One of the magnificent services that Imam al-Sadiq (as) presented to the Islamic world was the renewal of the University of the Ahl al-Bayt (as) in large scale, which was unique at that era. Therefore, this scientific institution opened the intellectual and awareness horizons and distributed a variety of sciences and knowledge that Muslims and others were not familiar with earlier.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) had positive and active role in progressing the technology and advancing sciences in all parts of the world according to what was presented by his University. Among the works of the University were creative theorems; excellent bases for physics, chemistry, medicine and so the rest of the sciences which people need in their lives’ affairs.
Let us begin with some cases related with the subject, before considering the issues of the University of the Imam (as) and then we will discuss it.
Imam (as) encouraged learning and called for it because it was one of the most successful tools in growing thoughts. Once, he saw a youth whose cloth was affected by the sign of pen and he was hiding it shaming from the Imam (as). Imam (as) rejected this action and told him the following:
“Do not feel disturbed about the affects of pen and ink, as they are perfumes of men and jewels of authors.”
Imam (as) also looked at a youth hiding his cloth from him, which had the sign of pen on it. Imam said: “The sign of pen on a cloth is the mark of chivalry.”
Imam (as) was urging on documenting the science, as it is the key to authoring, the cause of thought progress and advancement of students in scientific fields. He told his companions the following: “Write as you will not memorize without writing.”
He also advised his jurisprudent student, Ubayd ibn Zurarah to document the science as he told him: “The Prophet, Allah’s blessing and peace be to him, said: ‘Record the science.’ He interpreted recording the science as documenting it.”
Imam (as) advised people to protect the books from destroying and loss as he said:
“Keep your books protected as you will later need them.”
There was a crisis affecting the books of Shiah during the Abbasidd government, which targeted the destruction of the Shiah heritages and the abolishment of all the works of the guiding Imams (as) such as intellectual and scientific wealth. Therefore, Imam (as) ordered in protecting them.
Imam (as) was correcting and proofreading the scientific works of scholars and jurisprudents among his students. Al-Halabi narrated that Ubaydullah presented a book to Imam al-Sadiq (as) and Imam (as) corrected it and wrote a preface for the book mentioning that, “They have no such book in jurisprudence.”
Shaykh al-Tousi also said that this is the first book authored by Shiah. According to the comment of our glorified sheikh, Shiah had written a collection of books before Ubaydullah, which were mentioned in the index of ibn Nadim, where the index was assigned for studying some of the books.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) also promised to review the books of some of his students, especially those relating to jurisprudence. The late scholar Zurarah ibn Ayun narrated that Imam Ali (as) commanded him to study the book of religious instructions, which was among the book paying particular attention to religious instruction. He also mentioned that this book was written either by one of the Imams (as) or one of their students who was following their pure guideline.
After this introduction we’ll pay attention to the affairs of the University of Imam al-Sadiq (as) and considering the following:
The first founder of this great scientific university is Imam Ali (as), the first leader of knowledge and progress in Islam and the first cause of every affecting intellectual movement in the Islamic world. He did his best efforts for distributing the knowledge, crystallizing Muslims’ thoughts with awareness and culturing them to elevate their social level.
This great, inspired Imam took the Kufah Mosque as an institute (his school). He used to give his golden lectures there, which are considered from the treasures of Islamic thought. These lectures included the following sciences: economics, politics, management, philosophy, wisdom, aware and aimed pedagogy that leads towards establishing good morals and purifying manners.
This great Imam particularly taught some of his students, including Maytham al-Tammar, Rashid al-Hajri with the secrets of the universe and outstanding events happened. Many other students were getting benefits from scholastic theology, jurisprudence and Quranic interpretations.
Among his students was the great scholar and experienced scientist of the nation Abdullah ibn Abbas, the great reference for Holy Quran interpretation; another one was Aboul Aswad al-Duali, the number one master in grammar and the next one was a great scholar, Abu Rafi, who was the first in arranging the history of the military expeditions (ghazawat) which the Prophet (S) participated in, he also wrote the book called the customs (sunan), laws (ahkam) and judgments (qada), this book was respected and glorified by the companions.
There are many such scholars who enlightened the intellectual life of Islam and graduated from the school of the successor and the gate of science of the Prophet, Allah’s blessing and peace be to him.
After the Islamic world disaster in the martyrdom of the master of the pure Family, Imam Ali (as), his son Imam Hasan (as), the master of the youth in paradise and the rose of the Prophet, Allah’s blessing and peace be to him, played a positive role in distributing the knowledge and spreading the Islamic culture.
He grew that scientific institution and took care of it. Its center was Yathrib. Imam (as) took the prophetic mosque as his college for delivering his lectures. Crowds of scholars and narrators were gathering around taking from his knowledge. Among those were the following:
Al-Hasan al-Muthanna, al-Musayyab ibn Najbah, Suwayd ibn Ghaflah, al-Ala ibn Abd al-Rahman, al-Shibi, Hubayrah ibn Barkam, al-Asbagh ibn Nubatah, Jabir ibn Khalid, Aboul-Jawaz Isa ibn Mamoun, Nafalah ibn al-Mamoun, Abu Yahya ibn Said al-Nakhai, Abu Maryam ibn Qays al-Thaqafi, Tahrab al-Ujali, Ishaq ibn Yasar, the father of Muhammad ibn Ishaq, Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf, Safin ibn al-Layl and Umar ibn Qays al-Koufi.
Yathrib (Holy Madinah) was prospered with this group of scholars and jurisprudents and became among the most literature-based and cultured regions in the Islamic world in that era.
After the martyrdom of the Imam (as) by Muawiyah ibn Abi-Sufyan, the most famous exemplar of enmity towards Islam, Imam Husayn (as), the master of all martyrdom and the leader of the free, played his role in taking care of the scientific institute and fed its students with various kinds of sciences and let many of the scholars and jurisprudents to be graduated, whom we have mentioned their names in our book titled: “The Life of Imam Husayn (as)”.
Muawiyah, after his death, advised for his criminal son Yazid to be his successor of the Islamic kingdom. Yazid was the one who declared infidelity and atheism and this was what empowered the Imam (as) to confront his government and announce war against him in order to save Islam from its enemies, freeing Muslims from the slavery and serfdom, bringing back human rights and respects, which were already scorned by the Umayyad government.
The master of those free, Imam Husayn (as), sacrificed his sons, family, companions and his soul for the survival of these symbols. With this sacrifice, he became the most outstanding exemplar of sacrifices for the sake of truth and fact in which no such example was ever seen during the human history, greater and nobler than this.
