merely akin to a few straws in the wind. No surprise then that scholars like al-Najashi and al-Tusi had no hesitation in ignoring them and giving him an un-matched positive evaluation. Having said this, there are certain aspects of his character, such as Zurara’s ostensible daring in dealing with the Imam [he was a scholar in his own right] and his independent views specifically in theological issues, which have led to some backlash against him found in our sources.

Some thinkers have even gone so far as to read into these interactions the claim that Zurara and many of the earliest prominent Ashab did not see the `Aimma as authorities in all aspects of life [just in the truthful relay of the material inherited from their forefathers]. They claim that their Ilm was not comprehensive but rather limited to that which is required in the Diin. This is the view of the `Aimma as ‘Ulama Abrar’ - righteous scholars who were arbiters in jurisprudence and whose words in it are to be taken as final but nothing more. A full analysis of such a view is postponed to its appropriate place.

Some of the narrations below will touch on Zurara's views within the wider question of Jabr [predestination] versus Qadr [free-will] which was a major theological controversy in early Islam. At an extreme end of the spectrum we had some who were proponents of the total subjugation of human to the divine will [there was no such thing as human volition] while on the other end you had those who considered humans as being totally independent to choose whatever action to take with no role whatsoever for any external influence.

It seems that Zurara as a Mutakallim [theologian] had his own thesis on some facets of this question, indeed a lost Kitab al-Istita`a [human capacity for action] is attributed to him in the sources. Most of the negative portrayal below have to do with this particular position of his which seems to be distinct from al-Amr bayn al-Amrayn [the intermediary moderate position that is ascribed to the Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt].


[10/166] رجال الكشي: محمد بن مسعود، عن الفضل، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن إبراهيم بن عبد الحميد، عن عيسى بن أبي منصور و أبي أسامة الشحام و يعقوب الأحمر قالوا: كنا جلوسا عند أبي عبد الله عليه السلام فدخل عليه زرارة فقال: إن الحكم بن عتيبة حدث عن أبيك أنه قال صل المغرب دون المزدلفة، فقال له أبو عبد الله عليه السلام: أنا تأملته ما قال أبي هذا قط! كذب الحكم على أبي! قال: فخرج زرارة و هو يقول ما أرى الحكم كذب على أبيه

[10/166] Rijal al-Kashshi: Muhammad b. Masud from al-Fadhl from Ibn Abi Umayr from Ibrahim b. Abd al-Hamid from Isa b. Abi Mansur, Abi Usama al-Shahham and Ya`qub al-Ahmar who said: we were seated with Abi Abdillah عليه السلام when Zurara entered and said: al-Hakam b. Utayba narrates from your father that he [al-Baqir] said: pray the Maghrib before reaching Muzdalifa [in the Hajj], Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said to him: I have thought about this - my father never said that ever! al-Hakam has lied about my father! he said: so Zurara came out saying: I don’t think al-Hakam has lied about his father.


The most charitable light in which this can be seen is to say that al-Baqir had indeed spoken these words to al-Hakam [who was not of the Imamiyya] as a Taqiyya, which explains why Zurara insists that the Imam had spoken them. al-Sadiq denies this because something which was spoken in Taqiyya is as though has never been uttered because it is not the actual position of the Madhhab. If this interpretation is far-fetched then there would be no option but to note the ill-behaviour of Zurara in this instance, being bold enough to take the side of his former Shaykh i.e. al-Hakam over al-Sadiq.


[11/167] رجال الكشي: حمدويه و إبراهيم ابنا نصير، عن العبيدي، عن هشام بن إبراهيم الختلي و هو المشرقي قال: قال لي أبو الحسن الخراساني عليه السلام: كيف تقولون في الاستطاعة بعد يونس؟ تذهب فيها مذهب زرارة؟ و مذهب زرارة هو الخطاء! فقلت: لا و لكنه بأبي أنت و أمي ما تقول في الاستطاعة و قول زرارة فيمن قدر و نحن منه براء و ليس من دين آبائك، و قال الآخرون بالجبر و نحن منه براء و ليس من دين آبائك، قال: فبأي شي‏ء تقولون؟ قلت: بقول أبي عبد الله عليه السلام و سأل عن قول الله عز و جل وَ لِلَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا ما استطاعته؟ قال: فقال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام: صحته و ماله فنحن بقول أبي عبد الله عليه السلام نأخذ قال: صدق أبو عبد الله عليه السلام هذا هو الحق

[11/167] Rijal al-Kashshi: Hamduwayh and Ibrahim the sons of Nusayr from al-Ubaydi from Hisham b. Ibrahim al-Khatli [al-Mashraqi] who said: Abu al-Hasan al-Khurasani عليه السلام said to me: what do you say regarding Istita`a after Yunus? Do you subscribe to the opinion of Zurara while the opinion of Zurara is wrong! I said: no, rather - may my father and mother be ransomed for you -  [we subscribe to] what you say about Istita`a.  As for the opinion of Zurara about the one who is given capacity then we disassociate from it as it is not of the religion of your forefathers. Others believe in pre-destination which we similarly disassociate from as it is not of the religion of your forefathers. He said: what then do you say? I said: we affirm the view of Abi Abdillah عليه السلام when he was asked about the words of Allah Mighty and Majestic “and pilgrimage to the House is a duty owed by Allah to the people - for whoever has the capacity to find a way to it” (3:97) - what is his ‘capacity’? so Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said: good-health and having wealth, so we subscribe to the verdict of Abi Abdillah عليه السلام, he said: Abu Abdillah عليه السلام spoke the truth, this is how it is.


The opinion of Zurara about Istita’a was his assertion that the capacity to act [Istita’a] precedes the action [Fi’l]. This is also attributed to the so-called Qadaris and later Mu`tazila who saw it as essential component of the belief in Free Will. In other words, the capability to act [Istita’a] is part and parcel of the person who is capable of acting [Mustati`] and exists prior to the action. This is said to be in contradiction with the doctrine of the Imams according to whom the capacity to act is unconditionally simultaneous with the action and does not precede it [al-Istita’a ma’a’l-Fi’l]. For each specific action, the divine will has to allow for it to happen and it could not go ahead without that ultimate cause sanctioning it.  


[-/12] رجال الكشي: محمد بن قولويه، عن محمد بن أبي القاسم ماجيلويه، عن زياد بن أبي الحلاّل قال: قلت لابي عبد اللّه عليه السلام: إنّ زرارة روى عنك في الاستطاعة شيئاً فقبلنا منه وصدقناه وقدأحببت أن أعرضه عليك فقال: هاته فقلت: يزعم أنه سألك عن قول اللّه عزّ وجلّ: وَ لِلَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا فقلت: من ملك زاداً وراحلة فقال لك: كلّ من ملك زاداً وراحلة فهو مستطيع للحج وإن لم يحج؟ فقلت: نعم؟ فقال: ليس هكذا سألني ولا هكذا قلت، كذب علي واللّه كذب علي واللّه، لعن اللّه زرارة، لعن اللّه زرارة، لعن اللّه زرارة، إنما قال لى: من كان له زاد وراحلة فهو مستطيع للحج؟ قلت: قد وجب عليه قال: فمستطيع هو؟ فقلت: لا حتى يؤذنله قلت: فأخبر زرارة بذلك؟ قال: نعم قال زياد: فقدمت الكوفة فلقيت زرارة، فأخبرته بما قال أبو عبد اللّه وسكت عن لعنه. قال: أما انه قد أعطاني الاستطاعة من حيث لا يعلم، وصاحبكم هذا ليس له بصر بكلام الرجال

[12/-] Rijal al-Kashshi: Muhammad b. Qulawayh from Muhammad b. Abi al-Qasim Majluwayh from Ziyad b. Abi al-Hilal who said: I said to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام: Zurara has narrated something on your authority about Istita`a so we accepted it from him and considered him truthful in it, but I wish to present it to you [to confirm its validity], he said: go ahead, I said: he claims that he asked you about the words of Allah Mighty and Majestic “and pilgrimage to the House is a duty owed by Allah to the people - for whoever has the capacity to find a way to it” (3:97) so you said: [capacity means] whoever possesses provision and an animal to carry him, he said to you: whoever possesses provision and an animal then he is capable of performing Hajj even if he does not go on to perform it? you said: yes. He said: that is not what he asked me nor what I replied to him, he has lied about me by Allah, he has lied about me by Allah, may Allah curse Zurara, may Allah curse Zurara, may Allah curse Zurara, he had said to me: the one who possesses provision and an animal does he have the capacity for making the Hajj? I said: it has become obligatory upon him, he said: is he Mustati` [capable - wanting by it to infer a theological signification]? I said: no, until he is given permission [by Allah], I said: can I inform Zurara of this [conversation]? he said: yes, Ziyad said: so I traveled to Kufa and met up with Zurara, I informed him of what Abu Abdillah عليه السلام had said to me but did not include the Imam’s cursing of him, he said: verily, he [the Imam] has given me the doctrine of Istita`a without being aware of having done so, and this man of yours [al-Sadiq] is not familiar with the theological debates of the people.


This seems to be the origin of Zurara’s opinion on the subject of Istita`a. He asked a purely Fiqhi question regarding the one upon whom the Hajj would be obligatory and inferred from it the theological principle that human capacity for acting is a potential that exists even before the action and can be invoked at will. He goes a step further and accuses the Imam of having given this to him without realizing because of not being in touch with the nuance of popular debates of the day about such topics, most of which, it has to be said, were mere sophistry. It is very doubtful that someone like Zurara who had spent a lifetime learning from al-Baqir and al-Sadiq could condescend to say such a thing about them!

This is why it is important to point out that this Hadith is not Mu`tabar because Muhammad b. Abi al-Qasim Majluwayh who is the son-in-law of Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Khalid al-Barqi [in Tabaqa number 7] cannot narrate directly from a companion of al-Sadiq like Ziyad. This disconnection means that this Hadith is unreliable.


[13/168] رجال الكشي: حمدويه، قال: حدّثني محمد بن عيسى، عن يونس، عن مسمع كردين أبي سيار قال: سمعت أبا عبد اللّه عليه السلام يقول: لعن اللّه بريداً! ولعن اللّه زرارة!

[13/168] Rijal al-Kashshi: Hamduwayh from Muhammad b. Isa from Yunus from Misma` Kardiyn Abi Sayyar who said: I heard Aba Abdillah عليه السلام say: may Allah curse Burayd! and may Allah curse Zurara!


As will be seen in the final narration, the Imam had decided to publicly curse some of his companions as a way of shielding them from exposure to the authorities. This seems to be one instance of this, especially when we note the sudden and un-prompted nature of the out-burst, a clear indication of Taqiyya [saying things just for them to be registered].  


[14/169] رجال الكشي: حمدويه، عن محمد بن عيسى، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن هشام بن سالم، عن محمد بن حمران، عن الوليد بن صبيح قال: دخلت على أبي عبد الله عليه السلام فاستقبلني زرارة خارجا من عنده، فقال لي أبو عبد الله عليه السلام: يا وليد أما تعجب من زرارة؟ يسألني عن أعمال هؤلاء أي شي‏ء كان يريد أيريد أن أقول له لا فيروي ذلك عني ثم قال: يا وليد متى كانت الشيعة تسأل عن أعمالهم؟ إنما كانت الشيعة تقول من أكل من طعامهم و شرب من شرابهم و استظل بظلهم، متى كانت الشيعة تسأل عن مثل هذا!

[14/169] Rijal al-Kashshi: Hamduwayh from Muhammad b. Isa from Ibn Abi Umayr from Hisham b. Salim from Muhammad b. Humran from al-Walid b. Sabih who said: I entered to meet Abi Abdillah عليه السلام and found Zurara exiting the place. Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said to me: O Walid, don’t you wonder at Zurara? he asks me about [the permissibility of] working for them [the usurping rulers], what did he want? did he want me to say: no [it is not acceptable] so that he can narrate this on my authority? then he reiterated again: O Walid, when did the Shia ever ask about working for them? Rather the Shia used to ask about the permissibility of eating their food, and drinking their drinks, and shading themselves in their shade [living with them], when did the Shia ever ask about that [which Zurara asks]!       


As al-Muhaqiq al-Sha`rani notes in a footnote to this narration in al-Wafi, the Imam’s shock can be understood by how preposterous it was to the sensitivities of the ordinary Shia, with their exemplary God-fearing, to even contemplate working for the temporal worldly rulers and run the risk of not only allying themselves with those who had usurped the rights of the `Aimma and oppressed them, but also, to then be implicated in implementing rulings that were contradictory to the Fiqh of the Ahl al-Bayt. Such a question need not even be asked, as its prohibition is clear-cut and goes without saying.

Of course, special dispensation was given by the `Aimma to a few of their exclusive followers [e.g. Ali b. Yaqtin] to work for the authorities, but this was with the greater interest of the Shia in mind and under strict conditions. Unless otherwise, the overwhelming attitude of the Shia was to have aversion to working for them, unless one is sure that he will have enough leeway to act in a just manner and not be compelled to do harm or enact that which has been prohibited.


[15/170] رجال الكشي: حمدويه، عن أيوب، عن حنان بن سدير قال: كتب معي رجل أن أسأل أبا عبد الله عليه السلام عما قالت اليهود و النصارى و المجوس و الذين أشركوا هو مما شاء أن يقولوا قال: فقال: إن ذا من مسائل آل أعين ليس من ديني و لا دين آبائي قال: قلت: ما معي مسألة غير هذه

[15/170] Rijal al-Kashshi: Hamduwayh from Ayyub from Hanan b. Sadiyr who said: a man entrusted me with a written question to ask Aba Abdillah عليه السلام [which was]: what the Jews, Christians, Magians and those who polythesize profess - is that what Allah willed them to believe [or was it of their own volition]? He said: this is a question that behooves the family of A`yan, it does not belong to my religion or the religion of my forefathers. I said: I do not have any other question apart from this.


This is another piece of evidence indicating Zurara’s interest in the question of pre-destination. Do people disbelieve because God wished them to do so or is it a choice they make freely? The Imam’s answer should be studied carefully. It confirms that the `Aimma were averse to delving into speculative lines of questioning in theological matters especially matters related to Tawhid. They mainly concerned themselves with Fiqh because it is more practical and relevant to the common believer. This explains why most of the narrations we have from them are about practical jurisprudential matters. The `Aimma were the guardians of the Sunna, and the prophet did not address such questions purposely in his religion whose strength is simplicity. Most of the theological debates were innovations influenced by corrupting influences of new converts from ancestral faiths and borrowings from Greek logic, movements that were antithetical to pristine Islam.  

Of course, this is not to say that the `Aimma were ignorant of such issues, but rather they trained a few number of select companions in this field whom they felt were competent enough to deal with it. However, when the society evolved some of these issues had to be confronted head on and the latter `Aimma especially al-Rida educated the Shia further on what their stances should be.


[16/171] رجال الكشي: حمدويه بن نصير، عن محمد بن عيسى، عن الوشاء، عن هشام بن سالم، عن زرارة قال: سألت أبا جعفر عليه‌ السلام عن جوائز العمال؟ فقال: لا بأس به، قال: ثم قال: انما اراد زرارة أن يبلغ هشاما اني أحرم أعمال السلطان

[16/171] Rijal al-Kashshi: Hamduwayh b. Nusayr from Muhammad b. Isa from al-Washsha from Hisham b. Salim from Zurara who said: I asked Aba Ja`far عليه‌ السلام about [accepting] the stipends given to officials [working in the bureaucracy of the Caliphate]? He said: there is no harm in [taking] it, then he said: Zurara wanted that it reach Hisham [the Caliph] that I prohibit working for the Sultan. 


