We end our book with the same subject that we have begun with; the imamate after the Prophet (S) because of its importance near Allah and His Messenger and because of its necessity to the umma in its religion and life and because of that the Prophet (S) has spared no effort to fix it for the sake of Allah the Almighty and for the sake of his umma.
He, who has been aware of the way of the Prophet (S) in establishing the state of Islam since the first step, would find that Imam ‘Ali (as) was his vizier, his partner in his affairs, his supporter against his enemies, the container of his knowledge, the heir of his wisdom, his guardian and the caliph after him.
He who has pondered on the Prophet’s sayings and doings in his travel and residing, would find that many of them have declared these matters since the advent of the mission until the last day of his holy life. The Prophet (S) continued to declare these meanings in his wise manner throughout the twenty-three years he had been sent as a prophet until he left to the better world. He praised the virtues of Imam ‘Ali (as), mentioned his high position and glorified his personality on every occasion.
The Prophet (S) declared the important position of Imam ‘Ali (as) in a clear text since the first days of prophethood and before the mission has been spread openly in Mecca when he warned his close relatives at the time of his uncle Sheikh al-Bat~ha’ Abu Talib. He had said to them in the house of Abu Talib while putting his hand on the neck of Imam ‘Ali (as), who was the youngest one among the relatives then: “This (Ali) is my brother, my guardian and my caliph among you. You are to listen to him and to obey him…” 1
Since then the Prophet (S) kept on referring to the caliphate of Imam ‘Ali (as) after him sometimes in clear texts like his saying to Imam ‘Ali (as) when he had left him on Medina during the battle of Tabook “I should not go unless you remain as my caliph” 2 and sometimes in more special meanings like his saying when Burayda has complained against Imam ‘Ali (as) “Do not get involved with Ali! He is from me and I am from him and he will be your guardian after me.” It has been mentioned by Ahmad bin Hanbal in this way.
An-Nassa’iy has mentioned the tradition in this way: “O Burayda, do not offend Ali! He is from me and I am from him and he will be your guardian after me.”
At-Tabarani mentioned the tradition in details that the Prophet (S) had said: “Why do some people disparage Ali? He, who hates Ali, hates me and he, who turns away from Ali, turns away from me. Ali is from me and I am from him. He has been created from my clay and I have been created from the clay of Abraham but I am better than Abraham;
“..a progeny one from the other and Allah is Hearing, Knowing (3:34).
O Burayda, have you not known that Ali deserves more than the bondmaid he has taken? He will be your guardian after me.”
Imran bin Husayn narrated: “Four of the Prophet’s companions have agreed to complain of Ali to the Prophet (S). One of them said: “O Messenger of Allah, have you not seen that Ali had done so and so?” The Prophet (S) paid no attention to him. The second one said the same to the Prophet (S) and the Prophet (S) paid no attention to him. The third one said the same and the Prophet (S) paid no attention to him. The fourth one said the same. The Prophet (S) became very angry and he said: “What do you want from Ali? Ali is from me and I am from him and he will be the guardian of every believer after me.”
Wahab bin Hamza said - as in al-Isaba, biography of Wahab: “Once I travelled with Ali and I found that he somehow had turned away from me. When I came back I mentioned Ali to the Prophet (S) and I criticized him. The Prophet (S) said to me: “Do not say this about Ali because he will be your guardian after me.”
At-Tabarani mentioned this tradition of Wahab in al-Kabeer but he said: “…do not say this about Ali because he is the worthiest of the people for being your guardian after me.” 3
The Prophet (S) might have entrusted some of his sincere companions such as Salman al-Farisi with his sayings about appointing Imam ‘Ali (as) as his successor. At-Tabarani mentioned (from Salman) in al-Kabeer that the Prophet (S) had said: “My guardian, the keeper of my secrets, the best one whom I leave after me, the one, who executes my promises and pays my debts, is Ali bin Abi Talib.”
And the Prophet (S) might have distinguished some of those, who had diseases in their hearts such as Burayda, with his special saying about Imam ‘Ali (as). Muhammad bin Hameed ar-Razi mentioned from Burayda that the Prophet (S) had said: “Every prophet has had a guardian and heir. My guardian and heir is Ali bin Abi Talib.”
And like Anas bin Malik who narrated, as mentioned in Hilyatul Awliya’ by Abu Na’eem, that the Prophet (S) had said to him: “O Anas, the first one, who will come to you from this door, is the imam of the pious, the master of the Muslims, the guarder of the religion, the last of the guardians and the leader of the bright-faced people of Paradise.” Anas said: “Then Ali came and the Prophet (S) got up delightedly and embraced him. The Prophet (S) said to him: “You carry out my affairs instead of me, convey to the people my orders and explain to them what they disagree on after me.” 4
Anas also narrated that he had heard the Prophet (S) saying: “I and Ali are proofs before the umma on the day of resurrection.” 5
The Prophet (S) had also entrusted some virtuous women with such traditions like his wife Umm Salama, his uncle’s wife Umm al-Fadhl, Asma’ bint Umays, Umm Sulaym al-Ansariya and their likes. He had also declared this matter (Ali’s right in leading the umma) from above his minbar.
He had revealed it to some of his companions in al-Baqee’ and hinted at it on the day of brotherhood in Mecca before the hijra and the other time in Medina on the day of brotherhood between the Muhajireen and the Ansar. In both occasions the Prophet (S) had taken Imam Ali (S) as his brother preferring him to the all other Muslims saying to him: “You are to me as Aaron was to Moses but there will be no prophet after me.”
