يُؤلِمُني ما يُؤلِمُهُم وَ يُحزِنُني ما يُحزِنُهُم ، أَنَا حَربٌ لِمَن حارَبَهُم وَ سِلمٌ لِمَن سالَمَهُم وَ عَدوٌّ لِمَن عاداهُم وَ مُحِبٌّ لِمَن أَحَبَّهُم
Whatever causes them pain causes me pain too, and whatever saddens them saddens me too. I am at war against whoever wages war against them, at peace with whoever is at peace with them, the enemy of whoever shows enmity towards them, and I love whoever loves them.
After the initial statement where the Prophet (SA) directly associates his AhlulBayt to himself by pronouncing the equivalence in origin symbolized in “blood” and “flesh”, he then proceeds by delivering a series of six precious statements where he conveys his position and his policy towards those who deal with his AhlulBayt whether in a positive or negative way. It is a prophetic law and code of conduct where he not only issues these rules as his policy but moreover teaches us to follow that same policy, if we choose to follow his Sunnah (way).
These six statements which complement one another and are aligned with each other are divided into two sets. The first set consists of two statements which describe the Prophet’s feelings depending on how his AhlulBayt (AS) feels. And the second set consists of four statements which convey the Prophet’s immediate course of action to how his AhlulBayt (AS) are treated.
In the first set, the Prophet declares that he feels pain whenever his AhlulBayt feels pain and he feels sadness whenever they feel sadness. It is interesting to note that this narration conveys the feelings of the Prophet first, before informing us why the prophet feels the way he does. We typically hear of the cause first and then the effect, but in this case, the effect is provided first before the cause and this is the beauty of the Arabic language and the eloquence behind it.
Also, the strength and seriousness of the Prophet’s reaction or feeling is highlighted more so by the presentation of the “effect” before the “cause”. In this case, the cause is the pain and sorrow felt by the AhlulBayt (AS) while the effect is the Prophet’s reaction of feeling their pain and sorrow.
In the second set, four declarations are presented where the positions of peace, war, opposition, and love are presented. The Prophet (SA) directs his words to the audience – not only his Muslim nation but all of mankind. The questions the Prophet (SA) will answer are:
1- To whom will the Prophet (SA) be peaceful with, and to whom will he be at war with?
2- To whom will the Prophet (SA) be in opposition to and to whom will he grant his love?
In fact, these questions are of dire importance to us to address and learn its answer because we as Muslims are in the position where we need to know what exactly pleases the Prophet (SA) and what does not. After all, our compliance with the Prophet’s orders is equivalent to compliance of Allah’s orders, as highlighted in the Qur’an as an obligatory divine command,
“O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority from among you.” (4:59)
The Prophet (SA) declares that he will be at war with those who are at war with the Prophet and he will be at peace with those who are at peace with them. He also states that he will be the enemy of those who take his AhlulBayt (AS) as enemies, and he will love those who love them. As we noted before in the first set of declarations, the Prophet (SA) uses the same way of expression in delivering his message to us. He states his position first before mentioning the cause.
For example, instead of saying “Whoever is at war with them, I will be at war with them”, he declares “I am at war with those who are at war with them. The latter statement is stronger in its meaning and spirit and this method of expression conveys a greater sense of importance to his position. This declaration resembles the authentic narration where the Prophet (SA) correlates his pleasure and anger to be aligned with Allah’s as well as that of Lady Fatima (AS):
"Whoever pleases Fatima has indeed pleased God and whoever has caused her to be angry has indeed angered God. Fatimah is a part of me. Whatever pleases her pleases me and whatever angers her angers me." (Fatima the Gracious)
Aside from the Tradition of the Cloak, there are other authentic narrations which quote the Prophet (SA) conveying the same meaning. For example, the well-known scholars of the School of Companions such as Ibn Atheer, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, and Ibn A’saker, Al Tirmidhi cites that Zaid ibn Arqam testifies that the Prophet (SA) said to Ali, Fatima, Hasan, and Husain: “I am at war with whomever you are at war with and I am at peace with whomever you are at peace with.”
It is interesting to note the slight variation in the expression of this narration where the Prophet (SA) complies with whatever position his AhlulBayt (AS) takes. So the Prophet (SA) says that if the AhlulBayt have taken the decision to befriend someone, then his position is perfectly aligned with theirs and the same is the case if they are at war with someone.
Actually, this acknowledgment of the Prophet (SA) indicates his unwavering trust in their judgment and furthermore, their infallibility and purity such that he is 100% sure they will never make a mistake in judgment or action. He does not need to review their actions or question them about their decision for he is absolutely confident that their way of life is in conformity with what pleases Allah (SWT) and so he also will be pleased.
We can also conclude from the Prophet’s words that the concept of Tabbara (disavowal from the enemies of the one whom you love) is as equally important as Tawalla (loving and supporting those who befriend the one whom you love).
Disassociating yourself from those who oppose the AhlulBayt (AS) is an obligation which the Prophet (SA) himself has set the standard and is following that policy with his own household. He has given us the green light of approval to adjust our ways and dealings such that our love and devotion to them is complimented and completed by our disavowal from their opponents and enemies. This is in fact a logical behavior which we can relate to in our everyday lives to our own loved ones.
Now, let’s survey the Holy Qur’an to learn what the divine consequences are of those who fight the Prophet (SA). Allah (SWT) says in the following verse of Surat Al Ma’eda:
إِنَّمَا جَزَاء الَّذِينَ يُحَارِبُونَ اللّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَسْعَوْنَ فِي الاْرْضِ فَسَادًا أَن يُقَتَّلُواْ أَوْ يُصَلَّبُواْ أَوْ تُقَطَّعَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَأَرْجُلُهُم مِّنْ خِلاف أَوْ يُنفَوْاْ مِنَ الاْرْضِ ذَلِكَ لَهُمْ خِزْيٌ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَلَهُمْ فِي الآخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ.
“The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement.” (5:33)
As the Tradition of the Cloak already established the direct correlation of the AhlulBayt’s pleasure and anger with that of the Prophet (SA), we can safely conclude that the punishment in this life and the grievous chastisement as described in the abovementioned verse also applies to all those who fight the AhlulBayt (AS) and oppose them. Let us also survey the history of Islam during the life of the Prophet and especially after his departure to investigate who exactly waged war against the AhlulBayt (AS) and who stood up against them, challenged them, seized their right, physically attacked them, and/or contributed to their deaths.
Whether such personalities happen to be from the close companions of the Prophet or from the family of the Prophet doesn’t make a difference to Allah (SWT) in the fate that they will receive because each person will be accounted for their deeds and not by their relations. Let us ask the historians who fought against Imam Ali (AS) and seized his rights?
Who challenged Lady Fatima and attacked her? Who poisoned Imam Hasan, betrayed him, and sought to prevent him from being buried near his grandfather in the cemetery of Baqee’ in Madina? And who waged war in Karbala against Imam Husain, slaughtered him and his companions and supported his opponents whether actively or passively? Surely those who committed transgression and oppression to the purified AhlulBayt (AS) will come to know what their fate will be.