H 992, Ch. 91, h 1
A number of our people has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Isa from ibn Mahbub from Hisham ibn Salim from Yazid al-Kunasiyy who has said the following. "I asked abu Ja‘far (a.s.), ‘Was Jesus at the time he spoke to people from the cradle a Divine authority over the people of his time?" He said, "At that time he was a prophet, a Divine authority over the people but not a Mursal (Messenger). Have you not heard the words of Allah that say, "He said, "I am the servant of God. He has given me the Book and has appointed me to be a Prophet (19:30). He has blessed me no matter where I dwell, commanded me to worship Him and pay the religious tax for as long as I live." (19:31) I then said, "Was he the Divine authority over Zackaria at the time that he was in the cradle?" He said, "At that time Jesus was a sign from Allah and a blessing to Mary (Maryam) when he spoke on her behalf. He was a prophet and a Divine authority over all those who heard his words at that time. Thereafter he did not speak until he was two years old. At Such time Zackaria was the Divine authority of Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most gracious, over the people after the silence of Jesus. Zackaria then died and his son Yahya (John) inherited the book and wisdom and he was a small child. You can hear it in the words of Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most gracious, "We commanded John, Zachariah's son), "O John, follow the guidance of the Lord with due steadfastness. We gave knowledge and wisdom to John during his childhood." (19:12) When Jesus became seven years he then spoke as a prophet and a messenger until Allah, the Most Holy sent him inspiration. Thus, Jesus was the Divine authority over John and over all the people. The earth is never left without the presence of a Divine authority over the people, O abu Khalid, from the day Allah created Adam and settled him on earth." I then said, May Allah take my soul in service for your cause, "Did Ali (a.s.) possess Divine authority from Allah and His Messenger over this nation (Muslims) during the life time of the Messenger of Allah?" He said, "Yes, but he kept silent and did not speak along with the Messenger of Allah. At that time, during the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah, obedience was of the rights of the Messenger of Allah over the ’Umma (nation) and over Ali (a.s.). Obedience on the authority of Allah and the Messenger of Allah over the people as a whole was obligatory to Ali (a.s.) after the death of the Messenger of Allah. Ali (a.s.) was a very wise and knowledgeable person."
H 993, Ch. 91, h 2
Muhammad ibn Yahya has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Isa from Safwan ibn Yahya who has said the following. "Once I said to abu Ja‘far (a.s.), ‘Before Allah would grant you the blessed birth of abu Ja‘far we would ask you the question and you would say that Allah will soon grant you a son. Allah, now, has blessed you with such a favor and may He make him to be the delight for your heart. We wish not to experience a single day without you but, Allah forbid, if something would happen to you from who must we seek guidance?" He pointed with his hand to abu Ja‘far (a.s.) and he was standing before him. I then said, "May Allah take my soul in service for your cause, he is only a child of three years old." He said, "That does not matter in his case at all. Jesus rose with Divine authority when he three years old only."
H 994, Ch. 91, h 3
mmd ibn Yahya has narrated from Ahmad ibn Muhammad from Ali ibn Sayf from certain persons of our people from abu Ja‘far (a.s.) al-Thani (the second). The narrator has said that I said to him "They speak about (and question) your very young age. He said, "Allah informed David through inspiration to appoint Sulayman as the executor of his will and successor while he was just a child minding sheep. The worshippers and scholars of the Israelites disliked it. Allah then inspired David to take the staff of those who have objections and that of Sulayman and place them in a room and seal them with each one’s seals. On the next day whichever staff would be found that has grown leaves and fruits the owner thereof would be the successor. David informed them of this matter and they all agreed."
H 995, Ch. 91, h 4
Ali ibn Muhammad and others have narrated from Sahl ibn Ziyad from Ya‘qub ibn Yazid from Mus‘ab From Mas‘da from abu Basir who has said the following. "Once I went to see him. Along with me there was a of five years old boy who had not yet attained puberty. The Imam (a.s.) said, "How would you feel if people will debate you about the divine authority of someone of his age? Or he said about the Divine authority of one who will come and will be of the same age as his."
H 996, Ch. 91, h 5
Sahl ibn Ziyad has narrated from Ali ibn Mahziyar from Muhammad ibn ’Isma‘il ibn Bazi‘ who has said the following. "I asked abu Ja‘far (a.s.) of an issue of the Imamat (Leadership with Divine Authority) and I said, "Can the Imam be a boy less than seven years old?" He said, "Yes, he can even be less the five years old." Sahl has said that ibn Mahziyar narrated this to me in the year two hundred twenty one."
H 997, Ch. 91, h 6
Al-Husayn ibn Muhammad has narrated from al-Khayrani from his father who has said the following. "Once I was standing in the presence of abu al-Hassan (a.s.) in Khurasan and someone said to him, ‘O my master if something will happen to you to who must we then turn for guidance?" The Imam (a.s.) said, "You must turn for guidance to abu Ja‘far (a.s.), my son." The person asking the question seemed to have thought of his (abu Ja‘far (a.s.) age very small. Abu al-Hassan (a.s.) then said, "Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High, sent Jesus (a.s.) son of Mary as a Messenger and a prophet being the author of a whole system of law. He began this task in an age much smaller than the age of abu Ja‘far (a.s.)."
H 998, Ch. 91, h 7
Al-Husayn ibn Muhammad has narrated from Mu‘alla ibn Muhammad from Ali ibn Asbat who has said the following. "Once I saw abu Ja‘far (a.s.) who had come out to me and I began to look at him from head to his toes so I can describe him to our people in Egypt. I was looking until he sat down and said, "O Ali, Allah has supported His argument against the people in the case of Imamat (Leadership with Divine Authority) just as He has done so in the case of the prophets. He has said, "We gave authority to him (John) over the people during his childhood (19:12).. When he attained maturity, God gave him strength, wisdom and knowledge. Thus, do We reward those who do good." (12:22) "When he grew-up to manhood and became forty years old,. . ." (46:15). It come to pass that wisdom comes to a prophet when he is just a child or it may come to a prophet when he is forty years old."
H 999, Ch. 91, h 8
Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father who has said the following. "Once abu Ali ibn Hassa’n spoke to abu Ja‘far (a.s.) saying, "My mater, people refuse to accept your Imamat (Leadership with Divine Authority) because of you very young age." He said, "Why do they not refuse to accept the words of Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most gracious. Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most gracious, has said to His prophet, "
(Muhammad), say, "This is my way. I and all my followers invite you to God with proper understanding.. . ." (12:108) By Allah, only Ali (a.s.) followed him at that time and he was only nine years old. I also am nine years old.