Twelfth Assembly

Met on Saturday, 12th Rajab, in the year 407 Hijra, in which the following was heard. Our grand Sheikh Abu Abdillah Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn al-Nu’man, may Allah perpetuate His support to him, narrated:

1. The best act is faith unblemished by doubt

He said: Abu Hafs Umar ibn Muhammad al-Sayrafi reported to me from Abul Hasan ‘Ali ibn Mahrawayh al-Qazwini, in the year 302, reporting from Dawood ibn Suleiman al-Ghazi, that ‘Ali ibn Musa, peace be upon him, reported from his saintly father Musa ibn Ja'far, from his father al-Sadiq Ja'far ibn Muhammad, from his father al-Baqir Muhammad ibn ‘Ali, from his father Zainul Abideen ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn, from his father al-Shaheed Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali, from his father Amirul Mu’mineen ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, peace be upon them all, that:

The Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, said: "The best act in the estimation of Allah, is to have faith unblemished by any doubt, and to fight in His way, without being dishonest about the spoils, and to perform Hajj, which is accepted into the grace of Allah. And the slave who worships Allah in the best manner, remains sincere to his master and the one who is chaste, incorruptible and worshipful, will be the first to enter Paradise."

2. Submiting to those possessing worldly authority

He said: Abul Hasan Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn al-Hasan reported to me from his father, from Sa'd ibn Abdillah, from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Isa, from al-Hasan ibn Mahboob, from Hadeed ibn Hakeem al-Azadi who said:

I have heard Abu Abdillah Ja'far ibn Muhammad, peace be upon him say: "Guard yourselves from the sins fearing Allah and protect your religion with piety. And lend it strength by dissimulation (where necessary) and by relying solely on Allah for your needs, rather than on those who possess worldly power.

And know you all, that whoever submits to the one possessing worldly authority, or to the one who is opposed to his faith, in order to gain something from his transitory bounties, Allah will weaken his force, subject him to His utter displeasure and entrust all his affairs to that person. And, if at all he acquires something from that man, Allah will not bless that gain with His benediction and will not reward him from whatever he spends for Hajj, or for freeing a slave or for any good deed."

3. ‘Ali (as) explains his stand at Jamal

He said: Abul Hasan ‘Ali ibn Bilal al-Mahalabi - may Allah bless him with His mercy, reported to me on Friday, of the last two days of Sha'ban, in the year 353, from Muhammad ibn al-Hussain ibn Hameed ibn al-Rabee' al-Lakhmi, reporting from Suleiman ibn al-Rabee' al-Nahdi, who reported from Nasr ibn Mazahim al-Munqari, who reported from Yahya ibn Ya'la al-Aslami, who reported from ‘Ali ibn al-Huzawwar, from Al-Asbagh ibn Nubatah - may Allah bless him with His mercy, that once a man called upon Amirul Mu’mineen ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (A.S.) at Basra and said:

"O Amirul Mu’mineen, between us and these people against whom we are fighting, the call is one, the Prophet is one, the daily prayer is one, Hajj is one, then how shall we classify them?"

Amirul Mu’mineen, peace be upon him, said: "Classify them the same way as Allah, Most High, has classified them in His Book. Have you not heard the verse:

'Those messengers We excel some above the others, among them is he to whom Allah spoke, and some He raised in rank, and We gave Jesus the son of Mary the clear signs and strengthened him with the holy spirit.

And if Allah had pleased, those who came after them would not have fought one against the other, after the clear signs had come to them, but they fell into variance and some of them believed and some disbelieved....'(al-Baqrah 2:253)

So, when the confrontation occurred, we were worthier with Allah, His faith, the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, the Book and the Truth. We are the ones who believed and they are the ones who disbelieved. And Allah willed that we fought against them, so we fought in accordance with His will, His command and His pleasure."

4. ‘Ali (as) mourns the Prophet (SAW)

He said: Abu Nasr Muhammad ibn al-Husayn al-Muqri al-Baseer reported to me from Abdullah ibn Yahya al-Qattan, who reported from Ahmad ibn al-Husayn ibn Saeed al-Qarshi, who reported from his father, who reported from al-Husayn ibn Mukhariq, from Abdul Samad ibn ‘Ali, from his father, from Abdullah ibn Abbas - may Allah be pleased with him, who said:

When the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, passed away, Amirul Mu’mineen ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, together with al-Abbas and al-Fadhl ibn al-Abbas, washed him. And when they had finished washing him, he (‘Ali) removed the wrap-cloth from his face and said: "My father and my mother be your ransom, you have been pure in your life and in your death. With your passing away, there has been a cessation, which has no parallel in anyone else's death; the cessation of Prophethood and the Divine revelations.

