In Defense of al-Mufaddal, p2: Zurara and the ‘Wayward Deputies’

 In order for us to understand what ma’rifa (knowledge of the status of the Imam) entails, we must formulate a picture of which of his deputies is a source of contention in defining this matter.

To do this, this article will be divided into two parts:

A) Discussing the role and status of Zurara

B) Discussing the role of controversial companions of Imam al-Sadiq such as Abu al-Khattab, al-Mufaddal, etc.

Part B will be continued onto the next post I make, inshallah. The focus on of the current article will be on Part A

In doing so - we will discover a shared pattern between these two categories of people that will give us insight on what led to the conflict between them.

God willing, we will discover the true motivations and circumstances between what Ammar Muslim described as, “the struggle between legalists [represented by Zurara] and esotericists [represented by Abu al-Khattab, Mufaddal, etc]”. 



A) Zurara, deputy of Imam al-Sadiq in Kufa

Zurara ibn A’yan was a Kufan man who originated from a family of mawali (non-Arab, ex-slave) who converted to Imamite Shi’ism during the era of Imam al-Baqir. 

The story of his family’s conversion is rather illustrious, being one of the first to convert after a period of “apostasy” of most Shi’a during the era of Imam al-Sajjad - as Shi’i ahadith describe. 

However, Zurara himself struggled to accept the idea of full, unquestioned submission to the Imam - a prerequisite for Imamite Shi’ism, since as discussed in the previous post, there is no legal tradition independent from the Imam to discern ahkam.

This struggle of Zurara first manifested itself during the times of Imam al-Sadiq, as we can see below, when he describes burning ahadith he could not comprehend - but Imam al-Baqir explains to him these ahadith are true.

(Basa’ir al-Darajat, page 256)

Zurara said: 

I entered upon Abi Ja’far [al-Baqir] and he asked me: ‘What do you have from the ahadith of the Shi’a?’

I said: ‘I have many of them, which I strived to pour fire on and burn them.’

The Imam said: ‘And why is that? Show me what you have rejected from among them.’

[Zurara said]: ‘The ahadith of the Adamites [i.e, that there were 1000 Adams before Adam] came to my mind’ 

The Imam said: [They are true], why else would the angels tell Allah “Do you place on Earth those who cause corruption in it and shed blood.” 

حدثنا أحمد بن محمد عن أحمد بن محمد بن أبي نصر عن الحسن بن موسى عن زرارة قال دخلت على أبى جعفر عليه السلام فسئلنيماعندك من أحاديث الشيعة قلت إن عندي منها شيئا كثيرا قد هممت ان أوقد لها نارا ثم أحرقها قال ولم هات ما أنكرت منها فخطر علىبالىالادمون (2) فقال لي ما كان على الملائكة حيث قال أتجعل فيها من يفسد فيها ويسفك الدماء.

This struggle of Zurara to understand the above hadith naturally would lead us to section AA -

AA) Reincarnation and Zurara’s Lack of Ma’rifa

One may wonder what exactly is the contention behind 1000 ‘founding humans’ existing before Adam?

If these were different types of humans, with different civilians - it’s not likely that Zurara would have found it problematic. 

Rather, the problem lays in the fact that our Imams’ closest deputies (sufara’) - whose position extends beyond mere deputies - had a peculiar belief regarding what happens after death.

The Imam’s sufara’ (such as the 4 ambassadors of Imam al-Mahdi) are not mere deputies.

Rather, their role is explicated in the following hadith. It becomes clear that a safeer is entrusted with special knowledge - which normal deputies are not entrusted with - and represent the Imam in word and action.

Thus, it is not permissible to doubt their words.

(Wasa’il al-Shi’a, vol 2, page 579)

A signed letter by Imam al-Mahdi says: 

There is no excuse for our followers to doubt what our thiqat narrate. 

They have known that we share our secrets with them and carry it over to them.”

فإنه لا عذر لأحد من موالينا في التشكيك فيما يرويه (1) عنا ثقاتنا، قد عرفوا بأنا نفاوضهم سرنا، ونحملهم (2) إياه إليهم.

What are some of these peculiar beliefs?

  • Al-Mu’ala

Al-Mu’ala ibn Khunays, described as a praised safeer of Imam al-Sadiq by Shaykh al-Tusi (al-Ghayba, vol 1, p 368) believed in the concept of reincarnation. 

