Table of Contents

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


Supplication (Du`a’)

Supplications of al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah

Pilgrimages to the Holy Shrines

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

Oppression and Injustice

Cooperation with Oppressors

Holding Offices in Despotic Governments

Calling upon Islamic Unity

Mutual Rights of Muslims


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

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

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

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

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

Supplication (Du`a’)

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

اَلدُّعَاءُ سِلاَحُ المُؤمِنِ، وَعَمُودُ الدِّينِ، وَنُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأرْضِ.

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

أفْضَلُ العِبَادَةِ الدُّعَاءُ.

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

أحَبُّ الأعْمَالِ إلَى اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ فِي الأرْضِ الدُّعَاءُ.

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

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

إنَّ الدُّعَاءَ يَرُدُّ القَضَاءَ وَالبَلاَءَ.

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

الدُّعَاءُ شِفَاءٌ مِنْ كُلِّ دَاءٍ.

Supplication is a remedy for all maladies.(6)

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

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

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

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

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

إِنَّ النَّفْسَ لَأَمَّارَةٌ بِالسُّوءِ

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

وَمَا أَكْثَرُ النَّاسِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتَ بِمُؤْمِنِينَ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

أَيْ رَبّ جَلّلْنِي بِسِتْرِكَ، وَاعْفُ عَنْ تَوْبِيخِي بِكَرَمِ وَجْهِكَ.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

over hearts that have acknowledged Your Divinity through verification;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Supplications of Al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Others teach us the meaning of kindness to parents.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

O He through whom the knots of detested things are untied! O He through whom the cutting edge of hardships is blunted! O He from whom is begged the outlet to the freshness of relief! Intractable affairs yield to Your power; means are made ready by Your gentleness; the decree goes into effect through Your power; and all things proceed according to Your desire. By Your desire, they follow Your command without Your word; and by Your will, they obey Your bans without Your prohibition…

Second: These supplications comprise presentations of Almighty Allah’s incessant favors on His servants and His servants’ inability to thank Him for these favors no matter what great extents the servants can reach in worship, obedience, and devotion to Him. Let us read the following passage quoted from the thirty-seventh supplication:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّ أَحَداً لاَ يَبْلُغُ مِنْ شُكْرِكَ غَايَةً إِلاَّ حَصَلَ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ إِحْسَانِكَ مَا يُلْزِمُهُ شُكْرَاً، وَلاَ يَبْلُغُ مَبْلَغاً مِنْ طَاعَتِكَ وَإِنِ اجْتَهَدَ إِلاَّ كَانَ مُقَصِّراً دُونَ اسْتِحْقَاقِكَ بِفَضْلِكَ، فَأَشْكَرُ عِبَادِكَ عَاجِزٌ عَنْ شُكْرِكَ، وَأَعْبَدُهُمْ لَك مقَصِّرٌ عَنْ طَاعَتِكَ…

O Allah: No one reaches a limit in thanking You without acquiring that of Your beneficence, which enjoins upon him thanksgiving, nor does anyone reach a degree in obeying You, even if he strives, without falling short of what You deserve because of Your bounty. The most thankful of Your servants does not have the capacity to thank You, and the most worshipful of them falls short of obeying You.

Because Almighty Allah’s graces and favors that He endows upon His creatures are endless, man fails to thank Him duly. Naturally, the case will be worse with those who dare to disobey Him. Hence, whatever such disobedient persons do after that, they will never be able to make amends for even a single act of disobedience to Him that they have committed. The following passage, quoted from the sixteenth supplication, refers to this fact:

يَا إِلَهِي! لَوْ بَكَيْتُ إِلَيْكَ حَتَّى تَسْقُطَ أَشْفَارُ عَيْنَيَّ، وَانْتَحَبْتُ حَتَّى يَنْقَطِعَ صَوْتِي، وَقُمْتُ لَكَ حَتَّى تَتَنَشَّرَ قَدَمَايَ، وَرَكَعْتُ لَكَ حَتَّى يَنْخَلِعَ صُلْبِي، وَسَجَدْتُ لَكَ حَتَّى تَتَفَقَّأَ حَدَقَتَايَ، وَأَكَلْتُ تُرَابَ الأَرْضِ طُولَ عُمْرِي، وَشَرِبْتُ مَاءَ الرَّمَادِ آخِرَ دَهْرِي، وَذَكَرْتُكَ فِي خِلاَلِ ذَلِكَ حَتَّى يَكِلَّ لِسَانِي، ثُمَّ لَمْ أَرْفَعْ طَرْفِي إِلَى آفَاقِ السَّمَاءِ اسْتِحْيَاءً مِنْكَ، مَا اسْتَوْجَبْتُ بِذَلِكَ مَحْوَ سَيِّئَةٍ وَاحِدَةٍ مِنْ سَيِّئَاتِي!

My God: If I weep before You until my eyelids drop off, wail until my voice wears out, stand before You until my feet swell up, bow to You until my backbone is thrown out of joint, prostrate myself before You until my eyeballs fall out, eat the dirt of the earth for the rest of my life, drink the water of ashes until the end of my days, mention You through all of that until my tongue fails, and not lift my glance to the sky's horizons in shame before You, yet would I not merit through all of that the erasing of a single one of my evil deeds!

Third: Explaining Divine Reward and Punishment and introducing Paradise and Hellfire, these supplications denote that the entire reward of Almighty Allah is in fact one of His favors that He confers upon His servants for we deserve His punishment on account of the least act of disobedience that we commit audaciously, and Almighty Allah has thorough evidence of it.

As a matter of fact, all the supplications of al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah constantly strike on this effective chord so as to convey to the souls the necessity of fearing the punishment of Almighty Allah and desiring His reward. Through a variety of eloquent styles that seep into the hearts of those who read them attentively, these supplications make them fear even thinking of committing an act of disobedience to Almighty Allah. For instance, let us review the following passage quoted from the forty-sixth supplication:

حُجَّتُكَ قَائِمَةٌ لاَ تُدْحَضُ، وَسُلْطَانُكَ ثَابِتٌ لاَ يَزُولُ. فَالْوَيْلُ الدَّائِمُ لِمَنْ جَنَحَ عَنْكَ، وَالْخَيْبَةُ الخَاذِلَةُ لِمَنْ خَابَ مِنْكَ، وَالشَّقَاءُ الأَشْقَى لِمَنِ اغْتَرَّ بِكَ. مَا أَكْثَرَ تَصَرُّفَهُ فِي عَذَابِكَ! وَمَا أَطْوَلَ تَرَدُّدَهُ فِي عِقَابِكَ! وَمَا أَبْعَدَ غَايَتَهُ مِنَ الْفَرَجِ! وَمَا أَقْنَطَهُ مِنْ سُهُولَةِ الْمَخْرَجِ! عَدْلاً مِنْ قَضَائِكَ لاَ تَجُورُ فِيهِ، وَإِنْصَافاً مِنْ حُكْمِكَ لاَ تَحِيفُ عَلَيْهِ. فَقَدْ ظَاهَرْتَ الْحُجَجَ، وَأَبْلَيْتَ الأَعْذَارَ…

Your argument is established, never refuted. Your authority fixed, never removed. Permanent woe be to him who inclines away from You. Forsaking disappointment be to him who is disappointed by You, and the most wretched wretchedness be to him who is deluded about You! How long he will move about in Your chastisement! How long he will frequent Your punishment! How far his utmost end from relief is! How he will despair of an easy exit! [All of this] as justice from Your decree (You are not unjust in it!), and equity from Your judgment (You do not act wrongfully against him!). You supported the arguments, tested the excuses…

Another example is the following passage quoted from the thirty-first supplication:

اَللَّهُمَّ فَارْحَمْ وَحْدَتِي بَيْنَ يَدَيْكَ، وَوَجِيبَ قَلْبِي مِنْ خَشْيَتِكَ، وَاضْطِرَابَ أَرْكَانِي مِنْ هَيْبَتِكَ، فَقَدْ أَقَامَتْنِي يَا رَبِّ ذُنُوبِي مَقَامَ الْخِزْيِ بِفِنَائِكَ، فَإِنْ سَكَتُّ لَمْ يَنْطِقْ عَنِّي أَحَدٌ، وَإِنْ شَفَعْتُ فَلَسْتُ بِأَهْلِ الشَّفَاعَةِ.

O Allah: so, (please) have mercy upon my being alone before You, the pounding of my heart in dread of You, the trembling of my limbs in awe of You! My sins, O my God, have caused me to stand in the station of degradation in Your courtyard. If I remain silent, none will speak for me; and if I seek an intercessor, I will not be worthy of intercession.

Another example is quoted from the thirty-ninth supplication:

فَإِنَّكَ إِنْ تُكَافِنِي بِالْحَقِّ تُهْلِكْنِي، وَإِلاّ تَغَمَّدْنِي بِرَحْمَتِكَ تُوبِقْنِي. اَللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْتَوْهِبُكَ يَا إِلَهِي مَا لاَ يَنْقُصُكَ بَذْلُهُ، وَأَسْتَحْمِلُكَ مَا لاَ يَبْهَظُكَ حَمْلُهُ، أَسْتَوْهِبُكَ يَا إِلَهِي نَفْسِيَ اَلَّتِي لَمْ تَخْلُقْهَا لِتَمْتَنِعَ بِهَا مِنْ سُوءٍ، أَوْ لِتَطَرَّقَ بِهَا إِلَى نَفْعٍ، وَلكِنْ أَنْشَأْتَهَا إِثْبَاتاً لِقُدْرَتِكَ عَلَى مِثْلِهَا، وَاحْتِجَاجاً بِهَا عَلَى شَكْلِهَا. وَأَسْتَحْمِلُكَ مِنْ ذُنُوبِي مَا قَدْ بَهَظَنِي حَمْلُهُ، وَأَسْتَعِينُ بِكَ عَلَى مَا قَدْ فَدَحَنِي ثِقْلُهُ. فَصَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِهِ، وَهَبْ لِنَفْسِي عَلَى ظُلْمِهَا نَفْسِي، وَوَكِّلْ رَحْمَتَكَ بِاحْتِمَالِ إِصْرِي.

If You recompense me with the right, You will destroy me; and if You do not shield me in Your mercy, You will lay me waste. O Allah, my God: I ask You to grant me that whose giving will not decrease You, and I ask You to carry (on behalf of me) that whose carrying will not weigh You down. My God, I ask You to pardon my soul, which You did not create to keep Yourself from evil nor to find the way to profit. No, You brought it forth to demonstrate Your power over (making) its like and to provide an argument against its matches. I ask You to carry those of my sins whose carrying weighs me down and I seek help from You in that whose heaviness oppresses me. So, (please) bless Muhammad and his Household; and pardon my soul in spite of its wrongdoing, and appoint Your mercy to carry my burden!

Fourth: Through these supplications, the Imam (`a) intended to make the supplicants disdain evil and vices so that their inner selves become pure and their hearts free from filth. The following passage, quoted from the twentieth supplication, is a good example:

اَللَّهُمَّ وَفِّرْ بِلُطْفِكَ نِيَّتِي، وَصَحِّحْ بِمَا عِنْدَكَ يَقِينِي، وَاسْتَصْلِحْ بِقُدْرَتِكَ مَا فَسَدَ مِنِّي… اَللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِهِ، وَمَتِّعْنِي بِهُدًى صَالِحٍ لاَ أَسْتَبْدِلُ بِهِ، وَطَرِيقَةِ حَقٍّ لاَ أَزِيغُ عَنْهَا، وَنِيَّةِ رُشْدٍ لاَ أَشُكُّ فِيهَا… اللَّهُمَّ لاَ تَدَعْ خَصْلَةً تُعَابُ مِنِّي إِلاَّ أَصْلَحْتَهَا، ولاَ عَائِبَةً أُؤَنَّبُ بِهَا إِلاَّ حَسَّنْتَهَا، وَلاَ أُكْرُومَةً فِيَّ نَاقِصَةً إِلاَّ أتْمَمْتَهَا…

O Allah: Complete my intention through Your gentleness, rectify my certainty through what is with You, and set right what is corrupt in me through Your power… O Allah: Bless Muhammad and his Household, give me to enjoy a sound guidance which I seek not to replace, a path of truth from which I swerve not, and an intention of right conduct in which I have no doubts… O Allah: Deposit in me no quality for which I will be faulted unless You set it right, no flaw for which I will be blamed unless You make it beautiful, and no deficient noble trait unless You complete it!

Fifth: Through these supplications, the Imam (`a) suggests to the supplicants that it is necessary to disdain begging people and showing humility to them. He (`a) also suggests that one must not provide one’s need before anyone except Almighty Allah, since to desire what people possess is one of the lowliest traits of character. An example of these suggestions can be read in the following passage, quoted from the twentieth supplication:

وَلاَ تَفْتِنِّي بِالإسْتِعَانَةِ بِغَيْرِكَ إِذَا اضْطُرِرْتُ، وَلاَ بِالْخُضُوعِ لِسُؤَالِ غَيْرِكَ إِذَا افْتَقَرْتُ، وَلاَ بِالتَّضَرُّعِ إِلَى مَنْ دُونَكَ إِذَا رَهِبْتُ، فَأَسْتَحِقَّ بِذَلِكَ خِذْلاَنَكَ وَمَنْعَكَ وَإِعْرَاضَكَ.

(Please) Tempt me not to seek help from other than You when I am distressed, to humble myself in asking from someone else when I am poor, or to plead with someone less than You when I fear, for then I would deserve Your abandonment, Your withholding, and Your turning away.

A similar suggestion is present in the following passage, quoted from the twenty-eighth supplication:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَخْلَصْتُ بِانْقِطَاعِي إِلَيْكَ، وَأَقْبَلْتُ بِكُلِّي عَلِيكَ، وَصَرَفْتُ وَجْهِي عَمَّنْ يَحْتَاجُ إِلَى رِفْدِكَ، وَقَلَبْتُ مَسْأَلَتِي عَمَّنْ لَمْ يَسْتَغْنِ عَنْ فَضْلِكَ، وَرَأَيْتُ أَنَّ طَلَبَ الْمُحْتَاجِ إِلَى الْمُحْتَاجِ سَفَهٌ مِنْ رَأْيِهِ وَضَلَّةٌ مِنْ عَقْلِهِ.

O Allah: I showed sincerity by cutting myself off from everything but You. I approached You with my whole self. I averted my face from everyone who needs Your support. I ceased to ask from any who cannot do without Your bounty. I see that the needy who seeks from the needy is foolish in his opinion, and misguided in his intellect.

Another similar suggestion can also be read in the following passage, quoted from the thirteenth supplication:

فَمَنْ حَاوَلَ سَدَّ خَلَّتِهِ مِنْ عِنْدِكَ، وَرَامَ صَرْفَ الْفَقْرِ عَنْ نَفْسِهِ بِكَ، فَقَدْ طَلَبَ حَاجَتَهُ فِي مَظَانِّهَا، وَأَتَى طِلَبَتَهُ مِنْ وَجْهِهَا. وَمَنْ تَوجَّهَ بِحَاجَتِهِ إِلَى أَحَدٍ مِنْ خَلْقِكَ، أَوْ جَعَلَهُ سَبَبَ نُجْحِهَا دُونَكَ، فَقَدْ تَعَرَّضَ لِلْحِرْمَانِ، وَاسْتَحَقَّ مِنْ عِنْدِكَ فَوْتَ الإِحْسَانِ.

