The First Right: Existence And Being
The Almighty Allah has created you and others by the Barakat of His Eminence and if he had not been there no one else had been there. Rather if he hadn’t been there neither the earth would have come into existence nor the sky. This point is mentioned in the traditions, some of which are as follows:
1. Among the epistles (Tawqee) of His Eminence mentioned in Ihtijaaj is the following:
“We are the creations of our Lord, and the creatures after that were created by us.”1
Indeed the meaning of this statement is having two aspects. One of it is the same that is mentioned in another epistle in the same book. A group of Shias had a dispute whether the Almighty Allah had delegated creation of and providing sustenance to the creatures to the Holy Imams (as). Thus some people said that it was impossible because no one other than Allah could create physical bodies. But some people said that the Almighty Allah has delegated the power of creation to the Imams (as) and consequently they are the creators and sustenance givers.
A severe dispute arose among the Shia people on this matter. Someone suggested why they should not contact Abu Ja’far Muhammad bin Uthman and ask him about it so that the facts become clear? Because he was the path leading to the Imam of the time. All agreed to this proposal and they wrote a letter to Abu Ja’far explaining the matter. Thus the reply to this inquire was received from the Imam of the Age (aj) as follows:
“The Almighty Allah has created the bodies Himself and distributed the sustenance because He neither a body nor does he incarnates into a body. There is nothing like Him and He is all- hearing and all-seeing. As for the Imams, they requested the Almighty Allah and He created and He gave sustenance to fulfill their request and due to the respect of their rights.”2
The conclusion of this reason is that Imam az-Zaman (as) and his honorable forefathers are the mediums through whom the divine favors reach the creatures. The same point is mentioned in Dua Nudbah:
“Where is the medium through whom heavenly benefits reach the people of the earth?”
The second reason is that the aim of the creation of all that Allah, the Mighty and the High has created are His Eminence and his purified forefathers; that is, they are the main aim of creation and all that is present was created for their sake.
That which supports this matter is a traditional report from Amirul Momineen ‘Ali (as) that he said:
“We are the creations of our Lord, and the creatures after that were created by us.”
Many traditions prove this point some of which are as follows:
Shaykh Sadooq has quoted an authentic tradition from His Eminence, ‘Ali bin Moosa ar-Reza (as) from his father, Moosa bin Ja’far from his father, Ja’far bin Muhammad from his father Muhammad bin ‘Ali from his father ‘Ali bin al-Husain from his father, Husain bin ‘Ali from his father ‘Ali bin Abi Talib that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) said:
“The Almighty Allah has not created any creature better than me and there is no one more respectable near Him than me.”
‘Ali (as) says that he asked, “O Allah’s Messenger, you are better or Jibraeel?” He (the Prophet) replied, “O ‘Ali, the Almighty Allah has given superiority to the Messenger Prophets over His proximate angels and He gave me superiority over all the Messengers and Prophets. And O ‘Ali, after me you and after you the Imams are having superiority over them because the angels of God are our servants and servants of our friends. O ‘Ali, the bearers of the Arsh and the angels around it praise and glorify their Lord and they pray for the forgiveness of those who believe in your Wilayat (mastership). O ‘Ali, if we hadn’t been there, the Almighty Allah would neither have created His Eminence, Adam (as) nor Her Eminence, Hawwa (as) neither Paradise nor Hell, neither the earth and the sky. And why shouldn’t we be superior to the angels?
We have preceded them in praising and glorifying our Lord. It is so because the first creations of Allah were souls and He made us speaking with His unity and magnification. Then He created the angels. When they saw us with an effulgence (Noor), they considered our affair to be of a great importance. I said: ‘Glory be to Allah’, so that the angels may understand that we are creatures and servants of God. And that the Almighty Allah is more exalted and purified of our qualities. So by our glorification the angels learnt how to glorify Allah and they understood that God is purified and clean of qualities (of the creatures).
