Imamate and Wilayah, Part 7
This paper is based on lecture 14 of a series of lectures delivered by Dr Mohammad Ali Shomali in summer 2004 in Qum.
In Shi‘i Islam, it is necessary for a society to have a pious, knowledgeable, wise, and infallible guide who will lead the Muslim society after the Prophet’s death to present truth Islam. Having such a leader is a grace of God. While Part V of this series studied a group of verses that refer to the concept of witness in the Qur’an – who was none other than Imam Ali – together with his roles and merits, Part VI offered authentic hadiths that refer to the legitimacy of Imam Ali’s leadership, such as the Hadith of Manzilah, the Hadith of Wilayah, and the Hadith of Ghadir. This last part focuses on the concept of wilayah, and specifically verses in the Qur’an that pertain to wilayah in legislation and creation.
The term wilayah is profound in Arabic. It originally refers to something coming after something else without any interval. The Arabic phrase ‘waliya hadha dhaka’ means ‘this has come immediately after the other.’ But from this original meaning which relates to material things, the term expands to include other aspects. 1
When wilayah is expanded from its material meaning, it essentially means ‘to assist,’ ‘to help,’ ‘to lead,’ or ‘to act as someone’s master.’ On the other hand, the term walayah refers to friendship and love. The focus in this paper is on wilayah, rather than walayah.
Wilayah has two meanings: a) to help, assist, and aid; and b) to lead, rule, and have control of something.
The first meaning of wali (aid or friend): In his al-Tafsir al-Kabir,2 Fakhruddin Razi3 says that wilayah sometimes refers to both ‘aid’ and ‘friend,’ and sometimes it simply means ‘aid.’ Sometimes it refers to someone who is superior and takes charge. He refers to the following verse:
وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتُ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ* يَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَيُطِيعُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ * أُولَٰئِكَ سَيَرْحَمُهُمُ اللَّهُ * إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ
But the faithful, men and women, are comrades of one another: they bid what is right and forbid what is wrong and maintain the prayer, give the zakat, and obey Allah and His Apostle. It is they to whom Allah will soon grant His mercy. Indeed Allah is all-mighty, all-wise.4
In this verse, Allah says that the faithful – male or female – are a wali of one another. According to Razi, wali refers to a believer helping another believer and vice-versa: the relationship is reciprocal. They “are comrades of one another”5 on a mutual basis.
The second meaning of wali (to be in charge): Razi mentions a tradition similar to those found in Shi‘a sources. For example, from a jurisprudential point of view, the permission of a wali is required for a girl to get married. Here, wali refers to her father, and if her father is unavailable, it can refer to her guardian.
Moreover, the Prophet was a wali of this Islamic nation. The Qur’an says:
إنَّمَا وَلِيُّكُمُ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ الَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ الصَّلاةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَهُمْ رَاكِعُونَ
Your guardian is only God, His Apostle, and the faithful who maintain the prayer and give the zakat while bowing down.6
In his commentary on Chapter Tawbah, Ayatollah Mutahhari says that the verse:
وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَات بَعْضهمْ أَوْلِيَاء بَعْض
But the faithful, men and women, are comrades of one another7
does not merely refer to being friends of one other. In this usage some aspects of the second meaning is found. The relation of wilayah between believers is not merely to assist each other; rather, it is to supervise one another. This means that a believer is to observe some rights for other believers, and Allah has given believers some authority over one another.
It is for this reason we are obliged to enjoin others to good and forbid one another from doing wrong. Without this right upon one another, we could then only mind our own business obliviously, or at least pleasantly ask others to see to their obligations as an alternative. But we are asked to enjoin others to do good; when it is necessary believers command one another to observe their religious duties regardless of whether it is towards a close relative or not.
Thus, wilayah is not merely a matter of friendship; there is some sort of superiority each believer has towards another believer. Allah has given us superiority. Whoever exceeds the other in practicing Islam achieves this superiority. Thus, a better believer is responsible for enjoining good and prohibiting bad.
Scholars divide the second meaning of wilayah into two: a) wilayah in creation and b) wilayah in legislation. Allah possesses both types.
