We who are strongly in need of Allah’s mercy, favor and special attention must choose a path the final stage of which is Allah’s pleasure hence Paradise. In order to win Allah’s favor, we need mediation to find the truth. Based on Quranic verses, this mediation is love for Ahl al-Bayt and compliance with their teachings.
In order to love Ahl al-Bayt, we should first get to know them. When we see their moral virtues and spiritual beauty we will automatically love them. This love makes human receive baptism of Allah and become like the Beloved One in all aspects. One must note that love and friendly relations will come about only when we get to know our Beloved. Even in metaphorical examples of love, one never falls in love unless he sees the beauty of the beloved.
When one loves, one will automatically do one’s best to comply with whatever the beloved wishes and will be baptized by the Beloved in a way that both the lover and the beloved become identical.
The Holy Prophet’s words “Salman is from us, Ahl al-Bayt” is the best proof. Love for Ahl al-Bayt is a valuable truth, which Allah has determined as a reward for the mission of the Holy Prophet:
قُلْ لَا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرًا إِلَّا الْمَوَدَّةَ فِي الْقُرْبَىٰ
Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives. (42:23)
Based on narrations related by Shiite scholars and others related by Sunni scholars, the near relatives are Ahl al-Bayt. The important point in this Quranic verses is the word love intermingled with obedience.
Is it not surprising that Allah has not refered to performing prayer, Hajj, fast, almsgiving and poor-rate as reward for the mission of the Holy Prophet (S). Instead He has stipulated the word love in order to show the love for Ahl al-Bayt and obedience to them are above all other truths. Should there be no love for Ahl al-Bayt, there would be no virtues for the abovementioned acts.
The Holy Prophet is quoted as saying:
لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ أسَاسٌ، وَأساسُ الإسْلأمِ حُبُّنَا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ.
There is a basis for everything; and love for us, Ahl al-Bayt, is the basis of Islam.1
Imam Ali (a.s) has said: I heard Allah’s Messenger say:
أنَا سَيِّدُ وُلْدِ آدَمَ. وَأنْتَ يَا عَلِيُّ وَالأئِمَّةٌ مِنْ بَعْدِكَ سَادَةُ أُمَّتِي. مَنْ أحَبَّنَا فَقَدْ أحَبَّ اللَّهَ، وَمَنْ أبْغَضَنَا فَقَدْ أبْغَضَنَا فَقَدْ أبْغَضَ اللَّهَ، وَمَنْ وَالأنَا فَقَدْ وَالَى اللَّهَ، وَمَنْ أطَاعَنَا فَقَدْ أطَاعَ اللًّهَ، وَمَنْ عَصَانَا فَقَدْ عَصىَ اللَّهَ.
Ali. I am the master of Adam’s children and you, and the Imams after you are the masters of my ummah. Whoever loves us has loved Allah. Whoever is hostile to us has been hostile to Allah. Whoever obeys us has obeyed Allah and whoever disobeys us has
Love for Ahl al-Bayt is a gift, which Allah bestows on the pure hearts of worthy people. Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) has said:
إنِّي لأعْلَمُ أنَّ هَذَا الْحُبَّ الَّذِي تُحِبُّونَنَا لَيسَ بِشَيْءٍ صَنَعْتُمُوهُ؛ وَلَكِنَّ اللَّهَ صَنَعَهُ.
I know the reason why you love us. It is not something spontaneous; rather, it is a love made by Allah.3
Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) has said:
إنَّ حُبَّنَا يُنْزِلُهُ اللَّهُ مِنَ اللَّهُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مِنْ خَزَائِنَ تَحْتَ الْعَرْشِ كَخَزَانِنَ الْذَّهَبِ وَالْفِضَّةِ، وَلأيُنْزِلُهُ إلأ بِقَدَرٍ، وَلأيُعْطِيهِ إلأ خَيرَ الْخَلَقِ. وَإنَّ لَهُ غَمَامَةً كَغَمَامَةِ الْقَطْرِ؛ فَإذَا أرَادَ اللَّهُ أنْ يَخُصَّ بِهِ مَنْ أحَبَّ مِنْ خَلْقِهِ أذِنَ لِتِلْكَ الْغَمَامَةِ فَتَهَطَّلَتْ كَمَا تَهَطَّلُ السِّحَابُ فَتُصِيبُ الْجَنِينَ فِي بَطْنِ أُمِّهِ.
Allah sends down love for us from the reasuries underneath His throne, like the treasuries of gold and silver. This love is sent down only to a certain extent to the best of people. It is like a cloud bringing rain with it. So, whenever Allah wills, He sends it down so as to come to an embryo in a mother’s womb.4
Since love for Ahl al-Bayt is a heavenly gift and the gift is offered only to friends, love for them is a sign of Allah’s love for human being.
Love for Ahl al-Bayt is not only a sign of Allah’s love for man, but it is also a sign of other truths as follows:
First: Based on several narrations, love for Ahl al-Bayt is a proof of one’s noble birth. Imam Ali (a.s.) quotes the Holy Prophet as having said to Abu- Dharr:
يَا أبَا ذَرٍّ! مَنْ أحَبَّنَا ـ أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ ـ فَلْيَحْمِدِ اللَّهَ عَلَى أوَّلِ ... الْنِّعَمِ...طِيبِ الوِلأدَةِ. إنَّهُ لأ يُحِبُّنَا إلأ مَنْ طَابَ مَوْلِدُهُ.
Whoever loves us, Ahl al-Bayt, must thank Allah for the first blessing… Nobility of birth; for whoever loves us is of noble (i.e. legitimate) birth.5
Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) has said:
مَنْ أصْبَحَ يَجِدُ بَرْدَ حُبِّنَا عَلى قَلْبِهِ فَلْيَحْمِدِ اللَّهَ عَلَى بَادِئِ النَّعَمِ... طِيبِ الْمَوْلِدِ.
Whoever wakes up in the morning and feels the cool breeze of our love must thank Allah for the first blessing; purity and nobility of birth.6
Second: Love for Ahl al-Bayt is a proof of purity of heart. Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) says:
وَاللَّهِ وَاللَّهِ، لأ يُحِبُّنَا عَبْدٌ حَتَى يُطَهِّرَ اللَّهُ قَلْبَهُ
By Allah, none loves us unless those whose hearts have been purified by Allah.7
Third: Love for Ahl al-Bayt is a sign of true belief and acceptance byAllah. Allah’s Messenger has said:
عَاهَدَنِي رَبِّي أنْ لأ يَقْبَلَ إيمَانَ عَبْدٍ إلأ بِمَحَبَّةِ أهْلِ بَيْتِي.
My Lord made a promise to me that He will not accept any of His servants’ belief without love for Ahl al-Bayt. 8
Amir al-Muminin (a.s.) has said:
إنَّهُ لَعَهْدُ النَّبِيِّ الأُمِّيِّ إلَيَّ أنَّهُ لأيُحِبُّنِي إلأ مُؤْمِنٌ وَلأ يُبْغِضُنِي إلأ مُنَافِقٌ.
The Ummi Prophet expressly said to me that no one but a believer loves me and no one but a hypocrite harbors rancor against me.9
He has also said:
لَوْ ضَرَبْتُ خَيْشُومَ الْمُؤْمِنِ بِسَيفِي هَذَا عَلَى أنْ يُبْغِضَنِي مَا أبْغَضَنِي؛ وَلَوْ صَبَبْتُ الدُّنْيَا بِجَمَّاتِهَا عَلَى الْمُنَافِقِ عَلَى الْمُنَافِقِ عَلَى أنْ يُحِبَّنِي مَا أحَبَّنِي؛ وَذَلِكَ أنَّهُ قُضِيَ فَانْقَضَى عَلَى لِسَانِ النَّبِيِّ الأُمِّيِّ، صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيهِ وَآلِهِ وَسَلَّمَ، أنَّهُ قَالَ: يَا عَلِيُّ! لأ يُبْغِضُكَ مُؤمِنٌ وَلأ يُحِبُّكَ مُنَافِقٌ.
Even if I strike the nose of a believer with my sword to oblige him to hate me, he will never hate me; and even if I pile all the wealth of the world before a hypocrite to love me, he will never love me. This is because it is a verdict pronounced by the tongue of the Prophet - may Allah bless him and his descendants - as he said: O Ali, a believer will never hate you and a hypocrite will never love you.10
Ahl al-Bayt are not in need of superficial love; rather, they require love which has its medium with it so as to reveal its amazing signs. Here are some requirements of the love for Ahl al-Bayt:
One of the requirements of love for Ahl al-Bayt is that a lover should never stop endeavoring in the way of Allah by making Ahl al-Bayt’s behavior and deeds as models for his life. The Ahl al-Bayt have said:
مَنْ أحَبَّنَا فَلْيَعْمَلْ بِعَمَلِنَا.
