He narrated traditions from Imam al-Hadi (a.s.).168
Sheikh at-Tusi said he was weak from Isfahan from the children of Ziyad the mawla of Abdullah bin Abbas from aal Khalid bin al-Azhar.169 Al-Barqi mentioned him as ‘Ali bin Muhammad al-Qashani and said he was from Imam al-Hadi’s companions. An-Najashi said, ‘He was a virtuous jurisprudent of too many traditions. Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Eesa criticized him and said he heard from him denied beliefs. He had written some books such as “Prayer”, and “al-Jami’” which was a big book on jurisprudence.’
Sheikh at-Tusi mentioned him as one of Imam al-Hadi’s companions.170 An-Najashi said he was reliable from Kufa and had written a book on rarities.171
Sheikh at-Tusi mentioned him as one of Imam al-Hadi’s companions,172 and so did al-Barqi.173 He narrated from Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) and Ahmad bin Muhammad narrated from him.174
He was from the prominent ulama’ and one of the famous disciples of Imam al-Hadi (a.s.). Here, we talk in brief about him:
‘Ali bin Mahziyar was unequaled in his piety and obedience. Narrators said that from his worshipping was that when the sun rose, he prostrated himself to Allah and he did not raise his head from prostration until he prayed Allah for one thousand of his brothers as he prayed for himself. On his forehead there was like the knee of a camel because of his much prostration for Allah.175
Imam al-Jawad (a.s.) praised ‘Ali bin Mahziyar on some occasions. Once, he wrote him a letter saying,
‘O ‘Ali, I have tested you and tried you in loyalty, obedience, service, reverence and performance of your duties and if I say that I have not seen anyone like you, I might be truthful. May Allah reward you with the Gardens of Paradise. Neither your position nor your services in the hot and cold and in the day and night have been unknown to me. I pray Allah, when He will gather the creatures on the Day of Punishment, to have enviable mercy on you. He is the Hearer of prayer.’176
He had written a good collection of books showing his abundant knowledge. From among these books are the following: Wudu’, Prayer, Zakat, Fasting, Hajj, Divorce, Punishments, Blood Money, at-Tafsir, The Virtues, Setting Slaves Free and Management, Gains, Defects, Supplication, Courtesy and Chivalry, al-Mazar (shrine), Refuting the excessive, Recommendations, Inheritances, Khums, Witnesses, the Virtues of the Believers, Heroism, Reservation (Taqiyyah), Hunting and Slaughtering, Asceticism, Drinks, Vows and Oaths and Penances, Letters (huroof), al-Qa’im (al-Mahdi), Good Tidings, Prophets, Rarities, the Letters of ‘Ali bin Asbat, and other books. Most of these books are on jurisprudential subjects which show that he was one of the great jurisprudents in Islam.
‘Ali bin Mahziyar narrated about 437 traditions from Imam al-Jawad (a.s.), Imam al-Hadi (a.s.), and others.177 He was from the pillars of the Shiite culture and was nonesuch among the scholars and ulama’ of his age.
