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Part 9: Quranic verses proving the following of Ahlul Bayt

Quranic verses that prove the necessity of following the path of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.).

Allah Almighty says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ فَإِنْ تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ إِنْ كُنتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلًا.

O you who believe! obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those in authority (Ulil Amr) from among you; then if you quarrel about anything, refer it to Allah and the Apostle, if you believe in Allah and the last day; this is better and very good in the end. (Sura Nisa 4:59)

And He says:

وَإِذَا جَاءَهُمْ أَمْرٌ مِنَ الْأَمْنِ أَوْ الْخَوْفِ أَذَاعُوا بِهِ وَلَوْ رَدُّوهُ إِلَى الرَّسُولِ وَإِلَى أُوْلِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْهُمْ لَعَلِمَهُ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَنْبِطُونَهُ مِنْهُمْ وَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ لَاتَّبَعْتُمْ الشَّيْطَانَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا.

And when there comes to them news of security or fear they spread it abroad; and if they had referred it to the Apostle and to those in authority among them, those among them who can search out the knowledge of it would have known it... (Sura Nisa :83)

And:

أَمْ يَحْسُدُونَ النَّاسَ عَلَى مَا آتَاهُمْ اللَّهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ فَقَدْ آتَيْنَا آلَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَآتَيْنَاهُمْ مُلْكًا عَظِيمًا.فَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ آمَنَ بِهِ وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ صَدَّ عَنْهُ وَكَفَى بِجَهَنَّمَ سَعِيرًا.

Or do they envy the people for what Allah has given them of His grace? But indeed We have given to Ibrahim’s children the Book and the wisdom, and We have given them a grand kingdom. So of them is he who believes in him, and of them is he who turns away from him, and hell is sufficient to burn. (Sura Nisa 4:54-55)

We should know that Commentators have differed in explaining Ulil Amr. From the Ahle Sunnat commentators, some have said that they are chiefs and commanders of army and kings, and again some of them have also said that Ulil Amr means the learned of the Ummat. Imamite scholars are unanimous that they are the Imams of Aale Muhammad (a.s.).

On the basis of narrations which will be mentioned henceforth Ulil Amr is one who has authority in affairs and there is no limit to this. It means that he should possess authority in all the affairs of religion and the world and so he can be only the Imam. If a person has authority only in one matter his obedience would be obligatory only in that matter and one who has absolute authority in all affairs only he would be the person whose obedience is absolute and only he is the Imam.

To mention the Messenger and Ulil Amr by only one word ‘obey’ means that the position of the Imam is similar to that of the Prophet. Rather, just as Prophethood is from Allah (promulgated) through the angel so is really, the Imamate is an appointment through the Prophet and only because of this the observance of the Imam is like obedience of the Prophet. This is why the word ‘obey’ has not been used between ‘Rasool’ and ‘Ulil Amr’. Contrary to it, though the rank of Prophethood is a very high rank, it is not similar to the rank of divinity. The word ‘obey’ between ‘Allah’ and ‘Rasool’ points towards this.

When Allah Himself has joined the obedience of this group with the obedience of Himself and of His Prophet, then doubtlessly a group must have been appointed by them (Allah and the Prophet) whose command (Amr) would be the Amr of Allah and His Prophet so that their obedience may join with the obedience of Allah and His Prophet.

Otherwise it will be construed that the obedience of oppressive and cruel kings like the king of Byzantine will be called (and understood) the obedience of Ulil Amr, which is like obedience of Allah and His messenger. The ugliness of this is not hidden from my wise person. As Shaykh Tabarsi has said: it is not possible that Allah the All-wise can permit the absolute obedience of a person except that of a person whose obedience be proved.

Allah knows that man’s internal condition is just like his outward appearance and about him He may be satisfied that he will neither commit any mistake nor will do any ugly deed and these virtues are not possessed by scholars and rulers except the Infallible Imams. Allah can never command the obedience of any person who may disobey Him and may order the obedience of a group whose deeds may be different from their words because the obedience of the differing group is impossible just as their agreement on a matter in which they have differed.