After the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (as), the master of free, his son, the master of devout, Imam Zayn al-Abidin (as), played an active and positive role in distributing Islamic knowledge and crystallizing Muslims’ thoughts with the great aspect of Islamic culture. Many were narrating from him. Among those were the following:
His sons, Muhammad and Zayd, Abdullah, Abu Salamah ibn Abd al-Rahman, Tawous ibn Kaysan, Abu Zinad, Asim ibn Umar ibn Qutadah, Asim ibn Ubaydullah, Qaqa ibn Hakim, Zayd ibn Aslam, al-Hakam ibn Utaybah, Habib ibn Abu Thabit, Aboul-Aswad ibn Abd al-Rahman ibn Nawfal, Muslim al-Batini, Yahya ibn Said al-Ansari, Husham ibn Urwah and Ali ibn Zayd ibn Jadan.
In our book titled ‘The Life of Imam Zayn al-Abidin (as)’, we have mentioned a group of his students who were more than twenty. Many of the sciences were narrated from him. Among what was narrated from him was al-Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah, which is known as the Bible of the family of Muhammad, Allah’s blessing and peace be upon him and his family. This was because of what it contains from rich thoughts distinguished with its moral rules, merits, principles and monotheism sciences. It was like a dam facing the Umayyad stream, which targeted the unity of Islam, destroying the monotheism concept and returning the ignorance period back to the Arab world.
The scholars also talked about his “Law Book,” which was the most intellectual and scientific book written in Islam. It created the bases of creative laws and the rights of the nation, which should be adhered to by the government, the rights of the government, which should be adhered to by the nation and the rights in Muslims’ interactions.
It was even hard for the learners to grasp the subjects around pedagogy, behaving the manner, the cultivation’s instructions, the rights of teachers and the rest of the creative rights of pure origins, which people are not needless in their private and social lives.
There are other brilliant narrations including rational instructions, valuable opinions and useful sayings, which were among the resources of literatures and wisdoms that people necessarily needed in their individual and social lives. This way, this great Imam participated in the establishment of the scientific life and the advancement of the intellectual and cultural lives in the earth.
This was too hard for the Umayyad to bear such an inspired Imam who was the sign of Allah (SwT) on the earth. So they murdered him with poison. Muslims, this way, lost one of their prominent figures, who lived to keep the world enlightened.
Afterwards, his son, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (as) took care of that scientific institution and paid particular attention to enhance the knowledge presented and also to increase the number of its students who were seeking Islamic sciences, in addition to medicine, geometry and philosophy. His lectures included the secrets of the universe and other similar sciences.
Scientists and scholars gathered around him to use his knowledge, which was the continuation of science of the Prophet, Allah’s blessing and peace be upon him. According to the speech of the majority of the historians, the Imam (as) was the unique reference in the Islamic world in his era. Malik al-Juhani said the following in this regard:
“If people were interested in learning the Quranic science, Quraysh tribe would their leader.”
The scholars and narrators in Yathrib and those departing their locations towards Yathrib were all seeking the sciences of the successor of the Prophet (S) and the pride of Islam, Imam al-Sadiq (as) who was granting them his knowledge and sciences. It is worth mentioning that those great scholars and prominent jurisprudents were humble in front of this outstanding Imam, confessing his high scientific position, which no one would ever be able to come close to.
Trusted narrators were narrating about the great capabilities in the jurisprudence of the Ahl al-Bayt (as), which was the best law settled in the jurisprudence and law fields. The great scholar and experienced jurisprudent, Muhammad ibn Muslim, documented thirty thousands traditions from him.
Additionally, the exalted jurisprudent Zurarah ibn Ayun a large number of news, in which Imam al-Sadiq (as) said the following about: “If there was no Zurarah, I would suspect that my father’s tradition would be unknown.” There was also Abu Basir, who narrated a collection of news that was related to religious instructions. Imam al-Sadiq (as) said the following addressing him and his brother: “If they were not, the works of the prophet (S) would become obliterated and no more.”
Abd al-Malik ibn Ayun also narrated from him and Imam al-Sadiq (as) said the following, praying for him: “Oh Allah (SwT)! We were among the best in the thoughts of Abu Daris. Assign him from the companions of Muhammad (S) in the Resurrection Day.”
Umar ibn Dinar also narrated from him. He was from the six trusted Sunni scholars. The following were also narrating from the Imam (as): al-Araj, al-Zuhri, Abu Jahdam Mousa ibn Salim, Qasim ibn al-Fadl, al-Awzai, ibn Jarih, al-Amash, Abdullah ibn Abu Bakr, Umar ibn Hazm, Abdullah ibn Ata, Bassam al-Sayrafi, Harb ibn Surayj, Hajjaj ibn Artaah, Muhammad ibn Souqah, Makhoul ibn Rashid, Muammar ibn Bassam. We have mentioned, in details, about his students in our book entitled ‘The Life of Imam Baqir (as)’.
Anyway, the successor of the Prophet (S) had a share in settling Islamic thoughts and establishing the peak of superiority and science in the Islam and Arab world. His blessed hands founded the scientific revolution, which was then extended to the Islamic world in all its aspects regarding the revolution and its progress.
It is important mentioning that when Imam Baqir (as) was assassinated by the Umayyad’s, he entrusted his son, Imam al-Sadiq (as), the responsibilities of caring for his scholar students and considering their financial problems, expense and all that they need to be free for authoring his sciences and distributing them among the Muslims. Imam al-Sadiq (as) adhered to his order and was responsible for all those expenditures.
When Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (as) passed away and Imam al-Sadiq (as) took over the leadership of the nation and being its reference, he started discovering the resources of knowledge and wisdom in the earth and opened up the gates of science in front of the people who did not accustomed so any earlier. “He filled the world with his knowledge,” Jahiz said. And according to what ibn Hajr said: “People narrated from him different kinds of sciences which were common, generations after generations in many countries all over the world.”
One of the most striking activities that the successor of the Prophet (S) attempted in the field of distributing the knowledge among the people was growing the University of the Ahl al-Bayt (as) and extending its limits to the elements of life and survival. Looking at his positive and active role in expanding it and its point of departure from a special level to very high level, it reached to the peak among the rest of the scientific institutes and universities in all eras.
The University of Imam al-Sadiq (as) worked on enlightening the humankinds’ thoughts, progressing the human society and outstanding Islamic values. It also resulted in the graduation of the elite scholars, intellectual and creative and inventive leaders who sincerely worked to distribute all kinds of sciences. It was their blessings that matured the intellectual life at that time and made it deserve to be granted the medal and honour of the golden age in Islam.
