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Selected Narrations about the Twelfth Imam

Selected Narrations about the Twelfth Imam Volume 1

Publisher: Naba Organization


Selected Narrations about the Twelfth Imam

Volume 1

[Muntakhab al-Athar Fi l-Imam al-Thani `Ashar (Vol.1)]

منتخب الأثر في الإمام الثاني عشر(عليه السلام) - ج 1

Author(s): AyatullahLutfullah as-Safi al-Gulpaygani

Translator(s): Dr.Shabeeb Rizvi

Publisher(s):Naba Organization


This text, which is available in two volumes and is authored by AyatullahLutfullah as-Safi al-Gulpaygani , presents a handful of precious narrations about the 12th Awaited Imam. These narrations forecasting the coming of 12 Caliphs and their description and this text presents the implications and interpretations of these authentic traditions.


This version is published on behalf of www.alhassanain.org/english

The composing errors are not corrected.

Table of Contents

Preface 6

References 11

The Traditions about the Twelve Caliphs 12

Chapter 1: Traditions that Denote the Number of the Twelve Caliphs 15

References 41

Chapter 2: Documented Traditions Concerning the Twelve Imams Elaborating Those Brought in the First Chapter 47

References 128

Appendix To Chapter Two: Who Are The Twelve Caliphs? 138

The First Level: The Meanings And Implications Of These Traditions 139

First 141

Second 144

Third 147

The Second Level: Determination of those Compatible with the Description of these Traditions and Recognition of the Twelve Holy Personalities 148

References 161

Conclusion 162

The chain of narrators of this tradition and Text of the tradition 162

(a) Chain of narrators: 162

(b) Text of the Tradition: 167

References 169

Bibliography 170


In the Name ofAllah the Beneficent the Merciful

Blessings of Allah be on you, OSaaheb al-Amr, help me and forsake me not!

All praise is for Allah, the Lord of the worlds, and blessings and salutations be on the trustworthy Prophet (s.a.w.a .), the chief of the messengers, our master, Abi al-Qasim Muhammad, and his pure progeny, Allah’s blessings be on him and on the twelve Imams, his successors, the guides, the guided ones.

There is no doubt that after the Holy Quran - which is the strong rope and no falsehood touches it from in front of it and from behind it, a descent from the Wise, the Praiseworthy - what is available with the Muslims of the Prophetic traditions and the noble quotations on the authority of his sinless family, who are one of the two heavy things (ثقلين ) that the Messenger of Islam (s.a.w.a .) has ordered us to follow, is a great treasure-chest of knowledge and a voluminous, majestic heritage.

It is replete with real cognition, training programs, ethical, political and social teachings, principles of development, progress and human rights, civic obligations,etc from the true and correct teachings and intelligent laws, strong and powerful ways, which if fastened on to by mankind, will prevent it from falling in the abyss of corruption, oppression, conceit and slavery. Moreover, no powerful tyrant or oppressor can ever subdue and weaken them.

Muslims certainly did not fall in their present state of social corruption, discord, dispute, disharmony, authority of the evil, domination of the unbelievers, and a straitened life except for the fact that they turned away from this wise, divine path and the ignorance of some of them regarding the strength of these constructive, guided teachings. They preferred to opt for anything offered by the East or the West.

Therefore, their state was like that of a trader, whose treasure was full of precious stones and jewelry but he is neither aware of them and nor their value. Instead, he buys sand and stones in lieu of the price of pearls, thereby costing him his respect, majesty, freedom and independence. But he does not open his treasure-trove to check the varieties of precious stones and jewelry available with him, whose like can neither be found in the markets nor with any trader.

Yes, the Messenger of Islam (s.a.w.a .) informed,“Nothing takes you closer to paradise and distances you from hell except that I have ordered you to do it. And nothing takes you nearer to hell and makes you further from paradise but that I have refrained you from it.” 1

Surely the traditions comprise of what man needs. Hence, it is obligatory on us to make the requisite preparations for them i.e. to learn them and ponder deeply over them universally, in societies, gatherings, at all appropriate places, in books, magazines, radio, television, etc. By Allah! I don’t know anybody who has learnt these traditions and their contents, and thought of them as paralleled except by Allah, that in his heart was some disease.

