Jump to content
Guests can now reply in ALL forum topics (No registration required!) ×
Guests can now reply in ALL forum topics (No registration required!)
In the Name of God بسم الله

Laayla

Advanced Members
  • Content Count

    4,168
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    8

Reputation Activity

  1. Like
    Laayla reacted to starlight for a blog entry, Ahlul Bayt (as) At A Glance   
    Salam,
    Growing up we had a poster like this in one of my grandparent's home, handwritten in Urdu by my great grandfather and framed in wood. It was displayed in a prominent place. I remember standing there studying it on many occasions, at others I just stole a cursory glance passing by. Either way it helped me a great deal in acquiring the basic knowledge about the Ahlebayt(عليه السلام). Many of the important dates unconsciously stuck in my memory and other facts,like so many of our Imams (عليه السلام) being poisoned,aroused in me an interest to study more about their lives.
    For some time now I had been wanting to make a similar table for my children.I made it in English for obvious reasons.I plan to print it out and put in their room and hopefully they will imbibe and memorise or at least be familiar with the basic facts about the lives of Masoomen (عليه السلام). Since this is an area where sadly lots of us grownups are lacking too(from personal experience many of the Shias don't know the names of mothers of Imams(عليه السلام) or where are all of the Imams (عليه السلام) buried) I thought I would share it here.
    I made it on excel. With the ShiaChat file upload limits the quality might not be very good and since I enlarged it for sharing here,it's in two parts.(if anyone can suggest anything better, you are welcome)


    Coloured in pink(Imams 6-12) is the era of Abbasid caliphs.All of Imams (عليه السلام) during that time period(except the 12th (عليه السلام)) were martyred through poisoning by their own cousins,the Abbasid Caliphs.
  2. Like
    Laayla reacted to Ibn Al-Ja'abi for a blog entry, A History of the Arabic Language: A Family to Belong To   
    (Wolff, 2018)
    The languages of the world can be divided into families and sub-groupings. This means that several groups of languages can be thought to be related due to recurring and predictable patterns observed throughout them. These can be related to both grammar and phonology. What this means is that these languages descend from a proto-language and possible this language descends from a larger grouping. What happened was that the speakers of the proto-language started moving away from each other, and in a time before literacy, let alone wide spread dissemination of printed material and a standardized educational system, before people would leave their homes to work in the big city and return (before towns even!), and before our modern technology which keeps us connected, the speakers of a language just started speaking differently. This could have happened in several ways, sound changes for vowels are some of the simplest, think of how differently British people and North American people pronounce the word "far". Consonantal phonemes (sounds) can be dropped or added, you can also have grammatical innovations which make up for something lacking in the proto-language (e.g. the creation of a definite article) or a simplification of something in the proto-language (maybe a complex case system is dropped, or at the least reduced), though it's important to remember these are sporadic and things are traded off for one another, languages don't just become "simpler". Within no time Group A can no longer understand Group B anymore. A linguist will determine this using the comparative method, this requires looking at the different languages and comparing them for regular patterns to ascertain genetic (in a linguistic sense) relation. There is one limitation to this, the comparative method can only work compare changes made within a few thousand millennia, after 7000-10, 000 or so years it ceases to be very reliable as it cannot account for a change being due to genetic relation or just coincidence. There are some languages which are isolates, meaning they lack genetic relation to any language we know of. This doesn't mean they emerged out of nowhere, rather their relatives went extinct before we could get any record of them.
    Linguistics today classify Arabic as one of the Afro-Asiatic languages (also called the Hamito-Semitic languages in older literature). This language family is perhaps one of the oldest that we know of, the proto-language, Proto-Afro-Asiatic, was spoken sometime around 15, 000 BCE. This language family includes the Semitic languages (of which Arabic is a member), the Egyptian languages (both Ancient Egyptian and Coptic), the Berber languages, the Cu[Edited Out]ic languages (including Somali), the Chadic languages, and possibly the Omitic languages. Now, when this proto-language was spoken, how exactly it split into its daughter-languages, and in what order that happened is something debated by linguists (a video that shows some possibilities), but the connection between these languages has been observed for a very long time. The first person to observe the similarities between these languages was Judah b. Quraysh (fl. c. 9th century), a Jewish Rabbi with knowledge of Aramaic, Arabic, and Hebrew and noticed their similarity to the Berber languages spoken in Algeria. The eminent 19th century German philologist, Theodore Benfey, went on to demonstrate a systematic relationship between the Ancient Egyptian language and Semitic languages (Rubin, 2013). Such correspondences can be observed in grammatical features, such as several of the Afro-Asiatic languages having a construct state (إضافة, for those of you who might have studied Arabic grammar), this is an exceedingly rare construction indicating possession, it is only found outside the Afro-Asiatic family in a single Nilotic language. In the Afro-Asiatic family, the construct-state is found in the Semitic languages, the Berber languages, and the Egyptian languages. They also share a root system for their morphology, and similar nominal systems for their nouns. We can also compare vocabulary to find a proto-word that developed into cognates across various languages. One such reconstruction is the word "les" (meaning tongue, this root will remain italicized), it appears in the Semitic languages originally as Lišān (and this further developed from there), in Egyptian as ns and later in Coptic as les, in the Chadic languages as ḥalisum, ʾVlyas, and lyas, and in a Cu[Edited Out]ic language as milas (Orel & Stolbova, 1995).
    Arabic can further be classified as a Semitic language. This language family is believed to be about 6000 years old and is thought to have originated in South-West Asia. There are a number of features common to the language, including shared verb stems (the أبواب), a case system of nominative -u, accusative -a, and genitive -i (found preserved in Classical/Middle Arabic, Ugaritic, and Akkadian), and a root system with shared roots between these languages¹. Arabic fits into these languages as a West Semitic languages, meaning it is excluded from being one of the East Semitic languages (the Akkadian languages or Ebalite). It is also a Central Semitic language, so it is excluded from the South Semitic languages which include the Modern South-Arabian languages, the Ethio-Semitic languages, and the Ancient South Semitic languages. It splits from the other Central Semitic languages, which go on to become the North-Western Semitic languages including Ugaritic, Aramaic, and the Canaanite languages (including Hebrew and Phoenician). What distinguishes Arabic from the other Central Semitic languages are 14-19 linguistic innovations not found in other Central Semitic languages, these include:
    The loss of the independent first person pronoun "ʾanāku" (Arabic only preserves the proto-Semitic "ʾanā")
    Replacing mimation with nunation (تنوين), meaning, a nūn is fixed to the end of words (in the form of tanwīn), not a mīm, such as what can be found in Hebrew.
    The preposition fī (in) is derived from the word for "mouth" (فم).
    The development of the mafʿūl passive participle.
    A full list can be found in Ahmed Al-Jallad's forthcoming article, "The Earliest Stages of Arabic and its Linguistic Classification".
    Now with an understanding of language families and Arabic's Afro-Asiatic and Semitic context you have a foundation for exploring the development of Arabic as we know it. We are left, however, with the need to know who the speakers of this language were and where they lived. We're now ready for the next part of our historical epic. Join me next time!
    إلى لقاء
     