Whoever loves us must do whatever we do.11
Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has said:
إنَّمَا شِيعَةٌ جَعْفَرٍ مَنْ عَفَّ بَطْنَهُ وَ فَرْجَهُ وَ عَمِلَ لِخَالِقِهِ وَ رَجَا ثَوَابَهُ وَخَافَ عِقَابَهُ.
A partisan (Shia) of Jafar is only he who guards his body and desires from what is unlawful, endeavors for his creator, hopes for His reward, and fears His punishment.12
Amir al-Muminin (a.s.) has said:
فإنْ كَانَ يُحِبُّ وَلِيَّنَا فَلَيْسَ بِمُبْغِضٍ لَنَا، وَإنْ كَانَ يُبْغِضُ وَلِيَّنَا فَلَيْسَ بِمُحِبٍّ لَنَا.
If he takes our friend as a friend, he is not our enemy; and if he is the enemy of our friend, he will not be our friend.13
Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has said:
مَنْ تَوَلَّى مُحِبَّنَا فَقَدْ أحَبَّنَا.
One who loves our friend will be certainly our friend.14
One of the requirements of love for Ahl al-Bayt is to take their enemies as enemy. Imam Ali (a.s.) has said:
فَمَنْ أحَبَّ أنْ يَعْلَمَ حَالَهُ فِي حُبِّنَا فَلْيَمْتَحِنْ قَلْبَهُ، فَإنْ وَجَدَ فِيهِ حُبَّ مَنْ ألَّبَ عَلَيْنَا فَلْيَعْلَمْ أنَّ اللَّهَ عَدُوُّهُ وَ جِبْرِيلَ وَ مِيكَائِيلَ، وَاللَّهُ عَدُوُّ الكَافِرِينَ.
One who wishes to know whether he love us should test his heart. If he feels love in his heart for those who make people our enemy, then he must know that Allah, Gabriel and Michael are his enemies. After all, Allah is the enemy of the unbelievers.15
He has also said:
فَإنْ شَارَكَهُ فِي حُبِّنَا حُبُّ عَدُوِّنَا فَلَيْسَ مِنَّا وَلَسْنَا مِنْهُ.
If one who loves us loves our enemies, he will certainly not belong to us nor do we belong to him.16
Nothing is more effective than tribulations and calamity in purifying a man and improving his character. Allah tests His devoted servants with tribulation, calamity, poverty, hunger, bereavement and other incidents so as to make them steadfast on patience, resistance, and endurance; hence, He paves the way for them to enter Paradise. The Holy Prophet, addressing Abu-Said Khidri who was complaining from poverty, said:
إصْبِرْ! فَإنَّ الْفَقْرَ إلَى مَنْ يُحِبُّنِي مِنْكُمْ أسْرَعُ مِنَ السَّيْلِ عَلَى أعْلَى الْوَادي وَ مِنْ أعْلى الْجَبَلِ إلَى أسْفَلِهِ.
Be patient, for poverty rushes toward those who love me with a speed more hasty than that of a flood coming down from the peak of a mountain.17
Abu-Dharr expressed his love for the Holy Prophet (S) who replied:
اللَّهَ اللَّهَ! فأعِدَّ لِلْفَقْرِ تِجْفَافاً، فَإنَّ الْفَقْرَ أسْرَعُ إلَى مَنْ يُحِبُّنَا مَنْ يُحِبُّنَا مِنَ السَّيْلِ مِنْ أعْلَى الأكَمَةِ ألَى أسْفَلِهَا.ُّّ
If so, then prepare yourself a cover for indigence! Indigence comes to one who loves us with a speed more hasty than that of a flood coming down from the peak of a hill. 18
A narration reads: One day, Allah’s Messenger came across a man of Ansar who said, “May my parents be your ransom, O Allah’s Messenger! The expression I see in you visage makes me sad. What is the story?” Looking at the man’s face, the Holy Prophet said, “It is Hunger!” Hearing this, the man became restless; he rushed to his house to find something and bring it for the Holy Prophet, but he could not.
So, he rushed to Banu-Quraydhah to draw water from well and receive dates as wage. After collecting the dates, he came to the Holy Prophet, placing the dates politely in front of him, and asked him to eat. Allah’s Messenger asked, “Where did you get these dates from?” The man told him the whole story. The Holy Prophet said, “I suppose that you love Allah and His Messenger.” The man said, “I truly do. I swear it by Him Who appointed you as Prophet with the truth; I love you more than my children, my family and all my wealth.” Addressing the man, the Holy Prophet said, “If so, then prepare yourself for indigence, patience, and a cover for tribulation. Verily, by Allah Who appointed me as Prophet, poverty and tribulation come to one who loves me with a speed more hasty than a flood coming down from the top of mountain.”
Imam Ali (a.s.) has said:
مَنْ أحَبَّنَا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ فَلْيَسْتَعِدَّ عِدَّةً لِلْبَلأءِ.
One who loves us must prepare himself for tribulation.19
Muhammad ibn Muslim, one of the best companions of Imam al-Baqir (a.s.), narrates: Although I did not feel well, I traveled to Medina. When Imam al-Baqir was informed of my arrival, he sent me a bowl of syrup through his servant who said, “Drink this, for the Imam has told me not to return before you drink of it.” I drank from that syrup which was scented with musk. After drinking it, when I rose up and did not feel sick anymore.
So I decided to go and see the Imam who welcomed saying, “May you be healthy, come in, come in.” I entered the room, greeted the Imam and kissed his hands and head. He asked, “Why are you crying?” I replied, “May I be your ransom. I cry because of being away from my home, the journey to the hereafter, indigence and the fact that I cannot stay with you.” The Imam said, “As for indigence, Allah has decreed it for our friends. Tribulation and calamity rush towards them. As for being away from home, set Imam Husayn who is in a faraway land near the Euphrates as an example. As for the journey to the hereafter, know that a believer is always lonely in this world until he departs to the land of Allah’s mercy. As for saying that you would love to stay with us, know that Allah is aware of what is in your heart and He will reward you for it.20
It is noteworthy that a man’s love for Ahl al-Bayt will lead to their love for him too. Even if love for Ahl al-Bayt has no other blessing, it will cause them to have love for him. So which asset is more valuable than this?
Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) has reported: One day, my father and I entered the Prophet’s Mosque. He was passing by groups of people but he paid no attention to them until he stood near a few people and said, “By Allah, I love your good scent and your souls.”21 These people were Shia.
Ahl al-Bayt’s love for their devotees is to the extent that if one ignores the devotee of Ahl al-Bayt, they will ignore him.
In a gathering, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said, “Why do you make light of us?” A man from Khorasan said, “We seek refuge to Allah from making light of you.” The Imam said, “You are one of those who made light of us. Did you not hear such and such man who asked you to give him a ride but you ignored him? By Allah, You made light of him. So anyone who makes light of a believer has disrespected Allah.”22
One of the hard moments in human life is when man is at the point of death. At this stage, all veils are removed before his eyes. Based on his beliefs and morality, man sees truths, which can be painful or joyful. A man becomes happy when he sees the result of his love for Ahl al-Bayt.
Abdullah ibn Walid says: Under Marwan’s rule, I went to the presence of Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) who asked me about my identity. I said, “I am a man from Kufa.” The Imam said:
مَا مِنْ بَلْدَةٍ مِنَ ابُلْدَانِ أكْثَرُ مُحِبّاً لَنَا مِنْ أهْلِ الْكُوفَةِ وَلأ سِيَّمَا هَذِهِ الْعِصَابَةِ. إنَّ اللَّهَ جَلَّ ذِكْرُهُ هَدَاكُمْ لأمْرِ جَهِلَهُ النَّاسُ، وَأحْبَبْتُمُونَا وَأبْغَضَنَا النَّاسُ، وَاتَّبَعْتُمُونَا وَ خَالَفْنَا النَّاسُ، وصَدَّقْتُمُونَا و كَذَّبَنَا النَّاسُ، فَأحْيَاكُمْ اللَّهُ مَحْيَانَا وَ أمَاتَكُمْ مَمَاتَنَا. فَأشْهَدُ عَلَى أبِي أنَّهُ كَانَ يَقُولُ: مَا بَيْنَ أحَدِكُمْ وَ بَيْنَ أنْ يَرَى مَا يُقِرُّ اللَّهُ بِهِ عَيْنَهُ وَأنْ يَغْتَبِطَ إلأ أنْ تَبْلُغَ نَفْسَهُ هَذِهِ ـ وَ أهْوَي بِيَدِهِ إلَى حَلْقِهِ.