Imam al-Sadiq cried over al-Mu’ala after his death at the hands of the Abbasids, and had his son Ismail execute Mu’ala’s killer - with the permission of the Abbasid governor (check Ismail ibn Ja’far part 1 post on my blog).

Now, Mu’ala believed that the Imams were reincarnations of prophets. Thus, he would say the “awsiya’ (Imams) are prophets”.

(Rijal al-Kashi, p 145)

On authority of Abi al-Abbas al-Baqqaq

Ibn Abi Ya’fur and Mu’ala ibn Khunays had a discussion. 

Ibn Abi Yafour said: The awsiya’ are righteous, pious, scholars. 

Ibn Khunays said: The awsiya’ are prophets. 

So they entered upon Abi Abdullah, peace be upon him, and sat down.

Abi Abdillah, peace be upon him, started them and said: O Abdullah (ibn Abi Ya’fur), I am disassociate of what he said that: we (awsiya’) are prophets

48 - رجال الكشيمحمد بن الحسن وعثمان معا عن محمد بن زياد (3) عن محمد بن الحسين عن الحجال عن أبي مالك الحضرمي عنأبي العباس البقباق قالتذاكر ابن أبي يعفور ومعلى بن خنيس فقال ابن أبي يعفورالأوصياء علماء أبرار أتقياء، وقال ابن خنيسالأوصياء أنبياء قالفدخلا على أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قالفلما استقر (4) مجلسهما قالفبدأهما أبو عبد الله عليه السلام فقاليا عبدالله أبرأ مما قال (5): أنا أنبياء

As we discussed in my part 1 of this series, Imam al-Sadiq did taqiyya and hid true beliefs & commandments from his Shi’i companions he did not trust to comprehend or hide his beliefs.

He is more likely to share his true beliefs with companions he trusted, not with companions who might not comprehend the truth. 

To clarify, even Salman al-Farsi performed taqiyya from the righteous companion Abi Dharr.

Salman’s heart was able to comprehend certain knowledge - which if one of the most  submissive and loyal companions to Imam Ali - Abi Dharr - found out about, he would have killed Salman.

(Al-Kafi, vol 1, page 401)

Taqiyya was mentioned one day in the presence of Ali ibn al-Husayn. 

So he said: ‘By Allah, if Abu Dharr knew what was in the heart of Salman [from secret esoteric knowledge], he would have killed him

Despite Rasul Allah [himself] having made peace between them. 

So what about the rest of the creation? [i.e, they would not be able to handle this secret esoteric knowledge of the Imams]. 

Indeed, the knowledge of the ‘Ulama [i.e, people of knowledge aka the Ahlulbayt] is difficult. It cannot be handled by anyone except a sent Prophet, or a close angel, or a believing slave whom Allah had tested his heart for belief.’ 

So he [the Imam] said: ‘Salman became one of the Ulama because he is a figure from us Ahlulbayt, so he was attributed to the Ulama [i.e, hence deserving to be taught this esoteric knowledge while other people do not receive it].’

أحمد بن إدريس، عن عمران بن موسى، عن هارون بن مسلم، عن مسعدة بن صدقة، عن أبي عبد الله (عليه السلامقالذكرت التقيةيوماعند علي بن الحسين (عليهما السلامفقالوالله لو علم أبو ذر ما في قلب سلمان لقتلهولقد آخى رسول الله (صلى الله عليه وآلهبينهما،فما ظنكم بسائر الخلق، إن علم العلماء صعب مستصعب، لا يحتمله إلا نبي مرسل أو ملك مقرب أو عبد مؤمن امتحن الله قلبهللإيمان، فقالوإنما صار سلمان من العلماء لأنه امرؤ منا أهل البيت فلذلك نسبته إلى العلماء.

Thus, Mu’ala and Abdullah ibn Ya’fur are no different. 

Especially since we have many ahadith where Imam al-Sadiq tells al-Mu’ala “O Mu’ala, do not disseminate our secrets” يا معلى لا تذع سرنا - to protect himself.

Abu al-Khattab

It is not only Mu’ala who had these beliefs that the Imams are reincarnation of prophets.

A certain figure by the name of Abu al-Khattab, kunya of Muhammad ibn Abi Zaynab had these beliefs as well.

