[2/143] Rijal al-Kashshi: Muhammad b. Masud from Muhammad b. Nusayr from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa who said: I made a copy of the letter [from the Imam] in the possession of Ibn Rashid to the group of followers who reside in Baghdad, Madain, the Sawad [Kufa], and surrounding areas: I praise Allah to you because of what I am in of good health granted by Him and His fair dealings with me. I invoke blessings upon His prophet and his family, the best of His blessings and most complete of His mercy and affection. I have appointed Aba Ali b. Rashid to take the place of Ali b. al-Husayn b. Abd Rabbi and whoever came before him from among my agents, and he (Abu Ali) has attained the same status the latter had with me. I give him authority over all that which the other agents had authority over among you so that he can collect my dues. I have chosen him for you and have given him precedence over others in this regard because he is the most suited and deserving of that. So fall in line – may Allah have mercy on you – in handing that over to him and to me, and do not give him any reason to fault you over, for it is incumbent upon you to avoid that, and to hasten to the obedience of Allah, and to legitimize your wealth and preserve your blood – “and assist each other in righteousness and piety (5:2), and fear Allah so that you may be mercied (49:10), and hold onto the rope of Allah all together (3:103), and do not die except as Muslims (3:102)”. I have equated obedience to him with my obedience and embarking upon disobedience to him with embarking upon my disobedience. So stick steadfastly to the path and Allah will reward you and increase you from his own grace, for Allah is expansive and generous with what He has, bountiful to his servants, merciful. You and us are in the safe-guard of Allah and His protection. It is my own handwriting, and I praise Allah effusively. Comments
It seems that this is one letter which has been truncated by al-Tusi in his Ghayba and given in a more complete form by al-Kashshi. The historical document sheds light on the financial network of the later Imams which had evolved considerably from earlier times. It serves the purpose of introducing a new agent (Abu Ali b. Rashid) to the Shia of Baghdad, Madain, Sawad and surrounding environs as a replacement for the former agent (Ali b. al-Husayn b. Abd Rabbi). This would mean that the Imam had one man at the top of a pyramid-like structure overseeing the affairs of what may be called the Iraq sector. Undoubtedly, another individual would be ultimately responsible for the vast Iran sector including greater Khorasan.
Who was Ali b. al-Husayn b. Abd Rabbi?
Both al-Barqi and al-Tusi count Ali b. al-Husayn b. Abd Rabbi among the companions of al-Hadi. He […]