The Shia Rebuts

BOOK ID

Author(s): Sayyid Rida Husayni Nasab

Translator(s): Mansoor Limba

Publisher(s): Ahlul Bayt World Assembly

Category: Comparative Religion

Topic Tags: Shia Rebuts Comparison

point

Under the supervision of Ayatullah Ja'far Subhani, Sayyid Rida Husayni Nasab introduces a text outlining the differences in different 'Ummahs' of Islam. He discusses what unites them, as well as those traditions and understandings that cause dispute amongst them.

Foreword

In the Name of Allah, the All-beneficent, the All-merciful

The precious legacy left behind by the Holy Prophet’s Household {ahl al-bayt} (may peace be upon them all) and their followers’ preservation of this legacy from the menace of extinction is a perfect example of an all-encompassing school {maktab}, which embraces the different branches of Islamic knowledge. This school has been able to train many talented personalities by quenching them with this gushing fountain.

This school has presented scholars to the Muslim ummah who, by following the Holy Prophet’s Household (‘a), have occupied the station of clarifying doubts and skepticisms brought forth by various creeds and intellectual currents both inside and outside Muslim society. Throughout the past centuries, they have presented the firmest answers and solutions to these doubts.

Anchored in the responsibilities it is shouldering, the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) World Assembly has embarked upon defending the sanctity of risalah {messengership} and its authentic beliefs—truths which have always been opposed by the chiefs and leaders of anti-Islamic sects, religions and trends. In this sacred path, the Assembly regards itself as a follower of the upright pupils

p: 1

of the school of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a)—those who have always been ready to refute those accusations and calumnies and have tried to be always in the frontline of this struggle on the basis of the expediencies of time and space.

The experiences in this field, which have been preserved in the books of scholars belonging to the school of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a), are unique in their own right. It is because these experiences have been based upon knowledge {‘ilm} and the pre-eminence of the intellect and reasoning, and at the same time, they are completely devoid of blind prejudice, whim and caprice. These experiences address experts, scholars and thinkers in a manner that is acceptable to a healthy mind and the pure human natural disposition {fitrah}.

In a bid to assist those who are in quest of truth, the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) World Assembly has endeavoured to enter a new phase of these worthy experiences within the framework of research and compiling and translating the works of contemporary Shi‘ah writers or those who, through divine guidance, have embraced this noble school.

The Assembly is also engaged in the study and publication of the valuable works of pious predecessors and outstanding Shi‘ah personalities so that those who are thirsty for the truth could quench their thirst from this refreshing fountain by listening and embracing this truth, which the Holy Prophet’s Household (‘a) has offered as a gift to the entire world.

It is hoped that our dear readers would not

p: 2

deprive the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) World Assembly of their valuable opinions, suggestions and constructive criticisms in this arena.

We also invite scholars, translators and other institutions to assist us in propagating the pure Muhammadan (S) Islam.

We ask God, the Exalted, to accept this trivial effort and enhance it further under the auspices of His vicegerent on earth, Hadrat al-Mahdi (may Allah, the Exalted, expedite his glorious advent).

It is appropriate here to express our utmost gratitude to Hujjat al-Islam wa’l-Muslimin Sayyid Rida Husayni Nasab for writing the book,(1) and to Mr. Mansoor Limba for translating it, as well as to all our honorable colleagues in accomplishing this task especially the dear ones in the Translation Office for undertaking this responsibility.

Cultural Affairs Department

Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) World Assembly

Introduction

In the Name of Allah, the All-beneficent, the All-merciful

Those who are aware of the circumstances prevailing in the Muslim world know well that nowadays the Muslim ummah(2) has become “ummahs” and every “ummah” has its own way and customs and the life of its subjects has fallen into the grasp of individuals who regard their hegemony and survival as depending on kindling flame of differences.

Consequently, these individuals have made investment in various forms and are able to make use of every possible means.

