Bazi`, al-Sarri, Bashshar and Bayan

//Bazi`, al-Sarri, Bashshar and Bayan

Muʿjam al-Aḥādīth al-Muʿtabara, Bazi`, al-Sarri, Bashshar and Bayan – Ḥadīth #5

[5/130] Rijal al-Kashshi: Hamduwayh and Ibrahim the sons of Nusayr from Muhammad b. Isa from Safwan from Murazim who said: Abu Abdillah عليه السلام said to me: do you know Mubashir or Bashir – [mistaking the name] – the barley seller? I said: Bashshar? he said: Bashshar! I said: yes I do, he is a neighbor of mine, he (al-Sadiq) said: the Jews said (what they said) but they (still) monothized Allah, and the Christians said (what they said) but they (still) monothized Allah, but Bashshar has said (i.e. professed) a mighty thing! if you reach Kufa go to him and say to him: Ja’far says to you – ‘O Kafir, O Fasiq, O Mushriq, I am disassociated from you’, Murazim said: so when I reached Kufa and had put down my provisions (of the journey) – I came to his place and called the maid servant and said: say to Abi Ismail (Bashshar) that this is Murazim (at the door), so he came out to me, I said to him: Ja’far b. Muhammad says to you – ‘O Kafir, O Fasiq, O Mushriq, I am disassociated from you’, so he (Bashshar) said to me: and has my master mentioned (i.e. remembered) me? he (Murazim) said: I said: yes – he has mentioned you with what I have just said to you! so he said: may Allah reward you with good, and may he do (so and so) for you, and he began supplicating for me! Comments

al-Mamaqani says: he (the Imam) wishes by naming him Mubashar and then Bashir [which are derivations of Bishr] and not getting his name right – to do as though he does not know him, and this is to belittle the one named, and not that he does not know his name in actuality, and this is something well known even in our usage, when we want to demean a man we show as if we do not know his actual name (i.e. get it wrong purposely).

What were the beliefs of Bashshar the barley seller that the Imam had such a visceral reaction against him. Al-Kashshi elaborates that he held similar beliefs to the Ulyawiyya and the Mukhammisa as follows:

ومقالة بشار هي مقالة العلياوية يقولون إن عليا رب وظهر بالعلوية الهاشمية وأظهر عبده ورسوله بالمحمدية، فوافق أصحاب أبي الخطاب في أربعة أشخاص علي وفاطمة والحسن والحسين وأن معنى الأشخاص الثلاثة فاطمة والحسن و الحسين تلبيس و الحقيقة شخص علي لأنه أول هذه الأشخاص في الإمامة و أنكروا شخص محمد وزعموا أن محمدا عبد وعلي رب وأقاموا محمدا مقام ما أقامت المخمسة سلمان و جعلوه رسولا لعلي، فوافقوهم في الإباحات و التعطيل و التناسخ والعلياوية سمتها المخمسة العليائية و زعموا أن بشارا الشعيري لما أنكر ربوبية محمد وجعلها في علي و جعل محمدا عبد علي و أنكر رسالة سلمان مسخ في صورة الطير يقال له علياء يكون في البحر فلذلك سموهم العليائية

And the belief of Bashshar is that of the Ulyawiyya – they say: Indeed Ali is the Deity, and […]

Muʿjam al-Aḥādīth al-Muʿtabara, Bazi`, al-Sarri, Bashshar and Bayan – Ḥadīth #4

[4/129] Rijal al-Kashshi: Hamduwayh from Ya`qub from Ibn Abi Umayr from Ali b. Yaqtin from al-Madaini from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام, he [Abi Abdillah] said to me: O Murazim – who is Bashshar? I said: the seller of barley, he said: may Allah curse Bashshar, then he said to me: O Murazim – say to them: woe on you! repent to Allah for you are indeed disbelieving polytheists!

