The Faith of the Imamiyyah Shi'ah

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The book is an attempt to present a general and throughout outline of the doctrines, practices and history of Twelver Shi'ah Islam.

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The Faith of the Imamiyyah Shi`ah Author: `Allamah Muhammad Ridha al-Muzaffar Reviser: `Abd al-Karim al-Kirmani Translator: Badr Shahin Editor: Iffat Shah Project supervisor: Translation Unit, Cultural Affairs Department/The Ahl al-Bayt (`a) World Assembly (ABWA) Publisher: The Ahl al-Bayt (`a) World Assembly First Printing: 2012 Printed by: E. Press Copies: 5,000 www.ahl-ul-bayt.org info@ahl-ul-bayt.org ISBN: 978-964-529-435-7 All Rights Reserved نام كتاب: عقائد الإمامية نويسنده: محمد رضا المظفر مترجم: بدر شاهين زبان ترجمه: انگليسى

Preface

In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

The invaluable legacy of the Household [Ahl al-Bayt] of the Prophet (may peace be upon them all), as preserved by their followers, is a comprehensive school of thought that embraces all branches of Islamic knowledge. This school has produced many brilliant scholars who have drawn inspiration from this rich and pure resource. It has given many scholars to the Muslim ummah who, following in the footsteps of Imāms of the Prophet’s Household (`a), have done their best to clear up the doubts raised by various creeds and currents within and without Muslim society and to answer their questions. Throughout the past centuries, they have given well-reasoned answers and clarifications concerning these questions and doubts.

To meet the responsibilities assigned to it, the Ahl al-Bayt World Assembly (ABWA) has embarked on a defense of the sanctity of the Islamic message and its verities, often obscured by the partisans of various sects and creeds as well as by currents hostile to Islam. The Assembly follows in the footsteps of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) and the disciples of their school of thought in its readiness to confront these challenges and tries to be on the frontline in consonance with the demands of every age.

The arguments contained in the works of the scholars belonging to the School of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) are of unique significance. That is because they are based on genuine scholarship and appeal to reason, and avoid prejudice and bias. These arguments address scholars and thinkers in a manner that appeals to healthy minds and wholesome human nature.

To assist the seekers of truth, the Ahl al-Bayt World Assembly has endeavored to present a new phase of these arguments contained in the studies and translations of the works of contemporary Shi‘ah writers and those who have embraced this sublime school of thought through divine blessing.

The Assembly is also engaged in edition and publication of the valuable works of leading Shi`ah scholars of earlier ages to assist the seekers of the truth in discovering the truths which the School of the Prophet’s Household (`a) has offered to the entire world.

The Ahl al-Bayt World Assembly looks forward to benefit from the opinions of the readers and their suggestions and constructive criticism in this area.

We also invite scholars, translators and other institutions to assist us in propagating the genuine Islamic teachings as preached by the Prophet Muhammad (s).

We beseech God, the Most High, to accept our humble efforts and to enable us to enhance them under the auspices of Imam al-Mahdi, His vicegerent on the earth (may Allah expedite his advent).

We invoke Almighty God’s mercy upon the soul of Shaykh Muhammad Ridha al-Muzaffar, the author of the present book and express our gratitude to Mr. `Abd al-Karim al-Kirmani, for commenting on the text of the book and Br. Badr Shahin, its translator. We also thank our colleagues who have participated in producing this work, especially the staff of the Translation Office.

Cultural Affairs Department
The Ahl al-Bayt (`a) World Assembly

Introduction

In the Name of Allah, the All-beneficent, the All-merciful

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. All peace and blessings be upon our master and guide, Prophet Muhammad, and upon his immaculate, infallible Household. Ceaseless curse be upon their enemies.

My interest in researching into this book, has arisen from the significance of the book itself and the urgent need to release it among the various milieus of society. The best proof of this fact is the great interest shown by scholars, translators, publishers, and cultural and scientific centers in this book, which maybe small in size but is huge in contents. Confirming this fact, too, are the repeated editions of this book in various languages. The following is a list of the frequent editions of this book that I found:

In Arabic:

1. `Aqa’id al-Imamiyyah: al-Muzaffar, Muhammad Ridha (1322–1384 AH), with an introduction by Hamid Hafni Dawud; Najaf: Dar al-Nu`man; Date of Introduction: 1380 AH; Pocket size (120 x 180 mm); Number of pages: 136.

2. `Aqa’id al-Imamiyyah: al-Muzaffar, Muhammad Ridha (1322 – 1384 AH), with an introduction by Hamid Hafni Dawud; Cairo: Al-Najah Publishers, 1384 AH/1361 CE; Pocket size (120 x 180 mm); Number of pages: 126.

3. `Aqa’id al-Imamiyyah: al-Muzaffar, Muhammad Ridha (1322 – 1384 AH), with an introduction by Muhammad Mahdi al-Asifi and Hamid Hafni Dawud; Qum: Dar al-Tabligh al-Islami; Date of Introduction: 1381 AH; Book size: Pocket sixe (120 x 180 mm); Number of pages: 176; second offset printing.

4. `Aqa’id al-Imamiyyah: al-Muzaffar, Muhammad Ridha (1322 – 1384 AH), with an introduction by Hamid Hafni Dawud (with noteworthy additions); Cairo: Al-Najah Publishers, 1391 AH; Pocket size (120 x 180 mm); Number of pages: 126.

5. `Aqa’id al-Imamiyyah: al-Muzaffar, Muhammad Ridha, with an introduction by Muhammad Mahdi al-Asifi and Hamid Hafni Dawud; (publisher is not mentioned) 1393 AH, Pocket size (120 x 180 mm); Number of pages: 135; Offset printing.

6. `Aqa’id al-Imamiyyah: The Reformist Mujtahid Muhammad Ridha al-Muzaffar, with an introduction by Hamid Hafni Dawud; Qum: al-Sharif al-Radhi Publishers; Second Edition, 1411 AH, Envelope C5 size (162 x 229 mm); Number of pages: 136.

7. `Aqa’id al-Imamiyyah: al-Muzaffar, Muhammad Ridha, (d. 1384 AH) with an introduction by Muhammad Mahdi al-Asifi and Hamid Hafni Dawud; Qum: Shukuri Publishers 1371 AHS/1413 AH, Third Offset Edition, Pocket size (120 x 180 mm); Number of pages: 147.

8. `Aqa’id al-Imamiyyah: The Great `Allamah (well-versed scholar) Shaykh Muhammad Ridha al-Muzaffar (1904 – 1964 CE); with revision and commentary by Muhammad Jawad al-Turayhi; Qum: Imam `Ali Foundation (mu’assasat al-imam `ali); First Revised Edition, 1417 AH; Envelope C5 size (162 x 229 mm); Number of pages: 512.

9. Bidayat al-Ma`arif al-Ilahiyyah fi Sharh `Aqa’id al-Imamiyyah: Commentary and revision by Sayyid Muhsin al-Kharrazi; Qum: Islamic Publication Center (markaz an-nashr al-islami); First Edition; Date of Introduction: 1366 AHS/1418 AH; Envelope C5 size (162 x 229 mm); 2 volumes: 1st volume: 320 pages; 2nd volume: 281 pages.

10. `Aqa’id al-Imamiyyah: `Allamah Shaykh Muhammad Ridha al-Muzaffar; Qum: Doctrinal Research Center (markaz al-abhath al-`aqa'idiyyah); 1422 AH, Pocket size (120 x 180 mm); Number of pages: 176.

11. `Aqa’id al-Imamiyyah: The Reformist Mujtahid Muhammad Ridha al-Muzaffar, with an introduction by Hamid Hafni Dawud; Qum: Ansariyan Publications; Fourth Reprint, 1422 AH; Number of pages: 135.

12. `Aqa’id al-Imamiyyah: al-Muzaffar, Muhammad Ridha (d. 1384 AH), with an introduction by Hamid Hafni Dawud; Tehran: The Major Islamic Library (al-maktabah al-islamiyyah al-kubra), Be`sat Foundation (date is not mentioned); Pocket size (120 x 180 mm); Number of pages: 136.

13. `Aqa’id al-Imamiyyah: al-Muzaffar, Muhammad Ridha (date and publishers are not mentioned), Pocket size (120 x 180 mm); Number of pages: 136.

14. `Aqa’id al-Imamiyyah: al-Muzaffar, Muhammad Ridha, with an introduction by Hamid Hafni Dawud; Tehran: Ninawa Modern Library (maktabat ninawa al-hadithah) (date is not mentioned); Pocket size (120 x 180 mm); Number of pages: 136.

15. `Aqa’id al-Imamiyyah fi Thawbihi al-Jadid; Faris `Ali al-`Amir; Qum: al-Sharif al-Radhi Publishers; Second Edition; Envelope C5 size (162 x 229 mm); Number of pages: 227.

16. Bidayat al-Ma`arif al-Ilahiyyah fi Sharh `Aqa’id al-Imamiyyah: Commentary and explanation by Sayyid Muhsin al-Kharrazi; Qum: Islamic Publication Center (markaz an-nashr al-islami); Seventh Edition; two parts in one volume.

In Other Languages:

1. In English: The Faith of Shi`ah Islam: al-Muzaffar, Muhammad Ridha (1904 – 1964); Qum: Ansariyan Publications; 1409 AH/1989 CE; Number of pages: 89.

2. In French: Translated into French by `Abbas al-Bostani; commentary by Muhammad Jawad al-Turayhi; Qum: Imam `Ali Foundation (date is not mentioned); Number of pages: 270.

3. In Russian: Translated into Russian by Translation Department in the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) World Assembly 1998; Number of pages: 152.

4. In Chinese: Translated into Chinese by Sulayman Hi Khwa; Tehran: Islamic Culture and Relations League; 1997; Number of pages: 87.

5. In Urdu: Translated into Urdu by Muhammad Naqvi Najafi; Revised by Muhammad Jawad al-Turayhi; Qum: Imam `Ali Foundation; First Edition; Number of pages: 340.

6. In Urdu: Edited by Ahmad Husayn Naqvi; Qum: Imam `Ali Foundation; 1420 AH; Number of pages: 440.

7. In Farsi: Translated into Farsi by `Ali Ridha Masjid-Jami`i; Tehran: Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance; Publication and Printing Organization; 1380 AHS; A5 Size (148 x 210 mm); Number of pages: 368.

8. In Tajik: Translated into Tajik by Iqbal Strochni; Tehran: Islamic Culture and Relations League; 1997; Number of pages: 212.

Because of summing up, we will not mention the other prints of this book, which have been published by the aforesaid publishers as well as others.

We would like to express our gratitude and acknowledgement to all those who have contributed to this cultural project, especially our esteemed brother, His Eminence Shaykh Dr. Muhammad Jawad al-Turayhi and those who have collaborated with him in the production of the book’s distinctive edition of Imam `Ali Foundation. Our acknowledgement also extends to the eminent scholar, Ayatullah Sayyid Muhsin al-Kharrazi, whose efforts to explain and comment on the book are praiseworthy, and the hardworking scholar, Mr. Faris `Ali al-`Amir, who has not only dressed the book in a new garment but also omitted, added, and re-coined many of the book’s words and expressions. We thus pray Almighty Allah to lead all of us to all that which is good for us.

Because the material of this book is rich, agreeable, and fulfills the requirements and levels of divergent classes of people, this diverse need is divided between various milieus of society as follows:

A. Shi`ite Milieu: This milieu comprises the juvenile and young Shi`ah, including the scholarly youth and teachers, who are at different levels of schools and universities on the one hand and seminaries (hawzah: institutes of religious studies) on the other. A Shi`ite individual strives to acquire materials that enable him/her to achieve self-education concerning the basics of his/her sect and the fundaments of his/her faith in an easy and facile way.

B. Sunni Milieu: Sunnis generally persevere in gaining knowledge of the doctrines and beliefs that their Shi`ite brethren embrace. Normally, a thirsty person tries to drink from a headspring; therefore, Sunnis have the desire to become acquainted with the Shi`ah through the Shi`ah themselves, but not through mediators, strangers, or biased people.

C. Non-Muslim Milieus: Non-Muslim milieus who desire to acquaint themselves with Muslim Shi`ite beliefs also try to gain such knowledge from the Shi`ah themselves through their own words and pens with the hope of saving time and procuring tranquility.

Among matters that have confirmed the need for turning to studying the Muslim Shi`ite doctrines are the events and developments witnessed by the present age, such as:

(a) the blessed Islamic revolution of Iran,

(b) the collapse of the Soviet Union,

(c) the changes that the extremist radical movements (salafiyyah) are facing,

(d) the eviction of the Iraqi Shi`ah and their spread all over the world, and,

(e) the traumatic experiences of the Shi`ah in countries like Lebanon, Bahrain, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Azerbaijan.

Having noticed the significance and the need for this book, as well as the variety of its seekers and their levels, we can now understand the various methods used in displaying it. It was important to consider the up-to-date requirements and the prerequisites necessitated by this age. As is visible in the aforementioned list, you will have noticed that the book was first published as simply as possible. The second edition included further remarks and details. The third edition was complemented by varying additions and commentaries. Similarly, the release of non-Arabic versions of the book stems from the surrounding circumstances and the scope of the need for it. Factors that have a hold over the way of displaying and printing the book depend upon the publishers’ interest in the scientific, cultural, and artistic issues, in addition to their taste and financial potentials.

Noticeably, the aforementioned editions of this book, despite their diversity, do not satisfy its utmost purpose. Some of these editions do not meet with the multi-aspect modern standards inspite of the typographical technical improvements they made. Other editions have not succeeded in meeting the modern scientific needs of indexing and documenting the quotations from the Holy Qur'an, the Sunnah (i.e. the Holy Prophet’s (s) reported words and deeds), and other references that are mentioned in the book; and some editions have not cited the references completely or accurately.

Moreover, other editions have been originally dedicated to scholarly purposes; they therefore comprise explanations and theological details. Although other editions have comprised additional, yet valuable, information, such additions have been even more than the original material of the book. Other editions have also included translations of the book besides its original language.

Undeniably, such explanations, commentaries, additions, and translations involve many advantages, but, at the same time, they have caused the book to lose its purpose, as visualized by the author of the book, the late `Allamah Muhammad Ridha al-Muzaffar, and the foremost publisher, the virtuous scholar, Muhammad Kazim al-Katabi.

As is confirmed by the author himself in the introduction of the first and second editions of the book, their purpose of publishing this book was to publicize its material. However, the book became restricted to a certain class of people. On the other hand, the bigger a book the more expensive and, as a result, its distribution and publishing became limited. Despite everything, we still believe that there must be variety and change in the presentation of the book whenever time and age require it.

In view of that, I have humbly attempted to present this book on the following lines:

(1) I have committed myself to observing the middle state by manifesting some points presented by the author and in hinting at some themes, which, in my opinion, are significant. I have therefore employed brevity in explaining the doctrines, the concepts, and the fundamentals and basics mentioned in the book. I have also done my best to avoid expatiation and elaboration.

(2) I have stressed thesignificance of the principle of proximity between the followers of the same religion (the followers of the different sects of Islam), based on the author’s purpose behind writing this book. A considerable number of reference books trusted by both Sunni and Shi`ite Muslims have been used to classify and document the narrations, quotations, and opinions that are cited in the book to satisfy the readers of all sects. They also show the similarity of Muslim doctrines that unite the followers of the School of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) and their brethren of other Muslim sects. When this aim is achieved, the points of discrepancy between Muslim sects will automatically diminish and the sources of the genuine heritage of Islam will shine forth.

(3) I have aimed at making the reader realize that the doctrines of the Imamiyyah Shi`ah are not extraneous or intrusive to the doctrines of Islam but in keeping with the instructions of the Seal of the Prophets, Muhammad, (may peace be upon him and his Household). He clearly dictated unswerving adherence to the two Weighty Things—the Holy Qur'an and the Immaculate Progeny of the Holy Prophet—. Had it not been for some opportunistic elements who wished to gain individual and family advantages and control the resources of power, domination, and supremacy, all Muslims would certainly have assembled around the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) from whom Almighty Allah removed all impurity and whom He purified thoroughly and made heir to the knowledge of His Prophet (s). Very soon shall all Muslims gather under the (Divinely commissioned) leadership of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a)at the imminent, expected Advent of the Guide of all nations, Imam al-Mahdi (`a), who shall unite all different opinions and spread justice over the east and the west of this globe. Such have come the good tidings from his grandfather, the Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him and his Household).

(4) I have worked on guiding observant readers towards some reference books that grant them an opportunity to elaborate on the topics that attract their attention.

(5) I have notified the death-date of the authors (mentioned in the book) in the margins to facilitate researchers to have an idea about the historical sequence of the topics under discussion. Repetition of such information in the margins of the book will allow readers to learn these dates and, consequently, contribute by teaching Muslims the history of the personalities and famous individuals of their nation.

(6) I have made every single effort to observe accuracy and honesty in citing and documenting all information related to the topics under discussion.

I end with the prayer that Almighty Allah guide our steps towards genuine prosperity and forgive us our transgression. He is verily the All-Forgiver and Hearer of prayers.

`Abd al-Karim al-Kirmani
Rajab 15, 1423 AH

Glimpses into the Life of Shaykh al-Muzaffar

His Family

The family of al-Muzaffar(1) has been known as one of the scholarly and well-versed families of the holy city of al-Najaf since the middle of the twelfth century (AH). Some of the members of this family settled in the al-Jaza'ir Quarter in al-Basrah.

Shaykh Muhammad ibn `Abdullah, the well-versed jurisprudent and father of the author of this book, was one of the well-known scholars and religious authorities (marji` al-taqlid) of al-Najaf where he “grew up and, in the early years of his youth devoted himself diligently to scholarly education. He dedicated himself to worshipping and teaching (religious knowledge) until he became an expert in Muslim jurisprudence (fiqh) and was introduced as one of the skilled researchers in this field. He compiled an estimable encyclopedia on jurisprudence, which comprised his explanations and commentaries on the famous book of ‘Shara'i` al-Islam.’(2) In this book, which he entitled ‘Tawdhih al-Kalam’, Shaykh al-Muzaffar has left no single item of jurisprudence unexplained.”(3)

His Birth

Shaykh Muhammad Ridha al-Muzaffar was born on the fifteenth of Sha`ban, AH 1322, five months after his father’s demise. Hence, Almighty Allah did not decide for this infant to see his father nor did He decide for the father to see his newborn. Shaykh `Abd al-Nabi, the elder brother who died in AH 1337, adopted him and provided him with custody and compassion that compensated for his father’s missed custody and compassion.

Intellectual Growth

Shaykh al-Muzaffar grew up in the religious environment of the holy city of al-Najaf and moved among its seminars, assemblies, gatherings, classes, and schools. He attended the seminaries of high studies and was trained at the hands of major religious authorities and mentors as he grew up in the house of al-Muzaffar, which was one of the deep-rooted learned families in al-Najaf and was under the supervision and custody of his two learned brothers; Shaykh `Abd al-Nabi and Shaykh Muhammad Hasan.

Like the other religious students of al-Najaf, Shaykh al-Muzaffar began his scholarly life by attending the lectures of literature, jurisprudence, fundamentals of jurisprudence (`Ilm al-Usul) and intellectual sciences. In the field of literature and `Ilm al-Usul, he studied under Shaykh Muhammad Taha al-Huwayzi and could distinguish himself in these fields as well as in poetry. Simultaneously, he studied the preliminary studies of jurisprudence (sutuh) and other fields of religious studies under other mentors, in all of which he excelled.

Having finished the preliminary stage, Shaykh al-Muzaffar applied himself to higher studies in jurisprudence, `Ilm al-Usul, and philosophy. He, along with his younger brother Muhammad Husayn, attended the classes of his brother Shaykh Muhammad Hasan. He also joined the classes of Shaykh Agha Aiya' al-Din al-`Iraqi in the field of `Ilm al-Usul, and the classes of Shaykh Mirza Muhammad Husayn al-Na'ini in the fields of jurisprudence and `Ilm al-Usul. He also studied, yet distinctively, the theses of Shaykh Muhammad Husayn al-Isfahani in the fields of jurisprudence, `Ilm al-Usul, and supreme theo-philosophy.

In these three fields of knowledge, Shaykh al-Muzaffar was much influenced by the opinions of Shaykh al-Isfahani, so he imitated his course of research in his book of ‘Usul al-Fiqh in chaptering and indexing the fundaments of jurisprudence—a fact which the author has referred to in his introduction to this book. As is noticed from the accomplished parts of his book of ‘Usul al-Fiqh’, Shaykh al-Muzaffar acted upon his mentor’s private basics of jurisprudence. He also had great regard for his mentor, al-Isfahani, and showered him with the most respectful words whenever he would refer to or mention him and show his love and admiration for him more than any other student who sincerely admired his mentor.

This feeling towards his mentor and loyalty to him manifests itself to the reader from his writings in the introductions to his jurisprudential and philosophic books, theses, and essays, such as the introduction to his book of ‘al-Asfar’.

Shaykh al-Muzaffar also graduated under his mentors in jurisprudence, `Ilm al-Usul, and philosophy although he had his idiosyncratic views, inferences, and researches to which his mentors confessed. In the midst of all that and apart from his remarkable efforts in the schools and faculties of Muntada al-Nashr (Forum of Publishing), he engaged himself with teaching the highest levels of preliminary and higher education in the fields of jurisprudence, `Ilm al-Usul, and philosophy.

As for his clear-cut helping hand in the establishment of Muntada al-Nashr, he dedicated his entire life to developing and building up this forum in various aspects. He thus taught arts, logic, philosophy, jurisprudence, and `Ilm al-Usul from the primary to the highest levels of study, forgetting about his eminent status in the Seminary (hawzah) and his superlative intellectual competence. Many times was he seen delivering lectures in the primary classes of the schools of Muntada al-Nashr, receiving simple questions of the pupils with large-heartedness, prompting them to search, study, and think, and wedging himself in the middle of them as if he was talking to his classmates, not his pupils. Above all, he was distinguished by profundity, accurate gesture, good taste, and prescience as is obvious from his approach in jurisprudence, `Ilm al-Usul, and philosophy.

In the beginning of his scholarly life, Shaykh al-Muzaffar acquainted himself with the sciences of mathematics, astronomy, physics, and prosody.

In the early years of his youth, it once happened that Shaykh al-Muzaffar’s sight fell on an aspect of modern thought he found worth inspecting, so he attempted to open the way to this new culture with others who also agreed with him. On corresponding with some scientific magazines, such as ‘al-Muqtataf’, and other publications, he asked for issues of these papers and copies of books that were engaged in this new color of thought. Afterwards, Shaykh al-Muzaffar carried on in this manner, went along with this innovatory intellectual movement, and received an abundant share of these so-called “modern sciences”. He was greatly influenced by this tendency besides jurisprudence, `Ilm al-Usul, and philosophy.

His Scientific Revenue

Scientific activities, writings, authorship and publication of books—these three endeavors form a significant part of Shaykh al-Muzaffar’s mission and movement. If we add his reformative activities at both the general and academic levels to these three activities, we will touch upon the great efforts that he exerted throughout his lifetime.

In his writings, there is an apparent intermixture of a fine mode of expression, soundness of performance, faculty of composition, splendor of display with fecundity of the subject, precision of the idea, profundity of the theme and gravity of the content. The result is thus a mixture of literature and scientific material that satiates the intellect and satisfies the sentiments of the reader.

Just like the flowing of water, Shaykh al-Muzaffar’s hand used to flow in writing without showing any affectation or artificiality; just like water flowing down a slope, the readers of his writings drifted along with him without anything hindering their progress, since the Shaykh never used useless rhetoric that detracted a reader from the main theme.

Shaykh al-Muzaffar used to deal with purely scientific subjects, such as the fundamentals of jurisprudence, logic, and philosophy, and it was not easy for an author to present them in a literary style or a formal mode of expression. However, Shaykh al-Muzaffar succeeded in combining excellence of expression with profundity of material. The best example of such a combination can be seen in his book of ‘Ahlam al-Yaqazah (Daydreams)’ in which he talks to Sadr al-Din al-Shirazi (known as Mulla Sadra or Sadr al-Muta'allihin) and discusses his premises concerning supreme theo-philosophy with him and receives expounding replies, all penned down in a handsome narrative style.

It is not an exaggeration to say that this book is a big triumph for philosophical writings because the major problem of philosophy is that its tools cannot find styles of writing that can express it suitably. Shaykh al-Muzaffar has thus attempted to make styles of writing submit to the material of philosophy or make philosophy submit to styles of writing. He has attempted to bring together these two things in his book.

Furthermore, the pen of Shaykh al-Muzaffar displays excellence of communication and coordination in the sense that he attempts to make each point of discussion occupy its natural place without losing its private position, which may cause disorder to the areas of discussion and, as a result, confusion may appear to the points under discussion. The best example of such coordination can be seen in Shaykh al-Muzaffar’s book of ‘al-Mantiq (Logic)’, in which the topics of the book follow each other smoothly in a natural sequence without any need to refer the reader to another topic outside the book or another chapter inside the book.

In addition to the other two books of ‘al-Usul (Fundaments of Jurisprudence)’ and ‘al-Falsafah (Philosophy)’, which have not been granted the opportunity to be published completely, Shaykh al-Muzaffar’s book of ‘al-Mantiq’ is considered a revolution in the authorship of books of curricula and a new triumph in this field. We thus pray to Almighty Allah to guide some people to follow the footsteps of Shaykh al-Muzaffar in this domain.

In the books of Shaykh al-Muzaffar, a researcher can easily sense the fecundity of research and analysis, which has become a distinctive feature of all of his books. This feature is clearly visible in his book ‘al-Saqifah’, in which he critically examines the meeting of the Muslims under the shed (Saqifah) of Banu-Sa`idah and the events that took place therein. He analyzes the attitudes of the Muhajirun(4) and the Ansar(5)concerning the question of succession (khilafah) after the Holy Prophet (s), and the situation of Imam `Ali (`a) vis a vis the caliphs.

In his book ‘al-Mantiq’, such fecundity in analysis can be sensed when the author makes use of mathematical signs for the four ratios in his discussion of ‘Division’. Besides this, excellence of expression and cohesion of approach is apparent in every part of this book.

His Poetry

In his youth and once in a while, Shaykh al-Muzaffar used to compose poetic verses, which are marked by substantiality and elegance of style. The reader of his poetry, published in some books and newspapers, can point out charming poetic images and meet novel artistic horizons.

However, Shaykh al-Muzaffar turned away from composing poetry to engage in constructive intellectual affairs.

His Role in Developing Curricula and in Reformation

Having reached the peak in reformative activities in the holy city of al-Najaf, Shaykh al-Muzaffar played an effective role in all the reformative movements that he attended and was the most eminent member of all of these movements. However, the reformative approach lacked intelligibility and methodical thought in treatment despite its effectiveness and its holders’ conviction in the necessity of applying it to the Seminaries.

Thanks to his extensive experiments, Shaykh al-Muzaffar arrived at a perfect conception about reformation and the methodology of study and propagation; and by virtue of the genius and sagacity that he enjoyed concerning such issues, he arrived at the primary roots of the problem. He then invited his brothers-in-faith and sons to cure the roots of this problem.

According to Shaykh al-Muzaffar, the problem needed treatment on two fronts: study and propagation.

As for study, he noticed that teaching in the Seminary of the holy city of al-Najaf was ordered in two stages:

(1) The preliminary level (al-Muqaddimat wa’l-Sutuh), and

(2) Higher education (al-Bahth al-Khariji).

The former level was considered preliminary while the latter was arranged for specialization in ijtihad.(6) The problem is that the nature of the latter stage rejected any transformation or revolution in its shape and contents and it could not be submitted to any specific methodical order. In plain words, study in this stage did not adopt any system and it could hardly compete with the methodical and general definition of study.

Furthermore, due to the nature of this stage, discussions and research could not be restricted or regulated to a certain rule nor exams act as incentives to study and research. Hence, the only stage that could be reformed and required guidance and ordering was the primary stage.

Shaykh al-Muzaffar also realized that the reasons for the existence of such problems were shortage of material and weakness of style.

As for material, a primary stage student of the Seminary of al-Najaf was given lessons that were restricted to studying (Arabic) grammar, morphology, rhetoric, logic, exegesis of the Holy Qur'an (tafsir), Muslim jurisprudence (Fiqh), and fundaments of jurisprudence (`Ilm al-Usul) although there was some expansion in the study of the last two subjects.

It is true that these materials played a major role in the composition and growth of the students’ mental capabilities, but they alone could not promote all their duties of guidance, propagation, preaching, and education. Hence, a student could not limit himself to the material that he received at this stage of study in order to fulfill his duty of guidance and propagation on a wider scope.

As for style, Shaykh al-Muzaffar noticed that, in addition to disorganization in the field of research, obscurity and complication were still prevailing on the curricula given to the student of the Seminary of al-Najaf at this stage of study. This fact would make the student exert great effort in order to understand a certain statement and decode the obscurity and complication that encompassed such statements.

As for propagation and guidance, Shaykh al-Muzaffar discovered that oration and writing were the favorite tools of propagation and propagation for Islam had suffered weakness in these two domains.

As for oration, Shaykh al-Muzaffar pointed out that the current style of oration in al-Najaf was not satisfactory. A Muslim orator would not be able to fulfill his Islamic mission unless he had a sufficient idea about the horizons of modern thought and the methods of experimental knowledge, in addition to a thorough comprehension of the issues of Islamic ideology in such fields as jurisprudence, exegesis of the Holy Qur'an, narration, history, and the like.

As for Islamic writings, Shaykh al-Muzaffar noticed that the religious status of al-Najaf required greater contribution to the propagation of Muslim thought than before, and it should ensure all Islamic propagation by means of writing, authoring, printing and publishing on a much wider scale. Additionally, the ideological aspect, which was the foundation of such campaigns of propagation for Islam, needed to carry with it the principles of faith and reformation in their most obvious shapes to embrace the entire globe and reach every point in which a human being might be living. Nevertheless, the Seminary of al-Najaf was in most cases in no need for materials of writings and research.

On the other hand, it was noticeable that individuality was the feature that distinguished the writings and research in al-Najaf. In plain words, theses and research presented by a writer from al-Najaf were the result of individual efforts more than collective.

A third point is that al-Najaf, at that time, lacked well-equipped printing machines and publications that would befit the fertile scientific material that this city could present to the press.

With complete objectivity and comprehension, Shaykh al-Muzaffar had the opportunity to investigate these conditions in al-Najaf. Meanwhile, he knew that the presentation of this problem would lead to nothing unless honest efforts would cooperate in order to meet these needs. He also knew for sure that negative thinking would be a waste of time and of no use unless there was an establishment to manage the efforts. He also concluded that reformative work under such circumstances would also be worthless unless matched by an objective and comprehensive investigation of the situation, deliberation upon it and gradual treatment.

Shaykh al-Muzaffar had realized all that and thought of it for a considerable time. Having embarked upon the practical aspect of the problem, he pushed himself into the field of performance although he knew that there would be strenuous obstacles to pass in order to continue in this path. The first step was to find a conscientious group of virtuous personalities of the Seminary who understood the surrounding conditions of life in al-Najaf and comprehended the actuality of the huge intellectual mission that was imposed on this city.

On the fourth of Shawwal, AH 1353 corresponding to January 10, 1935, a group of scholars of religious studies, including Shaykh al-Muzaffar, submitted a statement to the Ministry of Interior demanding the establishment of a religious association in the holy city of al-Najaf carrying the name of Muntada al-Nashr (Forum of Publishing). Along with this statement, they submitted a copy of the foundational system of this Forum. After great effort, the Ministry licensed the establishment of this Forum.(7)

Afterwards, attempts were made to organize the study, simplify the curricula, and expand the books of study. Shaykh al-Muzaffar found that the first step in this regard would be to methodize the study irrespective of how important and useful individual study might be. He suggested that a special system of study must complement the one prevailing. Thus, Shaykh al-Muzaffar attempted to achieve a part of the reformation.

In AH 1355, he “put a plan for establishing a high school for religious studies or a faculty for Ijtihad, by starting the first class in which he taught four fields of religious knowledge; namely, Argumentative Jurisprudence (al-fiqh al-istidlali), Exegesis of the Holy Qur'an (tafsir), Fundamentals of Jurisprudence (`ilm al-usul), and Philosophy. The latter would be studied in the form of separate lectures in a plain, easy-to-understand language. Shaykh `Abd al-Husayn al-Hilli volunteered to teach the first two materials, and Shaykh `Abd al-Husayn al-Rashti to teach the two others.

In fact, these two master scholars’ volunteering to teach these materials systematically was one of the most important events in the history of al-Najaf, since it signified such unique sacrifice that history would record in appreciation and admiration for their reformative spirits. In the summer holidays, these classes stopped in order to restart again in the next academic year, but “they refused to restart and none except some of the members of the board of directors knew why they stopped; was it due to coquetry, or weariness, or any other reason that was not expected especially from such master scholars? How rare moral courage is! When it is terribly needed, it absents itself!”(8)

In AH 1376, Shaykh al-Muzaffar finally established the College of Jurisprudence in the holy city of al-Najaf after numerous attempts and long-lasting experiments. In AH 1377, the Iraqi Ministry of Education licensed this college in which the following branches of knowledge were taught: jurisprudence of the Imamiyyah Shi`ah sect, comparative jurisprudence, fundamentals of jurisprudence, exegesis of the Holy Qur'an and its principles, hadith and its principles, education, psychology, literature and its history, sociology, history of Islam, Muslim philosophy, modern philosophy, logic, modern history, principles of teaching, grammar, morphology, and a foreign language.

With sincerity and unprecedented faith, the late Shaykh al-Muzaffar dedicated his whole lifetime to developing this foundation. He used to teach Muslim philosophy and manage the other classes when the other teachers would be absent. At the same time, he worked on preparing the volumes of his valuable book ‘Usul al-Fiqh’ to be taught at the College of Jurisprudence. Besides, he would undertake the responsibilities of management, deanship, authorship, and even writing down the documents of the college. On many occasions, I myself saw Shaykh al-Muzaffar write on the registers of the students or type some formal letters on the printing machine. Hence, this foundation came into being by virtue of the efforts of Shaykh al-Muzaffar who dedicated his entire life to it, built it with the particles of his heart, and utilised all his potentials for it.

That was not everything; Shaykh al-Muzaffar also established other foundations and projects of Muslim culture some of which lasted while others failed to continue. In addition, his movement of publishing and writing that he aroused in al-Najaf, such as the publication of ‘al-Badhrah’ and ‘al-Najaf’ magazines, cannot be underestimated.

He was indeed the pivot and founder of the different aspects of such activities although neither his discourse nor his pen showed any indication of the huge efforts he undertook, except when the question of responsibility was brought up. Then he would show himself ready to declare the responsibility with firm and unshakable faith.

Too many were the occasions on which Shaykh al-Muzaffar delivered lessons to his fresh students, offered advice and directions, or guided them in spirituality and simplicity.

For such a long time, he never showed any sign of egoism since he believed that egoism brings about Almighty Allah’s contempt or causes one to love something other than Him. Shaykh al-Muzaffar’s spirit was too great to take in humiliation and too enormous to quarrel or be hostile. Commenting on his situation vis-à-vis his rivals or, more accurately, the rivals of the Foundation, he says, “More than anyone else, I excuse a big group of those who adopted an opposite stance against our project, especially those whose intentions we trust and who trust ours.”

Such elevated level of self-sacrifice and self-abnegation for the sake of one’s faith can hardly be seen among men of intellect.

I would like to end with the following statement of Shaykh al-Muzaffar, which bespeaks his greatness of character:

“We are ready to offer a new sacrifice and withdraw ourselves from our project once we find others having the desire to undertake it instead of us, especially when such people believe that their involvement in this work will give it publicity. Let them know that we will always be servants of this project wherever we are and whatever shape we take, and we do not intend to prove our good will, since it is unnecessary after all the efforts that we have exerted. The most important point in our view is that this project progresses in such a way that befits the good reputation of al-Najaf and it fulfills its duty completely, no matter how big the price, even if it be our lives. Our lives have no value unless sacrificed for duty. Very frequently, I have repeated that we have only stepped forward a short step for the sake of the objectives of this project.”

Such was the story of a great spirit.

Muhammad Mahdi al-Asifi
Holy Najaf

  • 1. () This section is quoted from (the book of) ‘Madrasat al-Najaf’ by His Eminence Shaykh Muhammad Mahdi al-Asifi.
  • 2. () An encyclopedic book on Shi`ite jurisprudence written by al-Muhaqqiq al-Hilli: Abu al-Qasim Najm al-Din Ja‘far ibn al-Hasan [602-672 AH].
  • 3. () Quoted from ‘Al al-Muzaffar’ by Shaykh Mahmud al-Muzaffar.
  • 4. () Muhajirun (singular: muhajir, migrant) is a title exclusively given to the people of Makkah who followed the Holy Prophet (s) and had to migrate to Yathrib (later al-Madinah) because of the persecution they suffered at the hands of the polytheists of Makkah.
  • 5. () Ansar are the people of Yathrib (al-Madinah) who accepted, supported, and received the Holy Prophet (s) and the emigrants of Makkah (Muhajirun).
  • 6. () Ijtihad is a polysemous term in Muslim jurisprudence. Lexically, it means the exertion of efforts in the attainment of a matter. In the initial emergence of Ijtihad, it took the meaning of dependence upon personal views and issuance of personal judgments in religious affairs even if this would violate the sources of Islamic laws since such judgment would agree with public interest.

    In Sunnite jurisprudence, Ijtihad means the independent or original interpretation of problems not precisely covered by the Holy Qur’an, the Holy Sunnah, and the other sources of Islamic law from the viewpoint of Sunnite scholars, such as analogy (Qiyas), consensus (Ijma`)… etc. In Shi`ite jurisprudence, Ijtihad means the exertion of all possible efforts in the deduction of religious laws from their sources. To sum it up, the concept of Ijtihad in Sunnite doctrine is different from Shi`ite doctrine. Whilst it stands for personal conclusion in Sunnite doctrine, it has its definite principles and fundaments that cannot be contravened and are based upon Divine texts in Shi`ite doctrine. [translator]

  • 7. () Nizam Muntada al-Nashr (The System of the Forum of Publishing), AH 1370.
  • 8. () Muntada al-Nashr; Activities and Expectations, pp. 8-9, by Shaykh Muhammad Ridha al-Muzaffar.

Foreword

In the Name of Allah, the All-Beneficent, the All-merciful

It is a big mistake to claim that one can understand the beliefs, sciences, and literature of the Imamiyyah Shi`ah through the writings of their rivals, no matter how skilled and proficient these rivals may be and how honestly they transfer and comment on texts uninfluenced by fruitless fanaticism.

I say so with absolute accuracy after I have spent a considerable time investigating the doctrines of the Twelver(1) Shi`ah in particular and the Shi`ah in general. After such a time-consuming study in the books of Sunni historians and critics, I could not reach anything focal. Nevertheless, my sincere desire to study these doctrines and comprehend their most important principles was totally dampened, and increased my detachment from the truth. This is because investigating from the books of the rivals of the Shi`ah—the sect adopted by about half of Muslims all over the world—has been totally futile.

My great inclination to seek the truth made me turn my scientific study to the other side, since wisdom must be the object of a believer. I therefore began to investigate the sect of the Twelve Imams from the books of its embracers and to get to know the doctrines of these people from the reference books of their masters and adept scholars and researchers. It is natural that the master scholars of a sect know more about their beliefs than their rivals, no matter how eloquent and persuasive these rivals may be.

In addition, scientific honesty, which is the foremost foundation of modern scientific methodology—the method that I have chosen for myself and made my constitution in all my research and writings whenever I attempt to discover material and spiritual facts—requires complete verification while quoting texts and investigating them carefully. Hence, it is unsuitable for a skilled scientific researcher to rely upon an unfounded basis while investigating the texts appertaining to Shi`ism.

This fact provoked me to study the Shi`ah and Shi`ism from the books of the Shi`ah themselves and to get to know their doctrines from what they had written and said about themselves without addition or omission, to avoid the confusion which other historians and critics had fallen into while judging the Shi`ah and Shi`ism. As a rule, a researcher who investigates a set of facts from other than their primary sources and original habitats has definitely taken a misleading path and a futile course. Such a researcher has nothing to do with true knowledge.

Such has been the effort of `Allamah Dr. Ahmad Amin when he discussed Shi`ism in his books. As he attempted to demonstrate some aspects of Shi`ism, he wrongfully engaged himself in many Shi`ite doctrines. For example, he claimed that Shi`ism stemmed from Judaism, and except for a few of them, the Shi`ah claim that they will not be subjected to Hellfire, and Shi`ism follows `Abdullah ibn Saba', etc. Such claims and others have been proven false and the Shi`ah are totally innocent of such forgeries, since Shi`ite master scholars have refuted them by methods of criticism and contestation. The best discussion in this respect has been presented by `Allamah Muhammad Husayn Al-Kashif al-Ghita' in his book of ‘Asl al-Shi`ah wa-Usuluha (The Origin and Fundaments of Shi`ism)’.

During my investigations about the resources, fundaments, and original habitats of Shi`ism, I was pleased to meet an old friend and a noble Iraqi publisher, namely Sayyid Murtadha al-Kashmiri, carrying some masterpieces of Shi`ite reference books, which he published in Cairo. One of the books that this publisher gifted to me was the aforementioned book of ‘Asl al-Shi`ah wa-Usuluha’, and the book of ‘`Abdullah ibn Saba’’ and some parts of ‘Wasa'il al-Shi`ah’, as well as other books, which are considered reference books of Shi`ite doctrines and jurisprudence.

Today, Sayyid al-Kashmiri has given me a new book written by Mr. Muhammad Ridha al-Muzaffar, the dean of the College of Jurisprudence in the holy city of al-Najaf, which he has written on the doctrines of the Imamiyyah Shi`ah. Sayyid al-Kashmiri, having confirmed his intention to print and publish this magnificent book, asked me to write down an introduction and to reveal my plain opinion about the book.

As soon as I skimmed over the book, I was impressed by the author’s fine compilation and presentation of the Imamiyyah doctrines as well as his lucid performance in the exposition of his ideas. The instant you taste the flavour of the author’s fine presentation of these doctrines through the well-ordered outline of the book and its well-sorted chapters, you will enjoy the splendor of its statements and the elegance of its style. Furthermore, the book generally combines complete utilization, with brevity and concentration on the points that the author intends to convey to the readers, which is the objective of researchers in the books of the Shi`ah. Such being the case, this book is a comprehensive reference that touches on all extremes of the subject matter in a highly concentrated and brief form.

Through my current writing, I do not mean to praise or honor the author but to treat the truth fairly and reveal it before the readers of this magnificent yet small book, since, in my conception, it contains the primary scientific principles which researchers aim at when they depict the facts and attempt to put them where they must be. In view of that, this book will acquaint the readers with some outstanding viewpoints which the author has presented, then filled it with proofs and points of evidence and embroidered it with arguments and instances from the Holy Qur'an, the Holy Prophet’s traditions, or the sayings of the Twelve Imams, (may Allah’s pleasure be upon them).

Undoubtedly, these outstanding views, which I shall provide the readers, will definitely strike the sight of the well-informed readers in the same way as they have caught my eyes, and will attract them as they have attracted me even if the readers will not peruse my introduction to the book. The objectives of researchers and readers are usually the same, because the truth is invariably the same as long as those who communicate with it and build their conceptions on it judge with their intellects and brains, not their hearts and personal whims, and, as long as they act fairly and leave no place for fanaticism in their minds.

One of these questions that attracts a reader is the question of ijtihad in the view of the Imamiyyah Shi`ah. The view inherited from Sunni authorities about ijtihad is that the door of absolute ijtihad was closed after the four master scholars of jurisprudence; namely, Abu-Hanifah, Malik ibn Anas, al-Shafi`i, and Ibn Hanbal. However, the attempts of ijtihad that took place after these four imams at the hands of certain jurisprudents were no more than partial or inner ijtihad that fell under a certain sect or school of Islamic law [madhhab].

Such secondary ijtihad in Sunnism scarcely continued until the fifth century of Hijrah. The ijtihad of al-Ghazzali in the fifth century, Abu-Tahir al-Salafi in the sixth century,`Izz al-Din ibn `Abd al-Salam and Ibn Daqiq al-`«d in the seventh century, Taqi al-Din al-Sabaki and Ibn Taymiyah, the heretic,(2) in the eighth century, and that of `Allamah Jalal al-Din `Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi-Bakr al-Suyuti in the ninth century, were no more than verdicts issued, that had nothing to do with ijtihad, according to modern scientific methodology. More light has been thrown on this kind of ijtihad in my book of ‘Tarikh al-Tashri` al-Islami fi Misr (History of Islamic Legislation in Egypt)’.

As regarding the scholars of the Imamiyyah Shi`ah, they have authorized themselves to act upon and practice ijtihad in all of its aforementioned forms and insist on practicing it resolutely and never closed its door in the face of their scholars throughout the past centuries up to the present day. Furthermore, they make it obligatory upon the Shi`ah to obey the verdicts of a living mujtahid directly after the demise of the past mujtahid as long as this living one had derived his ijtihad—in its origins and branches—from the past mujtahids, and initially inherited it from the Imams (`a).

This view and practice of ijtihad in Shi`ism is not the main point that has attracted my attention and won my heart; rather, what is new is that ijtihad in this manner complies with the developments in life, making Islamic legislation active, vivacious, developing and keeping pace with the laws of time and space. They are devoid of stagnancy that sows dissension between religion and life and between doctrine and scientific progress; the stagnancy that encompasses most of the sects that object to Shi`ism.

In my conception, the big numbers of Imamiyyah Shi`ite writings and the steady increase in the library of Shi`ism are attributable to the wide opening of the door of ijtihad in Shi`ism.

The second view that arouses the attention of the intellectuals and induces them to follow up the unique features of this sect and delve into its issues are the discussions on the goodness and evilness of things: whether a good thing is good in essence, or by reason of its nature, or, just because Almighty Allah decided it was good. Similarly, they discuss whether an evil thing is evil in its essence, or by virtue of its nature, or just because Almighty Allah has declared it to be thus.

When you read these discussions and follow up what the author has stated about the doctrines of the Imamiyyah Shi`ah in this respect, you will notice that they adopt the first opinion about both good and evil. In view of the Shi`ah in general and the Imamiyyah Shi`ah in particular, good and evil are subjective and substantial in things and they have not held such characteristics due to Almighty Allah’s enjoining or forbidding things. Indeed, this course engages the attentions of many researchers and brings about astonishment after long hours of pondering over and contemplating the question.

As for us, we do not find any astonishment or confusion in the matter, because the Imamiyyah Shi`ah, in most of the religious laws, used to act upon the course of reason in the same amount as their acting upon the course of narration (i.e. traditions reported from the ancestors). Hence, their opinion about good and evil of things is the same as the opinion of the master scholars of the Mu`tazilah.

There is one question that I should answer here: Did the Shi`ah act upon the Mu`tazilah or the opposite? The majority of researchers believe that the Shi`ah acted upon the Mu`tazilah in their adoption of the course of reason (i.e. rationalism). However, I can assert that it was the Mu`tazilah who acted upon the Shi`ah, since Shi`ism, as a belief, existed earlier than Mu`tazilism as a belief. Mu`tazilism was born and brought up in the laps of Shi`ism and the heads of Shi`ism existed before the master scholars of Mu`tazilism. I can confirm this as long as we agree on submitting to historical facts and as long as we do not doubt the fact that the advanced party of the Shi`ah began to appear since the age of the Orthodox Caliphs and, indisputably, expanded during the caliphate of Imam `Ali—(Allah may honor his face). No sooner had the Imam been assassinated wrongfully to move to the Abode of the Hereafter than the Shi`ah formed a party opposing all the religious and political parties that appeared in Islam.

Shi`ism is not as it is defined by the dotard, pro-Sufyan researchers who introduce it as a purely traditional sect based on religious mores that are full of myths, illusions, and Israeli-made fables, or having derived its principles from `Abdullah ibn Saba' or the like imaginary personalities of history. Shi`ism—in the view of our modern scientific methodology—is exactly contrary to the claims of its rivals. It is indeed the first Muslim sect that cared very much for both traditions and reason-based principles and could find itself a far-reaching, comprehensive path from among the other Muslim sects. Had it not been that Shi`ism is distinctively characterized by coordination between reason-based principles and traditions, we could not have found such an up-to-date spirit in fields of ijtihad and time and space developments in jurisprudence that are not contradictory to the immortal laws of Islam.

Let me now render a third viewpoint that you might believe to be contrary to the rational methodology to which I have referred in the previous paragraph:

The Shi`ah tend to visit the shrines of the Saints and Imams from the Holy Prophet’s Household (the Ahl al-Bayt) and they perform acts of worship (to Almighty Allah) near these shrines, such as offering the obligatory prayers and holding sessions of (religious) knowledge and ceremonies of commemorating the Twelve Imams. According to some modern Muslim rationalists and experimentalists, such acts are meaningless superstitions. Moreover, some Muslim sects consider such acts to be a kind of atheism and apostasy, especially the followers of Ahmad ibn `Abd al-Halim ibn Taymiyah and the followers of his student, Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Wahhab al-Najdi, the founder of the Wahhabiyyah sect, as well as other contemporaries which I disdain mentioning.

The majority of Sunnis believe as their Imamite Shi`ite brethren that neither those Saints and Imams nor anyone else on this globe can provide you with any help nor ever do any harm to you except that which Almighty Allah has decided for you. In plain words, these Saints and Imams have no influence, use, or harm upon somebody but with the permission of Almighty Allah. On the strength of this fact, the visiting of the tombs of these elite people is only aimed at following their examples, patterning after their morals and wonderful feats, and learning lessons from their life accounts. Such acts are allowable in the view of the two sects—Sunnism and Shi`ism.

A fourth viewpoint that has obliged me to express my appreciation and admiration while I am reading this book is the author’s competence in explaining the doctrines of the Imamiyyah Shi`ah in such appropriate diction that reveals the Shi`ah’s being influenced by the rationalistic methodology. As I have previously mentioned, the reason behind such influence is the Shi`ah’s deep penetration into rational sciences as much as transferring the traditions of their Imams. This can in fact serve as another decisive indication of the substantive relationship between Shi`ism and Mu`tazilism and between the master scholars of Shi`ism and those of Mu`tazilism.

A reference to my book entitled ‘al-Sahib ibn `Abbad’ can obviously make one notice that master scholars of Shi`ism were the same as those of Mu`tazilism and vice versa except a few exceptions. Such relationships attained the climax of mutual understanding between the two sects in the middle of the fourth century of Hijrah in the personality of al-Sahib ibn `Abbad who held the leadership of both Mu`tazilism and Shi`ism in the second half of the aforementioned century during which the Islamic civilization reached its peak.

When the author of this book confers the ‘Unity of Attributes’ upon the Essence of Almighty Allah, he reminds us of the doctrine of the Mu`tazilah who believe in the unity of Attributes. Owing to this doctrine, they have called themselves ‘Ahl al-Tawhid (People of Monotheism)’. Hence, both the Shi`ah and the Mu`tazilah believe that the Attributes of Almighty Allah are His very Essence. In plain words, they both share the same belief that Almighty Allah is Essentially All-seeing, All-hearing, and so on. They thus do not set any difference between Almighty Allah’s Essence and His Attributes—a topic that in most cases confuses intellects and plunges minds into polytheism (ishrak). Undoubtedly, such belief is the result of the most wonderful pondering over the meaning of monotheism.

Shi`ism and Mu`tazilism both agree on the meaning of Divine Justice, as it being incumbent upon Almighty Allah to do only the good and always avoid the evil. Both the Shi`ah and the Mu`tazilah have set such a principle as one of their beliefs only for purpose of guarding themselves against attributing wrong to Almighty Allah—Allah forbid!

The Imamiyyah Shi`ah interpret the following holy verse of the Holy Qur'an, which the Sunnis set as evidence on their belief, with a suitable meaning:

لَا يُسْأَلُ عَمَّا يَفْعَلُ وَهُمْ يُسْأَلُونَ

“He cannot be questioned concerning what He does and they shall be questioned. 21:23”

The Shi`ah do not approve the following poetic verse of Ahmad al-Dardir, one of the master scholars of Sunnism and Sufism in 12 AH, when he says:

One who claims that a good deed is incumbent upon the Lord has in fact done badly.

Nonetheless, I completely excuse them because they, believing in such, have good intentions, which is to avoid attributing wrong to Almighty Allah, even if such wrong is not wrong in reality.

In truth, the Mu`tazilah and the Shi`ah stand together on one side while the Sunnis and Sufis stand on the other, even though each party has its own way of extolling the Perfection of Almighty Allah. In other words, the Mu`tazilah and the Shi`ah have adopted the defense of Divine Justice while the Sunnis and Sufis have adopted to defend Divine Freedom, which says that Almighty Allah has the freedom to do anything—a freedom that is not restricted to anything and is not overpowered by anything. As evidence on such ‘Freedom’, Sunnis and Sufis quote the following holy verse:

لَا يُسْأَلُ عَمَّا يَفْعَلُ وَهُمْ يُسْأَلُونَ

“He cannot be questioned concerning what He does and they shall be questioned. 21:23”

In view of the modern scientific methodology, each of these two opposing parties has its own notion to embrace.

Attached to the above is the author’s opinion about the question of Predestination and Divine Decree (al-qadha' wal-qadar), whether man is or is not free to choose or, as is termed by the Imamiyyah Shi`ah, whether man is compelled to do what he does or has the power to manage his life.

Although this issue is strongly related to the philosophy of Divine Justice, which is almost the same between the Shi`ah and the Mu`tazilah, it is noticeable that the Imamiyyah Shi`ah, specifically at this point, pursue another path, which is between the two extremes. They neither believe in absolute fatalism (jabriyyah) in which fatalists, also called al-Jahmiyyah, believe, nor in absolute indeterminism (mufawwidhah) in which a group of the Mu`tazilah, specifically called al-Qadariyyah, believe.

The Imamiyyah Shi`ah do not agree with the fatalists because to believe that all events are predetermined by Almighty Allah negates man’s freewill and freedom to choose originally and makes man like a toy in the hands of fate or like a feather in the wind. If so, then Almighty Allah’s calling man to account for evil things that man has done will be exorbitant injustice because man has had no choice or will to stop doing such evil things and had no power to stop falling into sin. Hence, the Imamiyyah Shi`ah reject such fatality, because it cancels out the attribute of justice that Almighty Allah enjoys. In plain words, to punish man for doing things that he had no power to stop is like tying one’s hands and throwing him in a sea and then ordering him not to get wet!

The Imamiyyah Shi`ah also disagree with those who believe in absolute power to do things and absolute freedom of choice, because such belief involves that man’s deeds and words are absolutely independent from Almighty Allah’s will and power. Such belief of the Indeterminists involves that man can create his own deeds without intervention of Almighty Allah’s power. Some critics of doctrines have cited traditions censuring those who carry such beliefs. For instance, the Imam (`a) is reported to have said, “The qadariyyah (Indeterminists) are the Magians of this nation (of Islam).”

In view of that, we can conclude that the fault of the jabriyyah (Fatalists) is that they have canceled the justice of Almighty Allah since their belief involves that He calls man to account for things that He has installed in him without giving him freedom to choose. The fault of the Indeterminists is that they have canceled out Almighty Allah’s power over His creatures. Hence, both the parties are extremely far away from truth.

As the Imamiyyah Shi`ah take up the opinion of Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq (may Allah be pleased with him) who says, “There is neither (absolute) fatalism nor indeterminism; rather, it is an in-between matter,” this means that the Imamiyyah Shi`ah agree totally with their Sunni brethren whose master scholars adopt the very same view and state that there is an optional part in man; so, man is neither absolutely compelled to do his deeds nor is he the creator of his own deeds. The most eminent scholar who has adopted this view was Abu’l-Hasan al-Ash`ari.

Moreover, Fakhr al-Din al-Razi has attempted to “philosophize” the harmonization between fatalism and indeterminism; therefore, he is reported to have said, “Man is compelled intrinsically but enjoys freedom of choice extrinsically.” In fact, this saying is too precise to be ignored by the well-versed scholars and those having full acquaintance with the details of Muslim doctrines.

Let us end this introduction with a fifth viewpoint: the Imamiyyah Shi`ah believe in bada' which explicitly means to do something and then cancel it. They have attributed such bada' (changeability) to Almighty Allah and believed in it so firmly that they are reported as saying, “The best ever worship is to believe that Almighty Allah may change an earlier determination.”

Many thinkers have accused the Shi`ah of idiocy and feeble-mindedness as they attribute changeability of decisions to Almighty Allah. Changing (or canceling out) an earlier determination is one of the features of creatures—since to decide something and then cancel it may indicate incidental thinking, or reaching at the right decision after practicing a wrong one, or having knowledge after ignorance (and all these are impossible for Almighty Allah).

As a matter of fact, the Imamiyyah Shi`ah are too far above such accusations that stem from the people’s misunderstanding of bada', because both the Shi`ah and the Sunni have unanimously agreed that the knowledge of Almighty Allah is Eternal and far above changeability, alteration, or thinking, which are among the features of the creatures. The Divine decisions that are exposed to changeability and alteration after determination are those written in the Guarded Tablet (al-lawh al-mahfuz), as is confirmed by Almighty Allah:

“Allah erases what He pleases and establishes (what He pleases), and with Him is the basis of the Book. (13/39)”

To shed more light on the notion of bada' as one of the Imamiyyah Shi`ah doctrines, let us give the following example:

Unhappiness has been decided for X in the beginning of his lifetime, but when X becomes forty years old, he repents before Almighty Allah; so, he is included in the list of the happy people in the Guarded Tablet. In this example, bada' stands for erasing X’s name from the list of the unhappy ones and including him with the happy ones. The Eternal Knowledge of Almighty Allah includes the entire history of this issue, including the erasing and the establishment of X’s name in the list of the happy ones after his repentance. To clarify, Almighty Allah has already known that X would change his behavior and become righteous at that age when Almighty Allah would lead him to repentance.

The doctrine of bada' in which the Imamiyyah Shi`ah believe is only the issue of passing judgments according to the apparent aspect of Almighty Allah’s deeds towards His creatures as it is required by His Wisdom. In other words, bada' is the judgment that is passed on the basis of the apparent deed as is seen by us. By virtue of this definition, the wrong judgment that has been aroused by those who have found fault with the Shi`ah concerning their belief in this doctrine has in fact sprung from their false claim that the Shi`ah attribute changeability (or bada') to the Eternal Knowledge of Almighty Allah, not to the records of the Guarded Tablet.

The clear-cut presentation of the reality of bada' as believed by the Imamiyyah Shi`ah, will enable the reader to comprehend the validity of bada' as one of the doctrines of the Imamiyyah Shi`ah and the profundity of their acceptance of bada'. In my opinion, it means that Almighty Allah develops His creatures according to the prerequisites of the environment and time that He creates them in. In fact, bada' explains the need for repealing (nasikh) and repealed (mansukh) verses in the Holy Qur'an. For example, the forbidding of intoxicants being revealed progressively shows that Almighty Allah wished to treat the crookedness of the human soul step by step, and then rescue it from the drastic chains of habit, and help it achieve righteousness. Had Almighty Allah declared the forbiddance of intoxicants at once, souls would certainly have suffered much hardship. This is the belief of bada' that is adopted by the Imamiyyah Shi`ah.

I am pleased to inform that I have decided to bring the Muslim sects closer in a single book in which I hope, by the guidance of Almighty Allah, that I will be able to clarify the extent of agreement among these sects in essence and objectives even if they seem to be different in appearance and methods.

