Relics of Imamate
Relics of Imamate or Wadayi’ of Imamate (Arabic: ودائع الإمامة) are articles from the heritage of prophets (a), Imam Ali (a) and Lady Fatima (a) which were in possession of Imams (a) and were one of the factors to know Imams (a). Sword and Ring of the Prophet (s), Stick of Moses (a), Ring of Solomon (a) and the books of Fatima (a), Jafr and Jami'a are among these articles.
Importance of the Issue
With regards to the position of Imamate among Shi'a, knowing Imam (a) was very important for them; and in hadiths, some factors are mentioned for knowing and recognizing Imams (a). The most obvious factor for knowing Imams (a) in the view of Shi'a is the will [of previous Infallible ones (a) which is called "Nass" in Kalam references. But, since this factor was subject to Taqiyya in different periods, relics of imamate were emphasized upon as well so that the doubts in recognition of Imams (a) will be removed. Historically, relics of imamate was a factor for common people which overshadowed other factors. These articles were hidden from the public eye and only certain people could see them.
In hadiths, some articles are mentioned as relics of Imamate and their existence is mentioned in phrases such as "with us" or "with me":
- Sword of the Prophet (s): In a hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (a), he (a) likened the sword of the Prophet (s) to the Ark of the Covenant and said: "If the sword of the Prophet (s) is with any of us, imamate is given to him." According to some hadiths, this sword is Dhu al-fiqar.
- Jafr: is a book in which future events until the Day of Judgment are mentioned.
- Jami'a: is a book dictated by the Prophet (s) and written by Imam Ali (a) and contains all the permissible and the forbidden.
- Kitab Ali (a): some sources considered Jami'a and Book of Ali (a) two names for one book; but, Aqa Buzurg Tehrani referred to this book as Amali Rasul Allah (a) and considered it different from Jafr and Jami'a.
- Mushaf of Fatima (a): is a book that God’s angels brought to Lady Fatima (a) and Imam Ali (a) wrote it.
- Sahifa Fara'id: is about inheritance written by Imam Ali (a)
- Ring of the Prophet (s)
- The Prophet’s (s) armor: it is mentioned in hadiths that one of the signs of Imam (a) is that the Prophet’s (s) armor fits him.
- Red Jafr: is a sack containing the Prophet’s (s) weapon.
- White Jafr: is a sack containing the Torah, the Gospel, the Psalms and other divine books.
- Book of Shi'as: which contains the names of Shi'as. In some hadiths, it is referred to as Namus.
- Heritage of other Prophets (a): such as the Tablets, the Basin, the Ark and the Stick of Moses (a) and the Ring of Solomon (a).
Arguments against Questioners
Imams (a) brought argument from relics of Imamate which were with them against questioners and the doubts of Shi'as. In the Council of Six, Imam Ali (a) said, "By God, is there among you anyone other than me who has the Weapon, the Standard and the Ring of the Prophet (s)?"
Imam al-Sadiq (a) who faced the two movements of Kaysaniyya and Zaydiyya, mentioned the Weapon of the Prophet (s) with him as a means for arguing against them. It is reported that he (a) was told that, "some people think that the Sword of the Prophet (s) is with 'Abd Allah b. Hasan." Imam (a) answered: "By God, 'Abd Allah b. Hasan has never seen it. The sword and the ring of the Prophet (s) is with me. The Prophet’s (s) weapon is like the Ark of Covenant among Banu Israel. Wherever the Ark was found, the prophet could be found there. The same way, the one who has the Prophet’s (s) weapon, will be the Imam (a)."
After the martyrdom of Imam al-Kazim (a), a movement called Waqifiyya was formed and claimed that Imam al-Kazim (a) was hidden and would appear after a while. It made many of Shi'a doubtful; thus, some Shi'a asked Imam al-Rida (a) about the existence of the Prophet’s (s) weapon with him.
Transition to the Next Imam (a)
It can be learned from hadiths that relics of Imamate were trusted from one Imam (a) to the next Imam (a), whether directly or indirectly. It is narrated from Imam al-Sadiq (a) that books were with Imam Ali (a). When he (a) went to Iraq, he (a) trusted them with Umm Salama. Then, they were with Imam al-Hasan (a) and after him, they were with Imam al-Husayn (a), and after him, they were with Ali b. Husayn (a) and after him, they were with my father.
It is also narrated that when Imam al-Husayn (a) moved to Iraq, trusted the books and the will with Umm Salama. When Ali b. Husayn (a) returned, Umm Salama gave them back to him. It is also narrated from Imam al-Baqir (a) that when Ali b. Husayn (a) was in his deathbed, he (a) brought a box and told me: "O Muhammad (a), take this box with you." It contained the Sword of the Prophet (s) and his books."
- The material for this article is mainly taken from ودایع امامت in Farsi Wikishia.