Forty First Assembly

Met on Saturday, when 10 nights were left of the month of Ramadhan, in the year 411 Hijrah. Our grand Sheikh al-Mufid Abu Abdillah Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn al-Nu’man, may Allah support his capabilities, narrated:

1. Do not have long hopes

He said: Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Umar al-Ji’abi reported to me from Muhammad ibnal-Walid, who reported from Ghandar Muhammad, who reported from Sha'bah, from Salemah ibn Kuhail, from Abu al-Tufail Amir ibn Wathilah al-Kinani, may Allah bless him with mercy, who said:

I heard Amirul Mu’mineen, peace be upon him, say: "The things I fear most about you are (two): (Delusion by) long (desire and) hope, and following the lusts (and temptations). As for the long hope, it makes one forget the world hereinafter, and the lusts (and base desires) keeps one back from the truth. Be it known to you that the world has indeed turned its back, and the next world has turned up to face you. And each has its own children; so be the children of the hereinafter and do not be the children of this (transitory) world. For surely, today is the day of action and no accounting, and the next world is for accounting and no action."

2. What the Prophet said about ‘Ali

He said: Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Umar al-Ji’abi reported to me from Abu Muhammad Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Saeed ibn Ziyad ibn Kananah, who reported from Ahmad ibn Isa ibn al-Hasan al-Hubi, who reported from Nasr ibn Hammad, who reported from Amru ibn Shimr, from Jabir al-Jo'fi, from Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn ‘Ali, peace be upon him, from Jabir ibn Abdillah al-Ansari, who reported that:

The Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny said: Jibraeel descended to me and said: "Allah commands you to rise and confirm the excellence of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, peace be upon him, above others, by addressing your companions, so that they may convey to their posterity on your behalf. And He commands all the angels to hear from you what you mention. And Allah, reveals to you, O Muhammad, that whoever opposes you in His command, for such a person (the destination) is hellfire; and whoever obeys, for such a person (the destination) is Paradise."

So the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, caused an announcement for congregational prayers. People gathered, and the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, set out to climb high on the pulpit. The first thing that he uttered was "I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan. In the name of Allah, Most Merciful." Then he said:

"O people! I am the bringer of good tidings and I am the warner. I am the Prophet of Makkah. I want to convey to you from Allah, Most High, regarding a man whose flesh is my flesh and whose blood is my blood. He is the treasure of knowledge, and it is he who Allah has chosen from this Ummah. He selected him, guided him, befriended him and created me and him (of one essence). He made me excel above others by the Prophethood, and made him excel above other by making him my emissary.

He made me be city of knowledge and him its gate. Made me the treasurer of knowledge and the purveyor of the laws from Him, and gave him (i.e. ‘Ali) the successorship. He made his matter quite manifest, and warned against enmity against him, and drew closer to Him those who love him. He forgave his Shi’ahs, and commanded all the people to obey him.

And surely, Allah says: 'Whoever takes him as an enemy, is My enemy, and whoever befriends him is My friend. And whoever shows hostility to him is hostile to Me, and whoever opposes him opposes Me. And whoever disobeys him, disobeys Me and whoever hurts him, hurts Me. And whoever hates him hates Me, and whoever loves him, loves Me.

And whoever has an ill intention against him has the same against Me, and whoever plots against him, plots against Me. And whoever helps him, helps Me.

O people! Listen to what he commands you to do, and be obedient to him. I warn you of Allah's chastisement, (and of the day):

'On the Day when every soul will find all the good it has done face to face; and the evil it has done, it will wish that they might be a great distance between it and the evil it has done, and Allah cautious you to be wary of Him.' (3:30)."

Then he took Amirul Mu’mineen, peace be upon him, by his hands and said: "O people! This is the master of the believers and the Proof of Allah (and His authority) over the entire creation; and the one who will fight the infidels. O Allah! I have indeed conveyed and they are Your slaves. You have the power to reform them, so reform them (for the better) with Your mercy, O merciful of all the mercifuls. I seek forgiveness from Allah for myself and all of you."

Then he climbed down from the pulpit and Jibraeel came to him (again) and said: O Muhammad, Allah, Almighty, sends you His greetings and says: "May you be rewarded the best for conveying your mission. You have indeed conveyed your Lord's message, and have advised your Ummah, and you have (today) pleased the believers and you have grieved the infidels. O Muhammad, your cousin will face tribulations and many will face tribulations because of him! O Muhammad, say: All praise be for the Lord of the worlds, and soon the wrongdoers shall know what awaits them, and say it at all times."

