-Extract from the Evidence, Proof and Signs for the Leader for the (Rest of) Time.

[Abu al-Qasim JaYar b. Muhammad b. Qulawayh informed me on the authority of Muhammad b. Ya'qub, on the authority of `All b. Muhammad, on the authority of Muhammad b. Hamawayh, on the authority of Muhammad b. Ibrihim b. Mahziyir, who said:]"

I (i.e. Muhammad b. Ibrahim b. Mahziyar) doubted (if there was a successor) at the death of Abu Muhammad al-Hasan b. 'Ali (al-`Askari) peace be on them. A great deal of money (for the Imam) had been gathered with my father. He took it and went by boat. I went with him to say farewell to him. He became seriously weakened by a fever. He said: "My son, take me back, it is death."

Then he said: "Fear God with regard to this money," and he entrusted it to my (safe-keeping).

Three days later he died. I said to myself: "It is not possible for my father to entrust me with something for safe-keeping which is not true. I will take this money to Iraq. I will hire a house on the (river) bank and I won't tell anyone anything. If something becomes clear to me like it was clear at the time of Abu Muhammad (al-hasan al-`Askari), peace be on him, I will hand it over. If not, I will spend it on enjoying myself and entertaining myself."

I went to Iraq and hired a house on the river-bank. I remained there for several days. Then suddenly a letter (was brought) by a messenger: "Muhammad, you have such-and-such . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . "

(It went on) to describe everything I had, even what I was not aware of being included in it. I handed it over to the messenger. I remained for some days without a head being raised to me (in greeting) and I was grieved. Then (a message) came to me: "We have put you in the position of your father. So praise God."

[Muhammad b. Abi `Abd Allah reported on the authority of Abu `Abd Allah al-Nisa’I:]

I (i.e. Abu `Abd Allah) gave some things to al-Marzubani alHarithi, among which was a bracelet of gold. They were accepted. However, the bracelet was returned to me and I was told to break it. I broke it. There in the middle of it were weights of iron, copper and brass. I took that away and handed over the gold after that. It was accepted.

['Ali b. Muhammad reported:]

A man from the Sawad (of Iraq) handed over money and it was returned to him. He was told: "Take from it what is due to your nephews. It is four hundred dirhams."

The man had possession of an estate in which his nephews had a share which he had withheld from them. He reflected. When he took out the four hundred dirhams which belonged to his nephews and handed over the rest, it was accepted.

[Al--Qasim b. al-`AW reported:]"

A number of sons were born to me. I used to write to (the Hidden Imam) and ask for prayers for them. However, he never wrote to me anything about their affair and they all died. When my son al-Husayn was born, I wrote to ask for prayers. I received an answer and he survived. Praise be to God.

[`All b. Muhammad (reported) on the authority of Abu `Abd Allah b. Salih, who said:]

One year I (i.e. Abu `Abd Allah b. Salih) went to Baghdad. (At first) I had asked permission to go but it had not been granted to me. So I remained for twenty-two days after the departure of the caravan towards al-Nahrawan . Then I received permission to depart on the Wednesday. I was told to go with it. I set out in despair at catching it up. I reached al-Nahrawan and the caravan was still there. I only had time to feed my camel before the caravan set out and I set out with it. He (the Hidden Imam) had prayed for my safety. Therefore I came to no harm. Praise be to God.

[`Ali b. Ibrahim (reported) on the authority of Nadr b. Sabbah alBajali, on the authority of Muhammad b. Yusuf al-Shashi, who said:]

Tumours came out on my bottom. I showed them to the doctors and spent a great deal of money to do that. They said that they did not know of any medicine to cure them. I wrote a letter (to the Hidden Imam) to ask him to pray (for me). He sent me a signed letter: "May God clothe you in health. May He make you with us both in this world and the next."

Before Friday came, I was well again and the place where they had been became as smooth as the palm of my hand. I summoned a doctor (who was one) of our colleagues and showed him that. He said: "We do not know of any medicine for that. Health could only have been restored through God directly."

['Ali b. Muhammad (reported) on the authority of `All b. alHusayn al-Yamani, who said:]

While I (i.e. 'Ali b. al-Husayn al-Yamani) was in Baghdad a caravan of Yamanis was being prepared for departure. I wanted to go with them. I wrote to ask permission for that and (the message) came: "Do not go with them. No good will come to you through going with them. Stay in Kufa."

I stayed there and the caravan departed. The Banu Hanzala attacked them and destroyed them.

