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(bismillah) Question asked: Sir! There is a narration reported by Abu Hashim Dawood bin Qasim al Ja'fri which gives the testimony of Khidhr (a.s) regarding the 12 Imams, and shows their names. It is present in 1- Al Kafi, Sheikh Kulaini, 1/525 2- al-Imama wa al-Tabarsi fi al-Hira, p106 3- Kitab al-Ghaybah, Sheikh Numani, page 58 4- Kamal ad-Din, Sheikh Saduq, page 313 All of these show the end of narrators like this عن أحمدبن محمد البرقی، عن أبی هاشم داودبن القاسم الجعفری،عن أبی جعفر الثانی علیه السلام However, when we consult the book al-Mahasen, 2/332-333; which is the book of Ahmad bin Mohammad bin Khalid al Barqi, we find the chain like this عنه، عن أبیه،عن أبى هاشم الجعفر یرفع الحدیث قال: قال أبوعبدالله (ع)، So, here the narration is in Mursal form. Also, we find that the names of Imams are not mentioned. What is the explanation for that? What is your view on authenticity of the present copy of al-Mahasen? Concise answer Khalid bin Ahmad al-Barqi has reported a narration in his al-Mahasen almost with the same chain of transmission mentioned in the question. Great scholars like Sheikh Kulayni, Saduq and Nu'mani have reported this narration from al-Barqi. However, there is a slight difference between the narration they have reported and the one al-Barqi has recorded in his book in terms of the chain of transmission of the narration and its content. There is not much detail about the narration in Barqi's al-Mahasen. In order for us to examine this issue, we must know the author of the book and the book itself better. Thereupon, we would be able to study the chain of the transmission and the content of the narrations in al-Mahasen as well as its difference from the narrations found in other books. Conclusively, we can come to the conclusion that this narration which has been reported in different books has an identical content. The only difference is that the narration in some sources have been partially omitted but the chain of transmission is almost the same. Read the detailed answer. Detailed Answer Khalid bin Ahmad al-Baraqi has reported a narration in his al-Mahasen. We will provide details about the writer of the book and then we will verify the authenticity of the narration in question. 1) Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Khalid al-Barqi Sheikh Abu Ja'far, Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Khalid bin Abdu Rahman bin Muhammad bin Ali al-Barqi is one of Shiite's great jurisprudents and narrators. He is considered to be amongst the friends of the infallible Imams (A.S). Ahmad was born in a village known "Barq Rood" of Qom. He is originally from Kufa. His great grandfather, Muhammad bin Ali is one of the companions of Zaid bin Ali bin Hussein (A.S) who rose up to fight against the injustice and oppression of Bani Umayyah and he was martyred in Yusuf bin Umar's prison. While still a child, Khalid, Ahmad's grandfather, was forced to leave Kufa for Qom along with his father Abdur Rahman bin Muhammad. Back then the city of Qom provided a safe haven for Shiites. That was why many great Shiite narrators and scholars were living in it. One of the important incidents that took place during the lifetime of Ahmad bin Muhammad al-Barqi was that Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Isa Ash'ari, the head of the city of Qom and one of the great Shiite narrators, sacked Ahmad bin Muhammad from the city of Qom because according to Ahmad Ash'ari, al-Barqi had narrated mursal (disconnected) traditions or narrations which he considered to be poor. However, after sometimes, Ahmad Ash'ari regretted his action and returned al-Barqi to Qom apologizing him. It has been reported that upon al-Barqi's death, Ahmad Ash'ari attended his funeral with barren foot so as to make up for the disrespect he had shown to him. Finally, Ahmad al-Barqi died in the year 274 or 280 A.H. leaving Shia a very valuable Hadith legacy. 2) Bibliography of "Al-Mahasen" One of the oldest hadith books ever written by Shiite scholars is al-Mahasen by Ahmad al-Barqi who is known to be a trustworthy scholar and one of the great hadith narrators. Sheikh Saduq, Kulayni, and Sheikh Tusi have relied on him and reported many of the narrations transmitted by him. Al-Mahasen consists of eleven chapters or headings: 1. "Al-Qaraeen": This chapter includes narrations regarding matters consisting of three things or four to ten things. For instance, "three things which saves a person from destruction or three things which causes destruction…" As well, the significance of speaking good of others and being benevolent to others has been discussed with traditions reported from the Holy Prophet (S) and his pure Ahlul-Bayt (A.S). 