One of all the proofs which we have given is this one also that Allah Almighty has made the obedience of His Messenger, His obedience because the Ulil Amr are higher than the entire creation just as the Messenger is higher than the Ulil Amr and the entire creation and this virtue is in the Imams from Aale Muhammad whose Imamate and infallibility has been proved and the Ummah has unanimously agreed on their high ranks and their justice.

Then if you quarrel about anything then submit that difference or dispute to the Book of Allah and Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (S). And we Shias say that, after the passing away of the Holy Prophet (S) turn towards the Imams who are the vicegerents of the Prophet. Turning towards them (for guidance) is like it was to seek guidance from the Holy Prophet (S) during his lifetime, because they are the protectors of the Hazrat and his Caliphs in the Ummah. Here ends the words of Tabarsi.

In the first part of the verse there was the mention of Ulil Amr but, at the end of the verse, due to the prevalent recitation (mode of reading), they are not mentioned and only the point stated by Tabarsi has been mentioned. It may be to point out that any disagreement or dispute regarding Imamate should also be referred to the Book and the Sunnah.

Therefore the Imam must be nominated by Allah and His Prophet, not in the way adopted by the opponents, who believe that Imamate should be based on consensus and think that the appointment of an Imam is by the Imam, but it is mentioned in some traditions that in the Qirat (recitation) of Ahle bayt (a.s.) there was Ulil Amr at the end as Ali Ibne Ibrahim has said that Ulil Amr means Amirul Momineen.

In short, it has been mentioned in a near true narration that this verse was revealed as: then if you quarrel about anything, refer it to Allah and the Apostle and those in authority from among you…

Ayyashi has also narrated that Imam Baqir (a.s.) had recited it like this. Kulaini has on the basis of near right sources said that Imam Baqir (a.s.) recited this verse as: then if you quarrel about anything, refer it to Allah and the Apostle and those in authority from among you… then the Hazrat said: How can He (Allah) order to obey them and also to quarrel (oppose) them? This was addressed to a group which has been ordered to obey Allah and His Prophet.1

Ayyashi has, with another chain of narrators related that Imam Baqir (a.s.) recited this verse like this: then if you quarrel about anything, refer it to Allah and the Apostle and those in authority from among you…

In Uyoon Akhbar Ridha, Imam Baqir (a.s.) is quoted saying that the Holy Prophet (S) made a will to Imam Ali and Imam Hasan and Imam Husain (a.s.) and then said about this word of Allah (4:59) that Ulil Amr means Ali and the Imams from the progeny of Fatima who will remain till Qiyamat.

In Akmaluddeen also this subject has been mentioned with true chains of narrators quoting Imam Baqir (a.s.) as saying (as above) and in Elamul Waraa and Manaqib Shahr Aashob, the Tafsir of Jufi is quoted wherein Jabir Ansari says: I inquired about this verse from the Holy Prophet (S) saying: We have recognized (known) Allah and His Messenger, but who are these Ulil Amr?

The Holy Prophet (S) replied: O Jabir! They are my Caliphs and the Imams of Muslims after me. Among them the first is Ali Ibne Abi Talib then Hasan, after him Husain, and after him Ali bin Husain, then Muhammad bin Ali, who has been called Baqir in Torah. O Jabir! You will meet him. Convey my Salam (greeting) to him. Thereafter Ja’far bin Muhammad Sadiq then Moosa bin Ja’far then Ali bin Moosa then Muhammad bin Ali then Ali bin Muhammad then Hasan bin Ali (a.s.).

His son will have my name and my agnomen. All of them will be Allah’s proofs on the earth and will be, in His slaves, the remainders of Caliphs and the son of Hasan bin Ali is the one whom Allah will make conquer the east and the west of the earth and he will be the one who will go out of sight of his Shias as is the right of becoming invisible. Only those people will remain believers in his Imamate whose inner faith has been tested by Allah.

Kulaini and Ayyashi have narrated from Zaid bin Muawiyah that he said: I asked for the explanation of this verse from Imam Baqir (a.s.). He began explaining the preceding verses viz.:

أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا نَصِيبًا مِنْ الْكِتَابِ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْجِبْتِ وَالطَّاغُوتِ.