The narration adds another aspect to the question of working for the temporal rulers that was touched on above (see No. 14 above). Such questions were not asked openly [in a public setting] by the Shia because for the Imam to refuse people to work for ‘them’ would be considered a clear act of rebellion carrying a grievous penalty [it was considered treasonous by the authorities - how could their administrations survive if no one was willing to work for them!]. It is clear that the Imam is acting under duress when replying in the affirmative and legalizing the stipends obtained from them because he goes on to lightly admonish Zurara by questioning his motives – does he want me to answer in truth and it spreads among the people that I refuse working for them! that would a clear broadcast that I consider them illegitimate rulers! Something which the `Aimma never openly declared fearing for their safety and that of their Shia.


[17/172] رجال الكشي: حمدويه بن نصير، عن محمد بن عيسى بن عبيد، عن يونس بن عبد الرحمن، عن عبد الله بن زرارة و محمد بن قولويه و الحسين بن الحسن، عن سعد بن عبد الله، عن هارون بن الحسن بن محبوب، عن محمد بن عبد الله بن زرارة و ابنيه الحسن و الحسين، عن عبد الله بن زرارة قال: قال لي أبو عبد الله عليه السلام: اقرأ مني على والدك السلام، و قل له: إني إنما أعيبك دفاعا مني عنك، فإن الناس و العدو يسارعون إلى كل من قربناه و حمدنا مكانه لإدخال الأذى في من نحبه و نقربه، و يرمونه لمحبتنا له و قربه و دنوه منا، و يرون إدخال الأذى عليه و قتله، و يحمدون كل من عبناه نحن وإن لم يحمد امره، فإنما أعيبك لأنك رجل اشتهرت بنا و لميلك إلينا، و أنت في ذلك مذموم عند الناس غير محمود الأثر لمودتك لنا و بميلك إلينا، فأحببت أن أعيبك ليحمدوا أمرك في الدين بعيبك و نقصك، و يكون بذلك منا دافع شرهم عنك، يقول الله جل و عز أَمَّا السَّفِينَةُ فَكَانَتْ لِمَسَاكِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ فِي الْبَحْرِ فَأَرَدْتُ أَنْ أَعِيبَهَا وَكَانَ وَرَاءَهُمْ مَلِكٌ يَأْخُذُ كُلَّ سَفِينَةٍ صَالِحة غَصْبًا، هذا التنزيل من عند الله <صالحة> لا و الله ما عابها إلا لكي تسلم من الملك و لا تعطب على يديه و لقد كانت صالحة ليس للعيب منها مساغ و الحمد لله، فافهم المثل يرحمك الله فإنك و الله أحب الناس إلي و أحب أصحاب أبي عليه السلام حيا و ميتا، فإنك أفضل سفن ذلك البحر القمقام الزاخر، و أن من ورائك ملكا ظلوما غصوبا يرقب عبور كل سفينة صالحة ترد من بحر الهدى ليأخذها غصبا ثم يغصبها و أهلها، و رحمة الله عليك حيا و رحمته و رضوانه عليك ميتا، و لقد أدى إلي ابناك الحسن و الحسين رسالتك، حاطهما الله و كلأهما و رعاهما و حفظهما بصلاح أبيهما كما حفظ الغلامين، فلا يضيقن صدرك من الذي أمرك أبي عليه السلام و امرتك به، و أتاك أبو بصير بخلاف الذي أمرناك به، فلا و الله ما أمرناك و لا أمرناه إلا بأمر وسعنا و وسعكم الأخذ به، و لكل ذلك عندنا تصاريف و معان توافق الحق، و لو أذن لنا لعلمتم أن الحق في الذي أمرناكم به، فردوا إلينا الأمر و سلموا لنا و اصبروا لأحكامنا و ارضوا بها، و الذي فرق بينكم فهو راعيكم الذي استرعاه الله خلقه، و هو أعرف بمصلحة غنمه في فساد أمرها، فإن شاء فرق بينها لتسلم ثم يجمع بينها لتأمن من فسادها و خوف عدوها في ابان ما يأذن الله، و يأتيها بالأمن من مأمنه و الفرج من عنده، عليكم بالتسليم و الرد إلينا و انتظار أمرنا و أمركم و فرجنا و فرجكم، و لو قد قام قائمنا و تكلم متكلمنا ثم استأنف بكم تعليم القرآن و شرائع الدين و الأحكام و الفرائض كما أنزله الله على محمد صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم لأنكره أهل البصائر منكم ذلك اليوم إنكارا شديدا، ثم لم تستقيموا على دين الله و طريقه إلا من تحت حد السيف فوق رقابكم، إن الناس بعد نبي الله عليه السلام ركب الله بهم سنة من كان قبلكم فغيروا و بدلوا و حرفوا و زادوا في دين الله و نقصوا منه، فما من شي‏ء عليه الناس اليوم إلا و هو منحرف عما نزل به الوحي من عند الله فأجب رحمك الله من حيث تدعى إلى حيث تدعى، حتى يأتي من يستأنف بكم دين الله استئنافا، و عليك بالصلاة الستة و الأربعين، و عليك بالحج أن تهل بالإفراد و تنوي الفسخ إذا قدمت مكة و طفت و سعيت فسخت ما أهللت به و قلبت الحج عمرة أحللت إلى يوم التروية ثم استأنف الإهلال بالحج مفردا إلى منى و تشهد المنافع بعرفات و المزدلفة، فكذلك حج رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم و هكذا أمر أصحابه أن يفعلوا أن يفسخوا ما أهلوا به و يقلبوا الحج عمرة، و إنما أقام رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم على إحرامه للسوق الذي ساق معه، فإن السائق قارن و القارن لا يحل حتى يبلغ هديه محله، و محله المنحر بمنى، فإذا بلغ أحل، فهذا الذي أمرناك به حج المتمتع فألزم ذلك و لا يضيقن صدرك، و الذي أتاك به أبو بصير من صلاة إحدى و خمسين، و الإهلال بالتمتع بالعمرة إلى الحج، و ما أمرنا به من أن يهل بالتمتع، فلذلك عندنا معان و تصاريف كذلك ما يسعنا و يسعكم و لا يخالف شي‏ء منه الحق و لا يضاده، و الحمد لله رب العالمين 

[17/172] Rijal al-Kashshi: Hamduwayh from Muhammad b. Isa from Yunus from Abdallah b. Zurara AND Muhammad b. Qulawayh and al-Husayn b. al-Hasan from Sa`d from Harun b. al-Hasan b. Mahbub from Muhammad b. Abdallah b. Zurara and his [Zurara’s] two sons al-Hasan and al-Husayn from Abdallah b. Zurara who said: Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said to me: convey my salutations of peace to your father and say to him: Verily, I only defame you as a way of defending you, for the masses and the enemy hasten to whomever we draw near and praise his station so as to cause harm to the one we love and bring close. They accuse such a one because of our love for him and his closeness and intimacy with us, and they consider causing him harm and even killing him as justified. On the other hand, they praise every one whom we fault even if his affair is not praiseworthy. Thus, I fault you because you have become notorious as a result of your association with us and your inclination towards us, which have caused you to become blamable in the eyes of the people and your works to be looked upon unfavourably, all this because of your love for us and your inclination towards us. So I wished to fault you so that they can praise your religious stand as a result of my denigrating and diminishing you, and this becomes a way of warding off their evil from you.  
Allah Majestic and Mighty says: “as for the boat then it belonged to the poor working at sea so I wished to damage it because there was a king after them who seizes every good boat by force” this is a revelation from Allah [including the word] ‘good’. No by Allah! he did not damage it except so that it be saved from the king and is not ruined in his hands. It was a ‘good’ boat which had no question of being defective Allah be praised, so comprehend the parable, may Allah have mercy on you! for you are by Allah! the most beloved of people to me and the most beloved of the companions of my father in my estimation both in life and after death. Indeed you are the best boat in that tumultuous and stormy sea, and there is a tyrannical and usurping king after you, keeping watch for the crossing of every good boat returning from the sea of guidance so that he can take it for himself and seize it and its owners, so may the mercy of Allah be upon you in life and His mercy and pleasure be upon you after death.
And your two sons al-Hasan and al-Husayn brought me your letter, may Allah guard, defend, watch over and protect them because of the goodness of their father, the way He had protected the two boys (the orphans in Surat al-Kahf). 
Let not your heart constrict in grief if Abu Basir comes to you with the opposite of that which you were instructed by my father and by me, for by Allah! we did not instruct you and him except with an instruction that is fitting to act upon both for us and for you, and for each [instruction, even if seemingly contradictory] we have diverse expressions and interpretations all of which agree with the truth. 
And if we were allowed [to explain] you would come to know that the truth is in that which we have instructed you. So refer back to us the matter and submit to us and be patient in acting according to our rulings and be satisfied with them. The one who has divided you is your shepherd who has been given authority by Allah over His creation. He [the shepherd] is more aware of what is in the interest of his flock and what can corrupt it. If he wishes he divides between them to safe-guard them, then he unites them once more so that it is secure from destruction and the fear posed by its enemy, in such a time as Allah permits, bringing it thereby safety from His place of safety and relief from Him. Upon you is to submit and to refer back to us and to await our affair and your affair and our relief and your relief.  
However [if you do not submit wholly - then], if our Riser were to rise and our Speaker speak and he recommences teaching you the Qur’an, the Laws of religion, the rulings and inheritance shares the way Allah revealed them to Muhammad the ‘people of insight’ among you will repudiate it on that day a bitter repudiation, then you will not remain steadfast upon the religion of Allah and his path except under the threat of the sword over your necks! 
The people after the prophet of Allah were left to embark by Allah the same example as those who came before you, so they changed, altered, distorted, and added to the religion of Allah and reduced from it, consequently there is not a thing which the people are upon today [following] except that it is distorted when compared to that which was revealed from Allah. Respond then my Allah have mercy on you away from what you are calling for to what you are being called to, until comes the one who will renew the religion anew. 
Upon you is the forty six unit prayer and to make the Hajj by reciting the Talbiyya aloud for Ifrad [Hajj alone without Umra] and make an intention to dissolve it [later], when you reach Makka you make the Tawaf and the Sa’i [between Safa and Marwa], then you dissolve what you had made Talbiyya for and change the Hajj to Umra, you are consequently  relieved of the state of Ihram up to the day of Tarwiya, then you renew reciting the Talbiyya aloud for Hajj solely [Ifrad] [and go] to Mina, and witness the benefits at Arafat and Muzdalifa, for this was how the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم made the Hajj and this is what he had ordered his companions to do, to dissolve that which they had recited the Talbiyya aloud for and to change the [intention of] Hajj to [that of] Umra, and the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم remained in [the state of] his Ihram because of the animal which he had driven with [accompanying] him, for the Sa`iq [one who drives the animal] is a Qarin [coupler] and the Qarin does not disengage [from the state of Ihram] until his Hadi [sacrificial animal] reaches its appropriate place, and its appropriate place is the sacrificial grounds in Mina, so when it reaches there [and is slaughtered] then he has disengaged [from the sate of Ihram]. This which we have ordered you to comply with is the Hajj of the Mutamati`, so adhere to it and your chest should not be constricted [in grief], that which Abu Basir came to you with in regards the prayer being fifty one [units], and voicing the Talbiyya aloud for Tamattu [enjoying] combining the Umra with the Hajj [at the outset, without the maneuver of having to dissolve the intention] and our instruction to him to recite the Talbiyya for Tamattu, then we have for that different interpretations and expressions which are accommodating for both us and you, and none of them [the seemingly different instructions] oppose the truth nor contradict it, and all praise is due to Allah.              


An interesting tidbit which we gleam from this narration is that the Qira’a of the Ahl al-Bayt of the verse 18: 79 was different from the extant Uthmani Mashif. They used to recite it with an additional interpretive word صالحة like this:

و كان وراءهم ملك يأخذ كل سفينة صالحة غصبا ‘there was a king after them who seizes every good boat by force’ 

instead of just و كان وراءهم ملك يأخذ كل سفينة غصبا ‘there was a king after them who seizes every boat by force’ 

It is important to note that this is what has also been attributed to the Mushaf of Ibn Mas`ud and how Ubayy b. Ka`b recited the verse [See Tafsir al-Tabari]

In Sahih Bukhari:

قال سعيد بن جبير فكان ابن عباس يقرأ وكان أمامهم ملك يأخذ كل سفينة صالحة غصبا وكان يقرأ وأما الغلام فكان كافرا وكان أبواه مؤمنين

A very critical point which we can we can take from this narration is that the Imam held Zurara in very high esteem [arguably his greatest companion as intimated in the narration] but purposely defamed Zurara as a defensive mechanism to safeguard him from the those who would latch onto anyone who became too close to the `Aimma. The Imam compares this act of his to al-Khidr who damaged the fisherman’s boat to save it from the king who was after it. Thus, this narration is a central interpretive lens through which the negative portrayal of Zurara in a number of reports can be explained away.

Secondly, and even more sensitive, is that the Imam would sometimes purposely instruct different things to different companions causing a division between them. This was apparently done for the greater interest of keeping them safe because it was felt that Madhhabic uniformity, especially in matters of visible rituals, would be a marker used by the authorities to identify and consequently persecute them. The companions are ordered to submit to this, even when they discover cases of this, because the Imams do not have the opportunity to fully clarify to them the thinking behind each case, or to establish the Diin as it is supposed to be [which will only be fulfilled with the coming of the Qaim].

With the Imams sometimes actively choosing to create Ikhtilaf between the companions, case in point from this narration being Zurara told to pray 46 units per day while Abu Basir was told 51 units, also, Zurara was previously given instruction to make the Hajj to be Mufrad while Abu Basir was instructed for Tamattu al-Umra bi al-Hajj, the question which arises is this – are the different instructions given by the Imam to which we have to submit contradictory in reality [to be overlooked because exigency demaded it or because doing so is within their authority] OR is it that despite them seeming to be contradictory on the surface they are actually referring to the same truth?

There is an allusion in this narration to the latter being correct, despite their words having diverging meanings but none of them oppose the truth or contradict it rather agree with it and can be reconciled. 

Edited by Islamic Salvation

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3.55. Zakariyya b. Sabur



[-/1] الكافي: محمد بن يحيى، عن أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى، عن ابن فضال، عن يونس بن يعقوب، عن سعيد بن يسار أنه حضر أحد ابني سابور وكان لهما فضل وورع و إخبات فمرض أحدهما وما أحسبه إلا زكريا بن سابور قال: فحضرته عند موته فبسط يده ثم قال: ابيضت يدي ياعلي، قال: فدخلت على أبي عبدالله عليه السلام و عنده محمد بن مسلم قال: فلما قمت من عنده ظننت أن محمدا يخبره بخبر الرجل فأتبعني برسول فرجعت إليه فقال: أخبرني عن هذا الرجل الذي حضرته عند الموت أي شئ سمعته يقول؟ قال: قلت بسط يده ثم قال: ابيضت يدي ياعلي، فقال أبوعبدالله عليه السلام: والله رآه، والله رآه، والله رآه

[1/-] al-Kafi: Muhammad b. Yahya from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa from Ibn Fadhal from Yunus b. Ya`qub from Sa`id b. Yasar who said: I visited one of the sons of Sabur, and they [the brothers] were all possessors of merit, self-restraint [from sins] and humility, in any case one of them fell sick - I do not think it was anyone other than Zakariyya b. Sabur - I attended to him when he was about to die so he stretched out his hand and said: my hand has brightened O Ali! following this I entered upon Abi Abdillah عليه السلام while Muhammad b. Muslim was with him, when I got up to leave I felt that Muhammad will inform him of the incident that happened with the man [Zakariyya], sure enough he [the Imam] sent a messenger after me [to call me] and I returned to him whereupon he said: inform me about this man whom you visited before his death - what did you hear him say? I said: he stretched out his hand and said ‘my hand has brightened O Ali!’ so Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said: by Allah he saw him! by Allah he saw him! by Allah he saw him! 


It is clear that Zakariyya b. Sabur saw Ali عليه السلام before dying. His hand brightened most probably because the Imam shook hands with him or touched him there.  

Other narrations that speak about what believers and disbelievers see just before death also confirm that this does happen.

