15th of Shawwal the death anniversary of Hadrat Shah Abd Al-Azeem (AS)

Hazrat Shah Abd Al-Azeem Al-Hasani (AS) biography

The ImÁmi scholar and biographer Shaykh al-NajÁshi (d 450 AH/1058 AD) has recorded his lineage at the beginning of his biography as: Abd al-Azeem bin 
ÝAbdullah bin Ali bin
 al-Íasan bin Zayd bin al-Íasan bin Ali bin Abi TÁlib (a) 
and this is his correct lineage. However, he then writes at the end of the biography: 
‘He (i.e. Abd al-Azeem) died and when he was undressed so that the funeral bath 
could be given to him, a small piece of paper was found in one of his pockets in 
which was written his lineage, as follows: ‚I am AbÙ al-QÁsim Abd al-Azeem bin 
ÝAbdillah bin ÝAli bin al-Íasan bin Zayd bin Ali
bin al-Íasan bin ÝAli bin AbÐ
ÓÁlib (Ýa).‛ But the first rendering of his lineage is correct for ImÁm al-Íasan’s 
progeny continued through the agency of two sons,
who were:
1) Zayd bin al-Íasan, and
2) Al-Íasan al-MuthannÁÞ.
Thus it is apparent that ImÁm al-Íasan (Ýa) did not have a son by the name of ÝAli 
through whom he may have had grandchildren (as the second version of Seyyid 
Abd al- Azeem’s lineage above implies).
Therefore on the basis of the above, SeyyidAbd al-Azeem was separated from ImÁm 
al-Íasan (Ýa) by four generations only (as implied by the first version of his lineage).

His station near the ImÁms of the ahlulbayt (Ýa) comes to light in the course of their 
statements in his favor. Thus he was a brilliant traditionist, a source of reference in 
matters of the faith, trustworthy in matters of religion and here we mention some of 
their statements.
Shaykh al-sadÙq (d 381 AH/991 AD) reports from Seyyid Abd al-Azeem that he said: 
‘I visited my master ÝAli
bin MuÎammad bin Ali bin MÙsa bin Jafar bin 
MuÎammad bin Ali bin Íusayn bin Ali bin Abi TÁlib (a). When he 
caught sight of me, he exclaimed: 
‚Welcome O AbÙ al-QÁsim, you are indeed our true friend!‛
So I said: ‚O son of the Messenger (Ò), 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 AbÙ al-QÁsim‛.
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 
And (I maintain) that MuÎammad was His servant, His Messenger and the 
Seal of the Prophets. There is no prophet after him till the Day of 
And (I maintain) that the ImÁm, the Caliph and the Guardian of the affair 
(of guidance) after him was AmÐr al-MuÞminÐn ÝAli bin AbÐ ÓÁlib, and then 
al-Íasan, then al-Íusayn, then ÝAli bin al-Íusayn, then MuÎammad bin 
ÝAli, then JaÝfar bin MuÎammad, then MÙsa bin JaÝfar, then ÝAli bin MÙsa, 
then MuÎammad bin ÝAli and thereafter, you my master‛.
So the ImÁm said: ‚And after me will be my son al-Íasan. 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-WilÁya (i.e. love 
and adherence to the ahlulbayt) are: Prayers, the zakÁt levy, fasting, 
pilgrimage to Mecca, striving (in the path of Allah), commanding good and 
discouraging evil.‛
On hearing this, ÝAli bin MuÎammad (Ýa) said: ‚O AbÙ al-QÁsim, 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 
Further, it is clear from what ÑÁÎib bin ÝAbbÁd narrates, that Seyyid ÝAbd al-ÝAÛÐm 
was a ‘source of reference’ in matters of the faith and an interpreter of Islamic law 
for the ShiÝites in regard to issues which seemed ambiguous and unclear to them. 
Thus AbÙ TurÁb al-RÙyÁni says: 
‘I visited ÝAli bin MuÎammad (Ýa) in SÁmarrÁÞ and I asked him some 
questions relating to the permissible and impermissible. He answered all of
them. When I was bidding him farewell, he said: ‚O ÍammÁd, if something 
regarding religion confuses or confounds you then refer it to Abd al-Azeem, 
and convey to him my regards.‛

