Visitation on the Shore

 

By: Nayerreh Rouhi

 

Translator: R. Mourefi

 

Preface:

 

He had just been born. The aroma of his existence fragranced everywhere. He had a face, as soft as dew on spring flowers. Celestial beings and angels gave each other glad tidings of his birth. There was absolute hubbub. He is the peacock of the residents in paradise; incomparable in beauty and magnificence. Every prophet had prophesied his coming; he is the destroyer of every blasphemy, corruption and ruin. He shall bring with himself peace, tranquility, friendship and love. He is the pure son from the last prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) progeny. In his due, the prophet said, “He is the ninth generation of Imam Hussein (a.s.) and is my namesake. His name is Mahdi (a.s.) and I give you glad tidings of his coming”.

The infallibles wept and lamented as they were in earnest to see him. Concerning Imam Mahdi’s (a.s.) rank and status, Imam Sadiq (a.s.), the leader of the Shi’ite religious sect, said:

 

“If I happen to live at the time of Mahdi’s appearance, I will serve him till the end of my life.”

 

Also, every time the holy name of Imam Mahdi was mentioned by the title “Qaem”, Imam Reza (A.S) would rise on his feet and while facing the Qibla would place his hand on his head and pray for the divine savior’s appearance. He would weep for his absence and craved for seeing him.

On the other hand, the enemies of God and truth lay in ambush. They were very well aware that this “divine promised one” is the son of Imam Hasan Askari (A.S). They kept Imam (a.s.) under strict surveillance. Very often, they invaded Imam’s house so that if a male child was born they could kill him instantly thereby impeding God’s aim. But, considering that God’s power is above all powers and whatsoever He wishes would come to be. So Imam Mahdi (a.s.) was born at dawn in mid-Sha’ban, 255 years A.H. The incident of Imam’s birth was unknown to anyone save a few distinguished Shi’ites. Day by day, Imam Mahdi grew. Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) decided to show his dear offspring to his trusted Shiites so they would get acquainted with him and follow him after his own departure.

In this short compilation, incidents of the meetings between the Shiites and

Imam Mahdi (a.s.) have been recorded.

These visitations took place during the very lifetime or at the end of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) honorable life. In such instances, Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) introduced Imam Mahdi (a.s.) in different ways to the Shi’ites.

 

The Full Moon

 

It was dawn, I arose from my sleep. After reciting my prayers and supplications I went into the courtyard. The sun had not yet risen over the rooftops. Once again the thoughts that I had over the past few days returned to me. I said to myself:

“Oh God! I am living in the era of the eleventh true descendant of prophet of

Islam (s.a.w.a.)

The prophet had once said that, “my descendants are twelve in number.” So who would succeed Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.)? Who is the last divine deputy? Now that Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) has no offspring, who else could succeed him?

At that moment, a white dove interrupted my train of thoughts. “It’s better to ask Imam (a.s.) himself.” I said.

I rose, made ablution, put on clean garments and got ready to leave. I arrived at the Imam’s door, knocked and after receiving permission, entered. After greetings, Imam (a.s.) made me sit besides himself and before I spoke he said:

“Oh Ahmad-ibn-Eshaq! The sublime God, from the very fist day he created Adam, till the day of resurrection will never leave this earth void of a proof or guide; a proof for whose sake God would put an end to the sufferings of the earth’s inhabitants. And would send down rain and make the earth’s treasure to gush out.

“Oh the son of God’s messenger!” I said. “Who is the leader and successor after you?”

Imam Hasan Askari (A.S) rose and entered another room. Minutes later he returned with a three year old child, whose face was as beautiful and bright as the full moon. He then said:

“Oh Ahmad-ibn-Eshaq! If you weren’t dear and honorable in the eyes of God and myself, I would not have shown you my child. My son has the same name and title of the prophet and he will fill the world with justice and truth at the time when it would be filled with of injustice and tyranny. Oh Ahmad-ibn- Eshaq! This infant, among my people, is just like Khizr (Elias) and Zulqarnain. I swear by God that he will disappear from the eyes of the people; and because of his occultation, people would deviate and turn apostates save those whose belief

has been strengthened by God and those who shall pray for my sons appearance. “

When the Imam said this, tears streamed from my eyes. My gaze rested in that child’s dazzling face and I couldn’t take my eyes off him.

