Belief, Disbelief and Deviation
The lowest grade of belief: Ameerul Mu’mineen ‘Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) states,
"The bare minimum by which a person becomes a believer is that when Allah introduces Himself, he should submit himself completely and absolutely before His commands.
And when He grants him the recognition of His Prophet (s.a.w.a.), he must obey him (s.a.w.a.). And when He introduces His Proof and His Witness on His earth to him, he should acknowledge him and obey him (a.s.)."
On this Sulaym asked Ameerul Mu’mineen (a.s .), "Even if he remains un aware of other realities?"
He (a.s.) replied, "Yes. This will apply till he continues to obey what has been made obligatory on him and refrains from what has been prohibited."1
The lowest grade of disbelief: In the same tradition, Ameerul Mu’mineen (a.s.) proceeds to explain the minimum thing that makes a person an unbeliever.
"The minimum that makes a person an unbeliever that he considers Allah's command as prohibition and that Allah has determined for him a religion which he is following, and he thinks that he is worshipping as per the dictates of Allah, although the fact is that he is venerating the Devil."
"And the minimum level of deviation is that man does not recognize Allah's proof, His witness up on the creatures, whose obedience has been ordered by Allah and whose leadership and mastership is compulsory."2
Man is either a believer or an unbeliever or deviated. In this tradition, Ameerul Mu’mineen (a.s.) has provided the standards for all three.
Belief is that man recognizes Allah, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) and the Imam of his time. Along with this recognition, he also worships Allah and obeys His Messenger and the Imam.
Disbelief is that man denies all that has been revealed or acknowledges that which Allah has not revealed. He accepts them as his Prophet and Imam whom Allah has not appointed.
Deviation is that he denies the Imamat and mastership of those whom Allah has deemed to be His Proofs on the earth and made them as His Witnesses on the people.
To believe in the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) and his recognition implies that we recognize him (s.a.w.a.) as Allah has introduced him (s.a.w.a.). Moreover, we should believe that he (s.a.w.a.) enjoys all those positions and stations that Allah has determined for him (s.a.w.a.).
It is evident and everybody is aware of the fact that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) is the chief of all messengers and prophets (a.s.). He is the last of all His messengers and prophets (a.s.). Messengership and Prophet hood has ended with him (s.a.w.a.). Now, till the Day of Judgment, no messenger or prophet will arrive.
His shariah is the last heavenly shariah and his book, the Holy Qur’an, is the last divine and heavenly book. Islam is the last and most perfect of all religions. Things that have been made permissible by it shall remain so till the Day of Judgment and articles that have been prohibited by it shall remain so till the Day of Judgment.
To believe in Allah's Proofs connotes that we believe only in the leadership, mastership and caliphate of those appointed by Allah; who's following is the guarantee for salvation, and whose love and obedience are deemed to be the keys of paradise. The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) has fixed their number to be twelve and prophesied, "After me, till the Day of Judgment, the number of my successors will be twelve. All of them will be from Quraish.
The first of them will be ‘Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.) and the last and twelfth will be the son of Hasan al-Askari (a.s.), the Hujjah, the Mahdi. Allah will grant him a long life and keep him in occultation. During his concealment, people will benefit from his existence like they draw advantage from the sun when it hides behind the clouds."3
From the above, we can easily deduce that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) is the seal of all of His Messengers and Prophets (a.s.), Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.) is the last Imam, the Majestic Qur’an is the last book and Islam is the last religion.
But from times ancient, anti-Islamic forces, imperialist powers and Zionist conspirators have tried their best to create obstacles in these universally accepted and firmer than mountain beliefs of the Muslims, and to deviate them from the right path.
