Proof of Imamate- Incident of Habaabah al-Waalebiyyah

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فَقُلْتُ لَهُ يَا اَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ مَا دَلَالَةُ الْاِمَامَةِ يَرْحَمُكَ اللهُ قَالَتْ فَقَالَ ائْتِينِي بِتِلْكِ الْحَصَاةِ وَ اَشَارَ بِيَدِهِ اِلَى حَصَاةٍ فَاَتَيْتُهُ بِهَا فَطَبَعَ لِي فِيهَا بِخَاتَمِهِ ثُمَّ قَالَ لِي يَا حَبَابَةُ اِذَا ادَّعَى مُدَّعٍ الْاِمَامَةَ فَقَدَرَ اَنْ يَطْبَعَ كَمَا رَاَيْتِ فَاعْلَمِي اَنَّهُ اِمَامٌ مُفْتَرَضُ الطَّاعَةِ وَ الْاِمَامُ لَا يَعْزُبُ عَنْهُ شَيْ‏ءٌ يُرِيدُهُ قَالَتْ ثُمَّ انْصَرَفْتُ حَتَّى قُبِضَ اَمِيرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَؑ فَجِئْتُ اِلَى الْحَسَنِؑ وَ هُوَ فِيْ مَجْلِسِ اَمِيرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَؑ وَ النَّاسُ يَسْاَلُونَهُ فَقَالَ يَا حَبَابَةُ الْوَالِبِيَّةُ فَقُلْتُ نَعَمْ يَا مَوْلَايَ فَقَالَ هَاتِي مَا مَعَكِ قَالَ فَاَعْطَيْتُهُ فَطَبَعَ فِيهَا كَمَا طَبَعَ اَمِيرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَؑ قَالَتْ ثُمَّ اَتَيْتُ الْحُسَيْنَؑ وَ هُوَ فِيْ مَسْجِدِ رَسُولِ اللهِ ﷺ فَقَرَّبَ وَ رَحَّبَ ثُمَّ قَالَ لِي اِنَّ فِيْ الدَّلَالَةِ دَلِيلًا عَلَى مَا تُرِيدِينَ اَ فَتُرِيدِينَ دَلَالَةَ الْاِمَامَةِ فَقُلْتُ نَعَمْ يَا سَيِّدِي فَقَالَ هَاتِي مَا مَعَكِ فَنَاوَلْتُهُ الْحَصَاةَ فَطَبَعَ لِي فِيهَا قَالَتْ ثُمَّ اَتَيْتُ عَلِيَّ بْنَ الْحُسَيْنِؑ وَ قَدْ بَلَغَ بِيَ الْكِبَرُ اِلَى اَنْ اُرْعِشْتُ وَ اَنَا اَعُدُّ يَوْمَئِذٍ مِائَةً وَ ثَلَاثَ عَشْرَةَ سَنَةً فَرَاَيْتُهُ رَاكِعًا وَ سَاجِدًا وَ مَشْغُولًا بِالْعِبَادَةِ فَيَئِسْتُ مِنَ الدَّلَالَةِ فَاَوْمَاَ اِلَيَّ بِالسَّبَّابَةِ فَعَادَ اِلَيَّ شَبَابِي قَالَتْ فَقُلْتُ يَا سَيِّدِي كَمْ مَضَى مِنَ الدُّنْيَا وَ كَمْ بَقِيَ فَقَالَ اَمَّا مَا مَضَى فَنَعَمْ وَ اَمَّا مَا بَقِيَ فَلَا قَالَتْ ثُمَّ قَالَ لِي هَاتِي مَا مَعَكِ فَاَعْطَيْتُهُ الْحَصَاةَ فَطَبَعَ لِي فِيهَا ثُمَّ اَتَيْتُ اَبَا جَعْفَرٍؑ فَطَبَعَ لِي فِيهَا ثُمَّ اَتَيْتُ اَبَا عَبْدِ اللهِؑ فَطَبَعَ لِي فِيهَا ثُمَّ اَتَيْتُ اَبَا الْحَسَنِ مُوسَىؑ فَطَبَعَ لِي فِيهَا ثُمَّ اَتَيْتُ الرِّضَاؑ فَطَبَعَ لِي فِيهَا وَ عَاشَتْ حَبَابَةُ بَعْدَ ذٰلِكَ تِسْعَةَ اَشْهُرٍ عَلَى مَا ذَكَرَ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ هِشَام‏

Habaabah Waalebiyyah was a learned and pious lady.

She reports, “I asked Ameerul Momineen (Ali Ibn Abi Talib a.s.), ‘What is the sign of Imamate, may Allah have mercy on you?’

He (peace be upon him) told me, ‘Get me those pebbles’ and indicated towards some pebbles. I brought them to him (peace be upon him). He (peace be upon him) imprinted the seal of his ring on those pebbles for me and said, ‘O Habaabah! If a person claims Imamate, then if he can imprint on pebbles like you saw, you should know that he is an Imam whose obedience is obligatory; nothing is hidden from an Imam when he intends something.’ I went away. 

When Ameerul Momineen (peace be upon him) departed from this world, I came to al-Hasan (peace be upon him) who was ensconced in the seat of Ameerul Momineen (peace be upon him) and people were asking him questions.

He (peace be upon him) said, ‘O Habaabah!

I replied, ‘Yes, O my master!’

‘Give me what is with you.’

I handed them (i.e. the pebbles) to him and he (peace be upon him) imprinted the seal of his ring on them exactly like Ameerul Momineen (a.s) had done.

Thereafter, I went to al-Husain (peace be upon him), who was in the Prophet’s (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) mosque.

He (peace be upon him) came to me, welcomed me and said to me, ‘Surely, there is a proof in what you intend. Do you want the proof of Imamate?’

I replied in the affirmative.

‘Give me what is with you.’

I handed it over to him and he (peace be upon him) printed the seal of his ring on it.

Then, I approached Ali Ibn al-Husain (peace be upon him) while I had become very old to the extent that I was quivering and my age was approximately 113 years. I saw him (peace be upon him) bowing, prostrating and busy in worship to the extent that I despaired from taking the proof from him (peace be upon him). But he (peace be upon him) indicated towards me with his index finger and my youth returned…..

Habaabah went on to live till the time of the eighth Imam Ali Ibn Moosa al-Reza (peace be upon him), taking the proof of Imamate from each Imam (peace be upon him). After meeting al-Reza (peace be upon him) and taking the proof of Imamate from him (peace be upon him), she died after nine months, according to Muhammad Ibn Heshaam.


1.            Al-Kaafi, vol. 1, p. 346, H. 3

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