“My master!” I said. “Is there any sign in this infant whereby I can gain certainty by heart that he is the same true “Qaem”?

Suddenly, with a pleasant voice, which shook my heart, the child spoke and said: “I am the last divine deputy and the avenger of God’s enemies on earth. Oh Ahmad-ibn-Eshaq! After witnessing the truth with your own eyes, don’t ever ask for any more proof again.”

His sayings gave me comfort and I became very pleased. I bid farewell to Imam and returned home. But I couldn’t, for an instant, stop thinking about that child. I said to myself that Elias and ‘Zulqarnain’ were both prophets with special qualities. How could Imam Hasan Askari (A.S) compare his son with them?

I, again, went into deep thought. I couldn’t tolerate it, so the next day, once again, I visited the Imam’s house. I said:

“Oh the son of Gods messenger! I am truly grateful for the grace and kindness you extended me yesterday. You saved me from great distress and confusion, but you never explained to me the signs of Elias and “Zulqarnain” that are in him.”

“His long occultation, he replied.

“Will his occultation last very long?” I asked.

“Yes”, he replied. “I swear to God, it will be so long that most of his believers will deviate, save those who have a friendly and steadfast contact with us and have strong belief. Oh Ahmad-ibn-Eshaq! The occultation of my son Mahdi is among God’s masterpiece and secret. So accept my words and do not disclose to those whom you don’t trust and be thankful to this bounty so that on the day of judgment you reside besides us in paradise.”

My heart, then, flew like a bird. I was ecstatic. I took the Imam’s hands in my own and kissed them. I thanked God for having met His last proof on earth.

 

The Man from Persia

 

I had come a long way. Sweat trickled from my head and brow. Dust had settled on my clothes and traveling bales, but there was so much enthusiasm in my heart, that I couldn’t feel the tiring journey. I was near the city of Samerra and even though my legs were weary I quickened my steps. I entered the city, and then said to myself. Where should I go? Who can I ask? I am a stranger in this town and I know no one. But I know of a house that never turns away the needy, its door is open to every one and the generosity of its inhabitants is a parable on every ones lips. I had traveled in hope of meeting the owners of this house, so it is better I first go there.

I entered the marketplace. I knew a little Arabic. There was an elderly man sitting in front of his stall reading the Quran. I went foreword and greeted him, then, I asked:

“Where does Imam Hasan Askari’ reside?”

From my accent, he realized that I wasn’t an Arab and that I must have journeyed far to see the Imam. He rose and embraced me, proclaiming his joy at my arrival in this town. He signaled with his hand for me to wait, and then he picked up his Quran, closed his stall and accompanied me. We passed through the marketplace and entered an alley. After we had walked a short way we stopped in front of a house and he told me that this was the Imam’s residence. He then bid farewell to me and returned.

I took a fresh breath, shook out my clothes, ran a hand through my head and over my face and made tidy my hair. The door was open. A curtain laid hanging over the door. Before entering, I knocked and sought permission. I was granted permission. When my eyes fell on Imam’s blessed and dazzling face, I fell upon his feet and started crying. He gently patted me with his fatherly hand and made me sit besides him. He cleaned the dust off my face and said:

How are you?”

Then he inquired about the health of my family and relatives. He looked into my eyes and said:

“Why made you come here? My master!” I replied. “Our far distance from you and our enthusiasm to see you had made us restless. I couldn’t endure it any more, so I bid farewell to my family and set out with the intention of serving you.

Imam then smiled a smile worth the whole of the universe; he held my hands and with his soft charming voice said.

“Stay in this house.”

