Table of Contents

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).