Finally, I do congratulate the author on the success that he has achieved in combining the reason-based principles with the reported traditions while presenting the doctrines of the Imamiyyah Shi`ah and on the doctrinal culture that he has offered to the readers with great skill through evidence combined with presentation. This is sufficient for anyone who thinks and ponders.3

  • 1. () The Twelver Shi`ah are those Shi`ites acknowledging twelve Imam as their orthodox leaders and guides whose Imamate (i.e. leadership) has been commissioned by Almighty Allah through many Divine texts.
  • 2. () A big number of Sunni master scholars have decided Ibn Taymiyah is a heretic, while Sufis have unanimously agreed on it. Many contests on various aspects of jurisprudence and doctrine used to take place between Taqi al-Din al-Sabaki and Ibn Taymiyah. Refer to my book, ‘Tarikh al-Tashri` al-Islami fi Misr (History of Islamic Legislation in Egypt)’.
  • 3. Dr. Hamid Hafni Dawud: Professor of Arabic Literature in the College of Languages; Supervisor of Islamic Studies at Aligarah University, India.

Preface to the Second Edition

It is now ten years since this small book was first published. Throughout these years, I could not find any reason that might prompt me to change my conviction that this book has come to meet the public need for demonstrating and corroborating the doctrines of the Imamiyyah Shi`ah. Furthermore, I have hit upon matters that encouraged me to republish it, hoping that it had hit its target and fulfilled the purpose of its publishing, which was an attempt to remove the overcast that has come between the two major Muslim sects, the Sunnah and the Shi`ah, for ages. It was also an attempt to remove the dust from the scraps of ancient times that concealed the true Islamic doctrines.

I am certain that the idea of approximating the Muslim sects has become an urgent need and a sublime objective for every Muslim individual who eagerly intends good for his religion no matter what his sectarian inclination is and what opinion he carries about the doctrinal leftovers. Of course, in the domain of approximating the Muslim sects, there is nothing better than that the adopters of each belief undertake the mission of clarifying their doctrines and revealing their treasures and facts.

In my conception, this is the soundest way to give the most accurate idea about each sect and the nearest to understanding the most accurate aspects of the notion that each sect carries.

Responding to the desire of my most beloved brother, Sayyid Murtadha al-Kashmiri, the virtuous who had devoted his life to working for the sake of Almighty Allah, I have reviewed this thesis and inserted some corrections and additions as much as my time, that is overcrowded with problems, has permitted me to do. I have also proofread the first edition in order to mark and correct the clerical and non-clerical slips so that I could provide them to the press, hoping that Almighty Allah would guide me to achieve the pursued objective and arriveon the path of righteousness and truth. Verily, Almighty Allah is the best Besought of all.

The Author
Shawwal 21, 1380 AH

Preamble

All praise and thanks be to Allah, and all peace and blessings be upon Muhammad, the best of humankind, and upon his Household, the Guides.

As I wrote down these doctrines, my one and only objective was to record a summary of what I had concluded through my understanding of the Muslim doctrines according to the approach of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a).

I have recorded this summary without using proofs and points of evidence or supportive texts reported from the Holy Imams (`a) in most cases, so that a beginner, a student, and a scholar will all avail themselves of it. I have entitled it, ‘`aqa'id al-shi`ah (Doctrines of the Shi`ah)’. By shi`ah, I mean the Twelver Imamiyyah Shi`ah in particular.

In AH 1363, I recorded these papers in an effort to deliver them as regular lectures in the College of Muntada al-Nashr for Religious Studies so that I could use them as a preamble for the higher level of researchers of theology.

At that time, I succeeded in delivering many of these papers without preparing them in book form for publishing and public reading. Consequently, I ignored these scattered papers just like many of the lectures and lessons that I used to write down under these circumstances, especially the ones pertaining to doctrines and theology.

This year, however, after the elapse of eight years, the noble and virtuous Mr. Muhammad Kazim al-Katabi—may Allah keep him under His custody—awakened my desire to review these papers and compile them as a brief thesis in book form with an attached series and publish them. The need arose when many accusations were being leveled at the Imamiyyah Shi`ah, especially by some modern writers in Egypt and other countries, who were using their pens to wage vehement campaigns against the Shi`ah and the doctrines of Shi`ism owing to their ignorance, or pretended ignorance of the religious methods of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a).

They united their efforts to abuse the truth and publicize ignorance among the readers of their books in order to sow dissension among Muslims, arouse rancor and malice in their hearts, and even set Muslims against each other. A well-informed person cannot neglect the urgent need for approximation between the opposing Muslim sects to bury their rancor, especially in the present times, even if we cannot unite them and bring them under one pen.

Unfortunately, I have to admit that we will never be able to achieve unity through such modest attempts, which we have already tried with writers like Dr. Ahmad Amin and his group who call for disunity. Our demonstration of the doctrines of the Imamiyyah Shi`ah has not increased anything except stubbornness in such writers and our drawing their attention to the truth has not increased anything in them except obduracy in wrong.

We would not have cared for such people had it not been that we fear that the simple-minded people would be deceived by such offensive attacks and arouse their rancor and malice against their brethren. Whatever the case may be, I only hope that truth-seekers would find useful material in this book and I would thus serve not only Islam but also entire humanity. I have arranged this thesis in an introduction and a number of chapters, seeking success from none save Almighty Allah.

Muhammad Ridha al-Muzaffar
Holy Najaf, Iraq
Jumada al-Akhirah 27, 1370 AH

Prelude:Ijtihad and Taqlid

Necessity of Seeking Knowledge

We believe that since Almighty Allah has endowed us with the faculty of thinking and gifted us intellects, He has ordered us to ponder over His creation, to note with care the signs of His making, and to meditate on His wisdom and His excellently perfect planning in His signs in the horizons and in ourselves. He has thus said (in the Holy Qur'an):

سَنُرِيهِمْ آيَاتِنَا فِي الْآفَاقِ وَفِي أَنْفُسِهِمْ حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ

We shall show them Our signs on the horizons and in themselves, until it is clear to them that it is the Truth. (41/53)

Almighty Allah has likewise shown His disapproval of those who blindly follow the ways of those who were before them. Hence, He says in the Holy Qur'an:

قَالُوا بَلْ نَتَّبِعُ مَا أَلْفَيْنَا عَلَيْهِ آبَاءَنَا ۗ أَوَلَوْ كَانَ آبَاؤُهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ شَيْئًا وَلَا يَهْتَدُونَ

..They say: ‘No, but we will do what we found our fathers doing.’ And, what if their fathers had no understanding of anything! (2/170)

He has also shown His dislike for those who follow their personal whims and conjectures.

He, the Exalted, thus says:

 إِنْ يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا الظَّنَّ

…They follow naught but an opinion… (6/116)

We believe that it is our intellect that forces us to reflect upon creation to know the Creator of the universe, as also to examine the claims and miracles of anyone who claims prophethood. Such being the case, it will no longer be acceptable to act upon the view of any person, even if that person has the gift of great knowledge or holds an esteemed position.

The Holy Qur’an has urged us to reflect upon creation, stick to science, and acquire knowledge. This urging has come to confirm the natural freedom of thought, which all sages agree upon, draw the attention to the human soul’s inclination to knowledge and thinking, and open and direct the mind towards the functions for which it was created.

It is thus impossible for man to neglect the doctrinal affairs or to depend upon his mentors or any other persons concerning his beliefs. It is necessary for man—on account of his natural intelligence that is confirmed by the Holy Qur’an—to investigate, examine, and come to a clear understanding of the fundaments of his religion (usul al-din),(1) which are:

• Monotheism (belief that there is only one God),

• Prophethood (belief that Muhammad (s) is the Prophet and messenger of Almighty Allah),

• Imamate (belief in the Divinely commissioned leadership of the Twelve Imams (`a)) and,

• Resurrection (belief that there is another life after death).

One who follows the dictates of his forebears or any other person in these matters has indeed committed a big mistake, strayed off the Right Path, and made all his acts inexcusable.

The above discussion can be summed up in the following two points:

(a) It is obligatory to investigate and understand the fundaments of our beliefs, since it is unacceptable to depend upon others’ beliefs in this respect.

(b) In addition to its being a religious duty, reflection upon the fundaments of one’s belief is a requirement stemming from reason, i.e. such knowledge must not be derived from religious texts, which, however, can act as supportive factors after the exercise of the intellects.

The meaning of reason-based requirement is that we must realize the necessity of knowledge, the reflection upon the fundaments of one’s beliefs, and the inference of these beliefs through reason.

Following an Authority in the Secondary Religious Affairs

By secondary affairs of the religion, we mean those religious laws which govern our actions after we have rationally accepted the religious faith. In such affairs, it is not obligatory upon us to reflect upon them or apply our personal views. If such secondary affairs are not among the religious fundaments fixed by decisive texts of religious laws, such as the obligation of offering prayers, fasting, and defraying the poor-rate (zakat), then an ordinary person is required to do one of the following three matters:

(a) one may practice ijtihad (that is: exert all possible efforts to extract religious laws from the sources of the Islamic code of laws), by engaging oneself in the highest levels of studies of jurisprudence, and then investigating the proofs of the religious laws after qualifiying to reach such a stage and becoming a mujtahid, or

(b) exercise juristic precaution (ihtiyat: act according to the views of the jurisprudents so as to act upon the actual ruling) if one is able to do so, or

(c) act upon the verdicts of a well-qualified mujtahid who must enjoy decency and rationality in addition to other qualifications. Such a mujtahid according to religious traditions:

صَائِناً لِنَفْسِهِ، حَافِظاً لِدِينِهِ، مُخَالِفاً لِهَوَاهُ، مُطِيعاً لأمْرِ مَوْلاَهُ.

…preserves himself against wrongdoing and worldly pleasures, cares for his religion, opposes the dictates of his desires, and obeys the commands of his Lord.(2)

It follows that if one is not qualified enough to practice ijtihad, or to act upon ihtiyat, and still refrains from acting upon the verdicts of a well-qualified religious authority, then all of one’s acts of worship will be invalid and unacceptable even if one offers prayers, observes fasting, and performs acts of worship one’s entire lifetime unless:

(1) Such acts be compatible with the views of the jurisprudent upon whose verdicts one relies after that,(3) and

(2) previous acts were intended to seek nearness to Almighty Allah (qurbah).).

Ijtihad

We believe that ijtihad in secondary matters of religion is a collective duty (wajib kifa'i)(4) in the ages of occultation (of Imam al-Mahdi—may Almighty Allah hasten his reappearance).(5) In other words, all Muslims in all ages are under the obligation of practicing ijtihad, but should one of them become proficient in ijtihad thus becoming a well-qualified mujtahid, all Muslims will be acquitted from this responsibility and they will then act upon his verdicts and refer to him in the secondary affairs of religion.

In all ages, Muslims must consider their religious duty to choose an authority from among themselves. If they find a volunteer who has gained the degree of ijtihad, which cannot be gained except by those who have good fortune, and who is qualified enough to be followed by the others, they may then accept him as their religious authority and turn to him in getting knowledge of the laws of their religion.

If they fail to find one enjoying such a supreme degree of knowledge, then they are religiously required to attain the rank of ijtihad individually or to nominate one from among them to obtain this rank when it is impossible or unfeasible for all to devote themselves to gaining this rank.

It is impermissible for them to act upon the verdicts of a deceased mujtahid.

Ijtihad can be defined as the examination of the sources of the shari`ah (i.e. the religious code of Islamic laws) to reach knowledge of the secondary laws which the Holy Prophet (s) has conveyed to his nation. Of course, these laws are unalterable and cannot be changed when times or conditions change. It has thus been declared:

حَلاَلُ مُحَمَّدٍ حَلاَلٌ إلَى يَوْمِ القِيَامَةِ، وَحَرَامُهُ حَرَامٌ إلَى يَوْمِ القِيَامَةِ.

What Muhammad (`a) has made halal (legal) will be halal until the Day of Judgment, and what he has made haram (forbidden) will be haram until the Day of Judgment.”(6)

The sources for religious laws are the Holy Qur’an, the Holy Sunnah (words, deeds, and confirmations of the Holy Prophet (s) and the Holy Imams (`a)), consensus (ijma`) and reasoning (`aql). Details of these sources are mentioned in the texts of usul al-fiqh (fundaments of jurisprudence).

To attain the position of a mujtahid requires many years of study and acquiring various branches of science that not everyone can attain except one who works painstakingly and makes every possible effort by devoting himself to attaining this position. requires many years of study and acquiring various branches of science that not everyone can attain except one who works painstakingly and makes every possible effort by devoting himself to attaining this position.

The Mujtahid

We believe that a well-qualified mujtahid is a representative of the Imam(7) during the age of occultation. He is also an absolute ruler and authority over Muslims and he enjoys the same power that is enjoyed by the Imam concerning issuance of judgments and administration among the people.

Hence, to reject such a well-qualified mujtahid is to reject the Imam, and to reject the Imam is to reject Almighty Allah, which does not differ from polytheism, as is declared in a tradition reported from Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq (`a).(8)

In view of that, a well-qualified mujtahid is not only a competent authority for issuing verdicts; but he also enjoys general authority (i.e. in all aspects of life) over people. People should therefore turn to him in judicature, passing of judgments, and ruling—affairs that are relegated to him exclusively—since none is allowed to hold these positions without permission of the well-qualified mujtahid. Similarly, it is impermissible to carry out the religious punishments and provisions (hudud) except by the permission of such supreme authority.

Moreover, in issues pertaining to finance, it is obligatory to refer to the well-qualified mujtahid as long as such financial items are the Imam’s rights and responsibilities. Such general authority has been given to the well-qualified mujtahids by the Imam (`a) so that they will act as representatives of the Imam (`a) when the latter is absent.

  • 1. () Not all the doctrines mentioned in this thesis are among the fundamentals of the religion. In fact, it is not obligatory to believe or even consider many of the doctrines mentioned in this thesis, such as al-qadha' wal-qadar (predestination and Divine Decree), al-raj`ah (The Return), and others. Moreover, it is permissible to act upon others whose opinions are decided as valid, such as the Prophets and the Holy Imam, with regard to such doctrines. My belief in many such doctrines is based on the acceptably reported traditions of our Holy Imam ('a).
  • 2. () The Holy Qur'an has censured the public of the Jews for they had followed their rabbis on two occasions:

    وَمِنْهُمْ أُمِّيُّونَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ الْكِتَابَ إِلَّا أَمَانِيَّ وَإِنْ هُمْ إِلَّا يَظُنُّونَ فَوَيْلٌ لِلَّذِينَ يَكْتُبُونَ الْكِتَابَ بِأَيْدِيهِمْ ثُمَّ يَقُولُونَ هَٰذَا مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ لِيَشْتَرُوا بِهِ ثَمَنًا قَلِيلًا فَوَيْلٌ لَهُمْ مِمَّا كَتَبَتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَوَيْلٌ لَهُمْ مِمَّا يَكْسِبُونَ 

    And there are among them illiterates who know not the Book but only lies, and they do but conjecture. Woe, then, to those who write the book with their hands and then say: ‘This is from Allah,’ so that they may take for it a small price; therefore, woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for what they earn. (2/78-9)

    Concerning the two holy verses, a man asked Imam al-Sadiq ('a), “These ordinary Jews had no knowledge of the Book except the amount that they heard from their scholars. They did not have any other way to learn the Book. How is it then that the Qur'an censures them from their following their scholars and adopting their words? Are these ordinary Jews not exactly like the ordinary people among us (i.e. Muslims) who only follow their scholars? If it is impermissible for these Jews to follow their scholars, then it must be impermissible for our ordinary people to follow their scholars.”
    The Imam ('a) explained the points of similarity and difference between the ordinary Jews and their scholars and the ordinary Muslims and their scholars. He ('a) then added:

    وَكَذَلِكَ عَوَامُ أمَّتِنَا إذَا عَرَفُوا مِنْ فُقَهَائِهِمُ الفِسْقَ الظَّاهِرَ، وَالعَصَبِيَّةَ الشَّدِيدَةَ، وَالتَّكَالُبَ عَلَى حُطَامِ الدُّنْيَا وَحَرَامِهَا، وَإهْلاكَ مَنْ يَتَعَصَّبُونَ عَلَيْهِ إنْ كَانَ لإصْلاَحِ أمْرِهِ مُسْتَحِقّاً، وَبِالتَّرَفُّقِ بِالبِرِّ وَالإحْسَانِ عَلَى مَنْ تَعَصَّبُوا لَهُ، وَإنْ كَانَ لِلإذْلاَلِ وَالإهَانَةِ مُسْتَحِقّاً. فَمَنْ قَلَّدَ مِنْ عَوامِنَا مِثْلَ هَؤلاَءِ الفُقَهَاءِ فَهُمْ مِثْلُ اليَهُودِ الَّذِينَ ذَمَّهُمُ اللهُ تَعَالَى بِالتَّقْلِيدِ لِفَسَقَةِ عُلَمَائِهِمْ. فَأمّا مَنْ كَانَ مِنَ الفُقَهَاءِ صَائِناً لِنَفْسِهِ، حَافِظاً لِدِينِهِ، مُخَالِفاً لِهَوَاهُ، مُطِيعاً لأمْرِ مَوْلاَهُ، فَلِلْعَوَامِ أنْ يُقَلِّدُوهُ.

    It is the duty of ordinary Muslims not to follow scholars that demonstrate apparent transgression, intense fanaticism and mad contention for the degrading and illegal pleasures of this world. They should be wary of those scholars who humiliate the one with whom they do not agree when he deserves guidance towards the truth, and they treat the one with whom they agree with leniency, kindness and favor even when he deserves to be humiliated and disgraced. If (ordinary) people of our nation follow such (irreligious) jurisprudents, they will be just like the Jews whom Almighty Allah has censured, for they too followed the wicked among their scholars. As for any jurisprudent who keeps himself from sinning, abides by his religion, opposes the dictates of his own desires, and obeys the commands of his Master, then it is allowable for (ordinary) people to follow him…

    Reference: Tafsir al-Imam al-`Askari (260 AH), pp. 300. The following reference books have also cited this tradition, yet with little difference in the order of the statements. For instance, some traditions have mentioned the phrase “opposes the dictates of his desires” in another form but the same purport. Refer to: al-Ihtijaj by al-Tabrisi (AH 560), 2:263; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 27:131, H. (hadith no.) 33401, H. 20, Chapter: bab `adam jawaz taqlid ghayr al-ma`sum fi ma yaqulu bira’yihi (Illegality of Following anyone—other than the Infallible—who adopts his own opinions); Bihar al-Anwar by al-Majlisi (died in AH 1111), 2:88, Ch. 14, H. 12.

  • 3. () As a matter of fact, the acts of such a person are acceptable if he knows that they are compatible with reality or the verdicts of the mujtahid who is accepted as marji` taqlid (i.e. a well-qualified jurisprudent whose verdicts are acceptable and can act as directions for the ordinary people). See Minhaj al-Salihin (Verdicts of the Religious Authority, the Head of the Seminary Sayyid Abu’l-Qasim al-Musawi al-Khu'i) 1:7, Question No. 2 in Taqlid.

    Commenting on this topic, Professor Ayatullah al-Kharrazi says, “Even if the religious duties of an ordinary person correspond to what is religiously required by chance and these deeds do not correspond to the verdicts of the one whom he follows, then his deeds are decided as valid. Such being the case, the opinion of a mujtahid loses its authority, because it is no more than a way that leads to the validity of deeds.” See Bidayat al-Ma`arif al-Ilahiyyah fi Sharh `Aqa'id al-Imamiyyah by al-Kharrazi (a contemporary writer) 1:18 (footnote No. 1).

    The deeds of an ordinary person are also decided as valid when he is sure that his performance of that deed or abandonment of another will not lead to infringing a religious duty. Such certainty may come from the person’s attainment of sentimental knowledge or certainty that stems from reason-based resources, such as common sense or information of a well-versed person. See Minhaj al-Salihin (Verdicts of the Grand Ayatullah Sayyid `Ali al-Sistani) 1:9.

  • 4. () Religious duties are either collective (kifa'i), that is if all Muslims abstain from performing them, all of them will have committed a sin, but if only one of them carries them out, then the others will be acquitted from their religious responsibility, such as the duty of enjoining the right and forbidding the evil. The other category of religious duties is the individual (`ayni) one, that is each Muslim is required to carry it out individually, such as offering of the obligatory prayers, observance of fasting in the month of Ramadhan, and the like. [translator]
  • 5. () This is based on Almighty Allah’s saying in the Holy Qur'an:

     فَلَوْلَا نَفَرَ مِنْ كُلِّ فِرْقَةٍ مِنْهُمْ طَائِفَةٌ لِيَتَفَقَّهُوا فِي الدِّينِ وَلِيُنْذِرُوا قَوْمَهُمْ إِذَا رَجَعُوا إِلَيْهِمْ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَحْذَرُونَ

    “Why should not then a company from every party from among them go forth that they may apply themselves to obtain understanding in religion, and that they may warn their people when they come back to them that they may be cautious. (9/122)”

  • 6. () Basa'ir al-Darajat al-Kubra by al-Saffar (AH 290), pp. 168, H. 7, S. 13. This hadith is reported from Imam al-Sadiq ('a).
    In (the book of) al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 1:58 Section: bab al-bida` wal-ra’y wal-maqayis (Heresies, Opinionism, and Analogy), H. 19, this hadith is reported in the following form:
    حَلاَلُ مُحَمَّدٍ حَلاَلٌ أبَداً إلَى يَوْمِ القِيَامَةِ، وَحَرَامُهُ حَرَامٌ أبَداً إلَى يَوْمِ القِيَامَةِ، لاَ يَكُونُ غَيْرُهُ وَلاَ يَجِيء غَيْرُهُ.
    What was deemed halal (lawful) by Muhammad will remain halal forever up to the Day of Resurrection, and what was deemed haram (unlawful) by Muhammad will remain haram forever up to the Day of Resurrection. Nothing will replace or change it.

    The hadith has been also reported in a third form in al-Kafi by al-Kulayni 2:17-18, Section: bab al-Shara'i` (Religious Laws), H. 2; al-Mahasin by al-Barqi (AH 274 or 280), 1:420, H. 963/365; and Kashf al-Ghummah fi Ma`rifat al-A'immah by al-Arbali (AH 693), 2:414.

  • 7. () By Imam, we mean the twelfth Imam in the sequence of the Imam of the Ahl al-Bayt ('a), namely Imam al-Mahdi—may Allah hasten his reappearance—who disappeared from sight during the `Abbasid reign in AH 329 under certain circumstances and for a Divine logic. He is still expecting a Divine Command to reappear and establish the global government of justice. The author of this book will shed more light on this issue later on.
  • 8. () Muhammad ibn Yahya has reported on the authority of Muhammad ibn al-Husayn on the authority of Muhammad ibn `Isa on the authority of Safwan ibn Yahya on the authority of Dawud ibn al-Husayn that `Amr ibn Hanzalah said:

    I asked Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq ('a) whether it is or it is not acceptable for two Shi`ite men, who had disputed in an issue of debt or inheritance, to summon one another to the judgment of the ruling authority or the governmental judges.

    The Imam ('a) answered, “Verily, to go for judgment to such parties, whether in legal or illegal issue, is to resort for judgment to false deities (taghut). Whatever is decided for any party by such judges is considered illegal, even if it was the right of a party. This is because such party has taken it from the judgment of the illegal judge. In fact, Almighty Allah has ordered such false deities to be abjured. He has thus said (in the Holy Qur'an):

    أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ يَزْعُمُونَ أَنَّهُمْ آمَنُوا بِمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْكَ وَمَا أُنْزِلَ مِنْ قَبْلِكَ يُرِيدُونَ أَنْ يَتَحَاكَمُوا إِلَى الطَّاغُوتِ وَقَدْ أُمِرُوا أَنْ يَكْفُرُوا بِهِ وَيُرِيدُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَنْ يُضِلَّهُمْ ضَلَالًا بَعِيدًا 

    ‘Have you not seen those who pretend that they believe in that which is revealed to you and that which was revealed before you, how they would go for judgment in their disputes to false deities when they had been ordered to abjure them? Satan would mislead them far astray. (4/60)’”

    `Amr asked, “Then, what must such parties do instead?”
    The Imam ('a) replied, “They must search for one from among themselves (i.e. followers of the Ahl al-Bayt ('a)) who has been reporting our traditions, is acquainted with what is deemed legal and what is deemed illegal by us, and is familiar with the laws decided by us. They must then accept him as arbitrator, because I have appointed him as the judge among you. If he then issues a judgment compatible to our laws but a party (of a dispute) does not submit to it, then this party has in fact belittled Almighty Allah’s judgment and has rejected us. Verily, whoever rejects us has in reality made an objection to the authority of Almighty Allah, and this is tantamount to polytheism (shirk).”

    This hadith can be found in the following reference books: al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 1:67, H. 10, Section: bab Ikhtilaf al-Hadith (Discrepancy of Hadith); 7:412, H. 5, Section: bab karahiyyat al-Irtifa` ila Qudhat al-Jawr (Discommendation of Submitting before an Unjust Judge); Tahdhib al-Ahkam by Shaykh al-Tusi (AH 460), 6:218, H. 514, Section: kitab al-Qadhaya wal-Ahkam (Issues and Laws), No. 6 Chapter: bab man ilayhi al-hukm wa aqsam al-qudhat wal-muftin (The Authorized for Judgment and the Kinds of Judges and Muftis). S. 87; 6:302, H. 845, H. 52, Section: bab min al-ziyadat fi al-qadhaya wal-ahkam (Additions in Issues and Judgments), S. 92; al-Ihtijaj by al-Tabrisi (AH 560), 2:106; `Awali al-La’ali by al-Ihsa'i (app. AH 880), 3:192, H. 37, Section: bab al-jihad (Jihad); 4:134, H. 231, Section: bab al-ahadith al-muta`alliqatu bil-`ilmi wa-ahlihi wa hamilihi (Traditions Concerning Knowledge, its People, and its Bearers); Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 1:43, H. 51, H. 12, Section: bab thubut al-kufr wal-irtidad bijuhudi ba`dhi al-dharuriyyat wa ghayriha mimma taqumu al-hujjatu fihi binaqli al-thuqat (Proving Atheism and Apostasy Due to Denial of the Essential Beliefs (of the Religion) and Other Matters Upon Which There Are Proofs Confirmed by Reports of Trustworthy Narrators); 27:137, H. 33416, H. 1, Section: bab wujub al-ruju` fi al-qadha' wal-fatwa ila ruwat al-hadith min al-shi`ah (The Obligation of Reference to Shi`ite Narrators of Hadith in Issues of Judicature and Verdicts).

Part 1: Doctrines Pertaining To Divinity

Our Doctrines concerning:

Almighty Allah

Divine Unity

Attributes of Almighty Allah

Divine Justice

Commands of Almighty Allah

Predetermination and Divine Decree

Bada'

Religious Ordinances

Almighty Allah

We believe that Almighty Allah is One: One and Only; there is nothing whatever like Him; Eternal: having neither beginning nor end. He is thus the First of all things and the Last of all things. He is All-knowing, All-wise, All-just, Ever-living, All-powerful, Self-sufficient, All-hearing, and All-seeing.

Characteristics that are attributed to His creatures are not attributable to Him. He is neither body, nor form, nor essence, nor incident, and he has neither heaviness, nor lightness, nor movement, nor motionlessness, nor place, nor time. And no one can point to Him.

None is equal to Him and none can match Him. He has no opposite. He has no wife, no child, and no partner; and there is none comparable to Him. Vision does not perceive Him, yet He perceives all visions.

Anyone who renders Him as human in form—such as those who claim that the Lord has a face, a hand, or an eye, or that He descends to the lowest sky, or that He will appear to the inhabitants of Paradise like a moon, or any similar anthropomorphic claim—all such persons are of the same rank of those who disbelieve in Almighty Allah and who ignore the reality of the Creator Who is too far above any imperfection. In fact, any form that we can imagine with our senses in its most accurate meaning must be a created and made thing, just like us, as has been expressed by Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (`a). How sagacious a description and how accurate and profoundly scientific it is.(1)

Similarly, one who believes that Almighty Allah will be seen by His creatures on the Day of Judgment is an unbeliever, even though one may deny that the Lord has corporeality. The bearers of such false claims have in fact limited their minds to the outer meanings of the words of the Holy Qur'an or hadith and denied the real meaning; hence, they lack the capacity of interpreting even the extrinsic meanings as exactly as required by sound reflection, evidence, and rules of metaphor and figuration. and denied the real meaning; hence, they lack the capacity of interpreting even the extrinsic meanings as exactly as required by sound reflection, evidence, and rules of metaphor and figuration.

Divine Unity (Tawhid)

We believe that it is obligatory to believe in the Unity of Almighty Allah (tawhid) from all aspects; that is to say, in the same way as we must, firstly, believe in the Unity of Almighty Allah’s Essence and that He is necessarily Existent, we must, secondly, believe in the Unity of His Attributes, that is to believe that Almighty Allah’s Attributes are the same as His Essence. More light will be shed on this topic later on.

We must believe that there is nothing like Him in His Essential Attributes; so, Almighty Allah is unparalleled in Knowledge and Power; He is matchless in creation and providing of sustenance; and He is peerless in all items of perfection.

Thirdly, it is obligatory to believe in the Unity of Almighty Allah in worship; it is therefore absolutely unacceptable to worship anyone or anything save Him by any form of worship and it is unacceptable to associate anyone or anything to Him through any sort of worship, be it obligatory or recommended, or be it in offering of prayers or in any other act of worship.

One who ascribes a partner to Him in worship has committed polytheism, just like one who pretends to worship Him while in fact one’s intention is to seek nearness to someone or something other than Him. According to the laws of Islam, such ostentatious persons are subject to the same rulings pertaining to those who worship idols, without any difference.

The visiting of graves and holding of ceremonies on the death anniversaries of the Holy Prophet (s) and Imams (`a), cannot be considered as acts seeking nearness to other than Almighty Allah, as assumed by those who intend to attack the rites of the Imamiyyah Shi`ah owing to their inadvertence of the reality of such rites. In fact, such rites are acts seeking nearness to Almighty Allah through righteous acts, exactly like seeking nearness to Him through visiting the sick, participating in funeral ceremonies, visiting one’s brethren-in-faith, and helping the poor.

For example, to visit a sick person is a good act in itself through which a believer seeks nearness to Almighty Allah. It is thus not an act aimed at seeking nearness to the sick person to be considered worshipping other than Almighty Allah or associating others in worshipping Him. The same thing is applicable to the other aforementioned righteous acts.

Through Muslim jurisprudence, it is easy to prove that visiting the graves and holding of mourning ceremonies on the anniversaries of the deaths of the Holy Prophet (s) and Imams (`a) are within the righteous acts recommended by the Islamic code of laws. However, to prove it requires an independent discussion, which is not suitable in this thesis.

In brief, these actions are neither expressions of polytheism, as some people may suppose, nor are they aimed at worshipping the Imams (`a); rather, the purpose behind the performance of such rites is only to revive the memory of these Imams and to renew reference to them and also to venerate the rites of Almighty Allah through them. In this respect, Almighty Allah says in the Holy Qur'an:

ذَٰلِكَ وَمَنْ يُعَظِّمْ شَعَائِرَ اللَّهِ فَإِنَّهَا مِنْ تَقْوَى الْقُلُوبِ 

And whoever venerates the rites of the religion; that is of the godliness of their hearts. (22/32)

It has been demonstrated in the Islamic code of law that these acts are recommended; hence, if a person offers them with the intention of seeking nearness to Almighty Allah and asking for His pleasure, then he will deserve the promised rewards and gifts.It has been demonstrated in the Islamic code of law that these acts are recommended; hence, if a person offers them with the intention of seeking nearness to Almighty Allah and asking for His pleasure, then he will deserve the promised rewards and gifts.

Attributes of Almighty Allah

We believe that Almighty Allah’s positive, literal, and perfective attributes, which we call the attributes of beauty and perfection—such as Omniscience, Omnipotence, Self-sufficiency, Volition, and Ever-livingness—are identical with His Essence and are not added to Him. Hence, the existence of these Attributes is the same as the existence of His essence. For instance, Almighty Allah’s Omnipotence with respect to His existence is the same as His Ever-livingness, and His Ever-livingness is as same as His Existence. In plain words, Almighty Allah is Omnipotent since He is Eternal, and He is Eternal since He is Omnipotent. Hence, there is no difference between His attributes and His existence. The same thing can be said about His other Attribute of Perfection.

Although these attributes hold different meanings and notions, their realities and existence are the same. If these attributes were different in existence—and then they were supposedly eternal and necessary in existence just like His essence—then the Necessary Self-Existent would be plural and the actual Divine Unity would be blunted. Of course, this is in violation of the doctrine of monotheism.

All the positive, relative (i.e. supplementary) attributes—such as the attributes of being Creator, Sustainer, Uncreated, and the First Cause—in reality belong to one literal attribute, which is Self-Subsistence for His creatures. From this single attribute, several attributes can be produced depending upon the variety in effects and signs.

As for the attributes of non-entity, which are also called the attributes of Majesty, all of them belong to one non-entity, which is the dispossession of possibility, which requires, and also means, that corporeality, form, movement, motionlessness, heaviness, lightness, and all similar features are not attributed to Almighty Allah. In other words, deficiencies cannot be attributed to Him.

As a matter of fact, the negation of these possibilities is referable to the Necessity of His Essence, which is one of His positive Attributes of perfection. So, the negative attributes of Majesty ultimately go back to the positive attributes of perfection. Almighty Allah is One in all aspects; there is no numeration in His Divine existence, and there is nothing compound in the reality of the One, Self-Independent Lord.

It is not surprising that some people argue that Almighty Allah’s positive attributes are referable to His negative attributes, because they have failed to realize the fact that Almighty Allah’s attributes are the same as His Essence. Accordingly, they have imagined that the positive attributes are ascribed to negation so that they can assuredly claim that His Essence is indivisibly One. Nevertheless, they have fallen in a worse matter when they made the Divine essence—which is the selfsame existence, the pure Existence, and the free from any defect or impossibility—the very nonexistence and pure negation. May Allah save us from the slips of illusion and blunders of the pen.

It is also not surprising that some others argue that Almighty Allah’s positive attributes are added to His Essence; they have therefore accepted the plurality of the Eternal Being or the existence of partners to the Necessary Self-Existent Lord, or they have claimed that the Lord is compound. Almighty Allah is too Exalted for such false claims.

Our master, Imam `Ali Amir al-Mu'minin (`a) says:

وَكَمَالُ الإخْلاَصِ لَهُ نَفْيُ الصِّفَاتِ عَنْهُ، لِشَهَادَةِ كُلِّ صِفَةٍ أنَّهَا غَيْرُ المَوْصُوفِ، وَشَهَادَةِ كُلِّ مَوْصُوفٍ أنَّهُ غَيْرُ الصِّفَةِ، فَمَنْ وَصَفَ اللهَ سُبْحَانَهُ فَقَدْ قَرَنَهُ، وَمَنْ قَرَنَهُ فَقَدْ ثَنَّاهُ، وَمَنْ ثَنَّاهُ فَقَدْ جَزَّأهُ، وَمَنْ جَزَّأهُ فَقَدْ جَهِلَهُ.

The perfection of His purity is to deny His attributes, because every attribute is a proof that it is different from that to which it is attributed, and everything to which something is attributed is different from the attribute. Thus, whoever attaches attributes to Allah recognizes His like, and whoever recognizes His like regards Him as two, and whoever regards Him as two recognizes parts for Him, and whoever recognizes parts for Him has mistaken Him.(2))

Divine Justice

We believe that one of Almighty Allah's positive Attributes of Perfection is that He is absolutely Just and is never unjust. He never wrongs anyone through His acts and never treats anyone unfairly through His judgments. He rewards His obedient servants and has the right to punish the disobedient. He never takes His servants beyond their scopes and never punishes them beyond the limits of what they deserve.

We also believe that He, the Exalted, does not omit the good deed when there is no better deed interfering in the matter and He does not do any evil deed because He, the Exalted, has the power to shun the evil, since He has full acquaintance with the goodness and the evilness of an act. Thus, goodness of good things does not cause Him harm so that He is required to shun it nor is He in need of evilness so that He is required to do it.

In spite of all this, Almighty Allah is All-wise; His deeds must be compatible with wisdom and the most perfect system.

Now, suppose that He treats a creature with cruelty or commits an evil deed—He is too Exalted to be such—then it must be because of one of four things:

(1) He is ignorant of the matter and He does not know that it is evil!

(2) He knows about the reality of the matter, but He has been compelled to do it and unable to desist from it!

(3) He knows about its reality and he is not compelled to do it, yet He needs to do it! Or

(4) He knows about its reality, and he is not compelled to do it, and he does not need it; so, His deed will be on account of whim, vainness, and pastime!

All these probabilities are impossible for Almighty Allah, since they ascribe imperfection to Him, while He is in reality the Absolute Perfect. In view of that, we must judge that Almighty Allah is too Exalted to wrong anyone or to do any evil deed.

Some Muslims, however, have argued that Almighty Allah—Sacred be His Names—may do evil, may punish the obedient to Him, may allow the disobedient and even the disbelievers to enter Paradise, may take a soul beyond its scope, and may impose upon His servants to do what they have no power to do! In spite of this, He may punish them for they did not do what they have no power to do! Such Muslims have also argued that Almighty Allah may treat unjustly, do wrong, lie, and deceive; and that He may do unwise, aimless, useless, and worthless things! To justify such corrupt arguments, they have cited the following holy verse as pretext:

لَا يُسْأَلُ عَمَّا يَفْعَلُ وَهُمْ يُسْأَلُونَ

He cannot be questioned concerning what He does and they shall be questioned. (21/23)

It is the lord of the bearers of such corrupt beliefs who is unjust, wrongful, foolish or reckless; a deceiver, evildoer, and one shunning the good. Glory is to Almighty Allah, and High and Great is He beyond measure above all that they say!

Such false arguments are nothing but clear-cut disbelief.

As for Almighty Allah, He has stated in the Holy Qur'an:

وَمَا اللَّهُ يُرِيدُ ظُلْمًا لِلْعِبَادِ

Allah does not desire injustice for His servants. (40/31)

وَاللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْفَسَادَ

Allah does not love corruption. (2/205)

وَمَا خَلَقْنَا السَّمَاءَ وَالْأَرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا لَاعِبِينَ

We did not create the heavens and the earth and all that is between them in jest. (21/16)

وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنْسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ

I have not created the jinn and mankind except to serve Me. (51/56)

رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَٰذَا بَاطِلًا سُبْحَانَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ

Our Lord! You have not created this in vain! Glory be to You! Save us then from the chastisement of the Fire. (3/191)

The Holy Qur'an is full of verses denoting the same facts.

Religious Duties

We believe that Almighty Allah does not command His servants with any duty before He establishes evidence on them concerning that duty. Likewise, He never commands them to do something that is beyond their scope or capability, because it would be unfair to impose upon a weak or an ignorant person, who has not shown shortcoming in seeking of knowledge, a duty that is beyond his/her scope.

As for the ignorant, who have made short the seeking of knowledge of religious laws and duties, they are definitely responsible in the view of Almighty Allah Who will punish them for their failure to do what ought to have been done. Actually, each one is required to learn the amount that one needs from religious laws.

We also believe that it is unavoidable for Almighty Allah to commission His servants to carry out certain duties and legislate for them a body of laws that achieve success and prosperity for them, guide them toward the paths of goodness and permanent happiness, and show them the ways of probity. Through such duties and laws, Almighty Allah restrains them from whatever brings about corruption, harm, and a terrible end even if He already knows that they would not obey Him, because such do's and don’ts stem from His kindness and mercy to them.

The servants (of Almighty Allah) are usually unaware of most of their interests. They also do not know how to attain prosperity in this world and the next. They have no knowledge of much of that which causes them harm and loss. Almighty Allah is indeed All-compassionate and All-merciful in His Essence; and these two attributes are parts of His Absolute Perfection, which is His selfsame Essence and which can never be separated from Him.

His servants’ disobedience to Him and non-compliance with His commands and warnings do not cancel out His kindness and mercy.His servants’ disobedience to Him and non-compliance with His commands and warnings do not cancel out His kindness and mercy.

Predetermination and Divine Decree

Predetermination and Divine Decree3

The Sect of Mujabbirah (fatalists) argue that Almighty Allah is entirely responsible for the actions of His creatures; it is therefore He Who forces them to do evil and yet punishes them for it; and He forces others to be obedient to Him and yet rewards them for it! They have also maintained that the actions of His creatures are in reality His actions, but these actions are attributed to them figuratively because they are the locus of His activity. The reason for this view is that the Mujabbirah have denied the natural causation of things (that take place)(4) and that it is Almighty Allah Who is the one and only Cause of all things.

Of course, those who adopt such a view ascribe injustice to Almighty Allah. He is far above such false ascription.

Another sect, the Mufawwidhah (Indeterminists), argue that Almighty Allah has given absolute authority to the creatures to do whatever they do and removed His act and determination from their acts. This is because these indeterminists believe that to ascribe all actions to Almighty Allah results in ascribing imperfection to Him; and all existent beings have their own causes even though all these causes stem from the Creator of all causes and the First Cause; namely, Almighty Allah.

As a matter of fact, those who adopt this conception have cancelled out the full power of Almighty Allah over all things and have decided a partner to Him in creation!

With reference to this point, we follow what we have received from our Immaculate Imams (`a) who have decided that the answer is in reality between the two extremes and our belief is a middle view between fatalism and indeterminism. Our belief is not accepted by both groups of theologians, as some neglect the reality of the matter while others go to the other extreme. However, after several centuries, science and philosophy finally came to the same conclusion.

It is not surprising that some of those who have had no familiarity with the wisdom and maxims of the Holy Imams (`a) think that the notion of ‘Middle Course’ in this issue has been one of the discoveries of some late Western philosophers! The fact is that our Holy Imams (`a), having founded this principle, preceded all others by about ten centuries.

Our Imam, Ja`far al-Sadiq (`a), has demonstrated this ‘Middle Course’ through his famous words:

لاَ جَبْرٌ وَلاَ تَفْويضٌ؛ وَلكِنْ أمْرٌ بَيْنَ أمْرَيْنِ.

There is neither compulsion (by Almighty Allah on doing things), nor there is absolute delegation of power (tafwidh); rather, it is a course in the middle of these two courses.(5)

What a marvelous significance this saying holds! How exact its meaning is!

To sum it up, this ‘Middle Course’ means that our deeds are, on one hand, ours in reality, because we are their natural causes and they are under our power and choice and, on the other hand, they are under the authority and within the absolute power of Almighty Allah, because He is the grantor of existence to all things. Almighty Allah has not forced us to do these deeds; therefore, He will not wrong us when He punishes us for the acts of disobedience to Him that we committed as long as we had the power and choice to avoid doing what we did. Similarly, He has not entrusted us with the making of our deeds; therefore, we are not out of His absolute power and authority. Indeed, creation, judgment, and management of all affairs are His; and He has full power over all things and He encompasses all things.

Anyhow, we believe that predetermination (qadha') and Divine decree (qadar) are within the secrets of Almighty Allah. One must thus recognize them as suitably as possible by means of neither immoderation nor negligence. It is not obligatory upon one who fails to recognize them properly to dedicate oneself to understanding and investigating them, because improper understanding of such subtle secrets will definitely lead to missing the reality and corrupting one’s faith. They are in fact among the most accurate fields of philosophy that none can realize except a very few people and, as a result, many theologians have slipped while trying to argue these secrets.) are within the secrets of Almighty Allah. One must thus recognize them as suitably as possible by means of neither immoderation nor negligence. It is not obligatory upon one who fails to recognize them properly to dedicate oneself to understanding and investigating them, because improper understanding of such subtle secrets will definitely lead to missing the reality and corrupting one’s faith. They are in fact among the most accurate fields of philosophy that none can realize except a very few people and, as a result, many theologians have slipped while trying to argue these secrets.

Bada'

The meaning of bada’(6) in relation to the affairs of creatures can be defined as arriving at an opinion about an issue while this opinion was not present in the past or, in other words, concluding an idea that was absent until that time. An example of the natural meaning of bada' (i.e. in relation to all things created) is that the opinion of somebody about a certain act may be changed because he has concluded a result that he has not known before according to which he must change his opinion and idea about that act. Therefore, it looks wise to leave doing that act after learning about the true interest and show regret for the previous opinion.

Bada’ in this sense is impossible for Almighty Allah, because it is part of ignorance and imperfection—two matters that are impossible for Almighty Allah to hold, as is confirmed by the belief of the Imamiyyah Shi`ah.

Laying stress on this faith, the Imamiyyah Shi`ah adhere to the following rule stated by Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq (`a):

مَنْ زَعَمَ أنَّ اللهَ تَعَالَى بَدَا لَهُ فِي شَيْءٍ بَدَاءَ نَدَامَةٍ فَهُوَ عِنْدَنَا كَافِرٌ بِاللهِ العَظِيم.ِ

Whoever claims that Almighty Allah changes a previous decision (i.e. on the basis of bada') on account of regret (at a previous action) is decided by us as having disbelieved in Allah the All-great.(7)

He is also reported as saying:

مَنْ زَعَمَ أنَّ اللهَ بَدَا لَهُ فِي شَيْءٍ وَلَمْ يَعْلَمْهُ أمْسِ فَأَبْرَأُ مِنْهُ.

Indeed, I disavow anyone who claims that Almighty Allah has changed a previous decision about an affair because He has come to know about something that He had not known in the past!(8)

On the other hand, our Holy Imams (`a) are reported to have stated some sayings giving the false impression that bada' in the previous sense might be applicable to Almighty Allah. For instance, Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq (`a) is reported as saying:

مَا بَدَا للهِ فِي شَيْءٍ كَمَا بَدَا لَهُ فِي إسْمَاعِيلَ ابْنِي.

Almighty Allah has not changed a decision about an affair like what He has done in the case of my son Isma`il.(9)

Because of such traditions, some writers of certain Muslim sects have accused the Imamiyyah Shi`ah of believing in bada’(10) in the aforesaid sense so as to defame Shi`ism and the School of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a). They have added this false claim to the other vituperative campaigns that they lead against the Shi`ah.

The fact in this regard is that we, the Shi`ah, believe in bada' as exactly as it is stated by Almighty Allah in the Holy Qur'an:

يَمْحُو اللَّهُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيُثْبِتُ ۖ وَعِنْدَهُ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ

Allah erases what He pleases and establishes what He pleases, and with Him is the basis of the Book. (13/39)

Accordingly, the Imam (`a) meant that Almighty Allah’s decision in the case of Isma`il, the Imam’s son, was unprecedented so none of Almighty Allah’s other decisions were like it. The Lord took back Isma`il before his father to tell people that Isma`il would not be the Imam after his father,(11) while circumstances led them to believe that Isma`il, the Imam’s eldest son, would be the next Imam.

Similar to this meaning of bada’ is the abrogation (naskh) of previous religious laws by the new code of law brought by our Prophet, Muhammad (`a), and even the abrogation of some laws brought by the Holy Prophet (`a) himself.) of previous religious laws by the new code of law brought by our Prophet, Muhammad (`a), and even the abrogation of some laws brought by the Holy Prophet (`a) himself.

Laws Of Religion

We believe that Almighty Allah has enacted His laws—including religious duties, forbidden things, and laws concerning other aspects of life—and made them compatible with the interests of His servants. That is to say, Almighty Allah has deemed obligatory those, things whose interests are essential and required by the servants; deemed forbidden other things that bring about corruption, and deemed recommended things whose interests are preponderant. The same thing is applicable to the other laws of religion. Of course, such variety in laws has been due to Almighty Allah’s kindness and mercy to His servants.

It is necessary that Almighty Allah’s laws cover all events. Hence, there must be a religious law for every incident, even if the way to get to know some of these laws may not be possible for some people.

We also believe that it is implausible for Almighty Allah to enjoin us to do a thing that brings about corruption or to warn us against doing a thing that is profitable to us. However, the followers of certain Muslim sects claim that everything forbidden by Almighty Allah must be evil and everything that He enjoins must be good, since deeds possess neither advantages nor disadvantages in themselves nor subjective goodness or evilness. In truth, this argument is in violation of rational necessity.

Others have argued that Almighty Allah may do evil and, as a result, enjoin us to do an act that may beget disadvantage to us and warn us against doing an act that may achieve prosperity for us!

As has been previously cited, such false charges carry an awful venture, because it ascribes ignorance and frailty to Almighty Allah—supremely exalted is He against such allegations.

In summary, regarding the laws of religion we must believe that when Almighty Allah commanded us to carry out certain duties and forbade us to do other things, He did not have private interests or conveniences to achieve for Himself; rather, these duties bring about advantages to us and these prohibitions save us from inconveniences if we abide by them. It is also meaningless to claim that these do’s and don’ts do not achieve our interests and save us from corruption, because Almighty Allah never commands us to do something in vain as He never forbids us to do something aimlessly. Indeed, He is too Self-sufficient to need His servants.In summary, regarding the laws of religion we must believe that when Almighty Allah commanded us to carry out certain duties and forbade us to do other things, He did not have private interests or conveniences to achieve for Himself; rather, these duties bring about advantages to us and these prohibitions save us from inconveniences if we abide by them. It is also meaningless to claim that these do’s and don’ts do not achieve our interests and save us from corruption, because Almighty Allah never commands us to do something in vain as He never forbids us to do something aimlessly. Indeed, He is too Self-sufficient to need His servants.

  • 1. () See Bihar al-Anwar by al-Majlisi (AH 1111), 66:293; Sharh Usul al-Kafi by al-Salihi al-Mazindarani (AH 1081), 3:225 who has reported Imam Muhammad al-Baqir ('a) as saying:

    كُلُّ مَا مَيَّزْتُمُوهُ بِأوْهَامِكُمْ فِي أدَقِّ مَعَانِيهِ مَخْلُوقٌ مَصْنُوعٌ مِثْلُكُمْ، مَرْدُودٌ إلَيْكُمْ.

    Everything that you can discern with your imaginations in its finest significance must be created and made, just like you, and it is relegated to you.
    Imam al-Sadiq ('a) is reported to have said:

    مَنْ عَبَدَ اللهَ بِالتَّوَهُّمِ فَقَدْ كَفَرَ، وَمَنْ عَبَدَ الإسْمَ دُونَ المَعْنَى فَقَدْ كَفَرَ، وَمَنْ عَبَدَ الإسْمَ وَالمَعْنَى فَقَدْ أشْرَكَ، وَمَنْ عَبَدَ المَعْنَى بإيقَاعِ الأسْمَاءِ عَلَيْهِ بِصِفَاتِهِ الَّتِي وَصَفَ بِهَا نَفْسَهُ فَعَقَدَ عَلَيْهَا قَلْبَهُ وَنَطَقَ بِهَا لِسَانُهُ فِي سَرَائِرِهِ وَعَلاَنِيَتِهِ فَأولَئِكَ هُمُ المُؤمِنُونَ.
    He who worships Almighty Allah by means of imagination has in fact disbelieved in Him. He who worships the Name devoid of the meaning has also disbelieved in Him. He who worships the meaning by using the Names to express the Attributes that He (i.e. the Exalted Lord) has used for Himself, believes in them with his heart, and utters them with his tongue in public and in secret—he is the true believer.

    See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 1:87, H. 1, Section: bab al-ma`bud (The Worshipped Lord); al-Tawhid by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 220, H. 12, Section No. 29: bab asma' allahi ta`ala (The Attributes of Almighty Allah); al-Fusul al-Muhimmah fi Usul al-A'immah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 1:63, H. 1,2 Section No. 15, Sequence, 95-96.

  • 2. () Nahj al-Balaghah (Sermons of Imam `Ali Amir al-Mu'minin), compiled by al-Sharif al-Radhi (AH 406); Sermon No. 1 (Creation of Earth and Sky and Birth of Adam); al-Ihtijaj by al-Tabrisi (AH 560), 1:296; Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah by Ibn Abi’l-Hadid (AH 656), 1:72; Bihar al-Anwar by al-Majlisi (AH 1111), 4:247, 57:176, 74:300, 96:263.
  • 3. () For more details about this topic, the reader is advised to refer to the following books: al-Insan wa’l-Qadha' wa'l-Qadar (Man, Predetermination, and Divine Decree) by Murtadha al-Mutahhari; translated from Farsi into Arabic by Muhammad `Ali al-Taskhiri; Beirut: Dar al-Ta`aruf Publishers, Second Edition, 1420 AH/1981; al-Mukhtar fi al-Jabr wa’l-Ikhtiyar by Muhammad `Ali al-Sadiqi al-Husayni; a commentary on a thesis by Sayyid `Ali al-Fani; Najaf Press, AH 1375.
  • 4. () Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq ('a) is reported to have said, “Almighty Allah has insisted on making all affairs take place due to (natural) causes. He has thus established causes for each and every affair. He has then established an explanation for each and every cause. He has then established knowledge for each and every explanation. He has then established a speaking door to each and every item of knowledge. However, some will recognize that door while others will reject it. These doors are the Messenger of Allah and we.”
    See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni, 1:183, Section: bab ma`rifat al-imam wa’l-radd ilayhi (Recognition of the Imam and Relegation to Him), H.7; Mukhtasar Basa'ir al-Darajat by al-Hasan ibn Sulayman al-Hilli, pp. 57; al-Fusul al-Muhimmah fi Usul al-A'immah by al-Hurr al-`Amili, 1:486. [translator]
  • 5. () Al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 1:160; al-Tawhid by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 326, Section: bab nafy al-jabr wa’l-tafwidh (Negation of Fatality and Indeterminism), H. 8 & pp. 206, Section: bab asma' allahi ta`ala (Attributes of Almighty Allah), H. 9; `Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 2:114 ((The English version of this book is entitled ‘`Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: Sources of Imam al-Ridha’s Traditions, translated by Dr. `Ali Peiravi, Qum: Ansariyan Publications, 2 volumes, 2006)); al-I`tiqadat by Shaykh al-Mufid (AH 413), pp. 29, Section: bab al-i`tiqad fi nafy al-jabr wa’l-tafwidh; Rawdhat al-Wa`izin by al-Naysaburi (AH 508), pp. 38; al-Ihtijaj by al-Tabrisi (AH 560), 2:198, 253.
    The same hadith has been reported from Imam `Ali Amir al-Mu'minin ('a) as is mentioned in Nahj al-Sa`adah by al-Mahmudi (contemporary), 1:483 and Kanz al-`Ummal by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi (AH 974), 1:349. See also Fath al-Bari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari by Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani (AH 852), 13:410 and Faydh al-Qadir Sharh al-Jami` al-Saghir by al-Mannawi (AH 1331), 1:540.
  • 6. () For more information about this topic, refer to the following reference books:
    Al-bada' fi Aaw' al-Qur'an wa’l-Sunnah (Bada' in the Light of the Qur'an and Sunnah) A collection of lectures delivered by `Allamah Ja`far al-Subhani; written by Ja`far al-Hadi; prepared by Imam al-Sadiq Foundation, Qum: Foundation of Islamic Publication (dateless).
    Al-Bada' (Book No. 8 in the series of `ala ma'idat al-qur’an wa’l-sunnah –On the Table of the Qur'an and Sunnah--) by Murtadha al-`Askari (contemporary); Beirut: P.O. Box 124/24.
    Al-Bada' fi’l-Qur'an al-Karim (Bada' in the Holy Qur'an) by `Abd al-Karim al-Bahbahani (The Committee of Researches and Answering the Spurious Arguments), Qum: The Ahl al-Bayt ('a) World Assembly.
    Ahl al-Bayt wa’l-Qur'an al-Karim by Muhammad Hadi Ma`rifat; Chapter Three: Bada' (pp. 117-178), Qum: The Ahl al-Bayt ('a) World Assembly, First Edition, AH 1419.
  • 7. () Al-I`tiqadat by Shaykh al-Mufid (AH 413), pp. 41.
  • 8. () In Kamal al-Din wa-Tamam al-Ni`mah by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 70, the following form of the tradition has been reported:
    مَنْ زَعَمَ أنَّ اللهَ يَبْدو لَهُ فِي شَيْءٍ لَمْ يَعْلَمْهُ أمْسِ فَابْرَؤوا مِنْهُ.
    “You must disavow anyone who claims that Almighty Allah may get to know, at this day, something that he did not know yesterday!”
  • 9. () Al-Tawhid by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 336; Kamal al-Din wa-Tamam al-Ni`mah by Shaykh al-Saduq, pp. 69.
  • 10. () Shaykh al-Saduq, a Muslim master scholar and a Shi`ite supreme authority in the fourth century of Hijrah, says, “In fact, bada' that is ascribed to the Imamiyyah Shi`ah to be one of their beliefs is no more than the advent of Almighty Allah’s command. The Arabs use the word ‘bada'’ to express initiation of a matter. The word has nothing to do with the sense of regret at all. Exalted be Allah in high exaltation above what they say.” See Kamal al-Din wa-Tamam al-Ni`mah by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 69.
  • 11. () Imam al-Sadiq ('a) is reported as saying:
    مَا ظَهَرَ للهِ أمْرٌ كَمَا ظَهَرَ لَهُ فِي إسْمَاعِيلَ ابْنِي؛ إذِ اخْتَرَمَهُ قَبْلِي لِيُعْلَمَ بِذَلِكَ أنَّهُ لَيْسَ بِإمَامٍ بَعْدِي.
    Almighty Allah has not changed a decision about an affair like what He has done in the case of my son Isma`il. He took his life before me so that people would realize that Isma`il would not be the next Imam.

    See al-Tawhid by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 336, Section: bab al-bada', H. 10; Kamal al-Din wa-Tamam al-Ni`mah by Shaykh al-Saduq, pp. 69; Majma` al-Bahrayn by al-Turayhi (AH 1085), 1:168 (item: b-d-w).

Part 2: Prophethood

Our Doctrines Concerning:

Prophethood

Prophethood being Part of Divine Grace

Miracles of The Prophets

Infallibility of The Prophets

Attributes of The Prophets

The Prophets (s) and Their Books

Islam

The Lawgiver of Islam

The Holy Qur'an

Proving the Divine Status of Islam the Past Religious LawsProving the Divine Status of Islam the Past Religious Laws

Prophethood

We believe that prophethood is a duty commissioned by Almighty Allah and a mission decided by Him. He appoints persons that He prefers and selects from among His righteous servants and His humanly perfect saints for this mission. He then sends them to guide the people towards prosperity in this world as well as the next. These messengers purify them from immorality and crooked habits, teach them wisdom and knowledge and show them the ways of pleasure and welfare, so that they might attain appropriate perfection and raise themselves to elevated ranks in the abodes of both this world and the Hereafter.

We believe that the Rule of Grace, which will be explained later on, necessitates that the Creator, Who is gracious to His servants, sends His messengers to guide people to the right path, undertake the reformative mission, and act as the Lord’s representatives and vicegerents.

We also believe that Almighty Allah has not authorized people to appoint, elect, or choose the Prophets. “They have no choice in the matter.” In fact, the whole matter is Almighty Allah’s, because:

اللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ حَيْثُ يَجْعَلُ رِسَالَتَهُ

Allah knows best with whom to place His message. (6/124)

Likewise, people have nothing to do with those whom Almighty Allah sends as guides to bear good tidings for those who believe in them and warn those who disbelieve against the Lord’s chastisement. They also have nothing to do with the laws, regulations, and rules that are conveyed by these messengers.

Prophethood being part of Divine Grace

Man is an eccentric creature and a complex structure in his form, nature, psychology, and intelligence. Moreover, each individual human personality has its own complex nature, in which inclinations to evil are existent and incentives to goodness and righteousness are also existent.

On the one hand, man has been fashioned on emotions and instincts, such as egoism, fancy, selfishness and submission to personal whims. He also possesses an inclination towards supremacy, dominance, prevalence over others, and a desire for the pleasures, vanities, and chattels of this world.

Describing man, Almighty Allah has said in the Holy Qur'an:

إِنَّ الْإِنْسَانَ لَفِي خُسْرٍ

Lo! Man is surely the loser. (103/2)

كَلَّا إِنَّ الْإِنْسَانَ لَيَطْغَىٰ أَنْ رَآهُ اسْتَغْنَىٰ

Nay! Man is most surely inordinate, because he sees himself free from want. (96/6-7)

إِنَّ النَّفْسَ لَأَمَّارَةٌ بِالسُّوءِ

Surely, the soul of man incites to evil. (12/53)

The Holy Qur'an contains many other verses clearly indicating the emotions and whims on which human beings have been fashioned.

