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DjabirEI.pdf Djābir b. ʿAbd Allāh b. ʿAmr b. Ḥarām b. Kaʿb b. Ghanm b. Salima, Abū ʿAbd Allāh (or Abū ʿAbd al-Raḥmān, or Abū Muḥammad) al-Salamī alKhazradjī al-Anṣārī, Companion of the Prophet. His father, ɈAbd Allāh, was one of the seventy men of Aws and Khazradj who gave the Prophet the oath of allegiance at the ɈAḳaba Meeting and committed themselves to defend him. His father is also recorded in the list of the twelve nuḳabāʾ, the chosen group from among the seventy; Djābir himself attended the Meeting as a very young boy, and is therefore counted in the list of “the Seventy” and in the honourable list of those who embraced Islam together with their fathers. His father prevented him from taking part in the two encounters at Badr and Uḥud, leaving him at home to look after his seven (or nine) sisters. A report according to which he attended the battle of Badr and drew water for the warriors is denied authenticity by al-Wāḳidī and marked by him as an ɈIrāḳī tradition. On the Day of Uḥud, Djābir lost his father, his mother's brother ɈAmr b. alDjamūḥ and his cousin Khallād. Djābir's father distinguished himself in the fight and was the first Muslim warrior killed in this battle. The Prophet did not object to Djābir mourning for him, and gave him permission to uncover his face. ɈAbd Allāh was buried according to the Prophet's ruling as a martyr on the spot where he fell, clad in his garment, with his wounds still bleeding. The Prophet personally suggested that he should act as father to Djābir and put ɈĀɇisha in his mother's place. On the day following the battle of Uḥud, Djābir asked and was granted permission to join the force dispatched by the Prophet to Ḥamrāɇ al-Asad. After that Djābir accompanied the Prophet on 18 or so expeditions. The Prophet showed great concern for Djābir and his family and often came to his dwelling. Djābir's family, who were familiar with his tastes, used to prepare for the Prophet his favourite kind of meal. On one such visit the Prophet blessed the family of Djābir and their abode, on another he cured Djābir of fever by sprinkling on him water which he had used for ablution. The Prophet gave his approval for Djābir to marry a woman who was not a virgin and who would take care of his sisters. By his blessing he helped Djābir to pay a debt which his father owed to the Jew Abū Shaḥma and he invoked God's forgiveness for him when he bought his camel (laylat al-baʿīr). After the death of the Prophet ɈUmar appointed Djābir chief (ʿarīf) of his clan. During the military operations of the conquest of Damascus he was sent as a member of an auxiliary force dispatched to Khālid b. al-Walīd. On another occasion he was dispatched by ɈUmar with a small group to al-Kūfa. When the rebellious Egyptian troops advanced to Medina in order to besiege the house of ɈUthmān, Djābir was among the group sent by the caliph to negotiate with them and appease them. He is said to have fought on the side of ɈAlī at Ṣiffīn (37/657) and then to have returned to Medina. During the expedition of Busr b. Arṭāt (40/660) Djābir was compelled to swear allegiance to MuɈāwiya; this he did in precautionary dissimulation (taḳiyya), after having consulted Umm Salama, the wife of the Prophet. This is a new trait of character, indicating ShīɈī sympathies, and is one of the earliest cases of taḳiyya mentioned in the texts. As an indication of Djābir's attachment to Medina and to the relics of the Prophet, one may adduce the report that he and Abū Hurayra prevailed upon MuɈāwiya to leave the minbar of the Prophet in Medina and not to transfer it to Syria. He is said to have visited the court of ɈAbd al-Malik and to have asked him for some grants for the people of Medina. When the force sent by Yazīd b. MuɈāwiya against Medina (63/683) entered the city, Djābir openly voiced his objection, circulating an utterance of the Prophet about the punishment which would befall people who affrighted the city. He was saved from death by Marwān when a man, enraged by his words, attacked him intending to kill him. After the victory of al-Ḥadjdjādj over Ibn al-Zubayr (73/692), al-Ḥadjdjādj ordered the hands of some of the opponents of the Umayyad rule to be stamped in the same way as was done to the dhimmīs and Djābir was among those opponents. Djābir's sharp criticism and unkind words with regard to the rulers, especially al- Ḥadjdjādj, provoked