This situation has left no room for dialogue among the Islamic sects and there has been a lot of dispute over many questions. Most of these questions are scholastic {masa’il-e kalami} originated by Muslim scholastic theologians {mutakallimun} and many Muslims

p: 3


1- Sayyid Rida Husayni Nasab, Shi‘eh Pasokh Midahad, supervised by Ayatullah Ja‘far Subhani (Qum: Nashr-e Mash‘ar, Autumn 1384 AHS (2005)), 248 pp.
2- Ummah: the entire Islamic community which knows no territorial or ethnic distinction. {Trans.}

are unaware of those differences.

However, there are common axes which form a good ground for unity among them. In fact, the common points of the various Muslim sects are more than the points of difference; yet, the sponsors of discord have dwelt on those differences and so they mention nothing but the common issues related to the roots and branches of religion.

In one of the conferences on “Proximity among the Islamic Schools of Thought”, I was assigned to expound on the topic, “The Schools of Jurisprudence Regarding Personal Statuses” (marriage, divorce, inheritance, etc.).

I presented to the conference the writer’s paper which surprised the Sunni participants. Prior to reading the paper, they rejected the idea that in most issues pertaining to these three questions the Shi‘ah jurisprudence has identical view with that of the present four Sunni schools of thought.

From a distance a grudge is nursed and the Shi‘ah is regarded as apart from the Muslim sects. Day and night they speak in the mass media against this group which has been wronged by history. This act can only render service to the common enemy.

This unwary group is invited to lift the veils of ignorance from their views and establish better ties with the Shi‘ah,(1) strengthen their connection with their ‘ulama’ and scholars, and recognize the Shi‘ah as their own brothers—an aim which the Shi‘ah has for centuries been looking for, and thus, realizing the purport of the verse that follows:

إِنَّ هَٰذِهِ أُمَّتُکُمْ أُمَّهً وَاحِدَهً وَأَنَا رَبُّکُمْ

p: 4


1- In this volume, I have maintained the word “Shi‘ah” to refer to both the group (single collective unit) and the individuals constituting the group (plural). {Trans.}

فَاعْبُدُونِ

“Indeed this community of yours is one community, and I am your Lord. So worship Me.”(1)

One of the old plots hatched by imperialism in the Muslim nations is to create skepticisms and to intensify problems and then to strike a blow for the glorious Islamic Revolution, and various forms of this old method was common in the Middle East and other regions in recent centuries.

On meeting Iranian pilgrims during the Hajj season, many pilgrims who have familiarity with the Islamic Revolution and whose minds are poisoned with the enemy’s sinister propaganda, ask questions and want to know the answers.

In response to this demand, the eminent and honorable scholar, Sayyid Rida Husayni Nasab, compiled the answers (to those questions) under my supervision and according to the permission given to him, he was to observe brevity in answering the questions and to put detailed explanations to a later time.

It is hoped that this little service would be accepted by the Imam of the Time (may our souls be his ransom).

Ja‘far Subhani

The Islamic Seminary, Qum

Adhar 1, 1374 AHS

(December 22, 1995)

Question 1 : Which is correct, “wa ‘itrati” {and my progeny}, or “wa sunnati” {and my tradition}?

point

The hadith scholars {muhaddithun} have narrated hadith ath-thaqalayn {Tradition on the Two Weighty Things} in two ways and it has been recorded in the books of hadith. An examination must be made to see which way is correct:

1. “Kitab Allah wa ‘itrati ahli bayti” {“The Book of Allah and my progeny, the members of my Household”}, or

2. “Kitab Allah wa sunnati” {“The Book of Allah and my tradition”}.

p: 5


1- Surah al-Anbiya’ 21:92. A similar verse is Surah al-Mu’minun 23:52: “Indeed this community of yours is one community, and I am your Lord, so be wary of Me.” In this volume, the translation of Qur’anic passages is adapted from Sayyid ‘Ali Quli Qara’i, The Qur’an with a Phrase-by-Phrase English Translation (London: Islamic College for Advanced Studies Press, 2004). {Trans.}

Reply: The authentic {sahih} and established {thabit} hadith of the Holy Prophet (S)(1) is the one with the phrase, “wa ahl bayti” {and the members of my Household}. The chain of transmission {sanad} of the narration which contains the phrase, “sunnati” {my tradition} instead of “ahla bayti” {the members of my Household} is invalid, therefore it is rejected {mardud} and the chain of transmission of the hadith, “wa ahla bayti” is absolutely sound.