On the other hand, Almighty Allah has created in man a guiding intellect, which leads him to prosperity and loci of goodness, and a deterrent conscience that prevents him from committing evil and wrong and blames him for doing any hideous and censured act.

Internal conflict between desires and intellect is always there inside human souls; hence, he whose intellect overcomes his desires will find himself a high-ranking place among the ones advanced in humanity and perfect in spirituality. However, those who are overcome by their whimsical desires will be with the losers and degenerate to the rank of beasts.(1)

Unfortunately, the stronger of these two contending powers is desire. This is why we find most people plunging into deviation and detaching themselves from true guidance by acceding to their desires and responding to the calls of their passions. Referring to this fact, the Holy Qur'an reads:

وَمَا أَكْثَرُ النَّاسِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتَ بِمُؤْمِنِينَ

And though you try much, most men will not believe. (12/103)

In consequence of his imperfection and ignorance of all the facts and secrets of things that surround him and stem from his own self, man is not competent to recognize all that which harms or benefits him or brings him happiness or misery respecting his own self and his species, society, and surroundings. Furthermore, man is always ignorant of himself; and the more man advances in knowledge of natural things and material beings the more he realizes his self-ignorance.

In order to attain the highest ranks of happiness, man is consequently in the most urgent need for individuals who can show him the straight path and the clearest course that drives him into orthodoxy and true guidance. By means of such, the defence of the intellect will be strengthened and man will be able to overcome his vehement enemy when he readies himself to storm through the battlefield that decides between acting upon the intellect or following the desires.

Such need of someone to guide man to the path of prosperity and uprightness becomes imperative when man’s whims make what he does seem fair to him and make his deviant acts seem alluring to him. These whims show him evil as good and good as evil and confuse the path to prosperity, uprightness, and bliss, especially when man lacks knowledge through which he can discriminate between what is good and beneficial and what is evil and harmful. Each one of us is the victim of such conflict consciously or unconsciously, except these whom Almighty Allah protects against it.

It is difficult even for an enlightened civilized man, to attain the path of prosperity and uprightness through personal competence and discriminate between what benefits him and what harms him in this world as well as the next. Concerning his own self and his species, society and surroundings, no matter how much he collaborates with his associates and reveals his ideas before them, or how many conferences, councils, and assemblies he holds he still needs spiritual guidance.

It has been thus necessary for Almighty Allah, out of His kindness and mercy to human beings, to “send a messenger from among them who recites to them His communications and purifies them, and teaches them the Book and the Wisdom.” He warns them against whatever causes them corruption and guides them towards whatever brings about prosperity and happiness to them.

Clarifying this fact, Almighty Allah says in the Holy Qur'an:

هُوَ الَّذِي بَعَثَ فِي الْأُمِّيِّينَ رَسُولًا مِنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِنْ كَانُوا مِنْ قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُبِينٍ

He it is who sent among the unlettered ones a messenger of their own, to recite unto them His signs, and to purify them and to teach them the Book and Wisdom; although they were before certainly in clear error. (62/2)

This gracious act of Almighty Allah is necessary because His grace to His servants is part of His absolute perfection. Verily, Almighty Allah is All-gracious, All-magnanimous, and All-generous.

Therefore, when an object is worthy of and ready to receive His magnanimity and grace, then it is necessary for Him to shower His magnanimity on it since His mercy is free from miserliness and His magnanimity and generosity are seamless.

“Necessity” in this course does not mean that it is incumbent upon Almighty Allah to obey the command of someone, since He is too Exalted to receive any command from any being; rather, “necessity” in this respect bears the same sense of necessity in our saying, “the Necessity Existent”, which means coexistence and inseparability.

Miracles of the Prophets

We believe that when Almighty Allah inducts a person into the position of guiding His creatures to the right path and appoints him as a messenger, He introduces him to the creatures and guides them to him in person. The one and only way of such introduction is that Almighty Allah presents a proof and evidence(2) on the truth of His messengers’ claims so that His grace to His creatures is perfect and His mercy to them complete.

It is also necessary that such evidence be of a special kind that no one can produce save the Creator of all beings and the Fashioner of all things. That is to say, such evidence must be supernatural and beyond the capabilities of human beings. Hence, as Almighty Allah grants His guiding messengers the power to manage such supernatural phenomena, these miracles act as introducers of and indicators of the messengers. Such paranormal phenomena are called ‘miracles’ because human beings are unable to manage or do the like of them.

Since it is necessary that each prophet come with a miracle through which he can prove being a prophet before the people to substantiate the Lord’s argument against them, his miracle must be inimitably manifest so that men of knowledge and experts of that age, aside from ordinary people, cannot bring the like of it. Associated with such a miracle, a prophet must declare himself as the messenger of the Lord so that his miracle would act as evidence on his claim and as proof of the truth of his declaration.

Hence, when distinguished individuals will not be able to bring the like of the miracle, everybody will know that the miracle is beyond the scope of human power and is extraordinary. This would definitely prove that the owner of the miracle, namely the prophet, is an extraordinary person, because he has a special spiritual contact with the Maker of all beings. These two factors—manifestation of the miracle and claim of prophethood—would make people believe and consequently have faith in his mission, submit to his instructions, and acknowledge his deeds. After that, some would believe in him as prophet and others would disbelieve.

In view of that, we notice that the miracle of each prophet was in accordance with the arts and sciences that were prevalent during his age. For instance, the miracle of Prophet Moses (`a) was the rod that devoured the falsities of the enchanters of that time, since the art of enchantment was the most widespread art at that time. Therefore, when the rod of Prophet Moses (`a) came, the very art of enchantment was proven false and the enchanters knew for sure that the rod could do things beyond their competence and over all their art, since the art produced by that rod was paranormal and beyond man’s ability.(3)

Similarly, the miracle of Prophet Jesus (`a), which was the healing of the blind and the leprous and bringing the dead to life, took this form because medication was the most widespread art of that time in which physicians and healers enjoyed the highest rank in society. Hence, when Prophet Jesus (`a) came with an extraordinary medicine, the sciences of these physicians and healers could not compete with him.(4)

As for our Prophet, Muhammad, peace be upon him and his Household, his immortal miracle is the Holy Qur'an that came with miraculous eloquence and articulacy in an age when rhetoric was the most widespread art and orators were in the fore of everyone else due to their excellent diction and lofty purity of language. Like a thunderbolt, the Holy Qur'an came to humiliate and astound these eloquent people and to convey to them the message whose eloquence they would never be able to resist; they therefore cringed before it as they were convinced that they would never have the power to challenge it.(5)

The occasion for their inability is that the Holy Qur’an challenged them to produce ten comparable chapters (surah), but they could not;(6) it then challenged them to produce one such surah, but they could not.(7)

Because they were unable to compete with this challenge, they used their swords rather than their words. Thus we understand that the Holy Qur’an is a miracle with which the Holy Prophet, Muhammad (s), came as evidence of his claim to prophethood and bearer of the Lord’s message.

We have thus realized that he—peace be upon him and his Household—is truly the messenger of Almighty Allah and he came with the truth and verified it.

Infallibility of the Prophets

We believe that the prophets, all without exception, are infallible.(8) So are the Holy Imams (`a), the successors to the Holy Prophet (s); pure blessings be upon them all. However, some Muslim sects have disagreed with us on this doctrine, as they do not deem necessary the infallibility of the prophets (`a), let alone the Holy Imams (`a).

Infallibility (`ismah) means to avoid committing sins and acts of disobedience to Almighty Allah, be they major or trivial. It also includes refraining from committing errors and expressing unawareness, even if such things are rationally not impossible for the prophets. Nevertheless, a Prophet is required to be far above even slight defects that may injure his personality, such as eating like ordinary people and laughing loudly, as well as every act that is crude.

It is necessary to prove the infallibility of the prophets (`a),(9) because if a prophet commits a sin, an act of disobedience to Almighty Allah, an error, or any similar act, then the matter will be restricted to one of the following probabilities:

(1) it is still obligatory to follow him in such an act, or

(2) it is not obligatory.

As for the first probability, if it is obligatory to follow him in such acts, this will definitely mean that it is permissible, and even obligatory, to commit acts of disobedience to Almighty Allah by His permission; and this is absolutely invalid on account of religious and reason-based necessities.

If we decide that it is not obligatory to follow the prophet, this will definitely be in violation of the essential principle of belief in Prophethood. Obedience to the Prophets is an obligation once they have been recognised.(10) Such being the case, each and every act of a prophet would be exposed to the probability that it was an act of disobedience to Almighty Allah or a mistake; hence, we would have the pretext not to follow the prophets in any of their words and deeds. The inevitable result would be the loss of the benefit of sending messengers and prophets by Almighty Allah. Moreover, a prophet would no longer be an extraordinary person and his words, deeds, and knowledge would no longer have such precious value that is always reliable; and it would no longer be imperative to obey or trust the instructions and words of the prophets.

This very proof is applicable to the infallibility of the Holy Imams, because we believe that Almighty Allah selects an Imam for this position to guide human beings and represent prophets.

Attributes of the Prophets

We believe that a prophet, just as he must be infallible, must be characterized by the most excellent and most favorable attributes of morality and rationality, such as courage, patience, shrewdness, intelligence plus administrative and managerial capabilities, so that no other human being can match him in these attributes. Without such high moral and rational standards a prophet would not be worthy of holding the position of general headship over all human beings and general authority over the whole world.

Furthermore, a prophet must be of legitimate birth, honest, trustworthy, and far above all vices before appointed as prophet, so that hearts feel inclined towards him and souls have confidence in him and, over and above, he should deserve such a great Divine position.Furthermore, a prophet must be of legitimate birth, honest, trustworthy, and far above all vices before appointed as prophet, so that hearts feel inclined towards him and souls have confidence in him and, over and above, he should deserve such a great Divine position.

Prophets and their Books

We believe that all the Prophets (`a) are on the truth;(11) and they are infallible and immaculate. To deny their prophethood, to revile and deride them are parts of disbelief and atheism, since such acts result in the denial of our Prophet, Muhammad (s), who has apprised us of them and declared their honesty.

It is however expressly obligatory to acquaint oneself with their names and codes of law, such as Adam, Noah, Abraham, David, Solomon, Moses, and Jesus (`a) as well as the other prophets whose names have been cited in the Holy Qur'an. Thus, to deny any of them is to deny all of them in general and the prophethood of our Prophet Muhammad (s) in particular.

It is also obligatory to believe in their Books and in whatever has been revealed to them from the Lord.

However, it has been proven that the current Torah and Gospel (i.e. the Old and New Testaments) have been distorted and their contents are not the identical revelations of the Lord. Many alterations, modifications, additions, and deletions, have been made to these two Divine Books since the times of Prophet Moses (`a) and Prophet Jesus (`a). Moreover, the majority, if not the entire, contents of these Books were written by the followers and disciples of these two Prophets a long time after their death.majority, if not the entire, contents of these Books were written by the followers and disciples of these two Prophets a long time after their death.

Islam

We believe that “The true religion with Allah is Islam.”(12) It is indeed the true, Divine code of law that is the last and most perfect of all Divine codes of law. It also accomplishes the greatest human happiness and achieves the most comprehensive benefits in this world as well as in the hereafter. Unchangeable and unmodified, Islam is valid for all ages and times, since it comprises all individual, social, and political systems of life that are needed by the human race.

Islam being the seal of all codes of law with no other law being expected to reform the conditions of human beings who are unfortunately plunging into wrong and corruption, there must come a day when Islam becomes most powerful and its justice and laws spread all over this globe.

If the laws of Islam are applied to the entire world completely and properly, peace will reach all human beings and pleasure will find its way to each one of them, and they will attain the utmost of their dreams of luxury, dignity, opulence, meekness, and virtuous morality. Besides, clouds of persecution will be driven away from the horizons, amicability and fraternity will prevail among people, and poverty and dearth will be extinct.

It is noticeable, in the present day, that those who claim being Muslims are experiencing shameful and derogatory conditions. The reason for this is that the religion of Islam with its laws and spirit was not implemented since the first century of its advent. It was certainly not their obedience to the precepts of Islam that caused such disgraceful retardation. Quite the reverse, it was their disobedience to the precepts of Islam, their underestimation of its regulations, and the spread of oppression and aggression among all their social classes, beginning with their kings and retinues down to the paupers and ordinary subjects. All these have been the factors that crippled the movements of Muslims, enfeebled their powers, destroyed their spirituality and caused them affliction and distress. As a result, Almighty Allah has destroyed them on account of their faults:

ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّ اللَّهَ لَمْ يَكُ مُغَيِّرًا نِعْمَةً أَنْعَمَهَا عَلَىٰ قَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنْفُسِهِمْ ۙ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

That is because Allah never changes the Grace He has bestowed on any people until they first change what is in themselves. (8:53)

Thus does Allah treat His creatures:

إِنَّهُ لَا يُفْلِحُ الْمُجْرِمُونَ

Lo! The guilty are never successful. (10/17)

وَمَا كَانَ رَبُّكَ لِيُهْلِكَ الْقُرَىٰ بِظُلْمٍ وَأَهْلُهَا مُصْلِحُونَ

In truth, their Lord would never destroy their cities unjustly till their folk were doing right. (11/117)

وَكَذَٰلِكَ أَخْذُ رَبِّكَ إِذَا أَخَذَ الْقُرَىٰ وَهِيَ ظَالِمَةٌ ۚ إِنَّ أَخْذَهُ أَلِيمٌ شَدِيدٌ

Even thus is the grasp of the Lord when He grasps the cities while they are doing evil. Lo! His grasp is painful, terrible. (11/102)

How do they expect that the religion of Islam will extricate this nation from its abyss while the religion in the view of the members of this nation is mere ink on paper! They do not carry out even the least amount of its instructions.

Although the prime foundations of Islam are faith, honesty, truthfulness, sincerity, good behavior, altruism, loving for one’s brother-in-faith whatever one loves for oneself, and the like moral standards, Muslims have left these morals far behind since ages up to the present day.

With the progress of time, we find Muslims increasingly separating into scattered fragments, sects, and parties, rushing madly upon the transient pleasures of this world, crushing each other for fancies, and accusing each other of atheism through incomprehensible notions or affairs that are not their concern.

Such matters have distracted them from the essence of religion and from pursuing the interests of their communities and their own. Useless questions like:

• whether the Holy Qur'an is eternal or was created afterwards;

• whether it is correct to believe in the Divine menace and the Final Return or not; or

• whether Heaven and Hell have already been created, or will be created in future.

Such disputatious issues cause them to wrangle against each other and accuse each other of atheism.

If such disputations carry an indication, they certainly indicate the deviation of these polemical individuals from the norms that were drawn up to take them to the right path after it had been already paved for them. They also indicate that they are following the other crooked paths that bring about nothing but perdition and extinction.

With the passage of time, Muslims’ departure from the right increased until ignorance and deviation surrounded them as they engaged themselves with worthless and trivial affairs and concentrated on tiring matters, myths, illusions, wars, disputes, and vainglory that finally led them to bottomless abysses. While they were diving in inadvertence and carelessness, the West, the vigilant yet bitter enemy of Islam, colonized their territories and threw them into an unending abyss whose extent and bottom no one knows except Almighty Allah:

وَمَا كَانَ رَبُّكَ لِيُهْلِكَ الْقُرَىٰ بِظُلْمٍ وَأَهْلُهَا مُصْلِحُونَ

In truth, the Lord would never destroy their cities unjustly while their folk were still doing right. (11/117)

There is no alternative for Muslims today except that they gather their parts and settle an account with themselves for their past negligence. They must then start with disciplining themselves and their coming generations through the orthodox precepts of their religion to eradicate all traces of oppression and injustice among them. Only by doing so can they escape the current catastrophic calamity. The next step must be that they fill the earth with justice and fairness after it has been filled with injustice and oppression. This is the promise of Almighty Allah and His Messenger to them and this is exactly what is expected from their religion since it is the sealing of all religions without which there is no hope to set this world right.

To achieve this, it is inevitable that a leader (imam) shall come out to erase all delusions, innovations, and aberrations that have been imputed to Islam, save people from the wide-ranging corruption and incessant oppression they are experiencing, and redeem them from the current underestimation of moral standards and disparagement of human souls. May Allah hasten his reappearance and make easy his advent.(13)

The Lawgiver of Islam

We believe that the message of Islam is contained in the person of Muhammad ibn `Abdullah (s), the seal of the prophets, the chief of all Messengers, and the best of them. He is the master of all human beings; no virtuous one can ever match him in virtue, no one can ever approach him in nobility, no rational person can ever be equivalent to him in rationality, and no civil person can ever resemble him in courtesy. He is verily on an exalted standard of character and the most excellent in all these characters from the beginning of the human race up to the Day of Resurrection.(14))

The Holy Qur’an

We believe that the Holy Qur’an is the Divine revelation that was revealed by Almighty Allah to His honorable Prophet, making everything clear. It is also the Holy Prophet’s immortal miracle that challenges all human beings to bring the like of its eloquence together with the elevated facts and knowledge it comprises. Therefore, no modification, change, or distortion can ever come upon the Holy Qur'an.(15)

The Book that we are currently holding and reciting is the very Qur'an that was revealed to the Holy Prophet. Whoever claims any statement opposite to this belief is definitely fabricating, erroneous, or dubious. All these categories are devoid of true guidance, since the Holy Qur'an is verily the word of Almighty Allah Who describes it as:

لَا يَأْتِيهِ الْبَاطِلُ مِنْ بَيْنِ يَدَيْهِ وَلَا مِنْ خَلْفِهِ ۖ تَنْزِيلٌ مِنْ حَكِيمٍ حَمِيدٍ

Falsehood cannot come at it from before it or from behind. It is sent down by One Full of Wisdom, Worthy of all Praise. (41/42)

One of the testimonies to the miraculous nature of the Holy Qur’an is that with the progress of time and evolution of science and art, the Holy Qur'an has always kept its freshness and beauty as well as its supreme objectives and notions. It never contradicts a fixed scientific theory nor does it disagree with a positive philosophical fact.

On the contrary, with the development of scientific researches and the presentation of modern theories, we notice that some books of scholars and master philosophers seem to be trivial, repugnant, or fallacious, irrespective of what elevated scientific rank or intellectual level their writers might have attained. Such fallacies are visible in the works of even the greatest Greek scholars and philosophers like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle who have been recognized as fathers of knowledge and intellectual excellence.

We also believe that it is obligatory to respect and esteem the Holy Qur'an in words and deeds; it is therefore impermissible to defile even a single word of it intentionally, as the Holy Qur'an states:

لَا يَمَسُّهُ إِلَّا الْمُطَهَّرُونَ

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

It is also impermissible for those who are ceremonially impure, whether by major impurity(16)—such as janabah,(17) menstruation, puerperium, and the like—or minor impurity(18) including sleeping unless ritual bathing or ritual ablution has been performed. The details of these laws are mentioned in the books of Shi`ite jurisprudence.

Furthermore, it is impermissible to destroy the books of the Holy Qur'an by fire or to offend them by any deed that is conventionally considered a sort of insult, such as throwing them away, staining them, or putting them under one’s feet or in a despised place. Whoever intentionally insults or despises the Holy Qur'an through any of these deeds or their likes is decided as having reneged faith and disbelieved in the Lord of the Worlds.

Proving The Divine Status Of Islam And Past Religious Laws

If a non-Muslim needs reasons to demonstrate the truth of Islam, we can prove it through its immortal miracle, namely the Holy Qur’an and by reference to its miraculous nature, as we have explained earlier. This is our way of convincing ourselves when suspicion and curiosity confronts men of free thinking at the onset of the establishment of their beliefs.

However, before we believe in the Holy Qur'an or accept the faith of Islam as our one and only belief, we need evidence to convince ourselves with the validity of past religious laws contained within Judaism and Christianity. Unfortunately, we lack evidence to convince one who doubts or wonders about these religions, because they do not hold an immortal miracle like the Holy Qur'an. The followers of these religions, who recount marvelous miracles of the past prophets, are in reality suspected in their recounting and judging of these miracles. Moreover, the currently available books that are attributed to the past prophets (`a), such as the Old and New Testaments, are devoid of any proof that can verify the immortal miracle. However, Islam verifies them with decisive and convincing testimonies through the Holy Qur'an.

We, Muslims, are required to testify to and believe in the past religious laws just because we are required to believe in whatever has been conveyed to us by this religion, such as its information about the authenticity of the prophethood of a number of previous prophets, as has been previously discussed.

It therefore follows that a Muslim, after he has accepted the teachings of Islam, is not required to evaluate the truth of Christianity or Judaism or such religions, because belief in Islam necessarily entails belief in the past messengers and prophets (`a). It is consequently unnecessary for Muslims to investigate and inspect the truth of the miracles of the prophets of these religions, because a Muslim is supposed to believe in these religions and prophets once he believes in Islam.

However, if one investigates the religion of Islam but is not convinced of its truth by the evidence provided, it becomes obligatory upon one, on the grounds of reason and necessity of knowledge and inspection, to investigate the truth of Christianity, because it is the last religion before Islam. If one, after investigation, does not reach certitude, then he is required to investigate the last religion before Christianity, which is supposedly Judaism, until one reaches conviction of a religion, or reject them all.

The issue is contrary for those who have grown up believing in Judaism or Christianity; a Jew’s belief in his religion does not release him from the liability of investigating the truth of Christianity and Islam; rather, it is obligatory upon him to inspect and have knowledge of the other religions according to reason. Similarly, it is not correct for a Christian to satisfy himself with his belief in Jesus Christ (`a); rather it becomes obligatory upon him to investigate and evaluate the truth of Islam, because both Christianity and Judaism do not deny the coming of a new religion that would abrogate the laws of these two religions. Moreover, neither Prophet Moses (`a) nor Prophet Jesus (`a) claimed that no prophet would come after them.

How is it then acceptable for Jews and Christians to rest on their beliefs and lean on their religions before they investigate the religion that is next to theirs, namely Christianity and Islam for the Jews and Islam for the Christians. By virtue of reason, it is also obligatory upon the followers of these religions to investigate the authenticity of the subsequent claim of prophethood so that they might follow it if proven true; otherwise, it would be wise for them, by virtue of reason too, to abide by their current beliefs and religions.

As has been previously cited, a Muslim, when accepting the belief of Islam, is not required to investigate the other religions, including the past ones and the coming ones that claim coming with a new religion, because:

As regarding the past religions, a Muslim is supposed to believe in these religions; therefore, he is not required to ask for proofs on them. The matter is predetermined for him. The laws of Islam abrogate all laws of previous religions. As a result, a Muslim must not act upon those laws.

As regarding future religions,(19) a Muslim is also exempted from investigating and evaluating them, because the Holy Prophet, Muhammad (s), has confirmed:

لاَ نَبِيَّ بَعْدِي.

No prophet will come after me.(20)

In the view of Muslims, the Holy Prophet, Muhammad (s), is unquestionably the most honest and most truthful of all. He is as exactly as described by Almighty Allah in the Holy Qur'an:

وَمَا يَنْطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَىٰ إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَىٰ

Nor does he (the Holy Prophet) speak from his own desire. This is naught but a revelation from Us. (53/3-4)

A Muslim is thus not required to inquire a proof on the authenticity of a later prophethood.

On account of the long period between us and the age of Prophet Muhammad (s), the bearer of the message of Islam, a great variety of schools of law and opinions, a divergence of sects and creeds has mushroomed. It is a must upon a Muslim to take the path that he trusts will lead him to an acquaintance with the laws revealed to the bearer of the message, because every Muslim individual is under the duty of acting upon the laws of Islam as exactly as they command.

However, a question arises in the minds in this respect: How can a Muslim recognize the laws of Islam as exactly as they command while they are at variance following divergent sects? The methods of performing the obligatory prayers are not the same! Acts of worship are not alike! Laws of transactions are not similar! What then should a Muslim do? According to which method should he perform the prayers? Which opinions should he follow in order to act upon the laws of Islam in all acts of worship and transactions, such as matrimony, divorce, inheritance, merchandising, establishing of religious provisions, blood money, and the like issues?

Of course, it is not permissible to follow one’s fathers or to submit to the practise of one’s folks and companions. Rather, it is necessary to go through self-conviction in the issue of one’s doctrine and to build a doctrinal relationship with one’s God, because comity, flattery, partiality or fanaticism must not play any role in doctrinal issues.

The one and only conviction that one must attain is that one has pursued the best of all ways that is believed to release one from responsibilities and duties towards Almighty Allah and to approach the conviction that one is not liable for any duty before the Lord and is released from the Lord’s punishment or reproach since one has followed the most favorable sect and acted upon its laws. Such being the case, one must never be influenced by any factor as long as one has followed the right path that achieves the pleasure of the Lord. The Holy Qur'an reads:

أَيَحْسَبُ الْإِنْسَانُ أَنْ يُتْرَكَ سُدًى

Does man think that he is to be left aimless? (75/36)

بَلِ الْإِنْسَانُ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِهِ بَصِيرَةٌ

Nay! Man shall be proof against himself. (75/14)

إِنَّ هَٰذِهِ تَذْكِرَةٌ ۖ فَمَنْ شَاءَ اتَّخَذَ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِ سَبِيلًا

Lo! This is a rejoinder, that whosoever will, may choose a way unto his Lord. (76/29)

The first question that comes to one’s mind is whether one should follow the way of the Prophet’s Household (i.e. the Ahl al-Bayt) or the ways headed by others. If one follows the way of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a), one would also wonder whether the most accurate way is that of the Imamiyyah Twelvers’ or the ways adopted by the other followers of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a).

If one, on the other hand, follows the way of the Ahl al-Sunnah (i.e. Sunnis), one will then wonder which of the four major schools or the other schools he should follow. This must be the way of thinking adopted by those enjoying free minds and choice until they resort to a true, firm side.

In view of the above, it seems necessary to investigate the doctrine of Imamate (al-imamah) and its appendages in the belief of the Twelver Imamiyyah Shi`ah..

  • 1. () Almighty Allah says in the Holy Qur'an:

    وَنَفْسٍ وَمَا سَوَّاهَا فَأَلْهَمَهَا فُجُورَهَا وَتَقْوَاهَا قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَنْ زَكَّاهَا وَقَدْ خَابَ مَنْ دَسَّاهَا

    And [I swear by] the soul and Him Who made it perfect; then He inspired it to understand what is right and wrong for it. He will indeed be successful who purifies it, and he will indeed fail who corrupts it. (91/7-10)

  • 2. () Almighty Allah has said in the Holy Qur'an:

    رُسُلًا مُبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنْذِرِينَ لِئَلَّا يَكُونَ لِلنَّاسِ عَلَى اللَّهِ حُجَّةٌ بَعْدَ الرُّسُلِ ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَزِيزًا حَكِيمًا

    (We sent) messengers as the givers of good news and as warners, so that people should not have a plea against Allah after the (coming of) messengers; and Allah is Mighty, Wise. (4/165)

  • 3. () Almighty Allah has said in the Holy Qur'an:

    وَجَاءَ السَّحَرَةُ فِرْعَوْنَ قَالُوا إِنَّ لَنَا لَأَجْرًا إِنْ كُنَّا نَحْنُ الْغَالِبِينَ قَالَ نَعَمْ وَإِنَّكُمْ لَمِنَ الْمُقَرَّبِينَ
    قَالُوا يَا مُوسَىٰ إِمَّا أَنْ تُلْقِيَ وَإِمَّا أَنْ نَكُونَ نَحْنُ الْمُلْقِينَ قَالَ أَلْقُوا ۖ فَلَمَّا أَلْقَوْا سَحَرُوا أَعْيُنَ النَّاسِ وَاسْتَرْهَبُوهُمْ وَجَاءُوا بِسِحْرٍ عَظِيمٍ وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَىٰ مُوسَىٰ أَنْ أَلْقِ عَصَاكَ ۖ فَإِذَا هِيَ تَلْقَفُ مَا يَأْفِكُونَ فَوَقَعَ الْحَقُّ وَبَطَلَ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ فَغُلِبُوا هُنَالِكَ وَانْقَلَبُوا صَاغِرِينَ وَأُلْقِيَ السَّحَرَةُ سَاجِدِينَ

    And the enchanters came to Pharaoh (and) said, ‘We must surely have a reward if we are the prevailing ones.’ He said, ‘Yes, and you shall certainly be of those who are near to me.’ They said, ‘O Musa! Will you cast, or shall we be the first to cast?’ He said, ‘Cast.’ So, when they cast, they deceived the people's eyes and frightened them, and they produced a mighty enchantment. And We revealed to Musa, saying: ‘Cast your rod.’ Then, lo! It devoured the lies they told. So the truth was established, and what they did became null. Thus, they were vanquished there, and they went back abased. And the enchanters were thrown down, prostrating themselves. (7/113-120)

  • 4. () Almighty Allah has said in the Holy Qur'an:

    وَرَسُولًا إِلَىٰ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَنِّي قَدْ جِئْتُكُمْ بِآيَةٍ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ ۖ أَنِّي أَخْلُقُ لَكُمْ مِنَ الطِّينِ كَهَيْئَةِ الطَّيْرِ فَأَنْفُخُ فِيهِ فَيَكُونُ طَيْرًا بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ ۖ وَأُبْرِئُ الْأَكْمَهَ وَالْأَبْرَصَ وَأُحْيِي الْمَوْتَىٰ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ ۖ وَأُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا تَأْكُلُونَ وَمَا تَدَّخِرُونَ فِي بُيُوتِكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لَكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ

    And (make him) a messenger to the children of Israel: that I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, that I mould for you out of dust the form of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird with Allah's permission. And I heal the blind and the leprous, and bring the dead to life with Allah's permission. And, I inform you of what you should eat and what you should store in your houses. Most surely, there is a sign in this for you, if you are believers. (3/49)

  • 5. () The Holy Qur'an reads in this respect:

    قُلْ لَئِنِ اجْتَمَعَتِ الْإِنْسُ وَالْجِنُّ عَلَىٰ أَنْ يَأْتُوا بِمِثْلِ هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنِ لَا يَأْتُونَ بِمِثْلِهِ وَلَوْ كَانَ بَعْضُهُمْ لِبَعْضٍ ظَهِيرًا

    Say: If men and jinn should unite to bring the like of this Qur'an, they could not bring the like of it, though some of them be aides of others. (17/88)

  • 6.
    () The Holy Qur'an reads:

    يَقُولُونَ افْتَرَاهُ ۖ قُلْ فَأْتُوا بِعَشْرِ سُوَرٍ مِثْلِهِ مُفْتَرَيَاتٍ وَادْعُوا مَنِ اسْتَطَعْتُمْ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِينَ

    Or, do they say, ‘He has forged it?’ Say: ‘Then bring ten forged chapters like it and call upon whom you can besides Allah, if you are truthful.’ (11/13)

  • 7.
    () This is an indication to the following holy verse:

    وَإِنْ كُنْتُمْ فِي رَيْبٍ مِمَّا نَزَّلْنَا عَلَىٰ عَبْدِنَا فَأْتُوا بِسُورَةٍ مِنْ مِثْلِهِ وَادْعُوا شُهَدَاءَكُمْ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِينَ

    And if you are in doubt as to that which We have revealed to Our servant, then produce a chapter like it and call on your witnesses besides Allah if you are truthful. (2/23)

  • 8. () For more details on this topic and for removing any spurious argument about it, the reader is advised to refer to the book of Tanzih al-Anbiya' by al-Sharif al-Murtadha; `Ali ibn al-Husayn al-Musawi (AH 436); Beirut: Dar al-Adhwa' Publishers, Second Edition, 1409 AH/AD 1989.
  • 9. () Among the proofs of the infallibility of the prophets ('a), scholars have cited the following verse of the Holy Qur'an:

    وَإِذِ ابْتَلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ رَبُّهُ بِكَلِمَاتٍ فَأَتَمَّهُنَّ ۖ قَالَ إِنِّي جَاعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا ۖ قَالَ وَمِنْ ذُرِّيَّتِي ۖ قَالَ لَا يَنَالُ عَهْدِي الظَّالِمِينَ

    And when his Lord tried Abraham with certain words, he fulfilled them. He said, ‘Surely, I will make you an Imam of men.’ Abraham said, ‘And of my offspring?’ ‘My covenant does not include the unjust,’ said He. (2/124)

    This holy verse confirms that Almighty Allah has not allowed one who acts unjustly to hold a high position like Prophethood or Imamate.
    Another proof is the following holy verse:

    قَالَ فَبِعِزَّتِكَ لَأُغْوِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ إِلَّا عِبَادَكَ مِنْهُمُ الْمُخْلَصِينَ

    He (Satan) said: ‘Then, by Thy Might (I swear), I will surely beguile all of them except Thy servants from among them, the purified ones.’ (38/82-83)

    This holy verse demonstrates Satan’s inability to beguile those whom Almighty Allah has purified from sinning and guarded against wrongdoing and transgression.

  • 10. () The Holy Qur'an has stated:

    وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِنْ رَسُولٍ إِلَّا لِيُطَاعَ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ

    And We did not send any messenger but that he should be obeyed by Allah's permission. (4/64)

  • 11. () The Holy Qur'an teaches us, saying:

    قُولُوا آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَمَا أُنْزِلَ إِلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالْأَسْبَاطِ وَمَا أُوتِيَ مُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ وَمَا أُوتِيَ النَّبِيُّونَ مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِنْهُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ

    Say: We believe in Allah and in that which had been revealed to us, and in that which was revealed to Ibrahim (Abraham) and Isma`il (Ishmael) and Ishaq (Isaac) and Ya`qub (Jacob) and the tribes, and in that which was given to Musa (Moses) and `«sa (Jesus), and in that which was given to the prophets from their Lord. We do not make any distinction between any of them; and to Him do we submit. (2/136)

  • 12. () This is part of a Qur'anic verse that reads:

    إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ الْإِسْلَامُ ۗ وَمَا اخْتَلَفَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ إِلَّا مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَهُمُ الْعِلْمُ بَغْيًا بَيْنَهُمْ ۗ وَمَنْ يَكْفُرْ بِآيَاتِ اللَّهِ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ

    Surely, the true religion with Allah is Islam, and those to whom the Book had been given did not show opposition but after knowledge had come to them, out of envy among themselves; and whoever disbelieves in the communications of Allah then surely Allah is quick in reckoning. (3/19)

  • 13. () Imam al-Mahdi—may Allah hasten his reappearance—is reported to have said:

    وَأكْثِرُوا الدُّعَاءَ بِتَعْجِيلِ الفَرَجِ، فَإنَّ ذَلِكَ فَرَجُكُمْ.

    “Pray to Almighty Allah frequently to hasten my Relief, for it shall in reality carry relief for you.”
    See al-Ghaybah by Shaykh al-Tusi (AH 460), pp. 293, H. 247; al-Ihtijaj by al-Tabrisi (AH 560), 2:284; al-Khara'ij wa’l-Jara'ih by al-Rawandi (AH 573), 3:1115, H. 30.

  • 14. () This indicates the following verse of the Holy Qur'an:

    وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَىٰ خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ

    And most surely you conform yourself to sublime morality. (68/4)

  • 15. () This is because Almighty Allah has guaranteed its preservation against any sort of distortion, saying:

    إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ

    Surely, We have revealed the Reminder and We will most surely be its guardian. (15/9)

  • 16. () Major impurity (al-hadath al-akbar) is every matter that makes it obligatory to perform the ritual bathing (ghusl) or invalidates it. [translator]
  • 17. () Janabah, in the terminology of Muslim jurisprudence, stands for the state of deprivation of ritual purity due to sexual intercourse or ejaculation of semen or the semi-semen wetness that comes out after the ejaculation of semen and before urination that is intended to cut off the ejaculation of semen. (Quoted from Mu`jam Alfaz al-Fiqh al-Ja`fari by Ahmad Fathullah, pp. 143. [translator]
  • 18. () Minor impurity (al-hadath al-asghar) is every matter that makes it obligatory to perform the ritual ablution (wudhu') or invalidates it. [translator]
  • 19. () The Holy Qur'an has confirmed that prophethood is sealed by the prophethood of Muhammad—peace be upon him and his Household:

    مَا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَا أَحَدٍ مِنْ رِجَالِكُمْ وَلَٰكِنْ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيِّينَ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمًا

    Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the Last of the Prophets; and Allah is cognizant of all things. (33/40)

  • 20. () The Holy Prophet, Muhammad ('a), is reported to have said:

    أيُّهَا النَّاسُ! إنَّهُ لاَ نَبِيَّ بَعْدِي، وَلاَ سُنَّةَ بَعْدَ سُنَّتِي؛ فَمَنِ ادَّعَى ذَلِكَ فَدَعْوَاهُ وَبِدْعَتُهُ فِي النَّارِ. وَمَنِ ادَّعَى ذَلِكَ فَاقْتُلُوهُ وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَهُ، فَإنَّهُمْ فِي النَّارِ.
    “O People! Indeed, there shall not come a prophet after me and there shall not come a Sunnah (a body of traditions and practices) after my Sunnah. If one claims the opposite, then his claim and heresy shall be in Hellfire. Hence, you may kill anyone who claims it and kill his followers, for they shall verily be in Hellfire.”
    See al-Amali by Shaykh al-Mufid (AH 413), pp. 53; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 28:337, H. 34900, 3rd hadith in Section: bab hukm man shatama al-nabiyya aw idda`a al-nubuwwata kadhiban (Rulings Appertained to One Who Insults the Holy Prophet Or Claims Being Prophet Falsely).
    The Holy Prophet (s) is also reported as saying:
    فِي أُمَّتِي كَذَّابُونَ وَدَجَّالُونَ، سَبْعَةٌ وَعِشْرُونَ؛ مِنْهُمْ أرْبَعُ نِسْوَةٍ. وَإنِّي خَاتَمُ الأنْبِيَاءِ، لاَ نَبِيَّ بَعْدِي.
    “There shall be twenty-seven liars and impostors in my nation. Four of them shall be women. I am verily the Seal of the Prophets. No prophet shall come after me.”
    See Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal (AH 241), 5:396; Majma` al-Zawa'id by al-Haythami (AH 807), 7:332, Section: bab ma ja’a fi al-kadhdhabin (Traditions Concerning the Liars).
    The Holy Prophet (s) is also reported as saying:
    كَانَتْ بَنُو إسْرَائِيلَ تَسُوسُهُمُ الأنْبِيَاءُ؛ كُلَّمَا هَلَكَ نَبِيٌّ خَلَفَهُ نَبِيٌّ. وَإنَّهُ لاَ نَبِيَّ بَعْدِي.
    “The Children of Israel (i.e. the Israelis) used to be headed by the prophets; therefore, when a prophet died, another prophet would succeed him. Verily, there shall not be a prophet coming after me.”
    See Sahih al-Bukhari (AH 256), 4:144; al-Sunan al-Kubra by al-Bayhaqi (AH 458), 8:144; Sahih Muslim (AH 261), 6:17.
    Through his famous discourse with `Ali ibn Abi-Talib, the Holy Prophet (s) confirmed that he would be the last of the prophets. So, he is reported to have said in the uninterruptedly reported hadith known as ‘hadith al-manzilah’:
    أنْتَ مِنِّي بِمَنْزِلَةِ هَارُونَ مِنْ مُوسَى؛ إلاَّ أنَّهُ لاَ نَبِيَّ بَعْدِي.
    “In relation to me, you occupy the same position that (Prophet) Aaron occupied in relation to (Prophet) Moses except that (you are not a prophet because) there shall not be a prophet coming after me.”
    See al-Mahasin by al-Barqi (AH 274 or 280), 1:259, Chapter: kitab al-safwah (Book of the Elite), Section: bab al-infirad (Peculiarity), H. 99; al-Gharat by al-Thaqafi al-Kufi (AH 283), 1:62; al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 8:107; Ma`ani al-Akhbar by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 74-79, Section: bab ma`na qawl al-nabiyy li-`aliyyin: anta minni bimanzilati haruna min musa illa annahu la nabiyya ba`di (The Significance of the Holy Prophet’s Saying to `Ali: “For me, you occupy the same position that (Prophet) Aaron enjoyed with (Prophet) Moses. Yet, there shall not be a prophet coming after me.”), H. 1&2; al-Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi (AH 465), pp. 171, 253, 307, 342, 548, 555, 558, 566, 598, 599; Musnad Abi-Dawud al-Tayalisi (AH 204), pp. 29; al-Musannaf by `Abd al-Razzaq al-San`ani (AH 211), 11:226, H. 20390; Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal (AH 241), 1:184, 3:23; Sahih Muslim (AH 261), 7:120; Sunan Ibn Majah (AH 273), 1:45, H. 121; Sunan al-Tirmidhi (AH 279), 5:304, H. 3814; al-Sunan al-Kubra by al-Nassa'i (AH 303), 5:44, 45, 108, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 144, 240, H. 8138, 8141, 8143, 8399, 8429, 8433, 8435, 8438, 8441, 8442, 8444, 8446, 8447, 8511, 8780; Sunan al-Bayhaqi (AH 458), 9:40. Commenting on this hadith, al-Bayhaqi says, “This hadith has been mentioned by al-Bukhari and Muslim in their books of al-Sahih on the authority of Shu`bah. Thus did tens of other reference books of hadith.

Part 3: Imamate

Our Doctrines Concerning:

Imamate

Infallibility of the Imam

Attributes and Knowledge of the Imam

Obedience to the Imams

Love for the Ahl al-Bayt

The Holy Imams

Imamate being Decided by Divine Commission

Number of the Imams

Al-Mahdi

The Return (Raj`ah)

Taqiyyah (Pious Dissimulation)

Imamate

We believe that Imamate(1) is one of the fundamentals of the religion; one’s faith is imperfect without belief in Imamate. It is also unacceptable to depend upon one’s fathers, folks, or mentors as regards the belief in Imamate, no matter how great these individuals might be; rather it is obligatory upon every individual to investigate and evaluate the matter of Imamate as exactly as it is obligatory to investigate the Unity of the worshipped Lord and Prophethood.

Release from one’s liability from religious duties and obligations depends upon one’s belief in Imamate, as it is then obligatory to obey the Imam in the performance of one’s religious duties. However, if Imamate is not accepted as one of the fundaments of religion, it is then obligatory on account of reason to believe in Imamate to be released from one’s liability from religious duties and obligations because not all duties and obligations can be decided with certainty without sufficient knowledge; therefore, it is necessary to refer to persons who we believe have achieved such knowledge of religious duties, such as the Imam, according to the faith of the Imamiyyah, and others, according to each sect’s faith.

Even if man does not believe in Imamate and does not suppose that it is a fundamental of Islam, he should, examine the concept of Imamate, if only to absolve himself of responsibility in this matter.

We also believe that Imamate, just like Prophethood, is a necessary grace of Almighty Allah. As a result, there must be in each age an imam (leader) to represent the Prophet in his missions of guiding and leading human beings towards the right path that they might achieve prosperity and pleasure in this world as well as the next. Such a leader must also enjoy the same authority enjoyed by the Prophet, such as supreme authority over the people, so that he can manage their affairs and interests, maintain justice among them and wipe out injustice and oppression.

Accordingly, Imamate is only a continuation of prophethood, and the reason for which Almighty Allah sends messengers and prophets is also the reason why the Prophet must be succeeded by an Imam.

In view of that, we, the Imamiyyah Shi`ah, state that Imamate cannot be decided without a commission from Almighty Allah conveyed to us by the Holy Prophet (s) or the previous Imam (`a). Imamate is thus not subordinate to selection or choice by the people, for they are not authorized to nominate anyone to this position if they desire and to depose anyone they do not like from this position and thus remain without an Imam, because:

مَنْ مَاتَ وَلَمْ يَعْرِفْ إمَامَ زَمَانِهِ مَاتَ مِيتَةً جَاهِلِيَّةً.

He who dies without recognition of the Imam of his time has in fact died just like the ignorant ones who died before accepting Islam.(2)

Through uninterruptedly transmitted narrations, reporters quoted the Holy Prophet (s) as having confirmed the previous decision.

From the above, we conclude that it is impossible that any age can be devoid of a Divinely commissioned leader, it being obligatory on the people to obey him (i.e. the Imam), whether they like him or not, support him or not, obey him or not, or whether he is present or absent from their sight.(3)

In the same way as it is acceptable for the Prophet (s) to absent himself from people’s sights, such as his disappearance from view in the cave(4) or in the col,(5) it is acceptable for the Imam to absent himself from view, be his occultation long or short, according to reason. Almighty Allah has said in the Holy Qur'an:

وَلِكُلِّ قَوْمٍ هَادٍ

And there is a guide for every people. (13/7)

وَإِنْ مِنْ أُمَّةٍ إِلَّا خَلَا فِيهَا نَذِيرٌ

There is not a nation but a warner has passed among them. (35/24)

Infallibility of the Imam

We believe that an Imam, just like a Prophet, must be infallible from all vices and defects, whether open or concealed, from childhood up to death, deliberately or unintentionally.

An Imam must be free from inadvertence, error, or unawareness, because the Imams, just like the Prophets, are maintainers of the religious law and they must stand out firm for it. The proofs that have convinced us to believe in the inerrancy of the Prophets are the same as those that have convinced us to believe in the inerrancy of the Imams. An Arabic verse says:

It is not impossible for Allah to unite the whole world in one person.(6)

Attributes and Knowledge of the Imam

We believe that an imam, just like a prophet must be the best of all mankind in attributes of human perfection, such as courage, generosity, chasteness, truthfulness, decency, prudence, reason, wisdom, and morality.

The evidence on this doctrine is the same as that which we gave for the prophet's superiority.

An imam receives all Divine knowledge and laws, as well as information, from the Prophet or the Imam preceding him.

When a new question arises, he must have knowledge of it through inspiration, which he receives by way of power of sacredness that Almighty Allah has placed in him. Hence, when he gives attention to something and wills to know it in actuality, he will neither miss nor fail to hit it, without reason-based proofs or instructions of mentors. The knowledge of an imam can however be increased and intensified. As a result, the Holy Prophet (s) used to pray to Almighty Allah saying,

رَّبِّ زِدْنِي عِلْمًا

O Lord, increase my knowledge! (20:114) (7)

Psychological studies have proven that each human being passes by an hour or several hours in his lifetime during which he can have knowledge of a number of things by intuition, which is part of inspiration, by virtue of the power that Almighty Allah has granted man to acquaint himself with such knowledge. This power, however, differs among people; increase or decrease owing to each man’s nature. During such hours, man’s mind suddenly gets to know certain things without intervention of the thought process or instruction of mentors. In fact, each individual can experience such states many times in his lifetime.

On the grounds of this experimental fact demonstrated by ancient and recent philosophers, certain people can attain their utmost inspirational competence.

On the strength of this fact, we can conclude that the Holy Imams (`a) hold the highest degree of the power of intuition, especially when we come to know that they possess the purest minds that are ready to receive information at all times, in all states, and under all circumstances. Accordingly and as has been previously maintained, when the Imam gives attention to something and wills to know it, he will know it through this holy inspirational power without premeditation, introduction, or instruction of mentors. Such information will then manifest itself in the minds of the Holy Imams in the same way as visible things reflect themselves in mirrors without dimness or obscurity.

This fact reveals itself very clearly in the history of the Holy Prophet (s) and Imams (`a) who never attended the classes of any mentor, nor received the instructions of any scholar since early childhood up to maturity. Nobody ever taught them any aspect of science or art, including reading and writing. History tells us that they were never reported to have joined elementary schools or studied under a teacher.(8))

In spite of this they never delayed an answer to any question that was addressed to them. Moreover, their tongues never uttered the statement, ‘I do not know,’(9) and they never withheld the answer to a question so as to consult others or deliberate,… etc.

Unlike the Holy Imams (`a), biographies of every Muslim jurisprudent, narrator, or master scholar contains information about the names of those who educated, taught, and trained them in fields in which they excelled. Moreover, such biographies contain situations in which such scholars could not find answers to many questions and doubted many others. This is indeed ordinary in the lives of human beings in all places and times.

Obedience to the Imams

We believe that the Holy Imams (`a) are the very men of authority whom Almighty Allah has ordered people to obey,(10) the witnesses over the nations, the doors opening the way to Almighty Allah, the paths leading to Him, the signs pointing out to Him, the bearers of His knowledge, the interpreters of His revelations, the pillars of [the belief in] His Oneness, and the custodians of His recognition. By virtue of this, they have always been the cause of security for the inhabitants of the earth just as the stars are the cause of security for the inhabitants of the heavens,(11) as is expressed by the Holy Prophet (s) who has further demonstrated their positions by saying,

مَثَلُ أهْلِ بَيْتِي فِي هَذِهِ الأمَّةِ كَسَفِينَةِ نُوحٍ؛ مَنْ رَكِبَهَا نَجَا، وَمَنْ تَخَلَّفَ عَنْهَا غَرِقَ وَهَوَى.

The likeness of my Household in this nation is the Ark of Noah; whosoever embarked upon it was saved, but whoever turned away from it was drowned.(12)

As for the Glorious Qur'an, it has described them, saying:

بَلْ عِبَادٌ مُكْرَمُونَ لَا يَسْبِقُونَهُ بِالْقَوْلِ وَهُمْ بِأَمْرِهِ يَعْمَلُونَ

[They are] honored servants who speak not until He has spoken and act by His Command. (21/26-7)

Furthermore, they are those whom Almighty Allah has kept away from impurity and cleansed with a thorough cleansing.(13)

Furthermore, we believe that the commandments of the Holy Imams (`a) are verily the commandments of Almighty Allah, their prohibitions are His prohibitions, to obey them is to obey Him, to disobey them is to disobey Him, to adhere to them is to adhere to Him, and to show enmity towards them is to show enmity towards Him. It is also forbidden to reject them, because to reject them is to reject the Holy Messenger (s), and to reject the Holy Messenger (s) is to reject Almighty Allah.(14)

It is thus obligatory to submit to them, give oneself over to them, and accept whatever they say.

Pursuant to this, we believe that the religious laws, commissioned by Almighty Allah, must not be derived from any resource other than their salubrious resources, yet it is invalid to take these laws from other than them, and the religious responsibility of any person who refers to other than them is not fulfilled. Indeed, such a person must not feel content that he has carried out the duties imposed upon him by Almighty Allah unless he carries them out according to the teachings of the Holy Imams (`a).

In this tumultuous ocean overcrowded with billows of seditious, misleading, litigious, and fallacious matters, the Holy Imams (`a) represent Noah’s Ark; whosoever embarks upon it will be definitely saved, but whoever falls behind will be drowned.

In this thesis, we will not seek to prove that the Holy Imams (`a) were the legal caliphs (i.e. religious and political leaders of the Muslim nation) and successors of the Holy Prophet (s), and that they possessed Divine authority, because proving it will not bring back the circle of time or restore the usurped rights to their due owners. The most important point in this thesis is to prove the obligation of referring to the Holy Imams (`a) in obtaining the religious laws of Almighty Allah, and in gaining the directions of the Holy Prophet (s) in their most accurate forms.

The purpose of this discussion is to verify the fact that to receive the religious laws of Islam from reporters and scholars who have not derived them from the Holy Imams’ (`a) pure resources and have not sought light from their luminous sources is definitely deviation from the straight path of religion. Moreover, a Muslim, who learns his religious duties from any other source besides the Holy Imams (`a), must not be sure that he has fulfilled his duties towards Almighty Allah because there is a great divergence in opinions among the different sects of Muslims regarding the laws of Islam. An ordinary Muslim faces immense difficulty in choosing for himself from these divergent sects and schools. He is required to probe and investigate until he acquires a decisive pretext before Almighty Allah to follow a certain sect that he believes will lead him to the actual laws enacted by the Lord and thus, fulfill his duties toward Him. Generally, a certain engagement with a duty is required for certain release from it.

Categorical proofs demonstrate that it is obligatory to refer to the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) in the learning of the religious laws and that they are the genuine resources of the Divinely revealed laws of the religion after the Holy Prophet (s); at least on account of his authentically reported following statement:

إنِّي قَدْ تَرَكْتُ فِيكُمْ مَا إنْ تَمَسَّكْتُمْ بِهِ لَنْ تَضِلُّوا بَعْدِي أبَداً؛ الثَّقَلَيْنِ، وَأَحَدُهُمَا أكْبَرُ مِنَ الآخَرِ: كِتَابَ اللهِ، حَبْلٌ مَمْدُودٌ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ إلَى الأرْضِ، وَعِتْرَتِي أهْلَ بَيْتِي. ألاَ وَإنَّهُمَا لَنْ يَفْتَرِقَا حَتَّى يَرِدَا عَلَيَّ الْحَوْضَ.

Verily, I am leaving among you that which shall forever save you from straying off [the straight path of the religion] as long as you hold fast to them. They are the Two Weighty Things [thaqalayn](15) one of which is more significant than the other: [first] the Book of Almighty Allah, which is a rope extending from the heavens to the earth, and [second] my progeny [‘itrah],(16) the members of my Household [Ahl al-Bayt]. Verily, they shall never separate from one another until they join me at the Divine Pond.(17)

This tradition has been unanimously narrated by both Sunni and Shi`ite reporters alike. If you consider this momentous tradition carefully, you will come across marvelous and persuasive structure and significance. For instance, how remarkable the following statement is:

I am leaving among you that which shall forever save you from straying off [the straight path of religion] as long as you hold fast to them.

What the Holy Prophet (s) has left with us is the Two Weighty Things together, which he has considered one thing and has declared that it is not sufficient to hold fast to one of them and leave the other; rather, safety from straying off can be achieved only through holding fast to both of them.

Another example, very clear is the purport of the following statement:

These two will never be separated from each other until they join me at the Pond.

Whoever separates these two from one another and shuns holding fast to both of them shall never touch on true guidance. In view of this fact, the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) have been the ark of salvation and the security for the inhabitants of the earth; sinking into the bottomless tumults of deviation is the unavoidable fate of everyone who fails to join them; and perdition will be the end result.

To claim that such holding fast to them stands for mere love for them without accepting their instructions and following their course is definitely fleeing from the right; a method adopted by the extremists who deliberately design to ignore the accurate course of interpreting Arabic words.

Love for the Ahl al-Bayt

Almighty Allah says in the Holy Qur'an:

قُلْ لَا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرًا إِلَّا الْمَوَدَّةَ فِي الْقُرْبَىٰ

Say (O Muhammad, unto mankind): I do not ask for any wages for this except uncontaminated love and respect for my kinsfolk. (42/23)

We believe that besides the obligation of holding fast to the Ahl al-Bayt (`a), each and every Muslim is under another obligation, which is to profess themselves to love the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) and hold them dear. This is because Almighty Allah, in the aforesaid holy verse, has clearly demanded the people’s love for them.(18)

The Holy Prophet (s) said:

حُبُّ أهْلِ بَيْتِي عَلاَمَةُ الإيمَانِ، وَبُغْضُهُمْ عَلاَمَةُ النِّفَاقِ. مَنْ أحَبَّهُمْ أحَبَّ اللهَ وَرَسُولَهُ، وَمَنْ أبْغَضَهُمْ أبْغَضَ اللهَ وَرَسُولَهُ.

Love for my Household is a sign of belief, and to show enmity towards them is a sign of hypocrisy.(19) Whosoever loves them has in fact loved Almighty Allah and His Messenger; and whosoever shows enmity towards them has in fact shown enmity towards Almighty Allah and His Messenger.(20)

Indisputably and unquestionably, love for the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) is one of the necessary fundaments of Islam. This belief is held by all Muslims, despite their divergent and different opinions, except a few factions who adopted the enmity of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) and, as a result, were called ‘Nawasib’ (i.e. those who show open hostility to the Household of the Holy Prophet). Consequently, they are included with those who reject the decisive form of Islam. As a general rule, whosoever rejects the established form of the religion, such as the obligation of prayers and fasting, is decided as having rejected the origin of the Mission of Islam and the Mission of Islam altogether, as is confirmed by established proofs, even if one has uttered the profession of faith (i.e. shahadah).

Thus, hostility to the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) is one of the testimonies of one’s hypocrisy, and to love them is one of the signs of true faith. Consequently, hostility to the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) is clear hostility to Almighty Allah and to the Holy Prophet (s).

Almighty Allah has commanded us to love the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) and to hold them dear because they are worthy of such love and devotion by virtue of their occupying nearby positions to Almighty Allah, high levels of eminence, and absolute innocence from polytheism, acts of disobedience, and whatever drives away from the area of His pleasure.

It is wrong to even imagine that Almighty Allah might impose upon us the love of someone who disobeys Him or fails to obey Him as He should be obeyed, because all Almighty Allah’s,creatures, in His view, are His servants whom He has created equally, the noblest among them, in His sight, being the most righteous.(21)

Thus, the person/s whom Almighty Allah imposes upon His creatures to love and hold dear must be the most righteous and the most virtuous of all; otherwise, another person would be worthier of such love. It might also be said that Almighty Allah—far be it from Him—prefers some people to others unjustly or playfully without these preferred people deserving such preference!

The Holy Imams

Concerning our belief in our Holy Imams (`a), we do not imitate the Extremists (ghulat) and the Immanentists (hululiyyun):

كَبُرَتْ كَلِمَةً تَخْرُجُ مِنْ أَفْوَاهِهِمْ

A monstrous word it is, issuing from mouths. (18:5)

We believe that our Imams are human beings like ourselves, i.e. they enjoy the same rights that we enjoy and they are required to do the same obligations that we are required to do; except that they are noble servants of Almighty Allah Who has granted them special honor and bestowed upon them His authority, because they occupy the highest ranks of human perfection, such as knowledge, piety, courage, nobility, and chastity, as well as all moral standards and nobilities of character. Hence, no human being can ever attain the peculiarities that they hold.

Accordingly, they have been the worthiest of being leaders, guides, and authorities after the Holy Prophet (s) in giving instructions, interpretations and explanations of the religious laws and the Holy Qur'an as needed by people.

In this respect, our Imam, Ja`far al-Sadiq (`a), says:

مَا جَاءَكُمْ عَنّا مِمَّا يَجُوزُ أنْ يَكُونَ فِي المَخْلُوقِينَ وَلَمْ تَعْلَمُوهُ وَلَمْ تَفْهَمُوهُ فَلاَ تَجْحَدُوهُ، وَرُدُّوهُ إلَيْنَا. وَمَا جَاءَكُمْ عَنَّا مِمَّا لاَ يَجُوزُ أنْ يَكُونَ فِي المَخْلُوقِينَ فَاجْحَدُوهُ وَلاَ تَرُدُّوهُ إلَيْنَا.

Whatsoever, which is possible for the creatures to hold, is reported to you about us, but you have had no previous idea about it or you have not been able to understand it, then you must not deny it; rather, you must refer it to us. However, if what is reported to you about us is impossible for the creatures to hold, then you must deny it and you must not refer it to us.(22)

Imamate Being Decided by A Divine Commission

We believe that Imamate, like prophethood, cannot be decided by anything except a commission from Almighty Allah that is declared by His Messenger or the Divinely commissioned Imam when he nominates his successor in Imamate.(23)

Without any difference, Imamate submits to the same laws of Prophethood in this respect. In plain words, no human being holds the right to express his opinion about the one whom Almighty Allah chooses as guide and leader for entire humanity. Similarly, none has the right to nominate, propose, or select such persons, because this mission needs one upon whom Almighty Allah has bestowed sacredness from His Sacred Spirit and who is ready to undergo the burdens of general leadership and capability to guide all human beings; and such a person cannot be nominated by anyone except Almighty Allah Who, alone, has the right to select him.

