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Between The Doctrine And Supreme Authority

The best way to understand the subject in this chapter is to mention some clear explanations about the two meanings of the succession to authority. That is because the Muslims have differed over it. Moreover, it is of great importance with one of the two parties (i.e., Shi'a and non-Shi'a), and is sometimes with them both.

Here, we want to explain the succession to authority as it is with the two parties (the Shi'a and the Sunnis). Meanwhile we want to extract the necessary information from this subject.

Furthermore, we will mention details, to clarify the two different ideas of both sides. Our plan is to make a good start for reform and prosperity in this society. Our words do not endanger both parties. Rather, they are full of good and reform for all.

The succession to authority (Khilafa) is general deputyship on behalf of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, in leading the Muslims after his death. The obligatory right of the successor (Khalifa) on the people is that they should obey him. Besides the obligatory right of the people on him is that he should act according to the Book of Allah and the Sunna (practice) of His Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family.

A group of the Muslims agreed on appointing one of them to assume this deputyship on behalf of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. They affirmed him even if he intended to usurp the succession to authority illegally. Thus they affirmed the Caliphate of Mu'awiya, "who sometimes took the succession to authority by using the sword and sometimes by using the trick and policy."1

These are some examples of those who usurped the succession to authority: b. al-Zubayr, Abu al-`Abbas al-Saffah, `Abd al-Rahman al-Nasir, and the like. A group of the Muslims affirmed those who were appointed by their predecessors who took the succession to authority by force or by other means. Examples of these were `Umar, Yazid, al-Rashid, and the like. Also a group of the Muslims affirmed those who obtained the succession to authority through election. Examples of these successors were Abu Bakr, `Uthman, and Muhammad Rashad.

In appointing the successor after the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, the second party (i.e., the Shi'a) resorted to the Owner of the message (i.e., the prophet). So they (i.e., the Shi'a) did not follow any successor after him but those he himself appointed.

The two parties (i.e., the Shi'a and the Sunnis) have followed the above- mentioned theories in appointing the successor after the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family.2

As the two parties have differed over the ways of appointing the successor to authority, they have differed over changing and removing him from office. So according to the first (i.e., the Sunni) theory, the successor is removed from office when other than him is successful in overcoming him or when necessary. According to the theory of the text (i.e., the textual nomination), no one has the right to change the successor or to remove him from office.

The successor appointed by the textual nomination was not liable to any defect. That is because his position was like that of the Prophet. In other words he was infallible as the Prophet was. They both got their infallibility from Allah, the Great and Almighty. The infallibility of the nominated successor was like that of the Prophet himself, may Allah bless him and his family.

So the caliphate or the succession after the Prophet, according to the first or the Sunni theory, is general supreme authority. It is restricted by a special constitution, and it is, in fact, like modern governments. It does not differ from them but in the constitution or as they differ from each other.

Besides the holiness of such caliphate is among the qualities of the person whom the people elect. Also it is among the qualities of the person who takes it by force. Such a person is some times the best of all people in holiness, and sometimes the most rebellious of them against the religion and good manners.

However, the caliphate or the succession after the Prophet, according to the textual nomination or the Shi'ite theory, is a Divine office. So the obedience of the successor is religiously obligatory, namely as the obligatory obedience of the Prophet. Besides The caliphate, in this sense, is the shade of Prophethood which is related to the sky. However, the caliphate is related to the sky through the Prophet. For he was the source of its spirit as he was the source of the text concerning it.

As for the holiness of the second kind of caliphate, it is natural and constant as that of Prophethood itself. In other words each of the successors appointed according to the textual nomination was the holiest and the best figure of all people.

In the past, the matter of the succession to authority was the reason for creating violent riot among the Muslims, and was a source of many sorrowful tragedies in the history of Islam. Moreover, such a matter was not easy or possible at that time, for the people were stubborn. We think that it is nowadays easy and possible to bring the two parties together to accept a moderate idea. Thus they are able to discard disagreement, to adopt obligatory brotherhood, and to incline to righteousness.

