Part 14: Traditions interpret words like Sirat, Sabil as the Imams
Traditions that interpret words like Sirat (Path), Sabil (way) to signify the Imams (a.s.)
It is mentioned in the Tafsir of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) and Maniul Akhbar that in the explanation of the words of Allah: Keep us on the right path. (1:5) The Hazrat said that it means: Make the divine opportunity (tawfeeq) permanent for us by which we have worshipped You in the past so that in the future life also we may obey You.
There are two right paths (Siratul Mustaqeem). One is the path in this world and the other is in the hereafter. The straight path of the world is one which is much lower than a high type of life and it higher than the life of shortage, and it is so straight that there should be no attraction towards any wrong deed. And the second path in the hereafter is the way of the believer towards the Paradise, which is straight and neither does it turn towards Hell nor in any other direction.
The Hazrat said that it means our guidance which takes to the right path and towards the way the follower of which is taken to Your love and Your religion and it restrains us from following our selfish desires or that we act according to our opinion and be destroyed.
صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ.
The path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed favors. (Surah Fatiha 1:6)
Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: Say (O Allah!) Guide us to the group whom You have given the divine help (tawfeeq) for Your religion and obedience and thus favored them. It is that group in whose praise the Almighty Allah has said:
وَمَنْ يُطِعْ اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ فَأُوْلَئِكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ مِنْ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَدَاءِ وَالصَّالِحِينَ وَحَسُنَ أُوْلَئِكَ رَفِيقًا.
And whoever obeys Allah and the Apostle, these are with those upon whom Allah has bestowed favors from among the prophets and the truthful and the martyrs and the good, and a goodly company are they! (Surah Nisa 4:69)
Amirul Momineen (a.s.) said that these are not those people to whom Allah has given blessings of wealth and physical health, although they also have apparent blessings, even though some are unbelievers and some sinners, and Allah does not command you to pray for guidance to the path of this group, but rather He commands you to pray for guidance to the path of those whom Allah blessed, to bring faith on their Lord and to testify to His Prophets, and to accept the Mastership of Muhammad and the Progeny of Muhammad and their good and chosen companions. And due to the result of their appropriate following remain safe from the mischief of men and the sins and disbelief of the enemies of Allah.
In this way be polite to them and do not make them trouble you or the other believers. And recognize the rights of your believing brothers because no one from the male or female servants of Allah are such who befriends Muhammad and Aale Muhammad be inimical to their enemies but that they have secured a strong fort against the punishment of Allah.
And every male or female servant of Allah who does this favor to people which is very good, that is its should not have any illegality or harm then Allah gives for each breath the rewards of glorification (Tasbeeh) and accepts their deeds. And for the patience he has maintained to keep our secrets and for restraining their anger which they have controlled after listening to unsuitable talks of Our enemies.
Allah gives them the reward similar to one who has smeared himself in his blood in the way of Allah. And that person who depending upon his capacity fulfils the rights of believing brothers and helps them as much as possible and remains pleased with them, in a way that they forgive their faults and mistakes they commit and does not exaggerate them, and forgive their defects then surely the Almighty Allah, on the day of Judgment, will say to them: O My servant, you have fulfilled the rights of your believing brothers and did not force them to fulfil your rights. I am more forgiving and merciful than this.
Whatever facility and favor you have given them, I will bestow upon you all that today, which I had promised. Rather due to My vast grace I will give you more than this and whatever shortcomings you had in the fulfilment of my rights, I will not make any reduction in My bestowals upon you. After that Allah will join him to Muhammad (S) and Aale Muhammad and make him one of their proximate Shias.
There is an authentic tradition in Maniul Akhbar that Imam Sadiq (a.s.) was asked by some people about ‘Sirat’. He replied that it is the way of Allah and His Ma’refat (recognition) and there are two ‘Sirats’—‘Sirat’ of this world and the ‘Sirat’ of the hereafter. The Imam is Sirat of this world is that whose following is incumbent, for one who recognizes him and follows his guidance. Then he will pass over this Sirat in the Hereafter which is bridge over Hell, and one who does not recognize him in the world, his foot would stumble and he would fall into Hell fire.
Also according to a good chain of narrators Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said in the explanation of this verse:
اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ.