[4/129] رجال الكشي: حمدويه، عن يعقوب، عن ابن أبي عمير، عن علي بن يقطين، عن المدايني، عن أبي عبدالله عليه السلام قال، قال لي: يامرازم من بشار؟ قلت بياع الشعير، قال: لعن الله بشارا، قال، ثم قال لي: يا مرازم قل لهم ويلكم توبوا إلى الله فانكم كافرون مشركون

Muʿjam al-Aḥādīth al-Muʿtabara, Bazi`, al-Sarri, Bashshar and Bayan – Ḥadīth #3

[3/128] Rijal al-Kashshi: From Muhammad b. Masud from al-Husayn b. al-Hasan b. Bundar al-Qummi and Muhammad b. Qulawayh al-Qummi from Sa`d from al-Ubaydi from Yunus from al-Abbas bin A’mir al-Qasbani AND Ayyub b. Nuh and al-Hasan b. Musa – the wood cutter – and al-Hasan b. Abdallah b. al-Mughira from al-Abbas b. A`mir from Hammad b. Abi Talha from Ibn Abi Ya’fur who said: I entered upon Abi Abdillah عليه السلام – so he said to me: what has happened to Bazi`? I said: he has been killed, he said: All praise is due to Allah – for there is nothing more appropriate for these Mughiriyya than being killed – this is because they will never repent ever. Comments

The Mughiriyya are the followers of al-Mughira b. Sa`id (it has already been pointed out above that he died with his followers in the same rebellion as that of Bayan; more about him in his own independent entry). Bazi` would be one of the Mughiriyya who died in the same incident.

It would seem that this Bazi` also claimed prophethood in the same way as Mughira [his teacher] had done i.e. they considered the Imam to be divine and themselves to be legitimate deputies (“prophets”).

محمد بن يحيى، عن أحمد بن محمد، عن ابن فضال، عن حماد بن عثمان، عن ابن أبي يعفور قال: قلت لأبي عبد الله عليه السلام: إن بزيعا يزعم أنه نبي فقال: إن سمعته يقول ذلك فاقتله، قال: فجلست له غير مرة فلم يمكني ذلك

Muhammad b. Yahya from Ahmad b. Muhammad from Ibn Fadhal from Hammad b. Uthman from Ibn Abi Ya`fur who said: I said to Abi Abdillah عليه السلام – Bazi` claims that he is a prophet, he said: if you hear him saying that then kill him, he [Ibn Abi Ya`fur] said: so I sat in his sessions more than once but he did not give me any chance [he did not repeat those words].

It has been attributed to Bazi`that he claimed to have made a heavenly ascent at the culmination of which Allah the Elevated Himself wiped on his head [anointed him] and spat into his mouth, which was the source of his knowledge. He also believed that any one who perfects his recognition will not die in reality but be “raised” to the spiritual domain directly. The idea of ascension through the heavenly spheres was not new in the Near Eastern societies and even Paul of Tarsus claims this in the NT.

[3/128] رجال الكشي: عن محمد بن مسعود، عن الحسين بن الحسن بن بندار ومحمد بن قولويه القميان، عن سعد، عن العبيدي، عن يونس، عن العباس بن عامر القصباني؛ و أيوب بن نوح و الحسن بن موسى الخشاب و الحسن بن عبد الله بن المغيرة، عن العباس بن عامر، عن حماد بن أبي طلحة، عن ابن أبي يعفور قال: دخلت على أبي عبد الله عليه السلام فقال: ما فعل بزيع فقلت له: قتل، فقال: الحمد لله، أما إنه ليس لهؤلاء […]

Muʿjam al-Aḥādīth al-Muʿtabara, Bazi`, al-Sarri, Bashshar and Bayan – Ḥadīth #2

[2/127] Rijal al-Kashshi: From Muhammad b. Masud from al-Husayn b. al-Hasan b. Bundar al-Qummi and Muhammad b. Qulawayh al-Qummi from Sa`d b. Abdallah b. Abi Khalaf from Ya`qub b. Yazid from Ibn Abi Umayr from Ibn Bukayr from Zurara from Abi Ja`far عليه السلام, he (Zurara) said: I heard him saying: may Allah curse Bayan the straw seller, and also [saying]: Bayan – may Allah curse him – used to lie about my father, I bear witness that my father Ali b. al-Husayn was [naught but] a righteous slave. Comments

This Hadith gives us the occupation of Bayan i.e. selling straw, as well as indicating that apart from his association with Ibn al-Hanafiyya and Abu Hashim, he also claimed things [deification] for the former’s junior contemporary Ali Zayn al-Abidin who must have repudiated him.