Abu al-Khattab was the appointed deputy of Kufa and had a position of safeer, similar to al-Mu’ala - as will be shown later in this post. 

Imam al-Sadiq order the Shi’a to have tawalla for Abu al-Khattab (i.e, seeing him as their spiritual leader in the Imam’s absence - those wilayah equaled the Imam’s wilayah) - similar to the idea behind “whomever I am his mawla, Ali is his mawla”.

Thus, he was the Imam’s safeer and logically his words mustn’t be doubted.

But the Imam disassociated from him - causing shock and doubt. How could the Imam disassociate from his safeer, after saying what he said about him?

Taqiyya is how Abu al-Khattab’s followers interpreted this, as if a safeer lies - it would mean the Imam lied.

(Al-Kafi, vol 2, page 418)

I was sitting, and Abu al-Hasan - Musa [al-Kadhim - passed by and with him a sheep. 

So I told him: O boy, what exactly is your father [Imam al-Sadiq] doing? 

He orders of something and then prohibits us from it. 

He ordered us to have tawalla for Abu al-Khattab, then he ordered us to curse and disassociate from him?”

كنت قاعدا فمر أبو الحسن موسى (عليه السلامومعه بهمة قالقلتيا غلام ما ترى ما يصنع أبوك، يأمرنا بالشيء ثم ينهانا عنه، أمرناأننتولى أبا الخطاب ثم أمرنا أن نلعنه ونتبرء منه؟

  • Zurara, A Subordinate to Abu al-Khattab

Now, given Abu al-Khattab’s spiritual leadership - even Zurara narrated from him as in this al-Kafi hadith of sahihchain. 

Zurara narrates a batin tafsir of the Quran from Abu al-Khattab

On the authority of Zurara, he said:

Abu Al-Khattab narrated to me while he was in the best of state:

I asked Abu Abdullah (peace be upon him) about the saying of God Almighty: “And when God alone is mentioned, the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter disgust.” 

If God alone is mentioned through obedience to whom Allah ordered obedience from the the family of Muhammad, the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter are disgusted, and if those whom God has not commanded to obey are mentioned, then they are rejoicing

471 - علي بن إبراهيم، عن أبيه، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن عمر بن أذينة، عن زرارة قال:

حدثني أبو الخطاب في أحسن ما يكون حالا قالسألت أبا عبد الله (عليه السلامعن قول الله عز وجل: " وإذا ذكر الله وحده اشمأزت قلوبالذين لا يؤمنون بالآخرة " فقالوإذا ذكر الله وحده (بطاعة من أمر الله بطاعته من آل محمداشمأزت قلوب الذين لا يؤمنون بالآخرة وإذاذكر الذين لم يأمر الله بطاعتهم إذا هم يستبشرون 

Zurara’s brother’s Humran goes onto mention to Imam al-Sadiq that Abu al-Khattab is somebody he “does not accuse of lying” and that he said the Imams are reincarnations of prophets.

Imam al-Sadiq denies it - and then when finding out Abu al-Khattab narrated it.

Imam al-Sadiq calls Humran delusional.

When asked by Humran on what basis does he (the Imam) makes this statement. (Considering the high status Imam al-Sadiq gave to Abu al-Khattab).

Imam al-Sadiq maintains he rules by judgement of Al Dawud, which as clarified in previous post, allows him to issue binding contradictory rulings to different companions.

For example, rulings to some companions would be said in taqiyya while other companions receive the true rulings. 

If it is the safeer of the Imam being condemned, one could only guess if this commandment is said in taqiyya.

Humran ibn Ayan said to Abu Abdullah, peace be upon him:

‘Are you (Imams) prophets?’. 

He said: “No”

I said: “It was narrated to me but that whom I do not accuse of lying that you said you are prophets

He (the Imam said): ‘Who is that, Abu al-Khattab?’

I said: ‘Yes

He said: ‘You are then delusional’

I said: “On what basis do you make this judgement?’

He said: “We judge by the rule of the family of Dawud

2) حدثنا محمد بن الحسين عن صفوان بن يحيى عن أبي خالد القماط عن حمران بن أعين قال قلت لأبي عبد الله عليه السلام أنبياء أنتم قاللا قلت فقد حدثني من لا اتهم انك قلت انكم أنبياء قال من هو أبو الخطاب قال قلت نعم قال كنت إذا اهجر قال قلت فبما تحكمون قال نحكمبحكم آل داود.

