By: Mowlana Syed Aftab Haider (21 July 2016)

The 15th of Shawaal is a significant date in the Islamic calendar as it reminds us of the passing away of a great Muhaddith in the School of Ahlul Bait (a.s) called Sayyid Abdul Azeem Al-Hasani.

He was born in 172 A.H and passed away in the year 252 A.H.

His lineage is from the line of Imam Hassan (a.s) with a gap of a mere 4 generations. More exactly, his lineage is as follows:

Abdul Azeem bin Abdullah bin Ali bin al-Hasan bin Zayd bin al-Hasan bin ‘Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s)

Having lived during the time of the 8th, 9th and 10th Imams of the Ahlul Bait (a.s) and having been their companions, he was a great Muhaddith who recorded many narrations from these Imams and was given recognition as a Scholar that people should refer to when deriving their religious rulings.

His spiritual status is also virtually unsurpassed as during the Abbasid era, when the visitation to the grave of Imam Hussain (a.s) in Karbala was extremely difficult, then the Imams would indicate that visiting the grave of Sayyid Abdul Azeem brought similar rewards as visiting the grave of Imam Hussain (a.s).

So with this great status it is interesting to note that Sayyid Abdul Azeem one day had a very interesting conversation with the 10th Imam Hadi (a.s) in relation to our Aqeedah.

Shaykh al-Saduq (d 381 AH/991 AD) reports from Sayyid Abdul Azeem that he has said:

‘I visited my master ‘Ali bin Muhammad bin ‘Ali bin Musa bin Ja’far bin Muhammad bin ‘Ali bin Husayn bin ‘Ali bin Abi Talib (a.s). When he caught sight of me, he exclaimed:

“Welcome O Abu al-Qasim, you are indeed our true friend!”

So I said: “O son of the Messenger (s), I wish to present to you my beliefs. If they are correct then I will affirm and adhere to them till I meet Allah, Great and Exalted”. So the Imam said: “Then present them O Abu al-Qasim”.

So I said: “I maintain that Allah, Blessed and Exalted is one. There is nothing like Him. He is beyond the two limits, the limit of negation and annulment (of attributes) and the limit of anthropomorphism. And that He has neither a body nor a form, nor dimension nor a material core. Rather He is the One who creates bodies and gives forms, the Creator of dimensions and matter. Lord of everything and its Possessor, Creator and Originator.

And (I maintain) that Muhammad was His servant, His Messenger and the Seal of the Prophets. There is no prophet after him till the Day of Judgement.

And (I maintain) that the Imam, the Caliph and the Guardian of the affair (of guidance) after him was Amir al-Mu ‘minin ‘Ali bin Abi Talib, and then al-Hasan, then al-Husayn, then ‘Ali bin al-Husayn, then Muhammad bin ‘Ali, then Ja’far bin Muhammad, then Musa bin Ja’far, then ‘Ali bin Musa, then Muhammad bin ‘Ali and thereafter, you my master”.

So the Imam said: “And after me will be my son al-Hasan. However, I wonder how the people will react with regards to his successor” I asked: “Why do you say that, O master?” He replied, “Because none will see his person, nor will it be permissible to mention his name till he appears, when he will fill the earth with justice and equity as it was previously filled with oppression and tyranny.”

So I responded: “I accept (what you have informed me) and I maintain that their friend is the friend of Allah, their enemy is the enemy of Allah. Obedience to them is obedience to Allah; disobedience to them is disobedience to Allah. I maintain that the (Prophet’s) night journey did occur, that questioning in the grave will happen, that heaven and hell exist, that accounting of deeds will occur and that the Hour will undoubtedly arrive when Allah will resurrect those in the graves.

I further maintain that the (religious) obligations after al-Wilaya (i.e. love and adherence to the Ahlul Bayt) are: Prayers, the zakat levy, fasting, pilgrimage to Mecca, striving (in the path of Allah), commanding good and discouraging evil.”

On hearing this, ‘Ali bin Muhammad (‘a) said: “O Abu al-Qasim, what you have mentioned is, by Allah, the religion which Allah has chosen for His servants and one with which he is satisfied. So adhere to it, may Allah cause you to stay steadfast on the established faith, in this world and in the hereafter.”

Sayyid Abdul Azeem is buried in Tehran and a shrine is established over his grave. May Almighty Allah grant us all the opportunity to make ziyarat of his grave Insha’Allah.