AhlulBayt News Agency

source : ABNA

9 November 2022

5:45:55 AM

Summary of Commission “Imam Hassan Askari (a.s.) from perspective of others” in Ibn al-Reza conference

The session of the commission “Imam Hassan Askari (a.s.) from the perspective of others”, under the international conference “Tradition and Era of Imam Hassan Askari (a.s.)”, was held on Thursday afternoon, November 3, 2022, in the Imam Hussain (a.s.) Hall of the Islamic Sciences and Culture Academy in Pardisan, Qom.

AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): The session of the commission “Imam Hassan Askari (a.s.) from the perspective of others”, under the international conference “Tradition and Era of Imam Hassan Askari (a.s.)”, was held on Thursday afternoon, November 3, 2022, in the Imam Hussain (a.s.) Hall of the Islamic Sciences and Culture Academy in Pardisan, Qom.

The Board of Directors of this commission was composed of Dr. Saeed Tavoosi Masroor, Hojat al-Islam Ramazan Mohammadi, and Dr. Mansour Dadash Nejad.

In the presentation of the article “Review and Criticism of the Image of Imam Hassan Askari (a.s.) in Western Works”, Dr. Saeed Tavoosi Masroor stated, “Before, I thought that Western thinkers had studied more about Imam Askari (a.s.), but when I entered the study myself, I saw that this is not the case.”

“The first book on this topic is the book “Shiite Sects” by Johnson, which was published by Farhang Research Institute a few years ago. Johnson, who was a spy in Iran for 16 years, has allocated 9 pages of his book to Imam Hassan Askari (a.s.) and sought to find the name of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) and his mother’s name. He also gave a description of Imam. According to Johnson, Imam Hassan Askari (a.s.) knew several languages, including Turkish and Persian. In the following, he refers to the martyrdom of Imam Askari (a.s.) at the hand of al-Mutamid, the Abbasid caliph,” he said.

“Another person is Eliash who has an article in the Islamic encyclopedia. He has translated parts of Kitab al-Kafi and has also studied on Iran and Shia issues. For example, he argues that the taking hostages in the American embassy is against Shiite jurisprudence! He has not been able to present a comprehensive introduction of the 11th Imam and questions the martyrdom of that Imam by citing the narrations of Shiite scholars,” added Professor at the Allameh Tabatabai University.

“Another book that is examined in this article is the book “Le chiisme” (Shiism) by Heinz Halm. He, who had researched on Ismaili Shiites and Fatimids of Egypt, focused on Iran after the Islamic Revolution. He wrote his book biasedly based on 300 books. For example, about the hadith of Ghadeer, he says: “The word ‘Mawla’ in this hadith can have any meaning except succession”! In his book, Halm mentioned Imam Hassan Askari (a.s.) very briefly and in a few sentences in a two-paragraph entry. He has also given explanations about Ghulat (exaggerators),” he stated.

“According to new research conducted by Mr. Ostadi, the Tafsir (exegesis of Holy Quran) attributed to Imam Hassan Askari (a.s.) was actually written by Nasser al-Utrush. I have seen many encyclopedias. In them, Imam Hassan Askari (a.s.) is mentioned very little, or – like the Encyclopedia of Islam – there is no entry at all for the Imam and Samarra. Western scholars have neglected the 11th Imam, yet we ourselves have done little in introducing the Imam to Westerners, and it is hoped that the conferences like this will fulfill this mission. On the other hand, it is better to use the titles of Imam in naming, for example, use Imam Hassan Zaki (a.s.),” Tavoosi continued.

Further in the conference, Hojat al-Islam Ali Akbar Alemian presented his article entitled “Review and Criticism of Orientalists’ Viewpoints on the Succession of the 11th Shiite Imam”.

“The subject of the present study is the view of Orientalists on the successor of Imam Askari (a.s.). Some believe that the Imam was sterile, and argued that “Asgar” means seedless, and therefore the Imam had no children! Ibn Taymiyyah also said this in his book Minhaj,” Alemian said.

Then Hojat al-Islam Ali Akbar Alemian stated his arguments in rejecting the above claims as follows:

1. There is no letter “G” in Arabic. So “Askar” is correct and not “Asgar”. Because Imam lived in a military environment (Askar in Arabic means military or soldier). There is also the term “Askariyain” (The Two Askaris) in history, which also refers to Imam Hadi (a.s.) (the 10th Imam of the Shiites and the father of Imam Hassan Askari). This imam had many children.

2. Imam Hassan Askari (a.s.) in his statements clearly emphasized that he had a son, and even talked about his son's features and characteristics.

