Counsel الشَورَى

Enjoinment of Consultation

الحَثُّ عَلَى المَشورَةِ

1ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): الاستِشارةُ عَينُ الهِدايَةِ ، وقد خاطَرَ مَنِ استَغنى بِرَأيِهِ.

1– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Seeking to consult someone [in one’s affairs] is guidance in itself, and the one who suffices himself with his own opinion endangers himself.’[Nahjul Balaghah, Saying 211]

2ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): لا ظَهِيرَ كالمُشاوَرَةِ.

2– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘There is no better support than good counsel.’[Ibid. no. 54]

3ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): إنّما حُضَّ على المُشاوَرَةِ لأنّ رَأيَ المُشيرِ صِرْفٌ ، ورَأيَ المُستَشِيرِ مَشُوبٌ بالهَوى.

3– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Seeking counsel has been highly emphasised because the opinion of the counselor is unadulterated whereas the opinion of the one seeking counsel is polluted with his own whims.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 3908]

People Whose Counsel Should Not Be Sought

مَن لا يَنبَغي مُشاوَرَتُهُم

4ـ رسولُ اللهِ‏ِ (صَلَّيَ اللهُ عَلَيهِ وَ آلِهِ) ـ للامام عليّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) ـ: يا عليُّ ، لا تُشاوِرْ جَباناً فإنّهُ يُضَيِّقُ علَيكَ المَخرَجَ ، ولا تُشاوِرِ البَخيلَ فإنّهُ يَقْصُرُ بكَ عن غايَتِكَ ، ولا تُشاوِرْ حَريصاً فإنّهُ يُزَيِّنُ لكَ شَرَهاً.

4– The Prophet (S) said, ‘O Ali, do not seek counsel from a coward for verily he will confine the way out for you, nor from the miser for verily he will hold you back from your goal, and nor from the covetous one for verily he will make greediness fair-seeming to you.’[‘AIlal al-Shara’i’a, p. 559, no. 1]

5ـ الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): لا تَستَشِرِ الكَذّابَ ؛ فإنّهُ كالسَّرابِ: يُقَرِّبُ علَيكَ البَعيدَ ويُبَعِّدُ علَيكَ‏القَريبَ.

5– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Do not seek counsel from a liar for verily he is like a mirage – he makes that which is far appear near, and he makes that which is near appear far.’[Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 10351]

People Whose Counsel is Worthy of Being Sought

مَن يَنبَغي مُشاوَرَتُهُم

6ـ الإمامُ الصّادقُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): إنّ المَشورَةَ لا تكونُ إلّا بِحُدُودِها الأربَعةِ ... فأوَّلُها أن يكونَ الذي تُشاوِرُهُ عاقِلاً ، والثانيةُ أن يَكونَ حُرّاً مُتَدَيِّناً، والثالثةُ أن يكونَ صَديقاً مُواخِياً، والرابعةُ أن تُطلِعَه على سِرِّكَ فَيكونَ عِلمُهُ بهِ كَعِلمِكَ ثُمّ يُسِرَّ ذلكَ ويَكتُمَهُ.

6– Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said, ‘Counsel should only be sought whilst fulfilling its four terms. Firstly that the one whose counsel you seek must be a man of intellect. Secondly that he must be a free and religious man. Thirdly, he must be brotherly and friendly, and fourthly that when you disclose your secret to him whereby he knows as much about it as you do, he would keep your secret and guard it well.’[Makarim al-Akhlaq, v. 2, p. 98, no. 2280]

Enjoinment of Guiding One Who Seeks Your Counsel

الحَثُّ عَلى إرشادِ المُستَشيرِ

7ـ الإمامُ زينُ العابدينَ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): حَقُّ المُستَشيرِ إنْ عَلِمتَ أنَّ لَهُ رَأياً أشَرتَ علَيهِ ، وإن لَم تَعلَمْ أرشَدتَهُ إلى مَن يَعلَمُ.

7– Imam Zayn al-Abidin (a.s.) said, ‘The right of the one who seeks your counsel is that you point him in the right direction if you know that he is inclined towards a certain opinion, and if you do not know [which way to point out], then you must guide him to someone who does.’[al-Khisal, p. 570, no. 1]

8ـ الإمامُ الصّادقُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): مَنِ استَشارَ أخاهُ فَلَم يَنصَحْهُ مَحْضَ الرَّأيِ سَلَبَهُ اللّه‏ُ رَأيَهُ .

8– Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said, ‘Whoever seeks counsel from a fellow brother who refuses to advise him with even an opinion either way, Allah wrests him of his opinion.’[al-Mahasin, v. 2, p. 438, no. 2521]

The Role of the Counsel in Government

الشَورَى فِي اَمرِ الحُكومَةِ

9- الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): مِن كتابٍ لَهُ إلى معاويةَ : إنّما الشُّورى لِلمُهاجِرِينَ والأنصارِ ، فإنِ اجتَمَعُوا على رَجُلٍ وسَمَّوهُ إماما كانَ ذلكَ للّه‏ِ رِضا .

9– Imam Ali (a.s.) said in a letter that he wrote to Muawiya, ‘…rather counsel is confined to the muhajirun and the ansar [muhajirun – early Muslims who migrated from Mecca to Medina with the Prophet (ed.) ansar – Medinan Muslims who helped the Meccan Muslim migrants settle in Medina (ed.) ]. If they agree on an individual and take him to be their leader, it will be deemed to mean Allah’s pleasure.’[Nahjul Balaghah, Letter 6]

10- الإمامُ عليٌّ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ): لا تَكُفُّوا عَن مَقالَةٍ بِحَقٍّ ، أو مَشورَةٍ بِعَدلٍ ؛ فإنّي لَستُ في نَفسِي بِفَوقِ أن اُخطِئَ ، ولا آمَنُ ذلكَ مِن فِعلي ، إلاّ أن يَكفِيَ اللّه‏ُ مِن نَفسِي ما هُو أملَكُ بهِ مِنّي .

10– Imam Ali (a.s.) said, ‘Do not desist from speaking the truth, nor from offering your counsel with fairness, for verily I do not regard myself above erring, nor do I consider myself immune from erring in my actions. It is only that Allah makes up for my shortcomings and helps me avoid errors in all these matters wherein He is more powerful than I.’[Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 216]

11- الإمامُ الحسنُ (عَلَيهِ الّسَلامُ) مِن ‏مُعاهَدَتِهِ مَعَ معاويةَ : ليسَ لِمُعاويةَ بنِ أبي سُفيانَ أن يَعهَدَ إلى أحَدٍ مِن بَعدِهِ عَهدا ، بَل يكونُ الأمرُ مِن بَعدِهِ شُورى بَينَ المسلمينَ .

11– Imam al-Hasan (a.s.) said, with regards to his treaty with Muawiya, ‘Muawiya b. Abi Sufyan has no right to delegate anybody after him to power. Rather the matter will be for the Muslims to decide in counsel amongst themselves.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 44, p. 65, no. 13]