That is what Muslims should take into consideration, namely they should take care of the essence, and they should discard nonessential things. They should take care of the true religion and should discard purposes. The Muslim should cling to the true Islam to please Allah. In the meantime, tribalism, feelings, and effects should not deceive him.

The matter of the religion, that is the relation between the servant and his Lord and is the start on which his final result in the hereafter is based, is unlike the worldly matters. For the latter are liable, in many of their relations, to desires, and environmental customs. Furthermore they are liable to man's, inclinations, tribalism, and effects.

As for the true Muslim, he takes care of his pure true religion.

Now, we, in the subject of the succession to authority, want to reunite Muslims to follow the true religion that is far above the foregoing things.

So the Shi'ite person must recognize the succession to authority (of the first kind) as it was on the day when it occurred. He must recognize that it is general supreme authority for Muslims, and that it is worthy of praise because of its many effects in Islam.

Also the Sunni person must recognize the succession to authority as it is. For it is a means between him and the Prophet to understand his religion. It is the fact which the authentic books (al-Sihah) have successively mentioned through various Prophetic traditions. Noteworthy it is not correct for us to discuss scientifically these traditions. For they have been reported through the best ways to which the Muslim resort to adopt his religion.

Then in this way the two parties are able to solve their main differences without injustice and selfishness.3

This research is concerning one of the successors who was appointed according to the textual nomination. However, his succession to authority was unique in the history of Islam. That is because his father designated him to be the successor after him. Then the people pledged allegiance to him after the death of his father, peace be on him.

So al-Hasan was among the first kind (of the caliphs), for he was elected. Meanwhile he was the successor to authority through the textual nomination, for the word `Imam' indicates that.

In chapter three, we have mentioned an example of the texts concerning the nomination of al-Hasan and a quick study about the way of his election and the allegiance the people pledged to him.

When al-Hasan, peace be on him, declared his final attitude, between the doctrine and supreme authority, towards Mu'awiya, he meant nothing but his right to authority. For the people elected him. Moreover, Allah had chosen him to be successor, and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, had affirmed that through his traditions. That is because no one had the right to change or alter this right, as we have previously said. Rather this right was among the unchangeable orders of Allah.

Also the hardships and the disasters that hit al-Hasan during the time of his succession do not indicate that he was a mere Imam. Rather they indicate that he was an Imam with an army and supreme authority.

No change included al-Hasan, nor did a disaster harm him during his Imamate. So he was like the Qur'an in authority.

The disagreement of the people, their disobedience, and their alienation did not harm the Qur'an. For it is the supreme authority of Muslims. It is far above falsehood. It is as it is in leading people. It is as it is in maintaining the Words of Allah. So the people do not harm it whether they accept it or refuse it, act according to its guidance or disobey it, yield to its leadership or deny it.

Such was the Imamate of al-Hasan, peace be on him.

Both the Qur'an and al-Hasan are two main elements in Islam as both law and supreme authority are two main elements in the community with the constitutional regime.

Concerning the two main elements in Islam, I (i.e., the author) mean by that what the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, denoted in his authentic or successive holy tradition when he said: "I am going to leave behind me among you two things which, if you cleave to them, you will never go astray that is the Book of Allah and my offspring from my family (Ahl al-Bayt). They will never scatter (from you) until they lead you to me at the (sacred) waters (of Heaven)." 4

Al-Hasan was among the Prophet's family at that time. He was the string of the necklace and the Imam of the people. He was the center of the circle in Islam. The Owner of the message (i.e., the Prophet) appointed him as successor for Muslims as he appointed the Qur'an as high authority for them.

I (i.e., the author) wonder: is the Imamate a thing other than this?

Think of al-Hasan, peace be on him, when you speak about reality. Then you will know that he conformed to the Words of Allah. Thus his qualities were the Qur'an, the Imamate, the two valuable things (al-thaqalan, i.e., Allah's Book and the Prophet's family), Paradise, righteousness, preventing bloodshed, and fulfilling the covenant.

