Chapter 7: Doctrinal Researches

In his researches and lectures, Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, discussed many ideological matters and disproved the vague errors and imaginations which the spiteful and the ignorant raised against Islam and its precepts. We have mentioned large part of his debates with the scholars of the sects and religions. We have indicated that the debates amazed them and made them believe in his many scientific abilities, and that they dominated the political and scientific clubs. Now, we will mention another part of these researches, which are not in the frame of the debates, as follows:

The Unity of Allah

Many questions were raised about the Unity of Allah, and Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, answered them and refuted the doubts and imaginations in respect of them. The following are some of them:

Full Knowledge of Allah’s Essence is Impossible

It is impossible to describe Allah, the Exalted, with an attribute which encompasses His Holy Essence. Among those who asked the Imam about this matter was Abu’ Hisha’m al-Ja‘fari, who was one of the greatest figures of his time in virtue, knowledge, and Allah-fearingness. He asked the Imam the following question:

“Can Allah be described (i.e., specified in words)?”

Through this question, Abu’ Ha’shim al-Ja‘fari wanted to find and to encompass the knowledge of Allah, the Most High, so Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, asked him:

“Do you not read the Qur’an?”

“Yes,” he replied.

The Imam answered through the Book of Allah, the Most High, saying:

“Do you not read these words of Him, the Exalted: The eyes attain him not, but He attains the eyes?”

“Yes,” was the answer.

“Do you know (the meaning of) the eyes?” asked the Imam.

“Yes,” came the answer.

“What is it?” asked the Imam.

“It is the seeing with the eyes,” replied Abu’ Ha’shim.

The Imam, peace be on him, disproved this answer, saying: “Verily, the conceptualization of the heart is far greater (embracing in knowledge) than the vision of the eye. Still the conceptualization of the heart cannot attain Him, whereas all conceptualization is in His grasp.1

Certainly, the conceptualization of reason is far greater and more inclusive than the vision of the eye. Reason is also limited in conceptualization and imaginations, hence it cannot encompass the Essence of Allah, the Most High.

Seeing Allah is Impossible

It is impossible for men to see Allah, the Most High; it was spread among the people of that time that Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family, had seen his Lord, hence Ibra’him b. Muhammad al-Khazza’z and Muhammad b. al-Husayn hurried to Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, to ask him about that: “Did Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family, see his Lord in the form of a perfect youth with His hair hanging down on the lobs of His ears and of a man in the age of thirty?”

They ascribed this statement to a group of the Shi‘ite great figures, and that they said: “The body of Allah right up to the navel was quite empty and the rest of Him was full.” Without doubt this statement was fabricated and attributed to such a group of Shi‘ite eminent men, for they had no relationship with such forbidden things. As for the Imam, he disordered when he heard this false statement. He prostrated himself in prayer and began addressing Allah, the Exalted, humbly: “Glory belongs to You! They do not know you; nor do they know You as a Unity. For this reason they have described You (with fabricated attributes). Glory belongs to You! Had they known You, they would had ascribed to You only the attributes You have ascribed to Your Own Self. Glory belongs to You! How did they allow themselves to listen to anything about You other than Your Self.

“O Allah, I do not describe You but through what You have described Your Own Self; nor do I liken You to Your creatures. You are the Possessor of all good. So do not place me among the unjust people.”

Then he, peace be on him, turned to them and said to them: “After whatever you imagine, imagine that Allah is other than that.”

Namely, whatever man imagines concerning the Essence of Allah, the Most High, he should imagine that Allah is other than what he has imagined.

Then the Imam turned to Muhammad b. al-Husayn and said to him: “We, the family of Muhammad, represent the moderate path. Our path is lost to those who exceed the limit, and those who lag behind cannot come unto our (path). O Muhammad (b. al-Husayn), verily, when Allah’s Messenger, may Allah bless him and his family, looked at the Majesty of his Lord, he was in the form of a youth in full bloom and of a man in the age of thirty with his hair hanging down on the lobes of his ears. O Muhammad, Allah is far above having the attributes of His creatures.”

“Who was he whose feet were on the green yard?” asked Muhammad b. al-Husayn.

“He was Muhammad,” replied the Imam, “When he looked at his Lord through his heart, He established him in His Light which was like the Light of the (Divine) veil, until what was behind the (Divine) veil was made manifest to him. Verily, the effulgence of Allah’s Light is green, red, white, and the like. O Muhammad, we (the Imams) only say what the Book (of Allah) and the Sunna bear witness to.2

Negation of the Like from Allah

The Imam, peace be on him, disproved all kinds of likes and images from Allah, the Most High, and that was through a talk took place between him and al-Fath b. Yazid al-Jurja’ni on his way to Khurasa’n. The Imam, peace be on him, said to him:

“O Fath, he who pleases the Creator pays no attention to the creature; and he who displeases the Creator, surely He empowers the displeasure of the creatures over him; and the Creator is not described except by that with which He has described Himself; and how should one describe that Creator whom senses cannot perceive, imaginations cannot attain, thoughts (khatara’t) cannot delimit and sight cannot encompass? Greater is He than what the depicters describe! He is distant in His nearness and near in His distance. He fashions (kayyafa) ‘howness’ (kayfiyyah), so it is not said of Him, ‘How?’ (kayf); He determines (ayyana) the ‘where?’ (ayn). He sunders ‘howness’ (kayfu’fiyyah) and whereness (aynu’niyyah).

“O Fath, everybody is fed with a food except the Creator, the Provider (Allah), for He embodies bodies. He is without body and form. He can neither be analyzed nor limited. He grows not, nor decays. He is far above the parts of things. He is the Subtle, All-aware, All-hearing, All-seeing, the One, the Unique, the Un-needing. He begets not, nor is He begotten and there is none equal to Him. He is the Originator of all things. He embodies all bodies and forms all forms. If He was such as those who admit similitude (al-mushabbihah), then the Creator cannot be distinguished from the created, nor the Provider from the provided, nor the Originator from the originated. However, He is the Originator and there must be a distinction between Him and the things to which He gave body and shape and which He originated, since nothing resembles Him nor does He resemble anything.”

“Allah is One and man is one. Do they not; therefore, resemble each other?” asked al-Fath.

