Chapter 6: Obedience And The Duty Of Accepting Commands

اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ الطَّيِّبِينَ الْأَبْرَارِ الْأَخْيَارِ الَّذِينَ أَوْجَبْتَ حُقُوقَهُمْ وَ فَرَضْتَ طَاعَتَهُمْ وَ وِلايَتَهُمْ

O Allah send blessings on Muhammad and on the descendants of Muhammad, the good, the attested by Thy witness, the high-minded chosen in preference by Thee, whose- claim has been declared a must for all to accept, to obey them, to love them has been made obligatory under Thy commands.

The Right Of Accepting Commands And Superintendence

In Islamic ideology, the right of individuals and groups are reciprocal. If there is a right for parents, on the other hand, there is also a right for their children. If governments have the right to lead, then the people must obey them, likewise people too have rights and governments and governors must observe them.

In the relation between Prophets and Imams with their Ummah there is also a give and take. The duty of Prophets and Imams is relaying the message of Allah. “nothing is (incumbent)on the apostle but to deliver (the message)”1.

Prophets, especially Our Prophet accomplished their duty in the best way. In the Ziyarat of the Prophet, we testify that the Prophet put in his utmost effort towards this duty. We say, “I testify that you are His Messenger, and you are Muhammad, son of Abdullaah; and I testify that you had delivered the Message of your Lord, advised and warned your followers (Ummah) like a sincere friend, and strived, leaving no stone unturned, against heavy odds, in the cause of Allah, with wisdom, and good advice. Strong and powerful support, from the Truthful (Allah) was put at your disposal; (and) you had been kind and compassionate to the believers ,(but) were harsh with the disbelievers, and had sincerely served Allah, till the inevitable (what was certain-death) came unto you. So Allah made you reach the highest stage of glory and honor.”2

Now it is our turn to know what is the duty of the Ummah towards the Prophet? Also we must ask ourselves if we have put in our efforts towards these duties? Two important duties that have been pointed out by Imam Sajjad in the above phrases of the Salawat are: Velayat (superintendence) and obedience. These two responsibilities have a co-relation with each other, because the effect of accepting the superintendence and of love is obedience, and the true lover obeys all the commands of his beloved. In fact, the Quran calls love for the Prophet’s Household as the recompense of his efforts.

“Say (O Muhammad): "No reward do I ask of you for this except to be kind to me for my kinship with you." And whoever earns a good righteous deed, We shall give him an increase of good in respect thereof. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most ready to appreciate (the deeds of those who are obedient to Him).”3

However it is important to note two important points concerning these two responsibilities. These are, the importance of accepting their superintendence and its effects.

Importance Of Accepting Their Superintendence

For better understanding the Importance of accepting Imam’s superintendence, we draw your attention to some of the many Ahadith on this subject.

الشيخ الطوسي فی الأمالي عن ابن عباس قال : قال رسول الله :

وَ لَوْ أَنَّ عَابِداً عَبَدَ اللَّهَ بَيْنَ الرُّكْنِ وَ الْمَقَامِ أَلْفَ عَامٍ وَ أَلْفَ عَامٍ حَتَّى يَكُونَ كَالشَّنِّ الْبَالِي وَ لَقِيَ اللَّهَ مُبْغِضاً لِآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ أَكَبَّهُ اللَّهُ عَلَى مَنْخِرَيْهِ فِي جَهَنَّمَ

بحارالأنوار ج : 7 ص : 234

Sheikh Toosi in the book of Amaly narrates from Ibn Abbas, “The Prophet says, “If a devout worshipper worships Allah between the Rokn4 and Maqam5 for thousand years until he/she becomes like an empty worn waterskin and dies while he hates the Prophet’s household, God will throw him by his face into the hellfire.6