People of no city are fonder of us than the people of Kufa, especially this Shiite group. Allah has guided you to a truth of which other people are unaware. That is why you befriended us and others harbored our enmity. You confirmed us while the others denied us. May Allah make your living and death like those of us. I bear witness that my father said: There is no distance between one you and the source of delight and the envied but the soul's reaching the throat. 23
In a narration, the Holy Prophet (S) describes the moment when a believer dies and enters the hereafter as such:
The Angel of Death says to the believer, “Look above your head.” Then he will see stages of Paradise and the castles therein that the people of the world cannot comprehend. The Angel of Death will say, “These are the blessings, wealth, your dependents and your worthy issues who will be with you. Are you pleased with Allah’s favor in place of what you will leave in this world?” The believer will say, “Yes, by Allah.”
Then the Angel of Death will say, “Look.” And the believer will look and see Muhammad (S), Ali (a.s.) and the purified ones of the Household of Muhammad and Ali in the uppermost of heaven. The Angel of Death will say, “Can you see them? They are your masters and Imams who are your companions. Are you pleased with them instead of being separated from the world?” The believer will say, “Yes, by my Lord.”24
Evidently it is in this state that man considers leaving this world and departing to the hereafter as something pleasant and never wishes to come back to this world. Some other truths which the devotees of Ahl al-Bayt will see at the moment of death are the angels of mercy who convey Allah’s good tidings and His greeting to them:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوا تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ أَلَّا تَخَافُوا وَلَا تَحْزَنُوا وَأَبْشِرُوا بِالْجَنَّةِ الَّتِي كُنْتُمْ تُوعَدُونَ نَحْنُ أَوْلِيَاؤُكُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ ۖ وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَا تَشْتَهِي أَنْفُسُكُمْ وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَا تَدَّعُونَ نُزُلًا مِنْ غَفُورٍ رَحِيمٍ
As for those who say: Our Lord is Allah, then continue in the right way, the angels descend upon them, saying: fear not, nor be grieved, and receive good news of the garden that you were promised. We are your guardians in this world's life and in the hereafter, and you shall have therein what your souls derive and you shall have therein what you ask for: A provision from the Forgiving, the Merciful. (41:30-32)
Being at the point of death, Abu-Dharr who had lost his endurance asked his daughter to search for water and food in the desert, for he was starving! Because he was a devotee of Ahl al-Bayt, he had been banished to the desert of Rabadhah by the tyrannical rule. He had been deprived of everything but since he loved Ahl al-Bayt, he tolerated all the calamities and hardships.
When his daughter came back empty-handed, she said to her father, “I could not find any water nor any food.” Finding him in the agony of death, she put his head on the lap and listened to his words, “Unto Him is Peace, upon Him is peace, He is peace, through Him is peace and from Him is peace.” She asked, “O father; none is here.” Abu-Dharr said, “My daughter, the Angel of Death is here saying, ‘Allah has said: salute Abu-Dharr before taking his life:
Peace: a word from a Merciful Lord. (36:58)’
I am greeting back the salutation of my Beloved!”
Truly the one who loves Ali and his Household, will be loved not only by them but also by Allah.
One of the horrible moments in a human life is when he parts with everything. With the arrival of the Angel of Death beside deathbed, man feels the bitter experience of being away from home; but for a devotee of Ahl al- Bayt, the situation is quite different, for he will see his guardians and an indescribable joy overwhelms him.
Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) was asked, “Is a believer displeased when his soul is taken?” The Imam said, “By Allah, a believer is restlessly waiting for the Angel of Death to come and to take his soul. The Angel of Death will say: ‘O friend of Allah! Be patient. I swear by Him Who appointed Muhammad (S) as a Prophet, I am more compassionate to you than your father. Open your eyes and see the Prophet, Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn and the Imams before you.’ Then the believer opens his eyes and will see Ahl al-Bayt.”25
A man who is immune from pollutions and evil acts due to his love for Ahl al-Bayt in this world and is immune from fear and sorrow at the point of death will certainly be immune from chastisement on the Judgment Day. The Holy Prophet is reported to have said:
فَيُوحِي اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ إلَيهَا: يَا فَطِمَةُ! سَلِينِي أُعْطِكِ، وَتَمَنَّيْ عَلَىَّ أرْضِكِ. فَتَقُولُ: ألَهِي! أسْألُكَ أنْ لأ تُعَذَّبَ مُحِبِّيَّ وَمُحِبِّي عِتْرَتِي بِالنَّارِ. فَيُحِي اللَّهُ إلَيهَا: يَا فَاطِمَةٌ! وَ عِزَّتِي وَ جَلألِي وَارْتِفَاعِ مَكَانِي، لَقَدْ آليْتُ عَلَى نَفْسِي مِنْ قَبَلِ أنْ أخْلُقَ السًّمَاوَاتِ وَالأرْضَ بِألْفَىْ عَامٍ أنْ لأ أعَذِّبَ مُحِبِّيكِ وَ مُحِبِّي عِتْرَتِكِ بِالنَّارِ.
On the Judgment Day, Allah will address Lady Fatimah (a.s.) as such: ‘O Fatimah! Ask me and I will grant to you, and wish something and I will make you pleased.’ Lady Fatimah will say: ‘I ask You not to punish the devotees of my progeny and me with fire.’ Allah will say: ‘O Fatimah! By My honor, glory and grandeur I took an oath on Myself two thousand years before the creation of heavens and the earth that I would not punish the devotees of your progeny and you with the fire.’26
Bilal ibn Hamamah reports: One day, the Holy Prophet was coming towards us happily. Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf asked, “O Allah’s Messenger; what is the reason for your being happy?” The Holy Prophet said, “A good news has come to me from my Lord: When Allah willed to give Fatimah to Ali in marriage, He ordered an angel to shake the tree of Tuba whereby written leaves were spread. Allah ordered angels to collect those leaves. When the Judgment Day will come, this angel will look for the devotees of Ahl al- Bayt to give them one of these leaves with the following inscription on it: This is a letter of respite from hellfire by my brother, my cousin and my daughter for the safety of men and women among my ummah from fire."27
Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has said:
وَاَللَّهِ، لأ يَمُوتٌ عَبْدٌ يُحِبُّ اللَّهَ وَ رَسُولَهُ وَ يَتَوَلَّي الأئِمَّة فَتَمَسُّهُ النَّارُ.
By Allah (I swear), every servant who loves Allah and His Messenger and accepts the leadership of the Imams and then dies, hellfire will not touch him.28
One of the results of loving the Ahl al-Bayt (a.s.) and following them is immunity from hellfire on the Judgment Day.
The Holy Prophet has said:
مَنْ أحَبَّنَا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ حَشَرَهُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى آمِناً يَوْمَ الْقِيَمَةِ.
As for one who loves us - the Ahl al-Bayt, Allah will make him to associate with us on the Day of Judgment.29
Immunity from slipping off the Sirat is a result of loving Ahl al-Bayt. The Holy Prophet (S) has said:
أثْبَتُكُمِّ قَدَماً عَلَى الصِّرَاطِ أشَدُّ كُمْ حُبّاً لِأهْلِ بَيْتِي.
The most steadfast of you on the Sirat is one who loves my Ahl al-Bayt more. 30
He has also said:
مَا أحَبَّنَا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ أحَدٌ فَزَلَّتْ بِهِ قَدَمٌ إلأ ثَبَّتَتْهُ قَدَمٌ أُخْرَى، حَتَّى يُنْجِيَهُ اللَّهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ.
Everyone who loves Ahl al-Bayt, even if one of his feet slips, his other foot will keep him steadfast and firm until Allah will save him on the Day of Judgment.
Love in human being is an actuating motor, which motivates him to go forwards to his Beloved. This love compels him to purify himself from all pollutions, repent and turn towards all moral virtues. If we read in narrations that love for Ahl al-Bayt will lead to forgiveness of our sins, we should not have the impression that it will give us permission to commit sins. If our love for Ahl al-Bayt be true, it will give us the ability to purify ourselves.
