The Role of Traditions in the Occultation of the Twelfth Imam
TheSunnite books of tradition report three Prophetic traditions pertaining to the twelve Imams who would be the successors of the Prophet. These were narrated on the authority of seven companions of the Prophet, namely Jabir b. Samura, `Abd Allah b. Mas`ud, Anas b. Malik, `Umar b. al-Khattab, Wa'ila b. Asqa', `Abd Allah b. `Umar and Abu Hurayra.
i)Jabir b. Samura narrates that he heard the Prophet say, "There will be after me twelve Amirs. "Then he mentioned something which I did not hear, so I asked my father, who was sitting beside me, who said, "All of whom will be from Quraysh.'â€™
ii)`Umar b. al-Khattab reports that he heard the Prophet say, "The Imams (al-A'imma) after me will be twelve, all of whom will be from Quraysh."
iii)`Abd Allah b. Mas'ud was once reciting the Qur'an in the mosque in Iraq, when a young man came and asked him if the Prophet had informed them about the number of his successors. Ibn Mas`ud replied, "The Prophet informed us that his successors will be twelve caliphs, whose number is similar to the number of the leaders (al-nuqaba) of Banu Isra'il.â€
Thesetraditions have been related by the traditionists and considered authentic. Ibn Hanbal narrates the first with thirty-four chains of transmitters (sanad), all of which are on the authority of Jabir b. Samura, although there are slight differences in the versions. Some of the narrators used the words Ami'r and Khalifa instead of Imam. But these traditions, as reported by the Sunnites, indicate only that the Prophet would be succeeded by twelve successors; none reveals that the Twelfth would go into occultation, nor that he would be al-Qaâ€™im al-Mahdi. But the Zaydite and the Imamite narrators relate the same traditions with phrases which indicate that the Twelfth Imam would be al-Qaâ€™im al-Mahdi.
The Twelfth Imam in the Zaydite traditions
TheZaydite sect, the Jarudiyya, narrate many traditions attributed to the Prophet and al-Baqir concerning the political role of the Twelfth Imam. One of their distinguished scholars in Kufa was Abu Said `Abbad b. Ya'qub al-Rawajini al-`Asfari (d. 250/864). He wrote a book entitled Kitab Akhbar al-Mahdi.
Al-Dhahabireports that `Abbad was a Rafidite propagandist, and was awaiting the rise of al-Mahdi in the near future. He used to carry a sword, and once said that he kept his sword ready in order to fight for al-Mahdi. It is worth mentioning that `Abbad held this view before the occultation of the Twelfth Imam in 260/874, since he died in 250/864. He reports three Prophetic traditions concerning the Twelfth Imam. Below are two of them:
i)The Prophet is believed to have said, "From my descendants there will be eleven leaders [who will be] noble, receivers of tradition [and] possessed of knowledge, the last of whom will be `al-Qaâ€™im bil-Haqq' who will fill it [i.e. the world] with justice, just as it was filled with tyranny.
ii)The Prophet is reported to have said: "I and eleven of my descendants and you, O 'Ali, are the axis of the earth, that is, its tent pegs and its mountains. By us Allah has secured the world so that it will not sink with its people. For when the eleventh of my descendants has died the world shall sink with its people without warning.
Thesetraditions along with other sayings predicting the historical circumstances and the signs which would precede the rise of al-Qaâ€™im al-Mahdi were used by the Shiâ€™a in their struggle for power. This can be seen in the events of the general `Alid uprising which occurred in 250-1/864-5, when many Shiâ€™ites applied the Prophetic traditions concerning the signs of the rise of al-Qaâ€™im al-Mahdi to the historical circumstances surrounding this revolt. Ibn `Uqda (d. 333/944) reports that al-Sadiq said:
Aman from the People of the House of the Prophet will rise in arms in Mecca holding a white standard in his hand: the Euphrates will become dry, and, at the same time, a group of people, whose eyes are small, will advance towards you from the East and will force you to leave your houses. Moreover, the graves of your dead will be opened and predatory animals will attack your houses. Afterwards a fair-complexioned man will install a chair in Mecca calling people to curse `Ali b. Abi Talib, and killing many people, but he will be killed on the same day.
Accordingto `Ali b. al-Husayn b. al-Qasim al-Kharraz (d. ca. 250/864) all these signs occurred during the revolt of Yahya b. `Umar in 250/864. As a result, some Shiâ€™ites, particularly the Jarudiyya, believed that the leader of this revolt, Yahya b. `Umar, was himself al-Qaâ€™imal-Mahdi.
The Twelfth Imam in the Imamite traditions
TheImamite traditionists are distinguished from the Sunnites and the Zaydites by their claim that the Twelfth Imam mentioned in the Sunnite and the Zaydite traditions is in fact Muhammad the son of the eleventh Imam al- `Askari, and that he is al-Qaâ€™im al-Mahdi. Moreover they have written in more detail about his occultation, and his political role, the signs which would precede his reappearance and the social and political conditions which might pave the way for it.
