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Third Disease: Polytheism

One of the diseases of the heart that deviate man from the straight path is 'Shirk' or Polytheism. That is to consider someone or something a partner to Allah, the Creator of the Universe. It is an unpardonable sin. How severe is it? And how many categories of it are there? All of it is discussed in the first volume of our book Greater Sins. Here we shall only emphasize its harmful effects on the soul. This disease brings every kind of depravity. The Holy Quran has a number of verses that mention polytheism.

And whoever associates (others) with Allah, it is as though he had fallen from on high, then the birds snatch him away or the wind carries him off to a far-distant place.1

From the height of Monotheism to the depravity of Polytheism

Thus a person who becomes a polytheist has actually fallen from the great status of humanity. Monotheism is a strong fort of Allah. One who associates anyone or anything with Allah falls out of this fort. The Satan kidnaps him and deceives him. He commits the mistake of allowing himself to be deceived by the Satan. In this way he becomes distant from divine mercy. The Satan makes him involved in illegal desires and wrong wants.

In brief, one who falls from the lofty status of Monotheism to the debased position of polytheism, either the man-eating bird of carnal desires devours him or he is blown away into the valley of deviation by the wind of satanic instigations.

The Demand of Humanity : Monotheism

Man is the superior-most creature. He has the loftiest position among the creations of Allah. However, this position is bestowed on him only if he remains attached the Almighty. He achieves it only when he submits to the obedience of Allah. He considers everything that he has as Allah's property. He sees himself debased and degraded before the might of Allah. He looks upon all creatures as partners in the service of Allah.

He believes that Allah is the giver of all bounties to him as well to others. According to him Allah is the guardian of all the creatures. He must not consider any creature to be instrumental in influencing anyone's fate. He should consider all the creatures as mediums and channels. He may approach them for being mediums but he must only consider them as such. He must have absolute regard only for Allah. For example, during an illness he can visit a doctor and if necessary take medicine. However, he should know that only Allah bestows a cure. If Allah had not given cure in the hands of the doctor or effect in the medicine, he would never have been cured. If Allah had not permitted, the doctor would not have succeeded in diagnosing the disease.

Thus he should consider himself and all other creatures to be depending and in need of Allah in all aspects of their life. He should have firm belief that it is Allah Who has brought us into this world and it is He alone Who will take us away. Allah is one Who bestows in excess and sometimes due to hidden wisdom He constrains the bounties. Allah is the one to protect us in the world and He alone can give us salvation in the Hereafter. Allah is his Lord as well as of the others. Thus he should say with firm conviction: I witness that there is no god except Allah. The One Who has no partner. The kingdom is for Him and the Praise is for Him.

This is the great position of humanity. That he should only look upon Allah and worship Him alone. If man bows down before a creature of Allah, considers himself needy before him, pleads with him and degrades himself before him, he debases himself from the lofty position of humanity. Bowing down before living and non-living objects, before animals and angels is a kind of abasement. No one is higher than Allah. If man considers something other than Allah as god it means that he has humiliated himself before it instead of Allah. The honor of humanity lies in that he should consider himself only in need of Allah. No creature can completely dissociate from Allah.

Cannot ever create a Mosquito

The Almighty Allah says,

O people! A parable is set forth, therefore listen to it: surely those whom you call upon besides Allah cannot create a fly, though they should all gather for it, and should the fly snatch away anything from them, they could not take it back from it; weak are the invoker and the invoked.2

Thus, is it correct to worship such people, such things and idols?

Does it behoove humanity that man should plead before such deities?

Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) says, “The infidels of Quraish used to anoint the idols they had hung on the four sides of the Ka'ba with fragrance of musk and amber. Allah appointed four-winged green flies on these idols. These flies used to snatch the musk and amber and fly away and feed on it.”

We have taken the above tradition from Tafsir of Safi that quotes from Usul al-Kafi.

Types of False Deities

All those things that deterred man from the worship of One God and all those things that he came to regard as deities are either inorganic, or organic like the plants, the animals, man, jinns and angels etc. So we shall refer to them in brief only because greater details will prolong the discussion.

Inanimate objects can be heavenly bodies like the moon and the stars or the idols. People usually made idols of wood or stone. They used to embellish them with gold, silver and precious stones and make them in different shapes. In the same way they used to make statues of the stars and install them in their worship-houses. Then these ignorant people used to worship these idols their own hands had wrought. They used to rely on them and invocate them.

Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.) told the idol-worshippers of his nation:

What! Do you worship what you hew out? And Allah has created you and what you make.3

How can reason justify this action that man is bowing down before something that he has himself made? It is Allah Who has created all the material that you use for making the idols.

The verses that are revealed in denouncement of idol-worship are numerous.

Worship of the most lowly things

It is obvious that the position of man is higher than that of animals. In the same way the position of animals is higher than inanimate objects. Thus if man begins to worship something that can neither move nor think, which does not even have a proper shape or body, and considers himself subservient to inanimate objects, it shall be definitely an illogical thing to do. In this way man has degraded himself to become lowlier than inanimate objects.

Excuses for Idol Worship

Some idol worshippers justify their wrong practice saying, “We know that these idols are not our creator and sustainer. But since it is not possible to contact God without a medium, we are compelled to make them in the form of God or proximate angels and worship them. So that we can gain proximity to the Creator of the Universe. Respecting the image of a person signifies respecting this person himself.”

This is just like repeating the words of the Holy Quran:

We do not serve them save that they make us nearer to Allah.4

Allah is Near but He has no body!

This is a wrong notion of the idol-worshippers. Everyone knows that no one is more proximate than Allah? Reason and nature desire that every creature should ever be engaged in struggle to reach Him. It is the demand of the Might of the Creator that in achieving proximity to the creatures nothing should come in between. The traditions of the Prophets also confirm this. However, the Almighty Allah does not possess a shape. He neither has a form or a face.

Rather, He is the Creator of bodies. He Himself does not have a body. Thus it is not correct to make an image of God. It is also not correct to make the images of angels and men considering them to be proximate to Allah. No man has ever seen an angel in actual form. Thus whatever image is created is imaginative and false. As far as the stars and idols are concerned, Satan deviates men through them.

By making them engrossed in their worship the Satan keeps them away from the worship of Allah. Another point is that idol-makers can neither prove their action through reason nor do they have any divine command as proof.

You only worship idols besides Allah and you create a lie.5

Worship of the Four Elements

Some people worship the four elements, viz. fire, water, earth and air. Satan has deviated them towards this. Some people worship only fire. They consider it to be eternal. They say: The greatest creature of Allah is the fire. So we must worship it. Some people worship air and consider it to be the only real entity. They do not think it to be different from the existence of God.

Others think earth (dust) is the only God. Some others worship the sea. The baselessness and falsity of such beliefs is obvious.

Sun, Moon and the Stars

Some people have deviated towards the Sun, the Moon and the Stars. The worshippers of the sun think that it is an angel. “It is a great, intelligent and powerful angel. It is the chief of all angels. It is the king of the heaven and the earth.”

Certain people exceed this and say: “Sun is the absolute truth and the actual God. It has created everything. We can see it with our eyes while we only hear the name of other non-material things. Man should worship only that which he can see. We should not worship on hearsay.”

Some other people worship the moon. They consider it to be a great and a powerful angel, while Zoroastrians also revere other celestial bodies like Venus, Saturn and Mars etc. They fix their images in their worship houses and get them engraved in their homes and worship them.

From the aspect of creation, Earth is like the Moon and Stars

Today man has stepped on the moon. It has been proved beyond doubt that stars and planets resemble this Earth. Their status is no higher than that of the Earth. If man pleads to them and prostrates before them it is nothing but his own ignorance.

False beliefs

Yes! Distancing themselves from the religion of Islam and the Holy Quran has involved them in such false beliefs. So much so, that there are some people in India who worship the male sexual organ. Some consider the cow to be holy. They say that your prayer shall be valid only if you wash your face with cow urine. When they see a cow urinating they rush to it and cup their hands to fill them with urine. After this they smear their faces with it and perform prayers. There is also a sect of Magians who say: “Angels are the daughters of God. They influence the course of happenings. The Almighty also has a wife from the jinn family.”

Another sect worships the jinns.

Worship of Trees and Division of Good and Evil

A date palm was considered sacred in the area of Najran. Weapons, clothes and dresses were kept on it as offerings.

It is written in Anisul Aalaam that, “There is a tree besides the river Ganges in India, whose leaves move continuously in a particular fashion. They move sixty times in a minute. The polytheists of India consider this river and this tree sacred.”

These are a religious group called 'Sanawiya'. According to them there are two creators of this world. All that is good is created by Yazdan, who is wise and kind. The second Creator is Ahriman (Satan). He is powerless and he has created all the evil.

The Nature of Man says that God is One

Scholars say that except for the atheists and materialists, followers of all other religions believe in the Unity and Oneness of God. Even if they indulge in polytheism they consider other gods to be smaller than the Almighty and they consider Allah as the greatest. Or they say that the smaller gods give some bounties and answer invocations. But they consider that the creator and the Lord of all is one because human nature cannot, but believe in the Oneness of God.

Polytheism in Actions

In other words it can be said that everyone is unanimous on the Being and qualities of Almighty God. They all say that the eternal being of the Almighty is one. But some people commit polytheism in actions of God. They say that all that is done by providence has the hand of some others besides God. They consider these other factors worthy of obedience besides the Almighty. The obedience should be for Allah, alone. With regard to worship also they perform such acts that are worthy only for the Almighty

Idol-worship is open Polytheism

So far we have discussed about the idol-worshippers whose polytheism is obvious. Even the Holy Quran applies to them both the terms: Polytheist and Idol-worshippers. The People of the Book (Ahlul Kitab) are in a different kind of polytheism. It can just be said that they have committed polytheism. There is a difference between doing polytheism and being polytheists themselves. For example, in spite of Hajj becoming incumbent on him if someone does not perform it, it is said that he has committed infidelity. But we can't say that he has become an infidel. Thus polytheists are those whose polytheism is obvious. And obvious polytheism means that a person accepts smaller gods and worships them.

The Polytheism of Ahlul Kitab is Hidden Polytheism

The polytheism of Ahlul Kitab is a hidden or concealed polytheism. Ahlul Kitab includes the Jews and Christians. Some scholars say that Magians are also included in it. Certain traditions also support the view that Magians had a prophet and a heavenly book but now that book has been taken away from them.