Some of the researchers in the school of Imam al-Sadiq (as) mentioned the following: “In face, the school of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) procreated the most outstanding scholars, great philosophers and elite scientists. If there is any fact to be mentioned, it is what follows: The Islamic civilization and the Arabic thoughts owe this intellectual school their progress, advancement, eternity and its chief, Imam al-Sadiq (as), for his high rank science and valuable inheritance.”
The school of the Imam (as) acted on releasing the thought and spreading cultural and scientific awareness. It provided a large group of scholars in charge of Muslims’ minds cultivation and advancing their social lives.
Arif Tamir said: “It has become our scientific obligation to talk about Imam al-Sadiq (as) as the number one leader in the intellectual school, as the first organizer of the inner philosophical teaching center, as the founder of chemistry in which Jabir ibn Hayyan, the Sufi al-Tarsousi talked about, as the one who brought the Islamic mind from its narrow limits to a wide space governed by scientific, peaceful and free atmosphere. He was the conveyer of truth, logic and fact and the one whose works were largely translated into Latin and the number one historical figure who worked on chemistry and a large number of his works were translated into Latin.”
Now, we will talk about the factors, which resulted in the growth and development of the school of Imam al-Sadiq (as) and which in my idea, are the following:
1. In the time of Imam al-Sadiq (as), the world was surrounded by seditions, riots and political parties, which were resulting in the disunion of the society and breaking its union. All parts of the country were in state of war. This was what resulted in the falling down of the Umayyad government and the presence of Abbasidd government.
2. Imam al-Sadiq (as) seized the opportunity to work seriously on distributing the Islamic culture and outstanding the values of the Ahl al-Bayt (as). There was a good situation for the youth to be familiar with the real facts of Islam religion, which considered learning as a task for the entire Muslims. So they rose to grasp it. They found their desire in the grandson of the Prophet, Allah’s blessing and peace be to him, as the leader who aimed at building their cultural and scientific civilization.
3. Imam al-Sadiq (as) tried to be away from interfering in any one of the affairs of the Umayyad and Abbasidd ruling parties because of his knowledge in the falling down of the opposition. So he did not do anything to conflict the objectives and the political purposes of any of the governments. He was away from all parties, so they liked him and were seeking his satisfaction.
At that time, he found the conditions suitable to open widely the gates of his University and to feed it with various kinds of knowledge and sciences while there was no supervision applied to him by the government. Thus, great scholars and scientists attempted to attend his university to get use of his knowledge. The Imam (as) found them good assistances for the distribution of his reformation message, which crystallized the ideology of Islamic society and for the sake of saving it from ignorance and stagnancy.
4. One of the reasons of the growth of this great university and its unique expansion was the fact that Imam al-Sadiq (as) was the chief of the institution who gathered the Muslims in spite of their different schools of thoughts. He was among the most brilliant Muslim’s leaders in his knowledge, jurisprudence, intelligence, devoutness, Allah-fearing and his high respect for the religion.
It is quite natural that the existence of such a leader has a complete effect in the success and prosperity of university. This way, the entire prerequisite for the success and growth of the University of the Imam (as) was gathered.
The Imam (as) chose Yathrib, the land of immigration, the place of descent of the inspiration and the center of the Prophet’s (S) companions and followers, as the location of his large institution and great school. So, Yathrib was one of the scientific capitals in Islam and a general institute for knowledge and science.
Regarding the teaching place, of course, it was the prophetic mosque in which Imam (as) was delivering his lectures and lessons. His lectures involved all types of sciences. In some instances, he was giving lectures while he was in his home. Anyway, Yathrib grew with its students and got its social position in leading and directing the Islamic society.
When Imam (as) opened his university, all the seekers of merits and science hurried to it from different parts of the Islamic world to grasp from the knowledge of Imam (as) and to be cultured with Islamic culture. In addition to that, joining the schools of the Ahl al-Bayt (as) was a source of pride and respect for all Muslims.
Sayyid Abd al-Aziz al-Ahl talked about the scientific scholarship that aimed at joining the University of the Imam (as), saying: “Kufah, Basrah, Wasit and Hijaz sent their high ranked students from the following tribes: Banou-Asad, Ghina, Mukhariq, Tay, Sulaym, Ghatafan, Ghifar, al-Azd, Khuzaah, Khatham, Makhzoum, Banou-Dubbah, Quraysh, Banou-Harith ibn Abd al-Muttalib and Banoul-Hasan ibn Ali. In addition to those mentioned, a group of the high-positioned people from the Arab and from Persia went there, including people from the city of Qumm.”
Islamic countries sent their youth and great scholars to the school of the Imam (as) to get benefit from his knowledge and to find the instructions of religion from the successor of the Prophet (S). This way, the Islamic society was honoured with excellent success through its scientific movement and expansion.
When the school of the Imam (as) opened its gates for the Muslims, a large number of eager people aimed at joining it. Their number was mentioned by the narrators to be four thousands students. This is a huge number, which was never seen at that time in any of the scientific institutes.
Among them, there were great scholars and narrators who became the leaders and chiefs of some of the schools of thoughts. They moved the knowledge and sciences of the Imam (as) during generations, and his name was spread in all countries.
Al-Hafiz Aboul-Abbas ibn Uqdah al-Hamadani al-Koufi authored a book mentioning the names of those who narrated traditions from Imam al-Sadiq (as). He mentioned the name of four thousands narrators. The researcher said in the book, which was entitled al-Mutabar: “At his time - that’s the time of Imam al-Sadiq (as) - a great number of sciences were distributed that made the minds astonished. Around four thousands people were narrating from him.”
Dr. Mahmoud al-Khalidi said: “The number of trusted narrators from his companions - that’s the companions of Imam al-Sadiq (as) - reached to four thousands men. We are not surprised from this. On the contrary, if there was something else heard or happened, we would be astonished, because the conflicts around Imamate and purity were highly severe at the era of Imam al-Sadiq (as).
So the Shiah ought to follow the traditions that prove the correctness of their ideology in those affairs. In addition to that, the Ahl al-Bayt (as) are the most aware people in the issues of the Book of Allah (SwT) and the customs of his Prophet (S). Therefore, it is not surprising if they directed towards teaching and discussion system. It is also worth mentioning that the Umayyad rulers tried to keep them away from power and politics.”