Keep us on the right path. (Surah Fatiha 1:5)
That ‘the Right Path’ is Ali (a.s.) and the proof of his recognition is that the Almighty Allah says:
وَإِنَّهُ فِي أُمِّ الْكِتَابِ لَدَيْنَا لَعَلِيٌّ حَكِيمٌ.
And surely it is in the original of the Book with Us, truly elevated, full of wisdom. (Surah Zukhruf 43:4)
That Ali (a.s.) is the ‘original of the book’ (mother of the book), which is the chapter of ‘The Opening’ (Al-Hamd) whose verse: Keep us on the right path… mentions him and ‘Siratul Mustaqeem’ is Ali. He is the knower of the laws and the learned one of divine realities.
The commentators have referred the pronoun to Quran and considered ‘original of the book’ (Ummul Kitab) to be the Protected Tablet (Lauhe Mahfuz), which is with us, which has a esteemed position and stability, or which is to show the wisdom. On the basis of this whatever we have derived earlier that Ali (a.s.) is the ‘speaking book of Allah’ can be matched with the apparent meaning of the verse also.
Also it is narrated from Imam Zainul Aabedeen (a.s.) that the Imam of the time is between Allah and his hujjat (proof), there is no veil or curtain between them. We are doors of divine knowledge, and we are the Straight Path and we are the treasure chest of the Allah’s knowledge and we the informants of divine revelation and we are the pillars of the oneness of Allah (monotheism) and we are the repositories of divine secrets.
Also according to authentic sources Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said in the explanation of:
The path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed favors. (Surah Fatiha 1:7)
The Imam said that it means Muhammad (S) and his progeny.
Ali Ibne Ibrahim has authentically narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s.), that he said: Those whose obedience has been commanded by Allah, and whoever wants to choose that path, by Allah there is no way for them except to turn to us. By Allah! The path and the way, that you have been commanded to follow by Allah are we; and by Allah we are the Straight Path.
Also from the same Imam according to a reliable tradition, the last of the Surah was read like this:
اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ. صِرَاطَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ غَيْرِ الْمَغْضُوبِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا الضَّالِّينَ
Keep us on the right path. The path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed favors. Not (the path) of those upon whom Thy wrath is brought down, nor of those who go astray. (Surah Fatiah 1:7)
The Imam said: Those who were the recipients of Allah’s wrath are the Nasibi, that is all the opponents (of the Shias), except those who are weak in faith and those harbour enmity to the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and the astrayed are the Jews and the Christians.
Also according to authentic tradition from the same Imam ‘upon whom Thy wrath is’ are the Nasibi and ‘those who go astray’ are those who doubt and who do not recognize the Imam.
Ibne Shahr Aashob has quoted from Tafsir of Wakee, who is Sunni commentator regarding this verse:
Keep us on the right path. (Surah Fatiha 1:6)
That Ibne Abbas said: O! People say: Guide us towards the love of Prophet (S) and His Ahle Bayt (a.s.).
In Tafsir of Thalabi it is narrated by Abu Buraida that ‘the Straight Path’ is the path of Muhammad (S) and Aale Muhammad.
In Kashful Ghumma Muhaddith Haski has quoted from others that Anas has narrated in the same way from Buraida.
Ali Ibne Ibrahim says in the explanation of the verse:
وَأَنَّ هَذَا صِرَاطِي مُسْتَقِيمًا فَاتَّبِعُوهُ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا السُّبُلَ فَتَفَرَّقَ بِكُمْ عَنْ سَبِيلِهِ ذَلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُمْ بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ.
And (know) that this is My path, the right one therefore follow it, and follow not (other) ways, for they will lead you away from His way; this He has enjoined you with that you may guard (against evil). (Surah Anam 6:153)
The Imam said that in this verse ‘this is My path, the right one’ is the Imam, and the different paths which are mentioned in the verse —to follow which has been prohibited – are the paths of other than the Imam.
…for they will lead you away from His way…
It means be not divided on the matter of Imamate and do not create a difference.
It is narrated in the explanation of this that Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) said: We are the path of Allah. Those who dislike it are on the other paths (Sobol), whom Allah has restrained to follow.
Also in the explanation of the verse:
وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَهَادِ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ.
