We have tried our best in our previous books to convince Muslims of the necessity of adhering to the Holy Qur'an and the immaculate progeny of the Prophet (S) and to keep them together to ensure guidance and the deliverance from deviation. This is according to what the Prophet (S) had confirmed and reliable narrators had narrated in their true books of Hadith of the two sects, the Shia as well as the Sunni.
We think, we have carried out the research on this subject fully and did not spare any effort in explaining this fact in the different ways that the research required and took us to it, whether willingly or unwillingly, until some people thought that we were trying to defame the Prophet’s companions, hurt their dignities or deface their honesty.
We swear by Allah the Almighty that we did not want anything but to exalt the Prophet (S), who represents the whole of Islam and deem him far above every defect, and to exalt and deem his progeny who are equivalent to the Qur'an, far above every defect. Whoever knows them knows the Qur'an and whoever ignores them ignores the Qur'an. This is as the Prophet (S) often declared.
By the assistance of Allah the Almighty, we shall uncover in this book that a contemporary Muslim, who lives in the civilization of the twentieth century and faces different challenges, cannot abide by the Islamic Sharia1 correctly unless he keeps with the Immaculate Progeny of the Prophet (S).
A fact that cannot be overlooked is that the Holy Qur'an and the Prophet’s Sunna have been liable to misinterpretation and distortion. The verses of Qur’an have been interpreted into different meanings away from the actual concepts of the Sharia, and the Prophet’s Sunna has been distorted by adding fabricated traditions to it - such that the Prophet (S) was free from.
All the tafsirs2 that we have in our hands nowadays are not free from some Israelite fables and false interpretations or some personal opinions of interpreters who say that some verses have been abrogated. The same is said about the books of Hadith that underwent fabrication, insertion and distortion. It can thus be said that no book has remained untouched. Therefore, Muslims have to revert to the infallible imams of the Prophet’s progeny as they are the only ones who can correctly interpret and explain the revelation of Allah and purify the Prophet’s traditions from all blemishes and distortion.
If the final goal of Muslims today is the call to go back to the righteous first companions to take the two sources of legislation from them only as they were the best of people, as most of Muslims believe - then we have to ask these people what their argument is. We can ask them for a convincing evidence and inevitable proof from which no Muslim can turn here or there. This would make any Muslim submit satisfactorily while his heart is certain. Just trusting in someone or even his righteousness and good conduct do not make it certain that he has sound perception or infallibility.
Imam Ali, the Gate to the Prophet’s City of knowledge, referred to this point when he said:
In the hands of people there is truth and falsehood, truthfulness and untruthfulness, abrogating and abrogated (rulings), general and special (rulings), clear and ambiguous, memorizing and supposition. There was fabrication against the Messenger of Allah (S) in his time itself until he made a speech saying, ‘Let him, he who intentionally fabricates against me - take his seat in the Fire…’
In fact, those who convey to you such speech are four kinds of men, and there is no fifth one.
First is a hypocrite man who shows faith, pretends Islam, does not refrain from sins or feel shy and fabricates intentionally against the Messenger of Allah (S), may Allah have blessing and peace on him and his progeny. If people knew that he is a hypocrite and liar, they would not accept from him or believe what he says. Instead they said, ‘he is a companion of the Messenger of Allah (S), may Allah have blessing and peace on him and his progeny, that he (the hypocrite) has seen him - the Prophet (S), heard from him, and taken from him’.
And so people accepted him even though Allah has informed you about the hypocrites with what He has informed and described them to you with what He has described. They followed him after the Prophet, peace be on him and approached the leaders of deviation and the inviters to the Fire with falsehood and fabrication. They entrusted them with posts and made them rulers over the necks of people, and consumed with them this worldly life. Surely, (most of) the people are with rulers and the worldly life except those whom Allah has preserved. So, this is one of the four men.
And then there is a man who heard something from the Messenger of Allah (S) but did not memorize it as it was and he was uncertain of it and did not intend to tell lies. Thus, this (saying of the Prophet) is in his hands and he narrates and acts according to it and says, ‘I heard it from the Messenger of Allah (S), may Allah have blessing and peace on him and his progeny’. If Muslims knew that he was uncertain about it, they would not accept from him and if he himself knew that it was so, he would deny it.
And a third man is one who heard from the Messenger of Allah (S) something that he - the Prophet (S) ordered people to do, and then he ordered them not to do it, but the man did not know this. Or he heard the Prophet (S) forbid something and then he permitted it, but the man did not know, so he memorized the abrogated thing and did not memorize that which was forbidden and allowed subsequently. If he knew that it had been abrogated, he would deny it, and if Muslims when hearing from him knew that it was abrogated, they would deny it.