     
    Footnotes:
    ¹ A cool resource to look at different Semitic roots is this website. You can search roots and compare cognates across various languages.
    Citations:
    Wolff, H. E., (2018, May 14). "Afro-Asiatic languages", Encyclopaedia Britannica, 
    Orel, V. E., & Stolbova, O. V., (1995). Hamito-Semitic Etymological Dictionary: Materials for Reconstruction.
    Rubin, A. D. (2013). "Egyptian and Hebrew", Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics. Geoffrey Khan (ed.).
  3. Like
    Laayla got a reaction from Parastoo27 for a blog entry, An Instance of Imami Ta`wil   
    An Instance of Imami Ta`wil
    There is a difference between Tafsir and Ta`wil. The Qur'an has many interpretive layers and no one knows them all except Allah himself and the 'Rasikhuna fil Ilm' [those deeply entrenched in knowledge].
    Below is one instance of the Imam unveiling an inner meaning of a part of the verse which is not at all apparent upon a literal reading. It should make us all take a step back from the claim that we can fully understand the Qur`an without their guidance.
    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
    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?      
    Commentary
    The verse in question is in Surat al-Hajj. It contains instructions to 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, this is also what we find in the answer of the Imam to Abdallah b. Sinan. However, he had given a different answer to Dharih consonant with the latter's 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 this different meaning 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. The Imam also notes that he does not disclose the inner meaning to everyone but only those who have the capacity to handle it.
    و على هذا فالمراد بالتفث أو قضائه تطهير البدن و القلب و الروح من الأوساخ الظاهرة و الباطنة، فيدخل فيه المعنيان معا إذ الغسل و حلق الشعر و قص الأظفار تطهير للبدن من الأوساخ الظاهرة، و لقاء الإمام تطهير للقلب من الأدران و الأوساخ الباطنة التي هي الجهل و الضلال و الصفات الرديئة و الأخلاق الدنية
    al-Majlisi: The point of intersection between the two meanings is to interpret removal of dirt as achieving cleanliness from all that which blemishes a human whether it be in his physical body, his heart or soul. Bathing, trimming the hair and cutting the nails would be cleanliness of the body from physical dirt, while meeting the Imam and hearing his piercing words would be cleaning the heart from spiritual dirt such as ignorance, misguidance, repulsive attributes and base character.
    وجهة الاشتراك بين التفسير والتأويل التطهير فإن أحدهما تطهير للبدن عن الأوساخ الظاهرة وما يجري مجراها والآخر تطهير للقلب من الأوساخ الباطنة التي هي الجهل والضلال والعمى
    Faydh al-Kashani: The two meanings are related one being Ta`wil and the other is Tafsir both related to cleanliness. One is through removing the outward dirt while the other is through removing ignorance and blindness [spiritual defects].
    ووجه الاشتراك التطهير فان ما قاله عليه السلام لذريح فهو تطهير الباطن وما قاله لعبد الله بن سنان هو تطهير الظاهر والاول هو التأويل والباطن والثانى هو التفسير والظاهر
    Sayyid Hassan Khorasan: What the Imam said to Dharih is a purification of the inner self and what he said to Abdallah b. Sinan is a purification of the outer self. The former is an example of an esoteric Ta`wil while the latter is an example of an exoteric Tafsir. 
    One of the most important obligations to be fulfilled during the pilgrimage is to meet the Imam. This is what the Ashab used to do, taking advantage of the crowds to seek out the Imam and ask him questions without any fear. Hajj season is also where the early Sufara used to meet up with the Last Imam.
  4. Like
    Laayla got a reaction from Ruq for a blog entry, An Instance of Imami Ta`wil   
    An Instance of Imami Ta`wil
    There is a difference between Tafsir and Ta`wil. The Qur'an has many interpretive layers and no one knows them all except Allah himself and the 'Rasikhuna fil Ilm' [those deeply entrenched in knowledge].
    Below is one instance of the Imam unveiling an inner meaning of a part of the verse which is not at all apparent upon a literal reading. It should make us all take a step back from the claim that we can fully understand the Qur`an without their guidance.
    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
    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?      
    Commentary
    The verse in question is in Surat al-Hajj. It contains instructions to 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, this is also what we find in the answer of the Imam to Abdallah b. Sinan. However, he had given a different answer to Dharih consonant with the latter's 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 this different meaning 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. The Imam also notes that he does not disclose the inner meaning to everyone but only those who have the capacity to handle it.
    و على هذا فالمراد بالتفث أو قضائه تطهير البدن و القلب و الروح من الأوساخ الظاهرة و الباطنة، فيدخل فيه المعنيان معا إذ الغسل و حلق الشعر و قص الأظفار تطهير للبدن من الأوساخ الظاهرة، و لقاء الإمام تطهير للقلب من الأدران و الأوساخ الباطنة التي هي الجهل و الضلال و الصفات الرديئة و الأخلاق الدنية
    al-Majlisi: The point of intersection between the two meanings is to interpret removal of dirt as achieving cleanliness from all that which blemishes a human whether it be in his physical body, his heart or soul. Bathing, trimming the hair and cutting the nails would be cleanliness of the body from physical dirt, while meeting the Imam and hearing his piercing words would be cleaning the heart from spiritual dirt such as ignorance, misguidance, repulsive attributes and base character.
    وجهة الاشتراك بين التفسير والتأويل التطهير فإن أحدهما تطهير للبدن عن الأوساخ الظاهرة وما يجري مجراها والآخر تطهير للقلب من الأوساخ الباطنة التي هي الجهل والضلال والعمى
    Faydh al-Kashani: The two meanings are related one being Ta`wil and the other is Tafsir both related to cleanliness. One is through removing the outward dirt while the other is through removing ignorance and blindness [spiritual defects].
    ووجه الاشتراك التطهير فان ما قاله عليه السلام لذريح فهو تطهير الباطن وما قاله لعبد الله بن سنان هو تطهير الظاهر والاول هو التأويل والباطن والثانى هو التفسير والظاهر
    Sayyid Hassan Khorasan: What the Imam said to Dharih is a purification of the inner self and what he said to Abdallah b. Sinan is a purification of the outer self. The former is an example of an esoteric Ta`wil while the latter is an example of an exoteric Tafsir. 
    One of the most important obligations to be fulfilled during the pilgrimage is to meet the Imam. This is what the Ashab used to do, taking advantage of the crowds to seek out the Imam and ask him questions without any fear. Hajj season is also where the early Sufara used to meet up with the Last Imam.
  5. Like
    Laayla got a reaction from sharinganMahdi for a blog entry, An Instance of Imami Ta`wil   
    An Instance of Imami Ta`wil
    There is a difference between Tafsir and Ta`wil. The Qur'an has many interpretive layers and no one knows them all except Allah himself and the 'Rasikhuna fil Ilm' [those deeply entrenched in knowledge].
    Below is one instance of the Imam unveiling an inner meaning of a part of the verse which is not at all apparent upon a literal reading. It should make us all take a step back from the claim that we can fully understand the Qur`an without their guidance.
    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
    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?      
    Commentary
    The verse in question is in Surat al-Hajj. It contains instructions to 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, this is also what we find in the answer of the Imam to Abdallah b. Sinan. However, he had given a different answer to Dharih consonant with the latter's 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 this different meaning 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. The Imam also notes that he does not disclose the inner meaning to everyone but only those who have the capacity to handle it.
    و على هذا فالمراد بالتفث أو قضائه تطهير البدن و القلب و الروح من الأوساخ الظاهرة و الباطنة، فيدخل فيه المعنيان معا إذ الغسل و حلق الشعر و قص الأظفار تطهير للبدن من الأوساخ الظاهرة، و لقاء الإمام تطهير للقلب من الأدران و الأوساخ الباطنة التي هي الجهل و الضلال و الصفات الرديئة و الأخلاق الدنية
    al-Majlisi: The point of intersection between the two meanings is to interpret removal of dirt as achieving cleanliness from all that which blemishes a human whether it be in his physical body, his heart or soul. Bathing, trimming the hair and cutting the nails would be cleanliness of the body from physical dirt, while meeting the Imam and hearing his piercing words would be cleaning the heart from spiritual dirt such as ignorance, misguidance, repulsive attributes and base character.
    وجهة الاشتراك بين التفسير والتأويل التطهير فإن أحدهما تطهير للبدن عن الأوساخ الظاهرة وما يجري مجراها والآخر تطهير للقلب من الأوساخ الباطنة التي هي الجهل والضلال والعمى
    Faydh al-Kashani: The two meanings are related one being Ta`wil and the other is Tafsir both related to cleanliness. One is through removing the outward dirt while the other is through removing ignorance and blindness [spiritual defects].
    ووجه الاشتراك التطهير فان ما قاله عليه السلام لذريح فهو تطهير الباطن وما قاله لعبد الله بن سنان هو تطهير الظاهر والاول هو التأويل والباطن والثانى هو التفسير والظاهر
    Sayyid Hassan Khorasan: What the Imam said to Dharih is a purification of the inner self and what he said to Abdallah b. Sinan is a purification of the outer self. The former is an example of an esoteric Ta`wil while the latter is an example of an exoteric Tafsir. 
    One of the most important obligations to be fulfilled during the pilgrimage is to meet the Imam. This is what the Ashab used to do, taking advantage of the crowds to seek out the Imam and ask him questions without any fear. Hajj season is also where the early Sufara used to meet up with the Last Imam.
  6. Like
    Laayla got a reaction from Struggling_onn for a blog entry, An Instance of Imami Ta`wil   
    An Instance of Imami Ta`wil
    There is a difference between Tafsir and Ta`wil. The Qur'an has many interpretive layers and no one knows them all except Allah himself and the 'Rasikhuna fil Ilm' [those deeply entrenched in knowledge].
    Below is one instance of the Imam unveiling an inner meaning of a part of the verse which is not at all apparent upon a literal reading. It should make us all take a step back from the claim that we can fully understand the Qur`an without their guidance.
    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
    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?      
    Commentary
    The verse in question is in Surat al-Hajj. It contains instructions to 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, this is also what we find in the answer of the Imam to Abdallah b. Sinan. However, he had given a different answer to Dharih consonant with the latter's 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 this different meaning 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. The Imam also notes that he does not disclose the inner meaning to everyone but only those who have the capacity to handle it.
    و على هذا فالمراد بالتفث أو قضائه تطهير البدن و القلب و الروح من الأوساخ الظاهرة و الباطنة، فيدخل فيه المعنيان معا إذ الغسل و حلق الشعر و قص الأظفار تطهير للبدن من الأوساخ الظاهرة، و لقاء الإمام تطهير للقلب من الأدران و الأوساخ الباطنة التي هي الجهل و الضلال و الصفات الرديئة و الأخلاق الدنية
    al-Majlisi: The point of intersection between the two meanings is to interpret removal of dirt as achieving cleanliness from all that which blemishes a human whether it be in his physical body, his heart or soul. Bathing, trimming the hair and cutting the nails would be cleanliness of the body from physical dirt, while meeting the Imam and hearing his piercing words would be cleaning the heart from spiritual dirt such as ignorance, misguidance, repulsive attributes and base character.
    وجهة الاشتراك بين التفسير والتأويل التطهير فإن أحدهما تطهير للبدن عن الأوساخ الظاهرة وما يجري مجراها والآخر تطهير للقلب من الأوساخ الباطنة التي هي الجهل والضلال والعمى
    Faydh al-Kashani: The two meanings are related one being Ta`wil and the other is Tafsir both related to cleanliness. One is through removing the outward dirt while the other is through removing ignorance and blindness [spiritual defects].
    ووجه الاشتراك التطهير فان ما قاله عليه السلام لذريح فهو تطهير الباطن وما قاله لعبد الله بن سنان هو تطهير الظاهر والاول هو التأويل والباطن والثانى هو التفسير والظاهر
    Sayyid Hassan Khorasan: What the Imam said to Dharih is a purification of the inner self and what he said to Abdallah b. Sinan is a purification of the outer self. The former is an example of an esoteric Ta`wil while the latter is an example of an exoteric Tafsir. 
    One of the most important obligations to be fulfilled during the pilgrimage is to meet the Imam. This is what the Ashab used to do, taking advantage of the crowds to seek out the Imam and ask him questions without any fear. Hajj season is also where the early Sufara used to meet up with the Last Imam.
  7. Like
    Laayla got a reaction from Bakir for a blog entry, An Instance of Imami Ta`wil   
    An Instance of Imami Ta`wil
    There is a difference between Tafsir and Ta`wil. The Qur'an has many interpretive layers and no one knows them all except Allah himself and the 'Rasikhuna fil Ilm' [those deeply entrenched in knowledge].
    Below is one instance of the Imam unveiling an inner meaning of a part of the verse which is not at all apparent upon a literal reading. It should make us all take a step back from the claim that we can fully understand the Qur`an without their guidance.
    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
    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?      
    Commentary
    The verse in question is in Surat al-Hajj. It contains instructions to 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, this is also what we find in the answer of the Imam to Abdallah b. Sinan. However, he had given a different answer to Dharih consonant with the latter's 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 this different meaning 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. The Imam also notes that he does not disclose the inner meaning to everyone but only those who have the capacity to handle it.
    و على هذا فالمراد بالتفث أو قضائه تطهير البدن و القلب و الروح من الأوساخ الظاهرة و الباطنة، فيدخل فيه المعنيان معا إذ الغسل و حلق الشعر و قص الأظفار تطهير للبدن من الأوساخ الظاهرة، و لقاء الإمام تطهير للقلب من الأدران و الأوساخ الباطنة التي هي الجهل و الضلال و الصفات الرديئة و الأخلاق الدنية
    al-Majlisi: The point of intersection between the two meanings is to interpret removal of dirt as achieving cleanliness from all that which blemishes a human whether it be in his physical body, his heart or soul. Bathing, trimming the hair and cutting the nails would be cleanliness of the body from physical dirt, while meeting the Imam and hearing his piercing words would be cleaning the heart from spiritual dirt such as ignorance, misguidance, repulsive attributes and base character.
    وجهة الاشتراك بين التفسير والتأويل التطهير فإن أحدهما تطهير للبدن عن الأوساخ الظاهرة وما يجري مجراها والآخر تطهير للقلب من الأوساخ الباطنة التي هي الجهل والضلال والعمى
    Faydh al-Kashani: The two meanings are related one being Ta`wil and the other is Tafsir both related to cleanliness. One is through removing the outward dirt while the other is through removing ignorance and blindness [spiritual defects].
    ووجه الاشتراك التطهير فان ما قاله عليه السلام لذريح فهو تطهير الباطن وما قاله لعبد الله بن سنان هو تطهير الظاهر والاول هو التأويل والباطن والثانى هو التفسير والظاهر
    Sayyid Hassan Khorasan: What the Imam said to Dharih is a purification of the inner self and what he said to Abdallah b. Sinan is a purification of the outer self. The former is an example of an esoteric Ta`wil while the latter is an example of an exoteric Tafsir. 
    One of the most important obligations to be fulfilled during the pilgrimage is to meet the Imam. This is what the Ashab used to do, taking advantage of the crowds to seek out the Imam and ask him questions without any fear. Hajj season is also where the early Sufara used to meet up with the Last Imam.
  8. Like
    Laayla got a reaction from certainclarity for a blog entry, An Instance of Imami Ta`wil   
    An Instance of Imami Ta`wil
    There is a difference between Tafsir and Ta`wil. The Qur'an has many interpretive layers and no one knows them all except Allah himself and the 'Rasikhuna fil Ilm' [those deeply entrenched in knowledge].
    Below is one instance of the Imam unveiling an inner meaning of a part of the verse which is not at all apparent upon a literal reading. It should make us all take a step back from the claim that we can fully understand the Qur`an without their guidance.
    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
    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?      
    Commentary
    The verse in question is in Surat al-Hajj. It contains instructions to 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, this is also what we find in the answer of the Imam to Abdallah b. Sinan. However, he had given a different answer to Dharih consonant with the latter's 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 this different meaning 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. The Imam also notes that he does not disclose the inner meaning to everyone but only those who have the capacity to handle it.
    و على هذا فالمراد بالتفث أو قضائه تطهير البدن و القلب و الروح من الأوساخ الظاهرة و الباطنة، فيدخل فيه المعنيان معا إذ الغسل و حلق الشعر و قص الأظفار تطهير للبدن من الأوساخ الظاهرة، و لقاء الإمام تطهير للقلب من الأدران و الأوساخ الباطنة التي هي الجهل و الضلال و الصفات الرديئة و الأخلاق الدنية
    al-Majlisi: The point of intersection between the two meanings is to interpret removal of dirt as achieving cleanliness from all that which blemishes a human whether it be in his physical body, his heart or soul. Bathing, trimming the hair and cutting the nails would be cleanliness of the body from physical dirt, while meeting the Imam and hearing his piercing words would be cleaning the heart from spiritual dirt such as ignorance, misguidance, repulsive attributes and base character.
    وجهة الاشتراك بين التفسير والتأويل التطهير فإن أحدهما تطهير للبدن عن الأوساخ الظاهرة وما يجري مجراها والآخر تطهير للقلب من الأوساخ الباطنة التي هي الجهل والضلال والعمى
    Faydh al-Kashani: The two meanings are related one being Ta`wil and the other is Tafsir both related to cleanliness. One is through removing the outward dirt while the other is through removing ignorance and blindness [spiritual defects].
    ووجه الاشتراك التطهير فان ما قاله عليه السلام لذريح فهو تطهير الباطن وما قاله لعبد الله بن سنان هو تطهير الظاهر والاول هو التأويل والباطن والثانى هو التفسير والظاهر
    Sayyid Hassan Khorasan: What the Imam said to Dharih is a purification of the inner self and what he said to Abdallah b. Sinan is a purification of the outer self. The former is an example of an esoteric Ta`wil while the latter is an example of an exoteric Tafsir. 
    One of the most important obligations to be fulfilled during the pilgrimage is to meet the Imam. This is what the Ashab used to do, taking advantage of the crowds to seek out the Imam and ask him questions without any fear. Hajj season is also where the early Sufara used to meet up with the Last Imam.
  9. Like
    Laayla got a reaction from ireallywannaknow for a blog entry, An Instance of Imami Ta`wil   
    An Instance of Imami Ta`wil
    There is a difference between Tafsir and Ta`wil. The Qur'an has many interpretive layers and no one knows them all except Allah himself and the 'Rasikhuna fil Ilm' [those deeply entrenched in knowledge].
    Below is one instance of the Imam unveiling an inner meaning of a part of the verse which is not at all apparent upon a literal reading. It should make us all take a step back from the claim that we can fully understand the Qur`an without their guidance.
    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
    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?      
    Commentary
    The verse in question is in Surat al-Hajj. It contains instructions to 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, this is also what we find in the answer of the Imam to Abdallah b. Sinan. However, he had given a different answer to Dharih consonant with the latter's 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 this different meaning 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. The Imam also notes that he does not disclose the inner meaning to everyone but only those who have the capacity to handle it.
    و على هذا فالمراد بالتفث أو قضائه تطهير البدن و القلب و الروح من الأوساخ الظاهرة و الباطنة، فيدخل فيه المعنيان معا إذ الغسل و حلق الشعر و قص الأظفار تطهير للبدن من الأوساخ الظاهرة، و لقاء الإمام تطهير للقلب من الأدران و الأوساخ الباطنة التي هي الجهل و الضلال و الصفات الرديئة و الأخلاق الدنية
    al-Majlisi: The point of intersection between the two meanings is to interpret removal of dirt as achieving cleanliness from all that which blemishes a human whether it be in his physical body, his heart or soul. Bathing, trimming the hair and cutting the nails would be cleanliness of the body from physical dirt, while meeting the Imam and hearing his piercing words would be cleaning the heart from spiritual dirt such as ignorance, misguidance, repulsive attributes and base character.
    وجهة الاشتراك بين التفسير والتأويل التطهير فإن أحدهما تطهير للبدن عن الأوساخ الظاهرة وما يجري مجراها والآخر تطهير للقلب من الأوساخ الباطنة التي هي الجهل والضلال والعمى
    Faydh al-Kashani: The two meanings are related one being Ta`wil and the other is Tafsir both related to cleanliness. One is through removing the outward dirt while the other is through removing ignorance and blindness [spiritual defects].
    ووجه الاشتراك التطهير فان ما قاله عليه السلام لذريح فهو تطهير الباطن وما قاله لعبد الله بن سنان هو تطهير الظاهر والاول هو التأويل والباطن والثانى هو التفسير والظاهر
    Sayyid Hassan Khorasan: What the Imam said to Dharih is a purification of the inner self and what he said to Abdallah b. Sinan is a purification of the outer self. The former is an example of an esoteric Ta`wil while the latter is an example of an exoteric Tafsir. 
    One of the most important obligations to be fulfilled during the pilgrimage is to meet the Imam. This is what the Ashab used to do, taking advantage of the crowds to seek out the Imam and ask him questions without any fear. Hajj season is also where the early Sufara used to meet up with the Last Imam.
  10. Like
    Laayla got a reaction from von Lohengramm for a blog entry, An Instance of Imami Ta`wil   
    An Instance of Imami Ta`wil
    There is a difference between Tafsir and Ta`wil. The Qur'an has many interpretive layers and no one knows them all except Allah himself and the 'Rasikhuna fil Ilm' [those deeply entrenched in knowledge].
    Below is one instance of the Imam unveiling an inner meaning of a part of the verse which is not at all apparent upon a literal reading. It should make us all take a step back from the claim that we can fully understand the Qur`an without their guidance.
    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
    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?      
    Commentary
    The verse in question is in Surat al-Hajj. It contains instructions to 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, this is also what we find in the answer of the Imam to Abdallah b. Sinan. However, he had given a different answer to Dharih consonant with the latter's 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 this different meaning 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. The Imam also notes that he does not disclose the inner meaning to everyone but only those who have the capacity to handle it.
    و على هذا فالمراد بالتفث أو قضائه تطهير البدن و القلب و الروح من الأوساخ الظاهرة و الباطنة، فيدخل فيه المعنيان معا إذ الغسل و حلق الشعر و قص الأظفار تطهير للبدن من الأوساخ الظاهرة، و لقاء الإمام تطهير للقلب من الأدران و الأوساخ الباطنة التي هي الجهل و الضلال و الصفات الرديئة و الأخلاق الدنية
    al-Majlisi: The point of intersection between the two meanings is to interpret removal of dirt as achieving cleanliness from all that which blemishes a human whether it be in his physical body, his heart or soul. Bathing, trimming the hair and cutting the nails would be cleanliness of the body from physical dirt, while meeting the Imam and hearing his piercing words would be cleaning the heart from spiritual dirt such as ignorance, misguidance, repulsive attributes and base character.
    وجهة الاشتراك بين التفسير والتأويل التطهير فإن أحدهما تطهير للبدن عن الأوساخ الظاهرة وما يجري مجراها والآخر تطهير للقلب من الأوساخ الباطنة التي هي الجهل والضلال والعمى
    Faydh al-Kashani: The two meanings are related one being Ta`wil and the other is Tafsir both related to cleanliness. One is through removing the outward dirt while the other is through removing ignorance and blindness [spiritual defects].
    ووجه الاشتراك التطهير فان ما قاله عليه السلام لذريح فهو تطهير الباطن وما قاله لعبد الله بن سنان هو تطهير الظاهر والاول هو التأويل والباطن والثانى هو التفسير والظاهر
    Sayyid Hassan Khorasan: What the Imam said to Dharih is a purification of the inner self and what he said to Abdallah b. Sinan is a purification of the outer self. The former is an example of an esoteric Ta`wil while the latter is an example of an exoteric Tafsir. 
    One of the most important obligations to be fulfilled during the pilgrimage is to meet the Imam. This is what the Ashab used to do, taking advantage of the crowds to seek out the Imam and ask him questions without any fear. Hajj season is also where the early Sufara used to meet up with the Last Imam.
  11. Like
    Laayla got a reaction from Miss Wonderful for a blog entry, An Instance of Imami Ta`wil   
    An Instance of Imami Ta`wil
    There is a difference between Tafsir and Ta`wil. The Qur'an has many interpretive layers and no one knows them all except Allah himself and the 'Rasikhuna fil Ilm' [those deeply entrenched in knowledge].
    Below is one instance of the Imam unveiling an inner meaning of a part of the verse which is not at all apparent upon a literal reading. It should make us all take a step back from the claim that we can fully understand the Qur`an without their guidance.
    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
    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?      
    Commentary
    The verse in question is in Surat al-Hajj. It contains instructions to 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, this is also what we find in the answer of the Imam to Abdallah b. Sinan. However, he had given a different answer to Dharih consonant with the latter's 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 this different meaning 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. The Imam also notes that he does not disclose the inner meaning to everyone but only those who have the capacity to handle it.
    و على هذا فالمراد بالتفث أو قضائه تطهير البدن و القلب و الروح من الأوساخ الظاهرة و الباطنة، فيدخل فيه المعنيان معا إذ الغسل و حلق الشعر و قص الأظفار تطهير للبدن من الأوساخ الظاهرة، و لقاء الإمام تطهير للقلب من الأدران و الأوساخ الباطنة التي هي الجهل و الضلال و الصفات الرديئة و الأخلاق الدنية
    al-Majlisi: The point of intersection between the two meanings is to interpret removal of dirt as achieving cleanliness from all that which blemishes a human whether it be in his physical body, his heart or soul. Bathing, trimming the hair and cutting the nails would be cleanliness of the body from physical dirt, while meeting the Imam and hearing his piercing words would be cleaning the heart from spiritual dirt such as ignorance, misguidance, repulsive attributes and base character.
    وجهة الاشتراك بين التفسير والتأويل التطهير فإن أحدهما تطهير للبدن عن الأوساخ الظاهرة وما يجري مجراها والآخر تطهير للقلب من الأوساخ الباطنة التي هي الجهل والضلال والعمى
    Faydh al-Kashani: The two meanings are related one being Ta`wil and the other is Tafsir both related to cleanliness. One is through removing the outward dirt while the other is through removing ignorance and blindness [spiritual defects].
    ووجه الاشتراك التطهير فان ما قاله عليه السلام لذريح فهو تطهير الباطن وما قاله لعبد الله بن سنان هو تطهير الظاهر والاول هو التأويل والباطن والثانى هو التفسير والظاهر
    Sayyid Hassan Khorasan: What the Imam said to Dharih is a purification of the inner self and what he said to Abdallah b. Sinan is a purification of the outer self. The former is an example of an esoteric Ta`wil while the latter is an example of an exoteric Tafsir. 
    One of the most important obligations to be fulfilled during the pilgrimage is to meet the Imam. This is what the Ashab used to do, taking advantage of the crowds to seek out the Imam and ask him questions without any fear. Hajj season is also where the early Sufara used to meet up with the Last Imam.
  12. Like
    Laayla got a reaction from Sumayyeh for a blog entry, An Instance of Imami Ta`wil   
    An Instance of Imami Ta`wil
    There is a difference between Tafsir and Ta`wil. The Qur'an has many interpretive layers and no one knows them all except Allah himself and the 'Rasikhuna fil Ilm' [those deeply entrenched in knowledge].
    Below is one instance of the Imam unveiling an inner meaning of a part of the verse which is not at all apparent upon a literal reading. It should make us all take a step back from the claim that we can fully understand the Qur`an without their guidance.
    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
    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?      
    Commentary
    The verse in question is in Surat al-Hajj. It contains instructions to 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, this is also what we find in the answer of the Imam to Abdallah b. Sinan. However, he had given a different answer to Dharih consonant with the latter's 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 this different meaning 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. The Imam also notes that he does not disclose the inner meaning to everyone but only those who have the capacity to handle it.
    و على هذا فالمراد بالتفث أو قضائه تطهير البدن و القلب و الروح من الأوساخ الظاهرة و الباطنة، فيدخل فيه المعنيان معا إذ الغسل و حلق الشعر و قص الأظفار تطهير للبدن من الأوساخ الظاهرة، و لقاء الإمام تطهير للقلب من الأدران و الأوساخ الباطنة التي هي الجهل و الضلال و الصفات الرديئة و الأخلاق الدنية
    al-Majlisi: The point of intersection between the two meanings is to interpret removal of dirt as achieving cleanliness from all that which blemishes a human whether it be in his physical body, his heart or soul. Bathing, trimming the hair and cutting the nails would be cleanliness of the body from physical dirt, while meeting the Imam and hearing his piercing words would be cleaning the heart from spiritual dirt such as ignorance, misguidance, repulsive attributes and base character.
    وجهة الاشتراك بين التفسير والتأويل التطهير فإن أحدهما تطهير للبدن عن الأوساخ الظاهرة وما يجري مجراها والآخر تطهير للقلب من الأوساخ الباطنة التي هي الجهل والضلال والعمى
    Faydh al-Kashani: The two meanings are related one being Ta`wil and the other is Tafsir both related to cleanliness. One is through removing the outward dirt while the other is through removing ignorance and blindness [spiritual defects].
    ووجه الاشتراك التطهير فان ما قاله عليه السلام لذريح فهو تطهير الباطن وما قاله لعبد الله بن سنان هو تطهير الظاهر والاول هو التأويل والباطن والثانى هو التفسير والظاهر
    Sayyid Hassan Khorasan: What the Imam said to Dharih is a purification of the inner self and what he said to Abdallah b. Sinan is a purification of the outer self. The former is an example of an esoteric Ta`wil while the latter is an example of an exoteric Tafsir. 
    One of the most important obligations to be fulfilled during the pilgrimage is to meet the Imam. This is what the Ashab used to do, taking advantage of the crowds to seek out the Imam and ask him questions without any fear. Hajj season is also where the early Sufara used to meet up with the Last Imam.
  13. Like
    Laayla got a reaction from SYEDRAZAALI for a blog entry, Possessionist Imamology   
    إن بيانا تراءى له الشيطان في أحسن ما يكون صورة آدمي من قرنه إلى سرته
    The Devil appeared to Bayan in the most handsome form that a human can have from the top of the head to the navel [Ja`far al-Sadiq]
    God caused the holy pre-existent spirit which had created the whole of creation to dwell in flesh that He desired  [Shepherd of Hermas]
    He keeps appearing every now and again ... he takes Adam’s clothes off and puts it on again [Epiphanius]
     
    Bayan b. Sam`an and the Bayaniyya
    The status of the Imam was a question that was fiercely debated in the second century of the Islamic Era before the different positions crystallized. It is important to go back to history to hear the different voices in the debate. This is relevant because we find some unease to this day between what is believed in the popular Shi`i consciousness and our literary sources. One such key figure who participated in developing a peculiar Imamology was Bayan b. Sam`an.
    Who was Bayan?
    Bayan b. Sam`an (most likely from the South Arabian tribe of Nahd) was a seller of straw in Kufa. We would classify him as a Ghali and he was indeed cursed by the `Aimma. He is said to have associated himself with Hamza b. `Ammara, a speculator about the divinity of Ibn al-Hanafiyya [heading a splinter of the Kaysaniyya]. Bayan later attached himself to the claim of Abu Hashim the son of Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya.
    What did the Bayaniyya believe?
    We do not have any extant documentary evidence that comes directly from Bayani circles, but we have early statements of contemporaries reformulating their beliefs, we also have the entries of the heresiographers whose work it was to classify different sects based on their belief-systems.
     
    The concept of a Demiurge
    In a report in al-Kashshi, Hisham quotes Bayan as saying:
     إن بيانا يتأول هذه الآية وَ هُوَ الَّذِي فِي السَّماءِ إِلهٌ وَ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلهٌ، أن الذي في الأرض غير إله السماء، و إله السماء غير إله الأرض، و أن إله السماء أعظم من إله الأرض، و أن أهل الأرض يعرفون فضل إله السماء و يعظمونه فقال: و الله ما هو إلا الله وحده لا شريك له إله من في السماوات و إله من في الأرضين
    'Bayan interprets this verse “and He is the one who is God in Heaven and God on Earth” (43:84) that the one on Earth is not the God of Heaven, and the God of Heaven is not the God of Earth, and that the God of Heaven is greater than the God of Earth, and that the people of the Earth recognize the merit of the God of Heaven and magnify Him'
    This is an important piece of evidence, because it shows that the sectarians were influenced by the concept of the Demiurge in their cosmology. I use this word in the sense of a second divine power in heaven. This power could assume many different names like Wisdom of God, Spirit of God, Logos, Metatron etc. It owes its origins to Gnosticism [and Middle-platonic notions], which had a long pre-Islamic pedigree in the melting pot that was Kufa. Gnosticism presents a distinction between the highest, unknowable God and the lesser power that was pre-existing with the unknowable God. The latter is the ilah al-ard [lesser god] in Bayan’s terminology, the site of God's power on the Earth. The real unknown God is so distant and incomprehensible to humans that they can only know him through a lesser being which can interact with matter.
     
