The Promised Mahdi, Part I
Category: Islam
22:45 h
Mohammad Baqer Majlesi was a renowned and very powerful Iranian Twelver Shia cleric, during the Safavid era. He has been described as "one of the most powerful and influential Shi'a ulema of all time", whose "policies and actions reoriented Twelver Shia'ism in the direction that it was to develop from his day on. This book is in fact an encyclopedia of Islamic traditional reports and covers all the major sources of Islamic traditions extant at the time of its compilation.

The Promised Mahdi

Allamah Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi

Translated by Sayyid Athar Husain S.H. Rizvi

Part I

Chapter One: Holy Birth of the Imam of the Age (a.s.) and the Circumstances of His Respected Mother

وُلِدَ ع لِلنِّصْفِ مِنْ شَعْبَانَ سَنَةَ خَمْسٍ وَ خَمْسِينَ وَ مِائَتَيْنِ

1 – Al-Kafi: Imam (a.s.) was born in the year two hundred and fifty-five (Hijri).

2 – Ikmaaluddin: Ibne Isaam has narrated from Kulaini from Allaan Razi that he said:

“Some of our associates have informed us that: When the slave girl of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) became pregnant, he told her, ‘You shall soon carry a male and his name is Muhammad; and he is my successor after me.’”

3 – Ikmaaluddin: Ibne Walid Qummi from Muhammad bin Attar from Husain bin Razaqallah from Musa bin Muhammad bin Qasim bin Hamza bin Ali Ibne Musa Ibne Ja’far (a.s.) from Hakima Khatoon, daughter of Imam Muhammad Taqi (a.s.) that she said:

Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) sent for me and said: “O aunt, have your Iftar tonight with us. This is the night of mid-Shaban and Allah, the High, will bring forth the Divine Proof on this night. He will be His Proof on His earth.” Lady Hakima says, I said to him, “And who is his mother?” “Narjis,” he said to me. “May Allah make me your ransom,” I said to him, “there is no sign in her.” “It is as I tell you,” he said.

Lady Hakima says: I came and when I greeted and sat, she came to take off my shoes and said: “My lady, how are you this evening?” “Rather, you are my lady,” said I, “and the lady of my household.” She turned my word down and said: “What is this, dear aunt?” “My dear daughter, Allah, the Exalted, will grant you in this night of yours a boy, a master in this world and in the hereafter.” She sat and felt shy.

After I finished the Isha prayers and had Iftar, I went to bed and slept. When it was in the middle of the night, I got up to perform prayers. I finished my prayers and she was sleeping and there was no sign of any kind in her. I sat reciting the post-prayer recitations, then I went to the bed, and then I woke up suddenly. She was still asleep. She then woke up and arose and performed prayers.

Lady Hakima says: As doubts came to me, Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) called out, “Don’t make haste, aunt, the affair has come near.” I recited Surah Sajdah and Surah Yasin. And as I was doing that, she woke up suddenly; I rushed to her and read the name of Allah on her and then asked, “Do you feel anything?” “Yes aunt,” she said. “Pull yourself together and gather your heart,” I told her. “It will be as I told you.”

Lady Hakima said: “and then faintness overwhelmed me as parturition seized her. I woke up by sensing my Master, (a.s.); I removed the sheet from him, and there he was in prostration, touching the earth with his forehead and palms and knees and toes; I pulled him to myself and there he was, pure and clean.

Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) called on me, “Bring my son to me, Aunt.” I took his son to him. He put his hands under his thighs and back and put the infant’s feet on his chest. He then put his tongue in his mouth and touched his eyes, ears, and joints with his hands. “My son, talk,” he said then. The baby said: “I testify that there is no god, except Allah, the One without a partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger.” He then invoked blessings for Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and the Imams until he reached his father and then respectfully stopped.

Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) said: “Aunt, take him to his mother, so he may give her greetings and then bring him to me.” I took her to his mother and he greeted her. Then I brought him back and put him in the sitting room. He then said: “Aunt, come to us on the seventh day.”

