Hafiz: In Tafsir-e-Safi, written by one of your high-ranking ulema, Faiz Kashi, there is a hadith that one day Imam Husain, the Martyr of Karbala, addressing his companions said: "O people, Allah Almighty has not created his servants but to know Him. When they knew Him, they worshipped Him, when they worshipped Him, they became adverse to worship of any other thing." One of the Companions said:
"May the lives of my father and mother be sacrificed to you!
O son of the Holy Prophet! What is the real meaning of knowing
Allah?" The Holy Imam replied, "For every man to know
Allah means to know the Imam of his time, who must be obeyed."
Well-Wisher: First, we must
examine the chain of narrators of the hadith in order to establish
whether it is authentic. Even if it is correct with regard to
the chain of narrators, yet the verses of the Holy Qur'an and
the unquestionable hadith of the Holy Prophet in regard to the
Oneness of Allah cannot be misconstrued because of the assertion
of one man.
Why don't you examine the hadith and sayings of our Holy Imams,
and the religious dialogues between our religious heads and the
atheists, which already prove the unity of Allah? Why don't you
consult the chief books and commentaries of the Shias, such as
Tauhid-e-Mufazzal, Tauhid-e-Saduq, Biharu'l-Anwar (Book of Tauhid)
of Allama Majlisi and other books written by Shia ulema, which
are full of continuous hadith (on Tauhid) by our holy Imams?
Why don't you consult An-Naktu'l-I'tiqadiyya, by Sheikh Mufid
(d. 413 A.H.), one of the Shia ulema, and also his book Awa'ilu'l-Maqalat
fi'l-Mazahib wa'l-Mukhtarra or Ihtijaj by our famous Alim, Abu
Mansur Ahmad Bin Ali Bin Abu Talib Tabrasi. If you had, you would
know how our holy Imam Reza proved the unity of Allah. It is not
fair to pick out some dubious report simply to malign the Shias.
Your own books contain absurdities and whimsical ideas. In fact,
ridiculous hadith exist in your most authentic books ù
the Siha-e-Sitta, (i.e., the Six Books of Accepted Traditions).
Hafiz: In fact, your words are ridiculous since you find fault with books whose greatness and authenticity are unquestionable, particularly the Sahih Bukhari, and Sahih Muslim. Our ulema agree that all the hadith contained in them are true. If someone rejects these two books, he rejects the real Sunni sect. After the Holy Qur'an, Sunnis rely upon the authenticity of these two books. Perhaps you have seen Ibn Hajar Makki's point in the beginning of his Sawa'iqe Muhriqa, chapter of "The Affairs" (affairs of the caliphate of Abu Bakr) as recorded by Bukhari and Muslim in their Sahihain, which are the most authentic and reliable books after the Holy Qur'an, according to the unanimity of the followers (i.e., the umma, or community). He says that since the whole community is unanimous in accepting the hadith of these books, whatever the community holds with one accord is unquestionable. On the basis of this agreement, all the hadith contained in these books are undoubtedly acceptable. Hence, no one can have the courage to assert that these books contain absurdities or ridiculous matter.
Well-Wisher: First, that these
books are acceptable to the whole community is open to objection.
Your claim with reference to Ibn Hajar is, itself, absurd since
100 million Muslims do not accept his point. Hence, the unanimity
of the community in the matter is just like the unanimity claimed
by your people in the matter of the caliphate. Secondly, what
I say is based on valid reasons. If you study those books with
an unprejudiced mind, you will be astonished. Many of your great
ulema, such as Dar Qutni, Ibn Hazam, Allama Abu'l-Fazl Ja'far
Bin Tha'labi in Kitabu'l-Imta' fi Ahkamu's-Sama', Sheikh Abdu'l-Qadir
Bin Muhammad Qarshi in Jawahiru'l-Mazay'a fi Tabaqatu'l-Hanafiyya,
and others, including all the Hanafi ulema, have criticized the
Sahihain and have acknowledged that they contain a number of weak
and unconfirmed hadith. The objective of Bukhari and Muslim was
to collect hadith; not to consider their authenticity. Some of
your research scholars, like Kamalu'd-Din Ja'far Bin Sa'lih have
taken great pains in pointing out the defects and faults of the
hadith and have set forth valid grounds in support of their findings.