You are so exalted that, your death has become a source of solace and consolation for all other bereavements and (at the same time) your death has such a common aspect, that all men all equally grieved by it. And, had it not been that you ordered forbearance and forbade restless grief, we would have shed incessant tears over you. (But deep sorrow and grief, both are too trivial to give any consolation on your parting). May my father and my mother be your ransom, do remember us (well) when you are in the presence of your Sustainer, and keep us in your mind."

Then he fell over him, kissed his face and drew the cloth over him.

5. What Sham'oon, the successor of Isa said to ‘Ali (as)

Abul Hasan ‘Ali ibn Bilal al-Mahlabi reported to me from ‘Ali ibn Abdillah ibn Asad al-Ishfahani, who reported from Ibrahim ibn Muhammad al-Thaqafi, who reported from Ismail ibn Yasar, who reported from Abdullah ibn Milh, from Abdul Wahhab ibn Ibrahim al-Azdi, from Abu Sadiq, from Mazahim ibn Abdul Warith, from Muhammad ibn Zakariyya, from Shoaib ibn Waqid al-Muzni, from Muhammad ibn Sahl, the client of Sulaiman ibn ‘Ali ibn Abdillah ibn Abbas, from his father, from Qais, the servant of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, peace be upon him, who said:

Once when ‘Ali, Amirul Mu’mineen was near the mountain at Siffin, the time for maghrib prayers set in. So he went farther away and called for the prayers. When he finished the Adhan, a man appeared from near the mountain, having grey hair and beard, with a bright, white face. He said: "Peace be upon you, O Amirul Mu’mineen and mercy and blessings from Allah! Welcome to the successor of the last of the Prophets, leader of the ones with bright, brilliant faces, (on the Day of Judgement) magnanimous and protected, excellent one and one who has the reward of the Truthfuls, master of all the successors!"

So, Amirul Mu’mineen, peace be upon him, said: "And peace be upon you, how are you?" He replied: "I am well, waiting for the holy spirit. I do not know of any name, which is greater in the estimation of Allah, at the time of ordeal, than yours, nor of any who has earned more rewards than you, nor of anyone who has an elevated place higher than yours. Put up with all that you are in, O my brother, till you meet the al-Habib (the beloved Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny). Verily, I have witnessed whatever befall our colleagues in the past at the hands of the children of Israel. They cut them apart with the saw and carried them over the bier."

And then pointing towards the people of Syria, he said: "And if these poor, ugly faces know what chastisement and exemplary punishment awaits them for fighting against you, they would withdraw." And then pointing to the people of Iraq, he said: "And if these bright faces knew what award awaits them for having obeyed you, they would love to be cut by the scissors. And peace and His mercy and blessings be upon you." Then he disappeared.

At that time, Ammar ibn Yasir, Abdul Haytham ibn al-Teehan, Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, Ubadah ibn al-Samit, Khuzaima ibn Thabit and Hashim al-Marqal, a group from his followers stood up and said: "O, Amirul Mu’mineen, (for they heard what the man had said) who is this man?" Amirul Mu’mineen said: "He is Sham'oon, the successor of Isa, peace be upon him. Allah sent him to me to give me solace for this confrontation with His enemies!" They said: "May our parents be your ransom, By Allah, we will help you the way we helped the messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, and none from the al-Muhajir nor al-Ansar shall desert you, except the unfortunate one." (Upon hearing this), Amirul Mu’mineen spoke to them kind words."

6. ‘Ali (as) is al-Sadiq al-Akbar among us

He said: Abul Hasan ‘Ali ibn Bilal al-Mahlabi reported to me from Abu Ahmad al-Abbas ibn al-Fadhl ibn Ja'far al-Azadi al-Makki, in Egypt, who reported from ‘Ali ibn Saeed Ibn Basheer al-Razi, who reported from ‘Ali ibn Abdul Wahid, from Muhammad ibn Aban, who reported from Muhammad ibn Tamam ibn Sabiq, who reported from Amir ibn Sayyar, from Abu al-Sabah, from Abu Tamam, from Ka'b al-Habr, who said:

Abdullah ibn Salaam came to the Prophet before he had embraced Islam, and said: "O Messenger of Allah! What appellation does ‘Ali have among you?" The Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, said: "‘Ali is al-Siddiq al-Akbar among us." Abdullah said: "I testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His Prophet. Surely, we have read in Torah: Muhammad is the Prophet of Mercy and ‘Ali is the upholder of Proof."

