Table of Contents

Chapter 13: A Session in the Presence of Al-Ma’mun of Al-Ridha’’s Debate On Unity With Soleiman Al-Marwazi - The Theologian From Khorasan

13-1 Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Ahmad - the jurisprudent - may God be pleased with him - narrated that Abu Muhammad Al-Hassan ibn Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Sadaqat al-Qumi quoted on the authority of Abu Amr Muhammad ibn Abdul Aziz Al-Ansari al-Kajji, on the authority of Al-Hassan ibn Muhammad al-Nawfali, “Soleiman al-Marwazi - the most prominent religious scholar in Khorasan went to see Al-Ma’mun. Al-Ma’mun honored him, granted him gifts and said, “My cousin Ali ibn Musa Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) has come here from Hijaz. He likes theology and theologians. Thus it would not be any trouble if you came to hold a

قَالَ حَفِظَ اللَّهُ عَمِّي مَا أَعْرَفَنِي بِهِ لِمَ كَرِهَ ذَلِكَ يَا غُلامُ صِرْ إِلَى عِمْرَانَ الصَّابِي فَأْتِنِي بِهِ فَقُلْتُ جُعِلْتُ فِدَاكَ أَنَا أَعْرِفُ مَوْضِعَهُ وَهُوَعِنْدَ بَعْضِ إِخْوَانِنَا مِنَ الشِّيعَةِ قَالَ فَلا بَأْسَ قَرِّبُوا إِلَيْهِ دَابَّةً فَصِرْتُ إِلَى عِمْرَانَ فَأَتَيْتُهُ بِهِ فَرَحَّبَ بِهِ وَدَعَا بِكِسْوَةٍ فَخَلَعَهَا عَلَيْهِ وَحَمَلَهُ وَدَعَا بِعَشَرَةِ آلافِ دِرْهَمٍ فَوَصَلَهُ بِهَا فَقُلْتُ جُعِلْتُ فِدَاكَ حَكَيْتَ فِعْلَ جَدِّكَ أَمِيرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ‏ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ قَالَ هَكَذَا يَجِبُ ثُمَّ دَعَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ بِالْعِشَاءِ فَأَجْلَسَنِي عَنْ يَمِينِهِ وَأَجْلَسَ عِمْرَانَ عَنْ يَسَارِهِ حَتَّى إِذَا فَرَغْنَا قَالَ لِعِمْرَانَ انْصَرِفْ مُصَاحِباً وَبَكِّرْ عَلَيْنَا نُطْعِمْكَ طَعَامَ الْمَدِينَةِ فَكَانَ عِمْرَانُ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ يَجْتَمِعُ إِلَيْهِ الْمُتَكَلِّمُونَ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ الْمَقَالاتِ فَيُبْطِلُ أَمْرَهُمْ حَتَّى اجْتَنَبُوهُ وَوَصَلَهُ الْمَأْمُونُ بِعَشَرَةِ آلافِ دِرْهَمٍ وَأَعْطَاهُ الْفَضْلُ مَالاً وَحَمَلَهُ وَوَلاهُ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ صَدَقَاتِ بَلْخٍ فَأَصَابَ الرَّغَائِب‏.

13

بابُ فِي ذكر مَجْلِسَ الرِّضا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ مَعَ سُلَيْمان المَرْوَزِىُ‏ مُتكَلِّمِ خُراسان عِنْدَ المَأمُون فِي التَّوحيدِ

1 - حَدَّثَنا أَبُو مُحَمَّد جَعْفَرِ بْنِ عَلِىِّ بْنِ ِحْمَد الفقيه رَضِىَ اللهُ عَنْهُ قالَ: حَدَّثَنا أَبُو مُحَمَّد الحَسَن بْنِ‏عَلِيِّ بن صَدَقَة القُمِّيّ قالَ: حَدَّثَنا أَبُوعمرو مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عمرو بْنِ عَبْد العَزِيز الأَنْصارِي الكَجِّيُّ قالَ: حَدَّثَني من سمع الحَسَن بْنِ مُحَمَّدالنُّوفَلِيِّ يَقُولُ قَدِمَ سُلَيَْمانُ الْمَرْوَزِيُّ مُتَكَلِّمُ خُرَاسَانَ عَلَى الْمَأْمُونِ فَأَكْرَمَهُ وَوَصَلَهُ ثُمَّ قَالَ لَهُ إِنَّ ابْنَ عَمِّي عَلِيَّ بْنَ مُوسَى قَدِمَ عَلَيَّ مِنَ الْحِجَازِ وَهُوَيُحِبُّ الْكَلامَ وَأَصْحَابَهُ فَلا عَلَيْكَ أَنْ تَصِـيرَ إِلَيْنَـا يَـوْمَ

debate with him on the 8th of Dhul-Hajja (the Day of Tarwiyah) to have a debate with him.”

Soleiman said, “O Commander of the Faithful! I dislike questioning him in your session and amongst a group of the Hashemites. The people will regard him as incapable when he debates with me on theology. Incapabilities are not permissible for him.”

Al-Ma’mun said, “I have invited you because I know that you are learned (in theology). I have no intentions except for you to silence him in an argument.” Soleiman said, “O Commander of the Faithful! I will do it for you. Just bring us together. Just sit back and watch.”

Then Al-Ma’mun sent someone after Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) and said, “A man from Marwaz who is not equal to you in theology has come and asked for you to come to us. Come here if you do not mind.” The Imam (a.s.) made ablutions and told us to go ahead. Imran As-Sa’ebee was with us. We went until we arrived at Al-Ma’mun’s court. Yasir and Khalid took my hands and led me in. When I got in and greeted (Al-Ma’mun), he asked, “Where is my brother Abul Hassan whom may the Sublime God maintain?” I said, “When we were coming he was putting on his clothes. He ordered us to go ahead.” Then I added, “O Commander of the Faithful! Your servant Imran is also with me. He is right outside.” He said, “Who is Imran?” I said, “He is the Sabian who became a Muslim because of you.” He said, “Let him in.” Then Imran came in. Al-Ma’mun welcomed him and then told him, “O Imran! You did not die and join the Hashemites!” Imran said, “O Commander of the Faithful! Praise be to God who honored me by you.” Al-Ma’mun said, “O Imran! This is Soleiman al-Marwazi who is the theologian from Khorasan.” Imran said, “O Commander of the Faithful! He thinks that he is the only one in Khorasan versed in theoretical principles and refutes origination (bida’). Al-Ma’mun said, “Why don’t you have a debate with him?” Imran said, “This depends on him.” Then Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) came in and asked, “What were you discussing?” Imran said, “O son of the Prophet of God! This is Soleiman al-Marwazi.”

Soleiman told Imran, “Will you be pleased with Abil Hassan (a.s.) and what he says about origination. Imran said, “Yes, I will if he (a.s.) presents arguments which I can present when I argue with other theologians like myself.”

التَّرْوِيَةِ لِمُنَاظَرَتِهِ، فَقَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: يَا أَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِنِّي أَكْرَهُ أَنْ أَسْأَلَ مِثْلَهُ فِي مَجْلِسِكَ فِي جَمَاعَةٍ مِنْ بَنِي هَاشِمٍ فَيَنْتَقِصَ عِنْدَ الْقَوْمِ إِذَا كَلَّمَنِي وَلا يَجُوزُ الاسْتِقْصَاءُ عَلَيْهِ قَالَ الْمَأْمُونُ إِنَّمَا وَجَّهْتُ إِلَيْكَ لِمَعْرِفَتِي بِقُوَّتِكَ وَلَيْسَ مُرَادِي إِلا أَنْ تَقْطَعَهُ عَنْ حُجَّةٍ وَاحِدَةٍ فَقَطْ.

فَقَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: حَسْبُكَ يَا أَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ اجْمَعْ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَهُ وَخَلِّنِي وَالذَّمَّ.

فَوَجَّهَ الْمَأْمُونُ إِلَى الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ فَقَالَ: إِنَّهُ قَدْ قَدِمَ عَلَيْنَا رَجُلٌ مِنْ أَهْلِ مَرْوَ وَهُوَ وَاحِدُ خُرَاسَانَ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ الْكَلامِ فَإِنْ خَفَّ عَلَيْكَ أَنْ تَتَجَشَّمَ الْمَصِيرَ إِلَيْنَا فَعَلْتَ. فَنَهَضَ‏ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ لِلْوُضُوءِ وَقَالَ لَنَا تَقَدَّمُونِي، وَعِمْرَانُ الصَّابِىُ مَعَنَا، فَصِرْنَا إِلَى الْبَابِ، فَأَخَذَ يَاسِرٌ وَخَالِدٌ بِيَدِي فَأَدْخَلانِي عَلَى الْمَأْمُونِ فَلَمَّا سَلَّمْتُ قَالَ: أَيْنَ أَخِي أَبُو الْحَسَنِ أَبْقَاهُ اللَّهُ؟

قُلْتُ: خَلَّفْتُهُ يَلْبَسُ ثِيَابَهُ وَأَمَرَنَا أَنْ نَتَقَدَّمَ. ثُمَّ قُلْتُ: يَا أَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِنَّ عِمْرَانَ مَوْلاكَ مَعِي وَهُوَ بِالْبَابِ.