Lady Hakima says, In the morning, I came to offer my greetings to Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.). I removed the curtain looking for my Master. Not seeing him, I asked his father, “May I be your ransom, where is my Master?” He said: “We entrusted him to the one that mother of Musa had entrusted Musa to.”

When it was the seventh day, I came and greeted and sat. He said: “Bring to me my son.” I brought my Master in a wrap. He acted towards his son in the same way he had acted the first time. Then he put his tongue into his mouth; as if feeding milk or honey. Then he said: “Talk, my son.” The blessed infant said: “I testify that there is no god, except Allah.” He then praised and invoked blessings on Muhammad and Ali, Amirul Momineen (a.s.), and everyone of the Imams, blessings of Allah be upon all of them, until his father. He then recited this verse:

وَنُرِيدُ أَن نَّمُنَّ عَلَى الَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَنَجْعَلَهُمْ أَئِمَّةً وَنَجْعَلَهُمُ الْوَارِثِينَ {5} وَنُمَكِّنَ لَهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَنُرِي فِرْعَوْنَ وَهَامَانَ وَجُنُودَهُمَا مِنْهُم مَّا كَانُوا يَحْذَرُونَ {6}

“And We desired to bestow a favor upon those who were deemed weak in the land, and to make them the Imams, and to make them the heirs, and to grant them power in the land, and to make Firon and Haman and their hosts see from them what they feared.” (Surah Qasas 28:5-6)

Musa Ibne Ja’far, the narrator of this tradition says: I asked Aqaba, the servant, about this report and he authenticated and verified Lady Hakima’s narration.

4 – Ikmaaluddin: Ja’far bin Muhammad bin Masrur from Husain bin Muhammad bin Aamir from Mualla Ibne Muhammad that he said:

When Zubairi was killed, a letter came from Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) as follows: “This is the punishment of one who attributes lies to Allah, the Exalted, with respect to His close friends. He had presumed that he would kill me while I do not have an offspring. So how did he witness the might of Allah, the Victorious and Exalted?” He sired a son and he named him M.H.M.D. This was in the year two hundred and fifty-six.

The same report is also mentioned in Ghaibat of Shaykh Tusi and he narrates a similar letter through another chain. It is possible to remove inconsistency between this account and the accounts, which mention the year of his birth as two hundred and fifty-five, on the grounds that in this narration the said year is the time of the writing of the letter or the year of the murder.

5 – Ikmaaluddin: Ibne Isaam has narrated from Kulaini from Ali bin Muhammad that he said:

“The Imam (a.s.) was born in mid-Shaban of year two hundred fifty-five.”

6 – Ikmaaluddin: Majiluwayh and Attar have narrated from Muhammad bin Attar from Husain bin Ali Nishaburi from Ibrahim bin Muhammad bin Abdullah bin Musa bin Ja’far (a.s.) from Shari from Nasim and Mariya that:

“When the Master of the Age fell from the abdomen of his mother, he fell hobbling on his knees, while raising his two forefingers towards the heavens. He then sneezed and said: ‘Praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and may Allah bless Muhammad and his household. The oppressors assumed that the Proof of Allah has expired. Should we be allowed to talk, doubts would disappear.’”

In Ghaibat of Shaykh Tusi, this report is mentioned through Allaan from Muhammad Attar.

7 – Ikmaaluddin: Ibrahim bin Muhammad has narrated from Nasim, maidservant of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) that she said:

“When I came to him one night after his birth and sneezed in his presence, the Master of the Age (a.s.) said to me, ‘May Allah have mercy on you.’ I became very happy; so he said to me, ‘May I not give you glad tidings about sneezing?’ I said: ‘Please do.’ He said: ‘It is protection from death for three days.”

8 – Ghaibat Tusi: Kulaini has directly narrated from Nasim that she said:

“When I came to him on the tenth night after his birth and sneezed in his presence, the Master of the Age (a.s.) said to me, ‘May Allah have mercy on you.’ I became very happy; he said to me, ‘May I not give you glad tidings about sneezing?’ I said: ‘Please do.’ He said: ‘It is protection from death for three days.”