Have you not seen those to whom a portion of the Book has been given? They believe in idols (jibt) and false deities (taghoot). (Sura Nisa 4:51)

Jibt and taghoot were two idols of Quraysh. The commentators say it means Kaab bin Ashraaf and a group of Jews who went to Mecca and bowed (prostrated) before idols of the Quraysh. The Hazrat said: By Jibt and Taghoot are meant the two notorious idols.

And say of those who disbelieve. According to commentators these Jews were saying that the disbelievers, who are the companions of Abu Sufyan, are better guided in the matter of religion than Muhammad and his companions. The Hazrat said: This means those unjust Caliphs and Imams who call people towards Hell and who say that this group is more guided than the group of Aale Muhammad.

أُوْلَئِكَ الَّذِينَ لَعَنَهُمْ اللَّهُ وَمَنْ يَلْعَنْ اللَّهُ فَلَنْ تَجِدَ لَهُ نَصِيرًا. أَمْ لَهُمْ نَصِيبٌ مِنْ الْمُلْكِ فَإِذًا لَا يُؤْتُونَ النَّاسَ نَقِيرًا.

Those are they whom Allah has cursed, and whomever Allah curses you shall not find any helper for him. Or have they a share in the kingdom? But then they would not give to people even the speck in the date stone. (Sura Nisa 4:52-5)

The Hazrat said: Here Naas (people) means us Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) whom they will not give anything and what ‘Naqeer’ means is the tiny dot which is found on the seed of a date fruit.

أَمْ يَحْسُدُونَ النَّاسَ عَلَى مَا آتَاهُمْ اللَّهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ.

Or do they envy the people for what Allah has given them of His grace? (Sura Nisa:54)

Some have said it means those who are envious of his Messengership and also because Allah has made it permissible for him to take a wife.

Others have said that it means Prophet Muhammad and his Progeny and that ‘grace’ means his Prophethood and the Imamate of his Progeny and Imam Baqir and Imam Sadiq (a.s.)have been quoted, as will be mentioned hereafter, that the Hazrat said that it means us and that people envy us because Allah has reserved Imamate for us and has not given it to anyone else.

فَقَدْ آتَيْنَا آلَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَآتَيْنَاهُمْ مُلْكًا عَظِيمًا.

But indeed We have given to Ibrahim’s children the Book and the wisdom, and We have given them a grand kingdom. (Sura Nisa 4:54)

The Hazrat said that this means that: We have appointed messengers and Imams from the progeny of Ibrahim. Now when people accept it in the matter of progeny of Ibrahim, why they do not accept it for the progeny of Muhammad!

فَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ آمَنَ بِهِ وَمِنْهُمْ مَنْ صَدَّ عَنْهُ وَكَفَى بِجَهَنَّمَ سَعِيرًا.

So of them is he who believes in him, and of them is he who turns away from him, and hell is sufficient to burn. (Sura Nisa 4:55)

Certain people say that some from the People of the book (Ahle Kitab) believed and some denied the Prophethood of Muhammad (S). The narrator says: I asked what is the great kingdom which Allah says He has given to Aale Ibrahim? The Hazrat said that it means that Allah created among them such people that whoever obeyed them has, in fact, obeyed Allah and the one who defied them, in reality defied Allah. This is the great kingdom. Then the Hazrat said that Allah has said thereafter which means that they are us and so it is necessary for us that the earlier Imam from us should hand over the books, the knowledge and the Prophet’s arms to the following Imam.

وَإِذَا حَكَمْتُمْ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ أَنْ تَحْكُمُوا بِالْعَدْلِ.

And that when you judge between people, you judge with justice. (Sura Nisa 4:58)

Thereafter Allah has addressed all the people saying:

O you who believe!

In this address Allah has gathered all faithful persons till the day of judgement. O you who believe! obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those in authority (Ulil Amr) from among you; Here Ulil Amr means us.