Now, consider carefully the traits of the enemy of al-Hasan. They were greediness, trickery, discord, bribery, breaking the covenants, money, vanities, waging war, making raids, and the like.

It is this bad life that forced al-Hasan to dispute with Mu'awiya over the succession to authority.

Yes, al-Hasan was the (grand) son of the Apostle of Allah. He was an Imam, then what was the importance of the life in this world, of money, and of vanities?

Al-Hasan is the Lord of the youth of Heaven, as his grandfather, may Allah bless him and his family, described him. All Muslim groups have narrated this tradition on the authority of the Prophet. Also this tradition is as authentic and successive as the Qur'an that is the deepest and most eloquent of all the words of human beings.

Concerning this tradition, we want to say: In this tradition, why was al-Hasan not described as the Lord of the youth of the world? Was he not the Lord of the youth in this world, in merits, and noble deeds?

(Al-Hasan) from Hashim's (tribe), ascending to the sky,

Which made the people die of envy with its high position.

Allah refused (anything) to be for the people (i.e., the Hashimites)

However, the noble deeds of the religion and of the world without a limit.

So in this tradition, why was al-Hasan ascribed to Heaven?

Today, the person does not pay attention to this question. For he thinks that al-Hasan, whom Allah had chosen, is the Lord of the youth of Heaven, and that is enough. In other words such a person does not pay attention to the relationship between al-Hasan's supremacy and the world. That is because the tradition has been on everybody's lips for fourteen centuries. Namely, the people narrate it more than any other tradition on every occasion. So the people understand nothing from it but that al-Hasan and al-Husayn are the two Lords of Heaven, paying no attention to the foregoing question.

I (i.e., the author) wonder: Did the people understand the tradition on the day when the Prophet said it?

Yes, the Prophet called his two (grand) sons the two Lords of Heaven. For he wanted to indicate that they were not appropriate for this world full of treason and desertion. Namely, he wanted to indicate that they were not appropriate for the restless youth of that time, for they got used to hypocrisy and breaking the covenants. Generally speaking, the youth of that time were inappropriate for seeking protection with these two Lords, nor were they suitable for them. Therefore al-Hasan and al-Husayn, peace be on them, were the two Lords of the youth of Heaven. For the latter fulfilled the covenant they made with Allah. Thus Allah settled them in His chosen abode. He has removed malice from their hearts and seated them on facing beds.

Al-Hasan is the Lord of the youth of Heaven, and that is enough.

In other words, the supremacy of al-Hasan and of al-Husayn will prevail a world better than this world, and people better than these people. That is because the youth of the world refused to give them their right, mutinied against them, and denied their supremacy.

Then this world has deprived itself of their blessing, their favor, and their guidance.

Also the traitorous youth of this world have drawn on themselves shame, regret, the shame of history, and the torture of the hereafter.

Moreover, the tradition, according to this concept, is a prophetic epic. It shows the unseen from behind the unseen. It refers, through brief epics, to what the two Lords of the youth of Paradise suffered from the youth of the world. It gives the two Lords their profitable share.

Without a doubt, the person who was the Lord of Paradise or the Lord of its youth was the Lord of all the world.

The Lord of prophets, may Allah bless him and his family, had his own eloquent words. The great talented people were unable to compete with him. That is very clear in his short words which have been mentioned through the authentic chains of reporters (asanid). Then the eloquent words of the Prophet are regarded as a miracle in the vast Arabic language. The excellent feature in the Prophetic eloquent words, though short, is that they imply many meanings. They sometimes have clear meanings, and sometimes have hints. From here, the Prophet's eloquent words referred to many true miraculous predictions.

These eloquent words themselves are proofs for the authenticity of the Prophetic tradition.

Among the traditions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, concerning the textual nomination of his holy two (grand) sons al-. Hasan and. al-Husayn, peace be on him, is: "They (i.e., al-Hasan and al-Husayn) are two Imams, whether they rise or sit." If you consider carefully the surface structure of this tradition, you will understand nothing but the declaration concerning the two lords, namely al-Hasan and al-Husayn.