محمد بن يحيى، عن أحمد بن محمد، عن الحسين بن سعيد، عن النضر بن سويد، عن يحيى الحلبي، عن ابن مسكان، عن عبدالرحيم قال: قلت لابي جعفر عليه السلام حدثني صالح بن ميثم، عن عباية الاسدي أنه سمع عليا عليه السلام يقول: والله لا يبغضني عبد أبدا يموت على بغضي إلا رآني عند موته حيث يكره ولا يحبني عبد أبدا فيموت على حبي إلا رآني عند موته حيث يحب. فقال أبوجعفر عليه السلام: نعم ورسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله باليمين

Muhammad b. Yahya – Ahmad b. Muhammad  - al-Husayn b. Sa`id – al-Nadhr b. Suwayd – Yahya al-Halabi – Ibn Muskan – Abd al-Rahim who said: I said to Abi Ja`far عليه السلام [the following]: Salih b. Maytham narrated to me from Abaya al-Asadi that he heard Ali عليه السلام saying: by Allah! there is not a slave who hates me and goes on to die upon that state of hatred towards me except that he sees me before he dies where [having a status] he dislikes, and there is not a slave who loves me and goes on to die upon that state of love towards me except that he sees me before he dies where he likes. Abu Ja`far عليه السلام said: yes [it is true] and the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله [stands] to his [Ali’s] right [when they come to visit the dying].

أبوعلي الاشعري، عن محمد بن عبدالجبار، عن صفوان، عن جارود بن المنذر قال: سمعت أبا عبدالله عليه السلام يقول: إذا بلغت نفس أحدكم هذه - وأوما بيده ألى حلقه - قرت عينه

Abu Ali al-Ash`ari – Muhammad b. Abd al-Jabbar – Safwan – Jarud b. al-Mundhir who said: I heard Aba Abdillah عليه السلام saying: if the soul of one of you reaches here – and he pointed with his hand to his throat – his eyes will be delighted [by seeing the Imam].

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3.56. Ziyad b. Marwan al-Qandi



[-/1] عيون اخبار الرضا: عن أبيه، عن سعد، عن محمد بن عيسى، عن زياد بن مروان القندى قال: دخلت على أبي ابراهيم عليه السلام وعنده على ابنه أبو الحسن فقال لي: يا زياد هذا ابني فلان كتابه كتابي وكلامه كلامي ورسوله رسولي وما قال فالقول قوله

[1/-] Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: From his father from Sa`d from Muhammad b. Isa from Ziyad b. Marwan al-Qandi who said: I entered to meet Abi Ibrahim [al-Kadhim] عليه السلام and with him was his son Abu al-Hasan [al-Ridha] – he [al-Kadhim] said to me: O Ziyad this is my son so and so – his letter is my letter, his words are my words, his messenger is my messenger and whatever he says then the decision is what he says.


The surprising thing is that Ziyad could narrate such a narration which is clear in its implications about the succession and still go on to be the principal leader of Waqifism i.e. stopping at al-Kadhim and rejecting the Imama of al-Rida. But this is what happens when one succumbs to temptation of the world.

قال مصنف هذا الكتاب: ان زياد بن مروان القندى روى هذا الحديث ثم انكره بعد مضى موسى عليه السلام وقال بالوقف وحبس ما كان عنده من مال موسى بن جعفر عليه السلام

As al-Saduq puts it: Ziyad b. Marwan al-Qandi narrated this Hadith and then rejected it after the passing of Musa عليه السلام, professed belief in Waqf and withheld what he had of the wealth that belonged to Musa b. Ja`far عليهما السلام [did not hand it over to the next Imam].

This is how Yunus b. Abd al-Rahman explains the state of affairs at the death of al-Kadhim عليه السلام

محمد بن يحيى العطار، عن محمد بن أحمد، عن محمد بن جمهور، عن أحمد بن الفضل، عن يونس بن عبدالرحمن قال: مات أبو إبراهيم عليه السلام وليس من قوامه أحد إلا وعنده المال الكثير، و كان ذلك سبب وقفهم وجحدهم موته، طمعا في الاموال، كان عند زياد بن مروان القندي سبعون ألف دينار، وعند علي بن أبي حمزة ثلاثون ألف دينار، فلما رأيت ذلك وتبينت الحق وعرفت من أمر أبي الحسن الرضا ماعلمت، تكلمت ودعوت الناس إليه فبعثا إلي وقالا: مايدعوك إلى هذا؟ إن كنت تريد المال فنحن نغنيك وضمنا لي عشرة آلاف دينار، وقالا لي: كف، فأبيت وقلت لهما: إنا روينا عن الصادقين عليهم السلام أنهم قالوا: إذا ظهرت البدع فعلى العالم أن يظهر علمه، فإن لم يفعل سلب نور الايمان، وما كنت لادع الجهاد في أمر الله على كل حال، فناصباني وأضمرا لي العداوة

Muhammad b. Yahya al-Attar – Muhammad b. Ahmad – Muhammad b. Jumhur – Ahmad b. al-Fadhl – Yunus b. Abd al-Rahman who said: Abu Ibrahim عليه السلام died while there wasn’t a man among his agents who did not have in his hands a lot of wealth [belonging to the Imam], and that was the reason for their “stoppage” and opposition to acknowledging his death, being covetous of the wealth. Ziyad b. Marwan al-Qandi had with him seventy thousand gold coins and Ali b. Abi Hamza had thirty thousand gold coins. When I observed this and the truth became obvious to me and I recognized the matter as rightly belonging to Abi al-Hasan al-Rida I began speaking and calling the people to him [al-Rida] so they both sent for me and said: what is motivating you to do this [support al-Rida]? If it is money you want then we will make you rich and they promised me ten thousand gold coins and they said: stop [your activities in support of al-Rida]! but I refused and said to them: we have narrated from the Sadiqayn that they said: if innovation rears its head then it is upon the scholar to reveal his knowledge and if he does not do so then the light of faith is snatched away from him. I am not one of those who can abandon struggling in the way of Allah under any circumstance. So they held hatred and began to harbour enmity towards me.

Edited by Islamic Salvation

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3.57. Ziyad b. al-Mundhir Abu al-Jarud



[1/173] رجال الكشي: محمد بن الحسن البراثي و عثمان بن حامد الكشيان، عن محمد بن يزداد، عن محمد بن الحسين، عن عبد الله المزخرف، عن أبي سليمان الحمار قال: سمعت أبا عبد الله عليه السلام يقول لأبي الجارود بمنى في فسطاطه رافعا صوته: يا أبا الجارود كان و الله أبي إمام أهل الأرض حيث مات لا يجهله إلا ضال، ثم رأيته في العام المقبل قال له مثل ذلك، قال: فلقيت أبا الجارود بعد ذلك بالكوفة فقلت له: أليس قد سمعت ما قال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام مرتين قال: إنما يعني أباه علي بن أبي طالب عليه السلام 

[1/173] Rijal al-Kashshi: Muhammad b. al-Hasan al-Burathi al-Kashshi and Uthman b. Hamid al-Kashshi from Muhammad b. Yazdad from Muhammad b. al-Husayn from Abdallah al-Muzkhraf from Abi Sulayman al-Hammar who said: I heard Aba Abdillah عليه السلام saying to Abi al-Jarud in his tent in Mina whilst having raised his voice: O Aba al-Jarud - by Allah my father was the Imam of all the people of the earth when he died, no one is ignorant of him [rejects his right] except the misguided one, then I saw him the next year [in the Hajj season] saying to him the same thing. He (Abi Sulayman) said: so I met Abu al-Jarud after this in al-Kufa and said to him: did you not hear what Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said twice? He said: he means by it his father Ali bin Abi Talib عليه السلام


Abu al-Jarud like other Zaydis maintained the Imamate of Ali but not of his descendants who did not rebel with the sword. He transmitted narrations from al-Baqir and al-Sadiq and clearly held them in high esteem as learned members of the Ahl al-Bayt but nothing more.

When al-Sadiq says to him that his father was the Hujja of God on earth Abu al-Jarud struggles to interpret it in a way that does not go against his beliefs. This is because he did not consider the quietist Muhammad b. Ali al-Baqir to be an Imam. He does this by claiming that al-Sadiq was speaking about his ‘forefather’ Ali but this is clearly against the apparent of what al-Sadiq meant.

The Zaydiyya are a well known branch of the Shi‘a arising out of the abortive revolt of Zayd b. ‘Ali b. al-Husayn in Kufa in 122 AH. Abu al-Jarud, who is said to have been blind from birth, participated in this revolt. Within the Zaydiyya there were two main trends that can be labelled Jarudiyya and Batriyya.

The Jarudiyya, the sub-sect whose name is derived from their leader - the Abu al-Jarud under discussion, can be considered as being stronger in their “Rafdh” than the Batriyya. This is because they went further in de-legitimizing the first three Caliphs and rejecting the validity of their rule. They also condemn the majority of the Companions and the Muslim community for their desertion of the rightful Imam whom they consider to be Ali. They affirm that Ali had been appointed by the Prophet as his legatee (wasi) and implicitly as his successor. They also accept al-Hasan and al-Husayn as Imams after Ali believing that they shared in the inheritance of the prophet.

Where they differed with the Twelver Imamis is in that they did not believe in Nass [successive designation] of one Imam to the next, or hold the requirement that the Imam be infallible. Instead they considered any pious descendant of Fatima who takes up arms and rises in revolt against the unjust temporal rulers to be the Imam.


 [-/2] عيون الاخبار: أحمد بن محمد بن يحيى العطار، عن أبي، عن محمد بن الحسين بن أبي الخطاب، عن الحسن بن محبوب، عن أبي الجارود، عن أبي جعفر، عن جابر بن عبد الله الانصاري قال: دخلت على فاطمه عليها السلام وبين يديها لوح فيه اسماء الاوصياء فعددت اثنا عشر آخرهم القائم ثلاثه منهم محمد واربعه منهم على عليهم السلام

[2/-] Uyun al-Akhbar: Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Yahya al-Attar from his father from Muhammad b. al-Husayn b. Abi al-Khattab from al-Hasan b. Mahbub from Abi al-Jarud from Abi Ja`far from Jabir b. Abdallah al-Ansari who said: I entered to meet Fatima عليها السلام and found a tablet in front of her which had the names of the Awsiya (Heirs). I counted twelve [names] the last of them being the Qaim, three of them were Muhammad and four of them had names of Ali عليهم السلام


[-/3] عيون الاخبار: الحسين بن أحمد بن ادريس، عن أبي، عن أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى و ابراهيم بن هاشم، عن الحسن بن محبوب، عن أبي الجارود، عن أبي جعفر، عن جابر بن عبد الله الانصاري قال: دخلت على فاطمه عليها السلام وبين يديها لوح فيه اسماء الاوصياء فعددت اثنا عشر آخرهم القائم عليه السلام ثلاثه منهم محمد واربعه منهم على عليهم السلام

[3/-] Uyun al-Akhbar: al-Husayn b. Ahmad b. Idris from his father from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa and Ibrahim b. Hashim from al-Hasan b. Mahbub from Abi al-Jarud from Abi Ja`far from Jabir b. Abdallah al-Ansari who said: I entered to meet Fatima عليها السلام and found a tablet in front of her in which were the names of the Awsiya (Heirs). I counted twelve names the last of them being the Qaim عليه السلام. Three of them were Muhammad and four of them had names of Ali عليهم السلام


The two narrations above and others like them form part of the complex of traditions collectively called ‘the Hadith of the Lawh [tablet]’. Some critical scholars have questioned their authenticity giving three reasons:

i. The possibility of al-Hasan b. Mahbub, who was probably born close to the time of al-Sadiq's death, narrating from senior companions of al-Baqir and al-Sadiq has been questioned. Here he is narrating from Abu al-Jarud who seems to be in the same age range. This raises the suspicion of a hidden intermediary.

ii. More importantly, these Hadiths seem to be polemical in nature. This is because they are putting words in the mouth of a rival leader of the Imamis i.e. Abu al-Jarud of the Jarudi Zaydis, making him acknowledge that the Imams are twelve. But this does not tally with anything we know about the historical  Abu al-Jarud. He is not portrayed as ever coming over to the Twelver view or supporting it in independent records. Instead, in the first narration above, which is reliable, he gets a telling off from al-Sadiq for not acknowledging the Imama of al-Baqir.

iii. al-Bahbudi claims that they are fabrications after the event with the chains being cooked. They originate from a time when the idea of twelve Imams gained currency and was being supported. Otherwise, what could explain the fact that the Shia kept on splintering into multiple sub-sects after the death of each Imam and entered into a period of deep confusion post the Occultation if everything was clear cut and well known as these Hadiths indicate?

The question which Bahbudi has to answer is as follows: How could such a fabrication have entered our corpus when we have an accomplished scholar like al-Saduq narrating them via multiple very strong lower-chains up to al-Hasan b. Mahbub [they authentically go back to him at the very least], and the Matn predicts future events before his [Ibn Mahbub's] time which panned out as predicted.

Edited by Islamic Salvation

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@Islamic Salvation wouldn't it be easy for one of the narrators or even the author of the book to simply construct a chain that looks authentic for polemical reasons to try and prove his madhab - especially if its a sole narration?

I think in such instances one needs mutawatir hadiths to prove his aqeeda, don't you think?

Edited by E.L King

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On 7/1/2017 at 1:56 AM, E.L King said:

@Islamic Salvation wouldn't it be easy for one of the narrators or even the author of the book to simply construct a chain that looks authentic for polemical reasons to try and prove his madhab - especially if its a sole narration?

I think in such instances one needs mutawatir hadiths to prove his aqeeda, don't you think?

It is of course possible for someone to fabricate both the content of a Hadith and its chain which did indeed happen. The difficulty would be to pass it off as a genuine narration and introduce it to the mainstream of Hadith circulation. This is because the scholars of the Hadith and especially the experts among them decried narrating an inordinate number of narrations from unknown or weak individuals. They also put great importance to corroboration and suspecting exceptionally sole reports.

Then there was the method of transmission whereby a student goes to a trusted teacher and hears it directly from his mouth and gets a license to transmit further. They would not give weight to what has been "found in a book" for example, but does not have an oral legacy in the circles of study.

