The Occultation of the Twelfth Imam

(A Historical Background)

Jassim M. Hussain   
with a Foreword by

Dr. I.K.A Howard, Edinburg University 

Dedication & Preface



Survey of the Sources

1. Books on the question of the Ghayba

1.1. Books on the question of the occultation written before 260/874

1.2. Books on the Question of the Ghayba written between the years 260-329/8'74-941

1.3. Books on the question of the Ghayba written after 329/941

2 The Biographical Works

3 The Books of General History

Chapter 1

The Role of Traditions in the Occultation of the Twelfth Imam

1. The early usage of the term al-Mahdi

2. The Occultation of al-Qa’im al-Mahdi in the Qur'an

3. The traditions concerning the Twelfth Imam and his occultation

3.1 The traditions concerning al-Qa’im al-Mahdi

3.2. The traditions of the Sunnites (Ahl al-Hadith)

3.3 The Twelfth Imam in the Zaydite traditions

3.4 The Twelfth Imam in the Imamite traditions

Chapter 2:The Role of the Imams in the Shiite Underground Activities and their Influence upon the Evolution of the Ghayba

1. Al-Sadiq's Attitude towards the new Regime

2. The Imamite activities during the period of al-Kazim (148-183/765-799)

3. The Attitude of al-Riďa towards the `Alid Revolt against al-Ma’mun

4. The development of the Imamite organization (al-Wikala) during the time of al-Jawad

5. The `Abbasids' Attitude toward the activities of al­-Hadi

6. Conclusion

Chapter 3:The Imamites’ Views concerning the Concealed Imam and His Birth

1. The Schisms Amongst the Adherents of al-Hasan al­ 'Askari After His Death.

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Schism I: the Waqifa at al-`Askari

1.3 Schism II: The Ja’farites

1.4 Schism III: The Muhammadiyya

1.5 Schism IV: The Qat’iyya

1.6 Schism V: The Cessation of the Imamate

1.7 Conclusion

2. The Question of the Birth of the Twelfth Imam

2.1 The Origin of the Mother of the Twelfth Imam

2.2 The Birth of the Twelfth Imam

3. The Reasons for the First Occultation of the Twelfth Imam

4. Al- ‘Askari’s Plan to Hide his Successor

5. The Abbasid Attempt to Arrest al- 'Askari's Son

Chapter 4:The Underground Activities of the Twelth Imam as seen in the Actions of the Saf’irs

1. A Brief Study of the Wikala Before the Twelfth Imam

2. The Main Functions of the Wikala

3. The Early Career of Uthman b. Sa’id

4. The Career of the First Saf’ir

5. The Opposition to the First Saf’ir

6. The Imam's Wikala During the Time of the First Saf’ir

6.1 Iraq: The Centre of the Wikala

6.2 The Second Area: Egypt, the Hijaz and Yemen

6.3 The Third Area: Azerbayjan and Arran

6.4 The Fourth Area: Qumm and Dinawar

6.5 The Fifth Area: Rayy and Khurasan

7. The Death of the First Saf’ir

Chapter 5:The Underground Activities of the Second Saf’ir of the Twelfth Imam

1. The Designation of the Second Saf’ir, Abu Ja’far

1.1 Ibn Hilal

1.2 al‑Bilali

1.3 Muhammad b. Nusayr

2. The Activities of Abu Jafar, the Second Saf’ir

2.1 The Career of Abu Ja’far

2.2 The Agents of the Second Saf’ir in Baghdad

2.3 The Relationship of the Second Saf’ir to the Agents in the other Provinces

3. The Effect of the Shiite Revolutionary Activities upon the 'Abbasids' Attitude towards the Twelfth Imam

4. The Death of Abu Ja’far

Chapter 6:The Career of the Third Saf’ir, al-Nawabakhti

1. Al‑Nawbakhti’s Activities During the Time of the Second Saf’ir

2. The Installation of the Third Saf’ir

3. The Activities of Ibn Ruh al‑Nawbakhti

4. The Third Saf’ir and al‑Shalmaghani

Chapter 7:The Fourth Saf’ir and the Complete Occultation of the Twelfth Imam

1. The Career of the Fourth Saf’ir (326-329/937-941)

2. An Analysis of the Tawqi’ of the Fourth Saf’ir

3. The Imamite Learned Men's Attitude Towards the Second Occultation

4. The Attitude of the Ordinary Imamites towards the Second Occultation

5. The Application of the Epithet al-Mahdi to the Twelfth Imam

6. The Effect of the Complete Occultation on the Position of the Imamite Fuqaha'

Chapter 8:Conclusion

Chapter 9:Bibliography

Chapter 10:List of Abbreviations