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Part 11: The Purified Imams are witnesses upon the creatures

The Purified Imams (a.s.) are witnesses upon the creatures and the deeds of people are shown to them

There are the following verses in this connection:

First verse:

وَكَذَلِكَ جَعَلْنَاكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا لِتَكُونُوا شُهَدَاءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ وَيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ عَلَيْكُمْ شَهِيدًا.

And thus We have made you a medium (just) nation that you may be the bearers of witness to the people and (that) the Apostle may be a bearer of witness to you. (Sura Baqarah 2:143)

Second verse:

فَكَيْفَ إِذَا جِئْنَا مِنْ كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ بِشَهِيدٍ وَجِئْنَا بِكَ عَلَى هَؤُلَاءِ شَهِيدًا.

How will it be, then, when We bring from every people a witness and bring you as a witness against these? (Sura Nisa 4:41)

Third verse:

وَقُلْ اعْمَلُوا فَسَيَرَى اللَّهُ عَمَلَكُمْ وَرَسُولُهُ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَسَتُرَدُّونَ إِلَى عَالِمِ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ فَيُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ.

And say: Work; so Allah will see your work and (so will) His Apostle and the believers; and you shall be brought back to the Knower of the unseen and the seen, then He will inform you of what you did. (Sura Tawbah 9:105)

Fourth verse:

وَيَوْمَ نَبْعَثُ فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ شَهِيدًا عَلَيْهِمْ مِنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ وَجِئْنَا بِكَ شَهِيدًا عَلَى هَؤُلَاء وَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ تِبْيَانًا لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً وَبُشْرَى لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ.

And on the day when We will raise up in every people a witness against them from among themselves, and bring you as a witness against these and We have revealed the Book to you explaining clearly everything, and a guidance and mercy and good news for those who submit. (Sura Nahl 16:89)

Fifth verse:

وَجَاهِدُوا فِي اللَّهِ حَقَّ جِهَادِهِ هُوَ اجْتَبَاكُمْ وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ مِنْ حَرَجٍ مِلَّةَ أَبِيكُمْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ هُوَ سَمَّاكُمْ الْمُسْلِمينَ مِنْ قَبْلُ وَفِي هَذَا لِيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ شَهِيدًا عَلَيْكُمْ وَتَكُونُوا شُهَدَاءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ فَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِاللَّهِ هُوَ مَوْلَاكُمْ فَنِعْمَ الْمَوْلَى وَنِعْمَ النَّصِيرُ.

And strive hard in (the way of) Allah, (such) a striving as is due to Him; He has chosen you and has not laid upon you a hardship in religion; the faith of your father Ibrahim; He named you Muslims before and in this, that the Apostle may be a bearer of witness to you, and you may be bearers of witness to the people; therefore keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and hold fast by Allah; He is your Guardian; how excellent the Guardian and how excellent the Helper! (Sura Haj 22:78)

Sixth verse:

وَنَزَعْنَا مِنْ كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ شَهِيدًا فَقُلْنَا هَاتُوا بُرْهَانَكُمْ فَعَلِمُوا أَنَّ الْحَقَّ لِلَّهِ وَضَلَّ عَنْهُمْ مَا كَانُوا يَفْتَرُونَ.

And We will draw forth from among every nation a witness and say: Bring your proof; then shall they know that the truth is Allah’s, and that which they forged shall depart from them. (Sura Qasas 28:75)

Seventh verse:

وَأَشْرَقَتْ الْأَرْضُ بِنُورِ رَبِّهَا وَوُضِعَ الْكِتَابُ وَجِيءَ بِالنَّبِيِّينَ وَالشُّهَدَاءِ وَقُضِيَ بَيْنَهُمْ بِالْحَقِّ وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ.

And the earth shall beam with the light of its Lord, and the Book shall be laid down, and the prophets and the witnesses shall be brought up, and judgment shall be given between them with justice, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly. (Sura Zumar 39:69)

Eighth verse:

وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنْ افْتَرَى عَلَى اللَّهِ كَذِبًا أُوْلَئِكَ يُعْرَضُونَ عَلَى رَبِّهِمْ وَيَقُولُ الْأَشْهَادُ هَؤُلَاءِ الَّذِينَ كَذَبُوا عَلَى رَبِّهِمْ أَلَا لَعْنَةُ اللَّهِ عَلَى الظَّالِمِينَ.