So, he who strives to remedy his lack through what is with You and wishes to turn poverty away from himself through You has sought his need in the most likely place and come with his request to the right quarter. He who turns in his need towards one of Your creatures or assigns the cause of its being granted to other than You has exposed himself to deprivation and deserves to miss Your beneficence.

Sixth: These supplications teach people that it is obligatory upon them to respect the rights of each other, help each other, and treat each other with terms of compassion, sympathy, and altruism so as to put into practice the meaning of fraternity of Islam. Such teachings can be read in the following passage, quoted from the thirty-eighth supplication:

اَللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعْتَذِرُ إِلَيْكَ مِنْ مَظْلُومٍ ظُلِمَ بِحَضْرَتِي فَلَمْ أَنْصُرْهُ، وَمِنْ مَعْرُوفٍ أُسْدِيَ إِلَيَّ فَلَمْ أَشْكُرْهُ، وَمِنْ مُسِيءٍ اعْتَذَرَ إِلَيَّ فَلَمْ أَعْذِرْهُ، وَمِنْ ذِي فَاقَةٍ سَأَلَنِي فَلَمْ أُؤْثِرْهُ، وَمِنْ حَقِّ ذِي حَقٍّ لَزِمَنِي لِمُؤْمِنٍ فَلَمْ أُوَفِّرْهُ وَمِنْ عَيْبِ مُؤْمِنٍ ظَهَرَ لِي فَلَمْ أَسْتُرْهُ.

O Allah: I ask pardon from You for a person wronged in my presence whom I did not help, a favor conferred upon me for which I returned no thanks, an evildoer who asked pardon from me and whom I did not pardon, a needy who asked from me and whom I preferred not over myself, a right of a believer who possesses a right incumbent upon me which I did not fulfill, a fault of a believer which became evident to me and which I did not conceal.

This means of apology is one of the most excellent styles that calls attention to the high Divine morals enjoyed by the servants of Almighty Allah.

Moreover, the following passage, quoted from the thirty-ninth supplication, teaches us the necessity to pardon those who mistreat us, warns us against thinking of revenge, and elevates our souls to the position of holy individuals:

اَللَّهُمَّ وَأَيُّمَا عَبْدٍ نَالَ مِنِّي مَا حَظَرْتَ عَلَيْهِ وَانْتَهَكَ مِنِّي مَا حَجَرْتَ عَلَيْهِ فَمضَى بِظُلامَتِي مَيِّتاً أَوْ حَصَلَتْ لِي قِبَلَهُ حَيّاً فَاغْفِرْ لَهُ مَا أَلَمَّ بِهِ مِنِّي وَاعْفُ لَهُ عَمَّا أَدْبَرَ بِهِ عَنِّي وَلاَ تَقِفْهُ عَلَى مَا ارْتكَبَ فِيَّ وَلاَ تَكْشِفْهُ عَمَّا اكْتَسَبَ بِي وَاجْعَلْ مَا سَمَحْتُ بِهِ مِنَ الْعَفْوِ عَنْهُمْ وَتَبَرَّعْتُ بِهِ مِنَ الصَّدَقَةِ عَلَيْهِمْ أَزْكَى صَدَقَاتِ الْمُتَصَدِّقِينَ وَأَعَلَى صِلاَتِ الْمُتَقَرِّبِينَ وَعَوِّضْنِي مِنْ عَفْوِي عَنْهُمْ عَفْوَكَ وَمِنْ دُعَائِي لَهُمْ رَحْمَتَكَ حَتَّى يَسْعَدَ كُلُّ وَاحِدٍ مِنَّا بِفَضْلِكَ.

O Allah: If any of Your servants should harm me in what You have forbidden, or violate me in what You have interdicted; and if he should pass into death with my complaint or I come to have a complaint against him while he is alive, (please) forgive him what he did to me and pardon him that through which he turned his back on me! Inquire not from him about what he committed toward me and expose him not through what he earned by me! And (please) make my open-handedness in pardoning such servants and my contribution in charity toward them the purest charity of the charitable and the highest gift of those seeking nearness to You! Recompense me for my pardoning them with Your pardon and for my supplicating for them with Your mercy so that each one of us may gain felicity through Your bounty.

The last paragraph of this passage is the most brilliant of all. It has an outstanding impact on those characterized by virtuousness, because it emphasises the necessity of bearing sound intentions toward all people and wishing happiness to everybody, including those who wrong or misbehave with us.

The supplications of al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah are full of such Divine directives that contribute greatly to self-discipline, if only people take hold of them.

Pilgrimage to the Holy Shrines

One of the practices that distinguish the Imamiyyah Shi`ah from the other Muslim sects is that they tend to visit the shrines(18) of the Holy Prophet (s) and the Holy Imams (`a) on a regular basis,(19) build handsome structures on these shrines, and sacrifice everything for them willingly and faithfully.(20)

All these practices are carried out by the Imamiyyah Shi`ah in compliance with the recommendations of the Holy Imams (`a) who urged their followers to visit these tombs and awakened their desire for the great reward of Almighty Allah that is won when such visits are made. Such practices are amongst those acts of obedience that draw one near Almighty Allah after the obligatory acts of worship. Moreover, these tombs are the best places wherein prayers are answered and pure devotion to Almighty Allah is achieved.

The Holy Imams (`a) have also stated that visiting these shrines accomplishes the fulfillment of our covenants with them. In this regard, Imam al-Ridha (`a) is reported to have said:

إنَّ لِكُلِّ إمَامٍ عَهْداً فِي عُنُقِ أوْلِيَائِهِ وَشِيعَتِهِ، وَإنَّ مِنْ تَمَامِ الوَفَاءِ بِالعَهْدِ وَحُسْنِ الأدَاءِ زِيَارَةَ قُبُورِهِمْ. فَمَنْ زَارَهُمْ رَغْبَةً فِي زِيَارَتِهِمْ وَتَصْدِيقاً بِمَا رَغَّبُوا فِيِه كَانَ أئِمَّتُهُمْ شُفَعَاءَهُمْ يَوْمَ القِيَامَةِ.

The disciples and followers of every Imam (`a) are connected to him with a binding covenant that they must fulfill. Among the items of an excellent fulfillment of these covenants is indeed the visiting of the Imams’ tombs. Hence, if one visits their tombs willingly and with the intention of accomplishing their desire, the Imams will intercede for him on the Day of Resurrection.(21)

Besides, visiting the Holy Shrines brings about a good number of religious and social advantages—a fact that has made our Imams take such great interest in the matter. Some of these advantages are as follows:

1) Visiting the Holy Shrines strengthens the bond of loyalty and love for the Holy Imams (`a) in their followers.

2) It arouses the pictures of the Holy Imams’ (`a) exploits, morality and struggle for truth.

3) During the congregational seasons of visits, the scattered groups of Muslims gather in the same place to know each other and exchange views.

4) It fixes in hearts the spirits of submission to Almighty Allah, devotion to Him, and compliance with His commands.

Forms of Ziyarah

Through the eloquent statements—reported from and recommended by the Holy Imams (`a)—stated during visits and known as ziyarah, the pilgrims learn the reality of monotheism, the true sacredness of Islam and the Holy Prophet’s Mission. They also learn their duties of abiding by high morality, submitting to the Maker of all creatures, and appreciating His bounties and favors. At this point, the visits to the holy shrines undertake the same function performed by supplications discussed in the previous chapter.

Some of these forms of ziyarah, in fact, hold remarkable supplications, such as the ziyarat aminillah,(22) a form of prayer that Imam `Ali ibn al-Husayn (`a) is reported to have made during his visit to the tomb of his grandfather, Imam `Ali ibn Abi-Talib (`a).(23)

These forms of ziyarah present a clear-cut depiction of the situations and sacrifices of the Holy Imams (`a) for the sake of supporting the right and elevating the influence of religion over all other influences.

They also demonstrate the Holy Imams’ (`a) dedicating themselves to obeying Almighty Allah.

In lucid Arabic diction and easy-to-understand statements, these forms of ziyarah contain an excellent expression of monotheism, supplication, and invocation to Almighty Allah.

In addition to the Holy Qur'an, Nahj al-Balaghah, and the supplications reported from the Holy Imams (`a), these forms of ziyarah are reckoned among the most sublime religious literature, because they hold an extract of the Holy Imams’ knowledge in faith and self-discipline.

The visiting of these holy shrines, recommended by the Holy Imams (`a), holds teachings and true guidance that call for the attainment of the supreme goals of religion, such as spiritual progress of Muslims, development of the spirit of mutual sympathy among different classes of the Muslim community and encouraging amicable association, polite behavior, and social intercourse. This discipline includes practices before entering the Holy Shrines as well as others during the visit and after it.

Etiquettes of Visiting the Holy Shrines

Teachings derived from the etiquettes of visiting the holy shrines are the following:

1) A pilgrim to the holy shrines must bathe and cleanse himself from impurities before beginning the visit. The advantage of this instruction is obvious. Man cleanses himself from dirt in order to avoid many sicknesses and diseases, save people from stinks,(24) and purify himself from vices.

The sublime goals of this practice as reported (from the Holy Infallibles) are that a pilgrim, after bathing himself, is advised to repeat the following supplication:

اَللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْ لِي نُوراً وَطَهُوراً، وَحِرْزاً كَافِياً مِنْ كُلِّ دَاءٍ وَسَقَمٍ، وَمِنْ كُلِّ آفَةٍ وَعَاهَةٍ، وَطَهِّرْ بِهِ قَلْبِي وَجَوَارِحِي، وَعِظَامِي وَلَحْمِي وَدَمِي، وَشَعْرِي وَبَشَرِي وَمُخِّي وَعَظْمِي، وَمَا أقَلَّتِ الأرْضُ مِنِّي، وَاجْعَلْ لِي شَاهِداً يَوْمَ حَاجَتِي، وَفَقْرِي وَفَاقَتِي.

O Allah! (Please) grant me light and purity, and a protective shield against all maladies and sicknesses, and against all epidemics and defects. (Please do) purify my heart, my organs, my bones, my flesh, my blood, my hair, my skin, my brain, my marrow, and all my parts that stand on the earth. (Please do) provide me with a witness on the day when I will be poor, needy, and deprived.(25)

2) A pilgrim to the holy shrines is advised to put on his cleanest clothes. A pleasant appearance during general gatherings brings about mutual amicability, makes people approachable, enhances a sense of honor, and highlights the significance of these gatherings.

It is noteworthy that the Holy Imams (`a) have not imposed distinguished or attractive clothes; rather, they have recommended putting the best clothes one may have, because not all people can have distinguished or attractive clothes, lest the poor are embarrassed. Thus, this teaching pays due regard to the condition of the poor.

3) It is good to put on perfume if possible. The advantage of this teaching is similar to the above.

4) When possible, a pilgrim should give alms to the poor. It is well known that almsgiving during such seasons of pilgrimage help the needy and amplify the spirit of sympathy among the pilgrims.

5) A pilgrim of the holy shrines is recommended to proceed towards these shrines with tranquility and gravity, casting his eyes down. Of course, such acts demonstrate that the pilgrims respect the visited places, pay reverence to the visited persons, and direct and devote themselves to Almighty Allah. Besides, these acts help in avoiding trampling other pilgrims and annoying them.

6) A pilgrim is recommended to repeat the statement, ‘allahu-akbar (Allah is the Most High)’ as many times as possible. In certain forms of ziyarah, this statement should be repeated one hundred times. The advantage of this rite is to make the pilgrims feel the supremacy of Almighty Allah and to learn with certainty that there is nothing higher than Him, since pilgrimage to the holy shrines is no more than a sort of worshipping, glorifying, and exalting the Almighty Lord through activating these rites and supporting His religion.

7) After accomplishing the rites of the visit, a pilgrim is recommended to offer a two-unit (i.e. rak`ah) prayer, at least, voluntarily, in order to worship and thank Almighty Allah for the accomplishment of the visit. A pilgrim then asks the Lord to accept his offering of that prayer and to consider its reward as a gift from the pilgrim to the visited person (i.e. the Prophet or Imam).

The supplication recited after the visit to a holy shrine, reveals that the pilgrim’s prayers and acts are directed to Almighty Allah alone other than Who none is worth worshipping and that the pilgrimage is but a sort of seeking nearness to Him:

اَللّهُمَّ لَكَ صَلَّيْتُ، وَلَكَ رَكَعْتُ، وَلَكَ سَجَدْتُ، وَحْدَكَ لا شَريكَ لَكَ، لإَِنَّهُ لا تَكُونُ الصَّلاةُ وَالرُّكُوعُ وَالسُّجُودُ إلاّ لَكَ، لإَِنَّكَ أَنْتَ اللهُ لا إِلهَ إلاّ أَنْتَ. اَللّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلى مُحَمَّد وَآلِ مُحَمَّد، وَتَقَبَّلْ مِنّي زِيارَتي، وَأعْطِني سُؤْلي بِمُحَمَّد وَآلِ مُحَمَّد وَآلِهِ الطّاهِرينَ.

O Allah! To You alone have I prayed, to You alone have I bowed down, and to You alone have I prostrated myself. You are the One and Only God Who has no partner. This is because all prayers, bowing down, and prostration must be offered to none save You, since You are Allah, there is no god save You. O Allah! Bless Muhammad and his Household; and accept my pilgrimage and respond to my requests in the name of Muhammad (s) and his Immaculate Household (`a).(26)

This piece of literature is fully indicative of the actual purposes of the Holy Imams (`a) and their followers behind visiting the holy shrines. It also proves the fallacy of those who claim that the Shi`ah visit the holy shrines as a form of worship by seeking nearness to them and setting up partners to Almighty Allah.

Such false notions attempt to lessen the social-religious advantages of these gatherings but fail miserably. They have become thorns in the eyes of the enemies of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a), because it is improbable that they are ignorant of the purposes of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) behind such collective visits.

Far be it from the Holy Imams (`a)—who have worshipped Almighty Allah faithfully and sincerely, devoted themselves to obeying Him, and sacrificed everything, including their lives, for His religion—to call people to set up partners with Him.

8) A pilgrim’s conduct and behaviour must be most proper while on a visit. For eg., he should speak as little as possible, except in affairs that benefit Islam, mention Almighty Allah constantly, show reverence, offer prayers very often, pray to the Lord to shower His blessings upon Muhammad and his Household. He should keep his gaze lowered, hurry in helping and lending a hand to those who are in need, and abstain from entering upon disputatious conversations, committing any forbidden act, swearing, and engaging in arguments that require taking oaths.