Such the Prophet (S) had done when he had closed all the doors of the companions leading to the mosque except the door of Imam ‘Ali (as). 6
The first caliph Abu Bakr narrated that the Prophet (S) had said: “Ali to me is as my position near Allah.” 7
The Prophet (S) had said: “My hand and Ali’s hand are the same in justice.” 8
The Prophet (S) had interpreted the verse (7) of the “the warner and the guide” mentioned in the sura of ar-Ra’d (13) by saying: “I am the warner and Ali is the guide. O Ali, by you the people will be guided after me.” 9
The Prophet (S) had said: “Ali to me is as my head to my body.” 10
He had also said: “Ali is with the Qur'an and the Qur'an is with Ali; they do never separate until they will come to me at the pond (in Paradise).” 11
The Prophet (S) had also said: “I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gate and whoever wants to get knowledge has to come through the gate.” 12
The Prophet (S) had said: “I am the house of wisdom and Ali is its gate.” 13
He had also said: “O Ali, you explain to my umma what they will disagree on after me.” 14
He had also said: “He, who obeys me, obeys Allah and he, who disobeys me, disobeys Allah. He, who obeys Ali, obeys me and he, who disobeys Ali, disobeys me.” 15
There are many other traditions like these ones talking about the same meaning even if their wordings are somehow different. These traditions have given Imam ‘Ali (as) a position near the Prophet (S) that no prophet can give except to the guardian and the caliph after him. This is the meaning of the traditions that comes to mind according to the rules of the language.
There are other true traditions that have given Imam ‘Ali (as) and the infallible imams after him the position of the caliphate after the Prophet (S) and have imposed on the umma to obey them. The Prophet (S) has bound the umma with the two ropes (the Qur'an and the Prophet’s family) and tied the umma; the scholars and the ignorants, the free and the slaves, the rulers and the public to the two weighty things until the Day of Resurrection. He has not excluded any one of the umma; neither Abu Bakr, nor Umar, nor Othman, nor and nor… whether men or women…the two weighty things are the Book of Allah and the infallible imams (S) of the Prophet’s progeny.
The Prophet (S) has warned all of his umma of being deviated from the truth if they would not keep to these two weighty things and he has told them that these two weighty things would never separate and the earth would never be empty of them until they would come to him at the pond (in Paradise) and by this the truth has shone and there would be no way for suspicion. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.
The Prophet (S) was not satisfied with the traditions of “the two weighty things”. He compared his progeny once to the Ark of Noah, that whoever boards it is rescued and whoever lags behind it drowns, and another time to the Gate of Hitta of the Israelites that whoever enters into it is forgiven. The Prophet (S) has considered his progeny as safety for the people of the earth that would keep them safe from disagreement so that whenever a tribe opposed them (the Prophet’s progeny), it would be the party of Iblis.
The Prophet (S) had spared no effort to bind his umma to obey his progeny and to follow them. He excluded no one of the umma from that.
How could any of the umma have an excuse to turn away from Ahlul Bayt (as) after they have become as the Ark of Noah and as the Gate of Hitta and after they have been the equal of the Qur'an that no Muslim could find a substitute for them?
Someone might say: How could the Prophet’s companions, if the Prophet (S) had determined something, contradict his order? Why did ‘Ali (as) not try to get his promised right? Why did he not dispute or asked for his right? Why did he keep to his house throughout the period of the rule of the three caliphs and he always was loyal in advising them? What would the Shia say about the Prophet’s saying “My umma will never agree unanimously on deviation or untruth”? Why did ‘Ali (as) and his followers of the Hashemites or other than the Hashemites not protest against the homage on the Day of as-Saqeefa? Why had the caliphate of ‘Ali (as) not been revealed by Allah in a clear verse like the verses of monotheism, prophethood, justice and resurrection?
The answer: as for their (the companions’) contradicting the prophetic traditions, you have known this well from this book and the many occasions of their contradictions have been shown too clearly.
The conduct of the changeable people of politics and ambition and their followers from among the Prophet’s companions have showed us that they have followed the prophetic traditions concerning the mere affairs of obligations such as the prayer which should be towards the qiblah and fasting which should be in Ramadan and the likes but as for the traditions concerning the affairs of politics such as caliphate, emirate, managing the affairs of the state and the rule, they thought that following these traditions was not necessary and they often followed their own opinions as we have detailed that in our books al-Muraja’at and al-Fusool al-Muhimma. 16
As for saying that Imam ‘Ali (as) had given up his right and not asked for it, and had kept to his house, and advised the caliphs sincerely and the opinion of the Shia about non-agreement of the umma on deviation, we have explained these subjects in details in our book al-Muraja’at. 17
As for protesting or not against the homage (of the caliphate) on the day of as-Saqeefa, we have detailed that in our book al-Muraja’at, muraja’a no.102.
As for that Allah has not revealed a clear verse in the Qur'an about the caliphate of Imam ‘Ali (as) like the verses of monotheism, justice, prophethood and resurrection, we refer the questioners to the detailed word in our thesis “Falsafat al-Meethaq wel-Wilaya: the philosophy of the covenant and guardianship” 18 where the truth has shone clearly.
The Prophet (S) had kept on preparing Imam ‘Ali (as) to have his position in the umma since the first days of the mission. He has declared that in different ways until he became ill at the last moments of his holy life. He lay in his room, which was crowded with his companions. He said: “O people, I am about to die and be taken to the other world soon. I have advised you to beware of your affairs. I have left among you the Book of Allah, the Almighty, and my family.” Then he has lifted Imam Ali’s hand and said: “This is Ali. He is with the Qur'an and the Qur'an is with him. They do not separate until they will come to me at the pond…” 19
When the Prophet (S) had been inspired by the revelation that it would be near to him to leave for the better world, he, due to his great care for the matter of guardianship, announced that he would go to perform the hajj. It was the last (farewell) hajj in his life. He left Medina with about ninety thousand Muslims or more 20 besides those who joined him along the way and in Arafa. When it was the day of the stop on Mount Arafa, the Prophet (S) made a speech before the hajjis advising and preaching.
