Table of Contents

Character of Ahl Al-Bayt

The Necessity Of Getting To Know The Ahl Al-Bayt

The necessity to get to know the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.) and follow them has been recommended by the Holy Prophet (S) according to the verse 23 of Chapter al-Shura:

(Love for my relatives) brings about happiness in this world and the hereafter, while to neglect them causes perdition (42:23)

Addressing Mu’alla ibn Khunays, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said:

يا مُعَلَّي ! لوْ أنَّ عَبْداً عَبَدَ اللّهَ مِائةً عامٍ بَيْنَ الرُّكْن و المَقامِ، يصُومُ النَّهارَ وَيَقوُمُ اللَّىلَ حَتَّي يَسْقُطُ حَاجباهُ عَلي عَيْنَيْهِ، وتَلْتَقِقي تَرَاقيهِ هَرَماً، جَاهِلاَ بحَقنَا لَهُ ثوَابٌّ.

O Mu’alla, if a servant of Allah worships Him between the Rukn (corner) and Maqam (standing-place) of Kabah for a hundred years, keeping fast on all days and performing prayers on all nights so much so that his life comes to an end, but is negligent about our rights, there will be no reward for him.11

Getting to know the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s) on the basis of the Quranic verses and authentic narrations will remove all veils of ignorance from our eyes.

When we come to understand that titles such as – ‘People for the Reminder’, ‘The Truthful’, ‘The Benefactors’, ‘The Pious’, ‘The Strivers’, ‘The Believers’, ‘The Patient’, ‘People of Understanding’, ‘The Straight Path (sirat)’, ‘The Way (sabil) to Allah’, ‘The Revenge of Allah’, ‘The Face of Allah’, ‘The Eye of Allah’, ‘The Side of Allah’, ‘The Ear of Allah’, ‘The Spokesmen of Allah’, ‘The Friends of Allah’ - all refer to the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.), we will learn how to benefit from them with guidance and using them as the Noah's Ark. It is they –

who are firmly rooted in knowledge(4:162)

We can also quench the thirst of intellect, heart and spirit with the pure drink of their knowledge.

Should we wish to win Allah's favor, we must follow Ahl al-Bayt wholeheartedly, on the basis of the following holy verse:

قُلُ إ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اَللَّهُ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اَللَّهُ

Say, if you love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you. (3:31)

Getting to know the Ahl al-Bayt leads to getting to know Allah, and the Holy Quran as well as it develops intuition. This will serve as a factor for self-purification and morality too. This will certainly save us from hellfire. Love for Ahl al-Bayt will make it possible for us to cross the sirat (the bridge over the Hell leading to Paradise).

The Holy Prophet has been quoted by Sheikh Qunduzi (a Hanafite scholar) to say:

مَعْرِفَةَ آل مُحَمًّدٍ بَرَاءَةٌ مِنَ النَّارِ، وَحُبُّ آل مُحَمَّدٍّ جَوَازٌ عَلى اصَرَاطِ، وَالوِلأيةٌ لآل مُحَمَّدٍ أمَانٌ مِنَ العَذَابِ.

Getting to know the family of Muhammad (S) is means for being saved from the fire. Love for the family of Muhammad (S) will ease crossing the sirat as well as, give immunity from chastisement.2

When we come to know about Ahl al-Bayt in the Holy Quran and the traditions, we open the gate to prosperity in this world and the hereafter and shut the gate of perdition.

Sheikh Sulayman Qunduzi and Ibrahim ibn Muhammad Juwayni, two outstanding fair-minded Sunni scholars have quoted that the Holy Prophet (S) has said about Imam Ali (a.s.) and the Imams following him,

يَا عَلِىُّ! أنا مَدِىنةٌّ العلمِ و اَنٌتَ باَبٌهَا، وَلنْ تٌؤْتَي المَديِنَةَ إلأ مِن قِبَلِ اَلبَابِ، وَكَذِبَ مِنْ زَعَمَ أنَّهُ يُحِبُّنِي وَىُبْغِضُكَ، لأِنَّكَ مِنَّيِ وَأنَا مِنْككَ. لَحْمُكَ لَحْمِي، و دَمُكَ مِنْ دَمِي، وَرُوحِكَ مِنْ رُوحِي، وسَرِيرَتُكَ مِنْ سَرِيرَتِي، وعَلانِيَتُكَ مِنْ عَلانِيَتِي، و رَبِحَ مَنْ تَولأكَ وَ خَسِرَ مَنْ عَادَاكَ، وَفَازَ مَنْ لَزِمَكَ وَهَلَكَ مَنْ فَارَقَكَ. مَثَلُكَ وَمَثَلُ الأئِمَّةِ مِنْ وُلدِكَ بَعْدِي مَثَلُ سَفِينَةِ نُوحٍ ؛ مَنْ رَكِبَهَا نَجَا وَمَنْ تَخَلَّفَ عَنْهَا غَرِقَ. وَمَثَلُكُمْ كَمَثَلِ النئُّجُمِ، كُلَّمَا غَابَ نَجْمٌ طَلَعَ نَجَمٌ أِليي ىَومِ القِيَامَةِ.

O Ali, I am the city of knowledge and you are the gate thereof. The city cannot be entered except through its gate. The one who is thinking he loves me but has enmity towards you is false in loving me, for you are of me and I am of you. Your flesh is my flesh, your blood is my blood, your spirit is my spirit, your inward is my inward, and your outward is my outward. (You are the leader of my ummah (community), you are the caliph after me.) Whoever loves you, will gain; whoever is your enemy, will suffer losses; whoever accompanies you, will find salvation; whoever is separated from you, will go to ruin. The parable of you and the Imams following you is the parable of Noah’s Ark. Whoever enters it, will find salvation and whoever disobeys will drown. The parable of Ahl al-Bayt is the parable of stars. Whenever a star disappears, another star will appear until the Judgment Day.3

Allah recommends His servants to resort to His covenant, which necessitates getting to know Hablullah:

وَاَعْتَصِمُواْ بِحَبْلِ اَللَّهِ جَمِيعاً وَلَا تَفَرَّقُواْ

And hold fast by the covenant of Allah all together and be not disunited. (3:13)

Imam al-Baqir (a.s) has said about the meaning of this covenant with Allah:

آلُ مُحَمَّدٍ، صَلْوَاتُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهِمْ، هُمْ حَبْلُ اللَّهِ الْمَتِينُ الَّذِي أمَرَ بِللإعْتِصَامِ بِهِ.

The Household of Muhammad is the covenant of Allah as recommended by Allah.4

Ahl al-Bayt, who are the oceans of knowledge and endowed with virtues, had been chosen by Allah to give the good news of Paradise to the believers and warn the unbelievers of the chastisement in Hell.

Getting to know Allah and the Judgment Day, understanding spiritual concepts and true meaning of the Holy Quran, having an understanding of the traditions set by the Holy Prophet, attaining virtues, happiness in this world and the hereafter, being immune from vices, having the power to resist satanic temptations, and experiencing piety can be made possible only through knowing the Ahl al-Bayt and following their teachings.

The Ahl al-Bayt - as inferred from the Holy Quran and authentic narrations - are the source of all material and spiritual blessings. Without knowing and following them, a man is deprived of all the blessings.

Quoting the Holy Prophet, the Hanafite Sheikh Sulayman Qunduzi and Ibrahim ibn Juwayni say:

Holy Prophet said, “O Ali, write what I am dictating to you.” Ali said: “O Allah’s Messenger, are you afraid that I will forget it?” The Holy Prophet said: “I have asked Allah to make you the one who has memorized all the facts, yet write it down for the sake of your partners.” Ali said: “O Allah’s Messenger! Who are my partners?” The Holy Prophet said: “The Imams in your progeny for whose sake, rain will fall from heaven and prayers will be answered and Allah will fend off tribulation from ummah. Mercy will also be sent down from heaven due to their presence. This is their first one (referring to Imam Hasan). This is their second one (referring to Imam Husayn).” Then, the Holy Prophet said: “And the Imams who will follow Imam Husayn.”5

The Meaning Of Ahl Al-Bayt

A group of scholars nurtured by the oppressive rulers misused their socio- scientific positions to justify the legitimacy of those tyrants in order to gain something in the world.

Hence, they distorted religious facts with special enmity and bias in order to please the domineering rulers. In this regard, they have presented interpretations that have no validity from the viewpoint of the Holy Quran and narrations from the Holy Prophet. One of these distortions relate to the word Ahl al-Bayt mentioned in the Holy Quran.

Ahl al-Bayt in the Holy Quran

In verse 33 of the Quranic Chapter, the Allies (al-Ahzab), we read:

لِىُزْهِبَ عَنكُمْ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ ويُطَهِرَكُم تَطهِيراً إِنَّمَا ىُرِيدُ اللَّهُ

Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House (Ahl al-Bayt), and to purify you with a thorough purifying. (33:33)

The pronoun - kum, meaning ‘you’ in Arabic, does not obviously refer to the wives of the Holy Prophet as misinterpreted by those biased scholars who intended to create a deviation in the Muslims’ opinion.

Although they knew that the Holy Prophet’s wives including Aishah and a group of their own scholars considered Imam Ali, Lady Fatimah, Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn and the infallible Imams (a.s.) from the offspring of Imam Husayn (a.s.) as the members of Ahl al-Bayt, their enmity with the Shiites motivated them to distort the truth to please the Abbasid and Umayyad rulers.

The Meaning Of Ahl Al-Bayt In Narrations

Numerous narrators have reported that the Holy Prophet has mentioned Imam Ali, Lady Fatimah, Imam Hasan, Imam Husayn and the Infallible Imams from Imam Husayn's issue as Ahl al-Bayt. Those narrators are: Ummu-Salamah, Aishah, Abu-Said Khidri, Abu-Barazah Aslami, Abul-Tamra Hilal ibn Harith, Abu-Layla Ansari, Anas ibn Malik, al-Bara ibn Azib, Thawban ibn Bajdad, Jabir Ansari, Zayd ibn Arqam, Zaynab daughter of Abu-Salamah Makhzumi, Sad ibn Abi-Waqqas, Subayh, Abdullah ibn Abbas, Umar ibn Abi-Salamah, Umar ibn Khattab and Wathilah ibn Asqa.

The most reliable books of Sunni scholars have recorded the true meaning of Ahl al-Bayt as reported by those narrators. Shiite scholars too, by relying on the Holy Quran and the said narrations, as well as their own authentic books, attach their hearts to the Ahl al-Bayt. They consider them as the true leaders and successors of the Holy Prophet. Hence obeying the Ahl al-Bayt is deemed obligatory and a means for salvation in this world and the hereafter.

We suffice to relate a few narrations here to please the heart of Ahl al- Bayt’s lovers:

Narration One

Reporting Tamimi, al-Awwam ibn Hawshab said, “One day when I went to see Aishah, she had seen Allah’s Messenger calling for Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn saying:

أَللَّهُمَّ هَؤُلأءِ أهْلُ بَيْتِي، فأدْهِبْ عَنْهُمْ الرِّجْسَ وَطَهَّرْهُمْ تَطْهِيراً.

O Allah, these are the people of my House (Ahl al-Bayt). So keep away uncleanness from them and purify them with a thorough purifying.6

Narration Two

Jumay ibn Umayr says:

One day, my mother and I went to see Aishah. My mother asked her to tell us about the Holy Prophet’s interest in Ali (a.s.). Aishah said: Among the men, Ali is the most loved by Allah’s Messenger. I have seen myself that he placed Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn under his cloak saying: O Allah, these are my Ahl al-Bayt. Keep away any uncleanness from them and purify them with a thorough purifying. I too went forward to put my head under the cloak but Allah’s Messenger kept me away! I asked: Am I not your Ahl al Bayt? He answered: you are good, you are good. 7

Narration Three

Reporting Umar ibn Khattab, Isa ibn Abdullah ibn Malik says: I heard Allah’s Messenger saying:

أيُّهَا النَّاسُ! إنِّي فَرْطٌ لَكُمْ وَإنَّكُمْ وَارِدُونَ عَلَىَّ الحوضَ؛ حَوْضاً أعْرَضَ مِمَّا بَيْنَ صَنْعَاءَ وَبُصْرَي، فِيهِ قِدْحَانٌ عَدَدَ النُّجُومِ مِنْ فِضَّةٍ، وَإنِّي سَائِلُكُم حِينَ تَرِدُونَ عَلىَّ عَنِ الثَقَلًيْنِ، فَانْظُرُو كَيفَ تُخَلَّفُونِّى فِيهِمَا: اسَّبَبِ الأكْبَرِ كِتَابِ اللَّهِ، طَرْفُهُ بِيَدِ اللَّهِ وطَرْفُهُ بِأيْدِكُمْ، فَاسْتَمْسِكُوا بِهِ وَلاتُبَدِّلُوا، وعَِتْرَتِي أهْلِبَيْتِي، فَأنَّهُ قَدْ نَبَّأنِيَ اللَّطِيفُ الخَبِيرُ أنَّهُمَا لَّن يَقْتَرِقَا حَتَّي يَرِدَا عَلَيَّ الحَوْضَ... أهْلُ بَيتِي مِنْ وَلِدِ عَلِيٍّ و فَاطِمَة و الحَسَنِ و الحُسَيْنِ و تِسْعَةٍ مِنْ صُلُبِ الحُسَيْنِ، أئِمَّةٍ أبْرَارٍ. عِتْرَتِي مِنْ لَحْمِي وَدَمِي.

O people, I am leading you and you will come to me at the pond; a pond - the expanse of which is from Sanaa to Busra and is as much as the expanse of the stars. Therein is the golden chalice. When you come to me, I will ask you about the two valuable things (thaqalain ). So be careful how you deal with them after me. The first is Allah’s Book, a rope that stretches from the heavens to the earth. So hold fast on to it. And the other is my Family (Ahl al-Bayt). Allah has informed me that the two will never separate until they come to me at the Pond…My family members are Ali, Fatimah, Hasan, and Husayn and the nine persons who will issue from Husayn and who are the beneficent Imams. My Ahl al-Bayt are my flesh and blood.8

Narration Four

Musa ibn Abd-Rabbih says: I heard from Husayn ibn Ali in the Prophet’s Mosque at the time of his father Ali (a.s.), saying: I have heard the saying of Allah’s Messenger:

ألأ إنَّ أهْلَ بَيتِي أمَانٌ لَكُمْ فَأحِبٌّوهُمْ لِحُبِّي و تَمَسَّكُوا بِهِمْ لَنْ تَضِلُّوا. عَلِيٌّ وسِبْطَايَ وَتِسْعَةٌ مِنْ وُلْدِ الحُسَيْن؛ أئِمَّةٌ أمَنَاءُ مَعْصُومُونَ. ألأ إنَّهُمْ أهْلُ بَيْتِي و عِتْرتِي، مِنْ لَحْمِي و دَمِّي .

Behold! My Ahl al-Bayt are security and mercy for you. Therefore, love them for my sake and resort to them so that you will never go astray… These are Ali, my two grandsons and nine borne of Husayn who are trustworthy and infallible Imams. Behold! They are the Ahl al-Bayt and my honour - from my flesh and my blood9

Now it has become clear that the Shiites, by relying on the Holy Quran and traditions, resort to Ahl al-Bayt, accept their Imamate, follow them and declare with evident proof based on the books written by both Shiite and Sunni scholars, that the Ahl al-Bayt are none other but Ali ibn Abi-Talib, Lady Fatimah, Imam Hasan, Imam Husayn and nine infallible Imams (a.s.) from the issue of Imam Husayn.

The Necessity Of Getting To Know Ahl Al-Bayt In The Narrations

It is unanimously agreed in the science of logic that when ‘presenter’ is being discussed, the presenter who introduces a fact must be superior to the ‘presented’ so as to be able to present the fact as it really is. So after proving the Imamate of Ahl al-Bayt and the fact that they are the inheritors of the Prophet’s knowledge and have been inspired by Allah, we could say that who is better presenters in this universe than the Ahl al-Bayt themselves in order to make their self known? We have no option but to know the Ahl al-Bayt for getting to know their character and knowledge, for no one has an all-encompassing knowledge about them.

Getting to know Ahl al-Bayt will lead to salvation, nearness to Allah and a true understanding of Islam. In this relation, Imam Ali (a.s) has said:

أسْعَدُ انَّاسِ مَنْ عَرَفِ فَضْلَنَا، وَتَقَرَّبَإ إلَي الَّلهِ بَنَا، وَأخْلَصَ حُبَّنَا، وَعَمِلَ بِمَا إلَىْهِ نَدَبْنَا، وَانْتَهَى عَمَّا عَنْهُ نَهَينَا، فَذَاكَ مِنَّا وَهُوَا فِى دَارِ الْمُقَامَةِ مَعَنَا.

The happiest people are those who recognized our superiority and excellence, sought nearness to Allah through us, loved us sincerely, acted according to what we called for, and stopped doing what we have prohibited. Such people are from us and they will be with us in the eternal Paradise.10

Zara’ah says: I said to Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.): After getting to know Allah, which deed is most excellent? The Imam said:

مَا مِنْ شَىْءٍ بَعْدَ الْمَعْرِفَةِ يَعْدِلُ هَذِهِ الصَّلأةَ، وَلأ بَعْدَ الْمعْرِفَةِ وَاصَّلأةِ شَىْءٌ ىَعْدِلُ الَّزَّكَاةَ، وَلأ بَعْدَ ذَالِكَ شَىْءٌ يَعْدِلُ اصَّومَ، وَلأ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ شَىْءٌ يَعْدِلُ الحَجَّ، وفَاتِحَةٌ ذَالِكَ كُلِّهِ مَعْرِفَتُنَا، وَخَاتِمَتُهُ مَعْرِفَتُنَا.

After getting to know Allah, nothing is equal to daily prayers. After prayer nothing is equal to paying the poor-rate; and after these nothing is equal to observing fasting, and after these nothing is equal to (going on) Hajj (ritual pilgrimage). Yet, the beginning and end of all is to get to know us.11

We should learn about the quality of prayer, poor-rate, fast and Hajj from the Ahl al-Bayt in whose house the Quranic verses were revealed and who are the inheritors of the Prophet’s knowledge. This learning is not possible except by getting to know their culture, teachings and injunctions.

The Holy Prophet has been reported as saying:

مَنْ مَنَّ الَّلهُ عَلَيْهِ بَمَعْرِفَةِ أهْلِ بَىتِي وَ وِلأىَتِهِمْ فَقَدْ جَمَعَ الَّلهُ لَهُ الْخَيْرَ كٌلَّهُ

He, who has been favored by Allah to get to know my Ahl al-Bayt and their Imamate, has certainly had all the goods gathered for him by Allah.12

Reporting Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) in the interpretation of the following verse:

وَمَن يُؤْتَ ألْحِكْمَةَ فَقَدْ أُوتِيَ خَيْراً كَثِىرا.ً

He grants wisdom to whomsoever He pleases, and whosoever is granted wisdom, he indeed is given a great good… (2:269)

Abu-Basir says:

طَاعَةٌ الَّلهِ وَ مَعْرَفَةٌ الإمَامِ

It )great good) is to obey Allah and to get to know the Imams.13

Ahl Al-Bayt, The Best Creatures

Amongst all the creations in the universe, be that be only physical or spiritual, the creation which is a combination of physicality and spirituality, are the best ones.

The reason for superiority of each of these three groups over one another is determined by Allah, His spiritual favor, the capacity of creature, perfect faith, the praiseworthy deed or other reasons which are unknown to us, may underlie this selection. To give further explanation of the issue, we will give examples from the best of these three groups.

The Best Places

In the Holy Quran and narrations, certain places and pieces of lands have been mentioned as having a special value for Allah on account of His Mercy and favor bestowed upon it or because of performance of certain religious rituals therein. Desecration of such places is unlawful for all.

Kabah And Its Vicinity

The piece of land on which the Kabah stands, was chosen by Allah. This choice has given it both dignity and superiority, making it distinct among all other places. Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has been reported as saying:

أنَّ الَّلهِ اِخْتَارَ مَنْ كُلَّ شيءٍ شَيْئاً وَ اَخْتا رَ مِنْ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ شَيْئاً وَاخْتَارَ مِنَ الأرْضٍ مَوضِعَ الْكَعْبَةِ.

Allah has chosen one thing from among all things and has chosen the Kabah from among all the places on the earth.14

Kabah was the first House to be built on earth, in a blessed and bounteous city for the guidance of the people of the world. Clear signs of spirituality and the station of Prophet Abraham were placed there. Whoever enters that place shall be secure:

إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيْتٍ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِي بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكًا وَهُدًى لِلْعَالَمِينَ {96} فِيهِ آيَاتٌ بَيِّنَاتٌ مَقَامُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ ۖ

وَمَنْ دَخَلَهُ كَانَ آمِنًا ۗ وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلًا ۚ وَمَنْ كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَنِيٌّ عَنِ الْعَالَمِينَ {97}

Most surely, the first house appointed for men is the one at Bekka, blessed and guidance for the nations. In it are clear signs, the standing-place of Ibrahim, and whoever enters it shall be secure. (3:96-97)

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) has said:

مَنْ اتَى الكَعْبَة فَعَرَفَ مِنْ حَقَهَا و حُرمَتِهَا لَمْ يَخْرُجُ مِن مَكَّة إلأ وَقَدْ غَفَرَ الَّلهُ لَهُ ذُنُوبَهُ وَ كَفَاهُ الَّلهُ مَا يُهِمُّهُ مِنْ أَمْرِ دُنْياهُ وَآخِرَتِهِ.

Whoever comes to the Kabah and recognizes part of its holiness, his sins will be forgiven by Allah Who is sufficient for his affairs this world and the Hereafter.15

The Best Days And Nights

The Holy Quran attracts people’s attention to such nights as the Grand Night and the first ten nights of Dhul-Hijjah as well as such days as the Days of Allah in order to make themselves worthy of the grand rewards by taking advantage of these unique opportunities.

The Grand Night

In the words of the valuable al-Safi Exegesis (tafsir), Ibn Abbas narrates that the Holy Prophet was told about a man from the Children of Israel who had carried arms over his shoulder for a thousand months, for Jihad (holy war) in the way of Allah. The Holy Prophet was shocked at hearing this and wished that his community (Ummah) would have undertaken such a rewarding task. So, he raised his hands in prayer, saying, “O Allah, You have set my ummah the shortest time in terms of life and the minimum opportunity for deeds.”

Allah then granted him the Grand Night saying, “The Grand Night in each month of Ramadhan until the Judgment Day, while being short in terms of time and with little opportunity for deeds, is better for you and your ummah after you, than a thousand months during which the believing man of the Children of Israel carried arms for Jihad in the way of Allah.”

The First ten Nights of Dhu’ l-Hijjah

The first ten nights of Dhul-Hijjah, as the Holy Quran describes, are among the well-known months (2:197). They are the best times during which the Major Hajj is performed on the Mount Arafah on the ninth day, the obligatory passing of the night in Mashar on the night of tenth and the Feast of Sacrifice on the tenth day.

When the month of Dhul-Hijjah would arrive, the righteous among the ummah would make an extraordinary effort to worship and serve Allah. These days and night are excellent in terms of virtues and blessings. The Holy Prophet has been reported as saying:

Good deeds and prayers to Allah are not better in any time than in these days and nights.16

Days of Allah

The Days of Allah (ayyamullah) are the days of victory or failure, the sweet and bitter days, the days of manifestation of Allah’s mercy to the believing nations or Allah’s wrath on the unbelievers.

It is praiseworthy to pay attention to ayyamullah for learning lessons from the past events. Allah has mentioned ayyamullah in the Holy Quran to awaken nations:

وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا مُو‌‍‎سَي بِأَيَتِنَآ أَنْ أَخْرَجْ قَوْمَكَ مِنَ اٌلظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَي اٌنُّورِ وَذَكِّرْهُم بِأَيَّمِ اٌلَّلهِ.

And certainly We sent Musa with Our communications, saying: Bring forth your people from utter darkness into light and remind them of the days of Allah. (14:5)

Besides this, the ayyamullah are the best time for repentance, engaging in prayer and doing praiseworthy deeds.

The Best Human Beings

What makes a human being superior to others is his faith, knowledge and piety. Believing people are better in value than others and the scholars who practice their faith are superior to believers and the people of piety are of the highest value. In this relation, the Holy Quran has delicate and precise references:

}11 يَرْفَعِ اٌالَّلهِ الَّزِينَ ءَ امَنُ اْمِنْكُم وَاٌللَّزِينَ أُوتُواْ اٌلْعِلْمَ دَرَجَتتٍج وَاٌلَّلهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ {

Allah will exalt those of you who believe, and those who are given knowledge, in high degrees; and Allah is Aware of what you do. (58:11)

A believer’s value is such that both the Holy Quran and narrations consider kindness towards a believer as kindness to Allah and His messenger, assistance to a believer as assistance to Allah and His messenger, to please a believer as to please Allah and His messenger and to vex a believer as to vex Allah and His Messenger. Reporting the Holy Prophet, Imam al-Baqir (a.s) has said:

مِنْ سَرَّ مُؤْمِناً فَقَدْ سَرَّنِي، وَمَنْ سَرَّنِي فَقَدْ سَرَّ الَّله.

Whoever makes a believer happy has indeed made me happy and whoever makes me happy has certainly made Allah happy.17

مَا عُبِدَ الَّلهُ بِشَيْءٍ أحَبَّ إليى الَّلهِ مِن اِدْخَالِ اسُّرُرِ عَلى الْمُؤْمِنِ.

Allah has not been worshipped with anything better than making a believer happy.18

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has said:

لَقَضَاءُ حَاجَةِ إمْرِئٍ مُؤْمِنٍ أحَبُّ الَى الَّلهِ مِنْ عِشْرِينَ حِجَةٍ كُلُّ حِجَّةٍ يُنْفِقُ فِيها صَاحِبُها مِائةٌ ألْفٍ.

To meet the needs of a believer is better in Allah's view than Hajj performed by a pilgrim who spends a hundred thousand Dinars on each Hajj.19

أنْ اُشْبِعَ رَجُلاً مِنْ إخْوانِي أحَبُّ إلَيَّ مِنْ أنْ أدْخُلَ سُوقَكُمْ هَذَا فَأبْتَاعُ مِنْهَا رَاساً فَاُعْتِقُهُ.

If a man feeds one of my brothers-in-faith, it is better for me than entering the market, buying off a slave and setting him free in the way of Allah.20

People of knowledge

The Holy Prophet (S), about the superiority of scholars, has said:

فَضْلُ الْعَالِمِ عَلَى سَائِرِ النَّاسِ كَفَضْلِي عَلَى أدْنَاهُمُ.

The superiority of men of knowledge to others is like my superiority to the humblest of them.21

فَضْلُ العالِمُ عَلَى الْعَابِدِ كَفَضْلِ الْقَمَرِ لَيْلَة الْبَدْرِ عَلَى سَائِرِ الْكَوَاكِبِ.