Hearing this I was ecstatic and my tears washed the desolation of several years distance from Imam and I thanked him. From that day onwards, I resided in Imam’s house and would buy the household’s daily needs from the market. One day as I returned home I heard the noise of something moving in the house. Suddenly, in a very loud voice, the Imam cried:

“Stay where you are and don’t move!” Of course I couldn’t dare move. Thereafter, the Imam told me to enter. I entered the room and there, I saw a bondmaid carrying something in her arms but with a covering.

Imam then said to the bondmaid “Take the mantle off from what you carry in your arms.”

She obeyed and cast aside the covering.

I then saw an enchanting infant; white skinned, with fetching eyes. Until that day I had never seen such a beautiful child.

The Imam then said to me.

“This is your, ‘Sahibu – Zaman (master of the age).”

He then ordered the bondmaid to take him away and hide him. She left the room but my eyes followed the child.

Thereafter, I realized that he was the only offspring of Imam Hasan Askari (A.S) but he was shown only to the Shiites and elite friends. As the Imam had also trusted me and had shown me his son, Sahibu – Zaman (master of the age) I was extremely happy and prostrated in thanks. After this incident till the day the Imam passed away, I never saw him again.

Several years elapsed. One day I narrated this encounter to my friend. He asked, “At that time when you saw the child, how old was he?”

I replied. “Two years”.

 

Forty Witnesses

 

Friends had gathered together, and their commotion filled the mosque courtyard. The Moazzen’s call to prayer could be heard.

Abdullah said.

“Dear friends, reciting prayers at the earliest time possible has great virtue. After prayers we will gather again here.

Every one rose, some of them went to the pool in the center of the courtyard to make ablution and some of them hurried in to the mosque to be in the first line of congregational prayer. They recited the noon and afternoon prayer and afterwards they, once again, congregated in the courtyard and sat besides each other. The mosque attendant served them with tea and when the conversation died down Jafar Fazari said.

“I heard Muhammad-ibn-Ayoub and Muhammad-ibn-Osman saying: “We were in the house of Imam Hasan Askari) A.S), there were forty of us and Imam presented his offspring to us.”

One of those present in the courtyard said.

“Amazing, there were forty of them. I am certain they were of the trusty and worthy Shiites because Imam showed his son to them.”

Jafar Fazari continued.

“Do you know what the Imam said to them?” They all replied in one accord. “No, tell us!”

He replied. “Imam Hasan Askari (A.S) said “After me, he is your Imam and my successor, follow him and know that after today, you won’t see him again.”

These forty people then left the Imam’s house and a few days later Imam Hasan

Askari (A.S) was martyred.

At that moment Jaafar Fazari fell silent and nobody else too uttered a word. At that moment Abdullah broke the silence and said.

“We thank God that only the trusted and righteous ones have seen that honorable child and that the news of this meeting has also reached us. Oh God!

Grant us, as well, the privilege to see him!”

All of those present in the mosque cried out in one voice, “Amen!”

 

Master of the Shiites

 

The weather was warm. I left my home, as I wanted to visit my store. In the middle of the alley I met an acquaintance and we continued on together. On the way he asked me.

“Do you know who the Sahib-ul-Amr is? (The master of affairs) I stopped, stared in to his face and replied.

“No I don’t. Do you?”

He replied, “They say his son is the Sahib-ul-Amr (the master of affairs).”

“As of today,” I said,” We haven’t seen him, so how are we to recognize him!

He nodded but I failed to know whether it was in denial or agreement to my words. We turned into a street and from there we entered an alley. Our route passed close to Imam Hasan Askari’s (a.s.) house. When we drew nearer, Imam’s sparkling face caught our attention. We went closer, greeted him and received a charming response.

The Imam asked how we were and we replied that we are stuck on a problem. “Ask me.” The Imam said.

“Master!” we replied. “Who is the Sahib-ul-Amr (The master of affairs)? We mean the same person who would reform the world and would put an end to tyranny and oppression?”

Imam took one look at my friend and me and cast another look around and then pulled aside the curtain that was hanging in front of the door and said.

“Take a look.”