الصدوق فی عيون أخبار الرضا عليه السلام بِإِسْنَادِهِ عَنِ الْمُفَضَّلِ بْنِ عُمَرَ عَنِ الصَّادِقِ عَنْ آبَائِهِ قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ص : لَمَّا أُسْرِيَ بِي إِلَى السَّمَاءِ أَوْحَى إِلَيَّ رَبِّي جَلَّ جَلَالُهُ وَ سَاقَ الْحَدِيثَ فِي مُحَمَّدٍ وَ عَلِيٍّ وَ فَاطِمَةَ وَ الْحَسَنِ وَ الْحُسَيْنِ ع إِلَى أَنْ قَالَ يَا مُحَمَّدُ لَوْ أَنَّ عَبْداً عَبَدَنِي حَتَّى يَنْقَطِعَ وَ يَصِيرَ كَالشَّنِّ الْبَالِي ثُمَّ أَتَانِي جَاحِداً لِوَلَايَتِهِمْ مَا أَسْكَنْتُهُ جَنَّتِي وَ لَا أَظْلَلْتُهُ تَحْتَ عَرْشِي الْخَبَرَ

بحارالأنوار ج : 8 ص : 358

In the book of Oyon of Akhbar Al-Ridha’, Saduq narrates with the chain of narration from Imam Sadiq, and Imam Sadiq narrates from Prophet that: “When I was taken high into the skies God revealed to me, “O, Muhammad, If one of my servants prays to me by all of his strength until he becomes like a worn out and old waterskin and then he comes in My presence while he denies the superintendence of Muhammad, Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Husayn, I will not let him enter heaven and I will not let my throne to shadow over his head.”7

وَ أَخْبَرَنَا السَّيِّدُ أَبُو الْحَمْدِ عَنْ أَبِي الْقَاسِمِ بِالْإِسْنَادِ الْمَذْكُورِ فِي كِتَابِ شَوَاهِدِ التَّنْزِيلِ مَرْفُوعاً إِلَى أَبِي أُمَامَةَ الْبَاهِلِيِّ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ص إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَعَالَى خَلَقَ الْأَنْبِيَاءَ مِنْ أَشْجَارٍ شَتَّى وَ خُلِقْتُ أَنَا وَ عَلِيٌّ مِنْ شَجَرَةٍ وَاحِدَةٍ فَأَنَا أَصْلُهَا وَ عَلِيٌّ فَرْعُهَا وَ الْحَسَنُ وَ الْحُسَيْنُ ثِمَارُهَا وَ أَشْيَاعُنَا أَوْرَاقُنَا فَمَنْ تَعَلَّقَ بِغُصْنٍ مِنْ أَغْصَانِهَا نَجَا وَ مَنْ زَاغَ هَوَى وَ لَوْ أَنَّ عَبْداً عَبَدَ اللَّهَ بَيْنَ الصَّفَا وَ الْمَرْوَةِ أَلْفَ عَامٍ ثُمَّ أَلْفَ عَامٍ ثُمَّ أَلْفَ عَامٍ حَتَّى يَصِيرَ كَالشَّنِّ الْبَالِي ثُمَّ لَمْ يُدْرِكْ مَحَبَّتَنَا أَكَبَّهُ اللَّهُ عَلَى مَنْخِرَيْهِ فِي النَّارِ ثُمَّ تَلَا:

(قُلْ لا أَسْئَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْراً إِلَّا الْمَوَدَّةَ فِي الْقُرْبى‏.الشوری ،33)

Haskani in the book of Shawahid Al-Tanzil with the chain of narration narrates from Abu Emameh Baheli from Prophet, “Truly Allah created prophets from different trees and created me and Ali from the same tree. I am the root of that tree, Ali is its branches, Hasan and Husayn are the fruits and the Shias are the leaves of this tree. Whosoever grasps to any of these branches will survive and whosoever gets deviated will fall down. Also if a servant worships Allah for thousand years and then another thousand years and then another thousand years between Safa and Marveh until he becomes like an old waterskin but he does not appreciate our love, God will throw him by his face into the hellfire. Then Prophet recited this verse, “Say (O Muhammad, "No reward do I ask of you for this except to be kind to me for my kinship with you."8