The following verse: then if you quarrel about anything, refer it to Allah and the Apostle, if you believe in Allah and the last day; this is better and very good in the end. has also been revealed like that and how could it to be possible that Allah might have ordered the obedience of the Ulil Amr and also permitted to quarrel (dispute) with them? This is an address to those people who have been commanded to obey.

Ayyashi has narrated that Aban bin Taghlab came to Imam Ridha (a.s.) and asked: Who are the Ulil Amr? The Hazrat replied: Ali Ibne Abi Talib. Then he kept silent. Aban asked: Who after him? The Hazrat said: Imam Hasan (a.s.) and became silent. When asked again he said: Husain and then kept quiet. Aban asked: Who thereafter? Imam said: Imam Ali bin Husain. Likewise he (Imam Ridha) was stopping after giving every name and I was asking about the next. It went on like this until he gave the name of the last Imam.

Imran Halabi also is reported to have said that Imam Sadiq (a.s.) told him: You group of the Shias have achieved the root of religion according to Allah’s command as He has said: O you who believe! obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those in authority (Ulil Amr) from among you. And, according to the instruction of your Prophet, as he said: I am leaving two weighty things among you. So long as you adhere to them, you will never deviate because you have not accepted faith (religion) in response to hypocrites and similar other people.

Also, in explaining this verse, Imam Baqir (a.s.) said that it has been revealed in the honour of Amirul Momineen and of the Imams from his progeny. Allah has appointed them in place of Prophets. The only difference is that these people (Imams) do not make anything Halaal (permissible) or anything Haraam (prohibited), rather they convey the Shariat of Muhammad (S) to people.

Again, Hakim is reported to have said that he asked Imam Sadiq (a.s.): May I be sacrificed for you, please let me know who is the Ulil Amr who have to be obeyed. He replied: They are Ali Ibne Abi Talib and Hasan and Husain and Ali bin Husain and Muhammad bin Ali and Ja’far bin Muhammad, that is I. So thank Allah Who made you know and recognize your leaders when other people denied them.

According to another narration, Imam Ridha (a.s.) is reported to have said that Ulil Amr are Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.) and some legatees after him.

Furat bin Ibrahim has quoted Imam Sadiq (a.s.) that Ulil Amr means those who have knowledge and wisdom. People asked: Is this thing reversed for you people or is it a common thing? He replied: It is reserved for us Ahle Bayt.

Imam Baqir (a.s.) is reported to have said that in this verse Ulil Amr means the Progeny of Muhammad (S).

It is mentioned in Kitabe Ikhtisas that people asked Imam Sadiq (a.s.): Is the obedience of the legatees obligatory? The Imam replied: Yes. They are the people about whom Allah has said:

O you who believe! obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those in authority (Ulil Amr) from among you. (Sura Nisa 4:59)

And the people regarding whom He said:

إِنَّمَا وَلِيُّكُمْ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا الَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَهُمْ رَاكِعُونَ.

Only Allah is your Guardian and His Apostle and those who believe, those who keep up prayers and pay the poor-rate while they bow. (Sura Maida 5:55)

Furat and Kulaini have narrated that people asked Imam Sadiq (a.s.) about those pillars of Islam in knowing whom none lag behind and if one so remains behind (in recognizing them) will get his religion corrupted and that his deeds will not be accepted (by Allah) and that if people know them then their ignorance about other things would not harm them, the Hazrat said: To testify: There is no god but Allah, to believe in the Messenger of Allah and to confess (accept) those things which the Holy Prophet (S) brought from Allah and to pay from the wealth which is called Zakat and the payment of which is obligatory and to accept the Wilayat which Allah has ordained and it is the Wilayat of Aale Muhammad (a.s.). They asked again: Is there any proof about Wilayat which should be adhered to and which could be an argument? The Hazrat said: Why not? It is Allah’s words:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ فَإِنْ تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ إِنْ كُنتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلًا.