Indeed the politics of the day did not deem it preferable that the Muslims should benefit from the traditions and that they should be attentive towards this great scientific wealth and prudent systems due to their (politicians) being distant from the true life of the Muslims in beliefs, politics, governance and ethics. Consequently, the Muslims became seekers after being the sought ones, they became servants after being masters just as the Messenger of Islam (s.a.w.a .) had prophesied“They will serve but they will not be served.”

In the first era, tragedy was afflicted (on the Muslim nation) through the prohibition on the compilation of the traditions, while on the other hand, they had to encounter the disasters inflicted by the Jews. People likeKa’b al-Ahbaar became the confidantes of the rulers and their reference in the interpretation of Quran, stories of the prophets, history and other important issues.

This was despite the fact that when the Messenger of Islam (s.a.w.a .) saw some of them reading or researching the books of the people of the book2 , he (s.a.w.a .) remarked:“Had Musa been alive today he would have but followed me.”3 And despite the presence of an Imam like Aliibne Abi Talib (a.s. ), who was the door of the city of knowledge, a truth endorsed by the Messenger of Islam (s.a.w.a .) himself. And his (s.a.w.a .) saying:“Ali is with the truth and truth is with Ali and it will not separate from him.” And despite the presence of his (s.a.w.a .) pure progeny (Ahlebait a.s. ) amongst them regarding whose relationship with the Quran the Messenger of Islam (s.a.w.a .) remarked:“Surely these two will not part from each other till they meet me at the Hauz-e-Kausar (on the day of Judgement).”

In the second era, which commenced with the Umayyad dynasty and ended with the reign ofAbbasides particularlyMa’moon al-Rasheed, the politics of the governance aimed at opposing the Islamic laws was the order of the day. The proponents of these policies, intending to weaken the Muslims in governance, control, wealth, etc. introduced Greek Philosophy whose atheistic views and basics were in total contrast with the teachings of the Messenger of Islam (s.a.w.a .) and the guidance of the prophets (a.s. ) concerning the recognition of Allah, His excellent names, His perfect attributes and His prudent actions. Notwithstanding the fact that some of those who were involved in these heresies insisted that there existed complete consonance between the two schools of thought (that of the prophets (a.s. ) and philosophy).

The school of the prophets (a.s. ) and their call for monotheism as explained by the Holy Quran in the most eloquent manner and complete style and on whose strong principles there is total agreement, one cannot find any difference of opinion even on one single issue. While the school of the philosophers who have numerous differences in their basics and principles could neither compile a basic set of laws unanimously, nor present before mankind a specific path based on theory as well as practice which could guide it to prosperity.

Indeed the philosophers differed in their views on creation and resurrection to such an extent that you cannot find two amongst them agreeing completely on any one principle. Each one of them has his own way that he treads and a path that he traverses. Except those amongst them who fastened to the rope of revelation of prophets (a.s. ) and relied on their guidance and followed the directions of the infallible Imams (a.s. ) were not deceived by the views of the philosophers and did not deliberate on issues prohibited by the Islamic canon.

One who probes their books and their terminologies will realize that the language, tone and tenor of the philosophers is in direct contrast with that of the prophets (a.s. ) and the followers of their shariah.

Allah the Almighty, the Creator of all things, does what He pleases. He raised the Messengers, compensates the servants for their deeds, sustains them, listens to their supplications and answers them. He is described with only those attributes which He has used for Himself and not those names by which the philosophers have named Him like the First Cause.

Those names which are not appropriate to be used for Allah instead of the beautiful and real names of Allah like Creator (خالق ), Sustainer (رازق ), Forgiving (غفّار ), Oft-turning (توّاب ), etc. except with the help of some interpretation, justification and elaboration. For, none of the beautiful names of Allah are synonymous with the First Cause, nor is there any conceptual similarity between them and the names used by the philosophers.