The traditions concerning the Twelfth Imam
TheProphetic traditions concerning the twelve Imams related by the Sunnite and the Zaydite traditionists were also narrated by the Imamites.
Theyapplied these traditions to their twelve Imams and added traditions of the Imams themselves which indicate explicitly that the successor of the eleventh Imam was al-Qaâ€™im. The traditions attributed to the Prophet do not indicate explicity that al-Qaâ€™im would be the successor of al-`Askari, the eleventh Imam, whereas the sayings of the Imams do.
Theearliest reference to a Prophetic tradition concerning the Twelfth Imam is recorded by the Imamite traditionists on the authority of Sulaym b. Qays al-Hilali. He was a companion of five Imams, 'Ali, al-Hasan, al-Husayn, `Ali b. al-Husayn and al-Baqir, and died in 90/701. The Imamites regard his work as the first Shiâ€™ite collection of Hadith. He reports numerous narrations concerning the twelve Imams and the political role of the last Imam. The first of these narrations is attributed to a Christian monk who met `Ali after his return from the battle of Siffin. He informed him that he had found in the Gospels that the successors of the Prophet Muhammad would be twelve; the last of them would fill the world with justice, and Jesus would perform the prayer behind him.
Allthe other narrations in Sulaym's work are attributed to the Prophet. The most important of these is quoted on the authority of the companions `Ali, `Abd Allah b. Jaâ€™far al-Tayyar, Salman al-Farisi, Abu al-Haytham b. al-Tayhan, Khuzayma b. Thabit, `Ammar b. Yasir, Abu Dharr, al-Miqdad and Abu Ayyub. They narrated that the Prophet gathered his companions together at Ghadir Khumm and said to them:
Opeople, the legal power (al-wilaya) is granted only to `Ali b. Abi Talib and the trustees from my progeny, the descendants of my brother `Ali. He will be the first, and his two sons, al-Hasan and al-Husayn, will succeed him consecutively. They will not separate themselves from the Qur'an until they return to Allah.
Sulaymadds that the Commmander of the Faithful, â€˜Ali, told him, "O brother, son of Hilal, the Mahdi of my nation is Muhammad, who shall fill the earth with justice and equity as it was filled with tyranny and injustice. I know who will pay the oath of allegiance to him."
Sulaymstates that he met al-Hasan and al-Husayn in Medina after the assassination of their father, 'Ali, and related to them this tradition on 'Ali's authority. They confirmed that they had also heard it from the Prophet. Sulaym adds that he informed `Ali b. al-Husayn, the fourth Imam, in the presence of his son al-Baqir about this tradition, and they also confirmed its authenticity. Moreover Abban b. Abi `Ayyash reports that he met al-Baqir during the rite of pilgrimage and mentioned Sulaym's tradition to him, and that he confirmed its authenticity.
Butal-Mas`udi doubts the authenticity of this tradition claiming that this tradition was transmitted only through Sulaym.
Despitethe fact that this tradition is related on the authority of Sulaym b. Qays by many Imamite scholars, such as al-Kulayni, al-Nu`mani, and al-Tusi, it was related and confirmed by others as well. In addition al-Saduq relates the above tradition on the authority of `A1i,and he narrates another prophetic tradition on the authority of Abd Allah b. `Abbas:
Iam the master of the Prophets and 'Ali the master of my trustees, of whom there will be twelve; the first one is `Ali, and the last is al-Qaâ€™im.
Moreoverthe Imamite scholars relate numerous traditions attributed to their Imams, which confirm that the Twelfth Imam will be al-Qaâ€™im al-Mahdi. It is worth noting that al-Hadrami (fl. 3rd/9th century) reports a tradition which gives the Imam who will rise in arms the epithet al-Qaâ€™im.
Atthe same time other narrations employ the epithet al-Mahdi, particularly in the works of al-Saffar (d. 290/902).
Theuse of these two terms caused such confusion amongst the followers of al-Jawad that some were not sure whether al-Qaâ€™im and al-Mahdi were the same individual or not. Therefore, according to al Saduq, al-Jawad was reported as having said that al-Qaâ€™im is from "us" and that he would be al-Mahdi; he must be awaited by his followers during his occultation and obeyed at his rising and that he would be his descendant in the third generation. The Imamites of the fourth/ninth century called the Twelfth Imam al-Qaâ€™im al-Mahdi. Al-Mufid states that he was called al-Mahdi because he would guide people to a forgotten dogma and law.
The political role of al-Qaâ€™im
Ithas already been pointed out that the Imams from `Ali b. alHusayn onwards adopted publicly a quiescent policy towards the Umayyads and the `Abbasids. Accordingly, they stressed the propagation of their teachings, which they expected, would result in religious and political awareness among the people and would prepare the ground for the task of al-Qaâ€™im.
Al-Nu`manireports that al-Baqir advised his partisan Abu al-Jarud to keep quiet at home, and not to implicate himself in the militant activities of some `Alids against the Umayyads, since the Umayyad state had a natural lifespan and the moment of its downfall had not yet come. He added that any `Alid who rebelled against tyranny before the rise of al-Qaâ€™im would inevitably fail.
