Hadith of the Twelve Successors
Part of a series on Shia Islam
|The Fourteen Infallibles|
The Hadith of the Twelve Successors of Muhammad is a famous hadith in Islam, in which the Islamic prophet Muhammad speaks about twelve Muslim rulers succeeding him. It is found in both Sunni and Shi'a hadith books.
- Narrated Jabir bin Samura: I heard Muhammad saying, "There will be twelve Muslim rulers." He then said a sentence which I did not hear. My father said, "All of them (those rulers) will be from Quraish." 
- Narrated Jabir bin Samura: I heard Muhammad saying, "The (Islamic) religion will continue until the Hour (day of resurrection), having twelve Caliphs for you, all of them will be from Quraysh."
- The Prophet said: "This religion remains standing until there are twelve vicegerents over you, all of them agreeable to the nation, all of them from Quraysh." 
- The Prophet said: "There will be after me twelve Amir (Prince/Ruler), all of them from Quraysh." 
- Masrooq rates that someone asked Abdullah Ibn Masood, "O Abaa Abd al-Rahmaan, did you ask the Messenger of Allah how many caliphs will rule this nation?". Abdullah Ibn Masood replied, "Yes, we did ask the Messenger of Allah and he replied, "Twelve, like the number of chiefs (nuqabaa) of Bani Israel"" 
Similar reports from Sunni and Shia texts
Muhammad was quoted as saying,
- Surely Islam will always remain mighty till there are twelve caliphs in it. All of them will be of the Quraish.
- There will be twelve caliphs after me, all of them will be from Quraish
- There will be twelve caliphs for this nation
- Surely this religion will always overcome its opponents and no enemy or deserter can ever harm it till there are twelve caliphs from my nation in it. All of them will be from Quraish
- This affair (Islam) shall always remain mighty impregnable and victorious against all its opponents till it is ruled by twelve, all of them will be from Quraish
- This affair shall always remain mighty and victorious over its opponents till there are twelve. All of them will be from Quraish
- This affair (Islam) shall always remain righteous till there are twelve chiefs. All of them will be from Quraish.
- This affair shall always remain closely united till there are twelve caliphs in it all of them will be from Quraish
- This affair will always survive till there are twelve chiefs in it. All of them will be from Quraish
- This affair (islam) shall always remain upright till there are twelve chiefs. All of them will be from Quraish
- This affair shall neither pass nor will come to an end till twelve caliphs pass in it. All of them will be from Quraish
- This religion shall survive till the Hour is established or there are twelve caliphs(ruling) upon you. All of them will be from Quraish
- There will be twelve strong supports for this nation. Whoever forsakes them will not harm them. All of them will be from Quraish
- This affair shall always overcome the one who opposes it. No enemy or opponent will harm it till there will be twelve caliphs from Quraish
- Surely this affair shall always remain dominant. No opponent can harm it till there are twelve chiefs. All of them will be from Quraish
- This affair of this nation (Islam) shall always be dominant till there are twelve chiefs or caliphs. They are all from Quraish
- The affair of this nation shall always remain straight and dominant over its enemy till there are twelve caliphs amongst them. All of them will be from the Quraish
- There will be twelve strong people from the Quraish. The one who bears enmity against them, his enemy will not harm them.