Al-Hurr ibn Yazid al-Riyahi, with a moment of reflection, loved Imam Husayn. This love made him give up his high-ranking position and the worldly riches. He repented with a true repentance so that his sins were forgiven and he was engaged in jihad, the most praiseworthy deed, and experienced the most sacred truth, that is martyrdom. This is only the result of love! Based on this reality, Allah’s Messenger said:
حُبُّنَا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ يُكَفِّر الذُّنُوبَ وَ يُضَاعِفُ الْحَسَنَاتِ.
Love for Ahl al-Bayt will remove all sins and increase virtues.31
Imam Hasan (a.s.) has said:
وَإنَّ حُبَّنَا لَيُسَاقِطُ الذُّنُوبَ مِنِ إبْنِ آدَمَ كَمَا يُسَاقِطُ الرِّيحُ الْوَرَقَ مِنِ الشَّجَرِ.
Surely, love for us will make sins fall down away from the children of Adam as the wind make the leaves fall down from trees.32
Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has said:
مَنْ أحَبَّنَا لِلَّهِ وَأحَبَّ مُحِبَّنَا لأ لِغَرَضِ دُنْياً يُصِيبُهَا مِنْهُ وَ عَادَى عَدُوَّنَا لأ لإحْنَةٍ كَانَتْ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَهُ ثُمَّ جَاءَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَعَلَيْهِ مِنَ الذُّنُوبِ مِثْلَ رَمْلِ عَالِجٍ وَ زَبَدِ الْبَحْرِ غَفَرَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى لَهُ.
Whoever loves our devotees and us for the sake of Allah, and not for a worldly purpose, he antagonizes our enemy, not because of personal rancor. His sins will be forgiven on the Judgment Day even if they are as many as the sands of a desert and foams of the seas.33
Shiites, who have received the baptism of Ahl al-Bayt due to their love for them, expect to be associated with Ahl al-Bayt on the Judgment Day. The Holy Quran supports this truth:
وَالشُّهَدَاءِ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ النَّبِيِّينَ مِنَ عَلَيْهِمْ اللَّهُ أَنْعَمَ الَّذِينَ مَعَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ وَالرَّسُولَ اللَّهَ يُطِعِ وَمَنْ رَفِيقًا أُولَٰئِكَ وَحَسُنَۚ وَالصَّالِحِينَ
And whoever obeys Allah and the Apostle, these are with those upon whom Allah and the Apostle, have bestowed favors from among the prophets and the truthful and the martyrs and the good, and a goodly company are they! (4:69)
Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) is reported as saying:
حَقٌ عَلَى اللَّهِ أنْ يَجْعَلَ وَلِيَّنَا رَفِيقاً لِلنَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَدَاءِ وَالصّاَلِحِينَ، وَ حَسُنَ أُلَئكَ رَفِيقاً.
It is up to Allah to make our friend associate with the Prophets, the truthful, the martyrs and the righteous. What a goodly company are they!
The Holy Prophet has said:
مَنْ أحَبَّنَا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ فِي اللَّهِ حُشِرَ مَعَنَا.
One who loves us for the sake of Allah will be associated with us.34
Abu-Dharr went to the presence of the Holy Prophet saying, “I love certain people but I do not like them practically.” The Holy Prophet said, “Man will associate with one whom he loves.” Abu-Dharr said, “I love Allah, His messenger, and his Ahl al-Bayt." The Holy Prophet said,
الْمَرْءُ مَعَ مَنْ أحَبَّ.
“You will associate with one whom you love.”35
Imam Husayn (a.s.) has said:
مَنْ أحَبَّنَا لِلَّهِ وَ رَدْنَا نَحْنُ وَهُوَ عَلَى نَبِيِّنَا هَكَذَا ـ وَضَمَّ إصْبِعَيْهِ.
Whoever loves us for the sake of Allah; we will meet the Prophets together.36
Yazid ibn Muawiyah has reported: I was in the presence of Imam al-Baqir (a.s) when a man who had come from Khorasan on foot entered the room. Showing blisters on his feet, the man said, “By Allah, nothing but love for Ahl al-Bayt has brought me here.” The Imam said,
وَاللَّهِ، لَوْ أحَبَّنَا حَجَرٌ اللَّهُ مَعَنَا.
“By Allah, even if a stone love us, Allah will make it associate with us.”37
Hakam ibn Utaybah has reported: I was in the presence of Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) while the room was packed with people. All at once, an old man with a walking stick in his hand entered the room saying, “Peace be upon you, O son of Allah’s Messenger, and the Mercy of Allah and His blessings.” He said nothing more. The Imam greeted him back. Addressing the crowd, the old man said, “Peace be upon you.” He kept silent. Those who were present greeted him back. Then the old man turned to the Imam and said, “By Allah, I do love you and love your devotees. By Allah, I love you not for a worldly purpose but my love is pure. By Allah, I hate your enemies. By Allah my hate is not because of a personal rancor. By Allah, what is lawful to you is lawful for me and what is unlawful to you is unlawful to me. Now, may I be your ransom. Is there any hope of salvation for me?”
The Imam said, “Come near, come near.” The Imam made the old man sit beside him. He then said, “O gentleman! A man came to my father, Ali ibn al-Husayn asking the same question. My father replied: ‘If you die, you will meet Allah’s Messenger, Ali, Hasan and Husayn and Ali ibn al- Husayn. Your heart will become glad and your eyes bright. When your death comes, you will welcome it happily with the honorable recorders; and if you survive, Allah will make you with us in the highest rank.’ ”
Hearing this, the old man started crying loudly which made others present cry too. At this moment, the Imam wiped the tears off the old man’s face. The old man said to the Imam, “O son Of Allah’s Messenger! May I be your ransom. Give me your hand.” The old man kissed the Imam’s hand, put it on his eyes, bid him farewell and went away.
The Imam who was looking behind him turned to the crowd and said,
“Anyone who wishes to see a man of Paradise should look at this man.”38
Love for Ahl al-Bayt, which is a heavenly gift, is to act according to Ahl al-Bayt’s teachings. The reward of such will be Paradise.
In an excellent narration, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) is reported to have said: Once when the Holy Prophet was traveling, he dismounted and performed five prostrations. When he mounted again, one of the companions asked, “O Allah’s Messenger! We have noticed something which you did for the first time.” The Holy Prophet said, “Yes, Gabriel came to me and gave the good news:
Ali is a man of Paradise; that is why I prostrated before Allah. When I raised my head, he said: Fatimah too is among the people of Paradise; that is why I prostrated, and when I raised my head he said: Hasan and Husayn are the leaders of the youths of Paradise; that is why I prostrated before Allah, and when I raised my head, he said that the devotees of them too are people of Paradise. That was why I prostrated myself. When I raised my head, he said that the devotees of their devotees too are people of Paradise. I again prostrated myself before Allah.”39
Imam Zayn al-Abidin once became ill. A group of companions came to visit him enquiring after his health. He thanked Allah and asked after their health. They all said, “By Allah, we love you.” The Imam said:
مَنْ أحَبَّنَا لِلَّهِ أسْكَنَهُ فِي ظِلٍّ ظَلِيلٍ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ، يَوْمَ لأظِلَّ إلأ ظِلُّهُ.
Allah will place whoever loves us for the sake of Allah under a shade on the Judgment Day when there is no shade save that of Him.40
Yunus said to Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.), “My love and friendship for you and the way Allah made me know your rights is more beloved to me than the whole world.” When he finished, the sign of vexation was visible in the face of the Imam who said,
يَا يُونُسُ! قِسْتَنَا بِغَيْرِ قِيَاسٍ. مَا الدُّنْيَا وَ مَا فِيهَا؟ هَلْ هِيَ إلأ سَدُّ فَوْرَةٍ أوْ سِتَرُ عَورَةٍ؟ وَ أنْتَ لَكَ بِمَحَبَّتِنَا الْحَيَاةُ الدَّائِمَةٌ.
“O Yunus! You made an improper comparison. What is the world and what is therein? Is it anything other than eating to a full or covering of private parts whereas through your love for us, you will attain eternal life?”
Truly, love for Ahl al-Bayt is source of eternal life, which begins with a happy death and continues until eternity:
ألأ وَمَنْ مَاتَ عَلَى حُبِّ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ بَشَّرَهُ مَلَكُ الْمَوتِ بِالْجَنَّةِ، ثُمَّ مُنكَرٌ وَنَكِيرٌ. ألأ وَمَنْ مَاتَ عَلَى حُبِّ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ يُزَفُّ إلَى الْجَنَّةِ تُزَفُّ الْعَرُوسُ إلَى بَيْتِ زَوْجِهَا.