  • Mini-conclusion to AA

Imam al-Sadiq’s closest deputies had beliefs difficult for the average deputy or companion to comprehend. 

Despite Zurara and his family being subordinated to those with such beliefs such as to Abu al-Khattab.

He was not able to comprehend them when he first became Shi’i, and never was able to comprehend them - as will be seen in the next section.

AB) Zurara’s Ra’y and Pursuing the Big Game (Deputyship of Kufa)

To understand the mentality of Zurara and his lack of ma’rifa of the Imam’s true status, his lack of comprehension for the difficult.

We have to understand the concept of Ra’y, which is condemned by our Imams.

It can be succintly defined as “deriving religious commandments based on personal reasoning with no basis in scripture”. 

The following hadith from Rijal al-Kashi clarify Zurara’s commitment to it - above narrations from the Imams.

On the authority of Ibn Maskan:

We discussed with Zurara about matters regarding of the lawful and the forbidden, and he said a statement according to his Ra’y. 

I said: Did you say this based on a narration or your Ra’y? 

He said: Indeed, is personal opinion (Ra’y) is not better than narrations?

حدثني محمد بن مسعود، قالحدثني جبرئيل بن أحمد، قالحدثني العبيدي عن يونس عن ابن مسكان، قالتذاكرنا عند زرارة في شئمن أمور الحلال والحرام فقال قولا برأيهفقلتأبرأيك هذا أم برأيه؟ فقالإني أعرف أو ليس رب رأي خير من أثر؟

Given Zurara’s adherence to personal opinion above narration, one could expect that just like any fallible - he might have had a sense of ego.

A companion Hisham ibn Salim recalls a hadith Zurara recounted during Imam al-Sadiq’s lifetime. When the Imam died, Hisham was afraid that Zurara would deny saying the hadith out of defiance/ego (جحود). 

This suggests that Zurara’s personality emitted the aura of ego, not admitting wrong - which explains his lack of submission to the Imam and not being awarded the Imam’s secrets.

I digress. Hisham was instead surprised to find out that Zurara said the hadith out of ra’y - suggesting Zurara superimposed his ideas, borne of personal opinion, regarding Imamate onto Imam al-Sadiq. 

It is not to say that Zurara lied against Imam al-Sadiq, but he simply attached a wrong ta’wil to a hadith. 

Our reports permit adding ta’wil to a hadith, however adding a wrong ta’wil to gain a leadership position is impermissible and would be a lie.

On authority of Hisham ibn Salim


When Abi Abdullah died, I came to him (Zurara) and told him:

Do you remember this hadith you told me

And I mentioned it to him - and I feared he would deny saying it to me.

He said: I, wallah, only said it out of ra’y

حدثني أبو صالح خلف بن حماد بن الضحاك، قالحدثني أبو سعيد الآدمي، قالحدثني ابن أبي عمير عن هشام بن سالم، قالقال ليزرارة بن أعينلا ترى على أعوادها غير جعفر، قالفلما توفي أبو عبد الله عليه السلام أتيته فقلت لهتذكر الحديث الذي حدثتني به وذكرتهله، وكنت أخاف أن يجحدنيه فقالإني والله ما كنت قلت ذلك إلا برأيي.

  • Zurara & his followers, town bully

Given Zurara’s personality had ego to it, he would push views considered “biddah” by Imam al-Sadiq and insist on them even after the Imam condemns them.

When Imam al-Sadiq sends his companion Abd al-Rahim al-Qaseer to send Zurara the Imam’s message, Abd al-Rahim tells the Imam that he is afraid to go alone and to send along him the companion giant Abu Basir (Layth al-Muradi).

The companions being afraid of confronting Zurara suggest he pushed his views them through intimidation and casting fear. The companions are fallible of course, it is possible for Zurara to make such mistakes.

Even after Abd al-Rahim and Abu Basir tell Zurara to desist, he insists in continue his actions - claiming the Imam permitted him in this action without feeling it.

Meanwhile, Zurara’s companion Burayd proclaims that he will never desist from his actions - which the Imam considered a biddah. 

