Chapter 6: Some of His Intellectual Legacy
As for the Imam's intellectual legacy with which he supplied his companions and the students of his school, it is part of the most wonderful, intellectual wealth the Imams of the Muslims left behind them and of the most precious, scientific heritage the Muslim scholars left behind them.
That is because it contains many sciences such as the science of wisdom, theology, the science of Islamic jurisprudence, of exegesis, of hadith, and other sciences. Besides it includes his wise sayings, his valuable opinions that deal with the rules of conduct, ethics, and the rules of friendship. It is full of all excellent kinds of eloquence.
The following is a brief account of it.
Reason is the creative force Allah has given to man, with which He has ennobled him, by which He has distinguished him from the rest of beings, and through which He has made him His vicegerent on earth.
Through his reason and thinking, man is able to employ beings, to discover their secrets, to uncover their mysteries, to invade space, to reach planets, and to discover what is on their surfaces. Thanks to his reason, man has reached all these things and he will reach things deeper and more inclusive than they.
By virtue of his reason, his reflection, and his knowledge, man has reached these astonishing discoveries. Imam Musa has talked about the effects of reason and given some Qur'anic verses as proofs of its excellence; that was during his gold talk with which he supplied his student Hisham b. al-Hakam.
This tradition is regarded as part of the intellectual wealth has been reported from the Imam. Sadr al-Mute'liheen, al-Akhwend Mulla Sadra, has philosophically explained the tradition.1
He has said:
"This tradition contains the explanation of the reality of reason in the mentioned meaning. I mean the fourth rank of the four reasons mentioned in psychology. It contains most attributes characteristics, and praise of reason. It contains great Qur'anic sciences and noble Devin purposes the like of which is not available in the knowers' many books and is not known in the results of the thoughtful scholars with authentic ideas except those one of the pure Imams reported or narrated on their authority or on the authority of one of the general populace ('amma) on the authority of the chosen Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family.
The tradition includes some titles on sciences such as theology, cosmology, astronomy, topology, psychology, setting right morals, purifying souls from vices, civil policies, sermons, commandments, asceticism, dispraising the world, the hereafter, the return to Allah, dispraising the unbelievers, the ignorant, their evil final result, the change of their growth into that of beasts, their being deaf, dumb, and blind, for they do not understand, and other knowledge and sciences...."
We will present the text of the tradition of the Imam, peace be on him, along with a brief explanation some of which we have quoted from what the philosopher of Islam, Shaykh Mullah Sadra, has mentioned in respect with his explanation to this tradition. Imam Musa, peace be on him, has said:
"O Hisham, surely Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, has given good news to the men of reason and understanding in His Book, saying:
Therefore give good news to My servants, those who listen to the word, then they follow the best of it; those are they whom Allah has guided, and those it is who are the men of understanding." (Qur'an, Surat al-Zumar, 39: 17-18)
The Imam, peace be on him, has given this verse as a proof of giving precedence to the men of the sound intellects over other than them, for Allah has given good news to them of guidance and success. The verse the Imam has quoted has a group of the scientific advantages; we will mention two of them:
When man faces some correct and incorrect affairs, when his guidance depends of the correct and his misguidance depends on the incorrect, then it is incumbent on him to distinguish between them, that he may know the correct from among them and he follow it, and that he may know the corrupt from among them and he keeps far from it. It is natural that such a distinction do not happen except through establishing proof and argument. This indicates that thinking and deduction in such an affair is obligatory.
The verse demonstrates that guidance is new and incidental; it is well-known that every incidental must have a founder also it must have and acceptor. As for him who finds guidance, He is Allah, the Most High; for this reason He has ascribed it to Himself, saying:
Those are they whom Allah has guided. As for those who accept it, they are the men of straight intellects, and to this meaning He, the Exalted, has referred in His words: and those it is who are the men of understanding. It is well-known that man accepts guidance through his reason and not through his body and limbs. If he had incomplete reason, it is impossible for him to acquire knowledge and understanding.
Shaykh Mulla Sadr al-Deen, May Allah have mercy on him, has established a proof of the incidence of guidance and of its Doer, Who is Allah, the Exalted. He has elaborated on that. Imam Musa, peace be on him, has said: "O Hisham, surely Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, completed for men the proofs through reason, and helped the prophets with the explanation, and guided them to His Lordship through demonstrations, when He has said:
And your Lord is one God! There is no god but He; He is the Beneficent, the Merciful. Most surely in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day, and the ships that run in the sea with that which profits men, and the water that Allah sends down from the cloud, then gives life with it to the earth after its death and spreads in it all (kinds of) animals, and the changing of the winds and the clouds made subservient between the haven and the earth, there are signs for a people who understand." (Surat al-Baqara, 2: 163-164).
In his tradition, the Imam has mentioned that Allah completed the souls of His prophets through virtuous reason, that they might be proofs over His servants and guides for them to the way of good and salvation. If Allah had not given them sound reason, they would not have been appropriate for leading and guiding the nations, for the incomplete one cannot complete other than him.
Indeed Allah helped his prophets through explaining the truth and the truthful verses. He guided them to His Lordship and showed them the way to know Him and to profess His Unity through decisive proofs bearing witness to His Existence and indicating His Oneness; the verses He has given as proofs are from among the traces of his creation.
It is well-known, as the logicians say, that the effect indicates the cause; the creature indicates the Creator. The verse the Imam's tradition has included contains a group of the great creatures that can be given as evidence for the Existence of Allah, the Most High, they are as follows:
Surely among the great, illustrious signs of Allah is His creating the heavens He has decorated with the stars that swim in the space and move in their orbits and are far from each other according to the laws of gravity. They move and attract each other according to the Command of Allah, the Most High.
The size of a star is tens of thousands as much as the size of the earth; some stars are many millions larger than the earth; they move in their orbits and curves and do not collide with each other; they indicate the Existence of Allah, may His power be great. His Eminence, the Imam, and late Shaykh Muhammad 'Abda has said: "These heavenly bodies are composed of constellations.
Each constellation has a firm, perfect system; their systems do not invalid each other, for they all have a general system that indicates that it has issued from One God, Who has no associate in His creation, His arrangement, His wisdom, and His regulation. The nearest constellation to us is that which they call the solar system they ascribe to our sun that gives light to our earth and it is the reason for giving life to plants and animals.
The satellites of the sun are different in sizes and dimensions; each of them has become stable in its orbits; the ratio among them has been kept by a Divine ratio. Were it not for this system, these stars moving in their orbits would go in different directions and collided with each other, and the worlds would be perished out of that.
So this system is a sign of the Divine mercy as well as it is a sign of Allah's Oneness...."2 Surely the modern science has discovered many stars, to the extent that if we counted 1500 stars at a minute, it would take us 700 hundred years to count them. As for the earth in comparison with them, it is less than a dot over a letter in a library containing a half million books of medium size.3
Without doubt, the stars have not come into existence by chance. Are they the regulator and creator of these worlds? How are these organized, complicated operations are explained with an explanation depends on chance and random? "How can we explain this regularity in the phenomena of the cosmos, the causal relationships, integration, purpose, harmony, and balance that in harmony with all the phenomena, and their effects pass from an age to another?
How does this cosmos function without the regulating Creator, Who has created and originated it, and regulated the rest of its affairs?" John William Kotsu has said: "Surely this world where we live is so perfect and complicated that it is impossible for it to arise from the pure chance.
It is full of wonderful things and complicated affairs that are in need of a regulator and which cannot be ascribed to a blind fate. Without doubt the sciences have helped us increase, understand, and estimate the phenomena of this cosmos; they, thereby, have increased our knowledge of Allah and our faith in His Existence."4
Among the wonderful signs of Allah is His creating this planet where we live; He, the Most High, has made it turn on its axis one time every 24 hours. The earth moves at a speed of 1000 miles per hour. If this planet turned on its axis at the speed of 100 miles per hour, then night and day would be ten times as many as they are now, the sun would burn all plants in summer; in cold nights the plants and animals on it would become frozen.
Likewise if the sun came close to the earth more than it is now, the rays would be so much that the life on it would be impossible. Similarly if the sun became far from the earth more than it is now, the vice versa would happen, the rays would be few, the severity of cold would be too much that the life on it would be impossible.
If the earth was as small as the moon or its diameter was quarter of its present diameter, it would fall short of keeping atmosphere and water that encompasses it; the heat would be too much that it brought about death. If its diameter was twice as much as its present one, then its gravity to bodies would be twice as much as it is now.
Accordingly the height of the atmosphere would decrease and the atmospheric pressure would increase, and it would have a strong effect on life. For the distance of the cold regions would be very wide, and the distance of the residential areas would quickly decrease.
Accordingly human societies would separately live or they would live in distant regions; therefore isolation among them would increase; travels and communications would be impossible; rather it would be a kind of imagination.5
If the earth was as big as the sun, then its gravity to the bodies on it would be 150 folds, and accordingly the height of the atmosphere would decrease; the weight of an animal would be 150 folds and mental life would be impossible in general.6
Allah has singled out the earth with another quality. He has made for it a thick atmosphere. The atmosphere is estimated at 800 k.m. It is composed of elements necessary for life. It prevents deadly meteors from reaching the earth and lets heat moderately reach it, that plants and animals may live on its surface; besides it plays an effective role in carrying waters and water vapor from the oceans to the continents.
Were it not for it, the continents would be arid lands. As some planets do not have such an atmosphere, life did not appear on them. For example, Mars has such an atmosphere, but it is very thin and inappropriate for life, for it is void of oxygen.
Venus has an atmosphere, but it contains carbon dioxide and this makes it inappropriate for life; similarly the moon has an atmosphere, but it is thin and void of elements necessary for life such as oxygen.7
Yet another distinction Allah has given to the earth. He has made it roan, that it may be illuminable and light able. He has made it middle in solidity, that walking on it may be possible and that it may accept plants and plowing; moreover, there are signs and wonders in the waters, the rivers, and the mountains on it, and the minerals in it.
His Eminence late Imam Kashif al-Ghitaa' has said: "Indeed among the signs by which we pass every time and in all conditions is the earth where we live, from which we live and with which we live, from which is our beginning, and to which is our return. From it We created you and into it We shall send you back.
We still walk on the earth. We plow and plant it. We lead a life of ease and comfort on it. We employ it in all the affairs of life. The earth still copiously give us its boons and its blessings, while we are inattentive and heedless and turn away from the signs on it. We are unmindful of the great power, illustrious creation, the proofs of greatness and power on it.
The earth contains uncounted elements and endless characteristics. You sow into it the grains of wheat, and they give you many folds of its kind. You sow into it broad beans, lentils, and other seeds different in taste and characteristics, and they return them to you doubled substitutes. You sow in the same earth the stone of a date-palm, the seeds of grapevine, fig and apple cuttings and other kinds of fruit, and they produce delicious fruit different in tastes and qualities."
The Shaykh, may Allah have mercy on him, has said: "The earth is the mother of three born things: inanimate beings, plants, and animals; it takes care of them with the three supporters: water, air, and the sun. Therefore, it is the life and death; therein is illness, and from it comes the medicine. The stars of the heaven may be counted. As for the stars of the earth, they cannot be counted."
Yes, neither the stars of the earth, nor its minerals, nor its elements can be counted. The Qur'an and the hadith always magnify the affair of the earth and refer to it directly or indirectly:
Have We not made the earth to draw together to itself, the living and the dead. And the earth, He expended it after that. He brought forth from it its water and its pasturage. Then let man look to his food, that We pour down the water, pouring down (it) down in abundance, then We cleave the earth, cleaving it asunder, then We cause to grow therein the grain, and grapes and clover, and the olive and the palm, and thick gardens, and fruits and herbage. (Surah Al-Mursalat 77:25-42)8
Surely the keen thoughts and the great intellects that have employed all the means of modern science have not reached analyzing all the elements of the earth and bringing forth all its treasures, while it is among the creatures of Allah, rather it is the simplest of them all. Therefore, glory belongs to Him! How great His power and creation are!
Another example of the signs of Allah, the Most High, is the difference between night and day. The scholars of exegesis have mentioned two meanings of the alternation.
The first meaning of the difference is that it is creation (ifti'aal) taken from khalqahu, yakhliqahu (He created it; He creates it); when the first goes and the second comes, so the meaning of the difference between the night and the day is their alternation in going and coming.
The second meaning is that they are different in length and shortness, light and dark, increase and decrease. As they differ in time, they also differ in place. For example, a certain hour that is morning in a certain place of the earth is noon in another place, afternoon in a third place, evening in a fourth place, etc. That is due to the sphericity of the earth. This difference arises from the solar system that indicates the Unity and Existence of Allah.
There are uncounted interests result from this difference such as regulating the affairs of mankind of which are seeking earning and livelihood during the day, seeking rest and sleep during the night9. Yet there are other vital interests the scholars have mentioned concerning the secret of this difference that shows the Existence of Allah, the Most High, His beautiful creation, and His great power.
Another example of His signs is the running of ships on water. Were it not for that water is middle in thinness and lightness, ships were unable to run on it; likewise, were it not for the winds that help them run in different directions according to the purposes of men, they would be not useful.
Allah has made the winds middle in calmness, for if they were stormy, ships would be destroyed, as well as the materials of ships such as wood and iron are among the creation and finding of Allah, the Exalted, though men make them.10 All these affairs we have mentioned are among Allah's deeds and signs.
Another example of the signs of Allah, the Most High, is His sending down rain from clouds; rain is among His wonderful creatures and His illustrious power. He has created it composed of oxygen and hydrogen; its elements differ from each other. He has made rain a reason for giving life to growing bodies. He has said:
And We have made of water everything living. (21:30, 24:45)
He has also made it a reason for the life, daily bread, and livelihood of man;
and in the heaven is your sustenance and you are not promised of it. (51:22)
The Scared Verse has declared that rain gives life to the earth, for it has the force of the animal and the plant life, though the force is far in comparison with the animal force. So when rain comes down to the earth, grass and other plants on which man and animals live appear.
Or the coming down of rain gives rise to the appearance of plants, flowers, and basil that clothes the earth in a beautiful garment that pleases and delights those who look at it. This is the meaning of giving life to the earth; all these things are sings and proofs of the Existence of the Maker and His illustrious power.
If man carefully considers plants and corps and the wonders wherein, he will believe in Allah's power, His beautiful making and designing, for plants come forth as equal as the needs of mankind in certain times. The plants that grow in spring are not available in autumn; those that grow in summer are not available in winter.
Besides trees and fruits are different in color, taste, and scent though they are given the same water and come forth from one land; if man carefully considers all these things, he will believe in His Lord, and his heart will not deviate from the way of faith.
Among Allah's great signs is the spreading of animals on the earth different in kind, category, appearance, honor, meanness, manners, natures, and life. Man belongs to animals, but he is the most honorable and highest of them. He is the vicegerent of Allah on His earth, for he is an example to all that which is in the earth and the heaven.
That is because he is aware, perceptive, and acquainted with many total and partial facts and information, for he himself is a world; rather he is a larger than a world as Imam 'Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, says:
"Do you thing that you are a small body while the larger world is hidden in you?"
According to his structure, man is among Allah's great signs; he has small, uncounted systems of which is the eye that has telescopic and microscopic systems, 130 million light receivers that are the tips of the optic nerves. The lid with lashes moves involuntary, protects the eye by day and night, and keeps it from dust and the sun.
The eye has a liquid called tears that is the strongest purifier and sterilizer; it has other systems that are strong proofs of the Existence of Allah. Man has the ear that is the most astonishing of man's systems. For it has the ladyrinth, concerning which the scientist Korthy has said: "The ladyrinth contains the Eustachian Tubes that are between its two spiral, and semicircular tubes; the spiral part has 4000 small bows connected to the auditory nerve in the head."
How long are these bows?
What size are they?
How have they been made?
They are so accurate that they perplex intellects, so glory belongs to Allah, the Maker, and the Former!
Man has a nose; the nose is among Allah's great signs. The center of this sense is a limited area of the mucous membrane that covers the inside of the nose. It is called the area of smell; it is void of lashes; it has some thin, long olfactory cells that covey effects to the brain; that is in a part of the nose and it is the main entrance of the respiratory system on which man's life depends.
Man has a skeleton composed of 206 bones connected to each other through the joints moved by the muscles. These bones are regarded as a factory in the body, for they form red and white blood cells that are the foundation of life. About 180,000,000 of these cells die every one minute, for they defend the body against the microbes entering it. As well as the bones are regarded as a store for keeping the additional food whether that is in the bones themselves such as fatty and aluminous materials or on the bones themselves such as lime materials.
The bones are astonishing, for they are appropriate to the purpose for which they have been created. For example, the bones of the skull that protect the brain are more solid than other than them, and are thicker than them, for they protect small, thin tissues.
Yet there are other astonishing systems such as the nervous system, the reproductive system, the lymph system, and the muscular system.11 They clearly indicate Allah, the Former, the Creator, for they cannot be formed by chance, for the talk about chance has become a fable in which none believes even those who have little thinking and feeling.
Another example of the signs of Allah is His changing the wind, for it blows in south and north, comes and goes; this is how it is changed.12 The wind is the movement of the air available in the low layers of the atmosphere when it blows parallel to the surface of the earth; the wind blows at different speeds; it sometimes blows at a speed of one hundred km per hour, and it is called storm.
When it is over this speed, it is called hurricane. Perhaps, it blows at a speed of two hundred km per hour; the wind is the important factor for conveying and distributing water vapor. Likewise, it is the most important means for pollinating plants; it has been established that a great part of plants is not pollinated except through the wind. Allah, the Most High, has said:
And We send the wind fertilizing, then send down water from the cloud so We give it to you to drink of, nor is it you who store it up. (Qur'an, Surat al-Hajer, 15: 22).
Among the signs of Allah, the Exalted, is His making clouds subservient; He makes them subservient in certain times that He may give life to mankind and earth. If clouds continue for a long time, they will be harmful, for they veil the rays of the sun and spoil all compound things that depend on dryness. When they stop, drought happens, so man and animals perish.
They come in certain times and seasons for general interests. Clouds are formed due to the condensation of water vapor in the air. The height of clouds is different according to their kinds; some of them are close to the surface of the earth such as fog; some of them are about 12 km high such as the thin cirrostratus.
When the speed of the ascending wind is more than 30 km per hour, the drops of the formed rain do not come down, for the wind resist them. When the drops scatter, they are charged with positive electricity and are isolated from negative electricity carried by the wind.
After a short time, they are fully charged with electricity. When the two charges approach each other by means of the wind, the electric discharge takes place through a spark passes between them. The lightning lasts for a short time and is a broken line. Then the thunder is heard; it is the sound waves caused by the air. Then clouds spread through the sky and rain comes down from it, so the earth takes the water Allah decrees for it.
