Researcher of Political Science & Classical Islam. Initiated by the Khwajagan i-Naqshband.
“Allah only desires to keep away uncleanness from you, O people of the House! and to purify you a (thorough) purifying” – Quran 33:33
“A royal spirit escaped from a prison; why should we rend our garments and how should we gnaw our hands. Since they (Imam al-Husayn and his family) were kings of the religion (Islam), it was the hour of joy for them when they broke their bounds.” – Rumi, Mathnawi Book Six, Verse 797-8
Paternal Descent from Husaynid Royalty
31:14 “And We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in years twain was his weaning: (hear the command), “Show gratitude to Me and to thy parents: to Me is (thy final) Goal.”
By most historic accounts, Imam Hasan al-Askari was born in Medina on the 10th of Rabi al-Akhir 232 Hijri (846 AD) and died in Samarra on the 8th of Rabi al-Awwal 260 Hijri (874 AD) aged 28 years.
Samarra (Sur Man Ra’) was a military city about 60 miles north of Baghdad and the new capital of the Abbasid empire. The word ‘Askar’ in Arabic is used for a military. Imam Hasan b. ‘Ali b. Muhammad was conferred the honorific style al-Askari by the caliph because he commanded a large private military of lancers and swords men. According to most historians, the Imam’s private military was the largest in the empire, and his influence exceeded that of the caliph, who was confined to house arrest by the Turks for most of his reign.
The history of the descendants of Imam Hasan al-Askari (d. 874) is shrouded in great mystery and accordingly, has of recent been either outright denied due to ignorance or simply intentionally concealed. Unrelated official historic family tree documents kept in renowned Sayyid families and even in the offices of the Naqib al-Ashraf, from Hejaz, to Iran, Bukhara, Samarqand, Afghanistan, the Mughal Empire, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Luxor, Egypt have traced the descent of thousands of Sayyids over multiple generations back to Imam Hasan al-Askari.
The following traditions are shared from Sunni and Shiite hadith narratives and neutral academic sources to share with guests some historic record of the existence of a continuous line of descent from al-Imam Hasan al-Askari in addition to that of his eldest son and successor al-Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi al-Muntadhar.
According to the earliest reports as cited below from official family tree documents and records cited by multiple historians like Kashani, Arbali, Sahib Kashf ul-Ghumma, and Sahib Siraj al-Ansab among others, Imam Hasan al-Askari fathered seven children and was survived by six. The names of his illustrious biological children were: Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi ‘alaihi salam, Musa, Ja’far, Ibrahim, Fatima, Ayesha, and ‘Ali, sometimes referred to as Asghar. It is said Musa b. Hasan al-Askari passed away before the age of maturity or simply during his father’s life. Some of these narrations are as follows:
Although some contemporary Shiite historians now generally dismiss the classical narrative which states Imam Hasan al-Askari fathered children other than Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi, it crucial to point out even Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi’s birth was concealed by the Imam. Imam Muhammad b. Hasan al-Askari, like his siblings, was also not mentioned in any legal will document of the Imam nor was he granted inheritance of the vast estate of his father after he left the world. The Shiite hadith book Usul al-Kafi, in Bab Mawlid Abi Muhammad al-Hasan b. ‘Ali does confirm the classical narrative that Imam Hasan al-Askari had multiple handmaidens with whom he had relations. In his Usul, al-Kafi writes:
“When the caliph got news of Imam Hasan ‘Askari’s illness, he instructed his agents to keep a constant watch over the house of the Imam…he sent some of these midwives to examine the handmaidens of the Imam to determine if they were pregnant. If a handmaid was found pregnant she was detained and imprisoned…”[al-Kafi, by Muhammad Ya’qub Kulayni. Translated by Muhammad Sarwar. Chap. 124, Birth of Abi Muhammad al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali, p.705]
Additionally, there is mention of descendants of Imam Hasan al-Askari by Sunni traditionalists. In one of his lectures on the lives of Ahl al-Bayt, the renowned Sunni Sufi scholar Shaykh al-Islam Dr. Tahir ul-Qadri cites a text confirming the opinion Imam Hasan al-Askari also fathered a daughter named Ayesha. Dr. Qadri states, “Now we arrive at the mention of Imam Hasan al-Askari…he also had a daughter, she was a princess and her name was Ayesha.” [‘Imam Hasan al-Askari had a Daughter Named Ayesha’. Dr. Tahir ul-Qadri]