And who is more unjust than he who forges a lie against Allah? These shall be brought before their Lord, and the witnesses shall say: These are they who lied against their Lord. Now surely the curse of Allah is on the unjust. (Sura Hud 11:18)

Ninth verse:

أَفَمَنْ كَانَ عَلَى بَيِّنَةٍ مِنْ رَبِّهِ وَيَتْلُوهُ شَاهِدٌ مِنْهُ وَمِنْ قَبْلِهِ كِتَابُ مُوسَى إِمَامًا وَرَحْمَةً أُوْلَئِكَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ وَمَنْ يَكْفُرْ بِهِ مِنْ الْأَحْزَابِ فَالنَّارُ مَوْعِدُهُ فَلَا تَكُنْ فِي مِرْيَةٍ مِنْهُ إِنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِنْ رَبِّكَ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ.

Is he then who has with him clear proof from his Lord, and a witness from Him recites it and before it (is) the Book of Musa, a guide and a mercy? These believe in it; and whoever of the (different) parties disbelieves in it, surely it is the truth from your Lord, but most men do not believe. (Sura Hud 11:17)

Tenth verse:

وَجَاءَتْ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَعَهَا سَائِقٌ وَشَهِيدٌ.

And every soul shall come, with it a driver and a witness. (Sura Qaf 50:21)

Shaykh Tusi has said that there are three statements regarding their being witness: The first is that they are witness over people in the matter of their deeds in this world and in the hereafter which might have been done against truth has been said:

and the prophets and the witnesses shall be brought up. (Sura Zumar 39:69)

Secondly, it may mean that you are proof (Hujjat) on people so put before them the truth and the religion and the messenger may be witness over you and may put (describe) the truth and religion.

Thirdly, these noble ones will give witness about the messengers that they conveyed the Divine Commands and that their communities belied them, and that the meaning of the messenger’s being witness over them is that they will give witness about their deeds or will be proofs over them or will give witness about them on the Day of Judgment that they had given true testimony. In this case ‘upon’ would be in the meaning of ‘for’, that is, ‘upon you’ will mean ‘for you’.1

Kulaini, Saffar, Ibne Shahr Aashob and Ayyashi have, with reliable chains of narrators, quoted Imams Baqir and Sadiq (a.s.) that they have while explaining this verse they said: We are the medium nation (Ummate Wusta) and we are Allah’s witness over the creation and Allah’s proof (Hujjat) on the earth.

Furat has, with reliable chains of narrators, about the meaning of this verse, quoted Imam Baqir (a.s.) that there always is a witness from us Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) in every age. Imam Ali was in his time and Imam Hasan was in his days and Imam Husain was in his period and likewise every Imam who guides people towards Allah is in his time the witness of Allah.

Likewise in Basair, Imam Baqir (a.s.) is reported to have said that he said: The ‘medium nation’ means the Imams who are witnesses over the people and: and (that) the Apostle may be a bearer of witness to you… means the messenger will be a witness over you.

Imam Sadiq (a.s.) is reported to have said that we are the witnesses over the people about their Halaal (permissible) and Haraam (prohibited) and about whichever of Divine Commandments have been broken by them.

In Kafi and in Basair, Imam Ali (a.s.) is reported to have said: Allah has made us clean of evils and also infallible and made us witnesses over the creation and also proof (Hujjat) in His earth and also He has made Quran with us and us with the Quran. Neither we will separate ourselves from it nor will it separate itself from us.

Ayyashi has narrated from Imam Baqir (a.s.) that: We are the most moderate in all manners and we are the best of all, that is, of the angles and the couches which are being spread in presidential places with the qualities of the creation as has been said by Allah: And thus We have made you a medium (just) nation… So it is necessary that the one who makes excesses should return towards us.

He has also narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) that he recited this verse and said: Do you think that what is meant in this verse is all the people of Qibla (Muslims) who believe in Allah’s oneness? It is not so. Do you think that the witness of the one whose testimony is not being accepted in world even for a little quantity of dates will be called in the Hereafter to give testimony by Allah and He will accept it before all the communities of the past? It is not so, Allah has not desired like that but it is regarding only that community in whose favor the prayer of Ibrahim (a.s.) has been answered. They are those who have been addressed by Allah thus:

You are the best of the nations raised up for (the benefit of) men… (Sura Ale-Imran 3:110)

Thereafter He describes their attributes saying they order the performance of good deeds and prohibit the commitment of evil deeds and by it what is meant is the Imams, as only they are the most moderate of all people and also the best of all. He is also reported to have said that no one is the witness to people except the messengers and the Imams because it is not comprehensible that Allah will call on the entire community for giving witness because in it there also are some such people whose testimony is not worth even a little green stem of a tree.