I looked inside the house and saw a child of five whose height was of eight to ten hand spans. His forehead was bright and shining; his face pink and white and his eyes sparkling. His hands and forearms were strong and powerful and his right cheek had a mole on it. The child came out of the house and Imam (a.s.) took him into his arms and said.

“This is your master.” He then placed the child on the ground, addressed him and said.

“Son, return to the house tills the imminent time.”

The child left his father and we, in wonder and amazement, looked at him. Instantly the aroma of daffodils and jasmine filled the atmosphere of the alley.

 

The Attendant called Naseem

 

Joy and happiness engulfed the whole house. The household members, particularly Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) and his lady, Narges, were extremely happy over the birth of their infant. We all wanted to shout and celebrate so that the news of his birth would reach the four corners of the earth. But this secret had to remain concealed. The enemies had waited for such a day because, according to them, by killing him, their tyrannical aims would be accomplished. Imam had commanded that the news of his son’s birth should not be proclaimed under any circumstances. I had gone, as usual, to buy the household needs from the marketplace. When I returned, I entered Imam Hasan Askari’s (a.s.) room. I saw him holding his infant in arms; and he gazed at him and kissed his enchanting face.

I stood transfixed for a moment; it was as though the sun and the moon had gathered in one place. What a beautiful sight. I sneezed suddenly. The infant in a heavenly angelic voice said.

” Yar-hamoka’l-Allah (God bless you).”

I was amazed at the infant talking and I hesitated a moment, but then I remembered that the pure Imams talked in infancy just as Jesus (A.S) spoke from the cradle.

Then once again he addressed me and said:

“Oh Naseem! Let me give you glad tidings about sneezing.” “May my life be sacrificed for you?” I replied. “Tell me.”

“Sneezing keeps a person immune from death for three days.” He answered.

My gaze lay fixed on his flower like face; after this short talk, his lips closed like a bud and he turned his eyes towards his father’s kindly face.

My whole being was overcome with joy and I thanked God for being fortunate enough for allowing me to be present in this bountiful house.

 

The Signs

 

It was cold. People were returning to their homes. Wind swirled through the streets, throwing the last dry leaves to the ground where they were crushed under the feet of the passers by. Abul Adyan, the Imams pupil, hurried to the Imam’s house. He used to transfer Imam Hasan Askari’s (a.s.) letters to different towns and convey the replies back to the Imam.

As the Imam was poisoned, he was ill and confined to the bed. He moved his weak body with extreme difficulty.

Abul Adyan sat besides Imam (a.s.) and stared at his master’s pale face. His tears dripped on to his Imam’s face and grief-stricken, he said.

“My master. How are you?”

The Imam requested his pupil to assist him to sit up. Abul Asyan took the Imam under his arms and propped him up. The Imam started to write letters and said to Abul Adyan.

“Take these letters to the cities written on them. Your journey will take fifteen days. On your return to Samerra on the last day, you will hear wailing from my home and you will see them washing and wrapping me in a shroud.

“My master! Abul Adyan said. “Who is your successor after you?”

Imam (a.s.) replied, “The person who demands the replies of these letters from you is my successor.”

“Oh son of God’s messenger!” Abul Adyan said. “Tell me more so that I don’t err on this matter.”

Imam (a.s.) replied, “The one who recites prayers over my body is my successor.”

Abul Adyan requested once again. “Sir! Give me more details so that I gain certainty.”

Once again Imam (a.s.) replied, “Whoever gives news of the contents in the bag is the “Qaim” and my successor.”

On hearing the prediction of the Imam’s martyrdom, Abul Adyan was crestfallen, threw himself on to the Imam’s bed, and rested his head on the

Imam’s chest. Imam Hasan Askari (A.S) placed his hand on Abul Adyan’s head, patted him and said.

“Arise and carry out the mission you have to perform.”

Abul Adyan brushed away his tears and though he didn’t want to leave the Imam he obeyed his command. He rose and for the last time kissed the Imam’s hands and cheek.

Abul Adyan carried the letters to the relevant towns and collected the replies.