2. "Thawab al-A'maal": This is another title regarding good deeds and their rewards such as the reward of positive thinking about God and love of the Household of the Holy Prophet (S) as well as the reward of fasting etc. 3. "Iqab al-A'mal": This chapter discusses narrations regarding bad or abominable deeds such the punishment of a person who downgrades prayers or one who does not pay his Zakat on time or he who belittles a mumeen (believer). 4. "Al-Safwah wa al-Noor wa al-Rahmah": This section includes narrations about the creation of a believer, status and position of the Messenger of God and his household as well as Shiites, friendship and enmity for the sake of God. 5. "Masabih al-Zulm": This chapter deals with narrations about reason, knowledge, guidance, God's right on people, innovation, analogy and opinion, divine authorities over people. 6. "Al-'Ilalal": This chapter includes 130 narrations regarding various subjects including the differences of the companions of the Holy Prophet about wiping the feet, the worldly and heavenly matters, and how one should deal with both of them, the characteristics of the Quran and its commentary and reasons for certain rules. 7. "Al-Safar": Includes narrations about journeying and relevant issues such as the right of a fellow traveler, journey expenses and manners of travelling. 8. "Al-Ma'aakel": This title deals with narrations regarding edibles, drinks and matters related to them. 9. "Al-Maa": Includes narrations about water and rules relating to them. 10. "Al-Manafe'": Includes narrations about Istikhara, seeking advice and drawing lots. 11. "Al-Marafeq": Includes narrations about the causes and means of life, house, vehicle, and cleanness. As is observed, the titles of these chapters mostly relate to religious beliefs, epistemic issues and matters related to people's ordinary life. 3) A Study of Hazrat Khidhr's Testimony on the Imamate of Infallible Imams (A.S) Ahmad bin Muhammad al-Barqi has been the person to report a narration in "Al-Mahasen". The same narration has been narrated more perfectly by Sheikh Kulayni in "Al-Kafi" and we will cite Al-Kafi because we need the text to understand the narration thoroughly: «عن عِدَّةٌ مِنْ أَصْحَابِنَا عَنْ أَحْمَدَ بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ الْبَرْقِیِّ عَنْ أَبِی هَاشِمٍ دَاوُدَ بْنِ الْقَاسِمِ الْجَعْفَرِیِّ عَنْ أَبِی جَعْفَرٍ الثَّانِی....» The translation of the narration is as such: "Imam Jawad (A.S) said: Ameerul Mu'mineen (peace be upon him), once was heading towards Al Mesjedul Haram accompanied by Al Hasan Bin Ali and Salman Al Farsi (may Allah be pleased with them), Ameerul Mu'mineen (peace be upon him) was leaning on the hand of selman, they entered the mosque, he took a seat in its hall, a man of an elegant guise and handsome face eame closer, bid Ameerul Muamineen As Salam, he (peace be upon him) bid him back As Salam; the man sat and started talking: “O’ Ameerul Mu'mineen; I ask you about three matters, if you give me a wrong answer about them, I shall know that these people are following you to their misfortune both in this world and in the hereafter, and if you give me a correct answer I shall know that you and them will be destined to the same fate. Ameerul Mu'mineen (peace be upon him) said: “Ask whatever you like?” The man said: “Tell me where man’s soul goes when he sleeps? And how does man remember and forget? And how do man’s offspring look like their uncles (both from his father and mother)? Ameerul Mu'mineen (peace be upon him) turned to Abi Muhammad Al Hasan and said: “O’ Aba Muhammad! Answer his question!” And Imam Hasan (A.s) answered all the three questions. Thereupon the man said: “I testify that there is no God but Allah and I shall remain faithful to this testimony; and I testify that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and I shall remain faithful to this testimony; and I testify that you are the guardian on his will who will maintain his argument to people (pointing his finger to Ameerul Muamineen (peace be upon him)) and I shall remain faithful to this testimony; and I testify that you are