قَالَ الْعَلَّامَةُ رَوَّحَ اللَّهُ رُوحَهُ فِي كِتَابِ كَشْفِ الْحَقِّ رَوَى الْجُمْهُورُ فِي الصَّحِيحَيْنِ وَ أَحْمَدُ بْنُ حَنْبَلٍ فِي مُسْنَدِهِ وَ الثَّعْلَبِيُّ فِي تَفْسِيرِهِ عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ قَالَ لَمَّا نَزَلَ قُلْ لا أَسْئَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْراً إِلَّا الْمَوَدَّةَ فِي الْقُرْبى‏ قَالُوا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ مَنْ قَرَابَتُكَ الَّذِينَ وَجَبَتْ عَلَيْنَا مَوَدَّتُهُمْ قَالَ عَلِيٌّ وَ فَاطِمَةُ وَ ابْنَاهُمَا

Also Allameh in the book of Kashf Al-Haq has written, “Ahl Al-Sunna in Sahiheyn and Ahmad Hanbal in the book of Mosnad, Salabi in his Quran interpretation narrates from Ibn Abbas, “When the verse “Say O Muhammad, "No reward do I ask of you for this except to be kind to me for my kinship with you” descended, the companions of the Prophet asked, “O, Prophet, who are these relatives of yours that their love is obligated upon us?” Prophet answered, “Ali, Fatima and their two sons”9. Allameh continues,

نَقَلَ صَاحِبُ الْكَشَّافِ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ ص أَنَّهُ قَالَ مَنْ مَاتَ عَلَى حُبِّ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ مَاتَ شَهِيداً أَلَا وَ مَنْ مَاتَ عَلَى حُبِّ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ مَاتَ مَغْفُوراً لَهُ أَلَا وَ مَنْ مَاتَ عَلَى حُبِّ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ مَاتَ تَائِباً أَلَا وَ مَنْ مَاتَ عَلَى حُبِّ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ مَاتَ مُؤْمِناً مُسْتَكْمِلَ الْإِيمَانِ أَلَا وَ مَنْ مَاتَ عَلَى حُبِّ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ بَشَّرَهُ مَلَكُ الْمَوْتِ بِالْجَنَّةِ ثُمَّ مُنْكَرٌ وَ نَكِيرٌ أَلَا وَ مَنْ مَاتَ عَلَى حُبِّ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ يُزَفُّ إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ كَمَا تُزَفُّ الْعَرُوسُ إِلَى بَيْتِ زَوْجِهَا أَلَا وَ مَنْ مَاتَ عَلَى حُبِّ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ ص فُتِحَ لَهُ فِي قَبْرِهِ بَابَانِ إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ أَلَا وَ مَنْ مَاتَ عَلَى حُبِّ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ جَعَلَ اللَّهُ قَبْرَهُ مَزَارَ مَلَائِكَةِ الرَّحْمَةِ أَلَا وَ مَنْ مَاتَ عَلَى حُبِّ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ مَاتَ عَلَى السُّنَّةِ وَ الْجَمَاعَةِ أَلَا وَ مَنْ مَاتَ عَلَى بُغْضِ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ جَاءَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ مَكْتُوبٌ بَيْنَ عَيْنَيْهِ آيِسٌ مِنْ رَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ أَلَا وَ مَنْ مَاتَ عَلَى بُغْضِ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ مَاتَ كَافِراً أَلَا وَ مَنْ مَاتَ عَلَى بُغْضِ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ لَمْ يَشَمَّ رَائِحَةَ الْجَنَّةِ

“Zamakhshari narrates from Prophet, “Whoever dies with the love of Prophet’s Households dies as a martyr. Know that if someone truly dies with the love of Prophet’s Households, he is forgiven.

Whoever dies with the love of Prophet’s Households, he is repentant.

Whoever dies with the love of Prophet’s Household, he is the complete faithful.

Whoever dies with the love of Prophet’s Household, the angel of death and afterwards the Nakir and Monkar will give hime glad tidings of heaven.