This idea was extremely precise demonstrating the researches of the physician and his equity. Al-Sayyid Muhammad Sadiq Nashat said: “The house of Jafar al-Sadiq (as) was similar to a growing University, which great scholars in tradition, interpretation, wisdom and scholastic theology were crowding there. Most of the time, two thousands people were attending his classes and sometimes four thousand famous scholars were attending it. His students authored all his lectures and lessons in collections of books which can be considered as something similar to the Shiah or Jafari encyclopaedia.”
With the favour of this group of the students of the Imam (as), the scientific movement of that time expanded and its waves extended to the coming eras and resulted in the establishment of light, guidance and goodness for the entire Muslims.
Most of those who returned to the country after their graduation from the University of the Imam (as), played positive and active roles in extending the Islamic culture and establishing scientific institutes, religious schools which worked on cultivating the people and exalting their intellectual and moral level.
Most of the branches, which were established, were provided at the Kufah Mosque that included those who graduated from the University of the Imam (as). Their number was nine hundred according to what al-Hasan ibn Ali al-Washsha mentioned. He said: “This mosque - that’s the Kufah Mosque - included nine hundred scholars, all of them saying: Jafar ibn Muhammad (as) told me.”
The scientific movement was highly expanded in Kufah, which was the capital of Iraq at that time. The absolute majority of the students of the Imam (as) were from Kufah. Meanwhile this scientific movement involved Islamic regions other than Kufah. Al-Sayyid Mir Ali al-Hindi said: “There is no doubt that the distribution of knowledge at the period helped to free the thoughts from being imprisoned. Then, the philosophical discussions were prevalent in all capitals of the Islamic capitals in the world.
Not to forget that the leader of this movement was the grandson of Ali ibn Abi Talib (as) and is known as Imam Jafar (as) and nicknamed as Sadiq. He welcomed deep thinking and pondering, was familiar with all the knowledge of that time and is considered to be the first who established the famous philosophical school in Islam. Not only the founders of schools of thoughts were attending his lectures, but there were also the students of philosophical sciences coming from far regions.”
Some of the families in Kufah were lucky being his students. They were later known with their jurisprudence and traditions. Among those were the families of Al-Hayyan al-Taghlubi, Al-Ayun, Banou-Atiyyah, Banou-Darraj and other scientific families.
These respected families were surrounding him during the time when he was living in Kufah, which lengthened more than two years. He was housing in Banou-Abdul Qays. Shiah crowded around him to take his ideas and to ask him about religious instructions.
Muhammad ibn Marouf al-Hilali talked about the crowd of people and their interest in Imam (as), saying: “I went to al-Hirah to Jafar ibn Muhammad (as). I could not reach him because of the crowd around him. On the forth day, he saw me and called me to be closer to him. Then, when the crowd scattered, he went towards the tomb of his grandfather, Imam Ali (as). I followed him and was listening to his speech while I was walking with him.”
Anyway, the school of the Imam (as) and the rest of the scientific organizations, which branched from that school, established scientific institutions in the Islamic world and worked on crystallizing the thought and the distribution of scientific awareness among the Muslims.
Many of the students of the Imam (as) were professional in a number of fields. For instance, Husham ibn al-Hakam, Husham ibn Salim, Mumin al-Taq, Muhammad ibn Abdullah al-Tayyar, Qays al-Mahir and other great scholars were professional in philosophy, scholastic theology and Imamate issues.
Zarah ibn Ayun, Muhammad ibn Muslim, Jamil ibn Darraj, Burayd ibn Muawiyah, Ishaq ibn Ammar, Ubaydullah al-Halabi, Abu Basir, Aban ibn Taghlub, al-Fadl ibn Yasar, Abu Hanifah, Malik ibn Anas, Muhammad ibn Hasan al-Shaybani, Sufyan ibn Uyaynah, Yahya ibn Said, Sufyan al-Thawri and other similar jurisprudents and narrators were professional in jurisprudence, principles, interpretation of Quran and the rest of religious sciences.
Regarding the profession in chemistry, Jabir ibn Hayyan al-Koufi is the pride of the East Arab and the most well known Arabic scientists as Fundick said.
Regarding the profession of philosophy of existence and the secrets of creatures, al-Mufaddhal ibn Umar was the one whom Imam al-Sadiq (as) wrote for him, his famous book called “The Monotheism of al-Mufaddhal.” In addition to the strong proofs demonstrating the existence of an Almighty Creator, it contained descriptions about the tasks of different organs, blood circulation, the viruses causing diseases and the anatomy of human body in a way that no one could ever find before.
The University of Imam al-Sadiq (as), with all pride and respect, preceded the scientific institutes in establishing special parts for international scientific studies.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) motivated his students on documenting his lessons and lectures, which talked about all kinds of sciences and skills. This was to ensure its availability and correctness. He was emphasizing on his repeated call in different situations more than once. Abu Basir narrated the following: “I entered to see Abu Abdullah (as) and he said: ‘What prevents you from writing?! You’ll not memorize until writing. A group of people from Basrah left here. They were asking about something and documented it.’”
The Imam (as) asked his student, Jabir ibn Hayyan to create a fireproof book, which would not be destroyed by fire, because he had an important book. Jabir invented a fireproof book. Therefore, he wrote a book with his own handwriting and threw it in the oven while it was burning, but the book was not affected at all.
His students agreed with this luminous call, which carried in its deep, the illumination of human thoughts, science’s distribution among the people. Therefore, his students were writing and documenting his knowledge. Aban ibn Taghlub wrote the following books:
• The book of Quran Interpretation
• The book of Recitations
• The book of Merits
• The Principles in Narrations
• The Strange in Quran
• Muhammad ibn Ali al-Bujali known as Mumin al-Taq, wrote the following:
• The book of Imamate
• The book of Knowledge
• The book of Proving the Bequest
• The book of Rejecting Mutazilah in the Imamate of the Favoured
• The book of Affairs of Talhah, Zubayr and Aishah
• The book of dos and do nots
• The book of discussion with Abu Hanifah
Husham ibn al-Hakam Abu Muhammad al-Baghdadi authored in different sciences and professions and ibn Nadim mentioned seventeen of his works.
Mufaddhal ibn Umar wrote the book of “Monotheism,” which is one of the best Islamic books. He touched the subjects of human creation and forming, and the secrets of its organs as he talked about many of the medical studies.
Jabir ibn Hayyan wrote a book about chemistry containing one thousand pages and including the letters of the Imam (as), which reached five hundred in number. These letters were a suitable ground for the chemistry scientists and could get much use of them. All Muslim and Orientalist scientists and researchers admired Jabir. Among those was Abd al-Rahman Badawi who said:
“No researcher in the history of Islamic thought could ever find a personality which deepened in the deep and dived in profound secrets to the extent that it could be a myth. It was exalted in its thoughts such a way that let the people feel astonished till this moment from what was presented among the deep, live, scientific philosophical theories.