…and most surely Allah is the Guide of those who believe into a right path. (Surah Haj 22:54)
The Imam said that it means Allah guides the believers towards the Imam.
In the book Tawilul Aayaat an authentic narration from Imam Baqir (a.s.) says in explanation of the verse:
And (know) that this is My path…(Surah Anam 6:153)
That it means the path of Imamate, so you must follow it.
…and follow not (other) ways…(Surah Anam 6:153)
They are those paths other than that of the Imamate.
In Nahjul Iman there is a tradition by Buraida Aslami, that when this verse was revealed the Holy Prophet (S) said: I prayed to Allah to make this verse (exclusive) in praise of Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.), and He did so.
In Tafsir of Furat, there is a tradition from Imam Baqir (a.s.) about:
And (know) that this is My path, the right one…(Surah Anam 6:153)
That it means Ali Ibne Abi Talib and the Pure Imams (a.s.), who are from the descendants of Fatima (s.a.). Only they are the path of Allah. Those who love them, do not tread other paths.
Ibne Shahr Aashob has narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) regarding the verse:
…and follow not (other) ways…(Surah Anam 6:153)
That we are the path of Allah, for one follows us, and we are the ones who guide towards Paradise, and we are the chains and ropes of Islam.
Also, it is narrated from the same Imam regarding verse:
وَالَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا فِينَا لَنَهْدِيَنَّهُمْ سُبُلَنَا.
And (as for) those who strive hard for Us, We will most certainly guide them in Our ways… (Surah Ankabut 29:69)
The Imam said that this verse was revealed in praise of Aale Muhammad and their Shias.
Also from the same Imam:
وَاتَّبِعْ سَبِيلَ مَنْ أَنَابَ إِلَيَّ.
…and follow the way of him who turns to Me…(Surah Luqman 31:15)
It means: Follow the way (path) of Muhammad and Ali.
Ali Ibne Ibrahim narrates in the explanation of the following verse:
وَإِنَّكَ لَتَدْعُوهُمْ إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ.
And most surely you invite them to a right way. (Surah Mu’minun 23:73)
That the Imam said that it means to the Wilayat of Amirul Momineen (a.s.).
Also regarding the verse:
وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْآخِرَةِ عَنْ الصِّرَاطِ لَنَاكِبُونَ.
And most surely those who do not believe in the hereafter are deviating from the way. (Surah Mu’minun 23:74)
It is narrated that they are the ones who turn away from the Imam.
In Manaqib it is narrated from Imam Baqir (a.s.) that the ‘way’ denotes the Wilayat of Ahle Bayt (a.s.).
Also it is quoted in Manaqib from Ibne Abbas regarding the verse:
فَسَتَعْلَمُونَ مَنْ أَصْحَابُ الصِّرَاطِ السَّوِيِّ وَمَنْ اهْتَدَى.
So you will come to know who is the follower of the even path and who goes aright. (Surah Taha 20:135)
That the Imam said: By Allah! The ‘follower of the even path’ are Muhammad (S) and His Ahle Bayt and those ‘who go aright’ are the companions of Muhammad (S).
It is narrated in the Tafsir of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) that the Holy Prophet (S) said: Among the servants of Allah, every servant and from the maids of Allah that maid who has apparently given oath of allegiance to Amirul Momineen but broken the oath inwardly and is firm on his/her hypocrisy, when the angel of death comes to take his soul, at that time Satan and his helpers will appear and show the fire of Hell and different types of Chastisements.
And also show the Paradise and its stages which was fixed for them if he had remained steadfast on his oath and faith; then he would have settled there. At this the angels of death will say: See the Paradise, the luxury and the blessings, whose value is known only to Allah, which was reserved for you if you had remained firm on the allegiance of the Wilayat (Mastership) of Muhammad’s brother. You would have gone towards those blessings on the day of Qiyamat, but you broke your oath and opposed them, that is why this Chastisement, fire, open-mouthed snakes, scorpions ready to sting, fangs barred wild animals and all such types of punishments are for you and your return is to them. He would say:
يَا لَيْتَنِي اتَّخَذْتُ مَعَ الرَّسُولِ سَبِيلًا.