Hafiz: I would welcome it if
you would put forward the arguments so that the audience may know
Well-Wisher: I will cite only
a few examples.
If you wish to study misleading hadith regarding the incarnation
of Allah, which contend that He, as a physical being, can be seen
in this world, or will be seen in the Hereafter, (as believed
by a faction of the Sunnis, i.e., the Hanbalites and Asharites),
you may refer to your own books, particularly Sahih Bukhari (Vol.
I, in the Chapter "Fazla's-Sujud Min Kitabu'l-Adhan,"
page 100; Vol. IV, p.92 of Sahih Muslim, "Babu's-Sira Min
Kitabu'r-Riqaq,"and also Sahih Muslim (Vol. I, in the Chapter
"Isbatu'l-Ruyatu'l-Mu'minin Rabbahum Fi'l-Akhira," page
86); and Musnad of Imam Hanbal, Volume II, page 275. You will
find sufficient information of this type in those books. For example,
Abu Huraira says: "The clamor and violent rage of Hell will
intensify, it will not calm down until Allah puts His leg in it.
Then Hell will say, 'Stop, stop! It is enough for me; it is enough
for me.'" Abu Huraira also narrates that a group of people
asked the holy Prophet, "Shall we see our Creator on the
Day of Judgement?" He replied, "Of course. At mid-day
when the sky is free of clouds, does the Sun hurt you, if you
look at it?" They said: "No!" Again he said: "During
the nights when you see the full moon when the sky is clear, does
it hurt you?" They said: "No!" He continued: "So
when you see Allah Almighty on the Day of Judgement, you will
not be hurt, just as you are not hurt by seeing these (the sun
and the moon). When the Day of Judgement comes, it will be announced
by Allah that every community should follow it's god. So everyone
who has worshiped idols or anything other than Allah, The One,
shall be thrust into Hell fire. So shall everyone of the good
and bad persons be thrown into it except those who worshipped
Allah, the Absolute One. They shall lie in Hellfire. At that time
Allah will appear in a particular form before the people so that
they can see Him. Then Allah will tell them that He is their Allah.
The believers will then say, 'We take refuge in Your Godhead.
We are not among those who have worshiped anything except Allah
the Absolute.' Allah will say in reply, 'Have you any sign between
you and Allah so that you may see Him and identify Him?' They
will say, 'Yes.' Then Allah will show them His bare leg. Thereupon
the believers will raise their heads upwards and will see Him
in the same condition as they saw Him for the first time. Then
Allah will say that He is their Creator. All of them will acknowledge
that He is their Allah."
Now it is for you to judge whether this kind of statement is tantamount
to infidelity or not, that Allah would physically appear before
the people and would uncover His leg! And the strongest point
in support of my argument is that Muslim Bin Hajjaj begins a Chapter
in his Sahih about the proof of the visibility of Almighty Allah,
and has quoted the fabricated reports from Abu Huraira, Zaid Bin
Aslam, Suwaid Bin Sa'id, and others. And some of the leading ulema
of your own sect like Dhahabi in Mizanu'l-I'tidal and Suyuti in
his Kitabu'l-Lu'ualia'l-Masnu'a fi hadithu'l-Muzu'a, and Sibt
Ibn Jauzi in Al-Muzu'a, have proved on reasonable grounds that
these narrations are fabricated.
Even if there had been no proof against the above assertions,
the verse of the Holy Qur'an explicitly rejects the doctrine of
the visibility of Allah. Allah says: "Vision comprehends
Him not, and He comprehends (all) vision_." (6:103)
Again, when the Prophet Moses was compelled by the Israelites
to go to his place of prayer and beseech Allah to "show Himself
to him," the Holy Qur'an records the event as follows: "
He (Moses) said: 'My Lord! Show me (Thyself), so that I may look
upon Thee.' He said: 'You cannot (bear to) see me...'" (7:143)
Seyyed Abdu'l-Hayy (Imam of the Jama'at Ahle-Sunna): it not a fact that Ali said: "I do not worship a god whom I do not see?"
