From the point of view of light, Amiru'l-Mu'minin occupied the
foremost place, as many of your illustrious ulema point out. Imam
Ahmad Bin Hanbal in his Musnad, Mir Seyyed Ali Hamdani Faqih Shafi'i
in his Mawaddatu'l-Qurba; Ibn Maghazili Shafi'i in his Manaqib
and Muhammad Bin Talha Shafi'i in Matalibu's-Su'ul Fi Manaqib-e-alu'r-Rasul
narrate from the Holy Prophet that he said, "I and Ali Bin
Abi Talib both were a single light in the presence of Allah 14,000
years before the creation of Adam. When Allah created Adam, he
deposited that light in Adam's loins. We remained together as
one light until we separated in Abu'l-Muttalib's loins. Then I
was endowed with Prophethood and Ali with the caliphate."
Mir Seyyed Ali Hamdani Faqih Shafi'i in his Mawaddatu'l-Qurba,
Mawadda VII, mentions this point. "Ali and the Holy Prophet
are from one Light. Ali was endowed with such qualities as were
not given to any one else in all the world."
Among hadith which have been recorded in this Mawadda, there is
a report from the third Caliph, Uthman Bin Affan, who said that
the Holy Prophet said, "I and Ali were created from one light
4,000 years before the creation of Adam. When Allah created Adam,
He deposited that light into Adam's loins. We remained as one
light until we were separated in Abdu'l-Muttalib's loins. Then
I was endowed with prophethood and Ali with vicegerency."
In another hadith he writes that the Holy Prophet, addressing
Ali, said: "So prophethood and messengership came to me.
Vicegerency and the Imamate came to you, Ali."
The same hadith has been narrated by Ibn Abi'l-Hadid Mu'tazali
in his Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha, vol.II, p.450 (printed in Egypt)
from the author of Kitab-e-Firdaus. Also Sheikh Sulayman Balkhi
in his Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, part I, reports from Jam'u'l-Fawa'id,
Manaqib of Ibn Maghazili Shafi'i, Firdaus of Dailami, Fara'idu's-Simtain
of Hamwaini and Manaqib of Khawarizmi, with slight difference
in wording but not in purport, that the Holy Prophet Muhammad
and Ali were created from light thousands of years before the
creation of the universe and that both of them were one light
until they were separated from each other in the loins of Abdu'l-Muttalib.
One part was placed in the loins of Abdullah and through it was
born the Holy Prophet. The other part was placed in the loins
of Abu Talib and through it was born Ali. Muhammad was selected
for prophethood and Ali for vicegerency, as was disclosed by the
Holy Prophet himself.
Abu'l-Mu'ayyid Mu'affaq Bin Ahmad Khawarizmi and many others have
reported from reliable sources that the Holy Prophet said: "I
and Ali were born of one light. We remained together until we
reached the loins of Abu Talib where we were separated from each
So far as Ali's physical creation was concerned, he was evidently
of the most exalted rank from both his maternal and paternal side.
All of his forefathers back to Adam himself were worshipers of
Allah. This light never settled in an impure loins or womb. None
of the other companions can make such a claim. The lineage of
Ali is as follows:
(1) Ali Bin (2) Abu Talib Bin (3) Abdu'l-Muttalib (4) Hashim (5)
Abd-e-Manaf (6) Qusai (7) Kilab (8) Murra (9) Ka'b (10) Luwai
(11) Ghalib (12) Fehr (13) Malik (14) Nazr (15) Kinana (16) Khazima
(17) Madreka (18) Ilyas (19) Muzar (20) Nizar (21) Ma'd (22) Adnan
(23) Awwad (24) Al-Yasa' (25) Al-Hamis (26) Bunt (27) Sulayman
(28) Haml (29) Qidar (30) Isma'il (31) Ibrahim Khalil-Ullah (32)
Ta'rikh (33) Tahur (34) Sharu (35) Abraghu (36) Taligh (37) Abir
(38) Shale' (39) Arfakhad (40) Sam (41) Noah (42) Lumuk (43) Mutu
Shalkh (44) Akhnukh (45) Yarad (46) Mahla'il (47) Qinan (48) Anush
(49) Seth (50) Adam Abu'l-Bashir.