O! Would that I had taken a way with the Apostle… (Surah Furqan 25:27)
Alas if only I had followed the path of the Prophet (S), and accepted whatever he had said and made incumbent upon me regarding the Wilayat (Mastership) of Ali (a.s.).
Ibne Mahyar has narrated from Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) regarding the verse:
وَيَوْمَ يَعَضُّ الظَّالِمُ عَلَى يَدَيْهِ يَقُولُ يَا لَيْتَنِي اتَّخَذْتُ مَعَ الرَّسُولِ سَبِيلًا. يَا وَيْلَتِي لَيْتَنِي لَمْ أَتَّخِذْ فُلَانًا خَلِيلًا.
And the day when the unjust one shall bite his hands saying: O! Would that I had taken a way with the Apostle. O woe is me! Would that I had not taken such a one for a friend! (Surah Furqan 25:27-28)
That the first tyrant will say this to the second tyrant.
In another tradition from Imam Sadiq (a.s.): By Allah at no other place in the Quran has Allah used the allusion of ‘fulan’ (such a one). Rather it is in this way: O woe is me! Would that I had not taken (the second caliph) for a friend! And very soon when that Quran becomes apparent the people would recite it this same way.
Kulaini has narrated from Imam Baqir (a.s.) that Imam Ali (a.s.) recited a Sermon and said that the two greatest tyrants removed the dress of caliphate from my body and donned it themselves and debated with me in the matter in which they had no right at all. And due to ignorance and misguidance they committed that evil deed. Thus they chose for themselves a very bad place and arranged punishment for themselves. They will curse each other and will express disdain for each other. The second one will say to his companion and confidant, the first one, when they meet each other:
يَا لَيْتَ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَكَ بُعْدَ الْمَشْرِقَيْنِ فَبِئْسَ الْقَرِينُ.
O would that between me and you there were the distance of the East and the West; so evil is the associate! (Surah Zukhruf 43:38)
Hearing this that tyrant would reply in a terrible condition:
يَا وَيْلَتِي لَيْتَنِي لَمْ أَتَّخِذْ فُلَانًا خَلِيلًا. لَقَدْ أَضَلَّنِي عَنْ الذِّكْرِ بَعْدَ إِذْ جَاءَنِي وَكَانَ الشَّيْطَانُ لِلْإِنسَانِ خَذُولًا.
O woe is me! Would that I had not taken such a one for a friend! Certainly he led me astray from the reminder after it had come to me; and the Shaitan fails to aid man. 25:28-29
After that the Imam said: I am that ‘reminder of Allah’, from which they were ‘led astray’. And I am that path and way of Allah, from which they turned away. And I am that faith, which they denied and I am that Quran from which they distanced themselves and I am that religion which they falsified and I am that right path from which they turned away.
From Manaqib a tradition of Imam Sadiq (a.s.) says regarding this verse:
أَفَمَنْ يَمْشِي مُكِبًّا عَلَى وَجْهِهِ أَهْدَى أَمَّنْ يَمْشِي سَوِيًّا عَلَى صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ.
What! Is he who goes prone upon his face better guided or he who walks upright upon a straight path? (Surah Mulk 67:22)
Those ‘who goes prone upon his face’ are our enemies and those who ‘walk upright’ are Salman, Abu Zar, Miqdad, Ammar, and the special companions of Ali (a.s.).
Muhammad Ibne Abbas has narrated from Imam Baqir (a.s.) that the person who walks on the right path at night, by Allah it is Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.) and his successors.
Ali Ibne Ibrahim narrates from Imam Baqir (a.s.) regarding this verse:
إِذْ يَقُولُ الظَّالِمُونَ إِنْ تَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا رَجُلًا مَسْحُورًا. انظُرْ كَيْفَ ضَرَبُوا لَكَ الْأَمْثَالَ فَضَلُّوا فَلَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ سَبِيلًا.
…when the unjust say: You follow only a man deprived of reason. See what they liken you to! So they have gone astray and cannot find the way. (Surah Israa 17:47-48)
The Imam said that this verse was revealed in this way:
…when the unjust (on the Aale Muhammad and those who grabbed their rights) say and said that the second verse is in this way:
…when the unjust (towards Aale Muhammad) say:
It means that they do not find any way to the Wilayat of Ali and Ali is the path towards Allah.1
Kulaini has narrated with authentic chains from Imam Baqir (a.s.) regarding the verse:
قُلْ هَذِهِ سَبِيلِي أَدْعُو إِلَى اللَّهِ عَلَى بَصِيرَةٍ أَنَا وَمَنْ اتَّبَعَنِي وَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَمَا أَنَا مِنْ الْمُشْرِكِينَ.