From among what he had said to them was: “O people, I am about to be called (for death) and I will respond. I have left among you what if you keep to, you will never go astray; the Book of Allah and my family. They will never separate until they will come to me at the pond (in Paradise). Beware how you will regard me in dealing with them!”
There were many situations before this one and after it in which the Prophet (S) had bound the umma with the two ropes and the two weighty things (the Book of Allah and the infallible imams). He promised the umma of remaining on guidance if it would keep to these two weighty things and warned it of being deviated if it would turn away from them. He told the umma that these two things would not separate and the earth would not become empty of them.
These situations of the Prophet (S) were not general but his situation on the day of Arafat and then his situation on the day of al-Ghadeer were before great masses of the umma. 21
Before the Prophet (S) left Arafa, he had made a speech before the Muslims who were looking at him and listening with their ears and hearts. He said loudly: “Ali is from me and I am from Ali and no one is to carry out my affairs except me or Ali.” 22
How a great covenant it was; light for the tongue, heavy in the scales! It gave ‘Ali (as) the authority to carry out the affairs of the Prophet (S) as the same as the authority of the Prophet (S) himself in carrying out his own affairs. It was a permission to ‘Ali (as) to legislate the legal verdicts the Prophet (S) had entrusted him with when the people would face problems after the death of the Prophet (S). 23
The Prophet (S) made Imam ‘Ali (as) participate in his mission and entrusted him with the revelation of Allah as Aaron had been to Moses except that ‘Ali (as) was not a prophet but he was a vizier and a guardian. Imam ‘Ali (as) imitated the Prophet (S), followed his orders and carried out all that with which he had entrusted him.
In this wise way the Prophet (S) has declared the matter of guardianship and in these intelligent manners he has spread it among the umma. He has advanced step by step with his different traditions and various manners according to the requirements of the different occasions and conditions of the umma.
He did not close the way of misinterpretation (of the traditions) before the opponents in order not to embarrass them and then they might turn from Allah and His Messenger; therefore he behaved wisely to bring the opponents gradually towards the matter he feared the opponents would deny and this wise conduct was one of his miracles.
In this way the Prophet (S) has decreased their rage and anger and has calmed their nerves. They, little by little, accepted the matter apparently whereas their hearts denied it. This has led the Prophet (S) to fear for the religion and the umma. When he came back from the last (farewell) hajj with the great number of the pilgrims, he felt a great fear inside him. He prayed to Allah to have mercy on him and to protect him from people. When he arrived at Ghadeer Khum, Allah revealed to him:
“O Messenger! Deliver what has been revealed to you from your Lord; and if you do it not, then you have not delivered His message, and Allah will protect you from the people; surely Allah will not guide the unbelieving people” (Qur’an 5:67)24.
Let the umma ponder on this verse with its severe threat:
“O Messenger! Deliver what bas been revealed to you from your Lord; and if you do it not, then you have not delivered His message”
to see that the position of guardianship in their Islamic religion is a little less than the position of prophethood and they both are of the same kind especially after Allah has said at the end of the verse:
“..surely Allah will not guide the unbelieving people”.
Do you not see that the threat in this verse (if not announcing guardianship) is like the threat (if giving up monotheism) mentioned in this verse:
“And certainly, it has been revealed to you and to those before you: Surely if you associate (with Allah), your work would certainly come to naught and you would certainly be of the losers”? (Qur’an 39:65).
If the Muslims ponder on the verse, they will know that the consequences of the threat concern those who oppose announcing the matter of guardianship, and not the Prophet (S). Far be it from Allah to threaten His Messenger! It is like His saying:
“Surely if you associate (with Allah), your work would certainly come to naught and you would certainly be of the losers”.
The threat is to those, who associate other gods with Allah, and not to the master of the prophets (S).
When the verse was revealed to the Prophet (S), he dismounted from his sumpter and asked the Muslims, who were with him, to dismount. He sent for the advanced pilgrims to come back and he waited for the late ones to arrive. When all the people gathered in one place, the Prophet (S) led them in offering the prayer and then he asked his companions to make him a minbar. They made a minbar of the saddles of the camels between two trees to make a shadow for the Prophet (S).
The Prophet (S) ascended the minbar and seated Imam ‘Ali (as) on one step lower than him. He made a speech before the great mass of the pilgrims. He began his speech with the name of Allah. He praised Allah and said whatever he liked loudly to make the all hear him. They directed their ears and hearts towards him.
Here is some of his speech he made on that day:
“O people, I think I am about to be called (die) 25 and thus I must respond. I am responsible and you are responsible, 26 then what do you say?” They said: “We witness that you have informed, advised and striven. May Allah bless you.” He said: “Do you not bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His servant and Apostle, and that His Heaven is true, His Hell is true, death is true, the Resurrection after death is true, that there is no doubt that the Day of Judgment will come, and that Allah will resurrect the dead from their graves?” They said: “Yes, we bear witness”. 27 He said: “O Allah, bear witness.”
Then he said: “O people, Allah is my Lord and I am the lord of the believers. I am worthier of the believers than themselves. 28 Of whomsoever I had been guardian, Ali here is to be his Guardian. O Allah, be a supporter of whoever supports him (Ali) and an enemy of whoever opposes him.”
Then he said: “O people, I will go ahead of you and you will arrive at my Pond (in Heaven) which is wider than the distance between Busra and Sana’a. It has receptacles as numerous as the stars, and two cups of gold and two of silver.