    Who is the Lesser God on Earth?
    The Bayaniyya held that the Imam was deified because of housing the indwelling Demiurgic divine-light particle. This particle transmigrated (Tanasukh) i.e. passed down - from the Biblical patriarchs, to the Prophet Muḥammad, to the Shiʿi Imams.
    قال بيان بالهية علي عليه السلام، وأن جزءا إلهيا متحد بناسوته، ثم من بعده في ابنه محمد بن الحنفية ثم في أبي هاشم ولد محمد بن الحنفية، ثم من بعده  في بيان هذا
    In other words, the bodies of prophets and `Aimma were receptacles to be filled with a divine spark or Spirit. It would at some point leave the body of the Imam when he dies and transmigrate to another. All the supernatural abilities of the Imam derives from being a host to the divine particle, without it the Imam is just an ordinary human.
    I term this a “possessionist” Imamology. Anyone who has studied early Jewish-Christian Christologies will notice how closely those parallel what has been presented here.
    This particle is said to have passed through Ali > Ibn al-Hanafiyya > Abu Hashim and potentially Bayan himself.
    Al-Baghdadi says in al-Farq bayn al-Firaq:
    ان بَيَانا قَالَ لَهُم: ان روح الْإِلَه تناسخت فى الانبياء والائمة حَتَّى صَارَت الى ابى هَاشم عبد الله ابْن مُحَمَّد بن الْحَنَفِيَّة ثمَّ انْتَقَلت اليه مِنْهُ يعْنى نَفسه فَادّعى لنَفسِهِ الربوبية على مَذْهَب الحلولية
    Bayan said: the Divine Spirit transfused into the prophets and the `Aimma until it reached Abi Hashim Abdallah b. Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya then it went into me [i.e. he deified himself].
    al-Shahristani says in al-Milal wa al-Nihal:
    قال بيان:  حل في علي جزء إلهي، واتحد بجسده، فيه كان يعلم الغيب اذا اخبر عن الملاحم وبه قلع باب خيبر
    Bayan said: The divine particle transfused into Ali, and united with his physical body, with it [in this divine particle] did he know the knowledge of the Unseen when he used to inform others about the trials [at the end of times] and by it [not his physical body] was he able to uproot the door of Khaybar.
     
    What is the Implication of this?
    In essence, the Bayaniyya and many other Ghulat were marked out from other 'orthodox' Muslim communities in that they did not close the door to prophecy. Prophecy continues because the access to the divine realm did not end with the Muhammad. Since they deified the Imams, anyone who is a legitimate deputy of this Imam-god would be a “prophet”. At first, Bayan saw himself as the “prophet” of the one with the divine spark.
    Sa`d b. Abdallah says in his al-Maqalat that Bayan sent a letter to al-Sadiq announcing his prophethood and commanding him among other things “to surrender so as to be safe … for you cannot know where God will place his prophethood .. and whoever warns has been excused”. The Imam ordered the messenger who brought the letter, a hapless man called Umar b. Abi Afif al-Azdi, to eat the letter in front of him, and that was his reply.
    There are clues, however, that he later evolved from this position and claimed to have possessed the spark himself. Consequently, he claimed to have access to special kind of knowledge which enabled him to predict the future [as a corollary] among other powers.
     
    Interpretation of the Qur`an
    The Ghulat in general are characterized by dabbling in Ta`wil [esoteric interpretation of the Qur`an]. The Bayaniyya, in particular, developed a literalist anthropomorphic interpretation of the Qur`an. They considered the unknowable God as being  a Man of Light based on Q. 24:35. This Man of Light has various constituent parts e.g. having a hand based on Q. 48:10. In this vein, they considered that all will be destroyed [including God’s other parts] except for His face based on Q. 28:88.
     
    Apocalyptic Expectations
    A key feature of most of the Ghulati groups was the belief in the return of the dead before the day of judgment initiated by the eschatological return of of the expected messianic deliverer. The Bayaniyya believed in the Raj`a of Abu Hashim as the Mahdi. 
     
    The End
    In 119/737 AD, Bayan and another Ghali al-Mughira b. Sa`id joined forces and rose in revolt against the Umayyad governor of Iraq, Khalid b. `Abdallah al-Qasri. The rebellion was quickly put down and the leaders as well as some of their followers were executed and then burned.
    As the Imam says:
    كان بيان يكذب على علي بن الحسين عليه السلام، فأذاقه الله حرَّ الحديد، وكان المغيرة بن سعيد يكذب على أبي جعفر عليه السلام فأذاقه الله حرَّ الحديد
    Bayan used to lie about al-al-Sajjad عليه السلام and al-Mughira b. Sa`id used to lie about al-Baqir عليه السلام so Allah made them to taste of the heat of the iron [put to the sword].
  14. Like
    Laayla got a reaction from Sumayyeh for a blog entry, Et tu, Ismail? Pt. 1   
    Some Glimpes of Ismail b. Ja`far in Twelver Sources
    When dealing with a historical figure, that is to say, with an individual who lived ages ago, and in a socio-cultural milieu quite different from us, we must acknowledge the difficulties of trying to answer such questions about them as - who were they? what motivated them? etc. Who can trace the subtle changes that unfailingly occur over a life time while penetrating the barrier of inner thought? This is compounded when we have access to only a limited number of textual sources to work with. 
    Despite admitting the challenges facing any such reconstruction, there is no reason why such attempts not be made, with one caveat: the mind is always looking to make patterns out of disparate dots, sometimes a whole emerges that is consistent and self-sustaining. If the prism through which a single piece of data is seen enables it to better explain other totally independent pieces of data, then the whole reconstruction is on safer grounds and the pieces of data more likely to be historical. Other times, one can skew the different pieces of evidence in trying to fit a pre-configured narrative, introduce bias, over-reach and form a conclusions that is far-removed from reality.
    In any case, what follows below is a collection of different Ahadith that involve Ismail in Twlever sources. It is felt that the incidental nature of some of them, where the details of his life are mentioned secondarily, consequently not tinged with polemical considerations, will yield the most qualitative results. This is purposely so because Ismail was a controversial figure. He was at the center of a polemical debate about the succession to al-Sadiq. There was no lack of people who would wish to besmirch his name with a “black legend” so as to justify his disqualification to the Imama. Similarly, and on the other side of the spectrum, there would be sectarians working to “white-wash” him having imbued theological meaning to his person.
     
    Introduction
    Ismail b. Ja`far b. Muhammad was the eldest son of al-Sadiq and was born in Madina in 100 AH. He died circa 138 AH before his father [this last piece seems to be the most strongly anchored piece of info. about him because even his supporters had to explain it away]. His mother was Fatima bt. al-Husyan b. al-Hasan b. Ali. His full brother was Abdallah al-Aftah who also claimed the Imama after their father for brief period of time.
     
    Did the Imam praise him?
    عبدالله بن محمد، عن الحسن بن علي الوشاء، عن أحمد بن عائذ، عن أبي خديجة الجمال قال: سمعت أبا عبدالله عليه السلام يقول: إني سألت الله في إسماعيل أن يبقيه بعدي فأبى ولكنه قد أعطاني فيه منزلة أخرى إنه يكون أول منشور في عشرة من أصحابه ومنهم عبدالله بن شريك وهو صاحب لوائه
    [al-Kashshi] Abdallah b. Muhammad from al-Hasan b. Ali al-Washsha from Ahmad b. A`idh from Abi Khadija the Cameleer who said: I heard Aba Abdillah عليه السلام saying: I asked Allah about Ismail - that he should preserve him to remain after me - but He refused, however He has given me another position for him, he (Ismail) will be the first one to be resurrected with ten of his companions, among them Abdallah b. Sharik, and he (Abdallah) will be the man who carries his banner.
    Abu Khadija in the chain is Salim b. Mukram about whom al-Najashi says <<Thiqa Thiqa>> and Ibn Fadhal says <<Salih>>. However, he has a pre-history which is significant to our study.
    وكان سالم من أصحاب أبي الخطاب، وكان في المسجد يوم بعث عيسى بن موسى بن علي بن عبد الله بن العباس وكان عامل المنصور على الكوفة إلى أبي الخطاب لما بلغه أنهم أظهروا الإباحات ودعوا الناس إلى نبوة أبي الخطاب وأنهم يجتمعون في المسجد، ولزموا الأساطين يرون الناس أنهم قد لزموها للعبادة، وبعث إليهم رجلا فقتلهم جميعا لم يفلت منهم إلا رجل واحد أصابته جراحات فسقط بين القتلى يعد فيهم فلما جنه الليل خرج من بينهم فتخلص وهو أبو سلمة سالم بن مكرم الجمال الملقب بأبي خديجة فذكر بعد ذلك أنه تاب وكان ممن يروي الحديث
    Salim’s original Kunniya was Aba Khadija but the Imam changed it to Aba Salama. He was someone who owned camels and rented them out for others to travel with. Salim was at one point in time among the followers of Abu al-Khattab. They were accused of libertinism (making the Haram to be Halal) and proclaiming Abu al-Khattab to be a prophet. They then rose in revolt and barricaded themselves in the mosque of Kufa. He was the sole individual who escaped the massacre in the mosque that followed and lived to tell the tale. This is because the Abbasid forces thought him to have died in the assault, so when it was the night he stood up and fled.
    Abdallah b. Sharik mentioned in the narration is considered a lying Mukhtari in proto-Sunni sources. He participated in Mukhtar’s revolt which indicates his militant bent. He then attaches himself to Ismail as can be seen  here.
    The Hadith seems to be implying some status for Ismail in the Raj`a [eschatological return] and making this Abdallah b. Sharik al-Amiri as his chief liutenant.
    It is my thesis that Ismail himself is someone who was courted by Abu al-Khattab and associated with the Khattabiyya in some manner. Thus, we have a prior Khattabi [who could be narrating before his conversion] narrating praise of Ismail and his associate the former Mukhtari Abdallah b. Sharik. This is enough to raise skepticism.
     
    The Disapproval of the Imam
    الحسن بن احمد بن إدريس، عن أبيه، عن محمد بن احمد الاشعري، عن ابن يزيد والبرقي، عن احمد بن محمد بن ابي نصر البزنطي، عن حماد، عن عبيد بن زرارة قال: ذكرت إسماعيل عند أبي عبد الله عليه السلام فقال: لا والله لا يشبهني ولا يشبه أحدا من آبائي
    [Kamal al-Diin] al-Hasan b. Ahmad b. Idris from his father from Muhammad b. Ahmad al-Ash`ari from Ya`qub b. Yazid and al-Barqi from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Abi Nasr al-Bazanti from Hammad from Ubayd b. Zurara who said: I mentioned Ismail to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام so he said: no by Allah - he does not resemble me or any one of my forefathers.
    والجواب أنّه سأل الامام عليه السلام عن إسماعيل من جهة لياقته للامامة، على ماهو المرتكز في أذهان العامة من الشيعة، فأجابه الامام عليه السلام بأنّه لايشبهه، ولايشبه آباءه في العصمة، فانّه تصدر منه المعصية غير مرّة، وهذا لا ينافي جلالته، فإنّ العادل التقي أيضاً قد تصدر منه المعصية، ولو كانت صغيرة، لكنه يتذكّر فيتوب
    al-Khoei claims that Ismail not resembling the `Aimma is just as far as the question of Isma (infallibility) is concerned i.e. he is not an Imam like them.
    However, there is a variant which has an addition that seems to indicate that this extended to his personal habits which were not deemed upright.
    ك: ابن المتوكل، عن محمد العطار، عن الاشعري، عن ابن يزيد، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن الحسن بن راشد قال: سألت أبا عبد الله عليه السلام عن إسماعيل فقال: عاص عاص لا يشبهني ولا يشبه أحدا من آبائي
    [Kamal al-Diin] Muhammad b. Musa b. al-Mutawakkil from Muhammad b. Yahya al-Attar from Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Yahya b. Imran al-Ash`ari from Ya`qub b. Yazid from Muhammad b. Abi Umayr from al-Hasan b. Rashid who said: I asked Aba Abdillah عليه السلام about Ismail, he said: disobedient! disobedient! he does not resemble me nor any one of my forefathers.
    Why would the Imam call him عاص if it was just about indicating that he is not infallible?
     
    Connections with the Ghulat Abu al-Khattab and Mufadhal
    Ismail was thought to be be his father’s successor even in the latter’s lifetime. There were some shady figures who coalesced around him like Abu al-Khattab [and the Khatabiyya incl. Mufadhal] who were spreading that rumour. Abu al-Khattab himself had a totally Gnostic and anti-nomian understanding of Islam underpinned by his Batini Ta`wil. He considered the recognition of the Imam to make Shari`a practices redundant. Abu al-Khattab led a rebellion in Kufa and was killed with seventy of his followers by the order of the governor Isa b. Musa (the nephew of the first two Abbasid Caliphs al-Saffah and al-Mansur) when they barricaded themselves in the mosque. [The incident alluded to above]
    al-Mufadhal was initially connected to Abu al-Khattab and the Khatabiyya before later dis-associating from them and renouncing his former position. It is clear that the later Ismailiyya, despite the various off-shoots and splinter sects that arose [and the picture is further complicated by activities to mystify their origins and problems of lack of primary documents] can be traced back to the Khattabi movement. Whether Ismail is directly implicated or was just a figure-head around whom they built their theology remains to be seen.
    حدثني حمدويه بن نصير، قال حدثنا يعقوب بن يزيد، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن هشام بن الحكم وحماد بن عثمان، عن إسماعيل بن جابر قال: قال أبو عبد الله: ايت المفضل قل له يا كافر يا مشرك ما تريد إلى ابني تريد أن تقتله
    [al-Kashshi] Hamduwayh bin Nusayr who said: narrated to us Ya’qub bin Yazid from Ibn Abi Umayr from Hisham bin al-Hakam AND Hammad bin Uthman from Ismail bin Jabir who said: Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said: go to Mufadhal and say to him - O Kafir, O Mushrik, what do you want for my son Ismail (i.e. al-Sadiq's son)!? Do you want to kill him!?
    جبرئيل بن أحمد قال: حدّثني محمّد بن عيسى، عن يونس، عن حماد بن عثمان قال: سمعت أبا عبداللّه عليه السلام يقول للمفضّل بن عمر الجعفي: يا كافر يا مشرك مالك ولابني، يعني إسماعيل بن جعفر، وكان منقطعا إليه، يقول فيه مع الخطابية، ثم رجع بعده
    [al-Kashshi] Jibrail b. Ahmad who said: Muhammad b. Isa narrated to me from Yunus from Hamma b. Uthman who said: I heard Aba Abdillah عليه السلام saying to al-Mufadhal b. Umar al-Ju`fi: O Kafir, O Muhsrik, what do you have to with me son - meaning Ismail b. Ja`far? - and he [Mufadhal] was loyal to him [Ismail], believing about him [that he is the Imam and much more] together with the Khatabiyya, then he returned after him [Ismail’s death].
    حدّثني حمدويه قال: حدّثني محمد بن عيسى، عن إبن أبي عمير، عن حمّاد بن عثمان، عن إسماعيل ابن عامر (جابر) قال: دخلت على أبي عبد اللّه عليه السلام، فوصفت إليه الائمة، حتى انتهيت إليه، فقلت: إسماعيل من بعدك؟ فقال عليه السلام: أم‏ا ذا فلا، فقال حمّاد: فقلت لاسماعيل: ومادعاك إلى أن تقول: وإسماعيل من بعدك؟ قال: أمرني المفضّل بن عمر
    [al-Kashshi] Hamduwayh narrated to me saying: Muhammad b. Isa narrated to me from Ibn Abi Umayr from Hammad b. Uthman from Ismail b. Amir (should be Jabir) who said: I entered upon Abi Abdillah عليه السلام and named for him the `Aimma, until I reached him, then I said: Ismail after you? he said: as for that one then No, Hammad said: so I [Hammad] said to Ismail: what made you to say: ‘Ismail after you’, he said: Mufadhal b. Umar made me do it.
    ويذكر لويس « إن الكنية ( أبو إسماعيل ) التي يضيفها الكشي على أبي الخطاب إنما تشير إلى إسماعيل بن جعفر وأن أبا الخطاب كان المتبني لإسماعيل والأب الروحاني له
    Bernard Lewis quotes from his teacher the famous orientalist Louis Massignon the enigmatic claim that even the Kuniyya Abu Ismail, which al-Kashshi uses for Abi al-Khattab, actually refers to Ismail b. Ja`far. It originated from the fact that Aba al-Khattab considered himself a spiritual father to Ismail grooming him to assume leadership [see his: The Origins of Isma`ilism].
     
    Nabidh Drinking
    حمدويه قال: حدثني محمد بن عيسى ومحمد بن مسعود قال: حدثنا محمد بن نصير قال: حدثني محمد بن عيسى، قال: حدثنا صفوان، عن أبي الحسن عليه السلام قال صفوان: أدخلت على إبراهيم وإسماعيل ابنا أبي سمال ... ما كانوا مجتمعين عليه، كيف يكونون مجتمعين عليه وكان مشيختكم وكبراؤكم يقولون في إسماعيل وهم يرونه يشرب كذا وكذا، فيقولون هذا أجود ...
    [al-Kashshi] Hamduwayh who said: Muhammad b. Isa narrated to me; and Muhammad b. Masud who said: Muhammad b. Nusayr narrated to us saying: Muhammad b. Isa narrated to me saying: Safwan narrated to us from Abi al-Hasan (i.e. al-Ridha) عليه السلام, Safwan said: I arranged for Ibrahim and Ismail - the two sons of Abi Sammal (prominent Waqifis) to enter upon him (i.e. al-Ridha عليه السلام) … [the Imam said]: they were not united upon him (i.e. al-Kadhim), how could they be united upon him while your elders and leaders used to say about Ismail - even though they used to see him drink ‘so and so’ - they would still say - this is one is better …
    What is this ‘so and so’? It is Nabidh (intoxicating drink) [the narrator censors and obfuscates it because of sensitivity - but it is clear what is meant for those who are researchers in this field].
    It was to explain this away that a Hadith like the one below was transmitted.
    ابن الوليد، عن سعد، عن محمد بن عبدالجبار، عن ابن أبي نجران، عن الحسين بن المختار، عن الوليد بن صبيح قال: جاء ني رجل فقال لي: تعال حتى اريك أبن الرجل قال: فذهبت معه قال: فجاء ني إلى قوم يشربون فيهم إسماعيل بن جعفر فخرجت مغموما، فجئت إلى الحجر فاذا إسماعيل بن جعفر متعلق بالبيت يبكي، قد بل أستار الكعبة بدموعه، فرجعت أشتد فاذا إسماعيل جالس مع القوم، فرجعت فاذا هو آخذ بأستار الكعبة قدبلها بدموعه قال: فذكرت ذلك لابي عبدالله عليه السلام فقال: لقد ابتلي ابني بشيطان يتمثل في صورته
    [Kamal al-Diin] Ibn al-Walid from Sa`d from Muhammad b. Abd al-Jabbar from Ibn Abi Najran from al-Husayn b. al-Mukhtar from al-Walid b. Subayh who said: a man came to me and said: come with me so that I show you the son of the man, he [Walid] said: so I went with him until he brought me to a group who were drinking and among them was Ismail b. Ja`far, so I came out of there saddened, then I went o the Hajar [at the Ka`ba] and found Ismail b. Ja`far clinging to the House crying, until the cloth [covering the Ka`ba] was drenched because of his tears, so I returned quicly to the gathering and found Ismail seated with the group, then I returned and found him clinging to the cloth of the Ka`ba which had wettened because of his tears, he [Walid] said: so I mentioned this to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام, he said: my son is afflicted with a devil who assumes his form.
    This narration is also found in al-Imama wa al-Tabsira min al-Hayra of Ali b. al-Husayn b. Babawayh [al-Saduq’s father]. There the chain is Ahmad b. Idris and Muhammad b. Yahya > Muhammad b. Abd al-Jabbar > Ibn Abi Najran > al-Husayn b. al-Mukhtar > al-Walid b. Subayh.
    The Hadith has been put to use to nullify the claim of Ismail’s to the Imam. As al-Saduq comments:
    وقد روي أن الشيطان لا يتمثل في صورة نبي ولا في صورة وصي نبي، فكيف يجوز أن ينص عليه بالإمامة مع صحة هذا القول منه فيه
    And it has been narrated that the Shaytan does not assume the form of a prophet or the successor to the prophet, so how is it possible that he [Ja`far] would designate him [Ismail] for the Imama while he [Ja`far] is the same one who authentically stated this about him.
    However, it may have originally been circulated to explain Ismail’s Nabidh drinking in an apologetic manner.
  15. Like
    Laayla got a reaction from sharinganMahdi for a blog entry, Et tu, Ismail? Pt. 1   
    Some Glimpes of Ismail b. Ja`far in Twelver Sources
    When dealing with a historical figure, that is to say, with an individual who lived ages ago, and in a socio-cultural milieu quite different from us, we must acknowledge the difficulties of trying to answer such questions about them as - who were they? what motivated them? etc. Who can trace the subtle changes that unfailingly occur over a life time while penetrating the barrier of inner thought? This is compounded when we have access to only a limited number of textual sources to work with. 
    Despite admitting the challenges facing any such reconstruction, there is no reason why such attempts not be made, with one caveat: the mind is always looking to make patterns out of disparate dots, sometimes a whole emerges that is consistent and self-sustaining. If the prism through which a single piece of data is seen enables it to better explain other totally independent pieces of data, then the whole reconstruction is on safer grounds and the pieces of data more likely to be historical. Other times, one can skew the different pieces of evidence in trying to fit a pre-configured narrative, introduce bias, over-reach and form a conclusions that is far-removed from reality.
    In any case, what follows below is a collection of different Ahadith that involve Ismail in Twlever sources. It is felt that the incidental nature of some of them, where the details of his life are mentioned secondarily, consequently not tinged with polemical considerations, will yield the most qualitative results. This is purposely so because Ismail was a controversial figure. He was at the center of a polemical debate about the succession to al-Sadiq. There was no lack of people who would wish to besmirch his name with a “black legend” so as to justify his disqualification to the Imama. Similarly, and on the other side of the spectrum, there would be sectarians working to “white-wash” him having imbued theological meaning to his person.
     
