Sayyid Abd al-Azim al-Hasani, One of the Greatest Defenders of Ahlul Bayt (A.S.)
The Number of his Reported Transmissions
Scholars differ with respect to the number of traditions he has transmitted. Thus Shaykh Isma’il al-Kazari (d 1136 AH/1723 AD) has transmitted sixty traditions on his authority in his book ‘Jannat al-Na’im’, while Shaykh Muhammad Baqir al-Kajuri (d 1313 AH/1895 AD) has transmitted seventy-five traditions on his authority in his book ‘Rawhun wa Rayhan’.
Muhammad bin Ibrahim al-Kalbasiy (d 1262 AH/1842 AD) has narrated forty traditions on his authority in his book ‘Al-Tadhkira al-’Azima’ and al-Muhaqqiq al-Shaykh ‘Azizullah al-’Ataradi has transmitted seventy eight traditions from him in his book ‘Abd al-’Azim al-Hasani, Hayatuhu wa Musnaduhu’.
Recently, a work by the title of ‘Musnad HaA~rat ‘Abd al-’Azim al-Hasani (as)’ was published. This work was prepared by Shaykh al-’Ataradi and ‘Ali Ridha’ al-Hazari who verified one hundred and twenty traditions from him. This work was published and disseminated by the organizers of the conference held in memory of Sayyid ‘Abd al-’Azim al-Hasani in the suburb of Ray of the city of Tehran in 2003 AD. This last figure is perhaps the utmost one can verify in these days by the aid of computer assisted software and if anything has missed their attention then perhaps it is unimportant.
The foregoing information may raise a question, which is: a man as learned as the Sayyid, who met two Imams, who transmitted from thirty-three personalities and from whom sixteen traditionists reported in turn should have had a far greater number of transmitted traditions to his credit than the number mentioned above. Thus what is the reason for the small number of his transmitted traditions?
Two possible answers may be suggested here:
1) In those times many resources and books of the Shi’ites were lost due to destruction, sabotage, burning and other destructive factors. This is because the Shi’ites were living in an environment of dissimulation and fear, except in certain limited areas where they enjoyed some relative freedom and ease. An apt example would be the jurist Muhammad bin Abi ‘Umayr, who narrates from four hundred and fourteen authorities.
His sister hid his books by burying them so that they may not be confiscated. Shaykh al-Najashi writes: ‘His sister buried his books when he was imprisoned for four years and while she was in hiding. As a result his books were destroyed. It is also said that she left them in a room and rainwater destroyed them! So he began to transmit from memory and from what was in the possession of the people of his previously transmitted reports. This is the reason why Shi’ite scholars accept his ‘mursal’ transmissions. And he had written many books.’
2) That Sayyid ‘Abd al-’Azim al-Hasani was a man pursued by the tyrannical authorities, which made him flee and seek refuge in Ray. There he lived in a cellar far from the sight of the people and perhaps this state of his of being a refugee led to so many years of his life being wasted! Therefore, it was in such a severe environment that he narrated traditions to any seeker interested in traditions and knowledge.
Thus we have al-Najashi relating the following from Sayyid ‘Abd al-’Azim al-Hasani’s student Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Khalid al-Barqi who said: ‘Abd al-’Azim al-Hasani arrived in Ray whilst fleeing from the authorities and there he lived in a cellar in the house of a Shi’ite man whose house was located in a side street known as the ‘lane of the Muwali’. He used to worship Allah in that cellar, fasting during the daytime and remaining awake during the night.
He would come out from his hiding place secretly and visit the grave that is (presently) opposite his and between the two graves is a road.
He maintained that the grave was that of a man from the children of Imam Musa bin Ja’far (‘a). He continued to stay in that cellar and gradually news of his whereabouts spread among the Shi’ites till many of them knew of him. Subsequently, one of the Shi’ites saw the Prophet (s) in his dream who told him that a man from his progeny would be borne away from the ‘lane of the Muwali’ and buried near an apple tree in the garden of (a certain) ‘Abd al-Jabbar bin ‘Abd al-Wahhab, and the Prophet pointed out the place to him.
The man then purchased the garden from its owner and when the owner asked him as to why he was interested in the place, he replied by narrating the contents of the dream. He then endowed the spot near the tree as well as the entire garden to Sayyid ‘Abd al-’Azim al-Hasani and the Shi’ites began to bury their dead there too. Later, Sayyid ‘Abd al-’Azim al-Hasani fell sick and finally passed away. When he was undressed so that he could be given the funeral bath, a piece of paper was found on his body, which mentioned his genealogy as; “I am Abu al-Qasim ‘Abd al-Azim bin ‘Abdillah bin ‘Ali bin al-Hasan bin Zayd (bin ‘Ali) bin al-Hasan bin ‘Ali bin Abi Talib (‘a).”
Some biographers then mention his books after this narration.
To be continued ...
The Most Vivid Portraits of Gallantry and Sacrifice (Part 1)
Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr
The Most Vivid Portraits of Gallantry and Sacrifice (Part 2)
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