The polytheism of the Ahlul Kitab is due to various reasons: For example the Jews say, “Uzair is the son of God.”

Uzair is the same person whom the Jews call Ozra in Hebrew. He was the one to lay the new foundation of Jewish faith. Nebuchannezer the king of Babel had conquered the cities and territories of the Jews, razed their synagogues and burnt their holy books. After this Uzair wrote a new book by the name of Torah.

Nebuchannezer had killed all the male Jews. The women, children and some old men were sent to Babel. They remained in Babel for nearly a hundred years. Finally, Koresh the king of Persia invaded Babel and conquered it. Then Uzair came to Koresh and lobbied for the homeless Jews. Koresh had respect for Uzair.

He agreed to the request of Uzair that Jews be permitted to return to their homeland. He also gave the permission to rewrite the Torah, because not a single copy of Torah had survived. Despite this fact, Uzair wrote a book called Torah in 457 B.C. then he distributed it among the Jews under the same title of Torah.

However, after three hundred years or so, in 161 B.C. the ruler of Sham (Syria) in Antioch again conquered the Jewish territories. As a result of this even the Torah written by Uzair was destroyed. The soldiers of Antioch used to raid homes and wherever a copy of Torah was found, it was burnt to ashes.

The Jews revere Uzair because he had once again settled them in Palestine. That is why they call him 'Son of God'. This is just like Christians who refer to Prophet Isa (a.s.) as the “Son of God,” because they found in him a glimpse of divine qualities. They consider him to be from God or the Son of God. They think that since he is so close to God, he must be the Son of God. Actually this extreme belief of the Jews and Christians has no firm basis.

And the Jews say: Uzair is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths.6

Please refer to Surah Tawbah, verses 30-32 for this topic.

The Christians believe in 'Unity in trinity'. While they say that the Creator of the Universe is one they also reiterate that the creator consists of three parts. One part is concerned with creation. The second part is the 'son of God' (Isa).

He is concerned with the mission of speaking to the people as a representative of God. And the third part is the Holy Spirit (Jibraeel). He is considered with the section of life. These three different parts of God are know as “Aqaneem” in their terminology and one of them implies a particular quality without which the personage has no existence.

This was in brief the belief of trinity. However when we study this subject in detail in different books we find that there are more than seventy points regarding which there exist controversies. That is justifications for trinity contradict each other. So much so that some Christian writers state that, “The belief of trinity is not logical, but we must accept it without any investigation.”

Please refer to the book Anisul Aalaam for more details. Also, the Tafsir al-Mizan has discussed this topic under the exegesis of the 30th Verse of Surah Ali Imran.

The idol-worshippers of India and the Buddhist also believe in trinity. Rather, scholars say that Christians have borrowed the idea of trinity from the idol-worshippers.

Allamah Tabatabai quotes from Khurafat-e-Taurat in his Tafsir al-Mizan: “When we undertake a careful study of India we find that their most ancient and common deities are the trinity. That is one God has three parts. According to them there are three parts of the Godhead: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. They believe that the three of them collectively make up the Godhead. According to them Brahma is the Creator, Vishnu is the preserver and Shiva, the destroyer.

Extremists and believers in ‘delegation’ (Tafweez) are also Polytheists

The 'Ghulat' (extremist) sect of the Muslims also commits hidden polytheism. The followers of this sect say that Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.) is the creator, sustainer and the administrator of the universe. Tafweez means that these people believe in delegation. According to them Ali (a.s.) and the other Imams have been delegated the tasks of creating and sustaining the world and they have complete freedom to do as they like. Obviously they consider Ali (a.s.) a partner of Allah in actions that are only in the hands of Allah.

Obedience of the Lord

The Ahlul Kitab are also guilty of polytheism in the matter of obedience, while it is only Allah Who is the Lord of all the worlds. He is the One Who created man and other creatures and bestowed form and body to them. He makes each of the creatures to reach to their perfection. From the time a child is conceived till he reaches the lap of death, in whole life span of man, Allah does not forsake him even for a moment. In the same way Allah is not careless of them in the Hereafter.

Thus man should leave his spiritual training also to the hands of the Almighty. He should not consider anyone else his Lord. He should act only on Allah's command. He should not obey anyone in opposition to the order of Allah. He should not obey his desires, the Satan or other people if they are instigating him to disobey Allah. The Holy Quran has criticized such people.

Have you then considered him who takes his low desire for his god?7

Surely they took Satans for guardians beside Allah.8

Whether they are from the genre of mankind or from jinns, obeying these Satans in opposition to the commands of Allah is a kind of polytheism.

The Almighty Allah had taken a covenant from the soul of man that he will not obey any Satan.

Did I not charge you, O children of Adam! That you should not serve the Satan?9

However,

They have taken their doctors of law and their monks for lords besides Allah, and (also) the Messiah son of Maryam and they were enjoined that they should serve one God only, there is no god but He; far from His glory be what they set up (with Him).10

The above verse shows that one who obeys someone other than Allah in opposition to divine command or one who follows the command of someone other than Allah while this command is against Allah's command, has actually committed polytheism.

People who make legal things illegal and illegal things legal

Abu Basir asked Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) the interpretation of the above verse (Surah Tawbah 9:31). Imam said, “Know that! By Allah they never did ask the people to worship them because if they had said so, the people would not have obeyed. But they asked them to consider prohibited things permissible for their sake and to consider the permissible things prohibited. Thus they worshipped them thoughtlessly.”11

The following tradition of Imam Sadiq (a.s.) is also mentioned in Usul al-Kafi: “One who obeys a person in contravention of divine disobedience has actually worshipped him.”

Following the scholars of false religions is also Polytheism

Some Muslim sects consider it obligatory to follow certain religious leaders with regard to the Islamic practical law while their leaders have prescribed prohibited and permissible without any firm proof.

It is said about Abu Hanifah that he used to say, “The Holy Prophet (S) has said this regarding this matter but I say that…”

Quality of the Shia Jurisprudents

According to the Shia sect one of the qualities of a jurisprudent (Mujtahid) who can be followed in (Islamic practical law) is that he should not be a slave of his base desires and every verdict of his should be based on the Holy Quran and traditions of Ahlul Bayt.

The 'Ulil-Amr' (those who are vested with authority) are twelve, according to the Messenger of Allah (S). They are the twelve Imams of Ahlul Bayt. Obeying them is like obeying the Prophet. The Twelfth Imam, Imam Mahdi (a.s.), during this occultation period has made it incumbent on us to obey a Mujtahid who does not value his personal opinion in front of Allah's command. Thus following this Mujtahid will amount to be the obedience of Imam and that in turn is obedience of Allah and His Prophet.

Polytheism along with worship

It is possible for Ahlul Kitab and Muslims to indulge in polytheism while they worship. For example, Christians worship Isa (a.s.) as the Son of God, as God himself. In the same way the 'Ghulat' (extremists) consider Ali (a.s.) as the creator and sustainer of the Universe. They consider him a partner of Allah in this regard. Some Sufis worship their saint-teachers called 'pirs'. They think that he (the pir) and Allah are one and the same. Or that Allah has incarnated Himself in their bodies. This is the same polytheism that we have discussed before.

We should try to Understand the meaning of ‘Allah’s Slavery’

In order to understand the different types of hidden polytheisms, we must understand the meaning of Allah's service and who can be called the servant of Allah. Whenever a sane and intelligent person sees himself and others he understands at once that all the necessary elements of life have been provided by the Almighty. No one has anything of his own. All creatures are in need of Allah in all aspects of their life. They seek Him for fulfillment of their needs. He should know that they are the subjects of the Almighty. Allah is the Lord and Master of all creatures.

There is no one in the heavens and the earth but will come to the Beneficent God as a servant.12

Man should understand his nothingness. He should know that he is needy of Allah in every aspect. He is himself a beggar of the Almighty. The Almighty Allah is incomparable. All the strength and power belongs to Him. If man decides to dissociate from the Almighty even for a moment, he will find that he is destroyed. Knowing this he should remain only as the slave of Almighty. This method of expressing ones abasement before Allah and confession of ones neediness before Him is known as worship. Forget about fulfilling the rights of the bounties of Allah he cannot even thank for them sufficiently. Thus man can only devote every moment of his life to the Almighty.

Obedience in every moment of life

The bounties of Allah are present for us in every moment of our life. He is always our Lord and sustainer. Thus even we should serve Him alone every moment of our life. The Almighty Allah has also bestowed the favor of teaching man the way to serve Him. He did not leave humanity confused in this regard. He taught us the method of worship through the Holy Prophet (S). Allah has also prohibited us to worship in the way we like.

Such a thing is an innovation in religion (bida't) and it is unlawful.

In addition to this He has made worship easy for us (the Muslims). The physical worship is that in 24 hours we have to perform only seventeen units of Prayer. We have to fast only one month every year. We have to perform Hajj only once in our lifetime (if we are capable). We have to pay some religious taxes like Khums and Zakat, which are easy too.

The Almighty Allah has prescribed great rewards for this little worship. He has made only the fulfillment of obligatory acts to be sufficient for one to gain nearness to Him. The recommended acts and supererogatory prayers will only increase this proximity and enhance the grades of the believer. However, the necessary condition for the correctness of worship acts is that they should be only for the nearness of Allah.

And (do) not join anyone in the service of his Lord.13

Thus a worship act, whether obligatory or recommended, should not be for the creatures to see and to earn their praises. Even if along with the service of Allah we aim to achieve these things, it is prohibited and is a greater sin.

He should not serve anyone else

If man forgets to perform some worship acts on time, Allah will forgive this carelessness, as the activity that had diverted him from prayer was not prohibited. Or in those moments he had not worshipped anything else. He should not have worshipped Satan.

He should not have given preference to his selfish desires over the commands of Allah. The same conditions apply for prayers on time, even if for example, he prays correct prayer at the time of Zuhr (Noon). At least he will not be eligible for punishment of omitting prayer. But Allah shall not accept such prayers because, he does not say the truth when he recites: “I serve You alone.” One who serves one person at one time and another at other times cannot be a sincere servant of Allah. The prayers of this person will not raise his status. It does not increase proximity to Allah. Allah accepts the worship of only those who fear Allah all the time.

Allah only accepts from those who guard (against evil).14

Maulana Rumi says,

The mother of all idols is the idol of your self.