We also believe that the Holy Prophet, Muhammad (s), did nominate his successor and representative who would be the leader (i.e. imam) after him. He thus declared his cousin, `Ali ibn Abi-Talib (`a), to be the commander of the believers, the keeper of the Divine Revelation, and the leader of people on many occasions. Moreover, the Holy Prophet (s), on that day in Ghadir Khumm (known as the Ghadir Day), appointed Imam `Ali (`a) to the position of the next leadership and ordered the attendants to pay homage to him as their next leader. He thus said:

ألاَ، مَنْ كُنْتُ مَوْلاَهُ فَهَذَا عَلِيٌّ مَوْلاَهُ. اَللَّهُمَّ وَالِ مَنْ وَالاَهُ، وَعَادِ مَنْ عَادَاهُ، وَانْصُرْ مَنْ نَصَرَهُ، وَاخْذُلْ مَنْ خَذَلَهُ، وَأدِرِ الحَقَّ مَعَهُ كَيْفَمَا دَارَ.

Behold! `Ali is (now) the master of everyone who has regarded me as his master. O Allah! (please do) support whoever supports `Ali; and be the enemy of whoever incurs the hostility of `Ali; and aid whoever aids `Ali; and forsake whoever forsakes `Ali; and make the right turn to any side that `Ali takes.(24)

That was not the first occasion; in fact, the first occasion on which the Holy Prophet (s) declared the leadership (Imamate) of Imam `Ali (`a) was when the Holy Prophet (s) invited his nearest relatives and members of his clan and declared the following before all of them:

إنَّ هَذَا أخِي، وَوَصِيِّي، وَخَلِيفَتِي مِنْ بَعْدِي؛ فَاسْمَعُوا لَهُ وَأطِيعُوا.

Verily, this (`Ali) is my brother, my successor, and my vicegerent after me. You must then listen to him and obey him.(25)

When the Holy Prophet (s) said the above about him, Imam `Ali (`a) had not yet come of age.

On many other occasions, the Holy Prophet (s) repeated the following statement:

يَا عَلِيُّ، أنْتَ مِنِّي بِمَنْزِلَةِ هَارُونَ مِنْ مُوسَى، إلاَّ أنَّهُ لاَ نَبِيَّ بَعْدِي.

O `Ali! Your position in relation to me is the same as (Prophet) Aaron’s position in relation to (Prophet) Moses except that no Prophet is to come after me.(26)

Besides, many holy Qur'anic verses and traditions have confirmed the general leadership of Imam `Ali (`a), such as the following holy verse:

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

Only Allah is your Guardian, and His Messenger, and those who believe—those who keep up prayers and pay the poor-rate while they bow. (5/55)

This holy verse was revealed to speak of Imam `Ali (`a) when he gave his ring as alms while he was bowing in a prayer.(27)

The purpose for which this thesis has been written does not conduce to citing or explaining all the holy verses and traditions concerning the Imamate of Imam `Ali (`a).

In the same manner, Imam `Ali (`a) declared the Imamate of Imam al-Hasan (`a) and Imam al-Husayn (`a). The latter declared the Imamate of Imam `Ali ibn al-Husayn (Zayn al-`Abidin) (`a) and so did every Imam concerning the next Imam up to the last of them who will be discussed in an independent chapter of this book.

The Number of Imams

We believe that the Holy Imams, who are truly the worthiest of holding Imamate in its actual sense,(28) are our authorities in the religious laws of Islam and they are twelve in number(29) who have been commissioned by Almighty Allah to hold the position of leading the Muslim nation. The Holy Prophet, Muhammad (s), had referred to all of them by name(30) before each Imam declared the name of the person who would be the next Imam after him. They are thus as follows, Peace be upon them all:

1. Abu’l-Hasan, `Ali ibn Abi-Talib, al-Murtadha (the Well-Pleased); BH (before Hijrah) 23 - AH (After Hijrah) 40.

2. Abu-Muhammad, al-Hasan ibn `Ali, al-Zaki (the Pure); AH 2 - AH 50.

3. Abu-`Abdullah, al-Husayn ibn `Ali, Sayyid al-Shuhada' (The Master of Martyrs); AH 3 - AH 61.

4. Abu-Muhammad, `Ali ibn al-Husayn, Zayn al-`Abidin (The Adornment of the Worshippers); AH 38 - AH 95.

5. Abu-Ja`far, Muhammad ibn `Ali, al-Baqir (The Ripper of Knowledge); AH 57 - AH 114.

6. Abu-`Abdullah, Ja`far ibn Muhammad, al-Sadiq (The Veracious); AH 83 - AH 148.

7. Abu-Ibrahim, Musa ibn Ja`far, al-Kazim (The Suppressor of Rage); AH 128 - AH 183.

8. Abu’l-Hasan, `Ali ibn Musa, al-Ridha (The Amiable); AH 148 - AH 203.

9. Abu-Ja`far; Muhammad ibn `Ali, al-Jawad (The Magnanimous); AH 195 - AH 220.

10. Abu’l-Hasan, `Ali ibn Muhammad, al-Hadi (The Guide); AH 212 - AH 254.

11. Abu-Muhammad, al-Hasan ibn `Ali, al-`Askari (Resident of `Askar City); AH 232 - AH 260.

12. Abu’l-Qasim, Muhammad ibn al-Hasan, al-Mahdi (The Well-Guided); AH 256 - …

The twelfth Imam, al-Mahdi (`a), is Almighty Allah’s argument against His creatures in the present day. He is the awaited savior who shall reappear (after occultation) to fill the earth with fairness and justice as it is filled with injustice and prejudice; may Almighty Allah hasten his advent and make easy his reappearance.

Al-Mahdi

The Good Tidings of the advent of Imam al-Mahdi (`a),(31) a descendant of Lady Fatimah al-Zahra' (`a)(32) who will spread justice and equity throughout the globe after it has been overcome by injustice and oppression,(33) are indisputably reported from the Holy Prophet (s) by all Muslims who, apart from their various sects and opinions, have recorded and reported his traditions in this regard.

The belief in the advent of Imam al-Mahdi (`a) during the last period of existence of this globe is not an inventive idea that is embraced by the Shi`ah alone due to their being oppressed, as is falsely claimed by some malevolent, mistaken writers. They exert all efforts to rim this Divine, deep-rooted belief with a baseless frame, alleging that the belief in the advent of a leader who shall cleanse the earth from the filths of oppression has been the produce of the dreams of the Shi`ah.

Among the other unquestionable beliefs that were brought by Islam, the belief in al-Mahdi (`a) has been firmly established in the minds of all Muslims. Their intellects were saturated with it to the extent that those who claimed Mahdism in the first century after the advent of Islam—such as the followers of Kaysaniyyah,(34) the `Abbasids,(35) a group of the `Alawiyyah,(36) and many others—easily deceived the public and used this belief to grab power and authority. The false claim of Mahdism was thus the surest way to influence the public and prevail over them.

We, the Shi`ah, incontrovertibly believe in the religion of Islam as the truest and the seal of all Divine religions and we do not expect any other religion to reform humanity. We are witnessing great oppression on this globe, the dangerous spread of corruption, the Muslims’ retreat from their religion, the inactivation of the laws and regulations of Islam in all Muslim countries, and the Muslims’ non-compliance with even one per mil of the laws of Islam. In spite of all that, it is still imperative for us to wait for the Relief that will restore Islam’s power and capability to reform the world that is sinking in the arrogance of oppression and corruption.

Besides, Islam cannot restore its power and domination over entire humanity while it is still encountering the current and earlier diversity of its followers in its laws, regulations and opinions, their heresies and distortions of its laws and seditious arguments that they have been attaching to it.

The religion of Islam cannot restore its strength unless a great reformer appears to lead it, reunify the divergent word of its followers, refute the distortions of the vain doers, and abrogate the heresies and heterodoxies attached to it through custody and grace from Almighty Allah. He will make this reformer a well-guided person enjoying a momentous position and grant him general authority over human beings and an extraordinary power to fill the earth with justice and fairness and root out injustice and oppression.

In short, the current corruptive conditions of humanity, which have attained their climax in dishonesty and wrong—despite our belief in Islam as the truest and the sealing of all religions—demand that we must expect this reformer, namely Imam al-Mahdi, to come and save the world from its sufferings.

In view of this fact, all Muslim sects and non-Muslims believe in this expectation; yet the difference between the Imamiyyah Shi`ah and the others is that the Imamiyyah Shi`ah believe that this reformer is a definite, well-known person who was born in AH 256 (AD 870) and still alive. He is the son of al-Hasan al-`Askari (`a) and his first name is Muhammad, as has been proven through predictions of the Holy Prophet (s) and the Holy Imams (`a) as well as the uninterrupted narrations about his birth and his concealment from human sight.

It is impossible to suspend Imamate in any age even though the Imam may be invisible for a certain time before he reappears on a day predefined by Almighty Allah other than Who none can predict or determine.

It is also believable that the disappearing Imam’s survival for such a long time is a miracle granted to him by Almighty Allah—a miracle that is not more marvelous than the miracle of his holding the responsibility of Imamate while he was just five years old after his father passed away and moved towards the Supreme Comrade. It is also as marvelous as the miracle of Prophet Jesus (`a) who spoke to people as a Prophet while he was a child in the cradle.

Besides, to live longer than the natural age of human beings, as is imagined by people, does not contradict or disagree with biological sciences. Even though modern science has not yet gained access to what may prolong man’s life, it is undeniable that Almighty Allah has power over all things and can do whatever He wills. Examples are already touched on; the Holy Qur'an has informed us about the long life span of Prophet Noah (`a) and about the continuous existence of Prophet Jesus (`a). However, if we doubt the Holy Qur'an, then we must bid farewell to Islam!

It is thus very surprising for a Muslim individual who claims absolute belief in the Holy Qur'an to wonder about the possibility of such an occultation.

It is worth mentioning and worth remembering in this respect that our expectation of al-Mahdi (`a), the savior and reformer, does not mean, by any means, that Muslims should not lift a hand to support their religion, restore their rights, strive painstakingly for its sake, act upon its laws and regulations, enjoin the right, or forbid the evil. Quite the opposite, Muslims are always required to carry out the religious duties, act upon the religious instructions revealed by their Lord, exert all possible efforts to acquaint themselves with these instructions and duties in their best manners through following the most accurate ways that lead to them, enjoin the right, and forbid the evil. Verily, “All of you must be supervisors and all of you are responsible for your subjects.”(37)

For that reason, no Muslim individual is allowed to dispense with his duties under the pretense that he is expecting al-Mahdi (`a), the reformer guide, because such unfounded pretense neither releases any Muslim individual from liabilities nor authorize him to postpone the doing of a duty.

The Return (raj`ah)

The Imamiyyah Shi’ah, adopting the reported traditions of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a), believe that, after the advent of Imam al-Mahdi (`a), Almighty Allah will raise some people from the dead(38) in the very forms that they had had before their death so as to honor a group of them and dishonor others, and to give ascendancy to the right group over the wrong and restore the rights of the oppressed ones from the oppressors.

This return will be restricted to those who enjoy supreme ranks of faith and those who enjoy notorious degrees of corruption. After the return, they will die again and be resurrected on the Day of Judgment to receive the reward or punishment that they deserve because of their deeds. This is understood from Almighty Allah’s information in the Holy Qur'an about the manners of those who would not take advantage of the first raising from the dead in this world before they will be again resurrected on the Day of Judgment. After they incur hatred from Almighty Allah, they will desire a third resurrection through which they will wish to perhaps act righteously and make amends. Reporting their desire, the Holy Qur'an says:

قَالُوا رَبَّنَا أَمَتَّنَا اثْنَتَيْنِ وَأَحْيَيْتَنَا اثْنَتَيْنِ فَاعْتَرَفْنَا بِذُنُوبِنَا فَهَلْ إِلَىٰ خُرُوجٍ مِنْ سَبِيلٍ

[They will say:] Our Lord! Thou hast caused us to die two deaths, and Thou hast given us twice to live; now we confess our sins. Is there any way to go forth? (40/11)

As the Holy Qur'an has actually proclaimed the Return to this world, reported traditions of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) have confirmatively given details of this belief and the Imamiyyah Shi`ah have unanimously agreed upon its authenticity. However, a few Imamite individuals have interpreted the Return as the restoration of political authority and power to the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) when the Awaited Imam, al-Mahdi (`a), shall come. Yet, they have denied the return of certain personalities and the raising of others from the dead.

As for Sunni Muslims, they consider the belief in the Return to be so heretical that to believe in it is hideous atheism. Similarly, Sunni biographers have decided the belief in the Return as one of the calumnious and defamatory features due to which a reporter believing in it is rejected and his reports are declined. Moreover, it seems that they have regarded the belief in the Return as heterodox as disbelief in Almighty Allah or even more heretical! As a result, the belief in the Return has been the most insulting and vituperative feature attributed to the Imamiyyah Shi`ah.

Undoubtedly, such sort of evil-intended intensifications were used by Muslim sects as expedient to vituperate each other and wage campaigns against each other. Actually, such intensification is unjustified because the doctrine of the Return taints neither the doctrine of monotheism nor Prophethood. It rather confirms them, since the Return bespeaks Almighty Allah’s absolute power to raise the dead and to resurrect—two extraordinary matters that can act as miracles for our Prophet, Muhammad, and for his Household, peace be upon them all.

This miracle is similar to Prophet Jesus’ (`a) miracle of restoring the dead to life even though the miracle of the Return is more profound, because it represents the resurrection of dead persons after their bodies have become dust:

قَالَ مَنْ يُحْيِي الْعِظَامَ وَهِيَ رَمِيمٌ قُلْ يُحْيِيهَا الَّذِي أَنْشَأَهَا أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ ۖ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ خَلْقٍ عَلِيمٌ

Says he (man): ‘Who will give life to the bones when they are rotten?’ Says (Allah): ‘He will give life to them Who brought them into existence at first, and He is cognizant of all Creation.’ (36/78-9)

Some people have disapproved of the doctrine of the Return, claiming that it is part of metempsychosis, which is totally in the wrong. In fact, these people do not have the faculty to differentiate between metempsychosis and somatic resurrection, while the Return is a sort of such somatic resurrection. Metempsychosis stands for the transmigration of the souls or, in plain words, the passage of the soul of a creature into a new body completely separated from the first creature’s body unlike the somatic resurrection, which stands for the reformation of the same body along with its psychological features. The Raj`ah holds the same definition.

If the Return is considered to be a sort of metempsychosis, then Prophet Jesus’ restoring the dead to life must have been a sort of metempsychosis, too; and if the Return is a sort of metempsychosis, then the somatic resurrection and the final assemblage on the Judgment Day must be such, too.

In the long run, the issue of the Return can be discussed through the following two probabilities exclusively:

First: the Return is impossible to take place practically.

Second: The traditions pertaining to the doctrine of the Return are untrue.

Supposing that these two probabilities are true, the disbelief in the Return must not be of such an extreme degree of enormity as depicted by the rivals of the Shi`ah.

To tell the truth, the other Muslim sects adopt too many beliefs that are impossible to believe, or have not been proven by a single authentic tradition. Nevertheless, these beliefs have not taken them out of the circle of Muslims nor have they caused them to be charged of atheism.

Too many are the examples of such baseless beliefs: some of them believe that the Holy Prophet (s) was liable to forget, to be inattentive, or even to disobey Almighty Allah!(39) Others believe that the Holy Qur'an is as eternal as Almighty Allah!(40) Others believe in Almighty Allah’s (conditional) threat! Others believe that the Holy Prophet (s) did not nominate a successor!

Nevertheless, the two aforementioned probabilities are false. As already cited, the Return is a sort of somatic resurrection and the final assemblage (after death), which is not impossible, and the only difference between the Return and the Resurrection is that the Return will take place at a predefined time in this world, and all points of evidence proving the Resurrection are applicable to the Return.

There is no reason for astonishment except that we have not come across such raising of the dead during our lifetime and we also ignore the reasons for or the obstacles against the happening of such Return due to which we confess or deny it. As a general rule, it is not easy for man’s imagination to admit something that man has not encountered before, exactly like those who find strange the resurrection on Judgment Day; so, they, as the Holy Qur'an demonstrates, wonder:

مَنْ يُحْيِي الْعِظَامَ وَهِيَ رَمِيمٌ

‘Who will revive these bones after they rot and become dust?’ (36/78)

قُلْ يُحْيِيهَا الَّذِي أَنْشَأَهَا أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ ۖ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ خَلْقٍ عَلِيمٌ

Say: ‘He will revive them Who brought them into existence at first, and He is Cognizant of all Creation.’ (36/79)

In such a situation, where there is no intellectual evidence either to deny or to prove it, we must have recourse to religious texts, which stand as the resources of Divine Revelation. The Holy Qur'an, the most authentic and major source of Divine Revelation, has comprised texts proving the possibility of the return to the worldly life after death, such as the miracle of Prophet Jesus (`a) who restored the dead to life. In this respect, the Holy Qur'an reads:

وَأُبْرِئُ الْأَكْمَهَ وَالْأَبْرَصَ وَأُحْيِي الْمَوْتَىٰ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ

[Jesus said] And I heal the blind and the leprous and bring the dead to life with Allah's permission. (3/49)

The Holy Qur'an also reads:

قَالَ أَنَّىٰ يُحْيِي هَٰذِهِ اللَّهُ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا ۖ فَأَمَاتَهُ اللَّهُ مِائَةَ عَامٍ ثُمَّ بَعَثَهُ

[Uzair wondered] When will Allah give it life after its death? So, Allah caused him to die for a hundred years then raised him to life. (2/259)

As has been previously cited, the Holy Qur'an reads:

قَالُوا رَبَّنَا أَمَتَّنَا اثْنَتَيْنِ وَأَحْيَيْتَنَا اثْنَتَيْنِ فَاعْتَرَفْنَا بِذُنُوبِنَا فَهَلْ إِلَىٰ خُرُوجٍ مِنْ سَبِيلٍ

[They will say] Our Lord! Thou hast cause us to die two deaths, and Thou hast given us twice to live; now we confess our sins. Is there any way to go forth? (40/11)

This holy verse cannot hold any reasonable sense unless it is interpreted to denote the doctrine of the Return (to the worldly life after death), even though some exegetes of the Holy Qur'an have exerted overabundant efforts to drive it away from this doctrine, but all their efforts have been incompatible with the sense of the holy verse.

As for the second aforesaid probability, it is unfounded because the issue of the Return is one of the necessary subjects on which the Holy Imams (`a) have laid great stress through their uninterruptedly reported traditions.

On balance, it is rather odd that a famous writer, namely Ahmad Amin, who claims holding considerable knowledge, says in his book of ‘The Dawn of Islam (Fajr al-Islam)’:

Judaism can obviously be seen in Shi`ism through the belief in the Return (Raj`ah).(41)

To answer this claim, Judaism can also be seen in the Holy Qur'an more obviously through the same doctrine of the Return, which is mentioned on many occasions in the Holy Qur'an, as has been previously cited.

Moreover, Judaism and Christianity must be seen in many of the doctrines and laws of Islam, because the Holy Prophet, Muhammad (s), has come confirming the bygone Divine religions even though he has abrogated some of their laws. As a result, the emergence of Judaism and Christianity in some doctrines of Islam is not a fault of Islam, even if it be the doctrine of the Return, as is claimed by Ahmad Amin.

In any case, the doctrine of the Return is not among the fundaments of the religion that must be investigated and believed; rather, we have believed in it corresponding to the authentic traditions reported from the Holy Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) whom we believe to be inerrant. The belief in the Return is finally one of the unseen matters that we have adopted because of the information received from our Holy Imams (`a) and which is not impossible for Almighty Allah.

Pious Dissimulation (taqiyyah)

Imam al-Sadiq (`a) is reported to have said in an authenticated tradition:

التَّقِيَّةُ دِينِي وَدِينُ أبَائِي.

Taqiyyah(42) is my belief and the belief of my forefathers.(43)

He (`a) also said,

مَنْ لاَ تَقِيَّةَ لَهُ لاَ دِينَ لَهُ.

Whosoever has no taqiyyah(44) has no belief.(45)

Raised as their motto, the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) used to practice taqiyyah in order to protect themselves and their followers from harm, prevent bloodshed,(46) enhance the conditions of Muslims, unify their situations, and reunite their scattered intentions.

Taqiyyah is still the distinctive feature of the Imamiyyah Shi`ah amongst the other sects and nations. As required by the naïve nature of sound reason, it is normal for every human being to conceal his beliefs and guard himself against pitfalls when he anticipates that a danger will befall him or his property if he proclaims or speaks out his beliefs openly.

History confirms that the Imamiyyah Shi`ah and their Imams (`a) faced more tyrannical oppression than any other sect or nation.(47) Most of the time, the Imamiyyah Shi`ah had to practise taqiyyah to conceal their actual beliefs from their rivals and hide their doctrines and private rites in order to avoid persecution in their worldly and religious affairs. This is why the Imamiyyah Shi`ah, and none else, have been known for their abidance of taqiyyah.

Mentioned in detail in the books of Shi`ite jurisprudence, taqiyyah has certain rules and regulations in terms of its obligation or non-obligation that are defined according to the diversity of the conditions that bring about anticipated harm.

Taqiyyah is thus not obligatory under all circumstances; rather it is sometimes allowable while on other occasions, it becomes forbidden, such as in conditions like when support of the religion and serving and striving for Islam rely upon the open declaration and demonstration of the truth. In such conditions, neither property nor lives should be preferred to religion.

Correspondingly, taqiyyah becomes forbidden under such circumstances; killing of innocent people, circulation of the wrong, causing corruption to religious principles, or serious injuries to Muslims by misleading them or exposing them to injustice and oppression.

Contrary to the opinion of the rivals of Shi`ism, taqiyyah does not mean that the Imamiyyah Shi`ah should form a secret association purposed for demolition and destruction, nor does it mean that the religion and its laws become such undiscovered secrets that those who believe in them must never divulge them. This is definitely untrue, because books and writings of the Imamiyyah Shi`ah on various subjects such as jurisprudence, laws of Islam, theology, and doctrines are too many to be counted and much more than any other nation or sect.

Our doctrine of taqiyyah has been used by rivals of the Imamiyyah Shi`ah as another reason to kill them. It seems as if nothing will quench their thirst but that swords find their way to the necks of the Shi`ah so as to annihilate them as was done during the rule of the enemies of the Holy Prophet’s (s) Household, such as the Umayyad, `Abbasid, and Ottoman dynasties.

However, if those who vituperate the Imamiyyah Shi`ah for their belief and practice of taqiyyah, claiming that this practice is illegal on grounds of religious laws, we must then invite them to listen to the following points:

First: We follow our Imams (`a) and abide by their instructions, which represent the most excellent guidance to the truth. These Holy Imams (`a) have ordered us to believe in and practice taqiyyah and imposed it upon us to practice it when necessity rules. Moreover, in the view of our Holy Imams (`a), taqiyyah is part of the religion, as expressed by Imam al-Sadiq’s previously cited saying:

مَنْ لاَ تَقِيَّةَ لَهُ لاَ دِينَ لَهُ.

Whosoever has no taqiyyah has no belief.

Second: The legitimacy of taqiyyah is proclaimed in the Holy Qur'an:

...إِلَّا مَنْ أُكْرِهَ وَقَلْبُهُ مُطْمَئِنٌّ بِالْإِيمَانِ

…not he who is compelled while his heart is at rest on account of his faith. (16/106)

This holy verse was revealed to discuss the manner of`Ammar ibn Yasir who had to show disbelief in order to save himself from the enemies of Islam.(48)

On another occasion, the Holy Qur'an clarifies:

إِلَّا أَنْ تَتَّقُوا مِنْهُمْ تُقَاةً

…except that when you [have to] guard yourselves against them with thorough guarding… (3/28)(49)

On a third occasion, the Holy Qur'an says:

وَقَالَ رَجُلٌ مُؤْمِنٌ مِنْ آلِ فِرْعَوْنَ يَكْتُمُ إِيمَانَهُ

And a believing man of Pharaoh's people who hid his faith... (40/28) (40/28)

  • 1. () Imamate (imamah) stands for belief in the Divinely commissioned leadership of the Holy Twelve Imam and belief in their inerrancy, immaculacy, and other affairs discussed in books dedicated to this subject. [translator]
  • 2. () This tradition has been mentioned in both Sunni and Shi`ite reference books of hadith, yet with little difference in expression, such as: al-Mahasin by al-Barqi (AH 274), 1:92, 154, 155, published by Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyyah; Basa'ir al-Darajat al-Kubra by al-Saffar (AH 290), pp. 279, 529, 530; Qurb al-Isnad by al-Himyari al-Baghdadi (AH 300), pp. 351; al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 1:377, 378, 397, 2:20, 21, 8:146; al-Imamah wa’l-Tabsirah Min al-Hayrah by Ibn Babawayh al-Qummi (AH 329), pp. 152; al-Ghaybah by al-Nu`mani (AH 380), pp. 127, 130, 134, 135; `Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 1:130; Musnad Abi-Dawud al-Tayalisi (AH 204), pp. 259; Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal (AH 241), 4:96; Musnad Abi-Ya`li al-Mawsili (AH 307), 13:366, H. 7375; al-Mu`jam al-Kabir by al-Tabarani (AH 360), 19:388; Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah by Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, the Mu`tazilite (AH 656), 9:155, 13:242; Majma` al-Zawa'id by al-Haythami (AH 807), 5:225, Section: bab luzum al-jama`ah wa’l-nahy `an al-khuruj `an al-ummah wa qitlihim (Holding by the Congregation and Warning Against Separation from and Fighting Against the Nation); Kanz al-`Ummal by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi (AH 974), 1:103, 208, H. 464, 1038, 1:65, H. 14863; Yanabi` al-Mawaddah by al-Qanaduzi al-Hanafi (AH 1249), 3:372, Section No. 91, H. 3.
  • 3. () Imam `Ali Amir al-Mu'minin ('a) is reported to have said:
    لاَ تَخْلُو الأرْضُ مِنْ قَائِمٍ للهِ بِحُجَّةٍ؛ إمَّا ظَاهِراً مَشْهُوراً أوْ خَائِفاً مَغْمُوراً، لِئَلاَّ تَبْطُلَ حُجَجُ اللهِ وَبَيِّنَاتُهُ.
    “The earth will never be empty of one who maintains Almighty Allah’s argument (against His creatures); be he known and recognized (by people) or alienated and unknown, so that Almighty Allah’s arguments and clear proofs be not ineffective.”
    See Nahj al-Balaghah, with a commentary by Muhammad `Abduh, 4:37, Section: bab al-mukhtar min hikam amir al-mu'minin (Selected Maxims of Amir al-Mu'minin). This maxim was also cited within Imam `Ali’s discourse addressed to Malik al-Ashtar, No. 147. See also Kamal al-Din wa-Tamam al-Ni`mah by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 294; Tuhaf al-`Uqul by Ibn Shu`bah al-Harrani (the seventh century of Hjirah), pp. 17 (The English version of this book is entitled ‘Tuhaf al-`Uqul: Masterpieces of the Intellects, translated by Badr Shahin, Qum: Ansariyan Publications, 2001.); Khasa'is al-A'immah by al-Sharif al-Murtadha (AH 406), pp. 106; al-Gharat by al-Thaqafi al-Kufi (AH 283), 1:153; Manaqib Amir al-Mu'minin by al-Kufi (app. AH 300), 2:96; al-Hidayah al-Kubra by al-Khasibi (AH 334), pp. 362; Dustur Ma`alim al-Hikam wa-Ma'thur Makarim al-Shiyam by Ibn Salamah (AH 454), pp. 84; Nuzhat al-Nazir wa-Tanbih al-Khatir by al-Halwani (the fifth century of Hijrah), pp. 57; Tarikh Madinat Dimashq by Ibn `Asakir (AH 571), 14:18, 5:253, 254; Yanabi` al-Mawaddah by al-Qanaduzi al-Hanafi (AH 1294), 1:89, H. 34. Many other reference books of traditions have recorded this maxim, which has been described by Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani as being one of the most authentic maxims. See Fath al-Bari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari by Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani (AH 852), 6:359.
  • 4. () This indicates the Holy Prophet’s absence from view in the Cave Hara' where he received the first Divine revelation. [translator]
  • 5. () This also indicates his confinement to the Col of Abu-Talib for a few years after the social boycott imposed upon him and his relatives by the polytheists of the Quraysh. [translator]
  • 6. () This poetic verse has been composed by Abu-Nuwas, one of the famous Arab poets. See Mukhtasar al-Ma`ani by al-Taftazani (AH 792), pp. 306.
  • 7. () This supplication is part of the holy verse that reads:

    فَتَعَالَى اللَّهُ الْمَلِكُ الْحَقُّ ۗ وَلَا تَعْجَلْ بِالْقُرْآنِ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ يُقْضَىٰ إِلَيْكَ وَحْيُهُ ۖ وَقُلْ رَبِّ زِدْنِي عِلْمًا

    “Supremely exalted is therefore Allah, the King, the Truth. And do not make haste with the Qur'an before its revelation is made complete to you. And say, ‘O my Lord! Increase me in knowledge.’” (20/114)

  • 8. () It is an accepted fact that the Holy Imam of the Ahl al-Bayt ('a) received perfect knowledge in essence; i.e. without intervention of a mentor or a teacher. This fact was even declared by the tyrant Yazid ibn Mu`awiyah during the following event:
    After Yazid had killed Imam al-Husayn ibn `Ali ('a)—the delight of the Holy Prophet’s (s) eyes—Imam `Ali ibn al-Husayn (Zayn al-`Abidin ('a)) was made captive. He had been taken from the battlefield, at Karbala', and led to Damascus, the capital of Yazid. Imam Zayn al-`Abidin ('a) asked Yazid to allow him to ascend a pulpit in order to deliver a speech, saying, “Yazid! Allow me to ascend these pieces of wood and utter a few words that will bring about Almighty Allah’s pleasure and (Divine) reward for these attendants.”
    In the beginning, Yazid refused, but the attendants urged him to do so, saying, “Amir al-Mu'minin! Allow him to ascend the pulpit so that we can hear something new from him.”
    Yazid replied, “If he ascends the pulpit (and says something), he will not leave it before begetting scandals for me and for the family of Abu-Sufyan!”
    One of the attendants said, “Amir al-Mu'minin! What can such a boy do? Seemingly, he masters nothing!”
    Yazid replied, “He is from the Household whose members have been fed with knowledge without intervention!”
    However, the attendants insisted upon Yazid until they compelled him to allow the Imam to deliver a speech.
    The Imam ('a) thus ascended the pulpit, started his speech with words of praise and thanks to Almighty Allah, and then delivered a speech that was so soul-stirring that all the attendants could not help weeping.
    References: Bihar al-Anwar by al-Majlisi (AH 1111), 45:138; Lawa`ij al-Ashjan fi Maqtal al-Husayn by Muhsin al-Amin (AH 1371), pp. 233. A similar narration has been recorded in al-Futuh by Ibn A`tham al-Kufi (AH 314), 5:132-133 and Maqtal al-Husayn by al-Khawarizmi (AH 568), 2:69-71.
  • 9. () Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq ('a) is reported to have said:
    إنَّ اللهَ لاَ يَجْعَلُ حُجَّةً فِي أرْضِهِ يُسْألُ عَنْ شَيْءٍ فَيَقُولُ: ’لاَ أدْرِي!‘
    “As He establishes a hujjah (one maintaining Almighty Allah’s pleas against His creatures) on His lands, Almighty Allah never makes him answer any question with, ‘I do not know’.”
    This hadith is reported in the following reference books: al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 1:227, Section: (bab) anna al-a'immata `indahum jami`u al-kutubi allati nazalat min `indi allahi (The Holy Imam Hold All the Divinely Revealed Books), H. 1; al-Imamah wa’l-Tabsirah by Ibn Babawayh al-Qummi (AH 329), pp. 139, H. 159; al-Tawhid by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 275, H. 1, Section: bab al-raddu `ala alladhina qalu inna allaha thalithu thalathatin (Refutation of Those Who Claimed Allah Being One of Three Gods); al-Fusul al-Muhimmah fi Usul al-A'immah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 1:490, Section No. 7, H. 19/691.
    Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq ('a) is also reported to have said:
    إنَّ الأرْضَ لاَ تُتْرَكُ إلاَّ بِعَالِمٍ؛ يَحْتَاجُ النَّاسُ إلَيْهِ وَلاَ يَحْتَاجُ إلَى النَّاسِ، يَعْلَمُ الحَلاَلَ وَالحَرَامَ.
    “Verily, the earth shall never be left without a knowledgeable person whom people need but he needs none, since he has full acquaintance with what is lawful and what is not.”
    This hadith is reported in the following reference books: Al-Mahasin by al-Barqi (AH 274), 1: 366/794, H. 196, Chapter: kitab masabih al-zulam (Lanterns of Glooms), Section: bab la takhlu al-ardhu min `alim (The Earth Cannot Be Devoid Of A Knowledgeable Person); published by the Ahl al-Bayt ('a) World Assembly; Basa'ir al-Darajat by al-Saffar (AH 290), pp. 156, H. 4, Section: bab ma `inda al-a'immati min kutub al-awwalin (The Books Of The Ancient Generations That Are Held By The Holy Imam ('a)).
    A similar hadith has been reported in the following reference books: Basa'ir al-Darajat by al-Saffar (AH 290), pp. 347, H. 4, Section: bab fi al-a'immatu warithu al’`ilma min rasuli allahi (The Holy Imam: The Inheritors of Knowledge From the Messenger of Allah); pp. 505, H. 8, Section: bab al-ardhu la takhlu min al-hujjatu wa hum al-a'immatu (The Earth Cannot be Devoid of Maintainers of Allah’s Plea; Those Are The Holy Imam); Kamal al-Din wa-Tamam al-Ni`mah by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 223, H. 15, Section: bab ittisal al-wasiyyah min ladun adam wa anna al-ardha la takhlu min hujjati allahi (Attachment of Successorship Since Adam And The Earth Cannot be Devoid of a Maintainer of Allah’s Plea).
  • 10. () Explaining the holy verse:

    يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ

    “O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority from among you.” (4/59)

    Imam Muhammad al-Baqir ('a) is reported to have said:
    الأئِمَّةُ مِنْ وُلْدِ عَلِيٍّ وَفَاطِمَةَ إلَى أنْ تَقُومَ السَّاعَةُ.
    “The Imam are from the descendants of `Ali and Fatimah until the Hour (of Resurrection) shall come.”
    See al-Imamah wa’l-Tabsirah by Ibn Babawayh al-Qummi (AH 329), pp. 133, H. 145. See also al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 1:276, H. 1, Section: (bab) anna al-imama ya`rifu al-imama alladhi yakunu min ba`dih (An Imam Knows The Imam To Succeed Him); `Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 1:139, Section: (bab) ma katabahu al-ridha lil-ma'mun fi mahdh al-islam wa shara'i` al-din (Imam al-Ridha’s Epistle To al-Ma'mun Concerning The Pure Islam and The Laws Of The Religion), H.14.
    When Abu-Basir asked him about the exegesis of the aforementioned holy verse, Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq ('a) answered:
    نَزَلَتْ فِي عَلِيِّ بْنِ أبِي طَالِبٍ وَالحَسَنِ وَالحُسَيْنِ.
    “This verse was revealed about `Ali ibn Abi-Talib, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn.”
    Abu-Basir asked, “People may ask why the names of `Ali and his Household were not mentioned openly in the Book of Allah (i.e. the Holy Qur'an)!”
    The Imam ('a) taught:
    قُولُوا لَهُمْ: إنَّ رَسُولَ اللهِ  نَزَلَتْ عَلَيْهِ الصَّلاَةُ وَلَمْ يُسَمِّ اللهُ لَهُمْ ثَلاَثاً وَلاَ أرْبَعاً حَتَّى كَانَ رَسُولُ اللهِ  هُوَ الَّذِي فَسَّرَ ذَلِكَ. وَنَزَلَتْ عَلَيْهِ الزَّكَاةُ وَلَمْ يُسَمِّ لَهُمْ مِنْ كُلِّ أرْبَعِينَ دِرْهَماً دِرْهَمٌ…
    “You may answer those as follows: Prayer was revealed to the Messenger of Allah without mentioning its details and method (as how many units each prayer should contain); therefore, it was the Messenger of Allah who spelled out its details. Similarly, the poor-rate (zakat) was revealed to the Messenger of Allah without mentioning as how much the levy of each item should be…”
    See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 1:286, Section: bab ma nassa allahu `azza wa jalla wa rasuluhu `ala al-a'immati wahidan fa-wahidan (Texts of Almighty Allah and His Apostle Concerning the Nomination of Each Imam), H. 1.
    Imam Muhammad al-Baqir ('a), explaining the holy verse,

    وَلَوْ رَدُّوهُ إِلَى الرَّسُولِ وَإِلَىٰ أُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْهُمْ لَعَلِمَهُ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَنْبِطُونَهُ مِنْهُمْ ۗ

    “And if they had referred it to the Messenger and to those in authority among them, those among them who can search out the knowledge of it would have known it. (4/83)”

    (Imam al-Baqir) is reported to have said:

    الأئِمَّةُ مِنْ أهْلِ بَيْتِ رَسُولِ اللهِ  جَعَلَهُمُ اللهُ أهْلَ العِلْمِ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَنْبِطُونَهُ، ثُمَّ أوْجَبَ طَاعَتَهُمْ فَقَالَ:
    أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ
    The Imam from the Household of Allah’s Messengers—Almighty Allah has made them bearers of knowledge who can think out the matters. Then, Almighty Allah has deemed it obligatory to obey them. He has thus said,
    “Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority from among you. (4/59)”

    See Da`a'im al-Islam by al-Qadhi (the judge) al-Nu`man al-Maghribi (AH 363), 1:24.
    The dear reader is advised to refer to any of the reference books of traditions, which are full of such narrations.

  • 11. () The Holy Prophet (s) is reported to have said:
    اَلنُّجُومُ أَمَانٌ لأِهْلِ السَّمَاءِ، وَأَهْلُ بَيْتِي أَمَانٌ لأُمَّتِي.
    “The stars protect the inhabitants of the heavens, and my Household (Ahl al-Bayt) protects my nation.”
    See `Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 1:30, Section: (bab) fi ma ja'a `an al-ridha min al-akhbar al-majmu`ah (Miscellaneous Narrations Reported From Imam al-Ridha), H. 14.
    Imam Muhammad al-Baqir ('a) is also reported to have quoted the Holy Prophet (s) as saying:
    النُّجُومُ أمَانٌ لأهْلِ السَّمَاءِ، وَأهْلُ بَيْتِي أمَانٌ لأهْلِ الأرْضِ؛ فَإذَا ذَهَبَتِ النُّجُومُ أتَى أهْلَ السَّمَاءِ مَا يَكْرَهُونَ، وَإذَا ذَهَبَ أهْلُ بَيْتِي أتَى أهْلَ الأرْضِ مَا يَكْرَهُونَ.
    “The stars protect the inhabitants of the heavens, and the members of my Household protect the inhabitants of the earth. If stars disappear, the inhabitants of the heavens will suffer unpleasant matters; and if the members of my Household disappear, the inhabitants of the earth will suffer unpleasant matters.”
    See `Ilal al-Shara'i` by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 1:123.
    This hadith can be found, yet in different forms, in many reliable reference books of Sunni and Shi`ite authors, some of which are as follows: al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 253, 738; Kifayat al-Athar fi’l-Nassi `Ala al-A'immati al-Ithnay `Ashar by al-Khazzaz al-Qummi al-Razi (AH 400), pp. 29, 210; Rawdhat al-Wa`izin by Ibn al-Fattal al-Naysaburi (AH 508), pp. 199; Manaqib al-Imam Amir al-Mu'minin by al-Kufi al-Qadhi (app. AH 300), 2:132, 142, 144, 174, 175; al-Mustadrak `Ala al-Sahihayn by al-Hakim al-Naysaburi (AH 405), 2:448, 149, 457; Dhakha'ir al-`Uqba fi Manaqib Dhawi’l-Qurba by al-Tabari (AH 694), pp. 17; Nuzum Durar al-Simtayn by al-Zarandi al-Hanafi al-Madani (AH 750), pp. 234; al-Jami` al-Saghir by al-Suyuti (AH 911), 2:680, H. 9313; Kanz al-`Ummal by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi (AH 974), 12:96, 101, 102, H. 34155, 34188, 34189, 34190; al-Sawa`iq al-Muhriqah by Ibn Hajar al-Haythami (AH 974), pp. 152; Kashf al-Khafa' by al-`Ajluni al-Jarrahi (AH 1162), 2:327.
  • 12. () This hadith is recorded in the following reference books: Da`a'im al-Islam by al-Qadhi al-Nu`man al-Maghribi (AH 363), 1:28, 80; `Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 1:30; al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 342; Kamal al-Din wa-Tamam al-Ni`mah by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 241; Tuhaf al-`Uqul by Ibn Shu`bah al-Harrani (the fourth century of Hijrah), pp. 113; Khasa'is al-A'immah by al-Sharif al-Radhi (AH 406), pp. 77; al-Mu`jam al-Saghir by al-Tabarani (AH 360), 1:139-140; al-Mustadrak `Ala al-Sahihayn by al-Hakim al-Naysaburi (AH 405), 2:343, 3:151; Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah by Ibn Abi’l-Hadid al-Mu`tazili (AH 656), 1:218; Majma` al-Zawa'id by al-Haythami (AH 807), 9:168; al-Jami` al-Saghir by al-Suyuti (AH 911), 1:373, 2:532, H. 2442, 8162; Kanz al-`Ummal by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi (AH 974), 12: 94, 95, 98, H. 34144, 34151, 34169, 34170; al-Sawa`iq al-Muhriqah by Ibn Hajar al-Haythami (AH 974), pp. 152.
    The hadith can also be found in other reference books of hadith.
  • 13. () This is an indication to the following holy verse:

    إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا

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

    See the following reference books: al-«dhah by Ibn Shadhan al-Azdi al-Naysaburi (AH 260), pp. 170; al-Gharat by al-Thaqafi al-Kufi (AH 283), 1:199; Manaqib Amir al-Mu'minin by al-Kufi al-Qadhi (app. AH 300), 1:157, 2:132, 152, 161, 505; al-Mustarshid fi Imamat Amir al-Mu'minin by al-Tabari (the Imamite) (the early years of the fourth century of Hijrah), pp. 598, 685; al-Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi (AH 460), pp. 264; Tathbit al-Imamah by al-Hadi al-Zaydi al-Yamani (AH 298), pp. 34; Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal (AH 241), 3:259, 4:107, 258, 6:292, 298, 304; Sunan al-Tirmidhi (AH 279), 5:31, 328, 361, H. 3258, 3875, 3966; Kitab al-Sunnah by `Amr ibn Abi-`Asim al-Aahhak (AH 287), pp. 589; al-Sunan al-Kubra by al-Nassa'i (AH 303), 5:113, H. 8409; Maqatil al-Talibiyyin by al-Isfahani (AH 356), pp. 33; al-Mustadrak `Ala al-Sahihayn by al-Hakim al-Naysaburi (AH 405), 3:172; Shawahid al-Tanzil li-Qawa`id al-Tafdhil by al-Hakim al-Hasakani (the fifth century of Hijrah), 2:103; al-Sawa`iq al-Muhriqah by Ibn Hajar al-Haythami (AH 974), pp. 143.

    For more details, refer to the following books:

    Ayat al-Tathir (Verse of Purification) by Muhammad Mahdi al-Asifi (contemporary), Qum: The Ahl al-Bayt ('a) World Assembly, First Edition, AH 1417/AD 1996.
    Ayat al-Tathir Ru'yatun Mubtakarah (A Unique Prospect On The Verse of Purification) by al-Fadhil al-Lankarani & Shihab al-Din al-Ishraqi, First Edition, AH 1416/ AD 1995.
    Ayat al-Tathir: Dirasatun fi’l-Madalil wa’l-Ahdaf (Verse of Purification: A Survey of Denotations and Objectives) by `Abd al-Zahra' `Uthman Muhammad, First Edition, AH 1414.
    Ma`a al-Doctor al-Salus fi Ayat al-Tathir (With Dr. al-Salus on the Verse of Purification) –No. 16 in the Series of `Ala Ma'idat al-`Aqidah (On the Table of Doctrine) by `Ali al-Husayni al-Milani.

    The reader is also advised to see the major reference books of tafsir (exegesis of the Holy Qur'an) concerning this holy Verse of Purification (33:33) as well as the major reference books of Islamic heritage.

  • 14. () At the end of Ibn Hanzalah’s Accepted Narration (maqbulah), Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq ('a) is reported to have said:
    الرَّادُّ عَلَيْنَا رَادٌّ عَلَى اللهِ، وَهُوَ عَلَى حَدِّ الشِّرْكِ بِاللهِ.

    … To reject our words is to reject the Words of Almighty Allah, which is as unacceptable as ascribing partners unto Him.

    See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 1:76, H. 10, Section: bab ikhtilaf al-hadith (Discrepancy in Narration), 7:412, H. 5, Section: (bab) karahiyyat al-Irtifa` ila Qudhat al-Jawr (Discommendation of Submitting before an Unjust Judge); al-Kafi fi’l-Fiqh by al-Halabi (AH 447), pp. 425; Tahdhib al-Ahkam by Shaykh al-Tusi (AH 460), 6:218, H. 6, Section: bab man ilayhi al-hukm wa aqsam al-qudhat wal-muftin (The Authorized for Judgment and the Kinds of Judges and Muftis), Chapter: (kitab) al-qadhaya wa’l-ahkam (Issues and Laws); al-Fusul al-Muhimmah fi Usul al-A'immah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 1: 538, H. 1, Section No. 20: (bab) wujub al-ruju` ila ruwat al-hadith min al-shi`ah fi ma rawawhu min al-ahkam (The Obligation of Reference to the Shi`ite Narrators of Hadith in Laws).

  • 15. () The Arabic word ‘thaqalayn’ is the dual form of the word ‘thaqal’, which, in Arabic, means luggage that is burdened on a riding-animal. The word has been used in the Holy Qur'an to denote men and jinn:

    سَنَفْرُغُ لَكُمْ أَيُّهَ الثَّقَلَانِ فَبِأَيِّ آلَاءِ رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

    We shall dispose of you, O ye two [weighty] dependents: man and jinn. (55/31)
    Men and jinn are called ‘thaqalan’ because they are considered the two poles of the earth, as if they have burdened it. The Holy Prophet (s), in this famous hadith, has likened the Holy Qur'an and the Household to two weighty things, because religion depends upon them in its validity and it lives long in the same way as the earth lives as long as men and jinn are existent in it. Al-Zamakhshari (AH 538), in his book of al-Fa'iq fi Gharib al-Hadith, pp. 150, writes down, “He (i.e. the Holy Prophet (s)) has called these two (i.e. the Holy Qur'an and the Household) weighty things, because to abide by them and to act upon them is a weighty (i.e. burdensome) thing. Each important, precious thing can be called ‘thaqal (weighty)’. Therefore, he has called them ‘thaqalayn’ owing to their momentous value and their stately standing.”
    See also al-Nihayah fi Gharib al-Hadith wa’l-Athar by Ibn al-Athir al-Jawzi (AH 606), 1:216.

  • 16. () The Arabic word ‘`itrah’ stands for one’s clan. Originally, it is the name of a plant that grows in different phyla. See al-Fa'iq fi Gharib al-Hadith, pp. 150.
    In one of his sermons, Imam `Ali ('a) says:
    وَكَيْفَ تَعْمَهُونَ وَبَيْنَكُمْ عِتْرَةُ نَبِيِّكُمْ؟ وَهُمْ أزِمَّةُ الحَقِّ وَأعْلاَمُ الدِّينِ وَألسِنَةُ الصِّدْقِ! فَأنْزِلُوهُمْ بِأحْسَنِ مَنَازِلِ القُرْآنِ، وَرِدُوهُمْ وُرُودَ الهِيمِ العِطَاشِ.
    “…How long shall there be bewilderment and why? Your prophet’s family (`itrah), the definite rulers, speakers of honesty and truth, leaders of religion, are among you: place them up on the best positions, the Qur'anic positions and turn to them like thirsty camels going to a watering place.”
    (Nahj al-Balaghah, Sermon No. 87)”
    Commenting on this section of the sermon, Ibn Abi’l-Hadid says, “The actual `Itrah of the Prophet (s) is his nearest household and progeny. Inaccurate is the claim of those who say that his `Itrah is his kinsfolk including those remote in lineage. As for Abu-Bakr’s saying on the Day of Saqifah (or after that day), “We are the `Itrah of Allah’s Messenger (s) and his egg that brought him,” he has used this expression metaphorically, because the people of Quraysh can be the `Itrah of the Prophet (s) in comparison with other tribes. However, they are not the Prophet’s (s) `Itrah in reality. Similar to this, a descendant of `Adnan (one of the two ancestors of the Arabs) vies in glory with a descendant of Qahtan (the other ancestor of the Arabs) saying, “I am the cousin of Allah’s Messenger (s).” This does not mean that the descendants of `Adnan are actual cousins of the Holy Prophet (s); rather, they are so in comparison with the descendants of Qahtan. Hence, this statement has been used metaphorically and after the deletion of the many additions of kinships, such as the son of the cousin of the forefather, and the like. If we thus consider the deletion of such additions, Abu-Bakr’s intention might have been true, since one of his forefathers was one day within the `Itrah of one of the Holy Prophet’s (s) forefathers.
    However, the Holy Prophet (s) declared who the members of his `Itrah were. He said:
    إنِّي تَارِكٌ فِيكُمُ الثَّقَلَيْنِ… وَعِتْرَتِي أهْلَ بَيْتِي.
    “I am leaving among you the two weighty things… my `Itrah; my Household.”
    On another occasion, he (s) declared who the members of his Household were. As regarding the following holy verse:

    إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا

    Allah's wish is but to remove impurity from you, O Folk of the Household, and cleanse you with a thorough cleansing. (33/33)

    When this verse was revealed to him, the Holy Prophet (s) covered them (i.e. Imam `Ali, Lady Fatimah, Imam al-Hasan, and Imam al-Husayn ('a)) with a cloak and said:
    اَللَّهُمَّ هَؤلاَءِ أهْلُ بَيْتِي، فَأذْهِبْ عَنْهُمُ الرِّجْسَ.
    “O Allah: These are the Folk of my Household; so, (please do) remove all impurity from them.”
    One may ask as whom Imam `Ali ('a) meant by the aforementioned section of his speech. The answer is that he meant his two sons and himself. In fact, the Imam ('a) originally meant himself, because his two sons followed him and their relation to him during his existence was similar to the relation of stars to the rising sun. Confirming this fact, the Holy Prophet (s) said:
    وَأبُوكُمَا خَيْرٌ مِنْكُمَا.
    “Your father is preferred to (both of) you.”
    (Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah by Ibn Abi’l-Hadid al-Mu`tazili (AH 656), 6:373-6)
    Imam `Ali Amir al-Mu'minin ('a) was once asked to identify the `Itrah as one of the two weighty things. He answered:
    (العِتْرَةُ) أنَا وَالحَسَنُ وَالحُسَيْنُ وَالأئِمَّةُ التِّسْعَةُ مِنْ وُلْدِ الحُسَيْنِ؛ تَاسِعُهُمْ مَهْدِيُّهُمْ وَقَائِمُهُمْ، لاَ يُفَارِقُونَ كِتَابَ اللهِ وَلاَ يُفَارِقُهُمْ حَتَّى يَرِدُوا عَلَى رَسُولِ اللهِ حَوْضَهُ.
    “The `Itrah stands for me, al-Hasan, al-Husayn ('a), and the nine Imam from al-Husayn’s offspring. The ninth of them is their Mahdi, the Riser. They shall neither leave the Book of Allah nor shall the Book of Allah leave them until they all join Allah’s Messenger at the Pond.”
    See `Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 2:60, H. 25, Section: bab al-nusus `ala al-ridha bil-imamati fi jumlati al-a'immati al-ithnay `ashar (Proofs Of The Divine Leadership Of Al-Ridha Among The Twelve Imam ('a)).