Whoever dies with the love of Prophet’s Household goes to heaven like a bride goes to the house of her groom.

Whoever dies with the love of Prophet’s Household two doors open from his grave to the Heaven.

Whoever dies with the love of Prophet’s Household God makes his grave a shrine for the Angels of Mercy.

Whoever dies with the love of Prophet’s Household he dies as Ahl Al-Sunna.

Whoever dies with the hatred to Prophet’s Household will rise in the Day of Judgment while it will be written on his forehead: he is disappointed from God’s mercy.

Whoever dies with the hatred to Prophet’s Household dies as a pagan.

Whoever dies with the hatred to Prophet’s Household will not (even) smell the scent of heaven.”

ابن شاذان بسنده عن أبي سلمى راعي رسول الله ص قال سمعت رسول الله ص يقول ليلة أسري بي إلى السماء قال لي الجليل جل جلاله آمَنَ الرَّسُولُ بِما أُنْزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ رَبِّهِ قلت وَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ كُلٌّ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَ مَلائِكَتِهِ وَ كُتُبِهِ وَ رُسُلِهِ قال صدقت يا محمد من خلفت في أمتك قلت خيرها قال علي بن أبي طالب ع قلت نعم يا رب قال يا محمد إني اطلعت إلى الأرض اطلاعة فاخترتك منها فشققت‏ لك اسما من أسمائي فلا أذكر في موضع إلا ذكرت معي فأنا المحمود و أنت محمد ثم اطلعت الثانية فاخترت منها عليا فشققت له اسما من أسمائي فأنا العلي الأعلى و هو علي يا محمد إني خلقتك و خلقت عليا و فاطمة و الحسن و الحسين و الأئمة من ولده من سنخ نوري و عرضت ولايتكم على أهل السماوات و أهل الأرضين فمن قبلها كان عندي من المؤمنين و من جحدها كان عندي من الكافرين يا محمد لو أن عبدا من عبيدي عبدني حتى ينقطع و يصير كالشن البالي ثم أتاني جاحدا لولايتكم ما غفرت له حتى يقر بولايتكم يا محمد أ تحب أن تراهم قلت نعم يا رب فقال لي التفت عن يمين العرش فالتفت فإذا أنا بعلي و فاطمة و الحسن و الحسين و علي بن الحسين و محمد بن علي و جعفر بن محمد و موسى بن جعفر و علي بن موسى و محمد بن علي و علي بن محمد و الحسن بن علي و المهدي في ضحضاح من نور قيام يصلون و هو في وسطهم يعني المهدي يضي‏ء كأنه كوكب دري فقال يا محمد هؤلاء الحجج و هو الثائر من عترتك فو عزتي و جلالي إنه الناصر لأوليائي و المنتقم من أعدائي و لهم الحجة الواجبة و بهم‏ يمسك الله السماوات أن تقع على الأرض إلا بإذنه.‏

Ibn Shazan Qomi in the book of Mea Manqabah (Hundred Good Attributes) with the chain of narration from Abi Salma the shepherd who says, “I heard from the Prophet who said: “In the night in which they elevated me, Allah the Almighty told me, “ O Prophet have faith on what God descended on you.” I said, “All faithful have faith in Allah and the angels and the books that descended from the sky and all of God’s messengers.” God said, “You are right. Who have you appointed as your successor in your Ummah? I said, “The best of them” Allah said, “Is it Ali?” I said, “Yes my lord” God said, “O, Muhammad, I searched the earth and I chose you and I made a name for you from my name. So I will not be remembered anywhere unless you will be remembered. I am Mahmoud (praised one) and you are Muhammad (Praiseworthy). Then I looked again and chose Ali and among my name, I preferred a name and I branched a name for him. I am the Ali Al-A’la (the highest of the height) and he is Ali (highest). O, Muhammad I created you, Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Husayn and your successors from the descendants of Ali from the class of my light. In addition, I offered your superintendence to skies and earths. Therefore, whoever accepted it, I accepted him as a faithful and those who denied it I know him as a pagan. O, Muhammad if a servant of My servants worships Me until his strength ends and turns like an old water skin but he dies while he denies your superintendence, and he enters My presence I will not leave him until he accepts your superintendence. O Muhammad, do you like to see them all (your successors)?

