Uthman ibn Sa'id al-Asadi

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Uthman ibn Sa'id al-Asadi was the first of the four deputies in Twelver Shia Islam, who was appointed as an agent and deputy of Muhammad al-Mahdi while the latter was in the minor occultation (Minor Occultation refers to early years of Imamate of Muhammad al-Mahdi who disappeared and would only contact his followers through the Four Deputies.) After ibn Sa'id's death, his son Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Uthman was appointed as the second deputy by Muhammad al-Mahdi.[1]

Kunya and title[edit]

Uthman ibn Sai'd has two Kuniya (A Kuniya is a teknonym in Arabic names, the name of an adult derived from his or her eldest child.), Abu Amr and Abu Muhammad, Abu Amr because his grandfather's name is Amr and Abu Muhammad since his son's name is Muhammad.[2]

He is known as Samman (oil seller) because he took up selling oil to support his critical activities against Bani Abbas and duties of his deputyship from Bani Abbas to protect the Shias lives. He would cover the Shias money and trusts for Hasan al-Askari in oil barrels. He is called Asadi because his tribe was Banu Asad and al-Askari because he stayed in a place in Samera called Askar (military base).[2]

Before minor occultation[edit]

When he was just eleven years old, ibn Sa'id worked in the house of Muhammad al-Jawad, the 9th Imam of Twelver Shia Islam.[1] Then he became the representative of Ali al-Hadi, the 10th Imam of Shia, and his son Hasan al-Askari, the 11th Imam of Shia. Also, he was trusted by these Shia Imams.[3][4][5] For instance, in a quotation, Ali al-Hadi as saying: "Amri and his son are trusted by me, so whatever he gives and tells you is from me. Listen to them and obey them."[6]

During minor occultation[edit]

After the death of Muhammad al-Mahdi's father, al-Mahdi appointed Uthman ibn Sa'id al-Asadi as his representative, thus making al-Asadi the main link between Muhammad al-Mahdi and the Shia community.[1] After the death of the Hasan al-Askari, Uthman ibn Sa'id performed the ritual bathing of his body, as well as the burial. He then became the deputy of Muhammad al-Mahdi and moved from Samera to Karkh, where the Shia were living. He stayed in Karkh until his death. During this period he delivered the letters and religious taxes the Shias gave to Muhammad al-Mahdi.[7] He died in Baghdad and was buried there. After his death, his son Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Uthman was appointed as the second deputy by Muhammad al-Mahdi.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Mohammed Raza Dungersi. A Brief Biography of Imam Muhammad bin Hasan (a.s.): al-Mahdi. Bilal Muslim Mission. pp. 19–21. 
  2. ^ a b Association of Imam Mahdi. "The first deputy – Hazrat 'Uthman b. Sa'eed al-Amri (r.a.)". 
  3. ^ Muhammad Husayn Tabataba'i (1975). Shi'ite Islam. SUNY Press. p. 210. 
  4. ^ a b S.M.R. Shabbar. Story of the Holy Ka’aba And its People. Muhammadi Trust of Great Britain. 
  5. ^ Ebrahim Amini, Abdulaziz Sachedina. Al-Imam al-Mahdi, The Just Leader of Humanity. Ansariyan Publications - Qum. 
  6. ^ Shaykh Tusi. al-Ghaybah,. p. 360. 
  7. ^ Zahra Ra'isi (2013). "The Special Deputies of Imam Mahdi (as)" (PDF). Message of Thaqalayn. 14 (1): 75.