I wrote to ask permission to make a journey by water and was not given permission. I asked about the boats which were leaving that year by sea but I knew that no boat was safe, for a group of people called al-Bawdrih used to attack them and stop them.

[`Alt b. al-Husayn reported:]

I (i.e. `Alt b. al-Husayn) went to al-`Askar (Samarraa. I came in by a by-street at dusk. I had spoken to no one and I was not known to anyone. I was praying in the mosque after I had finished my visitation (to the graves of the two Imams al-1456 and al-`Askari), when a servant came to me. He said to me: "Arise."

"To where?" I asked.

"To the house," he answered.

"Who am I?" I said. "Perhaps you have been sent to someone else."

"No, I have only been sent to you," he said. "You are `Alt b. alHusayn (the messenger of JaYar b. Ibrahtm"

He went with me until he installed me in the house of al-Husayn b. Ahmad)." I did not know what he said to him until he brought everything I needed. I remained there for three days. Then I asked permission to make a visitation inside the house (where the two Imams were buried). Permission was granted and I made my visitation at night.

[Al-Hasan b. al-Fadl (b. Zayd al-Yamani) reported:]'

My father (i.e. al-Fadl b. Zayd) wrote a letter in his own handwriting. The reply from the (Hidden Imam) came. (Then I, alHasan b. al-Fadl - wrote in my handwriting, the reply from the Hidden Imam came). Then one of the outstanding scholars among our colleagues wrote in his handwriting and no answer came back. We reflected on that. Indeed the man had changed and become a Qarmati.

[Al-Hasan b. al-Fadl mentioned:]

I (i.e. al-Hasan b. al-Fadl) went to Iraq (and I went to Tus). I knew that I would only leave with clear evidence (of an improvement) in my situation and success in my needs even though I might have to stay there until I had to beg for alms. During that time, my heart became oppressed with my stay and I began to fear that I would miss the

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THE LIVES OF THE OTHER IMAMS

pilgrimage. One day I went to Muhammad b. Ahmad - he was the representative of the Hidden Imam (saftr) at that time - so that I might get money from him. He said to me: "Go to such-and-such a mosque. There a man will meet you."

I went there. A man came up to me. When he looked at me, he laughed and said: "Don't be worried. You will make the pilgrimage, this year and you will return safely to your family and children."

I was relieved and my heart quietened. I said: "This is the real proof of that man."

Then I went to al-`Askar (Samarra'). A bag was sent to me, in which were some dinars and some clothes. I was perplexed and said to myself: "Is my reward only that in the eyes of the people (i.e. the Shi'a leaders)?"

I pretended ignorance and sent it back. Then I regretted my action very much. I said to myself: "I have been guilty of unbelief in sending it back to my master."

I wrote a letter apologizing for my action, acknowledging my sin and seeking forgiveness for it. Then I sent it. I performed the noon prayer. At that time I was thinking to myself and saying: "If the dinars were returned to me, I would not untie the knot (of the purse). I would not do anything with it until I had taken it to my father. He knows better than I."

The messenger, who had brought the purse to me, came to me again. Ire said to me: "I would throttle you since you do not acknowledge the man (i.e. the Hidden Imam). Sometimes we do that to our followers who have deserted (mawali) in the first place. Sometimes they ask us to do it to gain relief through it. However, (a message) has come to me that you made a mistake in sending back our beneficence. If you seek the forgiveness of God, then God, the Exalted will forgive you. However, if it is your resolve and your firm intention not to do anything with what we brought to you and not to spend it on your journey, we will deprive you of it. As for the clothes, take them in order to use as the robes for consecration in the pilgrimage (tuhrim fihi.)."

[(AI-Hasan) b. al-Fadl) reported:]

I (i.e. al-Hasan b. al-Fadl) wrote about two problems and wanted to write about a third. However, I stopped myself fearing that that might not be liked. The answer came explaining the two problems and the third which I had kept back. Praise be to God.

[(Al-Hasan b. al-Fadl) reported:]

I (i.e. al-Hasan b. al-Fadl) agreed with Ja’far b. Ibrahim alNisaburi in Nisabur to ride with him to the pilgrimage and give him companionship. When I reached Baghdad, I changed my mind. So I went to look for a partner. Ibn Wajna' met me. (Earlier) I had gone to him and asked him to hire someone for me. However, he had been unwilling. Now he said: "I have been looking for you, for I was told (i.e. by an instruction from the Hidden Imam) that he (i.e. al-Hasan) will be your colleague (within the caravan) so be kind to him and find a partner for him and hire him for him."

