ʿAbd al-ʿAzīm b. ʿAbd Allāh b. ʿAlī b. Ḥasan b. Zayd b. Ḥasan b. Zayd b. ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib (a) (b. 173/789 d. 252/866), is more commonly known as al-Sayyid Abd al-Azim al-Hasani. In Persian he is called Sayyid al-Karīm and Shah ʿAbd al-ʿAzīm. His kunya are Abu l-Qasim and Abu l-Fath.

Abd al-Azim al-Hasani is among the famous scholars of the progeny of Imam al-Hasan (a) and a transmitter of hadith. Al-Shaykh al-Saduq has compiled the hadith transmitted by him in a collection called Jami akhbar Abd al-Azim.

Abd al-Azim al-Hasani had the opportunity to meet Imam al-Rida (a), Imam al-Jawad (a) and Imam al-Hadi (a) before passing away. His mausoleum is in the city of Rey, Tehran, in Iran. It is mentioned in some hadith that the reward for visiting his grave is equal to the reward for visiting Imam al-Husayns tomb.

His Birth and Lineage

Abd al-Azim al-Hasani was born on 4 Rabi al-Thani, 173/November 2, 789 during the rule of Harun al-Rashid. Although there are different opinions regarding his place of birth, he was most likely born in Medina. His father was Abd Allah son of Ali Qafa and his mother was Hifa daughter of Ismail b. Ibrahim. Al-Najashi says, "After Abd al-Azim al-Hasani passed away, a piece of writing was found in his clothes which read, I am Abu l-Qasim son of Ali son of Hasan son of Zayd son of Hasan son of Ali b. Abi Talib (a)." Muhaqqiq Mirdamad has written, "He (Abd al-Azim al-Hasani) has clear lineage in the progeny of Ali b. Abi Talib (a)."

His Wife and Children

His wife was the daughter of his uncle, Qasim b. Hasan Amir, known as Abu Muhammad. His children are named Muhammad and Umm Salamah. Shaykh Abbas Qumi wrote regarding Abd al-Azim al-Hasanis son, "Muhammad was a noble man known for his piety and worship."

Meeting the Imams (a)

Aqa Buzurg Tihrani says, "Abd al-Azim al-Hasani had the opportunity to meet Imam al-Rida (a), Imam al-Jawad (a) and presented his beliefs to Imam al-Hadi (a) and passed away at his time."

Atarudi says that according to some reports, he had the opportunity to meet Imam al-Kazim (a), Imam al-Rida (a), Imam al-Jawad (a) and Imam al-Hadi (a).

Ayatollah Khoei rejects that Abd al-Azim al-Hasani had the chance to meet Imam al-Rida (a).

In his book of Rijal, al-Shaykh al-Tusi mentions him to be among the companions of Imam al-Askari (a).

Living in the Era of oppression

Abd al-Azim al-Hasani lived at the time of the Abbasids oppression of the Shia - and like his fathers, was pursued for a long time. Although he practiced Taqiyya during his stay in Medina, Baghdad and Samarra, he was especially disliked by Mutawakkil and Mutazz.

His Virtues and Positions

Al-Allama al-Hilli describes Abd al-Azim al-Hasani as a very pious scholar.

Muhaddith Nuri has quoted the following from the treatise of Sahib b. Ubbad regarding Abd al-Azim al-Hasani:

He was a pious man known for his trust-keeping, truthfulness and knowledge in religion; a believer in the Unity of God and Justice of God, and a transmitter of many hadith."

His Position in the Words of the Infallibles (a)

Imam al-Hadi (a) was once accompanied in a journey by Abd al-Azim al-Hasani and addressed him saying,

O Abu al-Qasim! You surly are our wali… you have received the religion from us which God loves… May God support you in this world and in the hereafter."

Their conversation is known as "Hadith Ard Din" [The narration of representing the religion].