Abul Qasim Haqqani has quoted Imam Ali (a.s.) in Shawahidut Tanzil that the Lord of the universe had mentioned us in the verse: …that you may be the bearers of witness to the people… and He has addressed us in it. So the Holy Prophet (S) is witness over us and we are, from Allah, witnesses over the creation and we are the Proof (Hujjat) of Allah on the earth and it is only us about whom Allah has said: And thus We have made you a medium (just) nation…

The commentators have said that they are the messengers who are the witnesses of their communities.

O Muhammad! We will make you the witness over all of them.

Some have said:

O Messenger! Be witness over your Ummat.

And some others have said:

You are the witness over those witnesses from us over that community and Muhammad is the witness over us.

In Ihtijaj, in a lengthy tradition, Amirul Momineen is reported to have said showing the attribute of the Ahle Muqif (the halted ones) that Prophets will be made to halt and they will be questioned: Did you convey My message to your communities over whom you were appointed by Me? All the messengers will reply: We did convey. Then those communities will be asked: Did My messengers made you aware of My message? The disbelievers would deny as mentioned by Allah:

فَلَنَسْأَلَنَّ الَّذِينَ أُرْسِلَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَنَسْأَلَنَّ الْمُرْسَلِينَ.

Most certainly then We will question those to whom (the apostles) were sent, and most certainly We will also question the apostles; (Sura Araf 7:6)

The disbelievers would say:

(أَنْ تَقُولُوا) مَا جَاءَنَا مِنْ بَشِيرٍ وَلَا نَذِيرٍ.

There came not to us a giver of good news or a warner…(Sura Maida 5:19)

At that time the messengers will request the Holy Prophet (S) to give witness and the Holy Prophet (S) will testify that the messengers are telling the truth and those of their community are telling a lie who have denied the conveyance of message. Then the community of every messenger will be addressed:

فَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ بَشِيرٌ وَنَذِيرٌ وَاللَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ.

So indeed there has come to you a giver of good news and a warner; and Allah has power over all things. (Sura Maida 5:19)

Imam (a.s.) said: He has power enough to make your organs speak in order to testify on your behalf that the messengers of Allah had conveyed the message to you. This is pointer to the Divine Word:

فَكَيْفَ إِذَا جِئْنَا مِنْ كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ بِشَهِيدٍ وَجِئْنَا بِكَ عَلَى هَؤُلَاءِ شَهِيدًا.

How will it be, then, when We bring from every people a witness and bring you as a witness against these? (Sura Nisa 4:41)

At that time they will not be able to reject the witness given by the Holy Prophet (S) because of the fear that their lips may be sealed and then their organs may testify. Thereafter the Holy Prophet (S) will give witness about the deniers and the hypocrites of his Ummah that they had become atheists and turned away from religion and they became enemies of the legatees of the Holy Prophet (S) and broke covenants and changed their habits and oppressed his family members and turned their back to the religion and became apostates and followed those communities who had been dishonest to their Prophets in earlier times and had oppressed their legatees. At that time all will confess their denial and misguidance and say: O Allah! Our hearts had become stony and we were of the misguided groups. Thereafter:

يَوْمَئِذٍ يَوَدُّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَعَصَوْا الرَّسُولَ لَوْ تُسَوَّى بِهِمْ الْأَرْضُ وَلَا يَكْتُمُونَ اللَّهَ حَدِيثًا.

On that day will those who disbelieve and disobey the Apostle desire that the earth were levelled with them, and they shall not hide any word from Allah. (Sura Nisa 4:42)

Ali bin Ibrahim has narrated that it means those who had grabbed the right of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) will wish they had sunk in the ground at the place where they had gathered to grab the right of Amirul Momineen (a.s.), and that they will not be able hide from Allah what the Holy Prophet (S) had said in favor of Amirul Momineen and about their deviation.