7. On Free Will and Divine Intervention

He said: Abul Hasan ‘Ali ibn Malik al-Nahwi reported to me from Muhammad ibn al-Fadhl, who reported from Abu Abdillah Muhammad ibn Ahmed ibn Ibrahim al-Katib who reported from Yamoot ibn al-Muzarra', who reported from Isa ibn Ismail who reported from Al-Asma'ee who reported from Isa ibn Amru that Dhur Rummah, the poet, believed that there was no divine intervention in the acts. And Ibn al-Ajjaj believed otherwise. One day, they were together at the governor of Basrah, Bilal ibn Abi Bardah, who knew of the difference in their beliefs, so he instigated a debate between them. Ro'bah (i.e. Ibn al-Ajjaj) said:

"By Allah, a bird does not find out its nesting place and a predator does not find its victim's hiding place, except by that which has been destined by Allah." So, Dhur Rummah replied him:"By Allah, it is not Allah Who guides a wolf to run away with a poor, afflicted man's milker." Ro'bah said: "Then, did the wolf snatch it away by the will of Allah or by its own will?" Dhur Rummah said: "Of course, (the wolf snatched it away) by its own will and desire." Ro'bah said: "That, By Allah, is a lie imputed against the wolf." Dhur Rummah retorted: "By Allah, imputing a lie against the wolf is lesser (evil) than imputing a lie against the Creator of the wolf."

He (i.e. Sheikh al-Mufid) said: Then Abul Hasan ‘Ali ibn Malik al-Nahwi recited for me the verses by Mahmood al-Warraq, following the above narration:

"I am censured (because) I did not commit sins by ignorance,
Nor were they the doing of the other, nor mine,
And I did not do so because of my insolence towards Allah,
Nor because my sensitivity did not get the better of my ignorance,
I committed them with favourable expectation of the forgiveness,
From the One Who is peerless in His graces and favours,
So, if my good expectations are confirmed by Him,
Then in that grace is included everyone like me,
And if He subjects me to the chastisement,
Then that has come to me by way of justice."

8. "Who deserves to be sorry about it?"

He said: Abul Hasan ‘Ali ibn Malik al-Nahwi reported to me from Muhammad ibn al-Fadhl, by his former chain of narrations till al-Asmaee', from Isa ibn Amru, who said:

A man once sought help from Abu Amru ibn al-Ala' for his needs and Abu Amru promised him. But then, it became impossible for Abu Amru to fulfil the promise. Later, when the man met him, he said: "O Abu Amru, you promised me something, but never fulfilled it!' Abu Amru said: "Who do you think deserves to be sorry about it, you or I?"

The man said: "I deserve." Abu Amru said: "No, by Allah, I deserve it." The man asked: "Why is that so?" Abu Amru said: "Well, I made a promise to you; so you went away happy with the hope and I remained worried about its fulfillment. Surely, you must have slept that night peacefully and with delight while I spent the night, thoughtful and anxious. Then the circumstances prevented
me from reaching my intention, so you meet me while I am ashamed and I meet you totally humbled."

9. O ‘Ali . . . your enemies are the army of Satan

He said: Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Umar al-Ji’abi reported to me on Monday, when five days of Shaban remained, in the year 353, from Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Abdillah ibn ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn ibn Zayd ibn ‘Ali ibn Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali Abi Talib (peace be upon him) who said: It was related to me by al-Ridha ‘Ali ibn Musa from his father Musa ibn Ja'far, from his father Ja'far ibn Muhammad, from his father Muhammad ibn ‘Ali, from his father ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn, from his father al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali from his father Amirul Mu’mineen ‘Ali ibn Abu Talib, Peace be upon them all, that:

The Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny said: "O ‘Ali! With you (all) has Allah begun this matter (i.e. Imamat) and with you (all) shall He end it. So remain patient, for the good end is for those who guard against evil, fearing Allha. You are the army of Allah, and your enemies are the army of Satan. Blessed is he who obeys you and woe unto those who oppose you. You are the divine authority over His creation and the strong rope (of Allah). Whoever adheres to it finds true guidance, and whoever discards it, goes astray. I beseech Allah to grant you Paradise; no one precedes you in your absolute obedience to Allah, and therefore, you are worthier for it."

10. An admonisher from your inner self

He said: Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn al-Hasan reported to me from his father, who reported from Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Saffar, from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Isa, from al-Hasan ibn Mahboob, from Malik ibn Atiyyah, from Abu Hamza al-Thumali, who said:

‘Ali ibnal-Husayn Zainul Abedeen, peace be upon him, used to say: "O son of Adam, you will always be on the right path as long as you have an admonisher from your inner self; and as long as you remain concerned about taking your own account; and as long as the fear of Allah and the repentance (for your lapses) remain your apparel. You will surely die one day, to stand before Allah the Most High, (so be ready with your answers)."

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