- Twelve (caliphs) will follow this affair (Islam). All of them will be from Quraish and their likes will not be seen
- Abdullah ibn Masood on being asked if he asked the Messenger about how many caliphs will rule this nation. He replied in affirmative and said that the Messenger replied, "Twelve, like the number of chiefs (nuqabaa) of Bani Israel"
- Your caliphs will be twelve equal to the number of chiefs of Bani Israel
- Know that the affair of my nation shall always be righteous till there are twelve caliphs in it. All of tem will be from the Quraish
- This religion shall always be upright till there are twelve from Quraish. When they are no more, the earth will be destroyed (swallowed) with all its
The Hadith of the Twelve Successors is a famous tradition attributed to the Muhammad by the Sunni narrators. According to this tradition Muhammad predicted that there would be twelve caliphs after him, all from the Quraysh tribe. There is a version of this narration stating that during the reign of the twelve caliphs the Islamic community would be united. In other versions, it was also predicted that chaos takes place after those twelve. It is almost certain that the narration was in circulation in 125-126 Hijri, during the time of Walid II, when the first signs of the anti-Umayyad revolution had already emerged. Therefore, the statement had been in circulation long before the beginning of the occultation of the Twelfth Imam in 260 Hijri. The hadith was on record during the middle of the second century, in the book titled "Amali" of the Egyptian scholar Al-Layth ibn Sa'd and later in the Musnad of Abu Dawud at-Tayalisi. Thus, no one can claim that the statement was forged by the Imamites in the post-Occultation period. In fact, there is no evidence showing that prior to the last decades of the third century, this statement had ever attracted the attention of the Shite traditionists.
Shias see the 'Hadith of the Twelve Successors' as a basis for their belief in a succession of Imams. Shi'a argue that the "Twelve Successors" must have come in succession, arguing from the term "Successors" (Arabic: Caliph). Twelver Shiites in particular identify the "twelve rulers" with their twelve Imams from Ali to Muhammad al-Mahdi. They maintain that a similar hadith was transmitted from the prophet in which it was stated that 9 of the 12 Imams are from Hussein ibn Ali's lineage and the ninth is Mahdi.
Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal : When the āyah "And warn your relatives of nearest kin" (26:214) was revealed, the Prophet gathered his family around him and treated 30 of them to a meal and then said: "Who is willing to guarantee my debts and commitments so that he should be with me in paradise and should be my successor from among my family." A person whom Shurayk did not name, answered: O Messenger of Allah you are like a sea, who can take charge of this responsibility. The Prophet repeated his statement to his relatives, and (Imam) 'Alī [('a)] replied: "I will undertake this responsibility."
Sheikh Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi in his Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, ch.76, reports from Fara'idu's-Simtain of Hamwaini, who reports from Mujahid, who reports from Ibn Abbas : that a Jew named Na'thal came to Muhammad and asked him questions about Tawhid (Unity of Allah). Muhammad answered his questions and the Jew embraced Islam. Then he said: "O Holy Prophet, every prophet had a wasi (vicegerent). Our Prophet, Moses Bin Imran, made a will for Yusha Bin Nun. Please tell me who is your wasi?" The Holy Prophet said: "My vicegerent is Ali Bin Abi Talib; after him are Hasan, and Husain and after them are nine Imams, who are the successive descendants of Husain."
Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Tha'labi in his Manaqib and Tafsir, Ibn Maghazili Faqih Shafi'i in his Manaqib and Mir Seyyed Ali Hamadani in his Mawaddatu'l-Qurba (Mawadda VI) : narrate from the Second Rightly-Guided Caliph, Umar bin Khattab, who, when the Muhammed established fraternal and brotherly ties between the companions, said, 'This Ali is my brother in this world and in the hereafter. Among my descendants he is my caliph; he is my successor (vicegerent) in my community. He is the heir to my knowledge; he is the payer of my debt. What belongs to him belongs to me; what belongs to me belongs to him; his benefit is my benefit and his loss is my loss. He who is a friend of his is really a friend of mine and he who is an enemy of his is really an enemy of mine."
This Hadith is a Self-fulfilling prophecy, whereby people could fulfil the prophecy themselves. The Hadith is designed to encourage leaders to try to be great leaders.
The Occultation of the Twelfth Imam: A Historical Background, by Dr. Jassim M. Hussain, (a devout Imami Shia professor) p.138 says:
"These and other traditions (Hadith) were spread in both Imamite and Zaydite circles, According to al-Saduq these traditions (Hadith) and others predicting the occurrence of the Ghayba were the main reason for the Imamite acceptance of the Ghayba and for their being satisfied that the series of the Imams should stop at the twelfth."
Various groups "fulfilled" this prophecy, by putting forward their own set of twelve Caliphs.