In an Islamic state, lawmakers are permitted to generate laws although only within a framework of divine law. None other than God can be a true lawmaker. The only framework in which legislation can be applied in parliament is divine law and a legitimate constitution which by itself must be compatible with the divine law. For example, in Iran parliament exists, but every law passed by the parliament must be approved by the Guardian Council who in turn ensures that the laws are compatible with Qur’anic teachings.
There are twelve members in the Guardian Council: six mujtahids8 and six experts in law. Mujtahids verify the acceptance of the laws according to Islamic rulings. Afterwards, all twelve verify its compatibility with the constitution.
Thus, full legislation belongs to Allah, and then He provides this in some measure to those He is pleased with. The Prophets’ authority to legislate is called al-Wilayah al-Tashri’iyya, or ‘Legislative Guardianship.’ On the other hand, al-Wilayah al-Takwiniyya, or ‘Generative Guardianship,’ refers to guardianship in relation to creation. Some verses in the Qur’an point to either type of wilayah, and some refer to both types.
There are verses that refer to both types of wilayah. For example, in verse 9 of the Chapter al-Shura, Allah says:
فَاللَّهُ هُوَ الْوَلِيُّ وَهُوَ يُحْيِي الْمَوْتَىٰ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
[Say,] ‘It is Allah who is the Guardian, and He revives the dead, and He has power over all things. (42:9)
This verse refers to both types of guardianship and states that God is the only true and independent master and guardian (wali). Any other guardianship or mastership must originate from His guardian and mastership, just as mirrors merely reflect the light of a bulb and do not truly give off light themselves.
The Prophet, Imams, mujtahids, and in some cases, parents, all have been delegated some level of the wilayah that belongs to God in the first place. It is for this reason that if someone who has wilayah without being an infallible asks us to commit an action against the command of Allah, we must disobey them. For example, parents are to be obeyed, but if they ask one to commit a sin they must not be obeyed.
Verse 36 of the Chapter Ahzab refers to legislative authority:
وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْرًا أَنْ يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ * وَمَنْ يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالًا مُبِينًا
A faithful man or woman may not, when Allah and His Apostle have decided on a matter, have any option in their matter, and whoever disobeys Allah and His Apostle has certainly strayed into manifest error. (33:36)
Allah or the Prophet’s decree is the truth; thus, believers do not reserve the right to evaluate as to whether they should accept it or not, as people do not have a choice when the truth is concerned. Evaluating Allah’s decrees is similar to having the choice of saying the sun is shining when it is actually shining. Moreover, this is not to be mistaken as a matter of dictatorship. Divine or prophetic decisions are not to be questioned, because they always comply with the truth and no one should question the truth.
In verse 101 of the chapter Yusuf, Prophet Yusuf addresses God:
أَنْتَ وَلِيِّي فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ * تَوَفَّنِي مُسْلِمًا وَأَلْحِقْنِي بِالصَّالِحِينَ
You are my guardian in this world and the Hereafter! Let my death be in submission [to You], and unite me with the Righteous. (12:101)
This verse refers to wilayah in creation. It does not refer to legislative wilayah because there exists no legislation of Islamic law (sharia) in the hereafter. Prophet Yusuf tells God that He is the guardian of this world and the hereafter, and this means that all affairs – his life, existence, happiness, abundance, illness – are in God’s hands in both this world and the next.
Although Allah maintains full authority over all affairs, the Qur’an tells us about the role that people such as the Prophets, Imams, saints, and even jinns9 play in maintaining this world and running its affairs. So Allah is in charge of everything but there is a hierarchy. Like a king or a leader of a state who is in charge of whatever the government does, but this does not mean that he runs the state single-handedly and does not have agents. There is a hierarchical structure of the agents.
