The Letter Ta (T)
It is not a simple matter to unite and bring together the hearts (of different people). Most of the people have one of the two conditions, either they do not discern what is really good for them, therefore they resort to what is harmful for them. Or that they adopt what is really good for them but for the sake of worldly benefits they are satisfied with it. The only one who has reconciled both these conditions is the purified being of the Imam of the Age (aj). Therefore we read in Dua Nudbah:
“Where is the one who amidst disunity brings together reconciliation and agreement?”
In a supplication of Amirul Momineen Ali (as) it is mentioned regarding His Eminence:
“The disunity of the Ummah will be transformed into unity by him.”
A tradition states:
“Through him will be united the disunited and scattered hearts (of people) into an integrated entity.”
In Kafi it is narrated from Imam Sadiq (as) that he said:
“Through the medium of His Eminence, the Almighty Allah will unite the hearts (of people) that are divided and scattered.”1
In Biharul Anwar there is a tradition from Amirul Momineen Ali (as) that he said:
“I asked, “O, Messenger of Allah (S), is the Mahdi from us the Household of Muhammad or from the others?” He said, “Rather, he is ours. Allah will complete the religion through him, as He opened it through us. Through us they are rescued from mischief, as they were rescued from polytheism. Through us Allah will bring their hearts together as brothers after the hostility of mischief, as He brought them together as brothers in their religion after the hostility of polytheism.”2
The above tradition has been narrated through Ahle Sunnat channels and by the grace of Allah we believe in its authenticity.
Testifying to the graces and favors of His Eminence with regard to us is the epistle (Tawqee) quoted in Ihtijaaj:
“It has come to our notice that a group among you is in doubt regarding the religion and their minds are in doubt and confusion regarding the master of your affair. This has caused us sadness.
Indeed, for your own sake and not for us, and the cause of our distress is from your side not ours. Because the Almighty Allah is with us, so we are not in need of anyone else. And the truth is with us, therefore if for any reason one deserts us, he does not leave us in loneliness. We are the creations of our God and the creatures are made by us.”3
Another tradition quoted in Basairud Darajaat also emphasizes this point. It is narrated through his own chain of narrators from Zaid Shahhani that:
I went to His Eminence, Abu Abdillah Imam Sadiq (as) who said to me: “O Zaid, renew your worship and ask for forgiveness.” I asked, “May I be sacrificed on you, are you informing me about my death?” He replied: “O Zaid, Whatever information we have about you is good and you are from our Shias.” He said: I asked, “What does it imply for me?” He replied, “You are from our Shias and the Siraat, Mizan and accounting of our Shias is upon us and indeed we are more kind you than you yourselves are.”4
In a Tawqee of His Eminence it is mentioned:
“The ignorant and foolish of the Shias, and those for whom their religion is like the wing of a mosquito, they have caused pain to me.”5
His Eminence, Qaim (aj) has given up his right in the world and the hereafter for our benefit and he will do so in the future also. As for the world we have previously brought evidence for this matter that whatever we possess from the property of Imam (as) it has been made lawful for us by him. And as for the hereafter it is narrated in the third volume of Biharul Anwar from Imam Sadiq (as) that he said:
“When the Day of Judgment arrives, the Almighty Allah will entrust the accounting of our Shias to us. Then as for their sins between them and Allah, Muhammad (S) will invoke the Divine court for their forgiveness and as for that which had been between them and other people He would compensate them from the oppressions suffered by Muhammad (S). And as for that which is between the Shias and us, we shall forgive them about it so that they may enter Paradise, without giving any account.”6
I say: some traditions on this subject are also recorded in Tafseer Burhan especially under the exegesis of the verse:
ثُمَّ إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا حِسَابَهُمْ
“Then surely upon Us is the taking of their account.” (Qur’an, Surah Ghashiya 88:26)
Testifying to this matter is a tradition recorded in Biharul Anwar quoting the Manaqib of Ibne Shahr Aashob that:
The Shias of Nishapur [during the Imamate of His Eminence, Moosa bin Ja’far (as)] gathered and selected a man named Muhammad bin Ali Nishapuri so that he may go to Medina to take presents, religious taxes and gifts to their Imam. They gave 30000 Dinars and 50000 Dirhams in cash and 12000 garments to Muhammad bin Ali.