“I will ask you about the two weighty things that I have left for you when you come to me to see how you dealt with them. The greater weighty thing is Allah’s book; the Holy Qur’an. One end is in Allah’s hand and the other is in your hands. Keep it and you will not deviate. The other weighty thing is my family and my descendents. The Most Kind the Omniscient had told me that both of them would not separate until they come to my Pond.” 29
This tradition is true and recurrent 30 but Sheikh al-Bishri (may Allah have mercy on him) said in his argument with me about this tradition: “Trusting in the companions or not requires to interpret the tradition (of al-Ghadeer) whether it was recurrent or not. The Sunnis said that the word “mawla-guardian” was used to refer to different meanings as mentioned in the holy Qur'an.
“Once it means “the worthier” as Allah has said addressing the unbelievers:
“Your abode is the fire; it is worthier of you” (Qur’an 57:15).
Another time it means “supporter” as Allah has said:
“That is because Allah is the Supporter of those who believe and the unbelievers shall have no supporter for them (Qur’an 47:11).
Sometimes it means “heir” as Allah has said:
“And to every one We have appointed heirs of what parents and near relatives leave” (Qur’an 4:33).
Sometimes it means “relatives” as Allah has said:
“And surely I fear my cousins after me” (Qur’an 19:5).
Sometimes it means “friend”. Allah has said: “The day on which a friend shall not avail (his) friend aught” (Qur’an 44:41).
“Also the word “wali” means the one who is worthier to carry out the affairs of someone like saying “the wali of an underage one”. It also means “assistant” or “beloved”. The tradition might mean “Whoever I was his supporter, his friend or his beloved, Ali is the same” and this meaning would comply with the dignity of the companions and the imamate of the three caliphs (may Allah be pleased with them).”
I replied: “I know that your heart does not believe in what you have said and your soul does not accept it. You recognize well the excellent wisdom of the Prophet (S), his infallibility and his last prophethood and that he was the master of the wise men and the last of the prophets.
“Nor does he speak out of desire. It is naught but revelation that is revealed. The Lord of Mighty Power has taught him” (53:3-5).
“If philosophers of other sects ask you about what has happened on the day of Ghadeer Khum by saying: “Why did the Prophet (S) prevent the many thousands of the Muslims from keeping on their ways? Why did he order them to stay in the desert under the heat of summer? Why did he send for the advanced pilgrims to come back and wait until the late pilgrims would join him? Why did he make them stop at that desert without food or water to make a speech before them by the order of Allah at the crossroad from which they would separate towards their countries?
What made him tell them at the beginning of his speech that he would die before long? He said: “I am about to be called (die) and thus I must respond. I am responsible and you are responsible.” What was the matter that the Prophet (S) would be responsible for informing it and the umma would be responsible for obedience?
Why did the Prophet (S) ask them: “Do you not bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His servant and Apostle, and that His Heaven is true, His Hell is true, death is true, the Resurrection after death is true, that there is no doubt that the Day of Judgment will come, and that Allah will resurrect the dead from their graves?” They said: “Yes, we bear witness to that.”
Why did he take Ali’s hand and lift it until the white of their armpits appeared and said: “O people, Allah is my Lord and I am the lord of the believers? Why did he interpret his word “I am the lord of the believers” by saying: “I am worthier of the believers than themselves”? Why did he say after that: “Of whomsoever I had been guardian, Ali here is to be his guardian. O Allah, be a supporter of whoever supports him (Ali) and an enemy of whoever opposes him. Assist whoever assists him and disappoint whoever disappoints him”?
Why did he pray for him with such prayers that did not befit save the imams of the truth and the real caliphs? Why did he make them witness that he was worthier of them than themselves and when they said yes, he said: “Whoever I had been his guardian, here is Ali to be his guardian.”?
Why did he compare his family to the Qur'an? Why did he make his family as the example for the believers until the Day of Resurrection? Why was his family equal to the Qur'an? Why did he say that they would never separate? Why did he say that whoever kept to them (the Qur'an and the Prophet’s family) would be guided and that whoever turned away from them would deviate? What was all this great interest of the Prophet (S) for? 31 What was the task that needed all these fore procedures? What was the purpose behind the situation on that famous day?
What was the matter that Allah had ordered the Prophet (S) to announce when He had revealed to him:
“O Messenger! Deliver what bas been revealed to you from your Lord; and if you do it not, then you have not delivered His message, and Allah will protect you from the people” (Qur’an 5:67).
What task was it that required Allah to stress on it in this way and to insist on announcing it with a kind of threat? In the announcement of what matter did the Prophet (S) fear sedition? Why did he need the protection of Allah against the hypocrites in order to announce this matter?
By Allah, if you have been asked all these questions, would you answer that Allah and His Messenger just have wanted to show the assistance and the friendship of ‘Ali (as) to the Muslims and nothing else? I do not think that you are satisfied with this answer nor do I think that you see it is possible for Allah, the Lord of the worlds and for His Messenger, the master of the wise and the last of the prophets (S).
You are loftier than to think that the Prophet (S) may expend all his determinations to declare something that does not need to be declared or to clarify something that is clear to conscience and sight and no doubt that you glorify the Prophet’s doings and sayings from being despised by the rational or being criticized by philosophers and wise men. There is no doubt that you know the wisdom and the infallibility of the Prophet’s doings and sayings. Allah has said:
“Most surely it is the Word of an honored messenger. Mighty, having an honorable place with the Lord of the Dominion. One (to be) obeyed, and faithful in trust. And your companion is not gone mad” (Qur’an 81:19-22).