O you who believe! obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those in authority (Ulil Amr) from among you; then if you quarrel about anything, refer it to Allah and the Apostle, if you believe in Allah and the last day; this is better and very good in the end. (Sura Nisa 4:59)

The Holy Prophet (S) has said: One who dies without recognizing the Imam of his time dies the death of ignorance. So, in his time, the Holy Prophet (S) himself was that Imam. After him was Imam Ali. But some people believe that Muawiyah was the Imam and not Ali. Then, after Ali, was Hasan (a.s.), then Husain (a.s.).

Others have considered Imam Husain (a.s.) equal in rank to the accursed Yazid though they can never be equal. Then after Husain (a.s.) was Ali bin Husain (a.s.) and Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) and the Shias (who were living a life of Taqaiyyah or dissimulation due to government oppression) did not know their rituals of Hajj until Imam Baqir (a.s.) opened the floodgates of knowledge for them and described the rituals of Hajj and the Halaal and Haraam.

Then also came a time when the Ahle Sunnat scholars felt a dire need of these Shias which was not the case earlier and it has always so happened that in the face of every scholar belonging to Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) all the false Caliphs were ignorant and cruel. In the light of the verse and tradition it is necessary that there must be an Imam in every time and the one who may not know him (the Imam of his time) dies in ignorance and disbelief.

You will see in every age that before the Imams from Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) there were some people whom every wise and intelligent person will consider inferior to the Imams and that the Imams were more rightfully to be the possessors of Imamate (leadership and guidance) and it essential that they alone should be the Ulil Amr and Imams.

Then the Hazrat said: You will be more in need of the true religion when your soul will reach unto here (he pointed to his throat) and added: At that moment the world will discard you and the signs of the true religion will begin to appear before you and then you will say: My Religion was far better.

In the explanation of the verse:

“And if they had referred it to the Apostle and to those in authority among them, those among them who can search out the knowledge of it would have known it, (Sura Nisa 4:83)”

Ayyashi has quoted Imam Ridha (a.s.) that they are Aale Muhammad and that these are the people who know the Halaal and Haraam of the Holy Quran and these noble souls are the proofs of Allah for the creation.

Moreover, Imam Baqir (a.s.) is quoted that in this verse, Ulil Amr are the Infallible Imams.

Ibne Shahr Aashob has written in Manaqib that in the explanation of the verse: Obey, there are two interpretations. The first is that Ulil Amr means the Imams and second is that they are the chiefs of the army and that when one of the two meanings will be proved false the other would be regarded as proved. Otherwise it will be understood that truth has gone out of the Ummah. The proof of the statement that we are the Imams is that from the apparent meaning of the words of the verse, a general obedience of the Ulil Amr is meant to be the case.

From this angle, Allah has turned the command to obey them (Imams) towards His obedience that of His Messenger’s just as the obedience of the Messenger is general and is obligatory in every matter. So it is necessary that their obedience also should be general in scope. Had it been special, then it was necessary to mention it along with a special order. When obedience to them has been proved as obligatory in every matter then their Imamate is also proved because this is the meaning of Imamate. Now when this verse makes it obligatory to obey the Ulil Amr in every matter, then it is necessary that they (Imams) must be Infallible.

Otherwise it would mean that Allah has ordered an evil thing because one who is not an Imam is not protected from doing evil. When he commands an evil, his obedience would also follow. So it does not mean the chiefs of the army, because it is agreed that their being infallible is not a condition and the verse does not show the specialty of any matter. Some have said that Ulil Amr means the scholars of the Ummah. This is also wrong because they also differ in their opinions and the obedience of some becomes the defiance of some others. Allah can never issue such commands.

Likewise, Allah has defined Ulil Amr with such an attribute which applies to both knowledge and leadership as He says: And when there comes to them news of security or fear they spread it abroad; and if they had referred it to the Apostle and to those in authority among them, those among them who can search out the knowledge of it would have known it …He has referred peace and security and danger or fear towards the rulers and deduction towards scholars and both these things can be found together only in the one who is a scholar.

Shobi says that Ibne Abbas used to say that this means the amirs or chiefs of the army and that the first of them is Imam Ali (a.s.).

When Hasan bin Saleh asked Imam Sadiq (a.s.) to explain Ulil Amr the Hazrat said that they are the Imams of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.).