The one who researches their works will also know that the concept of the Creator, the created and creation which sets apart Allah from His creation, is completely different from the terms used by the philosophers like cause, effect and causation, on which depends the explanation of the relation between the temporal (حادث ) and the eternal (قديم ). Of course, the various details and elaborations of the aforementioned discussions can be found in various philosophical books.

It is not our case whether it is possible or not to reconcile between the call of the prophets (a.s. ), the Quranic knowledge, the traditions of theAhlebait (a.s. ) (equals of Quran) and whatever our Islamic sages (whose steadfastness on their path and their reliance in their way as per the guidance of the Quran and the traditions is established) have explained and elucidated. The fact remains without doubt that the Muslims during the lengthy course of history and prolonged centuries were involved in debates and disputes concerning the problems, which were impossible to comprehend and to reach to their reality was unattainable and a duty that was not imposed by the Shariah. Moreover, they did not seek guidance from the light of Quran nor from the traditions as was the right of these two lights.

Had it not been for a group of single minded devoted scholars of Quranic interpretation, traditions and Islamic sciences, those who did not study except in the school of Quran and traditions and did not benefit but through the knowledge of theAhlebait (a.s. ) and did not ask save the people of remembrance (Ahle Zikr) and did not question except from those whose knowledge was from the knowledge of Allah, the High and those who possessed the revelation of the prophets (a.s. ) specially what the ArchangelJibraeel (a.s. ) brought to the Messenger of Islam (s.a.w.a .), certainly and surely all the effects and inheritance of the prophethood would have been destroyed.

Yes, these great scholars, who were the students of the Islamic teachings and the school of Quran, the Messenger of Islam (s.a.w.a .),Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s. ) and all other Imams (a.s. ), enjoy a great right upon us. Indeed, they have protected the traditions and Islamic knowledge through the centuries and eras till it has reached to us in its original form, with its message carrying the strongest, real, divine and most beautiful Islamic understanding.

Today, in our times, the Muslims are being tested with modern, materialistic, secular philosophy. A group of Muslims became inclined either towards the materialistic civilization of the West or towards the atheist East. Consequently, most believed in the West while a few subscribed to the East.

Behind these inclinations too, Eastern as well as Western political influences played a dominating role. Their propagandists advertised as to what the non-Muslims had achieved of industrial development and technological progress. As a result, some of them thought that these progress and development was due to their scientific basics.

So, they began to propagate materialistic teachings and Marxist principles and encouraged the youth to do away with Islamic manners and teachings. A number of those who considered themselves amongst the civilized and the enlightened supported this move. These so-called intellectuals, civilized and enlightened people had nothing in them but extreme obeisance for the materialistic societies and scorn for thought-provoking Islamic principles. They attempted to interpret Islamic doctrines and its values on the basis of materialistic ideology or even the atheistic Marxism.

Briefly, these self-styled intellectuals transformed the entire scenario in the field of management, politics, economics, training, art, technology, etc. Surely, the calamity inflicted by them and the deviations propagated in the name of civilization was a great tragedy indeed.

Islam, with its solid divine laws withstood all the deviations in all its modes in every era and time. History has recorded these ideological victories over a period of time.

Its great book (the Holy Quran) guides towards that which is most upright as it was at the time of its revelation. It has continued to remain so over numerous eras and centuries till the present fifteenth century and shall remain so till the Day of Judgment. For, Islam is a divine religion and a heavenly revelation. It has come for humanity of all centuries till Allah inherits the earth and whatever is in it. It has come for survival and eternity for the guidance of all the nations and realization of justice amongst them because it is not satisfied with the domination of one nation over another or of one country over the other and does not deem fit to lower a nation before another.

It has come to bring an end to life on earth by the establishment of a divine and just government at the hands of the seal of successors and proofs (peace be upon them all) so that the religion, all of it, be for Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. That all the nations be united and there remains no difference between the white and the black, the red and the yellow. All of them will be equal before the Truth.