Except for the Holy Prophet, no one else had such a brilliant
Sheikh: You have said that all
the ancestors of Ali were monotheists. I think you are mistaken.
Some of his ancestors were idol worshipers. For instance Abraham
Khalilullah's father, Azar, worshipped idols. The Holy Qur'an
clearly says "And when Abraham said to his father, Azar:
'Do you take idols for gods? Surely I see you and your people
in manifest error.'"
Well-Wisher: You repeat what
your elders have said although you know that the scholars of genealogy
unanimously agree that Abraham's father was Tarukh, and not Azar.
Sheikh: But this is ijtihad
(reasoning based on your own judgement) in face of divine ordinance.
You are putting forward the views of the scholars of genealogy
in opposition to the Holy Qur'an, which clearly says that Abraham's
father was Azar, who was an idol worshiper.
Well-Wisher: I never argue in
opposition to divine law. My aim is to know the real interpretation
of the Qur'an. In order to accomplish this, I seek guidance from
those who are equal to the Holy Qur'an as sources of guidance,
the Ahle Bait of the Holy Prophet. The word in the holy verse
has been used in the general sense because in the general sense
even the uncle and the mother's husband are also called "father."
There are two views about Azar. One is that he was Abraham's uncle
and the second is that in addition to being his uncle, after the
death of Abraham's father, Tarukh, he married Abraham's mother.
Hence Abraham used to address him as his father, since he was
his uncle as well as his mother's husband.
Sheikh: We cannot ignore the
explicit meaning of the Holy Qur'an, unless we find its other
meaning in the Qur'an itself, clearly indicating that uncle or
mother's husband are also called 'father'. If you fail to produce
such evidence (and certainly you will fail), your argument will
Well-Wisher: There are instances
in the Holy Qur'an where words have been used in their general
sense. For example, verse 133 of chapter II, Baqara (The Cow)
of the Holy Qur'an supports my point. It records the questions
and answers of the Prophet Jacob with his sons at the time of
his death. It says: " When he said to his sons: What will
you serve after me? They said: we will serve your God and the
God of your fathers, Abraham and Isma'il and Isaac, the one God
only, and to Him do we submit." (2:133)
In this verse the proof of my claim is the word Isma'il. According
to the Holy Qur'an, Jacob's father was Isaac and Isma'il was his
uncle, but, according to the general practice, he used to call
him his father. Since the sons of Jacob also according to the
general practice, called their uncle their father, they used the
same word in reply to his father. God reported their question
and answer as it was. Similarly, Abraham also used to call his
uncle and his mother's husband, 'father', although, according
to strong evidence of historical and genealogical accounts, it
is an acknowledged fact that Abraham's father was not Azar, but
The second proof of the fact that the Holy Prophet's ancestors
were not polytheists and infidels is verse 219 of Chapter 26 of
Shu'ara (The Poets) which says, "And your turning over and
over among those who prostrate themselves to Allah." (26:219)
Concerning the meaning of this holy verse Sheikh Sulayman Balkhi
Hanafi in his Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, vol.II, and many others of your
ulema have narrated from Ibn Abbas, who said, "Allah transferred
particles of the being of the Holy Prophet from Adam's loins to
successive prophets, one after the other, all of whom were monotheists,
until He made him appear from his father's loins through nika
(lawful wedlock) and not unlawfully."
There is also a well known hadith which all of your ulema have
narrated. Even Imam Tha'labi, who is called the Imam of traditionists,
writes in his commentary and Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi in his Yanabiu'l-Mawadda,
vol. II, narrates from Ibn Abbas, that the Holy Prophet said:
"Allah sent me to the earth in the loins of Adam and transferred
me to the loins of Abraham. He continued transferring me from
the distinguished and exalted loins to pure wombs until He created
me from my father and mother, who never met unlawfully."
In another hadith he is reported to have said, "Allah never
mixed in me any base element of ignorance."