    Introduction
    Ismail b. Ja`far b. Muhammad was the eldest son of al-Sadiq and was born in Madina in 100 AH. He died circa 138 AH before his father [this last piece seems to be the most strongly anchored piece of info. about him because even his supporters had to explain it away]. His mother was Fatima bt. al-Husyan b. al-Hasan b. Ali. His full brother was Abdallah al-Aftah who also claimed the Imama after their father for brief period of time.
     
    Did the Imam praise him?
    عبدالله بن محمد، عن الحسن بن علي الوشاء، عن أحمد بن عائذ، عن أبي خديجة الجمال قال: سمعت أبا عبدالله عليه السلام يقول: إني سألت الله في إسماعيل أن يبقيه بعدي فأبى ولكنه قد أعطاني فيه منزلة أخرى إنه يكون أول منشور في عشرة من أصحابه ومنهم عبدالله بن شريك وهو صاحب لوائه
    [al-Kashshi] Abdallah b. Muhammad from al-Hasan b. Ali al-Washsha from Ahmad b. A`idh from Abi Khadija the Cameleer who said: I heard Aba Abdillah عليه السلام saying: I asked Allah about Ismail - that he should preserve him to remain after me - but He refused, however He has given me another position for him, he (Ismail) will be the first one to be resurrected with ten of his companions, among them Abdallah b. Sharik, and he (Abdallah) will be the man who carries his banner.
    Abu Khadija in the chain is Salim b. Mukram about whom al-Najashi says <<Thiqa Thiqa>> and Ibn Fadhal says <<Salih>>. However, he has a pre-history which is significant to our study.
    وكان سالم من أصحاب أبي الخطاب، وكان في المسجد يوم بعث عيسى بن موسى بن علي بن عبد الله بن العباس وكان عامل المنصور على الكوفة إلى أبي الخطاب لما بلغه أنهم أظهروا الإباحات ودعوا الناس إلى نبوة أبي الخطاب وأنهم يجتمعون في المسجد، ولزموا الأساطين يرون الناس أنهم قد لزموها للعبادة، وبعث إليهم رجلا فقتلهم جميعا لم يفلت منهم إلا رجل واحد أصابته جراحات فسقط بين القتلى يعد فيهم فلما جنه الليل خرج من بينهم فتخلص وهو أبو سلمة سالم بن مكرم الجمال الملقب بأبي خديجة فذكر بعد ذلك أنه تاب وكان ممن يروي الحديث
    Salim’s original Kunniya was Aba Khadija but the Imam changed it to Aba Salama. He was someone who owned camels and rented them out for others to travel with. Salim was at one point in time among the followers of Abu al-Khattab. They were accused of libertinism (making the Haram to be Halal) and proclaiming Abu al-Khattab to be a prophet. They then rose in revolt and barricaded themselves in the mosque of Kufa. He was the sole individual who escaped the massacre in the mosque that followed and lived to tell the tale. This is because the Abbasid forces thought him to have died in the assault, so when it was the night he stood up and fled.
    Abdallah b. Sharik mentioned in the narration is considered a lying Mukhtari in proto-Sunni sources. He participated in Mukhtar’s revolt which indicates his militant bent. He then attaches himself to Ismail as can be seen  here.
    The Hadith seems to be implying some status for Ismail in the Raj`a [eschatological return] and making this Abdallah b. Sharik al-Amiri as his chief liutenant.
    It is my thesis that Ismail himself is someone who was courted by Abu al-Khattab and associated with the Khattabiyya in some manner. Thus, we have a prior Khattabi [who could be narrating before his conversion] narrating praise of Ismail and his associate the former Mukhtari Abdallah b. Sharik. This is enough to raise skepticism.
     
    The Disapproval of the Imam
    الحسن بن احمد بن إدريس، عن أبيه، عن محمد بن احمد الاشعري، عن ابن يزيد والبرقي، عن احمد بن محمد بن ابي نصر البزنطي، عن حماد، عن عبيد بن زرارة قال: ذكرت إسماعيل عند أبي عبد الله عليه السلام فقال: لا والله لا يشبهني ولا يشبه أحدا من آبائي
    [Kamal al-Diin] al-Hasan b. Ahmad b. Idris from his father from Muhammad b. Ahmad al-Ash`ari from Ya`qub b. Yazid and al-Barqi from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Abi Nasr al-Bazanti from Hammad from Ubayd b. Zurara who said: I mentioned Ismail to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام so he said: no by Allah - he does not resemble me or any one of my forefathers.
    والجواب أنّه سأل الامام عليه السلام عن إسماعيل من جهة لياقته للامامة، على ماهو المرتكز في أذهان العامة من الشيعة، فأجابه الامام عليه السلام بأنّه لايشبهه، ولايشبه آباءه في العصمة، فانّه تصدر منه المعصية غير مرّة، وهذا لا ينافي جلالته، فإنّ العادل التقي أيضاً قد تصدر منه المعصية، ولو كانت صغيرة، لكنه يتذكّر فيتوب
    al-Khoei claims that Ismail not resembling the `Aimma is just as far as the question of Isma (infallibility) is concerned i.e. he is not an Imam like them.
    However, there is a variant which has an addition that seems to indicate that this extended to his personal habits which were not deemed upright.
    ك: ابن المتوكل، عن محمد العطار، عن الاشعري، عن ابن يزيد، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن الحسن بن راشد قال: سألت أبا عبد الله عليه السلام عن إسماعيل فقال: عاص عاص لا يشبهني ولا يشبه أحدا من آبائي
    [Kamal al-Diin] Muhammad b. Musa b. al-Mutawakkil from Muhammad b. Yahya al-Attar from Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Yahya b. Imran al-Ash`ari from Ya`qub b. Yazid from Muhammad b. Abi Umayr from al-Hasan b. Rashid who said: I asked Aba Abdillah عليه السلام about Ismail, he said: disobedient! disobedient! he does not resemble me nor any one of my forefathers.
    Why would the Imam call him عاص if it was just about indicating that he is not infallible?
     
    Connections with the Ghulat Abu al-Khattab and Mufadhal
    Ismail was thought to be be his father’s successor even in the latter’s lifetime. There were some shady figures who coalesced around him like Abu al-Khattab [and the Khatabiyya incl. Mufadhal] who were spreading that rumour. Abu al-Khattab himself had a totally Gnostic and anti-nomian understanding of Islam underpinned by his Batini Ta`wil. He considered the recognition of the Imam to make Shari`a practices redundant. Abu al-Khattab led a rebellion in Kufa and was killed with seventy of his followers by the order of the governor Isa b. Musa (the nephew of the first two Abbasid Caliphs al-Saffah and al-Mansur) when they barricaded themselves in the mosque. [The incident alluded to above]
    al-Mufadhal was initially connected to Abu al-Khattab and the Khatabiyya before later dis-associating from them and renouncing his former position. It is clear that the later Ismailiyya, despite the various off-shoots and splinter sects that arose [and the picture is further complicated by activities to mystify their origins and problems of lack of primary documents] can be traced back to the Khattabi movement. Whether Ismail is directly implicated or was just a figure-head around whom they built their theology remains to be seen.
    حدثني حمدويه بن نصير، قال حدثنا يعقوب بن يزيد، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن هشام بن الحكم وحماد بن عثمان، عن إسماعيل بن جابر قال: قال أبو عبد الله: ايت المفضل قل له يا كافر يا مشرك ما تريد إلى ابني تريد أن تقتله
    [al-Kashshi] Hamduwayh bin Nusayr who said: narrated to us Ya’qub bin Yazid from Ibn Abi Umayr from Hisham bin al-Hakam AND Hammad bin Uthman from Ismail bin Jabir who said: Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said: go to Mufadhal and say to him - O Kafir, O Mushrik, what do you want for my son Ismail (i.e. al-Sadiq's son)!? Do you want to kill him!?
    جبرئيل بن أحمد قال: حدّثني محمّد بن عيسى، عن يونس، عن حماد بن عثمان قال: سمعت أبا عبداللّه عليه السلام يقول للمفضّل بن عمر الجعفي: يا كافر يا مشرك مالك ولابني، يعني إسماعيل بن جعفر، وكان منقطعا إليه، يقول فيه مع الخطابية، ثم رجع بعده
    [al-Kashshi] Jibrail b. Ahmad who said: Muhammad b. Isa narrated to me from Yunus from Hamma b. Uthman who said: I heard Aba Abdillah عليه السلام saying to al-Mufadhal b. Umar al-Ju`fi: O Kafir, O Muhsrik, what do you have to with me son - meaning Ismail b. Ja`far? - and he [Mufadhal] was loyal to him [Ismail], believing about him [that he is the Imam and much more] together with the Khatabiyya, then he returned after him [Ismail’s death].
    حدّثني حمدويه قال: حدّثني محمد بن عيسى، عن إبن أبي عمير، عن حمّاد بن عثمان، عن إسماعيل ابن عامر (جابر) قال: دخلت على أبي عبد اللّه عليه السلام، فوصفت إليه الائمة، حتى انتهيت إليه، فقلت: إسماعيل من بعدك؟ فقال عليه السلام: أم‏ا ذا فلا، فقال حمّاد: فقلت لاسماعيل: ومادعاك إلى أن تقول: وإسماعيل من بعدك؟ قال: أمرني المفضّل بن عمر
    [al-Kashshi] Hamduwayh narrated to me saying: Muhammad b. Isa narrated to me from Ibn Abi Umayr from Hammad b. Uthman from Ismail b. Amir (should be Jabir) who said: I entered upon Abi Abdillah عليه السلام and named for him the `Aimma, until I reached him, then I said: Ismail after you? he said: as for that one then No, Hammad said: so I [Hammad] said to Ismail: what made you to say: ‘Ismail after you’, he said: Mufadhal b. Umar made me do it.
    ويذكر لويس « إن الكنية ( أبو إسماعيل ) التي يضيفها الكشي على أبي الخطاب إنما تشير إلى إسماعيل بن جعفر وأن أبا الخطاب كان المتبني لإسماعيل والأب الروحاني له
    Bernard Lewis quotes from his teacher the famous orientalist Louis Massignon the enigmatic claim that even the Kuniyya Abu Ismail, which al-Kashshi uses for Abi al-Khattab, actually refers to Ismail b. Ja`far. It originated from the fact that Aba al-Khattab considered himself a spiritual father to Ismail grooming him to assume leadership [see his: The Origins of Isma`ilism].
     
    Nabidh Drinking
    حمدويه قال: حدثني محمد بن عيسى ومحمد بن مسعود قال: حدثنا محمد بن نصير قال: حدثني محمد بن عيسى، قال: حدثنا صفوان، عن أبي الحسن عليه السلام قال صفوان: أدخلت على إبراهيم وإسماعيل ابنا أبي سمال ... ما كانوا مجتمعين عليه، كيف يكونون مجتمعين عليه وكان مشيختكم وكبراؤكم يقولون في إسماعيل وهم يرونه يشرب كذا وكذا، فيقولون هذا أجود ...
    [al-Kashshi] Hamduwayh who said: Muhammad b. Isa narrated to me; and Muhammad b. Masud who said: Muhammad b. Nusayr narrated to us saying: Muhammad b. Isa narrated to me saying: Safwan narrated to us from Abi al-Hasan (i.e. al-Ridha) عليه السلام, Safwan said: I arranged for Ibrahim and Ismail - the two sons of Abi Sammal (prominent Waqifis) to enter upon him (i.e. al-Ridha عليه السلام) … [the Imam said]: they were not united upon him (i.e. al-Kadhim), how could they be united upon him while your elders and leaders used to say about Ismail - even though they used to see him drink ‘so and so’ - they would still say - this is one is better …
    What is this ‘so and so’? It is Nabidh (intoxicating drink) [the narrator censors and obfuscates it because of sensitivity - but it is clear what is meant for those who are researchers in this field].
    It was to explain this away that a Hadith like the one below was transmitted.
    ابن الوليد، عن سعد، عن محمد بن عبدالجبار، عن ابن أبي نجران، عن الحسين بن المختار، عن الوليد بن صبيح قال: جاء ني رجل فقال لي: تعال حتى اريك أبن الرجل قال: فذهبت معه قال: فجاء ني إلى قوم يشربون فيهم إسماعيل بن جعفر فخرجت مغموما، فجئت إلى الحجر فاذا إسماعيل بن جعفر متعلق بالبيت يبكي، قد بل أستار الكعبة بدموعه، فرجعت أشتد فاذا إسماعيل جالس مع القوم، فرجعت فاذا هو آخذ بأستار الكعبة قدبلها بدموعه قال: فذكرت ذلك لابي عبدالله عليه السلام فقال: لقد ابتلي ابني بشيطان يتمثل في صورته
    [Kamal al-Diin] Ibn al-Walid from Sa`d from Muhammad b. Abd al-Jabbar from Ibn Abi Najran from al-Husayn b. al-Mukhtar from al-Walid b. Subayh who said: a man came to me and said: come with me so that I show you the son of the man, he [Walid] said: so I went with him until he brought me to a group who were drinking and among them was Ismail b. Ja`far, so I came out of there saddened, then I went o the Hajar [at the Ka`ba] and found Ismail b. Ja`far clinging to the House crying, until the cloth [covering the Ka`ba] was drenched because of his tears, so I returned quicly to the gathering and found Ismail seated with the group, then I returned and found him clinging to the cloth of the Ka`ba which had wettened because of his tears, he [Walid] said: so I mentioned this to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام, he said: my son is afflicted with a devil who assumes his form.
    This narration is also found in al-Imama wa al-Tabsira min al-Hayra of Ali b. al-Husayn b. Babawayh [al-Saduq’s father]. There the chain is Ahmad b. Idris and Muhammad b. Yahya > Muhammad b. Abd al-Jabbar > Ibn Abi Najran > al-Husayn b. al-Mukhtar > al-Walid b. Subayh.
    The Hadith has been put to use to nullify the claim of Ismail’s to the Imam. As al-Saduq comments:
    وقد روي أن الشيطان لا يتمثل في صورة نبي ولا في صورة وصي نبي، فكيف يجوز أن ينص عليه بالإمامة مع صحة هذا القول منه فيه
    And it has been narrated that the Shaytan does not assume the form of a prophet or the successor to the prophet, so how is it possible that he [Ja`far] would designate him [Ismail] for the Imama while he [Ja`far] is the same one who authentically stated this about him.
    However, it may have originally been circulated to explain Ismail’s Nabidh drinking in an apologetic manner.
  16. Like
    Laayla got a reaction from Miss Wonderful for a blog entry, Et tu, Ismail? Pt. 1   
    Some Glimpes of Ismail b. Ja`far in Twelver Sources
    When dealing with a historical figure, that is to say, with an individual who lived ages ago, and in a socio-cultural milieu quite different from us, we must acknowledge the difficulties of trying to answer such questions about them as - who were they? what motivated them? etc. Who can trace the subtle changes that unfailingly occur over a life time while penetrating the barrier of inner thought? This is compounded when we have access to only a limited number of textual sources to work with. 
    Despite admitting the challenges facing any such reconstruction, there is no reason why such attempts not be made, with one caveat: the mind is always looking to make patterns out of disparate dots, sometimes a whole emerges that is consistent and self-sustaining. If the prism through which a single piece of data is seen enables it to better explain other totally independent pieces of data, then the whole reconstruction is on safer grounds and the pieces of data more likely to be historical. Other times, one can skew the different pieces of evidence in trying to fit a pre-configured narrative, introduce bias, over-reach and form a conclusions that is far-removed from reality.
    In any case, what follows below is a collection of different Ahadith that involve Ismail in Twlever sources. It is felt that the incidental nature of some of them, where the details of his life are mentioned secondarily, consequently not tinged with polemical considerations, will yield the most qualitative results. This is purposely so because Ismail was a controversial figure. He was at the center of a polemical debate about the succession to al-Sadiq. There was no lack of people who would wish to besmirch his name with a “black legend” so as to justify his disqualification to the Imama. Similarly, and on the other side of the spectrum, there would be sectarians working to “white-wash” him having imbued theological meaning to his person.
     
    Introduction
    Ismail b. Ja`far b. Muhammad was the eldest son of al-Sadiq and was born in Madina in 100 AH. He died circa 138 AH before his father [this last piece seems to be the most strongly anchored piece of info. about him because even his supporters had to explain it away]. His mother was Fatima bt. al-Husyan b. al-Hasan b. Ali. His full brother was Abdallah al-Aftah who also claimed the Imama after their father for brief period of time.
     
    Did the Imam praise him?
    عبدالله بن محمد، عن الحسن بن علي الوشاء، عن أحمد بن عائذ، عن أبي خديجة الجمال قال: سمعت أبا عبدالله عليه السلام يقول: إني سألت الله في إسماعيل أن يبقيه بعدي فأبى ولكنه قد أعطاني فيه منزلة أخرى إنه يكون أول منشور في عشرة من أصحابه ومنهم عبدالله بن شريك وهو صاحب لوائه
    [al-Kashshi] Abdallah b. Muhammad from al-Hasan b. Ali al-Washsha from Ahmad b. A`idh from Abi Khadija the Cameleer who said: I heard Aba Abdillah عليه السلام saying: I asked Allah about Ismail - that he should preserve him to remain after me - but He refused, however He has given me another position for him, he (Ismail) will be the first one to be resurrected with ten of his companions, among them Abdallah b. Sharik, and he (Abdallah) will be the man who carries his banner.
    Abu Khadija in the chain is Salim b. Mukram about whom al-Najashi says <<Thiqa Thiqa>> and Ibn Fadhal says <<Salih>>. However, he has a pre-history which is significant to our study.
    وكان سالم من أصحاب أبي الخطاب، وكان في المسجد يوم بعث عيسى بن موسى بن علي بن عبد الله بن العباس وكان عامل المنصور على الكوفة إلى أبي الخطاب لما بلغه أنهم أظهروا الإباحات ودعوا الناس إلى نبوة أبي الخطاب وأنهم يجتمعون في المسجد، ولزموا الأساطين يرون الناس أنهم قد لزموها للعبادة، وبعث إليهم رجلا فقتلهم جميعا لم يفلت منهم إلا رجل واحد أصابته جراحات فسقط بين القتلى يعد فيهم فلما جنه الليل خرج من بينهم فتخلص وهو أبو سلمة سالم بن مكرم الجمال الملقب بأبي خديجة فذكر بعد ذلك أنه تاب وكان ممن يروي الحديث
    Salim’s original Kunniya was Aba Khadija but the Imam changed it to Aba Salama. He was someone who owned camels and rented them out for others to travel with. Salim was at one point in time among the followers of Abu al-Khattab. They were accused of libertinism (making the Haram to be Halal) and proclaiming Abu al-Khattab to be a prophet. They then rose in revolt and barricaded themselves in the mosque of Kufa. He was the sole individual who escaped the massacre in the mosque that followed and lived to tell the tale. This is because the Abbasid forces thought him to have died in the assault, so when it was the night he stood up and fled.
    Abdallah b. Sharik mentioned in the narration is considered a lying Mukhtari in proto-Sunni sources. He participated in Mukhtar’s revolt which indicates his militant bent. He then attaches himself to Ismail as can be seen  here.
    The Hadith seems to be implying some status for Ismail in the Raj`a [eschatological return] and making this Abdallah b. Sharik al-Amiri as his chief liutenant.
    It is my thesis that Ismail himself is someone who was courted by Abu al-Khattab and associated with the Khattabiyya in some manner. Thus, we have a prior Khattabi [who could be narrating before his conversion] narrating praise of Ismail and his associate the former Mukhtari Abdallah b. Sharik. This is enough to raise skepticism.
     