During this a believing lady, named Shatita brought an original dirham and a piece of woolen cloth she had knitted by hand which cost 4 dirhams and gave these things saying: The Almighty Allah is not ashamed of the truth (that is even if the share of the Imam is less, it must be conveyed to him).
At that moment that gathering brought a sheaf of paper containing 70 pages and a question was written on each sheet and the rest of it left blank so that the reply may be written below it. Both the pages were placed face to face and tied at three places with a string and a seal was put at the knots. They said: Take the folder and give it to the Imam in the evening and collect it from him the next morning.
Then break the seals and see if the questions mentioned therein are replied or not. If the replies have been included without breaking the seals he is that same Imam and eligible for these monies. If not, bring us back the cash and goods. Muhammad bin Ali reached the holy city of Medina and first happened to go to Abdullah Aftah and tested him and found that he did not have the capability for the position of Imamate. He came out of his house uttering: “O Lord, guide me to the right path.”
He was standing in that confused state when a child came and said: Come to the one you are looking for. And he took him to the house of His Eminence, Moosa bin Ja’far (as). His Eminence glanced at him and said: O Abu Ja’far, why did you lose hope and why did you wander like Jews and Christians in bewilderment? Did not Abu Hamza at the masjid of my great grandfather guide you to me, the Divine Proof and His Wali? I gave the replies to the questions in the file yesterday.
Bring it to me and also get me the dirham of Shatita that is in the purse. And the weight of her dirham would be one dirham and fourDaniq. Bring it to me. There will be 400 dirhams in that purse that is from Aan-e-Waazoori and the piece of her cloth is tied together with the garments of two Balkhi brothers. He (the narrator) says: The words spoken by His Eminence left me astounded. I went out and brought back whatever he had commanded and presented it to him respectfully. He picked up the dirham and cloth piece of Shatita and addressed me:
“And Allah does not forbear from the truth.”
O Abu Ja’far convey my Salaam to Shatita and give this purse to her. That purse contained 40 dirhams. Then he said: “I am also gifting her a piece of my burial shroud. The cotton of this shroud is from our village Saida in the area of Fatima (as) and my sister, Halima, the daughter of His Eminence, Abu Abdillah Ja’far bin Muhammad Sadiq (as) has spun it.
Tell Shatitan that after receiving from Abu Ja’far the money and the piece of shroud she will not remain alive for more than nineteen days. “So spend 16 dirhams on yourself and keep 24 dirhams for your funeral expenses and Sadaqah. And I shall recite the funeral prayer on your bier.” O Abu Ja’far, when you see me (at that time) keep this matter secret as it is better for the safety of your life. Then he said: Take these things back to their owners and break the seal on the file and see if the replies were given before you brought the sheaf?”
He says: “I looked at the seals and saw that they were intact. I broke one of the seals from the middle and saw the writing of the Aalim (as) and noted what he had said regarding a man who said that he had made a vow to Almighty Allah that he will free each slave who is in his charge since old, and he has many slaves; does he have to free all of them? The reply in his blessed handwriting was as follows: He must free every slave who has been under his authority for at least six months. The following verse proves the correctness of this matter:
وَالْقَمَرَ قَدَّرْنَاهُ مَنَازِلَ حَتَّىٰ عَادَ كَالْعُرْجُونِ الْقَدِيمِ
“And (as for) the moon, We have ordained for it stages till it becomes again as an old dry palm branch.” (Qur’an, Surah Yasin 36:39)
And the new is one who has not been with him for more than six months.”
