The treasure-chest of prophetic traditions asserts that the Islamic nation shall have twelve caliphs, all from the Quraysh. In addition to Shi’ite scholars, even reliable Ahle Sunnat scholars have noted this fact in their books viz. Sahihe Bukhari and other Sehaah/Sunan. Of the twelve caliphs, nine shall be from the lineage of Imam Husain (a.s.). Traditions narrated by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) disclose in no uncertain terms the names of the Imams (a.s.) along with their titles. This only serves to establish our claims and is in fact the best proof of our truthfulness. Referring to such traditions increases our faith and strengthens our certainty. These traditions also highlight the painstaking detail with which the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) outlined the path for the nation’s guidance. It is another matter altogether that the Islamic nation disregarded all these traditions and could not benefit from these pearls of guidance. The nation turned a blind eye to the unparalleled virtues of the immaculate Imams (a.s.) and were insistent upon harassing them. In any case, we have mentioned below a series of traditions narrated by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) discussing the merits of Imam Husain (a.s.) and that of the nine Imams (a.s.) from his progeny. In fact, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) has prayed for each Imam (a.s.) and has explained its effects.
The illustrious narrator, Shaykh Muhammad b. Baabwayh, famous as Shaykh-e-Sadooq (a.r.), reports from Imam Muhammad Taqi (a.s.) who narrates from his forefathers (a.s.) that Imam Husain (a.s.) related, “One day I was in the presence of my respected grandfather, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.). One of his (s.a.w.s.) famous companions, Ubayy b. Ka’b (r.a.) was already conversing with him. As soon as I entered, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) exclaimed, ‘Welcome, O ornament of the skies and the earth!’ Ubayy (r.a.) was amazed at this lavish praise and asked the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.), ‘O Prophet of Allah, how is it possible that someone other than you can be the ornament of the skies and the earth?’ The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) replied, ‘O Ubayy, I swear by the Allah, the Almighty, Who sent me as a Prophet among His creatures, Husain’s (a.s.) prominence in the skies is greater than on the earth. It is inscribed on the right side of the Throne: ‘Husain is the beacon of guidance and the ark of deliverance for the nation’. He is the chief of all creatures. There is no trace of any frailty and laziness in him. The world will be delivered through him. O Ubayy, certainly Allah has placed an immaculate and pure clot in his loins and has appointed some supplications for him. There is no creature who will beseech Allah with these supplications, but He will raise him on the Day of Resurrection along with Husain (a.s.) and the latter will intercede for him. Moreover, Allah will ease his distress and sorrow in this world. He will arrange for the repayment of his debts. He will make vast for him the paths of his religious and worldly affairs. He shall help him prevail over his enemies and will veil his defects.’
Ubayy (r.a.) asked curiously, ‘O Prophet of Allah! What are those supplications?’ The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) replied, ‘When you complete your namaz, then recite this supplication while you are seated,
“O Allah! I ask You through Your Words and the joints of Your Throne, and the residents of Your heavens and Your Prophets (a.s.) and Your Messengers that You accept for me (my prayers). For indeed, difficulties of my affairs have entangled me. Then I ask You that You send blessings on Muhammad and the progeny of Muhammad and that You make my difficulties easy.”
‘O Ubayy! Whoever recites this supplication, Allah will make easy his affairs, fill his heart with knowledge and recognition and remind him about the witness – during the spasms of death.’
Ubayy (r.a.) inquired, ‘O Prophet of Allah, which is the sperm that has been placed in my dear Husain (a.s.)’. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) replied, ‘The likeness of the sperm is like that of the moon. Knowledge and recognition shall be manifested through that sperm. Then one who obeys it (sperm) shall be guided. But one who forsakes it, will be deviated and disgraced.’ His curiosity aroused further, Ubayy (r.a.) asked the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.), ‘What is his name and what is the supplication (associated with him)?’ He (s.a.w.s.) replied his name is Ali and his supplication is:
“O Eternal! O Ever-living! O Controller! O Remover of sorrows! O Solver of grief! O Sender of messengers! O Fulfiller of Promises!’
‘One who recites this supplication will be assembled by Allah in the company of Ali b. Husain (a.s.). The latter will be his guide and leader towards Paradise.’ Ubayy (r.a.) inquired, ‘Will he leave behind a successor?’ The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) replied, ‘Most certainly. His successor will inherit the heavens and the earth.’ Ubayy (r.a.) asked, ‘What do you mean by saying that his successor will inherit the heavens and the earth?’ The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) replied, ‘He will judge between people with the truth. He shall elucidate and expound the divine laws. He shall inform the people of the events that shall befall after his death till the Day of Resurrection.’