In the chapter The Ant, verses 38 and 39, when Prophet Sulayman asked his men to bring Queen Sheba’s throne:
قَالَ يَا أَيُّهَا الْمَلَأُ أَيُّكُمْ يَأْتِينِي بِعَرْشِهَا قَبْلَ أَنْ يَأْتُونِي مُسْلِمِينَ قَالَ عِفْرِيتٌ مِنَ الْجِنِّ أَنَا آتِيكَ بِهِ قَبْلَ أَنْ تَقُومَ مِنْ مَقَامِكَ ۖ وَإِنِّي عَلَيْهِ لَقَوِيٌّ أَمِينٌ قَالَ الَّذِي عِنْدَهُ عِلْمٌ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ أَنَا آتِيكَ بِهِ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَرْتَدَّ إِلَيْكَ طَرْفُكَ ۚ فَلَمَّا رَآهُ مُسْتَقِرًّا عِنْدَهُ قَالَ هَٰذَا مِنْ فَضْلِ رَبِّي لِيَبْلُوَنِي أَأَشْكُرُ أَمْ أَكْفُرُ ۖ وَمَنْ شَكَرَ فَإِنَّمَا يَشْكُرُ لِنَفْسِهِ ۖ وَمَنْ كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ رَبِّي غَنِيٌّ كَرِيمٌ
He said, ‘O [members of the] elite! Which of you will bring me her throne before they come to me in submission?’ An audacious from among the jinn said, ‘I will bring it to you before you rise from your place. Indeed I have the power for it and am trustworthy.’ The one who had knowledge of the Book said, ‘I will bring it to you in the twinkling of an eye.’ So when he saw it set near him, he said, ‘This is by the grace of my Lord, to test me if I will give thanks or be ungrateful. And whoever gives thanks, gives thanks only for his own sake. And whoever is ungrateful [should know that] my Lord is indeed all- sufficient, all-generous.’ (27:38 - 40)
Though the jinn wanted to bring the throne of the Queen before the Prophet stood up, another person said he could bring the throne in less than a blink. And this person had one quality: some knowledge of the Book. This proves that it is possible for certain people to have extraordinary power more so than people’s ordinary abilities. This is not unusual, as there are pious people who have been informed of happenings in another part of the world, or events in the past and future.
The question arises: how is it possible for the second person to bring the throne instantaneously? Because he had some knowledge of the Book (‘ilmun min al kitab), he was able to bring the throne within a twinkling of an eye. Now we can better imagine what would a person who has all the knowledge of the Book (‘ilmul kitab) be able to do.
The Qur’an tells us:
وَيَقُولُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَسْتَ مُرْسَلًا ۚ قُلْ كَفَىٰ بِاللَّهِ شَهِيدًا بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَكُمْ وَمَنْ عِنْدَهُ عِلْمُ الْكِتَابِ
The Unbelievers say: "No messenger art thou" Say: "Enough for a witness between me and you is God, and such as have knowledge of the Book." (13:43)
Discussing the Qur’anic concept of witness, we demonstrated in previous parts that Imam Ali was the witness who followed the Prophet and had all knowledge of the Book.
There are many verses in the Qur’an about the miracles of Prophet Jesus. Interestingly, those miraculous acts are attributed to Jesus, but at the same time it is stated clearly that they were with Allah’s blessing and could not have happened without Allah’s permission and authority. The role of the prophets in performing miracles was not just to pray and then Allah swt performed the miracles. Normal people can also pray to Allah to bring miracles. A miracle occurs when a close servant of God brings that miracle with Allah’s blessing:
وَرَسُولًا إِلَىٰ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَنِّي قَدْ جِئْتُكُمْ بِآيَةٍ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ ۖ أَنِّي أَخْلُقُ لَكُمْ مِنَ الطِّينِ كَهَيْئَةِ الطَّيْرِ فَأَنْفُخُ فِيهِ فَيَكُونُ طَيْرًا بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ ۖ وَأُبْرِئُ الْأَكْمَهَ وَالْأَبْرَصَ وَأُحْيِي الْمَوْتَىٰ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ ۖ وَأُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا تَأْكُلُونَ وَمَا تَدَّخِرُونَ فِي بُيُوتِكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَةً لَكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ
And [he will be] an apostle to the Children of Israel, [and he will declare,] ‘I have certainly brought you a sign from your Lord: I will create for you out of clay the form of a bird, then I will breathe into it, and it will become a bird by God’s leave. And I heal the blind and the leper and I revive the dead by God’s leave. And I will tell you what you have eaten and what you have stored in your houses. There is indeed a sign in that for you, should you be faithful. (3:49)
Jesus did not just pray for the clay to transform into a bird. He made it a bird. When Allah wanted to create Adam He made his body from clay and then blew into him from His spirit. In a similar way, but of course with great differences, Jesus was also made able to give life to a bird. Of course, Jesus did this with the help and blessing of Allah. This is wilayah in creation which means that Prophet Jesus had this guardianship in the creation, some role in running this world.