And when they noticed our greatness and majesty, we said: ‘There is no god except Allah’, so that the angels may understand that there is no one worthy of deification except Allah and that we are the servants of God, we are not partners in His divinity. Thus they (also) reiterated: ‘There is no god except Allah.’
When the angels realized our greatness we said: ‘Allah is the Greatest’, so that they may understand that God is much greater that which can be imagined and all the greatness, power and strength is reserved only for God. After that when they saw that Allah has bestowed us with honor and power, we said: ‘There is no power and strength except by Allah, the High and the great’, so that the angels may understand that there is no power and might except for Allah. Thus the angels also repeated: ‘There is no power and strength except by Allah.’
When they witnessed the bounties that Allah has bestowed on us and that our obedience is made incumbent on all creatures by Him, we said: ‘Al Hamdulillaah’ (Praise be to Allah) so that the angels may know that it is the right of Allah upon us to thank Him for His bounties. So the angels also said: ‘Al Hamdulillaah’. In other words, the angels received guidance through our Barakat, and understood the unity, glorification, praise and magnification of God.
After that Allah created Adam (as) and entrusted our effulgence to his loins and due to our respect and honor ordered the angels to prostrate before him. Their prostration was due to their servitude of God and their respect and honor to His Eminence, Adam (as) was due to His obedience. Because we were in his lions, then why we shouldn’t be superior to the angels, as all of them prostrated before His Eminence, Adam (as).
And when I was taken to the heavens, His Eminence, Jibraeel (as) recited the Azan and Iqamah twice and told me, ‘O Muhammad go ahead and lead the Prayers’, I said: ‘O Jibraeel, should I take precedence over you?’ ‘Yes’, he replied, ‘because god had given superiority to all prophets over the angels and endowed you with a special excellence’. Thus, I stood in the front and prayed with him. But I do not say this due to pride. After that I reached upto the veil of effulgence and His Eminence, Jibraeel (as) said, ‘Muhammad (s.a.w.s.), now you go ahead,’ and he himself remained there. I said, ‘You are leaving me at this juncture?’ He replied, ‘O Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) this is the limit that Allah has fixed for me, if I take a step forward my wings will burn down.’ Thus I was put into the ocean of effulgence and I began to swim in the seas of divine lights. Till I reached at that place in the cosmos upto which Allah desired.
Then a voice came to me, ‘O Muhammad.’ I said: ‘Here I am My Lord, You the bestower of honor and dignity.’ ‘Muhammad, you are My servant, My messenger among My creatures, You are My Proof upon My servants. I have created Paradise for everyone who obeys you and prepared the fire of Hell for all those who oppose you. I have made favors and honor incumbent upon Me for your successors, and made divine rewards incumbent for their Shias.’ I said, ‘My Lord, please introduce my successors to me.’ He said, ‘Your successors are those whose names are inscribed on the empyrean of My throne.’
So I looked and I was before my Lord. I saw twelve lights on the empyrean of the throne. In each light I saw a green line. The names of each of my successors was written in it. The first name was that of ‘Ali Ibne Abi Talib and the last was Mahdi.
I asked, ‘O my Lord, are they my successors after me?’ The reply was, ‘Yes, O Muhammad, after you, they are My friends, legatees, the chosen ones and My proof on My servants. They are your successors and Caliphs and the best of Creations after you. By My majesty and glory, I shall reveal My religion through them and I shall exalt My words through them and through the last of them, I shall purify the earth from My enemies. And I shall make him the absolute master of the whole world. I shall make the wind subservient to his command and I shall make the hard cloud proof for him so that he may ride upon it to go wherever to likes in the sky and the earth and I shall assist him with My armies. And I shall strengthen him with My angels. So that My call is raised and all the creatures gather upon My Oneness. Thus his rulership would endure and continue and from My friends, I shall make one after the other the leaders of My faith till Qiyamat. And Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds and blessings be upon our prophet, Muhammad and his purified and chaste progeny.’”3