Furthermore, it is related in Kulayani’s Usul al-Kafi, in his last days when al-Imam Hasan al-Askari was ill he appointed his mother as the executer of his will so that she could manage his affairs after his death. This matter was officially approved by the Abbasid court. In this will, there was no mention of any offspring, including Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi. Imam Hasan al-Askari’s estate was subsequently divided between his mother and his brother. This tradition establishes for start that al-Imam Hasan al-Askari intentionally concealed the existence of his offspring, whether one, or more. [Usul al-Kafi, Bab Mawlid Abi Muhammad al-Hasan b.’Ali]
Additionally, according to Shaykh Saduq in his Kamal al-Din, after his death, al-Imam Hasan al-Askari’s mother entered into a dispute with Ja’far al-Zaki, his brother, over the estate of Imam Hasan al-Askari. The matter was referred to the Abbasid caliph, and to further complicate matters, one of the handmaidens of Imam Hasan al-Askari by the name of Sayqal came forward and claimed to be pregnant. Sayqal was brought to the palace of the Abbasid caliph, Mu’tamid, and was kept under strict guard and under the watchful eyes of the midwives and other women in the palace to determine the fate of her pregnancy. At that very time, political turmoil as a consequence of the insurrection led by Saffar, the death of ‘Abd Allah b. Yahya, and the revolution of the Zanj engulfed the caliphal state. The Abbasids were forced to abandon Samarra. Hence, they became occupied with their own troubles and gave up the surveillance of Sayqal’s pregnancy. [Kamal al-Din, Vol. 2, p. 149]
According to the Bihar, al-Imam Hasan al-Askari had several handmaidens with different names. On two occasions Hakima Khatun, his paternal aunt, has mentioned these handmaidens. At one time she came to visit al-Imam Hasan al-Askari and saw him seated in the courtyard of his house, surrounded by his handmaidens. She asked him: “Which one of these girls is going to be the mother of your successor?” The Imam replied: “It is Sawsan.” [Bihar al-anwar, Vol. 51, p. 17]
In another report Hakima Khatun relates the event of the birth of the twelfth Imam, cited earlier, in which al-Imam Hasan al-Askari requests her to spend the night of 15th Sha’ban (255 AH/870 CE) in his house because a child was going to be born. At that point Hakima asked him: “Which of your handmaidens is the mother of the child?” The Imam said: “It is Narjis.” Hakima said: “Yes, I too like her the most among your handmaidens.” [Bihar al-anwar, Vol. 51, p. 25]
According to the Bihar: One of the companions of Imam Hasan al-Askari by the name of Ibrahim b. Idris relates that the Imam sent him a sheep with a message that he should sacrifice it for the latter’s having performed the ceremony of shaving off his child’s birth hair (‘aqiqa), and share the meat with his family. Ibrahim carried out the Imam’s order. But when he came to see him the Imam said: “Our child has passed.” However, once again he sent Ibrahim two sheep with a letter in which the Imam instructed Ibrahim: In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Sacrifice these sheep for your master’s ceremony of ‘aqiqa and eat the meat with your family. Ibrahim carried out the order. But when he came to see the Imam the latter did not mention anything about it. [Bihar al-anwar, Vol. 51, p. 22]
Traditionally, one sheep is sacrificed when a daughter is born, and two when a son is born.
Family history accounts state the first of Sayyid Ahmed Amiruddin’s ancestors to migrate to Hindustan came during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb (d.1707) who invited them to his court where he honored them and given command over an army, the Emperor’s sword, and the title Asaf Jah. This sword of the Emperor could cut through metal and remained with Sayyid’s family until it was stolen in and around 1961. Asaf Jah, or the one bestowed with wisdom of Asaf b. Barkhiya, the Grand Vizier in the court of King Solomon, was the highest title that could be awarded in the Mughal Empire.
Sayyid’s family accompanied Mir Qamar-ud-din Khan Siddiqi Bayafandi (d.1748), Asaf Jah I along with other nobles to the Deccan on the direction of the Emperor. Sayyid’s ancestors were the only other family in the Deccan to carry the honorific Asaf Jah along with the ruling family of Mir Qamar-ud-din Khan Siddiqi.
In his book “The Caste System of Northern India with Special Reference to the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh” published by Oxford University Press in 1931, on page 186 Sir Edward Arthur Henry Blunt documented the various branches of the Sayyid families who migrated to the Delhi Sultanate. This documentation included descendants of Imam Hasan al-Askari.
In her book “Pain and Grace: A Study of Two Mystical Writers of Eighteenth-Century Muslim India” p. 32, Dr. Annemarie Schimmel writes: “Khwaja Mir Dard’s family, like many nobles, from Bukhara; led their pedigree back to Baha’uddin Naqshband, after whom the Naqshbandi order is named, and who was a descendant, in the 13th generation of the 11th…imam al-Hasan al-Askari.”
