“He had a great status with Abi al-Hasan Musa b. Ja’far, peace be upon them. A great standing in the Ta’ifa (sect as a whole)” Tusi’s summation of Ali b. Yaqtin Introduction Sometimes, and through a curious mix of dedication and fortune, tangible evidence is found to make what we read in our old … Continue reading Ali b. Yaqtin: The Imam’s Secret Agent
Introduction Whether a man called Abdallah b. Saba existed historically or not has become a fraught question in light of the latter’s relevance in polemics against the Shia. After all, it is this supposed former Jew from Yemen who stands accused of single handedly causing an irreparable schism among early Muslims by originating the heretical … Continue reading Abdallah b. Saba – Man or Myth?
Introduction Who was the greatest companion of the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt? Different answers can be given depending on a multitude of considerations. However, if we are speaking about the companions of the two Imams who, for historical reasons, did the most to lay the foundations of the Madhhab and clarify its teachings, I mean … Continue reading Who was the Greatest Companion of them All?
Introduction It is not hard to account for the presence of Ghulati reports in the Imami corpus in light of the socio-historic contexts of those times. The rapid expansion of the Islamic empire meant that early Muslims came into contact with proponents of other religions. The absorption of non-Arab Mawali and new converts into the … Continue reading Salman and the Milieu of Ghulu
Introduction Occasionally, historical figures transcend the limited planes of their earthly life to become symbols around whom communities polarize and legends grow. One such figure from early Islam is Salman the Persian. Those with an esoteric persuasion (deemed Ghulat or ‘extremists’ by their opponents) were prone to exaggerate his status, seeing in him an archetype … Continue reading Some Notes on the Status of Salman in Early Shi’ism (Pt. 2)