The Imam disproved this vague error, saying: “Impossible! May Allah keep you steadfast; the resemblance is in the meanings. As for the names, every object is one, and the names signify the objects that (severally) bear those names.3 Likewise, when we call man one, we are predicating that man is one body, not two. Man, in himself, is not one, since he is composed of different limbs and colors. And what is composed of different colors (components) can never be regarded as one. He consists of separate parts, that are diverse and divisible. His blood is different from his flesh and his flesh is different from his blood. His nerves are different from his veins and his hair is different from his skin. His black is different from his white. And the same is the case with all other creatures. Thus, man is one in name, not in essence.

“Allah, Exalted be His Majesty, is One. There is none other than Him; nor is there any incongruity and diversity in Him; nor is there any excess and deficiency. However, man is a creation made and composed of different parts, diverse essences, and primary elements; in this state of composition he is regarded as one.”

Surely, calling Allah, the Exalted, One is different from calling man one, for man is composed of different organs such as the heart, the lungs, the eyes, the kidneys, the cells, and others; and by the virtue of their gathering he is called one. As for the Almighty Creator, He is called One not because of the composition of numerous limbs and organs.

“Explain to me (the meaning of ) the Subtle, for I know that His Subtlety is different from that of other than Him, for there is a difference (between the Creator and creation,” demanded al-Fath.

The Imam, peace be on him, answered: “O Fath, our statement that Allah is Subtle means that He has created subtle things and has full awareness of subtle things. May Allah give you wisdom and keep you steadfast. Do you not see the signs of His creation in the grass, which is subtle (green and soft) and not subtle (dry and rough), and also in the most subtle (delicate and tender) creation and in the tiny birds, insects, and misquotes and in the tiny flies, and also the things still tinier to the extent that you cannot distinguish the male from the female and the young from the old. We see the infinite smallness of these in their subtlety, and how they are guided in coming near to the female of the species and escaping from what is deadly, and in the gathering of what is suited to their survival. We see (creatures) dwelling in the depth of the seas, under the bark of the trees, and in the valleys and the barren deserts. We see them communicating messages to one another and with their offspring, and also their bringing food for them. We also see their matching of colors, the red with the yellow and the white with the red. Further, we see, that on account of their smallness they are not visible to the eye. Our eyes do not see them; our hands do not touch them. Having seen all this, we have come to know that the Creator of such subtle creatures, must have used a very subtle art in the creation of what we have mentioned. Moreover, we have also come to know that all those who make things, do so out of other things. However, it is Allahthe Creator, the Subtle, the GreatWho created and made things out of nothing.”

This paragraph gives an account of the marvelous signs of Allah’s wonderful creatures, and that is in His creating the bodies of the tiny animals such as insects and misquotes, and even tinier than them, of which the male cannot be distinguished from the female. Allah has given them understanding and they are guided to come near to the female of the species to continue their offspring on earth. Likewise Allah has given them understanding in order to escape from dangers, so glory belongs to the Subtle Creator. Moreover they have attractive colors, and they live in the bark of trees and deserts, and other favors of Allah toward them. So glory belongs to the Almighty Creator. How great his favors toward all living beings!

“Is there a creator other than the Great Creator?” asked al-Fath.

The Imam, peace be on him, answered: “Surely, Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, says: Blessed is Allah the best of the creators.4 He told that there were creators among his creatures, of whom was ‘Isa’ b. Maryam, who determined out of dust like the form of a bird with Allah’s permission, and it became bird with Allah’s permission. And al-Sa’miri created for them a calf, a mere body, which had a mooning sound.”

Al-Fath opposed the Imam, saying: “Surely, Isa’ created a bird out of dust as a proof of his Prophethood, and al-Sa’miri created a calf, a mere body, to abolish the Prophethood of Musa’, and Allah willed that to be so. Certainly, this is the wonder!”

The Imam answered him with strong argument, saying: “Verily, Allah’s intention is two-fold; His will is (also) two-fold: the intention which is irrevocable, and the intention which is only a resolution. (Sometimes) Allah forbids what He wills and (sometimes) He orders what He does not will. Do you not see that Allah forbade Adam and his wife from eating of the tree, yet willed that they should eat of it? If He had not willed so, their will would not have prevailed over the will of Allah; He ordered Ibra’him (Abraham) to sacrifice his son Isma’‘il, but did not will that Isma’‘il should be slain. If He had willed so, the will of Ibra’him would not have prevailed over the will of Allah, the Great and Almighty.”

The Imam, peace be on him, disproved al-Fath’s vague errors through dividing the will of Allah, the Exalted, into two parts as follows: the first part is the intention which is only a resolution or the legislative will, as the theologians say, or Allah’s orders and prohibitions to His servants in order to balance their behavior and put right their life in this world. The disobedience of the willed to the will is not impossible according this kind of will. In other words the servant may obey and may disobey.

And the second part is the intention which is irrevocable or genetic will as the theologians say. It is impossible for the willed to disobey this kind of will, for Allah, according to this will, says to a thing: “Be,” and the thing is. As for the stories of Adam and Ibra’him, they belong to the first part of will.

Al-Fath was amazed at the Imam’s statement and said: “You have comforted me; may Allah comfort you! However, you have said: ‘The All-hearing, the All-seeing: Does He hear with the ear and see with the eye?”

The Imam answered him: “He (Allah) hears through what He sees and sees through what He hears. He sees but not through an eye like the eye of the creatures; and He hears but not through an ear like the ear of the creatures, but for not hidden from Him is the trace of a black speck on a dark night on a black stone under the soil and the seas; we say that He sees not through the like of the eye of the creatures; we say that He hears not through the like of the hearing of the hearers, for the various kinds of words are not confused by Him and no hearing diverts Him from hearing.”

The Imam, peace be on him, removed the vague errors from al-Fath and explained to him that the seeing and hearing of Allah, the Most High, were not like those of man.

“Yet, I have another question,” declared al-Fath.

“Give it to me,” demanded the Imam.

“You said that the Eternal (Allah) known the things before He had created them.”

The Imam, peace be on him, said: “Do you not hear that Allah says: If there had been in them (the heavens and the earth) any gods except Allah, they would both have certainly been in a state of disorder5, that He says: And some of them would certainly have overpowered others6, that He says, relating the statement of the inhabitants of the Fire: O our Lord, take us out, we will do good deeds other than those which we used to do7, and that He says: And if they were sent back, they would certainly go back to that from which they were forbidden8?”

Al-Fath admired the knowledge of the Imam, peace be on him, and his understanding difficult, theological matters. He tried to kiss the Imam’s hand and foot, but the Imam did not allow him to do that. So he kissed the Imam’s holy head and went out with happiness, for the Imam removed all doubts and imaginations which sounded in his mind.9

During his debate with al-Fath, the Imam, peace be on him, discussed and explained many ambiguous matters on the Unity of Allah.