Whoever dies with love for the Household of Muhammad will be given the good news of entering Paradise by first the Angel of Death and then by Munkar and Nakir (Two interrogators in grave). Whoever dies with the love of the household of Muhammad will be taken to heaven just as a bride is taken to the bridegroom’s house.41
Muhammad ibn Walid says: I asked Imam al-Jawad, “Is there any reward for doing a service for Ahl al-Bayt?” The Imam said, “Imam al-Sadiq had a slave who used to look after his mule when the Imam would the mosque. One day, he was sitting beside the mule when a group of people came from Khorasan. A man from among them said to the slave, "Can you tell Imam al-Sadiq to replace you with me and in exchange for this I will give all my wealth to you?” The slave said, “I should first consult with the Imam.”
The slave came to the Imam saying, “May I be your ransom. You know about my long service to you. Do you prevent me from having a wealth if Allah gives such a wealth to me?” The Imam said, “I will give to you of my wealth and keep you from others.” The slave told the Imam the whole story. The Imam said, “If you are reluctant to serve us and that man is willing to do so, we will accept it.”
When the slave went away, the Imam called him saying, “For your long services, I will advise you and then you can choose between the two. When the Judgment Day comes, the Holy Prophet will be hanging from Allah’s light and Amir al-Muminin will resort to Allah’s Messenger; the Imams will resort to Amir al-Muminin; and our followers (Shia) will resort to us; they will enter where we will enter; and they will abide where we will abide.” The slave said, “No, I will not leave you but remain at your service, for I prefer the hereafter to this world.”
The slave came out of the house with his answer. The man who was waiting for the slave said, “You have come back with an expression in your face different from that you went in!” The slave told him the story and took him to Imam al-Sadiq who accepted his loyalty and ordered one thousand dinars to be given to the slave. After a while, the man rose up to bid the Imam farewell. He asked him to pray for him and the Imam did.”42
Love for Ahl al-Bayt not only resolves difficulties at the point of death and the hereafter but also relieves worldly problems. One of the blessings of the love for Ahl al-Bayt is that it puts the hearts at rest, which is a blessing for the man who lives in this world of anxiety and restlessness. Imam Ali (a.s) says:
" ـ قَالَ : مَنْ أحَبَّ اللَّهَ إنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ لَمَّا نَزَلَتْ هَذِهِ الآيَةُ ـ " أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوب
وَرَسُولَهُ وَأحَبَّ أهْلَ بَيْتِي صَادِقاً غَيْرَ كَاذِبٍ وأحَبَّ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ شَاهِداً وَغَائِباً، ألأ بِذِكْرِ اللَّهِ يَتَحَابُّونَ.
When the verse –
“now surely by Allah’s remembrance are the hearts set at rest,” (13:28)
was revealed, Allah’s Messenger said: This is about one who loves Allah and His Messenger, loves my Ahl al-Bayt truly and not falsely, loves believers both in the past and in the future. By Allah’s remembrance they love one another.43
Truly one whose love for Allah, the Holy Prophet, Ahl al-Bayt and the believers is true has tranquility and peace of mind. Any traitor, thieves, oppressors, usurpers, bribe-takers, usurers, ogles, adulterers, corrupts, defrauders, deceivers, and sinners can never enjoy peace of mind and tranquility. However, the lovers of Ahl al-Bayt who are clean from all these pollutions enjoy peace of mind and their hearts are set at rest.
Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) reports: The Holy Prophet asked Ali, “Do you know about whom the following verse was revealed:
those who believe and whose hearts are set at rest by the remembrance of Allah; now surely by Allah’s remembrance are the hearts at rest (13:28)?”
Imam Ali replied, “Allah and His Messenger know better.” The Holy Prophet said,
(نَزَلَتْ) فِي مَنْ صَدَّقَ لِي وَآمَنَ بِي وَ أحَبَّكَ وَ عَشِيرَتَكَ مِنْ بَعْدِكَ وَ سَلَّمَ الأمْرَ وَ لِلأئِمَّةِ مِنْ بَعْدِكَ
“It is about one who acknowledges me, believes in me, loves you and your family, and submits his affairs to you and the Imams after you.”44
Anas ibn Malik, an authentic narrator for Sunnis, says: the Holy Prophet recited the above-mentioned verse and said, “Do you know who these people are?” I said, “O Allah’s Messenger, who are they?” The Holy Prophet said, “They are the Ahl al-Bayt and our followers.”45
When a devotee of and one who is obedient to Ahl al-Bayt faces a difficulty which external factors fail to resolve, it will be certainly resolved if he truthfully beseeches Ahl al-Bayt to intercede for him with Allah.
One of the subjects highlighted by Ahl al-Bayt is to hold sessions for propagating their life-giving culture and commemorating the tragic events they went through, especially that of Karbala. After the martyrdom of Imam Husayn in Karbala, the Shiites, encouraged by Ahl al-Bayt, have tried to hold mourning ceremonies whereby to teach people the Quranic concepts, narrations, true sciences of Islam and injunctions related to jurisprudence and to hold the torch of guidance with the help of Allah.
The devotees of Ahl al-Bayt have established many mosques, schools, charitable institutes, interest-free funds and orphanages, thanks to these sessions. Millions of people have enjoyed the blessings of such institutions.
Addressing Fudhayl ibn Yasar, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) asked, “Will you get together and talk about us?” I said, “Yes.” The Imam said,
إنَّ تِلْكَ الْمَجَالِسَ أحِبُّهَا. أحْيُو أمْرَنَا، فَرَحِمَ اللَّهُ مَنْ أحْيَا أمْرَنَا.
“I am fond of these assemblies. Enliven our affair with them. May the mercy of Allah be upon one who enlivens our affair.”46
Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) has said:
رَحِمَ اللَّهُ إجْتَمَعَ مَعَ آخَرَ فَتَذَاكَرَ أمْرَنَا، فَإنَّ ثَالِثَهُمَا مَلَكٌ يَسْتَغْفِرُ لَهُمَا. وَمَا إجْتَمَعَ مَعَ مَعَ آخَرَ فَتَذَاكَرَ أمْرَنَا، فَإنَّ ثَالِثَهُمَا مَلَكٌ يَسْتَغْفِرُ لَهُمَا. وَمَاإجْتَمَعَ إثْنَانِ عَلَى ذِكْرِنَا إلأ بَاهَى اللَّهُ بِهِمَا الْمَلأئِكَةَ، فَإذَا اجْتَمَعَ إثْنَانِ عَلَى ذِكْرِنَا إلأ بَاهَى اللَّهُ بِهِمَا الْمَلأئِكَةَ فَإذَا اجْتَمَعْتُمْ فَاشْتَغِلُوا بِالذِّكْرِ، فَإنَّ فِي إجْتِمَاعِكُمْ وَمُذَاكَرَتِكُمْ إحْيَاءَنَا.
May Allah have mercy on a person who sits with another and speaks about our traditions. When two persons speak about our affair, the third of them will be an angel who will pray forgiveness for them. When two persons get together and commemorate us, Allah will be proud of them before angels. When you get together, be engaged in commemorating us, for in this way you will enliven us.47
Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) has said:
مَنْ جَلَسَ مَجْلِساً يُحْيي فِيهِ أمْرَنَا لَمْ يَمُتْ قَلْبُهُلايَوْمَ تَمُتْ قَلْبُهُ يَوْمَ تَمُوتُ الْقُلُوبُ.
Whoever sits in an assembly where our affair is enlivened, his heart will not die when all hearts die.48
Weeping is a state that comes about when man faces a certain event. We weep when our hearts are broken or sometimes, we weep for joy. Weeping is a truth that the Prophets, Imams and Allah’s favorite servants have been involved in especially at dawns when they were engaged in supplications and invocations. It has been considered as cure for some esoteric pains such as separation. Allah’s favorite servants found relief for their afflicted and grieved hearts with it. Today, weeping is considered in the West as treatment for curing certain psychological cases and psychologists prescribe it.
Allah mentions weeping as a sign of true believers:
وَإِذَا سَمِعُوا مَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَى الرَّسُولِ تَرَىٰ أَعْيُنَهُمْ تَفِيضُ مِنَ الدَّمْعِ مِمَّا عَرَفُوا مِنَ الْحَقِّ ۖ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا آمَنَّا فَاكْتُبْنَا مَعَ الشَّاهِدِينَ
And when they hear what has been revealed to the apostle, you will see their eyes overflowing with tears on account of the truth. (5:83)
There are many narrations about weeping for fear of Allah at midnights and dawns as related by Ahl al-Bayt, which can be collected together as a book.