Would it be possible for the Prophet (S) to worry himself with explaining the clear things and expressing the obvious matters and to present for these clear things preludes and introductions which had nothing to do with those clear things? Allah and His Messenger are far above that!
You, may Allah assist the truth by you, know that what befitted the Prophet’s position and interest in that hot weather and befitted his sayings and doings on the day of al-Ghadeer was to announce his covenant; to appoint the one who would be in his place and who would be his successor. All the evidences on that day confirmed that the Prophet (S) had intended to appoint the guardian and the caliph after him. The tradition is a clear text determining the caliphate of Imam Ali (S) and it does not accept any other interpretation and there is no way to turn it to any other meaning. This is clear “..for him who hath a heart, or giveth ear with full intelligence” (50:37).
This tradition was not safe from being abbreviated by omitting some parts of it because the authority and the majority at that time were with the changeable oppositionists who were the people of the power and the rule. Nevertheless the remainder of the tradition is enough to show the truth; yet it is wonderful that it has remained! In fact it has remained:
“..that he who would perish might perish by clear proof and he who would live might live by clear proof” (8:42 )
and Allah has the conclusive argument over people!
As for the Shia, they have true traditions from Imam Abu Abdullah as-Sadiq (S) from his fathers (S) that the Prophet (S) had determined clearly and openly on the day of al-Ghadeer that Imam ‘Ali (as) would be the caliph after him and that the Prophet (S) had ordered his companions to greet Imam ‘Ali (as) by calling him as Ameerul Mo'mineen (the commander of the believers). Some of the companions greeted him without saying anything and some others greeted him after they had asked the Prophet (S): “O Messenger of Allah, is this from Allah and His Messenger?” the Prophet (S) said: “Yes, it is from Allah and His Messenger.” 32
The truth has been clarified then and the morning has shone for the seers! Praise be to Allah!
Allah has said: “Certainly they sought (to sow) dissension before, and they meditated plots against you until the truth came, and Allah's commandment prevailed although they were averse (from it)” (Qur’an 9:48).
The opponents did not imagine that the Prophet (S) would take that situation which he had taken on the day of al-Ghadeer at all. When he surprised them with it and carried out what Allah had ordered him to do, they found that opposing him at the end of his mission (after the Arabs had submitted to him and the people had become Muslims group by group) would be useless. In fact they found that their opposition would bring them disasters and ordeals because it would cause their decline especially or the decline of Islam and the Arabs in general and consequently they would lose the aim they looked forward to and the position they got themselves prepared for.
Therefore they found that it would be better for them to be somehow patient and to give up rising at that moment. They decided to wait until the Prophet (S) would leave to the better world in order that their rising would not be against the Prophet (S) himself. Hence they behaved tactfully as possible as they could and they kept to the Islamic rituals and did well in defending them. Allah had revealed to the Prophet (S) about what they had hidden in their hearts and informed him of what they would do after him but the religion must be perfected, the favor must be completed and the mission must be informed of.
“..that he who would perish might perish by clear proof, and he who would live might live by clear proof..” (8:42)
“..and nothing rests on the Messenger but clear delivering (of the message)” (29:18).
Yes, the Prophet (S) had recommended his guardian to receive the people, when opposing him, with magnanimity, to prefer them to his own right, to face that ordeal with patience and reliance on Allah to save Islam from any danger and to prefer the general welfare to the personal benefits and he had ordered the umma to be patient before that ordeal.
Huthayfa bin al-Yaman narrated that the Prophet (S) had said: “After me there will be imams, who will not act according to my guidance and will not follow my Sunna. Among them there will be some men, whose hearts are hearts of devils in bodies of human beings.” Huthayfa asked: “O Messenger of Allah, if I live until then, what shall I do?” The Prophet (S) said: “You should listen to and obey the emir even if he beats you and takes your monies. Listen to him and obey him!”33
Abdullah bin Mas’ood narrated that the Prophet (S) had said: “After me there will be selfishness and some things that you will deny.” The companions asked: “O Messenger of Allah, what do you order us to do if we live until then?” He said: “You should do your duties and ask Allah for what you deserve.” 34
Abu Dharr often narrated: “My friend, the Messenger of Allah (S) has advised me to listen to and to obey (the emir) even if he is a slave with amputated limbs.”35
Salama al-Ju’fi asked the Prophet (S): “O prophet of Allah, if there will be emirs asking us for their rights but preventing us from our rights, what do you order us to do then?” The Prophet (S) said: “Listen to them and obey them. They will be responsible for their duties and you will be responsible for your duties.” 36
Umm Salama narrated that the Prophet (S) had said: “There will be emirs (ruling) over you. You will know (their bad deeds) and you will deny (them). He, who will know, will be innocent and he, who will deny, will be safe.” 37 The companions asked the Prophet (S): “Should we fight them?” He said: “No, you should not as long as they offer prayers.” 38
The traditions having this meaning are many and recurrent especially the traditions that have been narrated from Ahlul Bayt (as).
Therefore Ahlul Bayt (as) were patient unwillingly following these sacred orders of the Prophet (S) and other recommendations and advice that the Prophet (S) had especially entrusted them with to keep the umma safe from dangers, to keep the unity of the Muslims, to prefer the religion to the personal rights and to spare the power of the Muslims. Therefore Ahlul Bayt (as) (as we have said in our book al-Muraja’at and other books) always advised the rulers and the men of authority with sincere advice and gave them their loyal consultations although they felt bitter pains inside them for their lost rights but they always preferred the benefit of the umma and the benefits of the Muslims to their own.