the guardian of Ali’s will who will maintain his argument to people (pointing his finger to Al Hasan (peace be upon him)); and I testify that Al Hosain Bin Ali is the guardian on your father’s will who will maintain his argument to people; I testify that Ali Bin Al Hosain is Al Hosain’ds successor who will maintain his leadership; I testify that Muhammad Bin Ali is Ali Bin Al Hosain’s successor who will maintain his leadership, I testify that Ja'afar Bin Muhammad is Muhammad Bin Ali's successor who will preserve his leadership; I testify that Musa Bin Ja'afar is Ja'afar Bin Muhammad's successor, who will preserve his leadership ; I testify that Ali Bin Musa is Musa Bin Ja'afar's successor, who will maintain his leadership; I testify that that Muhammad Bin Ali is Ali Bin Musa's successor who will maintain his leadership; I testify that Ali Bin Muhammad is Muhammad Bin Ali's successor, who will preserve his leadership; I testify that Al Hasan Bin Ali is Ali Bin Muhammad's successor, who will maintain his leadership; and I testify that one of Al Hasan Bin Ali's sons whose name and nickname are not to be revealed till he is granted leaved to show himself thus to fill the earth with justice as it was filled with injustice, and I bid you Al Salam O’ Ameerul Muamineen s invoking on you Allah's mercy and grace; then he stood to his feed and was gone. Amerul Mu'mineen (peace be upon him): O’ Abo Muhammad! Follow him and check up where does he head; Al Hasan (peace be upon him) went after him, later he said: "the minute he put a foot off the mosque, he was gone, I went back to Ameerul Mu'mineen (peace be upon him) and informed him of that; he said: O’ Aba Muhammad, Do you know him? I said: "Allah his Messenger and Ameerul Muamineen better know." He (peace be upon him) said: He is Al Khidhr (peace be upon him). As we see, this narration has been reported by Sheikh Kulayni (ra) from al-Barqi. Now we shall refer to al-Barq's al-Mahasen to see whether or not this narration has been reported at all in it. If it has, is it with the same wording and content? Al-Barqi has reported the narration in al-Mahasen as such: «عَنْهُ (البرقی) عَنْ أَبِیهِ عَنْ أَبِی هَاشِمٍ الْجَعْفَرِیِّ رَفَعَ الْحَدِیثَ قَالَ قَالَ أَبُو عَبْدِ اللَّهِ(ع) دَخَلَ أَمِیرُ الْمُؤْمِنِینَ ص الْمَسْجِدَ وَ مَعَهُ الْحَسَنُ(ع) فَدَخَلَ رَجُل...» The chain of transmission which he mentions is slightly different from the one mentioned by al-Kafi. It has mentioned in al-Barqi's narration that he narrated from his father and he from Abu Hashim and he from Imam Sadiq (A.S) without mentioning the names of the transmitters who were connected to Imam Sadiq (A.S). Thus, the hadith is Marfoo' [lit. elevated]. However, al-Kafi's chain of transmission is different. Therein, al-Barqi narrates from Abu Hashim Ja'fari and he from Imam Jawad (A.S). Therefore, in Al-Mahasen, al-Barqi has taken this narration from his father whereas in Al-Kafi no mention has been made of his father. Moreover, in al-Barqi's book, the narration has been reported from Imam Sadiq (A.S) whereas in Al-Kafi, it has been reported from Imam Jawad (A.S). In other words, scholars like Kulayni in his Al-Kafi, Sheikh Saduq in Kamal al-Deen and Ilal al-Sharaye' and Nu'mani in Al-Ghaibah have reported this narration with various chains from al-Barqi. The narration is the same except for the last part of the chain of transmission i.e. from al-Barqi onward, the chain is similar to the chain of the transmission of hadith in Al-Kafi; it is not like the one in al-Barqi's al-Mahasen. However, all these books have taken the narration from its author! The report in al-Mahasen is also slightly different from the one al-Kafi. One is shorter than the other. It seems as though Al-Barqi has shortened the report in his book and late Kulayni has shorted it from another angle. The narration mentioned in Al-Kafi lacks the three questions which Hazrat Khidr asked Imam Hasan Mujtaba (A.S). This is quite clear from the explanation provided by Kulayni. On the other hand, we see that al-Barqi has given adequate attention to the answers given by Imam Hasan Mujtaba to the questions. Instead, the testimonies to the imamate of each of the infallible imam (A.S) have been omitted and it has mentioned after Khidr's testimony to the imamate of Imam Hussein (A.S) as such: "Khidr testified to the imamate of other imams to the last of them." Although Kulayni has reported this narration from