The superiority of a scholar to a worshipper (with no knowledge) is like the superiority of the full moon to other stars.22

ثَللأثَةٌ يَشْفَعُونَ إلَى الَّلهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ فَيُشَفَّعُونَ: الأنْبِياءُ ثُمَّ العلَمَاءُ ثُمَّ الشُهَدَاءُ.

On the Day of Judgment, three groups will intercede with Allah and their intercession is accepted: the Prophets, the scholars (ulama) and the martyrs.23

Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) has said:

عَالِمٌ يُنْتَفَعُ بِعِلمِهِ أفْضَلُ مِنْ سَبْعيِنَ ألْفَ عَابِدٍ.

A scholar (alim) who benefits from his knowledge is better than seventy thousand worshippers (with no knowledge).24

People of Piety

About the people of piety, the Holy Quran says:

إِنًّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اٌلَّلهِ أَتْقَكُمْ.

Surely the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most pious. (49:13)

The Holy Prophet says: On the Day of Judgment, Allah will address people in this way:

أمَرْتُكُمْ فَضَيَّعْتُمْ مَا عَهِدْتُ إلَيْكُمْ فِيهِ، وَرَفَعْتُمْ أنْسَابَكُم! فَلْيَوْمَ أرْفَعُ نَسَبِي وَ أضَعُ أنْسَابَكُمْ، أيْنَ

الْمُتَّقُونَ؟ إنَّ أكْرَمَكُمْ عِنْدَ الَّلهِ أتْقَاكُم.

I ordered you (to obey and keep away from Satan) but you ignored the covenant and you exalted your ancestry (which is of no use for this world and the Hereafter); Today, I promote the ancestry that links my servants to me and abase your ties (with your ancestry). Where are the people of piety? Surely, the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most pious.25

Ahl al-Bayt, the Best Creatures

Since human value lies in the balance of justice, faith, knowledge and piety, based on the Quranic verses and narrations – the faith, knowledge and piety of Ahl al-Bayt is more than that of other creatures having intellect such as the angels, Jinn and human beings. Their faith is at its zenith and their knowledge of past and future about esoteric and exoteric facts is perfect and their piety is at the highest level. They are superior to all other creatures. Hence, their Imamate (leadership) is incumbent upon all. Without obeying them, people will be like blind, dead and animals although they may be appear to be living and may claim to see, have knowledge and be a human being.

Common sense requires that a learned person must be followed by the unlearned, a scholar by the ignorant, a specialist by the non-specialist, a guided person by someone who is lost and a prayer leader by a worshipper. So, beyond doubt, if a man does not follow Ahl al-Bayt, he will not walk on their straight path, and will not benefit from their life-giving culture which is the exegesis of the Quranic verses. If he does not obey their instructions, he will gain nothing. However, if he resorts to the Holy Quran and Ahl al- Bayt, he will never go astray nor will his life be wasted.

Both Shiite and Sunni scholars have reported the following narration, reported by the Holy Prophet:

إنِّي تَارِكٌ فِيكُمْ مَا إنْ تَمَسَّكْتُمْ بِهِ لَنْ تَضِلُّوا بَعدي:أحَدُهُمَا أعْظَمُ مِنَ الأَخَرِ، كِتاَبَ الًّلهِ، حَبلٌ مَمْدُودٌ مِنَ السًّماءِ إلَى الأرْضِ، وَعِتْرَتِي أهْلَ بَيْتِي،وَلَنْ يَفْتَرِقَا حَتَّى يَرِدَا عَليَّ الْحَوْضَ،فَانْظُرُوا كَيْفَ تُخَلَّفُونِّي فِيهِما.

Verily, I am leaving among you two valuable things. You will not go astray after me as long as you adhere to them. One is greater than the other. They are the Book of Allah, which is a rope stretched from the heavens to the earth, and my Household. They will never separate from one another until they come to me at the Pond. Be careful how you deal with them after me.26

The Truth Of Ahl Al- Bayt

In view of Quranic verses and narrations previously mentioned and based on the Quranic verse, Mubahalah (mutual curse), which reads:

فَمَنْ حآجَّكَ فِيهِ مِنم بَعْدِ ما جآءَكَ مِنَ اٌلْعِلْمِ فَقُل تَعَالَوْاْ نَدْعُ أَبْنَآءَنَا وَأَبْنَآءَكُمْ وَنِسآءَنَا وَنِسآءَكُم وَأَنْفُسَنَا وَأَنْفُسَكُم ثُمَّ نَبْتَهِلْ فَنَجْعَل لَّعْنَتَ اَلَّلهِ عَلَى اَلْكَذِبِيِنَ ‌‍‎

But whoever disputes with you in this matter after what has come to you of knowledge, then say: Come let us call our sons and your sons and our women and your women and our self and your self, then let us be earnest in prayer, and pray for the curse of Allah on the liars (3:61)

In this holy verse, Imam Ali (a.s.) has been interpreted to be the ‘self’. It has been proven that the light of Imam Ali (a.s.) is the root of all eleven infallible Imams. His light is same as that of the light of Holy Prophet with only a physical difference.

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) in an important narration has said:

إنَّ الَّلهَ كَانَا إذْ لأكَانَا، فَخَلْقَ اَلْكانَ وَالْمَكَانَ، َوخَلَقَ نُورَ الأنْوَارِ الَّذي نَوَّرَتْ مِنْهُ الأنْوارُ،وَأجْري فِيهِ نُورَهُ الَّذِي نَوَّرَتْ مِنْهُ الأنْوارُ‘ وَهُوَ النُّورُ الَّذِي خَلَقَ مِنْهُ مٌحمَّدا وعَلِيَّاً.

Allah existed when ‘existence’ was not there. So He created the existence and space and created the light from which other lights were illuminated and that is the light from which Muhammad (S) and Ali (a.s.) appeared.27

In another narration, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said:

O Ali, you and me were created from the same light. Then, that light was placed in the loins of Adam until it divided into two parts in the loins of Abd al-Muttalib, one part was placed in the loin of Abdullah and the other part in the loins of Abu-Talib.28

For this reason, there is no light or soul nearer to the Holy Prophet than the light and soul of Imam Ali (a.s). It is due to the same intimacy that on the Night of Ascension (Nocturnal Ascent), Allah spoke to the Holy Prophet in the voice of Imam Ali. There was also a covenant of brotherhood between Muhammad and Ali so unity and brotherhood was manifest outwardly. It is for the same reason that the Holy Prophet has said:

إنَّكَ تَسْمَعُ مَا أسْمَعُ وَأسْمَعُ وَ تَرَى مَا أرى.

You hear whatever I hear and you see whatever I see.29

Based on authentic narrations, Ali is the inner part of Muhammad and Muhammad is the Divine emanation. It is Allah’s will that Imamate is the inner part of Muhammad’s Prophethood so that the inner part will be with Muhammad wherever he is present. Therefore, the Holy Prophet’s mission would not be perfect without the Imamate of Imam Ali. The Holy Quran says:

وَإِن لَّمْ تَفُعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسالَتَهُ

If you do not do this, then you have not delivered His message. (5:67)

The rank of Imam Ali’s Imamate is such that he can dominate the entire universe by witnessing what is visible and invisible with Allah’s permission. Therefore, we cannot attain the love for Muhammad and Allah without having love for Ali, for Ali is the gateway to Allah and the light of Muhammad and Ali itself is the beginning and end of this universe:

بِكُمْ فَتَحَ الًّلهُ وَبِكُمْ يَخْتِمُ، وَإيَابُ الْخَلْقِ إلَيْكُمْ.

Allah began with you and with you He will conclude and the return of creation is towards you.30

It is worth mentioning that narrations in all the most reliable Islamic reference books consider the features of the Twelve Infallible Imams as the same in all areas, for their creation is from the same light of the Holy Prophet.

We should say that with the exception of Prophethood, all the features of the Holy Prophet have been manifested perfectly in the infallible Imams and all of them, as they themselves have said, are Allah's Attributes:

نَحْنُ، وَالَّلهِ، أسْماؤُهُ الْحُسنَى.

By Allah, we are the Most Excellent Names (al-asma al-husna).31

It is for the same reason that the people of the world are indebted to Ahl al-Bayt who have a right over them and observe that the right is incumbent on them. In this relation, one of the infallible Imams has been reported to say:

ادُّنْيا وَمَا فِيها لِلَّهِ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى وَلِرَسُولِهِ؛ فَمَنْ غَلَبَ عَلَى شَيْءٍ مِنْها فَلْيَتَّقِ الَّلهَ وَلْيُؤَدِّ حَقَ الَّلهِ تَبَارَكَ وَ تَعَالَي وَلْيَبُرَّ إخْوانَهُ، فَإنْ لَمْ يَفْعَلُ ذَالِكَ فَالَّلهُ وَرَسُلُهُ ونَحْنُ بُراءُ مِنهُ.

The world and whatever is therein belongs to Allah, the Blessed and Almighty, His Messenger and us. Therefore, whoever obtains something from it should be most careful of his duty and be benevolent to his brothers. If he fails to do so, Allah, His messenger and we despise him.32

At any rate, the root of Ahl al-Bayt is the Holy Prophet (S) who gave his light to Ali (a.s.) and Fatimah (a.s.) and with the matrimony of these two wonderful seas of spirituality, there appeared eleven Imams to guide the world’s nations.

Jabir Ibn Abdullah Ansari who was favored by the Ahl al-Bayt until the end of his life has said: When Allah revealed the following verse:

يأَآيُّهَا اٌلَّذِين ءَامَنُواْ أَطِىعُواْاٌللهَ وأَطِىعُوالرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِى اٌلأْمْرِ مِنكُم

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

I said to the Holy Prophet, “O Allah's Messenger, we know Allah and the Messenger, but who are those in authority the obedience to whom is equal to the obedience to you?" The Holy Prophet said,

هُمْ خُلْفَائِي، يَا جَابِرُ، وَأئِمَّةٌ الْمُسْلِمِيِنَ مِنْ بَعْدِي. أوَّلُهُمْ عَلِيُّ بْنُ أبِي طَالِبٍ، ثُمَّ الْحَسَنُ وَالْحُسَيْنُ، ثُمَّ عَلِيُّ بْنُ الْحُسَيْنُ، ثُمَّ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَلِيِ الْمَعْرُوفُ فِي التَّوْرَاةِ بِالبَاقِرِ، وَسَتُدْرِكُهُ يَا جَابِرُ، فَإذَا لَقِيَتَهُ فَأقْرِئْهُ مِنَّي السًّلأمُ، ثُمَّ الصَّادِقُ جَعْفَرُ بْنٌ مُحَمَّدٍ، ثُمَّ مُوسَى بْنُ جَعْفَرٍ، ثُمَّ عَلِيُّ بْنُ مُوسَى، ثُمَّ مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَلِيٍّ، ثُمَّ عَلِيُّ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ، ثُمَّ الحَسَنُ بْنُ عَلِيٍّ، ثُمَّ سَمِيِّي وَ كَنِيِّي، حُجَّةٌ الَّلهِ فِي أرْضِهِ وَبَقِيَّتُهُ فِي عِبَادِهِ، اِبْنُ الْحَسَنِ بْنِ عَلِيٍّ، ذَالِكَ الَّذِي يَفْتَحُ الَّلهُ تَعَالَى ذِكْرُهُ عَلى يَدَيْهِ مَشَارِقَ الأرْضِ وَ مَغَارِبَهَا، ذَالِكَ الَّذِي يَغِيبُ عَنْ شِيعَتِهِ وَأوْلِيَاءِهِ غِيْبَةً لأيَثْبُتُ فِيهَا عَلَى الْقَوُلِ بِإمَامَتِهِ إلأ مَنِ امْتَحَنَ قَلْبَهُ لِلإيمَانِ.

Jabir, they are my successors and leaders of Muslims after me. The first of them is Ali ibn Abi-Talib, then Hasan and Husayn, then Ali ibn Husayn, then Muhammad ibn Ali, known as Baqir in the Torah. You will see him. When you see him, greet him on my behalf. Then comes Jafar al-Sadiq and after him Musa ibn Jafar and after him Muhammad ibn Ali and finally one who has my name and will be Allah’s argumentation (hujjatallah) on the earth, the son of Hasan, the same Imam whom Allah has appointed to conquer the east and the west, the same Imam will be hidden from the eyes of the Shiites and his friends. At that time, no one will be firm in his belief in his Imamate unless those whom Allah has purified their hearts for faith.

Another noteworthy point about the truth of Ahl al-Bayt in narrations related by the holy Imams is their resemblance to a good tree. Answering a question asked by Amr ibn Hurayth about the good tree mentioned in the Holy Quran, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) says:

رَسُولُ الَّلهِ أصْلَهَا، وَ أمِيرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ فَرْعُهَا، وَالأئِمَّةٌ مِنْ ذُرَّيَّتِهِمَا أغْصَانُهَا، وَعِلْمُ الأئِمَّةِ ثَمَرَتُهَا، وَشِيعَتُهُمُ الْمُؤْمِنَ وَ رَقْهَا. وَالَّلهِ، إنَّ الْمُؤْمِنَ لَيُولَدُ فَتُورِقُ وَرَقَةٌ فِيهَا، وَ إنَّ المُؤْمِنَ لَيَمُوتُ فَتْسُقُطُ وَرَقَةٌ مِنْهَا.

Allah’s Messenger is the root of the tree, Amir al-Muminin is its trunk, the Imams from his issue are its branches; the recognition of the Imams is its fruit and the believing Shiites are their leaves. By Allah (I swear), when a believer is born, the tree gives a new leaf; and when a believer dies, a leaf falls off.33

The Light Of The Ahl Al-Bayt

The Truth of the Holy Prophet

Since the Holy Prophet is inwardly and outwardly the root of Ahl al-Bayt and their spiritual dignity, we must get to know the Holy Prophet thoroughly in order to know Ahl al-Bayt.

Based on narrations, four truths are referred to as the first creatures:

أوَّلُ مَا خَلَقَ الَّلهُ النُّورُ

The first thing Allah created was light.34

أوَّلُ مَا خَلَقَ الَّلهُ القَلمُ.

The first thing Allah created was pen.35

أوَّلُ مَا خَلَقَ الَّلهٌ العَقَلُ.

The first thing Allah cre ated was intellect.36

أوَّلُ مَا خَلَقَ الَّلهٌ نُورِي.

The first thing Allah created was my light.37

أوَّلُ مَا خَلَقَ الَّلهٌ رُوحِي.

The first thing Allah created was my soul.38

The Holy Prophet himself is, owing to the signs of wonder that flow from his sacred interior and the truths that emanate from his heavenly heart, the perfect meaning of light, pen, and intellect in these statements. It is for this very reason that the Holy Prophet has in the last two narrations introduced his light and soul as the first creations. Although these four names are different in appearance, they are identical in referring to the Holy Prophet himself.

We will discuss this important point by invoking the Holy Quran and narrations based on reason, without any bias:

Light

Defining light, the philosophers say that light is a truth which is manifest by itself and makes other things manifest. Intellect in the aforesaid narration means a truth. It is a medium between man and all information and truths in the creation. The Holy Quran describes the Holy Prophet as a light-giving torch:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ شَاهِدًا وَمُبَشِّرًا وَنَذِيرًا {45} وَدَاعِيًا إِلَى اللَّهِ بِإِذْنِهِ وَسِرَاجًا مُنِيرًا {46}

O Prophet! Surely, We have sent you as a witness, and a bearer of good news and a bearer of warning. And, as the one who invites towards Allah, by His permission, and is a light-giving torch. (33:45-46)

The Holy Prophet was light - that is the same as truth, which is luminous in all aspects. He gave light to all others. He knew the entire truth inwardly and outwardly. He was eagerly willing to make others aware of the truth of their existence and their relation with the outward and inward of universe.

This is the meaning of light as mentioned by theosophists:

Light is a quality, being manifest by itself to reveal other things.39

Based on many authentic narrations, Allah created the light of Muhammad (S) before all creatures and then created the other truths of light, intellect, spirit, and material from the rays of his light. He, then, removed the veil of darkness from the face of all creatures thanks to the blessing of this light. Actually, Allah made him a medium of realization between Himself and all other creation. Based on the Holy Quran (33:46), the Holy Prophet has described himself as the sun:

أنَا اشَّمْسُ.

I am the sun.40

What a wonderful comparison! The sun is the origin and source of solar system. All the planets of solar system depend on the sun. There was a time when Mars, the Earth, Venus, Saturn, Mercury, Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto were parts of the sun. When Allah willed to create the solar system in its present-day form, a big explosion occurred in the sun and a series of actions and reactions followed. As a result the parts that had been separated were placed at a distance on a special orbit. Presently, they all move attracted to the sun and are illuminated by the sun.

Likewise, the light of the Holy Prophet was created before all other creatures and due to Allah's will, all truths emanate from that source of light manifesting themselves on the earth thanks to the light of Muhammad (S). Just as the planets of the solar system are the same as the sun but of a different shape and, on the words of philosophers, in a state of reduced individuation, so also are the heavenly creatures reduced individuation of the light of the Holy Prophet. In this relation, the Holy Prophet has been reported as saying:

أنَا اشَّمْسُ، وَعَلِّيٌّ الْقَمَرْ، وَ فَاطِمَةٌ الزُّهْرَةٌ، وَالْحَسَنُ وَالْحُسَيْنُ الْفَرْقَدَانِ.

I am the sun, Ali the moon, Fatimah Venus, Hasan and Husayn two stars.41

In this narration, the comparison made by the Holy Prophet, who is the most eloquent speaker, shows the wonderful nature of the narrations that compare a spiritual truth to a physical manifestation in creation. Firstly, it makes it known for all that the truth of Muhammad (S) is nearer to Allah than the rays of the sun to its source. Secondly Muhammad (S) is the medium for realization of all creatures. They are indebted to him and he has a claim on all creatures for material and spiritual rights.

. تُرْحَمُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ وَالرَّسُولَ اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا

And obey Allah and the Apostle, that you may be shown mercy (3:132)

… وَلِلرَّسُولِ خُمُسَهُ لِلَّهِ فَأَنَّ شَيْءٍ مِنْ غَنِمْتُمْ أَنَّمَا وَاعْلَمُو

And know that whatever thing you gain, a fifth of it is for Allah and for the Apostle… (8:41)

The ownership of all blessings belongs to the Holy Prophet by the permission of Allah. And we benefit from the blessings he gives us. Hence, we should pay him what is due to him and the profit of what we give returns to ourselves thanks to the favor and generosity of the Holy Prophet.

… لَكُمْ فَهُوَ أَجْرٍ مِنْ سَأَلْتُكُمْ مَا قُلْ

Say: Whatever reward I have asked you, that is only for yourselves… (34:47)

Pen

Pen in the aforementioned narration means a truth that determines all spiritual and inward (esoteric) affairs and registers happiness, guidance and favors, and spreads mercy for the world’s nations with the hand of Allah's will.

Pen, in one sense, is the truth of Muhammad (S) by whom Allah has sworn in the Holy Qur'an:

ن ۚ وَالْقَلَمِ وَمَا يَسْطُرُونَ

Nun; I swear by the pen and what the angels write. (68:1)

Pen, in another sense, is the mission of the Holy Prophet who determines the happiness and prosperity of anyone who has the merit and spreads mercy for the nations with its guidance and binding laws:

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِلْعَالَمِينَ

And we have not sent you but as a mercy to the world. (21:107)

Intellect

Intellect, in its primary meaning, is the truth of Muhammad (S) who is not only the first creation but also the most-loved by Allah:

وَعِزَّتِي وَجَلألِي، مَا خَلَقْتُ خَلَّقاً هُوَ أحَبُّ إلَيَّ مِنْكَ.

By my Glory and honor (I swear), I have not created anyone more loved to Me than you.42

Now that the narrations have introduced the Holy Prophet as the dearest and most-loved by Allah, why should we not regard intellect, the most-loved creation, as the Holy Prophet himself? He is indeed the universal intelligence; and all the signs of intellect and intelligence, which are the most positive and useful phenomena in universe, manifest themselves in the Holy Prophet.

Spirit

Spirit, based on the Holy Qur'an, is from the realm of ‘Command’ that comes to existence with the word ‘Be’ and not from the position of creation, which is the origin of material elements:

 أَلَا لَهُ الْخَلْقُ وَالْأَمْرُ

Surely, His is the creation and the command. (7:54)

The spirit whose truth is not known by anyone is the outcome of the Divine Decree and comes into existence with the word ‘Be’:

وَإِذَا قَضَىٰ أَمْرًا فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُ كُنْ فَيَكُونُ

And when He decrees an affair, He only says to it – Be - so there it is. (2:117)

وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الرُّوحِ ۖ قُلِ الرُّوحُ مِنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّي

And they ask you about the soul (spirit). Say: the soul is one of the commands of my Lord… (17:85)

Spirit is the first creation of Allah, as has been mentioned by the Holy Prophet:

أوَّلُ مَا خَلَقَ الَّلهٌ رُوحِي.

The first thing Allah created was my spirit.

The Holy Prophet wishes to make others understand him using different expressions according to people's capacity. That is why, on one occasion, he says:

أوَّلُ مَا خَلَقَ الَّلهُ النُّورُ

The first thing Allah created was light.

On another occasion, he says:

أوَّلُ مَا خَلَقَ الَّلهُ القَلمُ.

The first thing Allah created was pen.

On other occasions, he says:

أوَّلُ مَا خَلَقَ الَّلهٌ العَقَلُ.

The first thing Allah created was intellect.

Or,

أوَّلُ مَا خَلَقَ الَّلهٌ نُورِي.

The first thing Allah created was my light.

And,

أوَّلُ مَا خَلَقَ الَّلهٌ رُوحِي.

The first thing Allah created was my spirit.

With this explanation, we conclude that there is a unity in meaning of light, pen, intellect, and spirit, all of which refer to one truth - the truth of Muhammad (S). Therefore, Allah created the truth of Muhammad (S) consisting of light, pen, intellect, and spirit directly from His own light and created other beings for his sake. In this relation, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) says:

خَلَقَ الَّلهُ الْمَشِيئَةَ بِنَفْسِهَا ثُمَّ خَلَقَ الأشْيَاءَ بِالْمَشِئةِ.

Allah created the Divine decree by itself and then created all beings by means of the Divine decree.

That is to say, Allah created the Divine decree, which is another name for the light of Muhammad (S) without any medium and then created other beings from the light of Muhammad (S). Without the light of Muhammad (S), which is an expanded Grace, no relationship between the Creator and the created is possible. Therefore, the manifestation of Allah and the light of His perfect beauty is the Grace of Muhammad (S) and the intuitive decree and the light of the Holy Prophet as mentioned in the following narration:

إنَّ الَّلهَ خَلْقَ الْعَقَلَ، وَهُوَ أولُ خَلْقٍ مِنَ الرُّوحانِّيينَ، مِنْ يَمِينِ الْعَرْشِ مِنْ نُورِهِ

Allah created intellect and it was the first of spiritual creations to be made from His light on the right side of the throne.43

The Perfect Light of Ahl al-Bayt

Based on the following authentic narration reported on the authority of the Holy Prophet:

The first thing Allah created was my light.

And, based on the fact that Ahl al-Bayt are the manifestation of this light, we should admit that Ahl al-Bayt are light in essence and this light is the light of Allah which cannot be put out by the puffing of the ignorant ones:

يُرِيدُونَ لِيُطْفِئُوا نُورَ اللَّهِ بِأَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَاللَّهُ مُتِمُّ نُورِهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْكَافِرُونَ

They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouth, but Allah will perfect His light, though the unbelievers may be averse. (61:8)

The famous Ziyarah al-Jamiah al-Kabirah, which is a well-documented form of Ziyarah (statements addressed to the Holy Infallibles when their tombs are visited) composed by Imam al-Hadi (a.s), is recited in the Ziyarah of all the infallibles; we read:

خَلَقَكُم الَّلهُ أنْوارأ.

Allah created you in the form of light.44

Again in the same Ziyarah, we read:

وَأنَّ أرْوَاحَكُم وَ نُورَكُم وَطِينَتَكُمْ وَطِينَتَكُمْ وَاحِدَةٌ، طَبَتْ وَطَهُرَتْ.

Your souls, light and forms are the same; pure and pious altogether.45

In the famous Ziyarah Warith, we read:

أشْهَدُ أنَّكَ كُنْتَ نُوراً فِي الأصْلأبِ الشَّمِخَةِ وَالأرْحَامِ الْمُطَهَّرَةِ.

I testify that you were light in the lofty loins and pure wombs.46

In the Books of Maqtal (story of Imam al-Husayn's martyrdom), we read that when Imam Ali ibn al-Husayn (al-Sajjad) was placing his father's body, with the head cut off, in the grave, he said:

أبَتَاهُ، أمَّا الْدُّنْيَا فَبَعْدَكَ مُظْلِمَةٌ وَأمَّا الآخِرَةُ فَبِنُورِ وَجْهِكَ مُشْرِقة.

"O father, the world is in dark after you and the Hereafter is illuminated with your light."47

The follower of Ahl al-Bayt, Abu-Khalid Kabuli says: I asked Imam al-Baqir to explain the following holy verse:

فَئَامِنُو بِاٌ لَّلهِ وَرسُولِهِ وَالنُّورِالَّذِى أنْزَلْنَا...

Therefore believe in Allah and His Apostle and the Light which we have revealed…(64:8)

The Imam said:

يَا أبَا خَالِدِ! النُّورُ، وَالَّلهِ، الأيِمَّهٌ مِنْ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ إلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ. وَهُم، وَالَّلهِ، نُورُ الَّلهِ، ألَّذِي أنْزَل. وَهُم، وَالَّلهِ، نُورُ الَّلهِ فِي السَّماواتِ وَفِي الأرْضِ. وَالَّلهِ يَا أبَا خَالِدٍ، لنُّور الأمامِ فِي قُلُوبِ الْمؤْمِنينَ أنْوَرُ مِنَ الشَّمْسِ الْمُضِيِئَةِ بِالَّهَارِ. وَهُم، وَالَّلهِ، يُنَوِّرُونَ قُلُوبَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ، وَ يَحْجِبُ الَّلهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ نُورَهُمْ عَمَّنْ يَشَاءُ فَتُضِلُّهُم. وَالَّلهِ يَا أبَا خَالِدٍ، لأ يُجِبُّنَا عَبْدٌ وَ يَتَوَلأنَا حَتَّى يُطَهَّرَ الَّلهُ قَلَبَهُ، وَلأ يُطَهِّرُ الَّلهُ قَلَبَ عَبْدٍ حَتَّى يُسَلِّمَ لَنَا وَ يَكُونَ سِلْماً لَنَا؛ فَإذَا كَانَ سِلْماً لَنَا سَلَّمَهُ الّلهُ مِنْ شَدِيدِ الْحِسَابِ وَآمَنَهُ مِنْ فَزَعِ ذ ذيَوْمِ القِيَامَةِ الأكْبِرِ...