    The Disapproval of the Imam
    الحسن بن احمد بن إدريس، عن أبيه، عن محمد بن احمد الاشعري، عن ابن يزيد والبرقي، عن احمد بن محمد بن ابي نصر البزنطي، عن حماد، عن عبيد بن زرارة قال: ذكرت إسماعيل عند أبي عبد الله عليه السلام فقال: لا والله لا يشبهني ولا يشبه أحدا من آبائي
    [Kamal al-Diin] al-Hasan b. Ahmad b. Idris from his father from Muhammad b. Ahmad al-Ash`ari from Ya`qub b. Yazid and al-Barqi from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Abi Nasr al-Bazanti from Hammad from Ubayd b. Zurara who said: I mentioned Ismail to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام so he said: no by Allah - he does not resemble me or any one of my forefathers.
    والجواب أنّه سأل الامام عليه السلام عن إسماعيل من جهة لياقته للامامة، على ماهو المرتكز في أذهان العامة من الشيعة، فأجابه الامام عليه السلام بأنّه لايشبهه، ولايشبه آباءه في العصمة، فانّه تصدر منه المعصية غير مرّة، وهذا لا ينافي جلالته، فإنّ العادل التقي أيضاً قد تصدر منه المعصية، ولو كانت صغيرة، لكنه يتذكّر فيتوب
    al-Khoei claims that Ismail not resembling the `Aimma is just as far as the question of Isma (infallibility) is concerned i.e. he is not an Imam like them.
    However, there is a variant which has an addition that seems to indicate that this extended to his personal habits which were not deemed upright.
    ك: ابن المتوكل، عن محمد العطار، عن الاشعري، عن ابن يزيد، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن الحسن بن راشد قال: سألت أبا عبد الله عليه السلام عن إسماعيل فقال: عاص عاص لا يشبهني ولا يشبه أحدا من آبائي
    [Kamal al-Diin] Muhammad b. Musa b. al-Mutawakkil from Muhammad b. Yahya al-Attar from Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Yahya b. Imran al-Ash`ari from Ya`qub b. Yazid from Muhammad b. Abi Umayr from al-Hasan b. Rashid who said: I asked Aba Abdillah عليه السلام about Ismail, he said: disobedient! disobedient! he does not resemble me nor any one of my forefathers.
    Why would the Imam call him عاص if it was just about indicating that he is not infallible?
     
    Connections with the Ghulat Abu al-Khattab and Mufadhal
    Ismail was thought to be be his father’s successor even in the latter’s lifetime. There were some shady figures who coalesced around him like Abu al-Khattab [and the Khatabiyya incl. Mufadhal] who were spreading that rumour. Abu al-Khattab himself had a totally Gnostic and anti-nomian understanding of Islam underpinned by his Batini Ta`wil. He considered the recognition of the Imam to make Shari`a practices redundant. Abu al-Khattab led a rebellion in Kufa and was killed with seventy of his followers by the order of the governor Isa b. Musa (the nephew of the first two Abbasid Caliphs al-Saffah and al-Mansur) when they barricaded themselves in the mosque. [The incident alluded to above]
    al-Mufadhal was initially connected to Abu al-Khattab and the Khatabiyya before later dis-associating from them and renouncing his former position. It is clear that the later Ismailiyya, despite the various off-shoots and splinter sects that arose [and the picture is further complicated by activities to mystify their origins and problems of lack of primary documents] can be traced back to the Khattabi movement. Whether Ismail is directly implicated or was just a figure-head around whom they built their theology remains to be seen.
    حدثني حمدويه بن نصير، قال حدثنا يعقوب بن يزيد، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن هشام بن الحكم وحماد بن عثمان، عن إسماعيل بن جابر قال: قال أبو عبد الله: ايت المفضل قل له يا كافر يا مشرك ما تريد إلى ابني تريد أن تقتله
    [al-Kashshi] Hamduwayh bin Nusayr who said: narrated to us Ya’qub bin Yazid from Ibn Abi Umayr from Hisham bin al-Hakam AND Hammad bin Uthman from Ismail bin Jabir who said: Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said: go to Mufadhal and say to him - O Kafir, O Mushrik, what do you want for my son Ismail (i.e. al-Sadiq's son)!? Do you want to kill him!?
    جبرئيل بن أحمد قال: حدّثني محمّد بن عيسى، عن يونس، عن حماد بن عثمان قال: سمعت أبا عبداللّه عليه السلام يقول للمفضّل بن عمر الجعفي: يا كافر يا مشرك مالك ولابني، يعني إسماعيل بن جعفر، وكان منقطعا إليه، يقول فيه مع الخطابية، ثم رجع بعده
    [al-Kashshi] Jibrail b. Ahmad who said: Muhammad b. Isa narrated to me from Yunus from Hamma b. Uthman who said: I heard Aba Abdillah عليه السلام saying to al-Mufadhal b. Umar al-Ju`fi: O Kafir, O Muhsrik, what do you have to with me son - meaning Ismail b. Ja`far? - and he [Mufadhal] was loyal to him [Ismail], believing about him [that he is the Imam and much more] together with the Khatabiyya, then he returned after him [Ismail’s death].
    حدّثني حمدويه قال: حدّثني محمد بن عيسى، عن إبن أبي عمير، عن حمّاد بن عثمان، عن إسماعيل ابن عامر (جابر) قال: دخلت على أبي عبد اللّه عليه السلام، فوصفت إليه الائمة، حتى انتهيت إليه، فقلت: إسماعيل من بعدك؟ فقال عليه السلام: أم‏ا ذا فلا، فقال حمّاد: فقلت لاسماعيل: ومادعاك إلى أن تقول: وإسماعيل من بعدك؟ قال: أمرني المفضّل بن عمر
    [al-Kashshi] Hamduwayh narrated to me saying: Muhammad b. Isa narrated to me from Ibn Abi Umayr from Hammad b. Uthman from Ismail b. Amir (should be Jabir) who said: I entered upon Abi Abdillah عليه السلام and named for him the `Aimma, until I reached him, then I said: Ismail after you? he said: as for that one then No, Hammad said: so I [Hammad] said to Ismail: what made you to say: ‘Ismail after you’, he said: Mufadhal b. Umar made me do it.
    ويذكر لويس « إن الكنية ( أبو إسماعيل ) التي يضيفها الكشي على أبي الخطاب إنما تشير إلى إسماعيل بن جعفر وأن أبا الخطاب كان المتبني لإسماعيل والأب الروحاني له
    Bernard Lewis quotes from his teacher the famous orientalist Louis Massignon the enigmatic claim that even the Kuniyya Abu Ismail, which al-Kashshi uses for Abi al-Khattab, actually refers to Ismail b. Ja`far. It originated from the fact that Aba al-Khattab considered himself a spiritual father to Ismail grooming him to assume leadership [see his: The Origins of Isma`ilism].
     
    Nabidh Drinking
    حمدويه قال: حدثني محمد بن عيسى ومحمد بن مسعود قال: حدثنا محمد بن نصير قال: حدثني محمد بن عيسى، قال: حدثنا صفوان، عن أبي الحسن عليه السلام قال صفوان: أدخلت على إبراهيم وإسماعيل ابنا أبي سمال ... ما كانوا مجتمعين عليه، كيف يكونون مجتمعين عليه وكان مشيختكم وكبراؤكم يقولون في إسماعيل وهم يرونه يشرب كذا وكذا، فيقولون هذا أجود ...
    [al-Kashshi] Hamduwayh who said: Muhammad b. Isa narrated to me; and Muhammad b. Masud who said: Muhammad b. Nusayr narrated to us saying: Muhammad b. Isa narrated to me saying: Safwan narrated to us from Abi al-Hasan (i.e. al-Ridha) عليه السلام, Safwan said: I arranged for Ibrahim and Ismail - the two sons of Abi Sammal (prominent Waqifis) to enter upon him (i.e. al-Ridha عليه السلام) … [the Imam said]: they were not united upon him (i.e. al-Kadhim), how could they be united upon him while your elders and leaders used to say about Ismail - even though they used to see him drink ‘so and so’ - they would still say - this is one is better …
    What is this ‘so and so’? It is Nabidh (intoxicating drink) [the narrator censors and obfuscates it because of sensitivity - but it is clear what is meant for those who are researchers in this field].
    It was to explain this away that a Hadith like the one below was transmitted.
    ابن الوليد، عن سعد، عن محمد بن عبدالجبار، عن ابن أبي نجران، عن الحسين بن المختار، عن الوليد بن صبيح قال: جاء ني رجل فقال لي: تعال حتى اريك أبن الرجل قال: فذهبت معه قال: فجاء ني إلى قوم يشربون فيهم إسماعيل بن جعفر فخرجت مغموما، فجئت إلى الحجر فاذا إسماعيل بن جعفر متعلق بالبيت يبكي، قد بل أستار الكعبة بدموعه، فرجعت أشتد فاذا إسماعيل جالس مع القوم، فرجعت فاذا هو آخذ بأستار الكعبة قدبلها بدموعه قال: فذكرت ذلك لابي عبدالله عليه السلام فقال: لقد ابتلي ابني بشيطان يتمثل في صورته
    [Kamal al-Diin] Ibn al-Walid from Sa`d from Muhammad b. Abd al-Jabbar from Ibn Abi Najran from al-Husayn b. al-Mukhtar from al-Walid b. Subayh who said: a man came to me and said: come with me so that I show you the son of the man, he [Walid] said: so I went with him until he brought me to a group who were drinking and among them was Ismail b. Ja`far, so I came out of there saddened, then I went o the Hajar [at the Ka`ba] and found Ismail b. Ja`far clinging to the House crying, until the cloth [covering the Ka`ba] was drenched because of his tears, so I returned quicly to the gathering and found Ismail seated with the group, then I returned and found him clinging to the cloth of the Ka`ba which had wettened because of his tears, he [Walid] said: so I mentioned this to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام, he said: my son is afflicted with a devil who assumes his form.
    This narration is also found in al-Imama wa al-Tabsira min al-Hayra of Ali b. al-Husayn b. Babawayh [al-Saduq’s father]. There the chain is Ahmad b. Idris and Muhammad b. Yahya > Muhammad b. Abd al-Jabbar > Ibn Abi Najran > al-Husayn b. al-Mukhtar > al-Walid b. Subayh.
    The Hadith has been put to use to nullify the claim of Ismail’s to the Imam. As al-Saduq comments:
    وقد روي أن الشيطان لا يتمثل في صورة نبي ولا في صورة وصي نبي، فكيف يجوز أن ينص عليه بالإمامة مع صحة هذا القول منه فيه
    And it has been narrated that the Shaytan does not assume the form of a prophet or the successor to the prophet, so how is it possible that he [Ja`far] would designate him [Ismail] for the Imama while he [Ja`far] is the same one who authentically stated this about him.
    However, it may have originally been circulated to explain Ismail’s Nabidh drinking in an apologetic manner.
  17. Like
    Laayla got a reaction from yasahebalzaman.313 for a blog entry, Possessionist Imamology   
    إن بيانا تراءى له الشيطان في أحسن ما يكون صورة آدمي من قرنه إلى سرته
    The Devil appeared to Bayan in the most handsome form that a human can have from the top of the head to the navel [Ja`far al-Sadiq]
    God caused the holy pre-existent spirit which had created the whole of creation to dwell in flesh that He desired  [Shepherd of Hermas]
    He keeps appearing every now and again ... he takes Adam’s clothes off and puts it on again [Epiphanius]
     
    Bayan b. Sam`an and the Bayaniyya
    The status of the Imam was a question that was fiercely debated in the second century of the Islamic Era before the different positions crystallized. It is important to go back to history to hear the different voices in the debate. This is relevant because we find some unease to this day between what is believed in the popular Shi`i consciousness and our literary sources. One such key figure who participated in developing a peculiar Imamology was Bayan b. Sam`an.
    Who was Bayan?
    Bayan b. Sam`an (most likely from the South Arabian tribe of Nahd) was a seller of straw in Kufa. We would classify him as a Ghali and he was indeed cursed by the `Aimma. He is said to have associated himself with Hamza b. `Ammara, a speculator about the divinity of Ibn al-Hanafiyya [heading a splinter of the Kaysaniyya]. Bayan later attached himself to the claim of Abu Hashim the son of Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya.
    What did the Bayaniyya believe?
    We do not have any extant documentary evidence that comes directly from Bayani circles, but we have early statements of contemporaries reformulating their beliefs, we also have the entries of the heresiographers whose work it was to classify different sects based on their belief-systems.
     
    The concept of a Demiurge
    In a report in al-Kashshi, Hisham quotes Bayan as saying:
     إن بيانا يتأول هذه الآية وَ هُوَ الَّذِي فِي السَّماءِ إِلهٌ وَ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلهٌ، أن الذي في الأرض غير إله السماء، و إله السماء غير إله الأرض، و أن إله السماء أعظم من إله الأرض، و أن أهل الأرض يعرفون فضل إله السماء و يعظمونه فقال: و الله ما هو إلا الله وحده لا شريك له إله من في السماوات و إله من في الأرضين
    'Bayan interprets this verse “and He is the one who is God in Heaven and God on Earth” (43:84) that the one on Earth is not the God of Heaven, and the God of Heaven is not the God of Earth, and that the God of Heaven is greater than the God of Earth, and that the people of the Earth recognize the merit of the God of Heaven and magnify Him'
    This is an important piece of evidence, because it shows that the sectarians were influenced by the concept of the Demiurge in their cosmology. I use this word in the sense of a second divine power in heaven. This power could assume many different names like Wisdom of God, Spirit of God, Logos, Metatron etc. It owes its origins to Gnosticism [and Middle-platonic notions], which had a long pre-Islamic pedigree in the melting pot that was Kufa. Gnosticism presents a distinction between the highest, unknowable God and the lesser power that was pre-existing with the unknowable God. The latter is the ilah al-ard [lesser god] in Bayan’s terminology, the site of God's power on the Earth. The real unknown God is so distant and incomprehensible to humans that they can only know him through a lesser being which can interact with matter.
     
    Who is the Lesser God on Earth?
    The Bayaniyya held that the Imam was deified because of housing the indwelling Demiurgic divine-light particle. This particle transmigrated (Tanasukh) i.e. passed down - from the Biblical patriarchs, to the Prophet Muḥammad, to the Shiʿi Imams.
    قال بيان بالهية علي عليه السلام، وأن جزءا إلهيا متحد بناسوته، ثم من بعده في ابنه محمد بن الحنفية ثم في أبي هاشم ولد محمد بن الحنفية، ثم من بعده  في بيان هذا
    In other words, the bodies of prophets and `Aimma were receptacles to be filled with a divine spark or Spirit. It would at some point leave the body of the Imam when he dies and transmigrate to another. All the supernatural abilities of the Imam derives from being a host to the divine particle, without it the Imam is just an ordinary human.
    I term this a “possessionist” Imamology. Anyone who has studied early Jewish-Christian Christologies will notice how closely those parallel what has been presented here.
    This particle is said to have passed through Ali > Ibn al-Hanafiyya > Abu Hashim and potentially Bayan himself.
    Al-Baghdadi says in al-Farq bayn al-Firaq:
    ان بَيَانا قَالَ لَهُم: ان روح الْإِلَه تناسخت فى الانبياء والائمة حَتَّى صَارَت الى ابى هَاشم عبد الله ابْن مُحَمَّد بن الْحَنَفِيَّة ثمَّ انْتَقَلت اليه مِنْهُ يعْنى نَفسه فَادّعى لنَفسِهِ الربوبية على مَذْهَب الحلولية
    Bayan said: the Divine Spirit transfused into the prophets and the `Aimma until it reached Abi Hashim Abdallah b. Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya then it went into me [i.e. he deified himself].
    al-Shahristani says in al-Milal wa al-Nihal:
    قال بيان:  حل في علي جزء إلهي، واتحد بجسده، فيه كان يعلم الغيب اذا اخبر عن الملاحم وبه قلع باب خيبر
    Bayan said: The divine particle transfused into Ali, and united with his physical body, with it [in this divine particle] did he know the knowledge of the Unseen when he used to inform others about the trials [at the end of times] and by it [not his physical body] was he able to uproot the door of Khaybar.
     
    What is the Implication of this?
    In essence, the Bayaniyya and many other Ghulat were marked out from other 'orthodox' Muslim communities in that they did not close the door to prophecy. Prophecy continues because the access to the divine realm did not end with the Muhammad. Since they deified the Imams, anyone who is a legitimate deputy of this Imam-god would be a “prophet”. At first, Bayan saw himself as the “prophet” of the one with the divine spark.
    Sa`d b. Abdallah says in his al-Maqalat that Bayan sent a letter to al-Sadiq announcing his prophethood and commanding him among other things “to surrender so as to be safe … for you cannot know where God will place his prophethood .. and whoever warns has been excused”. The Imam ordered the messenger who brought the letter, a hapless man called Umar b. Abi Afif al-Azdi, to eat the letter in front of him, and that was his reply.
    There are clues, however, that he later evolved from this position and claimed to have possessed the spark himself. Consequently, he claimed to have access to special kind of knowledge which enabled him to predict the future [as a corollary] among other powers.
     
    Interpretation of the Qur`an
    The Ghulat in general are characterized by dabbling in Ta`wil [esoteric interpretation of the Qur`an]. The Bayaniyya, in particular, developed a literalist anthropomorphic interpretation of the Qur`an. They considered the unknowable God as being  a Man of Light based on Q. 24:35. This Man of Light has various constituent parts e.g. having a hand based on Q. 48:10. In this vein, they considered that all will be destroyed [including God’s other parts] except for His face based on Q. 28:88.
     
    Apocalyptic Expectations
    A key feature of most of the Ghulati groups was the belief in the return of the dead before the day of judgment initiated by the eschatological return of of the expected messianic deliverer. The Bayaniyya believed in the Raj`a of Abu Hashim as the Mahdi. 
     
    The End
    In 119/737 AD, Bayan and another Ghali al-Mughira b. Sa`id joined forces and rose in revolt against the Umayyad governor of Iraq, Khalid b. `Abdallah al-Qasri. The rebellion was quickly put down and the leaders as well as some of their followers were executed and then burned.
    As the Imam says:
    كان بيان يكذب على علي بن الحسين عليه السلام، فأذاقه الله حرَّ الحديد، وكان المغيرة بن سعيد يكذب على أبي جعفر عليه السلام فأذاقه الله حرَّ الحديد
    Bayan used to lie about al-al-Sajjad عليه السلام and al-Mughira b. Sa`id used to lie about al-Baqir عليه السلام so Allah made them to taste of the heat of the iron [put to the sword].
  18. Like
    Laayla got a reaction from New membr for a blog entry, Possessionist Imamology   
    إن بيانا تراءى له الشيطان في أحسن ما يكون صورة آدمي من قرنه إلى سرته
    The Devil appeared to Bayan in the most handsome form that a human can have from the top of the head to the navel [Ja`far al-Sadiq]
    God caused the holy pre-existent spirit which had created the whole of creation to dwell in flesh that He desired  [Shepherd of Hermas]
    He keeps appearing every now and again ... he takes Adam’s clothes off and puts it on again [Epiphanius]
     
    Bayan b. Sam`an and the Bayaniyya
    The status of the Imam was a question that was fiercely debated in the second century of the Islamic Era before the different positions crystallized. It is important to go back to history to hear the different voices in the debate. This is relevant because we find some unease to this day between what is believed in the popular Shi`i consciousness and our literary sources. One such key figure who participated in developing a peculiar Imamology was Bayan b. Sam`an.
    Who was Bayan?
    Bayan b. Sam`an (most likely from the South Arabian tribe of Nahd) was a seller of straw in Kufa. We would classify him as a Ghali and he was indeed cursed by the `Aimma. He is said to have associated himself with Hamza b. `Ammara, a speculator about the divinity of Ibn al-Hanafiyya [heading a splinter of the Kaysaniyya]. Bayan later attached himself to the claim of Abu Hashim the son of Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya.
    What did the Bayaniyya believe?
    We do not have any extant documentary evidence that comes directly from Bayani circles, but we have early statements of contemporaries reformulating their beliefs, we also have the entries of the heresiographers whose work it was to classify different sects based on their belief-systems.
     