Al-Sadiqand the later Imams followed the same policy. They ordered their followers not to allow despair to find a place in their hearts and to wait for the rise of al-Qaâ€™im in the near future. This policy enabled the Imamites to spread their doctrine and at the same time to organize themselves - during the period between 132-260/749-874 - into a well-established political and financial organization (al-Wikala). It seems probable that this underground organization was preparing for the rise of al-Qaâ€™im. For they expected his rising and placed important political and relgious duties upon his shoulders.
Severalnarrations suggest that the quiescent policy of the Imams was established after their followers caused two abortive rebellions. According to al-Kulayni, al-Sadiq once said:
Thismatter (al-Amr), that is, the endeavour to reach power, was hidden until it reached the hands of the Kaysaniyya. They revealed it on the roads and circulated it among the villagers of al-Sawad.
Accordingto al-Numani the Imamites endeavoured to rise in arms twice, first in the year 70/689 and second in the year 140/758, but their followers spoiled their plans by revealing the name of their leader to their foes, an act which resulted in the arrest or the assassination of the Imams. In this connection a conversation between al-Baqir and his partisan `Abd Allah by `Ata al-Wasiti is revealing. Al-Wasiti said to the Imam:
Youhave many followers in Iraq and there is no one among your family who has the merit for leadership but you. So why do you not rise in arms? Al-Baqir replied: O `Abd Allah, do not listen to the masses, because none of us has his name mentioned by the people nor a hand pointing at him as the Imam, without soon facing inevitable death. So search for him whose birth is concealed from the people, because he will be the one who will manage such an affair.
Moreoveral-Sadiq was reported to have said:
Thismatter (the rising in arms) was vested in me, but Allah delayed it; He shall do with my progeny whatever He wants.
Thesesayings indicate that the Imams had suffered the consequences of revealing the fixed dates of their militant endeavours to reach power. Hence the later Imams did not reveal explicitly to their followers which Imam would be al-Qaâ€™im with the sword. At the same time they encouraged their followers to follow their instructions, for this would pave the way for one of the Imams to reach power under the title of al-Qaâ€™im.
Severaltraditions reveal that the establishment of al-Qaâ€™im's political state will occur through the "natural" course of events. A Prophetic tradition states that a group of people from the east will start underground activities and pave the way for the installation of al-Mahdi by military means.
Thelatter will struggle for power without any miraculous aid and will face difficulties and opposition against the propogation of his teachings, similar to the opposition which the Prophet faced with Quraysh. Furthermore he will not take any militant action unless he has at least 10,000 partisans.
Accordingto al-Baqir the main goal of al-Qaâ€™im will be to establish an Islamic state and to apply Islamic law as it was revealed to the Prophet. Al-Sadiq asserts that he will follow the Prophet's policy by eliminating and demolishing all the innovations which derive from a situation of ignorance (al-Jahiliyya) and apply Islam in a new form.
Othernarrations indicate that he will apply the law of David and Solomon along with the Islamic law and apply the rules of the Torah to the Jews and the rules of the Gospel to the Christians. According to al-Nu'mani, his state will include, in addition to the Islamic lands, the territories of Rum, Sind, India and China.
Somefunctions attributed to al-Qaâ€™im indicate the unrest and disappointment felt by the Imamites in the face of the political and economic situation of the time. Al-Fadl b. Shadhan (d. 260/873) and al-Kulayni report that al-Qaâ€™im will rise with the sword as God's avenger against those who caused troubles to `Ali and his wife Fatima. He would also take vengeance against those who were responsible for the suffering of the Imams and their followers, particularly against those who assassinated al-Husayn. Al-Sadiq considered al-Husayn's assassination the main reason for the rise of al-Qaâ€™im as an avenger.
Otherfunctions of al-Qaâ€™im depict the political annoyance of the Imams towards the allegiance of the Arabs, and especially towards the clan of Quraysh who had monopolized political authority since the death of the Prophet. Al Nu`mani mentions a tradition attributed to Imam al-Sadiq: "When al-Qaâ€™im rises he will deal with the Arabs and Quraysh only by the sword.
TheImamites also vested al-Qaâ€™im with another task which reveals their dissatisfaction with the economic system of the `Abbasid state. According to al-Himyari, al-Baqir stated that when al-Qaâ€™im rose allthe feudal systems would be abolished.
Al-Kulayniagrees with al Himyari and adds that al-Qaâ€™im, after carrying out this operation, may allow his partisans to administer and cultivate the lands with the condition that they pay the legal land-tax.
Inthe light of these hopes and the repeated failure of the Zaydite uprisings, as had been expected by the Imams, the Imamites concentrated all their hopes on the uprising of al-Qaâ€™im, whose state had been awaited since the time of al-Baqir. Al-Nu`mani reports that when tie `Abbasid revolution broke out in Khurasan and black baners were raised, Abu Bakr al-Hadrami and Abban went to the Imam al-Sadiq, and asked his opinion about participating in the revolution. He warned them against it saying: "When you see us follow a man, then you must join us with weapons."