They, although their position had been usurped, always carried out their duties towards the umma according to the rational and legal base of preferring the more important thing to the important thing. Therefore Imam ‘Ali (as) had been sincere and loyal in giving his advice to the three caliphs and in responding to their needs when consulting with him about the different affairs of the state.
When Imam ‘Ali (as) had become desperate of getting his right of the caliphate, he took the way of meekness and reconciliation towards the rulers. He saw his legal throne in their hands but he neither fought them for it nor did he try to remove them from it. He tried his best to keep the umma away from any danger, to guard the unity of the Muslims, to defend the religion and to prefer the afterlife to the worldly life.
He had been surrounded by serious matters and disasters; the caliphate with its legal texts and covenants that called for him with a voice that made his heart and his followers’ hearts bleed besides prevailing seditions that were about to turn the Arabia over, to lead the Arabs to rise and to make Islam liable to be invaded by the hypocrites of Medina and the Arabs of the desert who were hypocrites as the holy Qur'an had said, in fact they were the severest in disbelief and hypocrisy and they were far away from the limits of Allah and His Messenger, besides (at-Tulaqa’) 39 of the people of Mecca, who had hidden enmity and rage, and the other tyrants and enemies of the truth who had become strong and powerful after the death of the Prophet (S).
The Muslims had become like sheep in a winter night between wolves and savage beasts; Musaylama the liar, Tulayha bin Khuwaylid the quack, Saja’ bint al-Harith the impostor and their followers who were ready to do away with Islam besides the Romans, the kings of Persia and the other kings of the world who had lain in wait for the Muslims besides many other figures who were full of spite against the Prophet (S), his family and his companions and full of spite against Islam intending to tear down all its bases and pillars.
They found, after the death of the Prophet (S), that the time had come for them to attack Islam. They wanted to seize the opportunity of the anarchy that had taken place after the death of the Prophet (S) before power and order would return to Islam. Ameerul Mo'mineen Imam ‘Ali (as) stopped between these two dangers; the loss of the caliphate or the decline of Islam. It was natural for him to sacrifice his right of the caliphate for the sake of Islam and for the sake of the general welfare of the umma; therefore he kept to his house.
He did not pay homage until he was taken out of his house by force to pay homage (to Abu Bakr). He refused to pay homage willingly to keep his right and to protest against those who had extorted his right and against their followers until the Day of Judgment. If he had paid homage, he would have had no evidence on his right later on nor would his followers have any authority at all. But by doing that, Imam ‘Ali (as) had kept Islam and the Muslims safe and he had kept his right of the emirate of the believers and this showed his discernment, magnanimity, patience and preferring the general welfare too wisely.
Surely Imam ‘Ali (as) had gained a high position near Allah by giving up his right of such a great and important matter (the caliphate of the Muslims) just for the sake of the religion, the umma and the public benefits. His aim behind doing this was to win the best reward from Allah, the Almighty and to be closer to the Lord of the worlds.
“Glory be to your Lord, the Lord of Honor, above what they describe and peace be on the messengers and all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds” (Qur’an 37:180-182)
and the blessing of Allah on the master of the prophets and the last of the Messengers Muhammad and his pure progeny.
This book has been completed with the grace of Allah, praise be to Him, in Soor 40 on Wednesday, the tenth of Rajab, 1375 AH, by the poor slave of Allah, who looks forward to the mercy of Allah, Abdul Hussayn bin 41 Sharif Yousuf bin Sharif Jawad bin Sharif Isma’eel bin Muhammad bin Muhammad bin Sharafuddeen, whose name was Ibrahim, bin Zein al-Aabideen bin Ali Nooruddeen bin Nooruddeen Ali bin Izziddeen al-Husayn bin Muhammad bin al-Husayn bin Ali bin Muhammad bin Tajuddeen, who was famous as Abul Hasan bin Muhammad, whose surname was Shamsuddeen, bin Abdullah, whose surname was Jalaluddeen, bin Ahmed bin Hamza bin Sa’dullah bin Hamza bin Abus-Sa’adat Muhammad bin Abu Muhammad Abdullah, the head of the chiefs of the Talibites 42 in Baghdad, bin Abul Harth Muhammad bin Abul Hasan Ali, who was famous as ibnud Daylamiyya, bin Abu Tahir Abdullah bin Abul Hasan Muhammad al-Muhaddith bin Abut Tayyib Tahir bin al-Husayn al-Qat’ei bin Musa Abu Sibha bin Ibrahim al-Murtadha bin Imam al-Kadhim bin Imam as-Sadiq bin Imam al-Baqir bin Imam Zeinul Aabideen bin Imam Abu Abdullah al-Husayn, the Master of the martyrs, the grandson of the Prophet and the son of Amirul Mu’mineen, the master of the guardians, Ali bin Abi Talib.
Allah’s blessing and peace be upon the Prophet and all of his progeny and praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.
- 1. We have mentioned this tradition in our book al-Muraja’at with its series of narrators and sources from the books of the Sunni. Refer to Muraja’a no. 20 and 22. Ponder on the Prophet’s saying to his close relative, among whom were his uncles like Abu Talib and others “You are to listen to him (Ali) and to obey him” which has showed that Imam ‘Ali (as) since those first days was to the Prophet (S) as Aaron was to Moses except that there would be no prophet after Prophet Muhammad (S).
- 2. You find this text in a true tradition having more than ten aspects of Ali’s each of which nominating him to the imamate. Refer to our book al-Muraja’at, muraja’a no.26-34.
- 3. Refer to al-Muraja’at, muraja’a no.36.
- 4. Al-Muraja’at, muraja’a no.68.
- 5. Kanzol Ummal, vol. 6 p.157.
- 6. Al-Muraja’at, muraja’a no.32.