    The concept of a Demiurge
    In a report in al-Kashshi, Hisham quotes Bayan as saying:
     إن بيانا يتأول هذه الآية وَ هُوَ الَّذِي فِي السَّماءِ إِلهٌ وَ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلهٌ، أن الذي في الأرض غير إله السماء، و إله السماء غير إله الأرض، و أن إله السماء أعظم من إله الأرض، و أن أهل الأرض يعرفون فضل إله السماء و يعظمونه فقال: و الله ما هو إلا الله وحده لا شريك له إله من في السماوات و إله من في الأرضين
    'Bayan interprets this verse “and He is the one who is God in Heaven and God on Earth” (43:84) that the one on Earth is not the God of Heaven, and the God of Heaven is not the God of Earth, and that the God of Heaven is greater than the God of Earth, and that the people of the Earth recognize the merit of the God of Heaven and magnify Him'
    This is an important piece of evidence, because it shows that the sectarians were influenced by the concept of the Demiurge in their cosmology. I use this word in the sense of a second divine power in heaven. This power could assume many different names like Wisdom of God, Spirit of God, Logos, Metatron etc. It owes its origins to Gnosticism [and Middle-platonic notions], which had a long pre-Islamic pedigree in the melting pot that was Kufa. Gnosticism presents a distinction between the highest, unknowable God and the lesser power that was pre-existing with the unknowable God. The latter is the ilah al-ard [lesser god] in Bayan’s terminology, the site of God's power on the Earth. The real unknown God is so distant and incomprehensible to humans that they can only know him through a lesser being which can interact with matter.
     
    Who is the Lesser God on Earth?
    The Bayaniyya held that the Imam was deified because of housing the indwelling Demiurgic divine-light particle. This particle transmigrated (Tanasukh) i.e. passed down - from the Biblical patriarchs, to the Prophet Muḥammad, to the Shiʿi Imams.
    قال بيان بالهية علي عليه السلام، وأن جزءا إلهيا متحد بناسوته، ثم من بعده في ابنه محمد بن الحنفية ثم في أبي هاشم ولد محمد بن الحنفية، ثم من بعده  في بيان هذا
    In other words, the bodies of prophets and `Aimma were receptacles to be filled with a divine spark or Spirit. It would at some point leave the body of the Imam when he dies and transmigrate to another. All the supernatural abilities of the Imam derives from being a host to the divine particle, without it the Imam is just an ordinary human.
    I term this a “possessionist” Imamology. Anyone who has studied early Jewish-Christian Christologies will notice how closely those parallel what has been presented here.
    This particle is said to have passed through Ali > Ibn al-Hanafiyya > Abu Hashim and potentially Bayan himself.
    Al-Baghdadi says in al-Farq bayn al-Firaq:
    ان بَيَانا قَالَ لَهُم: ان روح الْإِلَه تناسخت فى الانبياء والائمة حَتَّى صَارَت الى ابى هَاشم عبد الله ابْن مُحَمَّد بن الْحَنَفِيَّة ثمَّ انْتَقَلت اليه مِنْهُ يعْنى نَفسه فَادّعى لنَفسِهِ الربوبية على مَذْهَب الحلولية
    Bayan said: the Divine Spirit transfused into the prophets and the `Aimma until it reached Abi Hashim Abdallah b. Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya then it went into me [i.e. he deified himself].
    al-Shahristani says in al-Milal wa al-Nihal:
    قال بيان:  حل في علي جزء إلهي، واتحد بجسده، فيه كان يعلم الغيب اذا اخبر عن الملاحم وبه قلع باب خيبر
    Bayan said: The divine particle transfused into Ali, and united with his physical body, with it [in this divine particle] did he know the knowledge of the Unseen when he used to inform others about the trials [at the end of times] and by it [not his physical body] was he able to uproot the door of Khaybar.
     
    What is the Implication of this?
    In essence, the Bayaniyya and many other Ghulat were marked out from other 'orthodox' Muslim communities in that they did not close the door to prophecy. Prophecy continues because the access to the divine realm did not end with the Muhammad. Since they deified the Imams, anyone who is a legitimate deputy of this Imam-god would be a “prophet”. At first, Bayan saw himself as the “prophet” of the one with the divine spark.
    Sa`d b. Abdallah says in his al-Maqalat that Bayan sent a letter to al-Sadiq announcing his prophethood and commanding him among other things “to surrender so as to be safe … for you cannot know where God will place his prophethood .. and whoever warns has been excused”. The Imam ordered the messenger who brought the letter, a hapless man called Umar b. Abi Afif al-Azdi, to eat the letter in front of him, and that was his reply.
    There are clues, however, that he later evolved from this position and claimed to have possessed the spark himself. Consequently, he claimed to have access to special kind of knowledge which enabled him to predict the future [as a corollary] among other powers.
     
    Interpretation of the Qur`an
    The Ghulat in general are characterized by dabbling in Ta`wil [esoteric interpretation of the Qur`an]. The Bayaniyya, in particular, developed a literalist anthropomorphic interpretation of the Qur`an. They considered the unknowable God as being  a Man of Light based on Q. 24:35. This Man of Light has various constituent parts e.g. having a hand based on Q. 48:10. In this vein, they considered that all will be destroyed [including God’s other parts] except for His face based on Q. 28:88.
     
    Apocalyptic Expectations
    A key feature of most of the Ghulati groups was the belief in the return of the dead before the day of judgment initiated by the eschatological return of of the expected messianic deliverer. The Bayaniyya believed in the Raj`a of Abu Hashim as the Mahdi. 
     
    The End
    In 119/737 AD, Bayan and another Ghali al-Mughira b. Sa`id joined forces and rose in revolt against the Umayyad governor of Iraq, Khalid b. `Abdallah al-Qasri. The rebellion was quickly put down and the leaders as well as some of their followers were executed and then burned.
    As the Imam says:
    كان بيان يكذب على علي بن الحسين عليه السلام، فأذاقه الله حرَّ الحديد، وكان المغيرة بن سعيد يكذب على أبي جعفر عليه السلام فأذاقه الله حرَّ الحديد
    Bayan used to lie about al-al-Sajjad عليه السلام and al-Mughira b. Sa`id used to lie about al-Baqir عليه السلام so Allah made them to taste of the heat of the iron [put to the sword].
  19. Like
    Laayla got a reaction from Soldiers and Saffron for a blog entry, Possessionist Imamology   
    إن بيانا تراءى له الشيطان في أحسن ما يكون صورة آدمي من قرنه إلى سرته
    The Devil appeared to Bayan in the most handsome form that a human can have from the top of the head to the navel [Ja`far al-Sadiq]
    God caused the holy pre-existent spirit which had created the whole of creation to dwell in flesh that He desired  [Shepherd of Hermas]
    He keeps appearing every now and again ... he takes Adam’s clothes off and puts it on again [Epiphanius]
     
    Bayan b. Sam`an and the Bayaniyya
    The status of the Imam was a question that was fiercely debated in the second century of the Islamic Era before the different positions crystallized. It is important to go back to history to hear the different voices in the debate. This is relevant because we find some unease to this day between what is believed in the popular Shi`i consciousness and our literary sources. One such key figure who participated in developing a peculiar Imamology was Bayan b. Sam`an.
    Who was Bayan?
    Bayan b. Sam`an (most likely from the South Arabian tribe of Nahd) was a seller of straw in Kufa. We would classify him as a Ghali and he was indeed cursed by the `Aimma. He is said to have associated himself with Hamza b. `Ammara, a speculator about the divinity of Ibn al-Hanafiyya [heading a splinter of the Kaysaniyya]. Bayan later attached himself to the claim of Abu Hashim the son of Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya.
    What did the Bayaniyya believe?
    We do not have any extant documentary evidence that comes directly from Bayani circles, but we have early statements of contemporaries reformulating their beliefs, we also have the entries of the heresiographers whose work it was to classify different sects based on their belief-systems.
     
    The concept of a Demiurge
    In a report in al-Kashshi, Hisham quotes Bayan as saying:
     إن بيانا يتأول هذه الآية وَ هُوَ الَّذِي فِي السَّماءِ إِلهٌ وَ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلهٌ، أن الذي في الأرض غير إله السماء، و إله السماء غير إله الأرض، و أن إله السماء أعظم من إله الأرض، و أن أهل الأرض يعرفون فضل إله السماء و يعظمونه فقال: و الله ما هو إلا الله وحده لا شريك له إله من في السماوات و إله من في الأرضين
    'Bayan interprets this verse “and He is the one who is God in Heaven and God on Earth” (43:84) that the one on Earth is not the God of Heaven, and the God of Heaven is not the God of Earth, and that the God of Heaven is greater than the God of Earth, and that the people of the Earth recognize the merit of the God of Heaven and magnify Him'
    This is an important piece of evidence, because it shows that the sectarians were influenced by the concept of the Demiurge in their cosmology. I use this word in the sense of a second divine power in heaven. This power could assume many different names like Wisdom of God, Spirit of God, Logos, Metatron etc. It owes its origins to Gnosticism [and Middle-platonic notions], which had a long pre-Islamic pedigree in the melting pot that was Kufa. Gnosticism presents a distinction between the highest, unknowable God and the lesser power that was pre-existing with the unknowable God. The latter is the ilah al-ard [lesser god] in Bayan’s terminology, the site of God's power on the Earth. The real unknown God is so distant and incomprehensible to humans that they can only know him through a lesser being which can interact with matter.
     
    Who is the Lesser God on Earth?
    The Bayaniyya held that the Imam was deified because of housing the indwelling Demiurgic divine-light particle. This particle transmigrated (Tanasukh) i.e. passed down - from the Biblical patriarchs, to the Prophet Muḥammad, to the Shiʿi Imams.
    قال بيان بالهية علي عليه السلام، وأن جزءا إلهيا متحد بناسوته، ثم من بعده في ابنه محمد بن الحنفية ثم في أبي هاشم ولد محمد بن الحنفية، ثم من بعده  في بيان هذا
    In other words, the bodies of prophets and `Aimma were receptacles to be filled with a divine spark or Spirit. It would at some point leave the body of the Imam when he dies and transmigrate to another. All the supernatural abilities of the Imam derives from being a host to the divine particle, without it the Imam is just an ordinary human.
    I term this a “possessionist” Imamology. Anyone who has studied early Jewish-Christian Christologies will notice how closely those parallel what has been presented here.
    This particle is said to have passed through Ali > Ibn al-Hanafiyya > Abu Hashim and potentially Bayan himself.
    Al-Baghdadi says in al-Farq bayn al-Firaq:
    ان بَيَانا قَالَ لَهُم: ان روح الْإِلَه تناسخت فى الانبياء والائمة حَتَّى صَارَت الى ابى هَاشم عبد الله ابْن مُحَمَّد بن الْحَنَفِيَّة ثمَّ انْتَقَلت اليه مِنْهُ يعْنى نَفسه فَادّعى لنَفسِهِ الربوبية على مَذْهَب الحلولية
    Bayan said: the Divine Spirit transfused into the prophets and the `Aimma until it reached Abi Hashim Abdallah b. Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya then it went into me [i.e. he deified himself].
    al-Shahristani says in al-Milal wa al-Nihal:
    قال بيان:  حل في علي جزء إلهي، واتحد بجسده، فيه كان يعلم الغيب اذا اخبر عن الملاحم وبه قلع باب خيبر
    Bayan said: The divine particle transfused into Ali, and united with his physical body, with it [in this divine particle] did he know the knowledge of the Unseen when he used to inform others about the trials [at the end of times] and by it [not his physical body] was he able to uproot the door of Khaybar.
     
    What is the Implication of this?
    In essence, the Bayaniyya and many other Ghulat were marked out from other 'orthodox' Muslim communities in that they did not close the door to prophecy. Prophecy continues because the access to the divine realm did not end with the Muhammad. Since they deified the Imams, anyone who is a legitimate deputy of this Imam-god would be a “prophet”. At first, Bayan saw himself as the “prophet” of the one with the divine spark.
    Sa`d b. Abdallah says in his al-Maqalat that Bayan sent a letter to al-Sadiq announcing his prophethood and commanding him among other things “to surrender so as to be safe … for you cannot know where God will place his prophethood .. and whoever warns has been excused”. The Imam ordered the messenger who brought the letter, a hapless man called Umar b. Abi Afif al-Azdi, to eat the letter in front of him, and that was his reply.
    There are clues, however, that he later evolved from this position and claimed to have possessed the spark himself. Consequently, he claimed to have access to special kind of knowledge which enabled him to predict the future [as a corollary] among other powers.
     
    Interpretation of the Qur`an
    The Ghulat in general are characterized by dabbling in Ta`wil [esoteric interpretation of the Qur`an]. The Bayaniyya, in particular, developed a literalist anthropomorphic interpretation of the Qur`an. They considered the unknowable God as being  a Man of Light based on Q. 24:35. This Man of Light has various constituent parts e.g. having a hand based on Q. 48:10. In this vein, they considered that all will be destroyed [including God’s other parts] except for His face based on Q. 28:88.
     
    Apocalyptic Expectations
    A key feature of most of the Ghulati groups was the belief in the return of the dead before the day of judgment initiated by the eschatological return of of the expected messianic deliverer. The Bayaniyya believed in the Raj`a of Abu Hashim as the Mahdi. 
     
    The End
    In 119/737 AD, Bayan and another Ghali al-Mughira b. Sa`id joined forces and rose in revolt against the Umayyad governor of Iraq, Khalid b. `Abdallah al-Qasri. The rebellion was quickly put down and the leaders as well as some of their followers were executed and then burned.
    As the Imam says:
    كان بيان يكذب على علي بن الحسين عليه السلام، فأذاقه الله حرَّ الحديد، وكان المغيرة بن سعيد يكذب على أبي جعفر عليه السلام فأذاقه الله حرَّ الحديد
    Bayan used to lie about al-al-Sajjad عليه السلام and al-Mughira b. Sa`id used to lie about al-Baqir عليه السلام so Allah made them to taste of the heat of the iron [put to the sword].
  20. Like
    Laayla got a reaction from Sumayyeh for a blog entry, Possessionist Imamology   
    إن بيانا تراءى له الشيطان في أحسن ما يكون صورة آدمي من قرنه إلى سرته
    The Devil appeared to Bayan in the most handsome form that a human can have from the top of the head to the navel [Ja`far al-Sadiq]
    God caused the holy pre-existent spirit which had created the whole of creation to dwell in flesh that He desired  [Shepherd of Hermas]
    He keeps appearing every now and again ... he takes Adam’s clothes off and puts it on again [Epiphanius]
     
    Bayan b. Sam`an and the Bayaniyya
    The status of the Imam was a question that was fiercely debated in the second century of the Islamic Era before the different positions crystallized. It is important to go back to history to hear the different voices in the debate. This is relevant because we find some unease to this day between what is believed in the popular Shi`i consciousness and our literary sources. One such key figure who participated in developing a peculiar Imamology was Bayan b. Sam`an.
    Who was Bayan?
    Bayan b. Sam`an (most likely from the South Arabian tribe of Nahd) was a seller of straw in Kufa. We would classify him as a Ghali and he was indeed cursed by the `Aimma. He is said to have associated himself with Hamza b. `Ammara, a speculator about the divinity of Ibn al-Hanafiyya [heading a splinter of the Kaysaniyya]. Bayan later attached himself to the claim of Abu Hashim the son of Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya.
    What did the Bayaniyya believe?
    We do not have any extant documentary evidence that comes directly from Bayani circles, but we have early statements of contemporaries reformulating their beliefs, we also have the entries of the heresiographers whose work it was to classify different sects based on their belief-systems.
     
    The concept of a Demiurge
    In a report in al-Kashshi, Hisham quotes Bayan as saying:
     إن بيانا يتأول هذه الآية وَ هُوَ الَّذِي فِي السَّماءِ إِلهٌ وَ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلهٌ، أن الذي في الأرض غير إله السماء، و إله السماء غير إله الأرض، و أن إله السماء أعظم من إله الأرض، و أن أهل الأرض يعرفون فضل إله السماء و يعظمونه فقال: و الله ما هو إلا الله وحده لا شريك له إله من في السماوات و إله من في الأرضين
    'Bayan interprets this verse “and He is the one who is God in Heaven and God on Earth” (43:84) that the one on Earth is not the God of Heaven, and the God of Heaven is not the God of Earth, and that the God of Heaven is greater than the God of Earth, and that the people of the Earth recognize the merit of the God of Heaven and magnify Him'
    This is an important piece of evidence, because it shows that the sectarians were influenced by the concept of the Demiurge in their cosmology. I use this word in the sense of a second divine power in heaven. This power could assume many different names like Wisdom of God, Spirit of God, Logos, Metatron etc. It owes its origins to Gnosticism [and Middle-platonic notions], which had a long pre-Islamic pedigree in the melting pot that was Kufa. Gnosticism presents a distinction between the highest, unknowable God and the lesser power that was pre-existing with the unknowable God. The latter is the ilah al-ard [lesser god] in Bayan’s terminology, the site of God's power on the Earth. The real unknown God is so distant and incomprehensible to humans that they can only know him through a lesser being which can interact with matter.
     
    Who is the Lesser God on Earth?
    The Bayaniyya held that the Imam was deified because of housing the indwelling Demiurgic divine-light particle. This particle transmigrated (Tanasukh) i.e. passed down - from the Biblical patriarchs, to the Prophet Muḥammad, to the Shiʿi Imams.
    قال بيان بالهية علي عليه السلام، وأن جزءا إلهيا متحد بناسوته، ثم من بعده في ابنه محمد بن الحنفية ثم في أبي هاشم ولد محمد بن الحنفية، ثم من بعده  في بيان هذا
    In other words, the bodies of prophets and `Aimma were receptacles to be filled with a divine spark or Spirit. It would at some point leave the body of the Imam when he dies and transmigrate to another. All the supernatural abilities of the Imam derives from being a host to the divine particle, without it the Imam is just an ordinary human.
    I term this a “possessionist” Imamology. Anyone who has studied early Jewish-Christian Christologies will notice how closely those parallel what has been presented here.
    This particle is said to have passed through Ali > Ibn al-Hanafiyya > Abu Hashim and potentially Bayan himself.
    Al-Baghdadi says in al-Farq bayn al-Firaq:
    ان بَيَانا قَالَ لَهُم: ان روح الْإِلَه تناسخت فى الانبياء والائمة حَتَّى صَارَت الى ابى هَاشم عبد الله ابْن مُحَمَّد بن الْحَنَفِيَّة ثمَّ انْتَقَلت اليه مِنْهُ يعْنى نَفسه فَادّعى لنَفسِهِ الربوبية على مَذْهَب الحلولية
    Bayan said: the Divine Spirit transfused into the prophets and the `Aimma until it reached Abi Hashim Abdallah b. Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya then it went into me [i.e. he deified himself].
    al-Shahristani says in al-Milal wa al-Nihal:
    قال بيان:  حل في علي جزء إلهي، واتحد بجسده، فيه كان يعلم الغيب اذا اخبر عن الملاحم وبه قلع باب خيبر
    Bayan said: The divine particle transfused into Ali, and united with his physical body, with it [in this divine particle] did he know the knowledge of the Unseen when he used to inform others about the trials [at the end of times] and by it [not his physical body] was he able to uproot the door of Khaybar.
     
    What is the Implication of this?
    In essence, the Bayaniyya and many other Ghulat were marked out from other 'orthodox' Muslim communities in that they did not close the door to prophecy. Prophecy continues because the access to the divine realm did not end with the Muhammad. Since they deified the Imams, anyone who is a legitimate deputy of this Imam-god would be a “prophet”. At first, Bayan saw himself as the “prophet” of the one with the divine spark.
    Sa`d b. Abdallah says in his al-Maqalat that Bayan sent a letter to al-Sadiq announcing his prophethood and commanding him among other things “to surrender so as to be safe … for you cannot know where God will place his prophethood .. and whoever warns has been excused”. The Imam ordered the messenger who brought the letter, a hapless man called Umar b. Abi Afif al-Azdi, to eat the letter in front of him, and that was his reply.
    There are clues, however, that he later evolved from this position and claimed to have possessed the spark himself. Consequently, he claimed to have access to special kind of knowledge which enabled him to predict the future [as a corollary] among other powers.
     