And a fourth man is one who fabricated neither against Allah nor against His Messenger (S). He hates lying for fear of Allah and for glorification of the Messenger of Allah (S), may Allah have blessing and peace on him and his progeny. And he was not uncertain, but he memorized what he heard as it was. He narrated exactly what he heard with neither increase nor decrease. He memorized the abrogating ruling and did according to it, and memorized the abrogated thing and avoided it. He knew the general and special (rulings) and the clear and the ambiguous, so he put everything in its right place.
A speech of the Messenger of Allah (S), may Allah have blessing and peace on him and his progeny might have two aspects – a special meaning and a general meaning. One may hear it and not know what Allah the Almighty has meant nor what the Messenger of Allah (S) has meant by it - and so the hearer interprets it without knowing its actual meaning, purpose and reason.
Not all companions of the Messenger of Allah (S) asked and enquired from the Prophet (S) nor did they wish a nomad or a foreigner to come forward and ask him so that they would hear (the answer). But nothing from him passed by me except that I asked the Prophet (S) about it and memorized it. These are the aspects that people are in disagreements about and have defects in their narrations.3
From this speech of Ameerul Mo'minin (a.s.) it becomes clear that a great difficulty surrounds us in order to arrive at the real concepts and meanings of the Sharia.
Since this was Imam Ali’s analysis at his very time when there was no more than twenty-five years that had passed after the Prophet’s death, he was available and most of the Prophet’s companions were alive to revise and purify the Prophet’s traditions, then what can be said about the state of Muslims after the passage of fourteen centuries - when the nation has disagreed and divided into different sects and cults? For all that, a researcher has to be fully cautious before he judges a certain sect and considers it true or turns against another and denies it.
We have mentioned in our previous books through scientific historical studies that the ‘Twelver Shia’ is the group with salvation representing the right Islamic line. This judgment was not the result of the conditions and circumstances that I had lived with and then reacted accordingly. Rather it is a fact proven by the Qur'an and the Sunna.
This has also been proven by true history which is free from distortion and fabrication. In fact, it is easy to get to this clear fact through reason endowed by Allah along with the ability to argue and distinguish through evidence. Allah the Almighty says:
…therefore, give good news to My servants, who listen to the word, then follow the best of it; those are they whom Allah has guided, and those it is who are the men of understanding. Qur’an, 39:17-18
Allah also says about those who set their reasons aside and therefore deserve torment:
And they shall say: Had we been wont to listen or have sense, we had not been among the dwellers in the Burning Fire. Qur’an, 67:10
In spite of all this and in spite of all the clear arguments and irrefutable proofs that have been mentioned in my previous books, some people - may Allah forgive them - do not read with their minds and hearts but with their emotions. They only read what pleases their feelings and inclination. They have learnt to be against all what may oppose their beliefs and to despise all what may disagree with their wishes.
Since we are from the faithful who love goodness to be for all Muslims and try the best to guide them to the right path, which we think, is the Ship of Deliverance, we do not become desperate. We continue to invite them to goodness and happiness that is to be found nowhere except in the Garden of Bliss, until the last of our lives.
Ameerul Mo'minin Imam Ali (a.s.) says:
May Allah have mercy on a man who sees truth and assists it, or sees injustice and denies it and assists against the doer of injustice with truth.
He also says:
I hate for you to be revilers, but you may describe their deeds and mention their conditions and it would be more correct in saying and more effective in excusing. You may say instead of abusing them: O Allah, spare our bloods and their bloods, and reconcile between us and them and guide them from their deviation until those who have ignored the truth know it and those who have attached themselves to aggression and enmity refrain from it.4
In my six previous books, I have followed this style which Imam Ali (a.s.) had advised his followers to follow. I was not a reviler, but I described their5 deeds and mentioned their conducts, so that those who ignored the truth would know it. Yet, what shall I do for those who do not accept even to describe and mention the deeds and conducts of those companions? And what shall I do when the truth cannot be shown except in this way?
Here in my seventh book, I try my best not to mention the conducts of those companions or describe their deeds. Instead I try to prove the right of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s..) and their followers in a new manner which may please most of people. Although I think that the satisfaction of all people is an unreachable goal, I pray to Allah the Almighty to make me successful in doing what He may please, to make all Muslims successful in doing everything good and guide them and us to the truth, make us not die except on the Right Path, and make our end the best.
Longing for his Lord’s mercy
Muhammad at-Tijani as-Sammawi