Therefore, think about how the wind generates two kinds of electricity in clouds and makes rain come down.13 This happens through the arrangement of Allah, the Great, and the Omniscient. In his Tafseer, al-Tantawi has talked about clouds and their advantages, saying: "Do you wonder why clouds do not rise more than 16,000 cubits in the air?
The nearest cloud is that which touches the surface of the earth and such a cloud is rare in some countries. If clouds touch the surface of the earth, they will harm animals, plants, and men's possessions. If they were very high in the sky and could not be seen, rain and snow would suddenly come down while men were heedless of them and did not guard against them, so the harm would be inclusive."14
These are some proofs in the verse on the Existence of Allah, the Most High, Who is the Origin of the worlds. Imam Musa has given these verses as evidence for supporting the reality of faith in Allah, and for freeing reason from the fables of polytheism.
The following is another part of the speech of Imam Musa, peace be on him, who has said: "O Hisham, surely Allah has given that as evidence for knowledge of Him that they have a Regulator. So He has said:
And He has made subservient for you the night and the day and the sun and the moon, and the starts are made subservient by His commandment; most surely there are signs in this for a people who ponder. (Quran, Surat al-Nahl, 16:12).
And He has said: He it is Who created you from dust, then from a small life-germ, then from a clot, then He brings you forth as a child, then that you may attain your maturity, then that you may be old-and of you there are some who are caused to die before-and that you may reach an appointed term, and that you may understand. (Quran, Surat al-Mu'min, 23:67).
And He has said: And (in) the variation of the night and the day, and (in) what Allah sends down of sustenance from the cloud, then gives life thereby to the earth after its death, and (in) the changing of the winds, (and the clouds made subservient between the heaven and the earth) there are signs for a people who understand. (Quran, Surat al-Jathiya, 45:4)
And He has said: He gives life to the earth after its death; indeed, We have made the communications clear to you that you may understand. (Qur'an, Surat al-Hadeed, 57: 17).
And He has said: And gardens of grape and corn and palm trees having one root and (others) having distinct root-they are watered with one water, and We make some of them excel others in fruit; most surely there are signs for a people who understand. (Quran, Surat al-Ra'd, 13:4).
And He has said:
And one of His signs is that He shows you the lightning for fear and for hope, and sends down water from the clouds, then gives life therewith to the earth after its death; most surely there are signs in this for a people who understand. (Quran, Surat al-Rum, 30:24).
And He has said:
Say: Come I will recite to you what your Lord has forbidden to you-(remember) that you do not associate anything with Him and show kindness to your parents, and do not slay your children for (fear of) poverty-We provide for you and for them-and do not draw nigh to indecencies, those of them which are apparent and those which are concealed, and do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden except for the requirements of justice; this He has enjoined you with that you may understand. (Quran, Surat al-An'am, 6:151).
And He has said: Have you among those whom your right hands possess partners in what We have given you for sustenance, so that with respect to it you are alike; you fear them as you fear each other? Thus do We make the communications distinct for a people who understand." (Quran, Surat al-Rum, 30:28).
Imam Musa, peace be on him, has given these verses as proofs of the Existence and Oneness of Allah, the Most High. We have elaborated the speech on some of them. The Imam, peace be on him, has repeated them to draw attention to that the proofs are reliable. If a wise man carefully considers them, he will believe in that and have no doubt about that.
For this reason Allah, the Exalted, has repeated them in His wise Book. Then Imam Musa, peace be on him, has mentioned some ruinous sins and crimes the Qur'an has made forbidden and that are as follows:
2. Disobeying the parents.
3. Slaying children for fear of poverty.
4 Apparent and concealed indecencies.
5. Killing the respected soul.
Were it not for that the book would be unduly long, we would elaborate on explaining the rest of the verses the Imam has quoted in his speech. Now, we will move to another part of his speech. He, peace be on him, has said: "O Hisham, then He (Allah) has preached to the men of reason and made them desire for the hereafter, saying:
And this world's life is naught but a play and idle sport, and certainly the abode of the hereafter is better for those who guard (against) evil; do you not then understand?" (Quran, Surat al-Rum, 30: 32).
Imam Musa has given this verse as evidence for that Allah, the Most High, makes His wise servants desire for the abode of everlastingness and ease, and that He has dispraised this world's life for it is confined to amusement and play. Accordingly, the wise should renounce the life in this world, avoid the evil and the forbidden wherein, and perform good deeds for the everlasting abode has been prepared for the Allah-fearing and the righteous.
Now, we will go to another part of his speech; he, peace be on him, has said: "O Hisham, then He has frightened those who do not understand His punishment, saying:
Then We destroyed the others. And most surely you pass by them in the morning, and at night; do you not then understand? (Quran, Surat al-Saffat, 37: 136-138).
And He has said: Surely We will cause to come down upon the people of this town a punishment from heaven, because they transgressed. And certainly We have left a clear sign for a people who understand." (Quran, Surat al-'Anqabut, 29: 33-34).
Imam Musa, peace be on him, has quoted these sacred verses as proofs of His, the Exalted, destroying those who did not understand from among the bygone communities. The verses were revealed concerning the people of Loot when they denied Allah and disbelieved in his communications.
So He, the Most High, caused His punishment to come down upon them and placed their homeland in a bad-smelling, ugly lacked and placed it by a permanent road by which passers-by passed in the morning and at night. For this reason He, the Exalted, has said: And most surely you pass by them in the morning, and at night.15
He, the Most High, made them a lesson and an admonition to those who understand. He warned them against opposing and disobeying the Apostles and the righteous, for the final result of opposition and disobedience is destruction and ruin.16
Imam Musa, peace be on him, has said: "O Hisham, surely reason is with knowledge. Allah, the Exalted, has said:
And (as for) these examples, We set them forth for men, and none understands them but the learned." (Qur'an, Surat al-'Anqabut, 29:43).
He, peace be on him, has cited this sacred verse as evidence for that reason accompanies knowledge, for all kinds of reason do not leave knowledge, nor do they separate themselves from it. Concerning the reason for the revelation of this verse, the explainers of the Qur'an have said: "Why do Allah set forth examples of beasts and insects such misquotes, flies, and spiders while the examples must be set forth of something important?"
This thinking is poor, for comparison is eloquent when it has a strong effect on soul. For example, when a wise man says to someone who backbites others: "You backbite them as if that you ate the flesh of a dead animal!" This statement of his is more effective in deterring him than his saying:
"Most surely backbiting is forbidden or it brings about admonition and enmity among people." In His statement and none understands them but the learned, Allah, the Most High, has referred to that none can understand the reality of things and distinguish between the correct and incorrect from among them except those who have science and knowledge; none understands that except the learned.17 Now, will move to another part of the speech of Imam Musa.
He, peace be on, him has said: "Then He (Allah) has dispraised those who do not understand, saying: And when it is said to them: Follow what Allah has revealed, they say: Nay! We follow what we found our fathers upon. What! and though their fathers had no sense at all, nor do they follow the right way. (Qur'an, Surat al-Baqara, 2:169).
And He has said: And the parable of those who disbelieve is as the parable of one who calls out to that which hears no more than a call and a cry; deaf, dumb (and) blind, so they do not understand. (Quran, Surat al-Baqara, 2: 171).
And He has said: And there are those of them who hear you, but can you make the deaf to hear though they will not understand? (Quran, Surat Yunus, 10: 42).
And He has said: Or do you think that most of them do hear or understand? They are nothing but as cattle; nay, they are straying farther off the path. (Quran, Surat al-Furqan, 25: 44.
And he has said: They will not fight against you in a body save in fortified towns or from behind walls; their fighting between them is severe; you may think them as one body, and their hearts are disunited; that is because they are a people who have no sense. (Quran, Surat al-Hashr, 59:14.)
And He has said: What! Do you enjoin men to be good and neglect your own souls while you read the Book; have you then no sense?" (Quran, Surat al-Baqara, 2:44).
Imam Musa, peace be on him, has quoted the sacred verses as proofs of dispraising those who have no sense. We will explain some of their meanings that the Imam's quotation may be clear:
The first verse has dispraised those who follow their ancestors and their Shaykhs in the religious affairs without sense and evidence, for they are urged to follow them by ignorance, stupidity, and fanaticism. The verse was revealed concerning the Jews when Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, summoned them to follow Islam, but they refused it and said that they would follow what they found their fathers upon, for they were better than them.18
If the Jews had sound intellects and mental maturity, they would understand that sound reason did not confirm imitation in the beliefs should be followed according to sound scientific proofs, for they are the foundations of man's life and behavior. In his Tafseer, Shaykh Muhammad 'Abda has said: "If the imitators had intellects through which they understood, then this narration along with its style would be sufficient to make them disgust imitation.
For in every creed and generation they turn away from that which Allah has revealed as a sign of liking that which they find their fathers upon. This ugliness is enough for them, for the wise do not prefer imitating any of men whatever great his reason is and whatever good his behavior is to that which Allah has revealed. For all the opinions of those sane are liable to mistake. And the behavior of those rightly-guided may be errant.
Therefore, there is no trust in any religion save that which Allah has revealed, and there is none preserved except him whom Allah preserves, so why do the sane turn away from what Allah has revealed and follow their fathers while they claim that they believe in the Revelation. If they had no faith in the inspiration, then they must turn away from imitation due to these words of Him, the Exalted:
What! And though their fathers had no sense at all, nor do they follow the right way (2:170).19
The second verse is related to the first one and completes it, for Allah, the Most High, has given an account of the state of the unbelievers who insisted on the blind imitation when they were summoned to follow Islam; then He has given to the listeners an example of their state lest they should be deceived by them; He has described them as cattle or as beasts that do not understand the call of a shepherd to them; in other words, they only hear his voice but do not understand its meaning; similarly those who follow the religion of their fathers do not reflect on the summons of the truth and do not understand it; therefore, they are in the same position with respect to those who do not understand; this is the worst criticism and dispraise to those who do not understand.
In the third verse Allah, the Exalted, has given an account of the state of some unbelievers who were very rude, dull, and stupid. That is because they heard the verses and the proofs were recited to them concerning the authenticity of the mission of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. However, they were deaf in respect with that they did not realize and understand the meaning, that it was useless to summon them to follow this religion, for they were mentally and psychologically very sick, to the extent that the cure and advice did not profit them.
In the fourth verse Allah has addressed His Prophet in order not to hope for the faith of some unbelievers because they were as cattle in respect with that they did not make use of the illustrious verses they had heard. Rather they were worse than cattle, for the cattle obey their owner who takes care of them, find their pastures and drinking places, and return to their folds.
As for the unbelievers, they do not obey their Lord and Creator and Provider nor do they thank Him for His favors and boons. As well as animals do not paralyze any of their forces deposited in them. Rather they spend each power on that for which it has been created. As for the unbelievers, they have paralyzed their mental forces, so they lose the original nature in which men have been made, and that is the knowledge of Allah and faith in him, so they are worse than beasts.
The fifth verse has dispraised the unbelievers, for they have three dispraised qualities:
1. They are cowardly during war.
2. Their fighting between them is sever.
3. Their hearts are disunited.
Allah, the Most High, has given a reason for these three qualities, and the reason is that they are not sane, for the sane cannot be cowardly. No fighting takes place between him and other than him, for this arises from ignorance and stupidity by which the believers are not distinguished.
To this meaning Imam Musa, peace be on him, has referred in his statement: "The believers are as one hand against those other than them." That is because they have united opinions and one trend, so disunity and division among them is impossible.
The sixth verse was revealed concerning the Jewish scholars who said to their Muslim relatives: "Cling to that which you follow!" They did not believe in Islam.20 They had better believe in Islam, and then they had to order other than them to cling to it. With this verse we will end our talk about explaining the verses Imam Musa, peace be on him, has cited as evidence for dispraising those men who has no sense.
Now, we will mention another part of Imam Musa's speech; he, peace be on him, has said: "O Hisham, then Allah, has dispraised the majority, saying: And if you ask them who created the heavens and the earth, they will certainly say: Allah. Say :( All) praise is due to Allah; nay! Most of them do not know. (Qur'an, Surat Luqman, 31 :25).
And He, the Exalted, has said: "And if you ask them Who is it that sends down water from the clouds, then gives life to the earth with it after its death, they will certainly say: Allah. Say :( All) praise is due to Allah. Nay, most of them do not understand." Surat al-'Anqabut, verse 63.
The Imam, peace be on him, has quoted the three verses as proofs of dispraising most men, for they veil from their selves the truth, go deeply into falsehood, and drown into pleasures except those upon whom Allah have mercy and whom He brings forth from utter darkness into light. We will briefly explain the verses as follows:
In the first verse Allah, the Most High, has addressed His Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, but He meant someone other than him; or the address is for him and for other than him. If the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, obeyed the majority of the people and followed their desires and inclinations, they would lead him astray from the religion and turned him away from the truth.
According to its meaning, the second verse indicates that the majority of the people say what they do not know, that they do not believe in Allah in their hearts; rather faith runs on their tongues and does not enter their hearts.
In the third verse Allah, the Most High, has addressed His Prophet, saying: "If you ask the polytheists: Who sends down from heaven water that is the reason for their livelihood and their life, they would answered him that it was Allah, the Exalted, Who created all the possible things."
Nevertheless, they associate others with Allah and serve some of His creatures that can create nothing; therefore, we thank Allah for that they have showed the proof and confessed that the Creator of the origins and branches of boons is Allah, the Most High. So the praise Allah, the Most High, has mentioned is like the praise on seeing someone afflicted.21
Now, we will present another part of the speech of Imam Musa, peace be on him. He has said: "O Hisham, then He has praised the minority. He has said: And very few of my servants are grateful. (Qur'an, Surat Saba', 34:13).
And He has said: And very few are they. (Surat Saad, 38:24).
And He has said: And a believing man of Firon's people who hid his faith: What! Will you slay a man because he says: My Lord is Allah. (Surat Ghafir, 40:28).
And He has said: And those who believe, and there believed not with him but a few. (Surat al-An'am, 6:37).
And He has said: but most of them do not know. And He has said: And most of them do not understand. And He has said: And most of them do not perceive." (Surat al-Ma'ida, 5:103).
Imam Musa, peace be on him, has quoted the scared verses as proofs of that Allah has praised the believers who are few in number. The traditions reported from Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them, have mentioned that. For example, Abu 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq), peace be on him, has said: "The believing female is rarer than the believing male, and the believing male is rarer than the red sulfur." The reason for this rarity is that the real faith in Allah is the greatest rank in perfection man can attain.
Where are many hindrances that prevent man from reaching such a kind of faith such as bad education and environment and other hindrances that veil man from his Creator and make him go too far in committing sins.
These words of Him, the Exalted, and very few of my servants are grateful, does not mean that man must say: praise belongs to Allah; rather they mean that he must spend all that which Allah has bestowed upon him on His creatures in His way. This is a great rank that does not issue from anyone except from him who knows Allah and believes that all boons and blessings issue from Him.
Accordingly, man should perform good deeds and purify his own soul, and then he is among the grateful to Allah; the gratefulness in this meaning is among the highest ranks by which none is marked except very few. Now, we will present another part of the Imam's speech; he, peace be on him, has said: "O Hisham, then He has mentioned the men of understanding with the best mentioning and adorned them with the best ornaments. He has said:
He grants wisdom to whom He pleases, and whoever is granted wisdom, he indeed is given a great good and none but men of understanding mind. (Surat al-Baqara, 2:269).
And He has said: And those who are firmly rooted in knowledge say: We believe in it, it is all from our Lord; and none do mind except those having understanding. (Surat Aal 'Imran, 3:7).
And He, the Exalted, has said: Most surely in the creation of heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day there are signs for men who understand. (Surat Aal 'Imran, 3: 190).
And He, the Exalted, has said: Is he then who knows that what has been revealed to you from your Lord is the truth like him who is blind? Only those possessed of understanding will mind. (Surat al-Ra'd, 13:19).
And He, the Exalted, has said: What! He who is obedient during hours of the night, prostrating himself and standing, takes care of the hereafter and hops for the mercy of his Lord! Say: Are those who know and those who do not know alike? Only the men of understanding are mindful. (Surat al-Zumer, 39: 9).
And He, the Exalted, has said: (It is) a Book We have revealed to you abounding in good, that they may ponder over its verses, and that those endowed with understanding may be mindful. (Surat Saad, 38:29).
And He, the Exalted, has said: And certainly We gave Musa the guidance, and We made the children of Israel inherit the Book, a guidance and a reminder to the men of understanding. (Surat Ghafir, 40:53).
And he, the Exalted, has said: And continue to remind, for surely the reminder profits the believers." (Surat al-Dhariyat, 51:55).
Imam Musa, peace be on him, has quoted the sacred verses as evidence for praising the perfect wise and their surpassing over those other than them. Allah, the Exalted, has praised them with the best attributes and given them the highest qualities. We will present a brief explanation of the meaning of the verses, that the quotation of the Imam may be clear.
The first verse indicates that Allah, the Most High, has given to some of His servants’ wisdom that is the greatest gift and the most magnified quality. Concerning its definition it has been said: "It is the knowledge whose use is great and whose advantage is magnificent."
Allah, the Most High, has described those who are gifted with wisdom as ones who are given great good; He has also mentioned that none knows the meaning of wisdom or the Qur'an except the men of understanding.
In the second verse Allah, the Exalted, has described His servants with perfect reason with three attributes:
1. They are firmly rooted in knowledge.
2. They have faith in Allah.
3. They acknowledge that all things are from Allah.22
Allah, the Most High, has decided that those who have these noble attributes are the perfect sane, who are the men of understanding.
As for the third verse, we have previously explained and clarified it.
The fourth verse has criticized those who equalize those who have knowledge of the precepts of the Qur'an and those other than them, though the difference between them is as the difference between the blind and the endowed with eyesight, between the living and the dead.
The fifth verse displays the difference between him who spends the night in obeying Allah and other than him who spends his times in amusement centers and pleasures, and turns away from mentioning the Name of Allah; therefore, how are they equal?
The sixth verse says that the wise Qur'an has great secrets, magnificent knowledge, and illustrious verses, so Allah has revealed it to His servants that they may ponder over it and understand it, but the verse has shown that only those with sound reason carefully consider it.
The seven verse indicates that Allah, the Most High, made the children of Israel inherit the Book and know it by heart; He granted that to them, that it might be guidance and reminder for the possessors of intellects.
In the eighth verse Allah has addressed His Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, to continue reminding men and not to pay attention to the ignorant who do not understand and ponder over his summons.
The verse indicates that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, had to elaborate on spreading teaching and spiritual forces, and that none would make use of that except the believers. Imam Musa, peace be on him, has said: "O Hisham, most surely Allah, the exalted, says in His Book:
Most surely there is a reminder in this for him who has a heart-i.e. reason. Qur'an., (Surat Qaaf, 50:37).