Sa`d b. Abdallah says in his al-Maqalat that this Bayan sent a letter to al-Sadiq announcing his prophethood and commanding him among other things “to surrender himself so as to be safe … for you cannot know where God will place his prophethood .. and whoever warns has been excused”. The Imam ordered the messenger who brought the letter, a hapless man called Umar b. Abi Afif al-Azdi, to eat the letter in front of him, and that was his reply.

[2/127] رجال الكشي: عن محمد بن مسعود عن الحسين بن الحسن بن بندار و محمد بن قولويه القميان، عن سعد بن عبد الله بن أبي خلف، عن يعقوب بن يزيد، عن محمد بن أبي عمير، عن ابن بكير، عن زرارة، عن أبي جعفر عليه السلام قال: سمعته يقول لعن الله بيان التبان و إن بيانا لعنه الله كان يكذب على أبي أشهد أن أبي علي بن الحسين كان عبدا صالحا

Muʿjam al-Aḥādīth al-Muʿtabara, Bazi`, al-Sarri, Bashshar and Bayan – Ḥadīth #1

[1/126] Rijal al-Kashshi: From Muhammad b. Masud from al-Husayn b. al-Hasan b. Bundar al-Qummi and Muhammad b. Qulawayh al-Qummi from Sa`d b. Abdallah b. Abi Khalaf from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa from al-Husayn b. Sa`id from Ibn Abi Umayr from Hisham b. al-Hakam from Abi Abdillah عليه السلام who said: the Devil appeared to Bayan, al-Sarri and Bazi` – may Allah curse them – in the best form that a human can take from the top of his head to the navel, I [Hisham] said: Bayan interprets this verse “and He is the one who is God in Heaven and God on Earth” (43:84) that the one on Earth is not the God of Heaven, and the God of Heaven is not the God of Earth, and that the God of Heaven is greater than the God of Earth, and that the people of the Earth recognize [only] the merit of the God of Heaven and magnify Him, so he said: by Allah! He is not but Allah alone having no partner, the God of the those in the Heavens and the God of those on the Earths, Bayan has lied – may Allah curse him – he has belittled Allah Majestic and Mighty and His greatness. Comments

This narration in which Hisham b. al-Hakam (d. 179/795) is asking the Imam about heretical figures is consistent with the fact that he was the first to author a work on Muslim sects ‘Kitāb ikhtilāf al-nās fī él-imāma’. It was devoted to the description of the divisions in Šhi’ism in the late second/eighth century. His original is no longer extant but it has been preserved in Firaq al-Šhia of Nawbakhtī (d. ca. 310/923).

Most manuscripts of al-Kashshi  have the name as Bunan ((بنان instead of Bayan (بيان), but this is probably a manuscriptal error [The only difference between the two names being mere dot number and placement].

Bayan b. Sam`an (most likely from the South Arabian tribe of Nahd) was a Ghali who is said to have associated himself with Hamza b. `Ammara, a speculator about the divinity of Ibn al-Hanafiyya [heading a splinter of the Kaysaniyya]. Bayan later attached himself to the claim of Abu Hashim the son of Muhammad b. al-Hanafiyya.

The following were some of the ideas held by the Bayaniyya [themes also shared by other Ghulat with some important variations]:

i. The Bayaniyya, as is clear from the Hadith above, were influenced by the concept of the Demiurge in their cosmology. This owes its origins to Gnosticism which had a long pre-Islamic pedigree in the melting pot that was Kufa. Gnosticism presents a distinction between the highest, unknowable God and the demiurgic lesser power [second divine heavenly being] that was pre-existing with the unknowable God. The latter is the ilah al-ard [lesser god] in Bayan’s terminology. The real unknown God is so distant and incomprehensible to humans that they can only know him through a lesser being which can interact with matter.

ii. Who is this lesser god […]

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