He entered Samerra on the fifteenth day. Just as the Imam had predicted, the shrill cry of wailing was heard from the Imam’s house. The brother of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.), Jafar- ibn-Ali (Jafar Kazzab), stood by the front door and the Shiites gathered around him offering their condolences.

“If this is the new Imam.” Abul Adyan said to himself. “Then the succession of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) has been lost as he is a known drinker and gambler, he plays musical instruments and is involved with amusements and debauchery.”

Nevertheless, he went forward to test him and just like others, offered his condolence. But as long as he waited, Jafar didn’t request any thing from him.

At this moment, Imam Hasan Askari’s servant approached Jafar and said. “Sir! They have shrouded your brother. Come and pray over his body.”

Jafar along with the Shiites and several representatives of the caliph entered the house. All got ready for prayers; Imam’s pure body was enveloped in a shroud and placed in front of the prayer rows. Just when Jafar intended to say ” Takbir’ (Allaho-Akbar), a child, with short and black hair and with gap between his teeth, appeared from behind the curtain. He pulled Jafar’s robe and said.

“Out of the way, uncle! I am more worthy than you to pray over my father’s body!”

Jafar looked at the child in complete surprise, his face turned pale as he stepped aside.

The young boy stood in front of the group and said “Takbir” and every one followed him. Thereafter, the pure body of the Imam was buried beside the tomb of Imam Ali Naqi (A.S), his father.

The child then saw Abul Adyan and said. “Bring me the answers to the letters.”

Abul Adyan quickly handed over the letters to him and said to himself. ” Two signs have been revealed, one, praying over the Imam’s body and the other, demanding the replies to the letters, but the third one, the one about the bag, still remains.

Abul Adyan approached Jafar and found him weeping and wailing. At the same moment, one of Jafar’s friends said.

“Sir! Who was that child who claims to be the Imam’s son?”

Jafar replied, “I swear to God! I have never seen him before and don’t know him.”

Meanwhile, a group that had come from Qum was inquiring about Imam Hasan

Askari (a.s.) and they were informed that the Imam had passed away.

“Then who is his successor?” they asked.

“Him.” The people replied while pointing to Jafar.

They came foreword, greeted him and offered their condolence.

“We have brought letters and wealth with us.” They continued. “Tell us who the letters are from and how much is the wealth so we can give them up to you.”

A far, as he was shaking his robe in agitation said. “Do you expect me to know the unseen!”?

At that moment, an attendant approached and said.

“My master says you have brought letters from this person and that person and you have with you a purse containing a thousand dinars. Among these thousand dinars is a ten dinar coin which has faded away.”

The men from Qum were pleased as they could transfer their trust to the true successor of the Imam. Then they released the purse, along with the letters, to the Imam’s attendant for handing them to the Imam.

When Abul Adyan witnessed this scene he realized that Imam Hasan Askari’s (a.s.) successor was that same five year old child, who prayed over his father’s body, demanded from him, the letters and gave news about the contents in the bag.

 

The Golden Pomegranate

 

I hastened home. The sun was about to set. I prepared the necessary provision of my journey and bid farewell to my family.

“Saad-ibn-Abdollah.” My wife inquired. “Where are you going in such a hurry?”

“I have some work with Ahmad-ibn-Eshaq-Qumi.” I replied. “But he has left Qum for Samerra.” My wife said.

“Well.” I replied. “That is why I am in such a hurry. I want to catch up with him. May be I’ll see him on the way.

I traveled a long distance before I caught up with Ahmad-ibn-Eshaq Qumi at a certain place.

“What are you doing here?” He asked. “I hope it’s for some good cause, God willing.”

“First I wanted to see you.” I replied.

“And secondly I have some questions and expect you to answer them.” “Accompany me.” Ahmad-ibn-Eshaq Qumi replied “for I am traveling to

Samerra very eager to see Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) I have some questions I

want to ask of him.

He is like the sea whose treasures and reserves are never ending.”

We entered Samerra, went to Imam Hasan Askari’s (a.s.) house and received permission to enter, where a servant guided us to the Imam’s room.