Amir al-Muminin (a.s.), in the supplication of Kumayl, says:
يَا إلَهِي وَ رَبِّي وَ سَيِّدي وَمَوْلاي! لأيِّ الأُمُورِ إلَيكَ أشْكُو؟ وَلِمَا مِنْهَا أضِجُّ وَأبْكِي؟ لألِيمِ الْعَذَابِ وَ شِدَّتِهِ؟ أمْ لِطُولِ الْبَلاءِ وَمُدَّتِهِ؟
My God! My Lord! My Master! My Protector! For which things would I complain to You, and for which of them would I lament and weep? Is it for the pain and severity of chastisement or for the length and period of tribulation?
In Dua Abi-Hamzah Thamali, Imam Zayn al-Abidin (a.s.) says:
فَمَا لِي لا أبْكِي؟ أبْكِي لِخُروجِ نَفْسِي، أبْكِي لِظُلْمَةِ قَبْرِي،أبْكِي لِضَيقِ لَحْدي، أبْكي لِسُؤالِ مُنْكَر وَ نَكِير إيَّايَ، أبْكي لِخُرُوجي مِنْ قَبْري عُرْيَاناً ذَلِيلاً حَامِلاً ثِقْلِي عَلى ظَهْرِي.
Why should I not cry? I am sad on account of my departing soul. I cry in fear of the darkness of the grave. I cry in dread of the narrowing walls inside the dugout hole. I cry in awe of the questioning Munkar and Nakir would direct at me. I cry over my plight when I will come out naked, in shame, from my grave, loaded with burden on my back.
One of the instances of weeping is to weep for the calamities, which befell the Ahl al-Bayt especially the master of the martyrs, Imam Husayn, which is considered as a prayer and has a great reward. It is a cure for mental disturbances, preparation for repentance, and a cause of Allah’s mercy.
In an authentic narration, Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) has said:
مَنْ تَذَكَّرَ مُصَابَنَا وَبَكَى لِمَا ارْتُكِبَ لِمَا ارتُكِبَ مِنَّا كَانَ مَعَنَا فِي دَرَجَاتِنَا يَومَ الْقِيَامَةِ. وَمَنْ ذُكِّرَ بِمُصَابِنَا فَكَى وَ أبْكَى لَمْ تَبْكِ عِينُهُ يَومَ تَبْكِي الْعُيُونُ.
One who remembers our calamities and weeps for what has befallen us will have the same rank with us on the Judgment Day. And one who reads our calamities and weeps or makes others weep will not weep when all eyes are full of tears.49
Addressing Musmi, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said, “You are from Iraq. Have you visited the grave of Imam Husayn?” Musmi said, “There are many enemies of Ahl al-Bayt in Basrah. I fear they will report me to the rulers hence I will be persecuted.” The Imam said, “Do you ever remember what was done to Husayn?” Musmi said, “Yes, I do.” The Imam said, “Do you lament?” Musmi said, “Yes. By Allah, I lament in a way my family see its signs on my face. In that state, I can’t eat.”
The Imam said, “May Allah have mercy on you for your lamentation. You are one of those who will be happy when we are happy and you will be sad when we are sad. Beyond doubt you will meet my forefathers when you will die. You will be recommended to the Angel of Death; you will be given news about something delightful before you die and the Angel of Death will be more kind to you than your mother.”50
Imam Ali (a.s.) said, addressing Imam Husayn (a.s.):
“You are a lesson (of weeping) for every believer!”
“Am I, father?” Imam Husayn (a.s.) asked.
“Yes, my son”, answered Imam Ali (a.s.)
Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has said:
مَنْ ذَكَرَنَا أوْ ذُكِرْنَا عِنْدَهُ فَخَرَجَ مِنْ عَينِهِ دَمَهٌ مِثْلُ جَنَاحِ بَعُوضَةٍ غَفَرَ اللَّهُ لَهُ ذُنُوبَهُ وَلَوْ كَانَتْ مِثْلَ زَبَدِ الْبَحْرِ.
Whoever remembers us and weeps, Allah will forgive his sins even if they are as much as foam of sea.51
Imam al-Sadiq has also said:
نَفْسُ الْمَهْمُومِ لِظُلْمِنَا تَسْبِيحٌ، وَهَمُّهُ لَنَا عِبَادةٌ، وَكِتْمَانُ سِرِّنَا جِهَادٌ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ...يَحِبُ أنْ يُكْتَبَ هَذَا الْحَدِيثُ بِالذَّهَبِ.
A moment of sorrow for the injustice done to us is like the glorification of Allah. Grieving over us is as prayer and hiding our secrets is considered as holy war. These words should be written with gold.52
Harun Makfuf (the blind) has reported Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) to say:
وَمَنْ ذُكِرَ الْحُسَينُ عِنْدَهُ فَخَرَجَ مِنْ عَينَيْهِ مِنَ الدُّمُوعِ مِقْدَارَ جَنَاحٍ ذُبَابٍ كَانَ ثَوَابُهُ عَلَى اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ وَ لَمْ يَرْضُ لَهُ بِدُونِ الجَنَّةِ.
One who remembers Husayn and weeps for him will be rewarded; and Allah is not content with anything less than Paradise for him.53
Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) has said:
فَعَلَى مِثْلِ الحُسَينِ فَلْيَبْكِ الْبَاكُونَ، فَإنَّ الْبُكَاء عَلِيهِ يَحُطُّ الذُّنُوبَ الْعِظَامَ.
A weeper should lament over Husayn, for weeping for him will do away with sins.54
Addressing Ibn Shabib, Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) has said:
إنْ كُنتَ بَاكِياً لِشَيْءٍ فَابْكِ لِلْحُسَينِ بْنِ عَلِيِّ بْنِ أبِي طَالِبٍ بَكَتِ السَّمَاوَاتُ السَّبْعُ وَالأرضُونَ لِقَتْلِهِ...إنْ بَكَيْتَ عَلَى الْحُسَينِ حَتَّى تَصِيرَ دُمُوعُكَ عَلَى خَدَّيْكَ غَفَرَ اللَّهُ لَكَ كُلَّ ذَنْبٍ.
If you wish to weep for anything, weep for Husayn ibn Ali ibn Abi-Talib, for heavens and the earth wept for him when he was slain. If you weep for Husayn to the extent that your tears run on you cheek, Allah will forgive all your sins.55
From narrations that recommend weeping for Imam Husayn, we can infer the following points:
• Weeping is accepted from believers. In this case, Allah grants a great reward.
• Weeping of a believer is valuable to the extent of his adherence to Ahl al-Bayt.
• Weeping of man will be valuable if his intention is pure in seeking the pleasure of Allah, the Holy Prophet and Ahl al-Bayt.
• Weeping of man will be valuable if he does not commit sin, does not rebel against Allah, does not have an immoral life and is not a source of evil and misfortune for people.
• Based on Quranic verses and narrations, on the Judgment Day, a believer’s weeping will turn into Allah’s mercy and forgiveness as well as Ahl al-Bayt’s intercession.
In order to make you believe as to how one thing may change into another, we ask you to pay special attention to the following article:
The Holy Quran expressly speaks about changing of one thing into another (transformation) at Allah’s will in the material and spiritual fields.
وَإِنَّ لَكُمْ فِي الْأَنْعَامِ لَعِبْرَةً ۖ نُسْقِيكُمْ مِمَّا فِي بُطُونِهِ مِنْ بَيْنِ فَرْثٍ وَدَمٍ لَبَنًا خَالِصًا سَائِغًا لِلشَّارِبِينَ
And most surely there is a lesson for you in the cattle; We give you to drink of what is in their bellies-- from betwixt the feces and the blood-- pure milk, easy and agreeable to swallow for those who drink. (16:66)
Is it not wonderful that, when Allah wills, pure and agreeable milk with different valuable products comes from between feces and bellies, which man hate? Reflection on this issue brings man out of ignorance to the knowledge of Allah.
