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'Uthman b. Sa'id

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Companion of Imam (a)
'Uthman b. Sa'id
مرقد عثمان بن سعید.jpg
The tombe of 'Uthman b. Sa'id
Full Name 'Uthman b. Sa'id al-'Amri
Companion of Imam al-Jawad (a), Imam al-Hadi (a), Imam al-Hasan al-'Askari (a) and Imam al-Mahdi (a)
Kunya Abu 'Amr
Epithet Samman
Wellknown Relatives Muhammad b. 'Uthman al-'Amri
Burial Place Baghdad
Activities The first deputy of Imam al-Mahdi (a)

ʿUthmān b. Saʿīd al-ʿAmrī (Arabic: عُثمان بن سَعید العَمری) was the first deputy of Imam al-Mahdi (a). He was a companion of Imam al-Jawad (a), Imam al-Hadi (a), Imam al-Hasan al-'Askari (a) and Imam al-Mahdi (a). When the imamate of Imam al-Mahdi (a) began, he was appointed by him as his special deputy. In order to hide his religious position and protect himself against the government, he worked as an oil seller. This is why he came to be known as "Samman" (سمّان:oil seller).

Name and Titles

His name was 'Uthman b. Sa'id, his kunya was Abu 'Amr, and his titles were al-'Amri, Asadi, 'Askari, and Samman. He came to be known as Samman (oil seller) because he sold oil. In this way he hid his religious activities to be protected from the government. He put Shiite letters in oil containers, and then delivered them to Imam al-Hasan al-'Askari (a).

Life

Nothing is known about his date of birth, but he worked in Imam al-Jawad (a)'s house as a servant since he was 11 years old. After that, he was Imam al-Jawad (a)'s agent and his confidant.

He was an agent and a confidant of Imam al-Hadi (a), Imam al-Hasan al-'Askari (a) and Imam al-Mahdi (a).

'Uthman b. Sa'id mostly stayed in Samarra. After the demise of Imam al-Hasan al-'Askari (a), he abandoned the city and moved to Baghdad. At that time, Samarra was the center of the Abbasid army. The Abbasids were not friendly with Shiite Imams (a) from the very beginning. Some people believe that this was the reason why 'Uthman b. Sa'id moved to Baghdad. He turned the Karkh district (the Shiite residence) into a center of leadership for the Imamiyya.

Death

He passed away in 265/878 or 280/893. He was buried in the western Baghdad in the Darb Mosque. According to al-Shaykh al-Tusi in his book, Kitab al-ghayba, he visited his grave there from 408/1017 to 430/1038 and so.

He is buried in the Rassafa area east of Baghdad in a place known as Bazar Shurja. This place is known today as his grave.

Place

There are hadiths stating that he was trusted by the Imams (a).

After Imam al-Hadi's (a) martyrdom, 'Uthman was also trusted by Imam al-Hasan al-'Askari (a). He was retained in his position by Imam al-Hasan al-'Askari (a). He appointed him as the head of his agents. That is, all the money sent to the Imam by his followers was first received by 'Uthman, and he took it to the Imam (a).

Imam al-Hasan al-'Askari (a) showed his son to some Shiites, including 'Uthman b. Sa'id, and then told them that they will not be able to see him again, and ordered them to obey him during the occultation of Imam al-Mahdi (a).

'Uthman took care of Imam al-Hasan al-'Askari (a) when he was undergoing his final sickness. According to al-Shaykh al-Tusi, he undertook the burial of the Imam (a) as well. According to Shiites, this was evidence that he was the representative of Imam al-Mahdi (a).

Sources Regarding 'Uthman b. Sa'id's Life

Most hadiths regarding the Four Deputies are cited in al-Shaykh al-Tusi's Kitab al-ghayba. His sources were two books that are not available today: Kitab fi akhbar Abi 'Amar wa Abi Ja'far al-'Amriyayn written by Ibn Barina al-Katib, the son of the second deputy's grandson, and Akhbar al-wukala' al-arba'a written by Ahmad b. Nuh.

See Also

References