In the same chapter Sulayman Balkhi reports from Ibkaru'l-Afkar
of Sheikh Salahu'd-din Bin Zainu'd-din Bin Ahmad known as Ibnu's-Sala
Halbi and from Sharh-e-Kibrit-e-Ahmar of Sheikh Abdu'l-Qadir narrating
from Ala'u'd-Dowlat Semnani, a detailed hadith from Jabir Ibn
Abdullah that the Holy Prophet was asked about what Allah created
first. He answered the question in detail, which I cannot relate
at this time. Towards the end of the hadith the Holy Prophet said:
"Similarly, Allah continued transferring my light from pure
side to pure side, until He deposited me in my father, Abdullah
Bin Abdu'l-Muttalib. From there He brought me to the womb of my
mother, Amina. Then He caused me to appear in this world and conferred
upon me the title of Sayidu'l-Mursalin (the chief of the Messengers)
and Khatamu'n-Nabiyyin (the Seal of the Prophets)."
The Holy Prophet's statement that he continued to be transferred
from pure one to pure one proves that none of his forefathers
was an infidel. According to the Holy Qur'an, which says: "Verily,
the polytheists are polluted ones," (9:28) every infidel
and polytheist is polluted. He said that he was transferred from
pure wombs to pure wombs. Since idol worshipers are not pure,
it follows that none of his forefathers was an idol worshiper.
In the same chapter of Yanabiu'l-Mawadda a hadith from Ibn Abbas
is reported via Kabir that the Holy Prophet said: "I was
not born through the unlawful wedlock of the days of ignorance.
I was born through the Islamic ways of Nika."
Have you not read sermon 105 of Nahju'l-Balagha?. The Commander
of the Faithful says about the forefathers of the Holy Prophet:
"Allah provided for them (i.e., the Prophets) the best place
(the loins of their forefathers) and gave them the best placements
(the holy wombs of their mothers). He transferred them from distinguished
and respectable loins to pure wombs. When the father of any of
them passed away, his son succeeded him with the religion of Allah,
until Allah Almighty made Muhammad His Prophet and Messenger.
So He made the source of the Holy Prophet's creation the most
exalted one. The Holy Prophet's lineage included His Prophets
who were of high rank."
In short, the ancestors of the Holy Prophet, back to the Prophet
Adam, were all believers and monotheists. It is quite obvious
that the people of the Ahle Bait (the Progeny) of the Holy Prophet
knew more about the status of their forefathers than others knew.
When it is proved that the ancestors of the Holy Prophet were
believers and monotheists, it naturally follows that Ali's ancestors
were also worshipers of Allah. I have already proved through your
own books that Muhammad and Ali were from one light and always
remained together in pure loins and wombs until they were separated
from each other in the loins of Abdu'l-Muttalib. Every sensible
man would admit that such a distinguished personality was the
rightful claimant to the caliphate.
Sheikh: I accept the fact that
Tarukh was Abraham's father, and you have proved the purity of
the Holy Prophet's ancestors. But it is not possible to find such
evidence in the case of Ali. Even if we admit that all of his
ancestors down to Abdu'l-Muttalib were monotheists, his father,
Abu Talib, certainly left this world an infidel.
Well-Wisher: I admit that there
are differing opinions among the community concerning Abu Talib's
faith. But we should say, "O Allah! curse the first tyrant
who showed injustice to Muhammad and curse his descendants. Allah's
curse be on him who fabricated hadith with the result that the
Nasibis and Kharijis began to claim that Abu Talib left this world
The Shia ulema in general and all the members of the entire family
of the Holy Prophet believe in the faith of Abu Talib. Also, many
of your scholars and fair minded ulema, like Ibn Abi'l-Hadid,
Jalalu'd-din Suyuti, Abu'l-Qasim Balkhi, Abu Ja'far Askafi, their
teachers from the Mu'tazali sect, and Mir Seyyed Ali Hamadani
Faqih Shafi'i - all agree that Abu Talib was a Muslim.
