Part 35: The Imams are the appointed Caliphs of Allah
The Imams are the appointed Caliphs of Allah; Allah wishes to establish them in the Earth and has promised them help
Some of these verses are revealed in praise of the Qaem Aale Muhammad and they are numerous.
نَتْلُو عَلَيْكَ مِنْ نَبَإِ مُوسَى وَفِرْعَوْنَ بِالْحَقِّ لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ. إِنَّ فِرْعَوْنَ عَلَا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَجَعَلَ أَهْلَهَا شِيَعًا يَسْتَضْعِفُ طَائِفَةً مِنْهُمْ يُذَبِّحُ أَبْنَاءَهُمْ وَيَسْتَحْيِ نِسَاءَهُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ مِنْ الْمُفْسِدِينَ. وَنُرِيدُ أَنْ نَمُنَّ عَلَى الَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَنَجْعَلَهُمْ أَئِمَّةً وَنَجْعَلَهُمْ الْوَارِثِينَ. وَنُمَكِّنَ لَهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَنُرِي فِرْعَوْنَ وَهَامَانَ وَجُنُودَهُمَا مِنْهُمْ مَا كَانُوا يَحْذَرُونَ.
We recite to you from the account of Moosa and Firon with truth for people who believe. Surely Firon exalted himself in the Land and made its people into parties, weakening one party from among them, he slaughtered their sons and let their women live, surely he was one of the mischief-makers. And we desired to bestow a favor upon those who were deemed weak in the land, and to make them the Imams, and to make them the heirs. And to grant them power in the land, and to make Firon and Haman and their hosts see from them what they feared. (Surah Qasas 28:3-6)
Ali Ibne Ibrahim says that Allah informed His Prophet, about the situation of Moosa and his followers and what befell them by Firon’s killings, injustice and tyranny, so that it may bring comfort to the Holy Prophet (S) on the misfortunes of the killings and imprisonments that were to befall the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.). Then after giving assurance, He gave glad tidings that after bearing those atrocities Allah would bestow His favor upon them and make them His caliph on the earth and make them the Imam and the leader so that they can take revenge in the Second Coming (Raja’t). That is why He said:
And we desired to bestow a favor upon those who were deemed weak in the land, and to make them the Imams, and to make them the heirs. And to grant them power in the land, and to make Firon and Haman and their hosts see from them what they feared. 28:5-6
It is the metaphor of those who usurped the rights of Muhammad and Aale Muhammad. That is the first and the second caliph and their followers. The pronoun of ‘From them’ refers to Aale Muhammad (a.s.). ‘What they feared’ means from whom they were afraid—like killing and calamities. If it had meant the overpowering of Firon by Moosa then what was the purpose of singular pronoun, it would have been plural.
That is why Moosa and Firon are mentioned as examples. It means in the way Firon did much injustice on Moosa and his companions for a long period, at last we gave victory to Moosa and destroyed them all, in the same way, different kinds of injustices, will be committed by the Firon of this nation on the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) but in the end We would bring them in this world again along with their enemies, so that they take revenge from them. Indeed, Ali (a.s.) has pointed towards this in some of his sermons. He says:
O people! The first person to revolted against Allah on the earth was Unaq, the daughter of Adam. The Almighty Allah had given her twenty fingers. Each finger had two long nails like sickles, that are used to cut crops. When she sat she used to cover sixty yards of land. When she revolted against Allah, became an unbeliever and committed injustice on the people, Allah raised a lion as big as an elephant, a Wolf as big a camel and a vulture as big as a donkey to kill her. These animals were so huge since the very beginning. The Almighty Allah made those animals attack her till she was killed. Allah killed Firon and Haman that is the first and the second (caliph) and buried alive Qaroon, it means the third one.
After this Ali (a.s.) in this manner complained about those people that they usurped his rights and said that their repentance is not accepted and they suffer the chastisement of Allah in Barzakh (grave/or intervening period between death and resurrection), till they go to Hell.
How similar is this example of Moosa with Qaem Aale Muhammad (a.s.) who was born in secrecy and was always fearful of the Firon and his followers and was hiding from them. Till he appeared and overpowered them and Imam Qaem Aale Muhammad’s reappearance would also be like this. Insha Allah.
In Maniul Akhbar there is a tradition from Mufazzal that Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: One day the Holy Prophet (S) saw Ali and Imam Hasan and Husain (a.s.) and started weeping and said that after me you would be made weak. Mufazzal asked: What did the Prophet meant by it? Imam Sadiq (a.s.) replied: That is, you would be the Imam after me as Allah Almighty has said:
And we desired to bestow a favor upon those who were deemed weak in the land, and to make them the Imams…
Thus Allah promised the weak that He would make them Imam and till the day of Qiyamat this verse is effective for we, Ahle Bayt and there would be Imams from us in every era.
Also there is a tradition from Amirul Momineen (a.s.) that he said that this verse is in our praise.
