If you have been pleased by receiving my letter, and if you have approached it with selfsatisfaction, then I have often placed my hope on you for victory and concluded my effort with success. Whoever intends well, adopting a good attitude while being humble, amiable, dignified, crowned with knowledge, wellmannered with patience, is surely worthy of being truthful in what he says and writes, while equity and integrity are in his hand and on his tongue.
It is you to whom I owe my thanks when you asked for more, for who else can be more graceful, kind and humble? In order to grant your quest and cool your eyes, I would like to state the following:
Both alTabrani's Al-Mujma’ al-Kabir and Rafi’i's Musnad, quoting Ibn ‘Abbas, state that "The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, has said: ‘Let whoever is pleased to live like me and die like me and inhabit Eden's Paradise which my Lord cultivated take ‘Ali as his master after me, and let him obey whoever he places in charge over him, and let him follow the example of my Ahl Al-Bayt after me, for they are my progeny: they are created of my own mould and blessed with my own comprehension and knowledge. Woe unto those who reject them and separate me from them! May Allah never permit them to enjoy my intercession.'"1
Al-Matir, al-Barudi, Ibn Jarir, Ibn Shahin, and Ibn Mundah have all quoted Ishaq citing Ziyad ibn Matraf saying: "I have heard the Messenger of Allah saying: ‘Whoever wishes to live my life and die my death and enter the Garden which my Lord promised me, the Garden of eternity, then let him take ‘Ali and his progeny after him as his masters, for they shall never take you out of guidance, nor let you stray.'"2
Similarly, Zayd ibn Arqam is quoted in one hadith saying: "The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, has said: ‘Whoever wishes to live like me and die my death and inhabit the perpetual Garden promised to me by my Lord, let him take ‘Ali as his master, for he shall never get you out of guidance, nor shall he let you stray.'"3
Also, consider this tradition narrated by ‘Ammar ibn Yasir: "The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, has said: ‘I admonish whoever believed in me and held me truthful to accept the government of ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib, for whoever accepts him as the ruler accepts me as such, and whoever loves him loves me too, and whoever loves me loves Allah. Whoever hates him hates me, and whoever hates me hates Allah, the Sublime, the Almighty."4‘
Ammar quotes others stating this hadith: "O Lord! Whoever believed in me and held me truthful, let him take ‘Ali as his master, for his government is also mine, and mine is that of the Almighty Allah."5
He, peace be upon him and his progeny, once delivered a sermon wherein he said: "O people! Favours, honours, prestige and government are for the Messenger of Allah and his progeny; therefore, let no falsehood divert you."6 He, peace be upon him and his progeny said: "In every generation of my nation there are members of my Household who equal only my own self and who safeguard this religion from the distortion of wrongdoers and the interpretation of the ignorant. Be informed that your Imams are your deputies to Allah; so, see who you send to Him as your deputies."7
He, peace be upon him and his progeny, has also said: "Do not go ahead of them else you should perish, nor should you lag behind them else you should perish. Do not teach them, for they are more learned than you."8
He, peace be upon him and his progeny, has said: "Consider my Ahl Al-Bayt among you as you consider the head of the body, and the eyes in the head, for the head is guided by the eyes."9
He, peace be upon him and his progeny, said: "Uphold loving us, we Ahl Al-Bayt, for whoever faces Allah loving us shall enter Paradise through our intercession. I swear by the One in Whose Hands my soul is placed that the good deeds of a believer shall never avail him except through recognizing our rights."10
And he has also said: "The knowledge of the progeny of Muhammad brings salvation from the Fire, and loving Ahl Al-Bayt is walking on the Straight Path. Allegiance to the progeny of Muhammad is a security against the torture."11
He, peace be upon him and his progeny, has said: "The feet of any servant of Allah shall never move on the Day of Judgment unless he is asked about four things: how he spent his life, what he wore his body out for, how he made and spent his wealth, and about loving us, we Ahl Al-Bayt."12
He, peace be upon him and his progeny, has said: "If a man stands in prayer between the Rukn and Maqam, hating Muhammad's progeny, he shall still enter Hellfire."13
He, peace be upon him and his progeny, has also said: "Whoever dies because of his love for the progeny of Muhammad dies a martyr. Whoever dies because of loving the progeny of Muhammad dies as a believer of a perfect faith.
Whoever dies for loving Muhammad's children will be given the glad tiding of entering Paradise by the angel of death, then by Munkir and Nakir. Whoever dies for loving Muhammad's descendants will be taken to Paradise like a bride taken to her groom's house. Whoever dies loving Muhammad's progeny will have two doors in his grave overlooking Paradise. Allah will make the grave of whoever dies for loving Muhammad's children a visiting place for the angels of mercy. Whoever dies for loving Muhammad's progeny dies adhering to the Sunnah and consensus.
Whoever dies hating Muhammad's progeny will come on the Day of Judgment with this inscribed between his eyes: ‘He should despair of Allah's mercy,'" up to the end of his unmatchable sermon,14 the sermon whereby he, peace be upon him and his progeny, intended to divert the inclinations and whims.
The implication is that all these traditions are unanimously agreed upon, especially those narrated through the authority of the purified ‘itra. Their status would not have been confirmed had they not been the obvious Proofs of Allah and the fountainhead of His Jurisprudence, the obvious Proofs of Allah, the fountainhead of His Jurisprudence, the ones who represent the Messenger of Allah in bidding or forbidding, his own deputies in the most clear terms.
Whoever loves them, therefore, is also a lover of Allah and His Messenger, and whoever hates them is an enemy of Allah and His Messenger. He, peace be upon him and his progeny, has said: "None loves us except a Godfearing and sincere believer, and none hates us except a hypocritical wretch."15 It is for these reasons that al-Farazdaq, the poet, has said these verses in their praise:
You are ones loving whom is belief, hating an abomination;
Nearness to you is indeed a rescue and a salvation.
If the pious ones are counted, you will be their Imams; it is true.
If one asks: "Who are the best of man?" the answer will be you.
The Commander of the Faithful, peace be upon him, used to say:
"I and the virtuous among my descendants are the best in manners when young, and the most learned when old. Through us does Allah obliterate lies, and through us does He turn the wild fox's teeth ineffective. Through us does Allah cure your barrenness, and through us does He emancipate you. Through us does Allah begin and conclude."16
Suffices us a reason for preferring them over others the fact that Allah, the Sublime, the Almighty, has preferred them over all others, making sending prayers unto them part of the obligatory prayers, albeit if the one saying his prayer were a Siddiq or Faruq, with one light, or two, or with nUmarous lights. Nay! Everyone who worships Allah by performing His obligations also worships Him while doing so by sending blessings unto them, just as he worships Him when testifying through the two parts of the Shahadah. This, indeed, is a status before which the nation's heads were lowered, and in front of which the eyes of whoever you mentioned of the imams have submitted. Imam alShafi’i, may Allah be pleased with him, has said:17
O Household of Allah's Messenger! Loving you is an obligation
Which Allah has enforced in His Honored Revelation;
Suffices you a great honour if one sends no prayer unto you all,
It will be as though he did not say his prayers at all.
Let us now be satisfied with this much of the sacred Sunnah in testimony to the fact that following their Sunnah is compulsory; so is emulating them. In the Book of Allah Almighty, the Sublime and the omniPotent, there are clear verses which make that, too, compulsory. It is to such verses that we would like to attract your aware conscience and sensitive reason. You can be satisfied with an indicative hint, and a signal suffices to attract your attention; all praise is due to Allah, Lord of all the world.