Converting Ghanem, the Indian

Seventh: Based on the authentic documents, Shaykh Kulaynī, Ibn Babawayh and others (the late) narrated from Ghanem the Indian, who said:

[Once] I was with a crowd of my companions in Kashmir; a city in India. We were forty people who would sit on the seats; on the right side of the king in that country. We all had studied Torah, Bible, Zabūr and Ṣuḥuf of [prophet] Ibrāhīm (pbuh); so, we ruled among the people and enlightened them in their religion. We judged about Halāl and Harām, and all of the people even the king [and the royal ones] referred to us.

One day, we called the name of the Messenger of God (pbuh&h) and said, ‘We do not know about the prophet whose name is mentioned in the [holy scripts] books! We need to survey about him, and look for his works.  Anyhow, all decided for me to get out of there and seek for His Excellency (pbuh&h)’s biography, on behalf of them.

Well, I got out while I had a lot of money with me. I went through [many] places for twelve months, till I reached near Kabul. There, I faced a crowd of Turks1 who attacked me and caught my properties! As the ruler of Kabul learnt about me, I was sent to the city of Balkh. Those days, Dawood ibn -‘Abbās was of Balkh. He called for me, when he learned that I got out of India to get the truthful religion from India, learned Persian, Debates and discussions with its jurisprudence and speakers. He summoned me to his meeting to discuss with the jurists and scholars.

I reacted, ‘I came out of my city, to demand and survey about the prophet whose name and features were mentioned in our books. They asked, ‘Who is he?’ I replied, ‘Muḥammad’. They kept on, ‘The one you look for, is our prophet [pbuh&h]. I asked hem the religion and doctrine of The Majesty, I know Muḥammad is a prophet, but I do not know whether the one you mean is the one whom I look forward or not. Tell me where he is, then I go there and ask him about the signs and reasons which I know about.’

And I have read in the books that, if he is the one whom I am looking for, I will believe in him. They said, ‘He has passed away.’ I asked, ‘Then, who is his successor and caliph?’ They returned, ‘Abu Bakr’ I said, ‘That is his title, tell me his name.’ They replied, ‘His name is Abdullah; the son of Uthmān.’ And they have related his lineage to Quraysh.’

I said, ‘[So], tell me the lineage of your prophet!’. They said such and such. I wondered, ‘He is not the prophet whom I am looking for! The one whom I am looking for is a person whose successor is his brother; in terms of religion, his uncle’s son; in terms of ancestry. Also he is his daughter’s husband and the father of his children [grandchildren].

And there is no descent for that prophet on the earth (pbuh&h), except the offspring of that man who is his successor. [some of Imām Alī (pbuh)’s offspring’

When the jurisprudence heard these words, they stood up. There I said, ‘O’ Amir! I have a religion, I adhere to my religion, and I won’t leave my religion, unless I find a stronger one. I have studied the characteristics of the Prophet (pbuh&h) in the books that God has sent to his prophets (pbu th). I have got out from India and abandoned the respect that I had there, in order to look for him. [But] when I asked about the characteristics of your prophet, it wasn’t the same as I had read in the [holy] books. So, let me go!

There the governor of Balkh summoned Huṣayn ibn Ashkib, who was of Imām Haṣan Askarī (pbuh)’s companions. Then ordered him, ‘Debate with this Indian man! Husayn wondered, ‘God be with you! You have jurists and scholars who are in the debate of insightful and knowledgeable. The governor ordered, ‘I order you to debate with him. Take him to solitude. Be patient with him and be kind and notify him well.

Anyhow, Huṣayn took me to solitude and after I told him about my problems, he realized what was wrong. He told me, ‘The prophets you are looking for, is the same they told you about. But his caliph is not the same they told you! The prophet is called “Muḥammad (pbuh&h), Abdullāh [mgbh]’s son and Abd al Muṭṭalīb [mgbh]’s grandson. His successor is Ali (pbuh), Abu Ṭālib [mgbh]’s son and Abd al Muṭṭalīb [mgbh]’s grandson. He is His Majesty (pbuh&h)’s daughter, Fātimā (pbuh)’s husband.  He is the father of Haṣan and Huṣayn who are Muḥammad (pbuh&h)’s daughter’s sons.

Ghanem said, ‘Yes! He is the one whom I meant and was looking for!’ Then I went to the house of the governor of Balkh, Dawood and said, ‘O, Amīr [kinglet]! I found what I was looking for! [So:]

“I bear witness that none deserves worship except God, and I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of God.”

There, the governor was very beneficent and good to me, and ordered Huṣayn, ‘Get to know his situation and care him!’ I went to his house and became accustomed with him. Also, I learned the laws and principles of Shia religion which I needed such as; praying and fasting, etc.

I told Huṣayn, “We have read in our books, that Muḥammad (pbuh&h) is the Khātim an-Nabīyīn [The most perfect and Last Prophet] and there is no prophet after him. In addition, [we have learned that] his successor, inheritor and caliph after him, is the very Imām after him. Yes, God’s command for caliphate constantly applies for the descendants and offspring of him.

I asked, ‘Who is the successor of Muḥammad (pbuh&h)’s successor’ Then he counted all of the successors till he reached to His Excellency Sahib al Amr (mgehr). And he explained what happened after his [the Imām (mgehr)’s] occultation. Well, I’ this humble servant. was very eager to see Sacred Side [Imam Mahdi (mgehr)] May God help me to see The Excellency (mgehr)!

The narrator said:

So, Ghanem came to Qumm, talked to our companions and went with them to Baqdād, in 264 AH. Ghanem came there with a friend who was from Sindh. He [Ghanem] had become friend with him, as he was looking for the true religion [Shia]. Anyhow, Ghanem confessed, ‘I didn’t like some of his morals, so I left him and got out of Baqdād, in order to enter Sāmarrāʾ and go to Bani Abbas Mosque or ‘Abbasid village. I was thinking of what I had been looking for. All of a sudden, a man came to

me and said, ‘You are such a man!’ And he called me with my name in India, which nobody knew it! I reacted, ‘Yes!’ He kept on, ‘Obey you Mawlā; since he is summoning you!’ I started walking with him and he went through unfamiliar ways, till we entered a house, having a garden. I saw my Mawlā was sitting there! He stated in Indian, ‘O, such! Welcome! How are you, and how did you leave such and such people?’

Yes, he named the whole forty people who were my friends, and asked greeting. He also informed me about all of what happened to me; all in Indian! He continued, ‘O, Qummī! Would you like to perform Hajj?’

“Yes, my master!” I replied, then he said, “Do not go with them. Now, return and go next year”. After that, he threw the bag of gold coins that he had left with him and said, “Spend this on yourself, but do not go to Mr. X’s house in Baqdād and not inform him of anything”.

The narrator says, “Then Ghānim returned and did not go for Hajj. After that heralds came and reported that the pilgrims returned from ‘Aqaba and did not go on Hajj that year. It turned out that for this reason, His Excellency had forbidden him, from going on Hajj that year. So, he went towards Khorāsān and went to Hajj, in the next year. After the Hajj, he returned to Khorāsān and sent us gifts from there. Then he stayed in Khorāsān for a while, until he passed away.


  • By Turks, here it refers to the major ethnicities are the Qizilbash, Uzbeks, Kyrgyz and Turkmens.