Because all those idols are snakes and it is the python.15

Worshipping the Desires

A Muslim recites “iyyaka Na’budu” (I worship You alone), ten times every 24 hours. However, he spends a major part of those 24 hours in the worship of his self, his desires and Satan etc. He remains a slave of carnal desires and satanic hopes. He is prepared to be humiliated for worldly wealth. That is, he even becomes a slave of money. He betrays trusts and does not fulfill the rights of others. So much so, that for money he is prepared to sell his religion also.

That is why the Messenger of Allah (S) said, “The slave of Dirhams and Dinars (material wealth) will be destroyed.”

The king summoned a wise man. When he came to the king he did not fulfill the rituals of respecting the king. “You have not shown respect to me,” complained the king. The wise man said, “That is because I am the ruler of that of which you are the slave. You are the slave of your wealth and position. While I do not give importance to these things.”

History is replete with examples where people have even sold their religion for wealth. As an example we mention the story of Qazi Shurah of Kufa.

When Ibne Ziyad ordered Qazi Shurah to issue a verdict (fatwa) for the killing of Imam Husain (a.s.) he was not initially prepared to do it. Ibne Ziyad insisted and Qazi Shurah banged his ink well on his head and began to bleed. In this condition he asked, “How is it possible for me to issue such a verdict?”

During the night Ibne Ziyad dispatched to his house huge quantities of gold and valuables in numerous sacks. The next day he himself came to the royal palace and said, “I gave it a deep thought last night. As a result I have understood that fighting against Husain is obligatory, because he has revolted against Yazid, the caliph of this time and intends to spread mischief.”

It is written in the book Jawahirul Kalam, that, “Seven hundred million dirhams were collected annually in the treasury of Kufa. Nothing had been taken out of it since the time of Muawiyah till the time Imam Husain (a.s.) turned towards Karbala’. Whatever wealth had accumulated during those years in the Kufa treasury was distributed among the Yazidite forces by Ibne Ziyad.”

In the same way Samra bin Jundab is considered to be a companion of the Holy Prophet (S). Muawiyah said to him, “Go to the pulpit and announce that you heard the Holy Prophet (S) say that following verse:

And among men is he who sells himself to seek the pleasure of Allah.16

was revealed in praise of Ibne Muljim the killer of Ali (a.s.). (While it was actually revealed for Ali Ibne Abi Talib).

And also say, that the verse:

And among men is he whose speech about the life of this world causes you to wonder, and he calls on Allah to witness as to what is in his heart, yet he is the most violent of adversaries.17

was revealed for Ali (a.s.), in return of which I shall pay you a thousand Dirhams.”

Samra did not agree but he relented when Muawiyah offered him two thousand. He at once went to the pulpit and uttered such false things. How apt are the following couplets:

O wealth! I do not know how lucky you were born. In your love the son becomes the enemy of his mother. You are the beloved of kings and rich people. The king gets satisfaction from you and the army gets décor. Even the pious do not turn towards the prayer niche without thinking about you. And the sermonizer does not step on the pulpit without your love.

A person forgets Allah even as he is busy in prayers. The appetite for wealth is in his heart. Though he utters: “Thee Alone we worship” actually he is attached to something else. Such a servant is in fact a polytheist. Rather he is a real Satan. He shall get degradation in the Hereafter and Hell fire. How nicely Sayyid Bahrul Uloom has described this:

“When you are busy only in prayers you must not be distracted by polytheism, lie or following a habit etc. You should not be such and you should not do any of such acts. You should not utter something regarding which you will have to regret. You are such that at the time of prayer also you become a slave of your desires!18

Slave of many masters and Slave of One Master

The Holy Quran says,

Allah sets forth an example: There is a slave in whom are (several) partners differing with one another, and there is another slave wholly owned by one man. Are the two alike in condition? (All) praise is due to Allah. Nay! Most of them do not know.19

Obviously when a person is a slave of numerous self desires, satanic instigations and he pleads with so many people, how can we expect to live in peace. While the slave of only Allah experiences utmost peace and comfort.

Since you have got a single heart you must choose only one lover.20

Steadfastness in Monotheism

Monotheism is the foundation of Islam. Indeed one who turns away from the obedience of one God and begins to serve his personal desires and Satan, his faith is destroyed. Such a person cannot defend his belief. That is why a person must say in all sincerity: I witness that there is no god except Allah.” He should be steadfast in his faith. Such people are mentioned in the Quran.

(As for) those who say: Our Lord is Allah, then continue in the right way, the angels descend upon them, saying: Fear not, nor be grieved, and receive good news of the garden, which you were promised.21

It is mentioned in Tafsir Minhajus Sadiqeen that Sufyan Ibne Abdullah Thaqafi requested the Prophet to teach him a quality that he can imbibe. The Prophet said, “Say My Lord is only Allah. Then be steadfast upon it.”

He asked, “O Messenger of Allah (S), what is the most dangerous thing that we should beware of?”

The Messenger of Allah (S) caught his tongue with his hand said, “Guard your tongue.”

An Example

Abdullah Ibne Huzaifah Ibne Qais was taken a prisoner while fighting against the Romans. The Romans told him to embrace Christianity and they would release him. Abdullah did not agree. The Romans heated olive oil in a huge pot and brought a Muslim prisoner before Abdullah. When he also did not agree to embrace Christianity, he was thrown into the boiling oil in front of Abdullah. His flesh separated from him and his bones disintegrated.

Once more Abdullah was told to embrace Christianity but he did not relent. The Christian chief said, “Cast him into the oil too.” Hearing this Abdullah began to weep. Upon hearing him wail that Christian chief ordered that he be brought back. Abdullah said, “I am not weeping due to the pain I would suffer, I am crying because I regret having only one life and I could sacrifice my life for Allah only once. It was my heart's desire that if only each hair of my body had one life and each time I were revived to die again in martyrdom.”

The Christian leader was astounded. He thought of releasing him and he said, “Kiss my head and I will set you free.” Abdullah refused. The chief became furious and said, “Give up Islam! Become a Christian. I will give you my daughter and bequeath my wealth to you.” Abdullah still did not agree. The chief said, “Okay! Kiss my head and I will release 80 Muslim prisoners with you. Abdullah accepted this. They returned to Medina. The other Muslims made fun of him saying, “You have kissed an infidel!” Abdullah said, “Due to that gesture Allah released eighty Muslim prisoners.” This incident is mentioned on page 128 of the second volume of Safinatul Bihar.

Polytheism in seeking the help of causes

A type of polytheism common among Muslims is that: The Creator of the universe has entrusted the system of the universe to causes and means. The cause for everything is appointed in something else. For example the cause for the birth of a child are his parents. The cause of the cure of a disease rests in medicine and doctor. He considers work the cause of earning livelihood.

Man seeks the help of the causes to obtain some benefit or to save himself from some harm. If he begins to consider that this is only a medium of harm and benefit while the actual cause is Allah, there shall definitely be an increase in his recognition and insight.

Say: I do not control any benefit or harm for my own soul except as Allah please.22

Muslims should consider causes to be mere causes. If Allah wills He sends benefits or harm through them. If Allah wants He can nullify all their effects.

Man has to perform prayers in order to make this belief firm. And everyday he should sincerely utter this ten times: 'Thee alone we worship. And Thine help we seek.' These sentences are recited at least twice in every prayer. They imply that the person considers Allah to be the bestower of everything in the world and the Hereafter. Only He can protect us from the mischief of the world and the Hereafter. He is the true refuge. This is the actual meaning of reliance on Allah (Tawakkul). And reliance is a necessary component of faith.

We should repose hope in the final cause

Reliance does not mean that we do not refer to the causes. Reliance is an emotion of the heart. It's strength, hope and support is the Almighty Allah, alone. However, it is the command of Allah that we seek help of the causes. On the basis of this command if man seeks the assistance of the causes for gaining something or avoiding some harm, it is a part of reliance.

Every rational person garners the support of someone or something. However, his sight is trained only on the Almighty. He continues to pray to Allah because he knows that if Allah wishes He can solve his problem through the cause and if He so wills it will become ineffective. Then Allah can make someone else the cause. The final authority is not in the hands of the cause. It is with Allah. Allah can fulfill the needs of His slave through whichever medium He likes. If Allah wills He can fulfill his needs even without a cause or a medium. We have mentioned the details of this in the first volume of Greater Sins.

Obeying someone in sin is also Polytheism

And most of them do not believe in Allah without associating others (with Him).23

Zurarah says that he asked Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) regarding the explanation of the above verse. Imam replied, “It is the same type of polytheism that man says, “No! By your life!”24154

Thus swearing by a creature to prove our word right is also a kind of polytheism. The following tradition has also been recorded in Tafsir Ayyashi from Imam Baqir (a.s.): The saying of man, “By Allah!” Or “by such and such person,” also constitutes Polytheism.

This shows that for swearing we must not make anyone a partner to Allah. We should not consider Allah, that final cause, to be equal to a creature (an intermediary cause). Thus it is only Allah's name, which deserves to be sworn upon. In reality the greatest entity is that of Allah. The greatness of all the creatures is derived from the Almighty. Thus we should not consider anyone as the partner of Allah in according respect.

Swearing by anyone else is not Prohibited

However, it is important to state that since swearing by creature of Allah is not polytheism in worship or obedience, it is not prohibited. In the same way it is not prohibited if we make someone a partner in honoring Allah. It is certainly permitted. According to Shaykh Tusi such traditions were meant to imply that it is a detestable act. He writes on pg. 191 of volume six of his book Al-Mabsuta, “It is detestable to swear by anyone else other than Allah. For example to swear by the Prophet, the Ka'ba, by ones parents etc, is detestable.”

It is recorded in traditions that the Holy Prophet (S) said, “Do not swear by your forefathers and the idols. Do not swear by anyone except Allah. Do not even swear by His name unless you are speaking the truth.”

Another tradition of the Prophet says that when he heard Umar swearing in the name of his father, he said, “The Almighty Allah has prohibited you to swear by your forefathers.”

The Messenger of Allah (S) also said, “One who swears by anyone other that Allah has ascribed a partner to Allah.”

Some narrations mention that, “Such a person has denied his Lord.”

However, it is construed as polytheism and disbelief only when man makes him a partner in Allah's greatness and equates him to Allah, but if he considers him of less importance then it is not polytheism, disbelief or a prohibited act. It is most certainly detestable in the light of these traditions.

