Says the Shaykh Abu Ja'far: Our belief concerning those who exceed the bounds of belief (ghal, plural ghulat) and those who believe in delegation (al-mufawwida1) is that they are deniers (kuffar) of Allah, Glory be to His name. They are more wicked than the Jews, the Christians, the Fire-Worshippers, the Qadarites2 or the Kharijites (Haruriya)3, or any of the heretics (ahlu'1-bid'a) or those who hold views which lead astray (al ahwa'u 'l-madilla). None have belittled Allah more, Glory be to Him; as Allah says:
“It is not possible for any human being unto whom Allah has given the scripture and wisdom and the prophethood that he should afterwards have said unto mankind: Be slaves of me instead of Allah; but (what he said was): Be ye faithful servants of the Lord by virtue of your constant teaching of the Scripture and of your constant study thereof” (Qur'an 3:79). “And he commanded you not that ye should take the angels and the prophets for lords. Would he command you to disbelieve after ye had become Muslims?” (Qur'an 3:80).
And He said, Mighty and Glorious is He:
“Do not be excessive in your belief” (Qur'an 4:171, 5:77).
Our belief concerning the Prophet is that he was poisoned during the expedition of Khaybar. The poison continued to be noxious to him until it cut his aorta and then he died from its effects.4
And Hasan bin 'Ali, on both of whom be peace, he was poisoned by his wife Ja'da bint Ash'ath of Kinda, may Allah curse them both, and he died on account of that. (2nd Imam)7
And Husayn bi 'Ali was slain at Karbala. His murderer was Sinan bin Anas an-Nakha'i, the curse of Allah on them both. (3rd Imam).8
And 'Ali bin Husayn, the Sayyid Zaynu'1-'Abidin, was poisoned by al-Walid bin 'Abdu'l-Malik, may Allah curse him. (4th Imam)9
And Muhammad al-Baqir bin 'Ali was poisoned by Ibrahim bin al-Walid, may Allah curse him. (5th Imam)10
And Ja'far as-Sadiq was poisoned by Abu Ja'far al-Mansur ad-Dawaniqi, may Allah curse him. (6th Imam)11
And Musa al-Kazim bin Ja'far was poisoned by Harun ar-Rashid, may Allah curse him. (7th Imam) 12
And 'Ali ar-Rida b. Musa was poisoned by Ma'mun, may Allah curse him. (8th Imam)13
And Abu Ja'far Muhammad at-Taqi bin 'Ali was poisoned by al-Mu'tasim, may Allah curse him. (9th Imam)14
And 'Ali an-Naqi bin Muhammad was poisoned by al'Mutawakkil, may Allah curse him. (10th Imam)15
And Hasan al-'Askari bin 'Ali was poisoned by al-Mu'tamid, may Allah curse him. (11th Imam)16
And our belief is that these events actually occurred, and that there was no doubt in the minds of the people regarding the Imams' affairs, as some of those who exceed the bounds (of belief) allege.17 On the contrary the people witnessed their murder really and truly, and not by conjecture (hisban) or fancy (khaylula) or doubt (shakk) or false allegation (tuhma). He who asserts that some person or persons were substituted for one of the Imams, or some of them, is not of our religion and we have nothing in common with him.
And verily the Prophet and Imams, on whom be peace, had informed (people) that they would all be murdered. He who says that they were not murdered has verily given them the lie. And he who declares them to be false has imputed falsehood to Allah, the Mighty and Glorious, and denied Him and goes out of Islam.
“And whoso seeketh religion other than al-Islam, it shall not be accepted from him, and he will be a loser in the Hereafter.” (Qur'an 3:85)
And Imam 'Ali ar-Rida, on whom be peace, used to say in his prayer:
O God, I seek absolution from Thee in respect of Thy Strength and Power.18 There is neither strength nor power save in Thee. O God, I declare myself before Thee as having nothing to do with those who assert in respect of us things which we ourselves do not know. O God, to Thee belongs creation and Thou possessest the power of command;
“Thee (alone) do we worship and from Thee do we seek help” (Qur'an 1:5).
O God, Thou art our Creator, and the Creator of our ancestors, near and remote. O God, none deserves lordship save Thee; and divinity befits none except to Thee. So do Thou curse the Christians who belittled Thy greatness, and do Thou curse those who declare Thee to resemble Thy Creature. O God, verily we are Thy slaves and the sons of Thy slaves. We have no power over ourselves in respect of profit, loss, death, life or resurrection (nushur).
O God, he who asserts that we (the Imams) have the power of creation and providing (for mankind) - we (Imams) seek absolution from Thee in respect of him, an absolution similar to that of Jesus, son of Mary, in respect of the Christians. O God, we have never called upon them to assert what they do assert; so do not punish us for what they say and forgive us for what they allege.
“My Lord! leave not one of the disbelievers in the land” (Qur'an 71:26).
“If Thou shouldst leave them, they will mislead Thy slaves and will beget none save lewd ingrates”(Qur'an 71:27).
And it is related from Zurara that he said: I said to Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq that a man from among the descendants of 'Abdu'l-lah bin Saba' is a believer in (the doctrine of) delegation (tafwid). And he said: And what is tafwid? I (Zurara) said: According to him Allah, the Mighty and Glorious, (in the first instance) created Muhammad and 'Ali, and then delegated the matter (of creation) to them, and these two created and gave sustenance, and caused life and death.
The Imam said: He, the enemy of Allah, has lied. When you return to him recite to him the verse of the Chapter of The Thunder:
“Or assign they unto Allah partners who created the like of His creation so that the creation (which they made and His creation) seemed alike to them? Say: Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is the One, the Al-mighty” (Qur'an 13:16).
Then I went to the man and informed him of what Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq had said, and he became as if I had forced him to swallow stones or as though he were struck dumb.
Now (undoubtedly) Allah has delegated matters concerning religion to His Prophet and He, the Mighty and Glorious, says:
“And whatsoever the Messenger giveth you, take it. And whatsoever he forbiddeth, abstain (from it)” (Qur'an 59:7).
And this (that is, religious authority) has also been delegated to the Imams.
The sign of the Delegators (al-mufawwida) and the Extremists (al-ghulat) and their likes is the belief that their Shaykhs19 and ulema have attributed less than their due (to the Imams). And the sign of the Hallajites among the Extremists is the claim of Manifestation (tajalli )20 in their devotion, in spite of their doctrinal belief in the abandonment of prayer and all the obligatory acts (fard- 'idh),21 and (also) their claim of knowing the Most High Names of Allah'22 and their claim of the incarnation (intiba`) of the Divine Being in bodily shape for them23. I For according to them the saint (wali), when he is purified and knows their religion, becomes more excellent than the Prophets. Their distinguishing characteristic is the claim that they know alchemy. They know nothing of it, except the counterfeiting and silvering of brass24 arid lead (for deceiving) Muslims. O God, do not include us among them and curse them.