“O Abu-Khalid, by Allah (I swear), the Imams are that light until the Day of Judgment; and by Allah, they are the light of Allah in the heavens and on the earth. O Abu-Khalid! By Allah, the light of the Imam in the hearts of believers is brighter than the sun shining in daylight. By Allah, the Imams give light to the hearts of believers. Allah, may He be honored and glorified, hides their light from whomever He wishes whereby their hearts become dark. By Allah, O Abu-Khalid! No one loves us but those whom Allah has purified their hearts; and Allah does not purify a servant’s heart unless that servant surrenders himself to and is at peace with us. Therefore, if one is at peace with us, Allah will keep one safe from Reckoning and from fear on the Judgment Day.”48

To live with the love for Ahl al-Bayt and to follow them in all material and spiritual aspects is like living the life of Prophets. Reporting the Holy Prophet, Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) has said:

مَنْ أحَبَّ أنْ يَحْيَا حَيَاةً تُشْبِهُ حَيَاةَ الأنْبِيَاءِ وَيَمُوتَ مِيتَةَ تُشْبِهُ مِيتَة الشُّهَدَاءِ وَ يَسْكُنَ الجِنَانَ الَّتِي غَرَسَهَا الرَّحمَنُ، فَليَتَوَلَّ عَلِيًّا وَلْيُوَالِ وَلِيَّهُ وَلْيَقْتَدِ بِلأئِمَّةِ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ، فَإنَّهُمْ عِتْرَتي خُلِقُوا مِنْ طِينَتِي.

أللَّهُمَّ ارزُقْهُمْ فَهْمِي وَ عِلْمي. وَوَيْلٌ لِلْمُخَالِفِينَ لَهُمْ مِنْ أمَّتِي؛ أللَّهُمَّ لأ تُنِلْهُمْ شَفَاعَتِي.

If one likes to live a life similar to Prophets, die as a martyr, and dwell in a Paradise - all the trees of which are planted by Allah, one should accept the leadership of Ali, make friend with his friends and follow the Imams after him, for they are my household (Ahl al-Bayt) and they have been created from my essence. O Allah! give a share of my understanding and essence to them. Woe to their enemies from among my ummah! O Allah let not their enemies have my intercession.49

The Ranks Of Ahl Al-Bayt

Man’s Descent And Ascent

Man has gone through certain stages to reach his material existence and the world; and he has to go through other stages to return to where he used to be with a qualitative difference:

كَمَا بَدَأَكُمْ تَعُودُونَ

As He brought you forth in the beginning, so also shall you all return. (7:29)

Evidently this course of ‘from Allah to Allah’ is not something special for human beings; rather, all creatures have a descending and ascending course making the circle perfect. Nevertheless, this course in human beings who are the superior creatures is perfect.

Man goes through the stage of ‘the best made’ to the material ‘the lowest of the low’. Then in an evolutionary cause, he returns to Allah after his epistemological and existential dimensions undergo change.

There are those distinguished human beings among all men, who have the power of leadership and enjoy amplitude. These go through this stage more perfectly. Among all perfect human beings, the Holy Prophet and his Ahl al-Bayt are the most superior of beings. They go through this stage in the most perfect way.

Stages of Man’s Descent

Every being, including humanity, has a stage where ‘he was a thing not worth mentioning’. Then he becomes ‘a thing worth mentioning’.

The first stage is ‘shadow’ - it is the time when man is hidden or unobservable in the Divine knowledge. This is the stage of ‘a thing not worth mentioning’. Then Allah wills to manifest man and man becomes ‘a thing worth mentioning’. In this stage, man deserves the Divine Decree of ‘Be’:

إِنَّمَا أَمْرُهُ إِذَا أَرَادَ شَيْئًا أَنْ يَقُولَ لَهُ كُنْ فَيَكُونُ

His command, when He intends anything, is only to say to it - Be, so it is. (36:82)

This stage is materialized into an epiphany with an unimaginable speed:

وَمَا أَمْرُنَا إِلَّا وَاحِدَةٌ كَلَمْحٍ بِالْبَصَرِ

And Our Command is but one, as the twinkling of an eye. (54:50)

About ‘a thing not worth mentioning’, the Holy Quran says:

أَوَلَا يَذْكُرُ الْإِنْسَانُ أَنَّا خَلَقْنَاهُ مِنْ قَبْلُ وَلَمْ يَكُ شَيْئًا

Does not man remember that We created him before, when he was nothing? (19:67)

And on his becoming ‘a thing worth mentioning’, the Holy Quran says:

هَلْ أَتَىٰ عَلَى الْإِنْسَانِ حِينٌ مِنَ الدَّهْرِ لَمْ يَكُنْ شَيْئًا مَذْكُورًا

There surely came over man a period of time when he was a thing not worth mentioning. (76:1)

This is the stage of entity when something exists but not worth mentioning. From the above said verse, it is inferred that this stage is when man becomes worth mentioning due to the light of the Holy Prophet.

Evidently everything that is addressed by Allah and receives the decree of ‘Be’ from the Creator of the universe cannot be a pure nothing. This is so because a pure nothing cannot be addressed. Therefore, although we did not exist externally, we were in the knowledge of Allah.

One must say that Divine decree and His creation came together to create man:

أَلَا لَهُ الْخَلْقُ وَالْأَمْرُ ۗ 

Surely, His is the creation and the command. (7:54)

Commenting on this wonderful being, the Holy Quran says:

إِنِّي خَالِقٌ بَشَرًا مِنْ صَلْصَالٍ مِنْ حَمَإٍ مَسْنُونٍ…

…Surely, I am going to create a mortal of the essence of the black mud fashioned in shape. (15:28)

…إِنِّي خَالِقٌ بَشَرًا مِنْ طِينٍ

…Surely, I am going to create a mortal from dust. (38:71)

The above two and other verses refer to the material creation ‘in the lowest of the low’ and then Holy Quran says:

فَإِذَا سَوَّيْتُهُ وَنَفَخْتُ فِيهِ مِنْ رُوحِي فَقَعُوا لَهُ سَاجِدِينَ

So I have made him complete and breathed into him of my spirit, fall down making obeisance to him. (15:29)

Based on the aforementioned verses, man is a comprehensive being and is distinct from other creatures.

Ahl al-Bayt’s Distinction

Based on the Quranic verse, the Ahl al-Bayt, whether when they were in Allah’s knowledge or when they were created, were distinct from other human beings, as they are all from the same tree and light while other human beings are from different trees:

أنَا وَ عَلِيٌّ مِنْ شَجَرَةٍ وَاحِدَةٍ، وَسَائِرُ النَّاس مِنْ شَجَرِ شَتَّي.

Ali and I are from the same tree while other people are from a different tree.50

Their capacity and magnitude cannot be compared to other human beings in any position. It is for this reason that it is said, based on authentic narration, that Allah created them from light before the creation of other beings and bestowed knowledge upon them. The Holy Quran says about the importance and dignity of the man who is addressed to by Allah:

وَمَا كَانَ لِبَشَرٍ أَنْ يُكَلِّمَهُ اللَّهُ إِلَّا وَحْيًا أَوْ مِنْ وَرَاءِ حِجَابٍ أَوْ يُرْسِلَ رَسُولًا فَيُوحِيَ بِإِذْنِهِ مَا يَشَاءُ ۚ إِنَّهُ عَلِيٌّ حَكِيمٌ

And it is not for any mortal that Allah should speak to him except by revelation or from behind a veil, or by sending a messenger and revealing by His permission what He pleases; Surly He is High, Wise. (42:51)

Excellent examples of these people are the Holy Prophet and Ahl al-Bayt. They were addressed by Allah due to the Holy Prophet’s mission and the Ahl al-Bayt received what was revealed to Allah’s messenger.

Describing Imam Ali (a.s.) who is one of the Ahl al-Bayt, the Holy Prophet says:

Surely, you hear what I hear and see what I see.51

Imam Ali (a.s.) had reached the highest stage of knowledge that a creature could reach, in a way that he would decisively say:

مَا كُنْتُ أعْبُدُ رَبَّاً أرَهُ.

I do not serve a Lord whom I have not seen.52

It was also Imam Ali (a.sز) who said:

لَوْ كُشِفَ لِيَ الغِطَاءُ مَا ازْدَدْتُ يَقِيناً.

If all the veils were removed, a bit would not add to my certainty.53

Since there was no veil between him and Allah and he was a medium between people and Allah due to his knowledge, and so the Holy Prophet had said:

أنَا وَ عَلِيٌ مِن نُورٍ وَاحِدٍ.

Ali and I are from the same light.54

Angels had prostrated themselves before the perfect man due to his knowledge of the Names. This prostration was due to the legal position and not the natural personality of the perfect man. It is for this reason that since then all angels have been under the spiritual power of the perfect man. Presently, all angels and other beings are under the eyes of Imam Mahdi (a.s.) - may Allah expedite his reappearance.

The Capacity Of Ahl Al-Bayt

Commenting on the capacity of the angels, Imam Ali (a.s.) says:

الثَابِتَةٌ و فِي الأرَضِينَ السُّفْنلَى أقْدَامُهُم، وَالمَارِقَةٌّ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ الْعُلْيَا أعْنَاقُهُم.

Among them are those also whose steps are fixed on earth but their necks are projecting into the skies.55

That is to say the angels are abstract truth hence they encompass the cosmos and have the universe under their cover. Based on narrations, the same abstract truth has manifested itself in the heart of the Holy Prophet and his Ahl al-Bayt. Since the Holy Quran dawned upon the heart of the Holy Prophet, nothing that emanates from him and his Ahl al-Bayt is but the truth, for man cannot have two hearts - one containing the truth and the other containing falsehood. Therefore, Ahl al-Bayt are nothing but the truth; they say nothing but the truth and do nothing but the truth. They are mercy for the world nations and all people enjoy their truth whether they want or not.

Since perfect men have reached up to the Umm al-Kitab (Mother of the Book), it has become tangible for them:

فِي كِتَابٍ مَكْنُونٍ  لَا يَمَسُّهُ إِلَّا الْمُطَهَّرُونَ 

In a book that is protected; none shall touch it save the purified ones. (56:78-79)

These men are beyond limits of nature and time; they have stepped on the past and future, that is to say, they have the time under their feet. For this reason, they are aware of the past and the future. They see the past as it happened and the future as it will happen. Do we not read in the Holy Quran that Allah showed to His Messenger during the Night Ascension the future of the universe until the Judgment Day and its aftermath:

ثُمَّ دَنَا فَتَدَلَّىٰ  فَكَانَ قَابَ قَوْسَيْنِ أَوْ أَدْنَىٰ  فَأَوْحَىٰ إِلَىٰ عَبْدِهِ مَا أَوْحَىٰ  مَا كَذَبَ الْفُؤَادُ مَا رَأَىٰ  أَفَتُمَارُونَهُ عَلَىٰ مَا يَرَىٰ  وَلَقَدْ رَآهُ نَزْلَةً أُخْرَىٰ  عِنْدَ سِدْرَةِ الْمُنْتَهَىٰ  عِنْدَهَا جَنَّةُ الْمَأْوَىٰ 

Then he drew near; then he bowed, so he was the measure of two bows or closer still. And He revealed to His servant what He revealed. The heart was not untrue in (making him see) what he saw. What! Do you then dispute with him as to what he saw? And certainly he saw Him in another descent, At the farthest lute-tree: Near which is the garden, the place to be resorted to. (53:8-15)

During the Night Ascension, Allah revealed to the Holy Prophet the essence of the Day of Judgment in the form of heaven and hell. So, the Holy Prophet not only has an understanding of the past and future and he also sees them all. Since Allah’s Messenger with all his spirituality is manifest in the Ahl al-Bayt, they too are aware of the past and the future.

Beyond doubt, the prayer of those who have such capacity and devotion cannot be compared with anyone else in a way that one second of their prayer is better than the prayer of men and jinn together. In this relation, the Holy Prophet says:

لَضَرْبَهٌ عَلِيٍّ يَوْمَ الْخَنْدَقِ أفْضَلُ مِنْ عِبَادَةِ الثَّقَلَيْنِ.

One blow of Ali’s sword in the Battle of the Ditch is better than the prayer of men and jinn.56

Ahl Al-Bayt, The Holy Quran’s Counterpart

A duty undertaken by all human beings especially Muslims is to understand the Holy Quran and to put into practice its teachings, which is the same as shown by lives of Ahl al-Bayt. The Holy Prophet during an illness, which led to his passing away, came out of his house while leaning on Imam Ali and Ibn Abbas. Leaning on one of the pillars of Medina Mosque, which was then the trunk of a palm tree, said to the people who were gathered in the mosque:

ألأ فَمَنْ. إنَّهُ لَمْ يَمُتْ نَبِيٌ قَطٌّ إلأ خَلَفَ تِرْكَةً؛ وَ قَدْ خَلَّفْتُ فِيكُمُ الْتَّقَلَيْنِ كِتَابَ الَّلهِ وَ أهْلَ بَيْتِي

. ضَيَّعَهُمْ ضَيَّعَهُ الَّلهُ

No prophet has passed away without leaving something behind him. I too leave behind me for you two valuable things, namely the Book of Allah and my Ahl al-Bayt. Be aware, whoever ignores them will be ignored by Allah.57

Imam Ali (a.s.) too has said:

إنَّ الَّلهَ تَبَارَكَ وَ تَعَالى طَهَّرَنَا و عَصَمَنَاَ وَجَعَلَنَا شُهَدَاءَ عَلَى خَلْقِهِ وَحُجَّتَهُ فِي أرْ ضِهِ؛ وَ جَعَلَنَا مَعَ الْقُرْآنِ وَجَعَلَ الْقُرْآنَ مَعَنَا لأ نُفارِقُهُ و لأ يُفَارِقُنَا.

Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, has purified us from uncleanness making us infallible. He made us the witness upon people setting us as a proof on the earth. He placed us with the Holy Quran and placed the Holy Quran with us. We will never part company with the Holy Quran nor will the Holy Quran part company with us.58

Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.) are the protected Quran, containing all meanings of the Book of Allah, aware of the manifest and hidden verses and the ones practicing the Quranic teachings. They are the practical examples of the Holy Quran and the full manifestation of the Book of Allah. Therefore, people should be, especially the Muslims, dutybound to the Holy Quran, then they would be dutybound to Ahl al-Bayt as well.

As for how the ummah took heed of the Holy Prophet’s recommendation about the Holy Quran and its counterpart, that is the Ahl al-Bayt, we should be aware of Ibn Dharr’s answer to Imam al-Baqir’s question:

One day, Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) asked Ibn Dharr if he had heard some hadiths. Ibn Dharr said, “O Son of Allah’s Messenger, the Holy Prophet said, “I am leaving among you two valuable things; one is greater than the other; the Book of Allah and my Ahl al- Bayt. If you resort to then, you will never go astray.”

Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) said, “O Ibn Dharr, if you ever meet Allah’s Messenger and he asks you what you have done about these two valuable things, what will your answer be?”
Ibn Dharr started weeping bitterly and said,

!أمَّا الأكْبَرُ فَمَزَّقَنَاهُ، وَأمَّا الأصْغَرُ فَقَتَلَاهُ

“Alas! We have torn apart the Greater one and killed the smaller one.”59

Ahl al-Bayt are the Holy Quran’s counterpart hence they have all the features of the Book:

The Holy Quran is full of knowledge. So are the Ahl al-Bayt.

The Holy Quran is light. So are the Ahl al-Bayt.

The Holy Quran is balance. So are the Ahl al-Bayt.

The Holy Quran is pure. So are the Ahl al-Bayt.

The Holy Quran is guidance. So are the Ahl al-Bayt.

The Holy Quran is an intercessor on the Judgment Day. So are the Ahl al- Bayt.

Ahl Al-Bayt And Knowledge

The Holy Quran says that when Prophet Sulayman (Solomon) sent back the emissaries of Queen Sheba, he said to the chiefs of his court:

قَالَ يَا أَيُّهَا الْمَلَأُ أَيُّكُمْ يَأْتِينِي بِعَرْشِهَا قَبْلَ أَنْ يَأْتُونِي مُسْلِمِينَ  قَالَ عِفْرِيتٌ مِنَ الْجِنِّ أَنَا آتِيكَ بِهِ قَبْلَ أَنْ تَقُومَ مِنْ مَقَامِكَ ۖ وَإِنِّي عَلَيْهِ لَقَوِيٌّ أَمِينٌ  قَالَ الَّذِي عِنْدَهُ عِلْمٌ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ أَنَا آتِيكَ بِهِ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَرْتَدَّ إِلَيْكَ طَرْفُكَ ۚ فَلَمَّا رَآهُ مُسْتَقِرًّا عِنْدَهُ قَالَ هَٰذَا مِنْ فَضْلِ رَبِّي لِيَبْلُوَنِي أَأَشْكُرُ أَمْ أَكْفُرُ ۖ وَمَنْ شَكَرَ فَإِنَّمَا يَشْكُرُ لِنَفْسِهِ ۖ وَمَنْ كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ رَبِّي غَنِيٌّ كَرِيمٌ 

He said: O chiefs! Which of you can bring to me her throne before they come to me in submission? One audacious among the Jinn said: I will bring it to you before you rise up from your place; and most surely I am strong and trustworthy of it. One who had the knowledge of the Book said: I will bring it to you in the twinkling of an eye. Then when he saw it settled besides him, he said: This is of the grace of my Lord that He may try me whether I am grateful or ungrateful; and whoever is ungrateful, then surely my Lord is Self sufficient, Honoured, (27:38-40)

In another place of the Holy Quran, we read about one who has the knowledge of the Book:

وَيَقُولُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَسْتَ مُرْسَلًا ۚ قُلْ كَفَىٰ بِاللَّهِ شَهِيدًا بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَكُمْ وَمَنْ عِنْدَهُ عِلْمُ الْكِتَابِ

And those who disbelieve say, “You are not a messenger.” Say, “Allah is sufficient as a witness between me and you. So is he who has knowledge of the Book.”13:43)

In the earlier verse, the Arabic preposition min (of) that comes between ilm (knowledge) and kitab (Book) means “part of”, whereas in the latter verse, there is nothing between these two words, meaning one who has the entire knowledge of the Book; one whose witness to Prophethood is the same as the witness of Allah. This one must be the most knowledgeable after the Holy Prophet. This person - as the grand Shiite commentators relying on narrations related to Ahl al-Bayt and great Sunni commentators relying on their own narrations state - is no one but the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (a.s) who was not older than twenty!

Abu-Said Khidri, a reporter of hadith accepted by Sunni scholars, says:

سَألْتُ رَسُولَ الًّلهِ عَنْ قَولِالَّلهِ تَعَالَى: (وَمَنْ عِنْدَهُ عِلْمُ الْكِتَابِ) قَالَ: ذَالِكَ أخِي عَليٌّ بْنُ أبِي طَالِبِ.

I asked Allah’s Messenger, Who is the one intended by Allah’s saying, ‘so is he who the knowledge of the Book’” The Holy Prophet answered, “He is my brother, Ali ibn Abi-Talib.”60

Imam Ali (a.s.), having been asked about the meaning of the same verse, has said:

أنَا هُوَ الَّذِي عِنْدَه عِلْمُ الْكِتابِ

I am the one with whom is the knowledge of the Book.61

When Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) was asked by Abd al-Rahman ibn Kuthayr about the meaning of the following verse,

One who had the knowledge of the Book said: I will bring it to you in twinkling of an eye” -,

the Imam, spreading his fingers and putting them on his chest, said:

. كُلُّهُ الْكِتَابِ عِلْمُ ، الَّلهُ وَ ، عِنْدَنَا وَ

By Allah, the entire knowledge of the Book is with us.62

Referring to Ahl al-Bayt, Allah’s Messenger said:

هُمْ خُزَّانِي عَلَى عِلْمِي مِنْ بَعْدِكَ : قَالَ لِيَ الَّلهُ تَعَالَى

Allah has told me: They are the treasurers of My Knowledge after you.463

Imam Zayn al-Abidin (a.s) has said:

نَحْنُ أبْوَابُ الَّله‘ ونَحْنُ الصِّرَاطُ الْمُسْتَقِيمُ، وَنَحْنُ عَيْبَةٌ عِلْمِهِ، وَنَحْنُ تَرَاجِمَةٌ وَحْيهِ، وَ نَحْنُ أرْكَانُ تَوْحِيدِهِ، وَنَحْنُ مَوضِعُ سِرِّهِ.

We are the gates to Allah; the straight path; the container of His knowledge; the interpreters of His revelation; the pillars of monotheism; and the closet of His secrets.64

Imam Ali Amir al-Muminin (a.s.) has said:

ألأ إنَّ الْعِلْمَ الَّذِي هَبَطَ بِهِ آدَمُ وَ جَمِيعَ مَا فُضِّلَتْ بِهِ النَّبِيُّونَ إلَى خَاتَمِ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالْمُرْسَلِينَ، مُحَمَّدٍ! فَأيْنَ يُتَاهُ بِكُم؟ وَأيْنَ تَدهَبُونَ؟

Beware! The knowledge brought down by Adam and the excellent deeds of the Prophets, up to the last one of them, is with the Progeny of the seal of the Prophets. So to which deviated way are you pushed and where are you going?65

The Holy Prophet (S) has said:

نَحْنُ، أهْلَ البَيتِ، مَفَاتِيحُ الرَّحْمَةِ وَمَوْضِعُ الرِّسَالَةِ وَ مُخْتَلَفُ الْمَلأئِكَةِ وَمَعْدِنُ الْعِلْمِ.

We, the Ahl al-Bayt, are the keys of Mercy, the destination of the Prophetic mission, the haunt of angels, and the source of knowledge.66

Imam Zayn al-Abidin has said:

مَا يَنْقِمُ النَّاسُ مِنَّا؟ فَنَحْنُ، وَالَّلهِ، شَجَرَةُ النُّبُوَّةِ وَبَيْتُ الرَّحْمَةِ وَمَعْدِنُ الْعِلْمِ وَمُخْتَلْفُ الْمَلأئِكَةِ.

Why do people harbor grudge against us? By Allah, we are the tree of Prophethood, the house of mercy, the source of knowledge and the haunt of angels.67

Ahl al-Bayt know the Chief Name (al-ism al-a’dham) of Allah; they are familiar with all languages; they are aware of the past and the future; they have the knowledge of the Divine Books and they see what has happened and what will happen. Ahl al-Bayt are the House of Allah, Noah’s Ark, the Quran’s counterpart, the excellent people, those who are in authority, people of Reminder, roots of truth, source of Divine mission, pillars of world and the guardians of faith.

Ahl Al-Bayt And Devotion

Due to their complete knowledge of Allah, Ahl al-Bayt are in a permanent state of submission to Him. Their association with people, their silence and speaking, their eating and drinking, their marriage and business, their war and peace, their presence at home and on journey, their wearing of clothes, their listening and looking, their sleep and wakefulness, their weeping and smiling - to sum it up, all their behaviors and deeds were all filled with devotion.

The devotion of Ahl al-Bayt is based on the knowledge of Allah, His love and a sense of duty, and not because of fear of Hell or a desire for Paradise.

The opinion of Ahl al-Bayt about their own and different kinds of prayer shows that their devotion was with a pure intention, away from any doubt. Nevertheless, they considered their prayer to be unworthy before the All- magnanimity of Allah. Comparing their prayer with that of Allah’sMessenger, they start weeping.

Imam Ali (a.s) has been reported as saying:

مَا عَبَدْتُكَ طَمَعاً فِي جَنَّتِكَ وَلأ خَوْفَاً مِنْ نَارِكَ! وَلَكِنْ وَجَدْتُكَ أهُلاً لِلْعِبَادَةِ فَعَبَدْتُكَ.

I served You (O Lord) not on account of desire for Paradise or fear of Hellfire; but I found You the worthiest of being worshipped. So, I decided to serve You.68

The Imam (a.s.) also says:

إنَّ قَوماً عَبَدوا الَّلهَ رَغَبَة، فَتِلكَ عِبَادَهُ التُّجَّارِ! وَإنَّ قَوْماً عَبَدوالًّلهَ رَهْبَةً، فَتِلْكَ عِبَادَةُ الْعَبِيدِ! وَإنَّ قَوماً عَبَدوا الَّلهَ شُكْراً، فَتِلْكَ عِبَادَةُ الأحْرَارِ.

Some people serve Allah out of desire for reward. This is the prayer of the merchants. Others serve Allah out of fear, which is the prayer of slaves. Still others serve Allah out of gratitude, this is the prayer of the freeborn.69

By Allah! If Allah would tell Ahl al-Bayt that I have removed Paradise and hell from the universe and there is no such a thing as reward and punishment, the quality and quantity of their prayer would not be changed a bit. Imam al-Baqir (a.s) narrated the following:

One night, the Holy Prophet was in Aishah’s house, he was engaged in praying so much so that Aishah said, “O Allah’sMessenger! Why are you making yourself so tired while Allah has forgiven your faults (if at all there were any) in the past and future?” The Holy Prophet said,

اَفَلأ أكُونُ عَبْداً شَكُوراً؟

"Should I not be a grateful servant before Allah?"70

Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) has further said:

Allah’s Messenger prayed so much so that Allah revealed the following verse,

طه مَا أَنْزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْآنَ لِتَشْقَىٰ

Ta-Ha! We have not revealed the Quranto you that you may be exhausted. (20:1-2)

The worship of the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was so wonderful that the Imams have said that no one can worship Allah as much as Imam Ali did. Like Allah’s Messenger and Imam Ali, the other members of Ahl al- Bayt were unique in worship. It is for this reason that they attained the station of wilayah (divinely commissioned leadership) and they were able to do extraordinary works in addition that they had the right of intercession and leadership over men and jinn hence obeying then was obligatory for all.

The Meaning of Devotion

Devotion is to coordinate all activities and inactivates, as well as life and death with the will of Allah based on a pure intention:

قُلْ إِنَّ صَلَاتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Say: Surely my prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are (all) for Allah, the Lord of the worlds. (6:162)

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has been reported as saying:

الْعُبُودِيَّةٌ جَوْهَرَةٌ كُنْهُهَا الرُّبُوبِيَّةٌ

Serving Allah is a noble act leading to Godliness.

Stages of Devotion

To attain devotion, one must go through certain stages as follows:

Stage one is to control oneself by promoting the quality of prayer with a pure intention as required by Allah:

وَالَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا فِينَا لَنَهْدِيَنَّهُمْ سُبُلَنَا ۚ...

And as for those who strive hard for us, we will most certainly guide them in Our ways… (29:69)

إِنْ تَتَّقُوا اللَّهَ يَجْعَلْ لَكُمْ فُرْقَانًا...

If you are careful of your duty to Allah, H e will grant you a distinction… (8:29)

إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ تَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنْكَرِ ...

Surely prayer keeps (one) away from indecency and evil. (29:45)

كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may guard against evil. (2:183)

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اسْتَعِينُوا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَاةِ ...

O you who believe! Seek assistance through patience and prayer. (2:153)

At this stage of submission, man overcomes his carnal desires.