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3.58. Zayd b. Ali



[1/174] الكافي: علي بن إبراهيم، عن أبيه، عن صفوان بن يحيى، عن عيص بن القاسم قال: سمعت أبا عبد الله عليه السلام يقول: عليكم بتقوى الله وحده لا شريك له وانظروا لأنفسكم فوالله إن الرجل ليكون له الغنم فيها الراعي فإذا وجد رجلا هو اعلم بغنمه من الذي هو فيها يخرجه ويجيئ، بذلك الرجل الذي هو أعلم بغنمه من الذي كان فيها والله لو كانت لاحدكم نفسان يقاتل بواحدة يجرب بها ثم كانت الأخرى باقية فعمل على ما قد استبان لها ولكن له نفس واحدة إذا ذهبت، فقد والله ذهبت التوبة فأنتم أحق أن تختاروا لأنفسكم، إن أتاكم آت منا فانظروا على أي شئ تخرجون ولا تقولوا خرج زيد فإن زيدا كان عالما وكان صدوقا ولم يدعكم إلى نفسه إنما دعاكم إلى الرضا من آل محمد عليهم السلام ولو ظهر لوفى بما دعاكم إليه إنما خرج إلى سلطان مجتمع لينقضه فالخارج منا اليوم إلى أي شئ يدعوكم إلى الرضا من آل محمد عليهم السلام فنحن نشهدكم إنا لسنا نرضى به وهو يعصينا اليوم وليس معه أحد وهو إذا كانت الرايات والألوية أجدر أن لا يسمع منا إلا مع من اجتمعت بنو فاطمة معه فوالله ما صاحبكم إلا من اجتمعوا عليه، إذا كان رجب فأقبلوا على اسم الله عز وجل وإن أحببتم أن تتأخروا إلى شعبان فلا ضير وإن أحببتم أن تصوموا في أهاليكم فلعل ذلك أن يكون أقوى لكم وكفاكم بالسفياني علامة

[1/174] al-Kafi: Ali b. Ibrahim from his father from Safwan b. Yahya from Iys b. al-Qasim who said: I heard Aba Abdillah عليه السلام saying: upon you is to fear God alone who Has no partner, and to be on the lookout for yourselves, for by Allah a man may possess a flock over which he places a shepherd, but when he discovers another man who is more knowledgeable about caring for his flock than the one in place he removes the latter and replaces him with that man who is more knowledgeable about his flock than the one who was previously taking care of it. If one of you had two souls, one of which he could fight with and risk it, while the other remains alive safe to use to act upon the truth that has become clear to him [then it would have been fine], but he has only one soul - if it is lost then by Allah the opportunity for repentance is also lost. You are best placed to make  decisions for yourselves, if a comer comes to you from us [the people of the House] then scrutinize what things are you coming out in revolt over exactly, and do not say ‘Zayd revolted’ [to justify yourselves] for Zayd was a scholar and truthful, moreover he did not call you for his own sake rather he called you to rally around the Rida [pleasing choice] from the family of Muhammad [i.e. the Imam], and had he become victorious he would have followed through on what he had called you to. But the one who revolts from among us today to what thing is he calling you to? is it to the pleasing choice from the family of Muhammad?! if so then we declare that we are not pleased with him! and if he is disobeying us about this today when he has no following then how much more emboldened will he be to ignore and not listen to us when the banners and the flags [converge around him]! [You are not come out] except with the one around whom the children of Fatima are united over, for by Allah your man is none other than the one around whom they unite. So when it is Rajab then proceed in the name of Allah Mighty and Majestic [to Makka] but if you wish to delay to Sha`ban then there is no harm done and if you prefer to fast in your families then perhaps that is more appropriate for you. Indeed the Sufyani is enough of a sign for you [to indicate the closeness of the appearance].    


The Imam begins by emphasizing that the leader to be the most worthy. If this is true even for mundane human affairs then how much more consequential would it be in critical matters of religion. He then  advises caution against wasting ones precious life over causes that are not divinely sanctioned. He warns against backing pretenders from the Ahl al-Bayt, who were cropping up in copious numbers at that time, before the coming of the Sufyani, for they would all be false claimants. Zayd should not be used as a justification to rebel because he was of a different league and would have actually fulfilled his promise if victorious. The importance of the three months as the commencement of the show-down to the end-game is also indicated.


[-/2] الكافي: عدة من أصحابنا، عن أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى، عن علي بن الحكم، عن أبان قال: أخبرني الأحول أن زيد بن علي بن الحسين عليهما السلام بعث إليه وهو مستخف، قال: فأتيته فقال لي: يا أبا جعفر ما تقول إن طرقك طارق منا أتخرج معه. قال: فقلت له: إن كان أباك أو أخاك خرجت معه، قال: فقال لي: فأنا أريد أن أخرج أجاهد هؤلاء القوم فاخرج معي، قال: قلت لا ما أفعل جعلت فداك، قال: فقال لي: أترغب بنفسك عني؟ قال: قلت له: إنما هي نفس واحدة فإن كان لله في الأرض حجة فالمتخلف عنك ناج والخارج معك هالك وإن لا تكن لله حجة في الأرض فالمتخلف عنك والخارج معك سواء، قال: فقال لي: يا أبا جعفر كنت أجلس مع أبي على الخوان فيلقمني البضعة السمينة ويبرد لي اللقمة الحارة حتى تبرد شفقة علي ولم يشفق علي من حر النار، إذن أخبرك بالدين ولم يخبرني به؟ فقلت له: جعلت فداك من شفقته عليك من حر النار لم يخبرك، خاف عليك أن لا تقبله فتدخل النار، وأخبرني أنا فإن قبلت نجوت وإن لم يبال أن أدخل النار، ثم قلت له: جعلت فداك أنتم أفضل أم الأنبياء؟ قال: بل الأنبياء، قلت: يقول: يعقوب ليوسف: يَا بُنَيَّ لَا تَقْصُصْ رُؤْيَاكَ عَلَىٰ إِخْوَتِكَ فَيَكِيدُوا لَكَ كَيْدًا لم لم يخبرهم حتى كانوا لا يكيدونه ولكن كتمهم ذلك، فكذلك أبوك كتمك لأنه خاف عليك، قال: فقال: أما والله لئن قلت ذلك لقد حدثني صاحبك بالمدينة أني أقتل وأصلب بالكناسة وأن عنده لصحيفة فيها قتلي وصلبي، فحججت فحدثت أبا عبد الله عليه السلام بمقالة زيد وما قلت له، فقال لي: أخذته من بين يديه ومن خلفه وعن يمينه وعن شماله ومن فوق رأسه ومن تحت قدميه ولم تترك له مسلكا يسلكه

[2/-] al-Kafi: A number of our companions from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa from Ali b. al-Hakam from Aban who said: al-Ahwal reported to me saying: Zayd b. Ali b. al-Husayn عليهما السلام sent for me while he was in hiding so I went to see him. He [Zayd] said to me: O Aba Ja`far [al-Ahwal] what will you say if a knocker from among us [the family of the prophet] knocks on your door [asking for your support to fight the unjust ruler] - would you come out in revolt with him? I said to him: if it is your father [al-Sajjad] or your brother [al-Baqir] I would set out with him. He [Zayd] said to me: Verily I wish to rise up and fight these people so set out with me, I said: No, I will not do so may I be made your ransom, he said to me: do you prefer your life over mine? I said: it is only one soul [that I have] - if Allah does indeed have a Hujja [proof] on the earth [whose existence you deny] then the one who stays back from joining you is saved and the one who joins you is destroyed [for revolting without the permission of the Hujja], but if Allah does not have a Hujja [proof] on the earth [as you claim] then the one who stays back and the one who joins you are both the same. He said to me: O Aba Ja`far I used to sit with my father to share a plate with him so he would feed me the choicest piece of meat and cool for me a hot morsel fearing for my health but he did not fear for me enough to save me from the hell-fire! How could it be that he informed you the truth about the religion [the presence of the Hujja] and did not inform me about it! I said to him: may I be made your ransom - it is only because of his fear of hell-fire for you you that he did not inform you! he feared for you that you would reject it and enter the fire, but he informed me [not caring either way] so if I accept I am saved and he was not bothered that I enter the fire [if I reject]. Then I said to him: may I be made your ransom are you better or the prophets? He said: the prophets, I said: Ya`qub said to Yusuf: “O my son - do not relate your dream to your brothers for they will devise a plot against you” (12:5) why not inform them and expect them not to devise a plot against him but rather he was to keep it a secret from them [so as not to tempt them]? the same way your father kept it a secret from you because he feared for you. He said: by Allah! now that you mention that - your man [the Imam] narrated to me in Madina that I am to be killed and crucified in Kinasa and that he has a book which tells of my killing and crucifixion in it. Later I [al-Ahwal] made the pilgrimage and relayed to Aba Abdillah عليه السلام my conversation with Zayd, so he said to me: you took him from in front and from behind, from the right and from the left, from above his head and from below his legs and did not leave him any room to wiggle out [the argument you made was water tight].


The narration begins with al-Ahwal, a famous theologian who was a student of al-Baqir and al-Sadiq, recounting how he was summoned by Zayd who asked him to aid his cause and join him in his revolt. al-Ahwal declares that he would only agree to do so if he was asked by Zayd’s father or brother [who were Imams]. He then argues against Zayd using the concept of the Hujja on the earth, which Zayd seemingly does not recognize. Al-Ahwal says to him that if there is a Hujja on the earth [which Zayd by his own admission is not] then joining Zayd without the permission of the Hujja would be folly, and if there is no Hujja on the earth then joining Zayd or not joining him are both equivalent because there is no cosmological significance to Zayd as compared to another leader. In both scenarios, al-Ahwal argues against the necessity to join Zayd based on Zayd's own admission. Next Zayd takes him up on this concept of the Hujja and asks – if there exists such a central doctrine in the religion – why did his father who cared for him so much in material sense not make him aware of it so as to save him from spiritual perdition? Al-Ahwal replies that it is just because of his concern that the Imam did not explain to him this truth for fear that he would reject it which would guarantee his damnation. Finally, Zayd admits that the Imam had already predicted his fate which is to be killed. Kinasa is a well known place in Kufa where Zayd's body was left for days. May Allah have mercy on him.


[3/175] الكافي: محمد بن يحيى، عن محمد بن الحسين، عن عبد الرحمن بن أبي هاشم، عن عنبسة بن بجاد العابد، عن جابر، عن أبي جعفر عليه السلام قال: كنا عنده وذكروا سلطان بني أمية فقال أبو جعفر عليه السلام: لا يخرج على هشام أحد إلا قتله، قال: وذكر ملكه عشرين سنة، قال: فجزعنا، فقال: مالكم إذا أراد الله عز وجل أن يهلك سلطان قوم أمر الملك فأسرع بسير الفلك فقدر على ما يريد؟ قال: فقلنا لزيد عليه السلام هذه المقالة، فقال: إني شهدت هشاما ورسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله يسب عنده فلم ينكر ذلك ولم يغيره فوالله لو لم يكن إلا أنا وابني لخرجت عليه!

[3/175] al-Kafi: Muhammad b. Yahya from Muhammad b. al-Husayn from Abd al-Rahman b. Abi Hashim from Anbasa b. Bijad al-Abdi from Jabir from Abi Ja`far عليه السلام. He [Jabir] said: we were with him [the Imam] when the rulers of Bani Umayya were mentioned so Abu Ja`far عليه السلام said: no one will rebel against Hisham [the Umayyad Caliph] except that he [Hisham] will kill him, he also said: his [Hisham’s] rule will be for twenty years. He [Jabir] said: we were overcome with grief [on hearing that] so he said: what is with you - don’t you know that if Allah Mighty and Majestic wishes to destroy the ruler of a people he orders an angel so he [the angel] journeys swiftly through the celestial sphere and accomplishes what he intends? He [Jabir] said: we relayed these words to Zayd so he said: I witnessed the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله being abused in the presence of Hisham but he did not repudiate it nor did he put a stop to it - so by Allah if there is no one except myself and my son I would still rise up against him!     


This narration and many other like it confirm the fact that the `Aimma had a book which listed all the rulers who will arise before Qiyama and the period of their rule.

فأسرع بسير الفلك which has been rendered as ‘journeys swiftly through the celestial sphere’ seems to be a metaphor the implication of which is not grasped fully. Falak denotes anything circular, specifically the place of the revolving of the stars. I am sure that the scientists among us will claim to read Inter-galactic space travel through a black-hole into this.

Zayd explains his honourable claim for rising against Hisham. There is not doubt that Zayd was a great scholar and a very pious individual who had a great concern for Islam. How could he do nothing after seeing with his own eyes the disrespect that these supposed successors of the prophet had for his great grandfather. Someone who evinces no reaction when the prophet is abused is considered a disbeliever!

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3.59. Salim b. Mukram



[1/176] رجال الكشي: محمد بن مسعود قال: سألت أبا الحسن علي بن الحسن عن اسم أبي خديجة قال: سالم بن مكرم فقلت له: ثقة؟ فقال: صالح و كان من أهل الكوفة و كان جمالا، و ذكر أنه حمل أبا عبد الله عليه السلام من مكة إلى المدينة قال: أخبرنا عبد الرحمن بن أبي هاشم عن أبي خديجة قال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام: لا تكتن بأبي خديجة قلت: فبم أكتني فقال: بأبي سلمه

و كان سالم من أصحاب أبي الخطاب، و كان في المسجد يوم بعث عيسى بن موسى بن علي بن عبد الله بن العباس، و كان عامل المنصور على الكوفة إلى أبي الخطاب، لما بلغه أنهم قد أظهروا الإباحات و دعوا الناس إلى نبوة أبي الخطاب، و إنهم يجتمعون في المسجد و لزموا الأساطين يورون الناس أنهم قد لزموها للعبادة، و بعث إليهم رجلا فقتلهم جميعا، لم يفلت منهم إلا رجل واحد أصابته جراحات فسقط بين القتلى يعد فيهم، فلما جنه الليل خرج من بينهم فتخلص، و هو أبو سلمة سالم بن مكرم الجمال الملقب بأبي خديجة، فذكر بعد ذلك أنه تاب و كان ممن يروي الحديث

[1/176] Rijal al-Kashshi: Muhammad b. Masud said: I asked Aba al-Hasan Ali b. al-Hasan [b. Ali b. Fadhal] about the name of Abi Khadija what was it? he said: it was Salim b. Mukram. I said to him: was he Thiqa? He said: He was Salih. He was a resident of Kufa and was a Cameleer [in the business of renting out camels]. It is said that he was the one who transported [carried on his camels] Aba Abdillah عليه السلام from Makka to Madina. He [Ali b. al-Hasan] said: Abd al-Rahman b. Abi Hashim reported to us from Abi Khadija that Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said to him: do not use Abi Khadija as an agnomen [Kuniyya], he said: what should I use? he said: Abi Salama   

Salim was among the companions of Abu al-Khattab and was inside the Masjid the day that Isa b. Musa b. Ali b. Abdallah b. Abbas - who was the governor of al-Mansur [the Abbasid Caliph] over Kufa - sent forces against Abi al-Khattab, having heard that they had become licentious [permitted the forbidden acts], called the people to accept the prophethood of Abu al-Khattab, and gathered in the Masjid [to plan a revolt] ensconcing themselves in its pillars while making it seem to the people as if they were doing so for purposes of worship. So he [Isa] sent men to them who killed them all, no one from among them escaped except for one man who was injured, fell amidst the dead and was thought to be dead, when night came he stood and disappeared. That man was Abu Salama Salim b. Mukram the Cameleer who also had the Kuniyya of Abu Khadija [before the Imam changed it]. It is said that he repented after this incident [for following Abi al-Khattab] and became among those who narrate the Hadith [from al-Sadiq].        

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3.60. Sukayn al-Nakhai



[1/177] رجال الكشي: محمد بن مسعود، عن الفضل بن شاذان، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن إبراهيم بن عبد الحميد قال: حججت و سكين النخعي فتعبد و ترك النساء و الطيب و الثياب و الطعام الطيب و كان لا يرفع رأسه داخل المسجد إلى السماء فلما قدم المدينة دنا من أبي إسحاق فصلى إلى جانبه فقال: جعلت فداك إني أريد أن أسألك عن مسائل قال: اذهب فاكتبها و أرسل ها إلي، فكتب: جعلت فداك رجل دخله الخوف من الله عز و جل حتى ترك النساء و الطعام الطيب و لا يقدر أن يرفع رأسه إلى السماء و أما الثياب فشك فيها، فكتب: أما قولك في ترك النساء فقد علمت ما كان لرسول الله من النساء، و أما قولك في ترك الطعام الطيب فقد كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم يأكل اللحم و العسل، و أما قولك إنه دخله الخوف حتى لا يستطيع أن يرفع رأسه إلى السماء فليكثر من تلاوة هذه الآيات الصَّابِرِينَ وَ الصَّادِقِينَ وَ الْقانِتِينَ وَ الْمُنْفِقِينَ وَ الْمُسْتَغْفِرِينَ بِالْأَسْحارِ

[1/177] Rijal al-Kashshi: Muhammad b. Masud from al-Fadhl b. Shadhan from Ibn Abi Umayr from Ibrahim b. Abd al-Hamid who said: I made the Hajj with Sukayn al-Nakhai who became engrossed in worship [took on asceticism] and abandoned women, perfume, good clothes, good food, and used not to raise his head to look up at the sky when in the Masjid [out of fear of Allah]. When he (Sukayn) reached Madina [after making the Hajj] he came near to Abu Ishaq (al-Sadiq) عليه السلام and prayed by his side [in the Masjid of the prophet] then he said: may I be made your ransom - I want to ask you a few questions? He عليه السلام said: go [back to Kufa] and write them down then send them to me. So he (Sukayn) later wrote: may I be made your ransom, fear of Allah has entered the heart of a man such that he has abandoned [cohabiting with] women, good food, and he cannot raise his head to look at the sky, as for good clothes - he is doubtful about wearing them. So He عليه السلام wrote: as to your words about leaving women then you are well aware what the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم had of women [multiple wives], and as for your words about leaving good food then know that the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم used to eat meat and honey, and as for your words that fear has entered his heart until he cannot raise his head to the sky then he should increase in the recitation of this verse “the patient, the true ones, the obedient ones, those who spend [in the way of Allah], and those who seek forgiveness by dawn” (3:17).