فَقَالَ: مَنْ عِمْرَانُ؟ قُلْتُ: الصَّابِىُ الَّذِي أَسْلَمَ عَلَى يَدَيْكَ.

قَالَ فَلْيَدْخُلْ. فَدَخَلَ فَرَحَّبَ بِهِ الْمَأْمُونُ. ثُمَّ قَالَ لَهُ: يَا عِمْرَانُ لَمْ تَمُتْ حَتَّى صِرْتَ مِنْ بَنِي هَاشِمٍ. قَالَ: الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي شَرَّفَنِي بِكُمْ يَا أَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ فَقَالَ لَهُ الْمَأْمُونُ: يَا عِمْرَانُ هَذَا سُلَيَْمانُ الْمَرْوَزِيُّ مُتَكَلِّمُ خُرَاسَانَ قَالَ عِمْرَانُ يَا أَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِنَّهُ يَزْعُمُ أَنَّهُ وَاحِدُ خُرَاسَانَ فِي النَّظَرِ وَيُنْكِرُ الْبَدَاءَ قَالَ فَلِمَ لا تُنَاظِرُهُ قَالَ عِمْرَانُ ذَاكَ إِلَيْهِ فَدَخَلَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ فَقَالَ: فِي أَيِّ شَيْ‏ءٍ كُنْتُمْ قَالَ عِمْرَانُ يَا ابْنَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ هَذَا سُلَيَْمانُ الْمَرْوَزِيُّ فَقَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: أَتَرْضَى بِأَبِي الْحَسَنِ وَبِقَوْلِهِ فِيهِ قَالَ عِمْرَانُ قَدْ رَضِيتُ بِقَوْلِ أَبِي الْحَسَنِ فِي الْبَدَاءِ عَلَى أَنْ يَأْتِيَنِي فِيهِ بِحُجَّةٍ أَحْتَجُّ بِهَا عَلَى نُظَرَائِي مِنْ أَهْلِ النَّظَرِ.

Al-Ma’mun said, “O Abul Hassan! What is your opinion regarding what they argue about?” The Imam (a.s.) said, “O Soleiman! How could you not believe in origination while the Honorable the Exalted God said, ‘But does not man call to mind that We created him before out of nothing?’1 And the Honorable the Exalted God said, ‘It is He Who begins (the process of) Creation; then repeats it…’2 And says, ‘To Him is due the primal origin of the heavens and the earth…’3 Moreover, the Honorable the Exalted God said, ‘He adds to Creation as He pleases…’4 and says, ‘…He began the Creation of man with (nothing more than) clay.’5 Also the Honorable the Exalted God says, ‘There are (yet) others, held in suspense for the command of God, whether He will punish them, or turn in mercy to them…’6 And the Honorable the Exalted God says, ‘…Nor is a man long-lived granted length of days, nor is a part cut off from his life, but is in a Decree (ordained)…’7

Soleiman asked, “Has anything been narrated to you on this issue from your forefather?” The Imam (a.s.) said, “Yes. It has been narrated by my father on the authority of Abi Abdullah (a.s.) who said, “The Honorable the Exalted God has two bodies of knowledge: a Treasured Knowledge, Hidden Knowledge which no one but Him is informed of. Origination is rooted in that knowledge. And He has a second knowledge which He has taught the angels and His Messengers which the knowledgeable Members of the Holy Household are also aware of.”

Soleiman said, “I would like you to present this from the Book of the Honorable the Exalted God.” The Imam (a.s.) said, “The Honorable the Exalted God said, ‘So turn away from them: not thine is the blame.’8 At first God wanted to destroy them. But then the Sublime God changed His mind and said, ‘But teach (thy Message) for teaching benefits the Believers.’9

Soleiman said, “May I be your ransom! Tell me more.”
Then Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “My father (a.s.) informed me on the authority of his forefathers (a.s.), on the authority of God’s Prophet (S) that the Honorable the Exalted God revealed to one of His Prophets to let one of the Kings know that God will take away his life at such and such a time. The Prophet (S) went to see the King and told him that. Then the King
pleaded to God while he was on his bed and fell off of it. He said, “O Lord! Postpone my demise until I see my son grow up to undertake my affairs.” Then the Honorable

قَالَ الْمَأْمُونُ: يَا أَبَا الْحَسَنِ مَا تَقُولُ فِي مَا تَشَاجَرَا فِيهِ؟ قَالَ وَمَا أَنْكَرْتَ مِنَ الْبَدَاءِ يَا سُلَيَْمانُ وَاللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يَقُولُ «أَوَلا يَذْكُرُ الإِنْسانُ أَنَّا خَلَقْناهُ مِنْ قَبْلُ وَلَمْ يَكُ شَيْئاً» وَيَقُولُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ «وَهُوَالَّذِي يَبْدَؤُا الْخَلْقَ ثُمَّ يُعِيدُهُ» وَيَقُولُ «بَدِيعُ السَّماواتِ وَالأَرْضِ» وَيَقُولُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ «يَزِيدُ فِي الْخَلْقِ ما يَشاءُ» وَيَقُولُ «وَبَدَأَ خَلْقَ الإِنْسانِ مِنْ طِينٍ» وَيَقُولُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ «وَآخَرُونَ مُرْجَوْنَ لامْرِ اللَّهِ إِمَّا يُعَذِّبُهُمْ وَإِمَّا يَتُوبُ عَلَيْهِمْ» وَيَقُولُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: «وَما يُعَمَّرُ مِنْ مُعَمَّرٍ وَلا يُنْقَصُ مِنْ عُمُرِهِ إِلا فِي كِتابٍ».

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ هَلْ رُوِّيتَ فِيهِ عَنْ آبَائِكَ شَيْئاً قَالَ نَعَمْ رُوِّيتُ عَنْ أَبِي عَنْ أَبِي عَبْدِ اللَّهِ‏ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ أَنَّهُ قَالَ إِنَّ لِلَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ عِلْمَيْنِ عِلْماً مَخْزُوناً مَكْنُوناً لا يَعْلَمُهُ إِلا هُوَمِنْ ذَلِكَ يَكُونُ الْبَدَاءُ وَعِلْماً عَلَّمَهُ مَلائِكَتَهُ وَرُسُلَهُ فَالْعُلَمَاءُ مِنْ أَهْلِ بَيْتِ نَبِيِّكَ يَعْلَمُونَهُ.

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ أُحِبُّ أَنْ تَنْزِعَهُ لِي مِنْ كِتَابِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ قَالَ قَوْلُ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى لِنَبِيِّهِ‏ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ فَتَوَلَّ عَنْهُمْ فَما أَنْتَ بِمَلُومٍ أَرَادَ هَلاكَهُمْ ثُمَّ بَدَا لِلَّهِ تَعَالَى فَقَالَ: وَذَكِّرْ فَإِنَّ الذِّكْرى تَنْفَعُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ زِدْنِي جُعِلْتُ فِدَاكَ قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ لَقَدْ أَخْبَرَنِي أَبِي، عَن آبَائِهِ‏ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ‏ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَآلِهِ قَالَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ أَوْحَى إِلَى نَبِيٍّ مِنْ أَنْبِيَائِهِ أَنْ أَخْبِرْ فُلاناً الْمَلِكَ أَنِّي مُتَوَفِّيهِ إِلَى كَذَا وَكَذَا فَأَتَاهُ ذَلِكَ النَّبِيُّ فَأَخْبَرَهُ فَدَعَا اللَّهَ الْمَلِكُ وَهُوَعَلَى سَرِيرِهِ حَتَّى سَقَطَ مِنَ السَّرِيرِ وَقَالَ: يَا رَبِّ أَجِّلْنِي حَتَّى يَشِبَّ طِفْلِي وَأَقْضِيَ أَمْرِي. فَأَوْحَـى اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ إِلَى ذَلِـكَ النَّبِيِّ أَنِ ائْـتِ

the Exalted God revealed to that Prophet (S), “Go to that King and inform him that I have decided to postpone his death. I have added fifteen years to his life.”

The Prophet (S) said, “O Lord! You well know that I have never lied.” Then the Honorable the Exalted God revealed to him, “You are just an agent. Announce this to him. God is never questioned about what He does.” Then the Imam (a.s.) turned towards Soleiman and said, “I think you have the same opinion as the Jews in this regard.” Soleiman said, “From this I seek refuge in God.” The Imam (a.s.) said, “The Jews say, ‘God's hand is tied up...’10 They mean that God is finished working and is sitting back and does not Create anything else. But the Honorable the Exalted God has given them the following answer, …Be their hands tied up and be they accursed for the (blasphemy) they utter….’11 I have also heard my father Musa ibn Ja’far (a.s.) say the following when asked about Origination, ‘How could the people refute origination, and that God might procrastinate the affairs of some people for a decision regarding them?’”

Soleiman asked, “Can you tell me for what has the following verse been revealed? ‘We have indeed revealed this (Message) in the Night of Power.’12 The Imam (a.s.) said, “O Soleiman! The Honorable the Exalted God will decide the destiny (of an individual) for one year including life or death, good or bad, and sustenance on the Night of Power. Whatever God destines on that night comes to be.” Soleiman said, “Now I understand. Please tell me more.”

