‘Companions of a Known place’ and ‘Carriers of the Heavens’ denote the Holy Imams (a.s.)
Allah says in the praise of angels:
وَمَا مِنَّا إِلَّا لَهُ مَقَامٌ مَعْلُومٌ. وَإِنَّا لَنَحْنُ الصَّافُّونَ. وَإِنَّا لَنَحْنُ الْمُسَبِّحُونَ.
And there is none of us but has an assigned place. And most surely we are they who draw themselves out in ranks(‘Saaffoon’). And we are most surely they who declare the glory (of Allah). ‘Musabbehoon’ (Surah Saffat 37:164-166)
The commentators have said that angels say: There is none among whose place of worship is not fixed. Indeed we are from those who glorify.
Ali Ibne Ibrahim, Ibne Shahr Aashob and Furat have narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) about the verse:
And there is none of us but has an assigned place… (Surah Saffat 37:164)
That it refers to the Imams and legatees from the Aale Muhammad (a.s.).
Also in the Tafsir of Ali Ibne Ibrahim from other authentic traditions quote the same Imam that he said: We are the tree of Prophet, the mines of prophethood and the place where angels come and go and we are the promise of Allah, it means that we are the promise that Allah has taken from people and we are the Love of Allah, it means our love is the love of Allah.
We were some ‘Noor’ (light) and were in the row surrounded by the throne of Allah. The creatures of the sky adored Allah because of us, till we were sent to the earth, so we mentioned the holiness of Allah, so the creatures of the earth learnt adoration from us. We are ‘Saaffoon’ and ‘Musabbehoon’, as Allah has said. Then those who fulfil our oath, without any doubt he has fulfilled the promise of Allah, and whoever breaks the promise with us, he has surely broken his promise with Allah.
Ibne Mahyar has narrated from Amirul Momineen (a.s.) that he said in some of his sermons: We are Aale Muhammad (a.s.). We were some ‘Noor’ (lights) around the throne. Allah gave us the order to glorify (Tasbeeh) Him. We glorified Him. And the angels glorified by imitating us. Then Allah sent us on the earth and commanded us for to glorify Him and we did it, so the creatures of the earth also recited glorifications like us. That is why we are ‘Saaffoon’ and we are ‘Musabbehoon’.
Also, there is a tradition from Ibne Abbas when he was asked the explanation of the above verse. He said that we were present in the company of the Holy Prophet (S), that Amirul Momineen (a.s.) arrived. When the Holy Prophet (S) saw the face of the Hazrat, he smiled and said: What to say about the one whom Allah created 40,000 years before Adam.
Ibne Abbas says that I asked the Holy Prophet (S): Was the son before the father? He replied: Yes, Allah created me and Ali before all the Prophets. After that He created all the things, and all the things were created from me and Ali. Then Allah gave us the place near His throne. Then He created the angels. We glorified Allah. When we recited the ‘Takbir’ (Allahu Akbar) the angels also did Takbir and all this was due to my and Ali’s training. And it is from the very beginning in the knowledge of Allah that the friend of mine and Ali will not go to Hell and our enemy will not enter the Paradise. Indeed Allah has made some angels in whose hands there is a silver vessel containing the nectar of Paradise.
From the Shias of Ali, there is no Shia but that his father and mother are pure, pious, chosen ones and believing in Allah. When anyone of them intends to establish sexual relations with his wife, an angel from them who has the water of Paradise in his hands, makes him drink a drop of water due to which faith grows in him like vegetation.
That is why they from the side of Allah, from the side of his Prophet, from the side of his Vicegerent, from the side of my daughter Fatima Zahra, from her sons Hasan and Husain, from their children who are the Imams will be on truth and right. I asked: O Messenger of Allah! Who are those Imams (a.s.)? He said: They are eleven persons from the progeny of Ali through Husain (a.s.). Then the Holy Prophet (S) said: I praise that Allah, who has made the love of Ali the condition to enter Paradise and also for salvation from Hell.
Ali Ibne Ibrahim has narrated that Abu Baseer asked Imam Sadiq (a.s.) that who are more in number, angels or human beings?
The Imam said: By Allah in whose hands is my life, the angels in the heaven are much more than the particles of the earth and in the skies there is no space equal to a feet where there is not an angel who glorifies and magnifies Allah. And there is no tree nor any pebbles on the earth, but that there is an angel on it which everyday informs Allah about its deeds and conditions, although Allah is more aware about the angels and there is no angel but that everyday he goes to the proximity of Allah with our Wilayat and the love of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and asks forgiveness for our friends and curses our enemies and all the angels ask Allah to send chastisement upon them as is the right.
After that in the explanation of the verse:
الَّذِينَ يَحْمِلُونَ الْعَرْشَ.