  • 17. () Hadith al-Thaqalayn (Tradition of the Two Weighty Things) is one of the uninterruptedly reported traditions by both Sunni and Shi`ite reporters. Owing to the significance of this hadith, writers have dedicated sections and chapters of their books to discussing it. Other scholars have used this hadith as the title of their works, such as the following books:
    Hadith al-Thaqalayn by Muhammad Qiwam al-Din al-Qummi al-Washnawi; Cairo: Dar al-Taqrib Bayna al-Madhahib al-Islamiyyah.
    Hadith al-Thaqalayn Tawaturuhu Fiqhuhu by `Ali al-Husayni al-Milani; Qum: The Author, First Edition, AH 1413.
    Muhammad wa-Hadith al-Thaqalayn by Najm al-Din al-Sharif al-`Askari (AH 1390); Najaf: al-Adab Press; Fourth Edition.
    For further benefit, let us refer to the following reference books that have cited the Hadith al-Thaqalayn: Basa'ir al-Darajat al-Kubra by al-Saffar (AH 290), pp. 432-4, Section No. 17: (bab) fi qawli rasuli allahi inni tarikun fikum al-thaqalayni kitaba allahi wa-ahla bayti (The Holy Prophet’s Saying: I am leaving with you the two weighty things; the Book of Allah and my Household); al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 1:294, 2:415; al-Imamah wa’l-Tabsirah by Ibn Babawayh al-Qummi (AH 329), pp. 149-150; Da`a'im al-Islam by al-Qadhi al-Nu`man al-Maghribi (AH 363), 1:28; Kitab al-Ghaybah by al-Nu`mani (AH 380), pp. 43, 73; al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 500, H. 686/16, Session (majlis) No. 843/1, Session No. 79; al-Khisal by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 65, 67; Kitab al-Irshad by Shaykh al-Mufid (AH 413), 1:176, 233 (The English version of this book is entitled Kitab al-Irshad, translated by Dr. Howard, Qum: Ansariyan Publications); al-Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi (AH 460), pp. 255, 548; Rawdhat al-Wa`izin by al-Fattal al-Naysaburi (AH 508), pp. 273; al-Ihtijaj by al-Tabrisi (AH 560), 1:75, 191, 221, 391, 407, 2:47, 252; Dhakha'ir al-`Uqba fi Manaqib Dhawi’l-Qurba by al-Tabari (AH 694), pp. 16; Musnad Ibn Ju`d (AH 230), pp. 397; al-Musannaf by Ibn Shaybah al-Kufi (AH 235), 7:176, Section No. 27, H. 5, 7:418; Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal (AH 241), 3:14, 17, 26, 59, 4:367, 371, 5:182, 190; al-Muntakhab min Musnad `Abd ibn Humayd (AH 249), pp. 114, H. 265; Sunan al-Darimi (AH 255), 2:432; Ma Ruwiya fi’l-Hawdhi wa’l-Kawthar by Ibn Mukhallad al-Qurtubi (AH 276), pp. 88; Kitab al-Sunnah by `Amr ibn Abi-`Asim al-Aahhak (AH 287), pp. 336-337, H. 754, pp. 629, H. 1551, 1552, 1553, pp. 630, H. 1554, 1555; al-Sunan al-Kubra by al-Nassa'i (AH 303), 5:45, H. 8148, pp. 51, H. 8175, pp. 130, H. 8464; Khasa'is Amir al-Mu'minin by al-Nassa'i (AH 303), pp. 93; Musnad Abi-Ya`la al-Mawsili (AH 307), 2:297, H. 1021, pp. 303, H. 1027, pp. 376, H. 1140; Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah (AH 311), pp. 63; al-Mu`jam al-Saghir by al-Tabarani (AH 360), 1:131, 135, 3:374; al-Mu`jam al-Awsat by al-Tabarani (AH 360), 4:33; al-Mu`jam al-Kabir by al-Tabarani (AH 360), 3: 65, 66, 67, 180, H. 2678, 2679, 2780, 2681, 2683, 3052, 5:153, 154, 166, 167, 170, 182, 183, 186, H. 4921, 4922, 4923, 4969, 4970; al-Mustadrak `Ala al-Sahihayn by al-Hakim al-Naysaburi (AH 405), 3:109, 148; al-Sunan al-Kubra by al-Bayhaqi (AH 458), 7:30, 10: 114; Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah by Ibn Abi’l-Hadid al-Mu`tazili (AH 656), 9:133; Nuzum Durar al-Simtayn by al-Zarandi al-Hanafi (AH 750), pp. 233; Majma` al-Zawa'id by al-Haythami (AH 807), 9:163, 164, 10:363; Kanz al-`Ummal by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi (AH 975), 1:185, 186, 187, 188, 189, H. 943, 944, 945, 946, 947, 949, 950, 951, 952, 953, 957, 958, 5:289-290, H. 12911, 13:104, H. 36340, 13:641, H. 37620, 14:435, H. 39192.
  • 18. () It has been reported that Imam al-Sadiq ('a), once, asked Abu-Ja`far al-Ahwal, “How do the scholars of al-Basrah explain this verse: ‘Say (O Muhammad, unto mankind): I do not ask of a wage for this except love of my kinsfolk’?”
    He answered, “May Allah accept me as ransom for you! They say that it includes the relatives of Allah’s Messenger (s).”
    The Imam ('a) said:
    كَذَبوا! إنَّمَا نَزَلَتْ فِينَا خَاصَّةً: فِي أهْلِ البَيْتِ؛ فِي عَلِيٍّ وَفَاطِمَةَ وَالحَسَنِ وَالحُسَيْنِ: أصْحَابِ الكِسَاءِ عَلَيْهِمُ السَّلاَمُ.
    “Liars are they. It was revealed exclusively for us—the Ahl al-Bayt; namely, `Ali, Fatimah, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn ('a); the Group of the Cloak.”
    See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 8:93.
    `Abdullah ibn `Abbas is reported to have recounted that when the verse involved was revealed, the Holy Prophet (s) was asked, “Who are your kinsfolk the love for whom has become obligatory upon us?” He (s) replied, “They are `Ali, Fatimah, and their two sons ('a).” See Majma` al-Zawa'id by al-Haythami (AH 807), 7:103; al-Mu`jam al-Kabir by al-Tabarani (AH 360), 3:47, H. 2641, 11:351; Faydh al-Qadir Sharh al-Jami` al-Saghir by al-Mannawi (AH 1331), 1:283, H. 302.
  • 19. () The Holy Prophet (s) is reported to have said to Imam `Ali ('a):
    أبْشِرْ يَا عَلِيُّ! فَإنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ قَدْ عَهِدَ إلَيَّ أنَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّكَ إلاَّ مُؤمِنٌ وَلا يُبْغِضُكَ إلاَّ مُنَافِقٌ.
    “O `Ali: Here are good tidings! Almighty Allah has promised me that none loves you save a believer and none hates you save a hypocrite.”
    Reference: al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 197.
    It has been also reported that the Holy Prophet (s) said to Imam `Ali ('a):
    لاَ يُحِبُّكَ إلاَّ مُؤمِنٌ وَلا يُبْغِضُكَ إلاَّ مُنَافِقٌ أوْ وِلْدُ زَنِيَّةٍ أوْ حَمَلَتْهُ أمُّهُ وَهِيَ طَامِثٌ.
    “He who loves you is certainly a true believer, but he who hates you is nothing but a hypocrite, or an illegitimate son, or his mother conceived him while she was menstruous.”
    Reference: `Ilal al-Shara'i` by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 1:145, H. 12, Section No. 120: bab fi anna `illata mahabbati ahl al-bayti tib al-wiladati (Legitimacy of Birth; A Reason Behind The Love For the Ahl al-Bayt); Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 2:319, H. 2243/8, Section No. 24.
    Imam `Ali Amir al-Mu'minin ('a) is also reported as saying:
    وَاللهِ، إنَّهُ مِمَّا عَهِدَ إلَيَّ رَسُولُ اللهِ أنَّهُ لاَ يُبْغِضُنِي إلاَّ مُنَافِقٌ وَلاَ يُحِبُّنِي إلاَّ مُؤمِنٌ.
    “I swear by Allah: One of the commandments of Allah’s Messenger to me was that none would hate me save a hypocrite, and none would love me save a true believer.”
    Reference: Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal (AH 241), 1:84; `Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 1:65, H. 235.
    The Holy Prophet (s) is also reported to have said:
    مَنْ أبْغَضَ أهْلَ البَيْتِ فَهُوَ مُنَافِقٌ.
    “He who hates the Ahl al-Bayt must be a hypocrite.”
    لاَ يُحِبُّنَا أهْلَ البَيْتِ إلاَّ مُؤمِنٌ تَقِيٌّ، وَلا يُبْغِضُنَا إلاَّ مُنَافِقٌ شَقِيٌّ.
    “None loves us—the Ahl al-Bayt—save a pious believer; and none hates us save a wretched hypocrite.”
    Reference: Dhakha'ir al-`Uqba fi Manaqib Dhawi’l-Qurba by Ahmad ibn `Abdullah al-Tabari (AH 694), pp. 18.
    Narrations of the same purport have been recorded in various reference books, such as: al-Gharat by Ibrahim al-Thaqafi al-Kufi (AH 283), 2:520, 946; Manaqib Amir al-Mu'minin by Muhammad al-Kufi al-Qadhi (app. AH 300), 2:469, H. 963, 2:478, H. 978, Section: bab fi man ahabba `aliyyan wa fi man abghadhahu (Those Who Love `Ali and Those Who Hate Him); al-Khisal by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 577, 633; al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 135, H. 131/1, Session No. 18, 197, H.207/1, Session No. 28, 525, H.708/4, Session No. 75; Kifayat al-Athar by al-Khazzaz al-Qummi (AH 400), pp. 31, 110; Kitab al-Irshad by Shaykh al-Mufid (AH 413), 1:40; al-Amali by Shaykh al-Mufid (AH 413), pp. 62, 308; al-Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi (AH 460), pp. 78, H.113/22, Session No. 3, 206, H.353/3, Session No. 8, 258, H.465/3, Session No. 10, 306, H.613/60, Session No. 11, 472, the last hadith of Session No. 16; Rawdhat al-Wa`izin by Ibn al-Fattal al-Naysaburi (AH 508), pp. 124; al-Ihtijaj by al-Tabrisi (AH 560), 1:141, 243; al-Thaqib fi’l-Manaqib by Ibn Hamzah al-Tusi (AH 560), pp. 123, Section Two, Chapter One, H. 9, 10, 11, 236, H.202/3; Musnad al-Himyari (AH 219), 1:31, H. 58; Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal (AH 241), 1:59, 128; Kitab al-«man by Muhammad al-`Adani (AH 243), pp. 80-81; Sahih Muslim (AH 261), 1:60; Sunan Ibn Majah (AH 275), 1:42, H.114; Sunan al-Tirmidhi (AH 279), 5:306, H. 3819/94; Kitab al-Sunnah by `Amr ibn Abi-`Asim al-Aahhak (AH 287), pp. 584, H.1325; al-Sunan al-Kubra by al-Nassa'i (AH 303), 5:47, 137, H.8153, 8485, 8486, 8487, 6:534, 535, H.11749, 11753; Majma` al-Zawa'id by al-Haythami (AH 807), 9:133; al-Dibaj `Ala Sahih Muslim by al-Suyuti (AH 911), 1:93, H.131.
  • 20. () The Holy Prophet (s) is reported as saying:
    إنَّ لِكُلِّ بَنِي أبٍ عُصْبَةً يَنْتَمُونَ إلَيْهَا إلاَّ وِلْدَ فَاطِمَةَ، فَأنَا وَلِيُّهُمْ، وَأنَا عُصْبَتُهُمْ، وَهُمْ عِتْرَتِي، خُلِقُوا مِنْ طِينَتِي. وَيْلٌ لِلمُكَذِّبِينَ بِفَضْلِهِمْ! مَنْ أحَبَّهُمْ أحَبَّهُ اللهُ، وَمَنْ أبْغَضَهُمْ أبْغَضَهُ اللهُ.
    “The descendants of all persons have agnation to which they belong, except the descendants of Fatimah. I am their guardian and I am their agnation. They are my progeny; they were created from the same clay from which I was created. Woe be to those who deny their excellences. Whoever loves them shall be loved by Almighty Allah and whoever hates them shall be hated by Him.”
    Reference: Kanz al-`Ummal by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi (AH 975), 12:98, 103, 104, 116, H.34168, 34194, 34198…
    The Holy Prophet (s) is also reported to have said:
    أنَا سَيِّدُ وِلْدِ آدَمَ، وَأنْتَ يَا عَلِيُّ وَالأئِمَّةُ مِنْ بَعْدِكَ سَادَةُ أمَّتِي. مَنْ أحَبَّنَا فَقَدْ أحَبَّ اللهَ، وَمَنْ أبْغَضَنَا فَقَدْ أبْغَضَ اللهَ، وَمَنْ وَالاَنَا فَقَدْ وَالَى اللهَ، وَمَنْ عَادَانَا فَقَدْ عَادَى اللهَ، وَمَنْ أطَاعَنَا فَقَدْ أطَاعَ اللهَ، وَمَنْ عَصَانَا فَقَدْ عَصَى اللهَ.
    “I am the master of Adam’s descendants. O `Ali: you and the Imam who shall succeed you are the masters of my nation. He who loves us has in fact loved Almighty Allah, and he who hates us has in fact hated Almighty Allah, and he who acts faithfully to us has in fact acted faithfully to Almighty Allah, and he who shows enmity towards us has in fact shown enmity towards Almighty Allah, and he who obeys us has in fact obeyed Almighty Allah and he who disobeys us has in fact disobeyed Almighty Allah.”
    Reference: al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), H.658/16, Session No. 71.
    For more details, the dear reader is advised to see the following reference books: Manaqib Amir al-Mu'minin by Muhammad al-Kufi al-Qadhi (app. AH 300), pp. 481; Sharh al-Akhbar by al-Qadhi al-Nu`man al-Maghribi (AH 363), 1:154, H. 98, pp. 233, H. 223, 3:109, H.1044; Kamil al-Ziyarat by Ja`far ibn Qawlawayh (AH 368), pp. 335, H. 842/14, Section No. 107; Man La Yahdhuruhu’l-Faqih by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 2:613, 617; al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 466, H. 621/11, Session No. 60; al-Fusul al-Mukhtarah by Shaykh al-Mufid (AH 413), pp. 245; Tahdhib al-Ahkam by Shaykh al-Tusi (AH 460), 6:97, 101; al-Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi (AH 460), pp. 248, H.437/29, Session No. 9, pp. 309, H.623/70, Session No. 11; Manaqib Ali Abi-Talib by Ibn Shahr Ashub (AH 588), 2:217; al-Mu`jam al-Kabir by al-Tabarani (AH 360), 1:319, H.947, 23:380; Majma` al-Zawa'id by al-Haythami (AH 807), 9:109, 131, 132; Kanz al-`Ummal by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi (AH 975), 11:610, 622, H.32952, 33024, 13:109, H.36358.
  • 21. () This is an indication to the following holy verse:

    يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ مِنْ ذَكَرٍ وَأُنْثَىٰ وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا ۚ
    إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ

    O you men! Surely, We have created you of a male and a female, and made you tribes and families that you may know each other. Surely, the most honorable of you with Allah is the one among you most careful of his duty. Surely, Allah is Knowing, Aware. (49/13)

  • 22. () Mukhtasar Basa'ir al-Darajat by al-Hasan al-Hilli (the ninth century of Hijrah), pp. 92; Bihar al-Anwar by al-Majlisi (AH 1111), 25:364, H. 1, Section No. 12; Mustadrak Safinat al-Bihar by al-Namazi al-Shahrudi (AH 1405), 1:199.
  • 23. () For more information in this regard, the reader is advised to refer to the following book:
    Al-Muraja`at: Reciprocal Correspondences Between Shaykh Salim al-Bishri, the Head of al-Azhar University, and Sayyid Sharaf al-Din al-`Amili, Letters No. 20 and on; revised by Husayn al-Radhi, Qum: The Ahl al-Bayt ('a) World Assembly, First Edition, AH 1422. ((The English version of this book is entitled ‘al-Muraja`at: A Sunni-Shi`i Dialogue, translated by Yasin al-Jiburi, Qum: Ansariyan Publications, 2000.))
    Nazariyyat al-Nass `Ala al-Imamah fi’l-Qur'an al-Karim (Conception of the Divine Ordinance of Imamate in the Holy Qur'an), by Muhsin al-Araki, London: Book Extra, First Edition, AH 1421/AD 2000.
    Al-Nass wa’l-Ijtihad by `Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-`Amili (AH 1377), revised by Abu Mujtaba, Qum: Sayyid al-Shuhada' Press, First Edition, AH 1404. (The English version of this book is entitled ‘al-Nass wel-Ijtihad, translated by Abdullah al-Shahin, Qum: Ansariyan Publications, 2002.)
  • 24. () This hadith has been recorded in the following reference books: Basa'ir al-Darajat al-Kubra by al-Saffar al-Qummi (AH 290), pp. 97; Qurb al-Isnad by al-Himyari al-Baghdadi (AH 300), pp. 57; al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 1:287, 294, 295, 296, 420, 4:149, 566, 8:27; `Ilal al-Shara'i` by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 1:144; Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal (AH 241), 1:84, 118, 119, 152, 331, 4:281, 370, 5:347, 366, 370, 419; Sunan al-Tirmidhi (AH 279), 5:297; al-Mustadrak `Ala al-Sahihayn by al-Hakim al-Naysaburi (AH 405), 3:109, 110, 116, 134, 371, 533.
    About the authenticity of the Hadith of Ghadir, Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani (AH 852) says, “As regarding the hadith that begins with, ‘man kuntu mawlahu fahadha `aliyyun mawlahu, it has been recorded by al-Tirmidhi and al-Nassa'i. In fact, this hadith has been reported from very numerous ways of narration, which have been collected by Ibn `Uqdah in an independent book. Most of the series of narration of this hadith are authentic (sahih) and acceptable (hasan). I have quoted Imam Ahmad (ibn Hanbal) as saying, ‘We have not received narrations about any of the Sahabah as many as we have received about `Ali ibn Abi-Talib ('a).’” See Fath al-Bari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari, 7:16. Also, refer to the first footnote of the chapter No. 22 (The Proof of Islam and the Previous Religions).
    For more details about the Hadith al-Ghadir, see the book of al-Ghadir by al-Amini al-Najafi (AH 1329), Volume One.
  • 25. () Imam `Ali ibn Abi-Talib ('a) narrated the following:
    When the holy verse, ‘And warn your nearest relatives, (26:214)’ was revealed, the Holy Prophet… spoke, “O sons of `Abd al-Muttalib! By Allah I swear, I do not know an Arab man who can bring to his people a matter better than what I am bearing to you. I am conveying to you the welfare of this world as well as the Hereafter. Almighty Allah has ordered me to invite you to this matter. Who will support me in this affair?”
    I was the youngest among them when I promptly declared, “I will.” But they began to laugh at me and left the place and said to Abu-Talib, “Well, he orders you to listen to and obey your son!” References: Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah by Ibn Abi’l-Hadid al-Mu`tazili (AH 656), 13:210 as quoted from Tarikh al-Tabari. See also Kanz al-`Ummal by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi (AH 974), 13:133, H. 36419.
    For acquainting oneself with more Sunni reference books of hadith that have recorded this tradition, the reader is advised to refer to al-Muraja`at: Reciprocal Correspondences Between Shaykh Salim al-Bishri, the Head of al-Azhar University, and Sayyid Sharaf al-Din al-`Amili, Letters No. 20 & 21; al-Ghadir by al-Amini (AH 1392), 2:278, Title: hadith bad' al-da`wah fi’l-sunnah wa’l-tarikh wa’l-adab (The Tradition of the Start of the Promulgation For Islam In The Sunnah, History, and Literature).
    A big number of Shi`ite reference books of hadith have also recorded this tradition, such as Manaqib Amir al-Mu'minin by al-Kufi al-Qadhi (app. AH 300), 1:370, Section: tafsir ayat al-indhar (Exegesis of The Verse of Warning), H.294 and on; `Ilal al-Shara'i` by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 1:170; Kitab al-Irshad by Shaykh al-Mufid (AH 413), 1:49; Rawdhat al-Wa`izin by al-Fattal al-Naysaburi (AH 508), pp. 52.
  • 26. () Al-Mahasin by al-Barqi (AH 274 or 280), 1:159; al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 8:107; Da`a'im al-Islam by al-Tamimi al-Maghribi (AH 363), 1:16; `Ilal al-Shara'i` by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 1:66, 137, 138, 202, 2:474; `Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 1:209; Musnad Abi-Dawud al-Tayalisi (AH 204), pp. 28, 29; al-Musannaf by al-San`ani (AH 211), 5:406; H.9745, 11:226, H.20390; Sahih Muslim al-Naysaburi (AH 261), 7:120, 121; Sunan al-Tirmidhi (AH 279), 5:302, H.3808, pp. 304, H.3813, 3814; al-Mustadrak `Ala al-Sahihayn by al-Hakim al-Naysaburi (AH 405), 2:337, 3:109, 133; al-Sunan al-Kubra by al-Bayhaqi (AH 458), 9:40; Majma` al-Zawa'id by al-Haythami (AH 807), 9:109-111; Fath al-Bari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari by Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani (AH 852), 7:60, 9:53.
  • 27. () Al-Mi`yar wa’l-Muwazanah by al-Iskafi (AH 220), pp. 228; Da`a'im al-Islam by al-Tamimi al-Maghribi (AH 363), 1:16, 21; Tuhaf al-`Uqul by Ibn Shu`bah al-Harrani (the fourth century of Hijrah), pp. 459; `Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 2:58; al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 186; Rawdhat al-Wa`izin by Ibn al-Fattal al-Naysaburi (AH 508), pp. 102; Jami` al-Bayan by al-Tabari (AH 310), 6:388; al-Mu`jam al-Awsat by al-Tabarani (AH 360), 6:218; Ahkam al-Qur'an by al-Jassas al-Razi (AH 370), 2:557, 558; Shawahid al-Tanzil by al-Hakim al-Hasakani (the fifth century of Hijrah), 1:212, H.221, pp. 216, H.224, pp. 217, H.225, pp. 233, H.236, pp. 234, H.237; Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah by Ibn Abi’l-Hadid al-Mu`tazili (AH 656), 13:277; Nuzum Durar al-Simtayn by al-Zarandi al-Hanafi (AH 750), pp. 86.
  • 28. () The actual sense of Imamate in Muslim terminology is the leadership of the Muslim nation that is commissioned by Almighty Allah through His Messenger.
  • 29. () Indubitably, reference books of Muslim heritage have recorded intricate, authentic traditions corroborating the Holy Imam being twelve in number. Moreover, some master scholars have compiled independent books or chapters for the details of this unquestionable fact. Let us refer to the following as examples:

    Kifayat al-Athar fi’l-Nassi `Ala al-A'immati al-Ithnay `Ashar (Sufficiency of Traditions Concerning The Imam Being Twelve) by `Ali ibn Muhammad al-Khazzaz al-Razi (the fourth century of Hijrah); revised by `Abd al-Latif al-Husayni al-Kuhkamari al-Khu'i; Qum: Bidar Publications, AH 1401.

    Muqtadhab al-Athar fi’l-Nassi `Ala al-A'immati al-Ithnay `Ashar (Summary of Traditions Concerning Imam Being Twelve) by Ahmad ibn `Ubaydullah ibn `Ayyash al-Jawhari (AH 401); revision, correction, and commentary by Hashim al-Rasuli; Qum: al-Tabataba'i Library.

    Al-Istinsar fi’l-NassI `Ala al-A'immati al-Athar (Supportive Points Proving the Imamate of the Twelve Imam) by Abu-Fath al-Karajaki (AH 449); Beirut: Dar al-Adhwa' Publishers, Second Edition, Ah 1405.

    Istiqsa' al-Nazar fi Imamat al-A'immah al-Ithnay `Ashar (Deep Investigation on the Imamate of the Twelve Imam) by Ibn Maytham al-Bahrani (AH 679).

    Kitab al-Ghaybah (Book of Occultation) by Abu-Zaynab al-Nu`mani (AH 380); Chapter: ma ruwiya anna al-a'immata ithna `ashara min tariq al-`ammati wa ma yadullu `alayhi min al-qur'an wa’l-tawrah (Sunni Narrations About the Imam Being Twelve and Indications From the Qur'an and the Torah).

    Turuqu Hadith al-A'immah Ithna `Ashar (Ways of The Narration of The Imam Beings Twelve) by Kazim Al-Nuh (AH 1360); Baghdad: Dar al-Ma`arif Publications.

    Risalatun Mukhtasaratun fi’l-Nusus `Ala Imamat al-A'immati al-Ithnay `Ashar (A Brief Treatise On the Authentic Narrations Confirming the Imamate of the Twelve Imam) by Jawad al-Mirza al-Tabrizi.

    Min Hadith al-Nabiy Yakunu Lihadhihi al-Ummati Ithna `Ashara Qayyiman (The Holy Prophet’s (s) Saying: Twelve Custodians Shall Be In This Nation) by Murtadha al-`Askari; Beirut: P.O. Box 124/24.

    Yanabi` al-Mawaddah Li-Dhawi’l-Qurba by Sulayman ibn Ibrahim al-Qanaduzi al-Hanafi (AH 1294); revised by `Ali Jamal Ashraf al-Husayni, Vol. 3, Section No. 77: Investigations of the tradition, “After me, there shall come twelve successors.”; Dar al-Uswah Publishers, First Edition, AH 1416.

    See also Musnad Ab-Dawud al-Tayalisi (AH 204), pp. 105, 180; Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal (AH 241), 5:86-108; Sahih al-Bukhari (AH 256), 8:127; Sahih Muslim (AH 261), 6:403; Sunan Abi-Dawud al-Sajistani (AH 275), 2:309, Section: Kitab al-Mahdi, H.4279, 4280; Sunan al-Tirmidhi (AH 279), 3:340, H.2323, Section: bab ma ja'a fi’l-khulafa' (Reports About The Successors); al-Mu`jam al-Kabir by al-Tabarani (AH 360), pp. 195, 196, 232; al-Mustadrak `Ala al-Sahihayn by al-Hakim al-Naysaburi (AH 405), 3::617, 618; al-Kifayah fi `Ilm al-Riwayah by al-Khatib al-Baghdadi (AH 436), pp. 95; Sharh Sahih Muslim by al-Nawawi (AH 676), 12:201; Majma` al-Zawa'id by al-Haythami (AH 807), 5:190, 191, Section: bab al-khulafa' al-ithna `ashar (The Twelve Successors)… etc.

    Many Sunni scholars have been unable to apply the actual sense of these narrations to the actual leadership of the Islamic states throughout history. This is because they have had to submit to the authenticity of these traditions and their uninterrupted transmission. Although they assumed innumerable probabilities, they could not reach a consensual decision. For more information, see the following reference books: Fath al-Bari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari by Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani (AH 852), 13:182 and on; Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi fi Sharh Sahih al-Tirmidhi by al-Mubarakfuri (AH 1353), 6:391-396, Section: bab ma ja'a fi’l-khulafa' (Reports About The Successors).

    However, al-Qanaduzi al-Hanafi (AH 1294), after recording ten narrations dealing with this very matter, quotes the following word of a researcher: “Narrations indicating that the Successors after the Holy Prophet (s) would be twelve in number have been widely known because they are reported from various ways of narration. By indications of time, place, and events, it is concluded that the Messenger of Allah (s) intended the Twelve Imam from his household and family. It is impossible to apply this hadith to the Orthodox Caliphs (al-khulafa' al-rashidun) because they are less than twelve, and it is also impossible to apply it to the Umayyad kings because they were more than twelve and because they ruled with notorious injustice and persecution except `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz and also because they did not belong to Banu-Hashim, since the Holy Prophet (s), according to the narration of `Abd al-Malik on the authority of Jabir, had declared that all the Successors would be from Banu-Hashim. Confirming this fact, it is reported that the Holy Prophet (s) uttered this very statement with a low voice, because the attendants would not welcome the fact that Banu-Hashim would rule after the Holy Prophet (s). The tradition cannot be also applied to the `Abbasid kings, because they were more than the required number and because they failed to abide by the holy verse, “Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives, (42/23)” as well as the famous Hadith al-Kisa' (Tradition of the Cloak).

    In view of the above, this hadith can only be applied to the Twelve Imam from the Holy Prophet’s (s) Household and family, because they were the most knowledgeable of the people of their ages, the most sublime, the most pious, the most religious, the foremost in high lineage, and the most honored by Almighty Allah. Their sciences were linked to the sciences of their fathers who obtained their sciences and knowledge from their grandfather, the Holy Prophet (s), through heritage, and through personal competence. Such have they been known by people of knowledge, investigation, Gnosticism, and high erudition. The famous Hadith al-Thaqalayn (Tradition of the Two Weighty Things), as well as the numerous traditions cited in this book and many other books, testifies and gives evidence and preference to the fact that the Holy Prophet (s), by foretelling the coming of twelve successors after him, meant the Twelve Imam ('a) from his household and family.”

    The Holy Prophet ('a) said, “This religion will continue to remain in existence until twelve successors come after me who attain the consensus of this nation.” This has been explained by al-Qanaduzi al-Hanafi as meaning that the Muslim nation will unanimously submit to the Imamate of these Twelve Imam at the advent of the Riser, Imam al-Mahdi—may Allah be pleased with them all.” See Yanabi` al-Mawaddah li-Dhawi’l-Qurba by al-Qanaduzi al-Hanafi (AH 1294), 3:292-293, Secion No. 77: fi tahqiq hadith ba`di ithna `ashara khalifatan (Investigation About the Prophetic Tradition, ‘After Me, There Shall Come Twelve Successors).

    The aforementioned tradition can also be found in Sunan Abi-Dawud al-Sajistani (AH 275), 2:309, H.4279; Fath al-Bari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari by Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani (AH 852), 13:182 and many other reference books of hadith.

    `Allamah al-Tustari says, “Our Imamiyyah scholars have cited these authenticated traditions as proofs of the fact that the Twelve Imam ('a) have the right more than anyone else to succeed the Holy Prophet (s) and lead the Muslim community in religious and political affairs. As a matter of fact, except for the Imamiyyah, no other sect has ever claimed the Imam being restricted to this number (i.e. twelve). Indicated by reason and traditions, Imamate and successorship (khilafah or Caliphate) of the Holy Prophet (s) requires that an imam or khalifah must be infallible and commissioned by Almighty Allah and His Messenger (s). This condition does not violate the fact that some of the Holy Imam ('a) were unable, even outwardly, to put their commands into effect. Foretelling this fact, the Holy Prophet (s) said about Imam al-Hasan ('a) and Imam al-Husayn ('a):

    إبْنَايَ هَذَانِ إمَامَانِ؛ قَامَا أوْ قَعَدَا.

    “These two sons of mine are Imam whether they will hold (practically) the leadership or be prevented from it.”

    To sum it up, the fact that the Holy Imam were prevented from holding the position of Caliphate—the position that Almighty Allah had commissioned them to hold—because others tyrannized over them; cannot act as a point of refutation of our belief. Similarly, the prophethood of the Prophets ('a) was not injured or distrusted because their people rejected, turned away from them or killed them.” See al-Sawarim al-Muhriqah fi Naqd al-Sawa`iq al-Muhriqah by al-Qadhi al-Tustari (AH 1019), pp. 95.

  • 30. () See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 1:525, 526, H. 1, Chapter: Kitab al-Hujjah (The Book of Argument), Section: bab ma ja'a fi’l-ithnay `ashar wa’l-nass `alayhim; Kifayat al-Athar fi’l-nass `Ala al-A'immati al-Ithnay `Ashar (Reports About the Twelve Imam and Decrees About Them) by al-Khazzaz al-Qummi al-Razi (the fourth century of Hijrah), pp. 53, Section: bab ma ja'a `an jabir ibn `abdillah al-ansari `an rasul illahi fi’l-nususi `ala al-a'immati al-ithnay `ashar (Narrations Reported From Jabir Ibn `Abdullah al-Ansari From Allah’s Messenger About the Twelve Imam), pp. 169, Section: ma ruwiya `an al-husayn ibn `ali `an rasul illahi fi’l-nususi `ala al-a'immati al-ithnay `ashar (Narrations Reported From al-Husayn Ibn `Ali From Allah’s Messengers About the Twelve Imam); Mukhtasar Basa'ir al-Darajat by al-Hilli (the ninth century of Hijrah), pp. 39, 122-123; Dala'il al-Imamah by al-Tabari (the early fourth century of Hijrah), pp. 448-449; al-Hidayah al-Kubra by al-Khasibi (AH 334), pp. 375; al-Ikhtisas by Shaykh al-Mufid (AH 413), pp. 210; Bihar al-Anwar by al-Majlisi (AH 1111), 36:226-372, Section No. 41: nusus al-rasul (The Messenger’s Reported Decrees); Yanabi` al-Mawaddah li-Dhawi’l-Qurba by al-Qanaduzi al-Hanafi (AH 1294), 3:281 and on, Section No. 76: fi bayan al-a'immati al-ithnay `ashar bi-asma'ihim (References to the Twelve Imam by Names).

    In his book of ‘Fara'id al-Simtayn’, al-Juwayni has reported the Holy Prophet ('a) as saying:
    أنَا سَيِّدُ النَّبِيِّينَ، وَعَلِيُّ بْنُ أبِي طَالِبٍ سَيِّدُ الوَصِيِّينَ، وَإنَّ أوْصِيَائِي بَعْدِي اثْنَا عَشَرَ: أوَّلُهُمْ عَلِيُّ بْنُ أبِي طَالِبٍ وَآخِرُهُمُ المَهْدِيُّ.

    “I am the master of the prophets. `Ali ibn Abi-Talib is the master of the Prophets’ successors. My successors who shall come after me are twelve in number. The first of them is `Ali ibn Abi-Talib and the last one is al-Mahdi.”

    إنَّ خُلَفَائِي وَأوْصِيَائِي وَحُجَجُ اللهِ عَلَى الخَلْقِ بَعْدِي الإثْنَا عَشَرَ: أوَّلُهُمْ أخِي وَآخِرُهُمْ وَلَدِي.

    “Verily, my vicegerents and successors, who are Almighty Allah’s arguments against His creatures and who shall come after me are twelve. The first of them is my brother and the last is my son.”

    Having declared this statement, the Holy Prophet (s) was asked, “O Allah’s Messenger: Who is your brother to whom you have referred?” He answered:

    (أخِي) عَلِيُّ بْنُ أبِي طَالِبٍ.
    “My brother is `Ali ibn Abi-Talib.”
    “Who is your son to whom you have referred?” the Holy Prophet (s) was asked. He answered:

    (وَلَدي) المَهْدِيُّ الَّذِي يَمْلَؤها قِسْطاً وَعَدْلاً كَمَا مُلِئَتْ ظُلْماً وَجَوْراً. وَالَّذِي بَعَثَنِي بِالحَقِّ بَشِيراً وَنَذِيراً، لَوْ لَمْ يَبْقَ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا إلاَّ يَوْمٌ وَاحِدٌ لَطَوَّلَ (اللهُ) ذَلِكَ اليَوْمَ حَتَّى يَخْرُجَ فِيهِ وَلَدِي المَهْدِيُّ. فَيَنْزِلُ رُوحُ اللهِ عِيسَى بْنُ مَرْيَمَ فَيُصَلِّي خَلْفَهُ، وَتُشْرِقُ الأرْضُ بِنُورِ رَبِّهَا وَيَبْلُغُ سُلْطَانُهُ المَشْرِقَ وَالمَغْرِبَ.

    “My son is al-Mahdi who shall fill it (i.e. the earth) with fairness and justice after it would be filled with injustice and prejudice. I swear by Him Who has sent me with truth as bearer of good tidings (to the believers) and warner (about His chastisement), that even if a single day remains from the age of this world, Almighty Allah will prolong it, so that my son, al-Mahdi, reappears and the Spirit of Allah- Jesus son of Mary, descends, to follow him in prayer. The earth shall then shine with the light of its Lord, and his authority shall cover the east and the west of the earth.”
    This hadith has been quoted by `Allamah al-`Askari from a manuscript found in the Central Library of Tehran University under No. 1164/1690-1691, pp. 60. See Book No. 6 in the series of `ala ma'idat al-qur’an wa’l-sunnah (On the Table of the Qur'an and Sunnah) entitled ‘min hadith al-nabi yakunu lihadhihi al-ummati ithna `ashara qayyiman (The Prophet’s Saying: For This Nation, There Shall Come Twelve Custodians).
    For more information about the traditions mentioning the names of the Twelve Imam ('a), the reader is advised to read the introduction of the scholar, Shaykh Lutfullah al-Safi al-Gulpaygani, to the book ‘Muqtadhab al-Athar fi’l-Nass `Ala al-A'immati al-Ithnay `Ashar by Ahmad ibn `Ubaydullah ibn `Ayyash al-Jawhari (AH 401). Moreover, this book comprises many Prophetic traditions that are uninterruptedly reported by non-Shi`ite scholars and indicate the Imamate of the Twelve Imam ('a) belonging to the Holy Prophet’s Household.

  • 31. () Fore more details in this respect, the reader is advised to refer to the following books: Kitab al-Ghaybah by Abu-Zaynab al-Nu`mani (the third century of Hijrah); Bahth Hawla al-Mahdi by Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr (AD 1980); al-Mahdi by Sadr al-Din al-Sadr; Mawsu`at al-Imam al-Mahdi, Tarikh al-Ghaybah al-Kubra by Muhammad Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr (AD 1998); Muntakhab al-Athar fi Imamat al-Imam al-Thani `Ashar by al-Safi al-Gulpaygani (contemporary); al-Radd `Ala Shubuhat Ahmad al-Katib Hawla Imamat Ahl al-Bayt wa Wujud al-Mahdi al-Muntazar by Sayyid Sami al-Badri (contemporary). Furthermore, there are hundreds of books on Imam al-Mahdi ('a).
  • 32. () For more details about Imam al-Mahdi ('a) being one of the descendants of Lady Fatimah ('a), refer to the book of Mu`jam Ahadith al-Mahdi by `Ali al-Kurani (contemporary), 1:137, 138, 189, 566, 3:191. The author of this book has cited tens of reference books for both Shi`ite and Sunni writers confirming Imam al-Mahdi ('a) being a descendant of Lady Fatimah ('a).
    For details about Imam al-Mahdi ('a) being a descendant of Imam al-Husayn ('a), refer to the aforementioned book, 1:394, 3:15.
  • 33. () For more details about the Prophetic tradition that Imam al-Mahdi ('a) will spread justice and equity in the globe after it would be overcome by injustice and oppression, refer to the aforementioned book, 1:94, 114, 121, 123, 170, 265, 364, 3:11, 12, 40, 61, 202, 307, 318, 323, 4:225, 350, 361, 497, 5:281, 358.
  • 34. () The followers of the Kaysaniyyah faith, one of the Shi`ah sects, believe that Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah (son of Imam `Ali ibn Abi-Talib ('a)) is the Imam, because he, not al-Hasan ('a) or al-Husayn ('a), bore the pennon of his father during the Battle of the Camel (al-jamal) that took place in al-Basrah. The name ‘Kaysaniyyah’ has come to this sect from their chief, al-Mukhtar ibn Abi-`Ubayd al-Thaqafi, who was surnamed ‘Kaysan’, because his constabulary officer, whose name was Kaysan and whose appellation was Abu-`Amrah, was more excessive in words, deeds, and massacres, than al-Mukhtar. See Firaq al-Shi`ah by al-Nawbakhti (the third century of Hijrah), pp. 23.
  • 35. () The `Abbasids, a dynasty of rulers who ruled the Muslim nation after the overthrow of the Umayyad dynasty, were the descendants of al-`Abbas ibn `Abd al-Muttalib, the Holy Prophet’s uncle. [translator]
  • 36. () The `Alawiyyah were some descendants of Imam `Ali ibn Abi-Talib ('a) who formed a political front against the ruling authorities, especially the `Abbasid dynasty. [translator]
  • 37. () This hadith can be found in the following reference books: Kashf al-Mahajjah li-Thamarat al-Muhjah by Ibn Tawus (AH 664), pp. 39; `Awali al-La’ali by Ibn Abi-Jumhur (app. AH 880), 1:129, H.3 & pp. 364, H.5; Bihar al-Anwar by al-Majlisi (AH 1111), 72:38, H.36; Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal (AH 241), 2:5, 54, 111, 112; Sahih al-Bukhari (AH 256), 1:215, 2:79, 3:88, 125, 189, 6:146, 152; Sahih Muslim (AH 261), 6:8; Sunan Abi-Dawud (AH 275), 2:13, 3:24.
  • 38. () For more details about the doctrine of al-Raj`ah (the Return), the reader is advised to see the following books:
    Al-Raj`ah aw al-`Awdah Ila al-Hayat al-Dunya Ba`d al-Mawt (Return or Restoration to Life After Death), Book No. 12, Salsalat al-Ma`arif al-Diniyyah (Series of Religious Knowledge), published by Markaz al-Risalah, Qum, First Edition, AH 1418.
    Al-Raj`ah by `Abd al-Karim Al-Najaf (contemporary), Book No. 7, Salsalat fi Rihab Ahl al-Bayt (Series of In The Space of the Ahl al-Bayt), Qum: The Ahl al-Bayt ('a) World Assembly, First Edition, AH 1422.
  • 39. () Fore more details in this respect, the dear reader is advised to see the following book: al-Sahih min Sirat al-Nabi al-A`zam by al-`Amili (contemporary), 5:175, Section Three: Dhu’l-Shamalayn and the Prophet’s Inadvertence. In this section, the author has quoted traditions from Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim.
  • 40. () Due to excessive veneration and honor to the Holy Qur'an, the Hanbaliyyah and the Ash`ariyyah believe that it is as eternal as Almighty Allah. Exceeding all limits, some of them believe in the eternity of the papers and covers of the Holy Qur'an and they believe that they share Almighty Allah in essence! See Dirasat fi’l-Qur'an al-Karim by `Ali Muhammad al-Asifi, pp. 80.
  • 41. () Fajr al-Islam by Ahmad Amin, pp. 276.
  • 42. () Fore more details about the notion of taqiyyah and its principles, the reader is advised to refer to the following books:
    Al-Taqiyyah fi’l-Fikr al-Islami, Book No. 7 in the series of Salsalat al-Ma`arif al-Islamiyyah (Series of Muslim Knowledge), published by Markaz al-Risalah, Qum, First Edition, AH 1419.
    Al-Taqiyyah `Inda Ahl al-Bayt by Mustafa Qasir al-`Amili (contemporary), Qum: The Ahl al-Bayt ('a) World Assembly, Second Edition, AH 1415.
    Waqi` al-Taqiyyah `Inda al-Madhahib wa’l-Firaq al-Islamiyyah Min Ghayr al-Shi`ah al-Imamiyyah by Thamir Hashim Habib al-`Amidi, Qum: al-Ghadir Center for Islamic Studies, AH 1416/AD 1995.
    Al-Taqiyyah by Murtadha al-Ansari (AH 1214-1282), Revised by Faris al-Hassun, Qum: Qa’im Al-Muhammad Foundation, First Edition, AH 1412.
    Al-Taqiyyah fi Fiqh Ahl al-Bayt, a thesis by al-Dawari (contemporary), Revised by Muhammad `Ali al-Mu`allim, Qum: The Author, AH 1418, 2 volumes.
    For further details, refer to Ajwibat Masa'il Jarullah by `Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi (AH 1377), Question No. 10, Revised by `Abd al-Zahra' al-Yasiri, Qum: The Ahl al-Bayt ('a) World Assembly, First Edition, AH 1416/AD 1995.
  • 43. () This tradition is cited in the following reference books: Da`a'im al-Islam by al-Qadhi al-Nu`man al-Maghribi (AH 363), 1:110, 160, 2:132; `Awali al-La’ali by al-Ihsa'i (AH 880), 2:104, H.286.
    The same tradition has been quoted in many other reference books, yet with a little difference, such as al-Mahasin by al-Barqi (AH 274 or 280), Section: bab al-taqiyyah, 1:397, H. 890 according to the edition of The Ahl al-Bayt ('a) World Assembly, and 1:255, H. 286 according to the edition of Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyyah Publishers; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 16:210, H.21379, Section: bab wujub al-taqiyyah ma`a al-khawf (Obligation of Practicing Taqiyyah At Situations of Fear), H.4; Mishkat al-Anwar fi Ghurar al-Akhbar by al-Tabrisi (the seventh century of Hijrah), Ch.11: Taqiyyah, H.1, pp. 87; al-Sirat al-Mustaqim Ila Mustahiqqi al-Taqdim by al-`Amili al-Nabbati (AH 877), 3:71.
    Imam Muhammad al-Baqir ('a) is also reported to have said:
    التَّقِيَّةُ مِنْ دِينِي وَدِينِ آبَائِي، وَلا إيمَانَ لِمَنْ لاَ تَقِيَّةَ لَهُ.
    “Taqiyyah is part of my religion and the religion of my forefathers. Faithless is he who does not hold taqiyyah.”
    See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:219, Section: bab al-taqiyyah, H. 12; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 16:204, H.21359, Section: bab wujub al-taqiyyah ma`a al-khawf (Obligation of Practicing Taqiyyah At Situations of Fear), H.4.
  • 44. () This means that whoever does not believe in and practice taqiyyah…
  • 45. () The tradition in this very form has been mentioned in the following books: Fiqh al-Ridha by Ibn Babawayh (AH 320), pp. 338; Awa'il al-Maqalat by Shaykh al-Mufid (AH 314), pp. 216; Bihar al-Anwar by al-Majlisi (AH 1111), 75:347.
    The most common form of the tradition reads, “Faithless is he who does not hold taqiyyah.” In addition to the references mentioned in the previous footnote, see Man La Yahdhuruhu’l-Faqih by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 2:128, H.1928; Sifat al-Shi`ah by Shaykh al-Saduq, pp. 3 ((The English version of this book is entitled ‘Qualities of the Shi`ah’ and it is published together with two other books of the same author—namely, al-mawa`iz (The Sermons), and fadha'il ush-shi`ah (The Merits of the Shi`ah)—in one book entitled al-Mawa`iz, translated by Badr Shahin, Qum: Ansariyan Publications, Second Edition, AD 2005)); al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:217, Section: bab al-taqiyyah, H.2; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 10:131, H.13033, Section: bab jawaz al-iftar li’l-taqiyyah (Permissibility of Breaking One’s Fast Due To Dissimulation), H.3 & 16:210, H.21378, 16:215, H.21394; Mishkat al-Anwar fi Ghurar al-Akhbar by al-Tabrisi (the seventh century of Hijrah), pp. 89; Kanz al-`Ummal by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi (AH 974), 3:96, H.5665.
  • 46. () Imam Muhammad al-Baqir is reported to have said:
    إنَّمَا جُعِلَتِ التَّقِيَّةُ لِيُحْقَنَ بِهَا الدَّمُ، فَإذَا بَلَغَ الدَّمَ فَلَيْسَ بِتَقِيَّةٍ.
    “In fact, taqiyyah has been decreed so as to prevent bloodshed; hence, when a matter reaches the level of bloodshed, then taqiyyah is no longer effective (i.e. when one is forced to shed the blood of someone else, he must not practice taqiyyah).”
    See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:220; Tahdhib al-Ahkam by Shaykh al-Tusi (AH 460), 6:172; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 16:234.
  • 47. () Fore more details in this respect, the gentle reader is advised to see the following books:
    Al-Shi`ah wa’l-Hakimun by Muhammad Jawad Mughniyah (AD 1982), Beirut: Dar al-Hilal Publishers & Dar al-Jawad Publishers, Fifth Edition, AD 1981.
    Fi ²ilal al-Tashayyu` by Muhammad `Ali al-Husayni, Kuwait: al-Alfayn Library, First Edition, AH 1403/AD 1983.
    Many other reference books dealing with the history of the Holy Imam and their followers have referred to this topic.
  • 48. () See Tafsir al-`Ayyashi by Ibn `Ayyash al-Salami al-Samarqandi (AH 320), 2:272-273, H.76; Tafsir al-Qummi (AH 329), 1:390; Haqa'iq al-Ta'wil fi Mutashabah al-Tanzil by al-Sharif al-Radhi (AH 406), pp. 76; al-Tibyan fi Tafsir al-Qur'an by al-Tusi (AH 460), 6:428; Majma` al-Bayan fi Tafsir al-Qur'an by al-Tabrisi (AH 560), 6:203; Tafsir al-Qur'an by `Abd al-Razzaq al-San`ani (AH 211), 2:360; Jami` al-Bayan `an Ta'wil Ay al-Qur'an by al-Tabari (AH 310), 7:355, 14:237; Ahkam al-Qur'an by al-Jassas (AH 370), 3:249; al-Mustadrak `Ala al-Sahihayn by al-Hakim al-Naysaburi (AH 405), 2:357; Zad al-Masir fi `Ilm al-Tafsir by Ibn al-Jawzi (AH 597), 4:362, as well as many other book reference of hadith and tafsir.
  • 49. () In this respect, Imam `Ali Amir al-Mu'minin ('a) says in one of his argumentative speeches:

    … وآمُرُكَ أنْ تَسْتَعْمِلَ التَّقِيَّةَ فِي دِينِكَ، فَإنَّ اللهَ يَقُولُ:
    لَا يَتَّخِذِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الْكَافِرِينَ أَوْلِيَاءَ مِنْ دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۖ وَمَنْ يَفْعَلْ ذَٰلِكَ فَلَيْسَ مِنَ اللَّهِ فِي شَيْءٍ إِلَّا أَنْ تَتَّقُوا مِنْهُمْ تُقَاةً ۗ وَيُحَذِّرُكُمُ اللَّهُ نَفْسَهُ ۗ وَإِلَى اللَّهِ الْمَصِيرُ
    وَقَدْ أذِنْتُ لَكُمْ فِي تَفْضِيلِ أعْدَائِنَا إنْ ألْجَأكَ الخَوْفُ إلَيْهِ، وَفِي أظْهَارِ البَرَاءَةِ إنْ حَمَلَكَ الوَجَلُ عَلَيْهِ، وَفِي تَرْكِ الصَّلَوَاتِ المَكْتُوبَاتِ إنْ خَشِيتَ عَلَى حَشَاشَةِ نَفْسِكَ الآفَاتِ وَالعَاهَاتِ. فَإنَّ تَفْضِيلَكَ أعْدَائَنَا عِنْدَ خَوْفِكَ لاَ يَنْفَعُهُمْ وَلاَ يَضُرُّنَا، وَإنَّ إظْهَارَكَ بَرَاءَتَكَ مِنَّا عِنْدَ تَقِيَّتِكَ لاَ يَقْدَحُ فِينَا وَلاَ يُنْقِصُنَا. وَلَئِنْ تَبْرَأُ مِنَّا سَاعَةً بِلِسَانِكَ وَأنْتَ مُوَالٍ لَنَا بِجَنَانِكَ لِتُبْقِيَ عَلَى نَفْسِكَ رُوحَهَا الَّتِي بِهَا قِوَامُهَا وَمَالَهَا الَّذِي بِهِ قِيَامُهَا وَجَاهَهَا الَّذِي بِهِ تَمَسُّكُهَا وَتَصُونُ مَنْ عُرِفَ بِذَلِكَ مِنْ أوْلِيَائِنَا وَإخْوَانِنَا فَإنَّ ذَلِكَ أفْضَلُ مِنْ أنْ تَتَعَرَّضَ لِلْهَلاَكِ وَتَنْقَطِعَ بِهِ عَنْ عَمَلٍ فِي الدِّينِ وَصَلاَحِ إخْوَانِكَ المُؤمِنِينَ. وَإيَّاكَ ثُمَّ إيَّاكَ أنْ تَتْرُكَ التَّقِيَّةَ الَّتِي أمَرْتُكَ بِهَا فَإنَّكَ شَائِطٌ بِدَمِكَ وَدِمَاءِ إخْوَانِكَ، مُعَرِّضٌ لِنِعْمَتِكَ وَنِعْمَتِهِمْ لِلزَّوَالِ، وَمُذِلٌّ لَهُمْ فِي أيْدِي أعْدَاءِ دِينِ اللهِ. وَقَدْ أمَرَكَ اللهُ بِإعْزَازِهِمْ فَإنَّكَ إنْ خَالَفْتَ وَصِيَّتِي كَانَ ضَرَرُكَ عَلَى إخْوَانِكَ وَنَفْسِكَ أشَدَّ مِنْ ضَرَرِ النَّاصِبِ لَنَا، الكَافِرِ بِنَا.
    “… I also command you to practice taqiyyah in the affairs of your religion, because Almighty Allah says, ‘Let not believers take unbelievers rather than believers for friends; and whosoever does this shall have nothing of the guardianship of Allah. Guard yourselves against them, guarding carefully; and Allah makes you cautious of retribution from Himself; and to Allah is the eventual coming.’ (3/28) I permit you all to declare preference of our enemies over us when fear impels you to do so; and [I permit you all] to speak out disavowal of us when dread drives you to do so; and [I permit you all] to stop offering the obligatory prayers when you expect hardships and adversities to befall you. In fact, to prefer our enemies to us at situations of fear will neither benefit them nor harm us; and to disavow us before our enemies because of taqiyyah will neither slander nor belittle us.

    If you disavow us for an hour with your tongue while you are loyal to us in your heart to save your life, your property and your prestige, and save our loyalists and brothers who are known for their adherence to us, this will definitely be better than exposing yourself to perdition. If you do not then you will no longer be able to do a rightful act for your religion or an act bringing about a benefit for your brethren-in-faith. Do not ever shun practicing taqiyyah with which I have commanded you, lest you cause bloodshed to yourself and your brethren-in-faith, expose your own and their livelihood to loss, and make them subservient to the mercy of the enemies of Almighty Allah’s religion. Almighty Allah has commanded you to bring them dignity. If you violate my instruction, you will bring upon yourself and your brethren-in-faith harm that is worse than the harm expected from those who incur our hostility and disbelieve in us.”
    See al-Ihtijaj by al-Tabrisi (AH 506), 1:354-356; Madinat al-Ma`ajiz by al-Bahrani (AH 1107), 1:360; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 16:229, H.21431, Section: bab jawaz al-taqiyyah fi izhar kalimat al-kufr (Permissibility of Speaking Out the Word of Atheism As A Practice of Taqiyyah), H.10; Bihar al-Anwar by al-Majlisi (AH 1111), 10:75, Section No. 4: ihtijajuhu `ala al-tabib al-yunani (His Argument Against the Greek Physician).
    `Abdullah ibn `Abbas—may Almighty Allah be pleased with him—is reported to have said:
    التُّقَاةُ التَّكَلُّمُ بِاللِّسَانِ، وَالقَلْبُ مُطْمَئِنٌّ بِالإيمَانِ. فَلا يَبْسُطُ يَدَهُ فَي قَتْلٍ، وَلاَ إلَى إثْمٍ، فَإنَّهُ لاَ عُذْرَ لَهُ.
    “Taqiyyah (or tuqah) is to speak with one’s tongue while the heart is full of faith. However, to practice taqiyyah does not include the killing of someone or committing an offense. Such being the case, no excuse is admitted.”
    See al-Mustadrak `Ala al-Sahihayn by al-Hakim al-Naysaburi (AH 405), 2:291; al-Sunan al-Kubra by al-Bayhaqi (AH 458), 8:209. Other reference books of hadith have also quoted this saying.
    Under the title of ‘Sense and Ruling of Taqiyyah’, Abu-Bakr al-Jassas says:
    “Almighty Allah says, ‘…but you should guard yourselves against them, guarding carefully (tuqah)… (3/28)’ This means that if you expect damage of yourselves or some of your organs, then you should behave with dissimulation (taqiyyah); that is to show loyalty to them (i.e. the enemies) without having faith in them. This is the overt sense of taqiyyah as is necessitated by the word tuqah. This opinion is unanimously adopted by the majority of scholars. The holy verse denotes the permissibility of stating disbelief (kufr) under taqiyyah. Similar to this is the following holy verse: ‘He who disbelieves in Allah after his having believed, not he who is compelled while his heart is at rest on account of faith. (16/106)’ Permissibility of practicing taqiyyah under such circumstances is considered permission granted by Almighty Allah.”
    Reference: Ahkam al-Qur'an by Abu-Bakr al-Jassas (AH 370), 2:12.
    Concerning the exegesis of the previously mentioned holy verse, al-Tabari has reported Ibn `Abbas as saying:
    “Taqiyyah is practiced by tongue only. That is to say, one who is compelled to say a word that is considered disobedience to Almighty Allah may utter that word for fear of people, while the heart is full of faith. There is no objection to such a deed as long as taqiyyah must not exceed the tongue.”
    A similar narration has been reported from al-Aahhak. Reference: Tafsir Jami` al-Bayan by al-Tabari (AH 310), 3:310-311.
    Al-Qurtubi has reported al-Hasan (al-Basri) as saying:
    “Taqiyyah is allowed for men up to the Day of Judgment. Yet, there is no taqiyyah in matters of murder.”
    Al-Bukhari has also reported a similar tradition from al-Hasan al-Basri.
    Reference: al-Jami` li-Ahkam al-Qur'an by al-Qurtubi (AH 671), 4:57; Sahih al-Bukhari (AH 256), 8:55, Chapter: Kitab al-Ikrah (Compulsion).
    For further details, the reader is advised to refer to the exegesis of the previously mentioned holy verses in the reference books of tafsir.

Part 4: Teachings of the Ahl Al-Bayt for Their Followers

Prelude

Supplication (Du`a’)

Supplications of al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah

Pilgrimages to the Holy Shrines

The Meaning of Shi`ism According to the Ahl al-Bayt (`a)

Oppression and Injustice

Cooperation with Oppressors

Holding Offices in Despotic Governments

Calling upon Islamic Unity

Mutual Rights of Muslims

Prelude

The Holy Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) had already concluded that they would not assume the political leadership of the Muslim nation (of which they are worthier than any other person and for which Almighty Allah had prepared them) so long as they are alive, and that their followers (Shi`ah) would suffer under the authority of others who consider it necessary to persecute the Shi`ah with all means of violence and cruelty.

As a result, it was very natural, on the one hand, that the Shi`ah, under the commandments of their Imams, adopt taqiyyah as their style of life and technique in the same way as their Imams had practiced it before them, as long as taqiyyah would be the one and only means of preventing their enemies from shedding their blood and as long as it would do evil neither to them nor to the religion in general, so that they would survive the seditious conditions of their ages and the enmity incurred by the ruling authorities against the Ahl al-Bayt (`a).

On the other hand, it was necessary for the Holy Imams (`a), in their capacity as the Divinely commissioned guides of the Muslim nation, to devote themselves to teaching their followers the laws of Islam, guiding them to the path of religiousness and righteousness, and directing them to a socially useful course so that they would be perfect examples of decent Muslim individuals.

The present brief thesis cannot comprehend the Ahl al-Bayt’s (`a) methodology of teaching, which is present in the huge books of traditions that comprise much of such religious sciences. However, we can allude to some doctrines that the Holy Imams (`a) taught their followers to ensure they constituted a righteous community, approximated them to Almighty Allah, cleansed them of the filth of sins and vices, and gave rise to decency and honesty in their inner selves.

Among such socially useful teachings of the Holy Imams (`a) is taqiyyah, discussed in the previous chapter. We will therefore mention some other teachings., discussed in the previous chapter. We will therefore mention some other teachings.

Supplication (Du`a’)

The Holy Prophet has described supplication (du`a’)(1) as the weapon of true believers, the pillar of the religion, and the light of the heavens and the earth:(2)

اَلدُّعَاءُ سِلاَحُ المُؤمِنِ، وَعَمُودُ الدِّينِ، وَنُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأرْضِ.

Supplication has thus become one of the distinctive features of the Imamiyyah Shi`ah who have excelled all others in this peculiarity. As a result, they have written down tens of books, both brief and elaborate, on the merits and etiquettes of supplicating. Such books have also comprised the prayers and supplications reported from the Holy Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a), achieving the purpose which the Holy Prophet (s) and his Household (`a) aimed at when they urged and aroused the interests of people to supplicate Almighty Allah through numerous statements and traditions, such as the following:

أفْضَلُ العِبَادَةِ الدُّعَاءُ.

Supplication is the most favorite act of worship.(3)

أحَبُّ الأعْمَالِ إلَى اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ فِي الأرْضِ الدُّعَاءُ.

For Almighty Allah, supplication is the most desirable act (of worship) that is done on this earth.(4)

Moreover, the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) said:

إنَّ الدُّعَاءَ يَرُدُّ القَضَاءَ وَالبَلاَءَ.

Verily, Supplication may hold off predetermined calamities and misfortunes.(5)

الدُّعَاءُ شِفَاءٌ مِنْ كُلِّ دَاءٍ.

Supplication is a remedy for all maladies.(6)

Narrations have described Imam `Ali Amir al-Mu'minin (`a) as markedly suppliant.(7) A great deal of supplication is expected to be an outstanding feature of one who is described as the chief of the monotheists and the leader of the devout.

Like his sermons, Imam `Ali’s (`a) supplications, one of which is the famous Supplication of Kumayl (known as du`a’ kumayl)(8), have been masterpieces of Arabic eloquence. They contain such marvelous Divine facts and religious directives that provide an advanced program of education for true Muslims.

If carefully observed, the supplications of the Holy Prophet (s) and Imams (`a) contain an excellent pattern of conduct that a Muslim individual can follow. They arouse the powers of true faith and conviction, stimulate the spirit of sacrifice for the truth, present the secrets of worship and the pleasant taste of confidential talk with the Almighty, and prescribe what one should learn from one’s religion, what brings one close to Almighty Allah, and what drives one away from corruption, whims and heresies.

In short, these supplications cover all aspects of morality and self-discipline as well as all aspects of Muslim belief. Furthermore, they are the most important references to philosophical views and scientific research in the fields of Divinity and ethics.

Had all people been able to abide by the points of true guidance that are introduced in the excellent contents of these supplications, there would have been no single trace left for corruption on this globe, which is overburdened with corruption, and these souls enchained with evil would have soared freely high overhead in the skies of truth. Nevertheless, how can humanity listen to the words of the reformers and respond to the calls of the truth after Almighty Allah has revealed their reality, saying:

إِنَّ النَّفْسَ لَأَمَّارَةٌ بِالسُّوءِ

Most surely, man's soul is wont to command him to do evil. (12/ 53)

وَمَا أَكْثَرُ النَّاسِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتَ بِمُؤْمِنِينَ

And most men will not believe though you desire it eagerly. (12/103)

The pillar of evil in human souls lies in self-conceit, blinking at one’s faults, and the false fancy that causes man to reckon that all his deeds are good. Such being the case, man begins to wrong and oppress others, lie to and deceive others, and give free rein to his lust to lead him wherever his caprice commands. Even so, man believes that he is doing exactly what he should do, shutting his eyes to wrongdoing, and treating too lightly his sins.

These supplications, on the other hand, are focused on teaching man how to achieve self-seclusion and devotion to Almighty Allah—two matters that lead man to confess his faults and admit that he is blameworthy and needs to apply himself solely to Almighty Allah, beg Him for forgiveness and acceptance of his repentance. Besides, these supplications point out man’s places of vanity and sinfulness in his inner self, teaching him to say the following statement, quoted from the famous Du`a’ Kumayl:

إِلهي وَمَوْلاي! أَجْرَيْتَ عَلَيَّ حُكْماً إِتَّبَعْتُ فيهِ هَوى نَفْسي، وَلَمْ أَحْتَرِسْ فيهِ مِنْ تَزْيينِ عَدُوّي، فَغَرَّني بِما أَهْوى، وَأَسْعَدَهُ عَلى ذلِكَ الْقَضاءُ؛ فَتَجاوَزْتُ بِما جَرى عَلَيَّ مِنْ ذلِكَ بَعْضَ حُدُودِكَ، وَخالَفْتُ بَعْضَ أَوامِرِكَ.

My God and my Protector! Thou put into effect through me a decree but I followed the caprice of my own soul, And [I] did not remain wary of the adorning of my enemy. So, he deluded me through my soul's caprice and therein destiny helped him. So, in what was put into effect through me in that situation, I transgressed some of Your statutes, and disobeyed some of Your commands.(9)

Undoubtedly, to reveal such confessions in privacy is much easier than to reveal it in public in the presence of people although it is also one of the most difficult admissions made in private. If man tries, it will contribute greatly to the alleviation of the evil ardors within and training oneself on seeking goodness.

One who really intends to discipline oneself must achieve such privacy and call oneself to account. Hence, the easiest method of such introspection is to repeat these supplications till their contents penetrate into the depths of the self. For instance, one may repeat the following statement of the famous supplication known as Du`a’ Abi-Hamzah al-Thamali:(10)

أَيْ رَبّ جَلّلْنِي بِسِتْرِكَ، وَاعْفُ عَنْ تَوْبِيخِي بِكَرَمِ وَجْهِكَ.

O my Lord! Cover me with Your protective covering, and overlook reproaching me out of the Majesty of Your Face.

Pondering over the expression ‘cover me…’ shows that it arouses in the self the desire to conceal all its evils so that one may perceive these extraneous factors in oneself. The expression then alludes to a confession of this fact when one reads the following statement:

فَلَوِ اطّلَعَ الْيَوْمَ عَلَى ذَنْبِي غَيْرُكَ مَا فَعَلْتُهُ! وَلَوْ خِفْتُ تَعْجِيلَ الْعُقُوبَةِ لاجْتَنَبْتُهُ!

In fact, if anyone other than You has watched me while committing these sins, I may not commit them; and had I anticipated immediateness of punishment, I might have avoided doing them.

This confession of the existence of such extraneous factors and the necessity of concealing such evils in oneself arouses the desire to pray for Almighty Allah’s pardon and forgiveness. One does not wish to be humiliated before people when Almighty Allah decides to punish one in this world or on the Day of Resurrection because of the evil deeds that one has done. Just then, one finds the pleasant taste of confidential conversation with the Almighty and devotes oneself to Him, praising and thanking Him for being tolerant and pardoning one although He has always had the power to do otherwise by disclosing one’s faults before people. The supplication then continues:

فَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ عَلَى حِلْمِكَ بَعْدَ عِلْمِكَ، وَعَلَى عَفْوِكَ بَعْدَ قُدْرَتِكَ.

Hence, all praise be to You, for You act tolerably although You have full knowledge (of the faults); and for Your pardon even though You have the absolute authority (to punish).

The next paragraphs of the supplication inspire one with ways of admitting faults and seeking pardon for past violations on the grounds of Almighty Allah’s lenience and pardon. The bond that attaches a servant with his Lord will not break and the servant will realize that his acts of disobedience to the Lord have not been based on his denial or belittling of Almighty Allah. So, the supplication continues:

وَيَحْمِلُنِي وَيُجَرّئُنِي عَلَى مَعْصِيَتِكَ حِلْمُكَ عَنّي! وَيَدْعُونِي إِلَى قِلّةِ الْحَيَاءِ سِتْرُكَ عَلَيّ! وَيُسْرِعُنِي إِلَى التّوَثّبِ عَلَى مَحَارِمِكَ مَعْرِفَتِي بِسَعَةِ رَحْمَتِكَ وَعَظِيمِ عَفْوِكَ!

It is Your forbearance that gives me latitude and makes me dare to break Your laws; and it is Your concealment of my faults that makes me act shamelessly in Your presence; and it is my acquaintance with the broadness of Your mercy and the magnitude of Your pardon that makes me hurry to violate that which You have forbidden.

In this fashion, supplications pursue the course of confidential talks that aim at disciplining oneself and pledging obedience to Almighty Allah and shunning acts of disobedience.

This brief thesis does not allow me to cite more examples of such sublime supplications.

