Kalimah and Kalam denotes the Wilayat and friendship of Aale Muhammad
There are many verses about it:
وَجَعَلَهَا كَلِمَةً بَاقِيَةً فِي عَقِبِهِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ.
And he made it a word to continue in his posterity that they may return… (Surah Zukhruf 43:28)
It means there would always be from the progeny of Ibrahim a person believing in the Oneness of Allah and he would invite the people towards monotheism that perhaps the polytheists revert to faith.
Many traditions say that it means that Imamate would remain in the progeny of Ibrahim and the Holy Prophet (S) till the day of Qiyamat. Thus Shaykh Tabarsi says that some have said that ‘Kalimah’ refers to monotheism and some say that it means Imamate would remain in their progeny.
There is a similar tradition from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) also. Shaykh Tabarsi says that there is difference of opinion that to whom does this refer. Some have said that it is the progeny of Ibrahim till the day of judgement and Saddi has said that it refers to Aale Muhammad (a.s.).
Ibne Mahyar has related from Sulaiman bin Qays that: One day we were in the mosque, Ali (a.s.) arrived and said: Ask me whatever you like before that you don’t find me anymore, and ask me the exegesis of the Quran because there is knowledge of the first and the last ones in it and it has left nothing for anyone.
And no one knows the meanings of the Quran except Allah and those firmly rooted in knowledge and the firmly rooted in knowledge is not one but many, one of them was the Holy Prophet (S). Allah had taught him the knowledge of the Quran. The Holy Prophet (S) taught me and this knowledge shall remain in his progeny till the day of Qiyamat. Then the Hazrat recited this verse:
…فِيهِ سَكِينَةٌ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ وَبَقِيَّةٌ مِمَّا تَرَكَ آلُ مُوسَى وَآلُ هَارُونَ تَحْمِلُهُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ…
…in which there is tranquillity from your Lord and residue of the relics of what the children of Musa and the children of Haroon have left, the angels bearing it… (Surah Baqarah 2:248)
Imam Ali (a.s.) recited this verse by way of example. That is just as the sciences and the relics of Moosa and his vicegerent Haroon were in the chest, in the same way the sciences and the relics of the last Prophet and his Caliph are safe with their progeny.
That is why he said that I am in relation to the Prophet (S) what Haroon was to Moosa. Except for Prophethood I am similar to him in all aspects. And the knowledge of the Holy Prophet (S) is in his progeny till the day of judgement. Then he recited the verse:
And he made it a word to continue in his posterity that they may return… (Surah Zukhruf 43:28)
Then he said that the Holy Prophet (S) came after Ibrahim and I am after both Muhammad (S) and Ibrahim.
Also, there is a tradition from Imam Baqir (a.s.) that this verse was in his praise till Imamate reached him. And that this knowledge is always passed to the son from his father. It does not reach the brother or paternal uncles. And after Imam Husain (a.s.) there would be no Imam but that he would have a son till the twelfth Imam and since Abdullah Aftah left this world without any issue, he is not an Imam.
Ali Ibne Ibrahim has narrated that the ‘word’ denotes the Second Coming (Raja’t), it means that these persons would return to this world before the day of judgement.
It is mentioned in Kamaluddeen from authentic chains from Mufazzal Ibne Umar that Imam Sadiq (a.s.) asked the explanation of the verse:
And he made it a word to continue in his posterity that they may return… (Surah Zukhruf 43:28)
Imam (a.s.) replied: It refers to Imamate which after Imam Husain (a.s.) is appointed in his descendants till the day of judgement. Mufazzal asked: O son of the Messenger of Allah, why was Imamate reposed in the descendants of Imam Husain (a.s.) and not in the progeny of Imam Hasan (a.s.), though both were the sons of the Holy Prophet (S), both were leaders of the youth of Paradise, and both were brothers?
The Hazrat said: Moosa and Haroon both were messenger prophets and were brothers of each other, but Allah appointed the Imamate in the progeny of Haroon and not in the progeny of Moosa. No one has the right to object why it happened like that. Imamate is the vicegerancy of Allah on the earth and no one has the right to object why Allah made Imams from the progeny of Imam Husain (a.s.) and not in the descendants of Imam Hasan (a.s.), because Allah is wise in His actions. Whatever He does it is according to wisdom, as He says:
لَا يُسْأَلُ عَمَّا يَفْعَلُ وَهُمْ يُسْأَلُونَ.