Practice for Monotheism

People have been refrained from swearing by the creatures so that they may imbibe the habit monotheism. We should always and in all circumstances train our thoughts on Allah Almighty alone. In our words, deeds, actions and everything, there should not even be an iota of polytheism. We should gain perfect belief in monotheism and remain steadfast on it.

In this way we are prohibited to seek the help of creatures. This also helps to inculcate the habit of asking everything from Allah, except when one is helpless.

Muhaqqiq Ardebeli says: It is detestable to ask anyone other than Allah. And this is proved from reason and Shariah. It is mentioned in traditions that some companions requested the Messenger of Allah (S) to guarantee Paradise for them. The Prophet gave his guarantee on the condition that they would be so self-reliant that if while mounting the horse they drop the whip, even if they could ask any person standing by to pick it up, they would themselves get down and pick it up themselves. This tradition is mentioned on pg. 6 of the book Zubdatul Bayan.

Thus asking a creature is detestable, but the detestability does not remain in times of emergencies. However, it is prescribed in this way so that people cultivate the habit of monotheism.

Do not Hide faith by oppression

The 82nd Verse of Surah Anam says,

Those who believe and do not mix up their faith with iniquity, those are they who shall have the security and they are those who go aright.

Injustice is of various types and the greatest injustice is polytheism.

Most surely polytheism is a grievous iniquity.25

What greater injustice can be there that the master is giving all bounties to His servant and removing every type of problem? But this shameless servant is denying the favors of his Master right before his eyes and considering someone else as the bestower of those bounties. What can be more serious than hiding the favors of his master?

A person who considers the cause to be everything and believes that the cause is sufficient even without the help of the final cause is an oppressor. One who ignores the unlimited bounties of Allah and instead of His praise and thankfulness he is falsely praising the causes, such a person is beyond the limits of justice. He is an oppressor. He is deserving of different types of punishments. He has forgotten his origin. He was nothing in the beginning. Then he assumed the shape of a sperm.

He did not possess anything. When he came to the world he didn't even have clothes on. Later he was bestowed different types of bounties by Allah. Is there any doubt that such thankless person is an oppressor?

It is written in the history of Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi that in the beginning Ayaz was one of his slaves, but due to his intelligence and sacrifices he became the closest confidante of the Sultan. Other ministers and courtiers became jealous of him. Ayaz was having a small room of his own and it was always kept locked. No one entered it except Ayaz. Early in the morning he used to enter this room, stay inside for sometime and come out again locking it once more. Two of the ministers were always looking for an excuse to bring down Ayaz in the eyes of the Sultan. One day they said to the Sultan, “Ayaz has stolen a part of your treasure and kept it in a room. He is looking for a chance to revolt against you. No one can enter his room as he keeps it locked.”

The Sultan fell into doubt and issued an order that when Ayaz is in his service the next morning, the two of them would break the lock, enter the room and bring to him whatever they find there.

The next day when Ayaz joined the duty to serve the Sultan the two ministers went to his room accompanied by their laborers and bullock carts etc. They broke the lock and entered the room. But all they saw there were an old dress and a pair old shoes. They said to themselves that no one would put a lock just for a tattered dress and shoes. The treasure is probably buried in the room. Thus they began to dig the room. The deeper they dug the more ashamed they felt. At last the two of them came to the Sultan in fear.

The king learnt of their jealousy and lies and said, “If Ayaz is satisfied you can be saved.” The vizier fell down at the feet of Ayaz and offered to give him all his wealth. Ayaz said, “The judgment rests with the Sultan.” The Sultan forgave the two ministers and then asked Ayaz why he had locked an empty room and why he visited it every day? That is, why he had been the center of some people's doubt?

Ayaz said, “O Sultan! I was a destitute before entering your service. I did not possess anything other than that dress and a pair of shoes. By the grace of the Sultan I have everything today. I fear that one day I may become disobedient and revolt. That is why I keep that dress and shoes in that room. Everyday I go there so that I may not become proud. So that I always remember that whatever I have is given to me by the Sultan.”

In the same way every person should remember his past.

So let man consider of what he is created: He is created of water pouring forth (sperm).26

In the couplets of Maulana Rumi:

You are a germ. You became a lump of flesh by the synthesis of dirt. Even though you might have earned great fame and influence in the world. You were born from the sperm. Leave your ego. O Ayaz! Remember that tattered old dress. That way Ayaz, brimming with intelligence had hung his clothes and old shoes. Every morning he entered the room alone and said, “These are your shoes. Do not look up!” Right now in the state that you are will bring ecstasy. It will remove intelligence from the brain and shame from the heart. It was for this reason that Azazeel became Iblis. He asked how Adam is superior to me?

It is recommended to repeat the following sentences after the Afternoon (Asr) prayer:

“O Allah! Whatever bounty we have is from You. There is no deity except You. I seek forgiveness from You and repent to You.”

Similarly we should remember the following sentences of Dua Abu Hamzah Thumali:

O my chief! I was that nonentity whom You exalted. I am that same weakling whom You bestowed strength. I am that same needy person whom You enriched. I am that same deviated person whom You guided. I am that same lowly creature whom You have made a great person.

Believers in Difficulties and Polytheists in Comfort

The Holy Quran says,

So when they ride in the ships they call upon Allah, being sincerely obedient to Him, but when He brings them safe to the land, lo! They associate others (with Him); thus they become ungrateful for what We have given them, so that they may enjoy; but they shall soon know.27

The verse shows that people in difficulties tend to become religious but once they gain comfort they forget their religiosity. But such people cannot escape divine punishment that will soon catch up with them.

Forgetting the Favors

The Almighty Allah says,

And when distress afflicts a man he calls upon his Lord turning to Him frequently; then when He makes him possess a favor from Him, he forgets that for which he called upon Him before, and sets up rivals to Allah that he may cause (men) to stray off from His path. Say: Enjoy yourself in your ungratefulness a little, surely you are of the inmates of the fire.28

A Wrong Notion

In the same Surah we have the following verse,

So when harm afflicts a man he calls upon Us; then, when We give him a favor from Us, he says: I have been given it only by means of knowledge. Nay, it is a trial, but most of them do not know.29

All blessings are from Allah

The wretched man says that I have got these blessings because of my knowledge, experience, my strength, power and ability. He forgets who has given him this knowledge, strength, ability and experience. If he had considered, he would have known that Allah has bestowed upon him all these blessings for a short period of time, and Allah is the Master of everything. And He gives these blessings through the means of such causes.

When the fact will be known

It is a matter of sorrow that man wants to remain in the darkness of ignorance. He wants to continue to see the dream of his silly ideas and wrong notions. When death comes and the Day of Judgment arises, at that time he would know the truth. He would see, that the causes, which he was considering not as means of getting bounties, but directly effective, they are just the means. But when the truth will be known, his eyes will open.

In the third volume of Kifayatul Muwahhideen, on page number 292 a tradition mentioned as follows: When the truth is revealed, he would be so ashamed that he would wish to hide in a pit of Hell as soon as possible, so that he is saved from shame and disgrace. But he does not know that he has lost the opportunity of salvation by his own self.

They have come alone and would return alone

The God Almighty says in Surah Anam:

And certainly you have come to us alone as We created you at first, and you have left behind your backs the things which We gave you, and We do not see with you your intercessors about whom you asserted that they were (Allah's) associates in respect to you; certainly the ties between you are now cut off and what you asserted is gone from you.30

In the commentary of this verse in Tafsir al-Mizan, it is written that this noble verse informs that, in the new life man will know the reality of life. On the Day of Judgment he will be resurrected again and produced before the Lord and then he will know the reality.

He will come to know that the ability, which he had to do something, was also given by Allah. In the world, none but Allah made arrangements of his life. He had a wrong notion that man's planning was only efficacious. He was thinking that, equipment, properties and children, wives and relatives, all by themselves are having some effect in life, but there he will know that it was a baseless thing. In the same way, he considered other gods to be associates of Allah, and thought that they would recommend for him before Allah. It was also a wrong notion and they were not supposed to be worshipped at all.

Imploring the Causes is Deviation

Yes, like the other parts of the world, man is also a part of it. Like the other components he is also under the command of Allah. He is proceeding towards the destination, which Allah has destined for him. Of all the things in this world none can interfere in His kingdom and destiny. Causes that apparently seem to be effective are so due to the effects given to them by Allah. Not one of their effects is permanent and none of their effects is without the help or blessing of Allah.

But what can be done if man destroys himself upon the apparent effects of this physical life? He thinks that these means and causes are everything. Because of this misunderstanding, he folds his hands in front of them and implores them. He becomes unmindful of the Original Cause (Allah). The One Who is his Creator and Master as well as of those means and causes.

The matter goes to the extent that gradually on account of the effect of those causes he considers them to be permanent. He tries his best that these causes fulfill all his requirements and provide him with all the physical comforts. He spends his whole life in this misunderstanding and false hopes. He forgets the Quranic verse:

And life of this world is nothing but play.31

One who forgets Allah, gets himself forgotten

It is a fact and Quran has made it clear in different verses. For example it says:

Those who forsook Allah, so He made them forsake their own souls: these it is that are the transgressors.32162

When death comes, the soul is separated from the body. Connection with all the physical possessions and resources ends at that time. When alive, the body was having connection with those resources and means. But now that it is dead the connections have also ended. After death man, that is his soul, will know that all these physical means were not permanent and they by themselves were nothing. Nothing and no one other than Allah is efficacious.

You have come to return to Us only33

This sentence points to the fact that on the Day of Judgment, physical causes would not be present to help him.

You have come, leaving behind whatever We had given you.34

This part of the verse shows that only Allah is the true cause. And it is a wrong notion that those causes have any effect of their own.

Now your connections have been cut off…35

Man, because of his wrong notion, thought that causes were everything and he remained stuck to them, but after death, he came to know that his idea was wrong. Now it was known that these means and causes, which made him unmindful of the remembrance of Allah, had no such respect or value.

Monotheism of Actions

A major portion of Quran is regarding 'Monotheism of Actions'. In this, man is prohibited to associate anything or anyone in the actions and deeds of Allah also. And 'Monotheism of the Being' is that Allah, in the aspect of His entity is unique. All the people of the world (except materialists) acknowledge, that the being of God is only one. The nature of man also says that the creator of this universe is one. Hence whatever polytheism is committed is not regarding 'Monotheism of the Being', rather it is committed regarding 'Monotheism of Actions'. People associate other small deities in the actions of One God. This is also polytheism.