Therefore, there were a few from the community, willing to sell their conscience and negligent of realities, who claimed the elevated station of Mahdawwiyah. Worse are their followers, who throw their leaders into further depths by becoming their ardent fans, to the extent that they (the claimants) seriously start considering themselves as a Prophet or an Imam. Meanwhile, the Holy Qur’an has declared in no uncertain terms:
وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّهِ كَذِبًا أَوْ قَالَ أُوحِيَ إِلَيَّ وَلَمْ يُوحَ إِلَيْهِ شَيْءٌ وَمَنْ قَالَ سَأُنْزِلُ مِثْلَ مَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ ۗ وَلَوْ تَرَىٰ إِذِالظَّالِمُونَ فِي غَمَرَاتِ الْمَوْتِ وَالْمَلَائِكَةُ بَاسِطُو أَيْدِيهِمْ أَخْرِجُوا أَنْفُسَكُمُ ۖ الْيَوْمَ تُجْزَوْنَ عَذَابَ الْهُونِ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَقُولُونَعَلَى اللَّهِ غَيْرَ الْحَقِّ وَكُنْتُمْ عَنْ آيَاتِهِ تَسْتَكْبِرُونَ
Similarly, in another verse, it warns,
وَمِنَ الْإِبِلِ اثْنَيْنِ وَمِنَ الْبَقَرِ اثْنَيْنِ ۗ قُلْ آلذَّكَرَيْنِ حَرَّمَ أَمِ الْأُنْثَيَيْنِ أَمَّا اشْتَمَلَتْ عَلَيْهِ أَرْحَامُ الْأُنْثَيَيْنِ ۖ أَمْ كُنْتُمْ شُهَدَاءَ إِذْوَصَّاكُمُ اللَّهُ بِهَٰذَا ۚ فَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَىٰ عَلَى اللَّهِ كَذِبًا لِيُضِلَّ النَّاسَ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ
Besides these clear statements, Allah the Almighty has made such fantastic arrangements, which expose these false claimants and show their true colors. They forgot that they as well as their followers are/were believers of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) and the Holy Qur’an. When Allah the Almighty declares our Prophet to be the last of all Prophets and the Holy Qur’an to the final of all revelations, then where does the question of someone else's Prophethood arise? And if they don't believe in our Prophet and do not regard the Holy Qur’an as their book, the fact stands that till date Allah the Almighty has not sent a Prophet or a Messenger, who has not verified the previous prophets and accepted their books.
Hence, if these false claimants accept the prophethood of our Prophet and acknowledge the truth of the Majestic Qur’an, then the Book of Allah as well as the Prophetic traditions declare very clearly that Muhammad is the last messenger and Islam is the final religion. Therefore, the question of another prophethood is completely ruled out and when the possibility of another prophethood is refuted, the discussion of another religion is rejected at the very outset.4
And if these false claimants do not accept the Prophethood of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.), then such a person can never claim to be a divine prophet, who does not verify the prophethood of the previous prophets and their books. Hence, these false claimants cannot proof their claim in any manner whatsoever.
How meaningful and consequential are the following verses of the Noble Qur’an! Keeping brevity in consideration, we will take the opportunity of giving only the translation.
وَإِذْ أَخَذَ اللَّهُ مِيثَاقَ النَّبِيِّينَ لَمَا آتَيْتُكُمْ مِنْ كِتَابٍ وَحِكْمَةٍ ثُمَّ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مُصَدِّقٌ لِمَا مَعَكُمْ لَتُؤْمِنُنَّ بِهِ وَلَتَنْصُرُنَّهُ ۚ قَالَ أَأَقْرَرْتُمْ وَأَخَذْتُمْ عَلَىٰ ذَٰلِكُمْ إِصْرِي ۖ قَالُوا أَقْرَرْنَا ۚ قَالَ فَاشْهَدُوا وَأَنَا مَعَكُمْ مِنَ الشَّاهِدِينَ
فَمَنْ تَوَلَّىٰ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ
أَفَغَيْرَ دِينِ اللَّهِ يَبْغُونَ وَلَهُ أَسْلَمَ مَنْ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ طَوْعًا وَكَرْهًا وَإِلَيْهِ يُرْجَعُونَ
قُلْ آمَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَمَا أُنْزِلَ عَلَيْنَا وَمَا أُنْزِلَ عَلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَالْأَسْبَاطِ وَمَا أُوتِيَ مُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ وَالنَّبِيُّونَ مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ لَا نُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ أَحَدٍ مِنْهُمْ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ
وَمَنْ يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الْإِسْلَامِ دِينًا فَلَنْ يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ
The aforementioned verses unmistakably declare that it is compulsory and obligatory to believe in all the previous prophets, messengers, and the books revealed on them. Moreover, Allah will not accept any religion other than Islam. Apart from the above, we present hereunder three verses from the Holy Qur’an and one tradition that plainly announce our Prophet to be the last Prophet and Islam to be the final divine religion.