- 7. As-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqa by Ibn Hajar, p. 106, chap. 11 when talking about the verse 14 mentioned in this chapter.
- 8. Kanzol Ummal, vol. 6 p.153, al-Muraja’at, p.167, 172 third edition.
- 9. Kanzol Ummal, vol. 6 p.157.
- 10. As-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqa by Ibn Hajar, p.75 part 2 chap.9 narrated by al-Bara’ and ad-Daylami from Ibn Abbas.
- 11. Mustadrak of al-Hakim, vol.3 p.124, Talkhees al-Mustadrak by ath-Thahabi.
- 12. Mentioned by at-Tabarani from Ibn Abbas as in al-Jami’ as-Sagheer by as-Sayooti, p.107 and al-Hakim in his Mustadrak, vol.3 p.126-127 in two ways; from Ibn Abbas and Jabir bin Abdullah al-Ansari. Al-Hakim has proved the tradition to be true with many exact evidences. Ahmad bin Muhammad bin as- Siddeeq al-Maghribi has written a book to prove the truthfulness of this tradition and he has called it “Fat~h al-Melik al-Aliy bisihhat Hadeeth Bab Medeenatul Ilm Ali” printed in Egypt in 1354 A.H. Let the fair researchers refer to it because it has good information and facts. The enemies of Ahlul Bayt (as), who have denied this tradition, have no value near us because they have no evidence in denying this tradition which has become as a proverb narrated by everyone and everywhere. We have pondered on their denying this tradition and we have found that it was out of impudence and fanaticism as Salahuddeen al-Ala’iy has declared by saying: “They have no evidence in denying this tradition save pretending that it is a fabricated tradition.”
- 13. Mentioned by at-Tarmithi and Ibn Jareer in their Sahihs and quoted from them by some scholars like al-Muttaqi al-Hindi in Kanzol Ummal, vol. 6 p.401.
- 14. Mustadrak of al-Hakim, vol.3 p.122. Al-Hakim said that it had been a true tradition according to the conditions of al-Bukhari and Muslim but they had not mentioned it.
- 15. Ibid. vol.3 p.121, Talkhees al-Mustadrak by ath-Thahabi in the same page. They said it was true according to al-Bukhari and Muslim.
- 16. Refer to muraja’a no.84 p.262-265 third edition and chap.8 in al-Fusool al-Muhimma, p.81-85 second edition.
- 17. Muraja’a no.82 and 84.
- 18. From p.17 to the end of the thesis.
- 19. As-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqa, chap.2 p.75.
- 20. As in al-Halabi’s Seera and ad-Dahlani’s Seera.
- 21. Ibn Hajar said in as-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqa: “Know that this tradition has been narrated by more than twenty companions. In some ways of this tradition it has been said that the Prophet (S) had said it in his last (farewell) hajj and in another occasion he had said it in Medina during his illness when his room was full of his companions. In another way he had said it in Ghadeer Khum and in another occasion he had said it after his coming back from at-Ta’if when he had made a speech before the people. There was no contradiction that the Prophet (S) had mentioned this tradition in all these occasions because he had intended to make people take much care of the Qur'an and the pure family of the Prophet (S)…” Refer to as-Sawa’iq, p.89.
Ibn Hajar acknowledged that the Prophet (S) had declared the tradition of ath-Thaqalayn “the two weighty things” in many occasions and that it had been narrated by more than twenty companions. Even if the Prophet (S) had not declared this tradition except in these two occasions; on the day of Arafa and on the day of al-Ghadeer, it would have been a recurrent tradition because those, who had heard it and narrated it from the Prophet (S), were about ninety thousands at least in each of those two occasions.
- 22. Mentioned by Ahmad bin Hanbal in his Musnad, vol.4 p.164 from Habashi bin Junada in many ways all of which were true. Ahmad has mentioned the tradition from Yahya bin Adam from Israel bin Younus from his grandfather as-Subay’iy from Habashi and all these narrators were reliable according to al-Bukhari and Muslim who had mentioned their traditions in their Sahihs. It has also been mentioned by Ibn Maja in his Sunan, vol.1 p.92 and by at-Tarmithi and an-Nassa’iy in their Sunans. Refer to Kanzol Ummal, vol. 6 p.153.
- 23. This is the meaning of carrying out the affairs of the Prophet (S) that Imam ‘Ali (as) was the only one who had been permitted to do. The jurisprudents carry out the principles and branches of the religion as Allah and His Messenger have legislated, the people of Hadith carry out the traditions of the Prophet (S) and the scholars carry out the knowledge of the Prophet (S) but no one has a right to legislate legal verdicts after Allah and His Messenger. He, who ascribes fabricated lies to Allah or His Messenger, will be in Hell.
