Reply: Question 7

There exists difference of opinion in numerous vital historical events and incidents such as births, martyrdoms, wars and reign. Difference about birth of someone who was born at the time when tyrant rulers kept strict vigilance over him is something natural. It is likely that in order to save Hazrat’s life and out of dissimulation, the Imams (a.s.) celebrated his birth with such differences and they didn’t reveal its actual truth. Obviously, if the Imams (a.s.) had exactly specified the date before Hazrat’s birth or even at the time of his birth, then the state of Imam Hasan Askari’s family who were severely besieged would still worsen. But the Imams (a.s.) wished to keep secret Hazrat’s (a.s.) date of birth. Thus, there arose differences after Hazrat’s birth

This difference reveals the strict control exerted by the Abbasid caliphs. They would send agents to Imam Hasan Askari’s house and search the women to find out if any among them was pregnant. They feared the birth of the promised one of Islam who would destroy their throne and crown.

Now that we are passing the stage of major concealment after the lapse of minor concealment and Hazrat continues to thrive and live, today, the Shias have investigated and reached a decisive conclusion that 15th Shaban is more evident and correct. For this reason, in spite of differences in the day, month and year of birth, the Shias have selected and supported only one date.

Thus, at the start, the idea was to keep Hazrat’s birth concealed and one way for it was to keep difference in the date of birth where none would realize its exact date. The same is the case with Hazrat Zahra’s (a.s.) grave. Some say her grave is in Baqi; some say she was buried in her own house and yet others say she was buried besides the holy prophet (s.a.w.a.). So it’s obvious that when something is concealed, differences would come up.

Can this difference in date of birth lead one to believe that Hazrat didn’t exist at all?!

Such reasoning is like saying, ‘Difference of opinion about Hazrat Fatema’s grave is a proof that she wasn’t martyred and that she doesn’t possess a grave at all.’

If it’s decided to keep an event concealed, then this ambiguity will certainly rise. There exists difference in the holy prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) birth as well. Majority of the Sunnis believe his date of birth to be 12th Rabi’ul-Awwal while the Shias believe it to be 17th Rabi’ul-Awwal.

If we look at history, we fill find many differences concerning birth, death and numerous other historical events. Are they proofs that such personalities did not live in history? Or is this difference itself a proof that such personalities did live but with some difference in opinion about some events related to them.