However, I am inclined to mention some supplications that carry a method of offering pleas before Almighty Allah for the sake of seeking His pardon and forgiveness, such as the following paragraph of Du`a’ Kumayl:

وَلَيْتَ شِعْرِي يَا سَيِّدِي وَإِلَهِي وَمَوْلايَ! أَتُسَلِّطُ النَّارَ عَلَى وُجُوهٍ خَرَّتْ لِعَظَمَتِكَ سَاجِدَةً؟ وَعَلَى أَلْسُنٍ نَطَقَتْ بِتَوْحِيدِكَ صَادِقَةً وَبِشُكْرِكَ مَادِحَةً؟ وَعَلَى قُلُوبٍ اعْتَرَفَتْ بِإِلَهِيَّتِكَ مُحَقِّقَةً؟ وَعَلَى ضَمَائِرَ حَوَتْ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ بِكَ حَتَّى صَارَتْ خَاشِعَةً؟ وَعَلَى جَواِرحَ سَعَتْ إِلَى أَوْطَانِ تَعَبُّدِكَ طَائِعَةً وَأَشَارَتْ بِاسْتِغْفَارِكَ مُذْعِنَةً؟ مَا هَكَذَا الظَّنُّ بِكَ وَلا أُخْبِرْنَا بِفَضْلِكَ عَنكَ!

Would that I knew—my Master, My God and my Protector

Wilt Thou give the Fire dominion over faces that have prostrated themselves before Your Omnipotence;

over tongues that have sincerely professed Your Unity and given thanks to You in praise thereof;

over hearts that have acknowledged Your Divinity through verification;

over minds that have gained knowledge of You until they have become humble;

and, over bodily members that have sped to the places of Your worship in obedience and begged for Your forgiveness in submission?

No such opinion is held of You! Nor has such been reported -thanks to Your bounty- concerning You.

Re-read this passage and reflect upon the excellence, eloquence, and diction of these words of argument. At the same time as these words inspire the soul to concede its shortcomings in servitude to the Almighty, they instruct it not to despair of His mercy and kindness. Looking with a stealthy glance, these words address the souls and remind them of their primary duties by supposing that all the required duties towards the Almighty have been carried out, to lay stress on the fact that man will deserve forgiveness of Almighty Allah only after carrying out all these duties completely. This style fills man, who has not yet accomplished these duties, with the desire to review his manners and then make up for the duties, which he missed.

The following passage of the same supplication is another style of offering pleas:

فَهَبْنِي، يَا إِلَهِي وَسَيِّدِي وَمَوْلايَ وَرَبِّي، صَبَرْتُ عَلَى عَذَابِكَ، فَكَيْفَ أَصْبِرُ عَلَى فِرَاقِكَ؟ وَهَبْنِي صَبَرْتُ عَلَى حَرِّ نَارِكَ، فَكَيْفَ أَصْبِرُ عَنِ النَّظَرِ إِلَى كَرَامَتِكَ؟

Then, suppose—O My God, Master, Protector, and Lord—that I am able to endure Your chastisement, but how can I endure separation from You? And suppose that I am able to endure the heat of Your Fire, but how can I endure not gazing upon Your generosity?

These statements draw the attentions towards the necessity of tasting nearness to Almighty Allah and touching on His honor and absolute power over all things by bearing love for Him and hankering after what He has prepared for His loving servants. They also emphasise the fact that such pleasure must attain such an elevated level that it influences souls more than chastisement and the heat of fire do. Supposing that man can stand the heat of Hellfire, he will not be able to stand separation from Almighty Allah.

Besides, the previously cited passage of the supplication tries to make us understand that such love and pleasure of gaining the favor of the worshipped and beloved Lord will be the best means a sinful individual can find to win His pardon and forgiveness. Undeniably, seeking the affection and favor of the Lord—the All-generous, All-forbearing, the Forgiver of sins, and the Acceptor of repentance—are definitely blessings that He confers upon His servants.

Let us end with a brief, yet comprehensive, supplication that encloses all nobility of character and demonstrates the praiseworthy features that each organ in the human body should hold:

اَللّهُمَّ ارْزُقْنا تَوْفيقَ الطّاعَةِ، وَبُعْدَ الْمَعْصِيَةِ، وَصِدْقَ النِّيَّةِ، وَعِرْفانَ الْحُرْمَةِ، وَأَكْرِمْنا بِالْهُدى وَالاِْسْتِقامَةِ، وَسَدِّدْ أَلْسِنَتَنا بِالصَّوابِ وَالْحِكْمَةِ، وَامْلأَْ قُلُوبَنا بِالْعِلْمِ وَالْمَعْرِفَةِ، وَطَهِّرْ بُطُونَنا مِنَ الْحَرامِ وَالشُّبْهَةِ، وَاكْفُفْ أَيْدِيَنا عَنِ الظُّلْمِ وَالسَّرِقَةِ، وَاغْضُضْ أَبْصارَنا عَنِ الْفُجُورِ وَالْخِيانَةِ، وَاسْدُدْ أَسْماعَنا عَنِ اللَّغْوِ وَالْغِيبَةِ، وَتَفَضَّلْ عَلى عُلَمائِنا بِالزُّهْدِ وَالنَّصيحَةِ، وَعَلَى الْمُتَعَلِّمينَ بِالْجُهْدِ وَالرَّغْبَةِ، وَعَلَى الْمُسْتَمِعينَ بِالاِْتِّباعِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ، وَعَلى مَرْضَى الْمُسْلِمينَ بِالشِّفاءِ وَالرّاحَةِ، وَعَلى مَوْتاهُمْ بِالرَّأفَةِ وَالرَّحْمَةِ، وَعَلى مَشايِخِنا بِالْوَقارِ وَالسَّكينَةِ، وَعَلَى الشَّبابِ بِالإِنابَةِ وَالتَّوْبَةِ، وَعَلَى النِّساءِ بِالْحَياءِ وَالْعِفَّةِ، وَعَلَى الأغْنِياءِ بِالتَّواضُعِ وَالسَّعَةِ، وَعَلَى الْفُقَراءِ بِالصَّبْرِ وَالْقَناعَةِ، وَعَلَى الْغُزاةِ بِالنَّصْرِ وَالْغَلَبَةِ، وَعَلَى الأُسَراءِ بِالْخَلاصِ وَالرّاحَةِ، وَعَلَى الاُْمَراءِ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالشَّفَقَةِ، وَعَلَى الرَّعِيَّةِ بِالإنْصافِ وَحُسْنِ السّيرَةِ، وَبارِكْ لِلْحُجّاجِ وَالزُّوّارِ فِي الزّادِ وَالنَّفَقَةِ، وَاقْضِ ما أَوْجَبْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ مِنَ الْحَجِّ وَالْعُمْرَةِ، بِفَضْلِكَ وَرَحْمَتِكَ يا أَرْحَمَ الرّاحِمينَ.

O Allah; (please do) grant us success in obeying (You), remoteness from disobeying (You), true intention, and identification of sanctity. (Please do) honor us with true guidance and straight-forwardness. Dedicate our tongues to truth and wisdom. Fill our hearts with knowledge and learning. Purify our stomachs from illegally and suspiciously gotten food. Withhold our hands from oppression and larceny. Turn our sights away from licentiousness and treachery. Block our hearings against vainness and backbiting. Bless our scholars with asceticism and good advice, our learners with hard work and desire (to learn), our listeners with following and learning (lessons), our Muslim patients with healing and comfort, our dead Muslims with forgiveness and mercy, our old ones with somberness and gentleness, our youths with turning (to You) and repentance, our women with shyness and chastity, our rich with modesty and generosity, our poor with patience and contentment, our warriors with triumph and primacy, our prisoners with release and comfort, our rulers with justice and sympathy, and our subjects with impartiality and good behavior. (Please do) Bless the pilgrims to Mecca and the visitors (to the tombs of the saints) with provision and expenditure. Help them settle the Hajj and `Umrah that You have made incumbent upon them. [Let this be] on account of Your grace and mercy; O the most Merciful of all those who show mercy.(11)

Seizing this opportunity, I recommend my dear brethren, the readers, not to miss rehearsing these supplications, yet with full ponderation over their significances and objectives with presence of heart and devotion, and supplicate before Almighty Allah with reverence and submission. I also recommend them to read these supplications as if they are expressing their personal states, with full observance of the etiquettes that the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) have instructed us to do while reading them.

It is important to note that reading these supplications with absent minds and distracted hearts will be no more than shaking of tongues that neither increase knowledge, nor take man closer to the Almighty, nor his prayers achieve acceptance. It has been reported that:

إنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لاَ يَسْتَجِيبُ دُعَاءً بِظَهْرِ قَلْبٍ سَاهٍ؛ فَإذَا دَعَوْتَ فَأقْبِلْ بِقَلْبِكَ ثُمَّ اسْتَيْقِنْ بِالإجَابَةِ.

Almighty Allah will not respond to the prayer that is said while the heart is distracted; therefore, when you pray to Him, your heart must be present. Only then can you be sure of response.(12)

The Supplications of Al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah

After the tragic battle of al-Taff(13) that took place at Karbala', and the Umayyad dynasty held the reins of leadership of the Muslim nation—overstepping all bounds in committing massacres, shedding the blood of the innocent, and despising all tenets of Islam—Imam `Ali ibn al-Husayn (`a), the Adornment of the Worshippers and the Master of the Prostrators,(14) had no alternative but to confine himself to his house, dejected and full of sorrow.(15) Nobody had the courage to visit him and he was unable to instruct people on what was obligatory upon them to do and most proper.

As a result, he had to resort to the style of supplicating which is, as has been already cited in this book, one of the finest educational courses of self-discipline. The Imam (`a) followed this style as a means of spreading the Qur'anic directives and the Ahl al-Bayt’s method of education and to teach people the spirit of religiosity, asceticism, self-discipline and moral ethics.

This was the method of dissemination that the Imam (`a) adopted to teach people their religion without arousing the suspicion of the ruling authorities who kept an eye on his activities, and not provide them with an opportunity to persecute him. The Imam (`a), therefore, composed many such supplications, some of which are in his famous al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah,(16) which is also called ‘The Psalms of Islam or The Psalms of Muhammad’s Household.’

In both style and significance, these supplications occupy the top position in the list of Arabic literature as well as comprise the noblest directions of Islam, the finest secrets of monotheism and Prophethood, and the most accurate method of teaching people the Holy Prophet’s (s) high moral standards and the ethics of Islam.

Dealing with various topics of religious education, these supplications become a method of teaching the true religion and morality in the form of prayers, or prayers in the form of teaching the true religion and morality.

Coming after the Holy Qur'an and Nahj al-Balaghah,(17) the supplications of Imam `Ali ibn al-Husayn (`a) are composed of the finest diction of the Arabic language. They are also considered the chief philosophical source of Divinity and Ethics.

Some of these supplications teach us how to glorify, venerate, praise and thank Almighty Allah.

Others teach us how to introspect by establishing a confidential conversation with Him, how to meditate by focusing on Him, and repent by devoting ourselves to Him.

Others clearly explain the significance of praying to Almighty Allah to shower His blessings upon His Prophet, Messengers and Saints.

Others teach us the meaning of kindness to parents.

Others classify one’s duties toward parents, duties of fathers toward their sons, duties towards neighbors, duties toward relatives, duties toward Muslims in general, and duties of the rich towards the poor and vice versa.

Others call attention to what we should do when we are financially indebted to others, what we should do concerning our economic and financial affairs, how we should deal with our mates, friends, and people in general, and whom we should choose to serve us.

Others enumerate all traits of nobility of character; they act as a perfect course of ethics.

Others direct us how to face misfortunes and calamities patiently, and what to do in both sickness and health.

Others present the duties of Muslim armies and the duties of people toward them.

Striking all chords, these supplications deal with all topics necessitated by the instructions of the Holy Prophet and the Muslim code of law. All these topics, and more, have been discussed in one style—the style of supplication.

However, the supplications of Imam `Ali ibn al-Husayn al-Sajjad (`a) possess some common features that are summarised below:

First: These supplications comprise a description of Almighty Allah and His grandeur and omnipotence over all things in addition to explaining His inseparable Oneness. The finest scientific expressions are used in these supplications to introduce the Almighty as too Exalted to allow us to imagine anything that is incompatible with His Holiness and Majesty. Indications to these topics are repeated in almost each supplication said by the Imam (`a), yet in a different way each time. For instance, in the first supplication of al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah, we can read the following:

اَلْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الأَوَّلِ بِلا أَوَّلٍ كَانَ قَبْلَهُ، وَالآخِرِ بِلاَ آخِرٍ يَكُونُ بَعْدَهُ؛ الَّذِي قَصُرَتْ عَنْ رُؤْيَتِهِ أَبْصَارُ النَّاظِرِينَ، وَعَجَزَتْ عَنْ نَعْتِهِ أَوْهَامُ الْوَاصِفِينَ. اِبْتَدَعَ بِقُدْرَتِهِ الْخَلْقَ ابْتِدَاعاً، وَاخْتَرعَهُمْ عَلَى مَشِيَّتِهِ اخْتِرَاعاً.

All praise is due to Allah, the First before Whom no being preceded, and the Last after Whom there will be no other; Whom the eyes of those who see cannot perceive, and Whom our descriptive imaginations cannot envisage. With His Power, He brought Creation into being out of nothingness, and made His creatures totally subservient to His Will.

In this passage, there is a subtle explanation of the meanings of ‘the First’ and ‘the Last’ being among the Attributes of the Almighty. There is also a reference to the Elevation of Almighty Allah as being incomprehensible by any sight or imagination. The significance of the powers of ‘creation’ and ‘making’ of the Lord is also visible in this passage.

In the sixth supplication of the book, we can read a different style of presenting Almighty Allah’s absolute power and management of affairs:

اَلْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي خَلَقَ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ بِقُوَّتِهِ، وَمَيَّزَ بَيْنَهُمَا بِقُدْرَتِهِ، وَجَعَلَ لِكُلِّ وَاحِدٍ مِنهُمَا حَدّاً مَحْدُوداً وَأَمَداً مَمْدُوداً. يُولِجُ كُلَّ وَاحِدٍ مِنْهُمَا فِي صَاحِبِهِ، وَيُولِجُ صَاحِبَهُ فِيهِ، بِتَقْدِيرٍ مِنْهُ لِلْعِبَادِ فِيمَا يَغْذُوهُمْ بِهِ وَيُنْشِئُهُمْ عَلَيْهِ. فَخَلَقَ لَهُمُ اللَّيْلَ لِيَسْكُنُوا فِيهِ مِنْ حَرَكَاتِ التَّعَبِ وَنَهَضَاتِ النَّصَبِ، وَجَعَلَهُ لِبَاساً لِيَلْبَسُوا مِنْ رَاحَتِهِ وَمَنَامِهِ، فَيَكُونَ ذَلِكَ لَهُمْ جَمَاماً وَقُوَّةً وَلِيَنَالُوا بِهِ لَذَّةً وَشَهْوَةً…

Praise belongs to Allah Who created night and day through His strength, set them apart through His power, and appointed for each a determined limit and a drawn-out period. He makes each of the two enter into its companion, and makes its companion enter into it, as an ordainment from Him for His servants in that through which He feeds them and with which He makes them grow. He created for them the night that they might rest in it from tiring movements and wearisome exertions. And He made it a garment for them that they might be clothed in its ease and its sleep that it might bring for them refreshment and strength that they might gain therein pleasure and passion…

In this supplication, the Imam (`a) continues to mention the advantages of day and night and how man is required to thank the Lord for this grace.

In the seventh supplication of this book, we view another style through which the Imam (`a) demonstrates that all affairs are subservient to Almighty Allah:

يَا مَنْ تُحَلُّ بِهِ عُقَدُ الْمَكارِهِ، وَيا مَنْ يُفْثَأُ بِهِ حَدُّ الشَّدائِدِ، وَيا مَنْ يُلْتَمَسُ مِنْهُ الَمخْرَجُ إِلى رَوْحِ الْفَرَجِ، ذَلَّتْ لِقُدْرَتِكَ الصِّعابُ، وَتَسَبَّبَتْ بِلُطْفِكَ الاَْسْبابُ، وَجَرى بِقُدْرَتِكَ الْقَضاءُ، وَمَضَتْ عَلى إِرادَتِكَ الاَْشْياءُ، فَهِيَ بِمَشِيَّتِكَ دُونَ قَوْلِكَ مُؤْتَمِرَةٌ، وَبِإِرادَتِكَ دُونَ نَهْيِكَ مُنْزَجِرَةٌ…

O He through whom the knots of detested things are untied! O He through whom the cutting edge of hardships is blunted! O He from whom is begged the outlet to the freshness of relief! Intractable affairs yield to Your power; means are made ready by Your gentleness; the decree goes into effect through Your power; and all things proceed according to Your desire. By Your desire, they follow Your command without Your word; and by Your will, they obey Your bans without Your prohibition…

Second: These supplications comprise presentations of Almighty Allah’s incessant favors on His servants and His servants’ inability to thank Him for these favors no matter what great extents the servants can reach in worship, obedience, and devotion to Him. Let us read the following passage quoted from the thirty-seventh supplication:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّ أَحَداً لاَ يَبْلُغُ مِنْ شُكْرِكَ غَايَةً إِلاَّ حَصَلَ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ إِحْسَانِكَ مَا يُلْزِمُهُ شُكْرَاً، وَلاَ يَبْلُغُ مَبْلَغاً مِنْ طَاعَتِكَ وَإِنِ اجْتَهَدَ إِلاَّ كَانَ مُقَصِّراً دُونَ اسْتِحْقَاقِكَ بِفَضْلِكَ، فَأَشْكَرُ عِبَادِكَ عَاجِزٌ عَنْ شُكْرِكَ، وَأَعْبَدُهُمْ لَك مقَصِّرٌ عَنْ طَاعَتِكَ…

O Allah: No one reaches a limit in thanking You without acquiring that of Your beneficence, which enjoins upon him thanksgiving, nor does anyone reach a degree in obeying You, even if he strives, without falling short of what You deserve because of Your bounty. The most thankful of Your servants does not have the capacity to thank You, and the most worshipful of them falls short of obeying You.

Because Almighty Allah’s graces and favors that He endows upon His creatures are endless, man fails to thank Him duly. Naturally, the case will be worse with those who dare to disobey Him. Hence, whatever such disobedient persons do after that, they will never be able to make amends for even a single act of disobedience to Him that they have committed. The following passage, quoted from the sixteenth supplication, refers to this fact:

يَا إِلَهِي! لَوْ بَكَيْتُ إِلَيْكَ حَتَّى تَسْقُطَ أَشْفَارُ عَيْنَيَّ، وَانْتَحَبْتُ حَتَّى يَنْقَطِعَ صَوْتِي، وَقُمْتُ لَكَ حَتَّى تَتَنَشَّرَ قَدَمَايَ، وَرَكَعْتُ لَكَ حَتَّى يَنْخَلِعَ صُلْبِي، وَسَجَدْتُ لَكَ حَتَّى تَتَفَقَّأَ حَدَقَتَايَ، وَأَكَلْتُ تُرَابَ الأَرْضِ طُولَ عُمْرِي، وَشَرِبْتُ مَاءَ الرَّمَادِ آخِرَ دَهْرِي، وَذَكَرْتُكَ فِي خِلاَلِ ذَلِكَ حَتَّى يَكِلَّ لِسَانِي، ثُمَّ لَمْ أَرْفَعْ طَرْفِي إِلَى آفَاقِ السَّمَاءِ اسْتِحْيَاءً مِنْكَ، مَا اسْتَوْجَبْتُ بِذَلِكَ مَحْوَ سَيِّئَةٍ وَاحِدَةٍ مِنْ سَيِّئَاتِي!

My God: If I weep before You until my eyelids drop off, wail until my voice wears out, stand before You until my feet swell up, bow to You until my backbone is thrown out of joint, prostrate myself before You until my eyeballs fall out, eat the dirt of the earth for the rest of my life, drink the water of ashes until the end of my days, mention You through all of that until my tongue fails, and not lift my glance to the sky's horizons in shame before You, yet would I not merit through all of that the erasing of a single one of my evil deeds!

Third: Explaining Divine Reward and Punishment and introducing Paradise and Hellfire, these supplications denote that the entire reward of Almighty Allah is in fact one of His favors that He confers upon His servants for we deserve His punishment on account of the least act of disobedience that we commit audaciously, and Almighty Allah has thorough evidence of it.

As a matter of fact, all the supplications of al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah constantly strike on this effective chord so as to convey to the souls the necessity of fearing the punishment of Almighty Allah and desiring His reward. Through a variety of eloquent styles that seep into the hearts of those who read them attentively, these supplications make them fear even thinking of committing an act of disobedience to Almighty Allah. For instance, let us review the following passage quoted from the forty-sixth supplication:

حُجَّتُكَ قَائِمَةٌ لاَ تُدْحَضُ، وَسُلْطَانُكَ ثَابِتٌ لاَ يَزُولُ. فَالْوَيْلُ الدَّائِمُ لِمَنْ جَنَحَ عَنْكَ، وَالْخَيْبَةُ الخَاذِلَةُ لِمَنْ خَابَ مِنْكَ، وَالشَّقَاءُ الأَشْقَى لِمَنِ اغْتَرَّ بِكَ. مَا أَكْثَرَ تَصَرُّفَهُ فِي عَذَابِكَ! وَمَا أَطْوَلَ تَرَدُّدَهُ فِي عِقَابِكَ! وَمَا أَبْعَدَ غَايَتَهُ مِنَ الْفَرَجِ! وَمَا أَقْنَطَهُ مِنْ سُهُولَةِ الْمَخْرَجِ! عَدْلاً مِنْ قَضَائِكَ لاَ تَجُورُ فِيهِ، وَإِنْصَافاً مِنْ حُكْمِكَ لاَ تَحِيفُ عَلَيْهِ. فَقَدْ ظَاهَرْتَ الْحُجَجَ، وَأَبْلَيْتَ الأَعْذَارَ…

Your argument is established, never refuted. Your authority fixed, never removed. Permanent woe be to him who inclines away from You. Forsaking disappointment be to him who is disappointed by You, and the most wretched wretchedness be to him who is deluded about You! How long he will move about in Your chastisement! How long he will frequent Your punishment! How far his utmost end from relief is! How he will despair of an easy exit! [All of this] as justice from Your decree (You are not unjust in it!), and equity from Your judgment (You do not act wrongfully against him!). You supported the arguments, tested the excuses…

Another example is the following passage quoted from the thirty-first supplication:

اَللَّهُمَّ فَارْحَمْ وَحْدَتِي بَيْنَ يَدَيْكَ، وَوَجِيبَ قَلْبِي مِنْ خَشْيَتِكَ، وَاضْطِرَابَ أَرْكَانِي مِنْ هَيْبَتِكَ، فَقَدْ أَقَامَتْنِي يَا رَبِّ ذُنُوبِي مَقَامَ الْخِزْيِ بِفِنَائِكَ، فَإِنْ سَكَتُّ لَمْ يَنْطِقْ عَنِّي أَحَدٌ، وَإِنْ شَفَعْتُ فَلَسْتُ بِأَهْلِ الشَّفَاعَةِ.

O Allah: so, (please) have mercy upon my being alone before You, the pounding of my heart in dread of You, the trembling of my limbs in awe of You! My sins, O my God, have caused me to stand in the station of degradation in Your courtyard. If I remain silent, none will speak for me; and if I seek an intercessor, I will not be worthy of intercession.

Another example is quoted from the thirty-ninth supplication:

فَإِنَّكَ إِنْ تُكَافِنِي بِالْحَقِّ تُهْلِكْنِي، وَإِلاّ تَغَمَّدْنِي بِرَحْمَتِكَ تُوبِقْنِي. اَللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْتَوْهِبُكَ يَا إِلَهِي مَا لاَ يَنْقُصُكَ بَذْلُهُ، وَأَسْتَحْمِلُكَ مَا لاَ يَبْهَظُكَ حَمْلُهُ، أَسْتَوْهِبُكَ يَا إِلَهِي نَفْسِيَ اَلَّتِي لَمْ تَخْلُقْهَا لِتَمْتَنِعَ بِهَا مِنْ سُوءٍ، أَوْ لِتَطَرَّقَ بِهَا إِلَى نَفْعٍ، وَلكِنْ أَنْشَأْتَهَا إِثْبَاتاً لِقُدْرَتِكَ عَلَى مِثْلِهَا، وَاحْتِجَاجاً بِهَا عَلَى شَكْلِهَا. وَأَسْتَحْمِلُكَ مِنْ ذُنُوبِي مَا قَدْ بَهَظَنِي حَمْلُهُ، وَأَسْتَعِينُ بِكَ عَلَى مَا قَدْ فَدَحَنِي ثِقْلُهُ. فَصَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِهِ، وَهَبْ لِنَفْسِي عَلَى ظُلْمِهَا نَفْسِي، وَوَكِّلْ رَحْمَتَكَ بِاحْتِمَالِ إِصْرِي.

If You recompense me with the right, You will destroy me; and if You do not shield me in Your mercy, You will lay me waste. O Allah, my God: I ask You to grant me that whose giving will not decrease You, and I ask You to carry (on behalf of me) that whose carrying will not weigh You down. My God, I ask You to pardon my soul, which You did not create to keep Yourself from evil nor to find the way to profit. No, You brought it forth to demonstrate Your power over (making) its like and to provide an argument against its matches. I ask You to carry those of my sins whose carrying weighs me down and I seek help from You in that whose heaviness oppresses me. So, (please) bless Muhammad and his Household; and pardon my soul in spite of its wrongdoing, and appoint Your mercy to carry my burden!

Fourth: Through these supplications, the Imam (`a) intended to make the supplicants disdain evil and vices so that their inner selves become pure and their hearts free from filth. The following passage, quoted from the twentieth supplication, is a good example:

اَللَّهُمَّ وَفِّرْ بِلُطْفِكَ نِيَّتِي، وَصَحِّحْ بِمَا عِنْدَكَ يَقِينِي، وَاسْتَصْلِحْ بِقُدْرَتِكَ مَا فَسَدَ مِنِّي… اَللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِهِ، وَمَتِّعْنِي بِهُدًى صَالِحٍ لاَ أَسْتَبْدِلُ بِهِ، وَطَرِيقَةِ حَقٍّ لاَ أَزِيغُ عَنْهَا، وَنِيَّةِ رُشْدٍ لاَ أَشُكُّ فِيهَا… اللَّهُمَّ لاَ تَدَعْ خَصْلَةً تُعَابُ مِنِّي إِلاَّ أَصْلَحْتَهَا، ولاَ عَائِبَةً أُؤَنَّبُ بِهَا إِلاَّ حَسَّنْتَهَا، وَلاَ أُكْرُومَةً فِيَّ نَاقِصَةً إِلاَّ أتْمَمْتَهَا…

O Allah: Complete my intention through Your gentleness, rectify my certainty through what is with You, and set right what is corrupt in me through Your power… O Allah: Bless Muhammad and his Household, give me to enjoy a sound guidance which I seek not to replace, a path of truth from which I swerve not, and an intention of right conduct in which I have no doubts… O Allah: Deposit in me no quality for which I will be faulted unless You set it right, no flaw for which I will be blamed unless You make it beautiful, and no deficient noble trait unless You complete it!

Fifth: Through these supplications, the Imam (`a) suggests to the supplicants that it is necessary to disdain begging people and showing humility to them. He (`a) also suggests that one must not provide one’s need before anyone except Almighty Allah, since to desire what people possess is one of the lowliest traits of character. An example of these suggestions can be read in the following passage, quoted from the twentieth supplication:

وَلاَ تَفْتِنِّي بِالإسْتِعَانَةِ بِغَيْرِكَ إِذَا اضْطُرِرْتُ، وَلاَ بِالْخُضُوعِ لِسُؤَالِ غَيْرِكَ إِذَا افْتَقَرْتُ، وَلاَ بِالتَّضَرُّعِ إِلَى مَنْ دُونَكَ إِذَا رَهِبْتُ، فَأَسْتَحِقَّ بِذَلِكَ خِذْلاَنَكَ وَمَنْعَكَ وَإِعْرَاضَكَ.

(Please) Tempt me not to seek help from other than You when I am distressed, to humble myself in asking from someone else when I am poor, or to plead with someone less than You when I fear, for then I would deserve Your abandonment, Your withholding, and Your turning away.

A similar suggestion is present in the following passage, quoted from the twenty-eighth supplication:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَخْلَصْتُ بِانْقِطَاعِي إِلَيْكَ، وَأَقْبَلْتُ بِكُلِّي عَلِيكَ، وَصَرَفْتُ وَجْهِي عَمَّنْ يَحْتَاجُ إِلَى رِفْدِكَ، وَقَلَبْتُ مَسْأَلَتِي عَمَّنْ لَمْ يَسْتَغْنِ عَنْ فَضْلِكَ، وَرَأَيْتُ أَنَّ طَلَبَ الْمُحْتَاجِ إِلَى الْمُحْتَاجِ سَفَهٌ مِنْ رَأْيِهِ وَضَلَّةٌ مِنْ عَقْلِهِ.

O Allah: I showed sincerity by cutting myself off from everything but You. I approached You with my whole self. I averted my face from everyone who needs Your support. I ceased to ask from any who cannot do without Your bounty. I see that the needy who seeks from the needy is foolish in his opinion, and misguided in his intellect.

Another similar suggestion can also be read in the following passage, quoted from the thirteenth supplication:

فَمَنْ حَاوَلَ سَدَّ خَلَّتِهِ مِنْ عِنْدِكَ، وَرَامَ صَرْفَ الْفَقْرِ عَنْ نَفْسِهِ بِكَ، فَقَدْ طَلَبَ حَاجَتَهُ فِي مَظَانِّهَا، وَأَتَى طِلَبَتَهُ مِنْ وَجْهِهَا. وَمَنْ تَوجَّهَ بِحَاجَتِهِ إِلَى أَحَدٍ مِنْ خَلْقِكَ، أَوْ جَعَلَهُ سَبَبَ نُجْحِهَا دُونَكَ، فَقَدْ تَعَرَّضَ لِلْحِرْمَانِ، وَاسْتَحَقَّ مِنْ عِنْدِكَ فَوْتَ الإِحْسَانِ.

So, he who strives to remedy his lack through what is with You and wishes to turn poverty away from himself through You has sought his need in the most likely place and come with his request to the right quarter. He who turns in his need towards one of Your creatures or assigns the cause of its being granted to other than You has exposed himself to deprivation and deserves to miss Your beneficence.

Sixth: These supplications teach people that it is obligatory upon them to respect the rights of each other, help each other, and treat each other with terms of compassion, sympathy, and altruism so as to put into practice the meaning of fraternity of Islam. Such teachings can be read in the following passage, quoted from the thirty-eighth supplication:

اَللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعْتَذِرُ إِلَيْكَ مِنْ مَظْلُومٍ ظُلِمَ بِحَضْرَتِي فَلَمْ أَنْصُرْهُ، وَمِنْ مَعْرُوفٍ أُسْدِيَ إِلَيَّ فَلَمْ أَشْكُرْهُ، وَمِنْ مُسِيءٍ اعْتَذَرَ إِلَيَّ فَلَمْ أَعْذِرْهُ، وَمِنْ ذِي فَاقَةٍ سَأَلَنِي فَلَمْ أُؤْثِرْهُ، وَمِنْ حَقِّ ذِي حَقٍّ لَزِمَنِي لِمُؤْمِنٍ فَلَمْ أُوَفِّرْهُ وَمِنْ عَيْبِ مُؤْمِنٍ ظَهَرَ لِي فَلَمْ أَسْتُرْهُ.

O Allah: I ask pardon from You for a person wronged in my presence whom I did not help, a favor conferred upon me for which I returned no thanks, an evildoer who asked pardon from me and whom I did not pardon, a needy who asked from me and whom I preferred not over myself, a right of a believer who possesses a right incumbent upon me which I did not fulfill, a fault of a believer which became evident to me and which I did not conceal.

This means of apology is one of the most excellent styles that calls attention to the high Divine morals enjoyed by the servants of Almighty Allah.

Moreover, the following passage, quoted from the thirty-ninth supplication, teaches us the necessity to pardon those who mistreat us, warns us against thinking of revenge, and elevates our souls to the position of holy individuals:

اَللَّهُمَّ وَأَيُّمَا عَبْدٍ نَالَ مِنِّي مَا حَظَرْتَ عَلَيْهِ وَانْتَهَكَ مِنِّي مَا حَجَرْتَ عَلَيْهِ فَمضَى بِظُلامَتِي مَيِّتاً أَوْ حَصَلَتْ لِي قِبَلَهُ حَيّاً فَاغْفِرْ لَهُ مَا أَلَمَّ بِهِ مِنِّي وَاعْفُ لَهُ عَمَّا أَدْبَرَ بِهِ عَنِّي وَلاَ تَقِفْهُ عَلَى مَا ارْتكَبَ فِيَّ وَلاَ تَكْشِفْهُ عَمَّا اكْتَسَبَ بِي وَاجْعَلْ مَا سَمَحْتُ بِهِ مِنَ الْعَفْوِ عَنْهُمْ وَتَبَرَّعْتُ بِهِ مِنَ الصَّدَقَةِ عَلَيْهِمْ أَزْكَى صَدَقَاتِ الْمُتَصَدِّقِينَ وَأَعَلَى صِلاَتِ الْمُتَقَرِّبِينَ وَعَوِّضْنِي مِنْ عَفْوِي عَنْهُمْ عَفْوَكَ وَمِنْ دُعَائِي لَهُمْ رَحْمَتَكَ حَتَّى يَسْعَدَ كُلُّ وَاحِدٍ مِنَّا بِفَضْلِكَ.

O Allah: If any of Your servants should harm me in what You have forbidden, or violate me in what You have interdicted; and if he should pass into death with my complaint or I come to have a complaint against him while he is alive, (please) forgive him what he did to me and pardon him that through which he turned his back on me! Inquire not from him about what he committed toward me and expose him not through what he earned by me! And (please) make my open-handedness in pardoning such servants and my contribution in charity toward them the purest charity of the charitable and the highest gift of those seeking nearness to You! Recompense me for my pardoning them with Your pardon and for my supplicating for them with Your mercy so that each one of us may gain felicity through Your bounty.

The last paragraph of this passage is the most brilliant of all. It has an outstanding impact on those characterized by virtuousness, because it emphasises the necessity of bearing sound intentions toward all people and wishing happiness to everybody, including those who wrong or misbehave with us.

The supplications of al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah are full of such Divine directives that contribute greatly to self-discipline, if only people take hold of them.

Pilgrimage to the Holy Shrines

One of the practices that distinguish the Imamiyyah Shi`ah from the other Muslim sects is that they tend to visit the shrines(18) of the Holy Prophet (s) and the Holy Imams (`a) on a regular basis,(19) build handsome structures on these shrines, and sacrifice everything for them willingly and faithfully.(20)

All these practices are carried out by the Imamiyyah Shi`ah in compliance with the recommendations of the Holy Imams (`a) who urged their followers to visit these tombs and awakened their desire for the great reward of Almighty Allah that is won when such visits are made. Such practices are amongst those acts of obedience that draw one near Almighty Allah after the obligatory acts of worship. Moreover, these tombs are the best places wherein prayers are answered and pure devotion to Almighty Allah is achieved.

The Holy Imams (`a) have also stated that visiting these shrines accomplishes the fulfillment of our covenants with them. In this regard, Imam al-Ridha (`a) is reported to have said:

إنَّ لِكُلِّ إمَامٍ عَهْداً فِي عُنُقِ أوْلِيَائِهِ وَشِيعَتِهِ، وَإنَّ مِنْ تَمَامِ الوَفَاءِ بِالعَهْدِ وَحُسْنِ الأدَاءِ زِيَارَةَ قُبُورِهِمْ. فَمَنْ زَارَهُمْ رَغْبَةً فِي زِيَارَتِهِمْ وَتَصْدِيقاً بِمَا رَغَّبُوا فِيِه كَانَ أئِمَّتُهُمْ شُفَعَاءَهُمْ يَوْمَ القِيَامَةِ.

The disciples and followers of every Imam (`a) are connected to him with a binding covenant that they must fulfill. Among the items of an excellent fulfillment of these covenants is indeed the visiting of the Imams’ tombs. Hence, if one visits their tombs willingly and with the intention of accomplishing their desire, the Imams will intercede for him on the Day of Resurrection.(21)

Besides, visiting the Holy Shrines brings about a good number of religious and social advantages—a fact that has made our Imams take such great interest in the matter. Some of these advantages are as follows:

1) Visiting the Holy Shrines strengthens the bond of loyalty and love for the Holy Imams (`a) in their followers.

2) It arouses the pictures of the Holy Imams’ (`a) exploits, morality and struggle for truth.

3) During the congregational seasons of visits, the scattered groups of Muslims gather in the same place to know each other and exchange views.

4) It fixes in hearts the spirits of submission to Almighty Allah, devotion to Him, and compliance with His commands.

Forms of Ziyarah

Through the eloquent statements—reported from and recommended by the Holy Imams (`a)—stated during visits and known as ziyarah, the pilgrims learn the reality of monotheism, the true sacredness of Islam and the Holy Prophet’s Mission. They also learn their duties of abiding by high morality, submitting to the Maker of all creatures, and appreciating His bounties and favors. At this point, the visits to the holy shrines undertake the same function performed by supplications discussed in the previous chapter.

Some of these forms of ziyarah, in fact, hold remarkable supplications, such as the ziyarat aminillah,(22) a form of prayer that Imam `Ali ibn al-Husayn (`a) is reported to have made during his visit to the tomb of his grandfather, Imam `Ali ibn Abi-Talib (`a).(23)

These forms of ziyarah present a clear-cut depiction of the situations and sacrifices of the Holy Imams (`a) for the sake of supporting the right and elevating the influence of religion over all other influences.

They also demonstrate the Holy Imams’ (`a) dedicating themselves to obeying Almighty Allah.

In lucid Arabic diction and easy-to-understand statements, these forms of ziyarah contain an excellent expression of monotheism, supplication, and invocation to Almighty Allah.

In addition to the Holy Qur'an, Nahj al-Balaghah, and the supplications reported from the Holy Imams (`a), these forms of ziyarah are reckoned among the most sublime religious literature, because they hold an extract of the Holy Imams’ knowledge in faith and self-discipline.

The visiting of these holy shrines, recommended by the Holy Imams (`a), holds teachings and true guidance that call for the attainment of the supreme goals of religion, such as spiritual progress of Muslims, development of the spirit of mutual sympathy among different classes of the Muslim community and encouraging amicable association, polite behavior, and social intercourse. This discipline includes practices before entering the Holy Shrines as well as others during the visit and after it.

Etiquettes of Visiting the Holy Shrines

Teachings derived from the etiquettes of visiting the holy shrines are the following:

1) A pilgrim to the holy shrines must bathe and cleanse himself from impurities before beginning the visit. The advantage of this instruction is obvious. Man cleanses himself from dirt in order to avoid many sicknesses and diseases, save people from stinks,(24) and purify himself from vices.

The sublime goals of this practice as reported (from the Holy Infallibles) are that a pilgrim, after bathing himself, is advised to repeat the following supplication:

اَللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْ لِي نُوراً وَطَهُوراً، وَحِرْزاً كَافِياً مِنْ كُلِّ دَاءٍ وَسَقَمٍ، وَمِنْ كُلِّ آفَةٍ وَعَاهَةٍ، وَطَهِّرْ بِهِ قَلْبِي وَجَوَارِحِي، وَعِظَامِي وَلَحْمِي وَدَمِي، وَشَعْرِي وَبَشَرِي وَمُخِّي وَعَظْمِي، وَمَا أقَلَّتِ الأرْضُ مِنِّي، وَاجْعَلْ لِي شَاهِداً يَوْمَ حَاجَتِي، وَفَقْرِي وَفَاقَتِي.

O Allah! (Please) grant me light and purity, and a protective shield against all maladies and sicknesses, and against all epidemics and defects. (Please do) purify my heart, my organs, my bones, my flesh, my blood, my hair, my skin, my brain, my marrow, and all my parts that stand on the earth. (Please do) provide me with a witness on the day when I will be poor, needy, and deprived.(25)

2) A pilgrim to the holy shrines is advised to put on his cleanest clothes. A pleasant appearance during general gatherings brings about mutual amicability, makes people approachable, enhances a sense of honor, and highlights the significance of these gatherings.

It is noteworthy that the Holy Imams (`a) have not imposed distinguished or attractive clothes; rather, they have recommended putting the best clothes one may have, because not all people can have distinguished or attractive clothes, lest the poor are embarrassed. Thus, this teaching pays due regard to the condition of the poor.

3) It is good to put on perfume if possible. The advantage of this teaching is similar to the above.

4) When possible, a pilgrim should give alms to the poor. It is well known that almsgiving during such seasons of pilgrimage help the needy and amplify the spirit of sympathy among the pilgrims.

5) A pilgrim of the holy shrines is recommended to proceed towards these shrines with tranquility and gravity, casting his eyes down. Of course, such acts demonstrate that the pilgrims respect the visited places, pay reverence to the visited persons, and direct and devote themselves to Almighty Allah. Besides, these acts help in avoiding trampling other pilgrims and annoying them.

6) A pilgrim is recommended to repeat the statement, ‘allahu-akbar (Allah is the Most High)’ as many times as possible. In certain forms of ziyarah, this statement should be repeated one hundred times. The advantage of this rite is to make the pilgrims feel the supremacy of Almighty Allah and to learn with certainty that there is nothing higher than Him, since pilgrimage to the holy shrines is no more than a sort of worshipping, glorifying, and exalting the Almighty Lord through activating these rites and supporting His religion.

7) After accomplishing the rites of the visit, a pilgrim is recommended to offer a two-unit (i.e. rak`ah) prayer, at least, voluntarily, in order to worship and thank Almighty Allah for the accomplishment of the visit. A pilgrim then asks the Lord to accept his offering of that prayer and to consider its reward as a gift from the pilgrim to the visited person (i.e. the Prophet or Imam).

The supplication recited after the visit to a holy shrine, reveals that the pilgrim’s prayers and acts are directed to Almighty Allah alone other than Who none is worth worshipping and that the pilgrimage is but a sort of seeking nearness to Him:

اَللّهُمَّ لَكَ صَلَّيْتُ، وَلَكَ رَكَعْتُ، وَلَكَ سَجَدْتُ، وَحْدَكَ لا شَريكَ لَكَ، لإَِنَّهُ لا تَكُونُ الصَّلاةُ وَالرُّكُوعُ وَالسُّجُودُ إلاّ لَكَ، لإَِنَّكَ أَنْتَ اللهُ لا إِلهَ إلاّ أَنْتَ. اَللّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلى مُحَمَّد وَآلِ مُحَمَّد، وَتَقَبَّلْ مِنّي زِيارَتي، وَأعْطِني سُؤْلي بِمُحَمَّد وَآلِ مُحَمَّد وَآلِهِ الطّاهِرينَ.

O Allah! To You alone have I prayed, to You alone have I bowed down, and to You alone have I prostrated myself. You are the One and Only God Who has no partner. This is because all prayers, bowing down, and prostration must be offered to none save You, since You are Allah, there is no god save You. O Allah! Bless Muhammad and his Household; and accept my pilgrimage and respond to my requests in the name of Muhammad (s) and his Immaculate Household (`a).(26)

This piece of literature is fully indicative of the actual purposes of the Holy Imams (`a) and their followers behind visiting the holy shrines. It also proves the fallacy of those who claim that the Shi`ah visit the holy shrines as a form of worship by seeking nearness to them and setting up partners to Almighty Allah.

Such false notions attempt to lessen the social-religious advantages of these gatherings but fail miserably. They have become thorns in the eyes of the enemies of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a), because it is improbable that they are ignorant of the purposes of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) behind such collective visits.

Far be it from the Holy Imams (`a)—who have worshipped Almighty Allah faithfully and sincerely, devoted themselves to obeying Him, and sacrificed everything, including their lives, for His religion—to call people to set up partners with Him.

8) A pilgrim’s conduct and behaviour must be most proper while on a visit. For eg., he should speak as little as possible, except in affairs that benefit Islam, mention Almighty Allah constantly, show reverence, offer prayers very often, pray to the Lord to shower His blessings upon Muhammad and his Household. He should keep his gaze lowered, hurry in helping and lending a hand to those who are in need, and abstain from entering upon disputatious conversations, committing any forbidden act, swearing, and engaging in arguments that require taking oaths.

Let us not forget to refer to the main purpose of visiting the holy shrines, which is to greet the Holy Prophet (s) and the Holy Imams (`a), because they are alive and are provided with sustenance from their Lord.(27) They can hear the words addressed to them and respond to them. Although it is sufficient to address them with simple statements like, ‘Peace be upon you,” it is more proper to repeat the statements reported from them by the pilgrims of their holy shrines (i.e. the ziyarah), because they are full of impressive meanings and religious advantages, in addition to their eloquence and articulation. These forms of ziyarah are superb prayers through which one can get closer to Almighty Allah.

The Meaning of Shi`ism According to the Ahl al-Bayt

The Holy Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a), after they knew that they would not hold the (political) leadership of the Muslim nation, dedicated their lives to disciplining and educating Muslims the way Almighty Allah wanted. They exerted all their efforts to teach their followers, in whom they confided their secrets, all the items of the religious laws as well as the knowledge of the Holy Prophet (s) and their rights and obligations.

The Holy Imams (`a), clearly defined a follower (i.e. Shi`ite) as only he who obeys the commands of Almighty Allah, forsakes personal whims and caprices, and accepts and adheres to their (i.e. the Imams) directives and teachings. Love for the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) is not sufficient to win salvation and deliverance from one’s duties toward Almighty Allah. It is a false notion that is chiefly adopted by those who hide themselves under coverings of serenity and lust and shun obedience to Almighty Allah under the pretense that their love for the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) would liberate them from religious responsibilities.

On the contrary, the Holy Imams (`a) do not consider one’s love for and loyalty to them as achievement of one’s duties toward the Lord unless such love and loyalty are firmly supported with righteous acts and noble traits of character like truthfulness, honesty, piety, and godliness. Confirming this fact, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (`a) says:

يَا خَيْثَمَةُ! أبْلِغْ مَوالِينَا أنَّهُ لاَ نُغْنِي عَنْهُمْ مِنَ اللهِ شَيْئاً إلاَّ بِعَمَلٍ، وَأنَّهُمْ لَنْ يَنَالوا وِلايَتَنَا إلاَّ بِالوَرَعِ، وَإنَّ أشَدَّ النَّاسِ حَسْرَةً يَوْمَ القِيَامَةِ مَنْ وَصَفَ عَدْلاً ثُمَّ خَالَفَهُ إلَى غَيْرِهِ.

O Khaythamah! Inform our adherents that we can be of no avail to them against Almighty Allah unless they themselves offer (righteous) actions. They shall not win our admission of their loyalty to us except by means of piety. Verily, the most regretful on the Day of Resurrection will be one who instructs righteousness but does not act in accordance with it.(28)

Because they believe that practical propagation is more effective than verbal, the Holy Imams (`a) desire and expect their followers to act as heralds of truth and guides of decency and orthodoxy. Hence, Imam al-Sadiq (`a) instructs his followers, saying:

كُونُوا دُعَاةً لِلنَّاسِ بِالخَيْرِ بِغَيْرِ ألْسِنَتِكُمْ لِيَرَوا مِنْكُمُ الإجْتِهَادَ وَالصِّدْقَ وَالوَرَعَ.

Act as heralds to goodness among people by means other than your tongues so that they can feel your perseverance, honesty, and piety.(29)

Let us now cite a number of instructive conversations of the Holy Imams (`a) with their followers to emphasize their concern about their refined moral behavior among the public: Imam al-Baqir’s (`a) conversation with Jabir al-Ju`fi

يَا جَابِرُ! أيَكْتَفِي مَنْ يَنْتَحِلُ التَّشَيُّعَ أنْ يَقُولَ بِحُبِّنَا أهْلَ البَيْتِ؟ فَوَاللهِ مَا شِيعَتُنَا إلاَّ مَنِ اتَّقَى اللهَ وَأطَاعَهُ. وَمَا كَانُوا يُعْرَفُونَ إلاَّ بِالتَّوَاضُعِ وَالتَّخَشُّعِ، وَالأمَانَةِ، وَكَثْرَةِ ذِكْرِ اللهِ، وَالصَّوْمِ، وَالصَّلاَةِ، وَالبِرِّ بِالوَالِدَيْنِ، وَالتَّعَاهُدِ لِلجِيرَانِ مِنَ الفُقَرَاءِ وَأهْلِ المَسْكَنَةِ وَالغَارِمِينَ وَالأيْتَامِ، وَصِدْقِ الحَدِيثِ، وَتِلاَوَةِ القُرْآنِ، وَكَفِّ الألْسُنِ عَنِ النَّاسِ إلاَّ مِنْ خَيْرٍ. وَكَانُوا اُمَنَاءَ عَشَائِرِهِمْ فِي الأشْيَاءِ.

فَاتَّقُوا اللهَ وَاعْمَلُوا لِمَا عِنْدَ اللهِ. لَيْسَ بَيْنَ اللهِ وَبَيْنَ أحَدٍ قَرَابَةٌ. أحَبُّ العِبَادِ إلَى اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ أتْقَاهُمْ وَأعْمَلُهُمْ بِطَاعَتِهِ.

يَا جَابِرُ! وَاللهِ مَا نَتَقَرَّبُ إلَى اللهِ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى إلاَّ بِالطَّاعَةِ، وَمَا مَعَنَا بَرَاءَةٌ مِنَ النَّارِ، وَلاَ عَلَى اللهِ لأحَدٍ مِنْ حُجَّةٍ. مَنْ كَانَ للهِ مُطيعاً فَهُوَ لَنَا وَلِيٌّ، وَمَنْ كَانَ للهِ عَاصِياً فَهُوَ لَنَا عَدُوٌّ. وَمَا تُنَالُ وِلايَتُنَا إلاَّ بِالعَمَلِ وَالوَرَعِ.

“O Jabir! How come that it is sufficient to declare love for us—the Ahl al-Bayt—in order to be a Shi`ite? I swear by Allah that our true Shi`ah (followers) are none but those who fear and obey Allah. Their distinctive features are exclusive modesty, devoutness, fulfillment of trusts, constant reference to Almighty Allah, (much) observance of fasting, (much) offering of prayers, kindness to their parents, caring for the poor, the needy, the indebted, and the orphans from among their neighbors, truthfulness, (repeated) recitation of the Holy Qur'an, and holding their tongues except for uttering good. Moreover, they are always the most trustworthy of the members of their clans for keeping things.

So, (I recommend you to) fear Almighty Allah and work for winning that which He holds. None has kinship with Almighty Allah (due to which he may be favored); rather, the most favorite to Him among His servants are the most pious and the most abiding in obedience to Him.

O Jabir! I swear by Almighty Allah that we seek nearness to Him through no means other than obedience to Him. We do not have patents of release from Hellfire. Nobody has a pretext against Almighty Allah. He who is obedient to Almighty Allah is our follower while he who is disobedient to Him is our enemy. Admission to our loyalty can only be attained by means of good work and piety.

Imam al-Baqir’s Conversation with Sa`id ibn al-Hasan

The following conversation took place between Imam al-Baqir (`a) and Sa`id ibn al-Hasan, one of his disciples:

The Imam: Does it happen that one of you comes to his brother-in-faith and extends his hand to his pocket to take only as much as he needs, but the other does not push him back?

Sa`id: I have not noticed such a thing among us.

The Imam: Then, you are nothing. (i.e. you own nothing of Shi`ism)

Sa`id: This means that we are exposed to perdition!

The Imam: These people have not been endowed with (judicious) reasons yet.(30)

Imam al-Sadiq’s Conversation with Abu’l-Sabbah al-Kinani

The following conversation took place between Imam al-Sadiq (`a) and Abu’l-Sabbah al-Kinani:

Al-Kinani: Great is the extent of harassment we are suffering from people because of you!

The Imam: What kind of harassment are you encountering from people?

Al-Kinani: Whenever we dispute with someone, he immediately gibes at us, saying, ‘You are a malicious Ja`farite! (i.e. following Ja`far ibn Muhammad; Imam al-Sadiq)’”

The Imam: So, people are gibing at you because of me!

Al-Kinani: Yes, they are.

The Imam: By Allah I swear; too few are those who follow ‘Ja`far’ among you! My followers are only those who show intense piety, dedicate their deeds to their Creator, and desire for His rewards. These are exclusively my followers.(31)

Aphorisms of Imam al-Sadiq

In this regard, Imam al-Sadiq (`a) stated many words of truth and wisdom, some of which are cited here:

لَيْسَ مِنَّا، وَلاَ كَرَامَةَ، مَنْ كَانَ فِي مِصْرٍ فِيهِ مِائَةُ ألْفٍ أوْ يَزِيدُونَ وَكَانَ فِي ذَلِكَ المِصْرِ أحَدٌ أوْرَعُ مِنْهُ.

If one who claims following us lives in a country with a population of one hundred thousand or more but there is somebody in that country more pious than he is, then he is definitely not among our followers.(32)

إنَّا لاَ نَعُدُّ الرَّجُلَ مُؤمِناً حَتَّى يَكُونَ لَجِميعِ أمْرِنَا مُتَّبِعاً وَمُرِيداً. ألاَ وإنَّ مِنِ اتِّبَاعِ أمْرِنَا وَأرَادَتِهِ الوَرَعَ، فَتَزَيَّنُوا بِهِ، رَحِمَكُمُ اللهُ.

We do not count one to be among the believers unless one willingly obeys all our commandments. Indeed, one of the features of obeying our commandments willingly is piety. Therefore, adorn yourselves with piety; may Allah have mercy upon you.(33)

لَيْسَ مِنْ شِيعَتِنَا مَنْ لاَ تَتَحَدَّثُ المُخَدَّرَاتُ بِوَرَعِهِ فِي خُدُورِهِنَّ. وَلَيْسَ مِنْ أوْلِيائِنا مَن هُوَ فِي قَرْيَةٍ فِيهَا عَشَرَةُ آلافِ رَجُلٍ فِيهِمْ خَلَقَ اللهُ أوْرَعَ مِنْهُ.

He is not one of our Shi`ah (followers) about whose piety women secluding themselves to their private rooms do not talk. He is not one of our disciples who lives in a town in which ten thousand men live but there is somebody more pious than him living there.(34)

إنَّمَا شِيعَةُ جَعْفَرٍ مَنْ عَفَّ بَطْنَهُ وَفَرْجَهُ، وَاشْتَدَّ جِهَادُهُ وَعَمِلَ لِخَالِقِهِ وَرَجَا ثَوَابَهُ وَخَافَ عِقَابَهُ. فَإذَا رَأيْتَ أولئِكَ فَأولئِكَ شِيعَةُ جَعْفَرٍ.

The real Shi`ah of Ja`far (i.e. Imam al-Sadiq) are exclusively those who chastely avoid the (unlawful) pleasures of stomachs and private parts, those who strive excessively (to attain Almighty Allah’s pleasure), and those who dedicate all their efforts to their Creator, hoping for His reward and fearing His punishment. If you see one enjoying these features, then (be it known to you that) he is one of the Shi`ah of Ja`far.(35)

Oppression and Injustice

Following the Holy Qur'an, the Holy Imams (`a) have considered transgression against others and wronging people to be among the gravest sins man may commit. As for the Holy Qur'an, it has condemned oppression and deemed it one of the most appalling sins:

وَلَا تَحْسَبَنَّ اللَّهَ غَافِلًا عَمَّا يَعْمَلُ الظَّالِمُونَ ۚ إِنَّمَا يُؤَخِّرُهُمْ لِيَوْمٍ تَشْخَصُ فِيهِ الْأَبْصَارُ

Deem not that Allah is heedless of what the iniquitous do; He is only deferring them to a day when eyes shall stare. (14/42)

Likewise, Imam `Ali Amir al-Mu'minin (`a), the most veracious, has described the atrocity and revulsion of wronging people in such astounding terms:

وَاللهِ، لَوْ أُعْطِيتُ الأقَالِيمَ السَّبْعَةَ بِمَا تَحْتَ أفْلاَكِهَا عَلَى أنْ أعْصِيَ اللهَ فِي نَمْلَةٍ أسْلُبُهَا جِلْبَ شَعِيرَةٍ مَا فَعَلْتُ.

By Allah, even if I am given all the domains of the seven (stars) with all that exists under the skies in order that I may disobey Allah to the extent of snatching one grain of barley from an ant I would not do it.

This states the utmost of what man may imagine in the field of abstinence from wrongdoing.

Imam `Ali (`a) would never wrong an ant by snatching even the skin of one grain of barely from it even if he would be given the seven continents. This is the situation with Imam `Ali (`a); how would it be with those who shed the blood of Muslims carelessly, usurp the properties of people and desecrate their honor and dignity? Who can compare those who commit such heinous crimes with Imam `Ali (`a)? What chance do they have? Indeed, the Imam (`a) has described the essence of Divine morality that religion wants human beings to abide by.

Wrongdoing is prohibited in the law of Almighty Allah; therefore, warning against it, condemning it, and emphasis on its forbiddance have occupied a leading position in the traditions and supplications of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a). Such has been their policy; and such has been their conduct even with those who transgressed against them and dared to challenge their position.

For example, the story of Imam al-Hasan (`a) with a Syrian is wellknown. This story shows the Imam’s forbearance with a man who attacked his dignity and railed at him; nevertheless, the Imam (`a) treated him with kindness and sympathy until the ignorant man realized his fault.(36)

We have already cited passages of Imam Zayn al-`Abidin’s (`a) supplications in which he used a supremely appropriate diction to express how to pardon those who wrong us and ask Almighty Allah’s forgiveness for them. This is in fact the utmost hieght of perfection one can attain.

However, according to the laws of Islam, it is permissible to inflict injury on those who act aggressively against us, yet in exactly the same way they inflicted injury on us.

Likewise, to invoke Almighty Allah’s punishment against those who wrong us is also permissible. Even so, permissibility is something quite different from pardon, which is one of the qualities of nobility of character.

Moreover, exaggeration in invoking Almighty Allah’s punishment on wrongdoers may be considered an act of injustice, in the view of the Holy Imams (`a). Expressing this view, Imam al-Sadiq (`a) is reported to have said:

إنَّ العَبْدَ لَيَكُونُ مَظْلُوماً، فَمَا يَزَالُ يَدْعُو حَتَّى يَكُونَ ظَالِماً.

Verily, a servant (of Almighty Allah) may be oppressed; but he may become oppressor due to excessive invocation of evil upon those who oppressed him.(37)

To explain, an oppressed person may exceed the proper bounds of invoking Almighty Allah against the one who oppressed him, thus changing into an oppressor.

How sublime this is! Even an oppressed person’s invocation against the oppressor can be a sort of oppression when it exceeds the just limits! What will, then, be the condition of those who instigate oppression and iniquity, act aggressively against people, attack their reputations, plunder their property, denounce them before the unjust ruling authorities, deceive them so as to involve them in perils, defame them, hurt them, or spy on them? What a place can such transgressors find in the wisdom of the Holy Imams (`a)?

Truly, such persons are the farthest from Almighty Allah, the most sinful and the most deserving of the most horrible punishment from Him.

Cooperation with Oppressors

Oppression is the most dangerous of all deeds and the worst in consequence; therefore, Almighty Allah has warned us against all sorts of oppression including cooperation with oppressors and inclination towards them. He has thus stated:

وَلَا تَرْكَنُوا إِلَى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا فَتَمَسَّكُمُ النَّارُ وَمَا لَكُمْ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ مِنْ أَوْلِيَاءَ ثُمَّ لَا تُنْصَرُونَ

And do not incline towards those who are unjust, lest the fire touches you, and you have no guardians besides Allah, then you shall not be helped. (11/113)

This is the directive of the Holy Qur'an from which the Holy Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) have derived all their directives. They are reported to have used the most expressive words in making people realize the hideousness of inclination towards oppressors, connecting with them, taking part in any of their deeds, and cooperating with them even by offering them half a date.(38)

Indisputably, the gravest misfortune that has beset Islam and Muslims is their lack of firmness in dealing with oppressors, their connivance with them, their taking action in their matters not to mention siding with them and furthering their oppressive acts.