His Scholarly Position

Abu Turab Ruyani says, "I heard from Abu Hammad Razi saying that, I went to Imam al-Hadi (a) and asked him about the permissibility and prohibition of some issues. When I was about to leave, he (a) said, If you have any question about religious issues, you may ask them from Abd al-Azim al-Hasani and say my greetings to him."

Hadith Transmitted by Abd al-Azim al-Hasani

There are more than 100 hadith narrated by Abd al-Azim al-Hasani found in various hadith references. Sahib b. Ubbad says, "He [Abd al-Azim] has transmitted many hadith and has usually narrated from Imam al-Jawad (a) and Imam al-Hadi (a)."

Al-Shaykh al-Saduq has compiled a collection of hadith transmitted by Abd al-Azim Hasani called Jami akhbar Abd al-Azim. In this collection there are two hadith transmitted directly from Imam al-Rida (a), 26 from Imam al-Jawad (a) and nine from Imam al-Hadi (a). There are also 65 hadith that have been transmitted indirectly from various Imams (a).

Abd al-Azim Hasani has compiled a work entitled, Khutab Amir al-Muminin (a) (Sermons of Amir al-Muminin (a)). He has also produced the book, Yawm wa laylah (Day and Night), which contains practices and supplications for the day and the night narrated by the Imams (a). Other book attributed to him is entitled "Riwayat Abd al-Azim Hasani."

Travelling to Rey

There are conflicting reports as to how Abd al-Azim al-Hasani ended up in Rey. According to some, he went to Rey to visit Hamza b. Musa b. Jafar (a) on his way to visit The Shrine of Imam al-Rida (a) in Mashad. There are other reports saying that he was ordered by Imam al-Hadi (a) to immigrate from Samarra to Rey due to the persecution and danger of being killed by the Abbasid Caliph Mutazz.

According to Ahmad b. Ali Najashi,

"Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Khalid al-Barqi narrated the story as, Abd al-Azim al-Hasani was escaping from the Sultan and came to Rey and stayed in the basement of a Shia in the neighborhood of Sikkat al-Mawali. He used to worship in that basement. He fasted during the day and worshipped at night. He stealthily came out at night and went to visit a grave he said was of one of the children of Musa b. Jafar (a). He was always in that basement and the news of his coming reached every Shia until they all knew him."

His Demise

It is reported that Abd al-Azim al-Hasani passed away on 15 Shawwal, 252/November 2, 866, during the time of Imam al-Hadi (a). There are conflicting reports about the cause of his death. Fakhr al-Din al-Turayhi writes, "One of the children of Abu Talib was buried alive in Rey and he was Abd al-Azim al-Hasani." However, Waiz Kujuri says, "I researched about Abd al-Azim al-Hasani in the books of Rijal and Ansab and I did not find any reliable report about his martyrdom." And finally, Najashi reports that "Abd al-Azim al-Hasani became ill and passed away."

Reward for Visiting His Grave

Al-Shaykh al-Saduq has narrated that a man from Rey came to Imam Ali al-Naqi (a) and said, "I went to visit Imam al-Husayns (a) holy shrine." Imam (a) told him, "If one visits Abd al-Azim al-Hasanis grave near you, it would be as if he visits Imam al-Husayn (a) in Karbala."

The Infallible Imams(AS) has complemented and appreciated the scientific and trustworthy character of Hazrat Abdul Azim Hasani(AS).

The tenth holy Imam Hadrat Imam al-Hadi(AS) sometimes referred those who had questions and problems to Hadrat Abdul Azim(AS) who was known and introduced as a real friend and follower by His Holiness.

In the scientific works of prominent Shiite Ulama(theologians and traditionists) there are many complements and admirations about him.They addressed him as a devouted worshipper,a gnostic,pious and trusted personality who possessed clear beliefs and an illuminated heart and was one of the greatest narrator(Muhaddith) in the Shiite history.

In a tradition from Imam Ali un-Naqi al-Hadi(AS) it is stated by the Holy Imam(AS) that pilgrimage(Ziyarah) to the grave of Hadrat Abdul Azim Hasani(AS) in Ray has the heavenly reward as much as the Ziyarah of the holy grave of Hadrat Sayyid al-Shuhada Imam Husayn(AS).