    Interpretation of the Qur`an
    The Ghulat in general are characterized by dabbling in Ta`wil [esoteric interpretation of the Qur`an]. The Bayaniyya, in particular, developed a literalist anthropomorphic interpretation of the Qur`an. They considered the unknowable God as being  a Man of Light based on Q. 24:35. This Man of Light has various constituent parts e.g. having a hand based on Q. 48:10. In this vein, they considered that all will be destroyed [including God’s other parts] except for His face based on Q. 28:88.
     
    Apocalyptic Expectations
    A key feature of most of the Ghulati groups was the belief in the return of the dead before the day of judgment initiated by the eschatological return of of the expected messianic deliverer. The Bayaniyya believed in the Raj`a of Abu Hashim as the Mahdi. 
     
    The End
    In 119/737 AD, Bayan and another Ghali al-Mughira b. Sa`id joined forces and rose in revolt against the Umayyad governor of Iraq, Khalid b. `Abdallah al-Qasri. The rebellion was quickly put down and the leaders as well as some of their followers were executed and then burned.
    As the Imam says:
    كان بيان يكذب على علي بن الحسين عليه السلام، فأذاقه الله حرَّ الحديد، وكان المغيرة بن سعيد يكذب على أبي جعفر عليه السلام فأذاقه الله حرَّ الحديد
    Bayan used to lie about al-al-Sajjad عليه السلام and al-Mughira b. Sa`id used to lie about al-Baqir عليه السلام so Allah made them to taste of the heat of the iron [put to the sword].
  21. Like
    Laayla got a reaction from DnA for a blog entry, Possessionist Imamology   
    إن بيانا تراءى له الشيطان في أحسن ما يكون صورة آدمي من قرنه إلى سرته
    The Devil appeared to Bayan in the most handsome form that a human can have from the top of the head to the navel [Ja`far al-Sadiq]
    God caused the holy pre-existent spirit which had created the whole of creation to dwell in flesh that He desired  [Shepherd of Hermas]
    He keeps appearing every now and again ... he takes Adam’s clothes off and puts it on again [Epiphanius]
     
    Bayan b. Sam`an and the Bayaniyya
    The status of the Imam was a question that was fiercely debated in the second century of the Islamic Era before the different positions crystallized. It is important to go back to history to hear the different voices in the debate. This is relevant because we find some unease to this day between what is believed in the popular Shi`i consciousness and our literary sources. One such key figure who participated in developing a peculiar Imamology was Bayan b. Sam`an.
    Who was Bayan?
    Bayan b. Sam`an (most likely from the South Arabian tribe of Nahd) was a seller of straw in Kufa. We would classify him as a Ghali and he was indeed cursed by the `Aimma. He is said to have associated himself with Hamza b. `Ammara, a speculator about the divinity of Ibn al-Hanafiyya [heading a splinter of the Kaysaniyya]. Bayan later attached himself to the claim of Abu Hashim the son of Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya.
    What did the Bayaniyya believe?
    We do not have any extant documentary evidence that comes directly from Bayani circles, but we have early statements of contemporaries reformulating their beliefs, we also have the entries of the heresiographers whose work it was to classify different sects based on their belief-systems.
     
    The concept of a Demiurge
    In a report in al-Kashshi, Hisham quotes Bayan as saying:
     إن بيانا يتأول هذه الآية وَ هُوَ الَّذِي فِي السَّماءِ إِلهٌ وَ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلهٌ، أن الذي في الأرض غير إله السماء، و إله السماء غير إله الأرض، و أن إله السماء أعظم من إله الأرض، و أن أهل الأرض يعرفون فضل إله السماء و يعظمونه فقال: و الله ما هو إلا الله وحده لا شريك له إله من في السماوات و إله من في الأرضين
    'Bayan interprets this verse “and He is the one who is God in Heaven and God on Earth” (43:84) that the one on Earth is not the God of Heaven, and the God of Heaven is not the God of Earth, and that the God of Heaven is greater than the God of Earth, and that the people of the Earth recognize the merit of the God of Heaven and magnify Him'
    This is an important piece of evidence, because it shows that the sectarians were influenced by the concept of the Demiurge in their cosmology. I use this word in the sense of a second divine power in heaven. This power could assume many different names like Wisdom of God, Spirit of God, Logos, Metatron etc. It owes its origins to Gnosticism [and Middle-platonic notions], which had a long pre-Islamic pedigree in the melting pot that was Kufa. Gnosticism presents a distinction between the highest, unknowable God and the lesser power that was pre-existing with the unknowable God. The latter is the ilah al-ard [lesser god] in Bayan’s terminology, the site of God's power on the Earth. The real unknown God is so distant and incomprehensible to humans that they can only know him through a lesser being which can interact with matter.
     
    Who is the Lesser God on Earth?
    The Bayaniyya held that the Imam was deified because of housing the indwelling Demiurgic divine-light particle. This particle transmigrated (Tanasukh) i.e. passed down - from the Biblical patriarchs, to the Prophet Muḥammad, to the Shiʿi Imams.
    قال بيان بالهية علي عليه السلام، وأن جزءا إلهيا متحد بناسوته، ثم من بعده في ابنه محمد بن الحنفية ثم في أبي هاشم ولد محمد بن الحنفية، ثم من بعده  في بيان هذا
    In other words, the bodies of prophets and `Aimma were receptacles to be filled with a divine spark or Spirit. It would at some point leave the body of the Imam when he dies and transmigrate to another. All the supernatural abilities of the Imam derives from being a host to the divine particle, without it the Imam is just an ordinary human.
    I term this a “possessionist” Imamology. Anyone who has studied early Jewish-Christian Christologies will notice how closely those parallel what has been presented here.
    This particle is said to have passed through Ali > Ibn al-Hanafiyya > Abu Hashim and potentially Bayan himself.
    Al-Baghdadi says in al-Farq bayn al-Firaq:
    ان بَيَانا قَالَ لَهُم: ان روح الْإِلَه تناسخت فى الانبياء والائمة حَتَّى صَارَت الى ابى هَاشم عبد الله ابْن مُحَمَّد بن الْحَنَفِيَّة ثمَّ انْتَقَلت اليه مِنْهُ يعْنى نَفسه فَادّعى لنَفسِهِ الربوبية على مَذْهَب الحلولية
    Bayan said: the Divine Spirit transfused into the prophets and the `Aimma until it reached Abi Hashim Abdallah b. Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya then it went into me [i.e. he deified himself].
    al-Shahristani says in al-Milal wa al-Nihal:
    قال بيان:  حل في علي جزء إلهي، واتحد بجسده، فيه كان يعلم الغيب اذا اخبر عن الملاحم وبه قلع باب خيبر
    Bayan said: The divine particle transfused into Ali, and united with his physical body, with it [in this divine particle] did he know the knowledge of the Unseen when he used to inform others about the trials [at the end of times] and by it [not his physical body] was he able to uproot the door of Khaybar.
     
    What is the Implication of this?
    In essence, the Bayaniyya and many other Ghulat were marked out from other 'orthodox' Muslim communities in that they did not close the door to prophecy. Prophecy continues because the access to the divine realm did not end with the Muhammad. Since they deified the Imams, anyone who is a legitimate deputy of this Imam-god would be a “prophet”. At first, Bayan saw himself as the “prophet” of the one with the divine spark.
    Sa`d b. Abdallah says in his al-Maqalat that Bayan sent a letter to al-Sadiq announcing his prophethood and commanding him among other things “to surrender so as to be safe … for you cannot know where God will place his prophethood .. and whoever warns has been excused”. The Imam ordered the messenger who brought the letter, a hapless man called Umar b. Abi Afif al-Azdi, to eat the letter in front of him, and that was his reply.
    There are clues, however, that he later evolved from this position and claimed to have possessed the spark himself. Consequently, he claimed to have access to special kind of knowledge which enabled him to predict the future [as a corollary] among other powers.
     
    Interpretation of the Qur`an
    The Ghulat in general are characterized by dabbling in Ta`wil [esoteric interpretation of the Qur`an]. The Bayaniyya, in particular, developed a literalist anthropomorphic interpretation of the Qur`an. They considered the unknowable God as being  a Man of Light based on Q. 24:35. This Man of Light has various constituent parts e.g. having a hand based on Q. 48:10. In this vein, they considered that all will be destroyed [including God’s other parts] except for His face based on Q. 28:88.
     
    Apocalyptic Expectations
    A key feature of most of the Ghulati groups was the belief in the return of the dead before the day of judgment initiated by the eschatological return of of the expected messianic deliverer. The Bayaniyya believed in the Raj`a of Abu Hashim as the Mahdi. 
     
    The End
    In 119/737 AD, Bayan and another Ghali al-Mughira b. Sa`id joined forces and rose in revolt against the Umayyad governor of Iraq, Khalid b. `Abdallah al-Qasri. The rebellion was quickly put down and the leaders as well as some of their followers were executed and then burned.
    As the Imam says:
    كان بيان يكذب على علي بن الحسين عليه السلام، فأذاقه الله حرَّ الحديد، وكان المغيرة بن سعيد يكذب على أبي جعفر عليه السلام فأذاقه الله حرَّ الحديد
    Bayan used to lie about al-al-Sajjad عليه السلام and al-Mughira b. Sa`id used to lie about al-Baqir عليه السلام so Allah made them to taste of the heat of the iron [put to the sword].
  22. Like
    Laayla got a reaction from sharinganMahdi for a blog entry, Possessionist Imamology   
    إن بيانا تراءى له الشيطان في أحسن ما يكون صورة آدمي من قرنه إلى سرته
    The Devil appeared to Bayan in the most handsome form that a human can have from the top of the head to the navel [Ja`far al-Sadiq]
    God caused the holy pre-existent spirit which had created the whole of creation to dwell in flesh that He desired  [Shepherd of Hermas]
    He keeps appearing every now and again ... he takes Adam’s clothes off and puts it on again [Epiphanius]
     
    Bayan b. Sam`an and the Bayaniyya
    The status of the Imam was a question that was fiercely debated in the second century of the Islamic Era before the different positions crystallized. It is important to go back to history to hear the different voices in the debate. This is relevant because we find some unease to this day between what is believed in the popular Shi`i consciousness and our literary sources. One such key figure who participated in developing a peculiar Imamology was Bayan b. Sam`an.
    Who was Bayan?
    Bayan b. Sam`an (most likely from the South Arabian tribe of Nahd) was a seller of straw in Kufa. We would classify him as a Ghali and he was indeed cursed by the `Aimma. He is said to have associated himself with Hamza b. `Ammara, a speculator about the divinity of Ibn al-Hanafiyya [heading a splinter of the Kaysaniyya]. Bayan later attached himself to the claim of Abu Hashim the son of Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya.
    What did the Bayaniyya believe?
    We do not have any extant documentary evidence that comes directly from Bayani circles, but we have early statements of contemporaries reformulating their beliefs, we also have the entries of the heresiographers whose work it was to classify different sects based on their belief-systems.
     
    The concept of a Demiurge
    In a report in al-Kashshi, Hisham quotes Bayan as saying:
     إن بيانا يتأول هذه الآية وَ هُوَ الَّذِي فِي السَّماءِ إِلهٌ وَ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلهٌ، أن الذي في الأرض غير إله السماء، و إله السماء غير إله الأرض، و أن إله السماء أعظم من إله الأرض، و أن أهل الأرض يعرفون فضل إله السماء و يعظمونه فقال: و الله ما هو إلا الله وحده لا شريك له إله من في السماوات و إله من في الأرضين
    'Bayan interprets this verse “and He is the one who is God in Heaven and God on Earth” (43:84) that the one on Earth is not the God of Heaven, and the God of Heaven is not the God of Earth, and that the God of Heaven is greater than the God of Earth, and that the people of the Earth recognize the merit of the God of Heaven and magnify Him'
    This is an important piece of evidence, because it shows that the sectarians were influenced by the concept of the Demiurge in their cosmology. I use this word in the sense of a second divine power in heaven. This power could assume many different names like Wisdom of God, Spirit of God, Logos, Metatron etc. It owes its origins to Gnosticism [and Middle-platonic notions], which had a long pre-Islamic pedigree in the melting pot that was Kufa. Gnosticism presents a distinction between the highest, unknowable God and the lesser power that was pre-existing with the unknowable God. The latter is the ilah al-ard [lesser god] in Bayan’s terminology, the site of God's power on the Earth. The real unknown God is so distant and incomprehensible to humans that they can only know him through a lesser being which can interact with matter.
     
    Who is the Lesser God on Earth?
    The Bayaniyya held that the Imam was deified because of housing the indwelling Demiurgic divine-light particle. This particle transmigrated (Tanasukh) i.e. passed down - from the Biblical patriarchs, to the Prophet Muḥammad, to the Shiʿi Imams.
    قال بيان بالهية علي عليه السلام، وأن جزءا إلهيا متحد بناسوته، ثم من بعده في ابنه محمد بن الحنفية ثم في أبي هاشم ولد محمد بن الحنفية، ثم من بعده  في بيان هذا
    In other words, the bodies of prophets and `Aimma were receptacles to be filled with a divine spark or Spirit. It would at some point leave the body of the Imam when he dies and transmigrate to another. All the supernatural abilities of the Imam derives from being a host to the divine particle, without it the Imam is just an ordinary human.
    I term this a “possessionist” Imamology. Anyone who has studied early Jewish-Christian Christologies will notice how closely those parallel what has been presented here.
    This particle is said to have passed through Ali > Ibn al-Hanafiyya > Abu Hashim and potentially Bayan himself.
    Al-Baghdadi says in al-Farq bayn al-Firaq:
    ان بَيَانا قَالَ لَهُم: ان روح الْإِلَه تناسخت فى الانبياء والائمة حَتَّى صَارَت الى ابى هَاشم عبد الله ابْن مُحَمَّد بن الْحَنَفِيَّة ثمَّ انْتَقَلت اليه مِنْهُ يعْنى نَفسه فَادّعى لنَفسِهِ الربوبية على مَذْهَب الحلولية
    Bayan said: the Divine Spirit transfused into the prophets and the `Aimma until it reached Abi Hashim Abdallah b. Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya then it went into me [i.e. he deified himself].
    al-Shahristani says in al-Milal wa al-Nihal:
    قال بيان:  حل في علي جزء إلهي، واتحد بجسده، فيه كان يعلم الغيب اذا اخبر عن الملاحم وبه قلع باب خيبر
    Bayan said: The divine particle transfused into Ali, and united with his physical body, with it [in this divine particle] did he know the knowledge of the Unseen when he used to inform others about the trials [at the end of times] and by it [not his physical body] was he able to uproot the door of Khaybar.
     
    What is the Implication of this?
    In essence, the Bayaniyya and many other Ghulat were marked out from other 'orthodox' Muslim communities in that they did not close the door to prophecy. Prophecy continues because the access to the divine realm did not end with the Muhammad. Since they deified the Imams, anyone who is a legitimate deputy of this Imam-god would be a “prophet”. At first, Bayan saw himself as the “prophet” of the one with the divine spark.
    Sa`d b. Abdallah says in his al-Maqalat that Bayan sent a letter to al-Sadiq announcing his prophethood and commanding him among other things “to surrender so as to be safe … for you cannot know where God will place his prophethood .. and whoever warns has been excused”. The Imam ordered the messenger who brought the letter, a hapless man called Umar b. Abi Afif al-Azdi, to eat the letter in front of him, and that was his reply.
    There are clues, however, that he later evolved from this position and claimed to have possessed the spark himself. Consequently, he claimed to have access to special kind of knowledge which enabled him to predict the future [as a corollary] among other powers.
     
    Interpretation of the Qur`an
    The Ghulat in general are characterized by dabbling in Ta`wil [esoteric interpretation of the Qur`an]. The Bayaniyya, in particular, developed a literalist anthropomorphic interpretation of the Qur`an. They considered the unknowable God as being  a Man of Light based on Q. 24:35. This Man of Light has various constituent parts e.g. having a hand based on Q. 48:10. In this vein, they considered that all will be destroyed [including God’s other parts] except for His face based on Q. 28:88.
     
    Apocalyptic Expectations
    A key feature of most of the Ghulati groups was the belief in the return of the dead before the day of judgment initiated by the eschatological return of of the expected messianic deliverer. The Bayaniyya believed in the Raj`a of Abu Hashim as the Mahdi. 
     
    The End
    In 119/737 AD, Bayan and another Ghali al-Mughira b. Sa`id joined forces and rose in revolt against the Umayyad governor of Iraq, Khalid b. `Abdallah al-Qasri. The rebellion was quickly put down and the leaders as well as some of their followers were executed and then burned.
    As the Imam says:
    كان بيان يكذب على علي بن الحسين عليه السلام، فأذاقه الله حرَّ الحديد، وكان المغيرة بن سعيد يكذب على أبي جعفر عليه السلام فأذاقه الله حرَّ الحديد
    Bayan used to lie about al-al-Sajjad عليه السلام and al-Mughira b. Sa`id used to lie about al-Baqir عليه السلام so Allah made them to taste of the heat of the iron [put to the sword].
  23. Like
    Laayla got a reaction from Paradox for a blog entry, Possessionist Imamology   
    إن بيانا تراءى له الشيطان في أحسن ما يكون صورة آدمي من قرنه إلى سرته
    The Devil appeared to Bayan in the most handsome form that a human can have from the top of the head to the navel [Ja`far al-Sadiq]
    God caused the holy pre-existent spirit which had created the whole of creation to dwell in flesh that He desired  [Shepherd of Hermas]
    He keeps appearing every now and again ... he takes Adam’s clothes off and puts it on again [Epiphanius]
     
    Bayan b. Sam`an and the Bayaniyya
    The status of the Imam was a question that was fiercely debated in the second century of the Islamic Era before the different positions crystallized. It is important to go back to history to hear the different voices in the debate. This is relevant because we find some unease to this day between what is believed in the popular Shi`i consciousness and our literary sources. One such key figure who participated in developing a peculiar Imamology was Bayan b. Sam`an.
    Who was Bayan?
    Bayan b. Sam`an (most likely from the South Arabian tribe of Nahd) was a seller of straw in Kufa. We would classify him as a Ghali and he was indeed cursed by the `Aimma. He is said to have associated himself with Hamza b. `Ammara, a speculator about the divinity of Ibn al-Hanafiyya [heading a splinter of the Kaysaniyya]. Bayan later attached himself to the claim of Abu Hashim the son of Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya.
    What did the Bayaniyya believe?
    We do not have any extant documentary evidence that comes directly from Bayani circles, but we have early statements of contemporaries reformulating their beliefs, we also have the entries of the heresiographers whose work it was to classify different sects based on their belief-systems.
     
    The concept of a Demiurge
    In a report in al-Kashshi, Hisham quotes Bayan as saying:
     إن بيانا يتأول هذه الآية وَ هُوَ الَّذِي فِي السَّماءِ إِلهٌ وَ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلهٌ، أن الذي في الأرض غير إله السماء، و إله السماء غير إله الأرض، و أن إله السماء أعظم من إله الأرض، و أن أهل الأرض يعرفون فضل إله السماء و يعظمونه فقال: و الله ما هو إلا الله وحده لا شريك له إله من في السماوات و إله من في الأرضين
    'Bayan interprets this verse “and He is the one who is God in Heaven and God on Earth” (43:84) that the one on Earth is not the God of Heaven, and the God of Heaven is not the God of Earth, and that the God of Heaven is greater than the God of Earth, and that the people of the Earth recognize the merit of the God of Heaven and magnify Him'
    This is an important piece of evidence, because it shows that the sectarians were influenced by the concept of the Demiurge in their cosmology. I use this word in the sense of a second divine power in heaven. This power could assume many different names like Wisdom of God, Spirit of God, Logos, Metatron etc. It owes its origins to Gnosticism [and Middle-platonic notions], which had a long pre-Islamic pedigree in the melting pot that was Kufa. Gnosticism presents a distinction between the highest, unknowable God and the lesser power that was pre-existing with the unknowable God. The latter is the ilah al-ard [lesser god] in Bayan’s terminology, the site of God's power on the Earth. The real unknown God is so distant and incomprehensible to humans that they can only know him through a lesser being which can interact with matter.
     