(Rijal al-Kashi, vol 1, 364)

On the authority of Abd al-Rahim al-Qasir, he said:

Abu Abdullah said to me: “Go to Zurara and Buraid, so tell them, what is this heresy that you have invented?” 

Did you not know that the Messenger of God, may God bless him and his family and grant them peace, said, “Every innovation is a misguidance?” 

I told him that I am afraid of them, so he sent with me Laith Al-Muradi! 

So we went to Zurara and told him what Abu Abdullah had said, and he said, “By God, he has given me the ability without feeling it.” 

As for Burayd, he said, “No, by God, I will never go back from it.”

حدثنا محمد بن مسعود قال حدثني جبرئيل بن أحمد قال حدثني محمد بن عيسى بن عبيد قالحدثني يونس بن عبد الرحمن عن عمر ابنأبان عن عبد الرحيم القصير قال قال لي أبو عبد الله أئت زرارة وبريدا فقل لهما ما هذه البدعة التي ابتدعتماها ؟ أما علمتا إن رسول اللهصلى الله عليه وآله وسلم قال كل بدعة ضلالة ؟ فقلت له إني أخاف منهما فأرسل معي ليثا المرادي ! فأتينا زرارة فقلنا له ما قال أبو عبد اللهفقال والله لقد أعطاني الاستطاعة وما شعر فأما بريداً فقال لا والله لا أرجع عنها أبداً .

  • Hujr ibn Za’ida and Amir ibn Judha’a were one of these intimidating Ra’y-oriented companions of Zurara.

Their campaign of inquisition to impose Zuraran ra’y consisted of insults, backbiting, and physical assault, as seen in the case of al-Mufaddal ibn Umar.

Yunus ibn Dhubian, a companion of Abu al-Khattab and al-Mufaddal, goes to Imam al-Sadiq in this al-Kafi hadith saying:

Do you not forbid these two men from this man?

He said: who are they?

I said: Do you not forbid Hujr ibn Za’ida and Amir ibn Judha’a from (abusing) al-Mufaddal ibn Umar?

He said: O Yunus, I asked them to desist and they did not - so may Allah not forgive them”

قلت لأبي عبد الله (عليه السلام): ألا تنهى هذين الرجلين عن هذا الرجل؟ فقال:

من هذا الرجل ومن هذين الرجلين؟ قلتألا تنهى حجر بن زائدة وعامر بن جذاعة عن المفضل بن عمر (1) فقاليا يونس قد سألتهما أن يكفاعنه فلم يفعلا فدعوتهما وسألتهما

Acting as the intimidation police for Zurara, Hujr ibn Za’ida and Amir ibn Judhaa naturally inherited the ego of Zurara and his companions - given the way they treated their adversaries.

If they think you’re doing something, either you accept what they say and repent or face consequences.

This is what happened when their intimidation of Abu Hamza al-Thamali led him to admit drank wine and did not know it is haram.

Is it logical that a companion of Imam al-Sajjad all the way to al-Sadiq would not know that wine is forbidden?!

However, to save himself from the abuse of Hujr & Amir - he “admitted” to his mistake and “repented”.

(Rijal al-Kashi, vol 2, page 456)

I and Amir ibn Abdullah ibn Judha’a and Hujr ibn Za’ida were sitting on Bab al-Fil [quarter of Kufa].

When Abu Hamza al-Thumali, Thabit bin Dinar, entered upon us, he said to Amer bin Abdullah: 

O Amer, you disreputed me to Abu Abdullah, peace be upon him

So I (narrator) said: Abu Hamza drinks wine? 

Amir said to him: I did not disrepute you to Abu Abdullah, peace be upon him, but I asked Abu Abdullah, peace be upon him, about intoxicants, and he said: “Every intoxicant is forbidden.” 

He (Amir) said: “However, Abu Hamza drinks.” 

Abu Hamza said: I ask God’s forgiveness from him now and I repent”

كنت أنا وعامر بن عبد الله بن جذاعة الأزدي، وحجر بن زائدة، جلوسا على باب الفيل، إذ دخل علينا أبو حمزة الثمالي، ثابت بندينار، فقال لعامر بن عبد اللهيا عامر أنت حرشت علي أبا عبد الله عليه السلام، فقلتأبو حمزة يشرب النبيذ؟ فقال له عامرما حرشتعليك أبا عبد الله عليه السلام، ولكن سألت أبا عبد الله عليه السلام عن المسكر، فقال: " كل مسكر حرام "، وقال: " لكن أبا حمزة يشرب " قالفقال أبو حمزةاستغفر الله منه الآن وأتوب إليه (2)

AC) Mission Accomplished! Deputyship Gained, with Unforeseen Consequences

  • Zurara, One of the Ghulat?

