[1/179] Rijal al-Kashshi: Muhammad b. Masud from Abu Ja`far Hamdan b. Ahmad from Muawiya b. Hukaym from Ahmad b. Abi Nasr who said: I was with Abi al-Hasan the Second عليه السلام – when he stood and shook the bed-wrap by his own hand [to remove the dust and get it ready for me to sleep on] and said to me: O Ahmad the commander of the faithful عليه السلام visited Sa`sa`a b. Suhan in his illness and said: O Sa`sa`a do not take my visiting you as a source of pride over your people, he [the Imam] said: when the commander of the faithful عليه السلام had said these words to Sa`sa`a – Sa`sa`a said: indeed, by Allah I will count it as a divine grace from Allah on me and a favour. Then the commander of the faithful عليه السلام said to him: I have not known you except as one scanty in resources yet great in support [of the truth] so Sa`sa`a said: and you O commander of the faithful I have not known you except cognizant of Allah and to the believers both compassionate and merciful. Comments
Sa`sa`a b. Suhan (d. 60) was one of the closest companions of Ali. He had a lofty genealogy within his tribe of Abd al-Qays which originated from Bahrayn. Even before the Khilafa of Ali, he was already noted for his opposition to Uthman in Kufa and was exiled by its governor to Sham together with prominent companions who later came to form the nucleus of Ali’s closest followers including Malik b. Ashtar al-Nakhai.
Sa`sa`a participated in the battles of Jamal, Siffin and Nahrawan but he was most famous for his consummate oratory and his poems about Ali are well known. His meetings with Muawiya as an emissary to him before battle and after his accession are legendary. He never stopped extolling Ali’s merit and failed to accept any other leader after him.
One only needs to consider what al-Sadiq is attributed to say about him to gleam his status:
محمد بن مسعود، قال حدثني علي بن محمد قال حدثني محمد بن أحمد بن يحيى، عن العباس بن معروف، عن أبي محمد الحجال، عن داود بن أبي يزيد قال: قال أبو عبد الله عليه السلام: ما كان مع أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام من يعرف حقه إلا صعصعة و أصحابه
Muhammad b. Masud – Ali b. Muhammad – Muhammad b. Ahmad b. Yahya – al-Abbas b. Maruf – Abi Muhammad al-Hajjal – Dawud b. Abi Yazid who said: Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said: there was no one with the commander of the faithful عليه السلام who recognized his right (i.e. Imama) except Sa`sa`a and his associates.
I recount here an episode he had with Uthman when the delegations all converged in Madina demanding the besieged Caliph to renounce his family members and rectify his conduct. It reflects his quick wit, turn of phrase and deep understanding of the Qur`an at a very young age to be chosen to […]