The Qur’an tells us about the story of Prophet Ibrahim when he asked Allah to show him how He revives the dead:
وَإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ رَبِّ أَرِنِي كَيْفَ تُحْيِ الْمَوْتَى قَالَ أَوَلَمْ تُؤْمِنْ قَالَ بَلَى وَلَكِنْ لِيَطْمَئِنَّ قَلْبِي قَالَ فَخُذْ أَرْبَعَةً مِنَ الطَّيْرِ فَصُرْهُنَّ إِلَيْكَ ثُمَّ اجْعَلْ عَلَى كُلِّ جَبَلٍ مِنْهُنَّ جُزْءًا ثُمَّ ادْعُهُنَّ يَأْتِينَكَ سَعْيًا وَاعْلَمْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ
And when Abraham said, ‘My Lord! Show me how You revive the dead,’ He said, ‘Do you not believe?’ He said, ‘Yes indeed, but in order that my heart may be at rest.’ He said, ‘Take four of the birds. Then cut them into pieces, and place a part of them on every mountain, then call them; they will come to you hastening. And know that God is All-mighty and All- wise.’ (2:260)
Prophet Abraham did not ask Allah to show him how the dead are revived; he asked Allah to show him how He revives the dead. Thus, Allah granted Prophet Abraham the power to give new life. It is noteworthy, however, not to misinterpret this action as polytheistic (shirk). In that this action is entirely attributed to the doer. It is an action done within the channel of creation. It is through the person that Allah does something. Prophet Abraham was able to understand how Allah revives the dead because he himself revived those birds.
Thus, the Prophets, jinns, angels, and those whom possess knowledge of the book, can play a role in running certain worldly affairs or occurring in the hierarchy of the agents.
We believe that the infallible Imams were given the same generative wilayah in that they were able to play a stronger role than the ordinary people. They have acted as a medium between Allah and the people, a channel through which Allah spread His mercy and blessings. Though people can directly call and pray to Allah, the gift of existence, mercy, and blessings of Allah run through these channels, creating a necessary hierarchy in society.
Of course, communication with Allah is possible for everyone, but it is helpful as well, and Allah can by pass any agent which occurs in this hierarchy, though His norm is to do things through its causes (aballaahu an yujriya al-umura illaa bi asbaabihaa).
Note: The Imams condemned the beliefs of some zealots who mistakenly believed in the deity of some of the Imams given their knowledge and power. Though they showed kindness to non-Shi‘as, the Imams were stern with respect to these exaggerations. In one hadith that relates to the knowledge of the Imams, a companion of Imam Sadiq narrates:
I was with the Imam, Abu Basir, Yahya al-Bazzaz, and Dawood ibn Kathir. The Imam left angry. When he returned, the Imam said, ‘I am surprised at those who think that we [Imams] know the unseen [ghayb]. I swear by Allah, no one knows the unseen except Him.’ Then the Imam said, ‘I was looking for the housemaid but couldn’t find her.’10
To refute the idea of the zealots, Imam Sadiq stressed on the fact that no one knows the unseen except Allah. Sadir says that later he, Abu Basir, and Muyassar visited Imam in his house and said to Imam, “May we be your ransom! We heard you saying so and so about not knowing where your housemaid was, but we know that you have vast knowledge, though we don’t ascribe the knowledge of the unseen to you.” Imam then explained to them that Imams have all the knowledge of the Book (13:43) which includes every single drop of water in seas.11