Zurara, while being greatly mistaken, was not a deviant.

Hence Imam al-Sadiq appointed him in position of deputy of Kufa (without being a safeer) - after al-Mufaddal ibn Umar appears to have dismissed from the social position (wikala) but not the spiritual one of deputyship (sifara).

The Imam would have needed to maintain the peace in Kufa.

In contrast to  was a wakeel - more along the lines of a representative who simply collected funds and answered religious queries of Kufa’s inhabitants.

Little did Zurara know that his intimidation campaign against the group of Kufans who did not ascribe to his Ra’y-oriented of “ghuluw” (i.e, being ghulat) would go back on him in a twist of karma.

Let us look at Imam al-Sadiq’s description of the Ghulat and his description of Zurara?

  • Abu al-Khattab, his faith loaned by Allah and then removed

(Al-Kafi, vol 2, page 418)

God created a creation - whose faith has no end.

And he created a creation whose infidelity will have no end.

And between them, he created a creation to to whom imaan (faith) will be loaned and stripped away, if Allah wanted. 

They are called “the loaned”.

Abu Al-Khattab was one of those loaned faith and stripped away.

إن الله خلق خلقا للايمان لا زوال له وخلق خلقا للكفر لا زوال له وخلق خلقا بين ذلك أعاره الايمان يسمون المعارين، إذا شاء سلبهم وكان أبوالخطاب ممن أعير الايمان.

In another hadith:

“Abu al-Khattab was loansd faith, and when he lied against my father - Allah removed his faith”

وان أبا الخطاب كان ممن أعاره الله الايمانفلما كذب على أبي سلبه الله الايمان

  • Zurara, his faith loaned by Allah and then removed

(Rijal al-Kashi, vol 1, page 378)

“There a people who are loaned imaan (faith) and then it is stripped away from them.

They are called the loaned on the Day of Judgement.

Indeed, Zurara ibn A’yan is one of them.” 

محمد بن يزداد، قالحدثني محمد بن علي الحداد، عن مسعدة بن صدقة، قالقال أبو عبد الله عليه السلامان قوم يعارون الايمان عاريةثم يسلبونه يقال لهم يوم القيامة المعارون، أما أن زرارة بن أعين منهم.

Interestingly enough, we find that Imam al-Sadiq does taqiyya from Zurara in al-Kafi and repeats the same hadith as above regarding him but calling him “Fulan”.

Imam al-Sadiq condemned Abu al-Khattab publicly and did not need to do taqiyya from him. 

However, Zurara was still in full force in his position in Kufa and had status among the companions - even after his condemnation, so ‘Fulan’ is likely referring to Zurara.

(Al-Kafi, vol 2, page 418)

2 - محمد بن يحيى، عن أحمد بن محمد، عن الحسين بن سعيد، عن فضالة بن أيوب والقاسم بن محمد الجوهري، عن كليب بن معاويةالأسدي، عن أبي عبد الله (عليه السلامقالإن العبد يصبح مؤمنا ويمسي كافرا ويصبح كافرا ويمسي مؤمنا وقوم يعارون الايمان ثميسلبونه ويسمون المعارين، ثم قالفلان منهم.

  • The Ghulat are More Evil than Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians

(Nawadir al-Rawandi, found in Bihar al-Anwar vol 25 page 265)

Imam al-Sadiq said:

Indeed, the Ghulat are more evil than Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians

إن الغلاة لشر (5) من اليهود والنصارى والمجوس والذين أشركوا

  • Zurara is more evil than Jews, Christians, and Those Whom Say Allah is One of Three

Imam al-Sadiq said:

Yes, Zurara. Zurara is more evil than the Jews, Christians, and whom say Allah is one of three

قالنعم زرارة، زرارة شر من اليهود والنصارى ومن قال إن مع الله ثالث ثلاثة

  • Do not treat sick wine drinker nor attend his funeral 

(Bihar al-Anwar)

Rasul Allah said:

Do not sit with the wine drinkers, nor treat their sick, nor attend their funerals..