The Essence of Allah’s Oneness

Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, stated traditions about the core of Allah’s Oneness. The following are some of them:

1. Muhammad b. Yazid asked the Imam about Allah’s Unity, and he dictated to him the following: “Praise belongs to Allah, Who originally creates all things and designs them with a design through His Power and Wisdom. He does not create them from things so that His power of creation could be negated; nor does He design them for any ulterior reason or through any means so that His designing could be questioned. He creates whatever He likes and whosoever He likesall by Himself, that He may manifest His wisdom and the truth of His Providence. Reason cannot grasp Him; imagination cannot reach Him; and eyes cannot attain Him. He is beyond any calculation. The power of expression is helpless to (interpret Him). All the powers of sight are blurred (from seeing Him); and the power of describing and defining goes astray in describing and defining Him. He is veiled without any veil and is concealed without any covering. He is known without being seen, described without any form, and depicted without any body. There is no god but Allah, the Great, the Most High.10

This tradition gives an account of the power of the Almighty Creator, Who creates all things from nothing nor from a previous example. So glory belongs to Him! How great He is! The eyes cannot attain Him; imaginations cannot encompass Him; and words cannot embrace the core of His mightiness!

2. Muhammad b. ‘Isa’ b. ‘Ubayd had the honor of meeting the Imam, peace be on him, and he asked him the following:

“What do you say when someone asks you to tell him about Allah, the Great and Almighty, whether He is a thing or not?”

Muhammad skillfully answered, saying: “Certainly, Allah, the Great and Almighty, has established Himself as a thing when He said: Say: What thing is weightiest in testimony? Say: Allah is witness between you and me.11 So I say that He is a thing not like other things. For if we negate His Being as a thing, we will abolish and negate Him.”

The Imam approved this answer of Muhammad and said to him: “You said the truth and were right.” He added: “The people have three creeds concerning Allah’s Oneness: negation, comparison, and establishment without any comparison. The creed of negation is not permissible; the creed of comparison is not permissible, for Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, is not likened to anything; and the way is the third creed: establishment without any comparison.12

The Power of Allah

Muhammad b. ‘Arafa asked the Imam, peace be on him, the following questions: “Did Allah create things with the power or without the power?13

The Imam answered him: “It is not permissible (to say that) He created things with the power, for if you said: ‘He created things with the power,’ it would be as if that you regarded the power as a thing other than Him, and you regarded it as His tool through which He created things, and this is polytheism; and if you said that He created things with the power, you would only describe that He created them through His might and power over them, but He is neither weak nor feeble nor is He in need of other than Him.”

The meaning of the speech of the Imam, peace be on him, is that Allah, the Most High, is powerful, that this attribute is the same as Himself, and that He does not create things through a power outside Himself, for all His Noble Attributes are the same as Himself, as it has been established in theology.

Moreover, the Imam himself emphasized that in his speech when he said: “Glory belongs to Him who created the creatures through His power, mastered what He created through His wisdom, and placed everything in its place through His knowledge. Glory belongs to Him who knows the stealthy looks and that which the breasts conceal; there is nothing like Him; and He is the All-hearing, the All-seeing.”

The Great Creator and His Attributes are Eternal

Among the important researches which the Imam, peace be on him, stated was that the Great Creator and His attributes were eternal. He, peace be on him, said to a companion of his:

“May Allah give you the knowledge of the good. Know that Allah, the Hallowed, the Exalted, is eternal and this attribute of His being eternal indicates to the wise that neither was there anything before Him, nor is there anything associated with Him. After the general admission (by the men of wisdom) regarding this unique and exclusive attribute of Allah’s being eternal, it is quite evident to us that there existed nothing before Him, and that there is nothing associated with Him in His being everlasting. Hence the claim of those who think that there was anything before Allah, or there is anything associated with Him is totally repudiated. The reason is that if there was anything sharing with Him in His eternity, it would not be proper to regard Allah as the Creator of that thing, for it had been with Allah all the time. How could Allah be the Creator of what had been with Him all along? If there was anything before Allah, then that thing would be the first, (not Allah), and that first (thing conjectured to exist before Allah) has got the preferential right to be regarded as the Creator of this first (Allah, the Eternal).

“Then Allah, the Hallowed, the Exalted, invested Himself with names, and when He created (His creatures) and enjoined upon them His worship, and put on them trial and tribulation, He summoned them to call Him by those names. So, He named Himself the All-hearing, the All-seeing, the All-powerful, the Self-subsistent, the Articulated, the Revealed (or the Manifest), the Concealed, the Gracious, the Omniscient, the All-strong, the All-mighty, the All-wise, the All-knowing and other names like these. When the evil-minded repudiators saw this and heard us stating that nothing is like Allah, and nothing in creations is in His modality, they raised an objection: ‘Tell uswhen you assert that nothing is like Allah, nor resembles Him, then how have you associated yourself with Him in His most beautiful names, for you have given all these names to yourself?

“‘Verily, in this there is a clear proof that you are like Allah in all aspects or at least in some aspects and modalities; since you have gathered for yourself all these good names.’ Let them be told, ‘Verily, Allah, the All-mighty, the Exalted, has applied some of His names to some of His servants (creatures) but with a different meaning. One and the same name bears different meanings. The justification for it is the practice of the people themselves, valid according to them and widely prevalent among them. Allah addresses His creatures in the same practice of speech (prevalent among people). He speaks to them in a way which they understand so that they themselves will stand responsible for any loss they suffer (due to not caring to understand). Just as people generally call a man a dog, a donkey, a cow, sweet, bitter, or a lion, and this is antagonistic to man’s nature and condition, these names are not applied in the (literal) sense that has been given to them, since they have quite a different context here for the man is neither a lion, nor a dog. So understand this point, may Allah have mercy on you!

“Allah has named (Himself) with (the attribute of) Knowledge, but (eternal) not contingent knowledge through which conception of things may be possible or knowledge which may assist Him in guarding what He is going to ordain in future or in planning what He is going to create in His creation (in the present) or in disposing of what He has annihilated from His creation (in the past) or knowledge which, if it is not available to Him and has become hidden from Him, then he will be rendered ignorant and helpless. As we see the learned among the creatures, we call them men of knowledge, because of the contingent which appears in them and of which they were ignorant. And it also often happens that the knowledge of things departs from them and then they relapse into ignorance. However, Allah is called All-knowing in the sense that He is not ignorant of anything at any time (past, present, or future). Thus, the name ‘one who knows’ is common to both the Creator and the created, but the connotation is quite different (in both the cases), as you saw.