The Imam (a.s.) said, “O Soleiman! Some of the affairs are up to the Honorable the Exalted God and what He wills. He can expedite what He wills and procrastinate what He wills. He can destroy what He wills. O Soleiman, Ali (a.s.) said, “Knowledge is of two types: Knowledge which God has taught His angels and His Messengers - that which God has taught His angels and His Messengers will be done, and that which is hidden near Him and He has informed none of His creatures of it. It is by this knowledge which He expedites what He wills to expedite, procrastinates what He wills to procrastinate; destroys what He wills to destroy, and He stabilizes what He wills to stabilize.”

Soleiman told Al-Ma’mun, “O Commander of the Faithful! From today on I will not refute Creation or deny it by God’s Will.” Al-Ma’mun said,

فُلاناً الْمَلِكَ فَأَعْلِمْهُ أَنِّي قَدْ أَنْسَيتُ أَجَلَهُ وَزِدْتُ فِي عُمُرِهِ خَمْسَ عَشْرَةَ سَنَةً فَقَالَ: ذَلِكَ النَّبِيُّ يَا رَبِّ إِنَّكَ لَتَعْلَمُ أَنِّي لَمْ أَكْذِبْ قَطُّ فَأَوْحَى اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ إِلَيْهِ إِنَّمَا أَنْتَ عَبْدٌ مَأْمُورٌ فَأَبْلِغْهُ ذَلِكَ وَاللَّهُ لا يُسْئَلُ عَمَّا يَفْعَلُ.

ثُمَّ الْتَفَتَ إِلَى سُلَيَْمانَ فَقَالَ: أَحْسَبُكَ ضَاهَيْتَ الْيَهُودَ فِي هَذَا الْبَابِ قَالَ أَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ مِنْ ذَلِكَ وَمَا قَالَتِ الْيَهُودُ قالَ: قالَ‏تِ الْيَهُودُ يَدُ اللَّهِ مَغْلُولَةٌ يَعْنُونَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ تَعَالَى قَدْ فَرَغَ مِنَ الأَمْرِ فَلَيْسَ يُحْدِثُ شَيْئاً فَقَالَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: غُلَّتْ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَلُعِنُوا بِما قالُوا وَلَقَدْ سَمِعْتُ قَوْماً سَأَلُوا أَبِي مُوسَى بْنَ جَعْفَرٍ عَنِ الْبَدَاءِ فَقَالَ: وَمَا يُنْكِرُ النَّاسُ مِنَ الْبَدَاءِ وَأَنْ يَقِفَ اللَّهُ قَوْماً يُرْجِئُهُمْ لامْرِهِ.

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ أَلا تُخْبِرُنِي عَنْ إِنَّا أَنْزَلْناهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ فِي أَيِّ شَيْ‏ءٍ أُنْزِلَتْ قَالَ يَا سُلَيَْمانُ لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ يُقَدِّرُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ فِيهَا مَا يَكُونُ مِنَ السَّنَةِ إِلَى السَّنَةِ مِنْ حَيَاةٍ أَوْ مَوْتٍ أَوْ خَيْرٍ أَوْ شَرٍّ أَوْ رِزْقٍ فَمَا قَدَّرَهُ فِي تِلْكَ اللَّيْلَةِ فَهُوَمِنَ الَْمحْتُومِ قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ الآْنَ قَدْ فَهِمْتُ جُعِلْتُ فِدَاكَ فَزِدْنِي.

قَالَ يَا سُلَيَْمانُ إِنَّ مِنَ الأُمُورِ أُمُوراً مَوْقُوفَةً عِنْدَ اللَّهِ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى يُقَدِّمُ مِنْهَا مَا يَشَاءُ وَيُؤَخِّرُ مَا يَشَاءُ يَا سُلَيَْمانُ إِنَّ عَلِيّاً عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ كَانَ يَقُولُ الْعِلْمُ عِلْمَانِ فَعِلْمٌ عَلَّمَهُ اللَّهُ مَلائِكَتَهُ وَرُسُلَهُ فَمَا عَلَّمَهُ مَلائِكَتَهُ وَرُسُلَهُ فَإِنَّهُ يَكُونُ وَلا يُكَذِّبُ نَفْسَهُ وَلا مَلائِكَتَهُ وَلا رُسُلَهُ وَعِلْمٌ عِنْدَهُ مَخْزُونٌ لَمْ يُطْلِعْ عَلَيْهِ أَحَداً مِنْ خَلْقِهِ يُقَدِّمُ مِنْهُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيُؤَخِّرُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيَمْحُو مَا يَشَاءُ وَيُثْبِتُ مَا يَشَاءُ قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ لِلْمَأْمُونِ يَا أَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ لا أُنْكِرُ بَعْدَ يَوْمِي هَذَا الْبَدَاءَ وَلا أُكَذِّبُ بِهِ إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ. فَقَالَ الْمَأْمُونُ: يَا سُلَيَْمانُ سَلْ أَبَا الْحَسَنِ عَمَّا

“O Soleiman! Ask Abul Hassan whatever you wish. Just listen carefully and be fair.” Soleiman said, “O my Master! May I ask?” Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “Ask whatever you wish.”

Soleiman said, “What is your view about someone who considers will to be a name - an attribute similar to ‘ living’, ‘hearing’, ‘seeing’, and ‘powerful’?”

Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “You say that things were originated and became different because He so desired and willed. But you do not say that things were originated and became different because He is All-Hearing and All-Seeing. This is a proof that they (i.e. will and desire) are not similar to All-Hearing, All-Seeing, and All-Powerful.”

Soleiman said, “He has always been willing.” The Imam answered him, “O Soleiman! Is His will something other than Him?”

He replied, “Yes.” The Imam (a.s.) said, “Then you have proved that there has always been something along with Him forever.” Soleiman said, “No, I have not.” Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “Is will originated?” Soleiman said, “No. It is not.” Then Al-Ma’mun shouted at him and said, “O Soleiman! Are you showing obstinacy and giving vague answers to such a person as him. You must be fair. Don’t you see that people of intellect are sitting around you?” Then Al-Ma’mun said, “O Abul Hassan! Continue your debate on theology with him since he is the theologian of Khorasan.”

Then the Imam asked him, “O Soleiman! Is it (the will) originated? Whatever is not Eternal is certainly originated. And if it is not originated it is Eternal.”

Soleiman said, “His (Allah's) will is (part) of Him just as His Hearing, His Sight and His Knowledge are (parts) of Him.” Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “Did He will Himself?” Soleiman answered, “No.” The Imam (a.s.) said, “Therefore, willing is not like the hearing and the seeing.” Soleiman said, “Surely, He willed Himself just as He heard Himself, saw Himself, and recognized Himself.”

Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “What is the meaning of ‘He willed Himself’? Did He will to be a thing? Did He will to be All-Living, All-Hearing, All-Seeing or All-Powerful?”

Soleiman said, “Yes.” Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “Did that occur through His will?” Soleiman answered, ‘Yes.’ Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “Then your statement, ‘He

بَدَا لَكَ وَعَلَيْكَ بِحُسْنِ الاسْتَِماعِ وَالإِنْصَافِ. قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: يَا سَيِّدِي أَسْأَلُكَ.

قَالَ الرِّضَا: سَلْ عَمَّا بَدَا لَكَ. قَالَ: مَا تَقُولُ فِيمَنْ جَعَلَ الإِرَادَةَ اسْماً وَصِفَةً مِثْلَ حَيٍّ وَسَمِيعٍ وَبَصِيرٍ وَقَدِيرٍ؟

قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: إِنَّمَا قُلْتُمْ حَدَثَتِ الأَشْيَاءُ وَاخْتَلَفَتْ لانَّهُ شَاءَ وَأَرَادَ وَلَمْ تَقُولُوا حَدَثَتْ وَاخْتَلَفَتْ لانَّهُ سَمِيعٌ بَصِيرٌ، فَهَذَا دَلِيلٌ عَلَى أَنَّهَا لَيْسَتْ مِثْلَ سَمِيعٍ وَلا بَصِيرٍ وَلا قَدِيرٍ. قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: فَإِنَّهُ لَمْ يَزَلْ مُرِيداً.

قَالَ: يَا سُلَيَْمانُ فَإِرَادَتُهُ غَيْرُهُ؟ قَالَ: نَعَمْ. قَالَ: فَقَدْ أَثْبَتَّ مَعَهُ شَيْئاً غَيْرَهُ لَمْ يَزَلْ.

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: مَا أَثْبَتُّ. قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: أَهِيَ مُحْدَثَةٌ.

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: لا، مَا هِيَ مُحْدَثَةٌ.

فَصَاحَ بِهِ الْمَأْمُونُ وَقَالَ: يَا سُلَيَْمانُ مِثْلُهُ يُعَايَا أَوْ يُكَابَرُ؟! عَلَيْكَ بِالإِنْصَافِ. أَمَا تَرَى مَنْ حَوْلَكَ مِنْ أَهْلِ النَّظَرِ؟ ثُمَّ قَالَ: كَلِّمْهُ يَا أَبَا الْحَسَنِ، فَإِنَّهُ مُتَكَلِّمُ خُرَاسَانَ.