the latter's caustic remark that Djābir displayed the same pride as the Jews (by which, of course, the Anṣār were meant). Djābir died at 78/697 at the age of 94 (other reports, however, give varying dates). He is said to have been the last survivor of the group of 70 Anṣār who attended the ɈAḳaba Meeting, thus fulfilling a prediction of the Prophet. The prayer over his grave was performed by the governor of Medina, Abān b. ɈUthmān, or according to another tradition, by al-Ḥadjdjādj b. Yūsuf when he came to Medina after his victory over ɈAbd Allāh b. al-Zubayr. Djābir is noted as a most prolific narrator of traditions from the Prophet. The number of those going back to him is estimated at 1,540; al-Bukhārī and Muslim recorded 210 ḥadīths transmitted by him in their compilations, and the subject-range of his transmission is extremely wide. Of special interest are Djābir's reports about events which he witnessed and details furnished by him about expeditions in which he took part. Djābir was highly respected by the scholars of ḥadīth and is counted in the lists of reliable transmitters and the aṣḥāb al-futyā. He used to recite his traditions in the mosque of Medina; his sessions of ḥadīth-transmission were attended by a wide circle of students who would discuss the traditions of their master after leaving the mosque. A composition known as ṣaḥīfat Djābir contained a great number of traditions recorded by him. Scholars of ḥadīth were eager to circulate traditions on his authority, without always observing the necessary rules of ḥadīth transmission. Even a distinguished pious scholar like al-Ḥasan al-Baṣrī was suspected of reporting some traditions on the direct authority of Djābir although he never was his disciple. The impressive list of those who transmitted his traditions includes the names of three of his sons: ɈAbd al-Raḥmān, ɈAḳīl and Muḥammad. His descendants are said to have settled in North Africa, in a place called al-Anṣāriyya. In ShīɈī tradition, Djābir was granted an exceptionally high rank. The ḥadīths recorded in ShīɈī sources on his authority touch upon the fundamental tenets of ShīɈī belief: the mission of ɈAlī, his qualities, his authority over the believers, the graces granted him by God, the divine virtues of his descendants and the duties of allegiance and obedience incumbent upon the believers. It was the imām al-Bāḳir who asked Djābir about the Tablet which God sent down to Fāṭima and which Djābir got permission to copy. In this Tablet God named the imāms and established their order of succession. It is noteworthy that, according to some versions, the imām compared the copy of Djābir with the Tablet in his possession and stated that the copy was a reliable and accurate one. In another story Djābir confirms the accuracy of the unusual report about the hidjra as told him by the imām. Djābir is credited with the ḥadīth about the appointment of ɈAlī as waṣī, which forms the base of the ShīɈī interpretation of Sūra LIII, 1–4. It was he who reported the utterance of the Prophet that ɈAlī is the ṣirāṭ mustaḳīm, the right path to be followed. The imām al-Bāḳir stressed that Djābir was privileged to possess knowledge of the correct interpretation of Sūra XXVIII, 85 which, according to him, refers to the radjʿa, the re-appearance of the Prophet and ɈAlī. Among further ShīɈī traditions reported on Djābir's authority is the one which states that there are two weighty things left by the Prophet for the Muslim community: the Ḳurɇān and his Family (al-ʿitra). Another tradition has it that the angel Djibrīl bade the Prophet proclaim the vocation of ɈAlī and his descendants, the imāms, and tell the Muslim community about ɈAlī's distinguished position on the Day of Resurrection and in Paradise. The Sunnī version of Djābir's report that the first thing created by God was the Light of Muḥammad had its ShīɈī counterpart traced back to Djābir, which said that this Light was split into two parts: the Light of Muḥammad and the Light of ɈAlī, and that it was later transferred to the succeeding imāms. It is on the authority of Djābir that the significant tradition which states that the last persons to be with the Prophet when he died were ɈAlī and Fāṭīma is reported. Some of his traditions relate the miracles of ɈAlī. ɈAlī ascended to Heaven in order to put down the rebellion of the wicked djinn who denied his authority and a luminous angel prayed in his