-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
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
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
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
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
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
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 Jafar 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
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
[`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
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
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 Jafar 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
[With the same chain of authorities (isnad) on the authority of `Ali b. Muhammad, who
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
[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
[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