The Just Leader of Humanity 6
I wrote a letter to the Imam of the Age through Muhammad b. 'Uthman in which I asked some questions about religious problems. The reply came in the Imam's own handwriting. In addition to the responses to my inquiries it included the statement: "Muhammad b. 'Uthman is the trusted one. His letters are my letters."
His Miraculous Acts
Muhammad b. Shadhan, a close companion of Imam Hasan 'Askari, relates that he had four hundred and eighty dirhams that belonged to the Imam (peace be upon him). Since he did not like to send without rounding the figure to five hundred, he added twenty dirhams from his money and sent it to Muhammad b. 'Uthman, without writing to him that he had added that amount. A receipt came from the Imam in which it was written: "We received five hundred dirhams, which included twenty dirhams from you."
A similar story is reported by Ja'far b. Ahmad b. Matil. Muhammad b. 'Uthman sent a message calling him to visit. When Ja'far came Muhammad b. 'Uthman gave him some pieces of cloth and a bag of dirhams, and asked him to go to Wasit. There he asked him to hand the bag and cloth to the first person he would meet. When Ja'far reached Wasit the first person he met was Hasan b. Muhammad b. Qatah. He introduced himself to Hasan who recognized him and they embraced each other. He related to him Muhammad b. 'Uthman's greetings and handed over to him the goods he had brought. When Hasan heard this he thanked God and said: "Muhammad b. 'Abd Allah 'Amiri has died. I left the house to get a shroud for him." Upon opening the goods that were sent by Muhammad b. 'Uthman they found everything they needed to prepare for 'Amiri's burial. Even the money was exactly the amount that was needed to cover the expenses related to the funeral. Hence, they went ahead and buried 'Amiri.
According to another eminent follower of the Imams, namely, Muhammad b. 'Ali b. al-Aswad Qummi, Muhammad b. 'Uthman had prepared his burial place while still alive. He asked him for the reason. In response Muhammad b. 'Uthman said: "I have been ordered by the Imam to take care of my affairs in advance." Two months following this event Muhammad b. 'Uthman died.
Muhammad b. 'Uthman remained the Hidden Imam's deputy for almost fifty years and died in the year 304 AH/916 CE.
Husayn b. Ruh, the Third Deputy
The third deputy of the Imam of the Age (peace be upon him), was the most learned and astute leader of his time. Muhammad b. 'Uthman had himself designated him as his successor and deputy of the Imam.
'Allama Majlisi, in his Bihar al-anwar, writes:
When Muhammad b. 'Uthman became seriously ill, a group of prominent Shi'is like Abu 'Ali b. Humam, Abu 'Abd Allah b. Muhammad Katib, Abu 'Abd Allah Baqtani, Abu Sahl Nawbakhti, and Abu 'Abd Allah b. Wajna' came to see him. They asked him about his successor. In reply he said: "Husayn b. Ruh is my successor and the trusted deputy of the Master of the Age. Refer to him in your affairs. I have been commanded by the Imam to designate Husayn b. Ruh in the position of deputyship."