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In al Kafi, Kitab al hujjah, Ch.62, H.1 it states that of the signs of the next imam is that he should be the eldest son of his father:

"Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from ibn abu Nasr who has said that he asked abu al-Hassan al-Rida (a.s.) the following.  "When the Imam dies through  what means one would know the succeeding Imam (a.s.)?" He said, "For the Imam there are  certain signs. Of such sign one is that he must be the eldest son of his father...."

However, Imam Hasan al-Askari was not the eldest and he had an older brother. So the question is how can he be the imam?

One answer is that when the imam said that the next imam will be of the eldest, he meant of the eldest surviving sons. But i am not sure. Can the knowledgable ones please give an answer.

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I'm no expert but this sounds to me like something the Ismailis would say (about the Imam needing to be the eldest). Are you sure this hadith is sahih; there are many ahadith of questionable authenticity in the books.

Imam al-Hussain (as) was not the eldest son of his father, nor was Imam Musa al-Kadhim (as).

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Found this hadith in al kafi which is pretty interesting, although it is weak:

Ali ibn Muhammad has narrated from abu Muhammad al-Asbarqiniy from Ali ibn 'Amr al- 'Attar who has said the following.   "Once I went to see al-Hassan al-'Askari (a.s.) when his  son abu Ja'far (Muhammad ) was still alive and I thought he will be the Imam after his father.  I then asked the Imam (a.s.), "May Allah take my souls in service for your cause, which of  your sons I will consider (my Imam)?" The Imam (a.s.) said, "do not consider any of them  (your Imam) until my command will come to you." The narrator has said, "I wrote to him  afterwards asking, 'To who will go this task (Leadership with Divine Authority)" The narrator  has said, "He wrote to me, "(It will go) to my eldest son." The narrator has said, "Abu  Muhammad (a.s.) (Imam Hassan al-Askari) was older then abu Ja'far."

So was Imam Hassan al-Askari the eldest?

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5 hours ago, Follower of Ahlulbayt said:

Found this hadith in al kafi which is pretty interesting, although it is weak:

Ali ibn Muhammad has narrated from abu Muhammad al-Asbarqiniy from Ali ibn 'Amr al- 'Attar who has said the following.   "Once I went to see al-Hassan al-'Askari (a.s.) when his  son abu Ja'far (Muhammad ) was still alive and I thought he will be the Imam after his father.  I then asked the Imam (a.s.), "May Allah take my souls in service for your cause, which of  your sons I will consider (my Imam)?" The Imam (a.s.) said, "do not consider any of them  (your Imam) until my command will come to you." The narrator has said, "I wrote to him  afterwards asking, 'To who will go this task (Leadership with Divine Authority)" The narrator  has said, "He wrote to me, "(It will go) to my eldest son." The narrator has said, "Abu  Muhammad (a.s.) (Imam Hassan al-Askari) was older then abu Ja'far."

So was Imam Hassan al-Askari the eldest?

May i like to see your interpretation of this hadith with its authenticity before going any further, please?

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13 hours ago, Follower of Ahlulbayt said:

In al Kafi, Kitab al hujjah, Ch.62, H.1 it states that of the signs of the next imam is that he should be the eldest son of his father:

"Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from ibn abu Nasr who has said that he asked abu al-Hassan al-Rida (a.s.) the following.  "When the Imam dies through  what means one would know the succeeding Imam (a.s.)?" He said, "For the Imam there are  certain signs. Of such sign one is that he must be the eldest son of his father...."

However, Imam Hasan al-Askari was not the eldest and he had an older brother. So the question is how can he be the imam?

One answer is that when the imam said that the next imam will be of the eldest, he meant of the eldest surviving sons. But i am not sure. Can the knowledgable ones please give an answer.

You have just copy pasted part of hadith instead of complete text that is necessary to interpret the hadith:

باب الامور التي توجب حجة الامام عليه السلام

1 - محمد بن يحيى، عن أحمد بن محمد، عن ابن أبي نصر قال: قلت لابي الحسن الرضا عليه السلام: إذا مات الامام بم يعرف الذي بعده؟ فقال للامام علامات منها أن يكون أكبر ولد أبيه(2) ويكون فيه الفضل والوصية، ويقدم الركب فيقول: إلى من أوصى فلان؟ فيقال: إلى فلان، والسلاح فينا بمنزلة التابوت في بني إسرائيل، تكون الامامة مع السلاح حيثما كان.

