Part 3: Imamate
Our Doctrines Concerning:
• 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
• The Return (Raj`ah)
• Taqiyyah (Pious Dissimulation)
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)
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)
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.
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.
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!
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)
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.
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.
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 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.
Imam al-Sadiq (`a) is reported to have said in an authenticated tradition:
التَّقِيَّةُ دِينِي وَدِينُ أبَائِي.
He (`a) also said,
مَنْ لاَ تَقِيَّةَ لَهُ لاَ دِينَ لَهُ.
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.