Stage two is to control imaginative faculty, which is one of the wonderful faculties present in the human beings. Due to this faculty, man's mind jumps from one subject to another through association of ideas. This faculty is not under our control; rather, we are under its wonderful control. It is for this reason that it is sometimes impossible for us to concentrate on a certain subject without being distracted. The imaginative faculty pushes us this way and that way like when we try to have presence of mind in our prayer but we cannot.

The followers of spiritual path at this stage overcome their imaginative faculty making it submissive. The result is that when the soul of the worshippers desires to go up, there will be neither disturbance nor any disruption.

Based on the following holy verse,

لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا

Allah does not impose upon any soul a duty but to the extent of its ability (2:286)

man should turn his mind to Allah in prayer to the extent of his ability. Islam does not approve of mortification, which is strict self-discipline as exercised by some ascetics. Heart's attention to Allah will certainly paves the way for the presence of mind and concentration.

Stage three is to promote soul in a way that it will be in no need of body while body is in full need of it. Soul and body are in need of each other. The life of body depends on soul, which is its guardian. The reason soul can be in no need of body is that in certain activities, it can do without body. This might happen for a few seconds or permanently. This is called ‘ouster of body’. The illuminist philosopher, Sohrawardi, has said:

We do not recognize a theologian as a theologian unless he can ‘oust his body’.

Mirdamad says:

We do not recognize a theologian as a theologian unless ouster of body is internalized for him so that he can realize it whenever he wishes.

Stage four is to bring the body under personal control in a way that man can do extraordinary deeds in relation to his body. In this connection, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) has said:

مَا ضَعُفَ بَدَنٌ عَمَّا قَوِيَتْ عَلَيْهِ النَّيَّةٌ.

Body does not show weakness when there is strong intention.71

Stage five is the highest stage in which even the nature is brought under the influence of man's will. The miracles of the Prophets, Imams and saints are of this category. Miracles are of the type of personal initiative to do extraordinary works with the help of Allah. Extraordinary works, such as turning a rod into a serpent, healing the blind, giving life to a dead person and knowing about a hidden secret, are all examples of miracles.

Some people have the impression that the miracle worker has no part in the extraordinary work and Allah realizes it, for miracles are outside human power. This is a wrong impression, for the Holy Quran expressly considers the messengers as the miracle workers who do so with Allah's permission. This permission is to grant a kind of authority, which is the source of miracles, and if Allah does not will, he denies the authority:

وَمَا كَانَ لِرَسُولٍ أَنْ يَأْتِيَ بِآيَةٍ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ...

And it was not meet for an apostle that he should bring a sign except with Allah's permission. (40:78)

According to this Quranic verse, the miracle workers are Prophets who, with the permission of the Creator, are the executors of the Divine will and signs of Him. As for their miracles, Prophets are aided by the invisible source. In the story of Prophet Sulayman and the Queen of Sheba, we read: One who had the knowledge of the Book said:

I will bring it to you in the twinkling of an eye… (27:40)

The Holy Quran says that the extraordinary work was performed as a result of a kind of knowledge, which can be acquired with a link to the protected Book and nearness to Allah. Therefore, the Holy Quran agrees that man can do extraordinary deeds and bring about changes in universe with self-purification. They are all the result of nearness to Allah and everyone can do so to the extent of his affinity with Allah.

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) has reported Allah's Messenger as saying that Allah Almighty says:

مَا تَقَّرَّبَ إلَيَّ عَبْدٌ بِشَيْءٍ أحَبَّ الَيَّ مِمَّا افْتَرضْتُ عَلَيْهِ، وَانَّهُ لَيَتَقَرَّبُ الَّيَّ بالنَّافِلَةِ حَتَي أحِبَّهُ، فَإذَا أحْبَبتُهُ كُنْتُ سَمْعَهُ الَّذِي يَسْمَعُ بِهِ وَبَصَرَهُ الَّذِي يُبْصِرُ بِهِ وَلِسَانَهُ الَّذِي يَنْطِقُ بِهِ وَيَدَهُ الَّذِي يَبْطِشُ بِهَا. إنْ دَعَانِي أجَبْتُهُ وَإنْ سألَنِي أعْطَيْتُهُ.

A servant cannot seek nearness to Me through any means that may be more beloved to Me than (carrying out) religious duties. He may seek My nearness through supererogatory prayers so that I may love him. If I do, I will be his hearing, his sight, his tongue, and his hand. Then, I will certainly answer him when he prays Me and I will grant him that which he asks from Me.72

The only way to be perfect is submission to Allah the result of which is godliness and doing extraordinary works.

Ahl al-Bayt, due to their devotion, have reached a station by which they are nearer to Allah than any other mortal, including angels. This is the reason why their power of working miracles is so great.

Ahl Al-Bayt And Absorption In Allah

In a narration, we read that in the Battle of Uhud, an arrow had pierced Imam Ali’s leg. The pain was so severe that he would not allow anyone to take it out of his leg. When the Holy Prophet was informed, he said, “Postpone it to the time of prayer.” When Imam Ali (a.s) was engaged in prayer, the arrow was taken out of his leg because he was so absorbed in prayer that he did not feel the pain.

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) reported that when Imam Zayn al-Abidin (a.s.) was reading a part of Imam Ali's Book on prayer, he would say to himself,

مَنْ يُطِيِقُ هَذَا؟ مَنْ يُطِيقُ هَذَا؟

"Who can have such tolerance? Who can have such tolerance?"

He would then try the same prayer73.

One day, Jabir ibn Abdullah asked Imam Zayn al-Abidin (a.s.),

“O Son of Allah’s Messenger! Do you not know that Allah created Paradise for you and for your friends, and created the Fire for the ill wishers and for your enemies? So, what is all this hard working for?” Imam Zayn al-Abidin said:

O Companion of Allah’s Messenger! Do you not know that Allah forgave all the past and future faults for my ancestors? Nevertheless, the Holy Prophet never put aside obeisance and submission to Allah and kept on worshipping Him. May my parents be sacrificed for him! When he was asked, “Has not Allah said in His Book, ‘…that Allah may forgive your community their past faults and those to follow’?" Allah’s Messenger answered, “Should I not be a grateful servant?”74

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said:

كَانَ أبِي يُصَلَّي فِي جَوفِ الَّيلِ فَيَسْجُدُ السَّجْدَةَ فَيُطِيلُ حَتَّي نَقُولَ: إنَّهُ رَاقِدٌ.

My father prayed in the middle of the night. His prostration would be so long that we would think that he had gone to sleep.75

This is the Ahl al-Bayt’s station of absorption in Allah in a way that they are being separated from their bodies and this world, and “They are nearer to Allah’s spirit than the rays to the sun.”76

As for Imam Hasan’s worship, it is narrated that he was the most pious of his time. During the season of Hajj, he would walk barefoot from Medina to Mecca. Whenever he would think of death, he would start to weep. When the word ‘grave’ was mentioned to him, he would weep, for then he would think of the Judgment Day. Whenever he thought of Sirat, he would weep; and whenever he thought of Reckoning before Allah, he would cry and faint.

When he was preparing himself for prayer, he would shiver out of fear of Allah; and whenever he was speaking of heaven and hell, he would become disturbed. Then, he would pray to Allah for heaven and seek His refuge from Hellfire. Whenever he recited a verse beginning with ‘O you who believe’, he would say, “Here I am, O Allah, here I am.”77

When the Imam was performing ablution, his limbs trembled and his face got pale. When it was asked of him, “Why are you in such a state?” he would say, “O Allah! Your guest is at your threshold; O Forgiving Allah! A Sinner has come to you! O Allah! Forgive my sins by Your Greatness.”78

In a narration, we read that: One day Imam al-Baqir (a.s) went to see his father, Imam Zayn al-Abidin. Imam al-Baqir was thinking that his father had reached a stage in devotion that no one had ever reached. So, he says that as my father was thoughtful, he became aware of my presence only after sometime. When he saw me crying, he said, “Fetch me one of Imam Ali’s writings about prayer.” As I did so, he asked, “Who can pray like Ali ibn Abi-Talib?”79

As for Imam al-Kadhim (a.s.), it is related that he was the most pious, the most knowledgeable, the most generous, and the most honorable of his time. He would always perform his supererogatory prayers at nights linking them to the Morning Prayer and would be engaged in recommended acts of worship until sunrise. Then he would prolong his prostration until Noon Prayer, saying:

أللَّهُمَّ إنِّي أسْألُكَ الرَّاحَةعِنْدَ الْمَوتِ وَالْعَفْوَ عِنْدَ الْحِسَابِ.

O Allah! I am asking You to ease death and forgiveness at Reckoning.

In one of his prayers, he would say:

عَظُمَ الدَّنْبُ فَلْيَحْسُنِ الْعَفْوُ مِنْ عِنْدِكَ.

Grave has been the sin of Your servant; so, let forgiveness from You be nice.

He would weep for fear of Allah. He cared for his own family and relatives more than others. He would go to the needy at nights with a basket full of coins, flour and dates. He was in the prison of the Abbasid tyrannical rulers for years until he was martyred. He influenced other prisoners so greatly that they all repented to Allah. It is narrated that whenever Harun al-Rashid went to the top of the prison, he would see some clothes in one of its corners. One day he asked the jailor, “What are those clothes I see everyday?” The jailor said, “These are not clothes; this is Musa ibn Ja`far who is in prostration every day from sunrise to sunset!”

About the torturers of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s), Salih ibn Wasif, the chief jailor, says, “What is to be done? I appointed two persons to torture him. After observing the Imam’s worship, they were so impressed that they themselves started worshipping Allah in such a manner that surprised everybody.” I summoned up them, asking why they had changed, why they had stopped torturing him, what they had seen. They said, “What should we say about a man who fasts the days and is engaged in prayer at nights? When he looks at us, our bodies start shivering and such awe overwhelms us that we cannot control ourselves.”80

Ahl Al-Bayt, The Whole Truth

Since Ahl al-Bayt stand at the highest level of devotion, submission and endeavor, they reflect the whole truth like a mirror.

Their station of devotion and submission is a manifestation of Allah’sAttributes, their moral virtues, strong faith and a jumping board for gaining nearness to Allah in readiness to meet Him.

Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) describes Ahl al-Bayt as such:

أسَّلامُ عَلَيْكُم يَا أهْلَ بَيتِ النُّبُوَّةِ، وَمَوضِعَ الرِّسالَةِ، وَمُخْتَلَفَ الْملائِكَةِ، وَمَهْبِطَ الْوَحْىِ، وَمَعْدِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ، وَخُزَّانَ الْعِلْمِ، وَ مُنْتَهَى الْحِلْمِ، وَأُصُولَ الْكَرَمِ، وَقَادَةَ الأُمَمِ، وَأوْلِياءَ النِّعَمِ، وَعَنَاصِرَ الأبْرارِ وَ دَعَائِمَ الأخْيَارِ، وَسَاسَة الْعِبادِ، وأرْكَانَ البِلادِ، وَأبْوَابَ الأْيمَانِ، وَأُمَناءَ الرَّحْمنِ، وَسُلالَة النَّبِيِّينَ، وَصَفْوَةَ الْمُرسَلينَ، وَعِتْرَةَ خِيَرَةِ رَبِّ الْعالَمينَ وَرَحْمَةٌ اللَّهِ وَ بَرَكاتُهُ، أسَّلامُ عَلى أئِمَّةِ الْهُدى، وَمَصَابِيحِ الدُّجى، وَأعْلامِ التُّقى، وَ ذَوِى النُّهى، وَأُولِى الْحِجى، وَ كَهْفِ الْوَرى، وَوَرَثَةِ الأنْبِياءِ، وَمَثَلِ الأعْلى، وَالدَّعْوَةِ الْحُسْنى، وَحُجَجِ اللَّهِ أهْلِ الدُّنْيا وَالأخِرَةِ والأُّولى وَرَحْمَةُ وَبَرَكاتُهُ، ألسَّلامُ عَلى مَحَالِّ مَعْرِفَةِ اللَّهِ، وَمَسَاكِنِ وَ بَرَكَاةِ اللَّهِ، وَمَعَادِنِ حِكْمَةِ اللَّهِ، وَحَفَظَةِ سِرِّ اللَّهِ، وَحَمَلَةِ كِتابِ اللَّهِ، وَأوْصِياءِ نَبِيِّ اللَّهِ، وَذُّرِّيَّةِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَلِهِ وَرَحْمَةُ اللَّهِ وَبَرَكاتُهُ، أسَّلامُ عَلَى الدُّعَاةِ الَى اللَّهِ.

Peace be on you, O Household of the Prophet! You are the center of the Divine mission. Unto you the angels return to adopt your opinions and to learn from you. You are the destination of the Divine revelation; the originating source of mercy, the treasures of wisdom, the ultimate in forbearance, the foundation of generosity, the leaders of all nations. You administer and distribute bounties without interruption. You are the elements of virtue and pillars of goodness.

You direct and guide mankind, protect and support the lands wherein people live, let in and lead them on to faith. The Beneficent Lord has assigned to you the responsibility of dealing with His Benevolence; you are the distinguished descendent of the Prophets, the cream of the noble born children of the Messengers, the pure family of the "Best individual", in the assessment of the Lord of the worlds!

Peace be on the Guides (Imams) who show the Right Path, fill the darkness with light, teach and demonstrate the awareness of boundaries laid down by Allah. Peace be on the exponents of the views and beliefs which acquaint with awareness of Allah, wherever you are, there are the blessings of Allah, the wisdom of Allah is deposited with you, the secrets of Allah have been put in your safe keeping, you know the Book of Allah by heart, you are the successors of the Prophet of Allah, peace be on you who invite people unto Allah.81

All the Prophets who came before the Holy Prophet of Islam and their books were an attempt to pave the way for the advent of Allah’s Messenger so that all creatures, especially human beings, move towards perfection - thanks to these noble ones who are the rope, shadow, and trustees of Allah. For this reason, they made a covenant to prepare the ground for the advent of the root of Ahl al-Bayt, namely, the Holy Prophet.

وَلَمْ يُخْلِ سُبْحَانَهُ خَلْقَهُ مِنْ نَبِيٍّ مُرْسَلٍ أوْ كِتَابٍ مُنْزَلٍ أوِّ حُجَّةٍ لأزِمَةٍ.

Allah never allowed His creation to remain without a Prophet deputed by Him, or a book sent down from Him or a binding argument.82

Based on this, the Holy Prophet says:

نَحْنُ الآخِرُونَ السَّابِقُونَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ.

We are the last ones in this world but foremost on the Judgment Day.83

Shiite and Sunni reference books of Hadith have reported Allah’s Messenger as saying:

آدَمُ وَمَنْ دُونَهُ تَحْتَ لِوَائِي يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ.

Adam as well as all the other human beings will be under my banner on the Judgment Day. 84

Due to their extensive ability and knowledge, Ahl al-Bayt are the paragon of “The last ones are the foremost and the foremost are the first ones and nothing is like them.”85

The reason for being ‘foremost’ is that Ahl al-Bayt are the beginning and the end of the universe as Allah has so willed. In al-Ziyarah al-Jamiah al-Kabirah, Imam al-Hadi (a.s.) refers to this same truth:

Allah opened the gate of universe and truth with you and will end it with you. The people will return to you and their reckoning is with you.86

Therefore, all the Prophets set the ground for the presence of Ahl al-Bayt among creatures. These noblemen were sent to produce a link between Allah and His creatures leaving no excuse for nations of the world.

Actually their existence on the earth is concurrent with the fall of the sun, which is the noon of universe. Then the afternoon of universe begins and universe will become contracted. When the era of the advent of the Holy Prophet and Ahl al-Bayt (a.s) and that of Imam al-Mahdi (may Allah expedite his reappearance) comes to an end, and the sun sets, all the universe will merge into an absolute contraction and the second darkness begins after the passage of millions of years of the first darkness. At that time, Allah will say:

لِمَنِ اٌمُلْكُ اٌلْيَوْمَ؟

To whom belongs the kingdom today? (40:16)

Then, according to the Holy Quran, the Judgment Day begins: an eternal day without any night.

Neither the Holy Quran nor have the narrations made any reference to “the Judgment Night”; rather it is the Day of Judgment. As the day begins with the rising of sun, the Judgment Day too will begin with the light of Muhammad who has been described as a light-giving torch in the Holy Quran (33:46). He will be the first to enter the presence of Allah on that day. With his being the Face of Allah and His Light, the scene of the final gathering will be illuminated and an eternal day would emerge:

وَأشْرَقَتِ اٌلأَرْضُ بِنُورِ رَبِّهاَ وَوُضِعَ الْكِتَبُ...

And the earth shall beam with the light of its Lord and the Book shall be laid down. (39:69)

In view of its content, this verse refers to the Judgment Day and most of the narrations consider the light of the Lord as the Holy Prophet and the Infallible Imams.

With the dawn of the Light of Allah, which is the light of Muhammad, the morning of the Judgment Day will dawn and a permanent day will begin.

Thanks to this light, the entire truth will show itself and all hidden secrets will be disclosed and then the Reckoning will begin.

Reporting the Holy Prophet (S), Imam al-Baqir (a.s) has said:

أنَا أوَّلُ وَافِدٍ عَلى العَزِيزِ الْجَبَّارِ يَوْمَ القِيَامَة، وَكِتَابُهُ ؤأهْلُ بَيْتِي، ثُمَّ أمَّتِي، ثُمَّ أسْألُهُمْ مَا فَعَلْتُمْ بِكِتَابِ اللَّهِ وِأهْلِ بَيْتِي؟

I will be the first to stand before Allah along with His Book and Ahl al-Bayt and then my ummah. Then I will ask my ummah, “How did you treat the Book of Allah and my Ahl al-Bayt?” 87

Ahl Al-Bayt; Ark of Salvation

The pure souls of Ahl al-Bayt and their light were created before other creatures; they were placed around Allah’s Throne. They were engaged in glorifying Allah until He put each of those pure souls in a body at the proper time and revealed them among people for their guidance as a favor:

خَلْقَكُمُ اللَّهُ أنْوَاراً فَجَعَلَكُمْ بِعَرْشِهِ مُحْدِقِينَ حَتَّي مَنَّ عَلَيْنَا بِكُمْ فَجَعَلَكُمْ بُيُوتٍ أذِنَ اللًّهُ أنْ تُرْفَعَ وَيُدْكَرَ فِيهَا اسْمُهُ.

Allah created you in the form of light; He then kept you closely attached with his Throne until you were sent down to this world as a favor to us. He allowed you to pronounce and praise His Name aloud in the Houses of Allah.88

O Ahl al-Bayt, you were like Noah’s Ark from the time you were placed around Allah’s Throne to save those who have fallen into the whirlpool of tribulation:

فَبَلَغَ اللَّهُ بِكُمْ أشْرَفَ مَحَلِّ الْمُكَرَّمِينَ وأعلَى مَنَازِلِ الْمُقَرَّبِينَ وَ أرْفَعَ دَرَجَاتِ الْمُرْسَلِينَ.

Allah made you reach the noblest position of glory, the highest station that was nearest to Him, and the loftiest status among those of the Messengers.89

O Ahl al-Bayt, you have attained such spirituality through knowledge, faith and offering help to people in this world that you have reached the position of the most honorable prophets.

Authentic books of Hadith have reported Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) as saying: When Adam fell from heaven, he was deprived of associating with the angels and lost a garment of dignity which covered his private parts, he said to Allah,

أللَّهُمَّ بِجَاهِ مُحَمَّدٍ وَعَلِيٍّ وَ فَاطِمَةَ وَالْحَسَنِ وَالحُسَيْنِ وَ الطَّيَّبِينَ مِنْ آلِهِمْ لَمَّا تَفَضَّلَتَ بِقَبُولِ تَوْبَتِي وَ غُفْرَانِ زَلَّتِي وَإعَادَتِي مِنْ كَرَامَتِكَ إلَى مَرْتَبَتِي.

“O Allah! By the honor of Muhammad, Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn and the purified ones of Ahl al-Bayt, do me a favor by accepting my repentance, forgiving my sin and giving back my dignity.”

Allah answered, “Verily, I accept your repentance, turn to you with pleasure, send my bounties and blessings to you, restore your position by My grace, and make perfect for you your share of My mercy.” This is the meaning of Allah’s words,

فَتَلَقَّىٰ آدَمُ مِنْ رَبِّهِ كَلِمَاتٍ فَتَابَ عَلَيْهِ ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ

"Then Adam received some words form his Lord, So He turned to him mercifully; surely He is oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful. (2:37)"

Abu-Dharr, touching the door of Kabah said I have heard Allah’s Messenger say:

ألأ إنَّ مَثَلَ أهْلِ بَيْتِي فِيكُمْ مَثَلُ سَفِينَةِ نُوحٍ؛ مَنْ رَكِبَهَا نَجَا، وَمَنْ تَخَلَّفَ عَنْهَا هَلَكَ.

Beware! The parable of my Ahl al-Bayt among you is like Noah’s Ark. Whoever enters it will be saved and whoever refuses to enter it will suffer perdition.90

Imam Ali (a.s.) is reported to say:

Were it not for saving and guiding people, Allah would not have sent us to this world. We were engaged in glorifying Him around His throne. We are not people of the world; rather, we have been sent to rid you of atheism, carnal desires and ignorance, and to promote you to the zenith of humanity. We have come here to lead you from darkness to guidance. Now that the situation is like that, place your hands in our hands and promise loyalty so that we will save you from this tumultuous sea to the shore of safety.

The Holy Prophet (S) has said:

نَحْنُ سَفِينَةٌ النَّجَاةِ؛ مَنْ تَعَلَّقَ بِهَا نَجَا، وَ مَنْ حَادَ عَنْهَا هَلَكَ. فَمَنْ كَانَ لَهُ إلَى اللَّهِ حَاجَةَ فَلْيَسْألْ بِنَا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ.

We are the boat of salvation. Whoever holds on to it will be saved, and whomever keeps away from it will meet perdition, whoever has a request from Allah should ask for it through us, the Ahl al-Bayt. 91

Addressing Kumayl, Imam Ali (a.s.) says:

يَا كُمَيْلُ! قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ قَوْلاً – وَاُلمُهَاجِرُونَ وَالأنْصَارُ مُتَوَا فِرُونَ يَوماً بَعْدَ الْعَصْرِ يَومَ الْنِّصْفِ مِنْ شَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ- قَاىِماً عَلْى قَدَمَيْهِ فَوْقَ مِنْبَرِهِ. عَلِيٌ وَا بْنَايَ مِنْهُ الْطَّيِّبُونَ مِنِّي، وَهُمُ الطَّيِّبُونَ بَعْدَ أُمِّهِمْ، وَهُم سَفِينَةٌ مَنْ رَكَبِهَا نَجَا وَمَنْ تَخَلَّفَ عَنْهَا هَوَى؛ النَّاجِي فِي الْجَنَّةِ وَالهَاوِي فِي لَظَى.

O Kumayl! One day, while the Helpers (Ansar) and the Immigrants (Muhajirun) who had gathered to follow for the Afternoon Prayer in mid-Ramadhan while Allah’s Messenger was stationed on his pulpit, he said: Ali and his two purified sons are from me and I am from them; they are like a ship - whoever boards it will be saved and whoever refuses to do so, will drown. The saved one is in heaven and the drowned will be in Hellfire.92

Imam Ali (a.s.) has also said:

مَنِ اتَّبَعَ أمْرَنَا سَبَقَ، مَنْ رَكِبَ غَيْرَ سَفِنَتِنَا غَرَقَ.

Whoever follows our command will be successful and whoever enters any ship other than ours will be drowned.93

As we know, stars help those traveling by sea to come to the shore of safety. In a narration, the Holy Prophet (S) compares Ahl al-Bayt with stars in terms of safety:

الْنُّجُومُ أمَانٌ لأِهْلِ الأرْضِ مِنَ الْغَرقِ، وَأهْلُ بَيْتِي أمَانٌ لأُمَّتِي مِنْ الإخْتِلأفِ؛ فَإذَا خَالَفَتُهَا قَبِيلَةَ مِنَ الْعَرَبِ اخْتَلَفُوا فَصَارُوا حِزْبَ إبْلِيسَ.

Stars are a source of guidance for those living on the earth and my Ahl al-Bayt are a source of safety from differences. So, if any Arab tribe challenges them, they will be engaged with discrepancies among each other and hence become a party to Satan.94

إنَّمَا مَثَلُ أهْلِ بَيْتِي فِيكُمْ مَثَلُ بَابِ حِطَّةٍ فِي بَنِي إسْرَائيلَ؛ مَنْ دَخَلَهُ غُفِرَ لَهُ.

Verily, the parable of my Ahl al-Bayt is like the gate of Hittah (forgiveness) for the children of Israel. Whoever goes through it will be forgiven.95

Imam Ali (a.s.) says:

نَحْنُ بَابُ حِطَّةٍ، وَهُوَ بَابُ السَّللأمُ، مَنْ دَخَلَهُ نَجَا، وَمَنْ تَخَلَّفَ عَنْهُ هَوَى.

We are the gate of Hittah, which is the gate of peace and safety. Whoever enters through it will be saved and whoever refuses will meet perdition.96

ألأ إنَّ الْعِلْمَ الَّذِي فِي هَبَطَ بِهِ آدَمُ وَجَميَعَ مَا فُضِّلَتْ بِهِ الَّبِيُّونَ إلَى خَاتَمِ النَّبِيِّنَ فِي عِتْرَةِ خَاتَمِ النَّبِيِّينَ فِي عِتْرَةِ خَاتِمِ النَّبِيِّينَ، فَأيْنَ يُتَاهُ بِكُمْ؟ وَأيْنَ تَدْهَبُونَ؟ وَإنَّهُم فِيكُمْ كَأصْحَابِ الْكَهْفِ، وَمَثَلٌهُمْ بَابُ حِطَّةٍ، وَهُمْ بَابُ حِطَّةٍ، وَهُم بَابُ حِطَّةٍ، وَهُمْ بَابُ السِّلْمِ فِي قَولِهِ تَعَالَى:

. يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ادْخُلُوا فِي السِّلْمِ كَافَّةً وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ

Beware, the knowledge that Adam brought with him and the knowledge of all Prophets are with the Ahl al-Bayt. So why are you bewildered and where are you bound to go? Ahl al-Bayt among you are like the People of the Cave and like the Gate of Hittah. They are the gate to peace and safety mentioned in the words of Allah:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا ادْخُلُوا فِي السِّلْمِ كَافَّةً وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا خُطُوَاتِ الشَّيْطَانِ

O you who believe! Enter into submission one and all, and do not follow the footsteps of Shaitan (2:208)97

Addressing Imam Ali (a.s.) the Holy Prophet (S) said:

مَثَلُكُمْ يَا عَلِيُّ مَثَلُ بَيْتِ اللَّهِ الْحَرَامِ؛ مَنْ دَخَلَهُ كَانَ فَمَنْ أحَبَّكُمْ وَوَالأكُم كَانَ آمِناً مِنْ عَذَابِ النَّارِ. وَ مَنْ أبْغَضَكُمْ كَانَ اُلْقِيَ فِي النَّارِ. يَا عَلِيُ وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى اٌلنَّاسِ حِجُّ اٌلبَيْتِ مَنِ اٌسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيهِ سَبِيلاً وَمَنْ كَانَا لهُ عُدْرٌ فَلَهُ عُدْرُهُ. وَمَنْ كَانَ فَقِيراً فَلَهُ عُدْرُهُ. وَمَنْ كَانَا مَرِضاً فَلَهُ عُدْرُهُ، إنَّ اللَّهَ لأيَعْدُرُ غَنِياً وَ لأ فَقِيراً فَلَهُ عُدْرُهُ. إنَّ اللَّهَ لأيعْدُرُ غَنِّياً وَلأ فَقِيراً وَلأ مَريضاً وَلأ صَحِيحاً وَلأ بَصِيراً فِي تَفْرِيطِهِ فِي مُوَالأتِكُمْ وَمَحَبَّتِكُمْ.

