SHAFAQNA- Abd Al-Azim Al-Hassani (AS), a descendant of Imam Hassan (AS), was a companion of Imam Al-Hadi (AS) and the compiler of a book containing sermons of the Commander of the Faithful (AS). Because of the threat of persecution by the Abbasid regime, he took refuge in the city of Ray and maintained a low profile. He usually fasted during the days and spent his nights in worship. However, as time passed the Shia Muslims of the city became acquainted with him and developed a relationship with him.
Abd Al-Azim (AS) described his meeting with Imam Al-Hadi (AS) in the following manner: ‘When the Imam (AS) saw me, he said: “Welcome Abul-Qasim, You are indeed our friend and companion.” Imam’s kindness made me happy. Then I said: “I want to present my belief to you, if they are true and correct, you may confirm them so that I may maintain them and hasten to God’s meeting.”
Imam Al-Hadi (AS) told me: ‘Relate them.’ I said: “I believe that there is only one Blessed and Supreme God. There is nothing like unto God, and that God’s attributes are both beyond agnosticism (Ibṭal) and anthropomorphism (Tashbih).
God is neither body (Jism) nor form (Sura) nor accident (Arad) nor substance (Jawhar); Rather God is the Creator of bodies, forms, accidents and substances. God is the Lord, Sovereign, Creator and Maker of all that is.
I testify that the Imams are Wali Al-Amr after Imam Ali (AS) and their names are as follows: Al-Hassan (AS), Al-Hussain (AS), Ali b. Al-Hussain (AS), Muhammad b. Ali (AS), Jafar b. Muhammad (AS), Musa b. Jafar (AS), Ali b. Musa (AS), Muhammad b. Ali (AS), and you, Abul-Hassan (AS).” Then, the Imam Hadi (AS) said: “After me, my son, Imam Mahdi (AJ) would succeed me. Now you tell me, what would people do with him?” I responded: “My master, what do you mean” the Imam (AS) replied: “He cannot be seen and shall not be named until God’s command he comes and will spread justice in the world as it is presently filled with injustice and oppression.”
I told the Imam (AS): “I believe in what you have related. Moreover, I believe that their friends are God’s friends and that their enemies are God’s enemies; to obey them is to obey God, and to oppose them to oppose God. In addition, I believe that the Prophet’s (PBUH) Night Ascent (Miraj), the questioning in the grave, Heaven and Hell are all true and that the Day of Judgment is sure to come, and that the God of Mercy and Compassion will muster all those laying in their graves.”
Finally, I said: “The obligations and duties after loyalty (Wilaya) to Ali (AS) are: prayer (Salaat), alms (Zakat), fasting (Sawm), pilgrimage (Hajj), struggle (Jihad), and enjoining good and forbidding evil (Amr bil-Maʿruf wa Nahi Anil-Munkar).”’
Abd Al-Azim Hassani continued: ‘After listening to my statements, Imam Al-Hadi(AS) told me: O’ Abul-Qasim, What you related is truly God’s religion sent for the people. You must remain firm and steadfast on this religion, so that God, both in this world and in the hereafter, will steady your feet. (Al-Tawḥid, chapter 18, tradition 17)
 Ibṭal means rejecting the actuality of God’s attributes of the essence and of action. Tashbih means taking the meanings of the attributes literally, for example, to say that God has real hands, eyes or a face.
Source: Shia Islam: History and Doctrines, Ayatullah Jafar Subhani, Chapter 11
Basic principles of Islam: Imam Ridha’s (AS) letter to Maʾmun