Then if you consider carefully the deep structure of the tradition, you will understand that the Prophet hinted to the behavior of these two Imams. Namely, the deep structure of the tradition indicates that one of them will rise and the other will sit. Besides it indicates that one of them or they both will rise one time and sit other time. Therefore, they both were two Imams, and no one has the right to oppose them in spite of their two different attitudes.

No one in Islam understood the predictions of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, than his (grand) son and successor, al-Hasan b. 'Ali. For al-Hasan understood what his grandfather meant by these two traditions, and by many other traditions.

Besides, al-Hasan was the most appropriate person for clinging to the Prophet's predictions. Thus he took the methods of his life and his death from them.

Was al-Hasan not the (grand) son of that Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family? Was he not the inheritor of his qualities? Was he not his trustee of authority over his community? Noteworthy, al Hasan suffered from his community as the Prophet suffered from his community when he propagated his message. Thus al-Hasan said as the Prophet said then: "O Allah! Guide my people, for they do not know."

Moreover, al-Hasan inherited noble qualities from the Prophet. Through them he was able to lead all Muslims in the world of Islam. Through them he was In. no need of the material force, wealth, and supreme authority. For these noble qualities themselves were forces, wealth, and supreme authority.

Accordingly, it was not important when Mu'awiya disobeyed al-Hasan, and when `Ubayd Allah and the Kufans deserted him. For his holy relation with the Prophet did not desert him, nor did his obligatory Imamate betray him, nor did his obligatory love transgress against him.

Besides, the limited supreme authority is worthless in comparison with the unlimited spiritual authority.

Neither failure nor death was able, even for a day, to end those high spiritual qualities. Hence history has admired them. Besides the hearts of the Muslims have clung to them. The aggressors and the ungrateful deniers did not prevent those qualities from blossoming. Up till now, they have increased in greatness to complete their strait immortal way.

` We have known the close relation between al-Hasan and the Prophet who was the source of good for mankind during its evil times, of guidance for the Muslims during the times of discords and going astray, and of blessing of the world during aridity and deprivation. Apart from this, we have known that al-Hasan was the (grand) son of the Apostle of Allah, the Lord of the youth of Paradise, and the Imam who shared the Qur'an its Imamate.

Still, we must pay much more intention to understand the words al-Hasan himself said to explain his attitude, namely between supreme authority and the doctrine.

Also we must give brief examples of al-Hasan's many words which have been narrated through various chains of reporters (asania). That is because we want to conclude his eloquent hints, for they are of great importance to guide us to a decisive decision about the subject.

Now, we have to study the personal declarations of al-Hasan, for such declarations are very important in achieving our special subject.

Al-Hasan answered the blaming question of Sulayman b. Sirt al-Khaza'i whom b. Qutayba described as the Lord of the Iraqis and their leader.5 In response to this question, al-Hasan, peace be on him, said: "If I had worked hard and exerted myself firmly for the supreme authority and life in this world, then Mu'awiya would have not been braver than me. However, my opinion is different from yours."6

Some of al-Hasan's enemies were pleased to hurt him though they were safe of him. Among them was `Abd Allah b. al-Zubayr, who showed enmity towards the family of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family. In response to `Abd Allah, al-Hasan, peace be on him, said: "You claim that I have handed over the supreme authority. Woe unto you! That is impossible. I am the son of the bravest of all Arabs. I am the son of Fatima, the mistress of the women of the world. I have not done that, woe unto you, out of cowardice or weakness. However, those who are like you pledged allegiance to me, asked me to rise, and flattered me. Nevertheless, I do not rely on their support."7

The following is another short declaration of his. Though the declaration is short, it is the most eloquent and important one in this respect. It was an answer to his brother al-Husayn when he asked him: "What made you hand over authority?" So al-Hasan said:" The thing that had made your father hand it over before me."8

I (i.e., the author) say: These few examples are enough to indicate that the friends and the enemies subjected the Imam to a difficult test, but he passed the test successfully.