The Ibadi use the Hadith of the twelve Caliphs to validate the claims of their leaders, who were also twelve in number. The Ibadi claim that this Hadith is a proof for their twelve Caliphs, which include: Abu Bakr, Umar, Abdullah ibn Yahya al-Kindi, and the nine Ibaadi Imams of the Rustamid dynasty.
Many Historians, Sunnis, Ismaili and Zaidiyyah argue that the 11th Imam, of the Twelver Shia, Hassan al-Askari, did not have a son. Twelver Shias say his birth was concealed. Others argue that even if he had a son, Muhammad ibn al-Hassan could not live for over a thousand years.
Hasan al-Askari’s estate was divided between his brother Jafar and his mother.
Moojan Momen writes in "An Introduction to Shi’i Islam" (London, 1985, p. 162):
"Jafar remained unshakeable in his assertion that his brother (Hasan al-Askari) had no progeny."
The Occultation of the Twelfth Imam: A Historical Background, by Dr. Jassim M. Hussain, p. 143 says:
"The majority of the Imamites denied his birth or even his existence, and mocked those who believed in him. According to al-Nu’mani the bulk of these groups abandoned their belief in the hidden Imam. In fact those who continued to hold a firm belief in his Imamate were a small minority belonging to the circles of narrators, like Ibn Qubba and al-Nu’mani himself, who based their belief on the traditions of the Imams (i.e. Hadith about twelve Imams)."
The Twelver Shias were a minority shia group, amongst the various Shia groups until Ismail I made conversion mandatory to the Twelver Shias, for Irans largely Sunni (Shafi) population. 
Many Sunnis say that the Hadiths contain the words Ruler not Imam. Some say that the following Rulers are referred to in these Hadith:
While there may be a difference of opinion amongst some Sunni scholars of the exact identity of the 'Twelve Successors', one cannot deny that some of the greatest Sufi scholars, the vast majority of whom were Sunni, are unanimous on the elect status of the 'Twelve Imams' of spirituality.
In the preface of his book 'The Ghadir Declaration', the well known Islamic scholar Professor Tahir-ul-Qadri quotes the following from Shah Wali Allah, one of the greatest Sunni scholars India ever produced:
“In this Ummah the first person to open the door of spiritual dominion is ‘Alī al-Murtadā. The secret of spiritual dominion of the leader permeated his progeny. Therefore, not a single saint is found in the Ummah who is not directly or indirectly indebted to the spiritual leadership of ‘Alī to attain spiritual leadership...Now in the Ummah anyone who is blessed with spiritual leadership by Allāh’s Messenger is indebted either to ‘Alī al-Murtadā or to the Chief Helper Abdul Qadir Jīlānī. No one can reach the status of wilāyah without this (indebted-ness)”. 
Another prominent Indian Sunni scholar, Shāh Ismā‘īl Dahlawī held the following view:
“Alī al-Murtadā has also an edge over Abū Bakr as-Siddīq and ‘Umar Fārūq and this edge lies because of the greater number of his followers and all the highest spiritual and saintly activity, from his days to the end of the world, has to be mediated through him, and he has a say in the kingdom of the kings and the leadership of the leaders and this is not hidden from those who are familiar with the world of sovereignty… Most spiritual chains are directly derived from ‘Alī al-Murtadā. So, on the Day of Judgment, ‘Alī’s army including followers of high status and great reputation, will outnumber and outshine others to be a source of wonder for all the spectators.”