When Ali says such a thing, it means that Allah can be seen.
Well-Wisher: Respected friend,
you have taken one sentence out of context. I will recite the
whole text to you. This hadith has been recorded by the great
Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Yaqub Kulaini in his Usul Kafi, Volume on
Tauhid, as well as Sheikh Saduq in his Book on Tauhid, Chapter
"Ibtal Aqida Ruyatullah." Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq is quoted
as saying a Jewish scholar asked the Commander of the Faithful,
Ali, whether he had seen Allah at the time of prayers. The Imam
replied: "He cannot be seen by these physical eyes. It is
the heart which sees Him through the light of the realities of
conviction." It follows from Ali's reply that what he means
by seeing Allah is not seeing Him with the eyes but through the
light of sincere faith. There are many other proofs based on reason
and recorded facts to substantiate our point of view. Moreover,
apart from Shia scholars, your own ulema, like Qazi Baidhawi and
Jarullah Zamakhshari, have proved in their commentaries that it
is impossible to see Allah. One who believes in the visibility
of Allah, in this world or in the Hereafter, believes that He
is a physical being. To believe this is infidelity.
You consider that your six traditional books, particularly those
of Bukhari and Muslim, are like revealed books. I wish that you
could look at them objectively and not exceed limits in your praise
for them. Bukhari, in the Chapter "Kitab-e-Ghusl," and
Muslim in Part II of his Sahih (in the Chapter on Virtues of the
Prophet Moses), and Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal in his Musnad, Part
II, page 315, and others of your ulema have quoted Abu Huraira
as saying: "Among the Bani Isra'il it was customary to bathe
together without clothes, so that they glanced at the genitals
of one another. They did not consider it objectionable. Only the
Prophet Moses went into the water alone, so that no one could
see his private parts. The Bani Isra'il used to say that the Prophet
Moses had defective genitals, so he avoided bathing with them.
One day the Prophet Moses went to the river to bathe. He took
off his clothes, put them over a stone, and went into the water.
The stone fled with his clothes. Moses ran after the stone, naked,
shouting: 'My clothes! O stone, my clothes.' The Bani Israel saw
the naked Moses and said: 'By Allah! Moses has no defect in his
genitals. The stone then stopped and Moses retrieved his clothes.
Then Moses beat the stone so severely that six or seven times
the stone shrieked in pain." Do you actually believe such
a thing is possible for the holy Prophet Moses, or that a stone,
an inanimate object, could take away his clothes? Surely it would
be impossible for a Prophet to run naked before the people.
I will relate another hadith recorded in the Sahih, which is even
more ridiculous. Bukhari quotes Abu Huraira in his Sahih (Volume
I, page 158 and Volume II, page 163) and again in the Chapter
"Death of the Prophet Moses" and Muslim also quotes
the same authority (Abu Huraira) in his Sahih, Volume II, page
309 in the Chapter "On The Merits of Moses" as saying:
"The Angel of Death came to the Prophet Moses and asked him
to accept the invitation of his Creator. Upon hearing this, Moses
gave him such a slap in his face that he lost one of his eyes.
So he went back to Allah and complained that he had sent him to
a man who did not want to die and who had knocked out one of his
eyes. Allah cured his eye and ordered him to go again to Moses
and to tell him that if he wanted longer life, he should lay his
hand on the back of a bull. He would live for as many years as
the number of hairs that would be covered by his hand." Imam
Ahmad Bin Hanbal in his Musnad, Volume II, page 315, and Muhammad
Bin Jarir Tabari in his History, Volume I, under the heading "Death
of the Prophet Moses," gave the same account from Abu Huraira
with the addition that up to the time of Moses, the Angel of Death
used to physically separate the soul from the body. But after
Moses gave him a slap in the face, he came unseen.