In the Islamic Republic of Iran a research paper was authored in 2013 by the title: AN EXPLORATION IN THE FIELD OF IMAM HASAN ASKARI’S SONS- AND THE AUTHENTICITY OF A SHRINE ATTRIBUTED TO HIM. This paper was published in the Journal: ENTIZAR E MOUD in the Fall of 2013, Volume 13, Number 42; Page(s) 97 To 125. The paper tries to verify the attribution of an offspring to Imam Hasan Askari with a descriptive-analytic method besides Imam Muhammad al-Mahdi. The very existence of such a study makes apparent the Islamic Republic of Iran is also home to nobles among the Sayyids whose ancestors claimed descent from Imam Hasan al-Askari.
The above examples demonstrate the existence of unrelated nobles throughout the old Muslim world who possessed independent family trees that traced their biological lineage back to al-Imam Hasan al-Askari.
Ancestry & Family Lineage
Like the venerable Khwaja Moin al-Din Chisti Ajmeri and Khwaja Baha al-Din Shah Naqshband Bukhari, Sayyid Ahmed Amiruddin is a direct lineal descendant of the House of the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam on his paternal side through the eleventh dynasty of Ahl al-Bayt; from the House of al-Imam Hasan al-Askari ‘alaihi salam. Among Sayyid’s ancestors in this line is also al-Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq, progenitor of the Fatimid Empire of Egypt and his grandson al-Imam ‘Ali ibn Musa al-Rida ‘alaihi salam. Al-Imam al-Rida was the Crown Prince of the Abbasid Empire and the declared successor to the the seventh Abbasid caliph Ma’mun al-Rashid. Ma’mun al-Rashid was the first documented Arab king in post ancient-Egyptian history to enter the Great Pyramids of Giza. In the year 202 AH, Imam ‘Ali al-Rida was officially declared Crown Prince of the Abbasid Empire and currency was subsequently minted with the name of al-Imam al-Rida. According to the book “The Life of the Imam ‘Ali bin Musa al Rida” by Sharif al-Qurashi, the inscription on the coins read; “Allah, Mohammed is Allah’s Messenger, al-Ma’mu`n is the vicegerent of Allah, of what the Emir al-Rida, the regent over the Muslims, ‘Ali b. Mu`sa` b. ‘Ali b. Abu` Ta`lib has commanded.”
Additionally, Sayyid Ahmed Amiruddin descends from the Imam and Caliph al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib from his maternal grandmother, through her paternal descent from Sultan ul-Awliya Ghawth al-Adham al-Sayyid al-Sharif Shaykh Abi Muhammad ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani.
In summary, according to his paternal and maternal family tree documentation, Sayyid Ahmed Amiruddin descends from eleven of the twelve Imams from Iraq’s Arabian Husaynid royalty and from Iraq’s Arabian Hasanid aristocracy through the House of Sayyidina Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani.
On page 59 of the book “Tulasī kī sāhitya-sādhanā: The Legacy of the Nizams”, published by the H.E.H The Nizam’s Urdu Trust Hyderabad, author Lallana Rāya writes of the relationship between Sayyid Ahmed Amiruddin’s ancestor Secunder Yar Jang II Lord Nawab Sayyid Munir ud-Din Khan Asaf Jahi and the King of Hyderabad, His Highness Mir Mahbub Ali Khan Siddiqi, stating Lord Nawab Sayyid Munir ud-Din was a teacher of occult ritual to the King.
Raya writes: “(The King) Mir Mahboob Ali Khan was known to possess healing power for snake bite. With his spell, it is said that the venom of the snake would abate. It was his order that if anyone from the public had a snake bite, he could approach him…It is said that Feudal Lord Nawab Muneeruddin Khan Taluqdar who knew this spell, taught the mantra to Mir Mahboob Ali Khan. When a man suffered from a snake bite, the name of the Mahboob Ali had to be mentioned in these terms: “Mahboob Ali Pasha Ki Dohaee”. Then, the venom would not spread further, or in other words, the venom of the snake would abate. Hence, the name of Mahboob Ali Pasha, and the practice of spell of snake bite became famous throughout Hyderabad.” [Tulasī kī sāhitya-sādhanā: The Legacy of the Nizams by Lallana Rāya, published by the H.E.H The Nizam’s Urdu Trust Hyderabad, 2002. p. 59].