[AG b. Muhammad (reported) on the authority of al-Hasan b. `Abd al-Hamid, who said:]"

I (i.e. al-Hasan b. `Abd al-Hamid) doubted about the authority of Hajiz. I collected some (dues for the Hidden imam) and, ven-t to al-`Askar. (A message) came to me: "There should be no doubt about us nor about those who act on our behalf with our authority. Return what you have to Hajiz b. Yazid."

['Ali b. Muhammad (reported) on the authority of Muhammad b. Salih, who said:]

When my father died and his authority came to me (i.e. Muhammad b. Salih), my father had been holding bills of exchange (which had been given) by people (instead of money) as part of the money owed to the creditor - i.e. the leader of the affair (sahib al-Amr), peace be on him.

AI-Shaykh al-Mufid, may God have mercy on him, explained: This expression (al-gharim - the creditor) is a symbol which the Shi'a had known for a long time among themselves. Their addressing him by it was a form of precautionary dissimulation (taqiyyah).

I (i.e. Muhammad b. Salih) wrote to him (the Hidden Imam) to inform me (about what to do). He wrote to me: "Seek them out and get them to pay."

The people paid me except for one man. He owed (the redemption of) a bill of exchange for four hundred dinars. I went to him to ask for it. He put off paying me and his son made light of me and ridiculed me. I complained about him to his father. His father said: "What was that?"

I grabbed hold of his beard and took hold of his leg and dragged him to the middle of the house. His son went out to get help from the people of Baghdad. He was shouting: "A Qummi, a Rafidite, has killed my father."

A large crowd of them gathered against me. I got on my horse and shouted: "Well done, people of Baghdad, siding with a wrong-doer against a wronged stranger. I am a man from the people of Harridan from the people of the sunnah (i.e. non-Shl'a). This man makes claims of me being from the people of Qumm and accuses me of being a Rafidite so that he may take away my rights and my money."

They began to turn against him and they wanted to go into his shop until I quietened them. The man whose bill of exchange it was came to me and swore by the oath of divorce that he would pay me my money (to redeem the bill) so that I would take them away from him.

[`All b. Muhammad (reported) on the authority of a number of our colleagues on the authority of Ahmad b. al-Hasan and al-`Ala' b. Rizq Allah, on the authority of Badr, the servant of Ahmad b. al-Hasan, on the authority of the latter:]"

I (i.e. Ahmad b. al-Hasan) came to al-Jabal. I did not yet profess (the doctrine of) the Imamate, nor did I have any love for them (the Shi'a) at all until Yazid b. `Abd Allah died. In his illness, he made (me a trustee of) his will that his horse, his sword and his belt should be given to his Master (i.e. the Imam). I was afraid that if I did not give the horse to Udhkutkfn, he would punish me. I valued the horse, sword and belt in my own view for seven hundred dinars and I told no one about it. I gave the horse to Udhkutkln. Suddenly there was a letter which came to me from Iraq: "Send seven hundred dinars, of the price of the horse, sword and belt which were ours before you."

['Alf b Muhammad reported: One of our colleagues told me:]'

A son was born to me (i.e one of the Shia).

I wrote to ask permission to have him circumcised on the seventh day. (The answer) came: "Do not do that."

The child died on the seventh or eighth day. I wrote about his death. The answer came: "He will be followed by another and another. Name the first Ahmad and the one after Ahmad, Ja'far."

It happened just as he said.

[One of our colleagues reported:]

I (i.e. one of the Shl'a) had got ready for the pilgrimage. I said farewell to the people and wrote to depart. (The answer) came: "We are averse to that but the decision is yours."

My heart was heavy and I was grieved. I wrote: "I remain as one who listens and obeys. However, 1 am grieved at staying behind from the pilgrimage."

There came a .signed message: "Let your heart not be heavy. You will make the pilgrimage next year, God willing."

Next year I wrote to ask permission. Permission came. I wrote (to ask) if I could take Muhammad b. al-`Abbas as a companion as I trusted in his religious faith and self-restraint. (The answer) came: "The man of the tribe of Asad would be the better companion. If he comes, do not hire (Muhammad b. al-`Abbas)."

The man of Asad came and I took him as a companion.