Let us not forget to refer to the main purpose of visiting the holy shrines, which is to greet the Holy Prophet (s) and the Holy Imams (`a), because they are alive and are provided with sustenance from their Lord.(27) They can hear the words addressed to them and respond to them. Although it is sufficient to address them with simple statements like, ‘Peace be upon you,” it is more proper to repeat the statements reported from them by the pilgrims of their holy shrines (i.e. the ziyarah), because they are full of impressive meanings and religious advantages, in addition to their eloquence and articulation. These forms of ziyarah are superb prayers through which one can get closer to Almighty Allah.

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

The Holy Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a), after they knew that they would not hold the (political) leadership of the Muslim nation, dedicated their lives to disciplining and educating Muslims the way Almighty Allah wanted. They exerted all their efforts to teach their followers, in whom they confided their secrets, all the items of the religious laws as well as the knowledge of the Holy Prophet (s) and their rights and obligations.

The Holy Imams (`a), clearly defined a follower (i.e. Shi`ite) as only he who obeys the commands of Almighty Allah, forsakes personal whims and caprices, and accepts and adheres to their (i.e. the Imams) directives and teachings. Love for the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) is not sufficient to win salvation and deliverance from one’s duties toward Almighty Allah. It is a false notion that is chiefly adopted by those who hide themselves under coverings of serenity and lust and shun obedience to Almighty Allah under the pretense that their love for the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) would liberate them from religious responsibilities.

On the contrary, the Holy Imams (`a) do not consider one’s love for and loyalty to them as achievement of one’s duties toward the Lord unless such love and loyalty are firmly supported with righteous acts and noble traits of character like truthfulness, honesty, piety, and godliness. Confirming this fact, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (`a) says:

يَا خَيْثَمَةُ! أبْلِغْ مَوالِينَا أنَّهُ لاَ نُغْنِي عَنْهُمْ مِنَ اللهِ شَيْئاً إلاَّ بِعَمَلٍ، وَأنَّهُمْ لَنْ يَنَالوا وِلايَتَنَا إلاَّ بِالوَرَعِ، وَإنَّ أشَدَّ النَّاسِ حَسْرَةً يَوْمَ القِيَامَةِ مَنْ وَصَفَ عَدْلاً ثُمَّ خَالَفَهُ إلَى غَيْرِهِ.

O Khaythamah! Inform our adherents that we can be of no avail to them against Almighty Allah unless they themselves offer (righteous) actions. They shall not win our admission of their loyalty to us except by means of piety. Verily, the most regretful on the Day of Resurrection will be one who instructs righteousness but does not act in accordance with it.(28)

Because they believe that practical propagation is more effective than verbal, the Holy Imams (`a) desire and expect their followers to act as heralds of truth and guides of decency and orthodoxy. Hence, Imam al-Sadiq (`a) instructs his followers, saying:

كُونُوا دُعَاةً لِلنَّاسِ بِالخَيْرِ بِغَيْرِ ألْسِنَتِكُمْ لِيَرَوا مِنْكُمُ الإجْتِهَادَ وَالصِّدْقَ وَالوَرَعَ.

Act as heralds to goodness among people by means other than your tongues so that they can feel your perseverance, honesty, and piety.(29)

Let us now cite a number of instructive conversations of the Holy Imams (`a) with their followers to emphasize their concern about their refined moral behavior among the public: Imam al-Baqir’s (`a) conversation with Jabir al-Ju`fi

يَا جَابِرُ! أيَكْتَفِي مَنْ يَنْتَحِلُ التَّشَيُّعَ أنْ يَقُولَ بِحُبِّنَا أهْلَ البَيْتِ؟ فَوَاللهِ مَا شِيعَتُنَا إلاَّ مَنِ اتَّقَى اللهَ وَأطَاعَهُ. وَمَا كَانُوا يُعْرَفُونَ إلاَّ بِالتَّوَاضُعِ وَالتَّخَشُّعِ، وَالأمَانَةِ، وَكَثْرَةِ ذِكْرِ اللهِ، وَالصَّوْمِ، وَالصَّلاَةِ، وَالبِرِّ بِالوَالِدَيْنِ، وَالتَّعَاهُدِ لِلجِيرَانِ مِنَ الفُقَرَاءِ وَأهْلِ المَسْكَنَةِ وَالغَارِمِينَ وَالأيْتَامِ، وَصِدْقِ الحَدِيثِ، وَتِلاَوَةِ القُرْآنِ، وَكَفِّ الألْسُنِ عَنِ النَّاسِ إلاَّ مِنْ خَيْرٍ. وَكَانُوا اُمَنَاءَ عَشَائِرِهِمْ فِي الأشْيَاءِ.

فَاتَّقُوا اللهَ وَاعْمَلُوا لِمَا عِنْدَ اللهِ. لَيْسَ بَيْنَ اللهِ وَبَيْنَ أحَدٍ قَرَابَةٌ. أحَبُّ العِبَادِ إلَى اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ أتْقَاهُمْ وَأعْمَلُهُمْ بِطَاعَتِهِ.

يَا جَابِرُ! وَاللهِ مَا نَتَقَرَّبُ إلَى اللهِ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى إلاَّ بِالطَّاعَةِ، وَمَا مَعَنَا بَرَاءَةٌ مِنَ النَّارِ، وَلاَ عَلَى اللهِ لأحَدٍ مِنْ حُجَّةٍ. مَنْ كَانَ للهِ مُطيعاً فَهُوَ لَنَا وَلِيٌّ، وَمَنْ كَانَ للهِ عَاصِياً فَهُوَ لَنَا عَدُوٌّ. وَمَا تُنَالُ وِلايَتُنَا إلاَّ بِالعَمَلِ وَالوَرَعِ.

“O Jabir! How come that it is sufficient to declare love for us—the Ahl al-Bayt—in order to be a Shi`ite? I swear by Allah that our true Shi`ah (followers) are none but those who fear and obey Allah. Their distinctive features are exclusive modesty, devoutness, fulfillment of trusts, constant reference to Almighty Allah, (much) observance of fasting, (much) offering of prayers, kindness to their parents, caring for the poor, the needy, the indebted, and the orphans from among their neighbors, truthfulness, (repeated) recitation of the Holy Qur'an, and holding their tongues except for uttering good. Moreover, they are always the most trustworthy of the members of their clans for keeping things.

So, (I recommend you to) fear Almighty Allah and work for winning that which He holds. None has kinship with Almighty Allah (due to which he may be favored); rather, the most favorite to Him among His servants are the most pious and the most abiding in obedience to Him.

O Jabir! I swear by Almighty Allah that we seek nearness to Him through no means other than obedience to Him. We do not have patents of release from Hellfire. Nobody has a pretext against Almighty Allah. He who is obedient to Almighty Allah is our follower while he who is disobedient to Him is our enemy. Admission to our loyalty can only be attained by means of good work and piety.

Imam al-Baqir’s Conversation with Sa`id ibn al-Hasan

The following conversation took place between Imam al-Baqir (`a) and Sa`id ibn al-Hasan, one of his disciples:

The Imam: Does it happen that one of you comes to his brother-in-faith and extends his hand to his pocket to take only as much as he needs, but the other does not push him back?

Sa`id: I have not noticed such a thing among us.

The Imam: Then, you are nothing. (i.e. you own nothing of Shi`ism)

Sa`id: This means that we are exposed to perdition!

The Imam: These people have not been endowed with (judicious) reasons yet.(30)

Imam al-Sadiq’s Conversation with Abu’l-Sabbah al-Kinani

The following conversation took place between Imam al-Sadiq (`a) and Abu’l-Sabbah al-Kinani:

Al-Kinani: Great is the extent of harassment we are suffering from people because of you!

The Imam: What kind of harassment are you encountering from people?

Al-Kinani: Whenever we dispute with someone, he immediately gibes at us, saying, ‘You are a malicious Ja`farite! (i.e. following Ja`far ibn Muhammad; Imam al-Sadiq)’”

The Imam: So, people are gibing at you because of me!

Al-Kinani: Yes, they are.

The Imam: By Allah I swear; too few are those who follow ‘Ja`far’ among you! My followers are only those who show intense piety, dedicate their deeds to their Creator, and desire for His rewards. These are exclusively my followers.(31)

Aphorisms of Imam al-Sadiq

In this regard, Imam al-Sadiq (`a) stated many words of truth and wisdom, some of which are cited here:

لَيْسَ مِنَّا، وَلاَ كَرَامَةَ، مَنْ كَانَ فِي مِصْرٍ فِيهِ مِائَةُ ألْفٍ أوْ يَزِيدُونَ وَكَانَ فِي ذَلِكَ المِصْرِ أحَدٌ أوْرَعُ مِنْهُ.

If one who claims following us lives in a country with a population of one hundred thousand or more but there is somebody in that country more pious than he is, then he is definitely not among our followers.(32)

إنَّا لاَ نَعُدُّ الرَّجُلَ مُؤمِناً حَتَّى يَكُونَ لَجِميعِ أمْرِنَا مُتَّبِعاً وَمُرِيداً. ألاَ وإنَّ مِنِ اتِّبَاعِ أمْرِنَا وَأرَادَتِهِ الوَرَعَ، فَتَزَيَّنُوا بِهِ، رَحِمَكُمُ اللهُ.

We do not count one to be among the believers unless one willingly obeys all our commandments. Indeed, one of the features of obeying our commandments willingly is piety. Therefore, adorn yourselves with piety; may Allah have mercy upon you.(33)

لَيْسَ مِنْ شِيعَتِنَا مَنْ لاَ تَتَحَدَّثُ المُخَدَّرَاتُ بِوَرَعِهِ فِي خُدُورِهِنَّ. وَلَيْسَ مِنْ أوْلِيائِنا مَن هُوَ فِي قَرْيَةٍ فِيهَا عَشَرَةُ آلافِ رَجُلٍ فِيهِمْ خَلَقَ اللهُ أوْرَعَ مِنْهُ.

He is not one of our Shi`ah (followers) about whose piety women secluding themselves to their private rooms do not talk. He is not one of our disciples who lives in a town in which ten thousand men live but there is somebody more pious than him living there.(34)

إنَّمَا شِيعَةُ جَعْفَرٍ مَنْ عَفَّ بَطْنَهُ وَفَرْجَهُ، وَاشْتَدَّ جِهَادُهُ وَعَمِلَ لِخَالِقِهِ وَرَجَا ثَوَابَهُ وَخَافَ عِقَابَهُ. فَإذَا رَأيْتَ أولئِكَ فَأولئِكَ شِيعَةُ جَعْفَرٍ.

The real Shi`ah of Ja`far (i.e. Imam al-Sadiq) are exclusively those who chastely avoid the (unlawful) pleasures of stomachs and private parts, those who strive excessively (to attain Almighty Allah’s pleasure), and those who dedicate all their efforts to their Creator, hoping for His reward and fearing His punishment. If you see one enjoying these features, then (be it known to you that) he is one of the Shi`ah of Ja`far.(35)

Oppression and Injustice

Following the Holy Qur'an, the Holy Imams (`a) have considered transgression against others and wronging people to be among the gravest sins man may commit. As for the Holy Qur'an, it has condemned oppression and deemed it one of the most appalling sins:

وَلَا تَحْسَبَنَّ اللَّهَ غَافِلًا عَمَّا يَعْمَلُ الظَّالِمُونَ ۚ إِنَّمَا يُؤَخِّرُهُمْ لِيَوْمٍ تَشْخَصُ فِيهِ الْأَبْصَارُ

Deem not that Allah is heedless of what the iniquitous do; He is only deferring them to a day when eyes shall stare. (14/42)

Likewise, Imam `Ali Amir al-Mu'minin (`a), the most veracious, has described the atrocity and revulsion of wronging people in such astounding terms:

وَاللهِ، لَوْ أُعْطِيتُ الأقَالِيمَ السَّبْعَةَ بِمَا تَحْتَ أفْلاَكِهَا عَلَى أنْ أعْصِيَ اللهَ فِي نَمْلَةٍ أسْلُبُهَا جِلْبَ شَعِيرَةٍ مَا فَعَلْتُ.

By Allah, even if I am given all the domains of the seven (stars) with all that exists under the skies in order that I may disobey Allah to the extent of snatching one grain of barley from an ant I would not do it.

This states the utmost of what man may imagine in the field of abstinence from wrongdoing.

Imam `Ali (`a) would never wrong an ant by snatching even the skin of one grain of barely from it even if he would be given the seven continents. This is the situation with Imam `Ali (`a); how would it be with those who shed the blood of Muslims carelessly, usurp the properties of people and desecrate their honor and dignity? Who can compare those who commit such heinous crimes with Imam `Ali (`a)? What chance do they have? Indeed, the Imam (`a) has described the essence of Divine morality that religion wants human beings to abide by.

Wrongdoing is prohibited in the law of Almighty Allah; therefore, warning against it, condemning it, and emphasis on its forbiddance have occupied a leading position in the traditions and supplications of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a). Such has been their policy; and such has been their conduct even with those who transgressed against them and dared to challenge their position.

For example, the story of Imam al-Hasan (`a) with a Syrian is wellknown. This story shows the Imam’s forbearance with a man who attacked his dignity and railed at him; nevertheless, the Imam (`a) treated him with kindness and sympathy until the ignorant man realized his fault.(36)

We have already cited passages of Imam Zayn al-`Abidin’s (`a) supplications in which he used a supremely appropriate diction to express how to pardon those who wrong us and ask Almighty Allah’s forgiveness for them. This is in fact the utmost hieght of perfection one can attain.

However, according to the laws of Islam, it is permissible to inflict injury on those who act aggressively against us, yet in exactly the same way they inflicted injury on us.

Likewise, to invoke Almighty Allah’s punishment against those who wrong us is also permissible. Even so, permissibility is something quite different from pardon, which is one of the qualities of nobility of character.

Moreover, exaggeration in invoking Almighty Allah’s punishment on wrongdoers may be considered an act of injustice, in the view of the Holy Imams (`a). Expressing this view, Imam al-Sadiq (`a) is reported to have said:

إنَّ العَبْدَ لَيَكُونُ مَظْلُوماً، فَمَا يَزَالُ يَدْعُو حَتَّى يَكُونَ ظَالِماً.

Verily, a servant (of Almighty Allah) may be oppressed; but he may become oppressor due to excessive invocation of evil upon those who oppressed him.(37)

To explain, an oppressed person may exceed the proper bounds of invoking Almighty Allah against the one who oppressed him, thus changing into an oppressor.

How sublime this is! Even an oppressed person’s invocation against the oppressor can be a sort of oppression when it exceeds the just limits! What will, then, be the condition of those who instigate oppression and iniquity, act aggressively against people, attack their reputations, plunder their property, denounce them before the unjust ruling authorities, deceive them so as to involve them in perils, defame them, hurt them, or spy on them? What a place can such transgressors find in the wisdom of the Holy Imams (`a)?

Truly, such persons are the farthest from Almighty Allah, the most sinful and the most deserving of the most horrible punishment from Him.