Althoughthe Imam did not reveal the identity of the man to be followed, he confirmed that he would struggle for power by militant means and eliminate the rule of his opponents.
Itappears that because of the militant role of al-Qaâ€™im the Imams refrained from giving any explicit statement of his identity. However, they did indicate that since the rulers, first the Umayyads and then the `Abbasids, had reached power by "natural" means, their fall would also occur by "natural" means.
Thereis a good deal of evidence to indicate that some of the Imams would have taken militant action if they had had strong and faithful partisans. But they delayed this task indefinitely until the intellectual activites of their followers could bear fruit and be converted into a political awareness which might enable one of the Imams to gain power by militant means.
TheImams also wanted their partisans to be more optimistic in gaining immediate success, and not to leave the task of propagation of their teachings to al-Qaâ€™im, whose military uprising relied on the outcome of the activities of the Imamites themselves. Finally, it seems most likely that the uprising of the Imam who would be al-Qaâ€™im, was later attributed to the Twelfth Imam, because the Imamite propaganda reached a developed, political stage during the life-time of the Tenth and the eleventh Imams, and this might have enabled the Twelfth Imam to reach power.
The signs of the rise of al-Qaâ€™im
Theearly Imamite traditionists delineated five signs which would precede the rise of al-Qaâ€™im al-Mahdi: first, the rise of al-Yamani, then the rise of al-Sufyani, thirdly the assassination of the Pure Soul (al-Nafs al-Zakiyya) in Mecca only fifteen days before the rise of alQa'im, fourthly an outcry in the morning from the sky in the name of al-Qaâ€™im, and finally the sinking of an army into the earth (al-Bayda') during its march on Mecca. Despite the fact that al-Nu`mani, al-Saduq and al-Tusi differ as to the chronological occurrence of these signs, they all agree that they will occur in the same year.
Itseems that the delineation of these signs along with the expectations of the Imamites and al-Jarudiyya that al-Qaâ€™im al Mahdi would rise in the near future caused the `Abbasid authorities to be suspicious, since some of these signs were connected with their regime and indicated that al-Qaâ€™im's uprising was directed mainly against them. The fact that the Imams had the `Abbasids in mind can be seen in the discussion between al-RiÄa, the eighth Imam, and his adherent al-Hasan b. al-Jahm, who said to him:
"MayAllah make you prosper! The people are saying that al Sufyani will rise after the fall of the `Abbasids." Al-RiÄa said: "They lie. He will rise while they are still in power.â€
Thisstatement has been confirmed in other traditions attributed to al-Sadiq. For example his companion Ya`qub b. al-Sarraj asked him:
"Whenwill your Shi'a gain their release from suffering?" He replied, "When conflict occurs amongst the `Abbasids, and their power begins to decline. Then their partisans and their subjects will be encouraged to threaten the authorities. Thereafter al-Sufyani will rise from the West, while the Yamani will advance from the East, until they both reach Kufa, where they will destroy the `Abbasids. At the same time the Hasani will start his rebellion. Then the Master of this matter, al-Qaâ€™im, shall advance from Medina towards Mecca to rebel."
Accordingto al-Nu`mani, al-Sadiq added that because of these events, the fall of the `Abbasid regime was inevitable. Its fall would be similar to a piece of crockery dropped from the hand of its possessor, which then splits into pieces."
Inthe light of these statements attributed to the Imams it is clear that from the time of al-Sadiq onwards, the Imamites awaited the political uprising of one of their Imams, called al-Qaâ€™im while the `Abbasids were still in power.
Indeedthe spread of these traditions caused the `Abbasids to fear the Imams, who might have been behind some `Alid revolts. Perhaps this is why the `Abbasid caliphs became suspicious of the Imams. Even the caliph al-Mansur himself related a tradition on the authority of al-Baqir stating that al-Qaâ€™im would be from the progeny of 'Ali.
Herestricted the movements of al-Sadiq and his followers and made it a policy to discriminate against them. Moreover he invested his sucessor Muhammad with the epithet "alMahdi" (158-169/775-785) in order to turn the attention of his subjects from the `Alid family toward the family of `Abbas.
Despitethe fact that the movements of the seventh Imam, Musa al-Kazim, were also restricted by the authorities, so that he died in prison, the Shiâ€™ite propaganda for the rise of an Imam in the name of al-Qaâ€™im and al-Mahdi spread on a wide scale, particularly after the rebellion of Ibn Tabataba in 199/814.
Probablybecause of this situation the caliph al-Maâ€™mun devised a new policy towards the eighth Imam al-RiÄa. He made overtures to him asking him to be his heir apparent. By this means he hoped to split the `Alids some of whom were in rebellion and to keep al-RiÄa within the `Abbasid palace under close watch.