When we analyze the ideas of the Imam in this respect, we will find that they contain the following main elements:

1. Al-Hasan did not act to obtain the life in this world.

2. If he had acted to obtain the life in this world, he would have been stronger than his enemies. Besides his plans in life would have been other than these plans.

3. He adopted his attitude while he had neither self-weakness nor weak policy nor cowardice. Rather he did not find loyal supporters. Namely, he would have won a victory over his enemies if he had found loyal supporters.

4. His only objective was to follow his father's example. It is noteworthy that his father kept silent when his right to authority was illegally usurped. In other words he kept silent to protect Islamic spirits and beliefs from dying out.

The signs of the spiritual Imamate appear clearly among the elements of the above- mentioned four points. These signs did not mix with weakness, nor did they have any relation to any retreat or recoiling. However, they were the strength that moved al-Hasan to act to please his Lord. So he was in no need of acting to obtain the life in the world.

Besides the life in this world was not like these signs, nor were they like it. Such was the true Imamate. It was the shadow of Prophethood in the meaning that related to the sky. Prophethood did not happen in the earth on the day when Allah wanted it to happen but through the loyal supporters. Also the Imamate did not occur when Allah wanted it to occur but through the loyal supporters. However, there was a great difference between the supporters of Prophet and those of the Imam.

For the supporters of the Imam cajoled him and asked him for the inheritance. They pledged allegiance to him to obey him in an absolute manner, but they deserted him, paying no attention to him.

Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family was an apostle; the apostles had passed away before him. Thus his (grand) son, al Hasan, was an Imam whose heart was full of belief and whose tongue uttered ideal words. This was the message which was wanted for him, and for which he was wanted.

Al-Hasan, peace be on him, was afflicted by a critical situation. Also his grandfather, the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, was afflicted by the same situation. That was on the day (Expedition) to al-Hudaybiya and the Banu (sons of) Ashja`. Al Hasan was deserted by his companions as his father, peace be on him, was deserted on the day of the Shelter (al-Saqifa) and on the day of the Consultation (al-Shura).9 So al-Hasan had to follow these examples of his father and of his grandfather. Also he had to achieve his acts according to their practices (Sunna). Besides there was no shortcoming in what the third one of these two great ones did.

Concerning the second point, we say: Indeed, al-Hasan b. 'Ali (peace be on them) took upon himself that he would use his talents, his life, his history, his political entity, his patience, and his strength to serve his doctrine and to immortalize his character and his word. Through his great step with which he ended his attitude (i.e., between the doctrine and supreme authority), al-Hasan was the Imam who abstained from the life in this world, and the caliph who accepted the responsibility from the people to establish human ideals among people.

So all al-Hasan's deeds were ideals for tentative leaders.

Al-Hasan refused the life in this world though it came to him willingly. In other words he refused to accept authority, wealth, influence, and pleasures. All these temptations cost him nothing. Rather they were ready to obey him, to serve him, and to cling to him.

If al-Hasan had done that, preferred that to his own doctrine, "become resolute, and exerted himself for that," he would have been, without doubt, the worthiest one of winning the foregoing things, for he was at that time the Imam who had the best lineage in the history of humanity. Besides he had the greatest Imamate in history.

However, if al-Hasan had been a worldly man, then he had to abandon his ancestry, his education, and his spiritual qualities. He had to be a person other than al-Hasan b. 'Ali, b. Fatima, and the (grand) son of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family. In this way he would have been able to satisfy greed, to gather supporters, and to bribe the restless.

That is because, his vast empire, at that time, had a lot of land taxes that were able tempt the leaders of that generation and "the children of the houses of the opportunists." Accordingly, all hypocrites would have been good believers, all traitors would have been loyal trustees, and the restless would have been obedient subjects. Therefore all people would have been false while they did not know that.

