The Sunni 'Ulama' and the Birth of the Mahdi
- :Ayatullah Ibrahim Amini
Dr. Fahimi: If Imam Hasan 'Askari had a son then the Sunni 'ulama' and historians should have recorded that in their books.
Mr. Hoshyar: Yes, indeed there is a group of them who also have related the event of the birth of [Ibn] Imam Hasan 'Askari and have accepted and recorded his and his father's history in their books. Thus, for instance:
(1) Muhammad b. Talha Shafi'i writes: "Abu al-Qasim Muhammad b. Hasan was born in the year 258 AH/873 CE in Samarra. His father's name was Hasan Khalis. Among the titles [of this last Imam] are: Hujjat, Khalaf Salih (the righteous offspring) and Muntazar (the awaited one)." Following this statement he has related several traditions on the subject of the Mahdi, with the concluding statement: "These hadith-reports confirm the existence of Imam Hasan 'Askari's son, who is in concealment and will appear later."1
(2) Muhammad b. Yusuf, following his entry on the death of Imam Hasan 'Askari, writes: "He did not have any child beside Muhammad. It is said that he is the same as the Awaited Imam (imam muntazar)."2
(3) Ibn Sabbagh Maliki writes: "Section Twelve on the Life of Abu al-Qasim Muhammad, Hujjat, Khalaf Salih, the son of Abu Muhammad Hasan Khalis: He is the twelfth Imam of the Shi'a." Then he has recorded the history of the Imam and has related the traditions about the Mahdi.3
(4) Yusuf b. Qazughli, after writing his account of the life of Imam Hasan 'Askari, writes:  "His son's name is Muhammad, and his patronymic is Abu 'Abd Allah and Abu al-Qasim. He is the Proof of God's existence, the Master of the Age, the Qa'im, and the Muntazar. The Imamate has come to an end with him." Then he reports traditions about the Mahdi.4
(5) Shablanji in the book entitled Nur al-absar, writes: "Muhammad is the son of Hasan 'Askari. His mother was a slave girl by the name of Narjis or Sayqal or Sawsan. His patronymic is Abu al-Qasim. The Twelver Shi'ites know him as: Hujjat, Mahdi, Khalaf Salih, Qa'im, Muntazar, and Master of the Age."5
(6) Ibn Hajar, in his al-Sawa'iq al-muharriqa, following the biography of Imam Hasan 'Askari writes: "He has not left a son besides Abu al-Qasim, who is known as Muhammad and Hujjat. That boy was five years old when his father died."6
(7) Muhammad Amin Baghdadi in the book entitled: Saba'ik al-dhahab writes: "Muhammad, who is also known as Mahdi, was five years old at the time of his father's death."7
(8) Ibn Khallikan relates in his biographical dictionary Wafayat al-a'yan: "Abu al-Qasim Muhammad b. al-Hasan al-'Askari is the twelfth Imam of the Imamiyya, that is the Twelver Shi'ites. The Shi'ites believe that he is the one who is the awaited Qa'im and the Mahdi."8
(9) In Rawdat al-safa Mir Khwand writes: "Muhammad was the son of Hasan. His patronymic is Abu al-Qasim. The Imamiyya acknowledge that he is the Hujjat, the Qa'im, and the Mahdi."9
(10) Sha'rani writes in his al-Yawaqit wa al-jawahir: "Mahdi is the son of Imam Hasan 'Askari. He was born on the fifteenth night of Sha'ban, 255 AH. He is alive and will remain so until he will emerge with Jesus. Now it is 957 AH. He is, thus, 703 years old."10
(11) Sha'rani, quoting Ibn 'Arabi's Futuhat makiyya, section 366, writes: "When the earth will be filled with tyranny and injustice the Mahdi will rise and will fill the earth with justice and equity. He will be among the descendants of the Prophet and from the line of Fatima. His grandfather will be Husayn, and his father will be Imam Hasan 'Askari, the son of Imam 'Ali Naqi, the son of Imam Muhammad Taqi, the son of Imam 'Ali Rida, the son of Imam Musa Kazim, the son of Imam Ja'far Sadiq, the son of Imam Muhammad Baqir, the son of Imam Zayn al-'Abidin, the son of Imam Husayn b. 'Ali b. Abi Talib."11
(12) Khwaja Parsa in his book Fasl al-khitab writes: "Muhammad, the son of Hasan 'Askari, was born on fifteenth night of Sha'ban, 255 AH/870 CE. His mother's name was Narjis. His father died when he was five years of age. From that time until now he is in occultation. He is the awaited Imam of the Shi'a. His existence is well established among his companions, trusted associates and family. God will prolong his age as He has done in the case of Elijah and Eliash."12
(13) Abu al-Falah Hanbali in his Shadharat al-dhahab and Dhahabi in al-'Ibar fi khabar min ghabar write: "Muhammad is the son of Hasan 'Askari, the son of 'Ali Hadi, the son of Jawad, the son of 'Ali Rida, the son of Musa Kazim, the son of Ja'far Sadiq, 'Alawi, Husayni. His patronymic is Abu al-Qasim and the Shi'a know him as Khalaf Salih, Hujjat, Mahdi, Muntazar, and the Master of the Age (Sahib al-zaman)."13
(14) Muhammad b. 'Ali Hamawi writes: "Abu al-Qasim Muhammad Muntazar was born in the year 259 AH/874 CE in Samarra."14
In short, besides all these above mentioned Sunni scholars there are numerous others who have recorded the birth of Imam Hasan 'Askari's son.15
1 Matalib al-su'al (1287 AH edition), p. 89.
2 Kifayat al-talib, p. 312.
3 Fusul al-muhimma (Second edition), p. 273 and 286.
4 Tadhkirat khawass al-umma, p. 363.
5 Nur al-absar (Cairo edition), p. 342.
6 al-Sawa'iq al-muharriqa, p. 206.
7 Saba'ik al-dhahab, p. 78.
8 Wafayat al-a'yan (1284 AH edition), Vol. 2, p. 24.
9 Rawdat al-safa, Vol. 3, p. 143.
10 al-Yawaqit wa al-jawahir (1351 AH edition), Vol. 2, p. 143.
11 Ibid., p. 143.
12 As cited in Yanabi' al-mawadda, Vo. 2, p. 126.
13 Shadharat al-dhahab (Beirut edition), Vol. 2, p. 141; al-'Ibar fi khabar min ghabar (Kuwait edition), Vol. 2, p. 31.
14 Ta'rikh mansuri, microfilm copy of the Moscow manuscript, folio number 114.
15 See the references compiled in the volume Kashf al-astar, by Husayn b. Muhammad Taqi Nuri and Kifayat al-muwahhidin by TTabarsi, especially volume 2.
Adopted from the book : "Al-Imam al-Mahdi (a.s.); the Just Leader of Humanity" by : "Ayatullah Ibrahim Amini"
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