Finally, another Islamic scholar of India,Imam Rabbani Mujjadid Alf Thani Ahmad Sirhindi, a Master of the Naqshbandi Sufi Order, appropriately highlight the Sunni belief regarding the Twelve Imams in his Maktubaat:
“And there is another way close to the spiritual sovereignty and this is the way of the saints and the general friends of Allāh, and this way is marked by its characteristic passion and it carries the guarantee of mediation and the leader and chieftain of the saints of this way is ‘Alī al-Murtadā. And this grand office is reserved for him. On this way, the feet of the Holy Prophet are on ‘Alī’s head and Fatima and Hasan and Husayn are included with him. I believe that he enjoyed this position even before his physical birth, as he did after it, and whosoever has received the divine blessing and guidance, has received it through him, because he is closest to the last point on this way and the centre of this spot belongs to him. And when his period ended, the grand office passed on to Hasan and Husayn and then on to each one of the Twelve Imams, individually and elaborately. And whosoever received guidance in their life and after their death, received it through these saints. And the refuge and place of shelter of the saints of high ranks are these saints, (because they are the centre of all spiritual activity) and the sides tend to converge on the centre” (Maktubat al-Rabbani, 9:173#123).
Links to the Bible
- Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, "Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?" And Abraham said to God, "If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!"
- Then God said, "Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year." Genesis 17:17-21
The twelve rulers are commonly understood to refer to the twelve sons of Ishmael:
- These are the names of the sons of Ishmael, listed in the order of their birth: Nebaioth the firstborn of Ishmael, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah. These were the sons of Ishmael, and these are the names of the twelve tribal rulers according to their settlements and camps. Genesis 25:13-16
Some Muslims reject this identification, identifying Gen. 25:17-20 as a direct quotation of God and Gen. 25:13-16 as the fallible narration of a human author. Further, they argue that 25:16 contains the specifier "tribal" not contained in 17:20, "twelve rulers".
The Shi'a draw a further distinction, arguing that God is not in interested in secular power and refers to the religious authority of prophets or Imams when using the words "rulers" or "kings". According to this argument, the Biblical authors refer to kings or others with secular power when using the same words. Proponents of this view identify the words "great nation" with the Muslim community and not with kingdom. Note however that Twelver Shias consider the Imams not only as religious leaders but also as princes and the rulers.
- We see the following prophecy in the Taurat which is in the hands of the Jews and the Christians: "Indeed Allah, the Exalted, has given Ibrahim (a.s.) the glad tidings of Isma'il, and he has bestowed a favour and multiplied it and placed in his progeny twelve mighty (personalities)." ...
- Ibn Taymiyya said: "And these are the same, regarding whom the Prophet (s.a.w.s.) has given the glad tidings in the tradition of Jabir ibn Samurah and stated their number; indeed this is with regard to the Imams and the Hour will not come till they last."
Since these successors, whether Caliph or Imam, originate from the tribe of the Quraish, from which Muhammad sprang, they are considered descendants of Ishmael.
A quote from the Shia Imam Muhammad al-Baqir refers to Abraham's prayer narrated above:
- "We are the remnant of progeny. And that was the prayer of Ibrahim (a.s.) regarding us." 
Several sources also link the Hadith of the Twelve Successors to Twelve tribes of Israel with the words
- "Twelve Caliphs, (like) the number of the Chiefs of Bani Israel." 
A few sources also draw a link to Moses:
- "There will be Caliphs after me, whose number is like those of the companions of Musa."