Say: This is my way: I call to Allah, I and those who follow me being certain, and glory be to Allah, and I am not one of the polytheists. (Surah Yunus 10:108)
The Imam said it is those who follow the Holy Prophet (S) and in place of the Holy Prophet (S) invite people to the true religion (and they are we the Ahlul Bayt).
In Tafsir Furat there is a tradition from Imam Baqir (a.s.) that in this verse ‘way’ (Sabil) denotes the Wilayat of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), none denies this except the astrayed ones and none condemns Ali except those who are astrayed.
According to another tradition regarding this verse:
فَاسْتَمْسِكْ بِالَّذِي أُوحِيَ إِلَيْكَ إِنَّكَ عَلَى صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ.
Therefore (O Apostle) hold fast to that which has been revealed to you; surely you are on the right path.(Surah Zukhruf 43:43)
The Imam said that it is the Wilayat of Ali Ibne Abi Talib, and Ali is ‘the right path’. And the Almighty Allah says in Surah Hijr:
قَالَ هَذَا صِرَاطٌ عَلَيَّ مُسْتَقِيمٌ.
He said: This is a right way with Me: (Surah Hijr 15:41)
Often reciters put fatha (a) on the ‘laam’ in ‘Alaa’ and the ‘yaa’ is having tashdeed (doubling a letter). This means that the Oneness of Allah is the way incumbent upon me to follow. Some reciters put ‘kasra’ (i) on the ‘laam’ in ‘Alaa’ and use ‘rafa’ or ‘tanvin’ on the ‘yaa’ which means the esteemed path. And in Taraif it is narrated from Hasan Basri that he use to recite it by ‘Kasre’ (e) on the ‘laam’ and tashdid on the ‘yaa’ and used to say this is the path of Ali Ibne Abi Talib and his path and his religion is straight and clear and there is no crookedness in it. So follow it and be attached to it.
Kulaini has also chosen this recitation. And narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) regarding this recitation:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوا تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَيْهِمْ الْمَلَائِكَةُ أَلَّا تَخَافُوا وَلَا تَحْزَنُوا وَأَبْشِرُوا بِالْجَنَّةِ الَّتِي كُنْتُمْ تُوعَدُونَ. نَحْنُ أَوْلِيَاؤُكُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَا تَشْتَهِي أَنفُسُكُمْ وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَا تَدَّعُونَ.
(As for) those who say: Our Lord is Allah, then continue in the right way, the angels descend upon them, saying: Fear not, nor be grieved, and receive good news of the garden which you were promised. We are your guardians in this world’s life and in the hereafter, and you shall have therein what your souls desire and you shall have therein what you ask for. (Surah Fussilat 41:30-31)
Also Ibne Mahyar and Kulaini have narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s.), he said: By Allah! ‘then continue in the right way’ means the mastership (Wilayat) of the Pure Imams one after the other; that is to believe in all the Imams.
Ibne Mahyar has narrated through reliable chain of narrators from Imam Baqir (a.s.) that he said: By Allah! It means the True Religion. That which you Shias follow and the angels would descend and give the good news at the time of death and on the day of Judgement.
In Majmaul Bayan it is narrated from Imam Ridha (a.s.) that it means the Shias. It is related from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) that the giving of good news by the angels shall be at the time of death.2
Also it is narrated from Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) regarding the explanation of the verse:
We are your guardians in this world’s life and in the hereafter… (Surah Fussilat 41:31)
In the Tafsir of Imam Hasan Askari (a.s.) there is a tradition from the Holy Prophet (S) that the faithful are always afraid about the hereafter and when the angels of death arrive to capture their soul, they were not having the certainty of reaching upto the pleasure of Allah because the angels of death come to the believer when he is in a severe pain and he is shocked due to the separation from his wealth and family.