It is undeniable that the prophet loved intimacy with Allah but everything in Islam is in moderation. His devotion to Allah did not stop him from partaking in the affairs of the world, in fact, this is true Zuhd, where one remains in the world and interacts with it, but is constantly in communion with Allah in his heart. It is also true that the believers have not been forbidden to enjoy the good things of this life provided they do not lead to Ghafla. The prophet took comfort in his wives and did eat 'meat and honey' as the Imam mentions [increasing their sense of gratitude to Allah thereby], but it should be noted that this diet was the exception since their material status was not very good and Islam wishes us to live lightly without forming crippling attachments with the deceptive allure of this world.  

Edited by Islamic Salvation

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3.61. Simak b. Kharasha



[-/1] علل الشرائع: أحمد بن زياد بن جعفر الهمداني، عن علي بن إبراهيم بن هاشم، عن أبيه، عن أحمد بن محمد بن أبي نصر البزنطي ومحمد بن أبي عمير، عن أبان بن عثمان، عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قال: لما كان يوم أحد انهزم أصحاب رسول الله حتى لم يبق معه إلا علي بن أبي طالب عليه السلام وأبو دجانة سماك بن خرشة فقال له النبي صلى الله عليه وآله: يا أبا دجانة أما ترى قومك؟ قال: بلى قال: الحق بقومك قال: ما على هذا بايعت الله ورسوله قال: أنت في حل قال: والله لا تتحدث قريش بأني خذلتك وفررت حتى أذوق ما تذوق فجزاه النبي خيرا. وكان علي عليه السلام كلما حملت طائفة على رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله استقبلهم وردهم حتى أكثر فيهم القتل والجراحات حتى انكسر سيفه فجاء إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وآله فقال: يا رسول الله إن الرجل يقاتل بسلاحه وقد انكسر سيفي فأعطاه سيفه ذا الفقار فما زال يدفع به عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله حتى أثر وانكر فنزل عليه جبرئيل وقال: يامحمد إن هذه لهي المواساة من علي لك فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وآله: إنه مني وأنا منه فقال جبرئيل: وأنا منكما وسمعوا دويا من السماء لا سيف إلا ذو الفقار ولا فتى إلا علي

[1/-] Ilal al-Sharai: Ahmad b. Ziyad b. Ja`far al-Hamdani from Ali b. Ibrahim b. Hashim from his father from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Abi Nasr al-Bazanti and Muhammad b. Abi Umayr from Aban b. Uthman from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام who said: All the companions of the messenger of Allah ran away on the day of Uhud - no one was left among them except Ali b. Abi Talib عليه السلام and Abu Dujana Simak b. Kharasha. The prophet صلى الله عليه وآله said to him: O Aba Dujana - don’t you see your people? he said: I do, he said: join up with them, he said: this is not what I gave my pledge of allegiance to Allah and His messenger for! he said: you are released [from your pledge], he said: by Allah the Quraysh will never get the opportunity to say that I abandoned you and ran away until I taste what you taste! Then the prophet صلى الله عليه وآله prayed for a good recompense for him. Whenever a group used to attack the messenger of Allah - Ali عليه السلام would face them and repel them until he had killed a large number of them and injured others. He continued this way until his sword broke so he came to the prophet صلى الله عليه وآله and said: O messenger of Allah – a man can only fight with his weapon but my sword has broken! So he (the prophet) gave him his sword Dhu al-Fiqar and he (Ali) kept on defending the prophet using it until marks [wound traces] were inflicted on him and he became unrecognizable [because of a multitude of injuries]. Jibril descended and said: O Muhammad this is an incomparable support from Ali to you! so the prophet said: he is from me and I am from him, Jibril said: and I am from you both, and they heard a voice from heaven saying: there is no sword but Dhu al-Fiqar and the there is no young champion except Ali.            


With the notable exception of Ali, Abu Dujana and a few others whose names can be found in the history books, most of the companions fled on the day of Uhud including the big wigs. Something which must remain a source of eternal shame to them who left their prophet exposed.

Note that the prophet tests Abu Dujana's loyalty by giving him a chance to leave but does not do this to Ali. the reasoning is simple, Abu Dujana was after a foreigner in some sense while Ali is from and of the prophet.

Abu Dujana was from the Banu Sa`ida of the Ansar. He was a famed warrior who showed bravery in all the battles including Badr. He used to wear a red hand-band as a sign of distinction in the field. Abu Dujana died in 12 AH in the battle of Yamama.

Edited by Islamic Salvation

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3.62. Sahl b. Hunayf



[-/1] التهذيب: المفيد، عن أبي القاسم جعفر بن محمد، عن أبيه، عن سعد بن عبدالله، عن أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى، عن محمد بن اسماعيل بن بزيع، عن علي بن النعمان، عن أبي مريم الانصاري قال: سمعت أبا جعفر عليه السلام يقول: ... وان عليا عليه السلام كفن سهل بن حنيف في برد احمر حبرة

[1/-] al-Tahdhib: al-Mufid from Abi al-Qasim Ja`far b. Muhammad from his father from Sa`d b. Abdallah from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa from Muhammad b. Ismail b. Bazi` from Ali b. al-Nu`man from Abi Maryam al-Ansari who said: I heard Aba Ja`far عليه السلام saying: … Ali عليه السلام enshrouded Sahl b. Hunayf in a red Hibara cloak.    


Hibara is a type of fine cloth made of cotton in the Yaman. Ali used it for the prophet and later al-Hasan b. Ali used it for Usama b. Zayd.

Another special honour which Ali reserved for Sahl is making a multiple of five Takbirat over his body [in the Salat al-Mayyit]. This was only done for truly great individuals, for instance, the prophet did the same for his uncle Hamza.

محمد بن مسعود، عن محمد بن نصير، عن محمد بن عيسى، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن حماد، عن الحلبي، عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قال: كبر علي عليه السلام على سهل بن حنيف و كان بدريا خمس تكبيرات، ثم مشى به ساعة ثم وضعه ثم كبر عليه خمس تكبيرات أخر، فصنع به ذلك حتى بلغ خمسا و عشرين تكبيرة

Muhammad b. Masud - Muhammad b. Nusayr - Muhammad b. Isa - Ibn Abi Umayr - Hammad - al-Halabi - Abi Abdillah عليه السلام who said: Ali عليه السلام made over Sahl b. Hunayf - who was a Badri -  five Takbirs [in the first Salat al-Mayyit]. Then he walked with him [in the procession of his body] for a while, before putting him down again and making five other Takbirs over him. He kept on doing that to him until it reached twenty five Takbirs [he prayed five different Salats for him - each with five Takbirs].

Sahl was an Ansari companion of the prophet who fought at Badr and was among the handful of companions who remained defending the prophet at Uhud. The prophet gave him and Abu Dujana the Fayy of Banu Nadhir, the only two Ansaris to be given it, because of their poverty. Sahl was loyal to Ali who made him his governor designate over Syria. This was when Ali reversed the Quraysh-first policy of his predecessors who had sidelined the Ansar despite there being among them men who had precedence in Islam and had given more sacrifice than the Tulaqa aristocracy. Sahl also fought by Ali's side at Jamal and Siffin.

Edited by Islamic Salvation

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3.63. Salih b. Muhammad b. Sahl



[1/178] الكافي: محمد بن يعقوب، عن علي بن إبراهيم، عن أبيه قال: كنت عند أبي جعفر الثاني عليه السلام إذ دخل عليه صالح بن محمد بن سهل، وكان يتولى له الوقف بقم، فقال: يا سيدي اجعلني من عشرة آلاف في حل فإني أنفقتها، فقال له: أنت في حل، فلما خرج صالح، قال أبو جعفر عليه السلام: أحدهم يثب على أموال حق آل محمد وأيتامهم ومساكينهم وفقرائهم وأبناء سبيلهم فيأخذه ثم يجئ فيقول: اجعلني في حل، أتراه ظن أني أقول: لا أفعل؟ والله ليسألنهم الله يوم القيامة عن ذلك سؤالا حثيثا

[1/178] al-Kafi: Muhammad b. Ya`qub from Ali b. Ibrahim from his father who said: I was with Abi Ja`far the Second [al-Jawad] عليه السلام when Salih b. Muhammad b. Sahl entered to see him - and he [Salih] used to oversee the Waqf [endowments] for him in Qum - he [Salih] said: O my master! relieve me and do not hold me to account over ten thousand [Dirhams] for I have spent it, he [the Imam] said to him: you are relieved [not liable to hand it over]. When Salih had left Abu Ja`far عليه السلام said: one of them receives the wealth which is the right of the family of Muhammad, their orphans, poor, needy, travelers who are stranded - takes it [for himself] then comes and says: ‘relieve me’. Look at him - he thought that I would say: ‘no I will not’, by Allah! Allah will ask them about that on the day of judgment with a swift reckoning. 


Sahl, a Wakil of the Imam in Qum, comes to the Imam of his own volition asking ten thousand of the collected amount to be overlooked as it has been used - expecting the Imam to refuse and almost asking for the rift. But the Imam does the opposite which must have caught him by surprise. 

This is explained away as Maslaha [greater public good] since there was nothing preventing Salih - after being refused permission - to disappear away with the rest of the money and leave the Imam stranded. The Imam was forced to appease him and accept the minor loss so as to keep him on board i.e. allow him to get away with it while still being under the shadow of the Imam who can then recoup the greater amount at a later date.

This is the Madhlumiyat of the latter `Aimma of the final period who were under constant surveillance and far away geographically from the regional centers which meant having to depend on agents. Some of these were unscrupulous [corrupted by power] and could behave in this way with them. There were some Wukala who cultivated prestige and power and the Imam had to be careful in response to them so as not to let them to use their clout to misguide followers.

One also has to understand that the Imam has full sovereignty with that money and he can forgive such misuses. But he reminds us that Allah may not act so favourably.

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3.64. Sa`sa`a b. Suhan



[1/179] رجال الكشي: محمد بن مسعود، عن أبو جعفر حمدان بن أحمد، عن معاوية بن حكيم، عن أحمد بن أبي نصر قال: كنت عند أبي الحسن الثاني عليه السلام قال: ولا أعلم إلا قام ونفض الفراش بيده ثم قال لي: يا أحمد أن أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام عاد صعصعة بن صوحان في مرضه، فقال: يا صعصعة لا تتخذ عيادتي لك أبهة على قومك، قال: فلما قال أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام لصعصعة هذه المقالة، قال صعصعة: بلى والله أعدها منة من الله علي وفضلا، قال: فقال له أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام: إني كنت ما علمتك إلا لخفيف المؤونة حسن المعونة، قال: فقال صعصعة: وأنت والله يا أمير المؤمنين ما علمتك إلا بالله عليما، وبالمؤمنين رؤوفا رحيما

[1/179] Rijal al-Kashshi: Muhammad b. Masud from Abu Ja`far Hamdan b. Ahmad from Muawiya b. Hukaym from Ahmad b. Abi Nasr who said: I was with Abi al-Hasan the Second عليه السلام - when he stood and shook the bed-wrap by his own hand [to remove the dust and get it ready for me to sleep on] and said to me: O Ahmad the commander of the faithful عليه السلام visited Sa`sa`a b. Suhan in his illness and said: O Sa`sa`a do not take my visiting you as a source of pride over your people, he [the Imam] said: when the commander of the faithful عليه السلام had said these words to Sa`sa`a  - Sa`sa`a said: indeed, by Allah I will count it as a divine grace from Allah on me and a favour. Then the commander of the faithful عليه السلام said to him: I have not known you except as one scanty in resources yet great in support [of the truth] so Sa`sa`a said: and you O commander of the faithful I have not known you except cognizant of Allah and to the believers both compassionate and merciful. 


Sa`sa`a b. Suhan (d. 60) was one of the closest companions of Ali. He had a lofty genealogy within his tribe of Abd al-Qays which originated from Bahrayn. Even before the Khilafa of Ali, he was already noted for his opposition to Uthman in Kufa and was exiled by its governor to Sham together with prominent companions who later came to form the nucleus of Ali’s closest followers including Malik b. Ashtar al-Nakhai.

Sa`sa`a participated in the battles of Jamal, Siffin and Nahrawan but he was most famous for his consummate oratory and his poems about Ali are well known. His meetings with Muawiya as an emissary to him before battle and after his accession are legendary. He never stopped extolling Ali’s merit and failed to accept any other leader after him.

One only needs to consider what al-Sadiq is attributed to say about him to gleam his status:

محمد بن مسعود، قال حدثني علي بن محمد قال حدثني محمد بن أحمد بن يحيى، عن العباس بن معروف، عن أبي محمد الحجال، عن داود بن أبي يزيد قال: قال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام: ما كان مع أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام من يعرف حقه إلا صعصعة و أصحابه

Muhammad b. Masud - Ali b. Muhammad - Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Yahya - al-Abbas b. Maruf - Abi Muhammad al-Hajjal - Dawud b. Abi Yazid who said: Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said: there was no one with the commander of the faithful عليه السلام who recognized his right (i.e. Imama) except Sa`sa`a and his associates.

I recount here an episode he had with Uthman when the delegations all converged in Madina demanding the besieged Caliph to renounce his family members and rectify his conduct. It reflects his quick wit, turn of phrase and deep understanding of the Qur`an at a very young age to be chosen to the position of spokesman at such a critical time.

al-Tusi narrates in his Amali:

أخبرنا محمد بن محمد قال: أخبرني أبو الحسن علي بن خالد المراغي قال: حدثنا محمد بن أحمد البزاز الفلسطيني قال: حدثنا أحمد أبن الصلت الحماني قال: حدثنا صالح بن أبي النجم قال: حدثنا الهيثم بن عدي، عن عبد الله بن اليسع، عن الشعبي، عن صعصعة بن صوحان العبدي رحمه الله قال: دخلت على عثمان بن عفَّان في نفر من المصريِّين، فقال عثمان: قدِّموا رجلاً منكم يكلِّمني، فقدّموني، فقال عثمان: هذا! وكأنّه استحدثني.

Muhammad b. Muhammad  - Abu al-Hasan Ali b. Khalid al-Maraghi – Muhammad b. Ahmad al-Bazzaz al-Filastini – Ahmad b. Salt al-Hammani – Salih b. Abi al-Najm – al-Haytham b. Adi – Abdallah b. al-Yasa – al-Sha`bi – Sa`sa`a b. Suhan al-Abdi may Allah have mercy on him said: I entered in to see Uthman b. Affan together with a number of Egyptians. Uthman said: pick a man from among you to speak to me, so they picked me, Uthman said: this one! as though he considered me too young.