O Ali! The parable of you, Ahl al-Bayt, is like the sacred House of Allah. Whoever has entered it is safe. So whoever loves you will be immune from Hellfire and whoever harbors a grudge against you will be thrown into it. O Ali! Based on the Holy Quran,

"… and pilgrimage to the House is incumbent upon everyone who is able to undertake the journey to it (3:97)" -

there is however an excuse for the one who is poor or sick. However, Allah will not accept the excuse of either the poor or the rich or the sick or the healthy who fail to love you, the Ahl al-Bayt. 98

The Holy Prophet (S) has also said:

إجْعَلُوا أهْلَ بَيتي مِنْكُم مَكَانَ الرَّاسِ مِنْ الجَسَدِ وَمَكَانَ العَيْنَيْنِ مِنَ الرَّاسِ. فَإنَّ الجَسَدَ لأ يَهْتَدي إلأ بِالرَّأسِ وَلأيَهْتَدي الرَّأسُ إلأبِالْعَيْنَيْنِ.

Consider my Ahl al-Bayt as the head is to the body and the two eyes are to the head. The body cannot find the way except with the head and the head cannot find the way except with the eyes.99

It now becomes clear as to why the companions of Ahl al-Bayt during their lives considered them as head and eyes without whom life was nothing but blindness, bewilderment and perdition.

Although at the Night of ‘Ashura’, Imam Husayn (a.s.) gave his companions the choice to revoke allegiance to him and leave him, they unanimously decided to stay with him.

Beyond doubt, if a person loves them truly and invokes them from the bottom of the heart, the Ahl al-Bayt too will respond lovingly and accept him with open arms because they are the manifestation of Allah’s Attributes. They love people and favor them permanently.

It was due to the same love and favors that on the Day of Ashura Imam Husayn (a.s) tried to delay his martyrdom so as to give a chance to save another human being from atheism, ignorance, and being lost. It was for the same reason that he kindly addressed the enemies in the battlefield with his heart broken and his body injured. It was thus that , two brothers named Abu’l-Hutuf ibn Harth and Sa’d who had been in the army of the Khawarij in the Battle of Nahrawan and in the army of Yazid, impressed by the Divine nature of the Imam, joined Imam Husayn’s camp, fought against the enemies and were martyred.

Ahl Al-Bayt And The Straight Path

Based on clear verses of the Holy Quran, one who does not go to extremes in moral and mental situations is the executor of Allah’s decrees in all aspects of his life, not influenced by socio-political upheavals, not tempted by Satan, among the devoted servants of Allah, engaged in good deeds, helpful to people, and is propagating knowledge and faith is considered as Imam:

قَالَ إِنِّي جَاعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا

He said: Surely I will make you an Imam of men. (2:124)

وَجَعَلْنَاهُمْ أَئِمَّةً يَهْدُونَ بِأَمْرِنَا وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْهِمْ فِعْلَ الْخَيْرَاتِ وَإِقَامَ الصَّلَاةِ وَإِيتَاءَ الزَّكَاةِ ۖ وَكَانُوا لَنَا عَابِدِينَ

And we made them Imams who guided people by Our Command, and We revealed to them the doing of good and the keeping up of the prayer and the giving of the alms, and us (alone) did they serve. (21:73)

Based on the exegesis of the Quranic verses, ‘The straight Path’ is the path which exists between the Creator and the created and following that path makes man reach the station of nearness to Allah, to achieve a great victory, and to be saved from eternal. Commenting on the Straight Path, Imam Ali (a.s.) says:

الصِّرَاطُ الْمُسْتَقِيمُ فِي الدُّنْيَا مَا قَصُرَ عَنِ الغُلُوِّ وَارْتَفَعَ عَنِ التَّقْصِيرِ وَاسْتَقَامَ، وَفِي الآخِرَةِ طَرِيقُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إلَى الْجَنَّةِ.

The straight path in this world is a path without extremes, it is right and firm; and in the Hereafter, it is the believers' path towards heaven.100

Imam Ali’s definition of the straight path overlaps the Ahl al-Bayt, for they were straight and moderate in all aspects of life and away from extremes. Their guidance will lead people to heaven on the Judgment Day.

One must note that there are certain words and expressions in the Holy Quran the meaning of which cannot be comprehended for people. Hence, we must learn about them from the Holy Prophet (S) and Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.) that are the teachers of the Holy Quran and its commentators.

What is inferred from Sirat is nothing but path but what this path is, how long it is, what its quality and quantity are, and how we can walk on that path cannot be understood from the words. For this reason, the Holy Prophet and Ahl al-Bayt are commissioned by Allah to express these facts. Without seeking help from their extensive knowledge on the Holy Qur'an, we will certainly go astray:

… هُوَ الَّذِي بَعَثَ فِي الْأُمِّيِّينَ رَسُولًا مِنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ

He it is who raised among the illiterates an Apostle from among themselves, who recites to them His communications and purifies them, and teaches them the Book and the wisdom. (62:2)

Allah who has revealed the Holy Quran to the Household of the Prophet has manifested its meaning and interpretations in the purified hearts of those people endowed with learning so that other people will know about those words including the word Sirat through them.

Commenting on the holy verse:

اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ

Keep us on the right path (1:6)

Imam al- Sadiq (a.s.) has said: The verse says, Guide us to the straight path - that is to say, guide us with your company on a path which will lead us to your love and heaven; the path which will prevent us from our caprices that ends in perdition.101

Can we really get to know Allah and His Love without the teachings of Ahl al-Bayt who are truly godly beings? Can we go to heaven without their guidance, teachings and intercession? Are we able to be safe from carnal desires without being in the fortress of their Imamate?

If we claim that we can be safe from losses and perdition by resorting to the Holy Quran alone and there is no need for the Imam of guidance, this will definitely be against the Holy Quran. Therefore, we should decisively say that the meaning of the straight path is the Holy Quran and its paragon, namely the Ahl al-Bayt; and these two are interdependent with no separation between them.

Without Ahl al-Bayt, there will be neither straight path in the meaning of the Holy Quran nor any understanding of its subtleties. In this relation, Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) has said:

نَحْنُ الطَّرِيقُ وَصِراطُ اللَّهِ الْمُسْتَقِيمُ إلَى اللَّهِ تَعَالَى.

We (Ahl al-Bayt) are the Road and the Straight Path towards Allah.102

Ahl al-Bayt themselves are truly the straight path of Allah, for their knowledge of Him is comprehensive. Hence, we should believe in the Lord Who has been introduced to us by the Ahl al-Bayt in addition to through the verses of the Holy Qur'an - both the decisive and the allegorical. Although Allah’s decrees are comprehensible, it is only with their spiritual power and guidance that a man can win His pleasure and nearness. Without following Ahl al-Bayt, we will certainly go astray.

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) was asked about the meaning of Sirat. He said:

Sirat means a path taking towards recognition of Allah - the Exalted and Glorious.103

Is there in this universe any way of getting to know Allah save through the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.)? If we cannot know Allah by Ahl al-Bayt, the godliest beings, then through whom can we get to know Him?

It is the Ahl al-Bayt who with their Divine knowledge have introduced to us the meanings of Allah, the Judgment Day, jurisprudence, morality and truth for people. Hence, people are required to refer to them in order to understand all truths. Elaborating the word Sirat, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) has said:

وَهُمَا صِراطانِ. صِرَاطٌ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَ صِرَاطٌ فِي الآخِرَةِ. فَأمَّا الصِّراطُ فِي الدُّنْيَا فَهُوَاالأمَامُ الْمُقْتَرَضُ الطَّاعِةِ؛ مَنْ عَرَفَهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا واقْتَدي بِأمْرِهِ مَرَّ عَلَي الصِّرَاطِ الَّذي هُوَا جِسْرُ جَهَنَّمَ فِي الأخِرَةِ. وَ مَنْلَمْ يَعْرِفْهُ فِي الآخِرَةِ فَتَرَدَّى فِي الدُّنْيَا زَلَّتْ قَدَمُهُ عَنِ الصِّرَاطِ فِي الآخِرَةِ فَتَرَدَّي فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ.

There are actually two Sirats: one in this world and another in the Hereafter. Sirat in this world is the Imam and to follow him is incumbent on all. One who recognizes and follows him will pass the bridge over Hell leading to Paradise; while one who does not recognize him will slip from the Sirat falling into Fire.104

Therefore, based on the Quranic verses and authentic narrations, the true path leading to real knowledge of what will result in salvation in this world and the Hereafter, are the Ahl al-Bayt.

Followers of the Right Path

Man, if he follows the life-giving teachings of the Ahl al-Bayt, will be endowed with the knowledge of Allah, be helped do his obligatory and recommended acts, avoid sins and stay away from pollutions.

Was Salman, the Persian, not a Zoroastrian first and then became a Christian? And, by following Ahl al-Bayt, he reached such a supreme station about which the Holy Prophet has said,

سَلْمَانُ مِنَّا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ.

Salman is from us, Ahl al-Bayt.105

Had Abu-Dharr not been a nomadic shepherd who, by resorting to Ahl al-Bayt, reached such a supreme station about which the Holy Prophet has said:

No one under the sky or on the earth is as truthful as Abu-Dharr.106

Was Bilal not an Ethiopian black? By following Ahl al-Bayt, he reached such a station about which the Holy Quran says:

إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ

Surely, the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you the most careful of his duty. (49:13)

By getting to know Allah through Ahl al-Bayt, all the said people became Allah's true servants and reached a station becoming paragons of adherence to Ahl al-Bayt until the Judgment Day.

Prophet Joseph (a.s.) was Allah’s true servant who resisted against the temptations of the vizier’s wife for seven years at the prime of his life saying: I seek refuge with Allah in response to her request. While the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s) are the truth itself of the straight path. They are in essence a such a manifestation of the path to Allah were that they became one with truth itself. They only saw Allah; they only obeyed Allah; and they served only Allah. For this reason, with the permission of Allah, they became a source of Grace for the world’s nations.

Ahl Al-Bayt, Allah’s Viceregents

Allah’s attributes are not merely verbal; rather; they are objective and having external realization. The first attributes that manifested themselves from the invisible God at His will are four according to a narration, and seven according to another, which can somehow refer to the same name. The first attributes are the Ever-living, the All-knowing, the All-Powerful, and the Speaker.

Each of these attributes has a domain and property for itself and there is a longing in them for manifestation. Since ‘Allah’ is comprehensive of all attributes, it generally holds other Attributes and does not allow an Attribute to emerge alone.

The Universe’s Need for Allah’s Vicegerent

Each part of the universe that was materialized with Allah’s Most Excellent Names is governed by that Attribute. It is so necessary beyond doubt that someone comes into existence to be a full manifestation of Allah’s Chief Name and create a balance among the concrete Names of Allah so that they will not interfere with each other.

In other words, the universe is in need of a perfect man who is the manifestation of all Most Excellent Names as well as the Chief Name so as to be able to administer all the affairs as Allah’s vicegerent with His permission. Even angels who are abstract beings and each of them is assigned with a special duty -

وَمَا مِنَّا إِلَّا لَهُ مَقَامٌ مَعْلُومٌ 

And there is none of us but has an assigned place (37:164) -

are in need of Allah’s vicegerent (khalifat allah) so as to control them in their affairs and to teach them what is necessary.

To sum it up, based on Quranic verses and narrations, the universe is in need of khalifat allah even if no human beings had been created. The first human being of our kind, Adam, was also in need of khalifat allah so that his affairs would be administered justly. Hence he himself was khalifat allah in order for that position to be a link between him and Allah.

Based on this imperative need, Allah chose a vicegerent for Himself and made him rule over universe:

…إِنِّي جَاعِلٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ خَلِيفَةً

I am going to place in the earth a khalifah - Vicegerent- (2:30)

This khalifah would rule the highest stages of the universe. Although the earth is the lowliest of the low, potentially this position is the highest in terms of ranks on the earth. This most passive element is the only element, which can collect within itself all Attributes of Allah’s and become the most active element of universe thanks to its mere passiveness.

… وَعَلَّمَ آدَمَ الْأَسْمَاءَ كُلَّهَا

And He taught Adam all the names (2:31)

Features of Allah’s Vicegerent

Since a khalifah knows all the Names, he can be a teacher for all creatures. Since Allah has made khalifah teacher of angels, He has made him teacher of all other creatures too.

وَعَلَّمَ آدَمَ الْأَسْمَاءَ كُلَّهَا ثُمَّ عَرَضَهُمْ عَلَى الْمَلَائِكَةِ فَقَالَ أَنْبِئُونِي بِأَسْمَاءِ هَٰؤُلَاءِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِينَ  قَالُوا سُبْحَانَكَ لَا عِلْمَ لَنَا إِلَّا مَا عَلَّمْتَنَا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْعَلِيمُ الْحَكِيمُ  قَالَ يَا آدَمُ أَنْبِئْهُمْ بِأَسْمَائِهِمْ ۖ فَلَمَّا أَنْبَأَهُمْ بِأَسْمَائِهِمْ قَالَ أَلَمْ أَقُلْ لَكُمْ إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ غَيْبَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَأَعْلَمُ مَا تُبْدُونَ وَمَا كُنْتُمْ تَكْتُمُونَ

And He taught Adam all the names and then presented them to the angels; then He said: Tell me the names of those if you are right. They said: glory be to thee! We have no knowledge but that which thou has taught us; surely thou art the knowing, the wise. He said: O Adam! Inform them of their names. Then when, he had informed them of their names, He said: Did I say to you that I surely know what is ghaib (unseen) in the heavens and the earth and (that) I Know what you manifest and what you hide. (2:31-33)

A khalifah due to his knowledge and understanding of Allah's Most Excellent Names objectively and subjectively lies at the core of the universe. He must lie in the center of it to be able to teach to the angels, administer them in relation to their affairs and urge them to do special missions. In other words, a khalifah must be perfect in terms of knowledge and capacity and superior in terms of infallibility and justice so as to be able to distinguish between the objective beautiful Names of Allah and other creatures.

A khalifah is a person who has gone through the lowest stages of existence up to its highest ones.

A khalifah is a person in whom the knowledge of the Book and the Preserved Tablet (al-Lawh al-Mahfudh) has been internalized. He is one who is benevolent and has acquired such virtues as generosity, contentment, chastity and courage, and has become the manifestation of Allah's Most Excellent Names.

A khalifah is one who emerges at any time with one of Allah's Names, which is proper to that time, making that Name rule. It is at this station that he is absorbed in Allah and takes the course toward Him. After receiving the baptism of Allah, he will reach a position where he can do extraordinary works with the permission of Allah. Then his heart becomes Allah's Throne and finds Allah sitting on it:

الرَّحْمَٰنُ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَىٰ

The All-Compassionate sat himself upon the throne. (20:5)

Merits of Allah’s Vicegerent

In a sacred Hadith (Words of Almighty Allah), we read:

لأيَسَعُنِي أرْضِي وَلاسَمَانِي، وَلَكِنْ يَسَعُنِي قَلَبُ عَبْديَ الْمُؤْمِنَ.

I am not contained in heaven or the earth; but I am contained in the heart of my believing servant.107

It is a believer’s heart that can undertake the vicegerency of Allah’s Most Excellent Names by which Allah rules over the universe. Referring to the creation of the Holy Prophet, another sacred Hadith reads:

لَوْ لأكَ لَمَا خَلَقْتُ الأفْلأكَ.

Were it not for your sake, I would not have created the universe.108

Ahl al-Bayt, Allah’s Most Perfect Vicegerents

Allah's true vicegerent is the Holy Prophet, for he is the first being to have been created, the most perfect manifestation of Allah's Attributes and a collection of truth and Allah's light:

The first thing Allah created was my light.109

Narrations say that the light of the Holy Prophet was created many thousand years before the creation of the universe. About the light of Imam Ali (a.s), it has been said that he was together with the Holy Prophet in the invisible World. One of these lights became Prophet and the other became Imam. In this connection, the Holy Prophet says:

خُلِقْتُ أنَا وَعَلِيٌ مِنْ نُورٍ وَاحِدٍ.

Ali and I were created from the same light.110

Imam Ali (a.s.) who is Allah’s intimate friend is the heart of Allah’s Messenger as he shares with him everything except Prophethood. The Holy Prophet (S) says:

آدَمُ وَمَنْ دُونَهُ تَحْتَ لِوَائِي يَومَ الْقِيَامَةِ؛ فَإذَا حَكَمَ اللَّهُ بَيْنَ الْعِبَادِ أخَذَ أمِيرُالْمُؤْمِنِينَ اللَّوَاءَ.

Adam and others are under my banner on the Judgment Day. When Allah judges among His servants, Amir al-Mu'minin (i.e. Imam Ali) will hold the banner.111

Therefore; if the mission of all the Prophets led to the mission of the Holy Prophet, the Imamate of all prophets is based on the Imamate of Imam Ali (a.s.) who was inwardly present with all prophets and outwardly with the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.). Hence, the Imamate of Allah's Messenger is united with the Imamate of Ali.

True vicegerents; Means of Grace

Any station that is attained by a person must be through the Ahl al- Bayt. In this relation, the Holy Quran says:

وَابْتَغُوا إِلَيْهِ الْوَسِيلَةَ

And seek means of nearness to Him. (5:35)

We are advised to "hold fast to Allah's cord." Ahl al-Bayt have been reported as saying:

نَحْنُ حَبْلُ اللَّهِ الْمَتِينُ.

We are the firm cord of Allah.3

It is a requirement to follow the Imamate of Ali (a.s.) and the Holy Imams (a.s.). in order to receive the Divine Grace - whether it is knowledge or daily food. The Holy Prophet says:

أنَا مَدِينَةٌ الْعِلْمِ وَ عَليٌّ بَابُهَا، فَلأتُؤتَى الْبُيُتُ إلإمِنْ أبْوَابِهَا.

I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate. Whoever wishes to enter the city and seek its wisdom must first come to the gate.

Aban ibn Taghlib, a trustworthy narrator, says: I asked Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.), “What for has Allah set the Shiites free from Hellfire?" The Imam answered, “On account of their acceptance of Ali's Imamate.”112

Imam al-Ridha (a.s) is reported as saying in the famous narration of Salsalat al-Dhahab (Golden Chain),

لأ إلَهَ إلأ اللَّهُ حِصْنِي؛ فَمَنْ دَخَلَ حِصْنِي أمِنَ مِنْ عَذَابِي.

(Almighty Allah says) There is no god but Allah is my fortress. Whoever enters it will be safe from punishment.

Imam al-Ridha (a.s) adds,

...بِشُرُوطِهَا وَأنَا مِنْ شُرُوطِهَا.

Accepting my Imamate is the requirement for entering the fortress.113

Therefore, prophethood of Allah’s Messenger and Imamate of Imam Ali (a.s.) and the Infallible Imams are the indisputable requirements for monotheism. It is for this reason that it has been said that task of one is the task of the other two.

Allah has professed His unity, Prophethood and Imamate:

شَهِدَ اللَّهُ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ

Allah bears witness that there is no god but He… (3:18)

وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ إِنَّكَ لَرَسُولُهُ

…and Allah knows that you are most surely His Apostle … (63:1)

إِنَّمَا وَلِيُّكُمُ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا الَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَهُمْ رَاكِعُونَ

Only Allah is your Wali and His Apostle and those who believe, those who keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate while they bow. (5:55)

Ahl al-Bayt are truly a means of Divine Grace and if it were it not for their sake, no one would be blessed with that Grace. Since they are near to Allah and are at the station of certainty, whoever wishes to reach this station must resort to them:

Allah started with you and will end with you and to you is the return of the people.114

The light of Ahl al-Bayt is such that even the angels who are abstract cannot bear their light, so, they fall in prostration when they seeing their light, thinking of it as Allah's Light. It has been narrated that when Allah’s Messenger, accompanied by (Archangel) Gabriel at the Ascension Night reached the third heaven, the angels ran away first and then started falling in prostration, saying:

سُبُّوحٌ قُدُّوسٌ‘ رَبُّنَا ورَبُّ الْمَلأئِكَةِ وَلرُّوحِ، مَاأشْبَهَ هَذا النُّورَ بِنُورِ ربَّنَا!

Glory and Holiness be to our Lord; Lord of angels and the Spirit. How close this light to the light of our Lord is.115

At any rate, Allah’s vicegerency among people is a features of the Ahl al-Bayt. According to a narration, Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) has been reported to say:

الأئِمَّةٌّ خُلَفَاءُ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ فِي أرْضِهِ.

The Imams are Allah's vicegerents on the earth.116

In al-Ziyarah al-Jamiah al-Kabirah, Imam al-Hadi (a.s) says:

وَ أعزَّكُّمْ بِهُداهُ، وَخَصَّكُمْ بِبُرْهَانِهِ، وَانْتَجَبَكُم لِنُورِهِ، وَأيَّدَ كُم بِرُوحِهِ، وَ رَضِيَكُمْ خُلْفَاءَكُمْ خُلْفَاءَ فِي أرْضِهِ، وَحُجَجاً عَلْى بَرِيَّتِهِ.

He strengthened you with His omnipotence, equipped you with His guidance, distinguished you with His clear Proofs, glorified you with His Light, confirmed you with His Holy spirit, and chose you to represent Him on His earth.

Ali ibn Hassan says: Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) was asked about the Ziyarah of Imam al-Kadhim (a.s). He answered: Perform prayer near mosques and say,

السَّلأمُ عَلَى أولِيَاءِ اللَّهِ وَ أصْفِيَاءِهِ. السَّلأمُ عَلَى أمَنَاءِ اللَّهِ وَ أحِبَّاءِهِ. السَّلامُ عَلَى أنْصَارِ اللَّهِ وَخُلَفَاءِهِ.

“Peace be upon the favorites of Allah and the chosen ones. Peace be upon the trustees of Allah and the beloved ones. Peace be upon the supporters of Allah and His representatives.”117

About khalifah, Amir al-Muminin (a.s.) says:

هُوَ الَّذِي. يُنَادَى بِهِ يومَ الْقِيَامَةِ: أيْنَ خَلِيفَةُ اللَّهِ فِي أرْضِهِ؟

On the Judgment Day, Allah’s vicegerent will be called, “Where is Allah’s representative on His earth.”118

In Dua Arafah, Imam Zayn al-Abidin (a.s.) describes the Ahl al-Bayt as Allah’s representatives on the earth:

وَخُلَفَائِكَ فِي أرْضِكَ.

…and Your vicegerents on Your lands.119

Ahl Al-Bayt, Successors Of The Prophet

Many narrations, reported by both Shiite and Sunni scholars, refer to Ahl al-Bayt as the Holy Prophet’s successors. These narrations are so uninterruptedly reported that there is no doubt about them. Due to their moral, spiritual and scholarly features, Ahl al-Bayt alone deserve to be successors of the Holy Prophet. To be the Prophet’s successor and representative is their Divine right and no one else deserves it. The Holy Quran reads:

لَا يَنَالُ عَهْدِي الظَّالِمِينَ

My covenant does not include the unjust. (2:124)

Caliphate is the indisputable right of a person who has all the characteristics of the Holy Prophet except prophethood. It is only the Ahl al-Bayt who have such features. About Amir al-Muminin and the Imams after him, the Holy Prophet has said:

فَهُوَ سَيِّدُ الأوْصِيَاءِ. اللُّحُوقُ بِهِ سَعَادَةٌ، وَاالْموتُ فِي طَاعَتِهِ شَهَادَةٌ. وَاسْمُهُ فِي التَّورَاةِ مَقْرُونٌ إلَى اسْمي. وَزَوجَتُهُ الصِّدِيقَةٌ الْكُبْرَى إبْنَتِي. وَابْنَاهُ سَيِّدَا شَبَابِ أهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ ابْنَايَ.وَهُوَ وَهُمَاوَالأئِمَةٌ بَعدَهُمْ حُجَجُ اللَّهِ عَلَى خَلْقِهِ بَعْدَ النَّبِيِّينَ. وَهُم أبْوابُ الْعِلمِ فِي أمَّتِي. مَنْ تَبَعَهُم نَجَا مِنَ النَّارِ، وَمَنِ اقْتَدى بِهِمْ هُدِيَ إلَى صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ. لَمْ يَهَبَبِ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ مَحَبَّتَهُمِّ لِعَبْدٍ إلأ أدْخَلَهُ اللَّهُ الْجَنَّة.

He is the master of all vicegerents. Prosperity has been attached with him. Death in obedience to him is martyrdom. His name is attached to mine in the Torah. His wife, the Grand Veracious Lady, is my daughter. His Two sons, the masters of the youth of Paradise, are my sons. He and his two sons along with the Imams after them are Allah's representatives for the people after the Prophets. They are the gates of knowledge in my ummah. Whoever follows them will be saved from Hellfire; and whoever follows their examples will be guided. Whoever is given their love by Allah will enter heaven.120

Imam Husayn (a.s) has said:

إنَّ اللَّهَ اصْطَفَى مُحَمَّداً عَلَى خَلْقِهِ، وَأكرَمَهُ بِنُبُوَّتِهِ، وَاخْتَارَهُ لِرِسَالَتِهِ.ثُمَّ قَبَضَهُ اللَّهُ إلَيهِ وَقَدْ نَصَحَ لِعِبَادِهِ، وَبَلَّغَ مَاأرْسِلَ بِهِ. وَكُنَّا أهْلَهُ وَأوْلِيَاءَهُ وَأوْصِيَاءَهُ وَوَرَثَتَهُ وَأحَقَّ النَّاسِ بِمَقَامِهِ فِي النَّاسِ.فَاسْتَأثَرَ عَلَينَا قَومُنَا بِذَالِكَ فَرَضِينَا، وَكَرِهْنَا الفُرقَة، وَأجَبْنَا الْعَافِيَة وَ نَحْنُ نَعلَمُ أنَّا أحَقُّ بِذَالِكَ أحَقِّ الْمُسْتَحَقَّ عَلَينَا مِمَّنْ تَولأهُ.

