Advanced search
Visit
7426
Last Updated: 2011/11/12
Summary of question
How was the seerah (conduct) of the Holy Prophet (s) and Imams (a.s) in welcoming and receiving people who entered a gathering?
question
I have heard a hadith that Imam Hasan (a.s) was teaching some pupils in the masjid and a stranger came in and the Imam stood up to welcome him. Is this hadith accurate and authentic? Did the imams or the Prophet (s) have a tradition of welcoming strangers personally in gatherings?
Concise answer

In this authentic narration, it has been stated that "Hababah Walibiyyah" had a stone seal from Imam Ali (a.s.) as a sign of determining the Imam. She kept the seal with her unless the time of the imamate of Imam Hasan al-Mujtaba when she came to visit him. It was the time when Imam Hasan (a.s.) had just succeeded the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (a.s.) and people were asking him questions. When he (a.s) saw her, he said: ‘O Habbabah Walibiyyah!’ She said: ‘Yes, O my leader!’ He (a.s) said: ‘Take out that thing with you." Hababah brought out that small stone and handed it over to the Imam (a.s). Thereafter, during the imamate of Imam al-Husayn (a.s) when he was in the Prophet's Mosque, Hababah went to the mosque. Imam al-Husayn (a.s) told him to go close to him. He welcomed Hababah whereupon Hababah handed over the small stone to the Imam and he (a.s) stroke his ring against it and his seal was inscribed therein.

When it comes to the way the Holy Prophet (s) and the Infallible Imams (a.s) behaved with his students and unknown people, there are many narrations and evidence (in the Infallibles' sayings as well as practical lifestyle) which present a perfect model for social morality. For example, the Holy Prophet (s) said: "Be lenient and well-disposed to the person whom you teach or whom you learn from." Also, when Aban bin Taghlib went to see Imam Sadiq (a.s), no sooner the Imam (a.s) saw him than he ordered that a cushion be brought for him. He shook hands with him, embraced and welcomed him.

Detailed Answer

The answer has been prepared in several sections:

A) Text of the Hadith and Its Chain of Transmission

This narration has been related in the hadith sources and, as per the researches, it is authentic. Hababah Walibiyyah said: “…I said to the Commander of the Faithful (a.s): ‘May God shower His mercy on you! What is the proof of your Imamate (imamah)?’ He (a.s) said in reply: ‘Bring that small stone to me.’ I brought it to him (a.s). ‘Ali (a.s) sealed it with his ring such that the seal was inscribed on the small stone, and then he said to me: ‘O Hababah! Anyone who claims the Imamate and has succeeded in inscribing his seal on this stone the way I did is an Imam, obedience to whom is obligatory. The Imam is he who knows whatever he wishes.’

I continued my usual occupation till the Commander of the Faithful (a.s) departed from this world. Then, I went to see Imam al-Hasan (a.s) who succeeded ‘Ali (a.s) when the people were asking him questions. When he (a.s) saw me, he said: ‘O Habbabah Walibiyyah!’ I said: ‘Yes, O my leader!’ He (a.s) said: ‘Take out that thing with you.’ I brought it out and gave the small stone to him (a.s). He, like ‘Ali (a.s), inscribed a seal with his ring on the spot where the previous inscribed seal was.

After some time, I went to Imam al-Husayn (a.s) who was then in the Mosque of the Messenger of Allah (S). He (a.s) asked me to come to him. He welcomed me and said: ‘The proof for the thing you want exists. Do you want to see the sign of Imamate?’ I replied: ‘Yes, O my chief!’ He (a.s) said: ‘Take out that thing with you.’ I gave the small stone to him. He (a.s) stroke his ring against it and his seal was inscribed therein.

After Imam al-Husayn (a.s), I went to Imam as-Sajjad (a.s) and I had become so old by then that I was trembling all over; I was one hundred and thirteen years old. He (a.s) was then in the state of bowing (ruku‘) and prostration (sujud), and did not pay attention to me. I lost hope in obtaining the proof of his Imamate. He (a.s) pointed to me with his forefinger and through this I became young again. I said: ‘O my chief! To what extent has passed from the world and to what extent remains?’

He replied: ‘As to what has passed, yes, but as to what has remained, no; that is, we have knowledge of the past but the future is part of the unseen (ghaybah) which is known to no one except God, and it is not expedient for us to say anything about it.’ Then he (a.s) said to me: ‘Take out that thing you have.’ I gave the stone to him (a.s) and he put his seal on it.[1]

B) Manner of the Prophet (s) and Imams (a.s)

When it comes to the way the Holy Prophet (s) and the Infallible Imams (a.s) behaved with his students and unknown people, there are many narrations and evidence (in the Infallibles' sayings as well as practical lifestyle) which present a perfect model for social morality. The lessons and exhortations of the Holy Prophet (s) and the Infallible Imams (a.s) were gatherings characteristic of knowledge, dignity and solemnity. People used to gather round them and acquire knowledge and true hadith from them. Although during the period of certain Imams such as Imam Hasan Mujtaba (a.s) and Imam Husayn (a.s) which coincided with the tyrannical rule of Mu'awiyah and Yazid, the situation was very difficult and insufferable for them and the day-to-day events did not allow them to have scientific gatherings and discussions and/or to give sermons in a broad manner, there were people who frequented to their houses and asked them questions. That is why there are very few hadiths from them in our hadith sources.