The subject matter of the third and the fourth verses is almost similar.

The translation of the third verse is:

وَقُلْ اعْمَلُوا فَسَيَرَى اللَّهُ عَمَلَكُمْ وَرَسُولُهُ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَسَتُرَدُّونَ إِلَى عَالِمِ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ فَيُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ.

And say: Work; so Allah will see your work and (so will) His Apostle and the believers; and you shall be brought back to the Knower of the unseen and the seen, then He will inform you of what you did. (Sura Tawbah 9:105)

Commentators have differed in interpreting the word ‘believers’. Some have said they are the martyrs and some opined that they are angels who record human deeds. There are many Shias as well as Ahle Sunnat traditions that mention that here ‘believers’ means the Holy Imams (a.s.).

Accordingly Saffar, Ibne Shahr Aashob, Ayyashi, Kulaini and others have with reliable chains of narrators narrated that Imams Baqir and Sadiq (a.s.) have said that everywhere the word ‘believers’ means us, the Imams.

In Majalis of Shaykh Tusi, Basairud Darajat and in the Tafsir Ayyashi Imam Baqir (a.s.) is reported to have said that one day the Holy Prophet (S) was sitting among his companions when he said: My being in the midst of you is good for you and my leaving this place is also good for you. Hearing this Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari got up and said: O Messenger of Allah! We know that your presence among us is good for us but how is it good for us when you are not present among us?! The Prophet said: My presence before you is better on the basis of Allah’s words:

But Allah was not going to chastise them while you were among them, (Sura Anfal 8:33)

and it is also not so that

Allah is going to chastise them while yet they ask for forgiveness. (Sura Anfal 8:33)

The Hazrat said they are being punished by the sword. And my separation from you is better for you in this way that your deeds are being presented before us every Monday and Thursday. When I see that your deeds are good, I thank Allah and when I notice that your deeds are evil, I seek Allah’s pardon for you.

It is narrated in Majalis of the Shaykh and Basairud Darajat with reliable chains of narrators that Ibne Uzniyaa once requested Imam Sadiq (a.s.) to explain the meaning of the Divine Words:

And say: Work; so Allah will see your work and (so will) His Apostle and the believers. (Sura Tawbah 9:105)

The Imam replied: Here ‘believers’ means us.

The Shaykh has in Majalis and others have with reliable chains of narrators, narrated from Dawood ibne Kathir that he says that one day I was with Imam Sadiq (a.s.) when, without my asking the Imam (a.s.) began to say: O Dawood! Your deeds were presented to me on Thursday and when I saw that you behaved nicely with your such and such cousin I became very glad and I imagined that this good attitude with relatives might be because of the realization of the fact that very soon his life would end and his death arrive.

Dawood says that I had a cousin who was very bad natured and inimical towards me. I came to know that he and his family members are in big trouble. So before proceeding to Holy Mecca, I made some arrangement for the removal of his difficulties. Then when I reached Medina Imam (a.s.) informed me about this.

Ali bin Ibrahim has, with reliable chains of narrators, narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) that, in this verse, ‘believers’ means the Holy Imams, and also that the deeds of righteous and evil servants are presented to the Holy Prophet (S) every morning. So, all of you should avoid presentation of your evil deeds to the Holy Prophet (S).

The same Imam is reported to have said that no believer or disbeliever is ever buried before the presentation of his deeds to the Holy Prophet (S), Amirul Momineen and all the Holy Imams whose obedience has been made obligatory for the creatures by Allah and that this is the meaning of the Divine words:

And say: Work; so Allah will see your work and (so will) His Apostle and the believers. 9:105

In Maniul Akhbar and Tafsir Maashi, Abu Baseer is reported to have visited Imam Sadiq (a.s.) and said: Abul Khattab was saying that, every Thursday, the deeds of the Ummah are being presented to the Holy Prophet (S).

The Imam said: Not so but the good and bad deeds of the Ummah are being presented to the Holy Prophet (S) every morning (so refrain from misdeeds). Then he recited this verse and remained silent. Abu Baseer said ‘believers’ means the Holy Imams.

In Basair, Imam Sadiq (a.s.) is reported to have said that the good and bad deeds of servants are being presented before the Holy Prophet (S) so (refrain from sins).