I said, “Yes my lord ” God said, “look at the right side of my throne” I looked and I saw Ali, Fatima, Hasan, Husayn, Ali Ibn Husayn, Muhammad Ibn Alil, Ja’far Ibn Muhammad, Musa Ibn Ja’far, Ali Ibn Musa, Muhammad Ibn Ali, Ali Ibn Muhammad, Hasan Ibn Ali and Mahdi in a platter of Light and they were praying. Also he, I mean Mahdi among them was shining. God told me, “O Muhammad they are the testimonies and he (Mahdi) is revenger of your kinship’s blood. I take oath to my Honor and Excellency that he will serve as an aid to my beloved and the revenger of my enemies. They are the obligated testimonies and by them God keeps the sky from falling.10

Effects Of Accepting Their Superintendence

The love for the Household of the Prophet is termed as the repayment to the Prophet, but the fact is that the benefit and the advantage of this love comes back to us and this is the way of getting closer to Allah. This love and the acceptance of their superintendence is what makes the devotee obedient and makes him pious. People like Salman, Abu Dharr, Miqdad and Ammar studied in this school. Those who claim to be adherents of the Ahlul Bayt and do not reach piety, they only boast. In the Ahadith of Ahlul Bayt our Imams rejected their claims such as the hadith that Sheikh Kulayni narrates in the book of Kafi.

الکلینی بسنده عن مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ مُسْلِمٍ عَنْ أَبِي جَعْفَرٍ ع قَالَ لَا تَذْهَبْ بِكُمُ الْمَذَاهِبُ فَوَ اللَّهِ مَا شِيعَتُنَا إِلَّا مَنْ أَطَاعَ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ

Sheikh Kulayni narrates from Muhammad Ibn Muslim from Imam Baqir, “The various ways does not cause you diversion (but) I swear to Allah you are not our Shia unless you obey God”11.

He also narrates from Jabir Ibn Abdullah from Imam Baqir,

الکلینی بسنده عنْ جَابِرٍ عَنْ أَبِي جَعْفَرٍ ع قَالَ قَالَ لِي يَا جَابِرُ أَ يَكْتَفِي مَنِ انْتَحَلَ التَّشَيُّعَ أَنْ يَقُولَ بِحُبِّنَا أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ فَوَ اللَّهِ مَا شِيعَتُنَا إِلَّا مَنِ اتَّقَى اللَّهَ وَ أَطَاعَهُ وَ مَا كَانُوا يُعْرَفُونَ يَا جَابِرُ إِلَّا بِالتَّوَاضُعِ وَ التَّخَشُّعِ وَ الْأَمَانَةِ وَ كَثْرَةِ ذِكْرِ اللَّهِ وَ الصَّوْمِ وَ الصَّلَاةِ وَ الْبِرِّ بِالْوَالِدَيْنِ وَ التَّعَاهُدِ لِلْجِيرَانِ مِنَ الْفُقَرَاءِ وَ أَهْلِ الْمَسْكَنَةِ وَ الْغَارِمِينَ وَ الْأَيْتَامِ وَ صِدْقِ الْحَدِيثِ وَ تِلَاوَةِ الْقرآن وَ كَفِّ الْأَلْسُنِ عَنِ النَّاسِ إِلَّا مِنْ خَيْرٍ وَ كَانُوا أُمَنَاءَ عَشَائِرِهِمْ فِي الْأَشْيَاءِ قَالَ جَابِرٌ فَقُلْتُ يَا ابْنَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ مَا نَعْرِفُ الْيَوْمَ أَحَداً بِهَذِهِ الصِّفَةِ فَقَالَ يَا جَابِرُ لَا تَذْهَبَنَّ بِكَ الْمَذَاهِبُ حَسْبُ الرَّجُلِ أَنْ يَقُولَ أُحِبُّ عَلِيّاً وَ أَتَوَلَّاهُ ثُمَّ لَا يَكُونَ مَعَ ذَلِكَ فَعَّالًا فَلَوْ قَالَ إِنِّي أُحِبُّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ فَرَسُولُ اللَّهِ ص خَيْرٌ مِنْ عَلِيٍّ ع ثُمَّ لَا يَتَّبِعُ سِيرَتَهُ وَ لَا يَعْمَلُ بِسُنَّتِهِ مَا نَفَعَهُ حُبُّهُ إِيَّاهُ شَيْئاً فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَ اعْمَلُوا لِمَا عِنْدَ اللَّهِ لَيْسَ بَيْنَ اللَّهِ وَ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ قَرَابَةٌ أَحَبُّ الْعِبَادِ إِلَى اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ وَ أَكْرَمُهُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَتْقَاهُمْ وَ أَعْمَلُهُمْ بِطَاعَتِهِ يَا جَابِرُ وَ اللَّهِ مَا يُتَقَرَّبُ إِلَى اللَّهِ تَبَارَكَ وَ تَعَالَى إِلَّا بِالطَّاعَةِ وَ مَا مَعَنَا بَرَاءَةٌ مِنَ‏