Sheikh at-Tusi mentioned him as one of Imam al-Hadi’s companions and said he was accused of excessiveness.178
Sheikh at-Tusi mentioned him as one of Imam al-Hadi’s companions,179 and narrated from him many traditions, from which was this one: ‘Abul Hasan ‘Ali bin Muhammad al-Askari (al-Hadi) told me from his father from his fathers that (Imam) ‘Ali (a.s.) said, ‘The messenger of Allah (blessing and peace be upon him) said (to ‘Ali): let him, who likes to meet Allah safe and pure, and the supreme horror not to grieve him, follow you and your sons al-Hasan, al-Husayn, ‘Ali bin al-Husayn, Muhammad bin ‘Ali, Ja’far bin Muhammad, Musa bin Ja’far, ‘Ali bin Musa, Muhammad, ‘Ali, al-Hasan, and then al-Mahdi who is the last of them.’180
Sheikh at-Tusi mentioned him as one of Imam al-Hadi’s companions (or just a narrator of his traditions) and added that he was cursed, excessive.181 Al-Kashshi mentioned that Nasr bin as-Sabah said, ‘Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) cursed al-Hasan bin Muhammad known as ibn Baba, Muhammad bin Nusayr an-Namiri, and Faris bin Hatim al-Qazwini.’182
Many traditions were related to Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) on cursing this man and warning the Shi’a from associating with him because he was a source of deviation and error. Here are some of those traditions:
1. Urwah wrote to Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) about Faris and he said, ‘Deny what he says and disgrace him. May Allah exclude and disgrace him. He is a liar in all that he claims. But keep yourselves away from arguing with him or consulting with him. Do not give him way for evil. May Allah save us from his burden and the burden of his like.’183
2. Ibrahim bin Dawud al-Ya’qubi wrote to Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) about him and Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) replied, ‘Pay him no attention, and when he comes to you, dishonor him!’184
Sheikh at-Tusi mentioned him as one of Imam al-Hadi’s companions,186 and so did al-Barqi.187 An-Najashi said that he was the author of “the Questions” or might be “the Answers of the Questions” –as we think- that Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) was asked about.
Sheikh at-Tusi mentioned him as one of Imam al-Hadi’s companions.188 He was from the great ulama’ and the most prominent men of the Islamic intellect in his time. He studied and dealt with different sciences and arts and wrote books on them. Here we shall mention, in brief, some points on him:
Imam al-Hasan al-Askari (a.s.) praised al-Fadhl bin Shathan. When once, one of al-Fadhl’s books was shown to Imam al-Askari (a.s.), he read some of it, prayed Allah to have mercy on al-Fadhl, and said, ‘I envy the people of KhurHasan the being of al-Fadhl bin Shathan among them.’ Once again, he read another book of al-Fadhl, prayed Allah three times to have mercy on al-Fadhl, and said about the book, ‘It is true that it should be acted according to it.’189
Al-Fadhl took upon himself to defend his beliefs and refute the spuriosities raised against his cult. He said, ‘I am a successor of those who passed away. I met Muhammad bin Abu Umayr, Safwan bin Yahya and others and took knowledge from them since fifty years ago.
Hisham bin al-Hakam passed away, may Allah have mercy on him, and Younus bin Abdur-Rahman was his successor. He refuted the dissenters. Then Younus bin Abdur-Rahman passed away and left no successors except as-Sakkak who refuted the dissenters until he left to the better world. I am the successor after them, may Allah have mercy on them.’190
He was the successor of those great scholars who struggled and defended their high principles that the infallible Imams of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) had adopted.
This great scholar wrote on different sciences such as jurisprudence, tafsir, theology, philosophy, linguistics, logic, and other fields of knowledge. The books he had written were more than one hundred and eighty.191 Some of them were mentioned by Sheikh at-Tusi,192 an-Najashi,193 ibn an-Nadim,194 and others.
168. Ibid. p.60.
169. Rijal at-Tusi.
170. Rijal at-Tusi.
171. Rijal an-Najashi.
172. Rijal at-Tusi.
173. Rijal al-Barqi.
174. Mu'jam Rijal al-Hadith, vol.12 p.193.
175. Rijal al-Kashshi, vol.2 p.825.
176. Rijal al-Kashshi
177. Mu'jam Rijal al-Hadith, vol.12 p.194.
178. Rijal at-Tusi
179. Rijal at-Tusi
181. Rijal at-Tusi.
182. Rijal al-Kashshi.
185. Rijal al-Kashshi.
186. Rijal at-Tusi.
187. Rijal al-Barqi.
188. Rijal at-Tusi.
189. Rijal al-Kashshi.
190. Rijal al-Kashshi
191. Rijal al-Kashshi
192. Al-Fihrist by at-Tusi
193. Rijal an-Najashi
194. Al-Fihrist by ibn an-Nadim