According to another narration, Muhammad bin Muslim asked the same Imam whether the deeds of the Ummah are being presented to the Holy Prophet (S)? The Hazrat replied: There is no doubt about it. Then, in response to an inquiry about this verse, the Imam said: ‘Believers’ are the Imams who have been appointed by Allah over the people of the earth as witness.

Similarly, the said Imam is reported to have said that the deeds of servants are presented to the Holy Prophet (S) every Thursday.

According to yet another narration he said that every Thursday they are presented to the Holy Prophet (S) as well as the Holy Imams.

And according to yet another narration, every Thursday, the deeds of people are presented to the Holy Prophet (S) and when the Day of Arafat arrives, Allah nullifies the deeds of the enemies of us and of our Shias as He has said:

وَقَدِمْنَا إِلَى مَا عَمِلُوا مِنْ عَمَلٍ فَجَعَلْنَاهُ هَبَاءً مَنْثُورًا.

And We will proceed to what they have done of deeds, so We shall render them as scattered floating dust. (Sura Furqan 25:23)

That is, We looked at their deeds and We crushed them like atoms which are swept away by the wind and none of them are of any gain or benefit.

According to another tradition, he said: ‘Believers’ means Imams before whom the deeds of the people will continue to be presented every day till the Day of Judgment.

Similarly, it is reported that Imam Ridha (a.s.) was once requested by one of his near companions for praying for him and for his family members. The Hazrat told him: Don’t I pray for you? By Allah your deeds are presented to me every night and every day. That companion says: I gave extraordinary importance to these words of the Holy Imam. Then the Hazrat said: Perhaps, you have not read the Holy verse:

And say: Work; so Allah will see your work and (so will) His Apostle and the believers. (Sura Tawbah 9:105)

It is also reported that once Imam Sadiq (a.s.) addressed his companions: Why are you making the Holy Prophet (S) sorrowful? One from the audience asked: May I be sacrificed for you. How are we grieving the Holy Prophet (S)? The Imam replied: Perhaps you do not know that your deeds are presented to the Holy Prophet (S). When he sees disobedience and sin in your deeds he becomes sorrowful. So do not give sorrow to the Holy Prophet (S) by your misdeeds; rather make him happy through your good deeds.

Kulaini has reported that once a man recited this verse before Imam Sadiq (a.s.). Imam said: This verse is not like this. It is not and the believers (mominoon) but it is the trusted ones (mamoonoon) we Imams are the Maamoonoon, that is the trustees of Allah’s religion and of the knowledge, codes and commands of Allah’s religion.

Sayyid Ibne Tawoos has, in his work Risala Muhaasabtun Nafs, quoted from Ibne Mahyar’s Tafsir and said that once Ammar bin Yasir requested the Holy Prophet (S): It is my aspiration and I earnestly wish that you may live among us the long life of Nuh (a.s.).

The Holy Prophet (S) replied: O Ammar! For you both my life and my death are good. Life is better because when you commit a misdeed, I pray for your forgiveness. But fear Allah after my death and continue to send more and more Salawat on me and on my Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). Surely your deeds, along with your and your parents and forefathers names are being presented to me. When I see your good deeds, I praise Allah and when I see your misdeeds, I pray for your forgiveness.

Hearing this, all those who were hypocrites and who had doubts about the Messengership of the Holy Prophet (S) and whose hearts were affected by the illness of disbelief and hypocrisy began to say: Can you imagine that, after his death, your deeds along with your full names will be presented to him. No, never, it cannot be so. This is a lie. At that time Allah revealed this verse: And say: Work… till end. People asked: O Messenger of Allah! Who are ‘believers’? The Holy Prophet (S) replied: They are Aale Muhammad and then added:

وَسَتُرَدُّونَ إِلَى عَالِمِ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ فَيُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ.

And you shall be brought back to the Knower of the unseen and the seen, then He will inform you of what you did. (Sura Tawbah 9:105)

Allah will show each and every good and bad deeds done by you. There are many traditions regarding every such subject. We have considered this much as sufficient.

Shaykh Tabarsi and Ali bin Ibrahim have, in explanation of this verse, quoted Imam Sadiq (a.s.) that there will be a community and an Imam in every age and every community will be raised with its Imam.

In Manaqib Ibne Shahr Aashob says that Imam Baqir (a.s.) in the explanation of this verse said: We are the witness of this Ummat.