Ibne Mahyar, Shaykh Tabarsi and others have narrated from the same Hazrat that he said: By Allah, Who split the seed and created the tree and created the creatures, indeed this treacherous world would bend towards us and be kind, after silence, in the same way as the malicious biting she-camel is kind to its young ones. After that the Imam recited this verse.
Ayyashi has narrated that one day Imam Baqir (a.s.) saw Imam Sadiq (a.s.) and said by Allah he is also from them about whom Allah has mentioned in this verse. Then he recited that verse.
Also there is a tradition from Imam Zainul Aabedeen (a.s.) that he said: By Allah Who sent Muhammad with truth, the good character are we and our Shias just like Moosa (a.s.) and his Shias were of good character. And our enemies and their followers are like Firon and his followers.
Furat Ibne Ibrahim has narrated from Nuwair Ibne Abi Fakhta that Imam Zainul Aabedeen (a.s.) said: Read the Quran. I recited Surah Taa-seen-meem and when I reached:
‘and to make them the heirs (Surah Qasas 28:5).’
The Imam said: Wait, by Allah Who sent Muhammad, the good ones are from us, Ahlul Bayt and our Shias are like Moosa and his Shias.
Ali Ibne Ibrahim and other traditionists have narrated from Minhal Ibne Amr that after the martyrdom of Imam Husain (a.s.), Imam Zainul Aabedeen (a.s.) was asked about his condition. He replied: I am among my people like Bani Israel in among the people of Firon because our men were martyred and our women were made prisoners.
Verses revealed in praise of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) are supported with numerous traditions and they shall come in the account of Imam Qaem (a.s.), Insha Allah. And the interpretations of the verses are very much clear, as mentioned by us in earlier chapters.
وَمَا لَكُمْ لَا تُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَالْمُسْتَضْعَفِينَ مِنْ الرِّجَالِ وَالنِّسَاءِ وَالْوِلْدَانِ الَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا أَخْرِجْنَا مِنْ هَذِهِ الْقَرْيَةِ الظَّالِمِ أَهْلُهَا وَاجْعَل لَنَا مِنْ لَدُنْكَ وَلِيًّا وَاجْعَل لَنَا مِنْ لَدُنْكَ وَلِيًّا وَاجْعَل لَنَا مِنْ لَدُنْكَ نَصِيرًا.
And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (of) those who say: Our Lord! Cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from thee a guardian and give us from thee a helper. (Surah Nisa 4:75)
Most commentators have said that it refers to that weak community which due to their acceptance Islam was trapped among the unbelievers of Mecca who inflicted injustice upon them while they were unable to migrate. The Almighty Allah encouraged the Muslims to fight against the unbelievers so that they can be saved from their injustice.
Ayyashi has narrated from Imam Baqir and Imam Sadiq (a.s.) that this verse was revealed in praise of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) who were made weak by the tyrants of this nation and there was no helper for them. The Almighty Allah commanded the Muslims that they should strive and fight in His away and help them against the enemies. That is why the interpretation fits these noble personages. On the basis of this interpretation ‘town’ means Medina, that is why Ali (a.s.) migrated from there to Kufa and the people of Kufa did not help him. Or it can be said this is the hidden interpretation of the verse and it is not against its apparent meaning.
وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنْكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُم فِي الْأَرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمْ الَّذِي ارْتَضَى لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًا يَعْبُدُونَنِي لَا يُشْرِكُونَ بِي شَيْئًا وَمَنْ كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ فَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمْ الْفَاسِقُونَ.
Allah has promised to those of you who believe and do good that he will most certainly make them rulers in the earth as He made rulers those before them, and that He will mot certainly establish for them their religion which He has chosen for them, and that He will most certainly establish for them and that he will most certainly, after their fear, give them security in exchange, they shall serve Me, not associating aught with Me, and whoever is ungrateful after this, these it is who are the transgressors. (Surah Nur 24:55)
Kulaini and other commentators has narrated with reliable chains from Imam Baqir and Sadiq (a.s.) that this blessed verse is specially for the Imams and those vested with authority whom Allah has promised after the Prophet and given them glad tidings and appointed them His vicegerents for His knowledge and religion, as He has made appointed vicegerents of Adam (a.s.) after him.
Ali Ibne Ibrahim has narrated that this verse was revealed in praise of Qaem Aale Muhammad (a.s.). Ayyashi and others have narrated from Imam Ali Ibne Husain (a.s.) that confidence, comfort, safety and security will be for our Shias in the time of Mahdi and he is the one who about whom the Holy Prophet (S) has said: Even if a solitary day remains from this world, the Almighty Allah would prolong it so much that a person from my progeny comes to be the ruler, whose name would be my name and he would fill the earth with justice and equity just as it had been filled with injustice and oppression.
Furat Ibne Ibrahim with many chains of narrators has related that this verse was revealed in praise of Aale Muhammad (a.s.). And in many Ziarats and supplications it is mentioned that these verses were revealed in praise of Imam Qaem Aale Muhammad (a.s.). We shall discuss all such traditions here. Insha Allah.