As to the way the Infallibles (a.s) behaved with others including their students, guests and unknown people and also their recommendations, we shall now mention a few examples of narrations:

1. The Holy Prophet (s) says: "Be lenient and well-disposed to the person whom you teach or whom you learn from."[2]

"Being courteous and affable and shaking hands with people when meeting them was the conduct of Prophet and the Siddiqeen (righteous ones)."[3]

2. Aban bin Muhammad has narrated from Aban bin Taghlib that Aban bin Taghlib went to see Imam Sadiq (a.s) and as soon as the Imam (a.s) saw him, he ordered that a cushion be brought for him. He shook hands with him, embraced and welcomed him.[4]

3. A Shia jurisprudent having a discussion with a Nasibi man convinced him with strong arguments and reasons. One day the same Shia jurisprudent visited Imam Hadi (a.s) when a number of Alawids and Banu Hashim had gathered round him. The Imam (a.s) was constantly respecting him. This act of the Imam (a.s) made some of the peers and nobles to object. The Alawids said nothing but a man from Banu Hashim turned to the Imam and said: "O son of the Prophet of Allah, do you prefer an ordinary man over the Sayyids from the children Abu Talib and Hashim? The Imam said: "I am afraid lest you should be included among the people about whom God said: " Hast thou not turned Thy vision to those who have been given a portion of the Book? They are invited to the Book of Allah, to settle their dispute, but a party of them Turn back and decline (The arbitration).[5] Do you surrender yourself to the command of the Quran?"

They said: "Yes."

The Imam (a.s) asked: "Doesn't God say, ' O ye who believe! When ye are told to make room in the assemblies, (spread out and) make room: (ample) room will Allah provide for you. And when ye are told to rise up, rise up Allah will rise up, to (suitable) ranks (and degrees), those of you who believe and who have been granted (mystic) Knowledge. And Allah is well-acquainted with all ye do'[6] and for a believing learned man, He has not consent to be higher than anyone except a believer who is not learned in the same was as He has consented to be put a believer over a non-believer, then how did you object to my respect towards him whom God has raised?...[7]

4. Salami, Imam Baqir's slave woman said: "Whoever from his brethren in faith came to his house, he would entertain them with good food and he would give them fine clothes to wear and give money and would say: "The good thing about the world is to help your brothers and friends."[8]

5. Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) says: "One day, two believing and faithful men visited the house of the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (a.s.) as guests. The Imam stood up, respected them and let them sit at higher and better place. He himself sat in front of them. When it was time for dinner, he ordered that food be prepared for them. The food was ready and the table-cloth was spread and they became busy eating the food. When they had eaten the food, Qanbar, Imam Ali's servant brought a washbasin and towel. Seeing him, Imam Ali (a.s) stood up and took the pitcher from Qanbar so as to pour water on the guests' hands. Seeing the Imam's humble behavior, the guest lay down on the ground and said: "My master, God sees and you pour water on my hand. Never!" But the Imam (a.s) humbly said: "Be seated and wash your hands because God sees you and your brother in faith is not different from you…"

The guest sat down and the Imam (a.s) poured water on his hands with great humbleness and the man washed his hands." Then Imam Hasan Askari (a.s) said: "Whoever follows Ali (a.s) in such matters, he is the real Shi'ah."[9]

For further information about the Seerah (conduct) of the Holy Prophet (s) and the Infallible Imams (a.s), read the following indexes:

1. "The Moral Seerah of Imam Sajjad (a.s)”, question 2303 (site: 2411)

2. "History and Seerah of the Imams: The Original Source" question 3639 (site: 3900).

3. "The Biography and Personality of Imam Hasan (a.s)", question 1907 (site: 3981)



[1] - Kulayni, Muhammad bin Ya'qub, Al-Kafi, vol.1, pg. 346 and 347, researched and edited by Ghaffari, Ali Akbar and Akhundi, Muhammad, Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyah Publications, Tehran, 4rth edition, 1407 A.H.

[2] - Shahid Thani, Zaynuddin bin Ali, Munyatul Murid researched and edited by Mukhtari, Reza, pg. 193, Maktab al-E'laam al-Islami, Qom, 1st edition, 1409 A.H.

[3] - Warram bin Abi Furas, Mas'ud bin Isa, Collection of Warram, vol.1, pg. 29, Faqih Library, Qom, 1st edition, 1410 A.H.

[4] - Najashi, Ahmad bin Ali, Rejal al-Najjashi, pg. 11, Islamic Publications Institute, Qom, 6th edition, 1365 (1986).

[5] - Aale Imran, 23

[6] - Al-Mujadilah, 11

[7] - Tabarsi, Ahmad bin Ali, Al-Ihtijaj, Alaa Ahl-Al-Lejaj researched and edited by Khurasan, Muhammad Baqir, vol.2, pg. 454 and 455, Murteza Publication, Mashad, first edition, 1403 A.H.

[8] - Majlisi, Muhammad Baqir, Behar al-Anwar, vol.46, pg. 290 and 291, Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut, 2nd edition, 1403 A.H.

[9] - Ibid, vol.72, pg. 117 and 118.

Question translations in other languages
Comments
Number of comments 0
Please enter the value
Example : Yourname@YourDomane.ext
Please enter the value
Please enter the value

Thematic Category

Random questions

Popular