- Ahl al-Bayt
- Hadith of the pond of Khumm
- Hadith of the two weighty things
- Hadith of the pen and paper
- Islam and veneration for Muhammad
- List of hadith
- Shia view on Ali ibn Abi Talib
- Sahih Bukhari 89.329
- Sahih Muslim : Book 020: Number 4477, 4478, 4480, 4481, 4482, 4483
- Sunan Abu Dawood : Book 36: Number 4266
- Sunan al-Tirmidhi (Arabic) Chapter of Fitan,
2:45 (India) and 4:501 Tradition # 2225 (Egypt)
Hadith #2149 (numbering of al-'Alamiyyah)
- Musnad-e-Ahmad, vol 1, pg 398
- Musnad-e-Tayalesi, vol 3, pg 105 Tr. No 767 and vol 6, pg 180 Tr. No 1278, published at Hyderabad, India in 1321 A.H
- Al-Mo'jam al-Kabeer, vol 2, pg 258, Tr. No. 1964
- Al-Fetan, vol. 1, pg 39, Chap 7, Tr. No. 2
- Al-Malaahem wa al-Fetan pg 32, chap 29
- Musnad-e-Ahmad, vol 5, pg 93
- Sunan Abi Dawood, Kitab al-Mahdi
- Taarikh-e-Baghdad, vol 12, pg 126, No. 516
- Al-Bidaaya wa al-Nihaayah, vol 1, pg 18
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- Musnad-e-Ahmad, vol 5, pg 92
- Kanz al-Ummaal, vol 12, pg 33, Tr. no 33860 narrating from Tabraani and Tr. No. 33803, narrating from Tirmidhi
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- Al-Ghaibah of No'mani, pg 123 chap 6, Tr. No 14, and pg 120, Chap 6, Tr. No. 8
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- Al-Mawaddah al-Qurbah, pg 215
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- Kamaal al-Deen, vol 1, pg 279, Chap 24, Tr. No. 26
- Musnad-e-Ahmad, vol 5, pg 106
- Musnad-e-Ahmad, vol 5, pg 87
- Musnad-e-Ahmad, vol 5, pg 93, 96, 98
- Al-Ghaibah by No'maani, pg 116, chap 6, Tr. No. 17
- Sahih Muslim, Kitaab al-Imaarah
- Kanz al-Ummaal, vol 12, pg 32, Tr. No. 33850
- Al-Mo'jam al-Kabeer, vol 2, pg 213, Tr. No 1791 and vol 2, pg 214, Tr. No 1795
- Tarikh al-Khulafaa, The chapter of the duration of the Caliphs, pg 7
- Musnad-e-Ahmad, vol 5, pg 97
- al-Malaahem by Ibn al-Munaadi, pg 113
- Musnad-e-Ahmad, vol 5, pg 107
- Musnad-e-Ahmad, vol 5, pg. 97
- Sahih al-Muslim, Kitab al-Imaarah
- Al-Mo'jam al-Kabeer, vol 2, pg 228, Tr. No. 1849, and Tr. No. 1850 and Tr. No. 1851
- al-Malaahim by ibn Munaadi, pg 112
- Firdaus al-Akhbaar, vol 5, pg 7705
- Musnad-e-Ahmad, vol 5, pg 86
- al-Mo'jam al-Kabeer, vol 2, pg 218, Tr. No. 1808
- Lawaame' al-Uqool, vol 5, pg 150
- al-Mo'jam al-Kabeer, vol 2, pg 215, Tr. No. 1798
- Sahih al-Muslim, Kitab al-Imaarah
- Al-Mo'jam al-Kabeer, vol 2, pg 285, Tr. No. 2068 and 2069
- Kefaayah al-Asar, pg 51, Chap 6, Tr. No. 3
- Behaar al-Anwaar, vol 36
- Al-Taraaef, pg 168-172
- Al-Khesaal, pg 469-473. Tr. No 12-30
- Al-Umdah by Ibn Bitreeq
- E'laam al-Waraa by Tabarsi
- Sahih al-Muslim, Kitab al-Imaarah
- Mukhtasar al-sahih al-Muslim by Tirmidhi, Tr. No. 1196
- Musnad-e-Ahmad, vol 5, pg 89
- Musnad-e-Abi Ya'laa, vol 13, pg 456, Tr. No. 23(7463)
- al-Mo'jam al-Kabeer, vol 2, pg 218. Tr. No. 1809 and vol 2, pg 216. Tr. No. 1801