In another hadith, Ammar Sabati asks Imam Sadiq as to whether the Imams know the unseen (ghayb). Imam Sadiq replied: “No, but when they want to know the unseen Allah (swt) informs them.”12
Thus, according to the hadiths and in line with the Qur’anic verses about the knowledge of the unseen, it becomes clear that the knowledge of the unseen only belongs to Allah.13 No one has access to it, except those servants of Allah whom He is pleased with, such as the prophets and Imams. The Qur’an says:
قُلْ إِنْ أَدْرِي أَقَرِيبٌ مَّا تُوعَدُونَ أَمْ يَجْعَلُ لَهُ رَبِّي أَمَدًا* عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ فَلَا يُظْهِرُ عَلَىٰ غَيْبِهِ أَحَدًا *
إِلَّا مَنِ ارْتَضَىٰ مِن رَّسُولٍ
Say, ‘I do not know if what you are promised is near, or if my Lord has set a term for it.’ Knower of the Unseen, He does not disclose His Unseen to anyone, except to an apostle He approves of. (72:25-27)
ذَٰلِكَ مِنْ أَنبَاءِ الْغَيْبِ نُوحِيهِ إِلَيْكَ ۚ وَمَا كُنتَ لَدَيْهِمْ إِذْ يُلْقُونَ أَقْلَامَهُمْ أَيُّهُمْ يَكْفُلُ مَرْيَمَ
وَمَا كُنتَ لَدَيْهِمْ إِذْ يَخْتَصِمُونَ
These accounts are from the Unseen, which We reveal to you, and you were not with them when they were casting lots [to see] which of them would take charge of Mary’s care, nor were you with them when they were contending. (3:44)
تِلْكَ مِنْ أَنبَاءِ الْغَيْبِ نُوحِيهَا إِلَيْكَ ۖ مَا كُنتَ تَعْلَمُهَا أَنتَ وَلَا قَوْمُكَ مِن قَبْلِ هَٰذَا ۖ فَاصْبِرْ ۖ إِنَّ الْعَاقِبَةَ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ
These are accounts of the Unseen which We reveal to you. Neither you nor your people used to know them before this. So be patient. Indeed the outcome will be in favour of the Godwary. (11:49)
Referring to both literal and technical meanings of wilayah, this paper focused on wilayah as a kind of guardianship. Wali is the one who is in charge. This can be with respect to legislation or with respect to creation and managing the world. The Qur’an includes verses that refer to both generative and legislative types of wilayah. In the first place, Allah possesses both types. None other than Allah is the true lawmaker, although He provides it in some measure to those He is pleased with.
Also the generative power in the first place belongs to Allah, but Allah may give authority in His generative wilayah to those with whom He is pleased like His angels and chosen servants. The Prophet, Imams, mujtahids, and in some cases, parents, have been entrusted with some level of legislative wilayah with God’s permission. Thus, the Infallible Imams were given both legislative and generative wilayah to be a channel through which Allah spread His vast mercy.
- 1. In Arabic and in other languages, it is very common that the original meaning of a term might refer to a physical or material meaning, and then it is extended to immaterial or abstract meanings as well.
- 2. Commentary on the Qur’an.
- 3. Prominent Sunni scholar and prolific author.
- 4. 9:71
- 5. Ibid
- 6. 5:55
- 7. 9:71
- 8. In Islamic law: a scholar’s independent interpretation or use of reason to derive a rule of divine law from the Qur’an if not precisely described in the Qur in, hadiths, and scholarly consensus.
- 9. Jinns are two-dimensional supernatural spirits who, like human beings, have free will and can be good or evil. They occupy the unseen world and possess particular physical abilities humans beings do not have. However, human beings exceed them in their intellectual and spiritual capacities, which is why jinns are commanded to follow a human prophet.
- 10. Al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 257.