The Shia believe that Abu Talib, from the very beginning, believed
in the Holy Prophet. The Shia, following the holy Ahle Bait, acknowledge
with one accord "Abu Talib never worshipped an idol; he was
one of the successors of Abraham." The same view has also
been expressed in the authentic books of your own ulema. For instance,
Ibn Athir says in his Jam'u'l-usul: "According to the holy
Ahle Bait among all the uncles of the Holy Prophet, only Hamza,
Abbas, and Abu Talib accepted Islam.
The common agreement of the holy Ahle Bait regarding a point must
be considered decisive. The Hadith-e-Thaqalain and other hadith
which I have referred to on previous nights clearly prove that
the Holy Prophet made clear statements regarding his family's
infallibility. They were the parallels of the Holy Qur'an and
one of the Thaqalain (two weighty things) which the Prophet left
as sources of infallible guidance for his people. It is necessary
for all Muslims to adhere to them so that they may not be led
Second, according to the saying "The people of the house
know better about family matters," this exalted family knew
more about the belief of their forefathers than Mughira Bin Sha'ba,
the Bani Umayya, the Kharijis and Nasibis, or other uninformed
It is really surprising that your ulema do not accept statements
of the Ahle Bait of the Holy Prophet, including the chief of the
pious, the Commander of the Faithful, to whose veracity and truthfulness
Allah and the Holy Prophet testified. All say that Abu Talib died
a believer. You do not believe that, but you accept the word of
the confirmed liar and sinner, Mughira, some Amawis, Kharijis,
Ibn Abi'l-Hadid Mu'tazali, who is one of your accredited ulema,
says in his Shahr-e-Nahju'l-Balagha, vol.III, p.310: "There
is a difference of opinion concerning the Islam of Abu Talib.
The Imamiyya sect and most of the Zaidiyyas say that he left this
world a Muslim. Apart from the entire Shia ulema, some of our
own chief ulema, like Abu'l-Qasim Balkhi and Abu Ja'far Askafi
hold the view that Abu Talib embraced Islam, but he did not reveal
his belief so that he might give full support to the Holy Prophet
and, because of his (Abu Talib's) influence, the opponents might
not block the Holy Prophet's way."
Sheikh: Apparently you are not
familiar with the "Hadith of Zuhzah" which says: "Abu
Talib is in the fire of Hell."
Well-Wisher: This is a fabricated
hadith invented during the period of Mu'awiya Bin Abu Sufyan by
some of the enemies of the Holy Prophet. Later the Bani Umayya
and their followers continued their efforts to fabricate hadith
against Ali Bin Abi Talib and circulated them among the people.
They did not allow Abu Talib's belief to become well known like
that of Hamza and Abbas. The forger of Hadith Zuhza was one Mughira,
who was a sinner and an enemy of the Commander of the Faithful.
Ibn Abi'l-Hadid in his Sharh-e-Nahju'l-Balagha, vol.III, pp 159-163;
Mas'udi in Muruju'z-Dhahab and other ulema write that Mughira
committed fornication in Basra. When his witnesses were produced
before Caliph Umar, three of them testified against him, but the
fourth was tutored to say such things as made his evidence unacceptable.
Accordingly, the three other witnesses had to suffer the prescribed
penalty, and Mughira was acquitted.
The author of this hadith, however, was a fornicator and drunkard
upon whom the penalty prescribed by religion was about to be inflicted.
He invented hadith because of his opposition to the Commander
of the Faithful and to flatter Mu'awiya. Mu'awiya and his followers
and other Umayyads strengthened this spurious hadith and began
testifying that "Abu Talib is in the fire of Hell."
Moreover, those connected with the narration of this hadith like
Abdu'l-Malik Bin Umar, Abdu'l-Aziz Rawandi and Sufyan Thawri,
are weak and unacceptable reporters. This fact has been verified
by your own eminent commentator and scholar, Zahi, who has expressed
this view in his Mizanu'l-I'tidal, vol.II. So how can one rely
on a hadith like this, which has been narrated by such notorious
liars and weak reporters?