Cooperation with Oppressors

Oppression is the most dangerous of all deeds and the worst in consequence; therefore, Almighty Allah has warned us against all sorts of oppression including cooperation with oppressors and inclination towards them. He has thus stated:

وَلَا تَرْكَنُوا إِلَى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا فَتَمَسَّكُمُ النَّارُ وَمَا لَكُمْ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ مِنْ أَوْلِيَاءَ ثُمَّ لَا تُنْصَرُونَ

And do not incline towards those who are unjust, lest the fire touches you, and you have no guardians besides Allah, then you shall not be helped. (11/113)

This is the directive of the Holy Qur'an from which the Holy Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) have derived all their directives. They are reported to have used the most expressive words in making people realize the hideousness of inclination towards oppressors, connecting with them, taking part in any of their deeds, and cooperating with them even by offering them half a date.(38)

Indisputably, the gravest misfortune that has beset Islam and Muslims is their lack of firmness in dealing with oppressors, their connivance with them, their taking action in their matters not to mention siding with them and furthering their oppressive acts.

This deviation from the right path is the basic reason that is responsible for the misfortunes that have befallen the Muslim community and weakened the religion of Islam to the extent that it was in the beginning of its advent. Day after day, those claiming being Muslims lost Divine support and became worthless in the eyes of both their powerful and weakest opponents, such as the contemptible Jews, and the powerful Crusaders.

Making every effort, the Holy Imams (`a) tried to drive their followers away from cooperating with oppressive rulers and exerted pressure on their disciples to abandon supporting and helping the wrongdoers and tyrannical authorities. As confirmed by innumerable traditions, the Holy Imams (`a) concentrated on banning any sort of cooperation with transgressors. For instance, Imam Zayn al-`Abidin (`a) is reported to have written the following epistle to Muhammad ibn Muslim al-Zuhri, warning him against helping the unjust authorities in furthering their wrongdoing:

أوَلَيْسَ بِدُعَائِهِمْ إيَّاكَ حِينَ دَعَوكَ جَعَلُوكَ قُطْباً أدَارُوا بِكَ رُحَى مَظَالِمِهِمْ، وَجِسْراً يَعْبُرُونَ عَلَيْكَ إلَى بَلاَيَاهُمْ، وَسُلَّماً إلَى ضَلاَلَتِهِمْ، دَاعِياً إلَى غَيِّهِمْ، سَالِكاً سَبِيلَهُمْ؟ يُدْخِلُونَ بِكَ الشَّكَّ عَلَى العُلَمَاءِ، وَيَقْتَادُونَ بِكَ قُلُوبَ الجُهَّالِ إلَيْهِمْ. فَلَمْ يَبْلُغْ أخَصُّ وُزَرَائِهِمْ وَلاَ أقْوَى أعْوَانِهِمْ إلاَّ دُونَ مَا بَلَغْتَ مِنْ إصْلاَحِ فَسَادِهِمْ وَاخْتِلاَفِ الخَاصَّةِ وَالعَامَّةِ إلَيْهِمْ. فَمَا أقَلَّ مَا أعْطَوْكَ فِي قَدَرِ مَا أخَذوا مِنْكَ! وَمَا أيْسَرَ مَا عَمَروا لكَ! فَكَيْفَ مَا خَرَّبُوا عَلَيْكَ؟ فَانْظُرْ لِنَفْسِكَ، فَإنَّهُ لاَ يَنْظُرُ لَهَا غَيْرُكَ. وَحَاسِبْهَا حِسَابَ رَجُلٍ مَسْئولٍ.

As the unjust ones invite you, they make you the axis of the hand-mill of their wrongdoings, the bridge on which they cross to the misfortunes they cause, and the stairs to their deviation. You become the propagandist of their temptation when you take their courses. They have employed you as the means through which they arouse doubts against the scholars and attract the ignorant. The best one in their government and the most powerful of them could not have achieved the success that you have attained for them by presenting their corrupt affairs as honest and attracting the attention of the celebrities as well as the ordinary people towards yourself. As for what they have given you, you will find it too little. Likewise, they have built for you very trivial things while they have ruined your great things. Look within yourself, for no one will look within you except you yourself, and judge yourself impartially, as if you are the criminal.(39)

How expressive the last sentence is! When man is overcome by personal whims, he sees himself in the depths of his inner self as a hollow being that is unworthy of honor. In plain words, man finds himself responsible for his deeds, looks down upon any act that he commits, and believes that he is too ignoble to offer any excuse for what he has committed.

The Imam (`a) intended to draw al-Zuhri’s attention to this interior consequence, which secretly destroys human beings that are prone to evil, so that he would not be deceived by any illusions, and ignore his responsibility towards himself.

The following instructive conversation between Imam Musa al-Kazim (`a) and Safwan al-Jammal, one of the trustworthy disciples and reporters of the Imam’s traditions, depicts the forbiddance of cooperation with unjust authorities:

Writing the life of Safwan al-Jammal, al-Kashshi records the following narration:

Safwan said: One day, while I was paying a visit to Imam al-Kazim (`a), he said to me, “Safwan: all your manners are acceptable and right except one thing.”

“May Allah accept me as ransom for you!(40) What is that?” I wondered and asked.

The Imam (`a) answered, “It is that you hire camels for this man. (i.e. Harun, the ruler)”

Explaining my situation, I said, “I swear by Allah that I have never hired him a camel to be used for luxurious, reckless, funny, or hunting purposes. Rather, I have hired out camels for him so that he would use it as riding animals on his way to Makkah. Moreover, I do not take charge of the camels myself; rather, I employ some of my servants to do so.”

The Imam (`a) asked, “Do they (i.e. the ruling authorities) pay you for this hiring?”

“Yes, they do,” answered I.

The Imam (`a) further asked, “Do you wish that they would survive until they keep paying you?”

“Yes, I do,” answered I.

The Imam (`a) stated:

فَمَنْ أحَبَّ بَقَاءَهُمْ فَهُوَ مِنْهُمْ، وَمَنْ كَانَ مِنْهُمْ (فَهُوَ) كَانَ وَرَدَ النَّارَ.

“Then, he who wishes survival for them is definitely one of them; and he who belongs to them will definitely be in Hellfire.”

Immediately after that, I sold all my camels.(41)

Merely wishing survival for tyrannical rulers lands one in hellfire. What then will be the future of those who dedicate themselves to helping the tyrannical rulers proceed in their wrongdoings, those who support them in their acts of transgression, those who engage themselves in their groups, those who imitate them in their oppressive acts, those who go along with their processions, and those who comply with their orders? survival for tyrannical rulers lands one in hellfire. What then will be the future of those who dedicate themselves to helping the tyrannical rulers proceed in their wrongdoings, those who support them in their acts of transgression, those who engage themselves in their groups, those who imitate them in their oppressive acts, those who go along with their processions, and those who comply with their orders?

Holding offices in Despotic Governments

The Holy Imams have intensely warned against cooperating with oppressive rulers even by handing them over half a date or hoping for their survival; therefore, the situation will definitely be worse with those who participate with them in ruling and hold offices in their despotic governments. Moreover, the matter will be much worse for those who have a hand in laying the foundations of such despotic governments, play a major role in activating their authorities, and plunge into fortifying their power. Giving reasons for such prohibition, Imam al-Sadiq (`a) is reported to have said:

…وَذَلِكَ أنَّ فِي وِلايَةِ (الوَالِي) الجَائِرِ دُرُوسَ الحَقِّ كُلِّهِ وَإحْيَاءَ البَاطِلِ كُلِّهِ وَإظْهَارَ الظُّلْمِ وَالجَوْرِ وَالفَسَادِ…

“…because to hold an office in the government of despotic rulers wholly eradicates the right and wholly enlivens the wrong. It also spreads injustice, oppression, and corruption…(42)

On the other hand, the Holy Imams (`a) are reported to have permitted holding offices in the governments of despotic rulers if this helps maintain justice, institute the laws of Almighty Allah, and contribute to treating the believers properly, enjoin the right, and forbid the wrong. In this respect, Imam Musa al-Kazim (`a) is reported to have said:

إنَّ للهِ فِي أبْوَابِ الظَّلَمَةِ مَنْ نَوَّرَ اللهُ بِهِ البُرْهَانَ وَمَكَّنَ لَهُ فِي البِلاَدِ، فَيَدْفَعُ بِهِمْ عَنْ أوْلِيَائِهِ وَيُصْلِحُ بِهِمْ أُمُورَ المُسْلِمِينَ… أولَئِكَ هُمُ المُؤمِنُونَ حَقّاً، أولئِكَ مَنَارُ اللهِ فِي أرْضِهِ، أولئِكَ نُورُ اللهِ فِي رَعِيَّتِهِ.

Verily, among the company of the oppressors, there are those through whom Almighty Allah has made bright His path and given power in countries to protect His intimate servants and resolve the difficulties of Muslims. These are indeed the true believers. These are the shining guides to Almighty Allah in His lands. These are the light of Almighty Allah among His subjects.(43)

Concerning this matter, many traditions have been reported to demonstrate the course that must be adopted by governors and governmental officials, such as the famous epistle of Imam al-Sadiq (`a) to `Abdullah al-Najashi, the governor of al-Ahwaz44..

Calling upon Islamic Unity

The Holy Imams of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) are well-known for their calling upon the observance and maintenance of Islamic aspects, to preserve its glory, sustain the unity of Muslims, keep them in a ceaseless state of fraternity, and remove all rancor(45) and malice from their hearts.

In this respect, it is unfair to ignore the unforgettable situation of Imam `Ali Amir al-Mu'minin (`a) with his predecessors to the Caliphate. Although he was furious at them because he believed that they had usurped his right, his behaviour with them was full of tolerance. Moreover, he did not challenge them with the fact that the Holy Prophet (s) had appointed him as Caliph; and he did not declare this in any public meeting until the leadership of the Muslim nation eventually returned to him. Only then did he declare that Divine commandments had nominated him as the successor of the Holy Prophet (s), calling the existing companions to testify as witnesses for him that the Holy Prophet (s) had openly declared him as his successor on that famous day at Ghadir Khumm.(46)

Imam `Ali (`a) never refrained from offering sound advice in matters that would benefit the interests of Muslims. Describing this period, he used to repeat the following statement:

فَخَشِيتُ إنْ لَمْ أنْصُرِ الإسْلاَمَ وَأهْلَهُ أنْ أرَى فِيهِ ثَلْماً أوْ هَدْماً تَكُونُ المُصِيبَةُ بِهِ عَلَيَّ أعْظَمَ مِنْ فَوْتِ وِلايَتِكُمْ…

I then feared that if I did not protect Islam and its people and there occurred in it a breach or destruction, it would mean a greater blow to me than the loss of power over you…(47)

Besides, he did not say any word that would probably tire out their rulership, weaken their authority, or underestimate their prestige. He therefore withdrew within himself and confined himself to his house inspite of which he had to encounter problems because of them.

He had to suffer all that for the sake of protecting the general interests of Islam lest a breach or fall might occur in the religion. This situation was so well-known that `Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second caliph, used to say the like of the following statements repeatedly:

May Allah never keep me to face a problem while Abu’l-Hasan is not there to solve it.(48)

If it were not for `Ali, `Umar would have certainly perished.(49)

It is also unfair to shun reference to the situation of Imam al-Hasan (`a) when he decided to enter upon a truce with Mu`awiyah,(50) realizing that insistence on war would injure the major weighty thing (i.e. the Holy Qur'an) and bring down the state of justice and the name of Islam forever.It would, further, result in the eradication of Divine law and annihilate the remaining members of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a).So, Imam al-Hasan (`a) preferred saving the aspects and name of Islam over engagement in war even if the achievement of such would force him to make peace with Mu`awiyah, the most vehement enemy of Islam and the bitter opponent of the Imam and his Shi`ah. He knew that he and his followers would suffer oppression and humiliation at the hands of this man, but Islam’s interests were more important than all lives.

Despite the fact that members of the Holy Prophet’s (s) clan (namely, descendants of Hashim) and the Shi`ah had already sharpened their swords and were willing to fight, Imam al-Hasan (`a) believed that achieving the general interest of Islam must be above all considerations.

As for Imam al-Husayn the martyr (`a), he revolted against the Umayyad dynasty because he was forced to announce allegiance to Yazid, the immodest Ummayyad ruler.He believed that if these rulers continued in their course of transgression and tyranny without there being anyone to stop them and reveal their reality before the people, they would certainly eradicate the name of Islam and demolish its glory. He therefore aimed at showing everybody for all times to come, the oppressive and repressive policy of these rulers and unveil their vicious conspiracies against the law of Islam. What he intended took place. Had it not been for Imam al-Husayn’s uprising, the religion of Islam would have been no more than material for history, just like the other dead faiths.

The reason for the Shi`ah taking a great interest in commemorating the uprising of Imam al-Husayn (`a) in various ways is that they want to complete the mission of his uprising, that is to struggle against wrong and oppression and keep his sacrifice alive forever, as has been commissioned by the Holy Imams (`a).

Ensuring the continuity of the dignity of Islam by the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) even when power was grasped by their most vehement enemies, can be clearly seen in the conduct of Imam Zayn al-`Abidin (`a) during the oppressive reign of the Umayyad rulers.

These oppressive rulers massacred the household of the Imam (`a) violated its sanctity during their reigns; nevertheless, the Imam (`a), who was so grieved for what they had done to his father and family members at Karbala', used to pray to Almighty Allah secretly to grant the Muslim armies victory over their enemies. As has been previously cited, supplication was the one and only method to which Imam Zayn al-`Abidin (`a) resorted to spread the genuine teachings and knowledge of Islam. In this respect, the Imam (`a) taught his followers how to pray for victory for Muslim armies. This supplication is famously known as “du`a’ ahl al-thughur (Supplication for the People of the Frontiers)”(51) in which the Imam (`a) says:

اَللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِهِ؛ وَكَثِّرْ عِدَّتَهُمْ، وَاشْحَذْ أَسْلِحَتَهُمْ، وَاحْرُسْ حَوْزَتَهُمُ، وَامْنَعْ حَوْمَتَهُمْ، وَأَلِّفْ جَمْعَهُمْ، وَدبِّرْ أَمْرَهُمْ، وَوَاتِرْ بَيْنَ مِيَرِهِمْ، وَتَوَحَّدْ بِكِفَايَةِ مُؤَنِهِمْ، وَاعْضُدْهُمْ بِالنَّصْرِ، وَأَعِنْهُمْ بِالصَّبْرِ، وَالْطُفْ لَهُمْ فِي الْمَكْرِ.

O Allah: (please) bless Muhammad and his Household; and increase their number, hone their weapons, guard their territory, defend their midst, unite their throng, arrange their affair, send them supplies in a steady string, undertake Yourself to suffice them with provisions, support them with victory, help them with patience, and give them subtlety in guile!

After invoking Almighty Allah against the unbelievers, Imam Zayn al-`Abidin (`a) says:

اَللَّهُمَّ وَقَوِّ بِذَلِكَ مَحَالَّ أَهْلِ الإِسْلاَمِ وَحَصِّنْ بِهِ دِيَارَهُمْ وَثَمِّرْ بِهِ أَمْوَالَهُمْ وَفَرِّغْهُمْ عَنْ مُحَارَبَتِهِمْ لِعِبَادَتِكَ وَعَنْ مُنَابَذَتِهِمْ لِلْخَلْوَةِ بِكَ حَتَّى لاَ يُعْبَدَ فِي بِقَاعِ الأَرْضِ غَيْرُكَ وَلاَ تُعَفَّرَ لأَحَدٍ مِنْهُمْ جَبْهَةٌ دُونَكَ.