The chain of transmission of the narration, “wa ahli bayti” {and my Household}

This text has been narrated by two prominent muhaddiths {hadith scholars}:

1. In his Sahih, Muslim narrates from Zayd ibn al-Arqam, thus: One day Allah’s Messenger (S) stood up to deliver sermon near a pool known as Khumm situated between Mecca and Medina. In the said sermon, he extolled Allah and exhorted the people, and then he said:

"ألا أیها الناس فانما أنا بشر یوشک أن یأتی رسول ربِّی فأجیب وأنا تاک فیکم الثَّقلین: أولهما کتاب الله فیه والهدی النور فخذو بکتاب الله واستمسکوا به – فحث لی کتاب والله رغب فیه ثم قال: أذکرکم الله فی أهل بیتی."

Now to our purpose: O people, I am a human being. I am about to receive a messenger (the angel of death) from my Lord and I, in response to Allah’s call, (would bid goodbye to you), but I am leaving among you two weighty things: the one being the Book of Allah in which there is right guidance and light, so hold fast to the Book of Allah and adhere to it.

He exhorted (us) (to hold fast) to the

p: 6


1- The abbreviation, “S”, stands for the Arabic invocative phrase, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa alihi wa sallam {may God’s blessings and peace be upon him and his progeny}, which is mentioned after the name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S). {Trans.}

Book of Allah and then said: The second are the members of my Household; I remind you (of your duties) to the members of my family. I remind you (of your duties) to the members of my family. I remind you (of your duties) to the members of my family.(1)

Darmi has also mentioned this text in his Sunan.(2) It must be said that the chain of transmission of each of the two is as bright as the sun and there is no room for doubt about it.

2. In his narration which contains the phrase, “And my progeny, the members of my Household” {wa ‘itrati ahla bayti}, Tirmidhi writes that the Prophet (S) has said:

"إنی تارک فیکم ما ان تمسکتم به لن تضلوا بعدی ، أحدهما أعظم من الأخر: کتاب الله حبل ممدود من السماء

إلی والأرض عترتی أهل بیتی لن یفتقا حتی یردا علیَّ الحوض فانظروا کیف تخلفونی فیها."

Verily, I am leaving among you two weighty things to which if you hold fast, you shall never go astray. One is greater than the other: the Book of Allah, which is the cord extending from the heaven to the earth and my progeny, the members of my Household. These two will never separate from each other until they meet me at the Pond {hawd} (of Kawthar). Be careful as to how you will behave toward them after me.(3)

Both Muslim and Tirmidhi, who are among the compilers of Sahihs and Sunans (compilations of hadiths regarded as authentic by the Ahl as-Sunnah),

p: 7


1- Muslim, Sahih, vol. 4, p. 1803, hadith no. 2408 (‘Abd al-Baqi Edition). Abdul-Hamid Siddiqui (trans.), Sahih Muslim (English Translation), vol. 4, hadith no. 5920. {Trans.}
2- Darmi, Sunan, vol. 2, pp. 431-432.
3- Tirmidhi, Sunan, vol. 5, p. 663, hadith no. 37788.

highlight the phrase, “Ahl al-Bayt”, and this evidence supports our view, and the chains of transmission of both hadiths enjoy such accuracy and special reliability that they need no discussion and argumentation.

The chain of transmission of the narration, “wa sunnati” {and my tradition}

The tradition, which mentions the phrase, “sunnati” {my tradition} instead of “ahli bayti” {members of my Household}, is a fabricated hadith, which apart from the weakness of its chain of transmission, was concocted and transmitted by the ‘Umayyad agents:

1. In his Mustadrak (‘ala’s-Sahihayn), Hakim al-Nayshaburi relates this narration with the following chain of transmission:

عباس عن بن أبی أویس عن ابی اویس عن ثور بن زید الدّیلمی عن عکمه عن ابن عباس قال رسول الله: "یا

أیها الناس إنی قد ترکت فیکم ان اعتصمتم به فلن تضلّوا أبداً کتاب الله وسنّه نبیّه."

