Sayyid Abd al-Azim al-Hasani, One of the Greatest Defenders of Ahlul Bayt (A.S.)
His Position Near The Scholars
Many biographers have mentioned sterling statements in his favour. We have mentioned some of them and there is no need to repeat them again. And from the various evidences proving his greatness is that the foremost expert in the discipline of the Hadith, Muhammad bin ‘Ali bin Babwayhi al-Saduq compiled a special book containing reports of Sayyid ‘Abd al-’Azim. He mentions this in his list of books where he registers that he has a comprehensive book of reports of Sayyid ‘Abd al-’Azim bin ‘Abdullah al-Hasani.
Perhaps this book discussed his life and various events pertaining to it, however it is unfortunate that this book has not reached us. Indeed, Sahib bin ‘Abbad has written a biographical treatise about our master Sayyid ‘Abd al-’Azim. This treatise was discovered by al-Muhaddith al-Nuri (d 1320 AH/ 1902 AD) who has quoted it in its entirety in the index of his work (Mustadrak Wasa ‘il al-Shi’ite), in the context of the biography of Sayyid ‘Abd al-’Azim.
There he writes as follows: ‘As for ‘Abd al-’Azim, he was one of the great personalities from the progeny of the Prophet.
We shall restrict ourselves to mentioning about his life by quoting the treatise of Sahib bin ‘Abbad. This treatise has come down to us in the writing of one of the members of the family of Babwayhi.
The date of the treatise is 516 hijri (1122 AD) and it says: Sahib bin ‘Abbad said: “I was asked about the genealogy of ‘Abd al-’Azim al-Hasani who is buried near the tree and who is the owner of that place too (may Allah sanctify his soul) and about his state and beliefs and the level of his knowledge and piety. Hence, here I mention all that in brief and with Allah lies success.
He is Abu al-Qasim, ‘Abd al-Azim bin ‘Abdillah bin ‘Ali bin al-Hasan bin Zayd bin al-Hasan bin ‘Ali bin Abi Talib (may the blessings of Allah be upon him and his forefathers).
He was a pious and religious man, a devout worshipper; reliable, trustworthy and truthful. He was learned in matters of the faith and a proponent of the belief in the transcendence of God and His Justice as well as prolific in hadith transmission. He narrated from Abu Ja’far Muhammad bin ‘Ali bin Musa and from his son Abu al-Hasan, the one who resided in al-’Askar. There are letters from them both addressed to him. He also narrates from a group of the companions of Musa bin Ja’far and ‘Ali bin Musa (‘a). He had a book by the title “Kitab Yawm wa al-Layla.”
As for those who narrated from him are such as; Ahmad bin Abi Abdillah al-Barqi and Abu Turab al-Ruyani. Fearing for his life, he wandered about in the cities and towns till he arrived at Ray. There he stayed in a cellar in the house of a Shi’ite man in a lane known as the ‘lane of the Muwali’. He used to worship Allah in that cellar, fasting during the days and spending the nights standing in prayer.
He would come out at night in secret and visit the grave that is now opposite his grave and between the two graves runs a road. He used to say that the grave was of a man from the sons of Imam Musa bin Ja’far (‘a). News of his identity soon spread among the Shi’ites till many knew of him. Subsequently a man from the Shi’ites saw the Prophet (s) in his dream who informed him that: “a man from my progeny will be carried away tomorrow from the ‘lane of the Muwali’ and be buried near an apple tree in the garden of (a certain) ‘Abd al-Jabbar bin ‘Abd al-Wahhab”. Thus this man went to the owner of the garden in order to purchase the tree.
The owner of the garden had also seen the dream and so he endowed the place where the tree was located along with the entire garden to the noble people and the Shi’ites began burying their dead there. Sometime later, ‘Abd al-Azim fell sick and passed away. He was then carried to and buried where his grave now lies.
What is Narrated from him Regarding Monotheism
‘Abdullah bin Musa al-Ruyani narrates from Sayyid ‘Abd al-’Azim from Ibrahim bin Abi Mahmud who said: ‘I asked al-Ridha’ (‘a), “What is your opinion about the tradition which people narrate that:
إن الله ينزل إلى السماء الدنيا
‘Allah descends to the lower heaven?”
He replied, “May Allah curse those who displace statements from their correct positions. By Allah! The Prophet (s) never said that. Rather what he said was:
إن الله عز وجل ينزل ملكا إلى السماء الدنيا ليلة الجمعة فينادي هل من سائل فأعطيه ؟
‘Allah, Glorified and Exalted, sends an angel to the lower heaven on Thursday night who calls out, “is there anyone who seeks so that I may grant him?” In this manner, the Imam corrected and explained this prophetic tradition. And it is narrated through the same chain that Imam al-Ridha’ (‘a) said regarding the (Qur ‘anic) verse:
وجوه يومئذ ناضرة ، الى ربها ناظرة
On that day (i.e. the Day of Judgement) faces will be radiant, looking towards their Lord. The Imam said: (It means)
مشرقة ، منتظرة ثواب ربها عز و جل
“Faces (on that day) will be radiant, expectantly looking forward to the rewards of the Lord Mighty and Glorified.”
What is Narrated from him Regarding The Justice Of God ‘Ali bin al-Husayn al-Baghdadi narrates from Ahmad bin Abi ‘Abdillah al-Barqi from ‘Abd al-Azim al-Hasani from ‘Ali bin Muhammad al-Naqi (‘a) from his father Muhammad bin ‘Ali al-Hadi (‘a), from his father ‘Ali bin Musa al-Ridha’ (‘a), who said: ‘One day as Abu Hanifa (d 150 AH/767 AD) was leaving from a meeting with Imam al-Sadiq (‘a) (d 148 AH/765 AD), he met Musa bin Ja’far (‘a) and asked him: “O young man, who is responsible for evil acts?”
He (Musa) replied: “There are only three possibilities regarding this issue. Either the evil acts ensue from Allah and not from the human being, in which case it would not behove the Munificent (i.e. Allah) to punish His servant for what he was not responsible.
Or that both God and the human being are equally responsible for the evil acts, however then it would not behove a stronger partner to punish the weaker partner.
The third possibility would be that the evil acts ensue solely from the human being and he alone is responsible for it, in which case if Allah was to punish him then that would be due to the human being’s fault and if Allah were to forgive him then that would be due to His (Allah’s) magnanimity and generosity.”
‘Abdullah bin Musa narrates from ‘Abd al-Azim al-Hasani, from Ibrahim bin Abi Mahmud who said that Imam al-Ridha’ (‘a) said: ‘Eight things never occur save by means of the destiny and decree of Allah. They are: sleep and wakefulness, strength and weakness, health and sickness, life and death. May Allah confirm us with steadfastness and place us among the friends of Muhammad and his progeny, and may the blessings of Allah be upon our Master and His (i.e. Allah’s) Prophet, Muhammad and his progeny all together.’
The Most Vivid Portraits of Gallantry and Sacrifice (Part 2)
The Most Vivid Portraits of Gallantry and Sacrifice (Part 3)
Sayyid Abd al-Azim al-Hasani, One of the Greatest Defenders of Ahlul Bayt (A.S.) : part 4