The Holy Quran says about the bees:
ثُمَّ كُلِي مِنْ كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ فَاسْلُكِي سُبُلَ رَبِّكِ ذُلُلًا ۚ يَخْرُجُ مِنْ بُطُونِهَا شَرَابٌ مُخْتَلِفٌ أَلْوَانُهُ فِيهِ شِفَاءٌ لِلنَّاسِ ۗ
Then eat of all the fruits and walk in the ways of your Lord submissively. There comes forth from within it a beverage of many colors, in which there is a healing for men; most surely there is a sign in this for a people who reflect. (16:69)
What does Allah’s will really do? A tiny insect flies miles from its hive, eats of the fruits, while knowing them precisely, returns to its hive without losing its way and gives us a nutritious material!
Allah’s will brings out of water, soil, air and light, fruits, seeds, cereals, grain, vegetables, flowers, herbs for animals which cannot be counted nor can their quality and quantity be measured.
No one is aware of how water, soil, air and light change into all these wonderful blessings! The Holy Quran says:
رِزْقًا الثَّمَرَاتِ مِنَ بِهِ فَأَخْرَجَ مَاءً السَّمَاءِ مِنَ وَأَنْزَلَ بِنَاءً وَالسَّمَاءَ فِرَاشًا الْأَرْضَ لَكُمُ جَعَلَ الَّذِي
Who made the earth a resting place for you and the heaven a canopy and who sends down rain from the cloud, then brings for the subsistence for you. (2:22)
The question of changing one thing into another in the material field is as noteworthy as the universe itself and it cannot be discussed within the short space of this book.
Reflection on Quranic verses proves that any good deed done by human beings will be changed into Allah’s pleasure and will be sent to heaven. Likewise, every evil act done by human beings will turn into eternal torment.
True repentance will turn Allah’s wrath into mercy. True prayer will turn vices into virtues. Fasting will turn into a shield against Hellfire on the Judgment Day.
What is given as rewards to the righteous and punishment to the evildoers on the Day of Judgment is an embodiment of their deeds changed into Paradise or hell:
أَمَدًا وَبَيْنَهُ بَيْنَهَا أَنَّ لَوْ تَوَدُّ سُوءٍ مِنْ عَمِلَتْ وَمَا مُحْضَرًا خَيْرٍ مِنْ عَمِلَتْ مَا نَفْسٍ كُلُّ تَجِدُ يَوْمَ بَعِيدًا
On the day that every soul shall find present what it has done of good and what it has done of evil, it shall wish that between it and that evil, there were a long duration of time. (3:30)
يُظْلَمُونَ لَا وَهُمْ كَسَبَتْ مَا نَفْسٍ كُلُّ تُوَفَّىٰ ثُمَّ ۖ اللَّهِ إِلَى فِيهِ تُرْجَعُونَ يَوْمًا وَاتَّقُوا
And guard yourselves against a day in which you shall be returned to Allah; then every soul shall be paid back in full what it has earned, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly. (2:281)
This is even more evident than all in the verse on eating the property of orphans, which will turn into fire in the bellies of the unjust:
نَارًا بُطُونِهِمْ فِي يَأْكُلُونَ إِنَّمَا ظُلْمًا الْيَتَامَىٰ أَمْوَالَ يَأْكُلُونَ الَّذِينَ إِنَّ
As for those who swallow the property of the orphans unjustly, surely they only swallow fire into their bellies and they shall enter burning fire. (4:10)
Whatever we do will remain in an invisible world and one day we will see them face-to-face. If our deeds are beautiful, they will change into paradise and if they are ugly, they will turn into fire of hell.
It is related that a woman came to the Holy Prophet asking a question. She was short and when she left, Aishah referred to her being short with her hands. Allah’s Messenger said, “Take a tooth-pick to remove bits of meat from between your teeth!” Aishah said, “But I have not eaten anything!” The Holy Prophet asked her to do what he had said. Aishah did so and a bit of meat came out of her mouth! Actually the Holy Prophet showed to Aishah the invisible result of backbiting in this world:
ۚفَكَرِهْتُمُوهُ مَيْتًا أَخِيهِ لَحْمَ يَأْكُلَ أَنْ أَحَدُكُمْ أَيُحِبُّ بَعْضًا بَعْضُكُمْ يَغْتَبْ وَلَا
…nor let some of you backbite others. Does one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? But you abhor it. (49:12)
In a Hadith, we read:
إنَّمَا هِيَ أعْمَالُكُم تُرَدُّ إلَيْكُم.
All torments are the deeds that you have done and they return to you.
Visiting the graves of Ahl al-Bayt from near and far distance, especially enduring hardships on this way, has been recommended to the believers; an act which will have great reward.
On visiting the Holy Shrine of the Holy Prophet, it has been related:
If people abandon visiting the grave of the Holy Prophet, Muslim leaders have the duty to encourage them to do so, for abandoning visitation to his holy shrine is unkindness to him, which is unlawful to Muslims.56
Quoting Imam al-Sadiq, Sheikh Saduq has reported:
إذَا حَجَّ أحَدُكُمْ فَلْيَخْتِمُ حَجَّهُ بِزِيَارَتِنَا لأنَّ ذَلِكَ مِنْ تَمَامِ الْحَجِّ.
Whoever performs Hajj rites must complete it with paying visit to us, for to visit our graves makes Hajj perfect.57
Imam Ali (a.s.) is reported as saying:
أتِمُّوا بِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ حَجَّكُمْ إذَا خَرَجْتُم إلَى بَيْتِ اللَّهِ، فَإنَّ تَرْكَهُ جَفَاءٌ، وَبِذَالِكَ أمِرْتُمْ. وَأتِمُّا بِالْقُبُورِ الَّتِي ألْزَمَكُمُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ زِيَارَتَهَا وَ حَقَّهَا وَاطْلُبُوا الرِّزْقَ عِنْدَهَا.
Make your Hajj rites perfect by visiting the Holy Prophet’s grave, for to abandon that would be an unkind act and against courtesy. You have been enjoined to perform this visitation. Also visit the graves, which Allah has made obligatory and seek your sustenance beside those graves.58
Quoting his grandfather, Yazid ibn Abd al-Malik has reported: One day I went to the presence of Lady Fatimah. She greeted me and asked, “What have you come here for?” I said, “Seeking blessings and reward.” Lady Fatimah said (a.s.), “My father told me that whoever salutes him and me for three days, Allah will make Paradise obligatory to him.” I asked, “During his and your life?” She said, “Yes, and also after our death.”59
Imam al-Sadiq is reported as saying:
مَنْ زَارَنِي غُفِرَتْ لَهُ ذُنُوبُهُ وَلَمْ يَمُتْ فَقِيراً.
Whoever visits my grave; his sins will be forgiven and will not die as poor or distressed.60
Imam Askari has said:
مَنْ زَارَ جَعْفَراً وَأبَاهُ لَمْ يَشْكُ عَيْنَهُ وَلَمْ يُصِبْهُ سَقَمٌ وَلَمْ يَمُتْ مُبْتَلَىً.
Whoever visits the tombs of Imam al-Sadiq and Imam al-Baqir will not have defect in his eye, will not be diseased, and will not die afflicted.61
The Holy Prophet has said:
مَنْ زَارَ الحَسَنَ فِي بَقِيعِهِ ثَبُتَ قَدَمُهُ عَلَى الصِّراطِ يَوْمَ تَزِلُّ فِيهِ الأقْدَامُ.
Whoever visits Imam Hasan in Baqi Cemetery, his foot will remain steadfast on the Sirat when his other feet will slip.62
Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) is reported by Muhammad ibn Muslim as saying:
مُرُوا شِيعَتَنَا بِزِيَارَةِ قَبْرٍ الحُسَينِ بْن عَلِيٍّ، فَإنَّ إتْيَانَهُ مُقْتَرَضٌ عَلَى كُلٍّ مُؤْمِنٍ يُقِرُّ لِلْحُسَيْنِ بِلأمَامَةِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ.
Enjoin our followers to visit the grave of Imam Husayn, for visiting his grave is incumbent upon every believer who admits his Imamate.63
Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) is reported as saying:
مَنْ زَارَ قَبْرَ الحُسَيْنِ لِلَّهِ وَفِي اللَّهِ، أعْتَقَهُ اللَّهُ مِنَ النَّارِ وَ آمَنَهُ يَوْمَ الْفَزَعِ الأكْبَرِ وَلَمْ يَسَالِ اللَّهَ حَجَةَ مِنْ حَوَائِجِ الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ إلأ أعْطَاهُ.