Ali bin Ibrahim has said that the witness is the Imams and added that Allah said to His Messenger: O Muhammad! Thereafter, We will make you witness over them, that is, the Messenger of Allah will be a witness over the Imams and the Holy Imams will be the witness over all people.

About fifth verse, Ali bin Ibrahim has narrated that this verse is exclusively for the Aale Muhammad and the Messenger of Allah is witness over Aale Muhammad and the Aale Muhammad are witness over the Ummat and Isa (a.s.) will say to Allah: I was the witness over my Ummat till I lived among them and when You lifted me up from the world only your were the witness over them and you are the witness to everything. And Allah has, for this Ummat, after the messenger, made his Ahlul Bayt and Progeny the witness until even one of them is present in the world. When they leave the world; all in earth will perish and the Holy Prophet (S) has said that Allah has made the stars shelter for those in the sky and my Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) for those in the world.

Ibne Shahr Aashob has narrated that: He named you Muslims before and in this… in the prayer of Ibrahim and Ismail (a.s.), who were the servants of the House of Allah is an indication towards Muhammad and Aale Muhammad (a.s.) when they believed in the last messenger of Allah. Prophet Muhammad (S) is a witness over Aale Muhammad and those gentlemen are witness over those who came after him.

It is narrated in Tafsir Furat that people asked the explanation of this verse from Imam Baqir (a.s.). He said: It is we who are meant in this verse and we are the chosen ones of Allah and it is due to us that Allah has not made any difficulty in religion and the severest blames are hardships.

By the faith of your father is meant we and that’s all. Allah named us Muslims. ‘Before’ means in earlier Books and ‘in this’ means in this Quran. That the Apostle may be a bearer of witness to you… So the messenger is the witness over us in the matter of those things which we conveyed from Allah and we are witnesses over people. So, on the Day of Qiyamat, we will testify the one who will tell the truth and we will negate the one who lies.

In Qurbul Asnaad, there is a narration from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) that the Holy Prophet (S) said that the honour bestowed by Allah on the Lord of the universe to my Ummat is such that was not given to any of the earlier Ummats excepts to the messengers.

The first honour is that Allah used to tell each of His messengers: Strive in religion; there is no blame on Us. But while addressing my Ummat He said: and has not laid upon you a hardship in religion… wherein Haraj means doubt.

The second honour is that whenever Allah sent any messenger He used to reveal to him: Whenever you confront a situation disliked by you pray to Me so that I may answer your prayer. He gave the same honour to this Ummat saying: Call upon Me, I will answer you… 40:60

The third honour is that whenever Allah sent any messenger He used to make him a witness over his community. But He made my Ummah witness over the entire creation. He said: and you may be bearers of witness to the people

Ibne Babawayh has narrated in Akmaluddeen that Amirul Momineen had, in the time of the caliphate of Uthman, said addressing a group of Emigrants and Helpers: Tell me taking oath of Allah, do you know that Allah sent the verse:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ارْكَعُوا وَاسْجُدُوا وَاعْبُدُوا رَبَّكُمْ وَافْعَلُوا الْخَيْرَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ. وَجَاهِدُوا فِي اللَّهِ حَقَّ جِهَادِهِ هُوَ اجْتَبَاكُمْ وَمَا جَعَلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ مِنْ حَرَجٍ مِلَّةَ أَبِيكُمْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ هُوَ سَمَّاكُمْ الْمُسْلِمينَ مِنْ قَبْلُ وَفِي هَذَا لِيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ شَهِيدًا عَلَيْكُمْ وَتَكُونُوا شُهَدَاءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ فَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِاللَّهِ هُوَ مَوْلَاكُمْ فَنِعْمَ الْمَوْلَى وَنِعْمَ النَّصِيرُ.

O you who believe! Bow down and prostrate yourselves and serve your Lord, and do good that you may succeed. And strive hard in (the way of) Allah, (such) a striving as is due to Him; He has chosen you and has not laid upon you a hardship in religion; the faith of your father Ibrahim; He named you Muslims before and in this, that the Apostle may be a bearer of witness to you, and you may be bearers of witness to the people; therefore keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and hold fast by Allah; He is your Guardian; how excellent the Guardian and how excellent the Helper! (Sura Haj 22:77-78)

And Salman (r.a.) got up and asked: O Messenger of Allah! Who are those people on whom you are a witness and whom Allah has chosen and for whom there is no hardship in religion and whom Allah made the faith of their father Ibrahim? The Holy Prophet (S) replied; by this Ummat is meant the certain thirteen persons and not the entire Ummah.