‘Abbas ibn Abi Uways narrates on the authority of Abi Uways from Thawr ibn Zayd ad-Daylami from ‘Ukrumah from Ibn ‘Abbas: The Messenger of Allah (S) said:

“O people, I am leaving among you two things to which if you hold fast, you shall never go astray: the Book of Allah and the tradition of His prophet!”(1)

Among the transmitters of this narration are Isma‘il ibn Abi Uways and Abu Uways—a father and a son who were not found trustworthy, and they were also accused of lying, fabrication and forgery.

What the ‘ulama’ of rijal say about the two versions

In Tahdhib al-Kamal, Hafiz al-Mizzi,(2) one of the researchers of the science of rijal,(3) writes about Isma‘il and his father as follows:

Yahya ibn Mu‘in (who is one of the prominent ‘ulama’ of ‘ilm ar-rijal) says: “Abu Uways and his son (Isma‘il) are ‘weak’

p: 8


1- Hakim al-Nayshaburi, Mustadrak (‘ala’s-Sahihayn), vol. 1, p. 93.
2- Hafiz: literally means ‘memorizer’ and is used in hadith terminology, as in the case of this book, to describe a scholar who has an excellent memory and has memorized a great number of traditions. {Trans.}
3- Rijal or ‘Ilm ar-Rijal: a branch of the science of hadith dealing with the biography of the hadith transmitters or reporters. {Trans.}

{da‘if}. It is also reported that Yahya ibn Mu‘in used to say: “These two persons used to steal hadith.” Ibn Mu‘in also says about the son (Isma‘il): “He cannot be trusted.”

Regarding the son (Isma‘il), Nisa’i says: “He is ‘weak’ and not trustworthy.”

Abu’l-Qasim Lalka’i says: “Nisa’i has said a lot against him, concluding that his narration must be rejected.”

Ibn ‘Adi, one of the ‘ulama’ of rijal, says: “Ibn Abi Uways, a maternal uncle of Malik, narrates strange hadiths, which nobody accepts.”(1)

In the Introduction to Fath al-Barri, Ibn Hajar (al-‘Asqalani) has stated: “One can never refer (as proof) to the hadith of Ibn Abi Uways on account of the reproach which Nisa’i has heaped on him.”(2)

In the book, Fath al-Mulk al-‘Ala, Hafiz Sayyid Ahmad ibn Sadiq narrates on the authority of Salmah ibn Shayb, thus: “Isma‘il ibn Abi Uways was heard to have said: ‘Whenever the people of Medina split into two over an issue, I fabricated a hadith’.”(3)

Therefore, the son (Isma‘il ibn Abi Uways) is charged with fabricating hadith and Ibn Mu‘in says that he lies. In addition, his narration has come neither in the Sahih of Muslim nor in the Sunan of Tirmidhi or any other Sahih books.

Concerning Abu Uways, it is enough to state that Abu Hatam ar-Razi in the book, Al-Jarah wa’t-Ta‘dil, says: “His narration may be recorded but it must not be referred to (as proof), and his narration is neither strong {qawi} nor firm {muhkam}.”(4)

Abu Hatam who relates on the authority of

p: 9


1- Hafiz al-Mazzi, Tahdhib al-Kamal, vol. 3, p. 127.
2- Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, Introduction to Fath al-Barri (Dar al-Ma‘rifah Edition), p. 391.
3- Hafiz Sayyid Ahmad, Fath al-Mulk al-‘Ala, p. 15.
4- Abu Hatam ar-Razi, Al-Jarah wa’t-Ta‘dil, vol. 5, p. 92.

Ibn Mu‘in says that Abu Uways is unreliable.

Any narration {riwayah} related by any of these two is by no means authentic {sahih}. Moreover, it does not accord with authentic and sound narrations.