I removed the second seal and saw the following writing: What does the Imam say about one who said: I will give a huge amount in Sadaqah. How much Sadaqah does he have to pay? The reply to this in the Imam’s writing was: One who has made such a vow, if he is having sheep, he must give eighty four sheep in Sadaqah and if he has camels he must give eighty four camels and if he has money he must give eighty four dirhams. The evidence of this is the following verse:
لَقَدْ نَصَرَكُمُ اللَّهُ فِي مَوَاطِنَ كَثِيرَةٍ
“Certainly Allah helped you in many battlefields.” (Qur’an, Surah Taubah 9:25)
Since the number of battles fought till the time of the revelation of this verse were 84. Then I broke the third seal and read the question and reply: The Imam (as) had answered the query about the penalty for a person who digs up a grave, beheads the corpse and steals the shroud cloth. The reply in the handwriting of His Eminence was as follows: The hands of the thief shall be cut off due to the theft he had committed. And he must be fined 100 dinars for beheading the corpse because we consider a corpse equal to the fetus that has not yet received the soul and the Diyah of ‘Nutfa’ is 20 dinars…till the end of the verdict.
When Abu Ja’far Muhammad bin Ali Nishapuri returned to Khorasan he saw that those, whose monies His Eminence had rejected, had started following the Fathiya religion. However, Shatita still followed the true faith. He conveyed the Salaam of His Eminence, Kazim (as) to her and gave her the purse and piece of shroud cloth.
Then as the Imam had forecasted she remained alive for 19 days and when she passed away, Imam (as) arrived on a camel. At the conclusion of the rituals he mounted his camel and headed towards the desert saying: “Relate the matter to your companions and convey my salaams to them. And tell them that I and the Imams like me inevitably come to attend their funerals wherever they may go in the earth. So (always) keep the fear of Allah (piety) in yourselves.”7
In a Dua narrated from Amari (r.a.) His Eminence says:
“O Lord! Through him renew whatever has been obliterated from Your religion.”
In another Dua that is narrated from His Eminence, Abul Hasan ar-Reza (as) it is said:
“Through him renovate whatever that has been ruined from the fort of Your religion and the rules of religion that have been changed and distorted. And make a foundation anew till the religious law is renewed at his hands and a new beginning and freshness is restored to the people.”8
And in Biharul Anwar it is quoted from Irshad al-Qulub of Dailami from Abu Abdillah Sadiq (as) that he said:
“When the Qaim arises, he will call the people towards Islam again and he will guide them by the commands that have become extinct and the majority of the people have abandoned them and become deviated. Due to this aspect, His Eminence is named as Mahdi as he will guide by the rules that they have been abandoned. And he is named Qaim because he will arise with the truth.”9
In the book, Ghaibat Nomani it is narrated from His Eminence, Abu Ja’far Imam Baqir (as) that he said:
“His Eminence, Qaim (aj) will arise with a new code of religion, a new book and fresh verdicts that shall be severe upon the Arabs.”10
And in reply to a query regarding the method and style of His Eminence, Mahdi (aj), His Eminence, Abu Abdillah Imam Sadiq (as) said:
“His Eminence, Qaim will complete the same program that the Holy Prophet (S) had adopted. He will destroy the previous foundations just as the Holy Messenger (S) destroyed the system of Jahiliya (age of ignorance) and began Islam anew.”11
In another report similar to this narrated from His Eminence, Abu Ja’far Baqir (as) it has come and from the same Hazrat [Imam Baqir (as)] that he said:
“Indeed when our Qaim arises, he will call the people to a new religious concept just as the Holy Prophet (S) had done and initiated Islam in a strange way. And it will return in a strange way just as it had begun. Blessed are the strangers.”12
It is related from His Eminence, Abu Abdillah Sadiq (as) that he said:
“Islam began in a queer way and again just like that it will return to its original condition, thus blessed be the strange ones.” Abu Baseer asked, “Please explain this to me, that will the Almighty Allah reform your condition?” The Imam replied, “The caller from us will call anew, just as the Messenger of Allah (S) had begun his call.”13
The same Holy Imam (as) is reported to have said:
“As if I can see Qaim (aj) upon the pulpit wearing his cloak. He takes out from his cloak a sealed proclamation. Then he breaks the seal and reads out the proclamation. The people become horrified and scatter away from him like goats and sheep and except for his close confidants none remains with him. Then he says something, hearing which those who had run away from him are compelled to return. And I know what he would say.”14
In Tawheed of Shaykh Sadooq through his own chain of narrators it is related from His Eminence, Reza (as) under the exegesis of alphabets that he said:
“And ‘Ta’: Completion (Tamam) of the matter by the Qaim of the Progeny of Muhammad.”15
In Biharul Anwar it is quoted from Nomani from Amirul Momineen Ali (as) that he said:
“As if I can see our Shias in the Kufa Masjid, in tents pitched over there, teaching the people Qur’an in the same sequence as it was revealed.”16
It is also related from His Eminence that he said:
“As if I can see non-Arabs in their tents in the Kufa Masjid teaching people the Qur’an in the same sequence as it was revealed.”