3. There were witnesses who testify that the Imam had a child, people like Hakimeh Khatoon or Imam’s servant.

4. In Sunni and Shiite hadiths, some hadith narrators refer to a hadith from the Prophet (p.b.u.h) that Imam Hassan Askari has a child, and the details of his birth are also stated.

5. The reports of historians, especially Nobakhti who was born in 302 H, and also Masoudi, who died in 345 H, the dates around the Minor Occultation.

6. The necessity of hiding the Imam, enmity with the Imam and the existence of opportunists like Jafar bin Ali are among the causes and factors of this doubt.

He further said, “The second topic is the issue of the succession of Jafar bin Ali, which Orientalists pay attention to.”

In rejecting the above-mentioned issue, he gave the following three reasons:

A) Imam Ali al-Hadi (a.s.) was sad about the birth of his son (Jafar bin Ali).

B) Jafar bin Ali has wrong actions such as not praying and bribing the Abbasid ruler in his record.

C) The successor of Imam is alive, while Jafar bin Ali died in 271 H.

“The final focus of my talk is Mahdaviat and the wrong view of it. According to some orientalists, because Iranians love myths, they raise the issue of Mahdaviat! Or they say that they were influenced by Christians in this matter, or they claim that the issue of Mahdaviat is political, and the Shiites have sued the issue in order to stabilize their religion. I answered these in my article, arguing that we are not influenced by other religions. Rather, there are many common issues, such as fasting, among religions. Also, I argued that our approach to the issue of Mahdaviat is not just political. Mahdaviat is also mentioned in Sunni sources. We must say that myth means superstition, and superstition has no way in Shia. It should also be noted that Mahdaviat has Quranic and Hadith roots, and Orientalists have two flaws: one is that they used non-Shiite sources such as Ibn Khaldun’s works. Another thing is that they have a purely historical view of this matter. This has caused their analyzes to become superficial,” he said.

In the continuation of the conference, Razi Bayat presented his article entitled “Review and Criticism of the report of Sebt bin Jozi about Imam Hassan Askari (a.s.), with an emphasis on the two books Mer’at al-Zaman and Tazkerah al-Khavas”.

Sebt Ibn Jozi was a preacher and a jurist, and two books, Mer’at al-Zaman and Tazkerah al- Khavas, are among his works. Tazkerah was written about the Shiite Imams, and it is the second book written about the virtues and merits of the 12 Shiite imams among the Sunnis. Ibn Jozi wrote this book based on the Hadith of Twelve Caliphs [(Arabic: حدیث إثنی عشر خلیفة) is a hadith by Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) according to which his caliphs or successors are only twelve people, all of whom are from Quraysh] and his intention was to please God and earn rewards. This book has been reprinted in two volumes by the AhlulBayt (a.s.) World Assembly. Also, Mer’at al-Zaman is a book about history. Ibn Jozi wrote this book because he believed that the information in other books about the 11th Shiite Imam is incomplete. In Mer’at al-Zaman, there are 13 chapters about Imam Hassan Askari (a.s.), which include the Imam’s personal life, such as his birth, martyrdom, ring sign, etc. In some cases, the rank and status of the Imam has been discussed. For example, it has been mentioned that Imam Hassan Askari (a.s.) was a hadith narrator,” the researcher said.

“Ibn Jozi was a Hanbali Sunni. But as a result of meeting with a person, he converted to Hanafi Sunni. On the other hand, Dhahabi and Ibn Kathir considered Ibn Jozi as a Shiite. But this report is distorted because quoting some of the virtues of the Imams (a.s.) cannot be a proof that he was a Shiite. Also, Ibn Jozi has given reports that are against Shiite beliefs. He also quoted material from non-Shia scholars,” Razi Bayat added.

“Ibn Jozi style is brief writing. He has not narrated the social and political life of Imam Hassan Askari (a.s.). Also, in addition to written sources, he has used oral sources. But these sources do not have the necessary transparency. Therefore, after investigation, we found some of his sources, such as Al-Irshad by Sheikh Mofid, whose contents Ibn Jozi used in the book,” he stated.

The next article presented in the conference, was “The position of Imam Askari (a.s.) in Sunni historical books from the 4th to the 9th century AH” by Ms. Asiya Ghoroghi.