عنه (صلى الله عليه وآله): لا تجالسوا مع شارب الخمر، ولا تعودوا مرضاهم، ولا تشيعوا جنائزهم، ولا تصلوا على أمواتهم، فإنهم كلاب أهلالنار كما قال الله * (اخسؤا فيها ولا تكلمون)

  • Do not treat Zurara if he is sick, and do not attend his funeral

(Rijal al-Kashi, vol 1, page 380)

Abi Abdulah said:

When will you visit Zurara

I sais: I have not seen him in days

He said: ‘Do not care. If he is sick, do not treat him. If he is dead, do not attend his funeral’.

267 - محمد بن أحمدعن محمد بن عيسى عن علي بن الحكم، عن بعض رجاله عن أبي عبد الله عليه السلام قالدخلت عليه فقالمتىعهدك بزرارة؟ قال، قلت ما رأيته منذ أيام، قاللا تبال وان مرض فلا تعده وان مات فلا تشهد جنازته

AD) Taqiyya card!

If one claims that Imam al-Sadiq ordered his companions not to take care of Zurara when he is sick nor attend his funeral - out of taqiyya.

Then as we know in my last article, a command in taqiyya is still binding on the person it was commanded to!

Thus, we’d find out that the Imam was intentionally creating differences among his companions.

This casts questions about the Imam’s condemnation of Abu al-Khattab for example, and ordering his companions to not sit with them and whatnot.

If one claims that Abu al-Khattab’s case is different because we have ahadith praising Zurara but not ahadith praising Abu al-Khattab after his “deviation” from mainstream Shi’i sources.

You’ll know that this is false, in my next post inshallah.

But even regardless, let us assume we do we not have ahadith praising Abu al-Khattab in our corpus. Is it because there ahadith did not exist or were common? Or is it because our classical scholars intentionally did not include them?

Without many ahadith, Abu al-Khattab would have had zero followers.

As I mention in a previous post:

If a hadith was not found to be relevant to the faith of the Shi’a by our classical scholars, or did not match their criterion - they would not add it to their books.

For example -

Shahawiyah ibn Abdullah al-Jallab, a companion of Imam al-Hadi states:

“I used to narrate from Abu al-Hasan al-‘Askari (i.e, Imam al-Hadi) ahadith indicating Abi Ja’far (Muhammad ibn Ali al-Hadi) is the next Imam.

When Abi Ja’far died, I panicked because of that. I remained perplexed - not moving forth nor back. I was scared to write to him (Imam al-Hadi) asking him about that, as I do not know how he will respond..”

Imam al-Hadi, through ‘ilm al-ghayb, informs Shahawiyah that his successor is Imam al-Askari - despite Shahawiyah not asking the Imam about the matter.

عن شاهويه بن عبد الله الجلاب (١)، قال:

كنت رويت عن أبي الحسن العسكري عليه السلام في أبي جعفر ابنه روايات تدل عليه، فلما مضى أبو جعفر قلقت لذلك، وبقيت متحيرا لاأتقدم ولا أتأخر، وخفت أن أكتب إليه في ذلك، فلا أدري ما يكون.

This report evidently suggests there were narrations suggesting Muhammad ibn Ali al-Hadi is the successor to Imam al-Hadi.

They were definitely quite numerous, as the majority of the Shi’a believed he would be the Imam’s successor.

But today, where are the narrations indicating Muhammad will be the successor?

Not a single one exists - as ahadith would be vetted by our classical scholars before adding them to their hadith corpus. As these ahadith would only add confusion to the average practicing Shi’i, instead of strengthening his faith.”


Zurara was a companion of Imams al-Baqir & al-Sadiq - with his own outlook on religion. 

Mistaken in his approach - which was largely based on personal opinion than the Imam’s words, he used intimidation and casting fear to gain a position of leverage among Kufan Shi’a and then assuming the deputyship.

In doing so, his campaign led to the defamation of close deputies of Imam al-Sadiq and their followers. Eventually however, the effort turned back on Zurara as he was reaping what he sow once he assumed the deputy position he always coveted.

More will be discussed on his motivations and exonerating the deputies slandered in Zurara’s followers’ campaign.

Hope this was informative

May Allah bless you all