Strengthen your Faith

That is why it is obligatory on every Muslim to strengthen the fundamentals of his Islamic belief, specially the belief in monotheism. In it lies the good fortune of this world as well as the next. He should know it with certainty that the Creator and the One who gives life is God Almighty. One Who continues and cuts short the life is also the same entity.

He only gives life and causes death.36

As creation is the action of Allah, in the same way giving sustenance and granting increase or decrease in sustenance is also in the hands of Allah only.

Allah amplifies and straitens the means of subsistence for whom He pleases;37

In the same way honor and humility is also from Him only.

O Allah, Thou exaltest whom Thou pleasest and abasest whom Thou pleasest; in Thine hand is the good…38

And that He it is Who enriches and gives to hold…39

To bestow a son, a daughter or not to give any children at all, all this is also from the will of Allah.

He grants to whom He pleases daughters and grants to whom He pleases sons. Or He makes them of both sorts, male and female; and He makes whom He pleases barren…40

It is He Who provides food and He Who gives water to drink, and cure from sickness is also in His hand alone.

He who gives me to eat and gives me to drink and when I am sick, then He restores me to Health.41

Tests and trials are from Him alone, and difficulties are also removed by Him.

And if Allah should afflict you with harm, then there is none to remove it but He: and if He intends good to you there is none to repel His grace.42

Thus whatever man gets, the will of Allah is always present in it. He Alone gives good fortune and He Alone leaves in ill luck.

Allah makes err whom He pleases and guides aright whom He pleases.43

In the same way Allah has power over the emotional states of man, like happiness and sorrow.

And that He it is who makes (men) laugh and makes (them) weep.44

In short, it should be known that in the kingdom of the Exalted Lord, no such thing happens in which His will, His permission, or consent is not there. If in the kingdom of the Creator of the universe a single leaf also grows on the tree or in the forest a blade of grass takes shape or if anywhere a leaf breaks and fall down it is only with the knowledge and will of Allah.

And there falls not a leaf but He knows it.45

Verbal confession is not enough

Though verbal confession of monotheism and brief fundamentals of faith is sufficient and if because of sins the belief is not affected, then surely it will be a cause of salvation. But an intelligent person will not be content with this limit. First of all he should try to strengthen his fundamental belief, that is, his conscience also should accept monotheism as if he is seeing God with the eyes of his conscience. His heart should be illuminated with the light of monotheism in such a way, that the lamp of his heart never extinguishes. Then his efforts should be that this light (Nur) goes on increasing. To attain this aim, it is necessary to take care of two things.

One is to safeguard from following carnal desires, and the other to completely defend the belief in monotheism. The details of these two will come later.

Worship of carnal desires is contrary to the belief in Monotheism

Worship of carnal desires means to fulfill them whether they clash with the command of Allah or not. It does not befit those who believe in the Oneness of God. Monotheists are, in fact, only those who obey Allah's commands and prohibitions. They act upon His laws. And they avoid those actions that He has prohibited. They are careful that they leave no obligatory act and commit no prohibited deed.

One who follows carnal desires can never become a true monotheist. He does not deserve to be called a monotheist. In fact he does not worship only One Allah, but he worships his carnal desires also. Rather he gives preference to carnal desires over the orders of Allah. Such a person always thinks and considers himself to be independent. He does not consider himself to be in need of Allah. That is why he does not feel it necessary to acquire God's pleasure. Rather he remains busy in keeping himself happy and in fulfillment of his lusts.

Unless man strives seriously for something, he cannot get it. One who seriously desires to adopt belief in monotheism would never give preference to anyone's word over that of God's. And one who gives preference to his carnal desires over Allah's command is not really willing to have the faith of monotheism. While one who blindly runs after carnal desires, can only satisfy them to a little extent.

Attention on belief in monotheism through words and deeds

Hence a believer is obliged to pay full attention to his speech and behavior, so that he does not deviate from the straight path of monotheism. He should refrain from all such actions, that smell of belittling God or smell of lowering the position of God. For example a believer performs a good deed; now he should not be pleased and delighted too much on performing this act.

He should always keep in mind that only Allah had given him the divine opportunity to do it. He should not speak of favors conferred by him on others. He should think that Allah had made him the medium and the cause. In the same way, if some other person does a favor to a believer, he should not flatter that person. Rather he should be thankful to Allah. And he should thank that person that he became the medium of Allah.

If someone hurts him, a believer should know that it is a test from Allah. That is why Allah has stopped His help on this occasion. He should remain fearful that he might become deserving of divine punishment and disgrace. He should pray to Allah for the removal of difficulties. He should pray for success in his work. He should never think of being independent of Allah.

He should not say: I did this and I did that, or I will do that. He should not even say: If I were not there this would have happened. I made that one wealthy, and saved that one from trouble. For this kind of talk implies that he proclaims himself to be in the place of the Lord. God should be the center of attention in all actions and speech. To the extent that it is commanded:

And do not say of anything; Surely I will do it tomorrow. Unless Allah pleases.46

Whenever you want to say something, say it in the above manner. After that it is said:

...And remember your Lord when you forget..47

That is if you have forgotten to say 'unless Allah pleases' (Insha Allah), whenever you remember it, say 'unless Allah pleases' (Insha Allah).

Hope from Allah and fear of Sins

We should never rely cent percent on our or anyone's intelligence and power. We should have absolute trust only on the unlimited power of God. If something unpleasant happens to us we should not get frightened or become sad or unhappy. But our grief and fear should be related to God. That whether Allah is displeased or angry with us or not. Whether I have become entitled to punishment or disgrace? It might not be a test, it could be some punishment. What if God does not forgive this bad deed? Hope should be from Allah only. There should be no polytheism in hope and fear also.

More subtle than the footfall of an Ant

Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) has said, “Indeed, polytheism is more subtle than the footfall of an ant.”48178

Imam has also said that such polytheism is also seen in the action of wearing the ring inverted (to have the stone on the side of palm), so that one remembers pending work etc. In the same way people put a knot on the handkerchief, etc. as reminder for some errand.

Albeit, such acts normally do not come into the realm of polytheism. It is polytheism when total hope (complete trust) is put on the ring or the knot, that it will surely make one remember things. But if for instance one thinks that 'if God wills I will remember due to these means', this act would be according to monotheism. And if Allah does not wish, whatever he may do he would never be reminded of the things he wanted to remember.

Making someone a medium (Wasilah) for God is not polytheism

So the ring or the knot etc., or some person, all that are taken as mediums to make one remember something do not make one commit polytheism. Only Allah should be in the mind, that if Allah wishes, He would cause these mediums to remind one. All hope should be on God alone.

To augur evil is a kind of polytheism

To make (draw) bad omen and to rely on it is also a type of polytheism. The Holy Prophet (S) has said: “To consider bad omen, as the only effective thing is like thinking that the bad omen has interfered in the actions of God. That is one has committed polytheism with regard to God's actions if one has followed a bad omen.” The tradition above and the one following, both are quoted on page 66 of Vol. II of Hayatul Haiwan. The Holy Prophet (S) has also said, “One who retraces his steps thinking a bad omen has occurred has committed polytheism.”

And Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq (a.s.) has said that the Holy Prophet (S) remarked, “Not paying attention to bad omen is itself an expiation of it.”

What is a superstition?

To consider something having good or bad influence while God has not made it to be so is known as 'superstition'. As a matter of fact he has made those things as partners of Allah.

For example, he is about to do something sensible, but all of a sudden he or someone else in his presence sneezes. Now he leaves whatever he was about to do thinking that this sneeze would affect the outcome of whatever he was about to do. This is superstition and a kind of polytheism.

Sneeze is a blessing

This wrong notion is so widespread that people have named it 'patience'. When someone sneezes, people tell him that 'patience' has occurred. Now that work should not be continued. Although logically or by any rule of Shariah the sneeze by itself is not the cause of any incident to occur in future. Rather, according to Islam, one who sneezes is supposed to have blessings and forgiveness. And it can be said that at that time, whatever was said or done had the blessing of God.

‘Inauspicious moment’ is also nonsense

There are many people, who by observing planets and stars predict future events. They inform about the benefit or loss that may occur in future. On the basis of their own wrong notion or on the basis of astrological predictions they count certain definite moments or times as inauspicious. And if they had decided to do something at that particular time they will not do it. This is also a kind of polytheism.

If man knows that profit and loss is in the powerful hands of God, if he begs for God's help through supplications or charity (Sadaqah), then that is a proof of monotheism. If at all Allah wishes, then surely he will get the good of it.

Amirul Momineen (a.s.) marches to Naharwan

'Khawarij' is the plural of Khariji (one who goes out). Some soldiers of Ali (a.s.) left their allegiance to him and started opposing him. Ali (a.s.) decided to fight those Khawarij and began his march towards Naharwan. Afif Ibne Qais said, “O Amirul Momineen (a.s.), I am afraid that if you move at this time, you will not get success. I say this on the basis of astrology. The position of the stars indicates weakness of Muslims.”

Imam said, “Do you think you can tell the hour when a man goes out and no evil befall him or can warn of the time at which if one goes out harm will accrue? Whoever testifies to this, falsifies the Quran and becomes unmindful of God in achieving his desired objective and in warding off the undesirable.” The Quran says:

And if Allah should hasten the evil to men as they desire the hastening of good, their doom should certainly have been decreed for them.49

These kinds of verses show that good and bad is under the control of God. Man does not even know what he would do tomorrow. This is implied in the following verse:

And no one knows what he shall earn on the morrow50

The person having such a wrong notion does not seek God's help. He considers himself needless of God in achieving good and avoiding calamities.

“You cherish saying this so that he who acts on what you say should praise you rather than God because according to your misconception you have guided him about the hour in which he would secure benefit and avoid harm.”51

Marched at the same time and returned victorious

In brief, Ali (a.s.) did not accept the view of Afif and he said to his companions: “March forward taking the name of God and in the shade of His help, and always seek the assistance of God Almighty.” Thus immediately at that hour Imam invaded the Khawarjis, and was victorious in that battle. Nine Kharijis ran away and the rest were killed. In comparison very few of Ali's men were killed.