He cannot be questioned concerning what He does and they shall be questioned. (Surah Anbiya 21:23)
وَلَقَدْ سَبَقَتْ كَلِمَتُنَا لِعِبَادِنَا الْمُرْسَلِينَ. إِنَّهُمْ لَهُمْ الْمَنصُورُونَ. وَإِنَّ جُندَنَا لَهُمْ الْغَالِبُونَ.
And certainly Our word has already gone forth in respect of Our servants, the apostles. Most surely they shall be the assisted ones, and most surely our host alone shall be the victorious ones. (Surah Saffat 37:171-173)
Ibne Shahr Aashob has narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) in the explanation of this verse that: We are Allah’s host (party).1
وَلَوْ أَنَّمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ مِنْ شَجَرَةٍ أَقْلَامٌ وَالْبَحْرُ يَمُدُّهُ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ سَبْعَةُ أَبْحُرٍ مَا نَفِدَتْ كَلِمَاتُ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ.
And were every tree that is in the earth (made into) pens and the see (to supply it with ink), with seven more seas to increase it, the words of Allah would not come to a end, surely Allah is mighty, wise. (Surah Luqman 31:127)
Some have said that ‘words’ refer to the destiny fixed by Allah. Imam Ali Naqi (a.s.) was asked about its explanation and he said: The seven seas refer to the spring of sulphur, the spring of Yemen, the spring of Barhoot, the spring of Tiberia, the ‘Garmaba Rasidaan’, ‘Garmaba Africiya and the spring of ‘Mahooran’.
And we are the ‘words’ of Allah, which cannot be counted. This tradition is the sequel to the tradition that is related from the Prophet, both by Shias and Ahle Sunnat, that if all the trees become pens and all the water of the sea becomes ink and all the Jinns and human beings were made to write the merits of Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.) they cannot even write one-tenth of them.
Kulaini and others have narrated from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) that on the night of power (Lailatul Qadr) the interpretation of all the affairs is revealed to the Imam, which is related to him and to the people of his time and in other times every special knowledge of Allah and all the secret sciences and many strange treasures of knowledge are revealed to the Imam of the time. Then the Hazrat recited this verse. This tradition does not prove that ‘words’ refer to the sciences that Allah reveals on the Prophet and Imams (a.s.). Indeed it is one of the excellences of these gentlemen.
قُلْ لَوْ كَانَ الْبَحْرُ مِدَادًا لِكَلِمَاتِ رَبِّي لَنَفِدَ الْبَحْرُ قَبْلَ أَنْ تَنفَدَ كَلِمَاتُ رَبِّي وَلَوْ جِئْنَا بِمِثْلِهِ مَدَدًا.
Say: If the sea were ink for the words of my Lord, the sea would surely be consumed before the words of my Lord are exhausted, though We were to bring the like of that (sea) to add… (Surah Kahf 18:109)
Imam (a.s.) said that in the interpretation of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) ‘words’ refer to their merits (Fazail) and their sciences which are always revealed upon them from Allah and would never end, as it would be mentioned after this. There are many traditions in the explanation of ‘word of Allah’ and the ‘words of Allah’.
فَتَلَقَّى آدَمُ مِنْ رَبِّهِ كَلِمَاتٍ فَتَابَ عَلَيْهِ إِنَّهُ هُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ.
Then Adam received (some) words from his Lord, so He turned to him mercifully, surely He is oft returning (to mercy), he merciful. (Surah Baqarah 2:37)
There is a lot of difference of opinion regarding these ‘words’ as mentioned in the first volume of this book. Kulaini and Ibne Babawayh have narrated in Maniul Akhbar and Khisal and Shaykh Tabarsi and others have related from Imam Sadiq (a.s.), Imam Baqir (a.s.), from the Holy Prophet (S) and from Ibne Abbas that it is the words that Adam said: O Allah, I ask you in the name of Muhammad, Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Husain (a.s.), have mercy on me and forgive me and accept my repentance. So the Almighty Allah accepted his repentance.