It is worth considering that the narrator of the hadith, viz. Hakim al-Nayshaburi has acknowledged the weakness of the hadith and instead of putting right its chain of transmission, he has brought forth a witness who speaks in favor of it and whose chain of transmission is also weak and devoid of any credibility and so, instead of strengthening the hadith, he has made its weakness more distinct. Now, let us see the following weak witness:

The second chain of transmission of the narration, “wa sunnati” {and my tradition}

With a chain of transmission that will come later on, Hakim al-Nayshaburi thus relates on the authority of Abu Hurayrah in a narration termed marfu‘:(1)

"إنی قد ترتکت فیکم شیئین لن تضلّوا بعدهما: کتاب الله وسنتی لن یفترقا حتی یردا علیَّ الحوض".

Verily, I am leaving among you two things to which (if you hold fast) you shall never go astray: the Book of Allah and my Sunnah {tradition} and they will never separate (from each other) until they meet me at the Pond {hawd} (of Kawthar).(2)

Hakim has transmitted this narration with the following chain of transmission:

“Ad-Dabi relating on the authority of Salih ibn Musa at-Talhi from ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn Rafi‘ from Abi Salih from Abu Hurayrah.”

Like the previous narration, this narration is a fabricated one, and Salih ibn Musa at-Talhi is one of its transmitters about whom great figures of ‘ilm ar-rijal say:

Yahya

p: 10


1- Marfu‘: ‘traceable’ – refers to any tradition that can be traced back to a Ma‘sum (infallible – referring specifically to the Prophet (S) and the Imams (‘a)), regardless of the continuity in its chain of transmission. {Trans.}
2- Hakim al-Nayshaburi, Mustadrak (‘ala’s-Sahihayn), vol. 1, p. 93.

ibn Mu‘in says: “Salih ibn Musa is unreliable.” Abu Hatam ar-Razi says: “His hadith is ‘weak’ {da‘if} and ‘unusual’ {munkar}; he narrates many of his ‘unusual’ hadiths from trustworthy individuals.” Nisa’i says: “His hadith cannot be recorded.” In another place, he says: “His hadith is rejected {matruk}.”(1)

In Tahdhib at-Tahdhib, Ibn Hajar (al-‘Asqalani) writes: “Ibn Hibban says: ‘Salih ibn Musa attributes to trustworthy individuals, things which do not correspond with their words.’ He then says: ‘His hadith does not represent a sound proof’ and Abu Na‘im says: ‘His hadith is rejected and he always narrates unusual hadiths’.”(2)

Also, in At-Taqrib,(3) Ibn Hajar says: “His hadith is rejected.” In Al-Kashif,(4) Dhahabi says: “His hadith is weak.” In Mizan al-I‘tidal,(5) Dhahabi relates a disputable hadith from him, and says that it is among his ‘usual’ hadiths.

The third chain of transmission of the narration, “wa sunnati” {and my tradition}

In At-Tamhid, Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr relates this narration with the following chain of transmission:

‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Yahya relating on the authority of Ahmad ibn Sa‘id from Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ad-Dubayli from ‘Ali ibn Zayd al-Fara’idi from al-Hunayni from Kathir ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Amru ibn ‘Awf from his father from his grandfather.(6)

Concerning Kathir ibn ‘Abd Allah, Imam ash-Shafi‘i says: “He is one of the pillars of lying.”(7) Abu Dawud says: “He is one of the mendacious and liars.”(8) Ibn Hibban says: “‘Abd Allah ibn Kathir narrates from his father and grandfather a book of hadith based on forgery. Relating any narration from that book and any of ‘Abd Allah’s narration is unlawful except if it is intended to

p: 11


1- Hafiz al-Mazzi, Tahdhib al-Kamal, vol. 13, p. 96.
2- Ibn Hajar (al-‘Asqalani), Tahdhib at-Tahdhib, vol. 4, p. 355.
3- Ibn Hajar (al-‘Asqalani), At-Taqrib (translated version), no. 2891.
4- Dhahabi, Al-Kashif (translated version), no. 2412.
5- Dhahabi, Mizan al-I‘tidal, vol. 2, p. 302.
6- At-Tamhid, vol. 24, p. 331.
7- Ibn Hajar (al-‘Asqalani), Tahdhib at-Tahdhib (Dar al-Fikr), vol. 8, p. 377; Tahdhib al-Kamal, vol. 24, p. 138.
8- Ibid.

express surprise or for the sake of criticism.”(1)

Nisa’i and Darqutni say: “His hadith is rejected.” Imam Ahmad (ibn Hanbal) says: “He is munkar al-hadith (he who relates odd hadiths) and he is not reliable”. And Ibn Mu‘in has the same view about him.