- Kanz al-Ummaal vol 12, pg 32, Tr. No. 33855
- al-Ghaibah by No'mani, pg 120, part 6, Tr No. 9 and pg 119, Chap 6, Tr. no. 6
- Behaar al-Anwaar vol 36, pg 281, Chap 41, Tr. No. 102
- al-Mo'jam al-Kabeer, vol 2, pg 214. Tr. No. 1794
- al-mo'jam al-Awsat, vol 3, pg 437, Tr. No. 2943
- Kanz al-Ummaal vol 12, pg 33, Tr. No. 33858
- al-Mo'jam al-Kabeer, vol 2, pg 215. Tr. No. 1796
- Kanz al-Ummaal vol 12, pg 33, Tr. No. 33852
- Lawaame al-Uqool, vol 5, pg 151
- al-Mo'jam al-Kabeer, vol 2, pg 238. Tr. No. 1883
- al-Mo'jam al-Kabeer, vol 2, pg 215. Tr. No. 1797 and vol 2, pg 226, Tr. No. 1841
- Kanz al-Ummaal vol 12, pg 33, Tr. No. 33853
- Al-Mustadrak alaa al-Sahihain, Kitaab-o-Ma'refat al-Sahaabaa, vol 3, pg 317-617
- al-Mo'jam al-Kabeer, vol 2, pg 282. Tr. No. 2059
- Kanz al-Ummaal vol 12, pg 32, Tr. No. 33848
- al-Bidaaya wa al-Nihaaya, vol 1, pg 17
- al-Ghaibah of No'maani, pg 119, Chap 6, Tr No. 7
- al-Mo'jam al-Kabeer, vol 2, pg 286. Tr. No. 2073
- Majmaa az-Zawaaed, vol 5, pg 191, Chapter, 'The Caliphs are Twelve'. The author of Muntakhab al Asar says, "Tabraani in his al-Mo'jam al-Kabeer, vol 2, has brought this tradition of Jaabir from thirty-seven chain of narrators. It is clear that Jaabir has heard the tradition concerning the twelve caliphs on more than one occasion from the Messenger of Allah lke the eve of the stoning of Al-Aslami, in the last pilgrimage at Arafaah, when he went to the Prophet along with his father and when he heard the Prophet delivering a sermon in the mosque.
- Kamaal al-Deen, vol 1, pg 272, Chap 24, Tr. No 21
- Musnad-e-Ahmad, vol 1, pg 398
- Kanz al-Ummaal, vol 12, pg 33, Tr. no. 33857
- Muntakhab Kanz al-Ummaal, vol 5, pg 312
- Taarikh al-Khulafaa, pg 7
- Majma al-Zawaaed, vol 5, pg 190 (The Chapter of Twelve)
- Al-Mataaleb al-Aaliyah, vol 2, pg 196. Tr. No. 2040-2041
- Al-Durr al-Manthoor by Jalaaluddin al-Suyuti under the Quranic verse, "And We raised amongst them twelve chiefs" (Surah Maaedah 5:12)
- Mutashaabehaat al-Quran vol 2, pg 53
- Yanaabi al-Mawaddah, pg 258
- Mustadrak al-Sahihain, vol 4, pg 501
- Musnad Abi Ya'laa, vol 8, pg 444, Tr. no 65 (5031), vol 9, pg 222, Tr. no 356 (5322)
- Mutazab al-Asar pg 3, Tr. No. 1
- Isbaat al-Hudaat (by Shaikh Hurr al-Aameli), vol 3, pg 196
- Al-Ghaibah of No'maani, pg 118, Tr. No 5
- Kefaayah al-Asar, pg 23, Chap 2, Tr. No. 2 and pg 25, Chap 2, Tr. No. 3
- Behaar al-Anwaar, vol 36, Chap 41, pg 229, Tr. No 8 narrating from al-Uyoon, al-Khesaal, kamaal al-Deen, al-Lawaame' al-Elaahiyyah, pg 286
- Al-Malaahem by Ibn Al-Munaadi, pg 113
- Mustadrak Alaa al-Sahihain, vol 3, pg 618
- Kanz al-Ummaal, vol 12, pg 33, Tr. No. 33849
- Majma al-Zawaaed, vol 5, pg 190
- Al-Intinsaar fi Naas Al-Aimmah al-Athaar, pg 25
- Akhbaar Isbahaan vol 2, pg 176 The Chapter of Meem