Whoever visits the grave of Imam Husayn for the sake of Allah and in His way will be set free from hellfire, spared on the Day of the Greater Lamentation, and Allah will grant him whatever his needs are in this world and the hereafter.64
Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) has also said:
مَنْ لَمْ يَاتِ قَبْرَ الْحُسَينِ حَتَى يَمُوتَ كَانَ مُنْتَقَصَ الدِّينِ مُنْتَقَصَ الإيمَانِ، وَإنْ أدْخِلَ الْجَنَّةَ كَانَ دُونَ المُؤْمِنِينَ فِي الجَنَّةِ.
Whoever does not visit the grave of Imam Husayn before his death, his faith is not perfect. Even if he enters Paradise, his rank will be lower than that of other believers.65
Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) has said:
مَنْ زَارَ قَبْرَ الْحُسَينِ بِشَطِّ الْفُرَاتِ كَانَ كَمَنْ زَارَ اللَّهَ فَوْقَ عَرْشِهِ.
Whoever visits the grave of Husayn at the bank of the Euphrates is like the one who has visited Allah on His Throne.66
In the Holy Quran, all human beings have been asked to offer thanks for all material and spiritual blessings that Allah has given to them and to avoid being ungrateful to these blessings. Based on narrations related by Ahl al-Bayt, offering thanks means to avoid using these blessings where Allah is not pleased and that blessings must be used in the same way that Allah has ordered.
There are two Quranic verses, which make offering thanks obligatory on human beings:
وَلِوَالِدَيْكَ لِي اشْكُرْ أَنِ عَامَيْنِ فِي وَفِصَالُهُ وَهْنٍ عَلَىٰ وَهْنًا أُمُّهُ حَمَلَتْهُ بِوَالِدَيْهِ الْإِنْسَانَ وَوَصَّيْنَا
ۖتُطِعْهُمَا فَلَا عِلْمٌ بِهِ لَكَ لَيْسَ مَا بِي تُشْرِكَ أَنْ عَلَىٰ جَاهَدَاكَ إِنْ وَ الْمَصِيرُ إِلَيَّ
كُنْتُمْ بِمَا فَأُنَبِّئُكُمْ مَرْجِعُكُمْ إِلَيَّ ثُمَّ ۚإِلَيَّ أَنَابَ مَنْ سَبِيلَ وَاتَّبِعْ ۖمَعْرُوفًا الدُّنْيَافِي وَصَاحِبْهُمَا
And we have enjoined man in respect of his parents - his mother bears him with faintings upon faintings and his weaning takes two years, saying: Be grateful to Me and to both your parents; to Me is the eventual coming. And if they contend with you that you should associate with Me what you have no knowledge of, do not obey them, and keep company with them in this world kindly, and follow the way of him who turns to Me, then to me is your return, then will I inform you of what you did. (31:14-15)
These Holy verses address all human beings, man and woman, young and old, scholar and layman. The part, which reads,
“Be grateful to Me and to both parents” –
is in imperative form that has to be complied with. Beyond doubt, disobeying such command is a grave sin for which Allah has promised a certain torment.
In this Holy verse, Allah has not provided any condition for being grateful to one's parents. In this relation, Imam al-Sadiq is reported as saying: A man came to the Holy Prophet saying, “O Allah’s Messenger! Enjoin me.” The Holy Prophet said:
لاَ تُشْرِكْ بِللَّهِ شَيْئاً وَ إنْ حُرِّقْتَ بِالنَّارِ وَعُذِّبْتَ إلاَّ وَ قَلْبُكَ مُطْمَئِنٌّ بِالإيمَانِ. وَوَالِدَيْكَ فَأطِعْهُمَا وَبِرَّهُمَا حَيَّينِ كَانَا أوْمَيِّتَيْنِ وَ إنْ أمَرَاكَ أنْ تَخْرُجَ مِنْ أهْلِكَ وَ مَالِكَ فَافْعَلْ، فَإنَّ ذَلِكَ مِنَ الإيمَانِ.
Do not associate anything with Allah and even if they burn or torment you as regards monotheism, endure it while you heart is sure of your faith; be kind to your parents both when they are living or dead and even if they asked you to give up your family and wealth, do so, for acceptance of this shows your faith.67
Out of the four persons of fighting in the battlefield, Miqdad said to the Holy Prophet, “My father is in the front against us: he has entered battle against you; would you give me permission to attack and kill him?” The Holy Prophet replied, “Let someone else do it, for if you kill your father in the way of Allah, your life will become short!”
When the position of parents – whether they be Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, or laic - is so high, how much higher will be the position of Ahl al-Bayt who have a right of Imamate, loyalty and educational leadership on all human beings? They are Noah’s Ark in this world and the hereafter and obedience to them will guarantee a man’s happiness and prosperity.
To give Ahl al-Bayt’s their due right is to get to know them, to love them, to consider them as Noah’s Ark, and to obey their commands in all aspects of life. This is the way to offer our thanks for the blessing of Ahl al-Bayt.
- 1. Al-Kafi: 46/2, H. 2
- 2. Al-Amali: 476, H. 16
- 3. Al-Mahasin: 149/1, H. 62
- 4. Tuhaf al-Uqul: 313
- 5. Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi: 455, H. 1018
- 6. Al-Amali, 475, H. 13
- 7. Da’aim al-Islam: 73/1
- 8. Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal: 204/1
- 9. Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: 60/2, Chapter: 31, H. 235
- 10. Nahj al-Balaghah: 447, Saying: 45
- 11. Tuhaf al-Uqul: 104
- 12. Sifat al-Shia: 11
- 13. Al-Amali, 334, H. 4
- 14. Al-Muqniah: 485
- 15. Al-Amali: 148, H. 243
- 16. Tafsir al-Qummi: 171/2
- 17. Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal: 85/4
- 18. Al-Mustadrak: 367/4
- 19. Al-Gharat: 401/2
- 20. Al-Ikhtisas: 52
- 21. Al-Amali, 722, H. 522
- 22. Al-Kafi: 89/8, H. 73
- 23. Al-Kafi: 81/8, H. 38
- 24. Tafsir al-Imam al-Askari: 239, H. 117
- 25. Al-Kafi: 127/3, H. 2
- 26. Interpretation of Manifest Verses: 474
- 27. Yanabi al-Mawaddah: 460/2
- 28. Rijal al-Najashi: 39
- 29. Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: 88/2, Chapter: 31, H. 220
- 30. Fadha’il al-Shia: 6, H. 3
- 31. Al-Amali: 164, H. 274.
- 32. Al-Ikhtisas: 82
- 33. Al-Amali 156, H. 259
- 34. Tafsir al-Ayyashi: 256/1, H. 189
- 35. Kifayat al-Athar: 300
- 36. Al-Amali 632, H. 1303
- 37. Tafsir al-Ayyashi; 167/1, H. 27
- 38. Al-Kafi: 76/8, H. 30
- 39. Al-Amali: 21, H. 2
- 40. Tuhaf al-Uqul: 379
- 41. Bisharat al-Mustafa: 197
- 42. Al-Kharaij wal-Jara’ih: 388/1, Chapter: 10
- 43. Al-Durr al-Manthur: 642/4
- 44. Tafsir Furat: 207, H. 274
- 45. Interpretation of Manifest Verses: 239
- 46. Qurb al-Isnad: 18
- 47. Al-Amali: 224, H. 390
- 48. Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: 294/14, Chapter: 28, H. 48
- 49. Al-Amali: 73, H. 4
- 50. Kamil al-Ziyarat: 101, Chapter: 32, H. 6
- 51. Tafsir al-Qummi: 292/2
- 52. Al-Amali, 115, H. 178
- 53. Kamil al-Ziyarat; 100, Chapter: 32, H. 3
- 54. Al-Amali: 128, H. 2
- 55. Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: 299/1 Chapter: 28, H. 58
- 56. Wasail al-Shia: 24/11, H. 14149
- 57. Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: 262/2, H. 28
- 58. Tahdhib al-Ahkam: 9/9, Chapter: 3, H. 11
- 59. Al-Muqniah: 474, Chapter: 20
- 60. Al-Muqniah: 474, Chapter: 20
- 61. Tahdhib al-Ahkam: 78/6
- 62. Bihar al-Anwar: 141/97, Chapter: 1, H. 14
- 63. Kamil al-Ziyarat: 121
- 64. Kamil al-Ziyarat; 145, Capter 57, H. 7.
- 65. Kamil al-Ziyarat: 193, Capter: 57, H. 2
- 66. Thawab al-Amal wa-Iqab al-Amal: 85
- 67. Al-Kafi, 158/2, H. 2