9 – Ikmaaluddin: It is narrated from Majiluwayh, Ibne Mutawakkil and Attar and together they have narrated from Ishaq bin Riyah Basri from Abi Ja’far Amari that he said:

“When the Master was born, Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) sent for Abu Amr (First representative of Imam Zamana and father of Abu Ja’far Amari) and he came. The Imam said to him, ‘Buy ten thousand pounds of bread and ten thousand pounds of meat and distribute them according to the status of people.’ He told him to distribute it to Bani Hashim and offer his Aqiqah of a certain number of sheep.”

10 – Ikmaaluddin: Narrated Majiluwayh from Muhammad bin Attar from Abu Ali Khaizarani on the authority of a slave girl he had gifted to Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) that she said:

“I was present at the birth of the Master (a.s.) and the Master’s mother’s name is Saiqal; and that Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) had told the Master’s mother what will happen to his family. Therefore, she had asked Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) to pray for her that her death comes before his. Thus, she died during the lifetime of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.). There is a tablet on her tomb on which it is inscribed: This is Umme Muhammad.”

Abu Ali Khaizarani said: I heard this slave girl recall that when the Master was born, she saw a beam of light shining from him and reaching the zenith; and that she saw some white birds descending from the heavens and touching their wings against his head and face and the rest of his body and then fly away. She said: We informed Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) about it. He laughed and then said: “These are angels from the heavens, who descended to be blessed by him. They would be his aides when he rises.”

11 – Ikmaaluddin: Ibne Mutawakkil has narrated from Himyari from Muhammad bin Ahmad Alawi from Abi Ghanim, the servant that he said:

“A son was born to Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) whom he named ‘Muhammad’. He showed him to his companions on the third day and said: “This is your Imam after me and my successor over you. He is the Qaim whom people are waiting for. When the earth will be filled with oppression and corruption, he will rise and fill it with equity and justice.”

12 – Ghaibat Tusi: A group of scholars has narrated from Abu Mufaddal Shaibani from Muhammad bin Bahr bin Sahl Shaibani that he said: Bushr bin Sulaiman, a slave trader from the descendents of Abu Ayyub Ansari and a sincere Shia of Imam Ali Naqi and Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) and their neighbor at Samarrah said:

“One day Kafur, the slave of Imam Ali Naqi (a.s.) came to me and summoned me to his master. When I went to the Imam, he said: “O Bushr, you are from the descendents of Ansar. This devotion is your legacy, which your each coming generation inherits from the preceding generation. You are trustworthy men of us, Ahle Bayt. I am elevating you and ennobling you by an excellence, through which you will surpass all Shia in devotion, by sharing a secret with you and sending you to purchase a certain slave girl.”

He then wrote a very fine letter in Roman script and Roman language and imprinted his seal on it. He took out a yellow cloth in which were two hundred and twenty dinars. He said: “Take this and go with it to Baghdad.” He told me to go to the crossing of the Euphrates on the noon of such and such day.

“And when you reach the boats of the captives, you will see slave girls in them. You will find buyers working for the procurers of the Abbasids and a small group from the Arab youths. When you see that, keep an eye on a man called Amr bin Zaid, the slave trader from a distance all day long, until a slave girl is brought to the buyers, who has such-and-such quality. Her dress is two thick silks; she refuses to be seen or touched by the examiners; she does not submit to anyone who would want to touch her.

And you will hear a cry in Roman from behind a thin veil. You should know she is saying: Alas from the violation of the veil. One of the buyers of Amr will say: Mine for three hundred dinars; her modesty has ever increased my desire for her. She replies to him in Arabic: Even if you come in the form of Sulaiman, the son of Dawood and with a kingdom like his, I will not be interested in you. So, save your money.

“The slave-dealer says: Then what is the solution? I have to sell you. The slave girl replies: Why the haste? There must be a buyer that my heart finds rest in him and in his fidelity and honesty.