Ubayy (r.a.) asked, ‘What is his name?’ The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) replied, ‘His name is Muhammad (Baqir). Certainly the angels are familiar with him in the heavens and recite his supplication.
“O Allah! If there is with You satisfaction and love for me, then forgive me and the one who follows me from my brothers and my Shias and purify what is in my progeny.”
‘O Ubayy, Allah has deposited a pure and immaculate sperm in his ((Imam Baqir (a.s.)) loin. Jibraeel (a.s.) has informed that Allah, the Honoured and Majestic, has purified and perfected that sperm. He has named him ‘Ja’far’. He has bestowed him with guidance and has also made guidance emanate from him. Moreover, He is satisfied with him and has made him ((Imam Sadiq (a.s.)) His beloved. He invokes Allah through this supplication:
“O One Who becomes proximate without slackness! O Most Merciful! Protect my Shias from fire, and satisfaction with You, forgive their sins, make their affairs easy, repay their debts, conceal their hidden affairs, grant them the great things that are between You and them. O He Who does not fear oppression, nor does sleep or tiredness overtake Him, provide for me a solution from every sorrow.’
‘Then one who recites this supplication will find his face illumined by Allah on the Day of Resurrection. He will be assembled by Allah in the company of (Imam) Jafar b. Muhammad (a.s.) who will lead him towards Paradise.’
Then the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) revealed, ‘O Ubayy, definitely Allah has brought into existence a clean and untainted sperm through him. He has showered His mercy upon it and has called him – Moosa.’
Ubayy (r.a.) queried, ‘Does he also have a supplication?’ The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) replied, ‘Indeed he does and it is recited thus:
“O Creator of creatures! O Granter of sustenance! O Splitter of grain and seeds! O Creator of morning winds! O Giver of life to the dead and the One Who causes the living ones to die! O One Who is eternally stable! Do with me of what You are worthy.’
‘Then one who recites this supplication will be granted all his wishes by Allah. On the Day of Resurrection Allah will include him in the company of Moosa b. Jafar.’
‘O Ubayy, surely Allah has placed an untainted sperm in his loin and has named it Ali. With his knowledge and wisdom, He is Allah’s beloved. Allah has made him a Proof (Hujjat) over His friends. On the Day of Resurrection Allah shall complete His argument upon them through him. His supplication is as follows:
“O Allah! Grant me guidance, make me steadfast on it and gather me on it safely. A safety that has no fear nor grief nor dread. Surely You are worthy of being feared and worthy of forgiveness.
Then the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) continued, ‘O Ubayy, surely Allah has placed a pure and perfect sperm in his loins and has named him, Muhammad. The latter will intercede for his Shias. He will be the inheritor of the divine knowledge. He is among Allah’s most evident and manifest signs and is His Proof upon His creatures. At the time of his birth he shall proclaim,
and then he shall recite his supplication:
“O One Who does not have any like or example. You are Allah there is no god but You. There is no Creator except You. You destroy the creatures and You allow them to remain. You are forbearing against the one who disobeys You and in forgiveness is Your satisfaction.’
‘One who recites this supplication shall receive intercession of (Imam) Muhammad of Ali (a.s.).’
Then the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) disclosed further, ‘O Ubayy, surely Allah, the High, has deposited an immaculate sperm in his loin, who shall never spread tyranny and dispute in the land. On the contrary, he shall be virtuous, pure and upright. Allah has called him – Ali. He has adorned him with the attire of tranquillity and dignity. He has entrusted him with His knowledge. He has informed him the secrets and concealed sciences. If he ((Imam Naqi (a.s.)) meets a person who conceals in his breast some secret, Allah will inform him about it. He will acquaint him with his enemies. He recites his supplication thus:
“O Light! O Proof! O One Who Enlightens! O One Who Explains! O Lord! Save me from the evils of the evil ones, the calamities of the times, I ask You safety of the day the trumpet is blown.”
‘One who recites this supplication will find (Imam) Ali b. Muhammad (a.s.) his successor on the Day of Resurrection. The latter will lead him to Paradise.’