“Our Lord has been given the name ‘All-hearing’not that He has the channel of the ear through which He hears sounds but with which He cannot see, as we have the orifice of the ear through which we hear but with which we cannot see. However, Allah Himself tells us that nothing in the world of sound is hidden from Him. Nor is there any limitation in the range of sound as in the case of our hearing. Thus, the name of ‘Hearing’ is common (between Allah and the mankind) but their connotation is quite different.

“Likewise, His seeing not through the channel of the eyes. On the other hand in our case, we see with the instrument of our eyes and they are of no use to us for any other purpose. Allah is seeing in the sense that He is in no doubt about anything that can be seen. Nothing visible is out of His sight. Here too, the name is common but the connotation is quite different.

“Allah is the Self-subsistent (Qa’’im), not in the sense that He supports Himself by standing erect and holding His knees together as others do. However, ‘Self-subsistent’ connotes that He is the Protector, the Watcher, just as people say: ‘the supporter of our affairs is so-and-so.’ Allah is He Who stands (Qa’’im) over every soul for what it has earned.14 Generally, Qa’’im or Self-subsistent also means the Ever-lasting. It has also the connotation of supporting and satisfying just as you may say to a person: ‘Stand (qum) forth to support and satisfy such and such family,’ meaning support them fully, whereas, for us ‘Qa’’im’ (subsistent) means standing on our feet. Thus, the name ‘Qa’’im’ or ‘subsistent’ is common to us (Allah and men) but the sense or the meaning is different.

“(In the same way), Allah is named al-Latif (the Subtle, the Delicate) not in sense of being diminutive or slim and slender or small. However, Allah is Subtle and Delicate in the sense that He is effectual through and through and in the inmost of all things (however minute) and also in the sense that it is impossible to perceive and comprehend Him, just as you may say to a person: ‘This matter is too subtle (latif) for me or such and such is refined (latif) in his conduct and speech.’ You, in other words, tell him that intelligence has failed to grasp the matter, and effort has lost the trace of it and it has become so deep and delicate that imagination cannot reach it. Such is the subtlety of Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, since He is too subtle to be apprehended by any definition or be limited within any description, whereas subtlety (lata’fah), in our context, connotes smallness or diminutiveness. Here again the name is common but the meaning is different.

“As for Allah’s being the Omniscient and All-aware (al-Khabir), this means that nothing is hidden from Him and nothing escapes Him. His knowledge is not (the result of) experiment, nor (the fruit of) the authority of tradition. Experimentation and authority of tradition are the two (sources of) knowledge. If there is neither making experiment nor following tradition there would be no knowledge, and the man is ignorant. Allah is eternally conversant with what is to be created, while amongst mankind the man of knowledge or the conversant man is one who has become conversant or knowledgeable (passing through the stage) of the ignorance of the learner. Thus, here too the name is common but the connotation is quite different.

“Allah is al-Za’hir (the Manifest, one who prevails), not in the sense that He appeared above everything and rode them and settled on them and out-topped them. (So, nothing can hide Him from the right.) However, He is al-Za’hir or Manifest and prevails over everything in the sense that He holds all authority, dominion and power over each and everything, just as a person would say: ‘I have prevailed over my enemy and Allah has given me power over him.’ It signifies victory and domination. Such is al-Za’hir of Allah over everything. There is another sense of al-Za’hirthe Manifest. He is Manifest to everyone who intends to seek him. He is not hidden to His seekers and nothing is hidden from Him. He is the Disposer of each and everything He has created. So, which appearance is more manifest and evident than Allah, the Blessed and Exalted? Since in whichever direction you turn, His wonderful (creation) cannot remain hidden from you. Even within your own self there are sufficient signs to satisfy you, (but) in our case, the manifest means something which comes into view by itself or is known by its limits and location. Thus here too, the name is common, but the connotation is quite different.

“Allah is al-Ba’tin (hidden), hidden not in the sense that He is inside things, or that He has descended deep in them, but in the sense that His knowledge, providence and plan permeate the inside of everything, just as a person says: ‘I have gone deep into the matter in the sense I have experienced it and have fully known all its hidden secrets.’ However, for us ‘hidden’ means the disappearance of a thing inside some other things. Here again we have the name in common, but the connotation is quite different.

“Allah is al-Qa’hir (the Omnipotent) not in the sense of deliberation, and painful endeavor, and exertion, and planning, and diplomacy and intrigue, which His creatures exert themselves in to gain power over each other, and for the vanquished to become victorious, and for the victorious to become vanquished. However, Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, is Omnipotent (al-Qa’hir) in the sense that everything He has created is clothed with lowliness and self-abasement before Him, the Creator, and can offer no obstruction to what He wills regarding it. It is not even the twinkling of an eye for Him to utter ‘Be’ and forthwith ‘It is’. And victory among us is as we have already discussed and described (above). Thus, here too, the name is common but the meaning is quite different. Similar is the case in respect of all the names of Allah. Although we have not brought together all His names here; yet whatever we have expounded to them is sufficient for correct inference and understanding. Allah alone is your help and mine too, for our guidance and success.15

This speech of the Imam, peace be on him, contains many proofs of the eternity of the Great Creator, the Originator and Maker of all various things. It includes the attributes of Allah, the Exalted, and shows that they, though given to man, are quite different. Giving these attributes to Allah is other than giving them to man, who is in need of Allah in all affairs and states. It is worth mentioning that al-Kulayni regarded this speech of the Imam as a loose tradition (hadith mursal), not a supported tradition (hadith musnad).

The Creator Far Above Space

The Almighty Creator is far above space and time which are some necessities of all beings which depend on Allah in their existence. A man from Ma’ Wara’’ Nahr Balkh (Transoxania) came to Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, and said to him: “I want to ask you a question. If your answer is the same as I have already known, I will believe in your Imamate.”

“Ask whatever you like,” replied the Imam.

The man asked the Imam, saying: “Tell me about your Lord: Since when and how (in what state) has your Lord been in existence and what does He subsist on?”

“Verily, Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, determined the ‘where’ without ‘whereness’; and He fashioned the ‘how’ without ‘howness’; and He subsists on His own power,” replied the Imam.

Surely, it is Allah, the Most High, who created space and time; they are of His creatures; therefore, how is He described by them?