place in the mosque. Another miracle happened when ɈAlī walked with Djābir on the bank of the Euphrates: a very high wave covered ɈAlī; when he reappeared completely dry after a short time, he explained that it had been the Angel of the Water who greeted and embraced him. Djābir is distinguished in the ShīɈī tradition by a significant mission entrusted to him by the Prophet: he was ordered to meet the imām al-Bāḳir and to convey to him the greetings of the Prophet, which he did. This created a peculiar relationship between the elderly bearer of the good tidings and the young recipient, the imām al-Bāḳir. According to tradition, the two used to meet, and some of the traditions transmitted by al-Bāḳir are told on the authority of Djābir and traced back to the Prophet. It is evident that the idea that the imām might have derived his knowledge from a human being is opposed to the principles of the ShīɈa. It had thus to be justified that it was merely done in order to put an end to the accusations of the Medinans, who blamed al-Bāḳir for transmitting ḥadīths on the authority of the Prophet whom he had never seen. As the traditions reported by Djābir and those independently reported by the imām and revealed to him by God were in fact identical, the insertion of Djābir's name between the name of the imām and that of the Prophet was quite a formal act with no significance. A few traditions are indeed reported with names of some Companions inserted between the imām and the Prophet. In one of the traditions it is explained that this insertion may make the ḥadīth more acceptable to people, although it is obvious that the imāms knew more than that Companion whose name was inserted between the imām and the Prophet. The close relationship of Djābir with the family of ɈAlī is also exposed in the story relating that Fāṭima bint ɈAlī asked Djābir to intervene and to persuade Zayn al-ɈĀbidīn to cease his excessive devotional practices which might be harming for his health. It was a sign of respect and faith that, when Ḥusayn asked his enemies on the battle-field of Karbalāɇ to save his life, quoting the utterance of the Prophet that he and his brother were the lords of the youths of Paradise (sayyidā shabāb ahl al-djanna), he referred to Djābir who would vouch for the truth of the utterance. Djābir is said to have been present at the grave of Ḥusayn shortly after he had been killed and to have met there the family of Ḥusayn who were sent back by Yazīd b. MuɈāwiya. Another ShīɈī tradition reports about his visit to the grave of Ḥusayn and his moving speech over the grave. Djābir had intimate relations with the family of ɈAlī and especially with the two imāms Zayn al-ɈĀbidīn and al-Bāḳir. There are some ShīɈī attempts to link him with DjaɈfar alṢādiḳ and to fix the date of his death at the beginning of the 2nd century A.H. Finally, the high position of Djābir in ShīɈī tradition is expressed by the fact that he was placed in the list of the four persons who clung to the true faith and in the list of the nine persons to whom ɈAlī promised that they would be in Paradise. (M. J. Kister) Bibliography Ibn Ḳudāma al-Maḳdisī, al-Istibṣār fī nasab al-ṣaḥāba min al-anṣār, Cairo 1392/1972, index ɈAbd al-Malik b. Ḥabīb, al-Taʾrīkh, Ms. Bodl. Marsh 288, p. 126 Abū ɈAbd Allāh al-Ṣūrī, Djuzʾ, Ms. Leiden Or. 2465, fols. 4b–5a Abu ɇl-ɈArab, K. al-Miḥan, Ms. Cambridge Oq 235, fol. 162a ɈAbd al-Ghanī al-Nābulusī, Dhakhāʾir al-mawārīth fī 'l-dilāla ʿalā mawāḍiʿ ʾl-ḥadīth, Cairo 1352/1934, i, 125–76, nos. 1139–1599 Aḥmad b. ɈAlī al-Ṭabarsī, al-Iḥtidjādj, Nadjaf 1386/1966, i, 84–8, 291 Aḥmad b. al-Ḥusayn al-Bayhaḳī, al-Sunan al-kubrā, Hyderabad 1344, i–x, index w Akhṭab Kh wārizm, al-Manāḳib, Nadjaf 1385/1965, 27, 36, 60, 62, 80, 82, 88, 106–7, 195, 219, 227, 266 Aḥmad b. Ḥanbal, K. al-ʿIlal wa-maʿrifat al-ridjāl, ed. 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Kohlberg, An unusual Shīʿī isnād, in Israel Oriental Studies, v (1975), 142–9 U. Rubin, Pre-existence and light, in ibid., 99, n. 86, 115 n. 22 Sezgin, GAS, i, 85, no. 3. [Print Version: Volume XII, page 230, column 1] Citation: Kister, M. J. “Djābir b. ɈAbd Allāh b. ɈAmr b. Ḥarām b. KaɈb b. Ghanm b. Salima, Abū ɈAbd Allāh (or Abū ɈAbd al-Raḥmān, or Abū Muḥammad) al-Salamī al-Khazradjī alAnṣārī.” Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Edited by: P. Bearman; Th. Bianquis; C.E. Bosworth; E. van Donzel; and W. P. Heinrichs.