According another tradition Adam and Hawwa desired the status of those exalted persons and indulged in this unpreferable action (Tark-e-Awla). When they cried and wept on the earth for a specified period and when Allah wanted to accept their repentance Jibraeel (a.s.) came to them and said: You did injustice on yourself that you desired the status of those exalted and blessed persons, who were given excellence and exalted above you, that is why now you must pray in the names that you had seen on the firmaments of the heavens so that Allah may accept your repentance.
So Adam said: I ask you in the name of Muhammad, Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Husain (a.s.) who are near to You, accept our repentance and have mercy on us. So Allah accepted their repentance and according to another tradition ‘by the right of Muhammad and Aale Muhammad’.
And Ibne Maghazali Shafei has also narrated similarly in the explanation of this verse:
وَلَقَدْ عَهِدْنَا إِلَى آدَمَ مِنْ قَبْلُ فَنَسِيَ وَلَمْ نَجِدْ لَهُ عَزْمًا.
And certainly We gave a commandment to Adam before, but he forgot; and We did not find in him any determination. (Surah Taha 20:115)
The Imam said that this verse was revealed in this way: We had taken from Adam before this an oath by certain words, which were Muhammad, Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Husain (a.s.) and in praise of Imams from their progeny, so he left them and We did not find in him any determination in this regard. Traditions on this topic have been mentioned in the first volume in the account of Prophet Adam.
The Sixth verse:
وَإِذْ ابْتَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ رَبُّهُ بِكَلِمَاتٍ فَأَتَمَّهُنَّ.
Remember that time when Allah took the examination of Ibrahim with some words, so Ibrahim fulfilled it. (Surah Baqarah 2:124)
There is difference of opinion as regards the explanation of ‘words’. Some have said it means the ‘practice’ (Sunnat) of Ibrahim and some that it means all the duties.
Ibne Babawayh and others have narrated from Mufazzal Ibne Umar that he asked Imam Sadiq (a.s.) about the explanation of the ‘words’. Imam replied that they are the same words which Adam had learnt from his Lord and due to which his repentance was accepted.
Adam had said: “O Allah, I ask you by the right of Muhammad, Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Husain (a.s.), accept my repentance.” Mufazzal asked: Then what is the meaning of ‘so Ibrahim fulfilled it.’ The Imam said that Ibrahim (a.s.) mentioned the names of each Imam till Qaem Aale Muhammad (a.s.).2
The Seventh verse:
فَأَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ سَكِينَتَهُ عَلَى رَسُولِهِ وَعَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ فَأَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ سَكِينَتَهُ عَلَى رَسُولِهِ وَعَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَأَلْزَمَهُمْ كَلِمَةَ التَّقْوَى وَكَانُوا أَحَقَّ بِهَا وَأَهْلَهَا وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمًا.
But Allah sent down His tranquillity on His Apostle and on the believers and made them keep the word of guarding (against evil), and they were entitled to it and worthy of it, and Allah is Cognizant of all things. (Surah Fath 48:26)
And the ‘word of guarding (against evil)’ is the word which would keep them safe from the chastisement of Allah. Or it is the word which is accepted by the pious people. Some have said that the pure word is the formula ‘There is no god except Allah’, and there are others sayings also and there are many traditions that it is the Wilayat of Amirul Momineen (a.s.).
Shaykh Mufeed has narrated from Imam Baqir (a.s.) that the Holy Prophet (S) said: Indeed, Allah wanted to take an oath from me. I said: O our Nourisher, tell me. Allah said: Listen. I said: I am listening. He said: O Muhammad, Ali is the path towards guidance and a signpost after you and the leader for My friends and those who follow Me, for them is victory and that is the ‘word’ which I have made incumbent for the pious people. Those who befriends them would befriend Me and those who keep enmity with them, would be My enemy. So give them good news of whatever I have said.
Kulaini with authentic chains narrates from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) that the ‘word of guarding (against evil)’ is faith.
In Khisal there is a tradition from the Holy Prophet (S) that he said at the end of a Sermon: We are the ‘word of guarding (against evil)’.
It is narrated in Tawheed from Imam Ali (a.s.) that he said in a lengthy Sermon: We are the firmest handle (Urwatul Wuthqa) and the ‘word of guarding (against evil)’. There are many traditions regarding this.
وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَةُ رَبِّكَ صِدْقًا وَعَدْلًا لَا مُبَدِّلَ لِكَلِمَاتِهِ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ.
And the word of your Lord has been accomplished truly and justly, there is none who can change His words, and He is the Hearing, the Knowing. (Surah Anam 6:116)
We come to know from the traditions of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) that the ‘word of guarding (against evil)’ are the righteous Imams and no one can change their Imamate.
Kulaini and other traditionists have narrated many traditions through many chains of narrators from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) that whenever Allah intends to appoint an Imam He commands an angel and he brings water from below the Arsh (throne) for his father and who drinks it. The seed of that Imam is created from that water. For forty days he does not hear any voice in the womb, after that he does. Then in the womb or after his birth the Almighty sends angels who write on his forehead, or on the right arm or between the shoulders or on all these spots:
And the word of your Lord has been accomplished truly and justly.
When he becomes the Imam, Allah raises a pillar of light for him through which he sees the actions of the people of the cities. Whenever Allah makes anyone an Imam He says the same words. The Almighty Allah says at another place:
لَا تَبْدِيلَ لِكَلِمَاتِ اللَّهِ.
There is none who can change the words of Allah… (Surah Yunus 12:64)
Ali Ibne Ibrahim says that it means no one can change Imamate.
وَإِذْ يَعِدُكُمْ اللَّهُ إِحْدَى الطَّائِفَتَيْنِ أَنَّهَا لَكُمْ وَتَوَدُّونَ أَنَّ غَيْرَ ذَاتِ الشَّوْكَةِ تَكُونُ لَكُمْ وَيُرِيدُ اللَّهُ أَنْ يُحِقَّ الْحَقَّ بِكَلِمَاتِهِ وَيَقْطَعَ دَابِرَ الْكَافِرِينَ. لِيُحِقَّ الْحَقَّ وَيُبْطِلَ الْبَاطِلَ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْمُجْرِمُونَ.
When Allah promised you one of the two parties that it shall be yours and you loved that the one not armed should be yours and Allah desired to manifest the truth of what was true by His words and to cut off the root of the unbelievers. That He may manifest the truth of what was true by His and show the falsehood of what was false, though the guilty disliked. (Surah Anfal 8:7-8)
Commentators have said that ‘words’ refer to the verses of Allah or the divine will or commanding the angels to help the believers.
Ali Ibne Ibrahim (a.s.) has narrated that ‘words’ refers to the holy Imams and to cut off the offspring of the unbelievers and it denotes killing their leaders so that the true religion can be proved and destroy falsehood even if sinners and unbelievers detest it.
Ayyashi has narrated from Jabir that Imam Baqir (a.s.) was asked about the explanation of this verse. He said that its inner explanation is that Allah intended for a work and has destined it. In the middle of the verse this ‘word’ from Allah refers to Ali Ibne Abi Talib and ‘unbelievers’ refers to Bani Umayyah.
Allah would uproot them and ‘manifest the truth of what was true’ s refers to the right of Aale Muhammad (a.s.), which would revert to them during the time of the Qaem. ‘show the falsehood of what was false’ refers to the time when the Qaem of Aale Muhammad would reappear and destroy Bani Umayyah and uproot them.3
فَإِنْ يَشَأْ اللَّهُ يَخْتِمْ عَلَى قَلْبِكَ وَيَمْحُ اللَّهُ الْبَاطِلَ وَيُحِقُّ الْحَقَّ بِكَلِمَاتِهِ إِنَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ.
But if Allah pleased, He would seal your heart; and Allah will blot out the falsehood and confirm the truth with His words; surely He is Cognizant of what is in the breasts. (Surah Shuraa 26:24)
Kulaini has narrated from Imam Baqir (a.s.) that he said: The Almighty Allah has said for His enemies who were the friends of Satan, who denied the Prophet and did not obey him.
قُلْ مَا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ أَجْرٍ وَمَا أَنَا مِنْ الْمُتَكَلِّفِينَ.
Say: I do not ask you for any reward for it; nor am I of those who affect… (Surah Sad 38:86)
That is, O Messenger, say to the hypocrites that I do not ask the recompense for my Prophethood, that is the love for my Ahle Bayt, from you because I know that you would not accept it and I am not the one who makes things compulsory that I should demand the recompense of something that you do not believe and are not fit for it.
