'Ali, the True Imam and Leader

In all aspects of 'Ali's existence, of his history and biography, of his dispositions `and habits, of his character and behaviour, of his words and speech, there is instruction, examples to follow, teaching and leadership.

Just as 'Ali's "power of attraction" taught us and instructed us, so also does his "power of repelling". Usually in ziyarat1 to 'Ali and the other Pure Ones we claim we are "the friend of your friend and the enemy of your enemy". Another way of putting this would be to say: "We will go towards that point which is in the lines of force of attraction to you and which you attract, and we will choose to be far from that point which you repulse."

What we have said in this book is an intimation of 'Ali's powers of "attraction and repulsion and our brevity is particularly apparent in the case of his "repulsion". How-ever, it is clear from what we said that 'Ali strongly repelled two groups - artful hypocrites, and stupid ascetics.

These two lessons are sufficient for those who claim to be his "party" - the Shi`ahs - to open their eyes and not be duped by hypocrites, to keep their vision acute and dismiss the outward aspect of things, two things with which the Shi`ah community is now sorely afflicted.

  • 1. . A kind of supplication addressed to one or all of the fourteen ma'sum (immaculates) - the Prophet, his daughter Fatimah, and the twelve Imams. (tr.)