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Chapter Thirty-five: Successors of Imam Qaim (a.s.)

الدَّقَّاقُ عَنِ الْأَسَدِيِّ عَنِ النَّخَعِيِّ عَنِ النَّوْفَلِيِّ عَنْ عَلِيِّ بْنِ أَبِي حَمْزَةَ عَنْ أَبِي بَصِيرٍ قَالَ قُلْتُ لِلصَّادِقِ جَعْفَرِ بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ ع يَا ابْنَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ص سَمِعْتُ مِنْ أَبِيكَ ع أَنَّهُ قَالَ يَكُونُ بَعْدَ الْقَائِمِ اثْنَا عَشَرَ مَهْدِيّاً فَقَالَ إِنَّمَا قَالَ اثْنَا عَشَرَ مَهْدِيّاً وَ لَمْ يَقُلْ اثْنَا عَشَرَ إِمَاماً وَ لَكِنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ مِنْ شِيعَتِنَا يَدْعُونَ النَّاسَ إِلَى مُوَالَاتِنَا وَ مَعْرِفَةِ حَقِّنَا

1- Ikmaaluddin: Daqqaq has narrated from Asadi from Nakhai from Naufali from Ali Ibne Abi Hamza from Abu Basir that he asked Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.):

“O son of Allah’s Messenger, I have heard from your respected father that there will be twelve Mahdis after Imam Qaim (a.s.)?

Imam (a.s.) replied: Yes, he had said twelve Mahdis and not twelve Imams, but they would be from our Shia and they would invite people to our Wilayat and recognition of our rights.”

2- Ghaibat Tusi: Muhammad Himyari has narrated from his father from Muhammad bin Abdul Hamid and Muhammad bin Isa from Muhammad bin Fudail from Abu Hamza from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) a lengthy report, in which he said:

“O Abu Hamza, after Imam Qaim (a.s.) there will be twelve Mahdis from us, the descendants of Imam Husain (a.s.).”

3- Ghaibat Tusi: Fazal has narrated from Ibne Mahbub from Amr bin Abu Miqdam from Jabir Jofi that he heard Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) say:

“By Allah, after Imam Qaim (a.s.) a person from us, Ahle Bayt (a.s.) will ruler for 309 years.

I said: When will this be?

He said: After Imam Qaim (a.s.).

I asked: For how many years will Imam Qaim rule on the earth after reappearance?

He replied: Nineteen years from his reappearance to his death.

I said: Would there will be a great confusion after that?

He replied: Yes, for fifty years. Then Muntasir will do Rajat and he will kill his enemies and imprison them. After that Saffah will rise up.”

4- Irshad: There will be no kingdom after the rule of Imam Qaim (a.s.) except that there is a narration of one under the control of his sons, if Allah wishes. However there is no positive assertion and proof for that. The majority of reports maintain that the Mahdi of the community will not depart except forty days before Qiyamat, after which confusion will reign supreme and the dead will emerge from the graves and Qiyamat shall be established for Reckoning and Punishment.

Note: Allamah Tabarsi (r.a.) has written inElamul Wara that it is mentioned in authentic reports that there will be no rule of anyone after the rule of Imam Qaim and only his sons will be his successors, if Allah wills.

And it is mentioned in most traditions that Imam Qaim (a.s.) will pass away only forty days before Qiyamat during which the dead will emerge from the graves and the Qiyamat will be established and Allah knows best.

Shaykh Saduq has mentioned inIkmaaluddin (Vol. 1, Pg. 339) that: “There is always a Divine Proof on the earth who is aware of the lawful and the prohibited and who calls the people to Allah, the Mighty and Sublime. And the earth shall not be without Divine Proof but forty days prior to Judgment Day. When that Divine Proof will be taken up by Allah, the door of repentance shall be closed and the faith of those who accept it after the going away of Divine Proof will be of no use. They shall be the worst of creatures. The Judgment Day will be established after that.”

Also Barqi has mentioned inMahasin quoting fromMasabihuz Zulam (Chapter 21, Tradition 202, Pg. 236) the same with a sight difference and this shows that Shia had the same belief in the early period also.