“O, Jabir, those who claim to be our Shia and they just claim to love us (without any action), I swear to Allah they are not our Shias unless they start to be pious and obey God. Our Shias cannot be recognized except by their humbleness, their fear of God, being trustworthy, excessive remembrance of Allah, fasts, prayers, being nice to parents, taking care of poor, pitiable, caring towards the orphans and neighbors, honesty, reciting Quran and speaking just for the good of people. They (Shia) are known as the (most) trustworthy individuals for the custody of goods among their people.”12

Jabir says, “O, son of messenger of Allah we do not know anybody with this characteristics!”

Imam answered me, “Do not get it the wrong way. Whoever claims that he loves Ali but does not act for it (is the same as) someone who says he loves the Prophet but does not follow his way of living and does not act like him. The love of Prophet does not have any benefit for him. So be pious and fulfill your duties to God because there is no blood relation between God and anybody. The most beloved servant to God is the most pious one and the one who strives in His way the most. O, Jabir no one can get closer to Allah just by obeying him, we do not give safe-conduct from hell to anybody, and no one has the excuse. Anyone who obeys God is our beloved and our friend, and whoever sins is our enemy, and our love (Velayat) cannot be earned except by actions and virtue.”

Imam Sajad in these phrases of Dua says,

اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِ مُحَمَّدٍ

الطَّيِّبِينَ الْأَبْرَارِ الْأَخْيَارِ الَّذِينَ أَوْجَبْتَ حُقُوقَهُمْ وَ فَرَضْتَ طَاعَتَهُمْ وَ وِلاَيَتَهُم

“May Allah send your peace and blessings to Muhammad and his household for they are the righteous and chosen (by you) in the world and for you obligate their right, obedience and love upon us.”

  • 1. (وما علی الرسول الا البلاغ ،المائده ،99)
  • 2. Zyarat of Prophet in Saturdays
  • 3. الشورى (23)
  • 4. The pillar of Kabeh that has the stone of Hajar Al-Aswad installed in it.
  • 5. Magham is the stone that has the trace of Prophet Abraham’s feet. The place between Rukn and Magham is one of the holiest places between Muslims.
  • 6. بحارالأنوار ج : 7 ص : 234
  • 7. بحارالأنوار ج : 8 ص : 358
  • 8. بحارالأنوار ج : 23 ص : 231
  • 9. بحارالأنوار ج : 23 ص : 233
  • 10. ماة منقبه ص 40
  • 11. الكافي ج : 2 ص : 74
  • 12. الكافي ج : 2 ص : 75