فقلت له: إنَّ العلم لو كان بالسن لم يكن لي ولا لك فيه سهم، ولكنَّه بالتعلم. فقال عثمان: هات فقلت: بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم : الَّذِينَ إِن مَّكَّنَّاهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ أَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَمَرُوا بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَنَهَوْا عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَلِلَّهِ عَاقِبَةُ الْأُمُورِ فقال عثمان: فينا نزلت هذه الآية. فقلت له: فَمُر بالمعروف وانْهَ عن المنكر. فقال عثمان: دَعْ هَذا وهات ما معك. فقلت له: بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم الَّذِينَ أُخْرِجُوا مِن دِيَارِهِمْ بِغَيْرِ حَقٍّ إِلَّا أَن يَقُولُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ وَلَوْلَا دَفْعُ اللَّهِ النَّاسَ بَعْضَهُم بِبَعْضٍ لَّهُدِّمَتْ صَوَامِعُ وَبِيَعٌ وَصَلَوَاتٌ وَمَسَاجِدُ يُذْكَرُ فِيهَا اسْمُ اللَّهِ كَثِيرًا وَلَيَنصُرَنَّ اللَّهُ مَن يَنصُرُهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَقَوِيٌّ عَزِيزٌ فقال عثمان: وهذه أيضاً نزلت فينا فقلت له: فأعطنا بما أخذت من الله

I said to him: if knowledge were dependent on age then we would have no share in it [even you in your senior age cannot compete with the vastness of knowledge] but it is dependent on learning. Uthman said: go ahead [say what you have to say], I said: in the name of Allah the beneficent the merciful – “those whom if We establish on the land keep up the prayer, give out alms, instruct the doing of good and forbid the evil and with Allah rests the outcome of all affairs” (22:41) Uthman said: this verse was revealed about us [the generation of the companions], I said to him: then instruct the doing of good and forbid the evil! Uthman said: let that be – what do you want to say? I said to him: in the name of Allah the beneficent the merciful – “those who were driven out of their homes without any justification beyond them saying: our Lord is Allah, and if it were not that Allah checks some people via others then many monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which the name of Allah is oft-remembered, would have been destroyed, verily Allah will help those who help His cause, verily Allah is strong and mighty” (22:40) Uthman said: this was also revealed about us, I said to him: then give us what you had sworn an oath on Allah to do!

فقال عثمان: يا أيَّها الناس، عليكم بالسمع والطاعة، فإنَّ يد الله على الجماعة وإنَّ الشيطان مع الفذ، فلا تستمعوا إلى قول هذا، وإنَّ هذا لا يدري مَن الله ولا أين الله فقلت له: أما قولك : (عليكم بالسمع والطاعة ) فإنّك تريد منَّا أن نقول غداً: رَبَّنَا إِنَّا أَطَعْنَا سَادَتَنَا وَكُبَرَاءنَا فَأَضَلُّونَا السَّبِيلَا وأمَّا قولك: (أنا لا أدري من الله) فإنَّ الله ربُّنا وربُّ آبائنا الأولين وأمَّا قولك: (إني‏ لا أدري أين الله) فإنَّ الله تعالى بالمرصاد قال: فغضب وأمر بصرفنا، وغلق الأبواب دوننا

Uthman said: O people, upon you is to hear and to obey, for the hand of Allah is over the group and the devil is with the solitary, do not listen to the words of this one, for he does not know who Allah is nor where Allah is! I said to him: as for your words ‘upon you is to hear and obey’ then do you want us to say tomorrow: “O our Lord we obeyed our leaders and elders so they misguided us from the path” (33:67)?! and as for your words that I ‘do not know who Allah is’ then Allah is is our Lord and the Lord of our forefathers, and as for your words that I ‘do not know where Allah is’, then Allah the Elevated is on a watch-tower [ever vigilant] [allusion to 89:14]. So he [Uthman] became angry and ordered us to be sent away and closed the doors on us.

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3.65. Safwan b. Mihran al-Jammal



[1/180] رجال الكشي: حمدويه، عن محمد بن إسماعيل الرازي، عن الحسن بن علي بن فضال، عن صفوان بن مهران الجمال قال: دخلت على أبي الحسن الأول عليه السلام فقال لي: يا صفوان كل شي‏ء منك حسن جميل ما خلا شيئا واحدا قلت: جعلت فداك أي شي‏ء؟ قال: إكراؤك جمالك من هذا الرجل يعني هارون قلت: و الله ما أكريته أشرا و لا بطرا و لا لصيد و لا للهو، و لكني أكريه لهذا الطريق يعني طريق مكة، و لا أتولاه بنفسي و لكن أنصب معه غلماني، فقال لي: يا صفوان أيقع كراؤك عليهم؟ قلت: نعم جعلت فداك، قال: فقال لي: أتحب بقائهم حتى يخرج كراؤك؟ قلت: نعم، قال: فمن أحب بقائهم فهو منهم و من كان منهم كان ورد النار، قال صفوان: فذهبت و بعت جمالي عن آخرها، فبلغ ذلك إلى هارون، فدعاني فقال لي: يا صفوان بلغني أنك بعت جمالك قلت: نعم، فقال: لم؟ قلت: أنا شيخ كبير و أن الغلمان لا يفون بالأعمال فقال: هيهات أيهات إني لأعلم من أشار عليك بهذا أشار عليك بهذا موسى بن جعفر! قلت: ما لي و لموسى بن جعفر فقال: دع هذا عنك فو الله لو لا حسن صحبتك لقتلتك!

[1/180] Rijal al-Kashshi: Hamduwayh from Muhammad b. Ismail al-Razi from al-Hasan b. Ali b. Fadhal from Safwan b. Mihran - the cameleer - who said: I entered upon Abi al-Hasan the First عليه السلام - he said to me: O Safwan everything from you is good and well except one thing. I said: may I be made your ransom - what thing is that? he said: you renting out your camels to this man - meaning Harun [al-Rashid, the Abbasid caliph]. I said: by Allah I did not rent them out to him cheerfully or arrogantly, nor did I rent them out for him to hunt with or amuse himself through them, rather I rent them out to him for the road to Makka [i.e. for Hajj], and I do not attend to him personally, rather I send to him with my servants. He said to me: O Safwan does the payment of your rent accrue on them? I said: yes, may I be made your ransom, he said: do you wish for their survival until they pay you your rent? I said: yes, he said: whoever desires their survival then he is one of them, and whoever is with them his abode is the hell-fire. Safwan said: so I went and sold all my camels, every last one of them. Harun was informed of this, he called me and said to me: O Safwan I hear that you have sold all your camels? I said: yes, he said: what is the reason? I said: I am an old man and the servants are not up to the job, he said: how far! how far! I do know the one who directed you to do this - it is Musa b. Ja`far who directed you to do this! I said: what do I have to do with Musa b. Ja`far!? he said: leave out the excuses, for by Allah if it was not for your good companionship in the past I would have had you killed!


“ ... and do not incline to those who are unjust lest you be touched by the fire …” (11:113)

The words of the Imam serve as a warning to us not to partake in global systems that perpetuate oppression. Unfortunately these are have become so firmly enmeshed with our daily lives that they are quite difficult to escape. If even renting out camel to the unjust ruler is a crime what then of actively propping them up and allying with them.

Life was so cheap at the time that a tyrant like Harun could have chopped Safwan's head for no discernible reason. These we are supposed to believe were the successors of the prophet of mercy and the guardians of the lofty ideals of Islam?!

Edited by Islamic Salvation

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3.66. Safwan b. Yahya



[1/181] رجال الكشي: محمد بن قولويه، عن سعد، عن أحمد بن محمد، عن الحسين بن سعيد، عن معمر بن خلاد قال: قال أبو الحسن عليه السلام: ما ذئبان ضاريان في غنم قد غاب عنها رعاؤها بأضر في دين المسلم من حب الرياسة ثم قال: لكن صفوان لا يحب الرياسة 

[1/181] Rijal al-Kashshi: Muhammad b. Qulawayh from Sa`d from Ahmad b. Muhammad from al-Husayn b. Sa`id from Muammar b. Khallad who said: Abu al-Hasan عليه السلام said: two ravenous wolves set free in a flock of sheep whose shepherd is absent are not more dangerous to a man's religion than his love for leadership [desire to rule over others], then he said: but Safwan (b. Yahya) does not love leadership.


I quote verbatim from al-Najashi’s entry on him in his Fihrist to get a sense of the greatness of the man.

صفوان بن يحيى أبو محمد البجلي بياع السايري، كوفي، ثقة ثقة، عين، روى أبوه عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام، وروى هو عن الرضا عليه السلام، وكانت له عنده منزلة شريفة، ذكره الكشي في رجال أبي الحسن موسى عليه السلام، وقد توكل للرضا وأبي جعفر عليهما السلام وسلم مذهبه من الوقف، وكانت له منزلة من الزهد والعبادة، وكان جماعة الواقفة بذلوا له مالا كثيرا، وكان شريكا لعبد الله بن جندب وعلي بن النعمان، وروي أنهم تعاقدوافي بيت الله الحرام أنه من مات منهم صلى من بقي صلاته وصام عنه صيامه وزكى عنه زكاته، فماتا وبقى صفوان، فكان يصلي في كل يوم مائة وخمسين ركعة، ويصوم في السنة ثلاثة أشهر ويزكي زكاته ثلاث دفعات، وكل ما يتبرع به عن نفسه مما عدا ما ذكرناه تبرع عنهما مثله وحكى بعض أصحابنا أن إنسانا كلفه حمل دينارين إلى أهله إلى الكوفة، فقال: إن جمالي مكراة وأنا أستأذن الأجراء، وكان من الورع والعبادة على ما لم يكن عليه أحد من طبقته رحمه الله، وصنف ثلاثين كتابا ... مات صفوان بن يحيى رحمه الله سنة عشرة ومائتين

Safwan b. Yahya, Abu Muhammad al-Bajali, the seller of Shapuri clothing. Kufan. Thiqatun Thiqa, Ayn. His father narrated from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام while he himself narrated from al-Ridha عليه السلام and had an esteemed status in his [al-Ridha's] eyes. al-Kashshi mentioned him among the narrators from Abi al-Hasan Musa عليه السلام. He acted as a Wakil [agent] for both al-Ridha عليه السلام and Abi Ja`far [al-Jawad] عليه السلام. His Madhhab was saved from Waqf [he did not fall into the error of “stopping” at al-Kadhim like so many companions]. He had a high standing in renunciation [of the world] and worship. The Waqifi group had offered him a lot of wealth [enticing him to join them and forsake al-Ridha].

He [Safwan b. Yahya] was a partner of Abdallah b. Jundab and Ali b. al-Nu'man. It is narrated that they made a pact in the sanctified House of Allah - that whoever dies from among them - those who remain will pray the prayers for the departed (on his behalf), and fast for him his fasts, and give out Zakat for him, so they both died, and Safwan remained, so he used to pray in every day one hundred and fifty Rak'at (i.e. 50*3), and fast in every year three months, and pay the Zakat in three portions, and whatever (thing of) righteousness that he did for himself - apart from what we have mentioned - he used to also do for them (on their behalf) its like.

One of our companions reported that a man entrusted him with two silver coins to take to his family which was in Kufa so he [Safwan] said: I have rented out my camel and I will ask the owner for permission to carry this! [noting his scrupulousness in meeting the rights of others]. No one from among his peers could equal him in matters of self-restraint [from sins] and worship. He authored thirty books … Safwan b. Yahya - may Allah have mercy on him - died in the year 210. 


[2/182] تهذيب الاحكام: باسناده عن محمد بن احمد بن يحيى عن محمد بن عيسى اليقطيني قال: بعث الي ابوالحسن الرضا عليه السلام رزم ثياب وغلمانا وحجة لي وحجة لاخى موسى بن عبيد وحجة ليونس بن عبدالرحمن فامرنا ان نحج عنه فكانت بيننا مائة دينار اثلاثا فيما بيننا فلما اردت ان اعبي الثياب رايت في اضعاف الثياب طينا فقلت للرسول: ما هذا؟ فقال: ليس يوجه بمتاع إلا جعل فيه طينا من قبر الحسين عليه السلام ثم قال الرسول: قال ابوالحسن عليه السلام: هو امان باذن الله، وامرنا بالمال بامور من صلة اهل بيته وقوم محاويج لايؤبه لهم، وامر بدفع ثلاثمائة دينار إلى رحم امرأة كانت له وامرنى ان اطلقها عنه وامتعها بهذا المال، وامرنى ان اشهد على طلاقها صفوان ابن يحيى وآخر، نسي محمد بن عيسى اسمه

[2/182] Tahdhib al-Ahkam: Via his chain to Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Yahya from Muhammad b. Isa al-Yaqtini who said: Abu al-Hasan al-Ridha عليه السلام sent me a bundle of clothes, servants and money covering [the expenses of] my Hajj, that of my brother Musa b. Ubayd, and for Yunus b. Abd al-Rahman - ordering us to make the Hajj on his behalf, so we had a hundred gold coins to be divided up three ways between us. When I wanted to ready the clothes [for the journey] I saw between them some soil, I said to the messenger: what is this? he said: he [the Imam] does not send out any item except that he places in it some soil from the grave of al-Husayn عليه السلام, then the messenger said: Abu al-Hasan عليه السلام said: it [the soil] is to provide you safety by the permission of Allah. He also handed us some additional amount to be used to maintain relation with the people of his house and to assist a group who were needy and went un-cared for [in Madina]. He ordered that three hundred gold coins be given to a relation of a woman who was under him [his wife] and ordered me to divorce her on his behalf and provide for her from this amount. He ordered me to make Safwan b. Yahya and another man - whose name Muhammad b. Isa forgot - as witnesses to the divorce.


This last narration confirms the Istihbab of using the soil of Karbala for Tabarruk as was done by the Imam. Also, the permissibility of deputizing someone to divorce on your behalf. The Imam had to this because he had been summoned from Madina to Khurasan by Ma`mun who would never allow him out of his sight again. The Imam had many dependents in Madina and did not cut ties of relation with them. There were also a group of needy with whom no one bothered with except for the Imam. The fact that the Imam nominates Safwan as one of the witnesses to the divorce being done on his behalf shows that he considered him to be Adil. 

Edited by Islamic Salvation

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3.67. Dhurays b. Abd al-Malik



[1/183] رجال الكشي: حمدويه، عن يعقوب بن يزيد، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن علي بن عطية قال: قال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام لعبد الملك بن أعين: كيف سميت ابنك ضريسا؟ فقال كيف سماك أبوك جعفرا؟ قال: إن جعفرا نهر في الجنة و ضريس اسم شيطان

[1/183] Rijal al-Kashshi: Hamduwayh from Ya`qub b. Yazid from Ibn Abi Umayr from Ali b. `Atiyya who said: Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said to Abd al-Malik b. A`yan: how did you come to name your son Dhurays? he said: how did your father come to name you Ja’far? he [the Imam] said: Ja`far is a river in paradise while Dhurays is a name of a devil!


There was a level of impertinence in the question of Abd al-Malik to the Imam and he got what was coming to him i.e. a telling off.

However, this does not negate from the fact that both Abd al-Malik b. A`yan and Dhurays were prominent companions of the `Aimma and have been praised by them.

حمدويه، قال: سمعت أشياخي يقولون: ضريس إنما سمي بالكناسي لأن تجارته بالكناسة، وكان تحته بنت حمران، وهو خير، فاضل، ثقة

[al-Kashshi] Hamduwayh said: I heard my teachers saying: Dhurays was called al-Kunasi because his business was in in Kunasa [a district in Kufa with vast marketplaces]. He married the daughter of Humran [b. A`yan] [i.e. He married his cousin because Abd al-Malik and Humran were brothers]. He was good, merituous, and trust-worthy [Thiqa].

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3.68. A`sim b. Umar al-Bajali and Ka`b al-Ahbar



[1/184] الكافي: علي بن إبراهيم، عن أبيه ; ومحمد بن إسماعيل، عن الفضل بن شاذان جميعا عن ابن أبي عمير، عن عمر بن اذينة، عن زرارة قال: كنت قاعدا إلى جنب أبي جعفر عليه السلام وهو محتب مستقبل الكعبة، فقال: أما إن النظر إليها عبادة فجاءه رجل من بجيلة يقال له: عاصم بن عمر فقال لابي جعفر عليه السلام: إن كعب الاحبار كان يقول: إن الكعبة تسجد لبيت المقدس في كل غداة، فقال أبوجعفر عليه السلام: فما تقول فيما قال كعب؟ فقال: صدق، القول ما قال كعب فقال أبوجعفر عليه السلام: كذبت وكذب كعب الاحبار معك وغضب ; قال زرارة مارأيته استقبل أحدا بقول كذبت غيره ...