Today humanity has lost faith in all materialist schools and ideologies and secular systems. Therefore, it is obligatory and essential upon the Muslims, specially the scholars of the day, to present the principles of the Divine Upright religion for the confused mankind. They must explain for them the immense social power and strength, desperately needed by mankind, available in the teachings and explanations of Quran and the Sunnah, as expounded by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a .) and his holy progeny (a.s. ).

O Muslims! Be grateful for this great bounty and don’t be negligent about it or God forbid, neither turn away from it nor disbelieve in it.

وَلاَ تَكُونُواْ كَالَّذِينَ قَالُوا سَمِعْنَا وَ هُمْ لاَ يَسْمَعُونَ. إِنَّ شَرَّ الدَّوَابَّ عِندَ اللهِ الصُّمُّ الْبُكْمُ الَّذِينَ لاَ يَعْقِلُونَ

And be not like those who said,We hear, and they did not obey. Surely the vilest of animals, in Allah’s sight, are the deaf, the dumb, who do not understand.( Surah Anfaal (8): Verses 21, 22)

Be careful from becoming apostates concerning the signs of Allah and His religion. Surely Allah, the High says:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُلْحِدُونَ فِي آيَاتِنَا لَا يَخْفَوْنَ عَلَيْنَا أَفَمَن يُلْقَى فِي النَّارِ خَيْرٌ أَم مَّن يَأْتِي آمِنًا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ اعْمَلُوا مَا شِئْتُمْ إِنَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ

Surely they who deviate from the right way concerning Our communications are not hidden from Us. What! is he then who is cast into the fire better, or he who comes safe on the day of resurrection? Do what you like,surely He sees what you do. (SurahFusselat (41): Verse 40)

Therefore, ponder over the oceans of these divine sciences and extract fromit priceless pearls. It is necessary for you to travel and wander in its gardens whose vastness is more than the distance between the heavens and the earth. So, pluck from its beautiful and fragrant flowers and its delicious spiritual fruits. From this Islamic heritage, derive that which is the soul of your life, the correctness of your vision, the safety of your thought, the regulation of your living, your world and your hereafter. Do not seek any alternative for it and be a student of the school of traditions (hadith) and be a disciple of the institution of Prophet (s.a.w.a .) and his holy progeny, the truthful Imams (a.s. ). Allah, the High, admonishes:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللهَ وَكُونُواْ مَعَ الصَّادِقِينَ

O you who believe! be careful of (your duty to) Allah and be with the true ones. (SurahTaubah 9: 119)


1. Al-Kaafi , vol. 2, p. 74, H. 2

2. Old Testament (Taurah ), the Psalms (Zaboor ) and New Testament (Injeel )

3.Tafseer -e-Qurtubbi , vol. 13, p. 355.

The Traditions about the Twelve Caliphs

From the traditions which the knowledge of every researcher and student seeks, rather which is obligatory on every Muslim to be acquainted with it and not to transgress it till he comprehends its contents and knows its matter thoroughly, is the successive traditions concerning the number of caliphs and Imams and those who will rule this nation.

Surely, the Prophet (s.a.w.a .) has not stated these traditions merely as prophecies. Nay, these are religious injunctions; knowing them and believing in them is obligatory. Although these traditions sound as prophecies in nature, yetessentially they are religious dictates. These are documentary evidences for the distinguished and eminent personalitieswhose like and equal cannot be found amongst the Muslims. They are twelve in number; none can either increase their number or decrease it.

Undoubtedly, this is a subject worth deliberation, research and investigation to understand its meaning because its traditions fall in the category of successive traditions (الاحاديث المتواتره ). They talk about the system of leadership and rule after the Messenger of Islam (s.a.w.a .), and as to who will take over the reins of mastership.