- 24. The Shia have no doubt that this verse have been revealed about the guardianship of Imam ‘Ali (as) on the day of Ghadeer Khum. The true traditions narrated from our infallible imams (S) are many and recurrent. As for the traditions narrated by the Sunnis, al-Wahidi has mentioned in his book Asbab an-Nuzool, p.50 when interpreting this verse a tradition narrated in two ways from Attiyya that Abu Sa’eed al-Khidri had said: “This was revealed in Ghadeer Khum concerning Ali bin Abu Talib.” The same has been mentioned by Abu Na’eem in his book Nuzool al-Qur'an with two series of narrators one from Abu Sa’eed and the other from Abu Rafi’ and mentioned by Ibraheem bin Muhammad al-Hamaweeni in his book al-Fara’id in many ways from Abu Hurayra. Abu Ishaq ath-Tha’labi has mentioned it in at-Tafseer al-Kabeer. Al-Ayyashi has mentioned in his Tafseer - as in Majma’ul Bayan - that Ibn Abu Umayr narrated from Ibn Uthayna from al-Kalbi from Abu Salih that Ibn Abbas and Jabir bin Abdullah had said: “Allah has ordered Prophet Muhammad (S) to present Ali before the people and to inform them of his guardianship. The Prophet (S) feared that the people might say that he had favored his cousin or they would criticize him. Allah revealed to him this verse and then he announced the guardianship of Ali on the day of Ghadeer Khum.” In Majma’ul Bayan it has been mentioned: “This very tradition has been narrated to us by Abul Hamd from al-Hakim Abul Qasim al-Hasakani from Abu Umayr in the book Shawahid at-Tanzeel li-Qawa’id at-Tafseel wet-Ta’weel. It has also been mentioned in Majma’ul Bayan that Hayyan bin Ali al-Alawi had narrated from Abu Salih that Ibn Abbas had said: “This verse was revealed concerning Ali. The Prophet (S) took Ali’s hand and said: “Whoever I am his guardian, here is Ali to be his guardian. O Allah, support whoever supports him and be the enemy of whoever opposes him…”
What confirms this meaning is that before the revelation of this verse, the prayers were offered, zakat was collected, fasting in Ramadan and the hajj to the Kaaba were performed, the permissible things were clear and the prohibited things were clear, the penalties were executed, the Shari’ah was firm and the verdicts were fixed. Then what was that thing that Allah had ordered the Prophet (S) and insisted on him to announce and threatened him severely if he would not announce? Was it but the matter of the caliphate that the Prophet (S) feared of sedition if he announced and that he needed to be protected from the harm of people when carrying it out?
- 25. He told them that he was about to die to warn them that it was time to announce his covenant of appointing the caliph after him and that he could not delay that for fear that he might leave this world before confirming this task which the umma could not do without.
- 26. Since his covenant to his brother ‘Ali (as) was heavy for the people of competition, envy, enmity and hypocrisy, he wanted, before declaring the covenant, to excuse his situation to reconcile their hearts so he said: “I am responsible and you are responsible” to make them know that he was ordered by Allah and he was responsible to carry out the order of Allah and that they were ordered to obey and they responsible for their obedience; therefore there was no way to give up informing of the order of Allah and that there was no way for them but to submit to the order of Allah and His Messenger. Ad-Daylami mentioned a tradition narrated by Abu Sa’eed al-Khidri that the Prophet (S) had said: “Question them! They are responsible for the guardianship of Ali.” Al-Wahidi said: “They are responsible for the guardianship of Ali and Ahlul Bayt (as).”
- 27. He, who ponders on this speech, will know that it has intended to show that the guardianship of ‘Ali (as) was one of the basic principles (usool) of the religion as the Shia have believed. The Prophet (S) asked them first: “Do you not witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah… there is no doubt that the Day of Judgment will come, and that Allah will resurrect the dead from their graves?” Then he mentioned the matter of guardianship after that immediately to make them know that guardianship was as important as the matters he had asked them about and they acknowledged. This is clear to whoever knows the styles of speech in the language.
- 28. It means: (Allah is worthier of me than myself and I am worthier of the believers than themselves and whoever I am worthier of him than himself , Ali is worthier of him than himself).
- 29. Such it has been mentioned by at-Tabari, Ibn Jareer, al-Hakim and at-Tarmithi from Zayd bin Arqam. Many other scholars have mentioned the tradition from Zayd bin Arqam in the same way mentioned above such as Ibn Hajar al-Haythami in as-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqa, chap.5 p.25.
- 30. We have proved the truthfulness of this tradition in our book al-Muraja’at, muraja’a no.56 with true evidences.
- 31. Glory and praise be to Allah! How wonderful the result of this great interest was! As the Prophet (S) had put ‘Ali (as) and the infallible imams (S) of his progeny in the same position of the Qur'an and as its equal in the scales that they had the right to order, to forbid, to judge and to be the leaders of the people, but we found that they had become among the rabble of Taym, Adiy, Aal Abul Aas and the likes without having any role in managing the affairs of the umma! The authority was among other than them! Alas! They had become victims and captives drawn with their ties to the mosque of Damascus before the sights and the hearings of the Muslims who neither denied that nor did they feel sorry for them!
- 32. Refer to Usool al-Kafi by Muhammad bin Ya’qoob al-Kulayni.
- 33. Sahih of Muslim, vol.2 p.120 and other books of Hadith. He, who knows what has befallen upon the Muslims after the death of the Prophet (S), recognizes that that time was not for dispute and nothing could be done save being patient before the harm because the disputes would lead to the decline of the Muslims.
- 34. Sahih of Muslim, vol.2 p.18.
- 35. Ibid. vol.2.
- 36. Ibid. vol.2 p.119.
- 37. It means: he, who knows the abominable (impermissible) doings and he is not in doubt about them, will be innocent of their sin and punishment because he can change those abominable doings with his hand or tongue but if he is unable to do that, he can hate those doings and deny them with his heart.
- 38. Sahih of Muslim, vol.2 p.122. Praise be to Allah! This is the end of our comments on the book “An-Nass wel-Ijtihad” by the poor slave of Allah and the son of His two slaves, the guilty and the mistaken Abdul Husayn Sharafuddeen al-Musawi al-Aamily. Praise be to Allah first and last and blessing and peace be upon Muhammad and his progeny.
- 39. They were the polytheists of Mecca. The Prophet (S) had forgiven them and set them free when conquering Mecca and then they became Muslims unwillingly.
- 40. A city in Lebanon.
- 41. Bin and ibn mean “son of”.
- 42. Related to the progeny of Abu Talib.