The man admired the Imam’s answer, and then he hurried to kiss his head and said: “I witness that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, that ‘Ali is the testamentary trustee of Allah’s Messenger and the custodian after him for what Allah’s Messenger (may Allah bless him and his family) had undertaken, that your are the true Imams, and that you are the successor after them.16

The Imam was among the sources of guidance and light on earth, hence he spread in his time faith in Allah and established argument against the creatures.

Seeing Allah is Impossible

Muhammad b. ‘Ubayd Allah wrote to Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him; he asked him about the ocular vision of Allah, the Exalted, and what was traditionally narrated by the common people (al-‘a’mmah) and the elite (al-kha’sa); and he asked him to explain the matter fully to him.

The Imam wrote him the following letter: “All are agreed and there is no dissension among the people that acknowledge of anything through visual perception is necessary and certain. Now if it is true that seeing Allah with the eye is necessary for knowledge of Allah to occur, then this knowledge must fall into one of two cases. It is either the belief (in Allah which is required by Him) or not that belief. If this knowledge of Allah by way of visual perception is that belief, then the knowledge of Allah through intellectual perception, which is alone available in this world, is not that belief because intellectual perception is contrary to visual perception. Then there will not be a single believer in the world because they have not seen Allah, may His remembrance be Exalted. And if the knowledge of Allah by way of visual perception is not the belief (required by Him) then the knowledge of Allah which has been attained (through intellectual perception which is the required belief) must disappear in the hereafter. This is the argument in support of the truth that Allah, the Great and Almighty, cannot be seen through the eye, for if it is held that He can be seen by eyes, the matter will revert to what we have explained.17

Through this conclusive argument the Imam, peace be on him, disproved seeing the Great Creator through the eye, not through thinking and reason, for if the belief in Allah, the Exalted, is related to seeing through the eye, then the belief which results from the conscientious proofs of Allah’s existence is not belief, and it is invalid; and if the knowledge of Allah, the Most High, which stems from visibility is not belief, then the knowledge which results from the proofs is not the reason for belief, and this is also invalid.

Surely belief in Allah is one of the necessities which none denies except him who has gone astray, for Allah, the Exalted, is the most prominent reality which His creatures indicate in this existence.

Authorization and Compulsion are Invalid

As for authorization, it opposes Islamic religion; likewise, compulsion has no relationship with Islam. Al-Hasan b. ‘Ali al-Washsha’’ asked Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, about these two matters: “Has Allah entrusted to (His) servants all their affairs?”

“Allah is far above this,” retorted the Imam.

“Has Allah compelled them to commit sins?” asked al-Hasan.

“Allah is too just and too wise to do this,” answered the Imam.

Then the Imam added: “Allah says: O son of Adam, I deserve your good deeds more than you yourself and you deserves your vices than I Myself. You have committed sins through the power and authority I have granted to you.18

Definitely, Allah, the Exalted, has given perfect will to His servants, so it is they who, according to their own pure will, obey or disobey Him; and they are not compelled to do any act of disobedience.

Another example of what has been transmitted from Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, concerning refuting compulsion and authorization is that which has been narrated by Sulayma’n b. Ja‘far al-Ja‘fari, who said: “Compulsion and authorization were mentioned in the presence of Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, and he said: ‘Will I give you an origin about this, over which you will not differ, and you will defeat anyone who debates with you on it?”

“Yes,” his companions replied.

He, peace be on him, said: “Verily, Allah, the Exalted, has not been obeyed through compulsion; nor has he been disobeyed through overcoming; nor has he neglected the servants in His kingdom. It is He who possesses what He has made them possess, and He who has power over that which He has given power to them. If the servants follow the obedience to Him, He will not repel or prevent them from it; and if they follow the disobedience to Him, and He wills to come between them and that, then He will do (that). And if He does not come (between them and the disobedience) and they do (it), then it is not He who makes them commit it.”

After this decisive proof, he, peace be on him, said to his companions: “He who does well the limits of this speech defeats him who opposes him.19

The Imam emphasized this matter during his talk with ‘Ali b. Asba’t, who asked him about the capacity (of human beings), and he answered him: “Man can be invested with full ability after his acquisition of four characteristics: he should be free in respect of action, soundness of body, proper functioning of the limbs and the means for the performance provided by Allah to him.”

“May I be your ransom, kindly explain this (speech) to me,” requested ‘Ali.

The Imam, peace be on him, explained this matter to him, saying: “A certain man is free in respect of his action, has soundness of body and the proper functioning of the limbs, and intends to commit adultery, but finds no woman and then (seeks and) finds her, then (in spite of this position of the means of action) he restrains himself (from the act of adultery) as was done by Yu’suf (Joseph). If, (on the contrary, he removes the self-restriction) between him and his temptation and indulges (himself) in adultery, then (and only then) will he be called an adulterer. Such a person (is he who possesses ability, and in this case he either acts according to his ability or not, but he) has not obeyed Allah by way of compulsion; nor has he overpowered Allah through his act of disobedience.20

Indeed, Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, and the rest of the Imams of guidance, peace be on them, disproved authorization and compulsion, and they decisively proved the intermediate position.

Confuting the Views of the Qadariya

Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, confuted the views of the fatalists (Qadariya) and disproved their vague errors during a conversation with Yu’nus b. ‘Abd al-Rahma’n. He, peace be on him, said: “O Yu’nus, do not utter the worlds of the fatalists(Qadariya), since they do not say what the dwellers of the Garden say; nor do they say the words of the people of the Fire; nor do they say the words of Satan. The dwellers of the Garden say: Praise belongs to Allah who guided us to this; had Allah not guided us, we had surely never been guided. The people of the Fire say: Our Lord, our adversity overcame us; we were erring people. And Iblis (Satan) says: My Lord, for Your preventing me (I shall deck all affair to them in the earth).”

Yu’nus denied that he would utter their words, saying: “By Allah, I do not say their words, but I say: ‘Nothing happens (in this universe) except through which Allah desires, wills, ordains, and decrees.’”

The Imam answered him, saying: “O Yu’nus, it is not like that. Nothing happens except according to Allah’s desire, will, ordination, and decree. O Yu’nus, do you know what Divine will (mashi’a) is?”

“No,” Yu’nus replied.

The Imam explained to him the reality of Divine desire, saying: “It is the first knowledge (i.e., the prior knowledge of Allah with respect to His action). Do you know what Divine will (ira’da) is?”

“No,” Yu’nus answered.

The Imam explained to him the essence of Divine will, saying “It is Allah’s determination of what He wills. Do you know what fate is?”

“No,” Yunus replied.

