It is a well-established fact that the burial rituals and the funeral prayers for an Imam (as) can only be conducted by another Imam (as). The circumstances at the martyrdom of Imam Hasan Askari (as), therefore, become important to establish the birth and continued existence of Imam Mahdi (as).
The search to find and kill Imam Mahdi (as) was intensified when Imam Hasan Askari (as) was martyred. This is because everyone knew that on that day the command of Imamate would pass on to Imam Mahdi (as).
In the book of Najmus Saqib (volume 1, page 541, English) under the chapter of miracles of Imam Mahdi (as), we find the following incident, which highlights that Imam Hasan Askari (as) not only foretold his own martyrdom, but also gave his followers sufficient information about the signs of Imam Mahdi (as) to enable him to recognise the Imam of the Time.The incident is narrated from Abul Adyan, a servant of Imam Hasan Askari (as).
He says, “I hastened to serve the Holy Imam (as) and found him weak and indisposed.”
He (as) gave some letters to me and said, “Go to Madayan. Your journey will last for fifteen days. On the fifteenth day, you will return to Samarrah. Here, wails and cries from my house will greet you. You will see me in the room where corpses are given the ritual bath.”
I asked, “Master! In such a case, who will be the Imam after you?”
Imam Hasan Askari (as) responded, “One, who will ask you for the replies to my letters will be my successor.”
I requested, “Please provide me more details.”
Imam (as) replied, “He would lead my funeral prayers.”
I pleaded again, “Please furnish more information.”
He replied, “He would inform you about what is there in the bag.”
The awe-inspiring personality of Imam Hasan Askari (as) prevented me from further inquiry.
I took the letters to Madayan and procured the replies. On the 15th day, just as Imam Hasan Askari (as) had prophesied, I entered Samarrah. Loud wails and cries emanated from the house of Imam Hasan Askari (as). I saw Jafar Ibne Ali, the brother of Imam Hasan Askari (as), standing on the door and receiving condolences and consolation from the local Shiah.
I said to myself, “If this man is the Imam, then it will be clear that the position of Imamate has undergone a change. For, I have seen him drink wine, gamble and play musical instruments.” I to him and offered my condolences. He did not ask me anything. Afterwards, Aqeed emerged from the house and said: “Master! Your brother has been shrouded. Come and lead his funeral prayers.”
Jafar went ahead to lead the prayers. Around him were some Shiah including Samman and Hasan Ibne Ali alias Salma, whom Motamid killed. When I entered the Imam’s house, I saw that his corpse had been shrouded and Jafar Ibne Ali stepped forward to pray the funeral prayer. As he was about to announce the Takbeer, a young boy with a wheatish complexion, curly hair, broad teeth, shining like a brilliant moon, came out of the house. He caught hold of Jafar’s robe and pushed him aside, saying, “Uncle! Move aside. I am more worthy of leading the funeral prayers of my father.” Jafar withdrew in a corner and his face went colourless. The child went ahead to recite the prayers on his father’s bier and buried him next to his father’s (10th Imam’s) grave.
Thereafter, he turned to me and said: “O Basri! Give me the replies of the letters that are with you.” I handed the letters to him and said to myself – two prophecies are already fulfilled. Now, only the third one about the contents of the bag, remains.
I went to Jafar Ibne Ali and saw him sighing. Hajiz Washsha said to him, “O master, who is that lad? So that I can establish the proof on him.” He said, “By Allah, I never saw him before and I don’t know who he is.”
We were sitting when some residents of Qum arrived and asked about the condition of Imam Hasan Askari (as). When they were informed about his demise, they inquired about the Imam after him. People guided them towards Jafar Ibne Ali. They saluted him and offered their condolences. They wanted to know from him about the money they had brought, to whom it belonged and how much?
Jafar stood up and gathering his clothes, said: “They expect me to know the unseen!”
Afterwards, a servant emerged from the house of Imam Hasan Askari (as) and announced, “The letters of so and so are in your possession. You also have a bag containing a thousand dinars. Of which, only ten dinars are pure.”
They gave the letters and money to this servant saying, “The one, who has sent you must be an Imam.”
Jafar Ibne Ali came to Motamid and narrated everything. Motamid sent his soldiers to the Imam’s house, but they did not find any child there and at that time Janabe Narjis Khatoon (sa) was not alive. They arrested and brought Maariyah, a slave girl. Motamid told her to surrender the child, but she denied having given birth to any child and she claimed that she was pregnant so that Motamid would give up the pursuit of the child. So he placed her in custody of Ibne Abi Shawarib, the Qadi, till Ubaidullah Ibne Yahya Ibne Khaqan died all of a sudden. The owner of Zanj revolted in Basra. All these circumstances made him unconcerned with Maariyah and she was released.
The above incident sufficiently establishes the existence of the twelfth Imam (as) who not only came and lead the burial rituals of his father, Imam Hasan Askari (as), but also fulfilled all the prophecies made by the 11th Imam (as) for his son.
Regarding Jafar Ibne Ali, the uncle of Imam Mahdi (as), a narration from Imam Ali Ibne Husain, al-Sajjad (as) is found in Kamaluddin as follows.
“My father narrated to me from his father that the Messenger of Allah (saws) said, When my great grandson, Jafar Ibne Mohammed Ibne Ali Ibne Husain Ibne Ali Ibne Abi Talib (as) is born, name him Sadiq. One of his fifth descendants will be named Jafar, who will falsely claim Imamate and attribute falsehood to the Almighty Allah. He would be Jafar Kazzab (liar) in the view of Allah.
He will claim something he is not worthy of. He will oppose his father and be jealous of his brother. Taking undue advantage of the occultation of Divine Proof he will try to expose the secret of Allah. After that Imam Sajjad (as) cried much and then said: “As if I can see Jafar Kazzab helping the tyrant of the time to search for the Wali of Allah. He will try to spy on him and not knowing about the birth of Imam Qaem, he will become the executor of his father’s estate and will desire that were he to gain upper hand on the Qaem he will eliminate him, and will be greedy for his inheritance, till he usurps it wrongfully.”
The above tradition makes it amply clear that while describing the conditions of Imam Mahdi (as), Imam Sajjad (as) prophesied the dishonourable behaviour of Jafar Kazzab which came true. These traditions are proof of the truthfulness of the Aimmah (as) and also of the birth of Imam Mahdi (as).
For more details on the birth of Hazrat Imam Mahdi (as), readers can refer to the following articles –
- Birth of Imam Mahdi (as)
- Events at the Martyrdom of Imam Hasan Askari (as)
- Circumstances of the Mother of Imam Mahdi (as)
- Janabe Hakima Testifies to Birth of Imam Mahdi (as)
- Another Report from Janabe Hakima Khatoon (sa)
- Hidden Birth of Hazrat Musa (as): A Proof for Imam Mahdi (as)
- Ten Reports for Birth of Imam Mahdi (as) from Beharul Anwar
- Why Ahle Sunnah Deny Birth of Imam Mahdi (as)
- Birth of Imam Mahdi (as) as per Ahle Sunnah
- Two Objections For the Birth of Imam Mahdi (as)
- Witnesses For Birth of Imam Mahdi