Al-Maâ€™munfollowed this same policy with the ninth Imam, al-Jawad, marrying him to his daughter Umm al-Fadl, and keeping him under house-arrest. Thereafter housearrest became the cornerstone of the policy of the caliphs towards the Imams. It obliged the Imams to stress the idea of the occultation as the means the Imam would employ to avoid the `Abbasid restriction, which increased from the time of al-Mutawakkil onwards.
Becausehis agents discovered connections between the underground activities of the Imamite agents in Baghdad, Mada'in and Kufa and the Imam al-Hadi, al-Mutawakkil followed the policy of al-Maâ€™mun. He wrote to al-Hadi a letter full of kindness and courtesy asking him to come to Samarra where they could meet. Afterwards al-Hadi was summoned to the capital in 233/848, where he spent the rest of his life under surveillance. As a result he was prevented from meeting most of his adherents. He was only able to meet a few of his associate agents (wukala) in secret.
Infact al-Mutawakkil's policy managed to prevent the `Alids from rising in arms against his regime. However it failed to destroy the system of the Wikala or to end the underground activities of the Zaydites and the Imamites. These spread throughout the empire to the extent that they were capable of causing a revolt.
Betweenthe years 245-260/859-874 the Imamite and Zaydite traditionists were relating traditions stating that al-Qaâ€™im would be the Twelfth Imam and urging people to join his side when he rose. The Zaydite al-`Asfari (d. 250/864) and the Imamite Ahmad b. Khalid al-Barqi (d.274-80/887-93) both related such traditions. For example, in 250/864 al-Barqi passed on a narration attributed to `Ali b. Abi Talib and the Prophet al-Khidr, which states explicitly that al-Qaâ€™im al-Mahdi would be the Twelfth Imam.
Thespread of such narrations encouraged the Imamites to expect the rise of al-Qaâ€™im in the near future and to link his rising with `Abbasid rule. Some of them applied these traditions along with others concerning the signs of the rise of al-Qaâ€™im to the circumstances surrounding the `Alid revolt which broke out in 250/864. Ibn `Uqda relates that the leader of the rebellion, Yahya b. `Umar, was expected to be al-Qaâ€™im al-Mahdi, since all the signs concerning the rise of al-Qaâ€™im al-Mahdi related by al-Sadiq occurred during the revolt.
AlthoughYahya b. `Umar died in 250/864, the `Abbasids' fear increased because of the continuation of this revolt and al-Hasan b. Zayd's .(250-270/864-884) success in establishing a Shiâ€™ite state in Tabaristan. This fear is not surprising if one bears in mind the fact that there was a well-known Prophetic tradition which stated, "A people will appear in the East who will pave the way for the Mahdi's rise to power."
Thistradition, at that time, might seem to refer to the establishment of the `Alid state in Tabaristan, which would prepare the way for the rise of al-Qaâ€™im al-Mahdi. Other factors supported the `Abbasid fears. According to al-Tabari, `Abbasid spies discovered secret correspondence between the founder of the `Alid state in Tabaristan, al-Hasan b. Zayd, and the nephew of Muhammad b. 'Ali b. Khalaf al- `Attar, a follower of the tenth Imam al-Hadi. Moreover many pure Imamites took part in the `Alid revolt of 250/864, such as Muhammad b. Ma`ruf, who held the banner of the rebels in Mecca, and `Ali b. Musa b. Isma`il b. Musa al-Kazim, who joined the rebels in al-Rayy and was arrested by the caliph al-Mu`tazz.
Itseems that the `Abbasid authorities linked these factors with the activities of al-Hadi. Therefore they imposed tight restrictions upon al-Hadi and his followers, and arrested prominent figures in Baghdad, such as Abu Hashim al-Ja`fari, and Muhammad b. `Ali al-`Attar, and sent them to Samarra.
Thiscampaign of arrest also included al-`Askari and Jaâ€™far, al-Hadi's two sons.
Anotherreason the `Abbasids' feared the position of al-Hadi and his successor, al- `Askari, is the traditions of both the Prophet and the Imams concerning the series of the twelve Imams, the last of whom would be al-Qaâ€™im al-Mahdi. This series could only be interpreted as applying to the Imamites' tenth Imam, al-Hadi, and his successor al`Askari. So it was plausible that the successor of the latter would be the Twelfth Imam, about whom so many traditions were being related. Moreover further traditions, attributed to al-Hadi and al`Askari, themselves appeared around this period emphasizing the important political and religious role of al-`Askari's son.
Forexample, Abu Hashim al-Jaâ€™fari (d. 261/875), the associate and follower of al-Hadi, reports the latter as having said,
"Thesuccessor after me is my son al-Hasan but what will you do with the successor of my successor?" Al-Ja`fari said, "May Allah make me your sacrifice! Why?" The Imam said, "Because you will not see his physical body and it is not permissible for you to reveal his name." Al-Jaâ€™fari said, "How shall we mention him?" Al-Hadi said, "Say `The proof [al-Hujja]is from the family of Muhammad.'