Those who bear the power (arsh)… (Surah Ghafir 40:7)
Imam said that he is the Holy Prophet (S) and after him his Vicegerent who are the bearers of knowledge of Allah and ‘Arsh’ means knowledge.
…and those around Him… (Surah Ghafir 40:7)
The Imam said that it is the angels on all the four sides of ‘Arsh’.
يُسَبِّحُونَ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّهِمْ وَيُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ وَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا.
…celebrate the praise of their Lord and believe in Him and ask protection for those who believe… (Surah Ghafir:7)
The Imam said that they are the believers and Shias of Aale Muhammad.
رَبَّنَا وَسِعْتَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ رَحْمَةً وَعِلْمًا.
Our Lord! Thou embracest all things in mercy and knowledge… (Surah Ghafir 40:7)
It means Your mercy reaches everyone and everything and Your knowledge surrounds everything.
فَاغْفِرْ لِلَّذِينَ تَابُوا.
…therefore grant protection to those who turn (to Thee) (Surah Ghafir 40:7)
It means forgive the community which has turned its face from the Wilayat and Love of Bani Umayyah and the Unjust Caliphs.
…and follow Thy way… (Surah Ghafir 40:7)
The Imam said that the path of Allah means the Wilayat and Imamate of Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.).
وَقِهِمْ عَذَابَ الْجَحِيمِ. رَبَّنَا وَأَدْخِلْهُمْ جَنَّاتِ عَدْنٍ الَّتِي وَعَدْتَهُم وَمَنْ صَلَحَ مِنْ آبَائِهِمْ وَأَزْوَاجِهِمْ وَذُرِّيَّاتِهِمْ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ.
And save them from the punishment of the hell: Our Lord! and make them enter the gardens of perpetuity which Thou hast promised to them and those who do good of their fathers and their wives and their offspring, surely Thou are the Mighty, the Wise. (Surah Ghafir 40:7-8)
The Imam said that good people means those who have the love of Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.).
وَقِهِمْ السَّيِّئَاتِ وَمَنْ تَقِ السَّيِّئَاتِ يَوْمَئِذٍ فَقَدْ رَحِمْتَهُ وَذَلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ.
And keep them from evil deeds, and whom Thou keepest from evil deeds this day, indeed Thou hast mercy on him, and that is the mighty achievement. (Surah Ghafir 40:9)
Imam says that success is for one who saves himself from the love of unjust caliphs. Then Allah says:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا يُنَادَوْنَ لَمَقْتُ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ مِنْ مَقْتِكُمْ أَنْفُسَكُمْ إِذْ تُدْعَوْنَ إِلَى الْإِيمَانِ فَتَكْفُرُونَ.
Surely those who disbelieve shall be cried out to: Certainly Allah’s hatred (of you) when you were called upon to the faith and you rejected… (Surah Ghafir 40:10)
It means you were called towards the Wilayat of Ali Ibne Abi Talib (a.s.).
Also Ibne Mahyar narrated from Imam Baqir (a.s.) that ‘for those who believe’ refers to the Shias of Muhammad and his progeny and ‘those who turn to Thee’ are those people who have repented from the Love of Unjust Caliphs of Bani Umayyah. ‘Those who disbelieve’ means Bani Umayyah and ‘faith’ refers to the Wilayat of Ali (a.s.).
Kulaini has narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) that there are some angels of Allah who clear the sins from the loins of the Shias as the wind sheds leaves from the tree in autumn. This verse points towards this:
…celebrate the praise of their Lord and believe in Him and ask protection for those who believe: (Surah Ghafir 40:7)
Imam (a.s.) said: By Allah! Allah has meant this only for you and no one else.
Ibne Mahyar in Uyoon Akhbar has narrated that ‘those who believe’ are those who brought faith on the Wilayat of Amirul Momineen (a.s.). Hazrat said that angels are our and our Shias’ servants.
Ibne Mahyar has narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) that ‘those who bear the power (Arsh)’ means these eight persons: 1. Muhammad 2. Ali 3. Hasan 4. Husain 5. Ibrahim 6. Ismail 7. Moosa and 8. Isa (may peace be upon them).
Ibne Babawayh has said in Aqaid that the throne (Arsh) will be borne by eight people, four from the earlier nations and four from the later ones. The earlier four are Nuh, Ibrahim, Moosa and Isa (a.s.) and four later ones are Muhammad (S), Ali, Hasan and Husain (may peace be upon them all). And it is conveyed to us from our Imam (a.s.) and reached us in this way only.
Ibne Mahyar has narrated from Amirul Momineen (a.s.) that he said that the fact of my superiority was revealed from the heavens to the Holy Prophet (S).
…and ask protection for those who believe…
This verse was also revealed at a time when there was no believer except me and the Holy Prophet (S) in the world.