Allah chose Muhammad for his people, honored him with prophethood, and chose him for the mission. He then took his soul after he had advised Allah's servants and communicated to them what he had been sent for. We, his household, are his vicegerents and inheritors and the worthiest of holding his position. But our people denied us this position seizing it from us. We submitted to this bitter event. We dislike division and favor peace although we know for sure that our claim to this right is more deserving than those who have taken it from us.121

Authentic narrations indicate that Allah’sMessenger appointed Imam Ali (a.s.) and the eleven other Imams as his successors according to Allah's decree. Describing Ahl al-Bayt, Amir al-Muminin (a.s.) has said:

هُمُ الأئِمَّةٌ الطَّاهِرُونَ وَالعِتْرَةُ الْمَعْصُومُونَ وَالذُّرِّيَّةٌ الأكْرَمُونَ وَالْخُلَفَاءُ الرَّاشِدُونَ

They are purified Imams, infallible household of noble offspring and guided vicegerents.122

Ahl al-Bayt are the chosen ones and the manifestation of Allah’sAttributes, endowed with features of the prophets as well as morality and faith of the Holy Prophet in a way that the fair-minded Sunni scholars have referred to it by reporting that Holy Prophet has said:

مَنْ أرَادَ أنْ يَنْظُرَ إلَى آدَمَ فِي عِلْمِهِ، وَ إلَى يَحْيَ بْنِ زَكَرِيَّا فِي زُهْدِهِ، وَإلَى مُوسَى بْنِ عِمْرَانَ فِي بَطْشِهِ، فَلْيَنْظُرْ إلَى عَلِيِّ بْنِ أبِي طَالِبٍ.

One who wishes to look at Adam’s knowledge, Noah’s understanding, John’s piety and Moses’ firm acts should look at Ali ibn Abu-Talib.123

A Similar narration reports the Holy Prophet as saying:

مَنْ أرَادَ أنْ يَنْظُرَ إلَى آدَمَ فِي عِلْمِهِ، وَإلَى نُوحٍ فِي تَقْوَاهُ، وَإلَى إبْرَاهِيمَ فِي حِلْمِهِ، وَ إلَى مُوسَى فِي هَيْبَتِهِ، وَ إلَى عِيسَى فِي عِبَادَتِهِ فَلْيَنْظُرُ إلَى عَلِيِّ بْنِ أبِي طَالِبٍ.

One who wishes to look at Adam in his knowledge, Noah in his piety, Abraham in his tolerance, Moses in his formidableness and Jesus in his submission should look at `Ali ibn Abu-Talib.124

Therefore, the vicegerents and Imams after the Holy Prophet are twelve in number, all of whom have been appointed by Allah to have authority over people. However, the pseudo-scholars following the Umayyad school think that these position and features are found in families other than that of the Holy Prophet. Hence they ignored Allah’schoosing the Holy Prophet and the Ahl al-Bayt, and resorted to their own choice even though the Holy Quran says:

وَرَبُّكَ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيَخْتَارُ ۗ مَا كَانَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ ۚ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَتَعَالَىٰ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ

And your Lord creates and chooses whom He pleases; To choose is not theirs, glory be to Allah, and exalted be He above what they associate with Him. (28:68)

وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْرًا أَنْ يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ ۗ 

And it behooves not a believing woman that they should have any choice in their matter when Allah and His Apostle have decided a matter… (33:36)

مَا لَكُمْ كَيْفَ تَحْكُمُونَ

What has happened to you? How do you judge? (68:36)

To prove the right of Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.) and denounce those who have chosen others as leaders thus preparing the way for division among the Muslim nation, Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) resorts to the Holy Quran and says:

ذَٰلِكَ فَضْلُ اللَّهِ يُؤْتِيهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۚ وَاللَّهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ

That is the grace of Allah: He gives it to whom He pleases. And Allah is the Lord of mighty grace. (57:21)

In this relation, Amir al-Muminin says:

عِتْرَتُهُ خَيْرُ الْعِتَرِ، وَاُسْرَتٌهُ خَيْرُ الاُسَرِ، وَشَجَرَتُهُ خَيْرُ الشَجَرِ.

Muhammad’s descendants are the best descendants, his kinsmen ar ethe best of kin and his tree of lineage is the best of trees.125

Addressing Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf, the Holy Prophet (S) said:

إنَّكُمْ أصْحَابِي، وَعَلِيُّ بْنُ أبِي طَالِبٍ أخِي وَمِنِّي وَأنَا مِنْ عَلِيٍّ. فَهُوَبَابُ عِلْمِي وَوَصِيِّي. وَهُوَا وَ فَاطِمَةٌ وَالْحَسَنُ وَالحُسَينُ هُمْ خَيْرُ الأرْضِ عُنْصُراً وَ شَرَفاً وَ كَرَماً.

You are my companions. Ali ibn Abu-Talib is from me and I am from him. He is the gate of my knowledge and my successor. Ali, Fatimah, Zasan and Husayn are the best on the earth in terms of honor and dignity.126

Ahl Al-Bayt And Contentment

Ahl al-Bayt, due to their knowledge of Allah and their ability, are the manifestation of Allah’s most excellent Names, for their whole lives are nothing but pure belief in Allah as the One and Only God. Their will and wrath are those of Allah. In this connection, Imam Husayn (a.s.) has said:

رَضَا اللَّهِ رِضَانَا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ.

Allah’s will is our will. 127

Ahl al-Bayt are pleased with whatever Allah is pleased with. Men, in their evolutionary course, reach a stage where they have ‘love’ and ‘wrath’. This love and wrath is compatible with Allah’s love and wrath. Nevertheless, there is a superior stage where their love and wrath is not considered concordant with Allah’s love and wrath for a person who says I am pleased with what Allah is pleased with. He withstands and at this stage of plurality, is when the spiritual follower sees both himself and Allah. However, for one who stands at the station of unity, only one will and one wrath exists. At this stage, a spiritualist follower is in the station of annihilation in Allah. For this reason, Ahl al-Bayt say:

Allah’s will is our will.

In this relation that Imam Husayn (a.s.) say:

وَأسِيرُ بِسِيرَةِ جَدِّي وَأبِي.

I live in the style of my grandfather - the Holy Prophet and my father - Ali.128

Some people are believers in the surface, but are unbelievers from the viewpoint of the Holy Quran. They turn their back on Allah when their interests are not in line with their belief:

وَإِذَا دُعُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ لِيَحْكُمَ بَيْنَهُمْ إِذَا فَرِيقٌ مِنْهُمْ مُعْرِضُونَ

And when they are called to Allah and His Apostle that he may judge between them, a party of them turn aside. (24:48)

They desire for Allah not for His sake, but for theirs:

وَإِذَا مَسَّ الْإِنْسَانَ الضُّرُّ دَعَانَا لِجَنْبِهِ أَوْ قَاعِدًا أَوْ قَائِمًا فَلَمَّا كَشَفْنَا عَنْهُ ضُرَّهُ مَرَّ كَأَنْ لَمْ يَدْعُنَا إِلَىٰ ضُرٍّ مَسَّهُ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ زُيِّنَ لِلْمُسْرِفِينَ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

 
And when affliction touches a man, he calls on us, whether lying on his side or sitting or standing; but when We remove his affliction from him, he passes on as though he had never called on Us on account of an affliction that touched him. (10:12)

These people and their likes are self-centered; all their affairs, including their worship, are aimed at gaining something worldly. They are just merchants. However, for godly people, whatever they do is aimed to seek Allah’s pleasure. Those who pray sitting or lying on their sides even when they cannot perform prayer standing:

الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىٰ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَٰذَا بَاطِلًا سُبْحَانَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

Those who remember Allah - standing and sitting and lying on their sides and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth. (3:191)

Although Ahl al-Bayt, in their capacity as human beings, have polarization, love, enmity, passion, wrath and inclination, all of them are under the cover of godly amity and detachment. The Holy Quran has determined the criterion of godly amity and detachment. Based on this criterion, Ahl al-Bayt’s deeds are Allah-oriented so much so that they have made Satan submissive. The Holy Prophet says:

كَانَ شَيْطانِي كَافِراً، فَأعَانَنِي اللَّهُ عَلَيهِ حَتَّى أسْلَمَ بِيَدَيَّ.

My Satan was unbeliever; but Allah helped me against him until he embraced Islam through me.129

Ahl Al-Bayt And Submission

Ahl al-Bayt’s submissions to Allah’s will is not a state that they are compelled to reach. Rather, it is a truth that they have attained at its climax with their personal efforts. Their station of submission is said to be the last of several stations a spiritualist follower has to go through. It is said that few spiritualist followers have ever reached this station, for it especially belongs to the Holy Prophet, the Holy Imams and the saints. Imam Husayn (a.s.) is reported as saying:

إنَّا أهْلُ بَيتٍ نَسْالُ اللَّهَ فَيُعْطِينَا، فَإذَا أرَادَ أرَادَ مَا نَكْرَهُ فِيمَا يُحِبُّ رَضِينَا.

We, the Ahl al-Bayt, beseech Allah and He grants us. So, if He wills to do that which we abhor, provided that it will bring about His pleasure, we submit.130

Ala ibn Kamil says: I was sitting in the presence of Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) when a woman from the house of the Imam started wailing. The Imam rose up and then sat down saying, “Surely we belong to Allah and unto Him do we return.” He kept on repeating so until he said,

إنَّا لَنُحِبُّ أنْ نُعَافَى فِي أنْفُسِنَا وَ أوْلأدِنَا وَ أمْوالِنَا، فَإذَا وَقَعَ الْقَضَاءُ فَلَيسَ لَنَا أنْ نُحِبَّ مَا لَمْ يُحِبَّ اللَّهُ لَنَا.

We favor safety as regards life, property and our children but when there is Divine decree, we do not love what Allah does not love for us.131

In this connection, Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) says:

نَدْعُو اللَّهِ فِي مَا نُحِبُّ، فَإذَا وَقَعَ الَّذِي نَكْرَهُ لَمْ نُخَالِفِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ فِيمَا أحَبَّ.

We call on Allah for what we love to be given to us but if something happens that we do not love, we will not oppose it. 132

Qutaybah al-A’sha says: I went to Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) to visit his child but found the Imam sad at the threshold. I said, “May I be sacrificed for you! How is your child?” The Imam said, “By Allah, he does not feel well.” Then he went inside the house. He was delayed for an hour and then came out with no sign of sorrow in his face. I thought his child was better. So, I asked,“How is the child?” The Imam answered, “He passed away.” I said, “May I be sacrificed for you! How is it that when he was alive, you were sad but now that he has passed away you are no longer sad?” The Imam said,

إنَّا أهْلَ الْبَيتِ نَجْزَعُ قَبَلَ المُصيبَةِ، فَإذَا وَقَعَ أمْرُ اللَّهِ رَضِينَا بِقَضاَءِهِ وَسَلَّمْنَا لأِمْرِهِ.

We, Ahl al-Bayt, wail before calamity comes; but when Divine decree comes, we are pleased with it and submit to His Decree.133

Ibrahim Ibn Sad reported that: Imam Zayn al-Abidin (a.s.) heard wailing of mourners from his house while a group of people were gathered around him. He went inside and then returned. He was asked if the wailing was for death of anyone. He answered affirmatively. The attendants condoled him and they were surprised at his patience. The Imam said:

إنَّا أهْلَ الْبَيتِ نُطِيعُ اللَّهَ فِي مَا نُحِبُّ وَ نَحْمَدُهُ فِي مَا نَكْرَهُ.

We, Ahl al-Bayt, obey Allah for what we love and praise Him for what is unpleasant.134

Ahl Al Bayt And Infallibility

Infallibility (ismah) is a special intuitive state keeping man from committing sin and closing all doors to temptations. From this view, we can consider infallibility as something cognitive, which requires cognizance and something existential, for it is a virtue that man can obtain in his evolutionary strive with Allah’s favor.

Cognitive and pragmatic infallibility are virtues merely related to cognition and perception while some others are only pragmatic. For example, justice is a pragmatic virtue in man, which has nothing to do with man’s intuitive dimension. This valuable virtue keeps man from intentional or unintentional fault but ismah saves from ignorance, fault, negligence, oblivion, sophistry, and sinning. Therefore, an infallible (masum) is immune from any error in perception in the realm of cognizance, immune from wrongdoing in pragmatism, and immune from mistake in propagating religion.

The intuitive truth belongs to theoretical intellect; and abstaining from committing sins is related to pragmatically intellect though the origin of ismah of pragmatic intellect is the same as cognizance and intuitive intellect.

Ahl al-Bayt’s Infallibility

Based on the Holy Quran and narrations, the Ahl al-Bayt are infallible at the level of theoretical and pragmatic intellect; that is to say, they perceive everything correctly, execute it correctly, and convey their knowledge and insight to people correctly. So, there is no fault, ignorance or error in their understanding; nor is there error, rebellion or oblivion in the realm of pragmatic intellect.

About the Ahl al-Bayt’s infallibility, the Holy Quran says:

إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا

Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House, and to purify you a thorough purifying. (33:33)

Allah’swill is aimed at purifying the knowledge and deeds of Ahl al-Bayt. Hence, He has made them masum in their knowledge and deeds.

If we are emphatically advised not to interpret the Holy Quran without the help of Ahl al-Bayt, it is because no human beings but Ahl al-Bayt are immune from misunderstanding and misinterpreting the Divine Book.

Man's Knowledge and Act

In ordinary human beings, there is a great difference between insight and action as well as between knowledge and the act. The gap between theoretical and pragmatic intellect becomes wider when man takes distance from his godly nature and sublime human position. Hence, one of these two intellects is always stronger or weaker than the other. The more man walks towards perfection the closer will be these two wings of flight come towards each other towards and at a point they will become one, in the same way that knowledge and act are one for the angles. In the first truth, which is the Holy Prophet, we can see the zenith of this unity.

Allah’s Knowledge and Act

As for Almighty Allah, knowledge and act are exactly the same and the two are exactly in His power:

وَمَا يَعْزُبُ عَنْ رَبِّكَ مِنْ مِثْقَالِ ذَرَّةٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فِي السَّمَاءِ وَلَا أَصْغَرَ مِنْ ذَٰلِكَ وَلَا أَكْبَرَ إِلَّا فِي كِتَابٍ مُبِينٍ

And there does not lie concealed from your Lord the weight of an atom in the earth or in the heaven. (10:61)

وَمَا كَانَ رَبُّكَ نَسِيًّا

And your Lord is not forgetful. (19:64)

Allah is pragmatically free from any evil deed. One of these indecencies is injustice about which the Holy Quran says:

وَلَا يَظْلِمُ رَبُّكَ أَحَدًا

And your Lord does not deal unjustly with anyone. (18:49)

In the sight of Almighty Allah, every evil deed, however small, is blameworthy. He says exonerating Himself from it:

كُلُّ ذَٰلِكَ كَانَ سَيِّئُهُ عِنْدَ رَبِّكَ مَكْرُوهًا 

All this - the evil of it - is hateful in the sight of your Lord. (17:38)

Ahl al-Bayt’s Knowledge and Act

In the light of the previous discussion, we come to the conclusion that ismah is not solely cognitive or pragmatic, for the Prophets and the Imams, being godly, are infallible both in knowledge and deeds. For this reason, their knowledge and act are a proof until the Judgment Day for the people of all ranks.

Why Are Ahl al-Bayt Infallible?

Reporting Ibn Umayr, Muhammad ibn Babawayh in his valuable book, Dhakhirat al-Ibad, narrates the following: During my association with Husham ibn al-Hakam, I did not find but four best words only when I asked him, “Is the Imam infallible?” He answered, “Yes, he is.” I asked, “For what reason?” He said,

إنَّ جَمِيعَ الذُّنُوبِ لَهَا أرْبَعَةٌ أوْجُهٍ لأ خَامِسَ لَهَا: الْحِرْصُ وَ الُحَسَدُ وَ الْغَضَبُ وَالشَّهْوَةُ. فَلأ يَجُوزُ أنْ يَكُونَ حَرِيصاً عَلَى هَذِهِ الدُنْيَا وَهِيَ تَحْتَ خَاتَمِهِ. وَلأيَجُوزُ أنْ يَكُونَ حَرِصاً عَلَى هَذِهِ الدُّنْيَا وَهِيَ تَحْتَ خَاتَمِهِ. وَلأ يَجُوزُ أنْ يَكُونَ حَسُودَاً لأنَّ الإنْسَانَ إنَّمَا يَحْسِدُ مَنْ هُوَا فَوقَهُ. وَلأ يَجُوزُ أنْ يَغْضَبَ لِشَيْءٍ إلأ أنْ يَكُونَ غَضَبُهُ للَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ. وَ لأ يَجُوزُ أنْ يَتَّبِعَ الشَّهَوَاتِ وَ يُؤثِرَ الْدُّنْيَا عَلَى الآخِرَةِ،لأنَّ اللَّهِ حَبَّبَ إلَيْهِ الآخِرَةَ كَمَا حَبَّبَ إلَيْنَا الدُّنْيَا... فَهَلْ رَأيْتَ أحَداً تَرَكَ وَجْهَا حَسَناً لِوَجْهٍ قَبِيحٍ وَطَعَاماً لِطَعَامٍ مُرٍّ...

All sins are rooted in greed, jealousy, wrath and lust. How can the Imam be greedy of the world when the whole world is under his command? How can the Imam be jealous while all creatures are below him? How can the Imam be wrathful when his wrath is for the sake of Allah? How can the Imam be lustful when he sees beautiful faces and blessings in heaven through contemplation and intuition?

Infallibility, the zenith of Piety

Ismah is virtually the light of theoretical and pragmatic intellect. An infallible man has the power to prevent the influence of illusion on theoretical intellect and to prevent the influence of lust and wrath on pragmatic intellect so that he will not be polluted with sin and he will strive voluntarily towards virtues and perfection. Pragmatic infallibility is the highest degree of piety which will become manifest in behaviors and deeds.

All the infallible Imams fully receive from Almighty Allah what is related to the guidance of man, comprehend it perfectly, fulfill it properly and convey it to others. This is only possible through intuition, for a man, in the world of illusion, presents his imaginations on the findings of intellect hence misleads others:

أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ بَدَّلُوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ كُفْرًا وَأَحَلُّوا قَوْمَهُمْ دَارَ الْبَوَارِ

Have you not seen those who have changed Allah's favor for ungratefulness and made their people to alight into the abode of perdition? (14:28)

The Infallibles Are Not Tempted by Satan

Should man live in the sanctuary of pure reason, he will be immune from inward and outward Satans:

لَأَقْعُدَنَّ لَهُمْ صِرَاطَكَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ

I will certainly lie in wait for them in thy straight path. (7:16)

Iblis (Satan) who threatens to mislead all human beings with all his power cannot find his way in a person who himself is a straight path, for Sirat which represents the infinite power of Allah is immune from all temptations. For the followers of the spiritual path, the straight path and the wayfarer are the same. Meanwhile, Satan lies in wait in the beginning of the path and not in the middle or in the final stages. Therefore, those who have traversed the major sections of the path by performing their religions obligations and have reached the stage of devotion are immune from temptations:

...وَلَأُغْوِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ  إِلَّا عِبَادَكَ مِنْهُمُ الْمُخْلَصِينَ

I will certainly cause them all to deviate, except the servants from among them, the devoted ones. (15:39-40)

The Infallibles’ Knowledge and Act

One who has reached the station of cognitive and intuitive devotion do not misunderstand anything nor does he commit any error or have doubt in relation to perceptions, for the receiver of message is an abstract soul and the sender of message is Allah Who is pure knowledge. About the cognitive ismah, Imam Ali (a.s.) says:

مَا شَكَكْتُ فِي الْحَقِّ مُدأريتُهُ.

I have never had any doubt since the time I was presented with the truth.

This indicates that Imam Ali had reached the final stage of reunion with Almighty Allah. He had comprehension of the far-fetched truths, which is not available but for a masum through knowledge and intuition. Therefore, Imam Ali is the paragon of ‘There is no doubt in it’.

As for pragmatic ismah, we should say that those who have attained devotion reach this stage. This is when lust, wrath, jealousy, arrogance and hypocrisy have no way into his sanctuary.

An infallible person has gone through the stages of polarization, lust, wrath, love, enmity, like and dislike. He has reached the station of amity and detachment, which is the most perfect and the most valuable stage. One who has reached this latest stage considers Satan as the most hostile enemy of his inward and outward being. Hence, he suppresses Satan in the hardest way and comes under the guardianship of Allah:

إِنَّ وَلِيِّيَ اللَّهُ الَّذِي نَزَّلَ الْكِتَابَ ۖ وَهُوَ يَتَوَلَّى الصَّالِحِينَ

Surely, my guardian is Allah Who revealed the book and He befriends the good. (7:196)

It is the same righteous ones who will inherit the earth due to their ismah in perceptions and deeds:

أَنَّ الْأَرْضَ يَرِثُهَا عِبَادِيَ الصَّالِحُونَ

My righteous servants shall inherit it. (21:105)

Infallibility; Not Exclusive

When a man reaches the stage of devotion, he will be on a safe path. He is now a righteous and is placed under the guardianship of Allah. In this case, he will be immune from the temptations of Satan who has confessed that he will not harm the devoted ones. The word ‘devoted ones’ has a general meaning. Therefore, everyone can reach the station of ismah with endeavor, discipline and worship. Whatever is gained in the universe is due to Allah's favor:

وَمَا بِكُمْ مِنْ نِعْمَةٍ فَمِنَ اللَّهِ ۖ

And whatever favor is bestowed on you it is from Allah. (16:53)

Allah is the True Agent

Man cannot possess anything without Allah having a part in it. Every being's existence is contingent on the Necessary Being. Hence, if there is any perfection in man, it comes from Allah. Even the true agent behind teaching common knowledge is Allah:

عَلَّمَ الْإِنْسَانَ مَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ

He taught man what he knew not. (96:5)

We plough the land, sow the seeds and irrigate it but it is Allah who makes the seeds grow and come to fruition:

أَأَنْتُمْ تَزْرَعُونَهُ أَمْ نَحْنُ الزَّارِعُونَ

Is it you that cause it to grow, or are we the causers of growth? (56:64)

Self-Purification; Premise of Infallibility

Man can attain ismah with discipline and self-purification. So ismah is not solely for the Prophets and the Imams; rather when one is Prophet or Imam, he is infallible, but not the opposite.

Man can keep himself from error, sin, and oblivion by self-purification. He can do so before puberty so as to be masum at puberty thanks to training and purification. Even those who have committed sins or errors can become masum in the future with the same method. One who enjoys Divine training may reach a stage of ismah where one will be immune from error in scientific issues:

إِنْ تَتَّقُوا اللَّهَ يَجْعَلْ لَكُمْ فُرْقَانًا

If you are careful of your duty to Allah, He will grant you distinction. (8:29)

Distinction means to distinguish between what is right and what is wrong. Therefore, by observing piety and in the light of discipline received from the saints, man can become a distinguisher of good and bad. In that case, he will neither misunderstand nor act wrongly. If it is said that a distinguisher may not know certain things, it is because like other virtues, ismah too has certain ranks.

Prophethood and Imamate Are Exclusive

Ismah is not exclusive. What is exclusive is Prophethood and Imamate which none can attain with endeavor even if one is totally purified:

اللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ حَيْثُ يَجْعَلُ رِسَالَتَهُ

Allah best knows where He places His message. (6:124)

The Prophets are one hundred and twenty four thousand in number, and the Imams after the Holy Prophet are twelve in number; but ismah is a station available for anyone. Lady Fatimah (a.s) was neither a prophet nor an Imam, but she was masum. Mary, too, was masum.

Man enjoys such capacity that he can prepare for himself the ground for the manifestation of such blessing with knowledge and practice so that Allah will grant the station of ismah to him or her:

وَآتَاكُمْ مِنْ كُلِّ مَا سَأَلْتُمُوهُ

And He gives you of all that you ask Him. (14:34)

This ‘asking’ is based on talent and Allah does not allow any talent to go to waste.

Ismah Can Be Acquired

One must note that ismah is an optional virtue in knowledge and action, hence it is a virtue, which, can be acquired in the light of Allah’sfavor. Therefore if a masum has not done something wrong, it means that he has opted not to commit anything wrong and not because he has been created masum by nature. Masum, as the Holy Quran says, is always equipped with Divine reasoning internalized in man and in this way man has suppressed the inner enemy and carnal desires.

Sin From The Viewpoints of the Infallible

A follower of the spiritual path and a masum see the evil nature and the result of the sin as it really is:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَأْكُلُونَ أَمْوَالَ الْيَتَامَىٰ ظُلْمًا إِنَّمَا يَأْكُلُونَ فِي بُطُونِهِمْ نَارًا ۖ وَسَيَصْلَوْنَ سَعِيرًا

As for those who swallow the property of the orphans unjustly, surely they only swallow fire into their bellies. (4:10)

Since the inner part of sin is fire, one who realizes this is immune from even thinking of sinning. At the end of the story of Aqil who requested more than his right from the public fund, Imam Ali (a.s.) says:

وَأجَبُ مِنْ ذَالِكَ طَارِقٌ طَرَقِنَا بِمَلْفُوفَةٍ فِي وَ عَا ئِهَا وَ مَعْجُوجَنَةٍ. شَنِئتُهَا كَأنَّمَا عُجِنَتْ بِرِيقِ حَيَّةٍ أوْقَيْئهَا. فَقُلْتُ: أصِلَةٌ أمْ زَكَاةٌ أمْ صَدَقَةٌ؟ فَذَالِكَا مُحَرَّمٌ عَلَينَا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ. فَقَالَ: لأ ذَا وَلأ ذَاكَ؛ وَ لَكِنَّهَا هَدِيَّةٌ. فَقُلْتً: هَبْلَتُكَ الْهُبُولُ! أعَنْ دِينِ اللَّهِ أتَيْتَنِيلِتَخْدَعَنِي؟ أمُخْتَبِطٌ أنْتَ أمْ ذُو جِنَّةٍ أمْ تَهْجُرُ؟

A stranger incident is that a man comes to us in the night with a closed flask of honey paste yet I disliked it as though it was the saliva of a serpent or its vomit. I asked him whether it was a reward, or zakat (poor-tax) or charity, for these are forbidden to us, members of the Prophet's Household. He said it was neither this nor that but a present. Then, I said: Childless women may weep over you. Have you come to deviate me from the religion of Allah, or are you mad, or have some Jinn overpowered you, or are you speaking without senses?135

Imam Ali who is infallible sees bribe as the vomit of a serpent that a wise man never longs for.

Those who can really see are not ignorant

Imam Ali (a.s) describes the angels in a way that indicates how ismah has been internalized in them. Their description shows that they are watchful not to be caught in the trap of Satan. They are neither ignorant nor forgetful:

لأ يَغْشَاهُمْ نَومَ الْعُيُونِ وَلأ سَهُوُ الْعُقُولِ، وَلأ فَتْرَاةُ الأبْدَانِ وَلأ غَفَلَةٌ النَّسْيَانِ.

The sleep of the eye or the slip of the wit or languor of the body or the effect of forgetfulness does not effect then.136

The Prophets and the Imams are like angels in being immune from error in thought, forgetfulness and indecent acts.