The Fatimid Empire: Relation to Egypt’s Husaynid Caliphal Royalty
Herself a descendant of al-Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq, the progenitor of the Fatimid Empire, although not a follower of the Ismaili religious school, Sayyid Ahmed Amiruddin’s paternal grandmother the late Safia Ali Akbar daughter of the late Syed Ali Akbar, shared a great grandfather with Sir Sultan Muhammed Shah, Aga Khan III, GCSI, GCMG, GCIE, GCVO, PC, the 48th Imam of the Nizari Ismaili community.
“In the field at Karbala, a fierce battle was waged against Imam al-Ḥusayn. At that time he fought alone against thousands of men. He endured the immense suffering and cruelty by the hands of his enemies and in spite of all this he still proclaimed: “I Am the Imam.” – Aga Khan III
Sir Sultan Muhammed Shah, Aga Khan III, GCSI, GCMG, GCIE, GCVO, PC, was succeeded by his grandson, His Highness Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini Aga Khan VI, who is the current head of the Nizari line of pretenders to the throne of the Egyptian Arabian Husaynid monarchy of the Fatimid caliphs which ruled Egypt.
From his paternal grandmother, Sayyid Ahmed Amiruddin is a fourth cousin of His Highness Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini Aga Khan IV, the 49th Nizari Ismaili Imam.
In addition to their descent from the royal family of Islam, the Fatimids, like all Ahl al-Bayt, traced their lineage from the Holy Prophet back to Idris b. Jared, builder of the Great Pyramids of Giza.
Safia Ali Akbar was a descendant of al-Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq, the progenitor of the Fatimid Empire.
Maternal lineage traced to fifth Rashidun Caliph Imam Hasan b. ‘Ali
From his maternal grandmother Sayyid Ahmed Amiruddin is a Hasanid with descent from the fifth Rightly Guided Caliph Imam al-Hasan b. ‘Ali b. Abi Talib. Sayyid’s maternal lineage is traced to Imam al-Hasan from the venerable Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani through ‘Abdullah al-Kamil b. Hasan al-Muthanna.
Maternal Biological Relation to Sharifs of Mecca, Idrisids, Jordanian and Moroccan Royalty: House of ‘Abdullah al-Kamil b. Hasan al-Muthanna
Sayyid Ahmed Amiruddin shares ‘Abdullah al-Kamil b. Hasan al-Muthanna, his son Musa al-Jaun, his son ‘Abdullah al-Salih, and his son Musa al-Thani, as common ancestors between this side of his family and the Kings of Morocco, the Hashemites (monarchy), Grand Sharifs and Emirs of Mecca, Kings of Hejaz, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq, the Idrisids of Fez, Hamudites of Spain, Leaders of the Senussi Order, and the King’s of Libya (Idris I).
Descent from Ghawth al-Adham Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani
From his maternal grandmother, Sayyid Ahmed Amiruddin is a 26th generation maternal descendent of Ghawth al-Adham Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani (may Allah be well pleased with him), the Founder of Tariqah Sufism. His lineage is as follows. Sayyid Ahmed Amiruddin, son of, Sayyida Fazal un-Nisa, daughter of, Sayyida Habib un-Nisa Mohammedi Qadiri, daughter of, Sayyid Shah Ahmad Badshah Qadiri al-Musawi, son of, Sayyid Shah Pir Badshah Qadiri, son of, Sayyid Husayni Badshah Qadiri, son of, Sayyid Shah Musa Qadiri, al-Musawi (Qadas Allahu Sirrah) son of, Sayyid Muhiuddin Muhammad son of, Sayyid Shah Darwaysh Muhiuddin Qadiri son of, Sayyid Muhiuddin Qadiri son of, Sayyid Shah Ghulam Mohiuddin al-Qadiri (Pir Shah Mohiuddin Thani Qadiri) son of, Sayyidul Abdaal Syed Shah ‘Abd al- Lateef Qadiri, Lawbali, al-Hamawi son of, Syed Shah Taher, son of, Syed Shah Sharfuddin Zahid Qadiri, son of, Syed Kamaluddin Arif Qadiri al-Hamawi, son of, Syed Shah Nasiruddin Hashim Qadiri, son of, Syed Qutbuddin Muhammad, son of, Syed Shabbuddin Ahmed, son of, Syed Badruddin Hassan, son of, Syed Shah Shaykh Alauddin Abul Hasan ‘Ali, son of, Syed Shamsuddin Mohammed Thani, son of, Syed Saifuddin Abu Zakariyya Yahya-Al- Hamawi Wa Baghdadi son of, Syed Zaheeruddin al- Baghdadi, son of, Syed Abu Nasr Shamsuddin, son of, Syed Imaduddin Abi Saleh Nasr Qadiri, son of, Syed Al Aqtab Sayyid Shah Tajuddin ‘Abdur Razack Qadiri, son of, Qutb Al ‘Arifeen, Sayyid Al Mashriqayn, Naib Al Rasulullah, Arif Billahil Qaili Bi Amrillah ‘Qadami Hadhi ‘Ala Raqbati Kulli Waliyillahi, Imamul Awliya I Fakhal Asfiyai Ghawthus Samadani Ma’shuqir Rabbani Sahibish Sharia’ti Madanil Tariqati Wal Haqiqati Muhiyillahi Wad Din, Jaddina Wa Shaykhina Wa Sayyidina Wa Mawlana Sayyidina ‘Abd al-Qadir al Hasaniul Husayni, al-Ja’fari, al-Jilani (Radiallahu Ta’ala ‘anhu).