Asbagh bin Nubatah says: I asked: Was it not revealed like this?
The Imam replied, “No, names and father’s names of seventy people are erased from the Qur’an. And they left the name of Abu Lahab only that it may be a rebuke to the Messenger of Allah (S) since he was the Prophet’s uncle.”17
And it is narrated from His Eminence, Abi Abdullah Sadiq (as) that he said:
“As if I can see the Shias holding the Mathani (Qur’an) and teaching the people.”18
Irshad al-Qulub of Dailami says that His Eminence, Abu Ja’far Baqir (as) is reported to have stated:
“When our Qaim rises up, tents will be pitched for those who would like to learn the Qur’an just as it had been revealed by Allah, the Mighty, the Sublime. Thus the most difficult matter will be for those who have learnt it by heart. Because this compilation is different.”
In Kafi it is reported from Salim bin Abi Salma that he said:
“I heard a man read out a portion of Qur’an to His Eminence, Abi Abdullah Sadiq (as) in way that was absolutely different from the manner it is recited. So His Eminence, Abu Abdullah (as) told him not to recite it like that. He urged him to read it in the usual way that people generally read till the reappearance of the Qaim (aj).
Thus when His Eminence, Qaim reappears he will recite the Book of Allah according to its rules and he will bring out a copy of Qur’an inscribed by Ali (as). Then he said: “When Ali (as) completed writing it and became free after its compilation he took it out to the people saying: “This is the Book of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime as Allah revealed it upon His Eminence, Muhammad. Indeed, I have compiled it from two tablets.” The people said: “We have a compiled copy with us and we do not need this (your) copy.” He said: “By Allah, after this day, you will not see it ever. It was only incumbent on me to inform you after I have compiled it, so that you may read it.”19
It is mentioned in Ihtijaaj that:
“When the Messenger of Allah (S) passed away, Ali (as) collected the Qur’an and took it to the Muhajireen and Ansar (Emigrants and Helpers), because the Holy Prophet (S) had willed him about it: Thus when Abu Bakr opened it; on the first page he had opened, the disgrace of the community was obvious. Umar was shocked and he said: ‘O Ali, take it back as we have no need of it.’ So His Eminence, Ali (as) took it and went away.
Then they summoned Zaid bin Thabit who was a Qari (reciter) of Qur’an and Umar said to him: ‘Ali brought the Qur’an he has written but it contained disgrace of the Muhajireen and Ansar. In our opinion we should compile the Qur’an omitting the criticism of the Muhajireen and Ansar.’ Zaid agreed to it but said: ‘If I were to compile the Qur’an as per your directions and later on Ali publicizes his version, would your labors not be wasted?’
Umar said: ‘There is no other option except to kill him and rid ourselves.’ So they hatched a plot to kill His Eminence at the hands of Khalid bin Walid but the plot failed. And when Umar became the caliph, he ordered Ali (as) to bring his Qur’an so that they may alter it between them. He told His Eminence: ‘O Abal Hasan! The Qur’an that you brought to Abu Bakr was very good. Now bring it again to us so that we may have a consensus upon it.’