Now it is for you to judge what sort of nonsense this is which
is included in the two collections of traditions, which you call
the most correct of all books after the Holy Qur'an. The reports
I have cited certainly insult the honor of the prophets of Allah.
As for Abu Huraira, I am not surprised at his narrations. Your
own ulema admit that in order to fill his belly from the dainty
dishes provided by Mu'awiya, he fabricated reports. Because of
his fabrications, Caliph Umar had him lashed. It is surprising
that sensible people believe in such ridiculous stories.
Now let's return to our discussion regarding the hadith you quoted.
Obviously, a just man who sees a lone narration (narrated by only
one person) would compare it with other authentic hadith. He would
either correct it or reject it outright, rather than use it as
a basis for attacking his brothers of another sect and calling
them infidels. Since the Tafsir-e-Safi is not here with us, we
cannot say anything about the authenticity of this hadith. Even
if it is true, we should rely on the principle that if we know
the effect, we can know the cause. That is, if we know the Imam
as Imam, we certainly know the identity of Allah, in the same
way that if one knows the prime minister, he knows the King. It
is in reference to this principle that the chapter "Tauhid"
and other verses of the Holy Qur'an were revealed. Moreover, there
are many hadith about the unity of Allah narrated by Imam Husain
himself and other Imams. To know our Imam is a great form of worship
of Allah. The same meaning has been given in Ziarat-e-Jami'a,
which has come down to us from our Holy Imam. We may also interpret
it in another way, as scholars have done in similar matters. Every
performer of an action may be understood by the nature of his
action. Since the Prophet and his descendants attained the highest
level of human possibility, no others are as meritorious or virtuous
as they. Since they are the most evident means of knowing Allah,
anyone who knows them, knows Allah. As they have themselves said:
"It is through us that Allah can be known, and it is through
us that Allah can be served." We believe that the Prophet's
family taught us knowledge about Allah and the proper way to worship
Him. Those who have not followed them have lost the way.
To stress the same point, the Prophet said in a hadith acknowledged
by both sects, "O my people! I leave behind me for you two
great objects (of authority): The book of Allah and my Ahle Bait.
Should you remain attached to these two, never, never shall you
be misled after me (for verily these two shall never, never be
separated from each other until they meet me at the Fountain of
Hafiz: We do not rely on this
tradition, which you try to revise. There are many innovations
in your books and examples of polytheism, like seeking fulfillment
of our desires from the Imams rather than from Allah. What is
polytheism? Polytheism means to turn to any other person or thing
rather than to Allah for the satisfaction of our needs. It has
been observed that Shias never invoke Allah. They invoke the Imams.
It is nothing but polytheism.
Well-Wisher: I am afraid you
distort facts. Perhaps I may be allowed to tell you what polytheism
is according to the great ulema of Islam and according to the
verses of the Holy Qur'an.
Polytheism is of two kinds: open polytheism and hidden polytheism.
Open polytheism means to associate someone or something with Allah's
All-Perfect Self or with His attributes. Making partners with
Allah means associating something with His Oneness and acknowledging
this association with the tongue, like the Sanamiyyas (idol-worshippers)
or the Zoroastrians, who believe in two principles: light and
darkness. Christians also do this. They believe in the trinity
and divide divinity into three parts ù father, son, and
holy spirit. They believe in separate characteristics for each,
and unless the three are united, the Divine self is not complete.