So the Imam declared: “It is the measuring and estimating of things and the fixing of their limitations regarding their beginning and end. As for (Allah’s) decree, it means finalizing things and bringing them into (existence in) sentient world.”

Yu’nus bowed in admiration and magnification for the Imam, then he kissed his head and said to him: “You have disclosed to me what I was in ignorance of.21

The Imamate

Among the ideological researches which Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, discussed was the Imamate. He mentioned it on many occasions of which are following:

1. The Importance of the Imamate

The Imamate is the most important office in Islam, for it safeguards and protects the community from any aggression, secures it dignity and freedom, and achieves all its objectives.

The Imam, peace be on him, stated an inclusive talk before ‘Abd al-‘Aziz b. Muslim. During the talk he objectively presented the importance of the Imamate, and indicated that it was the most important objective and principle which Islam adopted. Before his death, the Messenger, may Allah bless him and his family, appointed the leader and authority of the community, who was Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, the pioneer of wisdom in Islam. Now, listen to Imam’s al-Ridha’ speech about the Imamate. He, peace be on him, has said:

“O ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, the people did not know, and have been deceived in their opinions. Verily, Allah to Whom belongs Might and Majesty, did not take away (the life of) His Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, until He had perfected the religion for him, and had sent down on him the Qur’an in which there is the clarification of all things. He completely clarified in it what is lawful and what is unlawful, the punishments (hudu’d) and the commands, and all that people need. He, the Great and Almighty, said: We have neglected nothing in the book.22 And He sent down in the Farewell Pilgrimage, which was at the end of his life, may Allah bless him and his family: Today I have perfected your religion for you, and I have completed my blessing upon you, and I have approved Islam for your religion.23 And the matter of the Imamate is one of things by which the religion is completed. He (the Prophet), may Allah bless him and his family, did not pass away until he had clarified the guiding principles of their religion to his community and made plain their path for them, and he left them pointing in the direction of the path of the truth. And he appointed ‘Ali as an Imam (leader) for them. He (Allah) has not left for them anything which the community needs without clarifying it. Hence, whoever imagines that Allah, the Great and Almighty, has not perfected His religion has surely rejected the Book of Allah, and whoever has rejected the Book of Allah is an unbeliever in it.”

This paragraph gives an account of the great importance of the Imamate with the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, for it was the most important element of his immortal message, and for through it the religion was perfected and the blessing was completed. He (the Prophet), may Allah bless him and his family, chose for this important office his brother, the gate of the city of his knowledge, Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. He appointed him as an Imam (leader) after him and ordered the Muslims to Pledge allegiance to him at Ghadir Khum, and through this appointing he (the Prophet), may Allah bless him and his family, made clear the path for the community. In other words he did not leave the affairs of the community in chaos after him. Now, let us listen to another part of the Imam’s speech concerning the importance of the Imamate:

“Do they know the value of the Imamate and its position in the community that their selection could be allowable in this matter? Verily, the Imamate is too sublime among values, too great among ranks, too high among stations, too impenetrable on all sides, too profound among the depths, for people to reach it with their intellects, or to grasp it with their opinions, or to appoint an Imam by their choice. Verily, the Imamate is that by which Allah, the Great and Almighty, has distinguished Ibra’him, the bosom Friend (of Allah), after the Prophethood and the Intimacy, as a third degree, and an eminence with which He honored him and by which he raised his renown, and He (Allah) said: Behold! I make you an Imam (leader) for the people.24 Then the bosom Friend (Ibra’him) out of delight in it (the Imamate) said: And of my progeny? Allah, the Great and Almighty, said: My covenant shall not reach the evil-doers. Thus, this verse has abolished the Imamate (leadership) of all evil-doers till the Day of Resurrection, and it has been confined to the chosen ones. Then Allah, the Great and Almighty, honored him through confining the Imamate to his children, who were chosen and purified (by Allah). So He, the Great and Almighty, said: And we gave him Isha’q and Ya‘qu’b in superabundance, and everyone made We righteous and appointed them to be Imams guiding by Our commands, and We revealed to them the doing of good deeds, and to perform the prayer, and to pay the zaka’t, and us they served.25 So it (the Imamate) did not leave his children, who inherited it one by one, and generation after generation till Allah, the Great and Almighty, made the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, inherit it. Hence He, the Great and Almighty, said: Surely the people standing closest to him (Ibra’him) are those who followed him, and this Prophet, and those who believe; and Allah is the Master of the believers.26 So it (the Imamate) belonged to him (the Prophet) particularly, and hence he, may Allah bless him and his family, invested ‘Ali with it by the command of Allah, the Great and Almighty, in the way which Allah had made obligatory. So it became to be in his (‘Ali’s) chosen children, to whom Allah gave knowledge and faith, as in the words of Him, the Great and Almighty: But those who have been given knowledge and faith shall say: You have remained in Allah’s Book until the Day of Resurrection.27 Thus it will be within the sons of ‘Ali, especially, till the Day of Resurrection, since there is no prophet after Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family. So from where have these ignorant people got (the right) to select?”

In this part of his speech the Imam, peace be on him, presented that it was impossible for the community to elect someone for the office of Imamate. In other words the office of the Imamate is not subject to the will of the masses, who have no knowledge in the reality of the affairs and things; rather the affair of the Imamate is in the hand of Allah, the Most High; it is He who elects, for the leadership of His servants, those who have excellent qualities such as reverential fear, clinging to religion, and knowledge which the community needs in all fields, that He may secure it noble life free from oppression, tyranny, persecutions, and poverty.

The affair of the Imamate is in the hand of Allah, the Exalted, just as the Prophethood is, hence He granted it to the most meritorious of His servants, namely Ibra’him the bosom Friend (of Allah), peace be on him, and then it (the Imamate) was inherited by the best of his children such as Isha’q and Ya‘qu’b, and then it was inherited by the master of the prophets, the greatest Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, who entrusted it to the gate of the city of his knowledge, the most meritorious of his community, Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, and then it was inherited by the pure Imams from his (‘Ali’s) children whom Allah, the Most High, chose from among His creatures.

Now, let us move to another part of the speech of the Imam, peace be on him: “Verily, the Imamate is the position of the prophets and heritage of the successors. Indeed, the Imamate is the vicegerency (khila’fa) of Allah, the Great and Almighty and of the Messenger, station of the Commander of the faithful, and inheritance of al-Hasan and al-Husayn. Truly, the Imamate is the reins of the religion, state of the orders of the Muslims, rectitude of the world and might of the believers.