Crowing of the crow

Just as sneezing, which is considered a bad omen, other silly ideas are also prevalent among the general public. Many things are considered as bad omen; and are thought to affect future happenings. This is a kind of polytheism. For example listening to crowing of crow is considered by some as inauspicious. If an owl sits on a wall it is said to be a bad omen. Number 13 is considered inauspicious. If during a journey a bird crosses ones path from right or left, it is considered a sign of inauspiciousness. At the time of coming out of the house if a handicapped person is seen, it is considered inauspicious. Guests arriving or leaving on Sunday and Wednesday eve and visiting a sick person on these eves is considered to be a cause of misfortune.

To consider someone as auspicious or inauspicious is also nonsense

A person purchases a house and starts living in it, gets married and children are born. But he falls into calamities at some time; hence he says that the house is inauspicious. His wife is unlucky; some children are unlucky. But when he makes new gains the same house becomes auspicious again and the same wife and children now become auspicious and are welcomed. All these are superstitions and such talk is nonsense. This is a kind of polytheism. It is against monotheism. Only Allah is the Master of profit and loss, and good or evil.

Misunderstanding

If someone says that his belief is based on experience, it is a misunderstanding. It is not necessary that one who considers some occasion as inauspicious, every work he undertakes at that time will be unsuccessful or will not be done properly, or problems will arise. In fact equal possibility is there that it may prove good for him. It is expected from a man, that on every occasion, he perform his work with perfect trust in Allah (having faith in Allah's power). Now good or bad, whatever is in his fate, is the will of Allah. There is nothing unpleasant in it. One who considers something or some occasion to be inauspicious and that it affects future events should know that it has no relation whatsoever with the future. Whatever is to happen is bound to happen, someone may or may not sneeze.

Inauspiciousness lies in wrong beliefs and disapproved qualities

In the city of Antioch, three prophets of God arrived and started preaching to the inhabitants so that they accept Allah as their cherisher and worship Him. That they embrace the religion of Allah and have faith on the Day of Judgment. They told these prophets:

They said: surely we augur evil from you.52

Because of your presence we are suffering from so many difficulties and problems. As a matter of fact the King of Antioch had in the beginning shown displeasure towards those prophets and to those few who had declared their faith in them. The prophets replied:

Your evil fortune is with you (Because of your own deeds).53

Your beliefs are wrong. Your qualities are undesirable. And this is your misfortune, and evil omen.

Do not care for Bad Omen

Imam Sadiq (a.s.) has said, “Bad omen is according to the way you think. If you do not care for it, it will prove to be a thing not worth caring for. And if you consider it to be absolutely non-existent and an imaginary thing, it will prove to be non-existent and imaginary.”54

There is a famous tradition of the Prophet, called the tradition of Rafa. A part of it is as follows: When the companions asked the Prophet, “We are in the habit of taking bad omens.” That is, we unknowingly talk of bad omen. The Prophet said, “Whenever you speak of bad omen, do not have faith on it and do not become habituated to it.”

Travel on Wednesday and its Supplication

If it is said that, Wednesday is an inauspicious day, then in this regard there is a tradition of Holy Infallibles that we must not worry about it.

A tradition of Safinatul Bihar says:

One who leaves his house on Wednesday, and as apposed to those who consider bad omens, he does not turn back home; he is saved from all calamities. He remains safe from all difficulties and Allah fulfills his aim (for which he undertook the journey)55

There is a tradition from Imam Ali Ridha (a.s.) that one should read the following supplication while beginning a journey on a Wednesday: “O my Lord! I seek protection from that wickedness, which I find in my own self. So save me from this mischief.”56

Imam has taught supplications in which a person invokes: I seek your protection from the inauspiciousness of this Wednesday. Rather, Imam teaches us to say: I want to come out of the evil, which is present in my own self, into the shade of Your protection.

We must always augur good

It should not remain unsaid that to augur good is recommended and Shariah also commands it. The Messenger of Allah (S) has said, “Indeed, to augur good is liked by Allah. Taking a good omen is like a person on seeing someone, or by hearing his name, or by any other relevant matter imagines happiness and deliverance from affliction for himself.”57

For example, if a co-traveler is named 'Nasrullah' (help of Allah), one should say, “If Allah wills, by the auspiciousness of your name, Allah's help and assistance would remain with us all the way.” Narrations mention that in the battle against infidels in Hudaibiyah, when the companions arrived, the Prophet taking relevance from their name (Sahl=easy) said, “Our mission was made easy.”

Auguring evil is related to polytheism

Yes, the meaning of auguring evil is that upon seeing a handicapped person on the way one thinks that the control over the profit and loss of the work for which he was going has slipped from Allah's Hand, and now it is in the hands of “seeing that handicapped person”.

One begins to take an imaginary thing as effective and does not consider the effect and control of God. That is, he does polytheism in God's actions. On the contrary if one augurs good, his good opinion in respect of Allah and his hopes increase. He does not consider these imaginary things to be effective, rather he considers Allah as the only effective power.

Conclusion

Monotheists should consider all good and evil, all profit and loss, all kinds of hope for goodness and deliverance from evil, to be related only with God. One should use the causes as means, but all ones hopes should be in the will and pleasure of God. With regard to effect the causes are not cut off and independent from Allah. Hope should be only from Allah. He can make any cause as means and He may, if He so likes, does not make some cause as the means and without the involvement of any cause He exercises His will. Considering causes to be necessarily effective is a kind of polytheism. Such imaginary things and bad omens have no effect of their own.

Making Imams as intermediaries is not polytheism

Certain ignorant people, like the Wahhabis, label the Shias as polytheists, because they consider their Imams to be inter-mediaries between them and God. They invoke Allah in their names and repose hope in their intercession. On the basis of this they allege (May Allah give us refuge!) that, Shias worship their Imams.

The reply to this allegation is that Shias never consider their Imams as partners of Allah. They are true believers in monotheism. They consider the Holy Prophet (S) and the Twelve Imams to be creatures of Allah and His proximate servants. They consider the worship of anyone other than Allah as polytheism and a prohibited act. They obey the Holy Prophet (S) and the Twelve Imams because it is the command of Allah to do so.

O you who believe! obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those in authority from among you…58

And whatever the Apostle gives you, accept it, and from whatever he forbids you, keep back.59

It is proved with categorical proofs that the Twelve Imams from Ahlul Bayt (Household of the Prophet) are the true successors and legatees of the Prophet. The Holy Prophet (S) himself has clearly commanded to obey and follow them, while obedience to the Prophet is in fact obedience to Allah.

Visitation (Ziyarat) is not deification

Yes, to visit the graves of the beloved servants of Allah is not polytheism. Shias do not worship the Imams by going for their Visitation (Ziyarat). Rather it is an expression of respect and humility.

Common sense dictates that the servants of Allah should be humble before Him. Intelligence demands that fear of Allah and humility to Him should be shown by everyone. In the same way to respect the favorite servants of Allah is a proof of obeisance to Allah.

To love the beloved ones of Allah is to love Allah.60

The Quran also commands the Muslims to honor and respect the Holy Prophet (S). For example it is said:

Do not raise your voices above the voice of the Prophet, and do not speak loud to him.61

Do not hold the Apostle's calling (you) among you to be like you calling one to the other.62

That is, do not call the Messenger like you call each other, but say, “O Messenger of Allah (S).”

That you may believe in Allah and His Apostle and may aid him and revere him; and (that) you may declare His glory, morning and evening.63

It is also established with solid proofs that the Twelve Imams are included in this command, as they are having the same respectful position. They are all from the same light (Nur); and as the respect of the Prophet is obligatory, in the same way their (Twelve Imams') respect is also obligatory.

Respecting the kings and rulers

It is a matter of great astonishment that those who say, in opposition to Shias, that respecting the Holy Prophet (S) and his Progeny is polytheism, themselves behave with great respect and honor towards the rulers, the people of authority and rather every wealthy person. In fact the Holy Prophet (S) has prohibited humility to rich people when he said, “Allah destroys two thirds of the faith of one who shows humility towards a wealthy person, just because of his wealth.”64

This tradition indicates that besides humility to the wealthy with one's words and actions while also having a similar feeling in the heart, because of his wealth, can cause the destruction of two-third of ones religion. But if the wealthy person is religious also, and respect is shown because of his piety, then it would be respect of religion, and respect of Allah's religion is respect of Allah Himself.

Taking someone as intermediary is different from considering him a deity

To take the Prophet and other dignitaries of religion as intermediaries in the court of Allah for fulfillment of worldly and other worldly aims and desires, or to consider them as intercessors, who by the will and permission of Allah would be our helpers in delivering us from physical losses as well as getting us spiritual values is not polytheism.

There is a difference in taking someone as intermediary in the court of Allah from considering someone as God. Allah has bestowed such power and capability to the Imams that with the permission and will of Allah they can help the servants of Allah. They can lift up the fallen ones, they can save them from stumbling over or colliding with something, they can save them from afflictions and misfortune and they can take those on the roads to their destination.

Making them intermediaries is just like one goes to a doctor or takes medicine and considers them as means to good health, which would be ultimately provided by Allah. If Allah had not permitted, the doctor or the medicine would not have healed. In the same way if Allah did not wish, the Prophet and Imams also would not have helped. Everything depends on Allah. If a person feels himself to be incapable or unable to reach the King on his own, he seeks help of those courtiers who are favorites and confidantes of the King and makes them his intermediaries. In this way there is no disrespect to the King.

The great Muhaddith Iraqi has narrated many incidents regarding the mediation of Ahlul Bayt and the fulfillment of needs through them in his book Darus Salam. We relate here one of those incidents. On page 539 of this book the incident begins as follows:

The fifth miracle is regarding Mulla Abdul Husain Khwansari who was a reliable and an upright person. He was an attendant at the shrines of Karbala’ and was famous as 'Turbate Pech'. He used to collected the 'dust of cure' (Khake Shifa) from venerable places with proper procedure as mentioned in traditions and distributed it to the pilgrims. It was the beginning period of my being an attendant, that in a religious gathering I happened to meet him. I found him to be very pious and virtuous.

I came to know that he had the opportunity to be the attendant of and in serving the holy shrine for many years. I requested him to narrate some miracle that he himself has witnessed. Of the astonishing things related by him is the following: I was living Khwansar. For some time I stayed in a town near the city of Burujard and then I stayed in villages. At last, one day, I got a passion to serve at the purified grave of Imam Husain (a.s.).