Human Power and Ismah

It is not that a masum is incapable of committing sin, rather he can commit sin but he never does so. At any rate, ismah both in its cognitive and pragmatic dimensions is not such that it will ruin the requirements of human power, for each power has requirements, which can be met lawfully and unlawfully. The sense of hearing likes sweet songs; the sense of seeing enjoys beautiful scenes; and so on. Hence, we should satisfy our senses lawfully.

Ahl al-Bayt, at the zenith of Ismah

The Holy Prophet says about the infallibility of the Ahl al-Bayt and himself:

أنَا وَ عَلِيٌ وَالْحَسَنُ وَالحُسَينُ وَ تِسْعَةٌ مِنْ وُلْدِ الْحُسَيْنِ مُطَهَّرُونَ وَ مَعصُومُونَ.

I, Ali, Hasan, Husayn and the nine of the sons of Husayn are purified from uncleanness and are infallible.137

About himself and Lady Fatimah and the twelve Imams (a.s), the Holy Prophet )s) has also said:

إنَّا أهْلُ الْبَيتِ قَدْ أذْهَبَ اللَّهُ عَنَّا الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ.

We are Ahl al-Bayt. Allah has purified us from all overt and covert uncleanness.138

In a clear statement on the ismah of the Prophets and the Imams, Imam al- Sadiq (a.s.) has said:

الأنْبِيَاءُ وَالأوْصِيَاءُ لأ ذُنُوبَ لَهُمْ، لأنَّهُم مَعْصُومُونَ مُطَهَّرُونَ.

The Prophets and their successors have no sin, for they are infallible and purified.139

Lady Fatimah, Imam Ali and the eleven sons of these two honorable persons have introduced themselves as purified from all pollutions and uncleanness as well as the devoted servants of Allah, who have closed all the doors to carnal desire and Satan.

Ahl Al-Bayt, Allah’s Favourite

Self-Purification Makes Ahl al-Bayt Allah’s Favorites

Ahl al-Bayt’s being purified from uncleanness and being endowed with good qualities is the reason for their being Allah’s favorites. In the Holy Quran, Allah has praised them with their best quality, which is a thorough purification and their access to the hidden truth:

لَا يَمَسُّهُ إِلَّا الْمُطَهَّرُونَ

None shall touch it save the purified ones. (56:79)

Due to their knowing of the hidden truth, Ahl al-Bayt are aware of the whole universe and act in accordance with the Divine decrees and the best deeds. These features show that the devotees have been trained and chosen directly by Allah. Self-purification, awareness of the hidden truths and realization of Allah’s commands have made Ahl al-Bayt Allah’s favorites:

وَيُحِبُّ الْمُتَطَهِّرِينَ

He loves those who purify themselves. (2:222)

Ahl al-Bayt’s morality is a manifestation of their self-purification. Such morality like justice, reliance on Allah, patience, faith, certainty, repentance, jihad and self-sacrifice have made Ahl al-Bayt Allah’s most favorites:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ التَّوَّابِينَ

Surely, Allah loves those who turn much to Him. (2:222)

إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَوَكِّلِينَ

Surely, Allah loves those who trust Him (3:159)

The Favorites with the Holy Prophet

As the Ahl al-Bayt were the favorites with Allah, they were the favorite with the Holy Prophet, for he loved but what Allah loved. Umm-Salamah has reported that one day Allah’s Messenger was sitting at home. Fatimah brought a small pot with dish of flour in it. Allah’s Messenger asked, “Where is Ali and his two sons?” Fatimah answered, “They are at home.” He said, “Tell them to come here.” After some time, Ali, Hasan, Husayn and Fatimah were walking towards Allah’s Messenger. As soon as he saw them, he took his cloak (kisa) which was on the bed and covered them, saying:

أللَّهُمَّ هَؤُلأءِ أهْلُ بَيْتِي، فَأذْهِبْ عَنَهُمُ الرِّجْسَ وَطَهِّرْهُمْ تَطْهِيراً.

O Allah! These are my household and my favorite ones; so, remove wickedness from them and make them pure a perfect purification.

At this time, Almighty Allah revealed the Verse of Purification:

إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا

Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House, and to purify you a thorough purifying. (33:33)140

Imam Ali (a.s.) has said:

أتَى رَجُلٌ إلَى النَّبِيِّ فَقَالَ: يا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ، أيُّ الْخَلَقِ أحَبُّ إلَيكَ؟ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ـ وَأنَا إلَى جَنْبَهِ ـ: هَذَا وَ ابْنَاهُ وَ أُمُّهُمَا. هُم مِنِّي وَأنَا مِنْهُمْ. وَهُمْ مَعِي فِي الْجنَّةِ هَكَذَا. وَ جَمَعَ بَيْنَ إصْبِعَيْهِ ـ.

A man came to Allah’s Messenger saying, “O Allah’s Messenger! Who is your most favorite one?” The Holy Prophet said, “This (Ali), his two sons and their mother are. They are from me and I am from them. In Paradise, they will be as close as two fingers to
me.”141

Obeisance to Ahl al-Bayt Makes you Allah's Favorite

Anyone who wishes to be Allah’s favorite must endeavor to purify himself internally and externally by obeying Him, His Prophet (s.a.w), and Ahl al- Bayt. In this relation, the Holy Quran says:

قُلْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ

Say: If you love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your faults, and Allah is forgiving, Merciful. (3:31)

The Holy Prophet, the obeisance to whom will make us Allah’s favorites, has emphatically ordered his ummah to love Ahl al-Bayt from the bottom of their hearts and to obey them under all circumstances in order to be Allah’s favorite. He has said:

أحِبُّوا اللَّهَ لِمَا يَغْدُوكُم مِنْ نِعَمِهِ، وَأحِبُونِي بِحُبِّ اللَّهِ، وَأحِبُّوا أهْلَ بَيْتِي لِحُبِّي.

Love Allah for the blessings He has bestowed on you; love me because of your love for Allah; and love my household because of your love for me.142

In another important narration, the Holy Prophet says:

مَنْ سَرَّهُ أنْ يَحْيَا حَياتي وَ يَمُوتَ مَمَاتِي وَ يَسْكُنُ جَنَّة وَيَسْكُنَ جَنَّةَ عَدَنٍ غَرَسَهَا رَبِّي فَلْيُوَالِ عَلِياً مِن بَعَدي وَليُوَالِ وَلِيَّهُ وَليَقْتَدِ بِالِمَّةِ مِنْ بَعْدِي؛ فَإنَّهُمْ عِتْرَتِي، خُلِقُوا مِنْ طِينَتِي وَرُزِقُو فَهْماً وَعِلْمَاً. وَوَيْلٌ لِلمُكَذِّبِينَ بِفَضْلِهِمْ، القَاطِعِينَ فِيهِمْ صِلَتِي، لأ أنَالَهُمُ، اللَّهُ شَفَاعَتِي.

Anyone who wishes to live and to pass away like me and to abide in an eternal Paradise the trees of which have been planted by my Lord must love Ali after me, love his lovers and follow the Imams after me, for they are my Household who are created from my essence and endowed with knowledge. Woe to those who deny their excellence and do not observe my kinship with them. I will not intercede for them.143

How To Be Allah’s Favorite?

If man wishes to become Allah’s favorite, he must follow the Ahl al-Bayt the head of whom is Allah’s Messenger. This adherence will lead man gradually to spiritual purification to the extent of his capacity. Hence, he will become Allah’s favorite. To reach this station, it is only possible through Ahl al-Bayt, for they are the straight path and the best guides for the followers of spiritual path.

The criterion for being Allah’s favorite is being like the Ahl al-Bayt who have asked us to compare ourselves with them to see whether we are liked or disliked by Allah:

فَإنَّكُمْ وَسِيَلَتِي إلَى اللَّهِ، وَبِحُبِّكُمْ وَبِقَرْبِكُمُ أرُجُو نَجَاةٌ مِنَ اللَّهِ.

You, the Ahl al-Bayt, are our means towards Allah. We set our hope on your station and love to be saved by Allah.144

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) says that the only thing that will bring heaven to us is having devotion in worshipping Allah and saying that there is no god but Allah. Devotion is to act according to Allah’s commandments, to abstain from committing sin and to adhere to Ahl al-Bayt. When the Holy Prophet was asked what devotion is and how it is related to there is no god but Allah, he answered:

It is to act to what I have been sent for and to love my Ahl al-Bayt.

They asked him whether love for Ahl al-Bayt’s and acceptance of Imamate was part of the said formula, he said: yes.145

The same matter is expressed by Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) in a Hadith in Salsalat al- Dhahab (Golden Chain) in another way of reporting:

كَلِمَةٌ لأإلَهَ إلأ اللَّهُ حِصْنِي، فَمَنْ دَخَلَ حِصْنِي أمِنَ مِنْ عَذَابِي؛ بِشُرُوطِهَا وَ أنَا مِنْ شُرُوطِهَا.

There is no god but Allah is my fortress. Whoever enters it will be immune from my punishment on one condition, which is acceptance of my Imamate.146

Therefore, one who has no love for Ahl al-Bayt has not professed the unity of Allah either and he will be resurrected on the Judgment Day as an atheist.

To please Ahl al-Bayt is to please Allah

When one, by devotion, becomes Allah’s vicegerent, one becomes a manifestation of Allah; hence, to respect him and his commands is to respect Allah:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُبَايِعُونَكَ إِنَّمَا يُبَايِعُونَ اللَّهَ

Surely, those who swear allegiance to you do but swear allegiance to Allah. (48:10)

In this case, all people are duty-bound to obey him, for he can intercede with Allah for people. He has, in fact, reached a station where his pleasure is the pleasure of Allah. Allah attaches great importance to what pleases the Holy Prophet and his Ahl al-Bayt so much so that He says:

فَلَنُوَلِّيَنَّكَ قِبْلَةً تَرْضَاهَا ۚ

We shall surely turn you to a kiblah which you shall like. (2:144)

In the Holy Quran, Allah has explicated the moral values and lifestyle of Ahl al-Bayt explicitly and implicitly so as to set models for us. Here are some examples:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَالَّذِينَ هَاجَرُوا وَجَاهَدُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ

Surely those who believed and those who fled (Their home) and strove hard in the way of Allah (2:218)

إِنَّمَا نُطْعِمُكُمْ لِوَجْهِ اللَّهِ لَا نُرِيدُ مِنْكُمْ جَزَاءً وَلَا شُكُورًا

We only feed you for Allah’s sake we desire from you neither reward nor thanks. (76:9)

إِنَّ صَلَاتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Surely my prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are (all) for Allah. (6:162)

Ahl Al-Bayt, Source Of Mercy

The linguistic meaning of mercy is kind or forgiving attitude shown towards somebody by one who has the right or power to punish. Mercy in the Holy Quran is accompanied with various concepts and paragons. Mercy is a Divine truth and one of Allah’s attributes shown towards all beings especially man. All creatures are manifestation of Allah’s general and particular mercy.

Mercy in the Holy Qur'an

The Holy Quran has raised the question of mercy, some of which are referred to here:

1. The Holy Quran considers mercy to be the prophetic mission, which is a source of perfection for human beings and their salvation from the problems of this world and the punishment of the Hereafter. Allah knows whom He should bestow His mercy upon as a result of his merit and whom He should send to convey His communication and to guide people:

وَاللَّهُ يَخْتَصُّ بِرَحْمَتِهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۚ

Allah chooses especially whom He pleases for His mercy. (2:105)

2. The Holy Quran considers ease at some religious obligations especially those related to retribution and blood money as Allah's mercy:

ذَٰلِكَ تَخْفِيفٌ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ ۗ

This is alleviation from your Lord and a mercy. (2:178)

3. The Holy Quran considers sublime morality, softness and courtesy as Allah’s mercy on human beings:

فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ لِنْتَ لَهُمْ ۖ

Thus, it is due to mercy from Allah that you deal with them gently. (3:159)

4. The Holy Quran considers the removal of punishment of those who deserve it on the Judgment Day as a mercy of Allah:

مَنْ يُصْرَفْ عَنْهُ يَوْمَئِذٍ فَقَدْ رَحِمَهُ ۚ وَذَٰلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْمُبِينُ

He from whom is averted on that day, Allah indeed has shown mercy to him and this is a manifest achievement. (6:16)

5. The Holy Quran considers belief in and attention to Allah’s mercy for a sinner a source of encouragement for repentance, telling the Holy Prophet to assure people that Allah has ordained mercy Himself on them. Therefore, one who has committed an indecent act out of ignorance and then has repented will receive Allah’s mercy for He is the Most Merciful:

وَإِذَا جَاءَكَ الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِآيَاتِنَا فَقُلْ سَلَامٌ عَلَيْكُمْ ۖ كَتَبَ رَبُّكُمْ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِهِ الرَّحْمَةَ ۖ أَنَّهُ مَنْ عَمِلَ مِنْكُمْ سُوءًا بِجَهَالَةٍ ثُمَّ تَابَ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ وَأَصْلَحَ فَأَنَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ

And when those who believe in our communications come to you, say: Peace be on you, your Lord has ordained mercy on Himself, (so) that if any one of you does evil in ignorance, then turns after that and acts aright, then He is Forgiving, Merciful. (6:54)

6. The Holy Quran, in most verses, has been introduced as mercy from
Allah:

فَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ بَيِّنَةٌ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ ۚ

So indeed there has come to you clear proof from your Lord, and guidance and mercy. (6:157)

7. The Holy Quran, in most verses, tells people that they will face perdition if they do not seek Allah’s mercy or they do not expose themselves to it:

فَلَوْلَا فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ لَكُنْتُمْ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ

So were it not for the grace of Allah and His mercy on you, you would certainly have been among the losers. (2:64)

8- The Holy Quran which guides the people to the Divine truth and spiritual values does not consider Allah’s mercy without reason rather considers it as a source of salvation, happiness, a cause for entering Paradise and something special for the benefactors:

إِنَّ رَحْمَتَ اللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ مِنَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

Surely the mercy of Allah is nigh to those who d o good. (7: 56)

9. The Holy Quran considers Allah’s mercy a factor, which rids man of hardships, liberates him from enemy and from the oppressors and tyranny:

فَأَنْجَيْنَاهُ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ بِرَحْمَةٍ مِنَّا وَقَطَعْنَا دَابِرَ الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِنَا ۖ

So We delivered him and those with him by mercy from Us, and We cut off the last of those who rejected our communications. (7:72)

10. The Holy Quran considers expansion of breast, spiritual capacity and sublimity of spirit, which is a source of Divine grace, as Allah’s mercy:

فَوَجَدَا عَبْدًا مِنْ عِبَادِنَا آتَيْنَاهُ رَحْمَةً مِنْ عِنْدِنَا وَعَلَّمْنَاهُ مِنْ لَدُنَّا عِلْمًا

Then they found one from among our servants whom We had granted knowledge from ourselves. (18:65)

11. The Holy Quran considers the Holy Prophet source of mercy to the worlds:

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِلْعَالَمِينَ

And We have not sent you but as a mercy to the worlds. (21:107)

12. The Holy Quran considers regeneration of plants in the spring as a sign of Allah's mercy:

فَانْظُرْ إِلَىٰ آثَارِ رَحْمَتِ اللَّهِ كَيْفَ يُحْيِي الْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا ۚ إِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ لَمُحْيِي الْمَوْتَىٰ ۖ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

Look then at the signs of Allah’s mercy, how He gives life to the earth after its death, most surely He will raise the dead to life; and He has power over all things. (30:50)

13. The Holy Quran considers Allah’s mercy which manifests itself in every being as something comprehensive and the smallest thing which cannot be seen even with the most powerful scientific devices is not outside Allah’s mercy:

وَرَحْمَتِي وَسِعَتْ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ ۚ

And My mercy encompasses all things. (7:156)

14. The Holy Quran considers the unbeliever’s despair of Allah’s mercy as features of unbelievers:

إِنَّهُ لَا يَيْأَسُ مِنْ رَوْحِ اللَّهِ إِلَّا الْقَوْمُ الْكَافِرُونَ

Surely none despairs of Allah’s mercy except the unbelieving people. (12:87)

15. The Holy Quran considers Allah’s mercy for people to be better than just what they achieve through gain of wealth and position. Therefore, it is best for people to seek Allah’s mercy through faith, righteous deeds and sublime morality instead of spending their lifetimes in gaining extra wealth and property:

وَرَحْمَتُ رَبِّكَ خَيْرٌ مِمَّا يَجْمَعُونَ

And the mercy your Lord is better than what they amass. (43:32)

Source of Mercy

In view of the aforementioned verses, we should admit that there is nothing more valuable than Allah’s mercy in this universe. The source of this mercy in this world and the Hereafter are the Ahl al-Bayt as referred to by Imam al-Hadi (a.s) in the Ziyarah al-Jamiah al-Kabirah.

Therefore, if anyone wishes to be immune from Allah’s punishment, to be endowed with sublime morality, to have a chance of repenting, to have a full share and benefit from the Holy Quran, to have expansion of breast, or to have an easy reckoning and not to be touched by despair, one must adhere to Ahl al-Bayt. This is so as to obtain what was brought up in the aforementioned verses and to be blessed with Allah’s guidance, favor and grace.

The Holy Prophet’s recommendation about Ahl al-Bayt during twenty-three years of his mission was that it is impossible to understand the Holy Quran without them. Zayd ibn Arqam, a trustworthy Sunni narrator, is reported as saying:

قَامَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ يَوماً فِينَا خَطِيباً بِمَاءٍ يُدْعَي خُماًّ، بَيْنَ مَكَّة وَالْمَدِينَةِ، فَحَمِدَ اللَّهَ وَأثنَى عَلَيهِ وَوَعَظَ وَذَكَّرَ ثُمَّ قَالَ: "أمَّا بَعْدُ، ألأ أيُّهَا النَّاسُ، فَإنَّمَا أنَا بَشَرٌ يُوشَكُ أنْ يَاتِيَ رَسُولُ رَبِّي فأُجِيبُ. وَأنَا تَارِكٌ فِيكُمُ الثَّقَلَيْنِ: أوَّلُهُمَا كِتَابُ اللَّهِ، فِيهِ الْهُدى وَالنُّورُ، فَخُذُوا بِكِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَاسْتَمْسِكُوا بِهِ." فَحَثَ عَلَى كِتَابِ اللَّهِ وَ رَغَّبَ فِيهِ، ثُمَّ قَال: "وَأهْلُ بَيتِي. أذْكَّرُكُمُ اللَّهَ فِي أهْلِ بَيْتِي أُذَكَّرُكُمُ اللَّهَ فِي أهْلِ بَيتِي أذَكَّرُكُمُ اللَّهَ فِي أهْلِ بَيتِي."

One day, Allah’s Messenger stopped at Ghadir Khumm, a place between Mecca and Medina, and delivered a sermon. After praising Allah, he said, “I am a human who will pass away soon. So I am leaving two worthy things behind. One is the Book of Allah being guidance and light. Hold fast on to it.” He encouraged people in relation to the Holy Quran, saying, “…and then to my Ahl al-Bayt. I remind you of Allah in relation to my Ahl al-Bayt. I remind you of Allah in relation to my Ahl al-Bayt.”147

Manifestations of Ahl al-Bayt’s Mercy

The Ahl al-Bayt are sources of mercy. Anyone who resorts to them by getting to know them and their knowledge and by loving and obeying them will enjoy Allah’s mercy, favor and grace during his lifetime, at deathbed, in the duration between his death and Resurrection and or the Judgment Day.

In this relation, Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) says:

إنَّمَا أحَدُكُم حِينَ يَبْلُغُ نَفَسُهُ هَهُنَا يَنْزِلُ عَلَيْهِ مَلَكُ الْمَوْتِ فَيَقُولُ:أمَّا مَا كُنْتَ تَرْجُو فَقَدْ أعْطِيَتَهُ! وَ أمَّا مَا كُنْتَ تَخَافُهُ فَقَدْ أمِنْتَ مِنْهُ!" وَ يُفْتَحُ لَهُ بَابٌ إلى مَنْزِلِهِ مِنَ الْجِنَّةِ، وَيُقَالُ لَهُ: " أنْظُرْ إلَى مَسْكَنِكَ فِي الْجنَّةِ، وَانْظُرْ هَذَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ وَعَلِيٌ وَالحَسَنُ وَالحُسَيْنُ رُفَقَؤكَ". وَ هُوَ قَوْلُ اللَّهِ:

الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَكَانُوا يَتَّقُونَ  لَهُمُ الْبُشْرَىٰ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ ۚ لَا تَبْدِيلَ لِكَلِمَاتِ اللَّهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ.

When the breath of one of you comes to his throat, the Angel of Death comes down on him saying, “You were granted what you longed for; you were given safety for what you were afraid of.” Then a gate of Paradise is opened to his house; he is said, “Look at your abode in Paradise; behold! These are Allah’s Messenger, Ali, Hasan, Husayn and your friends.”148And these are the words of Allah:

They shall have good news in this world’s life and in the hereafter. (10:63-64)

The Holy Prophet has said:

وَالَّذي نَفْسِي بِيَدَهِ، لأ تُفَارِقُ رُوحٌ جَسَدَ صَاحِبِهَا حَتَّى تَأكُلَ مِنْ ثِمَارِ الْجَنَّةِ أوْ مِنْ شَجَرَةِ الزُّقُومِ. وَحِينَ تَرَى مَلَكَ الْمَوْتِ تَرَانِي وَتَرَى عَلِياًّ وَ فَاطِمَة وَ حَسَنَا وَ حُسَيْنَا. فَإنْ كَانَ يُحِبُّنَا، قُلْتُ: "يَا مَلَكَ الْمَوْت، إرْفِقْ بِهِ؛ إنَّهُ كَانَ يُحِبُّنِي وَيُحِبُّ أهْلَ بَيتِي." وَ إنْ كَانَ يُبغِضُنَا، قُلْتُ: "يَا مَلَكَ الْمَوتِ، شَدِّدَدْ عَلَيْهِ؛ إنَّهُ كَانَ يُبْغِضُنِي وَ يُبْغِضُ أهْلَ بَيْتِي."

I swear by the One in Whose hand is my life, a soul never leaves the body of a person without eating of the fruits of Paradise or of the Zaqqum (bitter) Tree (of Hellfire). When he sees the Angel of Death, he will also see - Ali, Fatimah, Hasan Husayn and me. If he is one who loved us, I will tell the Angel of Death to befriend him, for he loves me and my Ahl al-Bayt; and if he is our enemy, I will tell the Angel of Death to be tough with him for he is the enemy of my Ahl al-Bayt and me.149

Ahl Al-Bayt, Pillars Of The Heavens And The Earth

If heavens are firm in their positions and the earth is stable with its movement; if the world beings and those living on the earth are safe, it is all thanks to Ahl al-Bayt, their spiritual light and their favor as they themselves have referred to it. Obviously, only those having a pure heart and righteous deeds believe it. In this relation, Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) says:

إنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ بَابُ اللَّهِ الَّذي لأيُؤتَي إلأ مِنْهُ، وَسَبِيلَهُ الَّذِي مَنْ سَلْكَهُ وَصَلَ إلَى اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ. وَكَذَالِكَ كَانَ أمِيرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ، وَجَرَى لِلأئِمَّةِ وَاحِداً بَعْدَ وَاحِدٍ. جَعَلْهُمُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ أرِّكَانَ الأرْضِ أنْ تَمِيدَ بِأهْلِهَا.

Surely, Allah’s Messenger is Allah’s gate through which only one can enter and the path of Allah through which only one can reach Allah. Amir al-Muminin too is as such the same after him. The same is true for the Imams, one after the other. Allah has made them pillars for the earth so that it will not shake its habitants.150

Imam Zayn al-Abidin (a.s.) says:

نَحْنُ الَّذِينَ بِنَا يُمْسِكُ اللَّهُ السَّمَاءَ أنْ تَقَعَ عَلَي الأرْضِ إلأ بِإذْنِهِ، وَبِنَا يُمْسِكُ الأرْضَ أنْ تَمِيدَ بِأهْلِهَا، وَبِنَا يُنْزِلَ الْغَيْثَ، وَبِنَا يَنْشُرُ الرَّحْمَة وَ يُخْرِجُ بَرَكَاتِ الأرْضِ. وَلَوْ لأ مَافِي الأرْضِ مِنَّا لَسَاخَتْ بِأهْلِهَا.

We are the ones for whose sake Allah holds the earth firm so that it will not fall down except by His permission and preserves the earth for our sake so that its inhabitants will not be shaken up. He sends rain for our sake, spreads mercy for our sake and brings out the blessings of the earth. The earth would swallow its inhabitants if we were not on the earth.151

The Holy Prophet (S) said:

النُّجُومُ أمَانٌ لأِهْلِ السَّمَاءِ، فَإذَا ذَهَبَتِ النُّجُومُ ذَهَبَ أهْلُ السَّمَاءِ. وَ أهْلُ بَيْتِي أمَانٌ لأهْلِ الأرْضِ، فإذَا ذَهَبَ أهْلُ بَيتِي ذَهَبَ أهْلُ الأرْضِ.

The heavenly beings feel safe and secure with stars. Whenever the stars disappear, the heavenly beings leave, too. My Ahl al-Bayt too make the earthly beings feel safe; whenever my Ahl al-Bayt leave, the earthly beings will leave too.152

Amir al-Muminin (a.s.) has said:

نَحْنُ بَيْتُ الُّنُّبُوةِ وَ مَعْدِنُ الْحِكْمَةِ وَ أمَانٌ لأهْلِ الأرْضِ وَنَجَاةٌ لِمَنْ طَلْبَ.

We, Ahl al-Bayt, are the household of Prophethood, the source of wisdom, the safety for the earthly beings and salvation for those seeking salvation.153

Firmness of heavens and stability of the earth are due to the spirituality and favor of Ahl al-Bayt. Their heavenly assets and spiritual power belong solely to them. No one in heaven or on earth is equal to them in rank, yet with this entire asset to their credit, they are humble.

Ahl Al-Bayt, Character Builders

One of the features of the earth and perhaps other planets is that they have mines such as of gold, silver, agate, turquoise, diamond, copper and iron. Everyone in the world considers mine as a valuable and a useful asset for human life. Exploring mines, exploiting them, transferring minerals to technical workshops and transforming those minerals to instruments are occupations existing from very old times. Gold is one of the mines, which has been extremely valuable for human beings. Throughout history, man has been trying to explore gold, separate it from ores take it to factories, and turn it into bullion. Then, gold is given to either artisan to change it into currencies, bank reserves to activate the economy of a country, or turn it into necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings to satisfy the instincts of those tracking beauty.

What is noteworthy is that all heavens and the earth are like a mine and the omniscient (All-Knowing) of this mine is Allah. The All-knowing God has also created a gold-like being out of this mine placing him on this planet so that his instinctive talents, vicegerency, and intellectual capabilities will emerge and he will be able to materialize his prosperity and happiness in this world and the Hereafter. This will be materialized only if man follows the heavenly teachers who are chosen by Allah so that they will turn him into a Divine being. Allah has directed man to heavenly architects who are unique in building human characters.