    Who is the Lesser God on Earth?
    The Bayaniyya held that the Imam was deified because of housing the indwelling Demiurgic divine-light particle. This particle transmigrated (Tanasukh) i.e. passed down - from the Biblical patriarchs, to the Prophet Muḥammad, to the Shiʿi Imams.
    قال بيان بالهية علي عليه السلام، وأن جزءا إلهيا متحد بناسوته، ثم من بعده في ابنه محمد بن الحنفية ثم في أبي هاشم ولد محمد بن الحنفية، ثم من بعده  في بيان هذا
    In other words, the bodies of prophets and `Aimma were receptacles to be filled with a divine spark or Spirit. It would at some point leave the body of the Imam when he dies and transmigrate to another. All the supernatural abilities of the Imam derives from being a host to the divine particle, without it the Imam is just an ordinary human.
    I term this a “possessionist” Imamology. Anyone who has studied early Jewish-Christian Christologies will notice how closely those parallel what has been presented here.
    This particle is said to have passed through Ali > Ibn al-Hanafiyya > Abu Hashim and potentially Bayan himself.
    Al-Baghdadi says in al-Farq bayn al-Firaq:
    ان بَيَانا قَالَ لَهُم: ان روح الْإِلَه تناسخت فى الانبياء والائمة حَتَّى صَارَت الى ابى هَاشم عبد الله ابْن مُحَمَّد بن الْحَنَفِيَّة ثمَّ انْتَقَلت اليه مِنْهُ يعْنى نَفسه فَادّعى لنَفسِهِ الربوبية على مَذْهَب الحلولية
    Bayan said: the Divine Spirit transfused into the prophets and the `Aimma until it reached Abi Hashim Abdallah b. Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya then it went into me [i.e. he deified himself].
    al-Shahristani says in al-Milal wa al-Nihal:
    قال بيان:  حل في علي جزء إلهي، واتحد بجسده، فيه كان يعلم الغيب اذا اخبر عن الملاحم وبه قلع باب خيبر
    Bayan said: The divine particle transfused into Ali, and united with his physical body, with it [in this divine particle] did he know the knowledge of the Unseen when he used to inform others about the trials [at the end of times] and by it [not his physical body] was he able to uproot the door of Khaybar.
     
    What is the Implication of this?
    In essence, the Bayaniyya and many other Ghulat were marked out from other 'orthodox' Muslim communities in that they did not close the door to prophecy. Prophecy continues because the access to the divine realm did not end with the Muhammad. Since they deified the Imams, anyone who is a legitimate deputy of this Imam-god would be a “prophet”. At first, Bayan saw himself as the “prophet” of the one with the divine spark.
    Sa`d b. Abdallah says in his al-Maqalat that Bayan sent a letter to al-Sadiq announcing his prophethood and commanding him among other things “to surrender so as to be safe … for you cannot know where God will place his prophethood .. and whoever warns has been excused”. The Imam ordered the messenger who brought the letter, a hapless man called Umar b. Abi Afif al-Azdi, to eat the letter in front of him, and that was his reply.
    There are clues, however, that he later evolved from this position and claimed to have possessed the spark himself. Consequently, he claimed to have access to special kind of knowledge which enabled him to predict the future [as a corollary] among other powers.
     
    Interpretation of the Qur`an
    The Ghulat in general are characterized by dabbling in Ta`wil [esoteric interpretation of the Qur`an]. The Bayaniyya, in particular, developed a literalist anthropomorphic interpretation of the Qur`an. They considered the unknowable God as being  a Man of Light based on Q. 24:35. This Man of Light has various constituent parts e.g. having a hand based on Q. 48:10. In this vein, they considered that all will be destroyed [including God’s other parts] except for His face based on Q. 28:88.
     
    Apocalyptic Expectations
    A key feature of most of the Ghulati groups was the belief in the return of the dead before the day of judgment initiated by the eschatological return of of the expected messianic deliverer. The Bayaniyya believed in the Raj`a of Abu Hashim as the Mahdi. 
     
    The End
    In 119/737 AD, Bayan and another Ghali al-Mughira b. Sa`id joined forces and rose in revolt against the Umayyad governor of Iraq, Khalid b. `Abdallah al-Qasri. The rebellion was quickly put down and the leaders as well as some of their followers were executed and then burned.
    As the Imam says:
    كان بيان يكذب على علي بن الحسين عليه السلام، فأذاقه الله حرَّ الحديد، وكان المغيرة بن سعيد يكذب على أبي جعفر عليه السلام فأذاقه الله حرَّ الحديد
    Bayan used to lie about al-al-Sajjad عليه السلام and al-Mughira b. Sa`id used to lie about al-Baqir عليه السلام so Allah made them to taste of the heat of the iron [put to the sword].
  24. Like
    Laayla got a reaction from Miss Wonderful for a blog entry, Possessionist Imamology   
    إن بيانا تراءى له الشيطان في أحسن ما يكون صورة آدمي من قرنه إلى سرته
    The Devil appeared to Bayan in the most handsome form that a human can have from the top of the head to the navel [Ja`far al-Sadiq]
    God caused the holy pre-existent spirit which had created the whole of creation to dwell in flesh that He desired  [Shepherd of Hermas]
    He keeps appearing every now and again ... he takes Adam’s clothes off and puts it on again [Epiphanius]
     
    Bayan b. Sam`an and the Bayaniyya
    The status of the Imam was a question that was fiercely debated in the second century of the Islamic Era before the different positions crystallized. It is important to go back to history to hear the different voices in the debate. This is relevant because we find some unease to this day between what is believed in the popular Shi`i consciousness and our literary sources. One such key figure who participated in developing a peculiar Imamology was Bayan b. Sam`an.
    Who was Bayan?
    Bayan b. Sam`an (most likely from the South Arabian tribe of Nahd) was a seller of straw in Kufa. We would classify him as a Ghali and he was indeed cursed by the `Aimma. He is said to have associated himself with Hamza b. `Ammara, a speculator about the divinity of Ibn al-Hanafiyya [heading a splinter of the Kaysaniyya]. Bayan later attached himself to the claim of Abu Hashim the son of Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya.
    What did the Bayaniyya believe?
    We do not have any extant documentary evidence that comes directly from Bayani circles, but we have early statements of contemporaries reformulating their beliefs, we also have the entries of the heresiographers whose work it was to classify different sects based on their belief-systems.
     
    The concept of a Demiurge
    In a report in al-Kashshi, Hisham quotes Bayan as saying:
     إن بيانا يتأول هذه الآية وَ هُوَ الَّذِي فِي السَّماءِ إِلهٌ وَ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلهٌ، أن الذي في الأرض غير إله السماء، و إله السماء غير إله الأرض، و أن إله السماء أعظم من إله الأرض، و أن أهل الأرض يعرفون فضل إله السماء و يعظمونه فقال: و الله ما هو إلا الله وحده لا شريك له إله من في السماوات و إله من في الأرضين
    'Bayan interprets this verse “and He is the one who is God in Heaven and God on Earth” (43:84) that the one on Earth is not the God of Heaven, and the God of Heaven is not the God of Earth, and that the God of Heaven is greater than the God of Earth, and that the people of the Earth recognize the merit of the God of Heaven and magnify Him'
    This is an important piece of evidence, because it shows that the sectarians were influenced by the concept of the Demiurge in their cosmology. I use this word in the sense of a second divine power in heaven. This power could assume many different names like Wisdom of God, Spirit of God, Logos, Metatron etc. It owes its origins to Gnosticism [and Middle-platonic notions], which had a long pre-Islamic pedigree in the melting pot that was Kufa. Gnosticism presents a distinction between the highest, unknowable God and the lesser power that was pre-existing with the unknowable God. The latter is the ilah al-ard [lesser god] in Bayan’s terminology, the site of God's power on the Earth. The real unknown God is so distant and incomprehensible to humans that they can only know him through a lesser being which can interact with matter.
     
    Who is the Lesser God on Earth?
    The Bayaniyya held that the Imam was deified because of housing the indwelling Demiurgic divine-light particle. This particle transmigrated (Tanasukh) i.e. passed down - from the Biblical patriarchs, to the Prophet Muḥammad, to the Shiʿi Imams.
    قال بيان بالهية علي عليه السلام، وأن جزءا إلهيا متحد بناسوته، ثم من بعده في ابنه محمد بن الحنفية ثم في أبي هاشم ولد محمد بن الحنفية، ثم من بعده  في بيان هذا
    In other words, the bodies of prophets and `Aimma were receptacles to be filled with a divine spark or Spirit. It would at some point leave the body of the Imam when he dies and transmigrate to another. All the supernatural abilities of the Imam derives from being a host to the divine particle, without it the Imam is just an ordinary human.
    I term this a “possessionist” Imamology. Anyone who has studied early Jewish-Christian Christologies will notice how closely those parallel what has been presented here.
    This particle is said to have passed through Ali > Ibn al-Hanafiyya > Abu Hashim and potentially Bayan himself.
    Al-Baghdadi says in al-Farq bayn al-Firaq:
    ان بَيَانا قَالَ لَهُم: ان روح الْإِلَه تناسخت فى الانبياء والائمة حَتَّى صَارَت الى ابى هَاشم عبد الله ابْن مُحَمَّد بن الْحَنَفِيَّة ثمَّ انْتَقَلت اليه مِنْهُ يعْنى نَفسه فَادّعى لنَفسِهِ الربوبية على مَذْهَب الحلولية
    Bayan said: the Divine Spirit transfused into the prophets and the `Aimma until it reached Abi Hashim Abdallah b. Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya then it went into me [i.e. he deified himself].
    al-Shahristani says in al-Milal wa al-Nihal:
    قال بيان:  حل في علي جزء إلهي، واتحد بجسده، فيه كان يعلم الغيب اذا اخبر عن الملاحم وبه قلع باب خيبر
    Bayan said: The divine particle transfused into Ali, and united with his physical body, with it [in this divine particle] did he know the knowledge of the Unseen when he used to inform others about the trials [at the end of times] and by it [not his physical body] was he able to uproot the door of Khaybar.
     
    What is the Implication of this?
    In essence, the Bayaniyya and many other Ghulat were marked out from other 'orthodox' Muslim communities in that they did not close the door to prophecy. Prophecy continues because the access to the divine realm did not end with the Muhammad. Since they deified the Imams, anyone who is a legitimate deputy of this Imam-god would be a “prophet”. At first, Bayan saw himself as the “prophet” of the one with the divine spark.
    Sa`d b. Abdallah says in his al-Maqalat that Bayan sent a letter to al-Sadiq announcing his prophethood and commanding him among other things “to surrender so as to be safe … for you cannot know where God will place his prophethood .. and whoever warns has been excused”. The Imam ordered the messenger who brought the letter, a hapless man called Umar b. Abi Afif al-Azdi, to eat the letter in front of him, and that was his reply.
    There are clues, however, that he later evolved from this position and claimed to have possessed the spark himself. Consequently, he claimed to have access to special kind of knowledge which enabled him to predict the future [as a corollary] among other powers.
     
    Interpretation of the Qur`an
    The Ghulat in general are characterized by dabbling in Ta`wil [esoteric interpretation of the Qur`an]. The Bayaniyya, in particular, developed a literalist anthropomorphic interpretation of the Qur`an. They considered the unknowable God as being  a Man of Light based on Q. 24:35. This Man of Light has various constituent parts e.g. having a hand based on Q. 48:10. In this vein, they considered that all will be destroyed [including God’s other parts] except for His face based on Q. 28:88.
     
    Apocalyptic Expectations
    A key feature of most of the Ghulati groups was the belief in the return of the dead before the day of judgment initiated by the eschatological return of of the expected messianic deliverer. The Bayaniyya believed in the Raj`a of Abu Hashim as the Mahdi. 
     
    The End
    In 119/737 AD, Bayan and another Ghali al-Mughira b. Sa`id joined forces and rose in revolt against the Umayyad governor of Iraq, Khalid b. `Abdallah al-Qasri. The rebellion was quickly put down and the leaders as well as some of their followers were executed and then burned.
    As the Imam says:
    كان بيان يكذب على علي بن الحسين عليه السلام، فأذاقه الله حرَّ الحديد، وكان المغيرة بن سعيد يكذب على أبي جعفر عليه السلام فأذاقه الله حرَّ الحديد
    Bayan used to lie about al-al-Sajjad عليه السلام and al-Mughira b. Sa`id used to lie about al-Baqir عليه السلام so Allah made them to taste of the heat of the iron [put to the sword].
  25. Like
    Laayla got a reaction from Aftahb for a blog entry, Possessionist Imamology   
    إن بيانا تراءى له الشيطان في أحسن ما يكون صورة آدمي من قرنه إلى سرته
    The Devil appeared to Bayan in the most handsome form that a human can have from the top of the head to the navel [Ja`far al-Sadiq]
    God caused the holy pre-existent spirit which had created the whole of creation to dwell in flesh that He desired  [Shepherd of Hermas]
    He keeps appearing every now and again ... he takes Adam’s clothes off and puts it on again [Epiphanius]
     
    Bayan b. Sam`an and the Bayaniyya
    The status of the Imam was a question that was fiercely debated in the second century of the Islamic Era before the different positions crystallized. It is important to go back to history to hear the different voices in the debate. This is relevant because we find some unease to this day between what is believed in the popular Shi`i consciousness and our literary sources. One such key figure who participated in developing a peculiar Imamology was Bayan b. Sam`an.
    Who was Bayan?
    Bayan b. Sam`an (most likely from the South Arabian tribe of Nahd) was a seller of straw in Kufa. We would classify him as a Ghali and he was indeed cursed by the `Aimma. He is said to have associated himself with Hamza b. `Ammara, a speculator about the divinity of Ibn al-Hanafiyya [heading a splinter of the Kaysaniyya]. Bayan later attached himself to the claim of Abu Hashim the son of Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya.
    What did the Bayaniyya believe?
    We do not have any extant documentary evidence that comes directly from Bayani circles, but we have early statements of contemporaries reformulating their beliefs, we also have the entries of the heresiographers whose work it was to classify different sects based on their belief-systems.
     
    The concept of a Demiurge
    In a report in al-Kashshi, Hisham quotes Bayan as saying:
     إن بيانا يتأول هذه الآية وَ هُوَ الَّذِي فِي السَّماءِ إِلهٌ وَ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلهٌ، أن الذي في الأرض غير إله السماء، و إله السماء غير إله الأرض، و أن إله السماء أعظم من إله الأرض، و أن أهل الأرض يعرفون فضل إله السماء و يعظمونه فقال: و الله ما هو إلا الله وحده لا شريك له إله من في السماوات و إله من في الأرضين
    'Bayan interprets this verse “and He is the one who is God in Heaven and God on Earth” (43:84) that the one on Earth is not the God of Heaven, and the God of Heaven is not the God of Earth, and that the God of Heaven is greater than the God of Earth, and that the people of the Earth recognize the merit of the God of Heaven and magnify Him'
    This is an important piece of evidence, because it shows that the sectarians were influenced by the concept of the Demiurge in their cosmology. I use this word in the sense of a second divine power in heaven. This power could assume many different names like Wisdom of God, Spirit of God, Logos, Metatron etc. It owes its origins to Gnosticism [and Middle-platonic notions], which had a long pre-Islamic pedigree in the melting pot that was Kufa. Gnosticism presents a distinction between the highest, unknowable God and the lesser power that was pre-existing with the unknowable God. The latter is the ilah al-ard [lesser god] in Bayan’s terminology, the site of God's power on the Earth. The real unknown God is so distant and incomprehensible to humans that they can only know him through a lesser being which can interact with matter.
     
    Who is the Lesser God on Earth?
    The Bayaniyya held that the Imam was deified because of housing the indwelling Demiurgic divine-light particle. This particle transmigrated (Tanasukh) i.e. passed down - from the Biblical patriarchs, to the Prophet Muḥammad, to the Shiʿi Imams.
    قال بيان بالهية علي عليه السلام، وأن جزءا إلهيا متحد بناسوته، ثم من بعده في ابنه محمد بن الحنفية ثم في أبي هاشم ولد محمد بن الحنفية، ثم من بعده  في بيان هذا
    In other words, the bodies of prophets and `Aimma were receptacles to be filled with a divine spark or Spirit. It would at some point leave the body of the Imam when he dies and transmigrate to another. All the supernatural abilities of the Imam derives from being a host to the divine particle, without it the Imam is just an ordinary human.
    I term this a “possessionist” Imamology. Anyone who has studied early Jewish-Christian Christologies will notice how closely those parallel what has been presented here.
    This particle is said to have passed through Ali > Ibn al-Hanafiyya > Abu Hashim and potentially Bayan himself.
    Al-Baghdadi says in al-Farq bayn al-Firaq:
    ان بَيَانا قَالَ لَهُم: ان روح الْإِلَه تناسخت فى الانبياء والائمة حَتَّى صَارَت الى ابى هَاشم عبد الله ابْن مُحَمَّد بن الْحَنَفِيَّة ثمَّ انْتَقَلت اليه مِنْهُ يعْنى نَفسه فَادّعى لنَفسِهِ الربوبية على مَذْهَب الحلولية
    Bayan said: the Divine Spirit transfused into the prophets and the `Aimma until it reached Abi Hashim Abdallah b. Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya then it went into me [i.e. he deified himself].
    al-Shahristani says in al-Milal wa al-Nihal:
    قال بيان:  حل في علي جزء إلهي، واتحد بجسده، فيه كان يعلم الغيب اذا اخبر عن الملاحم وبه قلع باب خيبر
    Bayan said: The divine particle transfused into Ali, and united with his physical body, with it [in this divine particle] did he know the knowledge of the Unseen when he used to inform others about the trials [at the end of times] and by it [not his physical body] was he able to uproot the door of Khaybar.
     
    What is the Implication of this?
    In essence, the Bayaniyya and many other Ghulat were marked out from other 'orthodox' Muslim communities in that they did not close the door to prophecy. Prophecy continues because the access to the divine realm did not end with the Muhammad. Since they deified the Imams, anyone who is a legitimate deputy of this Imam-god would be a “prophet”. At first, Bayan saw himself as the “prophet” of the one with the divine spark.
    Sa`d b. Abdallah says in his al-Maqalat that Bayan sent a letter to al-Sadiq announcing his prophethood and commanding him among other things “to surrender so as to be safe … for you cannot know where God will place his prophethood .. and whoever warns has been excused”. The Imam ordered the messenger who brought the letter, a hapless man called Umar b. Abi Afif al-Azdi, to eat the letter in front of him, and that was his reply.
    There are clues, however, that he later evolved from this position and claimed to have possessed the spark himself. Consequently, he claimed to have access to special kind of knowledge which enabled him to predict the future [as a corollary] among other powers.
     
    Interpretation of the Qur`an
    The Ghulat in general are characterized by dabbling in Ta`wil [esoteric interpretation of the Qur`an]. The Bayaniyya, in particular, developed a literalist anthropomorphic interpretation of the Qur`an. They considered the unknowable God as being  a Man of Light based on Q. 24:35. This Man of Light has various constituent parts e.g. having a hand based on Q. 48:10. In this vein, they considered that all will be destroyed [including God’s other parts] except for His face based on Q. 28:88.
     
    Apocalyptic Expectations
    A key feature of most of the Ghulati groups was the belief in the return of the dead before the day of judgment initiated by the eschatological return of of the expected messianic deliverer. The Bayaniyya believed in the Raj`a of Abu Hashim as the Mahdi. 
     
    The End
    In 119/737 AD, Bayan and another Ghali al-Mughira b. Sa`id joined forces and rose in revolt against the Umayyad governor of Iraq, Khalid b. `Abdallah al-Qasri. The rebellion was quickly put down and the leaders as well as some of their followers were executed and then burned.
    As the Imam says:
    كان بيان يكذب على علي بن الحسين عليه السلام، فأذاقه الله حرَّ الحديد، وكان المغيرة بن سعيد يكذب على أبي جعفر عليه السلام فأذاقه الله حرَّ الحديد
    Bayan used to lie about al-al-Sajjad عليه السلام and al-Mughira b. Sa`id used to lie about al-Baqir عليه السلام so Allah made them to taste of the heat of the iron [put to the sword].
×
×
  • Create New...