Ahmad-ibn-Eshaq Qumi had purses with him and every purse was closed with its owners seal. He placed the bags on the floor and minutes later the Imam entered the room. A pleasant aroma filled the air and the light of his existence, lit up, even our hearts. I was stunned as I stared in his beautiful face. The Imam greeted us first. We shyly replied as he warmly welcomed us. The Imam then sat down and started his work. A child with a bright dazzling face entered the room.

His hair fell over his ears on both sides and was parted in the middle. He sat down on his father’s knee.

Every time that Imam wanted to write something the child clasped his hand such that he couldn’t continue his task. On the floor, beside the Imam, was a golden pomegranate, this ball was gifted to Imam (a.s.) by one of the eminent personalities from Basra. Every time the child took the Imam’s hand, he would throw this golden ball over to the corner of the room and the child would be engrossed at fetching it while the Imam continued his work.

Ahmad-ibn-Eshaq placed the bags before Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) and said. “My masters, The Shiites have sent you these.”

Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) glanced at his child and said. “Son! Receive the gifts of your Shiites and friends.”

The child replied, “Is it right that my pure hands should touch these gifts that are mixed with the lawful and unlawful?”

Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) addressed Ahmad-ibn-Eshaq and said.

“Place the bags before my son so that he separates the lawful from the unlawful.”

Ahmad-ibn-Eshaq placed the bags in front of the child who said:

“This bag belongs to so and so, the son of so and so, who lives in such and such a place in Qum. There are sixty-two dinars in it. Forty-five dinars are from his inheritance; fourteen dinars are the money from sale of nine cloth material pieces and three dinars, the rent from his shops.

“You are absolutely right, my son.” The Imam said. “Now tell this man of the unlawful money and explain how much it is.”

The child said. “One dinar, with such a date was minted in the city of Rey. The print on one side of this coin has faded out. The other unlawful is a piece of gold, the weigh of a quarter dinar.”

“Dear master! Ahmad-ibn-Eshaq said to the child.” Tell me the reason for them being unlawful.

The child said, “The owner of this money in such and such a month and such and such a year gave some cotton to a spinner. After a while, robbers broke in to the spinner’s shop. The spinner informed this matter to the owner of the cotton but the latter claimed the spinner was lying, so the spinner gave him more thread

that the usual amount. From the thread received from the spinner, this man, wove cloth and then sold it.

This dinar and that piece of gold is from the sale proceeds of that same cloth material.

Ahmad-ibn-Eshaq opened the purse, there was a letter with the name of sender and the amount written on it and just had the child had said, there was a piece of gold along with the dinars. Witnessing this incident, I was extremely surprised. Does this child know the supernatural? The Imam looked at me and said. “Sa’ad, what are you here for? Ask the answers to your questions from my son.”

Until then, I had been silent all along. I turned towards the child and asked him the questions. I received all the replies from him.

For a few days we stayed in Samerra often visiting the Imam’s house but we never saw the child with the Imam again.

Ahmad-ibn-Eshaq said. “We were fortunate of a great bounty for having met the Imam’s successor as the Imam keeps his child hidden from strangers and unworthy people.”

On the last day, we visited Imam (a.s.) to bid him farewell. Ahmad-ibn-Eshaq turned to the Imam and said.

“Oh son of God’s messenger! The time of leaving is nigh and our sorrow at leaving you, great. May God grant endless praise and blessings to you, your father and your beloved son! May this visit not be my last!

As soon as Ahmad-ibn-Eshaq had spoken these words the eyes of Imam Hasan

Askari (a.s.) filled with tears and tear drops dripped from his flower like cheeks.

He then said, “Oh son of Eshaq!” Don’t persist on this prayer and wish of yours as when you reach your hometown you shall meet your Creator.

Hearing this prediction, Ahmad-ibn-Eshaq fainted and fell on the floor. When he regained conscious, his head was in the Imam’s lap. He said to the Imam.

“My master! For the sake of God and your honorable ancestor, I beg you! I want a shroud given to me by your own blessed hands!”

