Rabi` al-Thani 8, 1330
1) You have admitted their conduct regarding those well-known instances, and you have believed what we had said first; so, all praise is due to Allah. As regarding their good intentions and their preference of the common interest, their seeking of what is best for the nation, its faith and unity, this is a departure from our main topic, as you yourself know.
2) In your latest letter, you have requested the details of the authentic ahadith regarding `Ali (as) in matters other than the imamate which they did not follow; nay, they did not even pay them any attention. You are the imam of traditions of our time; you are well acquainted with them; you have spent a great deal of effort in tackling the details of what we have summed up, and who else is more knowledgeable than you of the details of what we have referred to? Is there anyone else who equals you or is able to compete with you regarding the Sunnah? Certainly not; yet, the matter is just what the axiom says: "How often do people ask about things with which they are familiar?"
You know very well that there are quite a few companions who hated `Ali and were his enemies. They deserted him, hurt him, cursed and wronged him, opposed him, fought him, struck his face and the faces of his Ahl al-Bayt as well as those of their followers with their swords, as is well-known by necessity from the history of the ancestors. The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, has said:
- "Whoever obeys me obeys Allah, and whoever disobeyes me disobeyes Allah;
whoever obeys `Ali obeys me, and whoever disobeyes `Ali disobeys me too."
- "Whoever deserts me deserts Allah, and whoever deserts you, O `Ali, deserts me, too."
- "O `Ali! You are a leader in this life and a leader in the life hereafter; I love whoever loves you, and the one I love is loved by Allah; your enemy is my enemy, and my enemy is the enemy of Allah; woe unto whoever hates you after me."
- "Whoever denounces `Ali denounces me, too, and whoever denounces me denounces Allah."
- "Whoever hurts `Ali hurts me, too, and whoever hurts me hurts Allah."
- "Whoever loves `Ali loves me, and whoever hates `Ali hates me."
- "Nobody loves you, O `Ali, except a true believer, and nobody hates you except a hypocrite."
- "O Allah! Befriend whoever befriends him, and be the enemy of whoever sets himself as his enemy; support whoever supports him, and forsake whoever forsakes him."
One day, he looked at `Ali, Fatima, al-Hasan and al-Husayn (as) and said: "I fight whoever fights you, and I am peaceful unto whoever is peaceful to you." Having covered them with a blanket, he (pbuh) said: "I fight whoever fights you, and grant asylum to whoever seeks peace with you; I am an enemy of your enemy." There are many such traditions which quite a few companions did not implement; nay, the latter's actions contradicted their injunctions in preference of their own desires since they sought their own self-interest. Those whose insight is keen know that all the very well-known traditions in honour of `Ali - which are several hundreds, such as the ones enjoining acceptance of his taking charge, forbidding everyone from becoming his enemy - are all proofs testifying to his great status and prestige, and to his lofty position in the eyes of Allah and His Messenger. We have narrated quite a few of them in these Letters, and what we have not narrated is many times more.
You are, by the Grace of God, among those who are very well familiar with traditions and their meanings. Have you found any tradition which enjoins opposition and enmity towards him, or any particular one indicative of harming him, hating him, or bearing animosity towards him, or anything like hurting him and wronging him, denouncing him from the Muslims' pulpits, or making that a tradition followed by the preachers who preach during Fridays and eids? Certainly not. But those who did all of these things never paid any attention to such traditions in spite of their abundance and sequential narration. They did not hinder them from behaving in any way that would best serve their political interests. They knew that he was the brother and friend of the Prophet (pbuh), his heir and confidant, the chief of his progeny, his Aaron over his nation, his son-in-law in his own right, the father of his descendants, the foremost to accept Islam, the most sincere in faith, the most knowledgeable, the most diligent in doing good deeds, the most clement, the strongest in conviction, the hardest worker in the cause of God, the most courageous, the most virtuous, the one possessing the most feats, the most cautious about the interest of Islam, the nearest to the Messenger of Allah, the closest to him (pbuh) in guidance, manners, and loftiness, the most exemplary in his deed, speech, or silence... But personal interests were to them above any other argument or consideration; so, why then the amazement at their preference to follow their own personal views regarding the imamate to following the spirit of the Ghadir hadith, for example? Yet isn't the Ghadir hadith but just one of several hundred others which they saw only through their own glasses, preferring their own views and considering their own interests?
The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, has also said: "The similitude of my Ahl al-Bayt among you is like that of Noah's ark; whoever boards it is saved, and whoever lags behind it is drowned," and "The similitude of my Ahl al-Bayt among you is like the Gate of Salvation to the children of Isra'il: forgiven are the sins of whoever enters through it." He, peace be upon him and his progeny, has also said: "The stars are the security of the inhabitants of the earth against drowning, and my Ahl al-Bayt are the nation's security against dissension; so, if any Arab tribe opposes them, they will all dispute with each other and become the party of Iblis (Eblis)," in addition to many such traditions all of which were ignored completely by them..., Wassalam.