Rafed English

Unfair Accusation

The sensational life and ramming debates of Hesham are known to us and we also know that his decisive speech was just like a sharp sword, but sometimes, he had to use dissimulation in his speeches to save himself from attack by the unjust people and also to get rid of tyrants. So his speeches had double meanings and as a result the enemies used to keep quiet but his short sighted friends could not understand the reality of his speeches.

So people either being aware or unaware of the fact, have accused Hesham unfairly. Thus, according to Allamah Syed Mohsen Amili, (May God bless him), these accusations were due to some well-wishing as he says: "This was like making a hole in the ship (as Khidr [a] did in the story of the Qur'an) i.e. for the good reasoning." 18

The learned scholar Mr. Atarodi Ghochani writes: "The shallow narrators and flimsy opponents have unfairly accused Hesham of having beliefs contrary to the ideas of the Qur'an whereas he is the first person who has spoken about the Imamate.

And Imam al-Sadiq [a] was extraordinarily attached to him and preferred him over all of his followers. 19 Then he adds: "Sunni scholars have blamed him (Hesham) for infidelity and dualism and have made unfair accusations against him. However, the Shi'a scholars have given replies to all those unfair accusations and cleared his sacred personality from all those unfair accusations." 20

He writes in another place: "Shahristani has mentioned a particular sect namely Heshamiyah in his book - al-Melal wa-Nahal- and has counted them as the followers of Hesham-bin- Hakam. He says that this belief of Shahristani has no genuine source and is only a mere accusation. Shahristani has taken his information from the long-time enemies and opponents of Hesham. So for this reason his writings have no value and the sacred personality of Hesham is free from any unfair blame." 21

Abu Mansur Abdul Qaher Baghdadi has blamed Hesham for believing in the corporeality of God and writes clearly that he believes in the corporeality of God. 22

In reply to these accusations, Syed Murtaza known as 'Alamul Huda, notes that: "this famous sentence 'God is corporeal but not like other corporal bodies' which Hesham has been accused of saying, has been interpreted in different ways." For example, Hesham was debating with Mo'atazalah group and to defeat them Hesham used their own phraseology. Hesham said to them that suppose you are of the opinion that God is a (material) thing but not like any other things; then you must say He is a body but not like other bodies. 23

The writer of the book - al-Melal wan-Nahal - has also confirmed this matter, when he writes that Hesham has used this phrase during his debates with the group of Ghulat (exaggerators). 24 Some others have also accused Hesham, saying that he had no belief in the knowledge of God about the happenings and accidents of the future, i.e., Hesham was of the opinion that the knowledge of God about accidental matters is also accidental and His knowledge is apart from His Essence.

The late Syed Murtaza also writes concerning this: The story of the knowledge of God regarding the accidents and happenings is also a creation of Hesham's enemies and is nothing but a condemnation as in this matter there is nothing in the records; neither from Hesham's own works nor has any other reliable and trustworthy person quoted such things regarding him. 25

In the same manner, he is blamed for the matter of the visibility of God on the Day of Judgement. As according to the apparent meaning of some of the Qur'anic verses, it is said that the Creator would be seen in corporeal form. So this is also one of the accusations directed against his sacred personality. But the fact is that in the beginning of his career, Hesham was the disciple of Abu Shaker Deisani - the learned materialist.

Later on he was for a time one of the followers of Jahm b. Safwan - the fatalist and was also one of his disciples. But the research authorities do not approve of the idea: that if the master deviates from the true path, the disciple will also deviate from it. Secondly, for a seeker of truth and a researcher of reality, this process of philosophical evolution and transformation of ideas was vital and necessary for his intellectual and spiritual development. For this reason we must not accuse Hesham of deviation and we must not find fault with him. Rather all of this reveals Hesham's evolutionary philosophical endeavour and inclination towards righteousness.

Moreover, some writers have recorded that he associated with Deisani in his early life, before he reached the threshold of Wilayah (trusteeship) and met with Imam al-Sadiq [a].


18. It refers to the story of the meeting of Moses [a] and Khidhr [a] and how they became travel companions. After sitting in the ship, Khidhr [a] started to make holes in the ship. Although it was agreed upon that Moses [a] would not interfere in the work of Khidhr [a] he began to object. Anyhow, Khidhr [a] explained his good intention in doing so and said that a tyrant king usurped the ships from its owners by force at the shore, and this belonged to a group of faithful labourers. I wanted to make a hole in it so that the ship might not attract the king and he would not usurp it from the owners. (Holy Qur'an. Cave 18:60)

19. Life of Abdul Azim Hasani, chapter, on gnostics and teachers, Pg. 2O2.

20. Ibid. Pg. 203.

21. Mohammad b. Abdul Karim Shahristani, the famous speculative theologian and philosopher, is one of the most learned men and philosophers of Islam. His book -Melal wal Nahal- is the most famous among the books on faiths and religions. He actually lived in the town of Sharistan, situated in the north of Khorasan which is now a part of Dargaz. He also died there. According to Yaqut Hamavi, Shahristan was a town in the vicinity of Nesa, and had an unfavourable climate and a large number of people used to die of the plague there every year. Muhammad ibn Abdul Karim was an inhabitant of that place.

22. Abu Mansour Abdul Qaher ibn Taher Baghdadi (d. 429), writer of the book- Al Farq Bain al-Feraq. In the same way in the book - Melal wal Nahal of the Zaidi sect, learned scholar AI-Imam Ahmad ibn Yahya b. al-Murtaza, has also quoted this: - Hesham ibn Hakam and Hesham Javalighi and all shias except for a small group of them like the sect of Abi al- Ahvas Moatazali believe in the corporeality of God.

As you see, this writer has announced with the utmost injustice, Hesham and all other Shia groups as Mojassamah (believers of the corporeal body of God) and Moshabbaha (believers in the similarity of God to other beings). What an injustice!!!

23. Al-Shafi written by Syed Murtaza (regarding the remedying of the taunt against Hesham, the interested may please refer to vol.13 of Usul Kafi Pg. 337, Raudhat al-Kafi Pg. 379. Commentaries of Sha'rani).

24. "Ghulat"- pl. of Ghali, means a group of people who believe in Amirul Mu'mineen as God. (Amid. Persian Dictionary).

25. Al Shafi by Syed Murtaza.

Adopted from the book: "Hesham Ibn Hakam" by: "Mr. Reza Atai"

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