Itseems from al-Kulayni's report that the Imamites considered al-Hadi's statement as applying to al-Qaâ€™im. Moreover, they felt it explained a statement by the eighth Imam, al-RiÄa, who had said that the body of al-Qaâ€™im would not be seen and his name would not be revealed." Perhaps al-Baqir and al-Jawad's interpretation of a Qur'anic verse, referred to on page 15, may be linked with the above two statements. For as we have seen, he stated that an Imam would go into concealment in 260/874, and would later rise like a bright, shooting star in the dark night.
Onaccount of the spread of these Imamite traditions and the `Alid underground activities, the eleventh Imam, al-Hasan al- `Askari, was forced to stay in the capital under house-arrest and had to report to the `Abbasid court twice a week.
Theauthorities hoped that through these measures they would be able to prevent the appearance of any danger from the Twelfth Imam.
EI1,art. "al-Mahdi", 112.
Ibn Hisham, Das Leben Muhammads (Wustenfeld, Gottingen, 1859), II, 1024.
Goldziher, al-`Aqida wa-l-Shari'a, tr. Muhammad Yusuf (Cairo, 1378/1959), 327-8, 376-8.
D.Sunan, IV, 201; Ibn Maja, Sunan, I, 16; Ibn A`tham al-Kufi, Kitab al-Futuh (Hyderabad, 1972), V, 31, 34.
Tabari,II, 546. Ibn A`tham reports a letter attributed to the Kufans, sent to al-Husayn b. `Ali encouraging him to rebel against the Umayyads, in which they used the title al-Mahdi for al-Husayn as an honorific adjective:
IbnA`tham, op. cit., V, 47.
Rajkowski, op. cit., 166-7. There is evidence which supports the claim that Ka`b narrated traditions attributed to the People of the Book which predict the rise of al-Mahdi It is obvious from a line of poetry attributed to the poet Kutayr that those who applied this term to Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya were influenced by Ka'b. This can be noted in Kuthayyir's saying: Huwa al-Mahdi Akhbarnahu / Ka`bun Akhu al-Akhbar fi al-Huqab al-Khawali; al-Zubayri, Nasab Quraysh (Beirut, 1953), 41.
Al-Nawbakhti thinks that Ibn al-Hanafiyya died in 81/700 (Firaq, 24), whereas al-Saduq puts his death in 84/703; Kamaâ€™l, 36; Ikhtiyar,126.
B. Firaq, 33-4.
N. Firaq, 25-6; Milal, 111-2; B. Firaq, 17,27-8,38.
N. Firaq, 29-30, 42-3. For a full account of the fact that the `Abbasid propaganda was the outcome of a branch of the Kaysaniyya movement, see al Ansari, Madhdhib ibtada`atha al-Siyasa fi al-Islam (Beirut, 1973), 152-8,199-214.
Kamaâ€™l,32-4; al-Zubayri, op.cit., 41-2.
N.Firaq, 54; `Uyun, 155; Maqatil, 359; B. Firaq, 44.
IbnTawus, al-Iqbal, 53.
N.Firaq, 57; Kamaâ€™l, 37.
al-Hasani, Sirat al-A'imma al-Ithna `Ashar (Beirut, 1977), 370.
al-Kafi,I,341;Kamaâ€™l,325,330; N. al-Ghayba, 75.
Ibn al-Furat, al-Tafsir, quoted by al-Majlisi in Bihar, LI, 50; Kamaâ€™l, 351.
IbnHawshab, Kitab al-Kashf (London, Cairo, Bombay, 1952), 6.
al-Tusi, al-Tibyan, VIII, 114-6.
al-Tusi al-Tibyan, VII, 250; Sadr al-Din al-Sadr, al-Mahdi, (Tehran, 1358),11.
`Ali b. Ibrahim al-Qummi Tafsir al-Qummi (Najaf, 1387), II, 68, 84, 205-6; T. al-Ghayba, 120; al-Tusi, al-Tibyan, VIII, 404
Ibn Maja, Sunan, II, 519; Abu Dawud, al-Sunan, II, 208.
al-Tirmidhi, IX, 74, 75; and the Cairo edition, IV, 505-6
Ibn Maja, Sunan, II, 1368.
Kamaâ€™l, 286-7. Al-Tirmidhi mentioned the same tradition on the authority of Ibn Mas`ud without any details concerning the occultation of the Mahdi. Al Tirmidhi, IV, 505-6; al-Darimi, Sunan, IV, 151.
Mizan,III,160; Ibn Maja, Sunan, II, 1368; al-Musannaf, XI,372.
al-Thalabi, `Ara'is al-Majalis, 363; al-Kanji, op.cit., 327.
al-Haythami, al-Sawa`iq al-Muhriqa, 100.
Osman, Mahdism in Islam, Ph.D. Thesis (Edinburgh, 1976), 204.