This deviation from the right path is the basic reason that is responsible for the misfortunes that have befallen the Muslim community and weakened the religion of Islam to the extent that it was in the beginning of its advent. Day after day, those claiming being Muslims lost Divine support and became worthless in the eyes of both their powerful and weakest opponents, such as the contemptible Jews, and the powerful Crusaders.

Making every effort, the Holy Imams (`a) tried to drive their followers away from cooperating with oppressive rulers and exerted pressure on their disciples to abandon supporting and helping the wrongdoers and tyrannical authorities. As confirmed by innumerable traditions, the Holy Imams (`a) concentrated on banning any sort of cooperation with transgressors. For instance, Imam Zayn al-`Abidin (`a) is reported to have written the following epistle to Muhammad ibn Muslim al-Zuhri, warning him against helping the unjust authorities in furthering their wrongdoing:

أوَلَيْسَ بِدُعَائِهِمْ إيَّاكَ حِينَ دَعَوكَ جَعَلُوكَ قُطْباً أدَارُوا بِكَ رُحَى مَظَالِمِهِمْ، وَجِسْراً يَعْبُرُونَ عَلَيْكَ إلَى بَلاَيَاهُمْ، وَسُلَّماً إلَى ضَلاَلَتِهِمْ، دَاعِياً إلَى غَيِّهِمْ، سَالِكاً سَبِيلَهُمْ؟ يُدْخِلُونَ بِكَ الشَّكَّ عَلَى العُلَمَاءِ، وَيَقْتَادُونَ بِكَ قُلُوبَ الجُهَّالِ إلَيْهِمْ. فَلَمْ يَبْلُغْ أخَصُّ وُزَرَائِهِمْ وَلاَ أقْوَى أعْوَانِهِمْ إلاَّ دُونَ مَا بَلَغْتَ مِنْ إصْلاَحِ فَسَادِهِمْ وَاخْتِلاَفِ الخَاصَّةِ وَالعَامَّةِ إلَيْهِمْ. فَمَا أقَلَّ مَا أعْطَوْكَ فِي قَدَرِ مَا أخَذوا مِنْكَ! وَمَا أيْسَرَ مَا عَمَروا لكَ! فَكَيْفَ مَا خَرَّبُوا عَلَيْكَ؟ فَانْظُرْ لِنَفْسِكَ، فَإنَّهُ لاَ يَنْظُرُ لَهَا غَيْرُكَ. وَحَاسِبْهَا حِسَابَ رَجُلٍ مَسْئولٍ.

As the unjust ones invite you, they make you the axis of the hand-mill of their wrongdoings, the bridge on which they cross to the misfortunes they cause, and the stairs to their deviation. You become the propagandist of their temptation when you take their courses. They have employed you as the means through which they arouse doubts against the scholars and attract the ignorant. The best one in their government and the most powerful of them could not have achieved the success that you have attained for them by presenting their corrupt affairs as honest and attracting the attention of the celebrities as well as the ordinary people towards yourself. As for what they have given you, you will find it too little. Likewise, they have built for you very trivial things while they have ruined your great things. Look within yourself, for no one will look within you except you yourself, and judge yourself impartially, as if you are the criminal.(39)

How expressive the last sentence is! When man is overcome by personal whims, he sees himself in the depths of his inner self as a hollow being that is unworthy of honor. In plain words, man finds himself responsible for his deeds, looks down upon any act that he commits, and believes that he is too ignoble to offer any excuse for what he has committed.

The Imam (`a) intended to draw al-Zuhri’s attention to this interior consequence, which secretly destroys human beings that are prone to evil, so that he would not be deceived by any illusions, and ignore his responsibility towards himself.

The following instructive conversation between Imam Musa al-Kazim (`a) and Safwan al-Jammal, one of the trustworthy disciples and reporters of the Imam’s traditions, depicts the forbiddance of cooperation with unjust authorities:

Writing the life of Safwan al-Jammal, al-Kashshi records the following narration:

Safwan said: One day, while I was paying a visit to Imam al-Kazim (`a), he said to me, “Safwan: all your manners are acceptable and right except one thing.”

“May Allah accept me as ransom for you!(40) What is that?” I wondered and asked.

The Imam (`a) answered, “It is that you hire camels for this man. (i.e. Harun, the ruler)”

Explaining my situation, I said, “I swear by Allah that I have never hired him a camel to be used for luxurious, reckless, funny, or hunting purposes. Rather, I have hired out camels for him so that he would use it as riding animals on his way to Makkah. Moreover, I do not take charge of the camels myself; rather, I employ some of my servants to do so.”

The Imam (`a) asked, “Do they (i.e. the ruling authorities) pay you for this hiring?”

“Yes, they do,” answered I.

The Imam (`a) further asked, “Do you wish that they would survive until they keep paying you?”

“Yes, I do,” answered I.

The Imam (`a) stated:

فَمَنْ أحَبَّ بَقَاءَهُمْ فَهُوَ مِنْهُمْ، وَمَنْ كَانَ مِنْهُمْ (فَهُوَ) كَانَ وَرَدَ النَّارَ.

“Then, he who wishes survival for them is definitely one of them; and he who belongs to them will definitely be in Hellfire.”

Immediately after that, I sold all my camels.(41)

Merely wishing survival for tyrannical rulers lands one in hellfire. What then will be the future of those who dedicate themselves to helping the tyrannical rulers proceed in their wrongdoings, those who support them in their acts of transgression, those who engage themselves in their groups, those who imitate them in their oppressive acts, those who go along with their processions, and those who comply with their orders? survival for tyrannical rulers lands one in hellfire. What then will be the future of those who dedicate themselves to helping the tyrannical rulers proceed in their wrongdoings, those who support them in their acts of transgression, those who engage themselves in their groups, those who imitate them in their oppressive acts, those who go along with their processions, and those who comply with their orders?

Holding offices in Despotic Governments

The Holy Imams have intensely warned against cooperating with oppressive rulers even by handing them over half a date or hoping for their survival; therefore, the situation will definitely be worse with those who participate with them in ruling and hold offices in their despotic governments. Moreover, the matter will be much worse for those who have a hand in laying the foundations of such despotic governments, play a major role in activating their authorities, and plunge into fortifying their power. Giving reasons for such prohibition, Imam al-Sadiq (`a) is reported to have said:

…وَذَلِكَ أنَّ فِي وِلايَةِ (الوَالِي) الجَائِرِ دُرُوسَ الحَقِّ كُلِّهِ وَإحْيَاءَ البَاطِلِ كُلِّهِ وَإظْهَارَ الظُّلْمِ وَالجَوْرِ وَالفَسَادِ…

“…because to hold an office in the government of despotic rulers wholly eradicates the right and wholly enlivens the wrong. It also spreads injustice, oppression, and corruption…(42)

On the other hand, the Holy Imams (`a) are reported to have permitted holding offices in the governments of despotic rulers if this helps maintain justice, institute the laws of Almighty Allah, and contribute to treating the believers properly, enjoin the right, and forbid the wrong. In this respect, Imam Musa al-Kazim (`a) is reported to have said:

إنَّ للهِ فِي أبْوَابِ الظَّلَمَةِ مَنْ نَوَّرَ اللهُ بِهِ البُرْهَانَ وَمَكَّنَ لَهُ فِي البِلاَدِ، فَيَدْفَعُ بِهِمْ عَنْ أوْلِيَائِهِ وَيُصْلِحُ بِهِمْ أُمُورَ المُسْلِمِينَ… أولَئِكَ هُمُ المُؤمِنُونَ حَقّاً، أولئِكَ مَنَارُ اللهِ فِي أرْضِهِ، أولئِكَ نُورُ اللهِ فِي رَعِيَّتِهِ.

Verily, among the company of the oppressors, there are those through whom Almighty Allah has made bright His path and given power in countries to protect His intimate servants and resolve the difficulties of Muslims. These are indeed the true believers. These are the shining guides to Almighty Allah in His lands. These are the light of Almighty Allah among His subjects.(43)

Concerning this matter, many traditions have been reported to demonstrate the course that must be adopted by governors and governmental officials, such as the famous epistle of Imam al-Sadiq (`a) to `Abdullah al-Najashi, the governor of al-Ahwaz44..

Calling upon Islamic Unity

The Holy Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) are well-known for their calling upon the observance and maintenance of Islamic aspects, to preserve its glory, sustain the unity of Muslims, keep them in a ceaseless state of fraternity, and remove all rancor(45) and malice from their hearts.

In this respect, it is unfair to ignore the unforgettable situation of Imam `Ali Amir al-Mu'minin (`a) with his predecessors to the Caliphate. Although he was furious at them because he believed that they had usurped his right, his behaviour with them was full of tolerance. Moreover, he did not challenge them with the fact that the Holy Prophet (s) had appointed him as Caliph; and he did not declare this in any public meeting until the leadership of the Muslim nation eventually returned to him. Only then did he declare that Divine commandments had nominated him as the successor of the Holy Prophet (s), calling the existing companions to testify as witnesses for him that the Holy Prophet (s) had openly declared him as his successor on that famous day at Ghadir Khumm.(46)

Imam `Ali (`a) never refrained from offering sound advice in matters that would benefit the interests of Muslims. Describing this period, he used to repeat the following statement:

فَخَشِيتُ إنْ لَمْ أنْصُرِ الإسْلاَمَ وَأهْلَهُ أنْ أرَى فِيهِ ثَلْماً أوْ هَدْماً تَكُونُ المُصِيبَةُ بِهِ عَلَيَّ أعْظَمَ مِنْ فَوْتِ وِلايَتِكُمْ…

I then feared that if I did not protect Islam and its people and there occurred in it a breach or destruction, it would mean a greater blow to me than the loss of power over you…(47)

Besides, he did not say any word that would probably tire out their rulership, weaken their authority, or underestimate their prestige. He therefore withdrew within himself and confined himself to his house inspite of which he had to encounter problems because of them.

He had to suffer all that for the sake of protecting the general interests of Islam lest a breach or fall might occur in the religion. This situation was so well-known that `Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second caliph, used to say the like of the following statements repeatedly:

May Allah never keep me to face a problem while Abu’l-Hasan is not there to solve it.(48)

If it were not for `Ali, `Umar would have certainly perished.(49)

It is also unfair to shun reference to the situation of Imam al-Hasan (`a) when he decided to enter upon a truce with Mu`awiyah,(50) realizing that insistence on war would injure the major weighty thing (i.e. the Holy Qur'an) and bring down the state of justice and the name of Islam forever.It would, further, result in the eradication of Divine law and annihilate the remaining members of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a).So, Imam al-Hasan (`a) preferred saving the aspects and name of Islam over engagement in war even if the achievement of such would force him to make peace with Mu`awiyah, the most vehement enemy of Islam and the bitter opponent of the Imam and his Shi`ah. He knew that he and his followers would suffer oppression and humiliation at the hands of this man, but Islam’s interests were more important than all lives.

Despite the fact that members of the Holy Prophet’s (s) clan (namely, descendants of Hashim) and the Shi`ah had already sharpened their swords and were willing to fight, Imam al-Hasan (`a) believed that achieving the general interest of Islam must be above all considerations.

As for Imam al-Husayn the martyr (`a), he revolted against the Umayyad dynasty because he was forced to announce allegiance to Yazid, the immodest Ummayyad ruler.He believed that if these rulers continued in their course of transgression and tyranny without there being anyone to stop them and reveal their reality before the people, they would certainly eradicate the name of Islam and demolish its glory. He therefore aimed at showing everybody for all times to come, the oppressive and repressive policy of these rulers and unveil their vicious conspiracies against the law of Islam. What he intended took place. Had it not been for Imam al-Husayn’s uprising, the religion of Islam would have been no more than material for history, just like the other dead faiths.

The reason for the Shi`ah taking a great interest in commemorating the uprising of Imam al-Husayn (`a) in various ways is that they want to complete the mission of his uprising, that is to struggle against wrong and oppression and keep his sacrifice alive forever, as has been commissioned by the Holy Imams (`a).

Ensuring the continuity of the dignity of Islam by the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) even when power was grasped by their most vehement enemies, can be clearly seen in the conduct of Imam Zayn al-`Abidin (`a) during the oppressive reign of the Umayyad rulers.

These oppressive rulers massacred the household of the Imam (`a) violated its sanctity during their reigns; nevertheless, the Imam (`a), who was so grieved for what they had done to his father and family members at Karbala', used to pray to Almighty Allah secretly to grant the Muslim armies victory over their enemies. As has been previously cited, supplication was the one and only method to which Imam Zayn al-`Abidin (`a) resorted to spread the genuine teachings and knowledge of Islam. In this respect, the Imam (`a) taught his followers how to pray for victory for Muslim armies. This supplication is famously known as “du`a’ ahl al-thughur (Supplication for the People of the Frontiers)”(51) in which the Imam (`a) says:

اَللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِهِ؛ وَكَثِّرْ عِدَّتَهُمْ، وَاشْحَذْ أَسْلِحَتَهُمْ، وَاحْرُسْ حَوْزَتَهُمُ، وَامْنَعْ حَوْمَتَهُمْ، وَأَلِّفْ جَمْعَهُمْ، وَدبِّرْ أَمْرَهُمْ، وَوَاتِرْ بَيْنَ مِيَرِهِمْ، وَتَوَحَّدْ بِكِفَايَةِ مُؤَنِهِمْ، وَاعْضُدْهُمْ بِالنَّصْرِ، وَأَعِنْهُمْ بِالصَّبْرِ، وَالْطُفْ لَهُمْ فِي الْمَكْرِ.

O Allah: (please) bless Muhammad and his Household; and increase their number, hone their weapons, guard their territory, defend their midst, unite their throng, arrange their affair, send them supplies in a steady string, undertake Yourself to suffice them with provisions, support them with victory, help them with patience, and give them subtlety in guile!

After invoking Almighty Allah against the unbelievers, Imam Zayn al-`Abidin (`a) says:

اَللَّهُمَّ وَقَوِّ بِذَلِكَ مَحَالَّ أَهْلِ الإِسْلاَمِ وَحَصِّنْ بِهِ دِيَارَهُمْ وَثَمِّرْ بِهِ أَمْوَالَهُمْ وَفَرِّغْهُمْ عَنْ مُحَارَبَتِهِمْ لِعِبَادَتِكَ وَعَنْ مُنَابَذَتِهِمْ لِلْخَلْوَةِ بِكَ حَتَّى لاَ يُعْبَدَ فِي بِقَاعِ الأَرْضِ غَيْرُكَ وَلاَ تُعَفَّرَ لأَحَدٍ مِنْهُمْ جَبْهَةٌ دُونَكَ.

O Allah, strengthen the People of Islam, fortify their cities, increase their properties, give them ease from their fighting to worship You, and from their warfare to be alone with You, so that none will be worshiped in the regions of the earth but You and no forehead of theirs may be rubbed in the dust for less than You!(52)

In this eloquent supplication, which is considered one of his longest supplications, the Imam (`a) continues in instructing the Muslim armies to abide by the required nobility of character and prepare to face the enemy.

In addition to military instructions of jihad, this supplication shows the purpose and the benefit of these instructions. It also draws attention to the scope of caution that they must take against the enemy and teaches them how to treat and fight against them. It also exhibits the moral standards that they must maintain, such as devotion to Almighty Allah, abstinence from His prohibitions, and fighting sincerely for His sake.

Similar to this situation is the situation of the other Imams (`a) with the rulers of their ages. Despite the fact that the Holy Imams (`a) had to encounter various sorts of pressure and brutal torture at the hands of these rulers, they directed all their efforts to teaching people the genuine and supreme features of the religion, realizing that the political leadership of the Muslim nation was out of question.

The Holy Imams (`a) neither advised nor desired all the revolutions that took place during their ages by the `Alawites or others; rather, all these were in evident violation of their commandments and instructions, because none, including the `Abbasid rulers themselves, was more desirous of safeguarding the entity of the Muslim state than the Holy Imams (`a). Proving this fact, let us cite the following instruction of Imam Musa al-Kazim (`a) to his followers (i.e. Shi`ah):

لاَ تَذِلُّوا رِقَابَكُمْ بِتَرْكِ طَاعَةِ سُلْطَانِكُمْ؛ فَإنْ كَانَ عَادِلاً فَاسْألُوا اللهَ إبْقَاءَهُ، وإنْ كَانَ جَائِراً فَاسْألُوا اللهَ إصْلاَحَهُ. فَإنَّ صَلاَحَكُمْ فِي صَلاَحِ سُلْطَانِكُمْ، وَإنَّ السُّلْطَانَ العَادِلَ بِمَنْزِلَةِ الوَالِدِ الرَّحِيمِ، فَأحِبُّوا لَهُ مَا تُحِبُّونَ لأنْفُسِكُمْ، وَاكْرَهُوا لَهُ مَا تَكْرَهُونَ لأنْفُسِكُمْ.

Do not bring forth humility to yourselves by abandoning obedience to the ruler; if he is just, then pray to Almighty Allah to keep him alive; but if he is unjust, then pray to Him to guide him to righteousness. Verily, validity of all your affairs lies in the righteousness of your ruler. Indeed, a just ruler occupies the same position of a merciful father; you must therefore love for him all that which you love for yourselves and hate for him all that which you hate for yourselves.(53)

To love for the ruler whatever is desired for oneself and to hate for him whatever is avoided is definitely the most eloquent statement that expresses the duty of the subjects towards their rulers—furnishing them with security.

By taking notice of this fact, one can imagine how immense the fallacy of some contemporary writers is who falsely accuse the Shi`ah of representing a secret, destructive association or an indignant revolutionary faction!

It is undeniable that among the features a follower of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) must possess are aversion towards wrongdoing and oppression, keeping oneself away from the unjust and the dissolute, and looking at the supporters and assistants of such wrongdoers with an eye of revulsion, denunciation, repugnance, and contempt.

These features still persist in the inner selves of Shi`ite Muslims which they inherit from their ancestors and transfer to their descendants; yet, they have never had the habit of cheating and betrayal, nor have they ever, openly or secretly, betaken themselves to revolution and uprising against the religious authorities that rule in the name of Islam. Abiding by the teachings of the Holy Imams (`a), Shi`ite Muslims have never allowed themselves to assassinate or waylay any Muslim no matter what sect he may follow or what wing he may support. The Shi`ah believe that the property, life, and honor of a Muslim who professes Islam must be protected:

لاَ يَحِلُّ مَالُ امْرِئٍ مُسْلِمٍ إلاَّ بِطِيبِ نَفْسٍ مِنْهُ.

It is not lawful to take the property of a Muslim individual except after obtaining his consensual permission.(54)

In addition, Muslims are brothers of each other in the concept of Shi`ite Muslims; each of them enjoys rights and is bound by obligations towards the others.In addition, Muslims are brothers of each other in the concept of Shi`ite Muslims; each of them enjoys rights and is bound by obligations towards the others.

Mutual Rights of Muslims

Fraternization of Muslims with each other, apart from the great variety of social classes, ranks, or positions, is one of the greatest and most excellent instructions upon which the religion of Islam is based. On the other hand, one of the most disgraceful offenses committed by Muslims, in the present and past ages, has been their negligence of abiding by the requirements of such Islamic fraternity.

The least requirement of this fraternity, as is expressed by Imam al-Sadiq (`a), is that a Muslim should wish for his brother what he wishes for himself and hate for him what he hates for himself.(55)

If one looks attentively at this characteristic, which is easy in the eyes of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a), one will discover that it is the most difficult matter required from Muslims of this age who are, unfortunately, far away from the genuine spirit of Islam.

Think carefully about this simple characteristic; if Muslims can supposedly consider their state fairly, recognize the reality of their religion, and abide by this characteristic of wishing for others what they wish for themselves, there shall be no place for wrongdoing, transgression, theft, dishonesty, backbiting, tale-bearing, false accusation, slander, insult, or haughtiness.

In plain words, if Muslims can think carefully and apply this characteristic of fraternity among themselves, there will be no place for injustice and oppression on this globe, human beings will be as “brethren, on raised couches, face to face”(56) after they attain the highest levels of social happiness. Moreover, the ancient philosophers’ dream of establishing a utopia will come true. When that day comes, Muslims, treating each other with mutual love and affection, will be in no need for governments, courts, police, jails, penal law, or provisions and infliction of punishment. Had they committed themselves to the requirements of fraternity, they would not have been colonized, would not have cringed before despots, would not have been ruled tyrannically, and the earth would have been totally changed into Paradise and an abode of happiness.

Furthermore, if the law of mutual love had reigned in the hearts of humanity as religion had planned to put it into practice through the teachings of fraternity, the word ‘justice’ would have been removed from all languages. We would no longer call for justice and its laws as long as there would be the law of mutual love disseminating decency, peace, happiness, and felicity among everybody. Of course, man will not need to use justice, nor will law request for it, except when mutual love flees from those who are required to treat others fairly. As for those who exchange love with us, such as our sons and brothers, we treat them excellently and give up many of our desires for their sake on the grounds of mutual love and affection, not justice and interests. The fact is that man is prone to love himself and love what is compatible with him; it is, therefore, not easy for him to love something or someone that he is not attached to.

It is also difficult for man to sacrifice his desires and lovable things for another person whom he does not love or care for except when an idea more powerful than personal desires overtakes him, such as the goodness of justice and philanthropy. Only then can man sacrifice desirable things for others. Even so, such a sacrifice is made for the sake of fulfilling other desires that are more powerful than the sacrificed desires, such as his idea about justice, which must be one of his favorite desires if not a part of his own entity.

The formation of such perfect ideas in man requires spiritual soaring over materialistic considerations. Only after man fails to form in himself the feelings of mutual fraternity and sympathy between members of his kind and himself might he realize the supreme ideal in justice and philanthropy.

The first step towards Islam is to possess feelings of fraternity for others. When a Muslim individual fails to do so, owing to the prevalence of desires and selfishness in personalities, then he must form in himself an idea about justice and philanthropy through compliance with the teachings of Islam. However, if he fails to do either, then he will not be worthy of being called a Muslim although he may claim belonging to Islam. “He will be dismissed from the circle of loyalty and obedience to Almighty Allah Who will not grant him any share of His custody,” as clearly expressed by Imam al-Sadiq (`a).

In most cases, man is overcome by his intense whims; therefore, the most difficult matter for man may be to accept the idea of justice, not to mention holding it as the perfect faith.

Therefore, the obligations of religious fraternity have been one of the most difficult teachings of Islam, especially for those who lack honest feelings toward fraternity. In view of this fact, Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq (`a), on account of his pity for the asker, deemed wise not to mention the duties towards one’s brethren-in-faith more than the necessary, lest it would be impossible for the asker, namely al-Mu`alla ibn Khunays, to carry out all the duties towards his brethren-in-faith:

Al-Mu`alla (asking Imam al-Sadiq): What are the duties of a Muslim towards other Muslims?

The Imam (`a): A Muslim enjoys seven rights that are incumbent upon other Muslims to carry out. Each of these rights is absolutely incumbent. If a Muslim violates any of these rights, he will be dismissed from the circle of loyalty and obedience to Almighty Allah Who shall not grant him any share of His custody.

Al-Mu`alla: May Allah accept me as ransom for you! What are these rights?

The Imam (`a): Indeed, I feel pity for you, al-Mu`alla! I am afraid lest you will violate these rights and neglect to put them into practice after you learn of them.

Al-Mu`alla: There is no power save Allah!

Only then did Imam al-Sadiq (`a) mention these seven duties the easiest of which, as is expressed by the Imam (`a) himself, is to wish for your brethren-in-faith what you wish for yourself and hate for them what you hate for yourself.

How astonishing! This is the easiest duty! How can we, Muslims of the present age, practise this duty on ourselves? Shame on those who claim being Muslims while they refrain from carrying out the slightest duty imposed on them towards their brothers.

What is more astonishing is that the current retardation of Muslims is attributed to Islam; while it is the fault of none except those who call themselves Muslims but do not carry out the slightest duty instructed by their religion.

In order to realize our reality as a negligent nation and in order that history will record this for us, I will mention, hereinafter, these seven rights as clarified by Imam al-Sadiq (`a):

(1) You should love for your brother-in-faith what you love for yourself and you should despise for him what you despise for yourself.

(2) You should avoid his displeasure, pursue what pleases him, and obey his command.

(3) You should help him with your self, your wealth, your tongue, your hands, and your feet.

(4) You should be his eyes, his guide, and his mirror.

(5) You should not fill your stomach whilst he is hungry, you should not quench your thirst whilst he is thirsty, and you should not clothe yourself whilst he is naked.

(6) If you should have a servant whilst he does not have one, you should send over your servant to wash his clothes and prepare his food and bedding.

(7) You should fulfill your vows to him, answer his calls, respond when he invites you, visit him when he is ill, and accompany his bier; and if he should have a need, you should rush to fulfill it and not give him the trouble to ask you for it.

The Imam (`a) then concluded his words with the following result:

When you have done all these, your friendship unites you together.(57)

There are many traditions, reported from our Holy Imams (`a), bearing the same purport of the aforementioned one. A big number of such traditions have been compiled in various sections of the book of ‘Wasa'il al-Shi`ah’.

Some people may conceive that fraternity to which the Holy Imams (`a) have referred is dedicated to brotherliness between their followers (i.e. Shi`ah) exclusively. However, a glance at their traditions as a whole cancels out this misconception despite the fact that the Holy Imams (`a), on many other occasions, have intensely condemned those who dissent from their way and reject following their guidance.

In this respect, it is sufficient to read the following narration:

Mu`awiyah ibn Wahab narrated that he, once, asked Imam al-Sadiq (`a): How should we behave with those members of our community and associates who are not following our sect?

The Imam (`a): You must imitate your Imams (`a) whom you follow, and then do exactly as they do. Truly, they (i.e. the Imams) visit the sick (among those who are not Shi`ah), present themselves in their funeral ceremonies, give upright testimony for or against them, and give them back their things that they trust with them.(58)

The kind of fraternity that the Holy Imams (`a) want from their followers is actually more refined than the general sense of fraternity in Islam. In the previous chapter while defining the true sense of Shi`ism, we referred to some narrations in this respect. However, it is sufficient to cite the following dialogue between Aban ibn Taghlib and Imam al-Sadiq (`a), as reported by Aban himself:

While I, Aban, was performing the ritual Circumambulating (tawaff) in the company of Imam al-Sadiq (`a), one of our fellows, who had previously asked me to accompany him in a mission, appeared before me. As he signaled to me, Imam al-Sadiq (`a) saw us, “Aban: Are you the one intended by that man?” asked the Imam (`a).

“Yes, I am,” I answered.

“Is he of the same faith as you?” wondered the Imam (`a).

“Yes, he is,” I answered.

“Then,” the Imam (`a) instructed, “go with him and break your circumambulation.”

“Should I do so even if the Circumambulation is obligatory?” I asked.

“Yes, you should,” he answered.

So, I went with that man. When I returned, I visited the Imam (`a) and asked him about the duties towards brethren-in-faith.

“Leave the matter. Do not ask me about it,” said the Imam (`a).

Nevertheless, I repeated the same question insistently until the Imam (`a) answered me, saying, “Aban: (the duty towards one’s brother-in-faith is that) you give him half of your fortune.”

As he looked at me and noticed my surprise, the Imam (`a) said, “Aban, you should have known that Almighty Allah has mentioned (with praise) those who give others preference over themselves?”

“Yes, I knew that,” I answered.

The Imam (`a) said, “If you give your brother-in-faith half of what you have in possession, you have not yet given him preference over yourself. But if you give him from the other half, only then have you given him preference.”(59)

Actually, our shameful state of affairs does not encourage us to consider ourselves true believers. Very remote are we from the teachings of our Holy Imams (`a). The same surprise that struck Aban may strike everyone who reads this tradition, causing him to turn his face away, to pretend that this tradition is not addressed to him, and avoid “judging himself as if he is the criminal.”Actually, our shameful state of affairs does not encourage us to consider ourselves true believers. Very remote are we from the teachings of our Holy Imams (`a). The same surprise that struck Aban may strike everyone who reads this tradition, causing him to turn his face away, to pretend that this tradition is not addressed to him, and avoid “judging himself as if he is the criminal.”

  • 1. () For more details about the philosophy, manners, worldly and religious effects, and reasons for response or rejection of du`a’, the reader is advised to refer to the following books: al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:466-595, Chapter: Kitab al-Du`a’ (Book of Supplication) –this section comprises an elaborate, comprehensive treatise on du`a’. See also al-Du`a’ `Inda Ahl al-Bayt by Muhammad Mahdi al-Asifi (contemporary); al-`Abd al-Mawla Niqat al-Tamas by Muhammad Kazim al-Kirmani, an essay issued in Risalat al-Thaqalayn Magazine, Issue No. 19-20.
  • 2. () This hadith can be found in the following reference books: al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:468, H.1, Section: bab anna al-du`a’ silah al-mu'min (Supplication: The Believers’ Weapon); `Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 1:40, H.95; al-Mustadrak `Ala al-Sahihayn by al-Hakim al-Naysaburi (AH 405), 1:492; Majma` al-Zawa'id by al-Haythami (AH. 807), 10:147, Section: bab al-istinsar bi’l-du`a’ (Seeking Aid By Means of Supplication); Musnad Abi-Ya`la al-Mawsili (AH 307), 1:344, H.439; al-Jami` al-Saghir by al-Suyuti (AH 911), 1:655, H. 4258.
  • 3. () See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:466, Chapter: Kitab al-Du`a’ Book of Supplication), Section: bab al-du`a’ wa’l-hathth `alayh (Supplication and Urging On It), H.1; al-Mujtana min Du`a’ al-Mujtaba by Ibn Tawus (AH 664), pp. 5; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 7:30-31, Section: bab istihbab ikhtiyar al-du`a’ `ala ghayrihi min al-`ibadat al-mustahabbah (The Recommendation of Preferring Supplication Over Other Recommended Acts of Worship), H.1/8625.
    In H.7/8631, it is recorded that the Holy Prophet ('a) is reported to have said:
    أفْضَلُ العِبَادَةِ الدُّعَاءُ؛ وَإذَا أذِنَ اللهُ لِعَبْدٍ فِي الدُّعَاءِ فَتَحَ لَهُ أبْوَابَ الرَّحْمَةِ. إنَّهُ لَنْ يَهْلِكَ مَعَ الدُّعَاءِ أحَدٌ.
    “The best of worship is supplication. If Almighty Allah permits a servant to supplicate to Him, He opens the doors to (His) mercy before the servant. A suppliant shall never perish.”
    See Bihar al-Anwar by al-Majlisi (AH 1111), 90:302, H. 39; al-Mustadrak `Ala al-Sahihayn by al-Hakim al-Naysaburi (AH 405), 1:491, Chapter: kitab al-du`a’ wa’l-takbir wa’l-tahlil…; al-Jami` al-Saghir by al-Suyuti (AH 911), 1:120, H.1281; Kanz al-`Ummal by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi (AH 974), 2:64, H.3134.
  • 4. () See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:468, Chapter: Kitab al-Du`a’ Book of Supplication), Section: bab al-du`a’ wa’l-hathth `alayh (Supplication and Urging On It), H.8 (In this book, the hadith is reported from Imam `Ali Amir al-Mu'minin); Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 7:31, H. 8628; Mustadrak al-Wasa'il by al-Nuri al-Tabrisi (AH 1320), 5:17, 171, H.5592, 5588; Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal (AH 241), 2:362; Sunan Ibn Majah (AH 275), 2:1258, H.3829; al-Mustadrak `Ala al-Sahihayn by al-Hakim al-Naysaburi (AH 405), 1:490, Chapter: kitab al-du`a’ wa’l-takbir wa’l-tahlil…; Kashf al-Khafa' wa-Muzil al-Ilbas by al-`Ajaluni (AH 1162), 2:169, H.2141.
  • 5. () See Qurb al-Isnad by al-Himyari al-Baghdadi (AH 300), pp. 32. In this reference book, it is recorded that Imam al-Sadiq ('a) has said:
    إنَّ الدُّعَاءَ يَرُدُّ القَضَاءَ، وإنَّ المُؤمِنَ لَيَأتِي بِالذَّنْبِ فَيُحْرَمُ بِهِ الرِّزْقَ.
    “Verily, supplication repels predestination. A believer may be deprived of sustenance due to committing a sin.
    See also al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:469; Section: bab anna al-du`a’ yaruddu al-bala' wa’l-qadha' (Supplication Repels Afflictions and Predestinations); al-Khisal by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 620; Tuhaf al-`Uqul by Ibn Shu`bah al-Harrani (the fourth century of Hijrah), pp. 110; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 7:36, Section: bab jawaz al-du`a’ biraddi al-bala' al-muqaddar wa talab taghyir qadha' al-su' wa istihbab dhalika (The Permissibility of Supplicating For Repelling A Predestined Affliction and Praying For Changing Evil Predestination and Recommendation for That); Kitab al-Du`a’ by Sulayman ibn Ahmad al-Tabarani (AH 360), pp. 30; al-Mustadrak `Ala al-Sahihayn by al-Hakim al-Naysaburi (AH 405), 3:481; al-Jami` al-Saghir by al-Suyuti (AH 911), 1:206, 655, 656, H.1390, 4262, 4265; Kanz al-`Ummal by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi (AH 974), 2, 62, 63, 69, H.3118, 3120, 3121, 3161, 3162.
  • 6. () See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:470, Section: bab anna al-du`a’ shifa' min kulli da' (Supplication: Remedy For Every Malady), 6:413; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 7:45, H.8677, Section: bab istihbab al-du`a’ `inda nuzul al-maradh wa’l-saqam (Recommendation of Supplications At Afflictions of Sicknesses and Ailments).
  • 7. () Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq ('a) is reported to have said:
    كَانَ أمِيرُ المُؤمِنِينَ  رَجُلاً دَعَّاءً.
    Amir al-Mu'minin (Imam `Ali) ('a) was seen frequently supplicating.
    See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:468, bab al-du`a’ wa’l-hathth `alayh (Supplication and Urging On It), H.8; `Uddat al-Da`i wa-Najah al-Sa`i by Ibn Fahad al-Hilli (AH 841), pp. 33, 191 (The English version of this book has been published by Ansariyan Publications under the title ‘The Asset of the Supplicant’, translated by Dr. Aqili Ashtiyani).
  • 8. () The famous supplication known as du`a’ kumayl begings with the following statement:
    اَللَّهُمَّ إنِّي أسْألُكَ بِرَحْمَتِكَ الَّتِي وَسِعَتْ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ، وَبِقُوَّتِكَ الَّتِي قَهَرْتَ بِهَا كُلَّ شَيْءٍ…
    O Allah, I ask You by Your mercy, which embraces all things; And by Your strength, through which Thou dominatest all things…
    This famous supplication, which is also called ‘du`a’ al-khadhir, has been reported by Kumayl ibn Ziyad al-Nakha`i from Imam `Ali Amir al-Mu'minin ('a). Laying emphasis on the significance of this du`a’, Imam `Ali ('a) recommended it to Kumayl saying:
    يَا كُمَيْلُ! إذَا حَفِظْتَ هَذَا الدُّعَاءَ فَادْعُ بِهِ كُلَّ لَيْلَةِ جُمُعَةٍ أوْ فِي الشَّهْرِ مَرَّةً أوْ فِي السَّنَةِ مَرَّةً أوْ فِي عُمُرِكَ مَرَّةً تُكْفَ وَتُنْصَرْ وَتُرْزَقْ وَلَنْ تَعْدِمَ المَغْفِرَةَ.
    “O Kumayl, if you memorize this du`a’, then you are recommended to say it every Thursday night, or once a month, or once a year, or once in your whole lifetime. If you do so, you will be granted protection, support and sustenance. Furthermore, you will never be deprived of forgiveness…”
    See Iqbal al-A`mal by Ibn Tawus (AH 664), pp. 220, Section No.8: fi ma yata`allaqu bishahri sha`ban al-mu`azzam (Acts Appertained to the Honored Month of Sha`ban); al-Balad al-Amin wa’l-Dir` al-Hasin by al-Kaf`ami (AH 900), pp. 265.
  • 9. () See Iqbal al-A`mal by Sayyid Ibn Tawus (AH 664), pp. 221; al-Balad al-Amin by al-Kaf`ami (AH 900), pp. 267, as well as other books of supplications.
  • 10. () Du`a’ Abi-Hamzah al-Thamali has been reported from Imam `Ali ibn al-Husayn Zayn al-`Abidin ('a). This supplication, which is advisably read in the last hours of the Ramadhan nights (sahar), begins with the following:
    إِلهِي لا تُؤَدّبْنِي بِعُقُوبَتِكَ، وَلا تَمْكُرْ بِي فِي حِيلَتِكَ، مِنْ أَيْنَ لِيَ الْخَيْرُ يَا رَبّ وَلا يُوجَدُ إِلاّ مِنْ عِنْدِكَ؟…
    “O Allah: Do not discipline me by means of Your punishment; and do not subject me to Your planned strategy. How can I attain welfare, O Lord, while it is not found anywhere save with You…”
    See al-Sahifah al-Kamilah al-Sajjadiyyah, Supplication No. 116; Muhaj al-Da`awat wa-Manhaj al-`Ibadat by Sayyid Ibn Tawus (AH 664), pp. 208; al-Balad al-Amin wa’l-Dir` al-Hasin by al-Kaf`ami (AH 900), pp. 288.
    [This du`a', as well as many other famous supplications, has been translated into English and compiled in many different books the most comprehensive of which is entitled , ‘Rites of Rajab, Sha`ban, and Ramadhan’, translated by Badr Shahin, Qum: Ansariyan Publications, 2006. (translator)]
  • 11. () This supplication is reported from Imam al-Mahdi—may Allah hasten his advent. See al-Balad al-Amin wa’l-Dir` al-Hasin by al-Kaf`ami (AH 900), pp. 480.
  • 12. () See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:473; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 7:54, H.8702, Section: bab istihbab al-iqbal bi’l-qalb halat al-du`a’ (Recommendation of Heart Presence While Supplicating); Makarim al-Akhlaq by al-Tabrisi (AH 548), pp. 270; `Uddat al-Da`i wa-Najah al-Sa`i by Ibn Fahad al-Hilli (AH 841), pp. 126; Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah by Ibn Abi’l-Hadid al-Mu`tazili (AH 656), 11:229.
    Imam `Ali Amir al-Mu'minin ('a) is reported to have said:
    إنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لاَ يَسْتَجِيبُ دُعَاءَ قَلْبٍ لاَهٍ.
    “Verily, Almighty Allah does not receive the supplication coming out of an inattentive heart.”
    Reference: al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:437.
    Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq ('a) is also reported to have said:
    إنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لاَ يَسْتَجِيبُ دُعَاءً بِظَهْرِ قَلْبٍ قَاسٍ.
    “Verily, Almighty Allah does not respond to the supplication coming out of a cruel heart.”
    Reference: al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:474.
  • 13. () According to Arabic-Arabic dictionaries, the word ‘taff’ stands for the Arab lands including the rural territories of Iraq. Exclusively, al-taff, which refers to the banks of the River Euphrates, is a land in the outskirts of al-Kufah on the outer way of the city. In this land, Imam al-Husayn ibn `Ali ('a) was slain. Reference: see Mu`jam al-Buldan by Yaqut al-Hamawi (AH 626), 4:35.
  • 14. () These two titles are the most famous among the other titles of honor by which Imam `Ali ibn al-Husayn ('a) was known. The first, namely ‘The Adornment of the Worshippers (Zayn al-`Abidin) expresses the Imam’s conspicuous worship, since he was regarded as a consummate exemplar of obedience to Almighty Allah. The second title, namely, The Master of the Prostrators (Sayyid al-Sajidin), refers to the custom of the Imam’s prostrating himself to Almighty Allah, as he was well-known of spending very long periods prostrating himself before the Almighty Lord. [translator]
  • 15. () He was such because he had witnessed the astounding tragedy of Karbala' during which the Umayyad ruler and his constabulary slew Imam al-Husayn ibn `Ali ('a), the delight of the Holy Prophet’s eye and Master of the youth of Paradise, about whom the Holy Prophet (s) said:
    حُسَيْنٌ مِنِّي وَأنَا مِنْ حُسَيْنٍ.
    “Husayn is part of me and I am part of Husayn.”
    During that shocking event, Imam Zayn al-`Abidin’s ('a) father, brothers, cousins, and their supporters were all slain. By Divine Care, Imam Zayn al-`Abidin ('a) survived that massacre because sickness had prevented him from participation in that military combat. However, he did not shun political combat against them and before the tyrant, Yazid, while he was in captivity.
  • 16. () The English version of this book is entitled “al-Sahifah al-Kamilah al-Sajjadiyyah; the Psalms of Islam,” translated by William C. Chitticks, and published by Ansariyan Publications. [translator]
  • 17. () Nahj al-Balaghah [Peak of Eloquence] is a collection of sermons, epistles, and aphorisms of Imam ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib compiled by al-Sharif al-Razi (AH 406/AD 1015). (The English version of this fabulous book is entitled ‘Peak of Eloquence’, translated by Sayyid `Ali Reza (in AD 1971), and published by Ansariyan Publications – Qum, I.R.Iran. [translator])
  • 18. () For more details about this topic, the reader is advised to refer to the following book: Ziyarat al-Qubur by `Abd al-Rahim al-Musawi (contemporary), Qum: Researches and Refutal of Spurious Arguments Committee in The Ahl al-Bayt ('a) World Assembly, First Edition, AH 1422.
  • 19. () Many narrations and traditions have been reported by both Shi`ite and Sunni reporters on the merits of visiting the tomb of the Holy Prophet (s) as well as the tombs of the saints and people of faith. For instance, Anas ibn Malik reported the Holy Prophet (s) as saying:
    مَنْ زَارَنِي مَيِّتاً فَكَأنَّمَا زَارَنِي حَيّاً. وَمَنْ زَارَ قَبْرِي وَجَبَتْ لَهُ شَفَاعَتِي يَوْمَ القِيَامَةِ. وَمَا مِنْ أحَدٍ مِنْ أُمَّتِي لَهُ سَعَةٌ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَزُرْنِي، فَلَيْسَ لَهُ عُذْرٌ.
    “Visiting my tomb after my death is the same as visiting me during my lifetime. He who visits my tomb will definitely deserve my intercession (shafa`ah) on the Day of Resurrection. Not excused is an individual of my nation who shuns visiting my tomb while having the capacity to do so.”
    This hadith is reported by Sam`an ibn al-Mahdi on the authority of Anas ibn Malik. Ibn Habban has included Sam`an with the trustworthy narrators. Al-Nassa'i has described him as ‘there is no objection found against him.’ See al-Durrah al-Thaminah fi Fadha'il al-Madinah by Ibn al-Najjar, pp. 144.
  • 20. () See Hukm al-Bina' `Ala al-Qubur (Rulings of Building on Graves) by `Abd al-Karim al-Bahbahani (contemporary), Qum: Researches and Refutal of Spurious Arguments Committee in The Ahl al-Bayt ('a) World Assembly, First Edition, AH 1422; al-Bina' `Ala Qubur al-Anbiya' wa’l-Awliya' wa-Ittikhadhuha Masajida wa-Amakina li’l-`Ibadah (Building on the Graves of the Prophets and the Saints and Betaking Them As Mosques and Places of Worship) by Murtadha al-`Askari (Book No. 8 in the series of `ala ma'idat al-qur’an wa’l-sunnah –On the Table of the Qur'an and Sunnah--), Tehran: Islamic Scientific Assembly, First Edition, AH 1417.
  • 21. () See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 4:567, Section: bab masjid ghadir Khumm, H. 2; Kamil al-Ziyarat by Ibn Qawlawayh al-Qummi (AH 368), pp. 237, H.352; Man La Yahdhuruhu’l-Faqih by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 2:577, H.3160; `Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 1:292, H. 24, Section: bab fi dhikr thawab ziyarat al-imam `ali ibn musa al-ridha (The Rewards of Visiting Imam `Ali ibn Musa al-Ridha).
  • 22. () Let us quote here selections from this famous ziyarah:
    اَلسَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ يا أَمينَ اللهِ في أَرْضِهِ وَحُجَّتَهُ عَلى عِبادِهِ. اَلسَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ يا أَميرَ الْمُؤْمِنينَ. أَشْهَدُ أَنَّكَ جاهَدْتَ فِي اللهِ حَقَّ جِهادِهِ وَعَمِلْتَ بِكِتابِهِ… اَللّهُمَّ فَاجْعَلْ نَفْسى مُطْمَئِنَّةً بِقَدَرِكَ، راضِيَةً بِقَضَائِكَ، مُولَعَةً بِذِكْرِكَ وَدُعَائِكَ، مُحِبَّةً لِصَفْوَةِ أَوْلِيَائِكَ، مَحْبُوبَةً فى أَرْضِكَ وَسَمَائِكَ، صابِرَةً عَلى نُزُولِ بَلائِكَ، شاكِرَةً لِفَواضِلِ نَعْمَائِكَ، ذاكِرَةً لِسَوابِغِ آلائِكَ، مُشْتاقَةً إِلى فَرْحَةِ لِقَائِكَ، مُتَزَوِّدَةً التَّقْوى لِيَوْمِ جَزَائِكَ… اَللّهُمَّ إِنَّ قُلُوبَ الُْمخْبِتينَ إِلَيْكَ والِهَةٌ، وَسُبُلَ الرّاغِبينَ إِلَيْكَ شارِعَةٌ، وَأَعْلامَ الْقاصِدينَ إِلَيْكَ واضِحَةٌ…
    “Peace be on you, O trusted guardian, appointed by Allah, to administer His earth and to maintain His argument against His creatures. Peace be on you, O Commander of Believers. I testify that you made utmost efforts, as needed, in the cause of Allah, and acted upon His Book… O Allah: let me be happy and satisfied with what You consider good for me, let me agree with what You decide for me, let me passionately remember You, and invoke You. Fill my heart with love for Your pure and sincere servants. Let me be well-liked and respected on the earth, and in the heavens, let me be unruffled and well-composed in the midst of misfortunes, let me be gratefully thankful in prosperity, let me be mindful of much and more bounties, let me ardently desire the heart warming meeting with You… O Allah: verily, the hearts of those who surrender to You are full of passionate love; the path of those who long for You is the straight road, the instructions given by those who lean on You are distinct and precise…”
  • 23. () See Kamil al-Ziyarat by Ibn Qawlawayh al-Qummi (AH 368), pp. 92, H.1, Section No. 11; al-Mazar al-Kabir by Ibn al-Mashhadi (AH 610), pp. 282, Section: al-ziyarah al-mukhtassah bi-yawm al-ghadir (The Ziyarah Dedicated to the Ghadir Day); Iqbal al-A`mal by Ibn Tawus (AH 664), pp. 786, Chapter: fi ziyarat al-amir yawma al-ghadir (Ziyarah of Amir al-Mu'minin on the Ghadir Day); al-Balad al-Amin wa’l-Dir` al-Hasin by al-Kaf`ami (AH 900), pp. 416; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 14:359, H.19451.
  • 24. () Imam `Ali Amir al-Mu'minin ('a) is reported to have said:
    تَنَظَّفُوا بِالمَاءِ وَتَعَهَّدوا أنفُسَكُمْ، فَإنَّ اللهَ يَبْغَضُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ القَاذُورَةَ الَّذِي يَتَأفَّفُ بِهِ مَنْ جَلَسَ إلَيْهِ.
    Remove bad odors with water and keep your bodies clean, because Almighty Allah hates His servants to be dirty and give off bad odor that nauseates their associates.
    Reference: Tuhaf al-`Uqul by Ibn Shu`bah al-Harrani (the fourth century of Hijrah), pp.110.
  • 25. () This supplication is reported from Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq ('a). See Kamil al-Ziyarat by Ibn Qawlawayh al-Qummi (AH 368), pp. 345, H.583, Section: bab man ightasala fi’l-furat wa-zara al-husayn (Washing Oneself In The Euphrates and Visiting al-Husayn ('a)).
    However, the author of this book has reported this supplication with a little difference from this reference book as well as other reference books. There is a less different version of the same supplication recorded by Shaykh al-Tusi (AH 460) in his book of Tahdhib al-Ahkam, 6:45, Section: bab fadhl al-ghusl li’l-ziyarah (Merits of Washing Oneself Before Visiting the Holy Shrines).
  • 26. () See al-Mazar by al-Shahid al-Awwal (AH 786), pp. 50; Bihar al-Anwar by al-Majlisi (AH 1111), 97:288; Manasik al-Mazar by Shaykh al-Mufid (AH 413), pp. 211, Section: bab ma yaqulu al-za’ir `an akhihi tatawwu`an (Voluntary Utterance of A Pilgrim On Behalf Of A Brother-In-Faith); al-Mazar by Ibn al-Mashhadi (AH 610), pp. 597, Section No. 2: ma yaqulu al-za’ir `an ghayrihi bi’l-ajri wa ma yaqulu `an akhihi tatawwu`an (Utterances of A Pilgrim On Behalf Of Others For A Wage, And On Behalf Of One’s Brother-In-Faith Voluntarily).
  • 27. () This is an indication to the following holy verse:

    وَلَا تَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ قُتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ أَمْوَاتًا ۚ بَلْ أَحْيَاءٌ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ يُرْزَقُونَ

    And reckon not those who are killed in Allah's way as dead; nay, they are alive (and) are provided sustenance from their Lord. (3/169)

  • 28. () This is Imam Muhammad al-Baqir’s communiqué to his followers. See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:176. The same tradition has been recorded in other reference books but with little difference, such as in Musadaqat al-Ikhwan by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 34; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 12:7, H.15501; al-Hikayat by Shaykh al-Mufid (AH 413), pp. 92; Mustatrafat al-Sara'ir by Ibn Idris al-Hilli (AH 598), pp. 625-626.
  • 29. () This statement is one of Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq’s ('a) instructions to his followers. See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:105, H. 10, Section: bab al-sidq wa-ada' al-amanah (Honesty and Fulfillment of Trusts). A similar tradition is mentioned in 2:77, 78, 105; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 12:162, H.15955, Section: bab wujub al-sidq (Obligation of Honesty); Mishkat al-Anwar fi Ghurar al-Akhbar by al-Tabrisi (the seventh century of Hijrah), pp. 30.
  • 30. () See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:174. A similar tradition is mentioned in Kitab al-Mu'min by al-Kufi al-Ahwazi (before AH 300), pp. 44 (The English version of this book is entitled ‘Kitab al-Mu'min: The Book of the Believer’; Qum: Ansariyan Publications, 2002); Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 5:120, H. 6090 & 9:428, H.12406.
  • 31. () See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:77, Section: bab al-wara` (Piety), H.6. The last paragraph of the tradition in which Imam al-Sadiq ('a) mentions the qualities of his real followers are recorded in al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:236, Section: bab al-mu'min `alamatuhu wa sifatuhu (Features and Qualities of Believers), H.23; Sharh al-Akhbar by al-Qadhi al-Nu`man al-Maghribi (AH 363), 3:503, H.1445; Ikhtiyar Ma`rifat al-Rijal by Shaykh al-Tusi (AH 460), 2:525; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 15:244, H.20398.
  • 32. () See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:78, Section: bab al-wara` (Piety), H.10. A similar tradition is mentioned in Sharh al-Akhbar by al-Qadhi al-Nu`man al-Maghribi (AH 363), 3:501, H.1437; Mustatrafat al-Sara'ir by Ibn Idris al-Hilli (AH 598), pp. 639; Mishkat al-Anwar fi Ghurar al-Akhbar by al-Tabrisi (the seventh century of Hijrah), pp. 138.
  • 33. () See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:78, Section: bab al-wara` (Piety), H.13; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 15:243, H.20391, Section: bab wujub al-wara` (Obligation of Piety), H.1; Alfu Hadithin fi’l-Mu'min by al-Najafi (contemporary), pp. 261, H.786.
  • 34. () See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:79, Section: bab al-wara` (Piety), H.15; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 15:246, H.204040, Section: bab wujub al-wara` (Obligation of Piety).
  • 35. () See al-Khisal by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 295-296, Section: bab al-khamsah: khamsun ma athqalahunna fi’l-mizan (The Five Weightiest Things In the Divine Scale), H.63; Sifat al-Shi`ah by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 11; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 15:251, H.20425, Section: bab wujub al-`iffah (Obligation of Chastity), H.13.
    Imam al-Sadiq ('a) is reported to have said, “The Shi`ah of `Ali are those who practice chastity as regards their stomachs… etc.”
    See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:233, Section: bab al-mu'min `alamatuhu wa sifatuhu (Features and Qualities of Believers), H.9; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 1:86, H.204, Section: bab ta'akkud istihbab al-jidd wa’l-ijtihad fi’l-`ibadah (Confirmation on the Recommendation of Hardwork and Painstakingness in Worship), H.7; Mishkat al-Anwar fi Ghurar al-Akhbar by al-Tabrisi (the seventh century of Hijrah), pp. 119.
    To identify a true Shi`ite and loyalist of the Ahl al-Bayt ('a), the reader is advised to see al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), Section: bab al-mu'min `alamatuhu wa sifatuhu (Features and Qualities of Believers), H.1 in which Imam `Ali Amir al-Mu'minin ('a) mentions about one hundred features of true believers.
  • 36. ()Al-Mubarrad and Ibn `A'ishah narrated the following:
    A Syrian man went on reviling Imam al-Hasan ('a) who was riding an animal. The Imam ('a) kept silent until the Syrian man finished. He then approached him and said, with a smile: “Old man! I think you are a foreigner. You might be wrong. If you admonish us, we will pardon your ignorance. If you ask us for something, we will give it to you. If you seek our guidance, we will lead you. If you ask us to load something on your riding animal, we will assist you. If you are hungry, we will supply you with food. If you are naked, we will clothe you. If you are needy, we will satisfy your need. If you are a fugitive, we will provide for you. I now request you to drive your animal towards our residence so that you can be our guest until you decide to leave. This will be better for you. We have a large residence, a remarkable position, and an abundant fortune.”
    As he heard the words of the Imam ('a), the Syrian man wept and said, “It is surely true that Allah knows best who is the worthiest to convey His message. Previously, your father and you were the most hated creatures of God for me. But now, you are the dearest.”
    He then turned towards the residence of the Imam and was his guest until he left, filled with awe and affection for the Ahl al-Bayt ('a).
    Reference: Manaqib Al Abi-Talib by Ibn Shahr Ashub (AH 588), 3:184. The same story, yet will little difference in words, is cited in Kashf al-Ghummah by al-Arbali (AH 693), 2:184.
  • 37. () See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:334, Section: bab al-zulm (Injustice), H.17; Thawab al-A`mal wa `Iqab al-A`mal by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 274. A similar tradition is mentioned in Makarim al-Akhlaq by al-Tabrisi (AH 548), pp. 332.
  • 38. () See Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 17:177, Section: bab ma`unat al-zalimin walaw bi-maddati qalam wa-talab ma fi aydihim min al-zulm (Assistance of the Oppressors Even By Extending A Pen To Them And Desiring For Their Oppression); Mustadrak al-Wasa'il by al-Nuri al-Tabrisi (AH 1320), 13:122; al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 5:108, Section: bab `amal al-sultan wa-jawa'izuhum (Working With The Rulers And Receiving Their Rewards).
    The Holy Prophet (s) is also reported to have said:
    مَنْ تَوَلَّى خُصُومَةَ ظَالِمٍ أوْ أعَانَ عَلَيْهَا ثُمَّ نَزَلَ بِهِ مَلَكُ المَوْتِ، قَالَ لَهُ: أبْشِرْ بِلَعْنَةِ اللهِ وَنَارِ جَهَنَّمَ، وَبِئْسَ المَصِيرُ.
    “As for those who hold positions in an unjust government or assist its members, the Angel of Death will receive them with the following words: ‘Ahead of you is Allah’s curse and Hellfire: a hapless journey’s end!’”
    مَنْ دَلَّ جَائِراً عَلَى جَوْرٍ كَانَ قَرِينَ هَامَانَ فِي جَهَنَّمَ.
    “He who guides an oppressor towards an act of injustice shall be the companion of Haman (Pharaoh’s assistant) in Hellfire.”
    Reference: al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 513.
  • 39. () See Tuhaf al-`Uqul by Ibn Shu`bah al-Harrani (the fourth century of Hijrah), pp. 275-276; Bihar al-Anwar by al-Majlisi (AH 1111), 75:132-133, H. 2, Section: bab wasaya `ali ibn al-husayn wa mawa`izuhu wa hikamuhu (Instructions, Sermons, and Aphorisms of `Ali ibn al-Husayn); Man La Yahdhuruhu’l-Faqih by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 4:483.
  • 40. () This statement, the translation of ‘ju`iltu fidaka’, was usually said in the presence of the Holy Imams ('a) to express loyalty to them. I thus pray to Almighty Allah to grant us the opportunity to address the Imam of our age, al-Mahdi (may Allah hasten his advent) with this statement. [translator]
  • 41. () See Man La Yahdhuruhu’l-Faqih by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 4:436; Ikhtiyar Ma`rifat al-Rijal (also called Rijal al-Kashshi) by al-Tusi (AH 460), 2:740; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 17:182, H.22305.
  • 42. () In Tuhaf al-`Uqul, by Ibn Shu`bah al-Harrani (the fourth century of Hijrah), pp. 332, under the title: tafsir ma`na al-wilayat (Explanation of Work in Governmental Offices), Imam al-Sadiq’s ('a) words, from which the aforementioned paragraph is quoted, are as follows:
    وَأمَّا وَجْهُ الحَرَامِ مِنَ الوِلايَةِ: فَوِلاَيَةُ الوَالِي الجَائِرِ وَوِلاَيَةُ وُلاتِهِ؛ الرَّئِيسِ مَنْهُمْ، وَأتْبَاعِ الوَالِي فَمَنْ دُونَهُ مِنْ وُلاةِ الوُلاةِ إلَى أدْنَاهُمْ باباً مِنْ أبْوَابِ الوِلايَةِ عَلَى مَنْ هُوَ وَالٍ عَلَيْهِ وَالعَمَلُ لَهُمْ وَالكَسْبُ مَعَهُمْ بِجِهَةِ الوِلايَةِ لَهُمْ حَرَامٌ وَمُحَرَّمٌ، مُعَذَّبٌ مَنْ فَعَلَ ذَلِكَ عَلَى قَلِيلٍ مِنْ فِعْلِهِ أوْ كَثِيرٍ، لأنَّ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ مِنْ جِهَةِ المَعُونَةِ مَعْصِيَةٌ كَبِيرَةٌ مِنَ الكَبَائِرِ، وَذَلِكَ أنَّ فِي وِلايَةِ الوَالِي الجَائِرِ دُرُوسَ الحَقِّ كُلِّهِ وَإحْيَاءَ البَاطِلِ كُلِّهِ وَإظْهَارَ الظُّلْمِ وَالجَوْرِ وَالفَسَادِ وَإبْطَالَ الكُتُبِ وَقَتْلَ الأنْبِيَاءِ وَالمُؤمِنِينَ وَهَدْمَ المَسَاجِدِ وَتَبْدِيلَ سُنَّةِ اللهِ وَشَرَائِعِهِ. فَلِذَلِكَ حُرِّمَ العَمَلُ مَعَهُمْ وَمَعُونَتُهُمْ وَالكَسْبُ مَعَهُمْ إلاَّ بِجِهَةِ الضَّرُورَةِ نَظِيرَ الضَّرُورَةِ إلَى الدَّمِ وَالمَيْتَةِ.
    To hold an office with the despotic ruler or with his deputy and his assistants beginning with the chief down to the novice, and to work with them and gain earnings from them are prohibited and illegal; and those who hold such office, be it chief or minor, will suffer punishment. Every act that is seen as support for the unjust rulers is an act of disobedience (to Almighty Allah) and a grand sin, because to hold an office in the government of despotic rulers wholly eradicates the right and wholly enlivens the wrong. It also spreads injustice, oppression, and corruption, breaks the laws of the Divine Books, kills the prophets and believers, destroys mosques, and distorts God’s norms and principles. For that reason, it is prohibited to work with them, support them, and seek earnings from them except in cases of necessity that are similar to the necessity of having blood or meat of corpses.
    In Bihar al-Anwar by al-Majlisi (AH 1111), 100:45, Section: bab jawami` al-makasib al-muharramah wa’l-muhallalah (General Lawful and Unlawful Revenues), this narration begins with, “In the government of the unjust ruler, the good is eliminated…”
  • 43. () In the book of Munyat al-Murid fi Adab al-Mufid wa’l-Mustafid by al-Shahid al-Thani (AH 966), pp. 164, and Bihar al-Anwar by al-Majlisi (AH 1111), 72:350, Section: bab ahwal al-muluk wa’l-umara' (Manners of the Kinds and Emirs) and on page 381, Section: bab al-rukun ila al-zalimin wa hubbuhum wa ta`atuhum (Leaning On Unjust Rulers and Loving and Obeying Them), H.46, this tradition is reported from Imam al-Ridha ('a) with little difference.
  • 44. See Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili; Section: Kitab al-Bay`, Chapter No. 78.
  • 45. () Referring to factors that remove rancor, the Holy Prophet (s) is reported to have said:
    حُسْنُ البِشْرِ يَذْهَبُ بِالسَّخِيمَةِ.
    “Happy mien removes rancor.”
    تَصَافَحُوا، فَإنَّ التَّصَافُحَ يُذْهِبُ السَّخِيمَةَ.
    “Shake hands with each other, for it removes rancor.”
    Reference: Tuhaf al-`Uqul, by Ibn Shu`bah al-Harrani (the fourth century of Hijrah), pp. 45, 55.
    The Holy Prophet (s) is also reported to have said:
    الهَدِيَّةُ تُذْهِبُ السَّخِيمَةَ.
    “Presents remove rancor.”
    Reference: `Awali al-La’ali by Ibn Abi-Jumhur (app. AH 880), 1:294, H.181.
  • 46. () There is not enough space in this footnote to mention all the reference books that have mentioned the famous Hadith al-Ghadir and its ways of narration, because they are too numerous to be mentioned in such a brief thesis. However, the reader may kindly refer to the footnotes written by Shaykh Husayn al-Radhi in the margins of the book of al-Muraja`at: Reciprocal Correspondences Between Shaykh Salim al-Bishri, the Head of al-Azhar University, and Sayyid Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi al-`Amili; revised by Husayn al-Radhi, Qum: The Ahl al-Bayt ('a) World Assembly, First Edition, AH 1422. See Letter No. 53 and on, pp. 179 and footnote No. 2 of chapter 29 of this book.
    For further details, refer to Mawsu`at al-Ghadir (Encyclopedia of Ghadir) by al-Amini al-Najafi (AH 1392): comprising eleven volumes along with revision.
  • 47. () See Nahj al-Balaghah, revised by Shaykh Muhammad `Abduh, 3:119, Letter No. 62.
  • 48. () This saying of `Umar ibn al-Khattab has been so famous because it was repeated on various occasions and in different forms such as the following:
    “May Allah never keep me alive to face a problem while Abu’l-Hasan is not there to solve it.”
    “O Allah: please do not keep me alive to face a problem while Abu’l-Hasan is not there to solve it.”
    “I seek Allah’s protection against my facing a problem while Abu’l-Hasan is not there to solve it.”
    “May I never live to face a problem while Abu’l-Hasan is not there to solve it.”
    “May Allah never keep me alive after you.”
    “I pray to Allah to protect me against any problem while `Ali is absent.”
    Besides, there are numerous similar statements of `Umar ibn al-Khattab to Imam `Ali ('a). See Dala'il al-Imamah by al-Tabari (the early fourth century of Hijrah), pp. 22; Sharh al-Akhbar by al-Qadhi al-Nu`man al-Maghribi (AH 363), 2:317, H.651, pp.565, H.651; Kitab al-Irshad by Shaykh al-Mufid (AH 413), 1:204; Manaqib Al Abi-Talib by Ibn Shahr Ashub (AH 588), 1:311, 2:182; al-`Umdah by Ibn al-Bitriq al-Asadi al-Hilli (app. AH 600), pp. 257; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 28:108, H.34333, Section: thubut al-zina bi’l-iqrar arba`a marrat (Provability Of Fornication By Four-Time Self-Confession), No. 7; al-Tabaqat al-Kubra by Ibn Sa`d (AH 230), 2:239; al-Manaqib by al-Khawarizmi (AH 568), pp. 96-97, H.97, 98; Tarikh Madinat Dimashq by Ibn `Asakir (AH 571), 25:369, 42:406; Usd al-Ghabah by Ibn al-Athir (AH 630), 4:23; Dhakha'ir al-`Uqba fi Manaqib Dhawi’l-Qurba by Ahmad ibn `Abdullah al-Tabari (AH 694), pp. 82; Tahdhib al-Kamal by al-Mazzi (AH 742), 20:485; Nuzum Durar al-Simtayn by al-Zarandi al-Hanafi (AH 750), pp. 131-132; al-Bidayah wa’l-Nihayah by Ibn Kathir al-Dimashqi (AH 774), 7:397; al-Isabah fi Tamyiz al-Sahabah by Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani (AH 852), 4:467, No. 5704: Biography of `Ali ibn Abi-Talib; Fath al-Bari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari by Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani (AH 852), 13:286; Yanabi` al-Mawaddah li-Dhawi’l-Qurba by al-Qanaduzi al-Hanafi (AH 1294), 1:227; H.57, 58; Faydh al-Qadir Sharh al-Jami` al-Saghir by al-Mannawi (AH 1331), 4:470, H.5594.