فَأَعَادَ عَلَيْهِ الْمَسْأَلَةَ فَقَالَ: هِيَ مُحْدَثَةٌ يَا سُلَيَْمانُ، فَإِنَّ الشَّيْ‏ءَ إِذَا لَمْ يَكُنْ أَزَلِيّاً كَانَ مُحْدَثاً، وَإِذَا لَمْ يَكُنْ مُحْدَثاً كَانَ أَزَلِيّاً.

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: إِرَادَتُهُ مِنْهُ كَمَا أَنَّ سَمْعَهُ مِنْهُ وَبَصَرَهُ مِنْهُ وَعِلْمَهُ مِنْهُ.

قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: فَإِرَادَتُهُ نَفْسُهُ؟ قَالَ: لا. قَالَ: فَلَيْسَ الْمُرِيدُ مِثْلَ السَّمِيعِ وَالْبَصِيرِ.

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: إِنَّمَا أَرَادَ نَفْسُهُ كَمَا سَمِعَ نَفْسُهُ وَأَبْصَرَ نَفْسُهُ وَعَلِمَ نَفْسُهُ.

قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: مَا مَعْنَى أَرَادَ نَفْسُهُ؟ أَرَادَ أَنْ يَكُونَ شَيْئاً أَوْ أَرَادَ أَنْ يَكُونَ حَيّاً أَوْ سَمِيعاً أَوْ بَصِيراً أَوْ قَدِيراً؟ قَالَ: نَعَمْ.

قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: أَفَبِإِرَادَتِهِ كَانَ ذَلِكَ؟ قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: نَعَمْ. قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّـلامُ:

willed to be All-Living, All-Hearing, and All-Seeing,’ does not make any sense since they were not done through His Will.” Soleiman said, “Yes. That was through His Will.”

Then Al-Ma’mun and the people around him burst into laughter. Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) laughed too and said, “Do not be too hard on the theologian from Khorasan. O Soleiman! “Do you think that He (i.e. Allah, the Exalted) has altered from state to state and changed due to it? This is something by which the Honorable the Exalted God cannot be described.” Soleiman remained silent.

Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “O Soleiman! May I ask you a question?”

Soleiman said, “May I be your ransom! Ask.”

The Imam (a.s.) said, “Tell me about you and your companions: Do you debate with the people on theology according to what you understand and know or according to what you do not understand and do not know?” Soleiman said, “Yes! (We debate) according to what we understand and know.”

Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “The thing which the people know is that the willing is different from the will. The willing exists before the will. The subject is before the object. This (a.s.tatement) disproves your statement, ‘The willing and the willed are the same thing.’” Soleiman said, “May I be your ransom! This is not what the people know about and understand.” Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “I think that you have claimed to have the knowledge without having a true recognition of it and said, 'Willing is like hearing and seeing' while this view is not based on knowledge or the intellect.” Soleiman could not answer.

Then Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “O Soleiman! Does God have knowledge of all those who are in Paradise and the Fire?” Soleiman said, “Yes.”

The Imam (a.s.) said, “Will what the Sublime God knows would be created in the future, actually be created?” Soleiman answered, “Yes.”

The Imam (a.s.) said, “If it is done to the extent that nothing else remains, can God add more to them or will He stop doing so?”

Soleiman said, “He will add to them.” The Imam (a.s.) said, “Then based on what you have said, God adds to them what He did not know would be created.” Then he added, “May I be your ransom! There is no limit for

فَلَيْسَ لِقَوْلِكَ أَرَادَ أَنْ يَكُونَ حَيّاً سَمِيعاً بَصِيراً مَعْنًى إِذَا لَمْ يَكُنْ ذَلِكَ بِإِرَادَتِهِ.

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: بَلَى، قَدْ كَانَ ذَلِكَ بِإِرَادَتِهِ.

فَضَحِكَ الْمَأْمُونُ وَمَنْ حَوْلَهُ وَضَحِكَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ. ثُمَّ قَالَ لَهُمْ: ارْفُقُوا بِمُتَكَلِّمِ خُرَاسَانَ. فَقَالَ: يَا سُلَيَْمانُ فَقَدْ حَالَ عِنْدَكُمْ عَنْ حَالِهِ وَتَغَيَّرَ عَنْهَا وَهَذَا مَا لا يُوصَفُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ بِهِ فَانْقَطَعَ. ثُمَّ قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: يَا سُلَيَْمانُ، أَسْأَلُكَ مَسْأَلَةً.

قَالَ: سَلْ جُعِلْتُ فِدَاكَ. قَالَ: أَخْبِرْنِي عَنْكَ وَعَنْ أَصْحَابِكَ؛ تُكَلِّمُونَ النَّاسَ بِمَا تَفْقَهُونَ وَتَعْرِفُونَ أَوْ بِمَا لا تَفْقَهُونَ وَلا تَعْرِفُونَ؟ قَالَ: بِمَا نَفْقَهُ وَنَعْلَمُ.

قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: فَالَّذِي يَعْلَمُ النَّاسُ أَنَّ الْمُرِيدَ غَيْرُ الإِرَادَةِ وَأَنَّ الْمُرِيدَ قَبْلَ الإِرَادَةِ وَأَنَّ الْفَاعِلَ قَبْلَ الْمَفْعُولِ، وَهَذَا يُبْطِلُ قَوْلَكُمْ إِنَّ الإِرَادَةَ وَالْمُرِيدَ شَيْ‏ءٌ وَاحِدٌ.

قَالَ: جُعِلْتُ فِدَاكَ، لَيْسَ ذَاكَ مِنْهُ عَلَى مَا يَعْرِفُ النَّاسُ وَلا عَلَى مَا يَفْقَهُونَ.

قَالَ: فَأَرَاكُمُ ادَّعَيْتُمْ عِلْمَ ذَلِكَ بِلا مَعْرِفَةٍ وَقُلْتُمُ الإِرَادَةُ كَالسَّمْعِ وَالْبَصَرِ، وَإِذاً كَانَ ذَلِكَ عِنْدَكُمْ عَلَى مَا لا يُعْرَفُ وَلا يُعْقَلُ. فَلَمْ يُحِرْ جَوَاباً.

ثُمَّ قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: يَا سُلَيَْمانُ، هَلْ يَعْلَمُ اللَّهُ جَمِيعَ مَا فِي الْجَنَّةِ وَالنَّارِ؟

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: نَعَمْ.

قَالَ: فَيَكُونُ مَا عَلِمَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ أَنَّهُ يَكُونُ مِنْ ذَلِكَ؟

قَالَ: نَعَمْ.

قَالَ: فَإِذَا كَانَ حَتَّى لا يَبْقَى مِنْهُ شَيْ‏ءٌ إِلاّ كَانَ، أَيَزِيدُهُمْ أَوْ يَطْوِيهِ عَنْهُمْ؟

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: بَلْ يَزِيدُهُمْ.

قَالَ: فَأَرَاهُ فِي قَوْلِكَ قَدْ زَادَهُمْ مَا لَمْ يَكُنْ فِي عِلْمِهِ أَنَّهُ يَكُونُ. قَالَ: جُعِلْتُ فِدَاكَ فَالْمَزِيدُ

adding.” The Imam (a.s.) said, “Then in your opinion His Knowledge does not encompass what is therein (in Paradise), since He does not know the limit of that which will be in Paradise. If His Knowledge does not encompass what is therein, then He would not know what will be there before they existed. The Honorable the Exalted God is Exalted High above that!”

Soleiman said, “When I said God does not know about them it was because they have no limit and the Honorable the Exalted God Himself has described them as eternal. Therefore we do not want to assume an end for them.”

Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “God’s Knowledge of them will not limit them. There are many instances of which He has knowledge, then He adds to them and does not take away what He has added to them. These are supported by the Words of the Honorable the Exalted God in His Book, ‘…as often as their skins are roasted through, We shall change them for fresh skins, that they may taste the penalty…’13 And He told the residents of Paradise, ‘…a gift without break.’14 And the Honorable the Exalted said, ‘Whose season is not limited, nor (a.s.upply) forbidden?’15

Therefore the Honorable the Exalted God knows about these and does not block them from accessing to what is added. Will He not replace what the residents of Paradise eat and drink?” Soleiman said, “Yes.”

The Imam (a.s.) said, “Has He stopped His Granting now that He has replaced the consumed foods and drinks?” Soleiman said, “No.”

The Imam (a.s.) said, “Therefore when whatever in Paradise is consumed, God will replace them with other things which will not be blocked from the residents thereof for access and use.” Soleiman said, “Well. He will block what is added from them and will not give them anything else.” Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “Then whatever is in Paradise and Hell will end. ِِِO Soleiman! This is against eternity and the Book since the Honorable the Exalted God said, ‘…a gift without break.’16 ِِAnd the Honorable the Exalted God said, ‘…nor shall they (ever) be asked to leave.’17 And the Honorable the Exalted God said, ‘…they will dwell therein forever…’18 And the Honorable the Exalted God said, ‘Whose season is not limited, nor (a.s.upply) forbidden.’19 Soleiman remained silent.