3. A letter from Ibn Hanafiyyah to Ibn Abbas

He said: Abu Ubaidullah Muhammad ibn Imran al-Marzbani reported to me form Abul Hasan ‘Ali ibn Abdul Rahim al-Sajistani, from his father, from al-Hasan ibn Ibrahim, from Abdullah ibn Asim, from Muhammad ibn Bishr, who said:

When Ibn al-Zubair expelled Ibn Abbas - may Allah bless him with mercy, to al-Taif, Muhammad ibnal-Hanafiyyah, may Allah bless him with mercy, wrote to him: "I am informed that Ibn al-Kahiliyya has driven you out to al-Taif. That way Allah, Most High may exalt your name, and grant you great reward, and lift from you the burden. O brother, (in this world) the trials are for the righteous, and blessings of honour are conferred upon the virtuous.

If your reward were to be only in the things you like, then your rewards would be be too few. For Allah says (in the Qur'an): '... and you may dislike a thing which is good for you.' (2:216). And I have no doubt that the situation you are in is good for you in the sight of Allah. May Allah grant you great patience in this adversity, and enable you to be grateful for (His) bounties. Surely, He has power over all other things."

When the letter reached Ibn Abbas, he replied: "Your letter has reached me, in which you consoled me on whatever has happened to me, seeking your Lord to exalt my name. Surely, He has power to augment the reward, and to benefit by His favours and to grant more of goodness. I do not like the treatment meted to me by Ibn al-Zubair any more than had it been perpetrated by the enemies of mankind, and thus increase my reward. Nor did I expect to earn my Lord's pleausre through his efforts.

O my brother! The world has indeed turned its back and the hereinafter has shadowed. So perform good deeds. May Allah count you and me among those who fear Him, the Unseen, and who act to earn His pleausre, publicly or in privacy. Surely, He has power over all."

4. Imam Hasan's address

He said: Abul Qasim Ismail ibn Muhammad al-Anbari al-Katib reported to me from Abu Abdillah Ibrahim ibn Muhammad al-Azdi, who reported from Shoaib ibn Ayyub, who reported from Mu’awiyah ibn Hisham, from Sufyan, from Hisham ibn Hassan, who said:

I heard Abu Muhammad, al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali, peace be upon him, addressing the people on Friday after they had sworn allegiance to him: "We are the victorious party of Allah, and the nearest kinfolk of His messenger, and the inmates of his pure and immaculate household. We are one of the two invaluable things the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, left behind for his Ummah. The other one is the Book of Allah in which is expounding of all things, no falsehood can come to it from before it or from behind it. So whoever depends on us for its interpretation will find that we do not fall prey to conjecture, we speak of its realities with certainty.

Obey us, for our obedience is ordained, and is coupled with obedience to Allah and His Prophet. Allah says (in the Qur'an):

'O people who have believed, obey Allah and obey His Prophet and those entrusted with the authority among you. But if there arises any dispute about anything, refer it to Allah and His Prophet.' (5:59)

'If they had referred to the Messenger and to those in the authority among them, those capable of inferring would have known it' (5"63).

And I warn you against listening to the yelling of Satan, for he is indeed your open enemy. If you do, you will be like his friends to whom he said: 'No one can overcome you today, truly I am your protector,' but when the two hosts confronted each other, he turned upon his heels, saying:

'I have nothing to do with you, I see that which you cannot see' (8:48).

Then you will fall prey to the lances, minced by the swords, shattered by the shafts and targeted by the arrows. Then:

'it shall not profit a soul to believe, who did not believe before, or has not earned in its faith any goodness' (6:158)."

5. Control your temptations

He said: Abul Qasim Ja'far ibn Muhammad, may Allah bless him with mercy, reported to me from his father, from Sa'd ibn Abdillah, from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Isa, from ‘Ali ibn Asbat, from his uncle Yaqoob ibn Salim, from Abul Hasan al-Abdi, that:

Abu Abdillah al-Sadiq Ja'far ibn Muhammad, peace be upon him, said: "A slave of Allah does not control his temptation for the sake of Allah, except that Allah rewards him by entering him into Paradise."

And may Allah bless our master Muhammad, the Prophet and his progeny.