مَا كَانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبَا أَحَدٍ مِنْ رِجَالِكُمْ وَلَٰكِنْ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَخَاتَمَ النَّبِيِّينَ ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمًا
This verse evidently announces of the finality of the Holy Prophet's (s.a.w.a.) prophethood.
قُلْ يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنِّي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ إِلَيْكُمْ جَمِيعًا الَّذِي لَهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۖ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ يُحْيِي وَيُمِيتُ ۖ فَآمِنُوا بِاللَّهِوَرَسُولِهِ النَّبِيِّ الْأُمِّيِّ الَّذِي يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَكَلِمَاتِهِ وَاتَّبِعُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ
In the above verse, the terms, 'O people!' and 'to you all' explain that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) is not confined to a particular era or to a special group or generation of people. Rather, his messengership and prophethood is universal and forever.
هُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَىٰ وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّينِ كُلِّهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْمُشْرِكُونَ
Noticeably, domination and overpowering imply that this religion will continue to survive till the day of resurrection. Had Allah the Almighty revealed any religion other than Islam and raised any other Prophet, certainly this religion and Prophet would have abrogated Islam just as Islam had abrogated the laws of the previous prophets.
In this case, Islam should not gain clear victory and domination over other religions. But when Allah the Almighty is clearly declaring that We have raised Our Messenger with Islam to grant it victory and domination over all religions and sects, then such triumph can be achieved only when Islam is the last heavenly religion and no other religion ensues. This, undoubtedly, is the fact that Allah has not sent any other shariah or religion or sect after Islam.
4. The following tradition is present in most of the authentic books of the Shias as well as the Sunnis. Addressing ‘Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (a.s.), the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) declared,
"أنت مني بمنزلة هارون من موسى ، إلا أنه لا نبي بعدي"
"You are unto me as Haroon was to Moosa except for the fact that there is no prophet after me."
After these irrefutable and undeniable proofs, the falsity of all claimants of prophethood after the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) stands exposed, whether he is the Punjabi of undivided India, Ghulam Ahmad Qaadiyaani, or the Iranian, ‘Ali Mohammad Shirazi, known as Baab.
Interestingly, the teachings and ethics, which they claim to be their creation, are all plagiarized from the Holy Qur’an and traditions, and not a single of these belong to them. And whatever actually belongs to these (impostors) is replete with contradictions. These inconsistencies and paradoxes are sufficient proofs that they had nothing to do with Allah.
Before claiming divinity, they had averred Mahdawwiyah. The sequence of events was as follows: Initially, they claimed to be the representative and door (Baab) of Imam Mahdi (a.t.f.s.), thereafter, they claimed to be the Mahdi, then a Prophet and finally, God. Since there is no position beyond divinity and godhood, they stopped at it. Incongruities in these claims are sufficient evidences to expose these opportunistic claimants.5
- 1. Al-Kaafi, vol. 2, p. 414, Tr. No. 1
- 2. Ibid. p. 415
- 3. Saheeh al-Muslim, vol.2, p. 19; Mataaleb al-So'l, vol. 2, p. 79; Kamaal al-Deen, vol. 1, p. 280; Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 52, p. 93
- 4. Tableegh al-Resaalat, vol. 2, p. 144; Ayyaam al-Sulh, p. 146
- 5. Talkhis al-Tarikh al-Nabeel, p. 317 by Haikaluddin