The Holy Qur'an rejects this belief, and Allah Almighty declares
His Oneness in these words: "Certainly they disbelieve who
say: 'Surely Allah is the third (person) of three;' there is no
god but the one Allah...." (5:73)
Associating things with divine attributes means believing that
His attributes, like His knowledge or might, are separate from,
or in addition to, His All-Perfect Self. The Asharis of Abu'l-Hasan
Ali Bin Isma'il Ashari Basari, are reported by your own leading
ulema, like Ali Bin Ahmad in his book Al-Kashf and Minhaju'l-Adilla
fi Aqa'idi'l-Milla (The Open Just Revelation of the Beliefs of
Nations), page 57, to believe that the attributes of Allah are
in addition to His All-Perfect Self, and are eternal. So anyone
who believes that any quality or attribute of His is in any way
an addition to His All-Perfect Self is a polytheist. Every attribute
of His is essential to Him. Polytheism in one's actions means
to associate someone with His Ever-Independent Will. The Jews
believe that Allah created creatures and then kept Himself aloof
from His creatures. In condemnation of these people, the following
verse was revealed: "And the Jews say: 'The hand of Allah
is tied!' Their hands shall be shackled and they shall be cursed
for what they say. Nay, both His hands are spread out; He expends
as He pleases...." (5:64)
The Gallis or Ghullat (extremists) form another group of polytheists.
They are also called Mufawwiza. They believe that Allah has delegated
His powers or entrusted all affairs to the holy Imams. According
to them, the Imams are the creators, and they also give us sustenance.
Obviously, those who consider someone a partner in divine authority
is a polytheist.
Polytheism in prayer means deliberately turning one's attention
during prayers toward a created being rather than toward Allah.
If one intends to pray to a created being, he is a polytheist.
The Holy Qur'an forbids it in these words. " ...whoever hopes
to meet his Lord, he should do good deeds, and not join anyone
in the service of his Lord." (18:110) This verse shows that
the fundamental article of faith is that man should do whatever
is good and should not associate anyone with Allah in offering
obedience and worship to Him. In other words, he who offers prayers
or performs the Hajj, or does any good act merely to show to the
public his righteousness, he is a polytheist. He has associated
others with Allah in the matter of performing his deeds. The vain
display of good deeds is minor polytheism, which negates our good
actions. It has been reported that the holy Prophet said: "Abstain
from minor Polytheism." People asked him, "O, Prophet
of Allah, what is minor polytheism?" He replied, "Al-riya
wa's-sama'" (i.e., to show people, or to let them hear of
your worship of Allah). Also the holy Prophet said: "The
worst thing which I fear for you is your hidden polytheism; so
rise above it since among my followers polytheism is more secret
than the creeping of the ant on a hard stone in the dark night."
Again he said: "One who offers the ritual prayer in an ostentatious
way, is a polytheist. One who keeps the fast, or gives alms, or
performs the Hajj, or frees a slave to show to the public his
righteousness or to earn a good name is a polytheist." And
since this last line refers to matters of the heart, it has been
included in hidden polytheism.
Hafiz: We note of your own statement
that if someone makes an offering to any created being, he is
a polytheist. So the Shias are also polytheists since they make
offerings to the holy Imams and their sons.
Well-Wisher: If we wish to determine
the faith of a community, we should not rely on the uninformed
people of that community. We should study their reliable books.
If you wish to study Shia'ism, don't start with Shia beggars on
roads, crying "O Ali, O Imam Reza," and on that ground
declare that Shias are polytheists. Similarly, if ignorant people
make pledges or offerings in the name of the Imams or their sons,
you should not slander all of Shia'ism. If you study Shia books
of jurisprudence, you will find that there is not a single trace
of polytheism, or absurdity. The insistence on the Oneness of
Allah is manifest everywhere. The most famous books, Sharhe lum'a
and Shara'i, are widely available and you may study them. In the
Chapter "Offerings," the legal pronouncements of Shia
jurists are cited, both in the two works cited above and in many
other publications. Since nazr is a kind of prayer, it is essential
that there should be an intention that it be for the sake of seeking
nearness to Allah. There are two conditions for a valid nazr:
intention of the heart and utterance or expression in prescribed
words in whatever language it may be. Regarding the first condition,
the intention of the heart must be for the sake of Allah. The
second condition completes the first condition; the person who
makes the offering (nazr) must say in words that it is for Allah.
For instance, if he pledges to keep a fast or to give up drinking,
he must make the intention using the prescribed words, which contain
the word "Lillah" (for the sake of Allah), without which
the offering is invalid.