Moreover, it talks about those who will be responsible for governance, support anddefence of Islam, establishment of justice, enjoinment of good, prohibition of evil, protection of the borders, security of the cities and implementation of divine laws. From these traditions, one can understand that Allah, the High and His Messenger (s.a.w.a .) have not left this important issue unattended to. Nobody will have any argument against Allah and His Messenger (s.a.w.a .) regarding this subject, if he has not done enough research or made sufficient preparations. If somebody attempts to justify that he could not deliberate enough on these traditions along with their explanations as their conclusions wereunfavourable for the present government and its scholars, then such excuses and justifications will not be accepted.

Scholars were not permitted to voice their opinions freely on such issues because the minimum punishment for this crime would be a long period of incarceration and intensive flogging. Hence, they were in a state of utter confusion and perplexity vis-à-vis these traditions. Those who did write their explanations and interpretations actually came up with nothing. Some of them even confessed their helplessness in understanding these traditions. Consequently, the majority of the Muslim nation remained ignorant of the true meaning of these traditions and were deprived of guidance through them. This was not the first glass bottle to be broken in Islam.

Here, with the strength and power of Allah, we shall attempt to explain these traditions in an order that some will elucidate the others; some will support the others till there is no need for further explanations on the subject. Plus, we will also bring forth appropriate commentaries for these traditions or explanations on the comments given on these traditions, Inshallah.

These traditions have been classified in groups as per their topics and it is only proper that we inform about them over here:

• Those traditions that talk only about numbers and the restriction put on the number of caliphs, like the traditions ofIbne Masood and Anas and some traditions ofJaaber IbnSamarah .

• Those traditions that are an addendum to it (All of them will be from Quraish). Such traditions abound fromJaaber . One can also find in them (All of them will be from BaniHaashim ) asQunduzi has brought inYanaabiul Mawaddah and Sayyid Ali Ibn Shahab in Al-Mawaddatul Qurbaa .

• Those traditions that suggest that these caliphs will be equal in number to the chiefs (Nuqabaa ) of Bani Israel and Musa (a.s. ), and the companions (Hawaari ) ofEesa (a.s. ).

• Here we have explained the traditions by dividing them in a few groups:

• Traditions that establish that these caliphs will be from theAhle Bait (a.s. ).

• Traditions which prove that the last of them is Mahdi (a.t.f.s .).

• Traditions which inform that the first amongst them is Ali (a.s. ) and last amongst them is Mahdi (a.t.f.s .).

• Traditions which establish that nine amongst these caliphs will be the descendants of Imam Husain (a.s. ) like the one which says,“The first amongst them is Ali (a.s. ), the second and the third are al-Hasan (a.s. ) and al-Husain (a.s. ), the two grandsons of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a .) and the remaining nine are from the progeny of al-Husain (a.s. ).”

• Traditions which suggest that the ninth of these nine will be Mahdi (a.t.f.s .).

• Traditions, and there are many of them, that explain their names, their personas and their attributes.

It should be borne in mind that quite often amongst these numerous traditions, some chain of narrators can be found that are defective, thereby preventing us to completely rely on them independently. Except for the fact that the authenticity of such traditionsare supported and endorsed by other reliable traditions, thereby doing away with the shortcomings.

Finally, let us state the purpose of writing this book, with the help of Allah, the Kind, the Loving.

The reader should know that:

We have not brought out these traditions to investigate them and therefore often we have not felt the need of mentioning some of them.

This is the first volume of this voluminous book concerning our MasterHazrat Mahdi (a.t.f.s .) and is captioned asMuntakhabul Asar (A Selection of Traditions). We have selected them so that the masses may derive independent benefit from it, underlining the significance of Caliphate, the status of Wilayah andImamah . Allah, the High, informs us:

يَوْمَ نَدْعُو كُلَّ أُنَاسٍ بِإِمَامِهِمْ

On that day We will call every people with their Imam. (Surah Bani Israel 17: 71)

إِنَّمَا أَنتَ مُنذِرٌ وَلِكُلِّ قَوْمٍ هَادٍ

You are only a warner and (there is) a guide for every people. (SurahRa’d 13:7)

His Holiness AyatullahLutfullah Saafi Golpaygani