This great style was surrounding the spirit of enlightening and the human characteristic that let mankind wish to know the entire secret. You would feel that a divine inspired power is leading human beings towards closeness to divinity. It hopes to have a continuous progress for guiding humankind to advancement.
Such a personality would stay alive forever, because it is the exemplar for human who is seeking to find the real privileged image on the earth. No scientific, physiology, and civilized study could ever be completely needless to these issues, ignoring the time spent in this way and it would far away whenever deepening more in it. Its surface would be widened whenever it is being touched more. Today, we are far away to perceive it generally, in spite of knowing some of the main principles and guiding streams.”
Jabir ibn Hayyan was one of the candles of the Imam’s (as) school and from its noble figures, who was indeed considered to be one of the founders of the scientific movement in the Islamic world.
There were a great number of his intelligent students who authored in different scientific fields. The late Shaykh al-Islam Agha Buzurg, may Allah (SwT) rest his soul, wrote the biographies of two hundreds of the writers who were students of Imam al-Sadiq (as).
Those works were a vast encyclopaedia, which came to be an important source for the Shiah school of thought and a reason of its scientific and intellectual richness.
It is worth mentioning that there are some books attributed to Imam al-Sadiq (as). They are:
The Red Leather1
We do not know about this book.
We will talk about the knowledge of this red leather and its correctness in being attributed to Imam al-Sadiq (as) in some parts of the book.
The Light of Religious Law and the Key to Fact2
This book was published and talked about sayings from Imam al-Sadiq (as). We have brought some in the book.
The Seas of Light3
We do not know about his book to discuss the correctness of its attribution to him.
The Noble Heft4
This book was published in Beirut in Dar al-Andalus publication. Dr. Mustafa Ghalib researched on it and wrote a preface. However it’s not fair to attribute it to Imam al-Sadiq (as), the discoverer of thought and awareness in the earth. There are some delusions, which make the book even unsuitable to be ascribed to a knowledge seeker, not the Imam (as) himself, because of its weakness and the lack of correlation amongst its chapters
It contains one thousand traditions attributed to Imam al-Sadiq (as) and most of the Imamiyyah scholars did not refer to it, because of the availability of the traditions. However, whenever they need one, they would try referring to it for demonstrating their opinions.
A Book with His handwriting
There is a handwritten book attributed to Imam al-Sadiq (as) written in Koufi script. We do not know in which library in the world it is located.
The students of the Imam (as) were proud of being honoured by attending his lessons and lectures and they highly gloried this event. There being attributed to his school was a reason for making them qualified in attending other high level centers in the Islamic society. One of those students who expressed his pride was Abu Hanifah who said: “If there were not those two years, there would not be Numan.”
Abu Hanifah gloried the two years, which he spent attending the lectures of the Imam (as) and considered them from the best periods in his scientific life and the source of his rescue.
Malik ibn Anas talked about his great master and said: “No eyes have ever seen, no ears have ever heard and no hearts have ever noticed anyone greater than Jafar ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq (as) in his knowledge, sciences, prayers and devoutness.”
Once again he said the following in interest: “I used to see Jafar ibn Muhammad (as) and he was smiling most of the time; whenever the name of the Prophet (S) is mentioned, his face would turn into yellow. When I was running into Jafar ibn Muhammad (as), I never saw him in situations other than the following three: praying, fasting or reciting Quran. He did not use to talk about something, which had no relation with him. He was from those scholars and slaves who feared Allah (SwT).”
It is quite true, as mentioned before, that Abu Hanifah and Malik ibn Anas gloried their relation to the school of the Imam (as) and their attendance in his discussion lectures. This Imam (as) was from the Prophetic chain and the origin source of science and Islamic knowledge, which was inherited from his great fathers and great grandfather, the prophet, Allah’s blessing and peace be to him and his family, who discovered the source of knowledge and wisdom in the earth.
The University of Imam al-Sadiq (as) had its own distinctive features and nature, which made it distinctive from other scientific institutes and universities. Mainly, the distinctive feature was its independence from all formal agencies. The government could not use the University of the Imam (as) for any one of their political purposes. There were no king governing it and it was using the complete freedom both in its educational system and in its intellectual aspects.
It did not use any financial support from the governing rulers and it was separate from them and far away in its style from the external effects. It was progressing with brilliant Islamic spirit in a transparent method away from flexure in serious critical events. Its objective was serving the nation and its true leader. That is why it was granted with the sanctification and glorification of those great from all regions of the nation.
Mansour severely attempted to bring Imam al-Sadiq (as) and to get his friendliness and the trust of his students. So he wrote the following to the Imam (as): “Why do not you visit us as well as the other people?”
Imam (as) frankly answered about his style and method: “We do not have anything in the world to be frightened about, and you do not have anything in the Hereafter that we wish to have. So why should we come?”
This means, that Imam (as) did not have anything in the worldly life, which deserved the fear of its expropriation on behalf of Mansour, as well as the case that Mansour did not have anything for the hereafter to seek. So, the tyrant lost all that might have gotten him closer to Allah, but performed all the sins.
Mansour tried to use new method in order to receive the Imam’s (as) reply. So he wrote: “You would accompany us to be our advisor.”
Then, Imam (as) forthrightly answered: “If someone is seeking success in the Hereafter, he would not accompany you. And the one, who is seeking the worldly life, would not advise you.”
This is a comprehensive reasoning, full with all aspects of truth. Thus, the one who is aiming to achieve Allah’s (SwT) satisfaction would not establish any relation with him and those akin from the human wolfs. The one who is seeking the worldly life also would not advise Mansour and other governors and kings when committing crimes, but instead would falsely cover it in the name or title of truth and justice.
The late master, Asad Haydar, talked about the bright nature in which the University of the Imam (as) was distinguished, saying: “The feature and nature of the University of Imam al-Sadiq (as) and its own distinctive methodology - among the rest of the Islamic schools - was its spiritual independence, which was not submitted to the governing regime; it did not pave the way for those rulers to interfere in its affairs; it also did not allow to have a role in guiding the system.
That is why the rulers could not use it from their own special benefits to cooperate with in the affairs of the government. It was impossible, in spite of their efforts to achieve this, but it could stay steady confronting the cruel, wicked people and did not submit to them. It never established a good relation or accord.