al-Barqi and the clause "Khidr testified to the imamate of other imams" has not been mentioned in Al-Barqi's book, it is quite clear that this passage has been omitted from Al-Barqi's book for the sake of brevity. The same is true with al-Kafi's version of narration. He has not mentioned the three answers for the sake of brevity. For your confidence in the foregoing explanation, you can refer to Sheikh Saduq's "Kamal al-Deen wa Tamam al-Ne'mah" or "'Ilal al-Sharaye'". Late Sheikh Saduq attached great importance to these narrations and it is for the same reason that he has reported the entire narration in which the answer to Khidr's three questions as well as Khidr's testimony to the imamate of each of the infallible imams have been mentioned. At the end, in order to complete the narration, the answers which Imam Hasan Mujtaba (A.S) gave to Hazrat Khidr's three questions and which have been reported in Sheikh Saduq's book are mentioned below: Imam Hasan (A.S) said: “As to where does man’s soul go when he sleeps; I say that his soul will hang to the wind, the wind hangs to the air until man starts to wake up, if Allah the Almighty gave leave to man to retain that soul; that soul will pull the wind which will- in turn-pull the air, thus the body will retain the soul; but if Allah the Almighty did not give leave to the soul to return to the body, the air will pull the wind which will pull the soul away, thus its owner will never regain it ever. As to how does man remember and forget: know that man’s heart (mind) is situated in a cavity with a lid covering it, if that man prays to Muhammad and his house hold and progeny a perfect prayer that lid will be removed from the cavity to let get into the heart thus man will remember what he has forgotten, if man does not pray to Muhammad and his household and progeny, or he offers an imperfect prayer, that lid will lighten over the cavity never giving space to light to get in, thus man will forget what he knows. As to the newborn and the similarity it carries to it uncles, I say: if man makes love to his woman maintaining his heart in tranquility, his nerves in calm order and his body in quietness, his sperm will be situated at the bottom of the womb, and the newborn will come into life carrying resemblance to his father and mother. If man makes love to his woman with perplexed heart, anxious nerves and troubled body, tribulation will be fall his sperm and the throw it either on a nerve that resembles the father’s brother, thus the newborn will carry resemblance to them, or it will throw the sperm on a nerve that resembles the mother’s brothers, thus the newborn will carry resemblance to them.  Najashi, Ahmad bin Ali, Fehrest Asmaa Musannefi al-Shi'ah (Rijal Najashi), p. 76, Islamic Publications Office, Qom, sixth edition, 1365 (solar calendar). Allamah Hilli, Hasan bin Yusuf, Khulasat al-Aqwal, p. 15, Manshurat al-Matba'ah al-Haideriyah, Najaf Ashraf, second edition, 1381 A.H. Rijal Najashi, p. 76. Kulayni, Muhammad bin Ya'qub, Al-Kafi, researched and corrected, Ghaffari, Ali Akbar, Akhundi, Muhammad, vol.1, p. 525, Dar al-Kotob al-Islamiyyah, Tehran, fourth edition, 1407 A.H. Al-Barqi, Abu Ja'far Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Khalid, al-Mahasen, researched and corrected: Muhaddith, Jalaluddin, vol.2, p. 332, Dar al-Kotob al-Islamiyyah, Qom, second edition, 1371 A.H. Hadith Marfoo' (lit. elevated) is a hadith attributed to the Prophet (PBUH) or Imams but it does not have a continuous chain of transmitters up to him. Thus, it is possible that one or many transmitters are omitted in the middle of the chain. This is done with the notification that some transmitters have been omitted. Hariri, Muhammad Yusuf, Glossary of Hadith Terms, p. 121, Nashr Hijrat, Qom, 1381. Sheikh Saduq, Kamal al-Deen wa Tamam al-Ne'mah, researched and corrected by Ghaffari, Ali Akbar, vol.1, p. 313, Dar al-Kotob al-Islamiyyah, Tehran, second edition, 1395 A.H. Sheikh Saduq, Ilal al-Sharaye', vol.1, p. 96, Dawari Book Stall, Qom, first edition, 1385 (solar). Ibn Abi Zainab (Nu'mani), Muhammad bin Ibrahim, researched an edited, Ghaffari, Ali Akbar, al-Ghaibah, p. 58, Saduq Publications, Tehran, first edition, 1397 A.H. Kamal al-Deen, vol.1, p. 313. Ilal al-Sharaye', voll.1, p. 96. Kamal al-Deen, vol.1, p. 313. Source: http://www.islamquest.net/en/archive/question/en22087 (wasalam)
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