O Allah, strengthen the People of Islam, fortify their cities, increase their properties, give them ease from their fighting to worship You, and from their warfare to be alone with You, so that none will be worshiped in the regions of the earth but You and no forehead of theirs may be rubbed in the dust for less than You!(52)

In this eloquent supplication, which is considered one of his longest supplications, the Imam (`a) continues in instructing the Muslim armies to abide by the required nobility of character and prepare to face the enemy.

In addition to military instructions of jihad, this supplication shows the purpose and the benefit of these instructions. It also draws attention to the scope of caution that they must take against the enemy and teaches them how to treat and fight against them. It also exhibits the moral standards that they must maintain, such as devotion to Almighty Allah, abstinence from His prohibitions, and fighting sincerely for His sake.

Similar to this situation is the situation of the other Imams (`a) with the rulers of their ages. Despite the fact that the Holy Imams (`a) had to encounter various sorts of pressure and brutal torture at the hands of these rulers, they directed all their efforts to teaching people the genuine and supreme features of the religion, realizing that the political leadership of the Muslim nation was out of question.

The Holy Imams (`a) neither advised nor desired all the revolutions that took place during their ages by the `Alawites or others; rather, all these were in evident violation of their commandments and instructions, because none, including the `Abbasid rulers themselves, was more desirous of safeguarding the entity of the Muslim state than the Holy Imams (`a). Proving this fact, let us cite the following instruction of Imam Musa al-Kazim (`a) to his followers (i.e. Shi`ah):

لاَ تَذِلُّوا رِقَابَكُمْ بِتَرْكِ طَاعَةِ سُلْطَانِكُمْ؛ فَإنْ كَانَ عَادِلاً فَاسْألُوا اللهَ إبْقَاءَهُ، وإنْ كَانَ جَائِراً فَاسْألُوا اللهَ إصْلاَحَهُ. فَإنَّ صَلاَحَكُمْ فِي صَلاَحِ سُلْطَانِكُمْ، وَإنَّ السُّلْطَانَ العَادِلَ بِمَنْزِلَةِ الوَالِدِ الرَّحِيمِ، فَأحِبُّوا لَهُ مَا تُحِبُّونَ لأنْفُسِكُمْ، وَاكْرَهُوا لَهُ مَا تَكْرَهُونَ لأنْفُسِكُمْ.

Do not bring forth humility to yourselves by abandoning obedience to the ruler; if he is just, then pray to Almighty Allah to keep him alive; but if he is unjust, then pray to Him to guide him to righteousness. Verily, validity of all your affairs lies in the righteousness of your ruler. Indeed, a just ruler occupies the same position of a merciful father; you must therefore love for him all that which you love for yourselves and hate for him all that which you hate for yourselves.(53)

To love for the ruler whatever is desired for oneself and to hate for him whatever is avoided is definitely the most eloquent statement that expresses the duty of the subjects towards their rulers—furnishing them with security.

By taking notice of this fact, one can imagine how immense the fallacy of some contemporary writers is who falsely accuse the Shi`ah of representing a secret, destructive association or an indignant revolutionary faction!

It is undeniable that among the features a follower of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) must possess are aversion towards wrongdoing and oppression, keeping oneself away from the unjust and the dissolute, and looking at the supporters and assistants of such wrongdoers with an eye of revulsion, denunciation, repugnance, and contempt.

These features still persist in the inner selves of Shi`ite Muslims which they inherit from their ancestors and transfer to their descendants; yet, they have never had the habit of cheating and betrayal, nor have they ever, openly or secretly, betaken themselves to revolution and uprising against the religious authorities that rule in the name of Islam. Abiding by the teachings of the Holy Imams (`a), Shi`ite Muslims have never allowed themselves to assassinate or waylay any Muslim no matter what sect he may follow or what wing he may support. The Shi`ah believe that the property, life, and honor of a Muslim who professes Islam must be protected:

لاَ يَحِلُّ مَالُ امْرِئٍ مُسْلِمٍ إلاَّ بِطِيبِ نَفْسٍ مِنْهُ.

It is not lawful to take the property of a Muslim individual except after obtaining his consensual permission.(54)

In addition, Muslims are brothers of each other in the concept of Shi`ite Muslims; each of them enjoys rights and is bound by obligations towards the others.In addition, Muslims are brothers of each other in the concept of Shi`ite Muslims; each of them enjoys rights and is bound by obligations towards the others.

Mutual Rights of Muslims

Fraternization of Muslims with each other, apart from the great variety of social classes, ranks, or positions, is one of the greatest and most excellent instructions upon which the religion of Islam is based. On the other hand, one of the most disgraceful offenses committed by Muslims, in the present and past ages, has been their negligence of abiding by the requirements of such Islamic fraternity.

The least requirement of this fraternity, as is expressed by Imam al-Sadiq (`a), is that a Muslim should wish for his brother what he wishes for himself and hate for him what he hates for himself.(55)

If one looks attentively at this characteristic, which is easy in the eyes of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a), one will discover that it is the most difficult matter required from Muslims of this age who are, unfortunately, far away from the genuine spirit of Islam.

Think carefully about this simple characteristic; if Muslims can supposedly consider their state fairly, recognize the reality of their religion, and abide by this characteristic of wishing for others what they wish for themselves, there shall be no place for wrongdoing, transgression, theft, dishonesty, backbiting, tale-bearing, false accusation, slander, insult, or haughtiness.

In plain words, if Muslims can think carefully and apply this characteristic of fraternity among themselves, there will be no place for injustice and oppression on this globe, human beings will be as “brethren, on raised couches, face to face”(56) after they attain the highest levels of social happiness. Moreover, the ancient philosophers’ dream of establishing a utopia will come true. When that day comes, Muslims, treating each other with mutual love and affection, will be in no need for governments, courts, police, jails, penal law, or provisions and infliction of punishment. Had they committed themselves to the requirements of fraternity, they would not have been colonized, would not have cringed before despots, would not have been ruled tyrannically, and the earth would have been totally changed into Paradise and an abode of happiness.

Furthermore, if the law of mutual love had reigned in the hearts of humanity as religion had planned to put it into practice through the teachings of fraternity, the word ‘justice’ would have been removed from all languages. We would no longer call for justice and its laws as long as there would be the law of mutual love disseminating decency, peace, happiness, and felicity among everybody. Of course, man will not need to use justice, nor will law request for it, except when mutual love flees from those who are required to treat others fairly. As for those who exchange love with us, such as our sons and brothers, we treat them excellently and give up many of our desires for their sake on the grounds of mutual love and affection, not justice and interests. The fact is that man is prone to love himself and love what is compatible with him; it is, therefore, not easy for him to love something or someone that he is not attached to.

It is also difficult for man to sacrifice his desires and lovable things for another person whom he does not love or care for except when an idea more powerful than personal desires overtakes him, such as the goodness of justice and philanthropy. Only then can man sacrifice desirable things for others. Even so, such a sacrifice is made for the sake of fulfilling other desires that are more powerful than the sacrificed desires, such as his idea about justice, which must be one of his favorite desires if not a part of his own entity.

The formation of such perfect ideas in man requires spiritual soaring over materialistic considerations. Only after man fails to form in himself the feelings of mutual fraternity and sympathy between members of his kind and himself might he realize the supreme ideal in justice and philanthropy.

The first step towards Islam is to possess feelings of fraternity for others. When a Muslim individual fails to do so, owing to the prevalence of desires and selfishness in personalities, then he must form in himself an idea about justice and philanthropy through compliance with the teachings of Islam. However, if he fails to do either, then he will not be worthy of being called a Muslim although he may claim belonging to Islam. “He will be dismissed from the circle of loyalty and obedience to Almighty Allah Who will not grant him any share of His custody,” as clearly expressed by Imam al-Sadiq (`a).

In most cases, man is overcome by his intense whims; therefore, the most difficult matter for man may be to accept the idea of justice, not to mention holding it as the perfect faith.

Therefore, the obligations of religious fraternity have been one of the most difficult teachings of Islam, especially for those who lack honest feelings toward fraternity. In view of this fact, Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq (`a), on account of his pity for the asker, deemed wise not to mention the duties towards one’s brethren-in-faith more than the necessary, lest it would be impossible for the asker, namely al-Mu`alla ibn Khunays, to carry out all the duties towards his brethren-in-faith:

Al-Mu`alla (asking Imam al-Sadiq): What are the duties of a Muslim towards other Muslims?

The Imam (`a): A Muslim enjoys seven rights that are incumbent upon other Muslims to carry out. Each of these rights is absolutely incumbent. If a Muslim violates any of these rights, he will be dismissed from the circle of loyalty and obedience to Almighty Allah Who shall not grant him any share of His custody.

Al-Mu`alla: May Allah accept me as ransom for you! What are these rights?

The Imam (`a): Indeed, I feel pity for you, al-Mu`alla! I am afraid lest you will violate these rights and neglect to put them into practice after you learn of them.

Al-Mu`alla: There is no power save Allah!

Only then did Imam al-Sadiq (`a) mention these seven duties the easiest of which, as is expressed by the Imam (`a) himself, is to wish for your brethren-in-faith what you wish for yourself and hate for them what you hate for yourself.

How astonishing! This is the easiest duty! How can we, Muslims of the present age, practise this duty on ourselves? Shame on those who claim being Muslims while they refrain from carrying out the slightest duty imposed on them towards their brothers.

What is more astonishing is that the current retardation of Muslims is attributed to Islam; while it is the fault of none except those who call themselves Muslims but do not carry out the slightest duty instructed by their religion.

In order to realize our reality as a negligent nation and in order that history will record this for us, I will mention, hereinafter, these seven rights as clarified by Imam al-Sadiq (`a):

(1) You should love for your brother-in-faith what you love for yourself and you should despise for him what you despise for yourself.

(2) You should avoid his displeasure, pursue what pleases him, and obey his command.

(3) You should help him with your self, your wealth, your tongue, your hands, and your feet.

(4) You should be his eyes, his guide, and his mirror.

(5) You should not fill your stomach whilst he is hungry, you should not quench your thirst whilst he is thirsty, and you should not clothe yourself whilst he is naked.

(6) If you should have a servant whilst he does not have one, you should send over your servant to wash his clothes and prepare his food and bedding.

(7) You should fulfill your vows to him, answer his calls, respond when he invites you, visit him when he is ill, and accompany his bier; and if he should have a need, you should rush to fulfill it and not give him the trouble to ask you for it.

The Imam (`a) then concluded his words with the following result:

When you have done all these, your friendship unites you together.(57)

There are many traditions, reported from our Holy Imams (`a), bearing the same purport of the aforementioned one. A big number of such traditions have been compiled in various sections of the book of ‘Wasa'il al-Shi`ah’.

Some people may conceive that fraternity to which the Holy Imams (`a) have referred is dedicated to brotherliness between their followers (i.e. Shi`ah) exclusively. However, a glance at their traditions as a whole cancels out this misconception despite the fact that the Holy Imams (`a), on many other occasions, have intensely condemned those who dissent from their way and reject following their guidance.

In this respect, it is sufficient to read the following narration:

Mu`awiyah ibn Wahab narrated that he, once, asked Imam al-Sadiq (`a): How should we behave with those members of our community and associates who are not following our sect?

The Imam (`a): You must imitate your Imams (`a) whom you follow, and then do exactly as they do. Truly, they (i.e. the Imams) visit the sick (among those who are not Shi`ah), present themselves in their funeral ceremonies, give upright testimony for or against them, and give them back their things that they trust with them.(58)

The kind of fraternity that the Holy Imams (`a) want from their followers is actually more refined than the general sense of fraternity in Islam. In the previous chapter while defining the true sense of Shi`ism, we referred to some narrations in this respect. However, it is sufficient to cite the following dialogue between Aban ibn Taghlib and Imam al-Sadiq (`a), as reported by Aban himself:

While I, Aban, was performing the ritual Circumambulating (tawaff) in the company of Imam al-Sadiq (`a), one of our fellows, who had previously asked me to accompany him in a mission, appeared before me. As he signaled to me, Imam al-Sadiq (`a) saw us, “Aban: Are you the one intended by that man?” asked the Imam (`a).

“Yes, I am,” I answered.

“Is he of the same faith as you?” wondered the Imam (`a).

“Yes, he is,” I answered.

“Then,” the Imam (`a) instructed, “go with him and break your circumambulation.”

“Should I do so even if the Circumambulation is obligatory?” I asked.

“Yes, you should,” he answered.

So, I went with that man. When I returned, I visited the Imam (`a) and asked him about the duties towards brethren-in-faith.

“Leave the matter. Do not ask me about it,” said the Imam (`a).

Nevertheless, I repeated the same question insistently until the Imam (`a) answered me, saying, “Aban: (the duty towards one’s brother-in-faith is that) you give him half of your fortune.”

As he looked at me and noticed my surprise, the Imam (`a) said, “Aban, you should have known that Almighty Allah has mentioned (with praise) those who give others preference over themselves?”

“Yes, I knew that,” I answered.

The Imam (`a) said, “If you give your brother-in-faith half of what you have in possession, you have not yet given him preference over yourself. But if you give him from the other half, only then have you given him preference.”(59)

Actually, our shameful state of affairs does not encourage us to consider ourselves true believers. Very remote are we from the teachings of our Holy Imams (`a). The same surprise that struck Aban may strike everyone who reads this tradition, causing him to turn his face away, to pretend that this tradition is not addressed to him, and avoid “judging himself as if he is the criminal.”Actually, our shameful state of affairs does not encourage us to consider ourselves true believers. Very remote are we from the teachings of our Holy Imams (`a). The same surprise that struck Aban may strike everyone who reads this tradition, causing him to turn his face away, to pretend that this tradition is not addressed to him, and avoid “judging himself as if he is the criminal.”