Evidence of Imam’s Possessing Divine Authority


H 745, Ch. 62, h 1
Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from ibn abu Nasr who has said that he asked abu al-Hassan al-Rida (a.s.) the following. "When the Imam dies through what means one would know the succeeding Imam (a.s.)?" He said, "For the Imam there are
certain signs
. Of such sign one is that he must be the eldest son of his father. The will and excellence must be found in him and when people come to ask who is appointed the executor of the will in answer it can be said that so and so is appointed the executor of the will. The Armament with us is like the Ark in the Israelites. Imamat (leadership with Divine authority) is always with the Armament wherever it may go

Majlisi- Sahih (Miart ul uqool, 3/204)

2 - محمد بن يحيى، عن محمد بن الحسين، عن يزيد شعر(3) عن هارون بن حمزة عن عبدالاعلى قال: قلت لابي عبدالله عليه السلام: المتوثب على هذا الامر، المدعي له، ما الحجة عليه؟ قال: يسأل عن الحلال والحرام(4)، قال: ثم أقبل علي فقال: ثلاثة من الحجة لم تجتمع في أحد إلا كان صاحب هذا الامر أن يكون أولى الناس بمن كان قبله ويكون عنده السلاح ويكون صاحب الوصية الظاهرة التي إذا قدمت المدينة سألت عنها العامة والصبيان: إلى من أوصى فلان؟ فيقولون: إلى فلان بن فلان.

H 746, Ch. 62, h 2
Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Muhammad ibn al-Husayn from Yazid. Sha‘ar from Harun ibn Hamza from ‘Abd al-A‘la who has said that he asked abu ‘Abdallah (a.s.) the following. "In the case of those who rush to hold control of this matter (leadership) and who claim to be for it, how would one verify their possessing Divine authority?" The Imam (a.s.) said, "They are asked about the rules of lawful and unlawful matters." The narrator has said that the Imam (a.s.) then turned to me and said, "There are three evidence that are not found in one person except the rightful owner of this status. He must be the closest person to the preceding Imam that the Armament must be with him and he would be the appointed executor of the will in a public manner. So much so that if one would come to the town and ask the common people even the children as to who the executor of the will of so and so is? They would say so and so is the executor of the will of so and so."

Majlisi - Hasan ((Miart ul uqool, 3/205)

Further detail on the matter can be seen at the given link (by english translation if needed):

http://www.aqaed.com/book/250/rodod-15.html

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23 hours ago, skyweb1987 said:

You have just copy pasted part of hadith instead of complete text that is necessary to interpret the hadith:

Yes i only pasted this part because this is the part relevant to my question. There are other ways to tell who the next imam is, but one of them is him having to be the oldest.  And apparently some of the imams were not the oldest. 

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5 hours ago, skyweb1987 said:

May i like to see your interpretation of this hadith with its authenticity before going any further, please?

My interpretation? The hadith clearly says imam hasan al-askari was older. Thats all. And i said at the start the hadith is weak.

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12 hours ago, Jafa'ar said:

I'm no expert but this sounds to me like something the Ismailis would say (about the Imam needing to be the eldest). Are you sure this hadith is sahih; there are many ahadith of questionable authenticity in the books.

Imam al-Hussain (as) was not the eldest son of his father, nor was Imam Musa al-Kadhim (as).

The hadith is sahih and i think an answer to your question might be the fact that this question was asked to Imam al-Rida (as) and he was giving the signs for the next imams. But again, it seems as though imam Hasan al-Askari was not the oldest (he might be, see Hadith #2), which is problematic. 

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12 hours ago, Jafa'ar said:

I'm no expert but this sounds to me like something the Ismailis would say (about the Imam needing to be the eldest).

Yes i thought about this and i gave my answer of the eldest son having to be of the eldest surviving sons. However, this cannot be the case because Imam al-Kathim was apparently not the eldest surviving sons either. This is interesting...     "Following Ja'far al-Sadiq’s death, the majority of Ja'far’s followers accepted Abdullah al-Aftah as their new Imam. These followers were known as the Fathites and, according to the Mu'tazili heresiographer Abul-Qasim al-Balkhi al-Ka‘bi (d.319 A.H. / 931 CE), they were the biggest and most important section of the followers of Ja'far al-Sadiq.[5] To support his claims, Abdullah al-Aftah seems to have claimed a 2nd Nass from his father (following Ismā'īl's demise) and his adherents cited a supposed Hadith from Ja'far al-Sadiq to the effect that the Imamate must be transmitted through the eldest son of the Imam. However, when Abdullah al-Aftah died childless"              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdullah_al-Aftah               

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14 hours ago, Follower of Ahlulbayt said:

Yes i only pasted this part because this is the part relevant to my question. There are other ways to tell who the next imam is, but one of them is him having to be the oldest.  And apparently some of the imams were not the oldest. 