[1/184] al-Kafi: Ali b. Ibrahim from his father and Muhammad b. Ismail from al-Fadhl b. Shadhan all together from Ibn Abi Umayr from Umar b. Udhayna from Zurara who said: I was seated at the side of Abi Ja`far عليه السلام who was seated with his legs drawn up to the belly [enfolding them with his hands] while facing the Ka`ba when he [the Imam] said: looking at it [the Ka`ba] is a form of worship. Then a man from Bajila called A`sim b. Umar came to him and said: Ka`b al-Ahbar used to say: the Ka`ba prostrates to Bayt al-Maqdis every morning, Abu Ja`far عليه السلام said: what is your opinion about what Ka`b said? He [A`sim] said: he spoke the truth - it is as Ka`b said, so Abu Ja`far عليه السلام said: you have lied and Ka`b al-Ahbar has lied with you, and he became angry, Zurara said: I had never seen him saying to someone ‘you have lied’ to his face other than to him [i.e. A`sim] …


The Imam is very clear in accusing Ka`b al-Ahbar of being a liar. Islam has incurred a lot of damage because of the Israiliyyat that were introduced by this “Rabbi” from Yemen its body. It is known that a lot of the reports of Abu Hurayra for example, such as about the creation of the world, are actually the Haggadic musings of Ka`b which were then attributed to the prophet to give them greater authority and have now become indistinguishable from authentic material. It is only because we are blessed in following the guardians of the true Sunnah that we are protected from this pitfall.

Ka`b is the one who claimed to have read a prophesy about the redeeming qualities of Umar [hence his title Faruq] in the books of the Bani Israil [most likely apocalyptic pseudopigrapha] when he conquered and rode into Jerusalem. He later became a partisan of Uthman and had Muawiya’s ear for his advertised ability to predict the names of future rulers based on his reading of the scriptures. As he is supposed to have said: “"Every event that has taken place or will take place, on any foot of the earth, is written in the Torah, which Allah revealed to His Prophet Moses”.

One of the genre popularized by such story-tellers is that of the Fadhail [merit] of Bayt al-Maqdis, the temple mount and Sham as a whole. This was initiated by Muawiya who gave patronage to Ka`b and asked him to narrate what he knows so as to justify his seat of government being in Sham and placate the mixed population of the area. It was then accelerated by the Marwanid project to surmount the precedence of the Ka`ba which was under Zubayrid control in the counter-Caliphate. On the other hand, in our corpus, you find that it is the ancient sites in Hijaz and the Iraq [where past previous prophets are known to have lived] which are given more importance.   

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3.69. `Amir b. Wathila



[-/1] رجال الكشي: محمد بن مسعود، عن علي بن الحسين علي بن فضال، عن عباس بن عامر، عن أبان بن عثمان، عن شهاب بن عبد ربه قال: قلت لأبي عبد الله عليه السلام كيف أصبحت جعلت فداك؟ قال: أصبحت أقول كما قال أبو الطفيل عامر بن واثلة: 
و إن لأهل الحق لا بد دولة *** على الناس إياها أرجى و أرقب
قال: أنا و الله ممن يرجى و يرقب 

[1/-] Rijal al-Kashshi: Muhammad b. Masud from Ali b. al-Hasan b. Ali b. Fadhal from Abbas b. `Amir from Aban b. Uthman from Shihab b. Abd Rabbi who said: I said to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام: may I be made your ransom - how do you feel this morning? he said: I have woken up repeating what was said by Abu al-Tufyal `Amir b. Wathila: 

There must undoubtedly be for the People of Truth a period of rule over the masses
For which I am ever hopeful and constantly in wait

He [al-Sadiq] said: by Allah I am one of those hoping and waiting.


`Amir b. Wathila lived through eight years of the life of the prophet صلى الله عليه وآله having been born in the year of the battle of Uhud (3 AH). 

حَدَّثَنَا عُبَيْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ عُمَرَ الْقَوَارِيرِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الأَعْلَى بْنُ عَبْدِ الأَعْلَى، عَنِ الْجُرَيْرِيِّ، عَنْ أَبِي الطُّفَيْلِ، قَالَ رَأَيْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَمَا عَلَى وَجْهِ الأَرْضِ رَجُلٌ رَآهُ غَيْرِي ‏.‏ قَالَ فَقُلْتُ لَهُ فَكَيْفَ رَأَيْتَهُ قَالَ كَانَ أَبْيَضَ مَلِيحًا مُقَصَّدًا

Ubaydallah b. Umar al-Qawariri - Abd al-A`la b. Abd al-A`la - al-Jariri - Abu Tufayl who said: I saw the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم and there is no one on the face of the Earth [alive currently] who had seen him except me! he [al-Jariri] said: I said to him: how did you find him to be? he said: he had a bright complexion, good-looking and of moderate height. [Sahih Muslim]

قَالَ مُسْلِمُ بْنُ الْحَجَّاجِ: مَاتَ أَبُو الطُّفَيْلِ سَنَةَ مِائَةٍ وَكَانَ آخِرَ مَنْ مَاتَ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ رَسُولِ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ

Muslim b. al-Hajjaj said: Abu Tufayl died in the year one hundred [100 AH], and he was the last to die among all the companions of the messenger of Allah صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ

He became a faithful companion to Ali عليه السلام and participated in all three battles [Jamal, Siffin, Nahrawan] with him.

محمد بن سلام الجمحي عن عبد الرحمن الهمداني قال: دخل أبو الطفيل على معاوية فقال: كيف حبك له؟ قال: حب أم موسى لموسى، وإلى الله أشكو التقصير

Muhammad b. Salam al-Jumhi - Abd al-Rahman al-Hamdani who said: Abu Tufayl entered in to see Muawiya [after the latter had become Caliph] who said to him: how was your love for him [Ali]? he said: like the love of the mother of Musa for Musa! and to Allah I complain for the deficiency [i.e. yet my love is not as he deserves]. [Ta`rikh Madinat Dimashq]

Despite Abu Tufayl being a companion, this did not stop some of the proto-Sunni traditionists from feeling uneasy about his beliefs. He is accused of 'crimes' ranging from believing in the superiority of Ali among all the Sahaba to the acceptance of the Raj`a [return of the dead]. Mughira al-Dhabbi rejected his narrations and Ibn Qutayba includes his name among the Ghulat [extremists] among the Rafidha, and

All this caused Ibn Hajar to exclaim: صحابي أخطأ من تكلم فيه

He was a companion. The one who talks negatively about him is mistaken.

What must have rankled them also must have been his close association with al-Mukhtar b. Abi Ubayda [which led to Ibn Hazm rejecting his narrations]. al-Kashshi goes a step further and says:

كان عامر بن واثلة كيسانيا ممن يقول بحياة محمد بن الحنفية، و له في ذلك شعر، و خرج تحت راية المختار بن أبي عبيدة ...

`Amir b. Wathila was a Kaysani who believed in the continuing existence of Muhammad b.al-Hanafiyya and had poems expressing that belief. He came out under the banner of al-Mukhtar b. Abi Ubayda ...


[2/185] الخصال: محمد بن الحسن بن أحمد بن الوليد، عن محمد بن الحسن الصفار، عن محمد بن الحسين بن أبي الخطاب ويعقوب بن يزيد جميعا، عن محمد بن أبي عمير، عن عبد الله بن سنان، عن معروف بن خربوذ، عن أبي الطفيل عامر بن واثلة، عن حذيفة بن أسيد الغفاري قال: لما رجع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله من حجة الوداع ونحن معه أقبل حتى انتهى إلى الجحفة فأمر أصحابه بالنزول فنزل القوم منازلهم، ثم نودي بالصلاة فصلى بأصحابه ركعتين، ثم أقبل بوجهه إليهم فقال لهم: إنه قد نبأني اللطيف الخبير أني ميت وأنكم ميتون، وكأني قد دعيت فاجبت وأني مسؤول عما ارسلت به إليكم، وعما خلفت فيكم من كتاب الله وحجته وأنكم مسؤولون، فما أنتم قائلون لربكم؟ قالوا: نقول: قد بلغت ونصحت وجاهدت فجزاك الله عنا أفضل الجزاء ثم قال لهم: ألستم تشهدون أن لا إله إلا الله وأني رسول الله إليكم وأن الجنة حق؟ وأن النار حق؟ وأن البعث بعد الموت حق؟ فقالوا: نشهد بذلك، قال: اللهم اشهد على ما يقولون، ألا وإني اشهدكم أني أشهد أن الله مولاي، وأنا مولى كل مسلم، وأنا أولى بالمؤمنين من أنفسهم، فهل تقرون لي بذلك، وتشهدون لي به؟ فقالوا: نعم نشهد لك بذلك، فقال: ألا من كنت مولاه فإن عليا مولاه وهو هذا، ثم أخذ بيد علي عليه السلام فرفعها مع يده حتى بدت آباطهما ثم قال: اللهم وال من والاه، وعاد من عاداه، وانصر من نصره واخذل من خذله، ألا وإني فرطكم وأنتم واردون علي الحوض، حوضي غدا وهو حوض عرضه ما بين بصرى وصنعاء فيه أقداح من فضة عدد نجوم السماء، ألا وإني سائلكم غدا ماذا صنعتم فيما أشهدت الله به عليكم في يومكم هذا إذا وردتم علي حوضي، وماذا صنعتم بالثقلين من بعدي فانظروا كيف تكونون خلفتموني فيهما حين تلقوني قالوا: وما هذان الثقلان يا رسول الله؟ قال: أما الثقل الاكبر فكتاب الله عزوجل، سبب ممدود من الله ومني في أيديكم، طرفه بيد الله والطرف الآخر بأيديكم، فيه علم ما مضى وما بقي إلى أن تقوم الساعة، وأما الثقل الاصغر فهو حليف القرآن وهو علي بن أبي طالب و عترته عليهم السلام، وإنهما لن يفترقا حتى يردا علي الحوض. قال معروف بن خربوذ: فعرضت هذا الكلام على أبي جعفر عليه السلام فقال: صدق أبوالطفيل رحمه الله هذا الكلام وجدناه في كتاب علي عليه السلام وعرفناه

[2/185] al-Khisal: Muhammad b. al-Hasan b. Ahmad b. al-Walid from Muhammad b. al-Hasan al-Saffar from Muhammad b. al-Husayn b. Abi al-Khattab and Ya`qub b. Yazid from Muhammad b. Abi Umayr from Abdallah b. Sinan from Ma`ruf b. Kharrabudh from Abi Tufayl `Amir b. Wathila from Hudhayfa b. Asid al-Ghiffari who said: We were with the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وآله when he was returning from his farewell pilgrimage. He went forth until he reached Juhfa where he ordered his companions to decamp. The call for prayer was made and he led his companions in a two-unit prayer. After that he turned his face to them and said: The Kind and All-Aware has informed me that I am to die and you too will one day die. It is as though I have been called and have responded. I am to be asked about that which I was sent with for you and also what I leave behind in your midst including the Book of Allah and His proof - and you too shall be asked - so what are you going to reply to your Lord? They said: we will say ‘you have conveyed, counselled and struggled, so may Allah reward you on our behalf the best of rewards’.      

Then he said to them: do you bear witness that there is no God but Allah and that I am the messenger of Allah? that the Paradise is a reality, the Fire is a reality and the resurrection after death is reality? They said: we bear witness to that, he said: O Allah witness what they say. Behold! I make you witnesses that I myself bear witness that Allah is my Mawla, and that I am the Mawla of every Muslim, and that I have a greater claim over the believers than their own selves, do you admit to that and bear witness to it about me? They said: yes, we witness that to be true about you. He said: Behold! To whomsoever I am a Mawla then Ali is also his Mawla, and he is this one, and he took Ali by the hand and raised it with his own hand until their armpits became visible, then he said: O Allah – be a guardian to whomever takes him to be a guardian, and be an enemy to whomever takes him to be an enemy, aid the one who aids him and abandon the one who abandons him.    

Behold! I will proceed you but you will catch up with me at the reservoir – my Lake-fount – tomorrow. It is a Lake-fount whose breadth is like the distance between Busra and San`a. In it are goblets made of silver like the number of stars in the sky. Behold! I will ask you tomorrow about what you did in regards that which I made Allah bear witness to - over you - in this day of yours when you reach my Lake-fount.

And also about what you did with regards the ‘Two Weighty Things’ after me, so take care of how you will preserve my legacy in them when you meet me. They said: and what are these ‘Two Weighty Things’ O the messenger of Allah? he said: as for the greater weighty thing then it is the Book of Allah Mighty and Majestic, a rope extending from Allah and myself in your hands, one end of it is by the hand of Allah and the other end is in your hands, in it is the knowledge of what has passed and what is left until the Hour comes. As for the smaller weighty thing it is the ally of the Qur`an, and that is Ali b. Abi Talib and his descendants عليهم السلام – the two will not separate until they return to me at the Lake-fount. 

Ma`ruf b. Kharrabudh said: I relayed these words to Abi Ja`far عليه السلام so he said: Abu Tufayl has spoken the truth - may Allah have mercy on him - we have found this speech in the book of Ali and do recognize it.

Edited by Islamic Salvation

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3.70. `Abbad al-Basri



[1/186] رجال الكشي: محمد بن مسعود، عن عبد الله بن محمد، عن الحسن بن علي الوشاء، عن ابن سنان قال: سمعت أبا عبد الله عليه السلام يقول: بينا أنا في الطواف إذا رجل يجذب ثوبي، فالتفت فإذا عباد البصري، قال: يا جعفر بن محمد تلبس مثل هذا الثوب و أنت في الموضع الذي أنت فيه من علي صلوات الله عليه قال: قلت: ويلك هذا ثوب قوهي أشتر بدينار و كسر، و كان علي عليه السلام في زمان يستقيم له ما لبس فيه، و لو لبست مثل ذلك اللباس في زماننا لقال الناس هذا مراء مثل عباد!

[1/186] Rijal al-Kashshi: Muhammad b. Masud from Abdallah b. Muhammad from al-Hasan b. Ali al-Washsha from Ibn Sinan who said: I heard Aba Abdillah عليه السلام saying: while I was making the Tawaf someone started pulling my garment. I turned to look at him and discovered that he was `Abbad al-Basri. He [`Abbad] said: O Ja`far bin Muhammad - you wear this type of cloth while you are who you are in terms of your close relation with Ali صلوات الله عليه [i.e. are his descendant]? He عليه السلام said: I said to him - woe be upon you, this is a cloth from Kuhistan that I have bought by a Dinar and a few [Dirhams], Ali عليه السلام was in an age wherein what he wore was befitting for it, but if I were to wear a similar type of attire in this age the people would say - this one is a pretender of piety [show off] like `Abbad!


Every age has its convention. Ali was in an age where poverty was rampant because Islam had not gained the supremacy it would later acquire - he wanted to show his support for the poor. Wearing such a type of cloth in the time of al-Sadiq would be an open show of ostentation. Obviously, real humility is in the heart.