  • 1. () For more details about the philosophy, manners, worldly and religious effects, and reasons for response or rejection of du`a’, the reader is advised to refer to the following books: al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:466-595, Chapter: Kitab al-Du`a’ (Book of Supplication) –this section comprises an elaborate, comprehensive treatise on du`a’. See also al-Du`a’ `Inda Ahl al-Bayt by Muhammad Mahdi al-Asifi (contemporary); al-`Abd al-Mawla Niqat al-Tamas by Muhammad Kazim al-Kirmani, an essay issued in Risalat al-Thaqalayn Magazine, Issue No. 19-20.
  • 2. () This hadith can be found in the following reference books: al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:468, H.1, Section: bab anna al-du`a’ silah al-mu'min (Supplication: The Believers’ Weapon); `Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 1:40, H.95; al-Mustadrak `Ala al-Sahihayn by al-Hakim al-Naysaburi (AH 405), 1:492; Majma` al-Zawa'id by al-Haythami (AH. 807), 10:147, Section: bab al-istinsar bi’l-du`a’ (Seeking Aid By Means of Supplication); Musnad Abi-Ya`la al-Mawsili (AH 307), 1:344, H.439; al-Jami` al-Saghir by al-Suyuti (AH 911), 1:655, H. 4258.
  • 3. () See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:466, Chapter: Kitab al-Du`a’ Book of Supplication), Section: bab al-du`a’ wa’l-hathth `alayh (Supplication and Urging On It), H.1; al-Mujtana min Du`a’ al-Mujtaba by Ibn Tawus (AH 664), pp. 5; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 7:30-31, Section: bab istihbab ikhtiyar al-du`a’ `ala ghayrihi min al-`ibadat al-mustahabbah (The Recommendation of Preferring Supplication Over Other Recommended Acts of Worship), H.1/8625.
    In H.7/8631, it is recorded that the Holy Prophet ('a) is reported to have said:
    أفْضَلُ العِبَادَةِ الدُّعَاءُ؛ وَإذَا أذِنَ اللهُ لِعَبْدٍ فِي الدُّعَاءِ فَتَحَ لَهُ أبْوَابَ الرَّحْمَةِ. إنَّهُ لَنْ يَهْلِكَ مَعَ الدُّعَاءِ أحَدٌ.
    “The best of worship is supplication. If Almighty Allah permits a servant to supplicate to Him, He opens the doors to (His) mercy before the servant. A suppliant shall never perish.”
    See Bihar al-Anwar by al-Majlisi (AH 1111), 90:302, H. 39; al-Mustadrak `Ala al-Sahihayn by al-Hakim al-Naysaburi (AH 405), 1:491, Chapter: kitab al-du`a’ wa’l-takbir wa’l-tahlil…; al-Jami` al-Saghir by al-Suyuti (AH 911), 1:120, H.1281; Kanz al-`Ummal by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi (AH 974), 2:64, H.3134.
  • 4. () See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:468, Chapter: Kitab al-Du`a’ Book of Supplication), Section: bab al-du`a’ wa’l-hathth `alayh (Supplication and Urging On It), H.8 (In this book, the hadith is reported from Imam `Ali Amir al-Mu'minin); Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 7:31, H. 8628; Mustadrak al-Wasa'il by al-Nuri al-Tabrisi (AH 1320), 5:17, 171, H.5592, 5588; Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal (AH 241), 2:362; Sunan Ibn Majah (AH 275), 2:1258, H.3829; al-Mustadrak `Ala al-Sahihayn by al-Hakim al-Naysaburi (AH 405), 1:490, Chapter: kitab al-du`a’ wa’l-takbir wa’l-tahlil…; Kashf al-Khafa' wa-Muzil al-Ilbas by al-`Ajaluni (AH 1162), 2:169, H.2141.
  • 5. () See Qurb al-Isnad by al-Himyari al-Baghdadi (AH 300), pp. 32. In this reference book, it is recorded that Imam al-Sadiq ('a) has said:
    إنَّ الدُّعَاءَ يَرُدُّ القَضَاءَ، وإنَّ المُؤمِنَ لَيَأتِي بِالذَّنْبِ فَيُحْرَمُ بِهِ الرِّزْقَ.
    “Verily, supplication repels predestination. A believer may be deprived of sustenance due to committing a sin.
    See also al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:469; Section: bab anna al-du`a’ yaruddu al-bala' wa’l-qadha' (Supplication Repels Afflictions and Predestinations); al-Khisal by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 620; Tuhaf al-`Uqul by Ibn Shu`bah al-Harrani (the fourth century of Hijrah), pp. 110; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 7:36, Section: bab jawaz al-du`a’ biraddi al-bala' al-muqaddar wa talab taghyir qadha' al-su' wa istihbab dhalika (The Permissibility of Supplicating For Repelling A Predestined Affliction and Praying For Changing Evil Predestination and Recommendation for That); Kitab al-Du`a’ by Sulayman ibn Ahmad al-Tabarani (AH 360), pp. 30; al-Mustadrak `Ala al-Sahihayn by al-Hakim al-Naysaburi (AH 405), 3:481; al-Jami` al-Saghir by al-Suyuti (AH 911), 1:206, 655, 656, H.1390, 4262, 4265; Kanz al-`Ummal by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi (AH 974), 2, 62, 63, 69, H.3118, 3120, 3121, 3161, 3162.
  • 6. () See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:470, Section: bab anna al-du`a’ shifa' min kulli da' (Supplication: Remedy For Every Malady), 6:413; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 7:45, H.8677, Section: bab istihbab al-du`a’ `inda nuzul al-maradh wa’l-saqam (Recommendation of Supplications At Afflictions of Sicknesses and Ailments).
  • 7. () Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq ('a) is reported to have said:
    كَانَ أمِيرُ المُؤمِنِينَ  رَجُلاً دَعَّاءً.
    Amir al-Mu'minin (Imam `Ali) ('a) was seen frequently supplicating.
    See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:468, bab al-du`a’ wa’l-hathth `alayh (Supplication and Urging On It), H.8; `Uddat al-Da`i wa-Najah al-Sa`i by Ibn Fahad al-Hilli (AH 841), pp. 33, 191 (The English version of this book has been published by Ansariyan Publications under the title ‘The Asset of the Supplicant’, translated by Dr. Aqili Ashtiyani).
  • 8. () The famous supplication known as du`a’ kumayl begings with the following statement:
    اَللَّهُمَّ إنِّي أسْألُكَ بِرَحْمَتِكَ الَّتِي وَسِعَتْ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ، وَبِقُوَّتِكَ الَّتِي قَهَرْتَ بِهَا كُلَّ شَيْءٍ…
    O Allah, I ask You by Your mercy, which embraces all things; And by Your strength, through which Thou dominatest all things…
    This famous supplication, which is also called ‘du`a’ al-khadhir, has been reported by Kumayl ibn Ziyad al-Nakha`i from Imam `Ali Amir al-Mu'minin ('a). Laying emphasis on the significance of this du`a’, Imam `Ali ('a) recommended it to Kumayl saying:
    يَا كُمَيْلُ! إذَا حَفِظْتَ هَذَا الدُّعَاءَ فَادْعُ بِهِ كُلَّ لَيْلَةِ جُمُعَةٍ أوْ فِي الشَّهْرِ مَرَّةً أوْ فِي السَّنَةِ مَرَّةً أوْ فِي عُمُرِكَ مَرَّةً تُكْفَ وَتُنْصَرْ وَتُرْزَقْ وَلَنْ تَعْدِمَ المَغْفِرَةَ.
    “O Kumayl, if you memorize this du`a’, then you are recommended to say it every Thursday night, or once a month, or once a year, or once in your whole lifetime. If you do so, you will be granted protection, support and sustenance. Furthermore, you will never be deprived of forgiveness…”
    See Iqbal al-A`mal by Ibn Tawus (AH 664), pp. 220, Section No.8: fi ma yata`allaqu bishahri sha`ban al-mu`azzam (Acts Appertained to the Honored Month of Sha`ban); al-Balad al-Amin wa’l-Dir` al-Hasin by al-Kaf`ami (AH 900), pp. 265.
  • 9. () See Iqbal al-A`mal by Sayyid Ibn Tawus (AH 664), pp. 221; al-Balad al-Amin by al-Kaf`ami (AH 900), pp. 267, as well as other books of supplications.
  • 10. () Du`a’ Abi-Hamzah al-Thamali has been reported from Imam `Ali ibn al-Husayn Zayn al-`Abidin ('a). This supplication, which is advisably read in the last hours of the Ramadhan nights (sahar), begins with the following:
    إِلهِي لا تُؤَدّبْنِي بِعُقُوبَتِكَ، وَلا تَمْكُرْ بِي فِي حِيلَتِكَ، مِنْ أَيْنَ لِيَ الْخَيْرُ يَا رَبّ وَلا يُوجَدُ إِلاّ مِنْ عِنْدِكَ؟…
    “O Allah: Do not discipline me by means of Your punishment; and do not subject me to Your planned strategy. How can I attain welfare, O Lord, while it is not found anywhere save with You…”
    See al-Sahifah al-Kamilah al-Sajjadiyyah, Supplication No. 116; Muhaj al-Da`awat wa-Manhaj al-`Ibadat by Sayyid Ibn Tawus (AH 664), pp. 208; al-Balad al-Amin wa’l-Dir` al-Hasin by al-Kaf`ami (AH 900), pp. 288.
    [This du`a', as well as many other famous supplications, has been translated into English and compiled in many different books the most comprehensive of which is entitled , ‘Rites of Rajab, Sha`ban, and Ramadhan’, translated by Badr Shahin, Qum: Ansariyan Publications, 2006. (translator)]
  • 11. () This supplication is reported from Imam al-Mahdi—may Allah hasten his advent. See al-Balad al-Amin wa’l-Dir` al-Hasin by al-Kaf`ami (AH 900), pp. 480.
  • 12. () See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:473; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 7:54, H.8702, Section: bab istihbab al-iqbal bi’l-qalb halat al-du`a’ (Recommendation of Heart Presence While Supplicating); Makarim al-Akhlaq by al-Tabrisi (AH 548), pp. 270; `Uddat al-Da`i wa-Najah al-Sa`i by Ibn Fahad al-Hilli (AH 841), pp. 126; Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah by Ibn Abi’l-Hadid al-Mu`tazili (AH 656), 11:229.
    Imam `Ali Amir al-Mu'minin ('a) is reported to have said:
    إنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لاَ يَسْتَجِيبُ دُعَاءَ قَلْبٍ لاَهٍ.
    “Verily, Almighty Allah does not receive the supplication coming out of an inattentive heart.”
    Reference: al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:437.
    Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq ('a) is also reported to have said:
    إنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لاَ يَسْتَجِيبُ دُعَاءً بِظَهْرِ قَلْبٍ قَاسٍ.
    “Verily, Almighty Allah does not respond to the supplication coming out of a cruel heart.”
    Reference: al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:474.
  • 13. () According to Arabic-Arabic dictionaries, the word ‘taff’ stands for the Arab lands including the rural territories of Iraq. Exclusively, al-taff, which refers to the banks of the River Euphrates, is a land in the outskirts of al-Kufah on the outer way of the city. In this land, Imam al-Husayn ibn `Ali ('a) was slain. Reference: see Mu`jam al-Buldan by Yaqut al-Hamawi (AH 626), 4:35.
  • 14. () These two titles are the most famous among the other titles of honor by which Imam `Ali ibn al-Husayn ('a) was known. The first, namely ‘The Adornment of the Worshippers (Zayn al-`Abidin) expresses the Imam’s conspicuous worship, since he was regarded as a consummate exemplar of obedience to Almighty Allah. The second title, namely, The Master of the Prostrators (Sayyid al-Sajidin), refers to the custom of the Imam’s prostrating himself to Almighty Allah, as he was well-known of spending very long periods prostrating himself before the Almighty Lord. [translator]
  • 15. () He was such because he had witnessed the astounding tragedy of Karbala' during which the Umayyad ruler and his constabulary slew Imam al-Husayn ibn `Ali ('a), the delight of the Holy Prophet’s eye and Master of the youth of Paradise, about whom the Holy Prophet (s) said:
    حُسَيْنٌ مِنِّي وَأنَا مِنْ حُسَيْنٍ.
    “Husayn is part of me and I am part of Husayn.”
    During that shocking event, Imam Zayn al-`Abidin’s ('a) father, brothers, cousins, and their supporters were all slain. By Divine Care, Imam Zayn al-`Abidin ('a) survived that massacre because sickness had prevented him from participation in that military combat. However, he did not shun political combat against them and before the tyrant, Yazid, while he was in captivity.
  • 16. () The English version of this book is entitled “al-Sahifah al-Kamilah al-Sajjadiyyah; the Psalms of Islam,” translated by William C. Chitticks, and published by Ansariyan Publications. [translator]
  • 17. () Nahj al-Balaghah [Peak of Eloquence] is a collection of sermons, epistles, and aphorisms of Imam ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib compiled by al-Sharif al-Razi (AH 406/AD 1015). (The English version of this fabulous book is entitled ‘Peak of Eloquence’, translated by Sayyid `Ali Reza (in AD 1971), and published by Ansariyan Publications – Qum, I.R.Iran. [translator])
  • 18. () For more details about this topic, the reader is advised to refer to the following book: Ziyarat al-Qubur by `Abd al-Rahim al-Musawi (contemporary), Qum: Researches and Refutal of Spurious Arguments Committee in The Ahl al-Bayt ('a) World Assembly, First Edition, AH 1422.
  • 19. () Many narrations and traditions have been reported by both Shi`ite and Sunni reporters on the merits of visiting the tomb of the Holy Prophet (s) as well as the tombs of the saints and people of faith. For instance, Anas ibn Malik reported the Holy Prophet (s) as saying:
    مَنْ زَارَنِي مَيِّتاً فَكَأنَّمَا زَارَنِي حَيّاً. وَمَنْ زَارَ قَبْرِي وَجَبَتْ لَهُ شَفَاعَتِي يَوْمَ القِيَامَةِ. وَمَا مِنْ أحَدٍ مِنْ أُمَّتِي لَهُ سَعَةٌ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَزُرْنِي، فَلَيْسَ لَهُ عُذْرٌ.
    “Visiting my tomb after my death is the same as visiting me during my lifetime. He who visits my tomb will definitely deserve my intercession (shafa`ah) on the Day of Resurrection. Not excused is an individual of my nation who shuns visiting my tomb while having the capacity to do so.”
    This hadith is reported by Sam`an ibn al-Mahdi on the authority of Anas ibn Malik. Ibn Habban has included Sam`an with the trustworthy narrators. Al-Nassa'i has described him as ‘there is no objection found against him.’ See al-Durrah al-Thaminah fi Fadha'il al-Madinah by Ibn al-Najjar, pp. 144.
  • 20. () See Hukm al-Bina' `Ala al-Qubur (Rulings of Building on Graves) by `Abd al-Karim al-Bahbahani (contemporary), Qum: Researches and Refutal of Spurious Arguments Committee in The Ahl al-Bayt ('a) World Assembly, First Edition, AH 1422; al-Bina' `Ala Qubur al-Anbiya' wa’l-Awliya' wa-Ittikhadhuha Masajida wa-Amakina li’l-`Ibadah (Building on the Graves of the Prophets and the Saints and Betaking Them As Mosques and Places of Worship) by Murtadha al-`Askari (Book No. 8 in the series of `ala ma'idat al-qur’an wa’l-sunnah –On the Table of the Qur'an and Sunnah--), Tehran: Islamic Scientific Assembly, First Edition, AH 1417.
  • 21. () See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 4:567, Section: bab masjid ghadir Khumm, H. 2; Kamil al-Ziyarat by Ibn Qawlawayh al-Qummi (AH 368), pp. 237, H.352; Man La Yahdhuruhu’l-Faqih by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 2:577, H.3160; `Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 1:292, H. 24, Section: bab fi dhikr thawab ziyarat al-imam `ali ibn musa al-ridha (The Rewards of Visiting Imam `Ali ibn Musa al-Ridha).
  • 22. () Let us quote here selections from this famous ziyarah:
    اَلسَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ يا أَمينَ اللهِ في أَرْضِهِ وَحُجَّتَهُ عَلى عِبادِهِ. اَلسَّلامُ عَلَيْكَ يا أَميرَ الْمُؤْمِنينَ. أَشْهَدُ أَنَّكَ جاهَدْتَ فِي اللهِ حَقَّ جِهادِهِ وَعَمِلْتَ بِكِتابِهِ… اَللّهُمَّ فَاجْعَلْ نَفْسى مُطْمَئِنَّةً بِقَدَرِكَ، راضِيَةً بِقَضَائِكَ، مُولَعَةً بِذِكْرِكَ وَدُعَائِكَ، مُحِبَّةً لِصَفْوَةِ أَوْلِيَائِكَ، مَحْبُوبَةً فى أَرْضِكَ وَسَمَائِكَ، صابِرَةً عَلى نُزُولِ بَلائِكَ، شاكِرَةً لِفَواضِلِ نَعْمَائِكَ، ذاكِرَةً لِسَوابِغِ آلائِكَ، مُشْتاقَةً إِلى فَرْحَةِ لِقَائِكَ، مُتَزَوِّدَةً التَّقْوى لِيَوْمِ جَزَائِكَ… اَللّهُمَّ إِنَّ قُلُوبَ الُْمخْبِتينَ إِلَيْكَ والِهَةٌ، وَسُبُلَ الرّاغِبينَ إِلَيْكَ شارِعَةٌ، وَأَعْلامَ الْقاصِدينَ إِلَيْكَ واضِحَةٌ…
    “Peace be on you, O trusted guardian, appointed by Allah, to administer His earth and to maintain His argument against His creatures. Peace be on you, O Commander of Believers. I testify that you made utmost efforts, as needed, in the cause of Allah, and acted upon His Book… O Allah: let me be happy and satisfied with what You consider good for me, let me agree with what You decide for me, let me passionately remember You, and invoke You. Fill my heart with love for Your pure and sincere servants. Let me be well-liked and respected on the earth, and in the heavens, let me be unruffled and well-composed in the midst of misfortunes, let me be gratefully thankful in prosperity, let me be mindful of much and more bounties, let me ardently desire the heart warming meeting with You… O Allah: verily, the hearts of those who surrender to You are full of passionate love; the path of those who long for You is the straight road, the instructions given by those who lean on You are distinct and precise…”
  • 23. () See Kamil al-Ziyarat by Ibn Qawlawayh al-Qummi (AH 368), pp. 92, H.1, Section No. 11; al-Mazar al-Kabir by Ibn al-Mashhadi (AH 610), pp. 282, Section: al-ziyarah al-mukhtassah bi-yawm al-ghadir (The Ziyarah Dedicated to the Ghadir Day); Iqbal al-A`mal by Ibn Tawus (AH 664), pp. 786, Chapter: fi ziyarat al-amir yawma al-ghadir (Ziyarah of Amir al-Mu'minin on the Ghadir Day); al-Balad al-Amin wa’l-Dir` al-Hasin by al-Kaf`ami (AH 900), pp. 416; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 14:359, H.19451.
  • 24. () Imam `Ali Amir al-Mu'minin ('a) is reported to have said:
    تَنَظَّفُوا بِالمَاءِ وَتَعَهَّدوا أنفُسَكُمْ، فَإنَّ اللهَ يَبْغَضُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ القَاذُورَةَ الَّذِي يَتَأفَّفُ بِهِ مَنْ جَلَسَ إلَيْهِ.
    Remove bad odors with water and keep your bodies clean, because Almighty Allah hates His servants to be dirty and give off bad odor that nauseates their associates.
    Reference: Tuhaf al-`Uqul by Ibn Shu`bah al-Harrani (the fourth century of Hijrah), pp.110.
  • 25. () This supplication is reported from Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq ('a). See Kamil al-Ziyarat by Ibn Qawlawayh al-Qummi (AH 368), pp. 345, H.583, Section: bab man ightasala fi’l-furat wa-zara al-husayn (Washing Oneself In The Euphrates and Visiting al-Husayn ('a)).
    However, the author of this book has reported this supplication with a little difference from this reference book as well as other reference books. There is a less different version of the same supplication recorded by Shaykh al-Tusi (AH 460) in his book of Tahdhib al-Ahkam, 6:45, Section: bab fadhl al-ghusl li’l-ziyarah (Merits of Washing Oneself Before Visiting the Holy Shrines).
  • 26. () See al-Mazar by al-Shahid al-Awwal (AH 786), pp. 50; Bihar al-Anwar by al-Majlisi (AH 1111), 97:288; Manasik al-Mazar by Shaykh al-Mufid (AH 413), pp. 211, Section: bab ma yaqulu al-za’ir `an akhihi tatawwu`an (Voluntary Utterance of A Pilgrim On Behalf Of A Brother-In-Faith); al-Mazar by Ibn al-Mashhadi (AH 610), pp. 597, Section No. 2: ma yaqulu al-za’ir `an ghayrihi bi’l-ajri wa ma yaqulu `an akhihi tatawwu`an (Utterances of A Pilgrim On Behalf Of Others For A Wage, And On Behalf Of One’s Brother-In-Faith Voluntarily).
  • 27. () This is an indication to the following holy verse:

    وَلَا تَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ قُتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ أَمْوَاتًا ۚ بَلْ أَحْيَاءٌ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ يُرْزَقُونَ

    And reckon not those who are killed in Allah's way as dead; nay, they are alive (and) are provided sustenance from their Lord. (3/169)

  • 28. () This is Imam Muhammad al-Baqir’s communiqué to his followers. See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:176. The same tradition has been recorded in other reference books but with little difference, such as in Musadaqat al-Ikhwan by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 34; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 12:7, H.15501; al-Hikayat by Shaykh al-Mufid (AH 413), pp. 92; Mustatrafat al-Sara'ir by Ibn Idris al-Hilli (AH 598), pp. 625-626.
  • 29. () This statement is one of Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq’s ('a) instructions to his followers. See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:105, H. 10, Section: bab al-sidq wa-ada' al-amanah (Honesty and Fulfillment of Trusts). A similar tradition is mentioned in 2:77, 78, 105; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 12:162, H.15955, Section: bab wujub al-sidq (Obligation of Honesty); Mishkat al-Anwar fi Ghurar al-Akhbar by al-Tabrisi (the seventh century of Hijrah), pp. 30.
  • 30. () See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:174. A similar tradition is mentioned in Kitab al-Mu'min by al-Kufi al-Ahwazi (before AH 300), pp. 44 (The English version of this book is entitled ‘Kitab al-Mu'min: The Book of the Believer’; Qum: Ansariyan Publications, 2002); Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 5:120, H. 6090 & 9:428, H.12406.
  • 31. () See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:77, Section: bab al-wara` (Piety), H.6. The last paragraph of the tradition in which Imam al-Sadiq ('a) mentions the qualities of his real followers are recorded in al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:236, Section: bab al-mu'min `alamatuhu wa sifatuhu (Features and Qualities of Believers), H.23; Sharh al-Akhbar by al-Qadhi al-Nu`man al-Maghribi (AH 363), 3:503, H.1445; Ikhtiyar Ma`rifat al-Rijal by Shaykh al-Tusi (AH 460), 2:525; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 15:244, H.20398.
  • 32. () See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:78, Section: bab al-wara` (Piety), H.10. A similar tradition is mentioned in Sharh al-Akhbar by al-Qadhi al-Nu`man al-Maghribi (AH 363), 3:501, H.1437; Mustatrafat al-Sara'ir by Ibn Idris al-Hilli (AH 598), pp. 639; Mishkat al-Anwar fi Ghurar al-Akhbar by al-Tabrisi (the seventh century of Hijrah), pp. 138.
  • 33. () See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:78, Section: bab al-wara` (Piety), H.13; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 15:243, H.20391, Section: bab wujub al-wara` (Obligation of Piety), H.1; Alfu Hadithin fi’l-Mu'min by al-Najafi (contemporary), pp. 261, H.786.
  • 34. () See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:79, Section: bab al-wara` (Piety), H.15; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 15:246, H.204040, Section: bab wujub al-wara` (Obligation of Piety).
  • 35. () See al-Khisal by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 295-296, Section: bab al-khamsah: khamsun ma athqalahunna fi’l-mizan (The Five Weightiest Things In the Divine Scale), H.63; Sifat al-Shi`ah by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 11; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 15:251, H.20425, Section: bab wujub al-`iffah (Obligation of Chastity), H.13.
    Imam al-Sadiq ('a) is reported to have said, “The Shi`ah of `Ali are those who practice chastity as regards their stomachs… etc.”
    See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:233, Section: bab al-mu'min `alamatuhu wa sifatuhu (Features and Qualities of Believers), H.9; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 1:86, H.204, Section: bab ta'akkud istihbab al-jidd wa’l-ijtihad fi’l-`ibadah (Confirmation on the Recommendation of Hardwork and Painstakingness in Worship), H.7; Mishkat al-Anwar fi Ghurar al-Akhbar by al-Tabrisi (the seventh century of Hijrah), pp. 119.
    To identify a true Shi`ite and loyalist of the Ahl al-Bayt ('a), the reader is advised to see al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), Section: bab al-mu'min `alamatuhu wa sifatuhu (Features and Qualities of Believers), H.1 in which Imam `Ali Amir al-Mu'minin ('a) mentions about one hundred features of true believers.
  • 36. ()Al-Mubarrad and Ibn `A'ishah narrated the following:
    A Syrian man went on reviling Imam al-Hasan ('a) who was riding an animal. The Imam ('a) kept silent until the Syrian man finished. He then approached him and said, with a smile: “Old man! I think you are a foreigner. You might be wrong. If you admonish us, we will pardon your ignorance. If you ask us for something, we will give it to you. If you seek our guidance, we will lead you. If you ask us to load something on your riding animal, we will assist you. If you are hungry, we will supply you with food. If you are naked, we will clothe you. If you are needy, we will satisfy your need. If you are a fugitive, we will provide for you. I now request you to drive your animal towards our residence so that you can be our guest until you decide to leave. This will be better for you. We have a large residence, a remarkable position, and an abundant fortune.”
    As he heard the words of the Imam ('a), the Syrian man wept and said, “It is surely true that Allah knows best who is the worthiest to convey His message. Previously, your father and you were the most hated creatures of God for me. But now, you are the dearest.”
    He then turned towards the residence of the Imam and was his guest until he left, filled with awe and affection for the Ahl al-Bayt ('a).
    Reference: Manaqib Al Abi-Talib by Ibn Shahr Ashub (AH 588), 3:184. The same story, yet will little difference in words, is cited in Kashf al-Ghummah by al-Arbali (AH 693), 2:184.
  • 37. () See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:334, Section: bab al-zulm (Injustice), H.17; Thawab al-A`mal wa `Iqab al-A`mal by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 274. A similar tradition is mentioned in Makarim al-Akhlaq by al-Tabrisi (AH 548), pp. 332.
  • 38. () See Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 17:177, Section: bab ma`unat al-zalimin walaw bi-maddati qalam wa-talab ma fi aydihim min al-zulm (Assistance of the Oppressors Even By Extending A Pen To Them And Desiring For Their Oppression); Mustadrak al-Wasa'il by al-Nuri al-Tabrisi (AH 1320), 13:122; al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 5:108, Section: bab `amal al-sultan wa-jawa'izuhum (Working With The Rulers And Receiving Their Rewards).
    The Holy Prophet (s) is also reported to have said:
    مَنْ تَوَلَّى خُصُومَةَ ظَالِمٍ أوْ أعَانَ عَلَيْهَا ثُمَّ نَزَلَ بِهِ مَلَكُ المَوْتِ، قَالَ لَهُ: أبْشِرْ بِلَعْنَةِ اللهِ وَنَارِ جَهَنَّمَ، وَبِئْسَ المَصِيرُ.
    “As for those who hold positions in an unjust government or assist its members, the Angel of Death will receive them with the following words: ‘Ahead of you is Allah’s curse and Hellfire: a hapless journey’s end!’”
    مَنْ دَلَّ جَائِراً عَلَى جَوْرٍ كَانَ قَرِينَ هَامَانَ فِي جَهَنَّمَ.
    “He who guides an oppressor towards an act of injustice shall be the companion of Haman (Pharaoh’s assistant) in Hellfire.”
    Reference: al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 513.
  • 39. () See Tuhaf al-`Uqul by Ibn Shu`bah al-Harrani (the fourth century of Hijrah), pp. 275-276; Bihar al-Anwar by al-Majlisi (AH 1111), 75:132-133, H. 2, Section: bab wasaya `ali ibn al-husayn wa mawa`izuhu wa hikamuhu (Instructions, Sermons, and Aphorisms of `Ali ibn al-Husayn); Man La Yahdhuruhu’l-Faqih by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 4:483.
  • 40. () This statement, the translation of ‘ju`iltu fidaka’, was usually said in the presence of the Holy Imams ('a) to express loyalty to them. I thus pray to Almighty Allah to grant us the opportunity to address the Imam of our age, al-Mahdi (may Allah hasten his advent) with this statement. [translator]
  • 41. () See Man La Yahdhuruhu’l-Faqih by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 4:436; Ikhtiyar Ma`rifat al-Rijal (also called Rijal al-Kashshi) by al-Tusi (AH 460), 2:740; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 17:182, H.22305.
  • 42. () In Tuhaf al-`Uqul, by Ibn Shu`bah al-Harrani (the fourth century of Hijrah), pp. 332, under the title: tafsir ma`na al-wilayat (Explanation of Work in Governmental Offices), Imam al-Sadiq’s ('a) words, from which the aforementioned paragraph is quoted, are as follows:
    وَأمَّا وَجْهُ الحَرَامِ مِنَ الوِلايَةِ: فَوِلاَيَةُ الوَالِي الجَائِرِ وَوِلاَيَةُ وُلاتِهِ؛ الرَّئِيسِ مَنْهُمْ، وَأتْبَاعِ الوَالِي فَمَنْ دُونَهُ مِنْ وُلاةِ الوُلاةِ إلَى أدْنَاهُمْ باباً مِنْ أبْوَابِ الوِلايَةِ عَلَى مَنْ هُوَ وَالٍ عَلَيْهِ وَالعَمَلُ لَهُمْ وَالكَسْبُ مَعَهُمْ بِجِهَةِ الوِلايَةِ لَهُمْ حَرَامٌ وَمُحَرَّمٌ، مُعَذَّبٌ مَنْ فَعَلَ ذَلِكَ عَلَى قَلِيلٍ مِنْ فِعْلِهِ أوْ كَثِيرٍ، لأنَّ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ مِنْ جِهَةِ المَعُونَةِ مَعْصِيَةٌ كَبِيرَةٌ مِنَ الكَبَائِرِ، وَذَلِكَ أنَّ فِي وِلايَةِ الوَالِي الجَائِرِ دُرُوسَ الحَقِّ كُلِّهِ وَإحْيَاءَ البَاطِلِ كُلِّهِ وَإظْهَارَ الظُّلْمِ وَالجَوْرِ وَالفَسَادِ وَإبْطَالَ الكُتُبِ وَقَتْلَ الأنْبِيَاءِ وَالمُؤمِنِينَ وَهَدْمَ المَسَاجِدِ وَتَبْدِيلَ سُنَّةِ اللهِ وَشَرَائِعِهِ. فَلِذَلِكَ حُرِّمَ العَمَلُ مَعَهُمْ وَمَعُونَتُهُمْ وَالكَسْبُ مَعَهُمْ إلاَّ بِجِهَةِ الضَّرُورَةِ نَظِيرَ الضَّرُورَةِ إلَى الدَّمِ وَالمَيْتَةِ.
    To hold an office with the despotic ruler or with his deputy and his assistants beginning with the chief down to the novice, and to work with them and gain earnings from them are prohibited and illegal; and those who hold such office, be it chief or minor, will suffer punishment. Every act that is seen as support for the unjust rulers is an act of disobedience (to Almighty Allah) and a grand sin, because to hold an office in the government of despotic rulers wholly eradicates the right and wholly enlivens the wrong. It also spreads injustice, oppression, and corruption, breaks the laws of the Divine Books, kills the prophets and believers, destroys mosques, and distorts God’s norms and principles. For that reason, it is prohibited to work with them, support them, and seek earnings from them except in cases of necessity that are similar to the necessity of having blood or meat of corpses.
    In Bihar al-Anwar by al-Majlisi (AH 1111), 100:45, Section: bab jawami` al-makasib al-muharramah wa’l-muhallalah (General Lawful and Unlawful Revenues), this narration begins with, “In the government of the unjust ruler, the good is eliminated…”
  • 43. () In the book of Munyat al-Murid fi Adab al-Mufid wa’l-Mustafid by al-Shahid al-Thani (AH 966), pp. 164, and Bihar al-Anwar by al-Majlisi (AH 1111), 72:350, Section: bab ahwal al-muluk wa’l-umara' (Manners of the Kinds and Emirs) and on page 381, Section: bab al-rukun ila al-zalimin wa hubbuhum wa ta`atuhum (Leaning On Unjust Rulers and Loving and Obeying Them), H.46, this tradition is reported from Imam al-Ridha ('a) with little difference.
  • 44. See Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili; Section: Kitab al-Bay`, Chapter No. 78.
  • 45. () Referring to factors that remove rancor, the Holy Prophet (s) is reported to have said:
    حُسْنُ البِشْرِ يَذْهَبُ بِالسَّخِيمَةِ.
    “Happy mien removes rancor.”
    تَصَافَحُوا، فَإنَّ التَّصَافُحَ يُذْهِبُ السَّخِيمَةَ.
    “Shake hands with each other, for it removes rancor.”
    Reference: Tuhaf al-`Uqul, by Ibn Shu`bah al-Harrani (the fourth century of Hijrah), pp. 45, 55.
    The Holy Prophet (s) is also reported to have said:
    الهَدِيَّةُ تُذْهِبُ السَّخِيمَةَ.
    “Presents remove rancor.”
    Reference: `Awali al-La’ali by Ibn Abi-Jumhur (app. AH 880), 1:294, H.181.
  • 46. () There is not enough space in this footnote to mention all the reference books that have mentioned the famous Hadith al-Ghadir and its ways of narration, because they are too numerous to be mentioned in such a brief thesis. However, the reader may kindly refer to the footnotes written by Shaykh Husayn al-Radhi in the margins of the book of al-Muraja`at: Reciprocal Correspondences Between Shaykh Salim al-Bishri, the Head of al-Azhar University, and Sayyid Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi al-`Amili; revised by Husayn al-Radhi, Qum: The Ahl al-Bayt ('a) World Assembly, First Edition, AH 1422. See Letter No. 53 and on, pp. 179 and footnote No. 2 of chapter 29 of this book.
    For further details, refer to Mawsu`at al-Ghadir (Encyclopedia of Ghadir) by al-Amini al-Najafi (AH 1392): comprising eleven volumes along with revision.
  • 47. () See Nahj al-Balaghah, revised by Shaykh Muhammad `Abduh, 3:119, Letter No. 62.
  • 48. () This saying of `Umar ibn al-Khattab has been so famous because it was repeated on various occasions and in different forms such as the following:
    “May Allah never keep me alive to face a problem while Abu’l-Hasan is not there to solve it.”
    “O Allah: please do not keep me alive to face a problem while Abu’l-Hasan is not there to solve it.”
    “I seek Allah’s protection against my facing a problem while Abu’l-Hasan is not there to solve it.”
    “May I never live to face a problem while Abu’l-Hasan is not there to solve it.”
    “May Allah never keep me alive after you.”
    “I pray to Allah to protect me against any problem while `Ali is absent.”
    Besides, there are numerous similar statements of `Umar ibn al-Khattab to Imam `Ali ('a). See Dala'il al-Imamah by al-Tabari (the early fourth century of Hijrah), pp. 22; Sharh al-Akhbar by al-Qadhi al-Nu`man al-Maghribi (AH 363), 2:317, H.651, pp.565, H.651; Kitab al-Irshad by Shaykh al-Mufid (AH 413), 1:204; Manaqib Al Abi-Talib by Ibn Shahr Ashub (AH 588), 1:311, 2:182; al-`Umdah by Ibn al-Bitriq al-Asadi al-Hilli (app. AH 600), pp. 257; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 28:108, H.34333, Section: thubut al-zina bi’l-iqrar arba`a marrat (Provability Of Fornication By Four-Time Self-Confession), No. 7; al-Tabaqat al-Kubra by Ibn Sa`d (AH 230), 2:239; al-Manaqib by al-Khawarizmi (AH 568), pp. 96-97, H.97, 98; Tarikh Madinat Dimashq by Ibn `Asakir (AH 571), 25:369, 42:406; Usd al-Ghabah by Ibn al-Athir (AH 630), 4:23; Dhakha'ir al-`Uqba fi Manaqib Dhawi’l-Qurba by Ahmad ibn `Abdullah al-Tabari (AH 694), pp. 82; Tahdhib al-Kamal by al-Mazzi (AH 742), 20:485; Nuzum Durar al-Simtayn by al-Zarandi al-Hanafi (AH 750), pp. 131-132; al-Bidayah wa’l-Nihayah by Ibn Kathir al-Dimashqi (AH 774), 7:397; al-Isabah fi Tamyiz al-Sahabah by Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani (AH 852), 4:467, No. 5704: Biography of `Ali ibn Abi-Talib; Fath al-Bari Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari by Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani (AH 852), 13:286; Yanabi` al-Mawaddah li-Dhawi’l-Qurba by al-Qanaduzi al-Hanafi (AH 1294), 1:227; H.57, 58; Faydh al-Qadir Sharh al-Jami` al-Saghir by al-Mannawi (AH 1331), 4:470, H.5594.