Mujahid has mentioned in his Tafsir that this verse was revealed in praise of Imam Ali when the Holy Prophet (S) had appointed him his Caliph in Medina. At that time Imam Ali (a.s.) had said: You are proceeding to war and leaving me among women and children! At that time the Holy Prophet (S) had replied: O Ali! Are you not pleased with the fact that you are to me what Haroon was to Moosa (a.s.) when Moosa had told Haroon:

‘Be my Caliph in my community and reform them. (Sura Araf 7:142)

Ali said: Yes, at that time this verse was revealed: and those in authority from among you. The Ulil Amr is Ali Ibne Abi Talib whom Almighty Allah has entrusted the affairs of the Ummah after the Holy Prophet (S) and appointed him Caliph in Medina. Then Allah commanded the servants to consider his obedience obligatory and not to oppose him.

Falki has narrated in Abana that this verse was revealed when Abu Burda complained against Imam Ali (a.s.). Here end the words of Ibne Shahr Aashob.

Ibne Shahr Aashob, Ayyashi and others have reported with reliable chains of narrators that Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: We are the group whose obedience has been made obligatory for people by Allah and the windfall and the pure wealth is only for us. We are deeply rooted in knowledge and we are the envied ones in whose praise Allah has said:

Or do they envy the people for what Allah has given them of His grace? (Sura Nisa 4:54)

Ayyashi and others have, while explaining this verse said:

But indeed We have given to Ibrahim’s children the Book and the wisdom, and We have given them a grand kingdom. (Sura Nisa 4:54)

The Hazrat said: Great kingdom means He appointed great Imams in them (from them) and made their obedience Allah’s obedience and their defiance Allah’s defiance. Only this is the great kingdom.

In Basairud Darajat, it is reported through correct chains of narrators that Imam Baqir (a.s.) while explaining the meaning of the verse:

Or do they envy the people for what Allah has given them of His grace? But indeed We have given to Ibrahim’s children the Book and the wisdom, and We have given them a grand kingdom. (Sura Nisa 4:54)

He said: Those who are envied by people are we Ahlul Bayt (a.s.).

According to a true-like chain of narrators Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said that the Hazrat pointed towards his chest and said: We are the people who are envied by others.

According to yet other true chains of narrators, he said, while explaining this verse that we are those persons who are being envied by people because of the Imamate which Allah has granted to us and that no one else is included in this grace.

It has also been reported on the basis of other reliable chains of narrators that Mulke Azeem (great kingdom) means the obligatory obedience that is Allah has made obeying their orders obligatory for the creation.

According to another reliable source people asked Imam Sadiq (a.s.): What is the great kingdom? He replied: It is the obligatory obedience, so much so that, in the hereafter, even the Hell would obey their orders. Hell would catch those whom they will ask to catch and likewise relieve those whom they (Imams) will ask Hell to relieve, so that they may pass over the Sirat bridge.

According to other reliable chain, the Hazrat said, while explaining the verse:

But indeed We have given to Ibrahim’s children the Book and the wisdom, and We have given them a grand kingdom.

‘Book’ means Prophethood or Messengership and to have intellect and to judge between people and about and We have given them a grand kingdom he said it means the compulsory obedience.

In yet another reliable tradition it is mentioned: By Allah only we are the ones who are being envied by people and only we are entitled to the kingdom which we will get during the time of the Qaem (Imam Mahdi).

Ayyashi has reported from Imam Baqir (a.s.) that ‘Book’ means Prophethood and ‘wisdom’ means the chosen wise messengers and ‘grand kingdom’ means the chosen and guiding Imams. There are many traditions on this subject but I have considered these sufficient.

Ayyashi has reported that Dawood bin Farqad (a.s.) told Imam Sadiq (a.s.) that according to Allah’s words:

قُلْ اللَّهُمَّ مَالِكَ الْمُلْكِ تُؤْتِي الْمُلْكَ مَنْ تَشَاءُ وَتَنْزِعُ الْمُلْكَ مِمَّنْ تَشَاءُ.