The hadith text linked earlier mention the conditions for preceding imam (not only the oldest son)

1.  Eldest son or Closest person of imam

2.  Armament must be with him

3.  Appointed executor (by imam)

If some of the imams were apparently not oldest but they were alive oldest son at the time of death of imam who nominated them as preceding imam. The picture is very clear. just to mention that the names of 12 imams have been mentioned in many sahih hadith

 

Edited by skyweb1987
correction

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3 minutes ago, skyweb1987 said:

The hadith text linked earlier mention the conditions for preceding imam (not only the oldest son)

1.  Eldest son or Closest person of imam

 2.  Armament must be with him

 3.  Appointed executor (by imam)

If some of the imams weer apparently not oldest but they were alive oldest son at the time of death of imam who nominated them as preceding imam. The picture is very clear.

wasalam

Again, i have already stated that in my OP that the answer could be when the imam says 'eldest son' he means 'eldest surviving son' but again Imam al-Kathim (as) was apparently not the eldest surviving son. 

 "Following Ja'far al-Sadiq’s death, the majority of Ja'far’s followers accepted Abdullah al-Aftah as their new Imam. These followers were known as the Fathites and, according to the Mu'tazili heresiographer Abul-Qasim al-Balkhi al-Ka‘bi (d.319 A.H. / 931 CE), they were the biggest and most important section of the followers of Ja'far al-Sadiq.[5] To support his claims, Abdullah al-Aftah seems to have claimed a 2nd Nass from his father (following Ismā'īl's demise) and his adherents cited a supposed Hadith from Ja'far al-Sadiq to the effect that the Imamate must be transmitted through the eldest son of the Imam. However, when Abdullah al-Aftah died childless"              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdullah_al-Aftah          

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7 minutes ago, Follower of Ahlulbayt said:

Again, i have already stated that in my OP that the answer could be when the imam says 'eldest son' he means 'eldest surviving son' but again Imam al-Kathim (as) was apparently not the eldest surviving son. 

 "Following Ja'far al-Sadiq’s death, the majority of Ja'far’s followers accepted Abdullah al-Aftah as their new Imam. These followers were known as the Fathites and, according to the Mu'tazili heresiographer Abul-Qasim al-Balkhi al-Ka‘bi (d.319 A.H. / 931 CE), they were the biggest and most important section of the followers of Ja'far al-Sadiq.[5] To support his claims, Abdullah al-Aftah seems to have claimed a 2nd Nass from his father (following Ismā'īl's demise) and his adherents cited a supposed Hadith from Ja'far al-Sadiq to the effect that the Imamate must be transmitted through the eldest son of the Imam. However, when Abdullah al-Aftah died childless"              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abdullah_al-Aftah          

The hadith provide 3 conditions OP is trying to stick to the one at sr. no. 1 while the other two ie 2 & 3 are being neglected. 

This is not a mater of personal judgement the words of hadith are final for us that already mentioned the names of 12 imams.

We do have hadith that  provide the evidence for the imamah of Imam Al Kazim AS.

wasalam

Edited by skyweb1987

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1 minute ago, skyweb1987 said:

The hadith provide 3 conditions OP is trying to stick to the one at sr. no. 1 while the other two ie 2 & 3 are being neglected by your self. 

 This is not a mater of personal judgement the words of hadith are final for us. 

wasalam

oh so your saying when the imam said 'the eldest son' he didn't really mean the eldest son and it can be rejected if the other two criteria are met. But where is your proof for this? The hadith clearly states that the imam is the eldest son. This is one of the conditions. There are other conditions as well. But these other conditions do not take away the fact that the imam still has to be of the eldest son. Stop trying to dodge the question.

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5 minutes ago, Follower of Ahlulbayt said:

oh so your saying when the imam said 'the eldest son' he didn't really mean the eldest son and it can be rejected if the other two criteria are met. But where is your proof for this? The hadith clearly states that the imam is the eldest son. This is one of the conditions. There are other conditions as well. But these other conditions do not take away the fact that the imam still has to be of the eldest son. Stop trying to dodge the question.

Please do not move in circles and open your eyes brother to the truth.

My proof are the hadith i have mentioned do not build your foundation on mud please.