    For more information, the reader may refer to the book of al-Imam `Ali fi Ara' al-Khulafa' (Imam `Ali in the Views of the Caliphs) by Mahdi Faqih «mani (contemporary), pp. 93 and on. The author of this book has referred to tens of reference books and ways of narrations in this respect.

  • 49. () See al-«dhah by Ibn Shadhan al-Azdi (AH 260), pp. 192; Dala'il al-Imamah by al-Tabari (the fourth century of Hijrah), pp. 22; al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 7:424, Section: bab al-nawadir (Exceptional Narrations), H.6; Man La Yahdhuruhu’l-Faqih by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 4:36, H.5052; Khasa'is al-A'immah by al-Sharif al-Radhi (AH 406), pp. 85; al-Ikhtisas by Shaykh al-Mufid (AH 413), pp. 111; Kashf al-Yaqin fi Fadha'il Amir al-Mu'minin by `Allamah al-Hilli (AH 726), pp. 62; Fadha'il al-Khamsah min al-Sihah al-Sittah by al-FayruzAbadi, 2:309; al-Manaqib by al-Khawarizmi (AH 568), pp. 81, H.65; Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah by Ibn Abi’l-Hadid al-Mu`tazili (AH 656), 1:18, 141, 12:179, 205, 206; al-Riyadh al-Nadhirah fi Fadha'il al-`Asharah by Ahmad ibn `Abdullah al-Tabari (AH 694), pp. 82; Nuzum Durar al-Simtayn by al-Zarandi al-Hanafi (AH 750), pp. 130, 133; Kanz al-`Ummal by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi (AH 975), 10:300, H.29509; Yanabi` al-Mawaddah li-Dhawi’l-Qurba by al-Qanaduzi al-Hanafi (AH 1294), 1:216, 227, 2:172, 3:147; Faydh al-Qadir by al-Mannawi (AH 1331), 4:470, H.5594. See also al-Imam `Ali fi Ara' al-Khulafa' by Mahdi Faqih «mani.
  • 50. () For details about this issue, the gentle reader is advised to refer to Sulh al-Hasan (The Truce of al-Hasan) by Radhi Al-Yasin, Beirut: al-Nu`man Foundation, AH 1412, AD 1991.
  • 51. () See al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah by Imam `Ali ibn al-Husayn Zayn al-`Abidin (AH 94), Supplication No. 27.
  • 52. () How magnificent this supplication is! More than any other age, Muslims in the present day are required to repeat and learn lessons from this supplication and to entreat Almighty Allah earnestly to unify their words, unite their lines, and illumine their intellects. [The Author]
  • 53. () See al-Amali by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 418, H.554/21; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 16:220, H.21406, Section: bab wujub ta`at al-sultan for taqiyyah (The Obligation of Obeying the Rulers for Taqiyyah); Bihar al-Anwar by al-Majlisi (AH 1111), 72:369, Section: bab al-rukun ila al-zalimin wa hubbuhum wa ta`atuhum (Leaning On Unjust Rulers and Loving and Obeying Them).
  • 54. () This famous hadith has been reported in many different forms, yet similar in meaning. See Man La Yahdhuruhu’l-Faqih by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), 4:93, H.5151; Tuhaf al-`Uqul by Ibn Shu`bah al-Harrani (the fourth century), pp. 34; `Awali al-La’ali by al-Ihsa'i (app. AH 880), 1:222, H.98 & 2:113, H.309 & 3:473, H.1, Section: bab al-ghasb (Usurpation); Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 14:572; Bahjat al-Nufus by al-Azdi, 2:134, 4:111; Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal (AH 241), 5:72; Ahkam al-Qur'an by al-Jassas (AH 370), 2:216, 224, 241, 3:415, 433, 434, 589, 599; I`jaz al-Qur'an by al-Baqillani (AH 403), pp. 131; al-Sunan al-Kubra by al-Bayhaqi (AH 458), 8:182.
  • 55. () See al-Mahasin by al-Barqi (AH 274 or 280), 1:72, Section: bab al-Sittah (The Six); Kanz al-Fawa'id by al-Karajaki (AH 449), pp. 141; al-Amali by al-Shaykh al-Tusi (AH 460), pp. 478, H.1043, Session No. 17, H.12; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 12:211, 212, 213, H.16111, 16113, 16114, Section: bab ada' haqq al-mu'min wa jumlatun min huquqihi al-wajibah wa’l-mandubah (Fulfillment of the Believers’ Rights; Some Obligatory and Recommended Rights of the Believers), H.21, 23, 24; Bihar al-Anwar by al-Majlisi (AH 1111), 27:89, H.41 & 71:226, 235, 236, H.16, 17, 32, 36…; Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal (AH 241), 1:89, 3:176, 206, 272, 278, 289; Sunan al-Darimi (AH 255), 2:307, Section: bab la yu'minu ahadukum hatta yuhibba li-akhihi… (One Is Faithless Before Loving For His Brother-In-Faith What One Loves For Oneself); Sahih al-Bukhari (AH 256), 1:9, Section: bab min al-iman an yuhibba li-akhihi ma yuhibbu li-nafsihi (To Love For Brethren-In-Faith What One Loves For Oneself Is Part Of Faith); Sahih Muslim (AH 261), 1:48; Sunan Ibn Majah (AH 275), 26:66, Section: bab fi’l-iman (Faith); Sunan al-Tirmidhi (AH 279), 4:76, H.2634; al-Sunan al-Kubra by al-Nassa'i (AH 303), 8:115, 125, Section: `alamat al-mu'min (Distinctive Features of True Believers).
  • 56. () This is a metaphorical phrase quoted from the following holy verse:

    وَنَزَعْنَا مَا فِي صُدُورِهِمْ مِنْ غِلٍّ إِخْوَانًا عَلَىٰ سُرُرٍ مُتَقَابِلِينَ

    And We will root out whatever of rancor is in their breasts-- (they shall be) as brethren, on raised couches, face to face. (15/47)

  • 57.
    () See Kitab al-Mu'min by al-Husayn ibn Sa`id al-Kufi al-Ahwazi (before AH 300), pp. 40; al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:172, Section: bab haqq al-mu'min `ala akhihi wa ada' haqqih (Rights of Believers Upon One Another and the Meeting of These Rights), H.2; Musadaqat al-Ikhwan by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 381), pp. 42, H.4, Section: bab huquq al-ikhwan ba`dhuhum `ala ba`dh (Reciprocal Rights of Brethren-In-Faith); Rawdhat al-Wa`izin by al-Fattal al-Naysaburi (AH 508), pp. 291, Session: fi dhikr manaqib ashab al-a'immati wa fadha'il al-shi`ah wa’l-abdal (Merits of the Holy Imam’ Companions; Merits of the Shi`ah and the Substitutes); Mishkat al-Anwar fi Ghurar al-Akhbar by al-Tabrisi (the seventh century of Hijrah), pp. 47, Chapter Four: fi manzilat al-shi`ah `inda allah wa huququhum wa ma yajibu an yakunu `alayhi (The Shi`ah Position Near Allah and their Rights and How They Should Be) & pp. 336; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 12:205, H.16097, Section: bab ada' haqq al-mu'min wa jumlatun min huquqihi al-wajibah wa’l-mandubah (Fulfillment of the Believers’ Rights; Some Obligatory and Recommended Rights of the Believers), H.7.
  • 58. () See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:636, H.4, Section: bab ma yajibu min al-mu`asharah (Obligatory Matters of Association); Mishkat al-Anwar fi Ghurar al-Akhbar by al-Tabrisi (the seventh century of Hijrah), pp. 134; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 12:6, H.15497, Section: bab `ishrat al-nas (Association With People), H.3.
  • 59. () See al-Kafi by al-Kulayni (AH 329), 2:172, Section: fi anna al-tawakhi lam yaqa` `ala al-din wa innama huwa al-ta`aruf (Brotherhood Is Not On Account of Religion Only; Rather It Is Association), H.8; Musadaqat al-Ikhwan by Shaykh al-Saduq (AH 281), pp. 38-40, Section: bab huquq al-ikhwan ba`dhuhum `ala ba`dh (Reciprocal Rights of Brethren-In-Faith), H.2; Wasa'il al-Shi`ah by al-Hurr al-`Amili (AH 1104), 12:209, H.16106, Section: wujub ada' haqq al-mu'min… (The Obligation of Fulfilling the Believers’ Rights), H.16 & 13:384 H.18018, Section: bab jawaz qat` al-tawaff al-mandub mutlaqan…