This little book which I give to the public is the translation of Hadith al-halila, the tradition of the Myrobalan fruit. It has come down to us from Hazrat Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (A) the sixth of the twelve immaculate Imams of the house of the Prophet Muhammad (S). He (A) lived in the middle of the second century of Islamic era.
After the most tragic massacre of the third Imam Husain (A) who fought against the hostile forces of ungodly Omayyids for the protection of the faith of Islam, and the holy principles, which his grand-father, the Prophet (S) had laid down for the guidance and progress of man and fell a martyr to the cause, at Karbala, the whole family of the Prophet especially the Imams took to seclusion.
They preferred peacefully preaching Islam to taking any part whatsoever, in the secular and tribal dissensions then rife in Arabia. “In the midst of misery and unhappiness they followed truly and faithfully the precepts of their ancestor and found consolation in intellectual pursuits.
Their ardent love of knowledge, their passionate devotion to the cause of humanity, their spirit looking upwards far above the literalness of common interpretations of the law shows the spirituality and expensiveness of Islam.
The definition by Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (A) of science or knowledge gives some idea of their faith in the progress of man”. “The enlightenment of the heart is its essence, truth, its principal object; Inspiration, its guide; Reason, its acceptor; God its Inspirer, and words of man, its utterer”.
“While the Omayyids discouraged the peaceful pursuits of mind, the children of Fatima (the Imams) with remarkable liberalism favored learning”.1
As a matter of fact, whatever success the Moslems achieved in the field of learning, science, or spiritualism, has had its foundation in the teachings of these Imams. None but these Imams were the authorized exponents of the Qur’an and the Hadithes (traditions) of the Prophet. When the Prophet saw that his time to leave this transient world had approached, he preached his last sermon and said, “I leave behind me two things for you, The Book of God (Qur’an) and my descendants (‘Itrat). If you shall hold fast to them you shall not go astray after me;
They (Qur’an and ‘Itrat) shall not be separated from each other, till they reach Hauz-i-Kauthar (fount of Kauthar) untidily.” 22
It will not be without interest, I am sure, to read this Hadith which shows the liberality of their teachings and proves the existence of One God so vividly. As it is admitted on all hands that belief in God, Who is the Creator of this universe and to whom every man is responsible for his actions in this world, essential for the moral and material progress of man, I hope this Hadith will supply him, much food for reflection, and lead him to the right path. The arguments are so perfect, so simple and logical. Besides, there is absolutely nothing to injure the susceptibilities of any man belonging to any caste or creed. It is equally edifying to the Muslims as well as non-Muslims. As the God preached it, it is not the God of only one nation, but is the, God of all worlds (Rabb-ul-Aalamin).
Perhaps the modern reader will find some of the arguments forwarded by the Imam in some contrast to the present day science, but it must be understood that the Imam intended to teach “God”, and not the science. The Imam, as far as science was concerned, simply followed the conceptions prevalent in the age to which he belonged.
Now I must admit that I have translated this Hadith from “Tauhid-ul-Aimma” by Molvi Syed Mohammed Haroon Saheb who has not only rendered this work into Urdu from Arabic but translated and written many other valuable works and thereby rendered a substantial service to the cause of Islam.
I must not also forget to thank my learned friend Mr. Alam Khan, G. B. V. C. for all the help he has given me in translating this Hadith and for many other valuable suggestions
And last but not the least; I have to tender my most cordial thanks to Mohammad Ja’far Haji Sharif Devjee and Ghulam Husein Saleh Hasan (Hami-e-Islam) of their most generous pecuniary help for the publication of this book.
I cannot but appreciate their kind feelings towards me, their zealous love for the diffusion of the teachings of the Imams, and the unostentatious services to the cause of religion; and pray that they may long be spared to the community.
Wali Muhammad C. Momin
25th April , 1918