Salman said: O Messenger of Allah! Who are they? Please make us aware of them. The Holy Prophet (S) replied: I and my brother Ali and eleven persons from his progeny. All (Emigrants and Helpers present in the assembly of Uthman) said: Yes, we have heard.

In the explanation of the sixth verse Ali bin Ibrahim has narrated from Imam Baqir (a.s.) that: (We) will call the Imam of every group of this Ummah to give testimony to them.

About the seventh verse, commentators have also said this and Ali bin Ibrahim has quoted Imam Sadiq (a.s.) saying: ‘Its Lord’ is its Imam. People asked: How will be the Imam who comes? Imam said: He would be such that due to his radiance at his arrival the people of the earth will become needless of the sun and the moon?

In Irshad of Shaykh Mufeed, the same Imam is reported to have said that when Qaem Muntazar (Imam Mahdi) will appear the earth will become bright with the light of its Lord and the servants of Allah will not need the light of the sun and moon and darkness will vanish.

And: and the Book shall be laid down, and the prophets and the witnesses shall be brought up… Commentators have said that the witnesses are either the angels or the believers and Ali bin Ibrahim has said that the witnesses are the Imams.

And judgment shall be given between them with justice…means judgment based on justice will be proclaimed between them and they shall not be dealt with unjustly.

About the eighth verse, Ali bin Ibrahim has said that the witnesses mean the Imams (a.s.) and the ‘unjust’ means those people who oppressed the Aale Muhammad and grabbed their rights.

About the ninth verse, According to Most commentators it is the man who possesses the true knowledge and reason granted by Allah and for whom a witness may come from Allah is like the one who may not be like him but who may be a slave of the world and its temptation?

Some have said that clear proof’ means Quran and the witness means Jibraeel who is reciting the Quran.

Some have said that the witness is Muhammad (S) and some have said that it means an angel who protects him (Muhammad) and keeps him on the right path and some have said that the witness is Ali Ibne Abi Talib who testifies the truth about the Holy Prophet (S). There many more traditions from on this matter.

Thus Shaykh Tabarsi has narrated from Imams Ridha and Taqi (a.s.) and Kulaini from Imam Ridha (a.s.) that Amirul Momineen is witness of the Prophet of Allah and the Holy Prophet (S) is the Proof from his Lord.

It is mentioned in Basairud Darajat that Amirul Momineen said: By Allah, there is not a single verse which might not have been revealed during day or night but that I know it and there is none among the companions who might have been hit by a sword on his head but that any verse might have been revealed in his praise and which is about his entering Paradise or Hell. Hearing this, a man got up and asked: O Amirul Momineen! Which verse has been revealed in your praise? The Hazrat said: Did you not hear Allah’s words: Is he then who has with him clear proof from his Lord, and a witness from Him recites it… The Prophet of Allah is of the Proofs from his Lord and I am his witness and I am from him only.

Shaykh Tusi has also described this subject in Majalis and it is narrated in Tafsir Ayyashi from Imam Baqir that the one who is on clear truth (Bayyinat) from his Lord is the Holy Prophet (S) and the one who is to come after him and who is his witness and who is only from him is Amirul Momineen. After him are his legatees one after another and there are many traditions on this subject some of which will be, Insha Allah, mentioned in the forthcoming volume based on the events of Amirul Momineen (a.s.).

About the tenth verse, it is written in the Tafsir of Ali bin Ibrahim and in Nahjul Balagha that the puller will pull him towards Mahshar (great gathering ground in the Hereafter) and the witness will give testimony to his deeds.

In the book Tawilul Aayaat it is mentioned that Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said that the puller will be Amirul Momineen and witness is the Prophet of Allah (S).

  • 1. The writer says: It is mentioned in traditions that, in this verse, the address is to the Imams and they are witness to the creation and these traditions can be taken in two aspects:
    One: The address may be specifically to these gentlemen and only they be meant by Ummat as mentioned in some traditions that this verse was revealed like this: Wa Ka Zali Ka…
    Two: The address may be to the entire Ummah, from the viewpoint given this adjective (of being) wusta or moderate.

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