Ali (as) said: ‘Alas, that is not possible! At that time I had brought it to you to exhaust the argument on you. So that on the Day of Judgment you cannot complain that you were ignorant of it. And you cannot blame me for not showing it to you. Indeed, the Qur’an that is with me cannot reach the possession of anyone except the pure ones and the successors from my descendants.’
Umar said: ‘Is there a fixed time of the publication of this Qur’an?’ Imam replied, ‘Rather it is at the time of the reappearance of the Qaim from our Progeny. He will bring it out. And he will make the people follow it, thus he will apply Sunnah on it.’”20
I say: It is possible that the secret of naming His Eminence, Qaim (aj) as Qur’an-e-Azeem (The Great Qur’an) is the same that he will command by the Qur’an and urge people to read it and act according to it, and that he is the expression of the Qur’an and the one who will make it popular. In Tafseer al-Burhan it is narrated from Hissan Amiri that he said:
I asked His Eminence, Abu Ja’far Baqir (as) regarding the verse:
وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَاكَ سَبْعًا مِنَ الْمَثَانِي وَالْقُرْآنَ الْعَظِيمَ
“And certainly We have given you seven of the oft-repeated (verses) and the grand Qur’an.” (Qur’an, Surah Hijr 15:87)
He replied: It was not revealed like this. It is as follows:
And certainly We have given you the seven oft-repeated (verses) and the grand Qur’an.21
We are those and the Qur’an-e-Azeem is the son of the son.”
It is related by Qasim bin Al-Urwah that His Eminence said regarding the verse:
And certainly We have given you seven from the oft-repeated (verses) and the grand Qur’an.
That is: “Seven Imams and Qaim (aj).”22
I say: Perhaps the meaning of seven Imams is according to their seven names and the tradition of Fatima (as) is also to be kept in mind and the Qur’an-e-Azeem is the son of son who would be His Eminence, Qaim (aj). Because it is related in Biharul Anwar that Ali (as) said:
“There are two names for him; one of it is secret and the other publicized. The name that shall remain confidential is Ahmad and the name that shall be publicized is Muhammad.”23
Supporting this matter is a tradition that the writer of Biharul Anwar has quoted from Yunus bin Abdur Rahman on the authority of someone who had heard him narrate:
I asked His Eminence, Abu Abdillah Sadiq (as) regarding the verse:
“And certainly We have given you seven of the oft-repeated (verses) and the grand Qur’an.”
He replied: “The apparent allusion is the Surah Hamd and the hidden denotes the son of son and the seventh of them is Qaim (aj).”24
On the basis of this – the second possibility – the turning of “Qur’an-e-Azeem” upon “Saba is from the aspect that it be especially remembered by His Eminence, Qaim (aj), due to an important matter that is remembered from that honored personality. And for the meaning of ‘Mathani’ it is possible that it may be denoting all the verses of the Qur’an. This possibility is further supported by the following verse:
اللَّهُ نَزَّلَ أَحْسَنَ الْحَدِيثِ كِتَابًا مُتَشَابِهًا مَثَانِيَ
“Allah has revealed the best announcement, a book conformable in its various parts…” (Qur’an, Surah Zumar 39:23)
Also the first possibility that he said:
In a tradition of Imam Sadiq (as) that previously we narrated from Ghaibat Nomani in which he said:
“As if I can see the Shias of Ali holding in their hands the ‘Mathaani’…”
It supports this meaning and the interpretation from Qur’an to Mathani is due to the repetition of its revelation that once it was revealed as a whole on the Shab-e-Qadr on the Baitul Ma’moor and after that from there it was revealed on the Holy Prophet (S) gradually in stages in a period of twenty-three years.25
Perhaps with this view it would specifically denote Suratul Fatihatul Kitab (Hamd) – as narrated from Amirul Momineen (as) – and the interpretation of that as Mathaani is due to its repetition in every prayer compulsorily or due to the repetition of its revelation. And that they have compared Imam az-Zaman (aj) to ‘Mathaani’ or due to the fact that they, in relation to the Prophet are sons of sons in the second degree of sonship due to his relationship with the Prophet according to the human world and the aspect of creation of human beings.