The grounds for which Hazrat Abdul Azim(AS) had to take a flight from Madinah to Ray is to be figured out in political and social conditions of that era. The Abbasid caliphs were excessively cruel to the Holy Ahlul Bayt(AS) and the Shiites of the Holy Imams(AS). Mutawakkel, the cruel Abbasid caliph had an intense enimity and hostility towards the Holy Ahlul Bayt(AS) and during his period the holy shrine of Imam Husayn(AS) was entirely demolished and the pilgrimage to his holy shrine was completely banned.

The Sadaat[the descendants of the Holy Prophet of Islam(S.A.W.)] and the Shiites were in the worst situation during that era.Hadrat Abdul Azim(AS) was not safe in this situation either. The Abbasids attempted to kill him several times.At this critical condition Hadrat Abdul Azim(AS) visited Hadrat Imam Hadi(AS) and presented his beliefs and doctrines to him.His Holiness(AS) approved his beliefs and said:You are a friend of ours.

His visit to Samarrah was reported to Abbasid caliph and he ordered to arrest Hadrat Abdul Azim(AS).He decided to remain hidden for sometime.So he traveled to different cities.

The city of Ray was an important Muslim city since the arrival of Islam in Iran. Ray is endowed with such a fertile and rich land that Omar ibn Saad martyred Hadrat Imam Husayn(AS) in the tragic event of Karbala because he was promised to be appointed as the governor of Ray.

Both the Sunnis and the Shiites lived in Ray during that period.The southern and south-western parts were mainly resided by the Shiites. Hadrat Abdul Azim(AS) arrived in Ray as an unknown traveler and went to a Shiites house in Sarebanan neighborhood.He lived in a basement for a while and rarely came out of his house.He fasted during the days and prayed at nights.

Only a few of the Shiites were informed of his presence in Ray and visited him secretly.They tried not to disclose this matter so that his life should not be endangered.After a while,more people came to know about him and his house became the center of Shiites, who took the advantage.of his knowledge and narrations and smelled the fragrance of Holy Ahlul Bayt(AS) from his holiness.

Hazrat Abdul Azim was very popular among the Shiites in Ray and replied to their religious queries and solved their problems. This shows the outstanding role of Hadrat Abdul Azim(AS) and his responsibility on behalf of Hadrat Imam Hadi(A.S) as the Holy Imams representative.The Shiites accepted his sayings because he was the representative of the Holy Imam(AS)and the disciples of Holy Ahlul Bayt(AS) gathered around him.

In the last days of his fruitful life he suffered a serious illness which made him so weak that he was unable to meet the public.The constant sufferings of the Shiites enhanced his unbearable pain.

One of the faithful Shiite in Rayy had a dream in which he saw Holy Prophet of Islam(S.A.W.) revealing to him thatTomorrow one of my sons will die in Sakeh al-Mowla [in Rayy] and the Shiites will bury him near the apple tree in the garden". Early morning he went to the garden and bought that piece of land and that garden was endowed as a burial place for the Shiites.

Abdul Jabbar who had the dream, found out the secret of the two dreams.In order to share this honor he endowed the whole garden and the apple tree as a grave-yard for Shiites and noble people. His holiness died the same day and the people heard of it and wore black clothes and rushed to Hazrat-e-Abdul Azims premise crying and moaning.

They washed his body ceremoniously. Some of the historians say that there was a piece of a paper with his name with his antecedents. They prayed on the body then lifted and escorted it to the Abdul Jabbars garden and buried his body close to the same apple tree as the Holy Prophet(S.A.W.) predicted in the dream.That was how a member of Etrat(Family) of Hadrat Muhammad Mustafa(S.A.W.) was buried in Rayy as a memorial to spread the light of the Household of the Holy Prophet(S.A.W.) to their lovers and followers.