Ahl Al-Bayt, Model For Wayfarers

So far, we have said that a follower of truth must set Ahl al-Bayt as his model in all aspects of his life. Allah has shown the ways leading to attaining virtues and perfection by following the path of the infallible Imams. Evidently we cannot reach their rank, for they have achieved such a position that even Archangel Gabriel could not reach:

لَوْ دَنَوْتُ.أُنْمُلَةً لأحْتَرَقْتُ.

If I go foreword by an inch, I will burn myself.154

Models for Human Beings

Allah has made Ahl al-Bayt models for human beings to follow so that everyone, according to his capacity, will benefit from their knowledge:

أَنْزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَسَالَتْ أَوْدِيَةٌ بِقَدَرِهَا

He sends down water from the cloud and then watercourses flow with water according to their measure. (13:17)

In the interpretation of the verse, we read that Allah sends water and knowledge from heaven so every riverbed benefits from it according to its capacity. The riverbed, which is deeper and wider can benefit more from the water of life and be promoted to an excellent position. In this relation, the Holy Quran says:

لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ

Certainly, you have in the Apostle of Allah an excellent exemplar. (33:21)

Being an excellent exemplar is not something particular to Allah’s Messenger, for Allah and the Holy Prophet (S) have said that this position is transferred to Ahl al-Bayt after Allah’s Messenger, since they are his true successors. Being an excellent exemplar is a legal position, which the Ahl al-Bayt have inherited from the Holy Prophet.

The wayfarers of the path of Imamate and those wishing to associate with angels and hearing their glorification as well as the devotees better know that they cannot possibly reach sublime positions without adhering to Ahl al-Bayt. In this relation, the Holy Prophet (S) says:

الرُّوحُ وَالرَّاحَةٌ وَالنَّضْرَةُ وَالْيُسْرُ وَالْيَسَارُ وَالرِّضَا وَ الرِّضْوَانُ وَالمَخْرَجُ وَالْفَلَجُ وَالقُرْبُ وَالمَحَبَّةٌ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ لِمَنْ أحَبَّ عَلِياً وَانْتُمَّ بِالأوْصِيَاءِ مِنْ بَعْدِهِ

Happiness, convenience, mercy, tiumph, wealtj, improvement, pleasure, contentment, solution of problems, amd love for Allah and His Messenge are all for the one who loves Ali and follows the Imams after him.155

Imam al-Rida (a.s.) says too:

مَنْ سَرَّهُ أنْ يَنْظُرُ إلَى اللَّهِ بِغَيْرِ حِجَابٍ وَ يَنْظُرَ اللَّهِ إلَيْهِ بِغَيْرِحِجَابِ فَلْيَتَوَلَّ آلَ مُحَمَّدٍ وَلْيَتَبَرَّا مُحَمَّدٍ وَلْيَتَبَرَّأْ مِنْ عَدُوِّهِمْ وَلْيَتَامَّ بِإمَامِ الْمُؤْنِينَ مِنْهُم، فإنّهُ إذَا كَانَ يَوْمُ الْقِيَامَةِ نَظَرَ اللَّهُ إلَيْهِ نَظَرَ إلَى اللَّهِ بِغَيْرِ حِجَابِ.

Whoever is glad to see (the Mercy of Allah) without any veil and Allah sees him (i.e. spreads mercy on him) without veil must accept the Imamate of Holy Prophet's Family, hate their enemies and follow the Imam of the believers from among them. In this case, when the Judgment Day comes, Allah will look at him without veil and he will look at Allah without veil.156

Since the Ahl al-Bayt have gone through all stages of devotion and submission to Allah and have been endowed with all virtues, they have become the excellent exemplars for all.

Worldly People Fail To Understand Ahl al-Bayt

Whoever resorts to Ahl al-Bayt in every aspect of life will benefit from their truth to the extent of their capacity and understanding. Those with a small or medium capacity, by adhering to Ahl al-Bayt, can somehow comprehend their truth. However, those who are submerged in worldly affairs and do not wish to get out of this state are like –

…كَمَنْ مَثَلُهُ فِي الظُّلُمَاتِ لَيْسَ بِخَارِجٍ مِنْهَا …

… him whose likeness is that of one in the other darkness whence he cannot come forth (6:122).

These people do not wish to comprehend the inner part of the Holy Quran and Ahl al-Bayt, for their hearts are so dark that there is a veil between them and Allah. This veil is the result of sins, corruption, bias and rancor:

وَتَرَاهُمْ يَنْظُرُونَ إِلَيْكَ وَهُمْ لَا يُبْصِرُونَ

And you will see them looking towards you, yet they do not see. (7:198)

They can see, but they have no insight. Prejudice has covered their inner sight:

أَعْيُنُهُمْ فِي غِطَاءٍ عَنْ ذِكْرِي

Their eyes were under a cover from My Reminder. (18:101)

Truth is Not Hidden

Ahl al-Bayt are not hidden in the same way that Allah is not hidden. If a group of people cannot see Allah with their insight, it is because they are under a cover of ignorance whereas Allah is Manifest and pure Light:

اللَّهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۚ

Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth. (24:35)

None of the visible and invisible truths, i.e. Divine signs, is under a cover. It is man who is under the cover of sins and is deprived of seeing Allah. In this relation, Amir al-Muminin (a.s.) says:

ألْحَمْدُ للَّهِ الْمُتَجَلِي لِخَلْقِهِ بِخَلْقِهِ.

Praise be to Allah who is Manifest before His creation because of themselves.157

Abu-Basir reports: One day, Imam al-Baqir (a.s) and I entered the mosque. He said to me, “Ask people if they can see me.” So, I asked everyone whom I met whether he saw the Imam. Surprisingly, the answer was (no) whereas the Imam was standing right in front of them. At this time, Abu-Harun, a blind man, entered the mosque. The Imam said, “Now, ask Abu-Harun if he can see me.” So I asked him whether he could see Imam al-Baqir. He answered, “Yes, I can. Don't you see him standing here?” I asked, “How could you understand? Are you not blind?” He answered, “How can I not see while the Imam is a shining light?”

Ahl Al-Bayt, Means Of Perfection

Plant seeds do not grow or bear fruit without being directly in contact with the soil. Evidently, the soil must be good, for if the soil is contaminated, seeds will not grow and will perish. Therefore, seeds will not grow or bear fruit unless there is the means of a good soil:

وَالْبَلَدُ الطَّيِّبُ يَخْرُجُ نَبَاتُهُ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِ ۖ وَالَّذِي خَبُثَ لَا يَخْرُجُ إِلَّا نَكِدًا ۚ

And as for the good land, its vegetation springs for the (abundantly) by the permission of its Lord, and (as for) that which is inferior (its herbage) comes forth but scantily (7:58)

Mediation or means is necessary not only in relation to seeds but also for the realization of every truth so much so that nothing can be realized and nothing reaches perfection without a mediation or means. Houses cannot be built without architects and bodies cannot grow without food. Eyes cannot see without light and ears cannot hear without waves nor can a man attain worthy position without any mediation.

Man’s dignity is to become Allah’s vicegerent but can he attain such sublime spiritual position without any mediation? Never!

However, mediation with which man can find his way to the realm of faith, morality, good deeds, and finally piety is a truth that has been expressed by the Holy Quran.

Ahl al-Bayt’s Mediation

The Holy Quran considers only the Infallible Persons as having the position of mediation between Allah and man for leading to faith, good deeds, morality and their meeting with Allah. These infallible persons are none but the Holy Prophet (S) and Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.) who can familiarize man with the past and future as well as the teachings and wisdom of the Holy Quran. There is not a bit of corruption, defect or fault, whether overt or covert, in Ahl al-Bayt. In this connection, the Holy Prophet (S) says:

إنَّا أهْلُ الْبَيْتِ قَد أذْهَبَ الَّلهُ عَنَّا الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ.

We, Ahl al-Bayt, are those from whom Allah has removed any hidden or manifest uncleanness.158

Allah’s Messenger has said the following regarding the revelation of the Verse of Purification:

نَحْنُ أهْلُ بَيْتٍ طَهَّرَ هُمُ اللَّهُ.

We, Ahl al-Bayt, are purified by Allah.159

In an important fragment, Imam Ali (a.s) says:

إنَّمَا أمَرَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ بِطَاعَةِ الرَّسُولِ لأنَّهُ مَعْصُومٌ مُطَهَّرٌ لأنَّهُ مَعْصُومٌ مُطَهَّرٌ لأيَامُرُ بِمَعصِيَتِهِ. وَإنَّمَا أمَرَ بِطَاعَةِ أولَى الأمْرِ لأنَّهُمْ مَعْصُومُونَ مُطَهَّرُونَ لأئَامُرُونَ بِمَعصِيَتِهِ.

Allah has decreed (His creatures) to obey the Messenger, for he is infallible and purified and he does not order to sin. He has decreed to obey those in authority, for they are infallible and purified and they do not order to sin.160

Imam Hasan (a.s.) has said:

إنَّ أهلُ بَيتٍ أكْرَمَنَا اللَّهُ بِالإسْلأمِ، وَاخْتَارَنَا وَاصْطَفَانَا وَاجْتَبَانَا فأذْهَبَ عَنَّا الرِّجْسَ وَ طَهَّرِنَا تَطْهِيراً. وَالرِّجْسُ هُوَ الْشَّكُّ، فَلأ نَشُكُّ، فَلأ نَشُكُ فِي اللَّهِ الْحَقِّ وَ دِينِهِ. وَطَّهَّرَنَا مِنْ كُلِّ أفَنٍ وَغَيَّةٍ.

We, Ahl al-Bayt, are those whom Allah has honored by Islam, chosen from among all creatures, removed any uncleanness, and purified a thorough purification. Uncleanness is the same as doubt. We never have any doubt about Allah and His religion. He has also purified us from infirmity or error.161

Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) too has said:

إنَّا لأ نُوصَفُ. وَكَيفُ يُوصَفُ قَوْمٌ رَفَعَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمُ الرِّجْسَ؟

We cannot be described. How can a group from whom Allah has removed uncleanness be described?162

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has said:

إنَّ الشَّكَّ وَالمَعْصِيةَ فِي النَّارِ،لَيْسَا مِنَّا وَلأإلَيْنَا.

Doubt and sin are in Fire. They are neither from us no do they come to us.163

In al-Ziyarah al-Jamiah al-Kabirah, Imam al-Hadi (a.s) says:

وَأشْهَدُ أنَّكُمْ الأئِمَّةٌ الرَّاشِدُونَ الْمَهْدِيُّونَ الْمَعصُومُونَ المُكَرَّمُونَ... عَصَمَكُمُ اللَّهُ مِنَ الزَّلَلْ، وَآمَنَكُمْ مِنَ الْفِتَنِ، وَ طَهَّرَكُمْ مِنْ الدَّنَسِ، وَ أْهَبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ وَ طهَّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيراً.

I bear witness that all of you are guide leaders, rightly guided, infallible, highly reveredÖ Allah preserved you guiltless and free from error, kept you safe from unruly disorderliness, freed you from dirt, removed uncleanness from you and cleansed you with a thorough cleansing.164

Verily, Allah Who is free from any defect has placed Prophethood and Imamate in an ‘household’ free from any uncleanness so that men can realize the dignity that they deserve through their mediation, be immune from infidelity, carnal desires and sins, have a happy life in this world and finally meet Allah and abide in Paradise forever:

كِتَابٌ أَنْزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ لِتُخْرِجَ النَّاسَ مِنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ

This is a Book which We have revealed to you that you may bring forth men from utter darkness into light. (14:1)

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ ۖ

O you who believe, obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those in authority from among you. (4:59)

So far, we have reported important narrations from the books of Shiite and Sunni scholars.

Based on the Holy Prophet's saying, ‘those in authority’ the obedience to whom is like obedience to Allah and to His Messenger stands for the Twelve Infallible Imams from the Holy Prophet’s Household. In that saying, the names of the twelve Imams have been mentioned.

Ahl Al-Bayt, A Link To Allah

Man is instinctively inclined towards perfection and Allah is the peak of perfection. Therefore, man has a natural inclination towards Allah and in this relation he is trying hard to reach the peak of perfection. If man is truly devoted to Allah, this inclination motivates him to walk on the path of Him:

يَا أَيُّهَا الْإِنْسَانُ إِنَّكَ كَادِحٌ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكَ كَدْحًا فَمُلَاقِيهِ

O man! Surely you must strive (to attain) to your Lord, a hard striving until you meet Him. (84:6)

Since reaching the peak of perfection requires going through certain stages, higher stages cannot be reached without going through lower stages. This is because in the system of universe one cannot possibly skip a stage from among other stages. Therefore, one who wishes to reach the peak of perfection must go through the stage of professing the prophethood of Muhammad who was the first manifestation of Allah and he must profess the Imamate of Ali, for he is the gate to the Holy Prophet’s knowledge:

أنَا مَدِينَةٌ الْعِلْمِ، وَ عَلِيٌ بَابُهَا.

I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate.165

Hence, it is impossible to reach the peak of perfection without resorting to Imam Ali’s Imamate and benefiting from his abundant knowledge. One who is inclined towards the peak of perfection must remove all doubts by following Ahl al-Bayt before beginning his spiritual journey, engage in worship and good deeds, assist his fellow human beings, because without adhering to Ahl al-Bayt, one cannot follow Allah's Messenger nor can one meet Allah.

Addressing Imam Ali (a.s.), Allah’s Messenger says:

مَنْ سَرَّهُ أنْ يَلْقَى اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ آمِناً مُطَهَّراً لأيَحْزُنُهُ الْفَزَعُ الأكْبَرُّ فَلْيَتَوَلَّكَ وَلْيَتَوَلَّ ابْنَيْكَ الحَسَنَ وَالحُسَيْنَ، وَعَلِيَّ بْنَ الْحُسَينِ وَمُحَمَّدَ بْنَ عَلِيٍّ وَ جَعْفَرَ بْنَ مُحَمَّدٍ وَ مُوسَى بْنَ جَعْفَرٍ وَ عَلِيَّ بْنَ مُوسَى وَ مُحَمَّداً وَ عَلِياً وَالْحَسَنَ ثُمَّ الْمَهْدِيَّ، وَهُوَ خَاتَمُهُمْ.

Whoever is pleased to meet Allah safe, purified and not sad about the horror of the Judgment Day must wholeheartedly accept the leadership of you, your two sons - Hasan and Husayn, Ali ibn Husayn, Muhammad ibn Ali, Jafar ibn Muhammad, Musa ibn Jafar, Ali ibn Musa, Muhammad, Ali, Hasan and then al-Mahdi - their seal.166

In an important narration, Allah’s Messenger is reported as saying:

مَا بَالُ أقْوامٍ إذَا ذُكِرَ عِنْدَهُمْ آلُ إبْرَاهِيمَ فَرِحُو وَاستبْشَرَوا، وَإذَا ذُكِرَا عِنْدَهُمْ آلُ مُحَّمَّدٍ اشْمَأزَّتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ؟ وَالَّذي نَفْسُ مُحَمَّدٍ بِيَدِهِ، لَوْ أنَّ عَبْداً جَاءَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ بِعَمَلِ سَبْعِينَ نَبِّياً مَا قَبِلَ اللَّهُ ذَالِكَ مِنْهُ حَتَّي يَلْقَاهُ بِوِلأيَتِي وَوِلأيَةِ أهْلِ بَيْتِي.

What is the matter with the people who get happy whenever they are reminded of the family of Ibrahim but they are disturbed whenever they are reminded of the Family of Muhammad? By Allah in whose Hand is Muhammad's life (I swear), if on the Judgment Day a servant comes with the deeds of seventy prophets, Allah will not accept those deeds unless he meets Him bearing love for me and my Ahl al- Bayt. 167

In al-Ziyarah al-Jamiah al-Kabirah, Imam al-Hadi (a.s) says:

وَأشْرَقَتِ الأرْضُ بِنُورِكُمْ، وَفَازَ الْفَائِزُونَ بِوِلايَتِكُمْ، بِكُمْ يُسْلَكُ إلَى الرِّضْوانِ، وَعَلى مَنْ جَحَدَ وِلايَتَكُمْ غَضَبُ الرَّحْمَنِ.

Your light lights up the earth; those who love and cherish you attain their end and conduct themselves to Paradise; and those who forsake your friendship earn displeasure of the Most Compassionate Lord.

One who is inclined towards the peak of Perfection must first get to know Ahl al-Bayt and then adhere to them. In this connection, the Holy Quran says:

إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ

If you love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you. (3:31)

If you love the peak of perfection, follow the light of the heavens and the earth and the manifestation of the chief Name so that you will become one of Allah's favorite servants. Love for Ahl al-Bayt has its roots in the love for the peak of perfection that is sought by everyone instinctively. If the Ahl al-Bayt are His favorites, it is because they are the best path for meeting Allah. In al-Ziyarah al-Jamiah al-Kabirah, Imam al-Hadi (a.s) says:

نَحْنُ الْصِّرَاطُ الْمُسْتَقِيمُ.

We are the straight path.

Ahl al-Bayt are not only the path but they are Allah's rope extended from the heavens to the earth. Holding fast by the covenant of Allah can lead us to the peak of perfection.

Furthermore, Ahl al-Bayt are extended from Allah's grace which is the truth of Muhammad extended to all borders of the earth:

أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكَ كَيْفَ مَدَّ الظِّلَّ

Have you not considered the work of your Lord, how he extends the shade? (25:45)

Whoever is inclined towards the peak of perfection will grasp it in order to reach Allah:

وَابْتَغُوا إِلَيْهِ الْوَسِيلَةَ

And seek means of nearness to Him. (5:35)

  • 1. Thawab al-Amal wa-Iqab al-Amal, 445
  • 2. Yanabi al-Mawaddah, 78/1 H. 16
  • 3. Yanabi al-Mawaddah, 95/1
  • 4. Tafsir al-Ayyashi, 194/1 Hadith 123
  • 5. Yanabi al-Mawaddah, 73/1, Chapter 3, Hadith 8.
  • 6. Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq, 382
  • 7. Shawahid al-Tanzil, 61/2, H. 682
  • 8. Tafsir al-Burhan, 9/1
  • 9. Kifayat al-Athar, 170, Bihar al-Anwar
  • 10. Ghurar al-Hikam: 115, H. 1195
  • 11. Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi, H. 1478
  • 12. Bisharat-al-Mustafa: 176
  • 13. Al-Kafi, 158/1
  • 14. Wasa’il al-Shia, H. 17649
  • 15. Wasa’il al-Shia, H. 17652
  • 16. Mafatih al-Jinan, 413
  • 17. Al-Kafi, 188/2
  • 18. Al-Kafi, 189/2
  • 19. Al-Kafi, 193/2
  • 20. Al-Kafi, 203/2
  • 21. Tafsir al-Safi, 675/2
  • 22. Awali al-La'ali: 357/1
  • 23. Tafsir al-Safi: 676/2
  • 24. Al-Kafi, H 8
  • 25. Majma al-Bayan
  • 26. Sunan al-Tirmidhi, 663/5, Bihar al-Anwar 118/23, H. 36
  • 27. Al-Kafi, 441/1, H. 9
  • 28. Bihar al-Anwar, 11/5, H. 12
  • 29. Nahj al-Balaghah, Sermon: 234
  • 30. Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha
  • 31. Al-Kafi, 145/1, H. 4
  • 32. Al-Kafi, 401/1, H. 2
  • 33. Al-Kafi, 428/1, Tafsir al-Safi, H. 886/1
  • 34. Ilal al-Shara’i: 593, H. 44
  • 35. Sharh Usul al-Kafi, chapter 4, H. 1
  • 36. Awali al-La'ali: 99/4, H. 141
  • 37. Awali al-La'ali: 99/4, H. 140
  • 38. Bihar al-Anwar: 309/4
  • 39. Majma al-Bahrayn: 504/3
  • 40. Maani al-Akhbar: 114
  • 41. Maani al-Akhbar, 114, H. 2
  • 42. Al-Kafi, 10/1, H 1
  • 43. Al-Kafi, 85/1, H. 4
  • 44. Al-Faqih: 613/2
  • 45. Al-Faqih: 613/2
  • 46. Tahdhib al-Ahkam: 113/6, H. 17
  • 47. Pishwaye Shaheedan: 230
  • 48. Al-Kafi, 194/1 H. 1
  • 49. Al-Kafi: 208/1 H. 3
  • 50. Al-Iqbal:296, Bihar al-Anwar 106/99
  • 51. Nahjul-Balaghah, Sermon 234
  • 52. Al-Kafi, 98/1, H. 6
  • 53. Ghurar al-Hikam, 119, H. 2086
  • 54. Awali al-La'ali: 124/4, H. 221
  • 55. Nahj al-Balaghah, Sermon: 1
  • 56. Al-Iqbal: 467, Awali al-La’ali: 86/4, H. 102
  • 57. Al-Ihtijaj, 70/1
  • 58. Al-Kafi, 191/1, H. 5
  • 59. Rijal al-Khashshi, 219' Bihar al-Anwar: 159/10, H. 12
  • 60. Shawahid al-Tanzil: 400/1
  • 61. Basa’ir al-Darajat: 216, H.21
  • 62. Al-Kafi, 229/1, H. 5
  • 63. Al-Kafi: 193/1, H. 4
  • 64. Ma’ani al-Akhbar: 35, H. 5
  • 65. Tafsir al-Qummi, 368/1
  • 66. Fara’id al-Simtayn, 44/1
  • 67. Al-Kafi, 222/1, H. 1.
  • 68. Awali al-La’ali: 404/1, H. 63
  • 69. Nahj al-Balaghah, 237
  • 70. Al-Kafi, 95/2 H. 6
  • 71. Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq, S 53, H. 6
  • 72. Al-Kafi: 352/2, H. 7
  • 73. Al-Kafi: 163/8, H. 172
  • 74. Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi, H. 1314
  • 75. Qurb al-Isnad: 415
  • 76. Al-Kafi, 1662/2, H. 4
  • 77. Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq, 178, H. 8
  • 78. al-Manaqib: 14/4
  • 79. al-Manaqib: 149/4, Kashf al-Ghummah: 85/2
  • 80. Kitab al-Irshad by Shaykh al-Mufid, 334/2
  • 81. Al-Ziyarah al-Jamiah al-Kabirah
  • 82. Nahj al-Balaghah, Sermon: 1
  • 83. al-Manaqib, 269/3
  • 84. al-Manaqib, 214/1
  • 85. Sahih al-Bukhari: 2/2, T 1
  • 86. Al-Ziyarah al-Jami`ah al-Kabirah
  • 87. Al-Kafi: 600/2, H. 4
  • 88. Al-Ziyarah al-Jamiah al-Kabirah
  • 89. Al-Ziyarah al-Jamiah al-Kabirah
  • 90. Yanabi al-Mawaddah, 94/1, H. 1
  • 91. Fara'id al-Simtayn: 37/1
  • 92. Bisharat al-Mustafa: 30
  • 93. Ghurar al-Hikam: 16, H. 2028-2029
  • 94. Al-Mustadrak: 16, H 2028 - 2029
  • 95. Al-Mujam al-Saghir
  • 96. Al-Mujam al-Saghir
  • 97. Tafsir al-Ayashi:1 102/1. H. 1
  • 98. Al-Khasais al-Aimmah: 77
  • 99. Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi, 482, H. 1053
  • 100. Tafsir al-Safi: 54/1
  • 101. Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: 305/1, H. 65
  • 102. Bashair al-Darajat: 62, H. 10
  • 103. Ma’ani al-Akhbar: 32, H. 1
  • 104. Ma’ani al-Akhbar: 32, H. 1
  • 105. Bihar al-Anwar, 348/22, H. 64
  • 106. Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah, 259/8
  • 107. Awali al-La'ali: 7/4, H. 7
  • 108. Ta’wil al-Ayat al-Zahirah: 430
  • 109. Awali al-La'ali: 99/4, T 140
  • 110. Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq: 236
  • 111. al-Manaqib: 23/2
  • 112. Safinat al-Bihar: 553/1.
  • 113. Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: 135/2, H. 4
  • 114. Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: 272/2, H. 1
  • 115. Ilal al-Shara’i: 312/2, Ch. 1, H. 1
  • 116. Al-Kafi: 193/1, H. 1
  • 117. Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi: 63, H. 92
  • 118. Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: 271/2
  • 119. Al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah, Prayer: 47.
  • 120. Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq: 21, H. 5
  • 121. Tarikh al-Tabari: 357/5
  • 122. Bihar al-Anwar: 174/25, H. 39
  • 123. Rawdhat al-Wa’idhin: 128/1
  • 124. Kashf al-Yaqin: 53
  • 125. Nahj al-Balaghah, 209, Sermon: 94
  • 126. Yanabi al-Mawaddah: 332/2, H. 973
  • 127. Kashf al-Ghummah: 29/2
  • 128. Bihar al-Anwar: 328/44
  • 129. Tarikh Baghdad: 331/3
  • 130. Maqtal al-Husayn by al-Khawarzmi; 147/1
  • 131. Al-Kafi: 226/3, H. 13.
  • 132. Kashf al-Ghummah: 150/2
  • 133. Al-Kafi: 225/3, H. 11
  • 134. al-Manaqib: 165/4
  • 135. Nahj al-Balaghah: 346, Sermon: 224
  • 136. Nahj al-Balaghah: 39, Sermon: 1
  • 137. Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: 64/1, T 30
  • 138. Al-Firdaws: 54/1
  • 139. Al-Khisal: 608/2, H. 9
  • 140. Kashf al-Ghummah: 45/1
  • 141. Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi, H. 1007
  • 142. Al-Amali, by al-Saduq: 364, H. 6
  • 143. Kanz al-Ummal: 103/12, H. 34198
  • 144. Bihar al-Anwar: 249/99, H. 9
  • 145. Bihar al-Anwar: 13/3, H. 30
  • 146. Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: 135/2, H. 4
  • 147. Sahih Muslim: 1492/4, H. 2408
  • 148. Tafsir al-Ayyashi: 124/2, H. 32
  • 149. Bisharat al-Mustafa: 6
  • 150. Al-Kafi: 197/1, H. 3
  • 151. Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq: 186, H. 15
  • 152. Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi: 379
  • 153. Nathr al-Durar: 310/1
  • 154. al-Manaqib: 178/1
  • 155. Tafsir al-Ayyashi: 169/1
  • 156. Al-Mahasin: 60/1, H. 101
  • 157. Nahj al-Balaghah: 157, sermon 108
  • 158. Al-Firdaws: 54/1
  • 159. Al-Durr al-Manthur: 606/6
  • 160. Ilal al-Shara’i: 1231/1, H. 1
  • 161. Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi, 561
  • 162. Al-Kafi: 182/2, H. 16
  • 163. Al-Kafi: 400/2
  • 164. Tahdhib al-Ahkam: 97/6, H. 1
  • 165. Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq: 343, H. 1
  • 166. Kitab al-Ghaybay by al-Tusi: 136
  • 167. Al-Amali; 140