- Kanz al-Ummaal, vol 12, pg 34, Tr. No. 3386
- Kash al-Astaar, part 1, pg 99 narrating from al-Ebaanah
- E'laam al-Waraa pg 384
- Muqtazab al-Asar, pg 3-4
- Manaaqeb of ibn Shar Aashob, vol 1, pg 290
- Behaar al-Anwaar vol 36, pg 267, Chap 41, Tr. No. 87
- Al-Insaaf, pg 361
- Crisis and Consilidation, pp. 99-100, Hossein Modarressi, 1993, Darwin Pres
- Kefayat Alathar fi Nass Ala Aemmate Ethna Ashar, By fourth century author, Ali Ibn Muhammad Alkhazzaz Alrazi (Alghomi), p. 23: "باب (ما جاء عن عبد الله بن مسعود عن النبي صلى الله) (عليه وآله وسلم في النصوص على الائمة الاثنى عشر) اخبرنا أبو المفضل محمد بن عبد الله الشيباني رحمه الله، قال حدثنا أبو علي (1) محمد بن زهير بن الفضل الابلي (2)، قال حدثنا أبو الحسين عمر (3) بن الحسين بن علي بن رستم، قال حدثني ابراهيم ابن يسار الرمادي (4)، قال حدثني سفيان بن عتبة (5)، عن عطا بن السائب (6)، عن ابيه، عن عبد الله بن مسعود قال: سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم يقول: الائمة بعدي اثنا عشر، تسعة من صلب الحسين والتاسع مهديهم. حدثنا محمد بن علي رضي الله عنه، قال حدثنا أبو علي"
- Encyclopedia of Imam Ali, by Mohammad Reyshahri. Farsi link to the book
- Ibn Hanbal’s Musnad, vol. 5, 356, Matba‘ah al-Maymaniyyah
- Ahmad bin Hanbal, al-Musnad, annotated by Ahmad Muhammad Shākir in 15 volumes, Dār al-Ma‘ārif, Cairo, 1949-1958, hadith no. 883
- Goldziher, Ignaz. Introduction to Islamic theology and law. p. 200.
- Akhter, Shamim. Faith & Philosophy of Islam. p. 176.
- Henry Corbin. History of Islamic Philosophy. Pages 69-70
- The Routledge Handbook of Religion and Security edited by Chris Seiple, Dennis R. Hoover, Pauletta Otis Page 60 
- Voices of Islam: Voices of tradition By Vincent J. Cornell Page 223
- "Ismail Safavi" Encyclopædia Iranica
- The Kurds: A Concise Handbook By Mehrdad R. Izady Page 135
- 'i Islam in Iranian Cinema: Religion and Spirituality in Film By Nacim Pak-Shiraz Page 23
- The Cambridge History of Iran, Volume 6 edited by Peter Jackson, Lawrence Lockhart Page 618
- Commissar and Mullah: Soviet-Muslim Policy from 1917 To 1924 By Glenn Roberts Page 153
- Islamic architecture: form, function and meaning Robert Hillenbrand Page 152
- Half the world: the social architecture of Safavid Isfahan, 1590-1722 By Stephen P. Blake - Page 17
- Muhammad in the Bible
- Tarikh ibn Kathir, volume 6, p. 249-250
- Tarikh ibn Kathir 250
- Twelve Successors
- Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal v1 p398 and p406; Mustadrak al-Hakim, 4:501; Al-Dhahabi, Talkhis al-Mustadrak 4:501. I; Ibn Hajar Asqalani, Fath al-Bari 16:339; #Ali ibn Abu Bakr al-Haythami, Majma al-Zawa'id 5:190; Ibn Hajar Al-Haythami, Al-Sawa'iq al-Muhriqa, vol 12; Suyuti, Tarikh al-Khulafa, Vol 10; Jami' al-Saghir 1:75; Kanz al-Ummal, 13:27
- Tarikh ibn Kathir, 6:248; Kanz al-Ummal, 13:27; Al-Haskani, Shawahid al-Tanzil, 1:455, Tradition No. 626.