And He, the Most High, has said: And certainly We gave wisdom to Luqman-i.e. understanding and reason." (Surat Luqman, 31:12).
Imam Musa, peace be on him, has mentioned that the word heart has been mentioned in the first verse does not mean the special organ available in man and all animals. Rather it means the reason that perceives total and partial meanings and knows the realities of things; indeed it is man's spiritual entity.
The second verse refers to the boon Allah, the Exalted, bestowed upon Luqman, for Allah had given him wisdom, which was the greatest and most magnificent boon.
Then Imam Musa, peace be on him, began reciting to Hisham Luqman's wise sayings and commandments, saying: "O Hisham, most surly Luqman has said to his son: 'Be humble to the truth and you be the sanest of all the people; the sane during (saying) the truth are few. O my little son, most surely, the world is a deep sea in which many people have drowned.
Therefore, your ship therein should be fear of Allah, its loading should be faith (in Allah), its sail should be reliance (on Him), its guardian should be reason, its guide should be knowledge, and its helm should be patience.'"
In his speech, Imam Musa, peace be on him, has mentioned the commandments of Luqman, who advised his son to be humble to the truth, which is that man should see that he has no existence except through the truth, that he or other than him has no force except through Allah.
Humbleness is the best deed; it has been narrated on the authority of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family that he has said: "Whoever is proud, Allah lowers him; and whoever is humble for Allah, Allah raises him."
Most surely when man gets rid of selfishness and haughtiness, Allah increases him in honor and excellence. Luqman has compared the world to a sea; the point of resemblance is that the world changes, its appearance and conditions change every moment, so the beings on it are like the waves of a see, liable to vanishing and annihilation. Perhaps the point of resemblance is that the world is like the sea over which men pass.
Similarly is the world through which men pass and go to the hereafter; souls wherein are like travelers; the bodies are like ships; the ships carry them from the world to the Abode of Everlastingness; certainly a large number of men drown into the world; they drown into it because they rush upon pleasures; the world is like the sea that brings about drowning and perishing, so there is no salvation and safety from it except through the ship of fear of Allah and righteousness whose sail should be reliance on Allah and dependence on Him in all affairs; likewise there should be reason that is the guardian and captain of this ship; the guidance of reason is knowledge; therefore, the relationship between them is like the relationship between the light and the lamp, the sight and the eye.
In spite of these qualities, man must be patient, for he cannot be close to his Lord except through a strong struggle against his own soul.
Now, let us move to another part of the speech of the Imam, peace be on him, who has said: "Most surely, there is a guide for everything: the guide of reason is reflection; the guide of reflection is silence. There is a mount for everything: the mount of reason is humbleness; enough for your ignorance is that you mount that from which you are prohibited.
"O Hisham, Allah has sent His prophets and apostles to His servants for nothing but to reflect on Him. Therefore the best of them in answer is the best of them in knowledge (of Him). The most knowledgeable of them in the affair of Allah is the best of them in reason; and the most perfect of them in reason is the highest of them in rank in this world and the next."
In his last statement, Imam Musa, peace be on him, has concluded that the prophets are noble and virtuous due to their perfect intellects. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, said to Imam 'Ali, the Commander of the faithful: "O 'Ali, if men seek nearness to Allah through different kinds of good deeds, then you seek nearness to Him through reason, that you may precede them."
Surely, abundant reason is the best thing with which man endowed, for he through it reaches the happiness in this world and wins the hereafter.
Imam Musa, peace be on him, has said: "O Hisham, most surely, Allah has two proofs over men: outward proof and inward one. As for the outward proof, it is the messengers, the prophets, and the Imams. As for the inward proof, it is reason." "O Hisham, most surely, the sane is he whose gratitude is not occupied by the lawful nor does his steadfastness is overcome by the unlawful."
In the last paragraphs of his speech, Imam Musa, peace be on him, has dealt with some states of the wise who are grateful to Allah, the Most High, in spite of the many favors He bestow upon them, and who are steadfast regardless of misfortunes and disasters.
Imam Musa, peace be on him, has said: "O Hisham, whoever empowers three (things) over three (things) is as if that he helped (them) demolish his reason. Whoever makes dark the light of his reflection through his drawn out expectations, erases his original wisdom with his surplus speech, and puts out the light of his learning a lesson with his own pleasures as if that he helped his desire demolish his reason. Whoever demolishes his reason spoils his religion and his life in this world."
In his speech, the Imam has mentioned that man has two different forces; they are reason and low desire; each of them has three qualities that contradict the other ones. As for the qualities of reason, they are: reflection, wisdom, and learning a lesson (from experiences); as for the qualities of the low desire, they are: drawn out expectations, surplus speech, and indulgence in pleasures.
As for the drawn out expectations in the world, they prevent man from reflecting on the affairs of the hereafter and make him desirous of the affairs of this world; this is the meaning of Imam Musa's speech: "Makes dark the light of his reflection through his drawn out expectations." Most surely, drawn out expectations make darkness replace the light of reflection and veil reason from moving about in the good field.
As for the surplus speech, it erases the original wisdom from soul. As for the indulgence in pleasures and devotion to desires, they blind the heart, take away the light of faith, and remove the light of the insight and of learning lessons (from experiences).
Therefore, whoever empowers these three evil qualities over his own soul, certainly help them demolish his own reason; whoever demolishes his reason, and certainly spoils his religion and his life in this world. Imam Musa, peace be on him, has said: "O Hisham, how do your deeds grow with Allah while you have diverted your heart from the Command of your Lord and obeyed your low desire due to your overcome reason?
"O Hisham, steadfastness during loneliness is a sign of strong reason. So whoever has knowledge of Allah, isolates himself from the people of this world and those who crave after it, desires that which is with Allah. Allah is his bosom friend during loneliness, enriches him during poverty, and exalts him without a clan.
"O Hisham, the truth has been found for the obedience to Allah; no salvation except with obedience; obedience is through knowledge; knowledge is through learning; learning becomes firm and strong through reason; no knowledge except from a divine scholar; the knowledge of science is through reason.
“O Hisham, little work from a scholar is doubly accepted; much work from the men of low desire and ignorance is refused." Imam Musa, peace be on him, means that little work performed by a scholar is accepted; the reason for that is that knowledge clarifies hearts, purifies souls and makes man know Allah, the Exalted.
And the excellence of every deed is equal to its effect on clarifying the heart, removing veils and darkness from the soul; it is different according to persons. Perhaps little work is enough for clarifying a person's soul due to his gentle nature and his thin veils. Perhaps the good deeds that issue from a person has no effect on clearing the soul of the person himself due to his rude nature and the thick veils covering his soul.
Imam Musa, peace be on him, has said: "O Hisham, most surely, the sane is satisfied with the small thing of the world along with wisdom and is not satisfied with a little thing of wisdom along with the world, so his bargain brings gain. "O Hisham, most surely, the sane leave the surplus of the world; just imagine how much more sins are! Renouncing the world is of excellence; giving up sins is of (the religious) duty."
He, peace be on him, has said: "O Hisham, most surely, the sane carefully consider the world and its inhabitants and come to know that it cannot be attained except through hardship. They carefully consider the hereafter and come to know that it cannot be obtained except through hardship, so they seek through hardship the more permanent one.
"O Hisham, most surely, the sane turn away from the world and desire for the hereafter, for they know that the world is a requester and in request; the hereafter is a requester and in request. So whoever requests the hereafter, the world requests him till he takes his livelihood in full from it; whoever requests the world, the hereafter requests him and death comes to him and spoils his life in this world and in the next."
As for explaining the statement of the Imam, peace be on him: "The world is a requester and in request," it is that the world delivers the apportioned livelihood to those who are in it; in this meaning it is a requester. As for that it is in request, it is that its inhabitants strive to attain the boons wherein.
As for that the hereafter is a requester, it is that death comes and the inevitable fixed term happens to all those who are in the world, so it requests them in order to carry them from the world to it. As for that the hereafter is in request, it is that its righteous inhabitants strive to perform good deeds, that they may be safe from the punishment and the censure.
The Imam, peace be on him, has said: "O Hisham, whoever wants riches with out money, the rest of the heart of envy, and safety in religion, then he should implore Allah, the Great and Almighty, and ask Him to perfect his reason. So whoever becomes sane is content with that which suffices him. Whoever is content with that which suffices him becomes rich; and whoever is not content with that which suffices him never attains riches.
"O Hisham, most surely, Allah has given an account of the people of Salih, who have said: Our Lord, make not our hearts to deviate after You have guided us aright, and grant us from You mercy; surely You are the most liberal Giver. That was when they came to know that their hearts deviated and returned to their blindness and badness.
Surely whoever has no knowledge of Allah does not fear Allah. Whoever has no knowledge of Allah does not fasten his heart to the firm knowledge he sees and whose reality he finds in his heart. None is so except him whose deeds are in agreement with his words and his inward confirms his outward; that is because Allah, May His Name be Great, has not shown the hidden, inward part of reason except through a manifest part of it and a speaker on its behalf."
In his last statements, the Imam, peace be on him, has referred to that if a believer's heart is not illuminated by the Light of Allah and his reason is not rightly-guided by the guidance of Allah, he is not safe from deviation and apostasy after his adopting Islam. The Holy Qur'an has referred to this phenomenon; Allah, the Most High, has said:
That is because they believe, then disbelieve, so a seal is set upon their hearts. (63:3)
And He, the Exalted, has said:
And whoever of you turns back from his religion, then he dies while unbeliever.(2:217)
For this reason the righteous always ask Allah not to deviate their hearts and not to go astray from His religion, for, according to its formation and structure, human soul is not safe from Satan's whisperings and delusions, and especially when it is not granted success to avoid them.
Imam Musa, peace be on him, has said: "O Hisham, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, has said: 'Allah is not served through a thing better than reason. Man's reason is not perfect unless it has various qualities: unbelief and evil from him are safe. Reason and good from him are hoped. The surplus of his money is spent. The surplus of his speech is prevented.
His share of the world is only daily bread. He is not full of knowledge throughout his lifetime. Abasement along with Allah is more beloved to him than exaltedness along with other than Him. Humbleness is more beloved to him than high rank. He regards as much the little good from other than him and as little his own good. He sees that all men better than him, and that he is the most wicked of them in his soul. This is the perfect affair."
Giving as proof of the meaning of his speech, Imam Musa, peace be on him, has quoted the speech of his grandfather, Imam 'Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, in which he has mentioned the qualities of the sane and the characteristics of their deeds. Imam Musa, peace be on him, has said: "O Hisham, the rational do not tell lies even if their interests are in them.
"O Hisham, he who has no reason has no manhood; and that the greatest of men in importance is he who does not see that the world is important for himself. As for that your bodies have no value except the Garden; therefore do not sell them for other than it." The explanation of what the Imam, peace be on him, has mentioned in his speech, "As for that your bodies have no value except the Garden; therefore do not sell them for other than it," is that it is inappropriate to sell the bodies for something other than the garden.
The author of the book al-Wafee has narrated from his teacher an explanation to the statement of the Imam; the text of the explanation is as follows: "Surely, bodies decrease day by day; and that is because the souls from them head for another world, so if the soul is happy, then the purpose of one's effort in this world and the devotion of his bodily life are for Allah, glory belongs to Him, and for the comfort of the Gardens.
That is because he follows the way of guidance and righteousness as if that he sold his body for the Garden as a bargain with Allah, the Most High, and for this reason Allah has created him. If it (the soul) is unhappy, then the purpose of his effort and the devotion of his fixed term and his life span is for associating with Satan and the chastisement of the fires.
That is because he follows the way of error as if that he sold his body for the perishing lusts and animal pleasures that will become burning fires, that are today hidden and concealed from the senses of the inhabitants of the world, and that will appear on the Day of Judgment,
And the hell shall be made manifest to him who sees, as a bargain with Satan; and those who treated (it) as a lie were lost.(79:36)"23
Imam Musa, peace be on him, has said: "O Hisham, surely the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, has said: 'Surely, among the qualities of the sane is that he must have three qualities: He answers when he is questioned. He utters when the people fall short of speaking. And he suggests an opinion that sets right his people. So whoever has nothing of these three qualities, then he is foolish.
"Surely, the Commander of the faithful (Imam 'Ali), peace be on him, has said: 'None sits in front of the assembly except the one who has these three qualities or one of them. If he has nothing of them and sits (in front of the assembly), then he is foolish.' "Al-Hasan b. 'Ali, peace be on him, has said: 'If you request the needs, then request them from those qualified to them.' He was asked: 'Who are those qualified to them?' 'Those of whom Allah has given an account in His Book and mentioned them: Only those possessed of understanding will mind.(14:52)' He has said: 'They are the possessors of intellects.'
"And 'Ali b. al-Husayn, peace be on him, has said: 'Sitting with the righteous brings about righteousness; the morals of (religious) scholars increase reason; obeying the just rulers perfects exaltedness; investing money perfects generosity; guiding the seeker of advice fulfilling boons; refraining from harm completes reason and relieves the body sooner or later.
"O Hisham, surely the sane do not talk with him who accuses them of lying. They do not ask him who prevents them. They do not promise that which they do not fulfill. They do not hope for that through which they are scolded. And they do not undertake that which they miss because they have no ability (to undertake it)."
In the last paragraphs Imam Musa, peace be on him, has referred to the determination and caution in respect with their words, their honor and position, and their undertaking that which they do not attain.
This excellent message has come to an end according to the narration of Thiqat al-Islam Shaykh al-Kulayni.24 In his book Tuhaf al-Uqool al-Hasan b. 'Ali al-Harrani has mentioned an addition to the above-mentioned message; whereas al-Kulayni has neglected the addition. We have decided to quote some paragraphs of it without any commentary preferring brevity and completing advantage; and that is up to readers.
Imam Musa, peace be on him, has said: "Whoever prevents himself from the honors of men, Allah will release him from his stumble on the Day of Judgment; he who suppresses his fury toward men, Allah will suppress His fury toward him on the Day of Judgment.
”O Hisham, it has been found in the sword of Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family: 'The most insolent in Allah's sight is he who hits other than him who hits him, and kills other than him who kills him. Whoever follows other than his follower, then he disbelieves in that which Allah has revealed to Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family. Whoever originates a heresy or lodges a heretic, Allah will accept from him neither a favor nor a compensation on the Day of Judgment.'
"O Hisham, the best thing through which the servant seek nearness to Allah after knowledge of Him is (performing) prayers, obedience to the parents, giving up envy, vainglory, and pride.
"O Hisham, set right your day that is before you; think which a day it will be and prepare an answer for it, for most surely you will be stood and questioned. Learn a lesson from the time and its people. Ponder over the changes and states of time, for most surely the future part of the life in this world is just like the part of it that has passed; therefore, take an example from it.
'Ali b. al-Husayn, peace be on him, has said: 'Surely all that over which the sun rises in the east of the earth, its west, its sea, its land, its plain, and its mountains is like a shade in the sight of a friend of Allah's and of men of knowledge of Allah's right.' Then he has said: 'Is there a free man who leaves the world for its inhabitants, for there is no value for your souls except the Garden; therefore, do not sell them for other than it. For whoever is satisfied with the world instead of Allah, then he is satisfied with the mean.'
"O Hisham, most surely all men see the stars, but none follows them but those who know their movements and stages; and similarly you study wisdom, but none of you follow it except those who put it into practice.
"O Hisham, it is written in the Bible: 'Blessed are those who have mercy upon each other; these are upon whom Allah will have mercy on the Day of Judgment. Blessed are those whose hearts are purified; these are who fear the Day of Judgment. Blessed are the humble in the world; these are who will ascend the pulpits of the Kingdom on the Day of Judgment.
"O Hisham, little speech is great wisdom; therefore, stick to silence, for leaving it is a good deed; the little of it is a burden; the light of it is among the sins. Therefore, fortify the door of clemency, for surely the door to it is patience. Allah, the Great and Almighty detests the one who laughs without a reason and the one who walks for no need.
The ruler should be like a shepherd; he should not be heedless of his subjects nor should he show haughtiness toward them. Therefore, feel shame of Allah in secret just as you feel shame of men in public. Know that a wise word is the believer's object; therefore, stick to knowledge before it is raised; its raising is that your scholar is absent from among you.
"O Hisham, learn of knowledge that which you do not know; teach the ignorant of what you learn; magnify the scholar due to his knowledge and leave disputing with him. Make friends with the ignorant; do not dismiss them, but bring them near (to you) and teach them.
"O Hisham, most surely if you fall short of showing gratitude for a boon, you are in the same position with respect to him who performs an evil deed and you will be punished for that. The commander of the faithful (Imam 'Ali), the blessings of Allah be on him, has said: 'Most surely, Allah has servants whose hearts have been broken by fear of Him and silenced them from utterance.
They are eloquent and sane; they compete with each other for Allah through pure deeds. They do not regard as many the many (deeds they perform) for Him, nor are they satisfied with the few (deeds they perform) for Him; they think that they are wicked while they are sane and pious.
"O Hisham, shamefulness is of faith; faith is in the Garden. Obscenity is of estrangement; estrangement is in the fire. "O Hisham, speakers are three: winner, safe, and perishable. As for the winner, it is he who praises Allah; as for the safe, it is he who keeps silent; and as for the perishable, it is he who enters into falsehood.
Most surely Allah has made the Garden forbidden to every one ill-deed doer, obscene, shameless, paying no attention to what he says and to what is said about him. Abu Dharr, may Allah be pleased with him has said: 'O you who seek knowledge, surely this tongue is a key to good and evil; therefore, set a seal on your mouth just as you set a seal on your gold and bills.
"O Hisham, bad is the servant who is double-faced and tongued, praises his brother when he sees him, backbites him when he is absent from him, envies him when he is given, and deserts him when he is afflicted with a misfortune. Surely the quickest of good in reward is kindness; the quickest of evil in punishment is aggression; the most wicked of Allah's servants is he with whom you dislike to sit down due to his obscenity.
Men shall be thrown on their faces into the fire because of their obscene words; part of one's good Islam is that he should leave that which does not concern him. "O Hisham, man is not a believer unless he is fearful and hopeful; he is not fearful and hopeful unless he performs (good) deeds for Him Whom he fears and hopes.
"O Hisham, Allah, the Great and Almighty, has said: 'I swear by My might, My exaltedness, My greatness, My power, My radiance, and My highness in My place, if a servant prefers My desire to his desire, I will place riches in his soul, make him take care of his life in the hereafter, stretch out My hand to him during his loss, the heavens and the earth will guarantee his provision, and I will be for him from behind the trade of every trader.
"O Hisham, stick to gentleness, for, most surely, gentleness is a blessing, and foolishness is ill-omen. Most surely, gentleness, piety, and good manners make houses flourishing and increase daily bread.