It was winter and I did not have adequate means for travel. But still I acquired two asses. Canopied seats and saddles were made from tree branches for loading grapes. I purchased two such saddles. In one I arranged to seat my children one of whom was named Hasan. In the other seat, I spread a quilt, and on that quilt I seated my wife. Then I started towards Burujard (probably he himself was sitting on the back of the donkey outside the seat), so that from there I may start my journey to Karbala’.

Incidentally, the priest of that village Mulla Muhammad Ja'far met me. He showed his favor, grace and kindness. But when he came to know about my intention and determination, he started telling me, that I should not go, saying, it is very cold, and you do not have proper things to protect yourselves. In such circumstances it is not proper for you to proceed. We had too much discussion and in the end he was disappointed. He drew a line with his finger on the ground and said, “You are going, but, this way you will kill your children, you remember this day and this line.”

He said this and went away, and we again started our journey. Till by the Grace of Allah and by means of the attention of Fatima Zahra, we all finally reached Karbala’ safe and sound. Some time passed after this incident. Hitherto, people from my area also came for Ziyarat. Some were from my village also. Among them, a nephew of Mulla Muhammad Ja'far was also present. I thought that since they had come from my village, I should keep them as guests.

That way they will also see that not only we have reached safe and sound, but we have started receiving the necessary requirement and means for sustenance also to a certain extent. The line Mulla Muhammad Ja'far had drawn to prevent us had no effect at all. Hence I went to my house at the time of breakfast. A piece of cloth was spread on the ground for serving the dishes. Whatever food we had prepared was put on it, then discussion started. My elder son, Hasan was playing in the courtyard. Our house was situated on the third floor. Suddenly Hasan climbed the ladder leading to the roof. After climbing to the roof, he inclined himself forward to see us through the window. We had hardly seen him in that position that he fell down to the ground in the narrow street below and died immediately.

The events changed and joy turned to gloom. On seeing the condition of the child, I ran towards the shrine of Imam Husain (a.s.), bare head and bare foot. On the entrance door, I requested and said, “Assalaamu Alaika Ya Waretha Isa Ruhillah” (Peace be upon you O' inheritor of Isa, the Spirit of Allah), then, I entered and clung to the Zari65. I loosened the shawl tied to my waist. I tied one end of the shawl to the lock of the Zari, and the other to my neck. Then I started weeping aloud. I said, “I swear, by your mother Zahra I will not accept that the line of Mulla Muhammad Ja'far should affect us.

And his words should not prove right. It should not be so! Attendants, pilgrims and others present in the shrine gathered around me. They were surprised on seeing my condition. They were asking the reason for it, but they were not getting any answer. Some thought, that I had gone mad. A religious scholar who stayed in my neighborhood came to me, calling me to join in the funeral rites of my son.

Through him people came to know what had befallen me. My religious scholar neighbor started advising me; consoling me, “O Mulla, you are an intelligent person. The dead do not become alive. Come on, let us take away the dead body. The mother is about to destroy herself on seeing her child.” But I did not agree. So he started reproaching me. Others also joined him. I said, “Please leave me alone. I have no concern with you all, why are you troubling me unnecessarily?” People began to ridicule me and then they went out of the shrine to carry away my son's bier. My condition deteriorated from what it was before once again.

I started wailing loudly, “I swear by your mother Zahra, I will not move from your Zari. I will not come out from your shrine, even if I die. Or that Allah should take away my life, or return my son Hasan to me.” I had torn the neck of my shirt. I was hitting my head on the Zari, till it was almost noon. Suddenly, a noise was heard from the gallery and courtyard of the shrine. People were seen running here and there. I could not understand what had happened. Then I saw people entering the shrine in the form of a procession. When I looked carefully, I saw my son walking towards me. My neighboring religious scholar was holding his hand. His mother was just behind.

People were reciting Salawat. Having seen this, I threw myself on the ground. I kissed the stone near the Zari. I prostrated in front of Allah, thanking Him. Then I got up and embraced my son. Then I kissed his eyes. I asked people about the happening, and the religious scholar said, “We had taken him for the last rites to the corpse bath-house outside the city and had just put the first bowl of water on his head, that we found his temple throbbing from both the sides. It seemed, as if someone was massaging it. Then there was some movement in the head, and all of a sudden he sneezed once; then he got up as if he had just awakened from sleep. Then we dressed him and brought him here for the Ziyarat of the shrine and to give you the good news of this miracle.”

Muhaddith Iraqi says, “We have seen this boy Hasan many a times after that. Today on Friday 26th of Jamadiul-Awwal 1300 A.H. also, by the wish of Allah, he is alive. Although his father, Mulla Abdul Husain passed away a long time ago.”

If it is said that Allah is more kind to and nearer to humans than He is to any of His creatures, so what is the need of anyone's intercession? Many Quranic verses and traditions are present in reply to such a notion but we will be content to mention only two verses.

In Surah an-Nisa’ it is said:

And (O Prophet), had they, when they were unjust to themselves, (by not obeying) come to you and asked forgiveness of Allah and the Apostle (you) had (also) asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah oft-returning (to mercy), Merciful.66196

This honorable verse clearly proves that the Holy Prophet (S) is given the authority to intercede.

After the demise of the Holy Prophet (S)

In Tafsir Minhajus Sadiqeen, it is narrated that Amirul Momineen Ali (a.s.) said, “When the Holy Prophet (S) passed away and we buried him, three days had passed that a Bedouin came and sat near the head of the grave. Keeping his head on the soil of the grave he was saying, “O Messenger of Allah (S)! We heard whatever you said, we believed, but whatever you had brought from Allah, for us, the truth is, that we did not act upon it. The Almighty has said in the book you brought for us:

And (O Prophet), had they, when they were unjust to themselves, (by not obeying), come to you and asked forgiveness of Allah and the Apostle (you) had (also) asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah off-returning (to mercy), Merciful.67

O Messenger of Allah (S)! I have oppressed myself, now I have come to you, so that you may ask forgiveness for me.”

A voice came from the Prophet's grave: Allah has forgiven you!

In another tradition it is said that those present in the mosque also heard that voice and all started weeping.

Prophet Yaqub (a.s.) interceded for his sons

When the conspiracy Yusuf's brothers became evident, they fell at the feet of Prophet Yaqub (a.s.).

They said: O our father! Ask forgiveness (in the court of Allah) of our faults for us, surely we were sinners. Yaqub said: I will (soon) ask for you forgiveness from my Lord; surely He is the forgiving, the Merciful.68

It is written in Tafsir Minhajus Sadiqeen that, Prophet Yaqub (a.s.) fixed the dawn of Friday as the time to ask forgiveness for them. It is reported that, for more than twenty years on every Friday dawn Prophet Yaqub (a.s.), used to command his sons to form a row of congregation and he used to pray and ask forgiveness for them and they used to say 'Amen'. At last, after twenty years their repentance was accepted.

In short, this verse clearly shows that the subject of intercession was present in all the previous divine laws.

Hidden Wisdoms of Intercession

There are many expediencies of intercession. One is that in this way, the position and honor of the venerable people of religion becomes manifest. In this way people follow and accept their spirituality and saintliness and also gain spiritual and intellectual benefits. They have their needs and wishes fulfilled. People also obey them in all their commands based on Allah's commands and prohibitions.

There is no doubt that one who has hope in the intercession of the Holy Prophet (S) and his vicegerents would also follow their commands sincerely. Even if sometimes he disobeys their commands it is surely never because of his carelessness and obstinacy. Rather it would be due to his getting overwhelmed by carnal desires. In the end, such a person will get the divine opportunity to seek forgiveness and pardon. And he will get salvation because of the intercession of these great personalities. (Mere repentance is not enough for forgiveness, intercession is also necessary.)

Cure of the disease of polytheism

When man reaches the age of maturity, on the basis of his experience and perceptions he concludes that for his or others' physical life and development, some special physical means are beneficial. In the same way deliverance from evil and loss in life also needs some special physical means. He sees that different eatables satisfy his hunger. Different types of drinks quench his thirst. Different types of clothes keep him safe from cold and hot climates. As a result of his efforts he earns riches, while laziness and carelessness do not get him comforts and prosperity. With the help of a doctor and medicines he gets relief from pain and diseases. Plants grow with the help of water and sunlight, and the rotation of the earth causes days and nights.

Now if man considers these physical means to be permanently and absolutely effectual with regard to those things, it would be polytheism. The remedy of this disease is that he should use his reason. He should think over it. He should see that no physical existing thing is everlasting. But there is some such being (ever-existent, everlasting and self existing) that looks after all these things in a very organized manner.

For instance, he may look at his own self. He may try to understand his initial conditions when he was in the womb; and before that he was a particle in his fathers' body. By the Power and Grace of Allah relation was established between his father and mother and it so happened that vegetables and beverages etc. which became part of the body of his parents, the same became part of his body also. Almighty Allah gathered a handful of particles and made him a person who is wise, and one who can speak, listen and understand.

There surely came over man a period of time when he was a thing not worth mentioning. Surely we have created man from a small life-germ uniting (itself): We mean to try him, so we have made him hearing, seeing.69

It is somewhat same with all the existing parts of the world. Analysis about them will also show that they have come into existence from nothingness. Hence there certainly is a creator, Who brought them into existence and Who sustained and nourished them till they reached the present state.

Cause and Effect

Nothing can come into existence on it's own. There is definitely someone who has created it. A creator is a must for every creature. In the same way every creature, after being created and after its coming into existence, has some signs and qualities. These signs and qualities are known as secondary excellences. The basic and initial excellence of everything comes into existence from nothingness. A creator is required for this also. In the same way, for example, the Creator has created man who is hearing and seeing. These senses of hearing and seeing are his secondary excellences. The Creator or the cause of these effects is also the one who is the creator of human existence.

Effect of the causes

No one can deny the law of cause and effect. If paper burns due to fire; then looking at the burnt paper and the fire who will deny the fact that there is connection between fire and the attribute of burning. The cause of burning of the paper is fire, whereas the burnt paper is known as the effect. No one disagrees in this matter.

If there is any disagreement between the faithful and materialistic people, it is that whether these causes are having their effect on a permanent basis (without any concern with Allah) or in fact Allah Himself has given the effect to those causes? The disagreement is whether these causes are the real effectors or whether it is Allah. The faithful say that if Allah wishes, He may give effect to the cause and if Allah does not wish, He can make the cause ineffective. Fire may become blossoms. If Allah does not permit, medicine would become ineffective. If Allah desires, medicine will have effect. If Allah wishes, fire will burn the paper.