By following this way and this distinctive nature, it faced the danger and the argument between the University and the government, which was becoming more severe. Neither the government could get along with the methodology of the school to achieve its kindness and assistance, nor could the school get along with the will of the government to help and serve it and cooperate with it. How could this be done?
From the beginning, it was related to the Book of Allah (SwT) and the family of the Prophet (S). These two are alongside inseparable. They are following the same way in performing their duties in advising the nation and guiding it. Quran rejects the cooperation with the cruel and submitting to them:
“And incline not to those who do wrong, or the Fire will seize you; and ye have no protectors other than Allah, nor shall ye be helped. (11:113)”
All of the scientific institutions, which were adhering to the methodology and system of the school of Imam al-Sadiq (as), such as the University of Najaf, were following this brilliant method, in addition to other schools that behaved according to the original objectives announced by Imam al-Sadiq (as) who took these objectives as motto and methodology for his school in being disconnected from the government and its non-cooperative nature in dealing with it in political and social aspects.
The ruling government of that time feared the school of Imam (as) and its horrible expansion and the large number of followers who were carrying the knowledge of the Imam (as) and speaking about the school’s merits and excellences and also about what Allah (SwT) granted the Imam (as) such as great morality, extreme knowledge and high patience.
This could not let the tyrant, Mansour, to sleep tight. He feared about his political affairs and that people might be, according to what he said, attracted with his attributes. Therefore, he asked Abu Hanifah to prepare the most complicated and ambiguous problems. Let us read the rest of the story in Abu Hanifah’s words: “I have never seen one more knowledgeable in jurisprudence than Jafar ibn Muhammad (as). When al-Mansour asked him to come, al-Mansour called me and said: ‘Abu Hanifah! The people here were amazed with Jafar ibn Muhammad, so prepare the most difficult problems you can.’
Then I prepared forty problems. Afterwards Abu Jafar summoned me while he was in al- Hirah. I went there and entered. Jafar ibn Muhammad was sitting on his right. As soon as I saw him, I feared the dignity of Jafar ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq, something that was never happened even with Abu Jafar al-Mansour. I greeted him and he pointed to me to have seat.
Then he turned to him and said: ‘Abu Abdullah! This is Abu Hanifah.’ Jafar Said: Yes! Then al-Mansour turned to me and said: ‘Abu Hanifah! Forward your questions to Abu Abdullah.’ So, I began asking and he was replying saying: You say this and the people of Medina say that and we are saying this. Sometimes he agreed one of them and sometimes he rejected them all. This process continued till the last question, the fortieth one. He did not fail in any one of those problems.”
This story demonstrates the spiteful nature of Mansour and his dread from the successor of the prophet (S), as well as demonstrating the glorification of Abu Hanifah towards the Imam (as) and the fact that he feared the dignity of Imam (as) more than Mansour who borrowed his pseudo-dignity from the government and kingdom, while the Imam (as) took his dignity from Almighty Allah. So he is the best creature after his pure fathers.
This excerption shows the huge scientific capabilities that the Imam (as) was getting use of. He was indeed the most knowledgeable one in religious instructions and religion’s affairs.
The tyrant intentionally aimed in confronting the school of the Imam (as) in order to reduce the glory of its chief and have him away from the nation. So, he turned his attention to Malik ibn Anas and granted him much glorification and respect in order to make him in front of the Imam (as). He therefore asked him to write a book concerning the Islamic instructions and rules in order to force the people, with pressure, to adhere to it.
Malik rejected to have a positive response, but he was forced to do so. He told him: “Write it. There is no one who is more knowledgeable than you today.” Then Malik authored the book entitled al-Muwatta. Thus the Abbasidd government surrounded Malik with honour and respect to keep the Islamic society away from Imam al-Sadiq (as).
The honoring of Abbasidd party towards Malik reached a level that Rashid, commanded his representative in Yathrib not to issue any order unless being agreed upon by Malik. Rashid also used to come down from his chair and sat on the ground to hear the speech of Malik.
The Abbasidd government supported Malik and prepared all the necessary tools to distribute his thoughts among the people. This was all to keep the people away from the thoughts of the Ahl al-Bayt (as), which was praised by Imam al-Sadiq (as).
Rashid exaggerated in glorifying Abu Yousuf, because he was the student of Abu Hanifah. So he appointed him as the chief of judicial authority and he did not appoint any judge in Iraq, Khurasan, Sham and Egypt, unless through an indication from Abu Yousuf and his command. Rashid told him: “Abu Yaqoub! If it was allowed to have you in my descendents to share the continuous kingdom, you would indeed deserve that.”
This was a method, which the Abbasidd government attempted powerfully and collectively in establishing some religious sects and schools of thoughts, granting them various holiness and respect, and compulsively forcing the nation for following those ideas and adhering to what was released in order to keep people away from the school of the Ahl al-Bayt (as) and their thoughts.
Mansour al-Dawaneeqi widely opened the gates of cruelty and intellectual pressure on the Ahl al-Bayt (as) and their followers. Abbasidd kings pursued his cruel methodology in shutting down religious awareness, which was derived from the Ahl al-Bayt (as).
The lectures and discussions of Imam al-Sadiq (as) at his University studied various kinds of intellectual and narrative sciences, scholastic theology, morality, and types of great cultures. The following sciences were honoured by being taught:
• Traditions (Hadith)
• Quranic sciences
There were also other sciences, which positively affected the social progress and industrial advancement. Among the most outstanding sciences that were dealt with by Imam al-Sadiq (as) with his Islamic expansion and analysis were various types of prayers, business deals, contracts and punishments.
The discussions of the great Imam (as) were not solely based on scientific fields, but his lectures were also expanded to include moral behaviours, living style, morality and so forth. We have allocated a special section for these aspects.
Imam al-Sadiq (as) was extremely sincere towards his students whom he fed with his sciences and granted them the light of his spirit. They were the propagandists of Islam and the guides towards Allah’s (SwT) satisfaction. They played positive and constructive roles in making the people familiar with the merits of the Ahl al-Bayt (as). They ruined the delusion and false imaginations of their enemies.
The Imam (as) used to glorify their tasks and he was happy with their religious services. He met with a group of them and asked some of the intellectuals about what was exchanged between them and their enemies in their discussions and debates. Among those intellectuals were the following:
Husham ibn al-Hakam is one of the prominent figures of Islam and among the most striking students of the Imam (as). He was the spokesman mouthpiece of Shiah. He also owned huge scientific capabilities. He met those scientists who had dissenting opinions and debated and overcame them. He had an excellent debate with Amr ibn Ubayd, the leader of Mutazilah, and could defeat him. Imam al-Sadiq (as) liked to hear about that debate, so he told him:
“Yes? What?” said Husham with politeness and respect.