Hearing this, the hypocrites said amongst themselves that is it not enough he has compelled us to strictly follow the commands for twenty years that now he desires to put his Ahle Bayt on our neck. And he is lying. Allah has not said that he should demand the love of Ahlul Bayt as recompense of Prophethood. He is saying it from himself and he wants to make Ahlul Bayt our masters. If he gets killed or dies we would snatch the Caliphate and never return it to them. So Allah wanted to inform His Prophet about whatever they had concealed in their hearts and said:
أَمْ يَقُولُونَ افْتَرَى عَلَى اللَّهِ كَذِبًا فَإِنْ يَشَأْ اللَّهُ يَخْتِمْ عَلَى قَلْبِكَ.
Or do they say: He has forged a lie against Allah? But if Allah pleased, He would seal your heart…(Surah Shuraa 42:23)
The Imam said that Allah means to say that if I wanted I would have stopped sending revelations, and it would not have been possible to make people aware about the excellence of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and their friendship. Then He said:
وَيَمْحُ اللَّهُ الْبَاطِلَ وَيُحِقُّ الْحَقَّ بِكَلِمَاتِهِ إِنَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ.
…and Allah will blot out the falsehood and confirm the truth with His words; surely He is Cognizant of what is in the breasts. (Surah Shuraa 42:24)
Imam said that it means that Allah knows whatever they have concealed in their hearts regarding your enmity and that of your Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and they have hatched a plan of committing injustice on them.
وَلَوْلَا كَلِمَةُ الْفَصْلِ لَقُضِيَ بَيْنَهُمْ وَإِنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ. تَرَى الظَّالِمِينَ مُشْفِقِينَ مِمَّا كَسَبُوا وَهُوَ وَاقِعٌ بِهِمْ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ فِي رَوْضَاتِ الْجَنَّاتِ لَهُمْ مَا يَشَاءُونَ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ ذَلِكَ هُوَ الْفَضْلُ الكَبِيرُ.
And were it not for the word of judgment, decision would have certainly been given between them; and surely the unjust shall have a painful punishment. You will see the unjust fearing on account of what they have earned, and it must befall them; and those who believe and do good shall be in the meadows of the gardens; they shall have what they please with their Lord: that is the great grace. (Surah Shuraa 42:21)
Ali Ibne Ibrahim has narrated that ‘word’ refers to Imam. ‘Unjust’ denotes those who have done injustice on this ‘word’. For them there is a painful chastisement. ‘You will see the unjust’, that is those who have done injustice on the Aale Muhammad. They will be afraid of their deeds which they have committed in the world. And that of which they are afraid will happen to them.
Then it was mentioned about them who brought faith and followed it. For them there are gardens in Paradise and in it there is everything whatever they want, this is that great grace. It is the good news that Allah gives to those of His servants who bring faith on this ‘word’ and do good deeds that they are ordered.
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ حَقَّتْ عَلَيْهِمْ كَلِمَةُ رَبِّكَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ. وَلَوْ جَاءَتْهُمْ كُلُّ آيَةٍ حَتَّى يَرَوْا الْعَذَابَ الْأَلِيمَ.
Surely those against whom the word of your Lords has proved true will not believe, though every sign should come to them, until they witness the painful chastisement. (Surah Yunus 10:96-97)
Commentators have said that the ‘word’ is this news from Allah that they would not bring faith or it is the promise for the chastisement from Allah.
Ali Ibne Ibrahim has narrated that this verse was revealed for that group which denied the Imamate of Amirul Momineen (a.s.), although the Wilayat of Ali was presented before them and it was made incumbent upon them that they bring faith but they did not bring faith. So ‘word’ refers to the Wilayat of Ali (a.s.).
إِلَيْهِ يَصْعَدُ الْكَلِمُ الطَّيِّبُ وَالْعَمَلُ الصَّالِحُ يَرْفَعُهُ.
To Him do ascend the good words and the good deeds, lift them up. (Surah Fatir:10)
Ibne Shahr Aashob has narrated from Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (a.s.) that Hazrat pointed towards his chest and said that it means the Wilayat of we Ahlul Bayt, and the acceptance our Imamate. One who does not know our Wilayat, none of his actions is elevated and is it accepted. These interpretations are explained in other places.