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3.72. - 3.73. Abd al-Hamid b. Salim and Muhammad b. Ismail b. Bazi`



[1/187] تهذيب الاحكام: باسناده عن أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى عن العباس بن معروف عن علي بن مهزيار عن محمد بن اسماعيل بن بزيع قال: ان رجلا من اصحابنا مات ولم يوص فرفع امره إلى قاضي الكوفة فصير عبدالحميد بن سالم القيم بماله وكان رجلا خلف ورثة صغارا ومتاعا وجواري، فباع عبدالحميد المتاع فلما اراد بيع الجواري ضعف قلبه في بيعهن ولم يكن الميت صير اليه وصيته وكان قيامه بها بامر القاضي لانهن فروج قال محمد: فذكرت ذلك لابي جعفر عليه السلام فقلت: جعلت فداك يموت الرجل من اصحابنا فلا يوصي إلى أحد وخلف جوارى فيقيم القاضي رجلا منا لبيعهن أو قال يقوم بذلك رجل منا فيضعف قلبه لانهن فروج فما ترى في ذلك؟ فقال: اذا كان القيم مثلك ومثل عبدالحميد فلا باس

[1/187] Tahdhib al-Ahkam: Via his chain to Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa from al-Abbas b. Ma`ruf from Ali b. Mahziyar from Muhammad b. Ismail b. Bazi` who said: a man from among our companions [fellow Shia] died and did not leave a will. His case was referred to the judge [Qadhi] of Kufa [a Sunni] who appointed Abd al-Hamid b. Salim as the supervisor of his [the dead man’s] wealth. The man had left behind small children as inheritors, some house-hold items and slave-women. Abd al-Hamid sold the items but when he wanted to sell off the slave-women his heart had misgivings about selling them because they were Furuj [had had a relation of a sexual nature with the master] and the deceased had not appointed him as executor of his will - the matter had only fallen to him because of the order of the judge. Muhammad said: I relayed this to Abi Ja`far عليه السلام and said: may I be made your ransom - a man from among our companions dies without willing to anyone and has left behind slave-women, it happens that the judge appoints a man from among us to over-see their sale but his heart has misgivings because they are Furuj - what is your ruling about that? he said: if the supervisor is someone like you or Abd al-Hamid then there is no problem.  


This Hadith has been used as one of the evidences in discussions concerning the extent of the Wilaya (guardianship) of the Faqih in the age of the Ghayba, needles to say, this is not the place to delve into that. In our Fiqh, when the inheritors are incapacitated and cannot assume direct ownership of their inheritance, the responsibility falls to the Hakim [ruler] to act on their behalf. What is meant by the ruler is the Just Sultan [the Imam] or his appointed deputy. Historical reality meant that the `Aimma were not in power and could not discharge their prerogative. Naturally, the lacuna was filled by unsanctioned temporal rulers and their subordinates, calling into question the legality of the decisions they make.

A fallible supervisor could be over-riding the wishes of the deceased [who has not left a will] or going against the best interests of the minor inheritors. The Imam has been divinely appointed as a guardian of the Umma, he has more of a right to their possessions than even themselves, his decisions faithfully speak for the minor who cannot speak for himself, they will be considered final and cannot be overturned at any point in time, but from where do these ‘others’ derive their ability to intervene into the affairs of others?

Abd al-Hamid b. Salim had misgivings about the slave-women in particular because they had enjoyed sexual relations with their master. Selling them off without knowing their exact status is more perilous Fiqhi-wise than inanimate objects. For example, the master might have made some unverifiable promise to them, or one of them could be pregnant, in which case the offspring is considered the lawful reproductive issue of the master and the Umm Walad [this slave woman who has given birth to the master's son] should be freed as a consequence of the master’s death [having fallen into the son’s share of the inheritance].

Another potential difference between the sale of slave-women and other assets is as follows: the legality of using assets purchased by a sale contract which was void - can be retrospectively maintained through the consent of the 'previous' owner, the same is not true in the case of slave-women, if the sale contract is void it means that all relations proceeding thereafter such as marriage, offspring are called into question

The Imam gives a general dispensation to some of his followers to assume such positions of stewardship on behalf of minors provided they fulfill certain requirements. The clause ‘if it is someone like you …’ has been taken to mean - at the very least - the requirement of Wathaqa [trust-worthiness] and administrative capability for a guardian [this is what Aql demands]. It is clear that this was possessed by both Muhammad b. Ismail b. Bazi` and Abd al-Hamid b. Salim. The Imam trusts them to dispense with the matter in a correct and judicious manner after due diligence.

Why should not the Imam trust someone like Muhammad b. Ismail b. Bazi` when we are told about him:

محمد بن إسماعيل بن بزيع ... كان من صالحي هذه الطائفة وثقاتهم، كثير العمل ...

[Najashi] Muhammad b. Ismail b. Bazi` was one of the most righteous men in this sect and their most trust-worthy. He performed a lot of virtuous acts …

أخبرنا والدي رحمه الله، قال: أخبرنا محمد بن علي بن الحسين، قال: حدثنا محمد بن علي ماجيلويه، عن علي بن إبراهيم، عن أبيه، عن علي بن معبد، عن الحسين بن خالد الصيرفي قال: كنا عند الرضا عليه السلام ونحن جماعة فذكر محمد بن إسماعيل بن بزيع، فقال: وددت أن فيكم مثله

[Najashi] My father - Muhammad b. Ali b. al-Husayn - Muhammad b. Ali b. Majilwayh - Ali b. Ibrahim - his father - Ali b. Ma`bad - al-Husayn b. Khalid al-Sayrafi who said: a group of us were in the presence of al-Ridha عليه السلام when he [the Imam] mentioned Muhammad b. Ismail b. Bazi` and said: I would love it if there was someone like him among you. 

Edited by Islamic Salvation

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3.74. Abd al-Khaliq b. Abd Rabbi



[-/1] رجال الكشي: محمد بن مسعود، عن عبد الله بن محمد، عن أبي، عن إسماعيل بن عبد الخالق قال: ذكر أبو عبد الله عليه السلام أبي فقال: صلى الله على أبيك ثلاثا

[1/-] Rijal al-Kashshi: Muhammad b. Masud from Abdallah b. Muhammad from his father from Ismail b. Abd al-Khaliq who said: Abu Abdillah عليه السلام remembered my father and said: may Allah bless your father - thrice.


al-Najashi says the following in the entry of his son Ismail b. Abd al-Khaliq:

إسماعيل بن عبد الخالق بن عبد ربه بن أبي ميمونة بن يسار، مولى بني أسد، وجه من وجوه أصحابنا، وفقيه من فقهائنا، وهو من بيت الشيعة، عمومته: شهاب، وعبد الرحيم، ووهب، وأبوه عبد الخالق، كلهم ثقات، رووا عن أبي جعفر وأبي عبد الله عليهما السلام ...

Ismail b. Abd al-Khaliq b. Abd Rabbi b. Abi Maymuna b. Yasar, a client of the Bani Asad, an eminent head among our companions, and a jurist among our jurists, he is from a large clan of the Shia, his paternal uncles - Shihab, Abd al-Rahim, Wahb and his father Abd al-Khaliq were all Thiqa, they narrated from Abi Ja`far and Abi Abdillah عليهما السلام …

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3.75. Abdallah b. Abi Ya`fur



[89/188] رجال الكشي: حمدويه، عن محمد بن عيسى، عن صفوان، عن حماد الناب قال: قلت لأبي عبد الله عليه السلام: عبد الله بن أبي يعفور يقرئك السلام قال: و عليه السلام

[89/188] Rijal al-Kashshi: Hamduwayh from Muhammad b. Isa from Safwan from Hammad al-Nab who said: I said to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام: Abdallah b. Abi Ya`fur sends you greetings of peace, he said: and upon him be peace. 


[90/189] رجال الكشي: حمدويه بن نصير، عن محمد بن عيسى، عن سعيد بن جناح، عن عدة من أصحابنا و قال العبيدي حدثني به أيضا عن ابن أبي عمير: أن ابن أبي يعفور و معلى بن خنيس كانا بالنيل على عهد أبي عبد الله عليه السلام فاختلفا في ذبائح اليهود، فأكل معلى و لم يأكل ابن أبي يعفور، فلما صارا إلى أبي عبد الله عليه السلام أخبراه، فرضي بفعل ابن أبي يعفور و خطا المعلى في أكله إياه

[90/189] Rijal al-Kashshi: Hamduwayh b. Nusayr from Muhammad b. Isa b. Ubayd from Sa`id b. Janah from a number of our companions [al-Ubaydi said: Ibn Abi Umayr also narrated this to me]: Ibn Abi Ya`fur and Mu`alla b. Khunays were travelling by the Nile in the lifetime of Abi Abdillah عليه السلام when they differed over eating the meat slaughtered by Jews. Mu`alla ate it but Ibn Abi Ya`fur did not. They informed Abi Abdillah عليه السلام of this when they met him, he was pleased with what Ibn Abi Ya`fur had done and rebuked al-Mu`alla for eating it.


This is what al-Najashi has to say about Abdallah:

عبد الله بن أبي يعفور العبدي - واسم أبي يعفور واقد وقيل وقدان - يكنى أبا محمد، ثقة ثقة، جليل في أصحابنا، كريم على أبي عبد الله عليه السلام، ومات في أيامه، وكان قارئا يقرئ في مسجد الكوفة ...

Abdallah b. Abi Ya`fur al-Abdi. Abi Ya`fur’s name was Waqid. It is also alternatively said that it was Waqdan. He had the agnomen Aba Muhammad. Thiqatun Thiqa. Esteemed among our companions. Honourable in the eyes of Abi Abdillah عليه السلام. He died in his [al-Sadiq’s] lifetime. He was a Qur`an reciter teaching the Qur`an in the Masjid of Kufa

The narrations included below, despite having some defects in their chains, are consistent with the general character and status of the man:

أبو محمد الشامي الدمشقي، عن أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى، عن علي بن الحكم، عن زياد بن أبي الحلال قال: سمعت أبا عبد الله عليه السلام يقول: ما أحد أدى إلينا ما افترض الله عليه فينا إلا عبد الله بن أبي يعفور

Abu Muhammad al-Shami al-Dimashqi – Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa – Ali b. al-Hakam – Ziyad b. Abi al-Hallal who said: I heard Aba Abdillah عليه السلام saying: no one has fulfilled what Allah has made incumbent on him concerning us except Abdallah b. Abi Ya`fur.

حدثنا أبو الحسن علي بن محمد بن قتيبة النيسابوري، قال: حدثنا أبو محمد الفضل بن شاذان، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن عدة من أصحابنا، قال: كان أبو عبد الله عليه السلام يقول: ما وجدت أحدا يقبل وصيتي ويطيع أمري إلا عبد الله بن أبي يعفور

Abu al-Hasan Ali b. Muhammad b. Qutayba al-Naysaburi – Abu Muhammad al-Fadhl b. Shadhan – Ibn Abi Umayr – a number of our companions who said: Abu Abdillah عليه السلام used to say: I have not found anyone accepting my instructions and obeying my orders except Abdallah b. Abi Ya`fur.

حمدويه، قال: حدثنا محمد بن الحسين، عن الحكم بن مسكين الثقفي، قال: حدثني أبو حمزة معقل العجلي، عن عبد الله بن أبي يعفور قال: قلت لأبي عبد الله عليه السلام: والله لو فلقت رمانة بنصفين فقلت هذا حرام وهذا حلال لشهدت أن الذي قلت حلال حلال، وأن الذي قلت حرام حرام، فقال: رحمك الله رحمك الله

Hamduwayh – Muhammad b. al-Husayn – al-Hakam b. Miskiyn al-Thaqafi – Abu Hamza Ma`qil al-Ijli – Abdallah b. Abi Ya`fur who said: I said to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام: I swear by Allah! if you were to split a pomegranate into half and say: ‘this half is Haram and that half is Halal’, I would have borne witness that the one which you said is Halal is indeed Halal and the one which you said is Haram is indeed Haram! So he said: may Allah have mercy on you, may Allah have mercy on you.

حمدويه، قال: حدثنا أيوب بن نوح، عن محمد بن الفضيل، عن أبي أسامة قال: دخلت على أبي عبد الله عليه السلام لأودعه، فقال لي: يا زيد مالكم وللناس قد حملتم الناس علي؟ إني والله ما وجدت أحدا يطيعني ويأخذ بقولي إلا رجلا واحدا - رحمة الله عليه - عبد الله بن أبي يعفور فإني أمرته وأوصيته بوصية فاتبع أمري وأخذ بقولي

Hamduwayh – Ayyub b. Nuh – Muhammad b. Fudhayl – Abi Usama who said: I entered upon Abi Abdillah عليه السلام to bid him farewell, he said to me: O Ziyad, what do you have to do with the people! you have turned the people against me! I have – by Allah – not found anyone obeying me and taking on my words except a single man – may Allah have mercy on him – Abdallah b. Abi Ya`fur, for I had ordered him and instructed him with a set of instructions and he followed my command and took on my words.

Edited by Islamic Salvation

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3.76. Abdallah b. al-Imam al-Sadiq



[1/190] ارشاد المفيد: ابن قولويه، عن الكليني، عن محمد بن يحيى، عن أحمد بن محمد بن عيسى، عن أبي يحيى الواسطي، عن هشام بن سالم قال: كنا بالمدينة بعد وفاة أبي عبد الله عليه السلام أنا ومحمد بن النعمان صاحب الطاق، والناس مجتمعون عند عبد الله بن جعفر أنه صاحب الامر بعد أبيه، فدخلنا عليه والناس عنده فسألناه عن الزكاة في كم تجب؟ قال: في مائتين درهم خمسة دراهم، فقلنا ففي مائة درهم؟ قال: درهمان ونصف، قلنا: والله ما تقول المرجئة هذا فقال: والله ما أدري ما تقول المرجئة، قال: فخرجنا ضلالا ... قلت: جعلت فداك إن عبد الله أخاك يزعم أنه الامام بعد أبيه فقال: عبد الله يريد أن لا يعبد الله ... وبقي عبد الله لا يدخل إليه من الناس إلا قليل

[1/190] Irshad al-Mufid: Ibn Qulawayh from al-Kulayni from Muhammad b. Yahya from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa from Abi Yahya al-Wasiti from Hisham b. Salim who said: Muhammad b. al-Nu`man Sahib al-Taq and I were in Madina after the death of Abi Abdillah عليه السلام and the people had gathered around Abdallah b. Ja`far - considering him to be the master of the affair after his father. We entered in to meet him while the people were with him, we asked him about the Zakat - at what amount is it to be levied? He said: five silver coins for every two hundred, we said: what about in a hundred silver coins? he said: two and a half silver coins, we said: by Allah this is what the Murjia say! he said: by Allah I do not even know what the Murjia say! He [Hisham] said: so we came out feeling lost … I said: may I be made your ransom, your brother Abdallah claims that he is the Imam after his father, he [al-Kadhim] said: Abdallah wants that Allah not be worshipped … and the people abandoned Abdallah and no one entered in to see him except very few.  


The full narration will come in the book of Imama. Abdallah al-Aftah (d. 149) was the second eldest son of al-Sadiq and claimed the Imama after the death of his father. “al-Aftah” which was his title most probably refers to a physical trait and is taken by most scholars to mean that he was broad-footed. A lot of the companions accepted him as his father’s successor and he only began losing support when he faced questions such as the above and failed to answer them satisfactorily.

One way of investigating the veracity of someone claiming the Imama was for the senior companions to test the knowledge of the pretender, in this case, the Nisab of Zakat. Zakat is 5 Dirhams on 200. This is 2.5%. Analogically extending this rate to a 100 Dirhams would line up with Abdallah's answer of 2.5 Dirhams. However, Zakat is only due when the amount has reached at least 200 Dirhams, so the correct answer would have been 0, not 2.5 as answered. A true Imam wouldn’t have made this mistake. al-Aftah falls short, essentially disqualifying him from the position.

Another factor which led to disillusionment with him was when he went on to die very soon after the death of al-Sadiq, some seventy days later. Despite this, there remained some companions who continued to believe in his Imama and added him to the list of legitimate Imams, these were the Fathiyya who considered al-Kadhim to be the eigth Imam after his brother. A  number of important scholars were drawn from their ranks and they were virtually indistinguishable from the “conventional” Imamis because the short tenure of al-Aftah meant that he did not impact Shi’i jurisprudence in any significant way.  

Edited by Islamic Salvation

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