Thus Allamah Kulaini has narrated inUsul Kafi (Vol. 1, Pg. 329, “Chapter of the names of those who have seen him” from Abdullah bin Ja’far Himyari that: “I and ash-Shaykh Abu Amr, may Allah bless him, met at Ahmad Ibne Ishaq’s and Ahmad Ibne Ishaq intimated to me that I should ask him about the heir (khalaf ) [to Imam Askari (a.s.)], so I said to him: ‘O Abu Amr, I wish to ask you about something - not that I have any doubt about what I wish to ask you - for my belief and my religion is that the earth is never bereft of a Divine Proof, except for forty days prior to the Day of Resurrection; and when that day comes, the Divine Proof will be taken away and the door of repentance will be shut: On the day that one of thy Lord’s sign comes, it shall not profit a soul to believe that never believed before, or earned some good in his belief, and they will be the most evil of the creatures of Allah, to Whom belong Might and Majesty, and it is in their time that the Resurrection will rise.”

In any case these traditions prove that the earth will never remain devoid of Divine Proof; only forty days before Qiyamat will the Divine Proof go away from the world and that will be the awaited Mahdi, seven years after whom the Qiyamat will be established.

Therefore it is necessary that during that Rajat of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) and the Holy Imams (a.s.) the earth should not be devoid of Divine Proof and that the tree of Islam should remain verdant, bearing fruits and leaves from the branches of piety and the earth may shine with the light of its Lord. And there is no problem if he is called as Mahdi as mentioned in traditions.

5- Tafsir Ayyashi: It is narrated from Jabir that he said: I heard Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) say:

“By Allah, after the death of Imam Qaim (a.s.) a person from us Ahle Bayt (a.s.) will rule for 309 years.”

I asked: When will this be?

He replied: After the passing away of Imam Qaim (a.s.).

I asked: For how many years will Imam Qaim rule on the earth after reappearance?

He replied: Nineteen years from his reappearance to his death.

I said: Would there will be a great confusion after that?

He replied: Yes, for fifty years. Then Muntasir will do Rajat and he will kill his enemies and imprison them till people will begin to say that if he had been from the progeny of the prophets, he would not have shed so much blood. And all the people of the world will unite against him and attack him and he will seek refuge in Kaaba. He will have to face severe calamities and he will be killed in this process. After his killing, Saffah will rise up in fury and eliminate all our enemies.

And O Jabir, do you know who Muntasir and Saffah are? Muntasir is Husain bin Ali (a.s.) and Saffah means Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.).”

The text of this tradition is present inTafsir Ayyashi , Vol. 2, Pg. 326.

6- Ghaibat Tusi: A group of scholars has narrated from Bazufari from Ali bin Sinan Musali from Ali bin Husain from Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Khalil from Ja’far bin Ahmad Misri from his uncle Husain bin Ali from his father from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) from his respected father from Amirul Momineen (a.s.) from the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.) that he said on the eve of his departure from the world:

“O Abul Hasan bring a scroll and pen and ink.” Then he dictated his will and came to the following statement:

“O Ali, after me there will be twelve Imams and after them there will be twelve Mahdis and you are the first of them. Then he named one Imam after another and then said: Then Hasan will entrust this post of Imamate to his son, MHMD, who survives from Aale Muhammad (a.s.) and in this way the twelve will be complete and after that there will be twelve Mahdis. When the last moments of the twelfth Imam will approach, he will hand over the leadership to his son, and in this way he will be the first Mahdi and he will have three names: My name, name of my father and that will be Abdullah and Ahmad and third will be Mahdi and he will the first of the believers.”

7- Muntakhabul Basair: Sayyid Ali Ibne Abdul Hamid has narrated through his chains from Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that he said:

“After Imam Qaim (a.s.), there will be twelve Mahdis from us, the descendant of Imam Husain (a.s.).”

8- Kaamiluz Ziyaraat: Saad has narrated from Jamurani from Husain bin Saif from his father Saif from Hadhrami from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) and Imam Ja’far Sadiq (a.s.) that they said regarding Kufa:

“There is Masjid Suhail there, such that every prophet prayed there and from there divine justice will become apparent and the Imam Qaim will be there and after him there will be many Qaims and that Masjid is the abode of prophets, successors and the righteous people.”

Note: The above traditions are against the commonly believed traditions and can be interpreted in the following way:

Firstly, the phrase ‘the twelve Mahdis’ implies the Prophet and all Imams, except Imam Mahdi (a.s.), because their rule will come after the Qaim. Thus what is narrated in it is that Hasan bin Sulaiman has also applied it to all the Imams and has faith in the Rajat of all the Imams.

Secondly, these Mahdis will be the successors of Imam Qaim who will appointed to the people during reign of the Imams, so that the world is never devoid of Divine Proof although the successors, prophets and the Holy Imams (a.s.) are also Divine Proofs and the Almighty Allah knows best.