Maternal Relative of the Royal House of Paigah, Hyderabad
The Royal House of Paigah was the senior aristocracy of Hyderabad State during the Asaf Jahi era. The Paigahs tended to be wealthier than the average Indian Maharaja, and each maintained his own court, his own extraordinary palaces, and his own private army.
Sayyid Ahmed Amiruddin’s maternal ancestor Sayyid Husayni Badshah Qadiri’s son Pir Badshah Qadiri married Qamarunissa Begum, the only surviving biological descendant of Nawab Ghulam Imam Khan Imam ul-Mulk. Their son was Sayyid Ahmed Badshah Qadiri, the father of Sayyid Ahmed Amiruddin’s maternal grandmother Habib un-Nisa Mohammedi Begum. Qamarunissa Begum was the first cousin of the Head of the Royal House of Paigah Shams ul-Umara, Amir-i-Kabir, Khurshid ul-Mulk, Khurshid ud-Daula, Nawab ‘Abu’l Fakhr Muhammad Fakhr ud-din Khan Bahadur, Imam Jang ‘Abu’l Khair Khan III, who was also the Prime Minister of Hyderabad between 1848-1849. The Paigahs built the Falaknauma Palace in Hyderabad. Documentation of Sayyid’s relationship to the Paigah royalty was perserved by his maternal grandfather Nawab Syed Yusufuddin, whose grandfather was the Cheif Justice of Hyderabad. In the 1950’s Sayyid Ahmed Amiruddin’s maternal family sued the Amir i-Paigah Nawab Zahir Yar Jung for their inheritance and won.
Imam Zayd b. ‘Ali: Relation to the Brahman Empire of Sindh
From his maternal grandfather, Sayyid Ahmed Amiruddin descends from Imam Zayd b. ‘Ali (d.740) whose maternal grandfather was Maharaja Dahir (d.712) the third and last Maharaja of the Brahman Empire of Sindh. The Brahman Empire of Sindh was founded by Maharaja Chach of Alor (d.711), and covered the entire Indus Valley and beyond.
Jaydah al-Sindhi: Jodha of Sindh
Imam Zayd ibn ‘Ali’s mother Jodha of Sindh, known by Muslim chroniclers as Jayda al-Sindhi, converted to Islam and was the daughter of Maharaja Dahir (d.712), the last ruler of the Brahman Dynasty of Sindh which was annexed by the Umayyads in 711 CE. The kings of the Brahman Empire of Sindh followed Indian mysticism (Vedic Monism), and were allied to the ‘Alids of the Bani Hashim clan of the Quraysh tribe – also referred to as ‘Alawi in Arabic and Alafi in Sindhi – against the Umayyads.
Maharaja Chandar of Sindh and Karbala
The founder of the Brahman Empire of Sindh, Maharaja Chach of Alor was succeeded by Maharaja Chandar of Sindh (671 – 679) who had dispatched a Brahman army against the Umayyads known as Hussaini Brahmans, to protect Imam al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali. Maharaja Chandar of Sindh was succeeded by Maharaja Dahir son of Maharaja Chach, and maternal grandfather of Imam Zayd b. ‘Ali, Sayyid Ahmed Amiruddin’s maternal ancestor
Maternal Side: Recognized Nobility
From his maternal grandfather Lord Nawab Sayyid Yusufuddin son of Lord Nawab Sayyid Zia al-Din son of Lord Nawab Sayyid ‘Arifullah Khan son of Lord Nawab Sayyid Ahmed Ali Khan, the first Chief Justice of Hyderabad [“Pictorial Hyderabad” By Mudiraj K. Krishnaswamy, p. 450], Sayyid Ahmed Amiruddin is a descendant of Imam Zayd b. ‘Ali known as Imam Zayd ush-Shahid son of Jaydah al-Sindhi and Imam ‘Ali Zayn al-Abidin.