"O Hisham, these words of Him, the Exalted: Is the reward of goodness is aught but goodness? Concern the pious and the wicked; whoever is done a favor, he should reward for it. The reward is not that you do a favor as he does a favor, that you may see your favor. If you do a favor as he does, then the favor belongs to him due to the beginning.
"O Hisham, the world is just like a snake-a soft thing to touch but a deadly poison is in its head; men with understanding guard against it but boys swoop down on it with their hands.
”O Hisham, be patient to obedience to Allah, and be patient to acts of disobedience to Allah, for the life in the world is an hour. You find neither delight nor sadness in the part of it that passes, and you do not know that part of it that will come. Therefore, be patient to that hour and you will be delighted.
"O Hisham, the world is just like the water of a sea; the more the thirsty drinks of it, the thirstier he is until it kills him.
”O Hisham, beware of pride, for whoever has in his heart a little bit of pride does not enter the Garden; pride is the garment of Allah, so whoever disputes with Him over His garment, He will throw him down on his face into the fire
"O Hisham, whoever does not reckon himself every day does not belong to us; if he performs good deed, he must increase it; if he performs evil deeds, he must ask Allah to forgive him of it and turn in repentance to Him.
"O Hisham, the world appeared before al-Maseeh, peace be on him, in the image of a blue woman, and he asked her: 'How many husband have you married?' 'Many,' she answered. 'Have they all divorced you?' he asked her. 'Rather, I have killed them all,' she replied. 'So, woe unto the rest of your husbands! Why do they not learn a lesson from the past?' he asked her.
"O Hisham, surely the eye is the light of the body; if the eye is luminous, the whole of the body seeks light (from it); the light of soul is reason; if the servant is sane, he has knowledge of his Lord; if he has knowledge of his Lord, he knows his religion; if he has no knowledge of his Lord, he does not establish His religion; the body does not last except through a living soul, similarly the religion does not last except through a true intention; the true intention is not firm except through reason.
"O Hisham, surely plants grow in a plain and do not grow in solid rocks; similarly, wisdom grow in the heart of the humble and do not grow in the heart of the proud and tyrannical. That is because Allah has regarded humbleness as the tool of reason and regarded pride as the tool of ignorance.
Do you not know that whoever raises his head high towards a ceiling, he breaks it; and that whoever lowers his head, he shades himself under it, and it covers him? Likewise whoever does not behave humbly before Allah, Allah lowers him; and whoever behaves humbly before Allah; he raises him.
"O Hisham, how an ugly poverty after riches is! How ugly offence after piety is! The uglier than that is the servant who serves Allah and then he leaves serving Him!
"O Hisham, life is not good except for two men: an aware listener, and a speaking scholar.
”O Hisham, nothing better than reason has been apportioned among mankind; the sleep of the sane is better than the staying up at night of the ignorant.
"O Hisham, Allah's Apostle has said: 'When you see a believer keep very silent, seek nearness to him, for his delivers wisdom; a believer speaks a little bit and works very much; a hypocrite speaks a lot and works a little bit.
"O Hisham, Allah revealed to Dawud, peace be on him, to say to His servants: 'They should not place between Me and them a (religious) scholar fascinated by the world. For he turns them away from My reminder, the way of love for Me and of performing whispered prayers to Me. They are the highway men from among My servants; the least thing I will do toward them is that I will take away from their hearts the sweet love for Me and performing whispered prayers to Me.
"O Hisham, whoever feels haughtiness in himself, the angels of the heaven and the earth curse him; whoever shows pride and impudence toward his brothers, he opposes Allah; whoever claims that which he does not have, he yields (to something) other than his reason.
"O Hisham, Allah, the Most High, revealed to Dawud: 'O Dawud, warn your companions against loving desires, for those who have clung to the desires in the world, their hearts have been veiled from Me.
"O Hisham, be ware of showing pride toward My friends and of being insolent through your knowledge. Therefore, Allah detests you, so your life in this world and the next will not benefit you after His showing detestation toward you; be in this world like him who lives in a house that does not belong to him; rather he waits for a departure.
"O Hisham, sitting with the men of religion is an honor in this world and the next. Consulting a loyal, sane (person) is a good fortune, blessing, right guidance, and success from Allah; therefore, when a loyal, wise person gives you a piece of advice, then beware of opposing (him), for in that is the ruin.
"O Hisham, beware of associating with men and of being intimate with them, but when you find sane and trustworthy from among them, then associate with them, and escape from the rest of them just as you escape from predatory animals. When the sane performs a deed, he should feel shame of Allah.
When He (Allah) singles him for boons, he must let someone other than him take part in them. When you faces two affairs and you do not know which one is good and correct, then think of which one is nearer to your desire and oppose it, for many correct things result from your opposing your desires; beware of seeking wisdom and placing it among the ignorant."
Hisham asked the Imam: "If I find a man seeking wisdom but his reason have no capacity for it?" "Then gently advise him. If his heart becomes narrow, then do not subject yourself to an affection." Then the Imam elaborated on his speech, saying: "Beware of the response of the haughty, for knowledge is abased when it is dictated to him who does not understand."
"If I do not find him who questions me of it?" asked Hisham. "Then make use of his being ignorant of questioning (you) of it, that you may be safe from the affection of the statement and the great affection of the answer. Know that Allah do not raise the humble according to their humbleness, but He raises them according to His Greatness and Glory.
He does not make the fearful safe according to their fear (of Him), but He makes them safe according to his generosity and munificence. He does not gladden the sad according to their sadness, but according to His compassion and mercy. Therefore, what is then your idea about the Most Forgiving, the Merciful, Who forgives him who shows enmity toward Him; just imagine how much more is (the reward of) him who seeks His good pleasure and chooses the enmity of the creation for Him.
"O Hisham, whoever loves the world, the fear of the hereafter goes from his heart. When a servant is given knowledge and he increases his love for the world, he increases his farness from Allah, and Allah increases his anger against him.
"O Hisham, surely the wise, sane man is he who leaves that which he cannot do; much correctness is in opposing mean desires; whoever draws out his expectations performs evil deeds.”O Hisham, if you saw the course of the fixed term (death), you would forget (your) expectations.
"O Hisham, beware of greed; you must be hopeless of that which in the hands of men; deaden greed from the creatures. For surely greed is the key to humiliation; it embezzles reason, wears out manhood, defiles honor, and takes away knowledge. You must resort to your Lord and rely on Him. Struggle against your own soul, that you may repel it from its mean desires, for (such a struggle) is an obligation on you just as the struggle against your enemy."
Hisham asked him, which enemy is the most obligatory in struggle (jihad) (The Imam answered): "The nearest of them to you and the greatest of them in showing hostility to you, the most harmful of them to you, the greatest of them in showing enmity toward you, the most hidden of them in person to you in spite of his nearness to you. He who provokes your enemies against you is Iblis (Satan) who is entrusted with whispering into the hearts (of men).
Therefore, your enmity toward him should be intense. He must not be more patient in struggling against you to destroy you than you in struggling against him, for he is weaker than you in his strength, and less in harm through his much evil. If you resort to Allah, then you will follow the right path.
"O Hisham, he whom Allah ennobles with three (things), then He is gentle to him: Reason suffices him the burden of his mean desires, knowledge suffices him the burden of his ignorance, and riches suffices him the fear of poverty.
"O Hisham, guard against this world and guard against its inhabitants. For the men wherein are of four kinds: a bad man embracing his mean desires; a learner and reciter (of the Qur'an), the more he increases in knowledge the more he increases in haughtiness; He shows superiority through his recitation and knowledge toward those who are inferior to him; and an ignorant worshipper who makes little of those who are inferior to him in his worship, he wants them to respect and magnify him; and the possessor of insight who is learned and knowledgeable of the way of the truth he loves to undertake, but he is incapable or overcome; so he cannot undertake that which he knows; therefore he is sad and grieved out of that, while he is the most outstanding of the people of his time and the most notable of them in reason."25
This is the end of these valuable commandments containing the fundamentals of the virtues, morals, the rules of conduct, and ethics. The Imam has placed in them general programs that set right individual and social life.
Yet another example of Imam Musa's valuable legacy is his treatise of the Oneness of Allah; it is, though brief, supported with some theological proofs of the existence of Allah, the Most High, and of explaining His positive and negative attributes. This treatise is, as the historians have reported, an answer to a letter sent to him by al-Fath b. 'Abd Allah, asking him about that, so he, peace be on him, has answered him as follows:
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Praise belongs to Allah, Who has inspired His praise to His servants, made them know His Lordship by nature, proven His existence through His creatures, given his signs as proof of His power, whose Selfness abstains from attributes, whose figure eyes cannot see, Whom imaginations cannot encompass.
There is no period for His existence and there is no limit for his staying. Feelings do not include him and veils do not veil him. The veil between Him and them is His creation for them; that is because it is impossible to that which in their selfness. His (selfness) abstains from possible (attributes); there is a difference between the Creator and the created, Limiter and the limited, Lord and a vassal.
(He is) the One without interpreting counting. He is the Creator not in the sense of movement, the All-seeing not through an instrument the All-hearing not in need of an instrument, the Witness not through touching, the Hidden not through covering (Himself with a veil), the Manifest and the Clear not through the wideness of a distance. It is impossible for intellects to ponder over His eternity.
His staying deters ambitious reason (from understanding Him); sharp eyes fail before his core; His existence overcomes occupying imaginations. The beginning of religion is to know Him; the perfection of knowledge of Him lies in (the acknowledgement of) His Unity, the perfection of His Unity is the denial of attributes from Him.
(This is) because of the testimony (of the reason) that the description is other than the described, that the described is other than the description; (this is) because they both bear witness that this is a comparison that is impossible to the Eternal. So whoever describes Allah certainly limits Him; whoever limits Him certainly accounts him; whoever accounts him invalidates His eternity. Whoever says 'how' asks Him to be described. Whoever says 'in what' includes Him. Whoever says 'on what' has no knowledge of Him.
Whoever says 'where' (regards all places as) void of Him. Whoever says 'what is He' depicts Him. Whoever says 'how long' gives Him a period (of time). He is knowledgeable when was nothing known; Creator when was nothing created; Lord when was nothing a vassal. Such is described our Lord; and (He is) far above that through which the describers describe Him.26
This letter full of the fundamentals and rules of the Oneness of Allah has come to an end. Many of its words has been narrated on the authority of Imam 'Ali, the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him. Any way, the words of the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt resembles each other in theology, for they established its rules, its fundamentals, its evidence, and its proofs.
This science has been known through them; its fundamentals and rules have been taken from them.
Al-Bida' is a vague, complicated, theological subject matter. The Muslims have differed over it. The Shi'a have unanimously agreed that it is correct, and that they have to adopt it. The Sunnis have denied it and criticized the Shi'a for it and regarded it as among the criticisms facing their ideological entity.
Perhaps, the reason for this, as we think, is that they have not objectively understood the meaning and reality of al-Bida' the Shi'a maintain. So they have criticized them for it. It is necessary for us to pause to deal with it before we present the Imam's opinion concerning it.
In the language al-Bida'-an extended noun (isim mamdud)-has been derived from al-budu meaning manifestation; and it is a name of a fresh, new opinion which its owner approves and prefers to his first opinion.27
In the tradition: "It seems to Allah, the Great and Almighty, that He is going to try them." That is to say that He has decreed that; and that is the meaning of al-Bida'.28
The Shi'a have maintained al-Bida', and the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them, have declared it; it has been reported that they have said: "Allah has not been served through a thing like al-Bida'."
The great scholars have established through sufficient proofs the possibility and necessity of conforming to it, but not in a general meaning, just as we will explain it. Among those who have objectively and inclusively discussed it is Ayat Allah al-'Uzma al-Sayyid Abu al-Qasim al-Khu'i; he has decided it in his research and written it in his Bayan.
We will mention the text of what he has written in his al-Bayan. He has said: "Al-Bida' in which the Imami Shi'a believe lies in the evitable decree. As for the inevitable (decree), it does not stay behind. It is necessary that the will associates with that which the decree associates. The explanation to that is in three parts:
"The first is Allah's decree of which He informs none of His creatures, and the stored knowledge He has possessed alone. Without doubt al-Bida' does not lie in this part; rather it has been mentioned in many traditions reported on the authority of Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them, that al-Bida' arises from this knowledge.
"In his al-'Uyyun, al-Shaykh al-Saduq has narrated on the authority of al-Hasan b. Muhammad al-Nawfali that al-Ridha’, peace be on him, said to Sulayman al-Merwazi: 'I have reported on the authority of Abi 'Abd Allah (al-Sadiq), peace be on him, that he said: 'Surely Allah, the Great and Almighty, has two kinds of knowledge: stored and hidden knowledge none knows except He; al-Bida' is of that.
The knowledge He taught to His angels and His apostles, so the scholars from among the House of your Prophet know it. "In Basa'ir al-Darajat al-Shaykh Muhammad b. al-Hasan al-Saffar has narrated on the authority of Abi Baseer on the authority of Abi 'Abd Allah, who said:
''Surely Allah has two kinds of knowledge: stored and hidden knowledge none knows except He; al-Bida' is of that. The knowledge he taught to His angels and His apostles and His prophets; and we know it.29 "The second is Allah's decree of which He told His Prophet and His angels that it would certainly happen; without doubt al-Bida' is also not of this part, though it is different from the first part that al-Bida' does not arise from it.
Al-Ridha’, peace be on him, said to Sulayman al-Merwazi in the above-mentioned tradition reported by al-Saduq: "'Ali said: 'Knowledge is of two kinds: a kind of knowledge Allah taught to His angels and apostles, so what He taught to His angels and apostle would be; He neither deceives Himself nor His angels nor His apostles; and there is with Him a kind of knowledge stored of which He informs none of His creatures; He advances what He pleases and delays what He pleases; He makes to pass away and establishes what He pleases.'"30
Al-'Ayyashi reported on the authority of al-Fudayl, who said: 'I heard Abu Ja'far (al-Sadiq) say: 'Among the affairs are the affairs that certainly happens. Among the affairs are the affairs that concerns Allah, of which He advances, makes to pass away, and establishes what He pleases; He informs none of that. As for that which the apostles brought, it would be. He neither deceives Himself nor His Prophet nor His angels.
The third is the decree about whose occurrence in outside Allah told His Prophet and His angels, but it depends on that Allah's will does not associate with something contrary to it; al-bida' happens in this part (according to His words):
Allah makes to pass away and establishes what He pleases, and with Him is the basis of the Book. Allah's is the command before and after.(13:39)"
His Eminence (al-Sayyid al-Khu'i) has concluded that al-Bida' in which the Shi'a believe is the third part of the decree according to a group of traditions reported on the authority of Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them. After that he has added a full explanation to the reality of al-Bida', saying: "Al-Bida' is in the dependent decree called the tablet of making to pass away and establishing.
Conforming to the possibility of al-Bida' does not require ascribing ignorance to Allah, the Most Glorious. In this conforming to al-Bida' there is nothing opposing His Greatness and Majesty. Maintaining al-Bida' is the frank confession that the world is under the sovereignty of Allah and His power over creating and preserving it, and that the will is valid in things eternally and always.
Rather through maintaining al-Bida' the difference between the Divine knowledge and that of the creatures is clear, for the knowledge of the creatures, though they are prophets or testamentary trustees, does not encompass that which the knowledge of Allah, the Most High, encompasses, for surely some of them- though they are knowledgeable, through Allah's teaching them, of all the worlds of the possible things-do not encompass that which Allah's stored knowledge, which He alone possesses, encompasses, for they do not know the will of Allah. For there is a thing-or His non-will except when Allah, the Exalted, tell them in a certain manner.
Maintaining al-Bida' requires that the servant devotes himself to Allah, asks Him to grant his supplication, to suffices his concerns, to give him success to the acts of obedience, and to send him away from disobeying him. Therefore, denying al-Bida' and conforming to that what the pen of decree writes certainly, without any exception, requires the believer's despair in this belief of granting his supplication.
For most surely what the servant requests from his Lord, though the pen of decree writes putting it into effect, certainly is, and there is no need of supplication and imploring; and if the pen writes something contrary to it, it will never occur, and supplication and imploring will never benefit him.
When the servant is hopeless of granting his supplication, he will leave imploring his Creator, for it is useless; similarly are the acts of worship and alms concerning which it has been reported on the authority of the infallible (Imams), peace be on them, that they increase lifetime, livelihood, and other things the servant demands.31
After this (explanation), Sayyid al-Khu'i has confirmed his opinions through (some Qur'anic) verses and traditions reported by both sides (i.e. the Sunnis and the Shi'ites) in respect with the necessity of al-Bida' and the requirement of maintaining it.
This is the opinion of the Shi'ites of al-Bida', just as it has been mentioned by Ayat Allah al-Khu'i. Their opinion is frank and manifest; evidence and proof require its correctness.
Al-Bida' in which the Shi'a believe, just as we have mentioned, does not deviate from the scientific rules and does not oppose the Islamic rules, but their opponents criticize them for it; they explain al-Bida' with an explanation different from what the Shi'a think. The following is a brief account of some criticizers:
Al-Shahristani has narrated the following from Sulayman b. Jareer, who has said: "Surely the Imams of the Rafidites (the Shi'ites) have put two beliefs for their followers-the first is the belief in al-Bida'. So when they say: the affair of its imminence will be for them then the affair is not according to what they had said, they will say: Allah, the Exalted, has an opinion of it.
"Concerning it (al-Bida') Zarara b. A'yun has composed poetry:
"These are signs come in their time, and you have no way (other than) what Allah ordains.”
“Were it not for al-Bida', I will call him not past and describe al-Bida' with a description for him who changes.
"Were it not for al-Bida', He was not and then He acted freely and was like the fire that always flamed.
"The second is (practicing) the precautionary dissimulation (taqiyya), so whenever they want a thing, they talk about it; and when it is said to them: this is a mistake, they say: We had said it out of (practicing) the precautionary dissimulation (taqiyya)."32
Explaining these words of Him, the Exalted: Allah makes to pass away and establishes what He pleases, and with Him is the basis of the Book (13:39), al-Fakhr al-Razi has said: (The Rafidites have said :) "It is permissible for Allah (to practice) al-Bida', that means that He believes a thing, then the affair appears to him in a manner different from that which he believes."33
Dr. Ahmed Ameen has said: "We have seen that some Shi'ites maintain al-Bida' the Jews have denied. The earliest one to maintain it was al-Mukhtar b. Abi 'Ubayd, who summoned (the people to follow) Muhammad b. al-Hanafiya. Al-Shahristani has said: 'Al-Mukhtar maintained al-Bida' because he claimed that he had knowledge of the occurrence of the circumstances either through an inspiration inspired to him or through a letter from the Imam. If he promised his companions that something would happen and it happened as he had predicted, he used it as proof of his truthful claim; and if it had not happened just as he had predicted, he would have said: 'Your Lord has an opinion of it.' He did not differentiate between the abrogation and al-Bida'; so if abrogation was permissible in the (religious) precepts, then al-Bida' is permissible in the traditions (akhbar).'