And that Her Eminence, Fatima (as) is in the first category or from the aspect of the fact that they are of second category with respect to the Qur’an. Just as the Hadith Thaqlayn proves this meaning. Thishadith is Mutawatir through the Shia and Sunni sources. However from the Sunni sources it is narrated from Abu Saeed Khudri that he said: The Messenger of Allah (S) said:
“O people, I leave behind among you two weighty things, one of them is greater than the other. The Book of Allah, the Mighty and the Sublime; and it is the rope stretched from the heavens to the earth and my progeny, my family and these two will not separate from each other till they return to me at the side of the Hauz (Pool of Kauthar).”26
The third possibility is that since with relation to the Holy Prophet (S) in the rank they are after him, the word ‘Mathaani’ denotes them. From the aspects of divine sciences and intellectual levels they are of the second rank as the Messenger of Allah (S) has said:
“I am the city of knowledge and Ali is its gateway.”27
Amirul Momineen Ali (as) has also said: “The Messenger of Allah (S) opened a thousand doors of knowledge to me and each door opened a thousand doors.”28
These are the matters that came in my view in solving the doubts and in researching this topic and the Almighty Allah is cognizant of the real facts. Though there are some other aspects also that are remote possibilities and have not been discussed here as it would unnecessarily prolong the discussion. Those who wish to study in more detail may refer to Miraatul Anwaar wa Mishkaatul Asraar of Shaykh Abul Hasan Shareef.
- 1. Al Kafi, Vol. 1, Pg. 334
- 2. Biharul Anwar; Vol. 51/84
- 3. Al-Ihtijaaj; Vol. 2, Pg. 278
- 4. Basairud Darajaat, Pg. 256
- 5. Al-Ihtijaaj; Vol. 2, Pg. 289
- 6. Biharul Anwar; Vol. 7/274
- 7. Biharul Anwar; Vol. 47/73
- 8. Jamaal al-Usboo, Pg. 509
- 9. Biharul Anwar; Vol. 51/30
- 10. Ghaibat Nomani, Pg. 122
- 11. Ghaibat Nomani, Pg. 121
- 12. Ghaibat Nomani, Pg. 173
- 13. Ghaibat Nomani, Pg. 173
- 14. Biharul Anwar; Vol. 52, Pg. 352
- 15. At-Tawheed, 233
- 16. Muhammad bin Ja’far Nomani, as mentioned in Amalul Aamil is a senior Shaykh and great narrator of traditions. He moved to Baghdad and from there to Syria where he passed away. As mentioned by Allamah Hilli and Najjashi in his biography. After the above statement Najjashi says: He was a student of Kulaini and among his writings are: Tafseer of Qur’an, a part of which I have seen, Book of Ghaibah, which also I have seen that it is a very fine and comprehensive piece of work.
- 17. Ghaibat Nomani, Pg. 125
- 18. Ghaibat Nomani, Chapter on the condition of the Shias during the time of His Eminence
- 19. Kafi, Vol. 2, Pg. 633
- 20. Al-Ihtijaaj; Vol. 1 Pg. 225
- 21. Tafseer Al-Burhan; Vol. 2/354
- 22. Al-Burhan, Vol. 2, Pg. 354
- 23. Biharul Anwar; Vol. 51, Pg. 35
- 24. Al-Burhan, Vol. 1, Pg. 354
- 25. Thus it is narrated in Kafi from his chains of reporters that His Eminence Abi Abdullah as-Sadiq (as) and Tabarsi has said in Majma al-Bayan: It is named Mathani because many of its stories, reports, laws and teachings are repeated and narrated in different ways and also because its recitation is repeated and it is not tiring. (The Author)
- 26. The great Sayyid Hashim al-Bahrani in Ghayat al-Maraam Pg. 223, has quoted from Amirul Momineen Ali (as) when he was asked regarding the above tradition that who constitute the Itrah, he said: I, Hasan, Husain and nine Imams from progeny of Husain (as) the ninth of whom is Mahdi, the Qaim…(Author).
- 27. Ibid, Pg. 524
- 28. Ibid, Pg. 517