Sulaym b. Qays al-Hilali, Kitab Sulaym b. Qays (Najaf, n.d.), 56, 159-62. Although this book has received some criticism with regard to its authenticity, a careful examination of its contents which show that it was regarded as a source by such writers as al-Kulayni in al-Kafi, al-Mas`udi in al-Tanbih wa-l-Ishraf and al-Nu'mani in Kitab al-Ghayba.
`Abd al-Muhsin al-`Abbad, `Aqidat Ahl al-Sunna wa-l-Athar fi al-Mahdi al Muntazar, al-Hadi (Qumm, 1971) I, part 1, 33-5; al-Tabsi, al-Shi`a wa-l-Raja(Najjaf, 1966), 36-54.
For the Umayyad and the `Abbasid use of the epithet al-Mahdi so as to gain political success, see al-Ishfahani, al-Aghani, XVI, 88; al-Darimi, Sunan, IV, 152.
Watt, The Majesty that is Islam, 169-170.
al-Bukhari, al-Sahih (Cairo, 1355), IV, 175; M. Sahih, III, 190-3; al-Tirmidhi, IV, 501; Ibn Hanbal, al-Musnad (Cairo, 1313), V, 294.
al-Kharraz, Kifayat al-Athar, quoted by al-Galbaygani, Muntakhab al-Athar, 28.
Ibn Hanbal, al-Musnad, I, 398; al-Karajuki, al-Istibsar, 12.
Ibn Hanbal, al-Musnad, V, 86-90, 92-101, 106-8.
N.al-Ghayba, 48-9; Kamaâ€™l, 270-3.
For the biography of `Abbad and his Shiâ€™ite sympathies see Ibn Hibban, al Majruhin, II, 172; Mizan, II 379-80, IV, 149; al-Najashi, 225.
al-Hilli, al-Idah, 176; al-Galbaygani, op. cit., 5
Mizan, II, 379-80
Ibn Hibban, al-Majruhin, II, 172.
al-`Asfari, Asl Abu Said al-`Asfari, Ms. f. 1-2.
al-`Asfari, Asl Abu Said al-`Asfari, f. 2. Al-Kulayni includes these traditions in his work al-Hujja but, according to his transmission, the Prophet mentioned twelve Imams from his descendants and not eleven. Thus the number of the Imams along with `Ali would-be thirteen. Because al-Kulayni transmitted his narration on the authority of al-`Asfari, it appears that the latter's version is more accurate. al-Kafi, I, 533-4.
Ibn `Uqda, Kitab al-Malahim, f. 74-5.
EI1,art. "al-Mahdi", 112.
N.al-Ghayba, 7,48,57-61, 31, 45; al-Saduq, Khisal, 436-45; `Uyun, 323, al Karajaki, al-Istibsar, Ms. f. 11-12; al-Kafi, I, 534; al-Tabsi al-Shi'a wa-l-Raja (Najaf, 1966), 129-30; Kamaâ€™l, 279.
al-Barqi, Kitab al-Rijal, 4,7,8,9.
Ibn al-Nadim, al-Fihrist, I, 535; N. al-Ghayba, 47.
al-Hilali, Kitab Sulaym b. Qays, 135-7.
Ibid.,109-10, 124-5, 165-6, 201, 204-6.
al-Hilali, op. cit. 94; Kamaâ€™l, 285.
al-Hilali,op. cit. 95.
al-Mas`udi, al-Tanbih, 198.
al-Kafi,I, 529; N. al-Ghayba, 38; 46, 274-8; T. al-Ghayba, 99.
al-Tirmidhi,IV, 505-6; al-Darimi, Sunan, IV, 151.
Kamaâ€™l, 280. Another narration has been narrated by the companion Jabir al Ansari, which confirms that al-Mahdi would be from the progeny of `Ali b. al Husayn (al-Tusi, al-Amali II, 251), but al-Sahib b. `Abbad doubts its authenticity; Nusrat, Madhahib al-Zaydiyya, 208-9.
al-Kafi,I, 531-3; al-Irshad, 393; Dala'il, 236-8, 249-51.
al-Hadrami, Asl Jaâ€™far b. Muhammad b. Shurayh, Ms. f. 32b; for other similar traditions see al-Kafi, VIII, 167, 536; Ibn Tawus, al-Igbal, 431.
al-Saffar, Basa'ir al-Darajat, f. 19b, 49b; for similar traditions see al-Kafi, I, 243, 281, 338, 372, 411, 496, 536.
Kamaâ€™l, 377. Al-Tusi reports another narration attributed to the tenth Imam who stated explicitly that the Twelfth Imam would be al-Mahdi (T al-Ghabya, 92). However, it might be that such narrations were not common among the Imamites. When the traditionist al-Fadl b. Shadhan (d. 260/874), talks about the role of al-Qaâ€™im al-Mahdi, he does not attach this epithet to the Twelfth Imam; Ibn Shadhan, al-Idah, 475-6
al-Irshad,411; see also al-San`ani, al-Musannaf, XI, 472.
See Chapter II.