- 11. Ibid. Full text of hadith in Arabic is as follows:
عن سَديرٍ قال كُنْتُ أَنَا وَ أَبُو بَصِيرٍ وَ يَحْيَى اَلْبَزَّازُ وَ دَاوُدُ بْنُ كَثِيرٍ فِي مَجْلِسِ أَبِي عَبْدِ اَللَّهِ ع إِذْ خَرَجَ إِلَيْنَا وَ هُوَ مُغْضَبٌ فَلَمَّا أَخَذَ مَجْلِسَهُ قَالَ يَا عَجَباً لِأَقْوَامٍ يَزْعُمُونَ أَنَّا نَعْلَمُ اَلْغَيْبَ مَا يَعْلَمُ اَلْغَيْبَ إِلاَّ اَللَّهُ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ لَقَدْ هَمَمْتُ بِضَرْبِ جَارِيَتِي فُلاَنَةَ فَهَرَبَتْ مِنِّي فَمَا عَلِمْتُ فِي أَيِّ بُيُوتِ اَلدَّارِ هِيَ قَالَ سَدِيرٌ فَلَمَّا أَنْ قَامَ مِنْ مَجْلِسِهِ وَ صَارَ فِي مَنْزِلِهِ دَخَلْتُ أَنَا وَ أَبُو بَصِيرٍ وَ مُيَسِّرٌ وَ قُلْنَا لَهُ جُعِلْنَا فِدَاكَ سَمِعْنَاكَ وَ أَنْتَ تَقُولُ كَذَا وَ كَذَا فِي أَمْرِ جَارِيَتِكَ وَ نَحْنُ نَعْلَمُ أَنَّكَ تَعْلَمُ عِلْماً كَثِيراً وَ لاَ نَنْسُبُكَ إِلَى عِلْمِ اَلْغَيْبِ قَالَ فَقَالَ يَا سَدِيرُ أَ لَمْ تَقْرَأِ اَلْقُرْآنَ قُلْتُ بَلَى قَالَ فَهَلْ وَجَدْتَ فِيمَا قَرَأْتَ مِنْ كِتَابِ اَللَّهِ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ قََالَ اَلَّذِي عِنْدَهُ عِلْمٌ مِنَ اَلْكِتَابِ أَنَا آتِيكَ بِهِ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَرْتَدَّ إِلَيْكَ طَرْفُكَ قَالَ قُلْتُ جُعِلْتُ فِدَاكَ قَدْ قَرَأْتُهُ قَالَ فَهَلْ عَرَفْتَ اَلرَّجُلَ وَ هَلْ عَلِمْتَ مَا كَانَ عِنْدَهُ مِنْ عِلْمِ اَلْكِتَابِ قَالَ قُلْتُ أَخْبِرْنِي بِهِ قَالَ قَدْرُ قَطْرَةٍ مِنَ اَلْمَاءِ فِي اَلْبَحْرِ اَلْأَخْضَرِ فَمَا يَكُونُ ذَلِكَ مِنْ عِلْمِ اَلْكِتَابِ قَالَ قُلْتُ جُعِلْتُ فِدَاكَ مَا أَقَلَّ هَذَا فَقَالَ يَا سَدِيرُ مَا أَكْثَرَ هَذَا أَنْ يَنْسُبَهُ اَللَّهُ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ إِلَى اَلْعِلْمِ اَلَّذِي أُخْبِرُكَ بِهِ يَا سَدِيرُ فَهَلْ وَجَدْتَ فِيمَا قَرَأْتَ مِنْ كِتَابِ اَللَّهِ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ أَيْضاً قُلْ كَفى بِاللَّهِ شَهِيداً بَيْنِي وَ بَيْنَكُمْ وَ مَنْ عِنْدَهُ عِلْمُ اَلْكِتََابِ قَالَ قُلْتُ قَدْ قَرَأْتُهُ جُعِلْتُ فِدَاكَ قَالَ أَ فَمَنْ عِنْدَهُ عِلْمُ اَلْكِتَابِ كُلُّهُ أَفْهَمُ أَمْ مَنْ عِنْدَهُ عِلْمُ اَلْكِتَابِ بَعْضُهُ قُلْتُ لاَ بَلْ مَنْ عِنْدَهُ عِلْمُ اَلْكِتَابِ كُلُّهُ قَالَ فَأَوْمَأَ بِيَدِهِ إِلَى صَدْرِهِ وَ قَالَ عِلْمُ اَلْكِتَابِ وَ اَللَّهِ كُلُّهُ عِنْدَنَا عِلْمُ اَلْكِتَابِ وَ اَللَّهِ كُلُّهُ عِنْدَنَا
- 12. Ibid. Full text of hadith in Arabic is as follows:
عن عمار الساباطي قال :سَأَلْتُ أَبَا عَبْدِ اَللَّهِ ع عَنِ اَلْإِمَامِ يَعْلَمُ اَلْغَيْبَ فَقَالَ لاَ وَ لَكِنْ إِذَا أَرَادَ أَنْ يَعْلَمَ اَلشَّيْءَ أَعْلَمَهُ اَللَّهُ ذَلِكَ.
- 13. For example, the Qur’an says:
قل لَّا يَعْلَمُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ الْغَيْبَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ ۚ وَمَا يَشْعُرُونَ أَيَّانَ يُبْعَثُونَ
“Say, ‘No one in the heavens or the earth knows the Unseen except God, and they are not aware when they will be resurrected.’” (27:65)