لا غَايَةَ لَهُ. قَالَ: فَلَيْسَ يُحِيطُ عِلْمُهُ عِنْدَكُمْ بِمَا يَكُونُ فِيهِمَا إِذَا لَمْ يَعْرِفْ غَايَةَ ذَلِكَ، وَإِذَا لَمْ يُحِطْ عِلْمُهُ بِمَا يَكُونُ فِيهِمَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ مَا يَكُونُ فِيهِمَا أَنْ يَكُونَ. تَعَالَى اللَّهُ عَنْ ذَلِكَ عُلُوّاً كَبِيراً.

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: إِنَّمَا قُلْتُ لا يَعْلَمُهُ لانَّهُ لا غَايَةَ لِهَذَا، لانَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ وَصَفَهُمَا بِالْخُلُودِ وَكَرِهْنَا أَنْ نَجْعَلَ لَهُمَا انْقِطَاعاً.

قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: لَيْسَ عِلْمُهُ بِذَلِكَ بِمُوجِبٍ لانْقِطَاعِهِ عَنْهُمْ، لانَّهُ قَدْ يَعْلَمُ ذَلِكَ ثُمَّ يَزِيدُهُمْ ثُمَّ لا يَقْطَعُهُ عَنْهُمْ. وَكَذَلِكَ قَالَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ فِي كِتَابِهِ: (كُلَّما نَضِجَتْ جُلُودُهُمْ بَدَّلْناهُمْ جُلُوداً غَيْرَها لِيَذُوقُوا الْعَذابَ) وَقَالَ لأهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ: (عَطاءً غَيْرَ مَجْذُوذٍ.) وَقَالَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: (وَفاكِهَةٍ كَثِيرَةٍ لا مَقْطُوعَةٍ وَلا مَمْنُوعَةٍ). فَهُوَ جَلَّ وَعَزَّ يَعْلَمُ ذَلِكَ وَلا يَقْطَعُ عَنْهُمُ الزِّيَادَةَ. أَرَأَيْتَ مَا أَكَلَ أَهْلُ الْجَنَّةِ وَمَا شَرِبُوا، أَلَيْسَ يُخْلِفُ مَكَانَهُ؟

قَالَ بَلَى. قَالَ: أَفَيَكُونُ يَقْطَعُ ذَلِكَ عَنْهُمْ وَقَدْ أَخْلَفَ مَكَانَهُ؟

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: لا.

قَالَ: فَكَذَلِكَ، كُلُّ مَا يَكُونُ فِيهَا إِذَا أَخْلَفَ مَكَانَهُ فَلَيْسَ بِمَقْطُوعٍ عَنْهُمْ.

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: بَلْ يَقْطَعُهُ عَنْهُمْ وَلا يَزِيدُهُمْ.

قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: إِذاً يَبِيدُ مَا فِيهِمَا. وَهَذَا يَا سُلَيَْمانُ إِبْطَالُ الْخُلُودِ وَخِلافُ الْكِتَابِ، لانَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يَقُولُ: (لَهُمْ ما يَشاؤُنَ فِيها وَلَدَيْنا مَزِيدٌ) وَيَقُولُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: (عَطاءً غَيْرَ مَجْذُوذٍ). وَيَقُولُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: (وَما هُمْ مِنْها بِمُخْرَجِينَ) وَيَقُولُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: (خالِدِينَ فِيها أَبَداً) وَيَقُولُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: (وَفاكِهَةٍ كَثِيرَةٍ لا مَقْطُوعَةٍ وَلا مَمْنُوعَةٍ).

فَلَمْ يُحِرْ جَوَاباً.

Then Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “O Soleiman! Tell me about Will: Is it an action or not?”

Soleiman said, “It is an action.”

The Imam (a.s.) said, “Therefore it is originated, for all actions are originated.” Soleiman said, “It is not an action.”

The Imam (a.s.) said, “Has there then been something else with Him who is eternal?” Soleiman said, “The Will is the same as bringing forth.”

The Imam (a.s.) said, “O Soleiman! This is exactly what you criticized Dirar20 and his companions of, saying that everything that the Honorable the Exalted God has created in the heavens, the Earth, the oceans or on land such as dogs, pigs, monkeys, humans or animals are God’s Will, and that God's Will lives, dies, goes away, eats, drinks, marries, feels pleasure, oppresses, commits immoral acts, disbelieves, becomes a polytheist. We denounce this and oppose it. This is its limit.”

Soleiman said, “It (i.e. will) is like hearing, seeing and knowledge.”

Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “You just returned to what you said before. Tell me: Are hearing, seeing and knowledge made?”

Soleiman said, “No.” Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “How do you then refute Will? You sometimes say that He did not will and sometimes you say that He willed, and that it (i.e. will) was not one of His actions.”

Soleiman said,“Surely, that is like saying, He sometimes knows and sometimes does not know!”

Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “That is not the same, for negating the known is not like negating knowledge; negating what is willed is (not like) negating the will, for if the thing is not willed, there will be no will. However, sometimes there is knowledge, but there may be no known thing. This is like seeing. Man may be able to see, but there may be nothing there for him to see. Likewise, there may be knowledge, but there is no known thing.” Soleiman said, “It (i.e. will) is made.” The Imam (a.s.) said, “Therefore, it (will) is originated and is not like hearing and seeing, for hearing and seeing are not made, and it (will) is made.”

Soleiman said, “It (will) is one of His eternal attributes.” The Imam (a.s.) answered, “Therefore, man must be eternal, for his quality is eternal.”

ثُمَّ قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: يَا سُلَيَْمانُ، أَلا تُخْبِرُنِي عَنِ الإِرَادَةِ فِعْلٌ هِيَ أَمْ غَيْرُ فِعْلٍ؟

قَالَ: بَلَى، هِيَ فِعْلٌ. قَالَ: فَهِيَ مُحْدَثَةٌ، لانَّ الْفِعْلَ كُلَّهُ مُحْدَثٌ.

قَالَ: لَيْسَتْ بِفِعْلٍ. قَالَ: فَمَعَهُ غَيْرُهُ لَمْ يَزَلْ. قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: الإِرَادَةُ هِيَ الإِنْشَاءُ.

قَالَ: يَا سُلَيَْمانُ، هَذَا الَّذِي عِبْتُمُوهُ عَلَى ضِرَارٍ وَأَصْحَابِهِ مِنْ قَوْلِهِمْ إِنَّ كُلَّ مَا خَلَقَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ فِي سَمَاءٍ أَوْ أَرْضٍ أَوْ بَحْرٍ أَوْ بَرٍّ مِنْ كَلْبٍ أَوْ خِنْزِيرٍ أَوْ قِرْدٍ أَوْ إِنْسَانٍ أَوْ دَابَّةٍ إِرَادَةُ اللَّهِ وَإِنَّ إِرَادَةَ اللَّهِ تَحْيَا وَتَمُوتُ وَتَذْهَبُ وَتَأْكُلُ وَتَشْرَبُ وَتَنْكِحُ وَتَلِدُ وَتَظْلِمُ وَتَفْعَلُ الْفَوَاحِشَ وَتَكْفُرُ وَتُشْرِكُ فَنَبْرَأُ مِنْهَا وَنُعَادِيهَا وَهَذَا حَدُّهَا.

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: إِنَّهَا كَالسَّمْعِ وَالْبَصَرِ وَالْعِلْمِ. قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: قَدْ رَجَعْتَ إِلَى هَذَا ثَانِيَةً، فَأَخْبِرْنِي عَنِ السَّمْعِ وَالْبَصَرِ وَالْعِلْمِ أَمَصْنُوعٌ؟ قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: لا.

قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: فَكَيْفَ نَفَيْتُمُوهُ؟ فَمَرَّةً قُلْتُمْ لَمْ يُرِدْ وَمَرَّةً قُلْتُمْ أَرَادَ وَلَيْسَتْ بِمَفْعُولٍ لَهُ؟ قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: إِنَّمَا ذَلِكَ كِقَوْلِنَا مَرَّةً عَلِمَ وَمَرَّةً لَمْ يَعْلَمْ.

قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: لَيْسَ ذَلِكَ سَوَاءً، لانَّ نَفْيَ الْمَعْلُومِ لَيْسَ بِنَفْيِ الْعِلْمِ، وَنَفْيُ الْمُرَادِ نَفْيُ الإِرَادَةِ أَنْ تَكُونَ، لانَّ الشَّيْ‏ءَ إِذَا لَمْ يُرَدْ لَمْ يَكُنْ إِرَادَةٌ وَقَدْ يَكُونُ الْعِلْمُ ثَابِتاً وَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنِ الْمَعْلُومُ بِمَنْزِلَةِ الْبَصَرِ فَقَدْ يَكُونُ الإِنْسَانُ بَصِيراً وَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنِ الْمُبْصَرُ وَيَكُونُ الْعِلْمُ ثَابِتاً وَإِنْ لَمْ يَكُنِ الْمَعْلُومُ.

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: إِنَّهَا مَصْنُوعَةٌ.

قَالَ: فَهِيَ مُحْدَثَةٌ لَيْسَتْ كَالسَّمْعِ وَالْبَصَرِ لانَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ لَيْسَا بِمَصْنُوعَيْنِ وَهَذِهِ مَصْنُوعَةٌ.

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: إِنَّهَا صِفَةٌ مِنْ صِفَاتِهِ لَمْ تَزَلْ قَالَ فَيَنْبَغِي أَنْ يَكُونَ الإِنْسَانُ لَمْ يَزَلْ لانَّ صِفَتَهُ لَمْ تَزَلْ.