He is worried about all those who were connected to him and in his heart remain the aspirations and longings for his wife and children that had not materialised, at that time the angels of death say to him: Why are you so much aggrieved? He says: Because of the nervousness and worry and the breaking up of the ambitions. The angels of death say: Does any sane person laments the loss of a spurious (dirham) coin, in exchange of which, he is given thousands of dinars. The man will say: No.
Then the angels of death would tell him to look up and when he does so he sees the palaces and levels of Paradise, which are better than what the people desire in this world. The angels say: These houses, blessings, wealth, wife and children are all yours and all those pious wives and children would be with you, do you agree to leave those things of the world to get these in the hereafter? He says: Yes, I agree. Then the angels ask him to look up again. When he looks up, he sees the Prophet (S), Ali and his purified progeny in the most elevated position (Aala-e-Illiyeen), and the angels tell him: These are you masters and guides and they would be with you in these gardens of Paradise and give you company and be your friends, don’t you agree that they give you company instead of your worldly companions? He would say: Indeed by Allah, I agree. This is the explanation of the verse:
…the angels descend upon them, saying: Fear not nor be grieved… (Surah Fussilat 41:30)
It means do not be aggrieved. Whatever you have left in the world; children, wife, wealth, is compensated by what you have seen in the Paradise. So be happy with the Paradise that you were promised, which you have seen, and all those noble personages would be your friends and companions.
The Almighty Allah says in Surah Jinn:
وَأَلَّوْ اسْتَقَامُوا عَلَى الطَّرِيقَةِ لَأَسْقَيْنَاهُمْ مَاءً غَدَقًا. لِنَفْتِنَهُمْ فِيهِ.
And that if they should keep to the (right) way, We would certainly give them to drink of abundant water. So that We might try them with respect to it… (Surah Jinn 72:16-17)
In the explanation of this verse, the following points have come in the traditions of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.).
Firstly, that Ibne Mahyar narrates from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) that if they had in the spiritual plane (Aalam-e-Arwah), when Allah has taken oath for His oneness, the Prophethood of the Holy Prophet (S) and the Imamate of the purified Imams (a.s.). Then if they remained steadfast on Wilayat, then surely We would put plenty of sweetness in their dust ‘Teenat’(from which they are created) and not the bitter water which We put in the ‘Teenat’ of the unbelievers and the hypocrites.
Imam Baqir (a.s.) has been reported to have said in similar terms and said that at the end that the examination and tests are in the Wilayat of Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.).
Secondly the metaphor of water refers to knowledge because knowledge is the basis of the life of the soul just as the water is the basis for the life of the body. Thus in many authentic traditions it is narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) that: If they remain firm on the Wilayat of Ahle Bayt (a.s.), surely We would shower them heavily with knowledge, that they learn from the Imams (a.s.).
In some traditions it is mentioned that the pronoun in ‘try them’ points to the hypocrites, it means: We will examine the hypocrites.
- 1. The writer says: May be this verse was revealed in this meaning and not that the words of the verse are in this order.
- 2. The writer says: There are many traditions in the explanation of this verse. Traditions show that this verse is in praise of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and the angels address them in this world. Thus there is an authentic tradition in Basairud Darajat, that Imran asked Imam Sadiq (a.s.): May I be sacrificed on you, we have heard that angels descend on you. The Hazrat replied: By Allah! They do descend upon us and they walk on our floors. Perhaps you have not read the book of Allah, that He says: (As for) those who say: Our Lord is Allah…. And some other traditions about the coming of angles to them will be quoted in other chapters, Insha-Allah. On this basis the ‘isteqamat’ (then continue in the right way) would mean Infallibility and from some traditions it seems that this verse was revealed in praise of the Shias and the address of the angels to them is at the time of death, in the grave and on the day of Judgement. As Ibne Mahyar has narrated from Imam Baqir (a.s.) regarding the same verse: (As for) those who say: Our Lord is Allah… it means those who have perfected the obedience of Allah and the Prophet and completed the Wilayat of Aale Muhammad, only they remained firm and steadfast on it—the angels descend upon them…. The Imam said that when these people would be raised on the day of Judgement and come out of the graves, the angels would welcome them and say: Do not be afraid and do not grieve. We are those who lived in the world with you and now we would never separate from you, till you enter Paradise. And the good news of Paradise is for you, which had been promised to you.