Besides `Amr b. al-`As, al-Mughira b. Shu'ba, Ziyad b. Abih, and their followers would have sought protection with al-Hasan in Kufa. There would have been no difference between them and Hujr b. `Adi, Qays b. Sa'd, and `Adi b. Hatam. So they (the former group) sought protection with Mu'awiya there. They hated al-Hasan because he was indifferent to the world. They hated his noble traits when they sought protection with him. Meanwhile they liked the traits of Mu'awiya, his history, his lineage, and his fabrications.

If al-Hasan had clung to the world, his matter would have been successful. So there would have been no need to write about it, to go into it, and to waste our time in it.

The ignoble Kufans looked for ambitions not for facts. That is because they lived during the lifetime of al-Hasan. They followed him, trusted him, and yielded to him, for they thought that his treasuries would be opened to buy their consciences, his states would be ready to response to the gluttony of their prominent figures, and his policy would please their psychological desires all over his Muslim countries.

Generally speaking, they thought that al-Hasan would meet their party purposes and their worldly ambitions. Noteworthy, among the Kufans were rightly-guided people. They were the followers (Shi `a) of his father. They turned away from the life in this world during their firm attitude alongside him and his father, who divorced the life in this world three times.

Those true believing Kufans supported al-Hasan, for they knew that he was the grandson of the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family.

Now, what do you think of this discussion? Do you think that Mu'awiya was able to resist al-Hasan or to win a victory over him? According to this study, which one of them was worthier of weakness al-Hasan or Mu'awiya?

In the light of this explanation, we understand the meaning of the words of al-Hasan: "If I had worked hard and exerted myself firmly for supreme authority and the life in this world, then Mu'awiya would have not been braver than me. However, my opinion is different from yours.

Yes, al-Hasan would have been braver than Mu'awiya if he had wanted the life in this world.

However, Imam al-Hasan b. 'Ali, peace be on them, was a human being other than Mu'awiya.

Al-Hasan did not appear in this world except during counted periods of time when the people learned ideals from his noble qualities and got happiness from his excellent pure guidance.

Al-Hasan understood the special meaning of honor. He understood that it was a mixture of self- respect and the interests of the religion. He thought that authority, money, and worldly pleasures did not belong to honor.

Al-Hasan was infallible as the Book says. His heart was full of ideals. These two qualities made him turn away from the desires of the transient authority. Meanwhile they made him cleave to Allah, His Books, His Apostles, and the Judgment Day. So the worldly man either overlooks those people or is angry with them.

Al-Hasan did not want to win the attitude through these dishonest ways, for he regarded such a kind of winning as a great lost in the life in this world.

If he had followed these dishonest ways, then he would have gotten rid of the ideal natures which the hand of the Prophet had planted in him through his prophetic education.

Was it possible for al-Hasan to get rid of those natures while they were some organs of his body? Was it possible for him to work hard and to exert all strength while he was the (grand) son of the Apostle of Allah, his foster son, and a student of his school?

Were it not for the life in this world was a field to spread his message, the Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him and his family, would be indifferent to it.

So al-Hasan had to be a mirror to reflect his grandfather's good qualities. Those good qualities were fixed in him because of the nature which was imposed on him through his grandfather's education, his faith, and his environment. However, that was in the field of his Imamate. Such was al-Hasan. He was a good example for people, for he was far above weakness cowardice, and defects. He was the mirror that reflected the Prophet's renunciation from worldly pleasures, his noble traits, for he was "the most similar of all people to the Prophet in form, ethics, policy, and management."

So where are the weak points which the quick critics have mentioned concerning al-Hasan?

Those who have criticized the policy of al-Hasan, peace be on him, have forgotten the critical situation his supporters made. They have forgotten the irregularity of these supporters. They have forgotten that this irregularity resulted from the events which were imposed on al Hasan, namely they resulted from the development of life from the third generation after the lifetime of the Prophet. Besides the people, or most of them, abandoned piety and inclined to ambitions and pleasures. Therefore, the crime resulted from the condition of al Hasan, and the treason belonged to the people who lived during his time. In other words, nobody has the right to blame al-Hasan for what he had done.