الَّذِينَ إِنْ مَكَّنَّاهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ أَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَوْا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَمَرُوا بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَنَهَوْا عَنْ الْمُنْكَرِ وَلِلَّهِ عَاقِبَةُ الْأُمُورِ. وَإِنْ يُكَذِّبُوكَ فَقَدْ كَذَّبَتْ قَبْلَهُمْ قَوْمُ نُوحٍ وَعَادٌ وَثَمُودُ. وَقَوْمُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَقَوْمُ لُوطٍ. وَأَصْحَابُ مَدْيَنَ وَكُذِّبَ مُوسَى فَأَمْلَيْتُ لِلْكَافِرِينَ ثُمَّ أَخَذْتُهُمْ فَكَيْفَ كَانَ نَكِيرِ.
Those who, should We establish them in the land, will keep up prayer and pay the poor rate and enjoin good and forbid evil and Allah’s is the end of affairs. And if they reject you, then already before you did the people of Nuh and Adam and Thamud reject (Prophets). And the people of Ibrahim and the people of Lut. As well as those of Madayan and Moosa (too) were rejected, but I gave respite to the unbelievers, then did I overtake them, so how (serve) was my disapproval. (Surah Haj 22:41-44)
Ibne Shahr Aashob, Ibne Mahyar and Furat and others with many chains of narrators have narrated from Imam Baqir and Sadiq (a.s.) that we are those persons, about whom Allah has mentioned in this verse.
Also Ibne Mahyar has narrated from Moosa Ibne Ja’far (a.s.) that he said that one day I was present with my respected father in the mosque, suddenly a person came to him and said: O son of the Messenger of Allah, it is difficult for me to understand this verse of Quran. I should asked Jabir Johfi, but he told me to inquire it from you. The Imam asked: Which verse is it? He said: Those who, should We establish them in the land...till the end.
Imam said: It was revealed in our praise and its reason is that some from the companions came to the Prophet (S) and asked: O Messenger of Allah! Who would succeed to this divine affair of rulership and caliphate, after you? By Allah if any person will be from your Ahlul Bayt (a.s.), then we feel that our life is in danger and if some other person is there, then may be he would be more generous and be nearer to us.
After hearing this the Holy Prophet (S) became very angry and said: By Allah! Whomsoever He will make the Caliph, he certainly would establish Prayer on the earth and distribute Zakat to the needy people and certainly enjoin towards good and forbid evil. Indeed Allah would degrade and humiliate those who keep enmity with my Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) and my progeny. At this time the Almighty Allah revealed this verse:
وَإِنْ يُكَذِّبُوكَ فَقَدْ كَذَّبَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ.
And if they call you a liar, so did those before them indeed call (their apostles) liars… (Surah Fatir 35:25)
Ibne Mahyar has narrated from Imam Baqir (a.s.) that the first verse was revealed in the praise of Qaem Aale Muhammad (a.s.) whom the Almighty Allah would bestow the kingdom from the east to the west and through him manifest the right religion and through his companions destroy and remove the wrong innovations just as the ignorant and unjust people would have removed and destroyed the truth. He would do such that there remains no sign or effect of injustice. He would enjoin good and forbid evil and the return of every affair is Allah.
أَفَمَنْ وَعَدْنَاهُ وَعْدًا حَسَنًا فَهُوَ لَاقِيهِ كَمَنْ مَتَّعْنَاهُ مَتَاعَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا ثُمَّ هُوَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ مِنْ الْمُحْضَرِينَ.
Is he to whom We have promised a goodly promise which he shall meet with like him whom we have provided with the provision of this world’s life, then on the day of Qiyamat he shall be of those who are brought up? (Surah Qasas 28:61)
Ibne Mahyar has narrated that this verse was revealed in the praise of Amirul Momineen (a.s.) and Hamza (a.r.) and Dailami has narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) that the promise is made to Ali Ibne Abi Talib. Allah has promised Paradise for him and his friends and those who bear the chastisement shall be the enemies of the Hazrat who have usurped his right in the world and assumed rulership without having any right to it. The Almighty Allah has given them respite in the world.
سَنُرِيهِمْ آيَاتِنَا فِي الْآفَاقِ وَفِي أَنْفُسِهِمْ حَتَّى يَتَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ أَوَلَمْ يَكْفِ بِرَبِّكَ أَنَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ شَهِيدٌ.
We will soon show them Our signs in the Universe and in their own souls, until it will become quite clear to them that it is the truth. (Surah Fussilat 41:53)
Ibne Mahyar has narrated from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) that to show in the ‘universe’ means that the earth would be made small for the wrong-doers in the period of Imam Qaem (a.s.) and to show their selves means that some of the opponents would be transformed into animals so that it becomes clear to them that He is the true Qaem Aale Muhammad and the truth is with him.