“It was important for me to know what the opinion of Sunnis was about Imam Hassan Askari (a.s.) in the 6th and 7th centuries. Also, at the same time as the decline of the Abbasids, the writings in the mentioned cases increased. In the early centuries, it is mostly mentioned that he was a Rafidi (Rafida is a term that broadly refers to Shiite Muslims who reject the caliphates of the first two Rashidun), and he is mentioned as the Imam of the Rafidis. So that in all primary Sunni sources, he is mentioned very briefly. But this is not the case in the book History of al-Dhahabi, and the Sunni historian mentioned the ancestors of Imam Hassan Askari (a.s.) up to Imam Sadiq (a.s.). In his book, Dhahabi insults Shiites for believing that Imam Mahdi (a.s.) is alive,” Ms. Ghoroghi stated.

Tabari also does not discuss about Imam Askari (a.s.). However, Ibn Kathir in his book al-Bedayah, gives little information about the Imam, although he does not mention the events of 260 AH [the martyrdom of Imam Hassan Askari (a.s.) and the beginning of the Imamate of his son Imam Mahdi (a.s.)]. He also accuses the Shiites of exaggeration because of their belief in Mahdaviat and the Reappearance. In his book, in the discussion of the signs of End of the Time, even though he states all the narrations, he does not mention a narration from Imam Mahdi (a.s.),” Ghoroghi added.

Further in the conference, Mrs. Fatemeh Ziyai presented her article “The position of Imam Hassan Askari (a.s.) in the Sunni written works of in the 8th century”.

“From the 3rd and 4th Hijri centuries onwards, Shia entered the political arena, and governments such as the Fatimids, Buyid dynasty and Sarbadars caused the expansion of Shiites concepts and ideas. Among the 22 titles of books that exist in the 8th century, Imam Hassan Askari (a.s.) is mentioned in only 11 cases. In one of these books, only two pages talk about Imam and says, “Imam Hassan Askari (a.s.) died a natural death!” Dhahabi, who is a Salafist, says about Imam Askari (a.s.) that he is one of the Shiite Imams and Shiites believe in the infallibility of their Imams. There are very few reports about Imam in these sources. It must be said that the Shafi’is have a positive approach. The presence of negative approaches is due to Ibn Taymiyyah’s opinions,” Mrs. Ziyai said.

Then in the conference, Mr. Mehran Ilkhani presented his article entitled “Review and Criticism of Ibn Sabbagh’s Report on the Life of Imam Hassan Askari (a.s.)”.

“My research is a report on the contents about Imam Askari (a.s.) in the book “Fosul al-Mohemmah” by Ibn Sabbagh. The author, who was born in 784 in Mecca and died in 855, spent most of his life in Mecca. He says, “I have written this book at the request of my friends and to atone for my sins.” In the introduction of his book, he clearly emphasizes that he is not Shiite. One of the important points of this book is that Ibn Sabbagh wrote the book in Mecca and about Imams (a.s.). His report about Imam Askari (a.s.) is brief, and since this book does not have a translation, I have translated the parts related to the Imam,” he added.

“Shiite scholars considered this book to be authentic, and Allameh Majlisi in Bihar al-Anwar, and Allameh Amini in Al-Ghadir have used Ibn Sabbagh’s book. This book is compiled in 12 chapters and each chapter is dedicated to one of the Imams. Also, the author has observed order in the reports in such a way that he first mentioned the hadiths, then the pieces of advice, and finally the martyrdom of each Imam. Ibn Sabbagh took his sources from the book Kashf al-Ghumma by Irbili, and in his report about Imam Hassan Askari (a.s.), he used the book of Al-Irshad. In the book Kashf al-Ghumma the physical characteristics of Imam are not mentioned. But Ibn Sabbagh has described the Imam’s appearance features. He has also removed the chain of narrators and has sufficed to bringing the last narrator,” Ilkhani said.

Following the presentation of Mr. Ilkhani’s article, Dr. Dadash Nejad emphasized, “Jami and Ibn Sabbagh were influenced by the book Kashf al-Ghumma.

Also, Dr. Tavoosi said, “Two factors have made the Kashf al-Ghumma to be seen: the first is the moderation in the text; Second, the author did not attack Sunnis in his book. Also, he has used literary texts in writing.”

In this regard, Dr. Mohammadi said, “Ibn Sabbagh was in Mecca from his birth to his death and having such beliefs in Mecca at that time is outstanding.”

At the end of Hojat al-Islam, Ramazan Mohammadi noted, “One of the duties of AhlulBayt (a.s.) is to defend the Quran and Quranic teachings.”

The international conference “Tradition and Era of Imam Hassan Askari (a.s.)”, was held on Thursday afternoon, November 3, 2022, in the Imam Hussain (a.s.) Hall of the Islamic Sciences and Culture Academy in Pardisan, Qom, with the presence of ulama and scholars.


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