N.al-Ghayba, 104, 107, 159; al-Hadrami, op. cit., f. 48a; al-Kafi, VIII, 264
N.al-Ghayba, 106-7; al-Kafi, VIII, 264, 310.
N.al-Ghayba, 94, 96.
al-Kafi,I, 342; Kamaâ€™l, 325.
T. al-Ghayba, 278.
al-Kafi,I, 368-9; Bihar, LII, 212.
Ibn Maja, Sunan, II, 1366; al-Kanji, op. cit., 314.
al-Kafi VIII, 225; N. al- Ghayba, 106, 160; al-Tabsi quotes a statement from Ibn A'tham attributed to `Ali which states that the partisans of al-Mahdi will start their activities from al-Talqan in Khurasan; al-Shi`a wa-l-Raj a, 141.
N.al-Ghayba, 104,122,123. Al-Saffar reports that al-Qaâ€™im will apply Islamic law according to the books of `Ali which he related directly from the Prophet; Basa'ir al-Darajat, f. 124.
al-Saffar, op. cit., f. 50; al-Kafi, I, 298.
N.al-Ghayba, 124, 125-6; al-Tabsi, op. cit., 218; `Ali b. Tawus, al-Malahim wa-l Fitan (Najaf, 1367), 53; Najm al-Din al-`Askari, al-Mahdi al-Maw`ud al Muntazar (Beirut, 1977), II, 10.
Ibn Shadhan, Ithbat al-Raja, quoted by al-Tabsi, op. cit., 221; al-Kafi, VIII, 233; al-Saduq. `Ilal, II, 267; al-Majlisi includes in his work al-Bihar a book attributed to al-Mufaddil b. `Umar which deals with the occurrence which will take place after the rise of al-Qaâ€™im; Bihar, LIII, 1-38; Dala'il, 239, 260; N. al Ghayba, 148.
al-KafiI, 465; al-Tusi, al-Amali, II, 33; al-Saduq, `Ilal, 229; Ibn Tawus, al Iqbal, 186.
N. al-Ghayba, (the second editon), 308, 319.
al-Himyari, op. cit., quoted by al-Galbagani, op. cit., 305.
al-Kafi,I, 240, 281, 370-2. Di`bil the poet recited a line of poetry concerning the militant role of al-Qaâ€™im in the presence of al-RiÄa; the latter confirmed this by saying that al-Qaâ€™im would be from the progeny of al-Husayn. Di`bil, Diwan. 73,76; Kamaâ€™l, 327-4.
N.al-Ghayba, 134, 139-40; Kamaâ€™l, 649; T. al-Ghayba, 286; al-Kafi, VIII, 225, 310.
N.al-Ghayba, 136; T. al-Ghayba, 286; Bihar, LII, 232.
For his biography, see Ibn Dawud, Kitab al-Rijal, 104.
N.al-Ghayba, 135, 138, 144-5; al-Kafi, VIII, 224-5.
N. al-Ghayba, 137; Bihar, LII, 232.
al-Hadrami,Kitab Jaâ€™far b. Shurayh, f. 39.
al-Kafi,VIII, 209-210; al-Irshad, 404.
It is reported that the Prophet said, "The Mahdi is from my progeny. His name is similar to mine" (al-Tirmidhi'. IV, 505). According to Abu Dawud, the Prophet also added, "And his father's name is similar to my father's name" (Abu Dawud, al-Sunan, IV, 106-7). According to the last phrase the name of al-Mahdi is Muhammad b. `Abd Allah. Perhaps al-Mansur took this point into account when he called his son, "Muhammad al-Mahdi" (al-Bidaya, X, 89). For a full account see Osman, op. cit., 266-9.
See Chapter II.
Ikhtiyar.603, 607; al-Kafi, I, 501-2; T. al-Ghayba, 226-7.
Kamaâ€™l,46. For examples, see al-`Asfari, Asl Abu Said al-`Asfari f. 1-2; Mizan, II, 379-80; Bihar, L, 185; al-Kindi op. cit., 229
al-Kafi,I, 526-7, 338.
Ibn `Uqda, Kitab al-Malahim, f. 72. According to al-Mufid only the Zaydites denied the death of Yahya b. `Umar and held that he was al-Mahdi (al-FUsul al-`Ashara, 30). But incidents seem to indicate that there was a common belief among the Imamiyya and the Jarudiyya from the years 245-60 onwards that the Twelfth Imam would be al-Qaâ€™im al-Mahdi, but they were not sure about his identity, and whether or not he would be the son of al-`Askari.
Ibn Maja,al-Sunan, II, 1368.
Tabari, III, 1683.
Ibn `Uqda, Kitab al-Malahim, f. 73.
Muruj, VII, 404.
Tabari, III, 1683-4,al-Kafi, I, 500.
T. al-Ghayba, 141, 226; al-Kafi, I, 508.
T. al-Ghayba, 98.
Kamaâ€™l,381; al-Kafi, I, 328, 332-3.
Kamaâ€™l,325,330; al-Kafi, I, 341.
T. al-Ghayba, 139- 140.