Also those who have criticized al-Hasan's policy have forgotten that the final result of such an attitude, of such a condition, and of such society took place because of the people who were hypocrites and liars by nature while al-Hasan always thought about loyalty and the truth.

For this reason, we think that the measures which al-Hasan took during his critical situation were the most skillful of all measures in solving the matter, the most wonderful of them in policy, the most accurate of them in idea, and the most appropriate of them for the behavior of the Imam.

In these chapters of us, we have discussed the reason why al Hasan, peace be on him, has been blamed. We have mentioned each of them in a suitable subject and we have given it a correct irrefutable answer derived from the time when al-Hasan lived.

In this way al-Hasan, peace be on him, declared his great reformatory uprising. He turned the battle, based on discords and weapons, into summons to good manners, peace, and reform. Suddenly, he became the greatest reformer in the field of reform, and the most tentative and successful leader in the field of perfection.

Besides he became the Imam of all the world, though he had no throne.

Is Islam not this angelic spirit which the material world does not overcome, and which vain desires and false imaginations do not humiliate?

Al-Hasan looked at the majority of his companions. He was displeased with them, for they neglected their obligations, turned away from ethics, separated from their right, and joined the camp of his enemies. Moreover, the evil discord, which the counted traitors created, destroyed that helpless people. It divided them, weakened their classes, and made them, at a short time, parties. They drew plans and got ready to wage war against each other.

Accordingly, was there a hope of the companions who were more harmful than their enemies?

Why didn't the Imam, who was the deputy of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and his family), say his word that was similar to the Prophet's word in mercy and nobility? Why did he not say his word that was neutral between the two fighting parties to be far above them all?

Isn't the true Imam a thing above all people?

  • 1. Ta'rikh al-Islam al-Siyasiya, vol. 1, p. 396.
  • 2. Ard' al-Mu'tazila al-Siyasiya, p. 15. Al-Alwah (Magazine), no. 11, first year. Most Mu'tazilites agreed with the Shi'a and said: "No Imamate but through the text and nomination.
  • 3. It is an act of kindness to mention that one of those who plagiarize the ideas of the people had published this solution without ascribing it to its owner. The man was among our listeners, on more than one occasion, when we presented this idea as an example in this book.
  • 4. Al-Hakim (vol. 3, p. 148) has narrated it and said: "This tradition is of authentic isnad (chain of witnesses) according to the condition of the two Shaykhs (i.e., Abu Bakr and "Umar [Ed. This is absolutely incorrect; the two shaykhs refer to al-Bukhari and Muslim])." Al-Dhahabi has reported it in `Talkhis al-Mustadrak', admitting its correctness according to the condition of the two Shaykhs. Imam Ahmad b. Hanbal has narrated it in `al-Musnad, pp. 17 and 26. Also this tradition has been reported by Ibn Abi Shayba, Abu Ya`la, b. Sa'd in 'al-Kanz', vol. 1, p. 47, and the like.
  • 5. Ibn Qutayba al-Dinawari, al-Imama wa al-Siyasa, p. 151.
  • 6. Ibid.
  • 7. Al-Bayhaqi, al-Mahasin wa al-Masawi', vol. 1, p. 60-5.
  • 8. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 113.
  • 9. As for the day of the Shelter (al-Saqifa), it has been mentioned at a great length in many books. As for the day of the Consultation (al-Shura), it has been presented in the best manner by 'Ali, peace be on him, when he said to the Consultative Committee at that time: "You have certainly known that I am the most rightful of all others for the Caliphate. By Allah, so long as the affairs of Muslims remain intact and there is no oppression in it save on myself I shall keep quiet seeking reward for it (from Allah) and keeping aloof from its attractions and allurements for which you aspire." (Imam 'Ali, Nahj al-Balagha, p. 102.)

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