Imam (as) then said: “Do not you inform me what you did with Amr ibn Ubayd? And how did you ask him?”
Husham was awed with the dignity of the Imam (as) and quietly said: “O son of the Holy Prophet (S)! I am inspired with awe and I am shying in front of you and my tongue does not work before you.”
Have you noticed this politeness and humility in the presence of the successor of the Prophet (S) and the discoverer of science and wisdom in the earth? Husham truly knew his Imam (as) who is the sign of Allah (SwT) for His slaves. So he respected him with humility.
Imam (as) turned to him saying: “When I ask you to do something, do it.”
Husham did not find any pretence, so he began narrating what happened between him and Amr ibn Ubayd, saying:
“I was informed who Amr ibn Ubayd was and I heard about the fact that he was in the Mosque of Basrah. I was annoyed by this news. So I departed towards him. I entered Basrah on Friday and then went to the Basrah Mosque. Suddenly I found myself among a large number of people and saw Amr ibn Ubayd putting a cloak made from wool on his back and wearing another one. People were asking him questions. I opened my way through and then sat on my knee at the end. Then I said:
‘O! Scholar! I am a stranger. Do you allow me to ask a question?’
‘Do you have eyes?’
Amr ibn Ubayd was astonished from this question and rejected it, saying: ‘O man! How come you ask this question? How do you ask about it?’
Husham set out to reply by saying: ‘This is my problem.’
Amr ibn Ubayd then gave up and told him: ‘Man! Ask! Although your question is somehow stupid!’
Husham repeated his question, saying: ‘Do you have eyes?’
‘What do you do with them?’
Amr mocked at him answering: ‘I see the colours and the people.’
Then Husham addressed him with the next question: ‘Do you have nose?’ This raised the audience’s mocks, but Amr replied, saying: ‘Yes!’
Husham set about to the next question, saying: ‘What do you do with it?’
‘I smell with it.’
Husham continued, saying: ‘Do you have tongue?’
The public was surprised with this question. Amr replied: ‘Yes!’
‘What do you do with it?’
‘I use it for speaking.’
Husham posed another question: ‘Do you have ears?’
‘What do you do with them?’
‘I hear sounds.’
Husham addressed the next question asking about the benefits of his organs, saying: ‘Do you have hands?’
‘What do you do with them?’
‘I used them for attacking the violence and also for distinguishing between the soft and rough.’
Husham continued asking about the usefulness of other organs, saying: ‘Do you have legs?’
‘What do you do with them?’
‘I use them for moving from a place to another.’
‘Do you have mouth?’
‘What do you do with it?’
‘I know the taste of foods and their differences.’
‘Do you have heart?’
‘What do you do with it?’
‘I sense all that are coming from these organs.’
‘Aren’t these organs independent from the heart?’
‘How should this be so, while they are all functioning properly?’
‘Man! If an organ doubts in what it smelled, saw or tasted, it will get assistance from the heart in order to be certain and have the doubt removed.’
‘So, does Almighty Allah grant the heart to remove the doubts?’
‘So, there should be a heart, otherwise the organs’ functions would not be certain?’
Husham reached what he wished and then told Amr: ‘O Abu Marwan! Allah, to Whom be ascribed all perfection and majesty, does not leave your organs without a leader which confirmed the correct and reject the doubts. So how come He leaves the whole creations in their confusions, doubts, and differences without setting a leader and Imam for them to remove their doubts, while He specified a leader for your organs to be certain and overcome the doubts?’
Amr was silent and did not give an answer. After a while he lifted his head and said: ‘Are you Husham?’
‘Did not you accompany him?’
‘So, where are you from?’
‘I am from Kufah.’
‘Therefore, you are Husham!’
Afterwards he asked him to sit beside him and did not say anything more”
The Imam (as) was highly interested in this irrefutable evidence that Husham used for the leader of Mutazilah and left him confused and unable to defend his ideology, which denies the Imamate and emphasizing on its unimportance. Imam (as) went on admiring Husham saying: “Husham! Who taught that to you?”
He answered: “O son of the Prophet (S)! That was circulated on my tongue.”
The Imam (as) then said: “I swear by Allah (SwT) that this was mentioned in the Holy Books of Abraham and Moses.”
A man from Sham with vast knowledge stopped by Imam al-Sadiq (as) to examine his companions during his existence. At that time, the Imam (as) was at the Holy House of Allah (SwT) and he stayed in his camp in the way of the shrine. Then the Syrian man said: “I am a man of theology, jurisprudence and instruction and I came to have a debate with your companions.”
Imam (as) asked the following question: “Is that theology from the one of the Holy Prophet, Allah’s blessing and peace be to him and his family, or from yourself?”
The Syrian man started telling: “Some are from that of the Holy Prophet, Allah’s blessing and peace be to him, and some are from myself.”
Imam (as) answered him, saying: “So, aren’t you the participant of the Prophet, Allah’s blessing and peace be to him and his family?”
“No,” he answered.
“Is your obeying necessary as well as that of the Holy Prophet, Allah’s blessing and peace be to him?”
The Syrian man was confused and did not give a reply as the Imam (as) has closed all the paths in front of him. Then the Imam (as) turn to Younus who was among the most sincere companions, saying: “O Younus! He is the enemy of himself before starting his talk. If you were good in theology, I would ask you to talk with him.”
The Imam (as) asked Younus to go out and bring those companions of the Imam (as) who were among the theologians to debate the Syrian man. He found Hamran ibn Ayun, Muhammad Ibn Numan al-Ahwal, Husham ibn Salim and Qays al-Mahir. He informed them about the order and they hurried towards the Imam (as).
Husham ibn al-Hakam entered. The Syrian man debated Hamran and overcame him. Then he debated most of the students of the Imam (as) and they couldn’t reject his doubts. Husham confronted him and the Syrian man told him: “Do you allow me to debate with you around this - pointing to Imam al-Sadiq (as)?”
Husham was extremely angry and said the following to him: “Inform me Mr. This, who is kinder: Allah (SwT) for his creatures or the creatures for themselves?”
The Syrian man answered: “Of course Allah (SwT) is kinder to his creatures.”
Husham went on preparing an absolute reason to make the Syrian man silent and he said: “What do you think He does for their religion?”
The Syrian man answered: “He obligated them, provided signs and reasons for them for what they were obligated to perform and removed in that case their pretences.”
Husham went on saying: “What is this reason that He specified for them?”