    For more information, the reader may refer to the book of al-Imam `Ali fi Ara' al-Khulafa' (Imam `Ali in the Views of the Caliphs) by Mahdi Faqih «mani (contemporary), pp. 93 and on. The author of this book has referred to tens of reference books and ways of narrations in this respect.

  • 49. () See al-«dhah by Ibn Shadhan al-Azdi (AH 260), pp. 192; Dala'il al-Imamah by al-Tabari (the fourth century of Hijrah), pp. 22; al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 7:424, Section: bab al-nawadir (Exceptional Narrations), H.6; Man La Yahdhuruhu’l-Faqih by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 4:36, H.5052; Khasa'is al-A'immah by al-Sharif al-Radhi (AH 406), pp. 85; al-Ikhtisas by Shaykh al-Mufid (AH 413), pp. 111; Kashf al-Yaqin fi Fadha'il Amir al-Mu'minin by `Allamah al-Hilli (AH 726), pp. 62; Fadha'il al-Khamsah min al-Sihah al-Sittah by al-FayruzAbadi, 2:309; al-Manaqib by al-Khawarizmi (AH 568), pp. 81, H.65; Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah by Ibn Abi’l-Hadid al-Mu`tazili (AH 656), 1:18, 141, 12:179, 205, 206; al-Riyadh al-Nadhirah fi Fadha'il al-`Asharah by Ahmad ibn `Abdullah al-Tabari (AH 694), pp. 82; Nuzum Durar al-Simtayn by al-Zarandi al-Hanafi (AH 750), pp. 130, 133; Kanz al-`Ummal by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi (AH 975), 10:300, H.29509; Yanabi` al-Mawaddah li-Dhawi’l-Qurba by al-Qanaduzi al-Hanafi (AH 1294), 1:216, 227, 2:172, 3:147; Faydh al-Qadir by al-Mannawi (AH 1331), 4:470, H.5594. See also al-Imam `Ali fi Ara' al-Khulafa' by Mahdi Faqih «mani.
  • 50. () For details about this issue, the gentle reader is advised to refer to Sulh al-Hasan (The Truce of al-Hasan) by Radhi Al-Yasin, Beirut: al-Nu`man Foundation, AH 1412, AD 1991.
  • 51. () See al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah by Imam `Ali ibn al-Husayn Zayn al-`Abidin (AH 94), Supplication No. 27.
  • 52. () How magnificent this supplication is! More than any other age, Muslims in the present day are required to repeat and learn lessons from this supplication and to entreat Almighty Allah earnestly to unify their words, unite their lines, and illumine their intellects. [The Author]
  • 53. () See al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 418, H.554/21; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 16:220, H.21406, Section: bab wujub ta`at al-sultan for taqiyyah (The Obligation of Obeying the Rulers for Taqiyyah); Bihar al-Anwar by al-Majlisi (AH 1111), 72:369, Section: bab al-rukun ila al-zalimin wa hubbuhum wa ta`atuhum (Leaning On Unjust Rulers and Loving and Obeying Them).
  • 54. () This famous hadith has been reported in many different forms, yet similar in meaning. See Man La Yahdhuruhu’l-Faqih by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 4:93, H.5151; Tuhaf al-`Uqul by Ibn Shu`bah al-Harrani (the fourth century), pp. 34; `Awali al-La’ali by al-Ihsa'i (app. AH 880), 1:222, H.98 & 2:113, H.309 & 3:473, H.1, Section: bab al-ghasb (Usurpation); Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 14:572; Bahjat al-Nufus by al-Azdi, 2:134, 4:111; Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal (AH 241), 5:72; Ahkam al-Qur'an by al-Jassas (AH 370), 2:216, 224, 241, 3:415, 433, 434, 589, 599; I`jaz al-Qur'an by al-Baqillani (AH 403), pp. 131; al-Sunan al-Kubra by al-Bayhaqi (AH 458), 8:182.
  • 55. () See al-Mahasin by al-Barqi (AH 274 or 280), 1:72, Section: bab al-Sittah (The Six); Kanz al-Fawa'id by al-Karajaki (AH 449), pp. 141; al-Amali by al-Shaykh al-Tusi (AH 460), pp. 478, H.1043, Session No. 17, H.12; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 12:211, 212, 213, H.16111, 16113, 16114, Section: bab ada' haqq al-mu'min wa jumlatun min huquqihi al-wajibah wa’l-mandubah (Fulfillment of the Believers’ Rights; Some Obligatory and Recommended Rights of the Believers), H.21, 23, 24; Bihar al-Anwar by al-Majlisi (AH 1111), 27:89, H.41 & 71:226, 235, 236, H.16, 17, 32, 36…; Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal (AH 241), 1:89, 3:176, 206, 272, 278, 289; Sunan al-Darimi (AH 255), 2:307, Section: bab la yu'minu ahadukum hatta yuhibba li-akhihi… (One Is Faithless Before Loving For His Brother-In-Faith What One Loves For Oneself); Sahih al-Bukhari (AH 256), 1:9, Section: bab min al-iman an yuhibba li-akhihi ma yuhibbu li-nafsihi (To Love For Brethren-In-Faith What One Loves For Oneself Is Part Of Faith); Sahih Muslim (AH 261), 1:48; Sunan Ibn Majah (AH 275), 26:66, Section: bab fi’l-iman (Faith); Sunan al-Tirmidhi (AH 279), 4:76, H.2634; al-Sunan al-Kubra by al-Nassa'i (AH 303), 8:115, 125, Section: `alamat al-mu'min (Distinctive Features of True Believers).
  • 56. () This is a metaphorical phrase quoted from the following holy verse:

    وَنَزَعْنَا مَا فِي صُدُورِهِمْ مِنْ غِلٍّ إِخْوَانًا عَلَىٰ سُرُرٍ مُتَقَابِلِينَ

    And We will root out whatever of rancor is in their breasts-- (they shall be) as brethren, on raised couches, face to face. (15/47)

  • 57.
    () See Kitab al-Mu'min by al-Husayn ibn Sa`id al-Kufi al-Ahwazi (before AH 300), pp. 40; al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:172, Section: bab haqq al-mu'min `ala akhihi wa ada' haqqih (Rights of Believers Upon One Another and the Meeting of These Rights), H.2; Musadaqat al-Ikhwan by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 42, H.4, Section: bab huquq al-ikhwan ba`dhuhum `ala ba`dh (Reciprocal Rights of Brethren-In-Faith); Rawdhat al-Wa`izin by al-Fattal al-Naysaburi (AH 508), pp. 291, Session: fi dhikr manaqib ashab al-a'immati wa fadha'il al-shi`ah wa’l-abdal (Merits of the Holy Imam’ Companions; Merits of the Shi`ah and the Substitutes); Mishkat al-Anwar fi Ghurar al-Akhbar by al-Tabrisi (the seventh century of Hijrah), pp. 47, Chapter Four: fi manzilat al-shi`ah `inda allah wa huququhum wa ma yajibu an yakunu `alayhi (The Shi`ah Position Near Allah and their Rights and How They Should Be) & pp. 336; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 12:205, H.16097, Section: bab ada' haqq al-mu'min wa jumlatun min huquqihi al-wajibah wa’l-mandubah (Fulfillment of the Believers’ Rights; Some Obligatory and Recommended Rights of the Believers), H.7.
  • 58. () See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:636, H.4, Section: bab ma yajibu min al-mu`asharah (Obligatory Matters of Association); Mishkat al-Anwar fi Ghurar al-Akhbar by al-Tabrisi (the seventh century of Hijrah), pp. 134; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 12:6, H.15497, Section: bab `ishrat al-nas (Association With People), H.3.
  • 59. () See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:172, Section: fi anna al-tawakhi lam yaqa` `ala al-din wa innama huwa al-ta`aruf (Brotherhood Is Not On Account of Religion Only; Rather It Is Association), H.8; Musadaqat al-Ikhwan by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 281), pp. 38-40, Section: bab huquq al-ikhwan ba`dhuhum `ala ba`dh (Reciprocal Rights of Brethren-In-Faith), H.2; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 12:209, H.16106, Section: wujub ada' haqq al-mu'min… (The Obligation of Fulfilling the Believers’ Rights), H.16 & 13:384 H.18018, Section: bab jawaz qat` al-tawaff al-mandub mutlaqan…

Part 5: Eschatology

Our Doctrines Concerning:

Resurrection and Final Assemblage

Somatic Resurrection

Resurrection and Final Assemblage

We believe that Almighty Allah will resurrect people after their death on the day that He has promised so as to reward the obedient and punish the disobedient.

All Divine religions and philosophers have unanimously agreed upon this matter; therefore, a Muslim has no alternative but to profess this belief on the strength of its being a Qur'anic belief conveyed to us by the Holy Prophet (s). In view of that, he who believes in Almighty Allah decisively and believes in Muhammad (s) as His Messenger whom He has sent with true guidance and the Religion of Truth, must believe in what has been conveyed by the Holy Qur'an, such as the Resurrection, Reward and Punishment, Paradise and Bliss, Fire and Hell. The Holy Qur'an has, both openly and suggestively, declared this in about one thousand verses.

If one merely doubts this belief, he surely doubts the Bearer of the Mission or doubts the existence and power of the Creator of all beings. Moreover, to doubt the Resurrection comes from suspecting the origin of all religions and the authenticity of all Divine codes of law.If one merely doubts this belief, he surely doubts the Bearer of the Mission or doubts the existence and power of the Creator of all beings. Moreover, to doubt the Resurrection comes from suspecting the origin of all religions and the authenticity of all Divine codes of law.

Somatic Resurrection

The belief in somatic resurrection (after death) is one of the fundamentals of Islam to which the Holy Qur'an has referred openly:

أَيَحْسَبُ الْإِنْسَانُ أَلَّنْ نَجْمَعَ عِظَامَهُ بَلَىٰ قَادِرِينَ عَلَىٰ أَنْ نُسَوِّيَ بَنَانَهُ

What! Does man reckon We shall not gather his bones? Yes, indeed, We are able to shape again his fingertips. (75/3-4)

أَفَعَيِينَا بِالْخَلْقِ الْأَوَّلِ ۚ بَلْ هُمْ فِي لَبْسٍ مِنْ خَلْقٍ جَدِيدٍ

Were We then fatigued with the first creation? Yet are they in doubt with regard to a new creation. (50/15)

To state it succinctly, somatic resurrection is no more than that man's terrestrial body will be revived, on the Day of Resurrection, after having been destroyed, and it will return to its first form after it has turned to dust in the earth.

It is not necessary to believe in the details of the somatic resurrection; rather, it is required to believe in it in its simple form as is revealed by the Holy Qur'an and to believe in its accompanying matters, such as the Judgment, the Discriminating Bridge (sirat), the Balance (mizan), Paradise, Hell, Reward, and Punishment in an amount not exceeding the Qur'anic details:

It is not obligatory to acquaint oneself with the inspected knowledge of these subjects, which cannot be attained except by well-versed specialists, such as familiarity with the answers of the following questions:

Will bodies be restored to life in their very essences; or will structures resembling these bodies be created? Will souls be exposed to perdition, just like bodies; or will they continue to live until they reunite with the bodies on the Day of Resurrection? Is Resurrection restricted to human kind; or is it applicable to all species? When Almighty Allah will command the restoration of bodies to life, will they be restored suddenly or gradually?

Although it is obligatory to believe in Paradise and Hell, it is not obligatory to know whether they are already existent or they will be created afterward; whether they are in the skies or on earth or whether one of them is on earth while the other is in the skies. Similarly, it is obligatory to believe in the Balance (prepared for weighing the good and evil deeds of people and then comparing them), but it is not obligatory to believe whether this balance will be an actual weighing apparatus with two scale pans or it is only metaphoric. It is also not obligatory to know whether the Discriminating Bridge is a material object or it only stands for moral integrity.

To sum it up, it is not conditional, in professing Islam, to know whether these things are material bodies or not…(1)

Islam simply demands faith in the Resurrection and Final Assemblage. If anyone tries to exceed this to acquaint oneself with details surpassing what has been mentioned in the Holy Qur'an so as to be convinced and refute the spurious arguments of some skeptical researchers, who demand a rational explanation of the Resurrection, one will definitely involve oneself in unnecessary complications and fall into endless troubles and disputation.

Moreover, nothing in the religion of Islam instigates searching for such details with which the books of theologians and fake philosophers are replete. There is also no religious, social, or political need for such disputatious essays with which books are full in a meaningless way and which have exhausted the efforts of their writers, grasped their times, and strained their thinking uselessly.

To refute such spurious and skeptical arguments aroused about the details of Resurrection, it is sufficient to know that man naturally fails to comprehend unseen matters that are beyond his horizon and above his terrestrial level, keeping in mind that Almighty Allah, the All-powerful and All-Knowing, has informed us that somatic resurrection shall come to happen.

An undeniable fact; human sciences, experiments, and researches can never approach matters beyond man’s experience and examination except after man dies and leaves this terrestrial world of tangibility, experimentalism, and research. How is it then expected from man, who forms his opinions about things through the scope of his thinking and experience, to judge the authenticity or inaccuracy of such matters or to deal with their details and peculiarities? This is impossible unless man depends upon personal predictions and intuitions, or regards such things as improbable and strange. This is the nature of man; he finds strange anything that he has not known, experienced, or perceived before, just like one who, pushed by ignorance, finds the Resurrection and thus asks:

قَالَ مَنْ يُحْيِي الْعِظَامَ وَهِيَ رَمِيمٌ

Who shall quicken the bones when they have decayed? (36/78)

The only reason for such amazement is that man has never seen any decayed or rotten corpse brought back to life. Yet, he forgets to think about how he was initially created after he had been nothing and how the components of his body were composed from the dust of the earth and the other matters carried by it and from the space and its contents until he became a perfect, intelligent, and speaking human being. Referring to this fact, the Holy Qur'an puts forth the following question:

أَوَلَمْ يَرَ الْإِنْسَانُ أَنَّا خَلَقْنَاهُ مِنْ نُطْفَةٍ فَإِذَا هُوَ خَصِيمٌ مُبِينٌ

وَضَرَبَ لَنَا مَثَلًا وَنَسِيَ خَلْقَهُ ۖ قَالَ مَنْ يُحْيِي الْعِظَامَ وَهِيَ رَمِيمٌ

Has not man regarded how We created him of a sperm-drop? Then lo! He becomes a manifest adversary. He strikes for us a similitude and forgets his own creation. (36/77-78)

He who finds strange the restoration to life while he has forgotten his creation must be answered with the following holy verse:

قُلْ يُحْيِيهَا الَّذِي أَنْشَأَهَا أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ ۖ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ خَلْقٍ عَلِيمٌ

Say: ‘He shall quicken them (the bones) Who originated them the first time.’ He knows all creation. (36/79)

In plain words, the answer to such people is: you profess belief in the Creator of all beings and His omnipotence and in His Messenger and what he has brought. You fail to understand the secrets beyond your creation.You know not how you were formed from discordant atoms. You do not comprehend how you developed from a senseless sperm-drop that lacked feelings, volition, and reason into a perfect human being with intelligence, feelings, and the capability of managing your affairs! Consequently, how can you now understand this strange restoration of your life after you become rotten? This is certainly an audacious attempt to discover the unknown. There is no alternative for you except to humbly admit this fact conveyed to you by the Manager of all beings, namely the All-knowing and All-powerful Lord Who created you from nothingness and rotten materials.

As a general rule, any attempt to discover unobserved matters that are beyond the capacity of the knowledge of man is a waste of time and a sort of deviation, just like opening one’s eyes wide in deep-black gloom.

Undoubtedly, man has reached advanced stages in scientific discoveries that led him to discover electricity and radar and use atomic energy—discoveries that would certainly be considered impossibilities and subjects to joke about if told to the people of the ancient ages. Yet man has not been able to discover the reality of electricity or the secret of atoms, or even the peculiarities or characteristics of a single atom. How then can man aspire to discover the secret of creation and composition of human beings and then realize the secrets of the Final Assemblage and the Somatic Resurrection?

After having faith in Islam, man is only required to avoid running after personal lusts and, instead, engage himself in matters that bring about prosperity in his life in this world as well as the next and matters that elevate his rank in the eyes of Almighty Allah. He is also required to think deeply about whatever helps him manage his worldly affairs properly and to mull carefully over what he will definitely encounter after his death, such as the agony of the grave and the judgment when he will stand before the Lord, the Master and Knower of all things:

وَاتَّقُوا يَوْمًا لَا تَجْزِي نَفْسٌ عَنْ نَفْسٍ شَيْئًا وَلَا يُقْبَلُ مِنْهَا شَفَاعَةٌ وَلَا يُؤْخَذُ مِنْهَا عَدْلٌ وَلَا هُمْ يُنْصَرُونَ

Beware of a day when no soul for another shall give satisfaction, and no intercession shall be accepted from it, nor any compensation be taken from it, neither shall they be helped. (2/48)

  • 1. () This paragraph is quoted from Kashf al-Ghita' `An Mubhamat al-Shari`ah al-Gharra' by Ja`far Kashif al-Ghita' (AH 1228), pp. 5.

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Basa'ir al-Darajat al-Kubra by al-Saffar, Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ibn Forrukh (AH 290), revised by Mirza Muhsin Kucheh-Baghi; Tehran: al-A`lami Foundation, AH 1404.

Al-Balad al-Amin wa’l-Dir` al-Hasin by al-Kaf`ami al-`Amili, Ibrahim ibn `Ali ibn al-Hasan ibn Muhammad (AH 900), with introduction and commentary by `Ala' al-Din al-A`lami, Beirut: al-A`lami Press Foundation, First Edition, AH 1418/AD 1997.

Bahjat al-Nufus Sharh Mukhtasar Jami` Sahih al-Bukhari by al-Azdi al-Andalusi, Ibn Abi-Jamrah `Abdullah ibn Sa`d (AH 699 or 675).

Ta'wil al-Ayat fi Fadha'il al-`Itrah al-Tahirah by al-Husayni al-Istrabadi al-Najafi, Sharaf al-Din ibn `Ali (app. AH 965), revised by Imam al-Mahdi School, Qum: Imam al-Mahdi School Press, First Edition, AH 1407.

Ta'wil Mukhtalaf al-Ahadith by Ibn Qutaybah, Abu-Muhammad `Abdullah ibn Muslim, (AH 376), revised by Isma`il al-As`ardi, Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyyah, (dateless).

Tarikh Madinat Dimashq by Ibn `Asakir (AH 571), revised by `Ali Shiri, 70 volumes, Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, AH 1415.

Al-Tibyan fi Tafsir al-Qur'an by al-Tusi, Abu-Ja`far Muhammad ibn al-Hasan (AH 460); revised by Ahmad Habib Qasir al-`Amili; Maktab al-I`lam al-Islami Press, First Edition, 10 volumes, AH 1409.

Tathbit al-Imamah by al-Hadi Yahya ibn al-Husayn ibn al-Qasim al-Imam al-Zaydi al-Yamani (AH 298), Beirut: Dar al-Imam al-Sajjad, Second Edition, AH 1419.

Tuhaf al-`Uqul `an Al al-Rasul by al-Harrani, Ibn Shu`bah (the fourth century of Hijrah); revised by `Ali Akbar al-Ghaffari, Qum: Islamic Publishing Foundation, Second Reprint, AH 1404.

Tuhfat al-Ahwadhi fi Sharh al-Tirmidhi by al-Mubarakfuri (AH 1353), Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyyah, 10 volumes, (dateless).

Tafsir al-`Ayyashi by Ibn `Ayyash al-Salami al-Samarqandi, al-Nadhr Muhammad ibn Mas`ud (AH 320); revised by Hashim al-Rasuli al-Mahallati, Tehran: Islamic Scientific Library, 2 volumes, (dateless).

Tafsir al-Qur'an by al-San`ani, `Abd al-Razzaq ibn Hammam (AH 211); revised by Mustafa Muslim Muhammad, Riyadh: al-Rushd Library, First Edition, 3 volumes, AH 1410.

Tafsir al-Qummi by al-Qummi, Abu’l-Hasan `Ali ibn Ibrahim (AH 329); revised by Tayyib al-Jaza'iri, Qum: Dar al-Kitab Foundation, Third Reprint, 2 volumes, AH 1404.

Tafsir al-Imam al-`Askari by Abu-Muhammad al-Hasan ibn `Ali (the eleventh Imam—peace be upon him); revised by Imam al-Mahdi School, Qum: Imam al-Mahdi School Press, First Edition, AH 1409.

Tafsil Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104); revised and published by Al al-Bayt Foundation for Revival of Heritage – Qum, First Edition, AH 1414.

Al-Taqiyyah `Inda Ahl al-Bayt by Qasir al-`Amili, Mustafa (contemporary); Qum: The Ahl al-Bayt (`a) World Assembly, Seciond Reprint, AH 1415.

Al-Taqiyyah fi’l-Fikr al-Islami: Book No. 17 – salsalat al-ma`arif al-islamiyyah (Series of Islamic Knowledges) by al-Risalah Center; Qum: al-Risalah Center, First Edition, AH 1419.

Al-Taqiyyah fi Fiqh Ahl al-Bayt by al-Dawari, Muslim (contemporary) & Muhammad `Ali al-Mu`allim; Qum: the author, 2 volumes, AH 1418.

Al-Taqiyyah by Murtadha al-Ansari (AH 1282), revised by Faris al-Hassun, Qum: Qa'im Al Muhammad Foundation, First Edition, AH 1412.

Tanzih al-Anbiya' by al-Sharif al-Murtadha, `Ali ibn al-Husayn al-Musawi (AH 436); Beirut: Dar al-Adhwa', Second Reprint, AH 1409/ AD 1989.

Tahdhib al-Ahkam by al-Tusi (AH 460), revised by Hasan al-Khirsan, corrected by Muhammad al-Akhundi; Tehran: Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyyah, Fourth Reprint, 10 volumes, ASH 1365.

Tahdhib al-Tahdhib by Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani (AH 852); Dar al-Fikr, First Edition, 12 volumes, AH 1404.

Tahdhib al-Kamal by al-Mazzi, Abu’l-Hajjaj Yusuf (AH 742), revised by Bashshar `Awwad Ma`ruf; al-Risalah Foundation, First Edition, 35 volumes, AH 1413.

Al-Tawhid by al-Saduq, Muhammad ibn `Ali (AH 381), revised by Hashim al-Husayni al-Tahrani, Qum: Jama`at al-Mudarrisin, AH 1387.

Al-Thaqib fi’l-Manaqib by Ibn Hamzah al-Tusi (AH 560); revised by Shaykh Nabil Ridha `Alwan; Qum: al-Sadr Publishers, Second Reprint, AH 1412.

Thawab al-A`mal `Iqab al-A`mal by al-Saduq, Muhammad ibn `Ali (AH 381); Qum: al-Radhi Pubications, Second Reprint, ASH 1368.

Jami` al-Bayan by al-Tabari, Abu-Ja`far Muhammad ibn Jarir (AH 310), verification, documentation, and preparation by Sidqi Jamil al-`Attar; Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 30 volumes, AH 1415.

Al-Jami` al-Saghir by al-Suyuti, Jalal al-Din `Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi-Bakr (AH 911); Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, First Edition, 2 volumes, AH 1401.

Al-Jami` li-Ahkam al-Qur'an by al-Qurtubi al-Ansari, Abu-`Abdullah Muhammad ibn Ahmad (AH 671), Beirut: al-Tarikh al-`Arabi Foundation, 20 volumes, AH 1405.

Jawahir al-Matalib fi Manaqib al-Imam `Ali ibn Abi-Talib by al-Dimashqi, al-Baghuni, al-Shafi`i, Muhammad ibn Ahmad (AH 871), revised by Muhammad Baqir al-Mahmudi; Qum: Assembly of Revival of Islamic Culture, First Edition, 2 volumes, AH 1415.

Hadith al-Thaqalayn Tawaturuhu Fiqhuhu by al-Husayni al-Milany, `Ali (contemporary); Qum: the author, First edition, AH 1413.

Hadith al-Thaqalayn by al-Qummi al-Washnawi, Muhammad Qiwam al-Din (contemporary); Cairo: Approximation of Muslim Sects Press, (dateless).

Haqa'iq al-Ta'wil of Mutashabah al-Tanzil by al-Sharif al-Radhi (AH 406), commentary by Muhammad al-Ridha Kashif al-Ghita'; Beirut: Dar al-Muhajir, (dateless).

Al-Hikayat fi Mukhalafat al-Mu`tazilah min al`Adliyyah wa’l-Farq Baynahum wa Bayna al-Shi`ah al-Imamiyyah by al-Mufid (AH 413); revised by Muhammad Ridha al-Husayni al-Jalali; Beirut: Dar al-Mufid, Second Reprint, AH 1414/AD 1993.

Hukm al-Bina' `Ala al-Qubur by Researches and Refutal of Spurious Arguments at the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) World Assembly – `Abd al-Karim al-Bahbahani (contemporary); Qum: The Ahl al-Bayt (`a) World Assembly, First Edition, AH 1422.

Al-Khara'ij wa’l-Hara'ij by al-Rawandi, Qutb al-Din (AH 573); revised by Imam al-Mahdi Foundation, 3 volumes, (dateless).

Khasa'is Amir al-Mu'minin by al-Nassa'i al-Shafi`i Abu-`Abd al-Rahman Ahmad ibn Shu`ayb (AH 303); revised by Muhammad Hadi al-Amini; Nineveh Modern Library, (dateless).

Khasa'is al-A'immah by al-Sharif al-Radhi (AH 406); revised by Muhammad Hadi al-Amini, Mashhad: Islamic Research Assembly at the Holy Shrine of Imam al-Ridha (`a), AH 1406.

Al-Khisal by al-Saduq Muhammad ibn `Ali (AH 381); revised by `Ali Akbar al-Ghaffari, Qum: Jama`at al-Mudarrisin - The Seminary of Qum, (dateless).

Dustur Ma`alim al-Hikam wa-Ma'thur Makarim al-Shiyam by Ibn Salamah, Abu-`Abdullah Muhammad (AH 454), published by Muhammad Sa`id al-Rafi` Press (the owner of al-Maktabah al-Azhariyyah); Qum: al-Mufid Library, (dateless).

Al-Du`a’ `Inda Ahl al-Bayt by al-Asifi, Muhammad Mahdi (contemporary), Qum: The Ahl al-Bayt (`a) World Assembly, First Edition, AH 1415.

Da`a'im al-Islam by al-Tamimi al-Maghribi, Ibn Hayyun al-Nu`man ibn Muhammad ibn Mansur ibn Ahmad (AH 363); revised by Asif ibn `Ali Asghar al-Faydhi, published by Dar al-Ma`arif, AH 1383/AD 1963.

Dala'il al-Imamah by al-Tabari, Abu-Ja`far Muhammad ibn Jarir ibn Rustam (the early fourth century of Hijrah); revised by Islamic Studies Department, Qum: al-Bi`thah Foundation, First Edition, AH 1412.

Al-Dibaj `Ala Sahih Muslim by al-Suyuti, `Abd al-Rahman (AH 911); revised by Abu-Ishaq al-Huwayni al-Athari; Saudi Arabia: Dar Ibn Affan, 6 volumes, (dateless).

Dhakha'ir al-`Uqba fi Manaqib Dhawi’l-Qurba by al-Tabari, Ahmad ibn `Abdullah (AH 694), published by al-Qudsi Library, AH 1356, quoted from the version of Dar al-Kutub al-Misriyyah and the version of al-Khuzanah al-Taymuriyyah.

Al-Raj`ah aw al-`Awdah Ila al-Hayah al-Dunya Ba`d al-Mawt: Book No. 12 – salsalat al-ma`arif al-islamiyyah (Series of Islamic Knowledges) by al-Risalah Center; Qum: al-Risalah Center, First Edition, AH 1418.

Al-Raj`ah: Book No. 7, Salsalat fi Rihab Ahl al-Bayt (Series of In The Space of the Ahl al-Bayt), by Al Najaf, `Abd al-Karim (contemporary); Qum: The Ahl al-Bayt (`a) World Assembly, First Edition, AH 1422.

Al-Radd `Ala Shubuhat Ahmad al-Katib – Hawla Imamat Ahl al-Bayt wa Wujud al-Mahdi al-Mutazar by al-Badri, Sami (contemporary); Qum, AH 1421.

Risalah Mukhtasarah fi’l-Nusus al-Sahihah `Ala Imamat al-A'immah al-Ithnay `Ashar by al-Tabrizi, al-Mirza Jawad (contemporary).

Rawdhat al-Wa`izin by al-Naysaburi, Muhammad ibn al-Fattal (AH 508); revised by Muhammad Mahdi al-Sayyid Hasan al-Khirsan; Qum: al-Radhi Publications, (dateless).

Zad al-Masir fi `Ilm al-Tafsir by Ibn al-Jawzi al-Qarashi Abu’l-Faraj Jamal al-Din `Abd al-Rahman ibn `Ali ibn Muhammad (AH 597); revised by Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Rahman; Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, First Edition, 8 volumes, AH 1407.

Sunan Ibn Majah by Ibn Majah al-Qazwini, Muhammad ibn Yazid (AH 275); revised by `Abd al-Rahman Muhammad `Uthman; Beirut: Dar al-Firk, 2 volumes, (dateless).

Sunan Ibn Majah by Ibn Majah al-Qazwini, Muhammad ibn Yazid (AH 275); revised by Muhammad Fu'ad `Abd al-Baqi; Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, AH 1407.

Sunan al-Tirmidhi by Muhammad ibn `«sa al-Tirmidhi (AH 279); revised by `Abd al-Rahman Muhammad `Uthman; Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, AH 1403.

Sunan al-Darimi by al-Darimi, `Abdullah ibn Bahram (AH 255); Damascus: al-I`tidal Press, 2 volumes (no date is mentioned.

Al-Sunan al-Kubra by al-Bayhaqi, Ahmad ibn al-Husayn ibn `Ali (AH 458), Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 10 volumes, (dateless).

Al-Sunan al-Kubra by al-Nassa'i, Abu-`Abd al-Rahman Ahmad ibn Shu`ayb (AH 303); revised by `Abd al-Ghaffar Sulayman al-Bandari & Sayyid Khusrawi Hasan; Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyyah, First Edition, AH 1411/AD 1991.

Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah by Ibn Abi’l-Hadid al-Mu`tazili (AH 656); revised by Muhammad Abu’l-Fadhl Ibrahim, published by Dar Ihya' Al-Kutub al-`Arabiyyah; Edition of Publications of Ayatullah al-`Uzma al-Mar`ashi al-Najafi, 20 volumes, (dateless).

Sharh al-Akhbar by al-Qadhi (the judge) al-Nu`man ibn Muhammad al-Tamimi al-Maghribi (AH 363); revised by Muhammad al-Husayni al-Jalali; Qum: Islamic Publishing Foundation, 3 volumes, (dateless).

Al-Shifa bi-Ta`rif Huquq al-Mustafa by al-Qadhi (the judge) `Ayyadh al-Yahsubi, Abu’l-Fadhl (AH 544); Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 2 volumes, AH 1409.

Shawahid al-Tanzil li-Qawa`id al-Tafdhil by al-Hakim al-Hasakani, `Ubaydullah ibn Ahmad (the fifth century of Hijrah); revised by Muhammad Baqir al-Mahmudi; Iran: Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, First Edition, 2 volumes, AH 1411.

Al-Shi`ah al-Imamiyyah by al-Mufid (AH 413); revised by Muhammad Ridha al-Husayni al-Jalali; Beirut: Dar al-Mufid, Second Reprint, AH 1414/AD 1993.

Al-Shi`ah wa’l-Hakimun by Mughniyah, Muhammad Jawad; Beirut: al-Hilal Publishers & Library, al-Jawad Press, Fifth Reprint, AH 1981.

Al-Sihah Taj al-Lughah wa Sihah al-`Arabiyyah by al-Jawhari, Isma`il ibn Hammad (AH 393); revised by Ahmad ibn `Abd al-Ghafur `Attar; Beirut: Dar al-`Ilm li’l-Malayin, Fourth Reprint, 6 volumes, AH 1407.

Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah by Ibn Khuzaymah al-Salami al-Naysaburi (AH 311); revised by Muhammad Mustafa al-A`zami; published by Islamic Bureau, Second Reprint, 4 volumes, AH 1412.

Sahih Muslim bi-Sharh al-Nawawi by al-Nawawi (AH 676); Beirut: Dar al-Kitab al-`Arabi, Second Reprint, 18 volumes, AH 1407.

Sahih Muslim by al-Naysaburi, Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj (AH 261); Beirut: Dar al-Fikr, 8 volumes, (dateless).

Al-Sahih min Sirat al-Nabi al-A`zam by al-`Amili, Ja`far Murtadha (contemporary); Beirut: Dar al-Hadi, Fourth Reprint, 11 volumes, AH 1415.

Al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah by `Ali ibn al-Husayn, Imam Zayn al-`Abidin (AH 94); revised and published by Imam al-Mahdi Foundation - Qum, under the supervision of Muhammad `Ali al-Abtahi, First Edition, AH 1411.

Al-Sirat al-Mustaqim Ila Mustahiqqi al-Taqdim by al-`Amili al-Bayyadhi, Zayn al-Din Abu-Muhammad `Ali ibn Yunus (AH 877); revised by Muhammad Baqir al-Mahmudi, published by al-Maktabah al-Radhawiyyah li-Ihya' al-Athar al-Ja`fariyyah, First Edition, 3 volumes, AH 1384.

Sifat al-Shi`ah by al-Saduq, Muhammad `Ali (AH 381); Tehran: al-`Abidi, (dateless).

Sulh al-Hasan by Al Yasin, Radhi (contemporary), with an introduction by `Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din; Beirut: al-Nu`man Foundation, AH 1412/ AD 1991.

Al-Sawa`iq al-Muhriqah fi’l-Radd `Ala Ahl al-Bida` wa’l-Zandaqah by `Abd al-Wahhab, `Abd al-Latif, Ahmad ibn Hajar al-Haythami al-Makki (AH 899 or 974); Egypt: Cairo Library, (dateless).

Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra by Ibn Sa`d, Muhammad (AH 230); Beirut: Dar Sadir, 8 volumes, (dateless).

`Uddat al-Da`i wa Najah al-Sa`i by Ibn Fahad al-Hilli, Ahmad (AH 841); revised by Ahmad al-Muwahhidi al-Qummi; Qum: al-Wijdani Library, (dateless).

`Ilal al-Shara'i` by al-Saduq, Muhammad ibn `Ali (AH 381); Najaf: al-Maktabah al-Haydariyyah, 2 volumes, AH 1386/ AD 1966.

Al-`Umdah by Ibn al-Bitriq al-Asadi al-Hilli (app. AH 600); revised by Jama`at al-Mudarrisin; Qum: Islamic Publishing Foundation, First Edition, AH 1407.

Ghawali al-La'ali al-`Aziziyyah fi’l-Ahadith al-Diniyyah by Ibn Abi-Jumhur al-Ihsa'i (app. AH 880); revised by Sayyid al-Mar`ashi and Shaykh Mujtaba al-`Iraqi; Qum: Sayyid al-Shuhada' Press, First Edition, 4 volumes, AH 1403/ AD 1983.

`Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha by al-Saduq, Muhammad ibn `Ali (AH 381); revised by Husayn al-A`lami; Beirut: al-A`lami Publications, First Edition, AH 1404.

Al-Gharat by al-Thaqafi al-Kufi, Ibrahim ibn Muhammad (AH 283); revised by Jalal al-Din al-Muhaddith; published by Bahman Press, 2 volumes, (dateless).

Al-Ghadir by al-Amini al-Najafi, `Abd al-Husayn (AH 1392); Beirut: Dar al-Kitab al-`Arabi, 12 volumes, AH 1379.

Kitab al-Ghaybah by al-Nu`mani (Ibn Abi-Zaynab), Muhammad ibn Ibrahim (AH 380); revised by `Ali Akbar al-Ghaffari; Tehran: al-Saduq Library, (dateless).

Al-Fa'iq fi Gharib al-Hadith by al-Zamakhshari, Jarullah, Mahmud ibn `Amr (AH 538); Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyyah, First Edition, 3 volumes, AH 1417.

Fath al-Bari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari by Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani (AH 852); Beirut: Dar al-Ma`rifah Publishers; Second Reprint, 13 volumes, (dateless).

Fajr al-Islam by Ahmad Amin; Beirut: Dar al-Kitab al-`Arabi, Eleventh Edition, AD 1975.

Al-Furuq al-Lughawiyyah by al-`Askari, Abu-Hilal; revised and published by Islamic Publishing Foundation – Qum, First Edition, AH 1412.

Fadha'il al-Sahabah by al-Nassa'i, Ahmad ibn Shu`ayb (AH 303); Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyyah, (dateless).

Fiqh al-Ridha by `Ali ibn Babawayh (AH 329); revised by Al al-Bayt Foundation – the World Congress on Imam al-Ridha, (dateless).

Fi ²ilal al-Tashayyu` by al-Husayni, Muhammad `Ali (contemporary); Kuwait: al-Alfayn Library, First Edition, AH 1403/AD 1983.

Faydh al-Qadir Sharh al-Jami` al-Saghir by al-Mannawi, Muhammad `Abd al-Ra'uf (AH 1331); revised by Ahmad `Abd al-Salam; Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyyah, First Edition, 6 volumes, AH 1415.

Qurb al-Isnad by al-Himyari al-Baghdadi, Abu’l-`Abbas, `Abdullah (AH 300); revised and published by Al al-Bayt Foundation for Revival of Heritage – Qum, First Edition, AH 1413.

Al-Kafi by al-Kulayni, Muhammad ibn Ya`qub (AH 329); revised by `Ali Akbar al-Ghaffari; published by Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyyah, Second Reprint, AH 1389.

Kamil al-Ziyarat by Ibn Qawlawayh al-Qummi, Ja`far ibn Muhammad (AH 368); revised by Jawad al-Qayyumi; published by Nashr al-Faqahah Publishers, First Edition, AH 1417.

Kitab al-«man by al-`Adani, Muhammad ibn Yahya ibn Abi-`Umar (AH 243); revised by Hamad ibn Hamdi al-Jabiri al-Harbi; Kuwait: al-Dar al-Salafi Publishers, First Edition, AH 1407.

Kitab al-Du`a’ by al-Tabarani, Sulayman ibn Ahmad (AH 360); revised by Mustafa `Abd al-Qadir `Ata; Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyyah, First Edition, AH 1413.

Kitab al-Sunnah by al-Aahhak, `Amr ibn Abi-`Asim (AH 287); revised by Muhammad Nasir al-Din al-Albani; Beirut: al-Maktab al-Islami Publishers, Third Edition, AH 1413/AD 1993.

Kitab al-Mu'min by al-Kufi al-Ahwazi, al-Husayn ibn Sa`id (before AH 300); revised and published by Imam al-Mahdi Foundation – Qum, First Edition, AH 1404.

Kashf al-Khafa' wa-Muzil al-Ilbas by al-`Ajaluni al-Jarrahi, Isma`il ibn Muhammad (AH 1162); Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyyah, Second Reprint, 2 volumes, AH 1408.

Kashf al-Ghita' `An Mubhamat al-Shari`ah al-Gharra' by Kashif al-Ghita', Ja`far (AH 1228); Isfahan: Mahdavi Publishers, 2 volumes, (dateless).

Kashf al-Ghummah fi Ma`rifat al-A'immah by al-Arbali, `Ali ibn `«sa ibn Abi’l-Fath (AH 693); Beirut: Dar al-Adhwa' Publishers, Second Reprint, 3 volumes, AH 1405/AD 1985.

Kashf al-Mahajjah li-Thamarat al-Muhjah by Ibn Tawus al-Hasani al-Husayni, Radhi al-Din, Abu’l-Qasim `Ali ibn Musa (AH 664); Holy Najaf: al-Haydariyyah Press, AH 1370.

Kashf al-Yaqin fi Fadha'il Amir al-Mu'minin by `Allamah al-Hilli (AH 726); revised by Husayn al-Dargahani, First Edition, AH 1411.

Kifayat al-Athar fi’l-Nass `Ala al-A'immah al-Ithnay `Ashar by al-Khazzaz al-Qummi al-Razi (AH 400); revised by `Abd al-Latif al-Husayni al-Kuhkamari al-Khu'i; Qum: Bidar Publishers, AH 1401.

Kamal al-Din wa Tamam al-Ni`mah by al-Saduq, Muhammad ibn `Ali (AH 381); revised by `Ali Akbar al-Ghaffari; Qum: Islamic Publishing Foundation, AH 1405.

Kanz al-`Ummal by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi (AH 974); revised by Shaykh Bakri Hayyani & Shaykh Safwat al-Saqqa; Beirut: al-Risalah Foundation, 16 volumes.

Kanz al-Fawa'id by al-Karajaki, Abu’l-Fath Muhammad ibn `Ali (AH 449); Qum: al-Mustafawi Press, Second Reprint, AH 1410.

Lisan al-`Arab (an Arabic-Arabic dictionary) by al-Afriqi, Ibn Manzur (AH 711); published by Adab al-hAwzah; an offset of the print of Dar al-Ihya' al-`Arabi, First Edition, AH 1405.

Muawsu`at al-Imam al-Mahdi (Tarikh al-Ghaybah al-Kubra) by al-Sadr, Muhammad Muhammad Sadiq (AD 1998); Beirut: Dar al-Ta`aruf Publishers, Second Edition, AH 1402/AD 1982.

Ma Ruwiya fi’l-Hawdh wa’l-Kawthar by Ibn Mukhallad al-Qurtubi (AH 276); revised by `Abd al-Qadir Muhammad `Ata Sufi; Holy Madinah: Maktabat al-`Ulum wa’l-Hikam, First Edition, AH 1413.

Al-Mujtana Min Du`a’ al-Mujtaba by Ibn Tawus, Radhi al-Din, `Ali ibn Musa (AH 664); revised by Safa' al-Basri, (dateless).

Majma` al-Bahrayn by al-Turayhi, Fakhr al-Din (AH 1085); revised by Ahmad al-Husayni; Publishing of Islamic Culture Bureau, Second Edition, 4 volumes, (dateless).

Majma` al-Bayan fi Tafsir al-Qur'an by al-Tabrisi, Abu-`Ali, al-Fadhl ibn al-Hasan (AH 560); revised by a committee of scholars and specialist revisers; Beirut: al-A`lami Publications, First Edition, AH 1415.

Majma` al-Zawa'id by al-Haythami, Nur al-Din (AH 807); Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyyah, 10 volumes, AH 1408/AD 1988.

Al-Mahasin by al-Barqi, Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Khalid (AH 274); revised by Mahdi al-Raja'i; Qum: The Ahl al-Bayt (`a) World Assembly, First Edition, 2 volumes, AH 1413. (Another version is revised by Jalal al-Din al-Husayni, published by Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyyah, no date is mentioned).

Muhammad wa Hadith al-Thaqalayn by al-Sharif al-`Askari, Najm al-Din (AH 1390); Holy Najaf: al-Adab Press, Fourth Edition, (dateless).

Al-Mukhtar fi’l-Jabr wa’l-Ikhtiyar al-Sadiqi al-Husayni, Muhammad `Ali; a commentary on a thesis by Sayyid `Ali al-`Allamah al-Fani; Najaf: Najaf Press, AH 1375.

Mukhtasar al-Ma`ani by al-Taftazani, Sa`d al-Din (AH 792); Qum: Dar al-Fikr, First Edition, AH 1411.

Mukhtasar Basa'ir al-Darajat by al-Hilli, al-Hasan ibn Sulayman (the ninth century of Hijrah); Najaf: al-Haydariyyah Press, First Edition, AH 1370/ AD 1950.

Al-Muraja`at by Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi al-`Amili, `Abd al-Husayn (AH 1377); revised by Husayn al-Radhi, with an introduction by Ahmad Hafni Dawud and Muhammad Fikri `Uthman Abu’l-Nasr; Qum: The Ahl al-Bayt (`a) World Assembly, (dateless).

Al-Mazar by al-Shahid al-Awwal (AH 786); revised and published by Imam al-Mahdi Foundation – Qum, First Edition, AH 1410.

Al-Mazar Manasik al-Mazar by al-Mufid (AH 413); revised and published by Imam al-Mahdi School – Qum, First Edition.

Mustadrak al-Wasa'il by al-Nuri al-Tabrisi (AH 1320); revised and published by Al al-Bayt Foundatoin for Revival of Heritage, Second Edition, 18 volumes, AH 1408.

Mustadrak Safinat al-Bihar by al-Namazi al-Shahrudi, `Ali (AH 1405); Qum: Islamic Publishing Foundation, 10 volumes, AH 1419.

Al-Mustadrak `Ala al-Sahihayn by al-Hakim al-Naysaburi, Muhammad ibn Muhammad (AH 405); revised by Yusuf al-Mar`ashi; Beirut: Dar al-Ma`rifah Publishers, 4 volumes, AH 1406.

Al-Mustarshid fi Imamat Amir al-Mu'minin by Muhammad ibn Jarir ibn Rustam al-Tabari the Imamite (the early fourth century of Hijrah); revised by Ahmad al-Mahmudi; Qum: Islamic Culture Foundation, First Edition, (dateless).

Mustatrafat al-Sara'ir by Ibn Idris al-Hilli, Muhammad (AH 598); revised and published by Islamic Publishing Foundation – Qum, Second Reprint, AH 1411.

Musnad Ibn Ju`d by al-Jawhari, `Ali ibn al-Ju`d ibn `Ubayd (AH 230); revised by Abu’l-Qasim `Abdullah ibn Muhammad al-Baghawi & `Amir Ahmad Haydar; Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyyah Publishers, (dateless).

Musnad Abi-Ya`la by al-Mawsili, Abu-Ya`la, Ahmad ibn `Ali ibn al-Muthanna al-Tamimi (AH 307); revised by Husayn Salim Asad, published by Dar al-Ma'mun li’l-Turath, (dateless).

Musnad Abi-Dawud by al-Tayalisi, Abu-Dawud (AH 204); Beirut: Dar al-Hadith Publishers, (dateless).

Musnad Ahmad by Ibn Hanbal, Ahmad (AH 241); Beirut: Dar Sadir, 6 volumes, (dateless).

Musnad al-Hamidi by al-Hamidi, Abu-Bakr, `Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr (AH 219); revised by Habib al-Rahman al-`zami; Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyyah Publishers, First Edition, 2 volumes, AH 1409/AD 1988.

Mishkat al-Anwar fi Ghurar al-Akhbar by al-Tabrisi, Abu’l-Fadhl `Ali, (the seventh century of Hijrah); with an introduction by Salih al-Ja`fari; Holy Najaf: al-Haydariyyah Press, Second Edition, AH 1385/AD 1965.

Musadaqat al-Ikhwan by al-Saduq, Muhammad ibn `Ali (AH 381); revised by `Ali al-Khurasani al-Kazimi; Kazimiyyah (Iraq - Baghdad): Imam Sahib al-Zaman Public Library, (dateless).

Al-Musannaf by al-San`ani, `Abd al-Razzaq, Abu-Bakr (AH 211); revised by Habib al-Rahman al-A`zami; Scientific Council, 11 volumes, (dateless).

Ma`ani al-Akhbar by al-Saduq, Muhammad ibn `Ali (AH 381); revised by `Ali Akbar al-Ghaffari; Qum: al-Islami Publications, ASH 1361.

Mu`jam Ahadith al-Imam al-Mahdi by al-Kurani, `Ali (contemporary); Qum: al-Ma`arif al-Islamiyyah Foundation, First Edition, AH 1411.

Mu`jam al-Buldan by al-Hamawi, Yaqut (AH 626); Beirut: Dar Ihya' al-Turath al-`Arabi, 5 volumes, (dateless).

Al-Mu`jam al-Saghir by al-Tabarani al-Lakhmi, Sulayman ibn Ahmad ibn Ayyub (AH 360); Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-`Ilmiyyah, 2 volumes, (dateless).

Al-Mu`jam al-Kabir by al-Tabarani al-Lakhmi, Sulayman ibn Ahmad ibn Ayyub (AH 360); revised by Hamdi `Abd al-Majid al-Salafi; Cairo: Ibn Taymiyah Library, Second Edition, (dateless).

Al-Mi`yar wa’l-Muwazanah by al-Iskafi, Abu-Ja`far Muhammad ibn `Abdullah al-Mu`tazili (AH 220); revised by Muhammad Baqir al-Mahmudi, (dateless).

Al-Mufradat fi Gharib al-Qur'an by al-Raghib al-Isfahani (AH 502); Nashr al-Kitab Bureau, First Edition, AH 1404.

Maqatil al-Talibiyyin by al-Isfahani, Abu’l-Faraj (AH 356); revised by Kazim al-Muzaffar; Qum: Dar al-Kitab Foundation, Second Reprint, (dateless).

Muqtadhab al-Athar fi’l-Nass `Ala al-A'immah al-Ithnay `Ashar by Ibn `Ayyash al-Jawhari, Ahmad ibn `Ubaydullah (AH 401); verification, preparation, and commentary by Hashim al-Rasuli; Qum: al-Tabataba'i Library, (dateless).

Makarim al-Akhlaq by al-Tabrisi (AH 548); revised by Ahmad al-Muwahhidi al-Qummi; Qum: al-Wijdani Library. (The same book has been published by al-Radhi Publications, AH 1392/AD 1972)

Man La Yahdhuruhu’l-Faqih by al-Saduq, Muhammad ibn `Ali (AH 381); revised by `Ali Akbar al-Ghaffari; Qum: Jama`at al-Mudarrisin, Second Reprint, 4 volumes, AH 1404.

Manaqib Al Abi-Talib by Ibn Shahr Ashub (AH 588); revised by a committee of the scholars of the holy city of al-Najaf; Holy Najaf: al-Haydariyyah Press, AH 1376.

Manaqib al-Imam Amir al-Mu'minin by al-Kufi al-Qadhi (the judge), Muhammad ibn Sulayman (after AH 300); revised by Muhammad Baqir al-Mahmudi; published by Assembly of Revival of Islamic Culture, First Edition, 2 volumes, AH 1412.

Al-Manaqib by al-Khawarizmi, al-Muwaffaq ibn Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Makki (AH 568); revised by Malik al-Mahmudi; Qum: Islamic Publishing Foundation, Second Reprint, AH 1411.

Muntakhab al-Athar fi’l-Imam al-Thani-`Ashar by al-Safi al-Gulpaygani, Lutfullah (contemporary); Qum: al-Dawari Library, (dateless).

Al-Muntakhab min Musnad `Abd ibn Humayd by `Abd ibn Humayd, Abu-Muhammad (AH 249); revised by Subhi al-Badri al-Samarra'i & Mahmud Muhammad Khalil al-Sa`idi, published by al-Nahdhah al-`Arabiyyah Library, First Edition, AH 1408/AD 1988.

Munyat al-Murid fi Adab al-Mufid wa’l-Mustafid by al-Shahid al-Thani (AH 966); revised by Ridha al-Mukhtari, published by Islamic Propagation Bureau, First Edition, AH 1409.

Muhaj al-Da`awat wa Manhaj al-`Ibadat by Ibn Tawus al-Hasani al-Husayni, Radhi al-Din Abu’l-Qasim `Ali ibn Musa (AH 664); with introduction and commentary by Husayn al-A`lami; Beirut: al-A`lami Publications, First Edition, AH 1414/AD 1994.

Al-Mahdi by al-Sadr, Sadr al-Din (contemporary); Beirut: Dar al-Zahra' Publishers, AH 1405/AD 1985.

Mizan al-Hikmah by al-Rayshahri, Muhammad; revised and published by Dar al-Hadith Publishers, First Edition, (dateless).

Nuzhat al-Nazir wa Tanbih al-Khatir by al-Halawani, al-Husayn ibn Muhammad ibn al-Hasan (the fifth century of Hijrah); revised and published by Imam al-Mahdi School – Qum, First Edition, AH 1408.

Al-Nass wa’l-jtihad by Sharaf al-Din al-`Amili al-Musawi, `Abd al-Husayn (AH 1377); revised by Abu-Mujtaba; Qum: Sayyid al-Shuhada' Press, First Edition, AH 1404.

Nazariyyat al-Nass `Ala al-Imamah fi’l-Qur'an al-Karim by al-Araki, Muhsin (contemporary); London: Book Extra, First Edition, AH 1421/AD 2000.

Nuzum Durar al-Simtayn by al-Zarandi al-Hanafi al-Madani, Jamal al-Din Muhammad ibn Yusuf ibn al-Hasan ibn Muhammad (AH 750); A manuscript in the Amir al-Mu'minin Public Library, First Edition, AH 1377/AD 1958.

Al-Nihayah fi Gharib al-Hadith wa’l-Athar by Ibn al-Athir al-Jazri, al-Mubarak ibn Muhammad (AH 606); revised by Tahir Ahmad al-Zawi and Mahmud Muhammad al-Tannahi; Qum: Isma`iliyyan Publishers, ASH 1367.

Nahj al-Balaghah: Sermons, Letters, and Aphorisms of Imam `Ali ibn Abi-Talib (AH 40), compiled by al-Sharif al-Radhi (AH 406); revised by Shaykh Muhammad `Abduh; Beirut: Dar al-Ma`rifah Publishers, (dateless).

Nahj al-Sa`adah fi Mustadrak Nahj al-Balaghah by al-Mahmudi, Muhammad Baqir (contemporary); Beirut: Dar al-Ta`aruf Publishers, First Edition, 8 volumes, AH 1396, (dateless).

Nur al-Absar fi Manaqib Al al-Nabi al-Mukhtar by al-Shabalnaji al-Misri, Mu'min ibn Hasan (after AH 1308).

Al-Hidayah al-Kubra by al-Khasibi, Abu-`Abdullah al-Husayn ibn Hamdan (AH 334); Beirut: al-Balagh Foundation, Fourth Reprint, AH 1411/ AD 1991.

Waqi` al-Taqiyyah `Inda al-Madhahib wa’l-Firaq al-Islamiyyah min Ghayr al-Shi`ah al-Imamiyyah by al-`Amidi, Thamir Hashim Habib (contemporary); Qum: al-Ghadir Center for Islamic Studies, AH 1416/AD 1995.

Yanabi` al-Mawaddah li-Dhawi’l-Qurba by al-Qanaduzi al-Hanafi, Sulayman ibn Ibrahim (AH 1294); revised by Sayyid `Ali Jamal Ashraf al-Husayni, published by Dar al-Uswah, First Edition, 3 volumes, AH 1416.