Close companions of al-Sadiq were totally ignorant about the Imam after him.

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Here is a reliable narration from reliable shia source that some great close companions of Jafar al-Sadiq were absolutely clueless about who is the next Imam after al-Sadiq, the successor after him.

Those close companions include: Hisham bin Salim, Abu Jafar al-ahwal mumin al-Taq, Zurarah bin Ayun and Abu Basir and others.

Irshad al-Mufid: Ibn Qulawayh from al-Kulayni from Muhammad b. Yahya from Ahmad b. Muhammad b. Isa from Abi Yahya al-Wasiti from Hisham b. Salim who said: Muhammad b. al-Nu’man Sahib al-Taq and I were in Madina after the death of Abi Abdillah عليه السلام and the people had gathered around Abdallah b. Ja’far - considering him to be the Master of the Affair after his father. We entered in to meet him while the people were with him. We asked him about the Zakat - at what amount is it to be levied? He said: five silver coins for every two hundred. We said: what about in a hundred silver coins? He said: two and a half silver coins. We said: by Allah this is what the Murjia say! he said: by Allah I do not even know what the Murjia say!

He [Hisham] said: So I and Abu Ja’far al-Ahwal came out feeling lost not knowing where to go. We sat down in one of the streets of Madina, with our heads lowered, not knowing where to head or whom to seek. We kept saying to ourselves: Should we join the Murjia, or the Qadariyya, or the Mu’tazila or the Zaydiyya? We were still mulling over this when I saw an old man whom I did not recognize gesturing at me with his hand [to follow him]. I feared that he would turn out to be one of the spies of Abi  Ja’far al-Mansur, for he [the Abbasid Caliph] had spies in Madina ready to inform him the identity of the one around whom the people unite after Ja’far so that he [the successor] can be taken and killed. I feared that this was one such spy. I therefore said to al-Ahwal: Depart [from this place] for I fear for both of us, but he only wants me not you, so get away from me to save your life and escape death. He [al-Ahwal] withdrew far away while I followed the old man. I did this because I felt that I could not escape him. I kept following him having readied myself to meet death. He led me until we reached the door of Abi al-Hasan Musa عليه السلام whereupon he left me and departed. 

Suddenly a servant appeared at the door and said to me: Enter may Allah have mercy on you. I entered and found Abu al-Hasan Musa عليه السلام who said to me without being prompted: To me! To me! Not to the Murjia, nor the Qadariyya, nor the Mu’tazila, nor the Zaydiyya or the Khawarij.

I said: May I be made your ransom - has your father passed on? He said: Yes. I said: passed away in death? He said: Yes. I said: Who do we have after him? He said: If Allah the Elevated wishes to guide you He will. I said: May I be made your ransom - your brother Abdallah claims to be the Imam after his father. He said: Abdallah wishes that Allah not be worshipped. I said: May I be made your ransom - who is for us after him [your father]? He said: If Allah wishes to guide you He will. I said: May I be your ransom - is it you? He said: I do not say that.

He [Hisham] said: I said to myself [in my heart]: I am not putting the question appropriately. Then I said to him: May I be made your ransom - is there an Imam over you? He said: No. There entered me a feeling of  awe and reverence towards him which no one knows about except Allah.               

Then I said to him: May I be made your ransom - can I ask you the way I used to ask your father? He said: Ask and you will be informed but do not publicize it for if you do that then it will be slaughter. [Hisham says:] I asked him and found him to be an ocean [of knowledge] which does not dry up [is not exhausted].

I said: May I be made your ransom - the Shia of your father are lost should I avail them of this matter and call them to accept you [as the Imam] for you have binded me to secrecy? He said: The one in whom you detect signs of receptivity to guidance then inform him of this and bind him to secrecy for if he publicizes it then it will be slaughter - and he pointed with his hand to his throat.

He [Hisham] said: I left his presence and met Aba Ja’far al-Ahwal. He said to me: What is behind you? I said: Guidance! and relayed to him the whole story. Then we encountered Zurara and Aba Basir who both entered in to see him [al-Kadim] and heard his talk and asked him and believed in him. Then we met the people in droves, whoever enters in to meet him [al-Kadhim] believes in him, except for the group led by Ammar al-Sabati [who were Fathis], and the people abandoned Abdallah and no one entered in to see him except very few.

Very Strange.

إِنَّ أَصْدَقَ الْحَدِيثِ كِتَابُ اللَّهِ وَأَحْسَنَ الْهَدْىِ هَدْىُ مُحَمَّدٍ وَشَرَّ الأُمُورِ مُحْدَثَاتُهَا وَكُلَّ مُحْدَثَةٍ بِدْعَةٌ وَكُلَّ بِدْعَةٍ ضَلاَلَةٌ وَكُلَّ ضَلاَلَةٍ فِي النَّارِ

May Allah guide us to the true teachings of Quran and Sunnah of His beloved Prophet (s.a.w.w). Ameen


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