It is narrated from Imam Baqir (a.s.) that Ali (a.s.) said that the angels continued to invoke blessings (Salawat) on me and the Prophet for seven years and some months and in our praise the following verses were revealed:
الَّذِينَ يَحْمِلُونَ الْعَرْشَ وَمَنْ حَوْلَهُ يُسَبِّحُونَ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّهِمْ وَيُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ وَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا رَبَّنَا وَسِعْتَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ رَحْمَةً وَعِلْمًا فَاغْفِرْ لِلَّذِينَ تَابُوا وَاتَّبَعُوا سَبِيلَكَ وَقِهِمْ عَذَابَ الْجَحِيمِ. رَبَّنَا وَأَدْخِلْهُمْ جَنَّاتِ عَدْنٍ الَّتِي وَعَدْتَهُم وَمَنْ صَلَحَ مِنْ آبَائِهِمْ وَأَزْوَاجِهِمْ وَذُرِّيَّاتِهِمْ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ.
Those who bear the power and those around Him celebrate the praise of their Lord and believe in Him and ask protection for those who believe: Our Lord! Thou embracest all things in mercy and knowledge, therefore grant protection to those who turn (to Thee) and follow Thy way, and save them from the punishment of the hell: Our Lord! and make them enter the gardens of perpetuity which Thou hast promised to them and those who do good of their fathers and their wives and their offspring, surely Thou are the Mighty, the Wise. (Surah Ghafir 40:7-8)
According to another tradition from the Holy Prophet (S): Without any doubt, Allah and the angels were sending Salawat on me and Ali for many years, because we used to pray and before us no one prayed.
It is related from many other chains from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) that he said: By Allah! The seeking of forgiveness of the angels is for you, Shias and not for all the creatures.
The Almighty Allah says regarding the greatness of the Quran:
كَلَّا إِنَّهَا تَذْكِرَةٌ. فَمَنْ شَاءَ ذَكَرَهُ. فِي صُحُفٍ مُكَرَّمَةٍ. مَرْفُوعَةٍ مُطَهَّرَةٍ. بِأَيْدِي سَفَرَةٍ. كِرَامٍ بَرَرَةٍ.
Nay! surely it is an admonishment. So let him who pleases mind it. In honored books, Exalted, purified, In the hands of scribes (Safarah) Noble, virtuous. (Surah Abasa 80:11-16)
In the authentic traditions it is mentioned that ‘Sufra’ means the Holy Imams (a.s.).
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ عِنْدَ رَبِّكَ لَا يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِهِ وَيُسَبِّحُونَهُ وَلَهُ يَسْجُدُونَ.
Surely those who are with your Lord are not too proud to serve Him, and they declare His glory and throw themselves down in humility before Him. (Surah Araf 7:206)
It is famous amongst the commentators that they are the angels. But it has come in traditions that it refers to the Prophet and Imams (a.s.). Also the Almighty Allah has said:
وَقَالُوا اتَّخَذَ اللَّهُ وَلَدًا سُبْحَانَهُ.
And they say: Allah has taken to himself a son. Glory be to Him… (Surah Baqarah 2:116)
He doesn’t have any son. But some people are honoured near Allah.
بَلْ لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ كُلٌّ لَهُ قَانِتُونَ.
…rather, whatever is in the heavens and the earth is His; all are obedient to Him. (Surah Baqarah 2:116)
لَا يَسْبِقُونَهُ بِالْقَوْلِ وَهُمْ بِأَمْرِهِ يَعْمَلُونَ.
They do not precede Him in speech and (only) according to His commandment do they act. (Surah Anbiyah 21:27)
يَعْلَمُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ وَلَا يَشْفَعُونَ إِلَّا لِمَنْ ارْتَضَى وَهُمْ مِنْ خَشْيَتِهِ مُشْفِقُونَ.
He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they do not intercede except for him whom He approves and for fear of Him they tremble. (Surah Anbiyah 21:28)
Ibne Mahyar and others have narrated from Imam Baqir (a.s.) that when the Hazrat recited these verses he pointed towards his chest. It means that these verses were revealed in the praise of us, Ahlul Bayt (a.s.).1
- 1. The writer says: Most commentators say these verses were revealed for those who claim that angels are the daughters of Allah. That is why ‘the obedient ones’ means the angels but from the Ziarats like ‘Ziarat-e-Jamea’ and from many supplications and other authentic traditions it is clear that it refers to the Holy Imams (a.s.). On this basis and there is a possibility that they should be refuted who believe in the divinity of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and the Holy Imams (a.s.). So ‘Ebdun Mukremum’ means they are the servants of Allah, whom consider as gods. Another possibility is the refutation of those who believe that angels are sons of Allah. So Allah has negated it, and that there are some nearest persons to Him, whom He has exalted and made Caliphs; and His selection does not mean that they are His children. On this basis it is possible that it denotes the Holy Imams or generally it may be all those who are near to Allah, like the angels, the Prophets and the vicegerents.