Say: O Allah, Master of the Kingdom! Thou givest the kingdom to whomsoever Thou pleasest and takest away the kingdom from whomsoever Thou pleasest, (Sura Ale-Imran 3:26)

Allah has given the kingdom to Banu Umayyah. The Hazrat replied: It is not so as people have understood. Allah has given the kingdom to us and Banu Umayyah have snatched it from us. It is as if one has a dress but another person takes it from him by force. In this case the dress would not become the property of the one who has snatched it.

Likewise the Imam Sadiq (a.s.) is reported to have said that Allah taught His Messenger discipline, according to his wish and love. Then, told him:

وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلى خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ.

And most surely you conform (yourself) to sublime morality. (Sura Qalam 68:26)

Thereafter, addressing the people He said:

وَمَا آتَاكُمْ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانْتَهُوا.

And whatever the Apostle gives you, accept it, and from whatever he forbids you, keep back. (Sura Hashr 59:7)

Then He says:

مَنْ يُطِعْ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللَّهَ وَمَنْ تَوَلَّى فَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَفِيظًا.

Whoever obeys the Apostle, he indeed obeys Allah, and whoever turns back, so We have not sent you as a keeper over them. (Sura Nisa 4:80)

Thereafter the Imam said: Allah has entrusted the matter of obedience to Ali (a.s.) and has made him the trustee of the religion of Allah and of divine commandments and of the affairs of the Ummah and you have accepted this. But the entire Ummah refused to accept. Therefore, by Allah, what we want from you is that whenever we may say something, you may also say and when we remain silent, you may also remain silent. We are the intercessors between Allah and His creation and, by Allah, Allah has not given any good to the one who opposes us.

In the explanation of the verse:

وَاللَّهُ يُؤْتِي مُلْكَهُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ.

And Allah grants His kingdom to whom He pleases, (Sura Baqarah 2:247)

Ibne Shahr Aashob has reported that it means He (Allah) gives His kingdom to whom He wishes, the Hazrat said that this verse is revealed in our praise.

Furat has, in his Tafsir, quoted Imam Sadiq (a.s.), in explanation of the verse:

وَمَنْ يُطِعْ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا.

And whoever obeys Allah and His Apostle, he indeed achieves a mighty success. (Sura Ahzab 33:7)

The Imam said that here obedience means the obedience of Amirul Momineen and, after him, the Imams.

It is mentioned in the Tafsir of Muhammad bin Ayyash, about the meaning of the verse:

قُلْ أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ فَإِنْ تَوَلَّوا فَإِنَّمَا عَلَيْهِ مَا حُمِّلَ وَعَلَيْكُمْ مَا حُمِّلْتُمْ وَإِنْ تُطِيعُوهُ تَهْتَدُوا وَمَا عَلَى الرَّسُولِ إِلَّا الْبَلَاغُ الْمُبِينُ.

Say: Obey Allah and obey the Apostle; but if you turn back, then on him rests that which is imposed on him and on you rests that which is imposed on you; and if you obey him, you are on the right way; and nothing rests on the Apostle but clear delivering (of the message). (Sura Nur 24:54)

Imam Moosa bin Ja’far (a.s.) said that it means: O Prophet! Say: Obey Allah and the Prophet and if you refuse and do not accept, then the Prophet is responsible for only what he has been asked to do, that is, conveying the message and you are commanded to fulfil your responsibility which is to obey him and he added:

What is obligatory for the Prophet is to hear (listen) and to obey (Allah) and may not be dishonest in conveying the Message and to be patient against the trouble given by the Ummah and it is obligatory for you to accept and to fulfil the oath and covenant which Allah has taken from you about the Imamate of Ali and what is mentioned in the Holy Quran about his obedience: and if you obey him…if you will obey Ali you will get guidance and nothing rests on the Apostle and nothing is obligatory for the Prophet except to convey the divine message.

  • 1. The writer says: The Hazrat means to convey that if Ulil Amr is not at the end then if would mean that the Ummah can dispute with them and this is in conflict with what is said in the beginning of the verse.

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