He replied: “The reason and sign is the Holy Prophet, Allah’s blessing and peace be to him and his family.”
Husham said: “What else? Other than the Holy Prophet (S)?”
“The Holy Book and the Sunnah,” the Syrian man replied.
Husham started to complete his reasoning by his profuse logic, saying: “Did the Book and the Customs assist us today in what we are debating in order to solve this dissimilarity and reach an agreement?”
“Yes,” he answered.
Husham took the control of the debate, saying: “So why are we disagreeing while you came from Sham to express your enmity and claim that you are on the Guided Path of the religion whilst you have confessed that different opinions would not be agreed upon a single idea?”
The Syrian man became confused and did not reply. Husham has already closed all the ways in front of him. Imam al-Sadiq (as) disagreed with this silence and said: “Why aren’t you speaking?”
The Syrian man expressed his confusion and disability in answering, saying: “If I say we do not disagree, I will lie and if I say that the Book and the Customs would remove this disagreement, I will make wrong, because they carry different point of views. But I have the same against you.”
Imam (as) said to him the following: “Ask him! You’ll find the answer.”
The Syrian man started his reasoning after he setup his mind, saying: “Who is kinder for the creature, their Allah (SwT) or themselves?”
That was the same starting point that Husham used for his reasoning. Then Husham said: “Of course, Allah (SwT) is kinder.”
The Syrian man said: “Doesn’t He appoint someone or something to unite their words and get rid of the differences in order to distinguishing between truth and falsity?”
Husham said: “Yes”
“Who is that?” the Syrian man said.
Husham set forth his evident reasoning, saying: “At the beginning there was the Prophet of Allah, Allah’s blessing and peace be to him and his family, but after the Prophet (S), there were his family members.”
The Syrian man hurried saying: “Who are the family Members of the Holy Prophet (S) and the ones who are taking over his role in expressing Allah’s (SwT) reasoning?”
Husham said: “At this time or earlier?”
“At this time, I mean” the Syrian man replied.
Husham said: “The one who is sitting here,” while pointing towards Imam Abu Abdullah (as), “whom people come to see.”
The Syrian man replied: “How should I know that?”
Husham replied: “Ask him whatever you want.”
“You’ve left nothing to complain about” the Syrian man replied.
Then Imam al-Sadiq (as) answered all his questions and Syrian man made the following statements afterwards: “I swear by Allah (SwT) that I believed.” Then he said: “I committed myself to Allah (SwT) at this moment.”
Then Imam (as) replied, saying: “It is better to say that I believed in Allah (SwT) at this moment. Islam is before faith and through which people inherit and marry, but people are awarded because of their faith.”
The Syrian man went on, saying: “You are right! So at this moment I witness that there is no Lord but Allah (SwT) and that Muhammad (S) is the Prophet of Allah and you are the successor of the prophets (as).”
The Syrian man returned back to truth after it became apparent for him. Then the Imam (as) approached Husham and told him: “Try to do your best and be very careful in your speech with people and get away from wrong and we’ll guarantee your safety”.
Imam (as) met some of his best and holy students and said the following to one of them: “What did you learn from me?”
He answered: “My lord! There are eight.”
“Narrate them for me so that I know them” Imam (as) replied.
First: I saw all lovers left the beloved when death comes through. So I turned to the One who does not only leave me, but also entertain me in my loneliness. I believe that this is a good deed.
Second: I saw people being proud of their family and tribe and others were proud of their money and sons, while there are no prides with those. I found the great pride in the speech of Almighty Allah, Who said: “Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you” (49:13). So I attempted to be righteous from that point of view.
Imam (as) expressed his interest in that speech and said: “Well done!”
The man followed his speech, saying:
Third: I saw people’s amusement and pastime and heard the following from Almighty Allah: “And for such as had entertained the fear of standing before their Lord’s (tribunal) and had restrained (their) soul from lower desires, Their abode will be the Garden” (79:40-41). So I attempted to be away from lower desire to settle my aim on obeying Allah. Imam (as) continued, saying: “Well done!”
The man followed his speech, saying:
Fourth: I saw all those having money aiming at keeping it while I heard the speech of Almighty Allah: “Who is he that will Loan to Allah a beautiful loan? For (Allah) will increase it manifold to his credit, and he will have (besides) a liberal Reward” (57:11). So I liked the liberal rewards. I haven’t seen one who is a better keeper than Him. So, whenever I found something rewarding, I turned it to Allah (SwT) to be a saving for me when I need so. Then Imam (as) said: “Well done!”
The man followed his speech, saying:
Fifth: I saw the majesty of people measured by their wealth, but I heard the following from Almighty Allah: “It is We Who portion out between them their livelihood in the life of this world: and We raise some of them above others in ranks, so that some may command work from others. But the Mercy of thy Lord is better than the (wealth) which they amass” (43:32). So I never felt envy toward anyone at all and never felt sorry for what has gone from me. Then Imam (as) said: “Well done!”
The man followed his speech, saying:
Sixth: I saw the enmities of people toward each other in the worldly life and feuds which are in their heart, but I heard the following from Almighty Allah: “Verily Satan is an enemy to you: so treat him as an enemy.(35:6)” So I started my enmity toward Satan instead of the other. Then Imam (as) said: “Well done!”
His student continued:
Seventh: I saw people’s labours in earning their earning and I heard the following from Almighty Allah: “I have only created Jinn and men, that they may serve Me. No Sustenance do I require of them, nor do I require that they should feed Me. For Allah is He Who gives (all) Sustenance, Lord of Power, Steadfast (for ever)” (51:56-58). Then I learnt that his promise and speech are true. So I went after His promise and was satisfied in His speech. I became busy with what I am obligated towards Allah (SwT) instead of asking for my rights. Then Imam (as) said: “Well done!”
The student of Imam (as) continued the rest of his speech, saying:
Eighth: I saw people depending on the health of their bodies; others were depending on their wealth and the rest were depending on other people, but I heard the following from Almighty Allah: “And for those who fear Allah, He (ever) prepares a way out, And He provides for him from (sources) he never could imagine. And if any one puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is (Allah) for him” (65:2-3). Therefore I depended on Allah (SwT) and all other dependences, which were based on others, were destroyed.
The Imam (as) admired him, saying: “I swear by Allah that Torah, Bible and Quran, meaning the Divine Books, were derived for and from these eight issues.”
This talk represented an important aspect of the spiritual upbringing, with which the Imam (as) was feeding his students in order to have them as living exemplars of the reality of Islam that does its best in elevating the intellectual and behavioural level of human beings.