The esteemed Imam rose and gave him a shroud along with some money. Then, we rose and made our leave of the Imam’s presence.

As we approached the town of Halvan, Ahmad-ibn-Eshaq ran a fever and became critically ill with no hope for his recovery. When we reached the city of Halvan, we resided in a house and that night, Ahmad-ibn-Eshaq asked us to leave him alone. Sunrise I awoke from sleep and said, ” it is better I visit Ahmad-ibn-Eshaq to see how he is.” When I went to his room I saw Imam Hasan Askari’s attendant. In amazement I said. “What are you doing here?”

“You have my deepest sympathy in this tragedy.” He replied. “I have washed and shrouded him now you bury him. He continued, “The Imam commanded me to follow you. It was by his order that I washed and shrouded him. He had a high status in the eyes of his leader.”

I informed our other friends. We buried Ahmad-ibn-Eshaq in that place and returned to our hometown. Along the way I thought to myself. What an eventful journey I had had. I was in grief over the absent of Ahmad-ibn-Eshaq but as I had met my leader Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) and his son Mahdi (a.s.) I was joyful.

 

The Last Word

 

I had known Abu Sahl Nowbakhti for a long time. One day I went to visit him. When he saw me he greeted me and inquired, “Abu Suleman! How are you?”

I said, “I intended to see you alone.” He then guided me over to a corner of his courtyard where there was a bench on which we sat. A gentle breeze blew through the tree as if, it was waiting as well, for Abu Sahl to speak.

Abu Sahl turned to me and said.

“O Abu Suleman, the son of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) has been born. His title is

Abul- Qasim, just like his ancestor, the messenger of God (s.a.w.a.).

Abu Sahl continued: ‘the prophet had said, “the offspring of Imam Hasan Askari is my namesake, his title the same as mine. His name is Mahdi, Hujjat and Montazer and he is the Sahibul Zaman (The master of the Age).” I was looking into Abu Sahl face; he read the prophet’s tradition with grandeur.

“Have you seen the son of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.)?” I asked.

“The Imam was sick in bed.” Abu Sahl said. “I was in his presence when the Imam said to his attendant, “Aqid” to bring him some boiled drink. “Aqid” gave the potion to the Imam’s wife and she handed it over to Imam (a.s.). The Imam took the cup and wanted to drink but his hands were shaking so much that the cup hit his teeth and fell to the floor. He then turned to “Aqid” and said, “Go in to the other room, my son is worshiping God there, tell him to come and see me.” Abu Sahl continued. “When the child entered the room he greeted us. His skin was pearl white, his hair was short and he had a gap in his front teeth. When the Imam saw him he wept and said. Son, give me some water as now I am leaving to go to God. The child picked up the water jug and put it to his father lips so that he could drink. Imam Hasan Askari then said, “Make me ready for prayer”. The small child, with a face as bright as the moon, spread a towel over the Imam’s legs so that he could make ablution.

“Oh Son!” The Imam said. “I give you these glad tidings that you are the “Sahibul Zaman” (master of the age), the Mahdi and the Hujjat of God on this earth. You are my son and my successor. You are born of the prophet’s generation and me and you are the last of the pure Imams. The prophet prophesied your coming and chose your name and title; this information was given to me by my father and him, from his amenable ancestors. May God send blessings to their chaste and pure households, as our God is Praiseworthy, Almighty?”

Meanwhile, tears rolled down Abu Sahl cheeks and we wept together for a long time.

Abu Sahl then said, “These were the last words of the Imam after which he departed from this transient world.”

A breeze caressed our tear-laden cheeks, as if it were also grief-stricken at the passing of the eleventh Imam. But, it passed us by quickly, perhaps wanting to announce to every one, the beginning of Imam Mahdi’s (a.s.) leadership.

 

Source: The 13th Volume of Bahar- ul- Anvar (The promised Mahdi)

 

translated by: Ali Davani, printed by: Darul- Ketab- ul- Islamiah, 1991

 

A.D.

 

Chapter 23: Those who have seen the Imam.

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