At that moment, go to Amr bin Zaid and tell him you have a kind-hearted letter from a certain man of nobility, which he has written in Roman language and in Roman script, describing therein his benevolence, his fidelity, his excellence, and his generosity, so she may discern from it the character of its author. Should she be interested in him and choose him, then I am his representative in buying her from you.”

Bushr bin Sulaiman says: I performed all that which my Master, Abul Hasan (a.s.) had ordered me to do with respect to the slave girl. When she saw the epistle, she cried very profusely and said to Amr bin Zaid: Sell me to the author of this letter. She took the solemnest of oaths that should he refuse to sell her to him, she will take her life. I negotiated the price with the dealer until it settled exactly on the amount my Master had given me.

The money being sufficient, I took the slave girl, who was so very happy and in laughter. I returned with her to the quarters I was residing at in Baghdad. She was very restless until she took out from her pocket the letter of our Imam. She would kiss it and put it on her eyes and place it on her cheeks and touch it to her body.

Astonished by this, I said: You are kissing a letter, you do not know who wrote it. “O incapable and feeble from knowing the position of the progeny of prophets,” she said: “lend me your ears and empty your heart for my words. I am Malika the daughter of Yashua, son of the Caesar of Rome. My mother is from the descendents of the Disciples of Isa (Hawariyin), and her lineage goes back to the successor of Isa, Shamun. I will narrate to you the wondrous story.

My grandfather, the Caesar, wanted to marry me to his nephew when I was a girl of thirteen. So he gathered in his palace, three hundred priests and monks from the descendents of Hawariyin, and from their men of stature seven hundred men. He gathered four thousand commanders of the army and officers of the military and leaders of the armed forces and chiefs of the tribes. He erected a throne from the dearest of his riches, which was adorned with varieties of jewels and raised over forty steps. When his nephew climbed, the crosses were fixed about, the bishops took their stands in great reverence, and the pages of Injeel were opened. Suddenly the crosses collapsed from the top and hit the ground. The pillars of the throne crumbled and crashed onto the floor.

My grandfather’s nephew, who had risen over the throne, fell down unconscious. The colors of the bishops changed and their chests trembled.

Their leader said to my grandfather, ‘Please excuse me from facing this evil, which forebodes the demise of this Christian religion and the royal creed.’ “My grandfather took this as an evil omen and said to the bishops, ‘Erect these scaffolds and raise the crosses and bring the brother of this deceased man, whose dreams have been ruined, so I may marry him this young girl; so the evil of his dead brother may go away through his fortune.’ “And when they did that, the same thing happened to the second as had happened to the first nephew. People scattered away. My grandfather, the Caesar stood in great distress and entered the quarters of the womenfolk.

I dropped the curtains and in the same night saw in my dream that Isa, Shamun, and a number of the Disciples (Hawariyin) had gathered at my grandfather’s palace. They had installed there a pulpit of light that was defying heavens in height and elevation. It was in the same spot where my grandfather had installed his throne.

At this, Muhammad, (s.a.w.s.), his son-in-law and his successor, Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and a number of his sons entered. Isa went forward and embraced him. Muhammad (a.s.) said to him, ‘O Ruhallah, I have come to you to propose to your successor, Shamun for his daughter, Malika for this son of my mine, pointing to Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.), the son of the writer of this epistle. Isa looked at Shamun and said, ‘The greatest honor has come to you. Let your relation be bonded with the relation of Aale Muhammad (a.s.).’ ‘Shamun said: ‘It will be my honor to do so.’

He climbed over that pulpit. Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) said the rituals and married me to his son. Isa bore witness and the sons of Muhammad (a.s.) and the Hawariyin bore witness. When I woke up, I was scared to report this to my father or grandfather, fearing they would kill me. I was keeping this a secret and not revealing it to them.

Meanwhile, my heart throbbed with love for Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) so much that I forsook eating and drinking. I became weak and my body grew lean and I became very sick.

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