‘O Ubayy! Certainly, Allah the Almighty, has placed a pure and untainted sperm in his back and has named him Hasan. He has chosen him (Hasan) as His light in His cities and has appointed him as His vicegerent in the land. He has made his honour obligatory on this nation. He has made him a guide and leader for the Shias and it is he who will intercede on their (Shias) behalf. Allah will chastise his opponents with a painful punishment. He has made him a Proof upon the people. He is Allah’s Proof upon those who accept his guardianship (Wilayat) and are attached to him with their hearts and envisage him as their leader and Imam. His supplication is as follows:
“O King of Might in His Might! How Mighty is the King of Might in His Might! O Mighty One! Grant me might from your Might and help me with Your Succour. Keep away from me the whisperings of the devils, repel from me (evils) with Your repulsion, protect me with Your protection and make me among Your chosen creatures. O One! O Unique! O Single! O Needless!’
‘Then whoever recites this supplication, will be raised by Allah in the company of (Imam) Hasan b. Ali (a.s.). Allah will give him (Shia) respite from the fire of Hell regardless of how much he deserves it.’
‘By Allah, Allah will deposit in his back a sperm, that will be blessed, immaculate, undefiled, one that is pure and also purifies. The one who has testified to his guardianship in the prior world (Alam-e-Zar) is a believer, while the one who has rejected him, is an infidel. Surely he is pious with pure ethics and he will delight the devout. He is loved by Allah and is rightly guided and also guides others. His judgements shall be based on the principles of justice and equity. He shall testify in (the Tauheed of) Allah, the Honoured and Majestic. Even Allah, the Honoured and Majestic will testify his proclamation. He shall reappear at a time when the signs heralding his advent are apparent on the earth. He has with him the best treasure, which consists of neither gold nor silver. On the contrary his treasure will comprise of noble horses and brave men. These men have been assembled by Allah, the Almighty, for his service. Their number will equal that of the warriors of Badr i.e. 313. He possesses a book which has on it a seal. This book contains the names of his companions, their ancestries, their agnomen (kuniyyat), their cities and their characteristics. These are the people who will go to any lengths to obey the command of their master.’
Then Ubayy (r.a.) inquired, ‘O Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.), what are the signs of his advent.’ The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) revealed, ‘He has a standard. When the time of his reappearance draws near, the standard shall unfurl on its own and will rise without being propped. Allah, the Almighty will introduce speech in the standard as a result of which it will exclaim, ‘O slave of Allah, rise and destroy your enemies! He also possesses a sword that is wrapped in its sheath at the time of his advent, this sword will draw from the sheath on its own and proclaim, ‘O slave of Allah manifest yourself, for it is not appropriate for you to remain in occultation any longer. Rise and wage battle (Jehad) against your enemies. Rise and wherever you sight Allah’s enemies, annihilate them.’ As soon he steps out, Hazrat Jibraeel (a.s.) will guard his right flank, while Hazrat Mikaeel (a.s.) will guard his left flank.’
‘O Ubayy! I am informing you of this although there is still some time before these events unfold. Allah will certainly manifest these events. O Ubayy, that person is really fortunate who gets the grace to meet him (Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.)). One who befriends him will find Paradise as his destination. Indeed fortunate is the one who believes in his Imamat.
‘O Ubayy! Allah will deliver the Shias from destruction. Allah will throw open the gates of Paradise for them as a reward for their belief in His Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and the immaculate Imams (a.s.). The similitude of the Imams (a.s.) in this world is like the musk, the fragrance of which pervades the atmosphere and never alters. In the skies their similitude is the radiant moon, which always illumines the skies and its radiance never diminishes.’
Ubayy (r.a.) asked the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.), ‘How does Allah inform the Imams (a.s.) about their conditions and responsibilities?’ The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) replied, ‘I swear by Allah, Glorified be He, Who has sent down twelve sealed books from the sky. The name of every Imam is mentioned on the seal. All the conditions and religious decrees pertaining to him are inscribed in the book.’ (Raj’at, compiled by Allamah Muhammad Baqir Majlisi (r.a.) – tradition 9, p. 79-85)
In this tradition the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) has clearly introduced the Imams (a.s.) from the progeny of Imam Husain (a.s.). May Allah grant us the grace of reciting the supplications particularised with each Imam (a.s.). Surely this will ensure success in this world as well as the next one. Finally we beseech Allah the Almighty that He raises the standard and the sword of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) so that the world may be illumined with his brilliant presence and we may find a place among his trusted and proximate companions. Inshallah.