“Verily, the Imamate is the growing root and lofty branch of Islam. Through the Imam the prayer, zaka’t, fasting, hajj, and jihad are perfected; the general wealth (of the Muslims fayya’) and charity (sadaqa’t) are increased; the prescribed punishments and the commands are put into practice; the frontier-posts and borders are protected.

“The Imam allows what Allah allows, prohibits what Allah prohibits, administers the prescribed punishments, defends the religion of Allah, and summons (men) to the way of his Lord with wisdom, good admonition, and strong proof.

“The Imam is like the rising sun which covers the world with its light and which is in the place where no hand or eye can reach. The Imam is the radiant moon, the shining lamp, the brilliant light, and the star that guides (men) in the pitch-black night, in the deserted regions and the high seas. The Imam is sweet water for the thirst, the pointer towards true guidance, and the deliverer from destruction. He who separates himself from him perishes.

“The Imam is the rain-bearing cloud, the rainfall that covers everywhere, the shining sun, the covering that shades, the prairie, the overflowing spring, the pool and the meadow. The Imam is the gentle, close friend, the sympathetic father, the blood-brother, the mother who is tender to her small child, a place of refuge for mankind from perilous disaster.

“The Imam is Allah’s custodian over His creation, His proof for His servants, His vicegerent in His lands, a summoner to Allah and the defender of Allah’s precincts.

“The Imam is the one who is purified from sins, free from all shortcomings, characterized by knowledge, distinguished by forbearance, the state of the order of the religion, the might of the Muslims, the one who enrages the hypocrites, and the doom of unbelievers.

“The Imam is unique of his time, none can approach his rank, no man of knowledge is comparable to him; there is no one who can take his place; nor is there anyone similar to him or the same as him. He is characterized by every (kind of) eminence, without seeking it or acquiring it; rather, it is a characteristic form the Bestower of eminence, the All-giving. So who can arrive at the knowledge of the Imam, or have the ability to select him? How far! How far! Intellects have lost (themselves), imaginations have gone astray, minds have become perplexed, eyes have turned away, the great have been made small, the wise have confounded themselves, those who reflect forever fall short, orators falter, the intelligent have become ignorant, the poets have become expressionless, the prosodists have become incapable, and the eloquent stammer in describing one of his (the Imam’s) aspects, or one of his eminencies. All of them have confessed their incapacity and inadequacy. How can his totality be described, and how his inner essence be characterized? How can anything concerning him be understood? Who can be found to take his place and to give what he can give? No! How and where? Since he is in the position of the star for the hands of those who grasp, and to the description of those who describe. What is the place of choice in this affair? What is the place of the intellects in this affair? Where can someone like this be found? Do you imagine that this can be found anywhere else but in the progeny of the Messenger, may Allah bless him and his family. By Allah, they have lied to themselves; they have promised to themselves the impossible; they have climbed up to a difficult and dangerous height, (and) their feet will slip and fall to the bottom.”

These parts of the Imam’s speech indicate that the Imam is very important, that he is the shadow of Allah on earth, that he carries out the interests and objectives of the community, that he administers the prescribed punishments, defends the fortified borderline cities, allows what is lawful, forbids what is unlawful, and applies the law of Allah, the Exalted, on the general life of the Muslims. It is certain that these original objectives and ideals cannot by carried out by anyone on the arena of life except the Imams of guidance, peace be on them, whom the oppressive, tyrannical community removed from the places which Allah had given to them. Accordingly, the community has suffered various kinds of oppression and tyranny.

The Imam continued his speech concerning lauding the Imams from Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them, opposing the unjust rulers, and criticizing those who appointed them. He, peace be on him, said: “They want to appoint an Imam with (their) confused, unproductive and defective minds, and (their) misleading opinions. Nothing accrued to them but remoteness from him. May Allah fight them; how they are turned away! Surely, they are looking for a difficulty. They have uttered an untruth and have gone astray into far error; they have put themselves into confusion, for they have knowingly abandoned the Imam. And Satan made their works fairseeming to them, so he kept them back from the path, though they were endowed with intelligence and skill. They have turned their back on the choice of Allah, the choice of the Messenger of Allah and his house hold, (and turned) to their own choice, whilst the Qur’an has called them out: And Your Lord creates and chooses whom He pleases; to choose is not theirs; glory belongs to Allah, and exalted be He above what they associate (with Him).28 And Allah, the Great and Almighty, said: And behoves not a believing man and a believing woman that they have any choice in their matter when Allah and His Apostle have decided a matter.29 And He, the Great and Almighty, said: What has happened to you? How do you judge? Or have you a book wherein you read, that you have surely therein what you choose? Or have you received from Us an agreement confirmed by an oath extending to the day of resurrection that you shall surely have what you demand? Ask them which of them will vouch for that. Or have they associates? Then let them bring their associates if they are truthful.30

“And He, the Great and Almighty, said: Do they not reflect the Qur’an? Or is it that there are locks upon their hearts31, or has Allah set a seal upon their hearts, so they understand not, or they said: We hear, and they do not obey. Surely the evilest of animals, in Allah’s sight, are the deaf, the dumb, who do not understand32, or they said: We have heard and disobeyed.33 But that is the bounty of Allah; He gives it to whom He wills, and Allah is of bounty abounding.34

“How can they have (the right) to choose an Imam? Since the Imam is a man of knowledge; he is not ignorant (of anything), a shepherd who does not shirk (his duty), a mine of sanctity and purity, of piety and renunciation, of knowledge and worship. He is the one specifically mentioned in the supplication of the Messenger, may Allah bless him and his family, and he is of the progeny of (Fa’tima), the purified, the chaste. Aspersion cannot be cast on him in relation to his parentage, none can approach him in ancestry (or nobility: hasab). He is in the noble house of Quraysh, at the summit of (Banu’) Ha’shim, of the family of the Messenger, may Allah bless him and his family, and the one accepted by Allah, the Great and Almighty. He is the noblest of the noble and the true branch of ‘Abd Mana’f (the father of Ha’shim and Umayya); the one whose knowledge forever grows and whose patience is perfect, who is completely acquainted with the Imamate, entirely knowledgeable in statesmanship. Obedience to him is obligatory, the one who establishes the affair of Allah, the Great and Almighty. He is the sincere adviser to the servants of Allah, and the protector of the religion of Allah.