Many Shi'ites believe in the doctrine of al-Bida' and used it in many of their historical subject matters; and one of their Imams has said: 'Allah is not served (through a belief) better than al-Bida'.' For it opens the door to repentance in seeking forgiveness from Allah; and the Jews were the strongest to oppose al-Bida'."34
These people have criticized the Shi'a for their maintaining al-Bida', but they have no opinion near to reality, that is because they do not understand the reality of al-Bida' in which the Shi'a believe.
The Jews were the first to deny and change al-Bida'. They believe that when the pen of ordinance and decree wrote the things in eternity, it was impossible for the will to associate with (something) opposite and contrary to it. For this reason they have said: "Allah's hand is tied up from expansion and contraction, taking and giving; that is because the pen of the ordinance wrote it; therefore change and alternation is impossible in it."
Imam Musa has talked about al-bida' during his talk with al-Mu'alla b. Muhammad, who asked him about how Allah knew things, so he answered him with an answer in which he dealt with the most important phiosophical and theological subject matters.
He, peace be on him, has said:
"He (Allah) knew and willed, desired and ordained, decreed and carried out, so He carried out what He decreed, decreed what He ordained, and ordained what He desired. Therefore through His knowledge was the will, through His will was the desire, through His desire was the ordinance, through His ordinance was the decree, and through His decree was the carrying out.
Knowledge precedes the will; the will is the second; the desire is the third. The ordinance is resting on the decree through carrying out. Therefore, to Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, belongs al-bida' in what He knows when He wills and in what He desires for ordaining the things. So when the decree happens though carrying out, then there is no bida'.
Therefore, the knowledge of the known before it is; the will in the willed before it becomes material; the desire in the desired before fulfilling it, the preordainance of these known things before detailing and connecting them in material and time; and the decree through the carrying out is the final (one) from among the done (things) with bodies perceived through the senses from among (the things) endowed with color, wind, weight, measure; and those that creep and toddle from among mankind and jinn, birds and animals and other than that from among that which perceived through the senses.
So to Allah, the Exalted, belongs al-bida' in respect with them from among that which has no material; therefore when the material, the understood, the perceived happen, then there will be no bida'; and Allah does what He pleases. Thus, through knowledge He knows the things before they are.
Through the will He knows their attributes and their limits; and He creates them before showing them. Through the desire He distinguishes their beings in their colors and attributes. Through the ordainment He ordains their nourishment and knows their first and their last.
Through the decree He explains to men their places and lead them to them. Through the carrying out He describes them and clarifies their affairs; and that is the ordinance of the Mighty, the Knowing.(6:96; 36:38)"
This speech full of the most wonderful and ambiguous, theological topics has come to an end; therein the Imam has explained the stage of Allah's knowledge where al-bida' happen. We have previously explained that.
When souls are full of faith in Allah, they are clear from sins and are safe from deviation; through faith justice and love prevail (society), virtue and affection spread, all kinds of social vices such as oppression, deception, and aggression come to an end.
Allah sent the prophets and the apostles to His servants to plant in their souls this noble quality. Imam Musa has spoken of faith and preferred it to all kinds of deeds; that was when a person asked him and he answered him, saying:
-O Scholar, tell me: Which deed is the best in Allah's sight?
-That which his deed is not accepted except through it.
-And what is that?
-Faith in Allah, which is the highest of deeds in degree, the fullest of them in share, and the noblest of them in rank.
-Tell me of faith: Is it words and deeds or words without deeds?
-The whole of faith is deed; and words are of that deed according to an obligation from Allah; it is manifest in His Book; its light is clear; the proof of it is firm; the Book bears witness for it and summons (men) to it.
-Describe that to me that I may understand it.
-Surely faith has states, degrees, layers, and positions: of it is fully complete, of it is manifestly incomplete, and of it is outweighingly additional.
-Is faith complete, incomplete, and additional?
-Yes. -How is that?
-Surely Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, has made faith obligatory on man's limbs, divided it on them, and distributed it on them. Each of his (man's) limbs is entrusted with part of faith other than that with which its sister has been entrusted. Of them is his reason, through which he realizes, grasps, and understands, and which is a commander over his body through which limbs bring and send (nothing) except through its opinion and command.
Of them are his two hands through which he strikes sharply, his two legs with which he walks, his pudenda which incites him, his two eyes through which he sees, and his two ears through which he hears. He (Allah) has imposed (a kind of faith) on heart other than that which He has imposed on the tongue, imposed on the tongue other than that He has imposed on the two eyes, imposed on the two eyes other than that He has imposed on the ears, imposed on the ears other than that He has imposed on the two hands, imposed on the hands other than that He has imposed on the legs, imposed on the legs other than that He has imposed on the pudenda, and imposed on the pudenda other than that He has imposed on the face.
As for the faith He has imposed on the heart is acknowledgment, knowledge, acceptance, submission, contract, consent that there is no god but Allah, Who is unique and without partner, Single, on Whom all depend, has not taken a consort nor a son, and that Muhammad, may Allah, bless him and his family, is His servant and His Prophet.35
The Imams of Ahl al-Bayt carried the torch of the scientific renaissance in the Islamic world. They established in its cities the principal features of the intellectual life; they seriously summoned the Muslims to build their life on the foundation of scientific awareness; hadith and fiqh encyclopedias are full of the traditions reported from them and that make (Muslims) desirous of knowledge.
Imam Musa, peace be on him, took care of this creative summons; he ordered the Muslims to be serious in acquiring knowledge and understanding the religion; he warned them against acquiring some science of which they took no advantage in developing their life.
The historians have narrated that Imam Musa entered the Masjid of the Prophet, peace be on them, and saw some people surrounding a man, magnifying him and going too far in honoring him. So he, peace be on him, said to one of his companions:
-What is that (man)?
-'Allama (a scholar).
- (In which science) is he 'allama?
-He is the most knowledgeable in the lineage and battles of the Arabs.
-Such a science does not harm him who has no knowledge of it and does not benefit him who has knowledge of him.
Then Imam Musa turned to his companions and explained to them the beneficial science for whose acquiring they had to spend their life. He said to them:
"Science is of three kinds: a clear verse or a just (religious) duty or a standing Sunna, other than them is surplus." Genealogy or having knowledge of events of a war do not grow intellect nor it makes a human civilization nor does it create a progress and development in the life of the Muslims.
For it is a science that does not harm him who has no knowledge of it and does not benefit him who has knowledge of him. For this reason the Imam regarded it as unimportant and urged the Muslims to spend their time on science other than it.
Imam Musa, peace be on him, talked to his companions of that which they had to know. He, peace be on, has said to them: "I have found the knowledge of all the people (encompassed) by four things:
1. You should know your Lord;
2. You should know what He has done for you;
3. You should know what He wants from you;
4. You should know what would make you abandon your religion.
These four points has been explained by His Eminence, late, Sayyid Muhsin al-Ameen, who has said:
"The first (point means that it is) obligatory (on you) to have knowledge of Allah, which is a favor.
The second (point) is that you should know the boons He bestows upon you and you should thank and serve Him for them.
The third (point) you should know what He wants from you in what He has made obligatory on you and commanded you to perform it, that you may perform it according to the limit He wants from you, so through that you are worthy of reward.
The fourth (point) is that you should know the thing that makes you disobey Allah in order to avoid it."36
Imam Musa urged the Muslims to obtain understanding in religion and to have knowledge of the religious precepts. He has said to them: "Obtain understanding in the religion of Allah, for obtaining understanding is a key to the inner self, a perfect act of worship, a means for high positions and great rank in religion and the world.
The superiority of a learned man over mere worshippers is like the superiority of the sun over the stars. Whoever does not obtain understanding in his religion, none of his deeds pleases Allah." A Companion of his asked him about the religious precepts he needed, saying: "Can men leave the question about what they need?" He, peace be on him, said: "Men cannot leave what they need in the respect of the affairs of their religion."
Imam Musa, peace be on him, ordered his companions to accompany (religious) scholars and to sit with them, that they might make use of their sciences and their morals and to follow their behavior. He, peace be on him, has said to them: "Talking with a (religious) scholar on dunghills is better that talking with an ignorant (person) on cushions."
Imam Musa, peace be on him, lauded the excellence of jurists who are the signposts of religion and have memorized Allah's Book. Reporting traditions on the authority of his grandfather, Allah's Apostle, May Allah bless him and his family, on the excellence of jurists, he, peace be on him, has said:
"Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, has said: 'Jurists are entrusted by the apostles except when they enter the world." A Companion of his asked him, saying:
-O Allah's Apostle, what is their entering in the world?
-Following the supreme ruler (sultan); when they do that, then beware of them for your religion. Work Islam has declared its certain summons to work and earn; Allah, the Most High, has said:
But when the prayer is ended, then disperse abroad in the land and seek of Allah's grace, and remember Allah much, that you may be successful. Qur'an, (Surat al-Jumm'a, 62:10).
Islam has summoned men to work and urged them to continue it, that they may be positive in their lifetimes enjoying earnestness and activity, that they may benefit others and make use (of their work). It has made them hate negative life and neglecting work that results in hindering economy, spreading poverty and neediness in the country.
Hadith books are full of traditions reported on the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and his testamentary trustees concerning urging (Muslims) to work and giving work good qualities, so it (work) is jihad, honor, worship, and of the behavior of the prophets. The Imams of Ahl al-Bayt, peace be on them, themselves practiced work, that the Muslims might follow their example.
For example, Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq, peace be on him, worked on one of his farms. In this respect Abu 'Umar al-Shaybani has related, saying: "I saw Abi 'Abd Allah (Ja'far al-Sadiq), peace be on him, carrying a spade in his hand, wearing thick loincloth and oozing sweat.
Thus, I said to him: 'May I be your ransom, let me help you!' He, peace be on him, said: 'I like to see man be harmed by the heat of the sun for seeking his livelihood."37
Imam al-Kazim worked for earning the daily bread of his family. Al-Hasan b. 'Ali b. Hamza has narrated, saying: "I saw Abi al-Hasan Musa working on a land of his. His feet were soaked with sweat, so I asked him: 'May I be your ransom, where are the men?'
-'Ali, the one who is better than I and my father worked with his hand? Al-Hasan was dazzled and asked him:
-Who is he?
-Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, the Commander of the faithful (Imam 'Ali), and all my forefathers worked with their hands; work is of the behaviors of the prophets, the apostles, and the righteous.38
Through that Imam Musa, peace be on him, has given (men) a wonderful lesson on Islam, which is the religion of work and activity, and which says that whatever high is the position of a person is he is ordered to work to prevent himself and his family from that which is in the hand of the people.
Islam has warned (Muslims) against laziness, for it paralyzes the economic movement, freezes man's abilities, and spoils society. It has been mentioned in the traditions reported from the Imams of guidance that they have sought refuge in Allah from laziness; it has been mentioned on the authority of one of them, saying:
"O Allah, I seek refuge in you from laziness, boredom, and flagging." Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, said to a companions of his: "Beware of laziness and weariness, for they are a key to all evil things; most surely he who becomes lazy performs no right (against him); and he who becomes weary is not patient toward any true (thing)."39
Imam Musa b. Ja'far, peace be on him, has advised a son of his to be earnest in his affairs and to be cautious of laziness. He, peace be on him, has said: "Beware of laziness and boredom, for they prevent you from your share in this world and the next." Imam Musa, peace be on him, hated laziness, unemployment and the one who had such qualities, for they lead to poverty, lowness, and losing manhood. Whoever has them is regarded as among the dead, who have neither thinking nor contemplation.
Imam Musa has advised his companions to be moderate and refrain from wastefulness and extravagance, for they bring about the removal of boons. He, peace be on him, has said: "Whoever is moderate and content enjoys his boons; whoever wastes and goes too far (in spending) loses his boons." He, peace be on him, has said: "Whoever is moderate never becomes poor."
Surely, among the features of Islamic economy is the prevention from extravagance, for it brings about the loss of possessions, corruption of morals, spread of lax morals and negative traits of character, excitement of malice and hatred in the souls of the poor who find no plenty of money. We have subjectively and inclusively talked about this aspect in our book "Work and Worker's Rights in Islam."
Islam has brought noble moral traits and regarded them as a basic rule in its brilliant message. The Messenger, may Allah bless him and his family, has said: "I have been appointed as a prophet to complete noble moral traits."
Through his morals, he, may Allah bless him and his family, was a model for noble humanity; after him, the Imams of guidance followed him in spreading noble moral traits and good deeds; that was through their behavior, their commandments and teachings to their companions.
Imam Musa took care of this aspect; he always advised his companions to have noble qualities, that they might be a good model for society through their behavior, and that they might spread the concepts of good and righteousness among men. We will deal with what has been narrated on his authority in this respect.
Imam Musa, peace be on him, urged his companions to be generous and to have good manners. He has said: "The generous and polite is under the protection of Allah; He does not leave him until He makes him enter the Garden. Allah sends out none as a prophet except the generous. My father recommended generosity and good manners."
Imam Musa, peace be on him, always advised his companions and his followers to refrain from things made forbidden by Allah. He has said: "I always heard my father say: 'He about whose piety the women kept in seclusion do not talk does not belong to our followers."
Patience He, peace be on him, advised his companions to cling to patience when they faced a disaster or a misfortune, for impatience takes away the reward Allah has prepared for the patient. He, peace be on him, has said: "One is not worthy of the reward of a misfortune except through patience and (saying) we belong to Allah and to Him is our return."
He, peace be on him, has said: "Surely patience during affliction is better than well-being during ease." He, peace be on him, has said: "Misfortune is one for the patient and two for the impatient."
Imam Musa, peace be on him, has advised his companions to cling to silence. He explained to them its advantages, saying: "Silence is among the doors to wisdom; it brings about love and is a proof of all good things."
Imam Musa, peace be on him, has urged his companions to pardon those who wrong them and treat them kindly. He has also encouraged them to make peace among people. He has explained to them the result of the good-doers and peace-makers and their reward with Allah, saying: "On the Day of Resurrection a caller will call out: 'Let those who have reward with Allah stand,' none will stand except those who pardon (men) and make peace (among them)."
He, peace be on him, has ordered his companions to say good words and to do men good favors. He said to al-Fadhl b. Younis: "Inform in a good manner and say good (words) and do not be imma'a!"
-What is the imma'a?
-Do not say: I am with men and among them. Most surely, Allah's Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, has said: "O People, they are two ways: the way of good and the way of evil; therefore, the way of evil must not be more lovable to you than the way of good."
He has ordered his companions to say the truth and to show it and to refrain from falsehood, saying: "Fear Allah and say the truth though therein is your destruction, for therein is your salvation; O So-and-so, fear Allah and leave falsehood though therein is your salvation, for therein is your destruction."
He, peace be on him, has advised his companions to do good to their neighbors and to be patient toward bearing harm and detested things issue from them, saying: "Good neighbor is not refraining from harm, but good neighbor is showing patience toward harm."
Relieving Sanctuary-seekers He, peace be on him, has urged his companions to relieve the sanctuary-seekers and to grant their needs, saying: "If a sanctuary-seeker go to his brothers to relieve him and they do not do, then they cut off their relationship with Allah, the Great and Almighty."40
He has ordered them to grant the needs of men, saying: "If a believer comes to his brother (in religion) for a need, then he is a mercy Allah, the Blessed and High, drives to him. If he accepts him, then he makes him follow Allah through us; if he refuses to grant his need and he can grant it, Allah empowers over him a snake created from fire to bite him in his grave until the Day of Resurrection."
And he, peace be on him, has said concerning him who does not refuse to grant the need of his believing brother: "Surely, Allah has on earth servants who strive to grant the needs of men; they are safe of the Day of Resurrection. Whoever delights a believer, Allah will delight his heart on the Day of Resurrection."41
Imam Musa has ordered his companions to show affection to each other, to harmonize with one another and to visit each other, for such deeds bring about love, spreading affection, as well as they lead to a great reward from Allah. He has said:
"Whoever visits his believing brother for Allah, not for other than Him, seeking through him a reward from Allah, Allah entrusts with him seventy thousand angels from the time when he leaves his house to his return to it calling him out: 'You are happy, and the garden is happy with you. You will abide a house in the Garden!'"
Imam Musa, peace be on him, has urged his companions to be consent with Allah’s decree and to be submissive to His will and command, saying: “Whoever has knowledge of Allah should not regard the provision from Him as slow and should not accuse Him of (injustice) in His decree.”
He, peace be on him, has advised his companions to show the bounties given by Allah and to be grateful to Him for them. He has said: “Talking about the bounties given by Allah is gratitude, and leaving that is ingratitude.
Therefore connect the bounties given by your Lord to gratitude, fortify your possessions through paying zakat, and repel tribulation with supplication, for supplication is a shield that repels tribulation even if it is adopted with an adoption.”
He, peace be on him, has urged his companions to reckon their selves and to ponder over their deeds; if they are good, they must increase them; if they are evil, they must ask Allah to forgive them and to be pleased with them. He has said: “He who does not reckon himself every day does not belong to us. If he performs good deeds, he must increase them; and if he performs evil deeds, he must repent of them and ask Allah to forgive him.”
He, peace be on him, has advised his followers to consult each other in respect with their affairs and not to be obstinate. He has said: “Whoever consults (others) is praised during correctness and excused during committing a mistake.”
Imam Musa, peace be on him, has prohibited his followers from having dispraised deeds and performing evil deeds. That is as follows:
He, peace be on him, has said: “Guard against the easy ascent when its slope is rugged; surely my father has said: ‘Do not leave the soul alone with its mean desire, for its mean desire destroys it; leaving the soul alone with what it desires harms it; preventing the soul from what it desires cures it.”
He, peace be on him, has said: [Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, has said:] “Be obedient (to your parents) and restrict yourself to the Garden; be disobedient and rude and restrict yourself to the Fire.”
He, peace be on him, has said: “Do not regard as much good and do not regard as little few sins, for few sins come together and become many; fear (Allah) in private, that you may be just.”
He, peace be on him, has said to a son of his: “Beware of joking, for it takes away the light of your faith and makes (men) disparage your manhood.” His Supplications Imam Musa devoted himself to Allah; he mentioned Him, the Most High. He supplicated Him with the supplication of those who turn to Allah in repentance. Supplication books have many of his supplications.
As for the advantage of supplication, he has talked about it through his statement: “Adhere to supplication, for most surely supplication and request from Allah repel tribulation even if it is ordained and decreed and nothing has remained but carrying it out. When Allah, the Great and Almighty, is supplicated and asked, He turns away tribulation.”