[Abu al-Qasim Ja'far b. Muhammad reported to me on the authority of Muhammad b. Ya`qub, on the authority of `Alt b. Muhammad, on the authority of al-Hasan b. `Isa al-`Uraydf, who said:]'s

When Abu Muhammad al-Hasan b. `Ah (al-`Askari), peace be on them, died, a man from the people of Egypt brought money to Mecca for the leader of the affair (sahib al-Amr), peace be on him. I (i.e. al-Hasan b. `Isa al-`Uraydi) used to visit him. He said: "Some of the people (say) that Abu Muhammad (al-Hasan al-`Askari), peace be on him, died without a successor. Others say that the successor after him is Ja'far. Others say that the successor after him is his son. A man with the kunya Abu Talib was sent to al-`Askar (Samarra') to study the matter and (find out) the truth about it. He had a letter with him. The man went to Ja’far and asked him for proof (of his Imamate). He answered: 'It is not yet ready for me.' The man went to the door and he sent the letter to our colleagues who are charged with direct representation of the Hidden Imam (sifara). The message came to him: `May God reward you through your leader.' Then the man died and he entrusted the money which was with him to do with what he was intending (i.e. pay it to the agents of the Hidden Imam). His letter had been answered and the matter was as he had been told."

[With the same chain of authorities (isnad) on the authority of `Ali b. Muhammad, who said:]'

A man from the people of Aba brought some things to hand over to him (the Hidden Imam). He forgot his sword which he had also intended to give. When the things arrived, he was informed by the letter of their arrival. In the letter it also said: "What is the news of the sword which your forgot?"

[With the same chain of authorities (isnad) on the authority of `Ali b. Muhammad, on the authority of Muhammad b. Shadhan alNisaburi, who said:]"

I (i.e. Muhammad b. Shadhan) had collected five hundred dirhams less twenty. I did not want to send them while they were less (than five hundred), so I paid out twenty dirhams of my own and sent them to al-Asadi. I did not write about what was my own (money) in (the sum). The reply came: "Five hundred dirhams have arrived, of which twenty belongs to you."

[al-Hasan b. Muhammad al-Ash'ari reported:]

A letter from Abu Muhammad (al-Hasan al-`Askari) peace be on him, came about entrusting a salary to al-Junayd, who assassinated Faris b. Hatim b. Mahawayh, to Abu al-Hasan and my brother. After Abu Muhammad (al-Hasan al-`Askanj, peace be on him, died, a message came, renewing the salary of Abu al-Hasan and his companion. Nothing came with regard to the affairs of al-Junayd. I was troubled at that but then (another message) came later announcing the death of al-Junayd.

['Ali b. Muhammad (reported) on the authority of Abu `Aqil `Isa b. Nasr, who said:]

Ali` b. Ziyad al-Simarl wrote asking for a shroud. (The reply) was written to him: "You will need it in the year (2)80 A.H."

He died in the year (2)80 A.H. and the shroud was sent to him before his death.

[`All b. Muhammad (reported) on the authority of Muhammad b. Harun b. `Imran al-Hamdani, who said:]

I (i.e. Muhammad b. Hariin) owed five hundred diners to (the Hidden Imam). I did not have enough money to pay it. Then I said to myself: "I have several shops which I had bought for five hundred and thirty diners I could give them (to the Hidden Imam) instead of the five hundred diners."

However, I did not say anything about them. (A message) was written to Muhammad b. Ja`far: "Take the shops from Muhammad b. Harun for the five hundred diners which he owes us."

[Abu al-Qasim (Ja'far b. Muhammad) informed me on the authority of Muhammad b. Ya`qub, on the authority of `All b. Muhamniad, who said :]'

An announcement was issued: "It is prohibited to make visitations to the cemetery of Quraysh and KarbaIB' (al-Ha'ir)."

Some months later the vizier summoned al-BaqtanT. He said to him: "Go to (the families of) the Banu Furat and the people of alBurs and tell them not to visit the cemetery of Quraysh. The caliph has ordered that everyone who visits it should be searched out and arrested."

 

The Description of the Qa'im and his Appearance.

Reports have been handed down about the description of the one who will arise and his kindness, peace be on him.

[`Amr b. Shamir reported on the authority of Jabir al-Ju'fi, who said:]

I (i.e. Jabir al-Jufi) heard Abu Ja'far (al-Baqir), peace be on him, say: "`Umar b. al-Khattab questioned the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. He said: `Tell me about the Mahdi, what is his name?' He answered: `As for his name (the Apostle), peace be on him, took a promise from me that I would never mention it until God sent him.' `Umar said: `Give me his description.' He answered: 'He is a young man of medium stature with a handsome face and beautiful hair. His hair flows on to his shoulders. A light rises on his face. The hair of his beard and head is black. By my father, he is the son of the best of mothers.' ".