MaÞmÙn ascended the throne after having defeated and killed his brother AmÐn. The 
prevailing atmosphere in the royal court during his reign was that of relative 
freedom for the ShiÝites and the MuÞtazilites,
who were those who championed the 
ideas of divine transcendent monotheism and divine justice (انؼدلٔ دٍحٕانت مْا). When 
MaÞmÙn died in the year 218 AH/833 AD, al-MuÞtaÒim gained the pledge of 
allegiance for the caliphate and the royal court became a centre for intellectuals and 
theologians who would engage in polemical debates with each other. When he died 
in 227 AH/841 AD, it was WÁthiq who took over the reins of the caliphate and he 
continued with the tradition of intellectual and religious freedom that he had
inherited from his predecessors.
Thus it was due to and during the reign of these caliphs that the fortunes of the 
proponents of divine justice (انؼدل مْا) shone luminously and polemical gatherings 
between adherents of different faiths and sects took place.
However, when WÁthiq billah died and Mutawakkil assumed the throne from the 
year 232 AH/846 AD to 247 AH/861 AD, he promulgated a particularly harsh policy
against the ShiÝites and the MuÞtazilites but a very favourable one with respect to the 
He encouraged the dissemination of ideas favouring divine 
anthropomorphism and the doctrine of the physical manifestation of God as well as 
hatred and enmity towards the ahlulbayt to such an extent that the people of 

It is sufficient to cite the following anecdote as an example of his hatred and enmity 
towards the ahlulbayt. He had charged YaÝqÙb bin al-SikkÐt,
an authority in the 
Arabic language, with the responsibility of tutoring his two sons al-MuÝtaz and alMuÞayyad. One day he was looking at his two sons and suddenly asked Ibn al-SikkÐt: 
‘who is more beloved to you, my (two) sons or al-Íasan and al-Íusayn?’ Ibn alSikkÐt replied: ‘Qambar, the client of ÝAli is better than them both!’ Outraged he 
ordered Ibn al-SikkÐt’s tongue to be pulled out!
Historical records do not identify the year in which Seyyid Abd al-Azeem al-Íasani
migrated to Ray and sought refuge there, nor do they inform us of the year in which 
he migrated from the ÍijÁz or ÝIrÁq to Ray. However, some have imagined that he 
may have migrated to FÁrs with the purpose of visiting ImÁm ÝAli bin MÙsa alRidhÁÞ (Ýa) and thereafter remained there throughout his remaining life till his death 
in approximately 252 AH/866 AD. But this supposition is difficult to accept. This is 
because ImÁm al-RidhÁÞ arrived in ÓÙs in the year 199 AH/814 AD due to the 
persistence of MaÞmÙn [and passed away in 203 AH/818 AD], thus to suppose that 
Seyyid Abd al-Azeem stayed in FÁrs from approximately that time till the year 252 
AH/866 AD is difficult to accept especially when it is known that the prevailing 
circumstances during the reigns of the three caliphs mentioned above were
favourable and positive for the ShiÝites. Therefore I think that Seyyid ÝAbd al-AÛÐm 
fled the ÍijÁz or ÝIrÁq during the reign of Mutawakkil when the circumstances had 
changed and become particularly difficult for the ahlulbayt.
This is because Mutawakkil had embarked upon promoting two corrupt ideas.

1) Spreading hatred, rancour and enmity of the ahlulbayt and the destruction 
of the grave of ImÁm al-Íusayn [and related infrastructure] as well as 
stopping pilgrims from visiting his grave.
2) Spreading the idea of divine anthropomorphism and exploiting the 
traditionsits in fabricating and transmitting traditions which gave credence 
to that idea.
Thus in those difficult and harsh circumstances against the ShiÝites and their 
scholars, Seyyid ÝAbd al-AÛÐm fled to Ray and remained there far from the eyes of 
the people.
Al-Dhahabi writes: 
‘Mutawakkil despatched jurists and traditionists, commanding them to sit 
with the people and to narrate to them traditions which refuted the
teachings of the MuÞtazilites and the Jahmiyya
and to narrate to them 
traditions which supported the idea of the physical manifestation of God. 
Among these jurists and traditionists were MuÒÝab Zubayri, IsÎÁq bin AbР
IsrÁÞÐl, IbrÁhim bin ÝAbdullah al-Harawi, ÝAbdullah and ÝUthmÁn the two 
sons of MuÎammad bin AbÐ Shayba. He would distribute rewards and 
positions among them and bestow them with luxuries and gifts.
Thus ÝUthmÁn bin MuÎammad bin AbÐ Shayba would sit in BaghdÁd, a 
pulpit would be placed for him and thirty thousand people would gather 
around to listen to him. And AbÙ Bakr bin AbÐ Shayba would sit in the 
mosque of RaÒÁfa and he used to be even more extreme than his brother 
ÝUthmÁn. Thirty thousand men would gather to listen to him.
Thus it becomes clear now why Seyyid ÝAbd al-AÛÐm emphasised the transcendent 
attributes of God by his statement;
‚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 
He did this because some of the traditionists of his time were spreading ideas of 
anthropomorphism! It is due to this very same reason that he corrected the Prophetic tradition that was being misquoted and explained its meaning to be the
descent of an angel and not the Being of God.