He, peace be on him, has again talked about the advantages result from supplication, saying: “When a tribulation befalls a believing servant and Allah, the Great and Almighty, inspires him with supplication, the tribulation is about to be removed. When a tribulation befalls a believing servant and he refrains from supplicating (Allah), the tribulation lasts for a long (time); therefore when tribulation comes down, adhere to supplication and imploring Allah, the Great and Almighty.”42 We will briefly present some of his supplications:
He, peace be on him, supplicated with this holy supplication during his qunut against the ‘Abbasid Caliph who was a contemporary of him and made him suffer from various kinds of pang and pain. We will present the full text of the supplication that, through it, what the Imam met from the tyrants of his time may be clear:
“O Allah, surely I and so-and-so son of so-and-so are two of your servants! Our forelocks are in Your hand. You know our resting place, our depository, our return, our abode, and our secret and open deeds. You know our intentions and encompass our minds. Your knowledge of what we show is just as Your knowledge of what we hide.
Your knowledge of what we conceal is just as Your knowledge of what we make public. None of our affairs is hidden from You; none of our conditions is covered from You. No fortress protects us from You; no sanctuary guards us from You and no place to flee from You.
The fortresses do not preserve the unjust from You. His fighters do not struggle for him against You. No overcomer attempts to overcome You through his standing by him; You catch up with him wherever he walks and have power over him wherever he goes. Therefore the wronged from among us seeks refuge in You.
The vanquished from among us relies on You, resorts to You, seeks help from You when deserted by the aider, cries to You for help when neglected by the helper, seeks shelter in You when banished by the courtyards, knocks on Your gate when doors with bolts are closed before him, reaches
You when the heedless kings are veiled from him. You know what happens to him before he complains of it to You; You know what sets him right before he supplicates You for it; therefore praise belongs to You, O Aware, Knowing, and Most Kind!
“O Allah, and that it certainly was in Your previous knowledge, Your firm decree, Your going on determination, and Your valid command. Your will is in process among all Your servants, happy and unhappy, pious and sinful.
You have given so-and-so power over me, and he has wronged me with it, aggressed against me through his position, showed audaciousness and mighty through his authority with which You have invested him, showed tyranny and pride through his high state which You have given to him.
Your giving respite to him has deluded him and Your clemency toward him has made him tyrannical, so he has aimed at me with detested things toward which I am impatient, intentionally performed to me evil (things) before which I am feeble. I cannot seek justice from him because of my frailty nor can I gain a victory over him because of the paucity (of my supporters); therefore I have entrusted his affair to You and I have relied on You in respect with his affair.
You have threatened him with Your punishment, warned him through Your power, and frightened him with Your vengeance, but he has thought that Your clemency toward him is out of weakness, and Your giving respite to him is out of feebleness. None has prevented him from (doing) another, nor has he been prevented from a second by a first.
However, he has gone too far in his error, continued doing wrong, persevered in his enmity, and increased his tyranny, out of audaciousness toward You. O my Master and Protector! Undertake Your wrath You do not withhold from the oppressors. So here I am, O my Master, wronged under his authority, abased in his courtyard, transgressed, apprehensive, fearful, terrified, and vanquished.
My patience has become little; my strength has become narrow. The ways have been closed before me except (the one leading) to You; the directions have been blocked up all around me except a direction to Your. My affairs have become ambiguous in repelling his detested things.
The opinions have become dubious to me in removing his oppression; the one from among Your creatures I have asked for help has deserted me; the one from among Your servants to whom I have clung has handed me over. So I had consulted my adviser and he advised me to beseech You. I had asked my guide to show me the right way and he showed me none except You.
Therefore I have come back to You, O my Protector, lowly, willingly, miserable, knowing that there is no relief for me except from You, and there is no salvation for me except through You. Fulfill Your promise in helping me and grant my supplication; that is because Your words are true and are not refuted and changed.
Certainly You, Blessed and Most High You are, have said: and he who has been oppressed, Allah will most certainly aid him; and You, Majestic is Your eulogy and Holy are Your names, have said: Supplicate Me and I will respond to you.
So I am going to do what You have commanded me not by making You feel obliged. How can I make you feel obliged and You have guided me to it; therefore, respond to me just as You had promised me, O You Who do not fail to perform the promise. I certainly know, my Master, that You will someday take vengeance on the oppressors for the oppressed; I am sure that some time You will punish the usurper for the usurped.
That is because no obstinate precedes You; no opponent comes out of Your grasp. You do not fear the escape of an escaper, but my impatience and dismay do not reach the patience toward Your deliberateness and waiting for Your clemency. So Your power, my Master, is over all powers; Your force overcomes all forces. Everybody will return to You even if You give them time; all oppressor will come back to You even if You respite them.
O My Master, certainly Your clemency toward so-and-so, Your long deliberateness toward him, and Your giving him time have harmed me. Despair is about to dominate me were it not for trust in You and certainty in Your promise. So if it is in Your valid decree and Your going on power that he will turn to You in repentance or repent or withhold from wronging me or refrain from the things I detest and leave the great (sins) he commits (through wronging) me, then bless Muhammad and his family and let that fall into his heart before You remove Your blessing You have bestowed upon him and before You muddy Your good You have done to him.
If Your knowledge of him is other than that of his station through which he has wronged me, then I ask You, O Helper of the wronged and transgressed, grant my supplication. Bless Muhammad and his family and overtake him in his place of safety with the overtaking of a Mighty, Powerful One. Surprise him during his inattention with the surprise of a Victorious King.
Deprive him of his blessing and his authority, disband his troops and his helpers. Completely tear apart his kingdom, thoroughly scatter his supporters, and isolate him from Your blessing for which he has showed neither gratitude nor kindness. Strip him of the shirt of Your Exaltation toward which he has showed no good turn. Snap him, O Snapper of the tyrants. Destroy him, O Destroyer of the bygone generations. Ruin him, O Ruiner of the oppressive nations.
Abandon him, O Abandoner of the rebellious groups. Cut off his lifetime; take his properties; efface his trace; cut off his news; put out his fire; make dark his house; ball his sun; make him give up the ghost; smash his legs; cut off his head; rub his nose in the ground; hasten his death.
Leave neither shield for him unless you destroy it, nor support for him unless You snap it, nor a union unless You scatter it, nor a post of loftiness unless You lower it, nor a pillar unless You undermine it, nor a tie unless You cut it off. Show us his helpers and troops as slaves after the exaltation; make them disunited after their unity, bow their heads after their show-off before the community.
Relieve, through the removal of his affair, the fearful souls, the grieved hearts, the perplexed community, and the lost mankind. Show, through his removal, the suspended, prescribed punishments, the effaced laws (Sunna), the neglected precepts, the changed, principal features (of religion), the distorted verses, the deserted schools, the abandoned places of worship, and the demolished shrines. Through it (his removal) satisfy the hungry, hollow stomachs.
Water, through it, the exhausted palates and the thirsty livers. Through it give rest to the tired feet. Strike him with an affliction that has no sister (lit. no like), with an hour when there is no abode, with a misfortune with which there is no refreshment, and with a stumble from which there is no release.
Make lawful his forbidden things; muddy his ease. Show him Your most violent seizing, Your ideal vengeance, Your power that is over all powers, Your force that is mightier than his. Overcome him for me through Your strong strength and Your severe punishment. Protect me from him through Your protection.
Afflict him with poverty he cannot redress and with evil he cannot cover. Entrust him to himself in what You desire. Surely You do what You desire! Release him from Your force and power and entrust him to his force and power. Remove his scheming through Your scheming; repel his will through Your will.
Sicken his body; orphan his children; decrease his fixed term; disappoint his hope; remove his state; prolong his wailing; make him busy with his own body. Do not set him free from his sadness. Turn his trickery into error, his affair into disappearance, his comfort into removal, his earnestness into lowness, his authority into vanishing, and his final result into the wicked result.
Make him die of his fury if You intended to make him die; let him remain in grief if You intended to let him remain. Protect me from his evil, his backbite, his slander, his influence, and his enmity. Glance at him with a glance through which You destroy him; for most surely You are strongest in prowess and strongest to give an exemplary punishment.”43
From this holy supplication we conclude that Imam Musa met heavy misfortunes and exhausting pain from his opponent, for he did not supplicate against him with this supplication unless he filled his heart with severe sadness and bitter pain.
He, peace be on him, supplicated with this supplication when he was poverty or lack-stricken: “O Allah, I ask You through him whose right against You is great to bless Muhammad and his family, to provide me with putting into practice the knowledge of Your right You have taught me, and to make easy to me Your provision of which You have deprived me.”44
His Supplication for Help in Repaying Debts A Companion of the Imam’s complained to him of his accumulated debts against him, and he, peace be on him, wrote him the following supplication and ordered him to supplicate (Allah) with it:
“O Allah, repay to all Your creatures their complaints against me, small and great, through ease and well-being from You, and that which my strength cannot reach, my own hand cannot embrace, my body, my certainty, and my soul cannot endure. So repay it on my behalf from the plentiful You have from Your favor.
Then do not let anything of it remain behind me to settle it of my good deeds. O Most Merciful of the merciful! I testify that there is no god apart from Allah, Who is unique and without partners, that Muhammad is His servant and His Prophet, that the religion is just as He Has legislate, that Islam is just as He has described, that the Book is just as He has revealed, that the speech is just as He has related, and that Allah is the Clear Truth.
Allah has mentioned Muhammad and his Household in a good way, and He has greeted Muhammad and his Household with (the greeting) Salam.”45
Imam Musa, peace be on him, sought veil through the following supplication and sought protection with it:
“I have trusted in the Living, Who does not die; I have fortified myself in the Possessor of the might and invincibility; I have sought help from the Possessor of the magnificence and kingdom. O My Protector! I have submitted to You, so do not hand me over.
I have trusted in You, so do not desert me. I have sought refuge in Your easy protection, so do not dismiss me. You are the Object of requests and to You is the flight. You know what I conceal and make public; You know the stealthy looks and that which the breasts conceal; therefore withhold from me, O Allah, the hands of the oppressive from among all the jinn and the men; heal me and make me well, O Most Merciful of the merciful!”46
It is enough for us to mention this number of his holy supplication that indicates that he devoted himself to Allah and clang to Him. Many of his supplications have been mentioned in the books al-Iqbal, Muhajj al-Da’awat, and other than them have been written on this subject.
He gave high advice and valuable teachings to his companions and his followers; he, peace be on him, always warned them against the chastisement and punishment of Allah and made them fear the hereafter; the following are some of his commandments:
He, peace be upon him, has said to him: “O my little son, beware that Allah sees you (commit) an act of disobedience from which He has prohibited you. Beware that Allah misses you during an act of obedience He has commended you (to perform). Adhere to diligence.
Do not take out of yourself falling short of worshipping Allah, for surely they do not assign to Allah, the Great and Almighty, the worship due to Him. Beware of joking, for it takes away the light of your faith and makes (men) disparage your manhood. Beware of laziness and boredom, for they deprive you of your share in this world and the next.”47
He, peace be on him, has given to all Muslims general directions in which he has mentioned: “Experiences are sufficient education; the passage of time is a (sufficient) lesson; the morals of him with whom you associate are (sufficient) knowledge; the remembrance of death is a (sufficient) barrier against sins and offences.
The wonder of wonders is those who are on diet and drink lest they should be infected by a malady, but they do not guard against sins out of fear of the fire when it burns their bodies.”48
He, peace be on him, advised his companions to organize their time and to educate their souls, saying: “Try hard, that your time may be four hours: one hour is for supplicating Allah, one hour for the affairs of the livelihood, one hour for associating with the brothers (friends) and the reliable ones who let you know your defects and who are inwardly loyal to you, and one hour for that you are alone with yourselves (and) for non-forbidden things.
Through this hour you have power over the three hours. Tell yourselves of neither poverty nor a long lifetime, for whoever tells himself of poverty becomes miserly. Whoever tells himself of a long lifetime becomes greedy. Appoint for yourselves a share of the world through giving them something lawful they desire, that does not defile manhood, and in which there is no immoderation.
Seek help from that for the affairs of your religion, for it has been reported: ‘Whoever leaves his life in the world for his religion or leaves his religion for his life in the world does not belong to us.”49
He, peace be on him, has said: “He whose two days are equal is cheated. He whose end of his two days is more wicked than them is cursed; whoever does not know the increase to his own soul is in a decrease; whoever is in a greater decrease, it is better to him die than to remain alive.”50
With this brief presentation we will end our talk about his sermons and teachings and we will deal with another apart of his heritage.
Imam Musa, peace be on him, entered eloquent debates and discussions with his opponents; likewise he debated with some Jews and Christian scholars. He, peace be on him, confuted all of them through sufficient proofs he gave to them concerning the correctness of his beliefs and the falsehood of theirs.
They have acknowledged their incapability and their failure, the Imam’s abundant knowledge and his superiority over them.
The following are some of his debates:
Imam Musa, peace be on him, visited Harun (al-Rashid’s) palace. When the chamberlain of the palace saw him, he received him with honoring and welcome, gave him precedence over other than him to meet Harun. In the waiting-room was Nafee‘al-Ansari. When he saw that honoring and welcome, he burnt with anger, turned to ‘Abd al-‘Aziz, who was with him, and said to him:
-Who is this Shaykh?
-Do you not know him?
This is the Shaykh (Chief) of the family of Abi Talib; this is Musa b. Ja‘far Nafee‘criticized the ‘Abbasids for their honoring Imam Musa, saying: “I have never seen someone more incapable than this group of people who welcomes and honors a man who is able to remove them from their throne; when he comes out, I will treat him badly!”
‘Abd al-‘Aziz scolded, saying: “Do not do that! For they are the Household (of the Prophet). When someone addresses them in a bad manner, they brand him through an answer for life.” When the Imam ended his meeting with Harun and came out of him, Nafee‘angrily walked towards him, caught the reins of his mount, and asked him:
-Who are you?
-Fellow, if you want (to know) the lineage, then I am the (grand) son of Muhammad, the one loved by Allah, the (grand) son of Isma‘il, the one whom Allah ransomed with a great sacrifice, and the (grand) son of Ibraheem, the bosom friend of Allah. If you want (to know) the city, it is that to which Allah, the Great and Almighty, has made the hajj obligatory on Muslims and on you, if you belonged to them!
If you want to vie in glory (with me), by Allah, the polytheists from among my people did not regard the Muslims from among your people as their equals when they said: “Muhammad, let our equals from Quraysh meet us (in battle)!
Leave the reins of my mount!
Nafee‘went away while he was unable to see his way out of shame and disgrace with which the Imam branded him.51
Harun al-Rashid paid a visitation to the tomb of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family. So Imam Musa, peace be on him, met him. When the meeting was over, the Imam came out and passed by Muhammad al-Ameen, son of (Harun) al-Rashid, who turned to al-Fadhl b. al-Rabi‘ and commanded him: “Admonish this!”
So al-Rabi‘arose and asked the Imam:
-What! Is this the animal on which you meet the Commander of the faithful? If you were seeking (something) on it, you would not obtain it and if you were being sought (while you were on it), you would not escape.
-It is beneath the vanity of horses and above the lowliness of asses and the best of matters are those that are moderate.52
The Imam left him and went away. Confusion, tiredness, and incapability appeared on al-Fadhl’s face.
Harun al-Rashid ordered Abu Yousif 53 to ask Imam Musa in his presence, that incapability might appear on him and he would use it as a means to degrade his dignity. When the Imam, peace be on him, met them, Abu Yousif asked him:
- What do you say about making shade (from the sun) for the person consecrated as (muhrim)?
- It is not permitted.
- Shall he pitch a tent and enter it?
- What is the difference between the two places?
- What do you say about a menstruating woman-does she compensate the prayer?
- Does she compensate the fasting?
- In this manner it has been mentioned, and in this manner this has been mentioned. Abu Yousif kept silent and gave no answer. Shame and incapability appeared on his face, so Harun said to him:
- I think you have done nothing!
- He has given me an irrefutable answer!54 Imam Musa left them and went away while sadness and unhappiness dominated them.
Abu Hanifa visited Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, and said to him: “I have seen your son, Musa, pray while the people were passing before him. He did not prevent them from that.” Abu ‘Abd Allah (al-Sadiq), peace be on him, ordered his son to be brought before him. When he stood before him, he asked him:
“O My little son, Abu Hanifa says that you pray and the people pass before you.” “Yes, father,” replied Imam Musa, “the One to Whom I pray is nearer to me than them; Allah, the Great and Almighty, says: We are nearer to him than the jugular vein.”
Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, was very delighted and glad when he heard these wonderful words of his son, so he rose for him, embraced him, and said to him: “May my father and mother be your ransom, O he in whom secrets have been deposited!”55
Harun al-Rashid ordered Imam Musa, peace be on him, to be arrested, and he stayed in prison for many years. Then he ordered him to be brought in his palace. When he was brought and sat down, Harun al-Rashid turned to him and angrily asked him:
- Musa b. Ja‘far, are land taxes collected for two caliphs?
- Commander of the faithful, I seek refuge for you with Allah that you should bear the sin committed against me and your own sin, and that you accept falsehood from our opponents against us. You have come to know that lies have been fabricated against us since the death of Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family; you have knowledge of that.
I ask you through your kinship to Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, to permit me to relate to you a tradition related to me by my father on the authority of his forefathers on the authority of my grandfather, Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family.
- I have given you permission.
- My father has told me on the authority of his forefathers on the authority of my grandfather, Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family that he has said: “Surely when kinship touches kinship, it moves and shakes.” Therefore, give me your hand! Accordingly, Harun felt pity (for him) and his anger disappeared.
He stretched out his hand to him, drew him towards him, and embraced him for a long time; then he brought him nearer to him while his eyes were bathed in tears; he turned to him and said to him some words full of sympathy:
- You and your grandfather are truthful. My blood has moved and my veins have shaken to the extent that compassion has dominated me and my eyes has flowed with tears. I want to ask you about something that has been on my mind for a time; I have asked none about it. If you answer me about it, I will release you and do not accept the words of anybody against you. I have been informed that you never tell lies; therefore, tell me the truth about what I ask you.
- If I had knowledge of it and you gave me security, I would tell you about it.
- I would give you security if you told me the truth and left the precautionary dissimulation for which you had been known, O Fatima’s sons.
- Ask me about whatever you wish.
- Why have you been given preference over us while you and us belong to one tree, the Banu ‘Abd al-Muttalib, we, and you are one (tree), so the Banu al-‘Abbas and you are the children of Abi Talib. They are two uncles of Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, and they have the same kinship to him?
- We are nearer to him.
- Why is that?
- That is because ‘Abd Allah and Abi Talib belong to one father and mother; your father al-‘Abbas does not belong to the mother of ‘Abd Allah and Abi Talib.
