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Letter 50

Why Interpret Texts on His Behalf as Indicative of His Imamate

Muharram 13, 1330

Anyone like you, who is deep in thinking, gifted with a far insight, an authority on linguistic sources and derivatives, aware of its meanings and connotations, deriving guidance from the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, believing in his wisdom and conclusive prophethood, appreciative of his deeds and statements

("He does not speak of his own inclinations (Qur'an, 53:3),

" certainly cannot miss the gist of such texts, nor do their conclusions, which are derived from logic and common sense, remain secret to him. It is not possible that you, the recognized authority on Arabic (i.e. athbat1) that you are, fail to perceive that these texts have all granted ‘Ali a very sublime status, one which Allah Almighty and His Prophets do not grant except to the successors of such Prophets, to the ones they trust most to take charge of their religion, to the custodians of such religion.

If they do not explicitly indicate the caliphate for ‘Ali, they undoubtedly hint to it, leading to such conclusion by necessity. Such an obligation is quite obvious from their precise meaning. The Master of Prophets (pbuh) is above granting such a lofty status to anyone other than his successor, his vicegerent.

Yet whoever deeply scrutinizes the texts concerning ‘Ali (as) and very carefully and fairly digests their implications will find their vast majority aiming at endorsing his imamate, indicative of it either through explicit announcements, such as the previously quoted ones, and such as the Covenant of al-Ghadir, or by virtue of necessity, such as the ones stated in Letter No. 48.

Take, for example, his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, "‘Ali is with the Qur'an and the Qur'an is with ‘Ali; they both shall never separate from each other till they meet me by the Pool [of Kawthar],"2 and his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, "‘Ali to me is like the head to the body,"3 and his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, according to a tradition narrated by ‘Abdul Rahman ibn ‘Awf,4 "I swear by the One in Who hold my life, you will have to uphold the prayers, pay the zakat, or else I shall send you a man of my own self, or like my own self," then the Prophet (pbuh) took ‘Ali's hand and said: "This is he;" up to the end of countless such texts. This is an obvious benefit to which I attract the attention of all seekers of the truth, one which unveils what is ambiguous, delves deeply in independent research. He (pbuh) has only followed what he himself comprehends of the moral obligations of such sacred texts, without being overtaken by his own personal emotions or inclinations, Wassalam.

Sincerely,

Sh

  • 1. "Athbat" is the plural of "thabat," and "asnad" is he plural of "sanad," and the latter means "hujjah," i.e. proof or authority.
  • 2. This is quoted by al-Hakim on page 124, Vol. 3, of his Al-Mustadrak, as well as by al-Thahbi in his Talkhis al-Mustadrak. Both authors testify to its authenticity. It is one of the few elaborate ahadith. Anyone who is ignorant of the fact that ‘Ali is with the Qur'an and the Qur'an is with ‘Ali, after having studied the authentic traditions dealing with the Two Weighty Things, i.e. the Book and the ‘Itrat (Progeny), he should be referred to what we have quoted in this regard in our Letter No. 8 above, and let him recognize the rights of the Imam of the Prophet's Progeny, and their undisputed and undoubted chief.
  • 3. This is quoted by al-Khatib in the ahadith narrated by al-Bara', and by al-Daylami in those narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas. It is transmitted by Ibn Hajar on page 75 of his Al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqa; so, refer to hadith number 35 of the forty ahadith which he quotes in Section Two, Chapter 9, of Al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqa.
  • 4. It is hadith number 6133, page 405, Vol. 6, in Kanz al-’Ummal. Suffices you for a proof that ‘Ali's soul is akin to that of the Prophet (pbuh) to study the verse of Mubahala according to the explanations stated by al-Razi in his tafsir titled Mafatih al-Ghayb, page 488, Vol. 2, and refer also to what we have mentioned while dealing with this verse.

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