Therefore glory be to Him in Whose hand is the kingdom of all things, and to Him you shall be brought back.70

For further details on this subject refer to the chapters of Polytheism and Despair in Greater Sins.

Man is helpless in creation

Affairs, which are related to the intentions of man; that is, if man wants it can happen and if he does not want they don't happen. Man's power is limited to that extent. Now this capability is also given by Allah. Even if he breaks a piece of bread he expends in it the strength given to him by Allah. If Allah takes away the strength, he will not even be able to move his tongue. He will not be able to even slightly move his finger. Though man produces offspring by the will of Allah, if he is told to create a single insect from nothing, he would not be able to do so. He cannot produce something from nothing and he is helpless in this regard.

And you do not please except that Allah please, the Lord of the worlds.71

Will of Allah

Therefore it is the responsibility of every Muslim that, whenever he decides or thinks of doing something, he should also keep in mind the wish and will of Allah. He should remember that though he would perform the task, it is Allah Who may allow this work to be performed or not.

One should say ‘If Allah wills’ (Insha Allah)

Therefore 'Insha Allah' (if Allah wills) should be said. That is if Allah wills I would be able to do this or that. The Holy Quran clearly states:

And do not say of anything: Surely I will do it tomorrow, unless Allah pleases…72

The moral conclusion is that, without Allah's will, man cannot do anything on his own.

With the expectations being broken

In Nahjul Balagha there is this famous sentence of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) that:

I recognize Allah because of intentions being broken, knots getting untied and courages being tattered (broken).

And in Ghurarul Hikam this is followed by:

And one who made his intention sincere for Allah, seeing his afflictions were dispelled I recognized Allah.

That is, failure of intentions is also one of the proofs to recognize Allah. Often it so happens, that a person intends to do or not to do something, but suddenly he changes his intention. There must surely be some or the other reason for the breaking of that aim and intention. It shows that there is a power, which is more powerful than man's intentions.

A proof to recognize Allah is the untying of knots or solution of problems. This only happens when Allah wills. Hardship and difficulty comes only when Allah permits. Difficulties and problems go away only when Allah commands.

Dua Faraj and release of Hasan Muthanna

We shall now relate a historical incident as an example:

Walid bin Abdul Malik bin Marwan wrote a letter to Salih bin Abdullah Al Murry the governor of Medina that, Imam Hasan Mujtaba's son, Hasan be brought out of prison to the Prophet's mosque and he should be lashed five hundred times. Salih brought out the noble man from the prison to the mosque and people assembled. Then he went to the pulpit, to read the order of Walid and then act upon it.

At that particular time Imam Ali bin Husain, Zainul Abideen entered the mosque. He went to Hasan Muthanna and said, “O cousin! Supplicate Allah with Dua Faraj!” He asked, “What supplication is that?” The Imam taught him the supplication, which is as follows: There is no God but Allah, Who is Forbearing, and Merciful. There is no God but Allah, Who is High and Great. Glory be to Allah the Lord of the Seven Heavens and the Lord of the Seven Earths and the Lord of the Great Throne. And all praise is to Allah the Lord of the worlds.

After teaching this supplication, the Imam went away. Hasan Muthanna began to repeat this supplication till Salih finished reading the letter. Then he descended the pulpit to execute Walid's order. Suddenly Salih said, “Hasan is innocent in my view and for the time being we should postpone executing the order. I would first contact the Caliph.”

Governor Salih wrote a letter to the Caliph in reply to which Walid wrote: “Release him from the jail.” Hence Salih freed Hasan Muthanna.73

Beyond the Will of Allah

Such incidents are numerous. Rather we all have seen many times that no matter how much we try, our intentions are not fulfilled while sometimes a problem is solved easily. Hence it should be understood by conviction that our heart and that of all the people is under the control of Allah. Allah says in Quran:

…and know that Allah intervenes between man and his heart, and that to Him you shall be gathered…74

If you could only understand!

If man gives a deep thought, he will know by conviction that Allah knows each and every aspect of his life. He is connected to Allah with each breath, and even his aims and intentions are connected to Him. Man cannot ever do anything on his own, without the help or will of Allah.

O men! You are they who stand in need of Allah, and Allah is He Who is the Self-sufficient, the Praised One.75

One who believes, having faith, knows that Allah has illumined his heart with effulgence. If he does some virtuous act, he receives help and guidance from Allah because of the purification of his soul. This is true for all the divine blessings. Therefore man should not become arrogant and proud. He should not be haughty. Rather he should remain fearful that by not being grateful that grace may be taken away. It should not happen, that some detestable attribute or hypocrisy is hidden in it. It should not happen that he performs some sinful or evil act.

It should not happen that Allah might leave him on his own i.e. Allah may not inspire him to do good and refrain from evil. He may take away his opportunity (Tawfeeq). It is a must for man to fear Allah and not to be disappointed from His grace as well. He should always show dependence and humility to Allah and know for sure, that if he does not leave his attachment with Allah, Allah will never deprive him.

Necessary to understand

Hence what is important is that man should feel that he is needful and dependent in the court of Allah in all destined matters as well as the optional acts, which are in his power. He should know that he is indeed a slave of Allah. He belongs to Allah and Allah is his Master. Allah cherishes him. Allah does his upbringing and Allah is his Sustainer and Provider. He is, in all conditions, in the control of Allah and all the goodness rests in the hand of Allah.

“From where is the 'good' my Lord? And we do not find it except from You.”76

Man cannot even purify himself till Allah does not give him true guidance.

Rather whomsoever Allah wishes, makes him pure.77

He may forgive us

If one is sincere in religion and fears that death can arrive at any moment, one should ensure that roots of polytheism and hypocrisy are not hidden in him. Polytheism and hypocrisy enter the heart more stealthily than the footfall of an ant on a stone in the darkness of the night. Man should understand the Oneness of Allah in detail. Supplications related by Ahlul Bayt, should not be neglected.

These supplications have treasures of divine recognition and rules of worship. One should always ask for ones needs from the Needless Lord.

Man should ask the Lord for divine help and guidance to get rid of the diseases of infidelity and hypocrisy. He should especially pray for the reappearance of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) and also ponder on the meanings of the supplications of Sahifa Kamila.

Dua Jaushan Kabir and Dua Arafah

Supplications beneficial for monotheism, on whose meaning man should continue to ponder, are among others the Dua Jaushan Kabir and the supplication that Imam Husain (a.s.) recited on the day of Arafah. These supplications, from the beginning to the end are about the monotheism of actions of Allah and with regard to norms of worship. We conclude this discussion in the name of the Chief of martyrs, Imam Husain (a.s.), who is the expression of Allah's enormous blessings. We hope that with their blessings, Allah would shower us with such blessings, that all our spiritual pollution is removed.

  • 1. Surah Hajj 22:31.
  • 2. Surah Hajj 22:73.
  • 3. Surah Saffat 37:95–96.
  • 4. Surah Zumar 39:3.
  • 5. Surah Ankabut 29:17.
  • 6. Surah Tawbah 9:30
  • 7. Surah Jathiya 45:23.
  • 8. Surah Araaf 7:30.
  • 9. Surah Yasin 36:60.
  • 10. Surah Tawbah 9:31.
  • 11. Usul al-Kafi, Chapter of Polytheism.
  • 12. Surah Maryam 19:93
  • 13. Surah Kahf 18:110.
  • 14. Surah Maidah 5:27.
  • 15. Persian Couplets.
  • 16. Surah Baqarah 2:207.
  • 17. Surah Baqarah 2:204.
  • 18. Arabic Couplets.
  • 19. Surah Zumar 39:29.
  • 20. Persian Couplets.
  • 21. Surah Ha Mim 41:30.
  • 22. Surah Araaf 7:188
  • 23. Surah Yusuf 12:106.
  • 24. Tafsir Ayyashi
  • 25. Surah Luqman 31:13.
  • 26. Surah Tariq 86:5-6
  • 27. Surah Ankabut 29:65-66.
  • 28. Surah Zumar 39:8.
  • 29. Surah Zumar 39:49.
  • 30. Surah Anam 6:94.
  • 31. Surah ash-Shura’, 42:36.
  • 32. Surah Hashr 59:19.
  • 33. Al an-Aam, 6:94.
  • 34. Al an-Aam, 6:94.
  • 35. Al an-Aam, 6:94.
  • 36. Surah Ali Imran 3:156.
  • 37. Surah Ra’d 13:26.
  • 38. Surah Ali Imran 3:26.
  • 39. Surah Najm 53:48.
  • 40. Surah Shura 42:49-50.
  • 41. Surah Shuara 26:79-80.
  • 42. Surah Yunus 10:108.
  • 43. Surah Yunus 35:8.
  • 44. Surah Najm 53:43.
  • 45. Surah Anam 6:59
  • 46. Surah Kahf 18:23.
  • 47. Surah Kahf 18:24.
  • 48. Safinatul Bihar
  • 49. Surah Yunus 10:11.
  • 50. Surah Luqman 31:34.
  • 51. Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 77.
  • 52. Surah Yasin 36:18.
  • 53. Surah Yasin 36:19.
  • 54. Rawdatul Kafi, Tradition No. 235
  • 55. Safinatul Bihar Vol. 2, Pg. 102
  • 56. Safinatul Bihar Vol. 2, Pg. 103.
  • 57. Safinatul Bihar Vol. 2, Pg. 240.
  • 58. Surah an-Nisa’ 4:59.
  • 59. Surah Hashr 59:7.
  • 60. Persian Couplet.
  • 61. Surah Hujurat 49:2.
  • 62. Surah Nur 24:63.
  • 63. Surah Fath 48:9.
  • 64. Safinatul Bihar.
  • 65. Metal enclosure of a holy grave.
  • 66. Surah an-Nisa’ 4:64.
  • 67. Surah an-Nisa’ 4:64.
  • 68. Surah Yusuf 12:97-98.
  • 69. Surah Dahr 76:1-2.
  • 70. Surah Yasin 36:83.
  • 71. Surah Takwir 81:29.
  • 72. Surah Kahf 18:23-24.
  • 73. Safinatul Bihar, Vol. 1, Pg. 456
  • 74. Surah Anfal 8:24.
  • 75. Surah Fatir 35:15.
  • 76. Dua Abu Hamzah Thumali
  • 77. Surah an-Nisa’ 4:49

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