“Truly, Allah accommodates the prophets and the Imams, the blessings of Allah be upon them, (to the right path). He gives them of His stored knowledge and wisdom, which He does not give to anyone else. Thus their knowledge is far above the knowledge of the people of their time, as He, the Exalted, says: Is He then Who guides to the truth more worthy to be followed, or he who himself does not go aright unless he is guided? What then is the matter with you; how do you judge? I, and as He, the Great and Almighty, says: And whoever is given the wisdom, he indeed is given a great good.35 Also what He says about Ta’lu’t (Saul): Verily, Allah has chosen him over you, and has increased him broadly in knowledge and body. Allah gives the kingship to whom He wills, and Allah is All-embracing, All-knowing.36 And He, the Great and Almighty, said to His Prophet: And Allah’s bounty to you was great.37 And He, the Great and Almighty, said concerning the Imam from among his Household, his family, and his progeny: Or do they envy the people for what Allah has given to them of His bounty? Yet We gave the progeny of Ibra’him the Book and the Wisdom, and We gave them a mighty kingdom. So some of them (i.e. , the envious) is he who believes in him, and of them who turns away from him, and hell is sufficient to turn.38

“Verily, when Allah, the Great and Almighty, selects a servant for the affairs of His servants, He expands his breast for them; He entrusts to his heart the fountains of wisdom, and profoundly inspires him with knowledge. So, after this, he does not stammer in answers, and he does not deviate from the truth in them. Thus, he is infallible and supported by Allah; he is accommodated (to the right path, and his steps being) firmly guided; he will be safe from errors, slips and stumbling. Allah distinguishes him by this, because he is His proof over His servants, and His witness over His creaturesthat is the bounty of Allah, He gives it to whom He wills, and Allah is of bounty abounding. So do they have the power to do the like of this, so that they can choose him? Or can the one whom they choose have this attribution so that they may prefer him? By the House of Allah, they have transgressed against the truth; they have rejected the Book of Allah behind their backs as though they did not know; and in the Book of Allah there is guidance and cure. So they have rejected it, and they have followed their own desires. Therefore, Allah has found fault with them, detested them and cats them down, as He, the Great and Almighty, says: And who is further astray than he who follows his own caprice without guidance from Allah. Surely, Allah does not guide the unjust people.39 And He, the Great and Almighty, said: Ill chance shall befall them; He will send their works astray.40 And He, the Great and Almighty, says: Verily, hateful is that in the sight of Allah and the believers; so Allah sets a seal on every heart proud, arrogant.4142

This holy tradition is the firmest and most inclusive proof of the necessity of the Imamate. It shows that the Imamate is the most important office in Islam, and that it is not subject to the choice and election of the community; rather, its affair is in the hand of the Great Creator, for it is He who appoints and elects the best of His creatures for this important office, that such a creature may establish among men pure justice and truth, and that he may rule them through the policy of the greatest Messenger, may Allah bless him and his family.

2. The Marks of the Imam

Imam al-Ridha’, peace be on him, stated a tradition about the marks and qualities of the Imam. He has been mentioned in the tradition: “The Imam has marks: he is the most knowledgeable of the people, the wisest of them, the most pious of them, the most clement of them, the bravest of them, the most munificent of them, and the most worshipful of them.43

The Imam should have these marks and qualities so that he is appropriate for leading the community and raising its economic and social levels.

3. The Imams are the Vicegerents of Allah

Abu’ Mas‘u’d al-Ja‘fari narrated, saying: [I heard Imam Abu’ al-Hasan al-Ridha’, peace be on him, say:] “The Imams are the vicegerents of Allah, the Great and Almighty, on His earth.44

Without doubt, the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on him, are the vicegerents of Allah on His earth, His proofs over His servants, and entrusted by Him with His land, hence it is they who lead this community and guide it to the good pleasure of Allah, the Most High, and obedience to Him.

  • 1. Usu’l al-Ka’fi, vol. 1, p. 99.
  • 2. Ibid., pp. 101-102.
  • 3. The similitude which is negated from Allah, the Exalted, is in the essence not in the names and utterances, for they are applied to Him, the Most High, and to other than Him; it is correct to apply the ‘one’ to Allah, the Exalted, and man.
  • 4. Qur’an, 23, 14.
  • 5. Ibid., 21, 22.
  • 6. Ibid., 23, 91.
  • 7. Ibid., 35, 37.
  • 8. Ibid., 6, 28.
  • 9. Al-Tawhid, pp. 60-65.
  • 10. Ibid., p. 98. Usu’l al-Ka’fi, vol. 1, p. 105.
  • 11. Qur’an, 6, 19.
  • 12. Al-Tawhid, p. 107.
  • 13. Ibid., 130.
  • 14. Qur’an, 13, 33.
  • 15. Usu’l al-Ka’fi, vol. 1, pp. 120-123.
  • 16. Ibid., p. 88.
  • 17. Ibid., p. 96-97.
  • 18. Ibid., 157.
  • 19. ‘Uyu’n Akhba’r al-Ridha’, vol. 1, p. 144.
  • 20. Usu’l al-Ka’fi, vol. 1, pp. 160-161.
  • 21. Ibid., p. 157.
  • 22. Qur’an, 6, 38.
  • 23. Ibid., 5, 3. This Verse was revealed on the day of ‘Id al-Ghadir (Feast on 18th Dhu al-Hijja), the immortal day when the Messenger, may Allah bless him and his family, appointed Imam ‘Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, as a leader for his community after him. And al-Ghadir ‘Id is part of the Islamic message.
  • 24. Ibid., 2, 121.
  • 25. Ibid., 21, 72-73.
  • 26. Ibid., 3, 68.
  • 27. Ibid., 30, 56.
  • 28. Ibid., 28, 68.
  • 29. Ibid., 33, 36.
  • 30. Ibid., 68, 36-41.
  • 31. Ibid., 47, 24.
  • 32. Ibid., 8, 21-23.
  • 33. Ibid., 2, 93.
  • 34. Ibid., 57, 21.
  • 35. Ibid., 2, 269.
  • 36. Ibid., 2, 247.
  • 37. Ibid., 4, 113.
  • 38. Ibid., 4, 54-55.
  • 39. Ibid., 28, 50.
  • 40. Ibid., 47, 8.
  • 41. Ibid., 40, 35.
  • 42. ‘Uyu’n Akhba’r al-Ridha’, vol. 1, pp. 216-222. Usu’l al-Ka’fi, vol. 1, p. 199.
  • 43. ‘Uyu’n Akhba’r al-Ridha’, vol. 1, p. 213.
  • 44. Usu’l al-Ka’fi, vol. 1, p. 193.