Edited by skyweb1987

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4 minutes ago, skyweb1987 said:

 Please do not move in circles and open your eyes brother to the truth.

My proof are the hadith i have mentioned do not build your foundation on mud. 

Sorry open my eyes to to the truth? You quite frankly have not been answering the question. My proof are the hadith as well. You are just not being academic.

Edited by Follower of Ahlulbayt

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14 minutes ago, skyweb1987 said:

The hadith provide 3 conditions OP is trying to stick to the one at sr. no. 1 while the other two ie 2 & 3 are being neglected. 

This is not a mater of personal judgement the words of hadith are final for us that already mentioned the names of 12 imams.

We do have hadith that  provide the evidence for the imamah of Imam Al Kazim AS.

wasalam

i think you are misunderstanding what i am saying. I am not denying the imamah of imam al-kathim (as). I am saying that one of the signs of the imam is that he should be the oldest (among other conditions). However, Imam al-kathim was apparently not the oldest. So how do we explain and reconcile this.

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1 hour ago, Follower of Ahlulbayt said:

i think you are misunderstanding what i am saying. I am not denying the imamah of imam al-kathim (as). I am saying that one of the signs of the imam is that he should be the oldest (among other conditions). However, Imam al-kathim was apparently not the oldest. So how do we explain and reconcile this.

Thanks for acceptance that  being eldest son is not the final alone condition for the preceding imam. I have already mentioned three  conditions based on the hadiths. The link is given below: 

 

1.  Eldest son or Closest person of imam

  2.  Armament must be with him

  3.  Appointed Executor (by imam)

The other condition governs as given above for the appointment of Imam Al Musa AL KAzim AS by Imam Jafar Sadiq AS. There are many hadith in Al-kafi for the appointment of Imam Musa AL Kadim AS after Imam Jafar Sadiq AS

Edited by skyweb1987

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1 hour ago, Qa'im said:

Imam Hasan al-`Askari (as) was the eldest [living] son of al-Hadi (as). His elder brother Muhammad was a righteous man, but he died before Imam al-Hadi, and so that disqualifies him, as a successor has to be living.

Also, likewise Ismail died while Imam al-Sadiq (as) was still alive  and Musa Al Kazim AS was chosen by Divine providence to succeed his father (Imam Jafar Al Sadiq As)  as 7th Imam.

Edited by skyweb1987

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2 hours ago, Qa'im said:

Imam Hasan al-`Askari (as) was the eldest [living] son of al-Hadi (as). His elder brother Muhammad was a righteous man, but he died before Imam al-Hadi, and so that disqualifies him, as a successor has to be living.

What about Imam al-Kathim (as)? I think he was not of the eldest living sons?

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22 minutes ago, Follower of Ahlulbayt said:

What about Imam al-Kathim (as)? I think he was not of the eldest living sons?

The "eldest son" rule is only narrated from ar-Rida (as) onward. We know that Husayn was not the eldest son of his predecessor, nor was Musa al-Kadhim.

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3 hours ago, Qa'im said:

The "eldest son" rule is only narrated from ar-Rida (as) onward. We know that Husayn was not the eldest son of his predecessor, nor was Musa al-Kadhim.

ohhhh ok. Do you know how people would identity the imam before imam ar-Rida (as)? 

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58 minutes ago, Follower of Ahlulbayt said:

ohhhh ok. Do you know how people would identity the imam before imam ar-Rida (as)? 

(1) They would seek the nass of the Imam's predecessor, which they would have either heard directly, or heard about from his followers or those in the city.

(2) They would seek the one who inherited the special items from his predecessor, especially the armaments of the Prophet (s).

(3) They would seek which son is the most knowledgeable and ask questions.

 

عدة من أصحابنا، عن أحمد بن محمد، عن ابن أبي نصر، عن أبي الحسن الرضا عليه السلام قال: قال أبو جعفر عليه السلام: إنما مثل السلاح فينا كمثل التابوت في بني إسرائيل أينما دار التابوت دار الملك، وأينما دار السلاح فينا دار العلم

From several of our companions from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. ibn Abi Nasr from Abu’l Hasan ar-Rida عليه السلام.

He said: Abu Ja`far عليه السلام said: The example of the armaments with us is like that of the Ark of the Covenant of Bani Israel. Wherever the Ark of the Covenant resides, the kingdom also resides. And wherever the armaments reside amongst us, knowledge also resides. (al-Kafi, Volume 1, hadith 628)

(sahih) (صحيح)

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