- Why have you claimed that you have inherited the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and (that) the uncle veils the cousin, and Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, has died, and Abu Talib had died before him, and al-‘Abbas, his uncle, was alive?
- I ask the commander of the faithful to exempt me from it and to question me about all chapters other than it.
- No, you should answer (it)!
- Give me security.
- I had given you security before the speech.
- It has been mentioned in the speech of (Imam) ‘Ali, peace be on him: “None, male or female, has (the right) to share (the inheritance) with the child of the backbone (sons, daughters, and grandsons) except the parents, the husband, and the wife. It has not been established that the uncle shares the inheritance with the child of the backbone.
However, Taym, ‘Adi, and the Umayyads have said that the uncle is a father; that is their (personal) opinion without a reality and no tradition (reported) on the authority of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family.”
Then Imam Musa, peace be on him, mentioned to him a group of the jurists of the time who gave a religious decision on this matter similar to that his grandfather, (Imam ‘Ali) the Commander of the faithful, peace be on him, had given. He, peace be on him, has added his speech to that: “The earlier general populace have narrated on the authority of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family that he has said: ‘‘Ali is the most capable of you in giving legal decisions.’”
Similarly, Umar b. al-Khattab has said: ‘‘Ali is the most capable of us in giving legal decisions.’ And it (judgment) is a comprehensive noun, for it includes all things such as recitation (of the Qur’an), religious duties, and knowledge through which the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, praised his companions.”
After Imam Musa, peace be on him, had given this irrefutable proof, Harun al-Rashid asked him to give him more explanations, so he, peace be on him, said: “Surely the Prophet did not bequeathed those who did not emigrate and did not establish their pledge of allegiance until they emigrated.”
Harun asked: “What is your proof?”
He, peace be on him, said: “These words of Him: and (as for) those who believed and did not fly, not yours is their guardianship until they fly. (Qur'an Surat al-Anfal, 8:72).
And my uncle al-‘Abbas did not emigrate.” Harun turned yellow and burst with anger, so he said to the Imam:
-Have you told any of our enemies or our jurists about that?
- No, and none had told me about it except you. He calmed down and asked:
-Why have you permitted the non-Shi’ites (‘amma) and the Shi’ites (khassa) to ascribe you to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, and to call you: O Sons of Allah’s Apostle, and you are the sons of ‘Ali, and one is ascribed to his father, and Fatima was a container, and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, is your grandfather on the side of your mother?
- If the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, was raised from the dead and proposed to your daughter, would you respond to him?
- Glory belongs to Allah! And why do I not respond to him? Rather I would through that pride myself on the Arabs, the non-Arabs, and Quraysh
- But he would not propose (to my daughter) and I would not marry (her) to him.
- Because he begot me and did not beget you.
- Well-done, Musa!
- Why have you said that you are the Prophet’s progeny, while the Prophet had no progeny, the progeny belongs to the male and not to the female, and you are his daughter’s children?
- I ask you, by the right of the kinship, to exempt me (from that)
- No, you should tell me about your proof, O ‘Ali’s sons, and you are, Musa, their chief and the Imam of their time; I do not exempt you (from that).
- Will you give me permission to answer?
- Give (me the answer).
- Allah has said in his book: and of his descendants, Dawud and Sulayman and Ayyub and Yousif and Harun; and thus do We reward those who do good (to others). And Zakariya and Yehya and Isa and Ilyas; everyone was of the good. (Surat al-An'am, 6:84-85).
Who is ‘Isa’s father, O Commander of the faithful?
- ‘Isa had no father.
- Allah has ascribed him to the descendants of the prophets through Maryam; similarly, we have been ascribed to the descendants of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, through our mother Fatima, peace be on her.
Nevertheless, Harun asked Imam Musa to give him more evidence and proofs. So he, peace be on him, responded to him, saying: “Allah, the Great and Almighty, has said:
But whoever disputes with you in this matter after what has come to you of knowledge, then say: Come, let us call our sons and your sons and our women and your women and our near people and your near people, then let us be earnest in prayer, and pray for the curse of Allah on the liars. (Surat Aal 'Imran, 3: 60).
None claims that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, made someone enter under the cloak (kisa’) when he challenged the Christians to a contest of prayer to Allah (mubahala) except ‘Ali b. Abi Talib, Fatima, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn. Therefore the explanation of the words of Him, the Exalted, is:
Our sons are al-Hasan and al-Husayn; our women is Fatima; our near people is ‘Ali b. Abi Talib, peace be on him. He has added another proof to this proof: “Surly the (religious) scholars have unanimously agreed that Gabriel said on the Day of Uhad: ‘O Muhammad, surely this is the help from ‘Ali.’ So he (the Prophet), may Allah bless him and his family, has said: ‘Surely he (‘Ali) is of me and I of him.’ So he (Gabriel) has said: ‘And I am of you.’”56
Harun stopped his argument and found no way to follow, for the Imam gave undoubtable, conclusive arguments. Then Harun asked the Imam to write him a brief, comprehensive letter on the affairs of the religion, and he, peace be on him, wrote him the letter that reads as follows:
All the affairs of the religion are four: the affair over which there is no difference; it is the unanimous resolution of the community on the necessity to which they are forced. The traditions on which there is unanimous resolution; they are the utmost degree before which all doubts are brought, from which all events are derived.
The affair in which doubt and denial are possible, so the way to it is to consult its men, the argument of it is of that which has been established to those who embrace it from the Book on whose explanation there is unanimous resolution or a Sunna from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family, over which there is no difference.
Or analogy whose justice intellects know and which the special group and the general populace of the community cannot doubt and deny. These two affairs of monotheism and those inferior to them to the wound money and those inferior to it. These are the presented (things) before which the affairs of the religion are brought.
Therefore you can choose the thing established through a proof and refuse the one whose correctness is vague to you. So whoever mentions one of these three (matters), then it is the conclusive argument Allah has explained to His Prophet in the words of Him: Say: Then Allah’s is the conclusive argument; so if He pleased, He would certainly guide you all. Qur'an, (Surat al-An'am, 6:149).
The ignorant knows the conclusive argument; he comes to know it through his ignorance just as the learned knows it through his knowledge; that is because Allah is just and does not wrong (anyone). He advances the knowledge of His creatures as an argument against them.
He summons them to know what they do not know and deny. Imam Musa had gone away after Harun rewarded and honored.57 He guided his opponent-the so-called the Caliph of the Muslims and Commander of the faithful-to the affairs of the religion and explained to him the position of Ahl al-Bayt and the correctness of their sayings and confirmed his beliefs with the most reliable evidence and proofs.
The traditionists have mentioned his other debate with Harun. I (the author) think that is debate is one of the fabricated narrations, and that it is nearer to imagination than to reality; it reads as follows:
Harun al-Rashid made the pilgrimage to the Sacred House of Allah (Mecca), so the police prevented the pilgrims from entering the House while circumambulating it. While he was busy circumambulating and surrounded by royal guards, a Bedouin hurried to the House and began circumambulating it along with him, so the chamberlain walked towards him and commanded him, saying:
-Fellow, go away from the face of the Caliph!
-Surely Allah has regarded men as equal in this place when He said: The Sacred Mosque which We have made equally for men, (for) the dweller therein and (for) the visitor.(22: 25)
The chamberlain left him and went away. Whenever Harun al-Rashid circumambulating the Kaaba, the Bedouin was before him. When he arose to kiss the Black Stone, the Bedouin preceded him and kissed it. When he went to the Standing Place to perform a prayer wherein, the Bedouin preceded him and prayed before him. So he became angry and ordered his chamberlain to bring the Bedouin before him, and he ordered him:
-Respond to the Commander of the faithful!
-I do not go to him, for I am in no need of him! He must come to me, for he is in need of me!
The chamberlain went to al-Rashid (and told him of the Bedouin’s words), and he said: “He is truthful!”
Then he went to him. When he approached him, he greeted him and asked him:
-O Bedouin, shall I sit down?
-Do not ask permission from me, for the place does not belong to him; it is the House of Allah; He has installed it for His servants. If you like to sit down, then sit down; if you like to go away, then go away!
Harun al-Rashid sat down while he was furious and angry and scolded the Bedouin, saying:
-Woe unto you! Are you the one who vies with the kings?
-Yes; and I have knowledge to which you must listen!
-Therefore, I am going to ask you. If you cannot (answer my questions), I will harm you!
-Does your question belong to a learned one or to an obstinate one?
-Rather a question belongs to a learned one!
-Sit down and question.
-Tell me: What is your (religious) duty?
-Surely the (religious) duty is one, five, seventeen, forty-three, forty-nine, one hundred and fifty-three, one out of twelve, one out of forty, five out of two hundreds, one throughout the (life) time, and one for one.
So Harun al-Rashid laughed and sneeringly said:
-Woe unto you! I ask you about your (religious) duty while you answer in an arithmetical way!
-Do you not know that the whole of the religion is arithmetic; if the religion was not arithmetic, Allah would not prepare reckoning from creatures. Then he recited (these words of Him): and though there be the weight of a grain of mustard seed, (yet) will We bring it, and sufficient are We to take account.(21:47)
-Explain to me what you have said; otherwise I will ordered you to be killed between al-Safa and al-Marwa!
So the chamberlain begged Harun, saying:
-Pardon him for Allah and this Standing Place!
So the Bedouin laughed at his words, and Harun was angry with him and asked him:
-What has made you laugh?
-I wonder at you, for I do not know who is the more ignorant than you, who makes slow the death that has come or who makes haste the death that has not come yet.
-Explain what you have said!
-As for my words: the (religious) duty is one, they are that the whole of Islam is one and it has five ritual prayers that are seventeen rakka‘s: forty-three sajjdas, forty-nine takkbirs, and a hundred and fifty-three tasbihs. As for my statement: one out of twelve, it is that fasting during the Month of Ramadan is one out of twelve months.
As for my statement: one out of forty, it is that whoever has forty dinars, Allah has made it incumbent on him (to pay) a dinar. As for my statement: five out of two hundreds, it is that whoever has two hundred dirhams, Allah has made it incumbent on him (to pay) five dirhams.
As for my statement, one throughout (life) time, is the hajj of Islam. As for my statement: one for one, it is that whoever sheds blood unjustly, then it is obligatory to shed his own blood. Allah, the Most High, has said: life is for life.
So Harun (al-Rashid) admired the Bedouin’s abundant knowledge, saying: “What a generous man!” Then he ordered him to be given a purse of money. So the Bedouin asked:
-What made me deserve this purse of money? Through speech or through your questioning me?
-Rather through speech.
-I am going to question you about a certain matter. If you answered it, the purse of money would be yours in order to give it as alms in this Holy Place. If you did not answer it, you had to add another purse of money to it, that I might give it as alms to the poor of the district from among my people.
Accordingly, Harun ordered another purse of money to be brought and said to him:
-Ask about whatever you like!
-Tell me about the beetle: Does it feed or suckle its young?
So Harun turned yellow and was dominated by anger, and he said:
-Woe unto you! Is it I whom is asked about such a question?
-I have heard from him who had heard from Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family that he said: “Whoever is appointed as a ruler over some peoples is granted an intellect like those of theirs.” You are the Imam of this community; when you are questioned about any of the affairs of your religion and of the (religious) duties, you must answer it.
Have you any answer to it?
-Explain to me what you have said and take the two purses of money.
-Surly when Allah created the earth, he created the insects of the earth without feces and blood. He created them from earth and made them feed on it. When the young insect leaves its mother, it does not feed it nor does it nurse it, and it lives on earth.
So Harun said: “By Allah, none has been tried with such a question.” The Bedouin took the two purses of money and went away. A person followed him and asked him about his name, and suddenly he was Imam Musa al-Kazim, peace be on him. The person came back to Harun and told him about that, and he said:
“This leaf must be of that tree!”58
We have doubt about this narration for the following reasons:
1. Imam Musa vied with Harun al-Rashid for performing the hajj and prayers; this rivalry is far from the guidance and behavior of the Imam, and no religious deed resulted from it.
2. Harun did not recognize the Imam throughout this debate that took a long time, while he fully knew him.
3. The Imam took two purses of money from Harun, whereas he was very far above such a deed, for he was famous for that he refused Harun and did not submit to him or those kings of his time.
4. The story, which is questions and answers, is weak and illogical; therefore it is nearer to imagination than to reality. It was created by the excessive and the Mufawada; it has no share of correctness, as I (the author) think.
A delegation of Jewish scholars visited Imam al-Sadiq to debate with him on Islam. When they had the honor of standing before him, they asked him about the evidence and proof of the prophecy of Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family:
-Which miracle is a proof of the prophethood of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family? His (Allah’s) dominating Book that dazzles the intellects of beholders along with the lawful and the unlawful He has given, and other than them; if we mentioned it, it would take us along time to explain it.
-How can we come to know that this (miracle) is just as you have mentioned? Imam Musa, though young, asked them:
-How can we come to know the verses Allah (revealed) to Musa (Moses) according to what you describe?
-We have known that through the narration reported by the truthful.
-Therefore, know the truthfulness of what I have told you through the answer of the boy (Imam Musa) Allah has taught without teaching and knowledge from narrators.
Imam Musa dazzled the Jews, and they believed in his words, which were really a miracle, and became Muslims, saying: “We bear witness that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah, that you are the guiding Imams and the proofs of Allah over his creatures.”
When Imam Musa mentioned this proof and the people became Muslims at his hand, Abu ‘Abd Allah (al-Sadiq) arose and kissed him on the forehead and said to him: “You are the one who will undertake the office of the Imamate (qa’im), after me.” Then he (al-Sadiq) ordered clothes and gifts to be given to them. They thanked him for that and went away.”59
Burayha was among the leading personalities of the Christians and among their brilliant scholars. He looked for the truth and sought guidance, so he associated with all the Muslim sects; he debated with them but did not reach the objective he wanted. The Shi’ites and Hisham b. al-Hakam were described to him, and he along with a hundred Christian scholars.
When they sat down, Burayha questioned Hisham about the most important ideological and theological matters. Hisham answered them, and then they all went to have the honor of meeting with Imam Abi ‘Abd Allah (al-Sadiq), peace be on him. Before they met him, they had met with Imam Musa, so Hisham told him about his debates and speech with Burayha.
Thus, the Imam turned to Burayha and asked him:
-O Burayha, what about your knowledge of your Book?
-I am knowledgeable of it.
-What about your trust in the explanation on it?
-Just as I have knowledge of it.
Then, he, peace be on him, recited to him the Bible and read to him its chapters. When Burayha heard of that, he believed that the religion of Islam was true, that the Imam was of the Prophet’s Tree, and he said to him:
“I have sought you or the like of you for fifty years.” Then he and his wife became Muslims; they went to Abi ‘Abd Allah (al-Sadiq), peace be on him, and Hisham told him that they became Muslims at the hand of his son Musa, peace be on him. Imam al-Sadiq, peace be on him, became pleased, turned to Hisham and said to him: “Offspring, one of the other.”
Burayha asked Abi ‘Abd Allah (al-Sadiq): “From where have you brought the Torah, the Bible, and the Books of the prophets?” “We have them,” replied the Imam, “we have inherited them from them; we read them just as they had read them; we say them just as they had said them; surely Allah does not appoint over the earth a proof who says that he does not know when he is asked.”
Burayha associated with Imam Abi ‘Abd Allah (al-Sadiq) and was among his most loyal companions. When the Imam moved to the Abode of Everlastingness (lit. passed away), Burayha associated with Imam Musa till he died during his lifetime.60
There was a monk in Syria (Sham). The Christians glorified and magnified the monk. The monk preached to them once a year. Imam Musa met him on that day when he was surrounded by monks and people. When the Imam sat down, the monk turned to him and asked him:
-Fellow, are you a stranger?
-Are you from us or against us?
-I am not from you.
-Are you from the community upon which (Allah) has mercy?
-Are you from among its scholars or from among its ignorant?
-I am not from among its ignorant.
The monk became confused and began to ask the Imam about the most difficult questions he had, saying:
-How is that the origin of the Tree of Tuba is with us, in the Abode of Isa (Jesus), with you, in the Abode of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family, and its branches are in every house?
-It is just like the sun whose light reaches every place and situation while it is in the heaven.
-Why does the food in the Garden not run out and not decrease even though they eat of it?
-It is just like the lamp in the world from which (men) take fire while it does not decrease.
-What is the extended shade in the Garden?
-The time before the sunrise is the extended shade. Then he recited these words of Him the Exalted: “Have you not considered (the work of) your Lord, how He extends the shade? (25:45)”
-Why do the inhabitants of the Garden not relieve the nature while they eat and drink?
-They are just like the embero in its mother’s womb.
-How do the servants in the Garden serve its inhabitants without being ordered?
-When man is in need of a thing, his limbs know that, so the servants know that and carry it out without being ordered.
-Are the keys of the Garden (made) of gold or silver?
-The keys of the Garden are the servant’s words: “There is no god but Allah!”
-You are right!
Then the monk and his people became Muslims.61
These are some of the Imam’s arguments and debates; we will mention another part of them in a chapter of the book.
As for his composing poetry, it is very little. Al-Shaykh al-Mufeed has mentioned a poem of his recited by his son Imam al-Ridha’ to al-Ma’mun and ascribed it to his father:
Repel detested things through comfort; you may someday do not see what you dislike.
Perhaps one conceals himself and the eyes compete for him though he is concealed.
Perhaps the polite withholds his tongue for fear of answering though he is eloquent.
Perhaps the venerable similes out of harm while his mind moans due to its severity.62
Dhu al-Nun al-Mesri has mentioned that he passed by a village called Betidsar during his tourism and saw a wall on which the following poetry lines have been written:
I am the son of Mina, al-Mish’arayn, Zamzam, Mecca, and the Magnified Kaaba.
My grandfather is the chosen Prophet; my father is he whose authority is incumbent on all Muslims.
My mother is the chaste (one) from whom (men) seek light if we do not number her as equal to Maryam (Mary).
The grandsons of Allah’s Apostle are my uncles and (fore) fathers; his pure (grand) sons are nine stars.
If you cling to the cord of their authority, you will be successful on the day when the successful will be rewarded and you will lead a life of ease and comfort.
The Imams of this creation are after their Prophet; if you do not know that, then know (it).
I am the ‘Alawid, the Fatimid who is full of fear; days fill man with (fear).
Thus, I feel that the earth is narrow through it is wide; I cannot obtain the sky through a ladder.
So I have stopped at the house in which I have written my poetry; therefore, read and acquaint yourself with whatever you like.
And submit to the Command of Allah in all circumstances; whoever does not submit (to His command) is not a follower of Islam.63
Dhu al-Nun said that he came to know that the writer of the above-mentioned was an ‘Alawid who escaped from the authorities during the Caliphate of Harun (al-Rashid).