Soleiman said, “No, because He did not do it (will)”. Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “O Khorasani! How often you make mistakes! Are things not made according to His Will and Words?” Soleiman said, “No.” The Imam (a.s.) said, “If things are not made according to His Will or Volition, His Command or His Practice, then how are they made? God is High Exalted above that!” Soleiman could not respond.

Then Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) asked, “Will you not tell me about these Words of the Honorable the Exalted God: ‘When We decide to destroy a population, We (first) send a definite order to those among them who are given the good things of this life and yet transgress…’21

By ‘We decide’ does God mean that He creates His own Will?” Soleiman said, “Yes.”

The Imam (a.s.) answered him, “If He creates His own Will, then your statement that ‘Will is He Himself or is a part of him’ is futile, for it is not (possible) for Him to create Himself and God does not change His State. God is High Exalted above that.”

Soleiman told him, “Yes.” The Imam (a.s.) said, “Then if He originates the Will, what you said, “Will is the same as God Himself or a part thereof” is wrong since God does not originate Himself or change from His current state. God is High Exalted above that.”

Soleiman asked, “By that He does not mean that He creates His own will?”

The Imam (a.s.) asked, “So what does He mean?”

Soleiman said, “He means doing something.”

Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “Woe unto you! How many times have you repeated this issue? I told you that will is originated, since the action and the Creation of a thing is originated.”

Soleiman said, “Then this has no meaning.”

Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “Do you then think that He describes Himself with will which has no meaning? If will has no eternal or originated meaning, then that will nullify your statement, “The Honorable the Exalted God has always been willing.” Soleiman said, “I mean to say that willing has been one of the eternal actions of the Sublime God.”

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: لا، لانَّهُ لَمْ يَفْعَلْهَا.

قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: يَا خُرَاسَانِيُّ، مَا أَكْثَرَ غَلَطَكَ! أَفَلَيْسَ بِإِرَادَتِهِ وَقَوْلِهِ تَكُونُ الأَشْيَاءُ؟

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: لا.

قَالَ: فَإِذَا لَمْ تَكُنْ بِإِرَادَتِهِ وَلا مَشِيَّتِهِ وَلا أَمْرِهِ وَلا بِالْمُبَاشَرَةِ، فَكَيْفَ يَكُونُ ذَلِكَ؟ تَعَالَى اللَّهُ عَنْ ذَلِكَ.

فَلَمْ يُحِرْ جَوَاباً.

ثُمَّ قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: أَلا تُخْبِرُنِي عَنْ قَوْلِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ (وَإِذا أَرَدْنا أَنْ نُهْلِكَ قَرْيَةً أَمَرْنا مُتْرَفِيها فَفَسَقُوا فِيها) يَعْنِي بِذَلِكَ أَنَّهُ يُحْدِثُ إِرَادَةً؟

قَالَ لَهُ: نَعَمْ.

قَالَ: فَإِذَا أَحْدَثَ إِرَادَةً كَانَ قَوْلُكَ إِنَّ الإِرَادَةَ هِيَ هُوَ أَوْ شَيْ‏ءٌ مِنْهُ بَاطِلاً، لانَّهُ لا يَكُونُ أَنْ يُحْدِثَ نَفْسَهُ وَلا يَتَغَيَّرُ عَنْ حَالِهِ. تَعَالَى اللَّهُ عَنْ ذَلِكَ.

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: إِنَّهُ لَمْ يَكُنْ عَنَى بِذَلِكَ أَنَّهُ يُحْدِثُ إِرَادَةً.

قَالَ: فَمَا عَنَى بِهِ؟ قَالَ: عَنَى بِهِ فِعْلَ الشَّيْ‏ءِ.

قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: وَيْلَكَ! كَمْ تُرَدِّدُ هَذِهِ الْمَسْأَلَةَ، وَقَدْ أَخْبَرْتُكَ أَنَّ الإِرَادَةَ مُحْدَثَةٌ، لانَّ فِعْلَ الشَّيْ‏ءِ مُحْدَثٌ. قَالَ: فَلَيْسَ لَهَا مَعْنًى.

قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: قَدْ وَصَفَ نَفْسَهُ عِنْدَكُمْ حَتَّى وَصَفَهَا بِالإِرَادَةِ بِمَا لا مَعْنَى لَهُ، فَإِذَا لَمْ يَكُنْ لَهَا مَعْنًى قَدِيمٌ وَلا حَدِيثٌ بَطَلَ قَوْلُكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَمْ يَزَلْ مُرِيداً.

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: إِنَّمَا عَنَيْتُ أَنَّهَا فِعْلٌ مِنَ اللَّهِ لَمْ يَزَلْ.

The Imam (a.s.) said, “Don’t you know that what is eternal cannot be made, originated and eternal at the same time?”

Soleiman could not answer. Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “Never mind! Complete your questions.” Soleiman said, “Did you say that Will is one of His Attributes?”

The Imam (a.s.) said, “Why do you repeat this so many times? Are His Attributes originated or eternal?” Soleiman said, “Originated.”

Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “God is the Greatest! You are telling me that the Will is originated, even though it is one of His Eternal Attributes. Therefore God has not willed anything!” The Imam (a.s.) added, “Whatever is eternal is not created.”

Soleiman said, “Things are not the same as the will, and He did not will anything.”

Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “O Soleiman! You are whispering. Has God created what He has not willed to create? This is an attribute of someone who does not know what he is doing. God is High Exalted above that!”

Soleiman said, “O my Master! I have already informed you that it is like hearing, seeing and knowing.”

Al-Ma’mun said, “O Soleiman! Woe unto you! How often have you erred and how often have you have repeated yourself? Stop it and take up another issue since you seem to be unable to provide any better answer than that.”

Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “O Commander of the Faithful! Leave him alone! Do not interrupt his questions, since then he will regard it as an argument (against me). O Soleiman! Speak.”

Soleiman said, “I have already informed you that it is like hearing, seeing and knowing.”

Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “Never mind! Tell me whether will has one meaning or several meanings.” Soleiman said, “One meaning.”

Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “Is the meaning of all the wills then the same?” Soleiman said, “Yes.”

Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “If its meanings are the same, then it must be that the will to stand up is the same as the will to sit down, or the will to live is

قَالَ: أَلا تَعْلَمُ أَنَّ مَا لَمْ يَزَلْ لا يَكُونُ مَفْعُولاً وَقَدِيماً حَدِيثاً فِي حَالَةٍ وَاحِدَةٍ؟

فَلَمْ يُحِرْ جَوَاباً.

قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: لا بَأْسَ! أَتْمِمْ مَسْأَلَتَكَ.

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: قُلْتُ إِنَّ الإِرَادَةَ صِفَةٌ مِنْ صِفَاتِهِ.

قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: كَمْ تُرَدِّدُ عَلَيَّ أَنَّهَا صِفَةٌ مِنْ صِفَاتِهِ، فَصِفَتُهُ مُحْدَثَةٌ أَوْ لَمْ تَزَلْ؟

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: مُحْدَثَةٌ. قَالَ الرِّضَا: اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ! فَالإِرَادَةُ مُحْدَثَةٌ وَإِنْ كَانَتْ صِفَةً مِنْ صِفَاتِهِ لَمْ تَزَلْ! فَلَمْ يُرِدْ شَيْئاً. قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: إِنَّ مَا لَمْ يَزَلْ لا يَكُونُ مَفْعُولاً.

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: لَيْسَ الأَشْيَاءُ إِرَادَةً وَلَمْ يُرِدْ شَيْئاً.

قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: وُسْوِسْتَ يَا سُلَيَْمانُ! فَقَدْ فَعَلَ وَخَلَقَ مَا لَمْ يَزَلْ خَلْقَهُ وَفِعْلَهُ، وَهَذِهِ صِفَةُ مَنْ لا يَدْرِي مَا فَعَلَ تَعَالَى اللَّهُ عَنْ ذَلِكَ.

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: يَا سَيِّدِي، فَقَدْ أَخْبَرْتُكَ أَنَّهَا كَالسَّمْعِ وَالْبَصَرِ وَالْعِلْمِ.

قَالَ الْمَأْمُونُ: وَيْلَكَ يَا سُلَيَْمانُ! كَمْ هَذَا الْغَلَطُ وَالتَّرْدَادُ؟ اقْطَعْ هَذَا وَخُذْ فِي غَيْرِهِ إِذْ لَسْتَ تَقْوَى عَلَى غَيْرِ هَذَا الرَّدِّ.

قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: دَعْهُ يَا أَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ! لا تَقْطَعْ عَلَيْهِ مَسْأَلَتَهُ فَيَجْعَلَهَا حُجَّةً. تَكَلَّمْ يَا سُلَيَْمانُ. قَالَ: قَدْ أَخْبَرْتُكَ أَنَّهَا كَالسَّمْعِ وَالْبَصَرِ وَالْعِلْمِ.

قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: لا بَأْسَ! أَخْبِرْنِي عَنْ مَعْنَى هَذِهِ أَمَعْنًى وَاحِدٌ أَوْ مَعَانٍ مُخْتَلِفَةٌ؟

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: مَعْنًى وَاحِدٌ. قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: فَمَعْنَى الإِرَادَاتِ كُلِّهَا مَعْنًى وَاحِدٌ؟ قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: نَعَمْ. قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: فَإِنْ كَانَ مَعْنَاهَا مَعْنًى وَاحِداً كَانَتْ إِرَادَةُ الْقِيَامِ إِرَادَةَ الْقُعُودِ، وَإِرَادَةُ الْحَيَاةِ إِرَادَةَ الْمَوْتِ، إِذْ كَانَتْ إِرَادَتُهُ وَاحِدَةً لَمْ يَتَقَدَّمْ بَعْضُهَـا بَعْضـاً،

the same as the will to die. If His Will is all one thing, then none of God’s desires will take precedence over any others. None will be any different from any others. They will all be one thing.”

Soleiman replied, “Surely, the meanings are different.”

The Imam (a.s.) said, “Then, tell me about the willed. Is it the same as the will or is it something else?” Soleiman said, “Yes. It is the same as the will.”

Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “Then according to you the willed is something else since it is the same as the will.” Soleiman said, “O my Master! Will is not the same as the willed.”

Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “Then will is originated. Otherwise it must be that something else existed along with God. Understand this well. Continue on with your questions.”

Soleiman said, “It is one of His Names.”

Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “Did He name Himself that?”

Soleimam replied, “No. He did not name Himself that.”

Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “Therefore, you have no right to name Him with what He did not name Himself.” Soleiman said, “But He described Himself to be willed.”

Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “The fact that He has described Himself as willed does not mean that He wanted to inform us that He is the Will, or that Will is one of His Names.” Soleiman said, “That is because His Will is the same as His Knowledge.”

Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “O Ignorant one! If He knows something, does that not mean that He has willed it.” Soleiman said, “Yes.” The Imam (a.s.) asked, “But if He does not will something, does that mean that He does not know it?” Soleiman said, “Yes.”

The Imam (a.s.) said, “What is your source for that statement? What is the evidence that His Will is the same as His Knowledge? He may know something but never Will it. This is supported by what the Honorable the Exalted God said, ‘If it were Our Will, We could take away that which We have sent thee by inspiration…’22

وَلَمْ يُخَالِفْ بَعْضُهَا بَعْضاً، وَكَانَ شَيْئاً وَاحِداً.

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: إِنَّ مَعْنَاهَا مُخْتَلِفٌ.

قَالَ: فَأَخْبِرْنِي عَنِ الْمُرِيدِ، أَهُوَ الإِرَادَةُ أَوْ غَيْرُهَا؟

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: بَلْ هُوَالإِرَادَةُ.

قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: فَالْمُرِيدُ عِنْدَكُمْ مُخْتَلِفٌ إِذْ كَانَ هُوَ الإِرَادَةَ.

قَالَ: يَا سَيِّدِي، لَيْسَ الإِرَادَةُ الْمُرِيدَ.

قَالَ: فَالإِرَادَةُ مُحْدَثَةٌ وَإِلاّ فَمَعَهُ غَيْرُهُ! إفْهَمْ وَزِدْ فِي مَسْأَلَتِكَ.

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: فَإِنَّهَا اسْمٌ مِنْ أَسْمَائِهِ.

قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: هَلْ سَمَّى نَفْسَهُ بِذَلِكَ؟ قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: لا، لَمْ يُسَمِّ نَفْسَهُ بِذَلِكَ.

قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: فَلَيْسَ لَكَ أَنْ تُسَمِّيَهُ بِمَا لَمْ يُسَمِّ بِهِ نَفْسَهُ. قَالَ: قَدْ وَصَفَ نَفْسَهُ بِأَنَّهُ مُرِيدٌ. قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: لَيْسَ صِفَتُهُ نَفْسَهُ، أَنَّهُ مُرِيدٌ إِخْبَاراً عَن أَنَّهُ إِرَادَةٌ وَلا إِخْبَاراً عَنْ أَنَّ الإِرَادَةَ اسْمٌ مِنْ أَسْمَائِهِ. قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: لأنَّ إِرَادَتَهُ عِلْمُهُ.

قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: يَا جَاهِلُ! فَإِذَا عَلِمَ الشَّيْ‏ءَ فَقَدْ أَرَادَهُ؟

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: أَجَلْ.

قَالَ: فَإِذَا لَمْ يُرِدْهُ لَمْ يَعْلَمْهُ؟

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: أَجَلْ.

قَالَ: مِنْ أَيْنَ قُلْتَ ذَاكَ؟ وَمَا الدَّلِيلُ عَلَى أَنَّ إِرَادَتَهُ عِلْمُهُ؟ وَقَدْ يَعْلَمُ مَا لا يُرِيدُهُ أَبَداً، وَذَلِكَ قَوْلُهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ (وَلَئِنْ شِئْنا لَنَذْهَبَنَّ بِالَّذِي أَوْحَيْنا إِلَيْكَ).

And God knows how to take it away, but He never will.” Soleiman said, “That is because He has finished running the affairs and will not add anything to what He has destined.”

Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “This is what the Jews say. The Sublime God said, ‘…Call on Me; I will answer your (Prayer)…’23

Soleiman said, “By this He means that He is able to do that.” The Imam (a.s.) said, “Does He then make a promise which He will not fulfill?” Then how come He said, ‘…He adds to Creation as He pleases…’24 And the Honorable the Exalted God said, ‘Allah doth blot out or confirm what He pleaseth: with Him is the Mother of the Book.’25 Has He finished running the affairs?” Soleiman could not answer.

Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “O Soleiman! Does He know that a human being would be created while He did not will to create a human being by no means? That a human being will die today while He has not willed to make him die today?” Soleiman said, “Yes.”

Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) asked, “Does He know that what He wills exists or does He know about what He has not willed does not exist?” Soleiman said, “He knows that both of them exist.” Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “Therefore, He knows that man is simultaneously alive and dead, is standing and sitting, is blind and seeing at the same time. This is impossible.” Soleiman said, “May I be your ransom! He knows that one of them will exist.”

The Imam (a.s.) said, “Do not worry. Which one will exist? The one which He willed, or the one which He did not will?” Soleiman said, “What He has willed to be!”

Al-Ridha’ (a.s.), Al-Ma’mun and the scholars started to laugh.

Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “You have erred and departed from your initial statements, “He knows that some people will die today while He has not willed to make them die today, that He creates creatures while He does not will to create them.” If your hold that knowledge does not apply to what He has not willed, then He alone knows what He has willed.

Soleiman said, “My statement is that Will is neither He nor something other than Him!”

Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “O Ignorant one! If you say that will is not He, then you have regarded it as (a.s.omething) other than him. If you say that will

فَهُوَ يَعْلَمُ كَيْفَ يَذْهَبُ بِهِ وَلا يَذْهَبُ بِهِ أَبَداً. قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: لانَّهُ قَدْ فَرَغَ مِنَ الأَمْرِ، فَلَيْسَ يَزِيدُ فِيهِ شَيْئاً. قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: هَذَا قَوْلُ الْيَهُودِ! فَكَيْفَ قَالَ (أدْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ)؟ قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: إِنَّمَا عَنَى بِذَلِكَ أَنَّهُ قَادِرٌ عَلَيْهِ.

قَالَ: أَفَيَعِدُ مَا لا يَفِي بِهِ؟ فَكَيْفَ قَالَ: (يَزِيدُ فِي الْخَلْقِ ما يَشاءُ)؟ وَقَالَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: (يَمْحُو اللَّهُ ما يَشاءُ وَيُثْبِتُ وَعِنْدَهُ أُمُّ الْكِتابِ) وَقَدْ فَرَغَ مِنَ الأَمْرِ؟ فَلَمْ يُحِرْ جَوَاباً.

قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: يَا سُلَيَْمانُ، هَلْ يَعْلَمُ أَنَّ إِنْسَاناً يَكُونُ وَلا يُرِيدُ أَنْ يَخْلُقَ إِنْسَاناً أَبَداً؟ أَوْ أَنَّ إِنْسَاناً يَمُوتُ وَلا يُرِيدُ أَنْ يَمُوتَ الْيَوْمَ؟ قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: نَعَمْ.

قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: فَيَعْلَمُ أَنَّهُ يَكُونُ مَا يُرِيدُ أَنْ يَكُونَ أَوْ يَعْلَمُ أَنَّهُ يَكُونُ مَا لا يُرِيدُ أَنْ يَكُونَ؟ قَالَ: يَعْلَمُ أَنَّهُمَا يَكُونَانِ جَمِيعاً.

قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: إِذاً يَعْلَمُ أَنَّ إِنْسَاناً حَيٌّ مَيِّتٌ، قَائِمٌ قَاعِدٌ، أَعْمَى بَصِيرٌ، فِي حَالَةٍ وَاحِدَة.ٍ وَهَذَا هُوَالَْمحَالُ.

قَالَ: جُعِلْتُ فِدَاكَ، فَإِنَّهُ يَعْلَمُ أَنْ يَكُونَ أَحَدُهُمَا دُونَ الآْخَرِ.

قَالَ: لا بَأْسَ! فَأَيُّهُمَا يَكُونُ الَّذِي أَرَادَ أَنْ يَكُونَ أَوِ الَّذِي لَمْ يُرِدْ أَنْ يَكُونَ؟

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: الَّذِي أَرَادَ أَنْ يَكُونَ.

فَضَحِكَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ وَالْمَأْمُونُ وَأَصْحَابُ الْمَقَالاتِ. قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: غَلِطْتَ وَتَرَكْتَ قَوْلَكَ إِنَّهُ يَعْلَمُ أَنَّ إِنْسَاناً يَمُوتُ الْيَوْمَ وَهُوَ لا يُرِيدُ أَنْ يَمُوتَ الْيَوْمَ، وَإِنَّهُ يَخْلُقُ خَلْقاً وَإِنَّهُ لا يُرِيدُ أَنْ يَخْلُقَهُمْ، وَإِذَا لَمْ يَجُزِ الْعِلْمُ عِنْدَكُمْ بِمَا لَمْ يُرِدْ أَنْ يَكُونَ، فَإِنَّمَا يَعْلَمُ أَنْ يَكُونَ مَا أَرَادَ أَنْ يَكُونَ. قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: فَإِنَّمَا قَوْلِي إِنَّ الإِرَادَةَ لَيْسَتْ هُوَ وَلا غَيْرَهُ. قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: يَا جَاهِلُ! إِذَا قُلْتَ لَيْسَتْ هُوَ فَقَدْ جَعَلْتَهَا غَيْرَهُ، فَإِذَا قُلْتَ

is not (a.s.omething) other than Him, then you have regarded it as Him.” Soleiman asked, “Does God know how He creates things?”

Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “Yes.” Soleiman said, “Surely, this establishes something.” Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “You have said something impossible. That is because man may know how to build a wall, even though he does not build one; may know how to sew, even though he does not sew anything; or may know how to make something well, even though he does not make it.”

Then Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “O Soleiman! Does God know that He is One without anything with Him?” Soleiman replied, “Yes.”

Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “Does this establish that there is something along with Him?” Soleiman said, “He does not know that He is One without anything with Him.”

Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) asked, “Do you know that?”

Soleiman replied, “Yes.”

“O Soleiman! Therefore you are more knowledgeable than Him!” Soleiman said, “This is impossible.”

The Imam (a.s.) said, “Is it impossible in your view that He is One without anything with Him, that He is All-Hearing, All-Seeing, All-Wise, and All-Powerful?” He replied, “Yes.” The Imam (a.s.) said, “Then how did the Honorable the Exalted God say that He was One, All-Living, All-Hearing, All-Seeing, All-Wise, All-Powerful, All-Knowing, All-Aware, while He did not know that? This refutes what you say. God is High Exalted above that.”

Then Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) asked him, “How does He will to create that which He does not know how to create and what it is? If a creator does not know how to create something before he creates it, then he is perplexed. The Sublime God is Exalted High above that!”

Soleiman said, “Will is the same as Power.” Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) said, “He - the Honorable the Exalted always has power over what He wills. There is no escape from that, for He - the Blessed the Sublime said, ‘If it were Our Will, We could take away that which We have sent thee by inspiration…’26 If will is the same as power, God had Willed to take it away because of His Power.” Then Soleiman remained silent.

لَيْسَتْ هِيَ غَيْرَهُ فَقَدْ جَعَلْتَهَا هُوَ.

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: فَهُوَ يَعْلَمُ كَيْفَ يَصْنَعُ الشَّيْءَ؟ قَالَ: نَعَمْ.

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: فَإِنَّ ذَلِكَ إِثْبَاتٌ لِلشَّيْ‏ءِ. قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: أَحَلْتَ، لأنَّ الرَّجُلَ قَدْ يُحْسِنُ الْبِنَاءَ وَإِنْ لَمْ يَبْنِ، وَيُحْسِنُ الْخِيَاطَةَ وَإِنْ لَمْ يَخِطْ، وَيُحْسِنُ صَنْعَةَ الشَّيْ‏ءِ وَإِنْ لَمْ يَصْنَعْهُ أَبَداً. ثُمَّ قَالَ لَهُ: يَا سُلَيَْمانُ، هَلْ يَعْلَمُ أَنَّهُ وَاحِدٌ لا شَيْ‏ءَ مَعَهُ؟ قَالَ: نَعَمْ.

قَالَ: أَفَيَكُونُ ذَلِكَ إِثْبَاتاً لِلشَّيْ‏ءِ؟

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: لَيْسَ يَعْلَمُ أَنَّهُ وَاحِدٌ لا شَيْ‏ءَ مَعَهُ.

قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: أَفَتَعْلَمُ أَنْتَ ذَاكَ؟ قَالَ: نَعَمْ.

قَالَ: فَأَنْتَ يَا سُلَيَْمانُ أَعْلَمُ مِنْهُ إِذاً! قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: الْمَسْأَلَةُ مُحَالٌ.

قَالَ: مُحَالٌ عِنْدَكَ أَنَّهُ وَاحِدٌ لا شَيْ‏ءَ مَعَهُ وَأَنَّهُ سَمِيعٌ بَصِيرٌ حَكِيمٌ قَادِرٌ؟ قَالَ: نَعَمْ.

قَالَ: فَكَيْفَ أَخْبَرَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ أَنَّهُ وَاحِدٌ حَيٌّ سَمِيعٌ بَصِيرٌ حَكِيمٌ قَادِرٌ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ، وَهُوَ لا يَعْلَمُ ذَلِكَ؟ وَهَذَا رَدُّ مَا قَالَ وَتَكْذِيبُهُ. تَعَالَى اللَّهُ عَنْ ذَلِكَ.

ثُمَّ قَالَ لَهُ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: فَكَيْفَ يُرِيدُ صُنْعَ مَا لا يَدْرِي صُنْعَهُ وَلا مَا هُوَ، وَإِذَا كَانَ الصَّانِعُ لا يَدْرِي، كَيْفَ يَصْنَعُ الشَّيْ‏ءَ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَصْنَعَهُ؟ فَإِنَّمَا هُوَ مُتَحَيِّرٌ. تَعَالَى اللَّهُ عَنْ ذَلِكَ عُلُوّاً كَبيراً.

قَالَ سُلَيَْمانُ: فَإِنَّ الإِرَادَةَ الْقُدْرَةُ.

قَالَ الرِّضَا عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: وَهُوَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يَقْدِرُ عَلَى مَا لا يُرِيدُهُ أَبَداً، وَلا بُدَّ مِنْ ذَلِكَ لأنَّهُ قَالَ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى: (وَلَئِنْ شِئْنا لَنَذْهَبَنَّ بِالَّذِي أَوْحَيْنا إِلَيْكَ)، فَلَوْ كَانَتِ الإِرَادَةُ هِيَ الْقُدْرَةَ كَانَ قَدْ أَرَادَ أَنْ يَذْهَبَ بِهِ لِقُدْرَتِهِ. فَانْقَطَعَ سُلَيَْمانُ.

At this time Al-Ma’mun said, “O Soleiman! This is the most learned of the Hashemites!” Then the people dispersed.

The author of this book (a.s.heikh Sadooq) - may God be pleased with him - said, “Al-Ma’mun was jealous of (the scholarly position of) Al-Ridha’ (a.s.). Therefore, he invited the scholars of the various sects and religions who had deviated from the straight path and anyone he knew or had heard of around the globe to have debates with Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) and defeat the Imam (a.s.) in his (a.s.) proofs, so that Al-Ma’mun’s feelings of jealousy be somewhat relieved and the Imam’s (a.s.) scientific position be discredited. However, whoever held a debate with the Imam (a.s.) acknowledged his (a.s.) nobility and was convinced by the proofs presented by the Imam (a.s.). This was because God - High be His Remembrance - did not like anyone to defeat Al-Ridha’ (a.s.). God perfects His Light and assists His Proof. This is what the Blessed the Sublime God has promised in His Book, ‘We will, without doubt, help our apostles and those who believe, (both) in this world's life…’27 By ‘those who believe’, God means the Immaculate Imams, their knowledgeable followers and those who have adopted the Imams’ proof against their enemies for as long as they are in this world. God will treat them likewise in the Hereafter. The Honorable the Exalted God will never act against His Promise.

  • 1. Qur’an, 19:67
  • 2. Qur’an, 30:27
  • 3. Qur’an, 2:117
  • 4. Qur’an, 35:1
  • 5. Qur’an, 32:7
  • 6. Qur’an, 9:106
  • 7. Qur’an, 35:11
  • 8. Qur’an, 51:54
  • 9. Qur’an, 51:55
  • 10. Qur’an, 5:64
  • 11. Ibid.
  • 12. Qur’an, 97:1
  • 13. Qur’an, 4:56
  • 14. Qur’an, 11:108
  • 15. Qur’an, 56:33
  • 16. Qur’an, 11:108
  • 17. Qur’an, 15:48
  • 18. Qur’an, 98:8
  • 19. Qur’an, 56:33
  • 20. Dirar ibn Amr al-Qadhi had corrupt ideas as stated in Lisan al-Mizan.
  • 21. Qur’an, 17:16
  • 22. Qur’an, 17:86
  • 23. Qur’an, 40:60
  • 24. Qur’an, 35:1
  • 25. Qur’an, 13:39
  • 26. Qur’an, 17:76
  • 27. Qur’an, 40:51