Al-Mejjlisi assumed that the poetry lines were composed by Imam al-Kazim, peace be on him, who went to that place and wrote them in order to complete the proofs against his opponents. These opinions are impossible because Imam Musa did not escape from the authorities and did not hide himself from them; rather he was in Yethrib (Medina) criticizing Harun (al-Rashid) and the other kings of his time; he did not escape from the authorities and was not afraid of their oppression.
We will in detail mention that.
Imam Musa, peace be on him, has wise sayings in which he has mentioned some moral and social affairs; this is an addition to what we have mentioned. We have preferred to mention them without any explanation or commentary. He, peace be on him, has said:
Do not remove the modesty between you and your brother; keep some of it, for removing it is removing shame.
Your helping the weak is the best kind of alms.
Whoever suffers injustice knows its severity.
The ignorant wonder at the wise more than that the wise wonder at the ignorant.
Begging is incorrect except in three (situations): the blood money one cannot pay, heavy loss, and object poverty.
The believer is stronger than the mountain; (one) can take something of the mountain with a pickaxe, but (none) can take anything of the believer’s religion.
Making over trusts to their owners and truthfulness win provision; treason and lying win poverty and hypocrisy.
‘Ubayd Allah b. Ishaq al-Mada’ini asked Imam Musa: “Surely the man sees me and swears by Allah that he loves me; shall I swear by Allah that he loves me?”
And he answered him: “Try your heart. If you love him, then swear (by Allah); otherwise do not (swear by Him).” Whoever undertakes that which is not his work, his work is lost and he is disappointed. There is no good in life except for an aware listener and a speaking scholar.
Surely your righteousness results from the righteousness of the supreme ruler (sultan); the supreme ruler (sultan) is just like a merciful father; therefore love for him what you love for yourselves, and hate for him what you hate for yourselves.
He, peace be on him, has said to Muhammad b. al-Fadhl: “O Muhammad, belie your ear and your eye in respect with your brother (lit. Friend) even if fifty persons bear witness for you (against him). If he says something to you, then believe him and belie them and do not spread anything that disgraces him.
Whoever supplicates before lauding Allah and calling down blessings upon Muhammad, may Allah bless him and his family, is like him who shoots an arrow without a bowstring.
The best kind of worship after knowledge is waiting for relief.
Showing affection to men is a half intellect.
Many worries bring about old age.
Hastiness is foolishness.
A small family is one of the two easy things.
Whoever saddens his parents disobeys them.
A favor is not a favor but for those who have a religion and a lineage.
And Allah sends down help according to a burden and patience according to a misfortune.
If oppression is more than truth, then one has no right to have a good opinion of another until he comes to know that he has it.
A believer is just like the scales of a balance; the more his faith is the more his tribulation is.
Imam Musa attended a dead person who was lowered into his grave and said: “Surely the thing whose end is this is worthy of abstaining; and surely the thing whose beginning is this is entitled to be feared.”
The burden of the religion and the world has become intense. As for the burden of the world, it is that when you stretch out your hand to (attain) it, you will find a wicked person who precedes you to (attain) it. As for the burden of the hereafter (the religion), it is that you find no helper to help you against it.
Do not give to your brothers (something) of yourself that harms you more than it benefits them.
He, peace be on him, has said: “My father took me by the hand and said: ‘O My little son, surely my father Muhammad b. ‘Ali took me by the hand and said: ‘Surely my father ‘Ali b. al-Husayn took me by the hand and said: ‘My little son, do good to all those who ask you for it. If they deserve it, then you hit its place. If they do not deserve it, then you deserve it. If a person curses you on your right (hand) and then he moves to your left (hand) and apologizes, then accept his apology.’”
When men completely despise the world, Allah makes them enjoy it and blesses them wherein; when men completely love it, Allah makes them hate it. He, peace be on him, mentioned a tyrant in his gathering, saying: “By Allah, if he has become exalted through injustice in the world, he will become low through justice in the hereafter.”
Whoever brings a detested thing to his brother begins it with himself. Whomever is born by poverty, riches spoils him.
When two (persons) curse each other, the higher of the (in rank) degrades to a lower rank.
The believer is the brother of a believer on the side of his mother and father though he is not born by his parents. Cursed is he who accuses his brother; cursed is he who does not advise his brother; cursed is he who submits himself as a captive to his brother; cursed is he who veils himself from his brother; and cursed is he who backbites his brother.
The paucity of loyalty is a defect in manhood.
A good deed by a good deed is a shackle nothing can open except a reward or gratitude.
If fixed terms appear, expectations are disclosed.
The paucity of gratitude makes (one) abstain from performing good deeds.
The head of generosity is making over trusts to their owners.
Whoever has no admonisher of his own soul, his enemy (Satan) has power over him.
The cheated is he who of whose lifetime an hour is decreased.
He whose morals are many is not famous for evil.
Whoever leaves requesting high ranks due to that his hope is cut off from them attains no important (thing).
The more appropriate knowledge to you is that which is not righteous to you to work except with it. The most incumbent knowledge on you is that which you are responsible for working with it. The most required knowledge is that which leads you to the righteousness of your heart and shows you its corruption.
The most praiseworthy knowledge in the final result is that which increases the reason of the wise. Therefore do not busy (yourself) with the knowledge that does not harm you if you are ignorant of it; and do not be heedless of the knowledge that increases your ignorance when you leave it.
Beware of withholding from (spending money) on the acts of obedience to Allah lest you should spend twice as much as it on the acts of disobedience to Allah.
Whoever speaks of Allah perishes; whoever seeks presidency perishes; whoever is vainglorious perishes.
A man asked Imam Musa about a generous person, and he, peace be on him, replied: “Surely your speech has two meanings: If you are asking about the creatures, then the generous person is he who performs that which Allah has made obligatory on him.
The miser is he who refrains from that which Allah has made obligatory on him. If you mean the Creator, then He is generous when He gives and He is generous when he withholds, for if He gives you, He gives you that which does not belong to you; and if he withholds you, He withholds you from that which does belong to you.
Surely if some people accompany the supreme ruler (sultan) that the believers may use them as caves, they will be safe on the Day of Resurrection.
One jurist who saves one of our orphans who cannot see us through teaching him that which he is in need of is more violent to Iblis than a thousand worshippers. For the worshipper takes care of himself only; and this (jurist) takes care of himself along with the servants of Allah-male and female-in order to save them from the hand and disobedience of Iblis; for this reason he is better in Allah’s sight than a million worshippers.
‘Abd Allah b. Yehya said: “I wrote to Imam Musa in a supplication: Praise belongs to Allah (to) the end of His knowledge. And he, peace be on him, wrote back: ‘Do not say (to) the end of His knowledge, for there is no end to His knowledge, but say to the end of His good pleasure.’”
If men commit sins they have not to do, Allah subjects them to tribulations they do not expect.
‘Ali b. Swayd al-Sa’i said: “I questioned Abu al-Hasan al-Awual about the words of Him, the Exalted and Great: And whoever trusts in Allah, He is sufficient for him (65:3). And he, peace be on him, has said: ‘The trust in Allah is degrees: of them is that you trust in Him in all your affairs, so you should be satisfied with what He does to you.
You should know that He gives you nothing but good and favors; you should know that the decision regarding that belongs to Him; and you should trust in Him in respect with it and other than it. Allah has mercy on the inhabitants of the earth as long as they love each other, make over trusts to their owners, and work with the truth.
Do not neglect the right of your brother depending on that which is between you and him, for he whose right you neglect is not your brother; let not your brother be stronger in (establishing) relationship than your abandoning him.
Surely the prophets, their children, and their followers were singled out with three qualities: maladies in the bodies, fear of the supreme ruler (sultan), and poverty.
Imam Musa, peace be on him, said to a son of his: “Do not take out yourself of the limit of curtailment in respect with the acts of worship and obedience to Allah, for surely none worships Allah with the worship due to Him.”
He, peace be on him, said: “Surely Allah, the Great and Almighty, has said: ‘Most surely I do not enrich the rich due to his dignity with Me nor do I impoverish the poor due to his abasement with Me; I try the rich with the poor through that. Were it not for the poor, the rich would not deserve the Garden.’”
If you do not feel shame, then do what you like. Al-‘Abbas b. Hilal al-Shami said: “I said to Abi al-Hasan Musa: ‘May I be your ransom, men admire him who eats the simplest food, wears coarse clothes, and shows reverence.’ So he, peace be on him, said: ‘Did you not know that Yousif (Joseph) was a prophet, son of a prophet? (However) he used to wear silk mantles brocaded with gold. He sat on the thrones of the Pharaohs and ruled.
The people were in no need of his clothes, but they were in need of his justice. An Imam is required to be just and fair; when he says something, he says the truth; when he promises something, he fulfills his promise; when he passes a judgement, he judges equitably.
Allah has not forbidden wearing a particular type of clothes or eating a particular type of food earned through a lawful way; rather He has forbidden the unlawful, little or much. And most certainly Allah has said: Say: Who has forbidden the beautiful (gifts) of Allah which He has produced for His servants, and the agreeable things of the sustenance.’”
Musa b. Bukayr has said: “I asked Abu al-Hasan (Musa), peace be on him: Which is older, unbelief or polytheism?’ And he answered me: ‘As far as I know that you do not debate.’ I said: ‘Hisham b. Salim ordered me to question you.’ So he answered me: ‘Unbelief is older and is denial. Allah, the Great and Almighty, has said: But Iblis (did it not). He refused and was proud.’”
‘Ali b. Suwayyid said: “I asked Aba al-Hasan Musa, peace be on him, about the weak (at faith), and he wrote back to me: ‘The weak (at faith) are those whose proofs are not raised and they do not know the difference. If they know the difference, then they are not weak.’”
‘Ali b. Suwayyid said: “I asked Aba al-Hasan Musa about the self-admiration that spoils deeds, and he, peace be on him, replied: ‘Self-admiration is degrees: Of them is that the evil-deed of a servant is made fair-seeing to him so much so that he considers it good. So he admires it and thinks that he does well; of them is that the servant believes in his Lord and lays Allah under obligation, while it is Allah Who lays him under obligation in respect with it.’”
Whoever seeks this livelihood through a lawful way to profit through it himself and his family is just like the one who struggles in the way of Allah. If he becomes helpless, he must borrow a loan on the account of Allah and His Apostle in order to maintain his family. If he dies and had not repaid the loan, then it is incumbent on the Imam to repay it.
If he (the Imam) does not repay it, then its burden is on him. Surely Allah, the Great and Almighty, has said: Alms are only for the poor and the needy, and the officials (appointed) over them...and those in debts. And this (person) is poor, needy, and in debts.
Imam Musa, peace be on him, said: “Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, has said: ‘Whoever gives religious decisions to men without knowledge, the angels of the heaven and the earth curse him.’” The truthful is better than the truth, and the good-doer is better than good-deeds.
‘Ali b. Ja‘far said:
-I asked my brother Musa b. Ja‘far: Is a believer a miser?
-Is he a traitor?
-No, nor is he a liar.
Then he said: “Surely my father related to me on the authority of his forefathers on the authority of Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, who has said: ‘A believer may have all qualities except lying and treason.’”
Imam Musa, peace be on him, said: “A man asked Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family: ‘What is a father’s right against his child?’ He, May Allah bless him and his family, replied: ‘He should not call him by his name, nor should he walk before him, nor should he sit in front of him, nor should he make men curse him.’”
He, peace be on him, said: “Allah’s Apostle, may Allah bless him and his family, said: ‘Whoever enters upon morning and does not intend to wrong anybody, Allah forgives him what he has committed.’”
He, peace be on him, said: “A man came to Allah’s Apostle, May Allah bless him and his family, and asked him: ‘O Allah’s Apostle, what is the right of my child against me? And he, May Allah bless him and his family, replied: ‘You must give him a good name and educate him.’”
The best property is the date-palms growing in mud and giving fruit during drought.
I (the author) have confined myself to this number of Imam Musa’s comprehensive sayings. He has another legacy on refuting the unbelievers and other than them. I shall present it when I deal with the problems of his time.
The following are some books from which I have quoted the valuable sayings:
1. Muhammad b. al-Hasan al-Hir al-‘Amili, al-Wasa’il.
2. Al-Saduq Muhammad b. ‘Ali al-Qummi, Men La Yahdarahu al-Faqih.
3. Abi Ja‘far Ahmed b. Muhammad al-Barqi, al-Mehasin.
4. Abi Ja‘far Muhammad b. Ya’qub al-Kulayni al-Razi, Usool al-Kafi.
5. Al-Saduq Muhammad b. ‘Ali al-Qummi, ‘Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha’.
6. Al-Sayyid Muhsin al-Ameen al-‘Amili, A‘yan al-Shi‘a.
7. Muhammad b. Ahmed al-Dhahaby, Mizan al-I‘tidal.
8. Al-Shibrawi, al-Ithaf fi Hub al-Ashraf.
9. Al-Shiblenji, Noor al-Abbsar.
10. Al-Tabrasi, al-Ihtijajj.
11. ‘Abd Allah b. Ja‘far al-Humayri, Qurb al-Isnad.
12. Muhsin al-Qashani, al-Wafi.
13. Ahmed b. Abi Ya‘qub, better known as b. Wadih, Tarikh al-Ya‘qubi.
14. Waram b. Abi Firas, Majjmu‘at Waram.
15. Al-Hasan b. ‘Ali, Tuhaf al-‘Uqul.
16. Al-Husayn b. Muhammad al-Halawani, Nazhat al-Nazir fi Tanbeeh al-Khatir.
- 1. Shaykh Mullah Sadra's name is Muhammad b. Ibrahim al-Shirazi. He was wise, famous and had knowledge of Allah. He was the most knowledgeable of the people of his time in wisdom. The author of the book al-Salafa has said: "He (Mullah Sadra) mastered all arts of wisdom." Mullah Sadra has the four books. He explained the book Usool al-Kafi and some Qur'anic verses. He died in Basrah in the year 1050 A. H. This has been mentioned in the book al-Kuna wa al-Alqab.
- 2. Tafseer al-Manar, vol. 2, p. 60.
- 3. Allah Yatajalla fi 'Asr al-'Ilm, p. 48.
- 4. Ibid.p. 48.
- 5. Al-Takamul fi al-Islam, vol. 4, p. 66.
- 6. Allah Yatajalla fi 'Asr al-'Ilm, pp. 10-11.
- 7. Al-Takamul fi al-Islam, vol. 6, p.128.
- 8. Al-Ard wa al-Turba al-Husayniya, pp. 10-13.
- 9. Tafseer al-Razi, vol. 2, pp. 65-66.
- 10. Ibid. p. 68.
- 11. Allah wa al-'Ilm al-Hadith. Al-Saduq, Amali. Allah Yatajalla fi 'Asr al-'Ilm. Al-'Ilm yad'u ila al-Iman.
- 12. Al-Tabari, Tafseer, vol. 2, p. 65.
- 13. Allah wa al-'Ilm al-Hadith, pp. 174-175.
- 14. Tafseer al-Jawahir, vol. 1, p. 155.
- 15. Ibn Kuthayr, Tafseer, vol. 4, p. 20.
- 16. Rooh al-Ma'ani, vol. 7, p. 313.
- 17. Al-Razi, Tafseer.
- 18. Al-Tibyan, vol. 1, p. 188, Iran edition.
- 19. Al-Manar, vol. 1, p. 100.
- 20. Majjma' al-Bayan, vol. 1, p. 98.
- 21. Rooh al-Ma'ani, vol. 6, p. 423.
- 22. It means that both clear and ambiguous verses issued from Allah.
- 23. Al-Waafi.
- 24. Usool al-Kafi, vol. 1, pp. 13-20. It has also been mentioned in the book al-Waafi, vol. 1, p. 26-28.
- 25. Tuhaf al-'Uqool, pp. 390-400.
- 26. Usool al-Kafi, vol. 1, pp. 139-140.
- 27. Al-Sihah. Al-Qamoos. Asas al-Balagha.
- 28. Al-Bidaya, vol. 1, p. 109.
- 29. Shaykh al-Kulayni has narrated it on the authority of Abu Basir. Al-Waafi, Chapter on al-Bida', vol. 1, p. 113.
- 30. Shaykh al-Kulayni has narrated it on the authority of al-Fudayl b. Yasar on the authority of Abu Ja'far. Ibid.
- 31. Al-Bayan fi Tafseer al-Qur'an, vol. 1, pp. 271-276.
- 32. Sharh Usool al-Kafi.
- 33. Al-Razi, Tafseer.
- 34. Fajjr al-Islam, vol. 1, p. 354.
- 35. Usool al-Kafi, vol. 2, pp. 38-39.
- 36. A'yan al-Shi'a, vol. 4, p. 57.
- 37. Al-'Amal wa Huqooq al-'Amil fi al-Islam, p. 135.
- 38. Men Laa Yahdarahu al-Fadeeh, vol. 3, p. 53.
- 39. Al-'Amal wa Huqooq al-'Aamil fi al-Islam, p. 140.
- 40. Al-Wasaa'il, Chapter on al-Amr fi al-Ma'ruf wa al-Nahy 'an al-Munker.
- 41. Ibid.
- 42. Usool al-Kafi, vol. 2, p. 553.
- 43. Muhajj al-Da'wat, pp. 67-72.
- 44. Usool al-Kafi, vol. 2, p. 553.
- 45. Ibid., p. 373.
- 46. Muhajj al-Da'awat, p. 373.
- 47. Al-Waafi, vol. 3, p. 78.
- 48. Al-Durr al-Nazim.
- 49. Tuhaf al-'Uqool, p. 409.
- 50. Al-Ithaf Bihub al-Ashraf, p. 55.
- 51. Nizhat al-Nazir fi Tenbeeh al-Khatir, p. 45.
- 52. Zahr al-Adab, vol. 1, p. 132.
- 53. Abu Yousif's name is Ya'qub b. Ibrahim al-Ansari. He was born in the year 113 A. H. He died in Baghdad in the year 282 A. H. He was a traditionist, and then he followed opinion. He studied jurisprudence under 'Abd al-Rahman b. Abi Layla and Abu Hanifa. He was appointed as a judge by Harun al-Rashid. This has been mentioned in Tabaqat al-Fuqaha', p. 113.
- 54. Al-Manaqib, vol. 3, p. 429.
- 55. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 12, p. 283.
- 56. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 12, pp. 274-275.
- 57. Tuhaf al-'Uqool, pp. 407-408.
- 58. Al-Manaqib, vol. 3, pp. 427-429.
- 59. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 4, p. 148.
- 60. Ibid, vol. 4, p. 147.
- 61. Al-Manaqib, vol. 3, p. 427.
- 62. Al-Amali, p. 150.
- 63. Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 11, p. 286.