It is surprising that in the biographical account of Kathir, At-Taqrib, Ibn Hajar has contented himself with the term, “weak” {da‘if}, regarding those who have accused him of lying as fanatic. Meanwhile the forerunners of ‘ilm al-rijal have charged him with lying and forgery. Moreover, Dhahabi says: “His statement is unfounded and weak.”

Narration without a chain of transmission

In Al-Muwatta’ Malik has narrated it as mursal(2) without mentioning the chain of transmission,(3) and we all know that such a narration is devoid of any value.

This survey has clearly shown that the narration, “wa sunnati” {and my tradition} has been forged and concocted by the mendacious narrators affiliated to the ‘Umayyads who have fabricated it as opposed to the authentic hadith, “wa ‘itrati” {and my progeny}.

As such, it is necessary for those who deliver sermons in mosques, religious orators, and prayer leaders to abandon the unfounded narration attributed to the Messenger of Allah (S), and to familiarize, instead, the people with the authentic hadith—the hadith which has been narrated by Muslim in his Sahih with the phrase “ahla bayti” {members of my Household} and Tirmidhi (in his Sunan) with the words “‘itrati ahla bayti” {my progeny, the members of my Household}. It is incumbent upon the seekers of

p: 12


1- Ibn Hibban, Al-Majruhin, vol. 2, p. 221.
2- Mursal: ‘hurried’ – a tradition, whose complete chain of transmission is unknown, i.e. the names of one or more of its narrators are missing or unknown. The word ‘mursal’ literally means ‘forwarded on’ because often the tradition is forwarded on by a Follower {Tabi’i}, missing out the name of the Companion {Sahib} who narrated it to him. {Trans.}
3- Malik ibn Anas, Al-Muwatta’, p. 889, hadith no. 3.

knowledge to observe the rules of the science of hadith and distinguish between the authentic hadith and the ‘weak’ one.

In conclusion, we have to note that by the term, “ahla bayti” the Prophet (S) is referring to his offspring {dhurriyyah}, namely Hadrat Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn (‘a)(1) as Muslim in his Sahih(2) and Tirmidhi in his Sunan(3) have narrated on the authority of ‘A’ishah:

نزلت هذه الأیه علی النّبی صلی الله علیه وأله وسّلم – إنما یُرید الله لیُذهب عنکم الرّجس أهل البیت ویُطهِّرکم تطهیراً – فی بیت أم سلمه فدعا النبیّ صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم وفاطمه وحسناً وحسیناً فجللهم وبکساء علی خلف ظهره فجلّله بکساء ثم قال: اللهم هؤلاء أهل بیتی فاذهب عنهم الرّجس وطهِّرهم تطهیاً. قالت أم سلمه: وأنا معهم یا نبیّ الله؟ قال: أنت علی مکانک وأنت إلی خیر."

The verse, “Indeed, Allah desires to repel all impurity from you, O People of the Household, and purify you with a thorough purification”(4) was revealed in the house of Umm Salamah.

The Prophet wrapped Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn in a cloak, and ‘Ali was behind him. He wrapped him in it and then said: “O God! They are the members of my Household {ahl al-bayt}. Repel all impurity from them and purify them with a thorough purification.” Umm Salmah said: “O Prophet of Allah! Am I with them?” He said: “Remain where you are and you are in good (position).”(5)

The meaning of Hadith ath-Thaqalayn {Tradition on the Two Weighty Things}

As the Holy Prophet has mentioned ‘itrah {progeny} alongside the Qur’an, describing both of them

p: 13


1- The abbreviation, “‘a” stands for the Arabic invocative phrase, ‘alayhis-salam, ‘alayhimus-salam, or ‘alayhas-salam {may peace be upon him/them/her}, which is mentioned after the names of the prophets, angels, Imams from the Prophet’s progeny, and saints (‘a). {Trans.}
2- Muslim, Sahih, vol. 4, p. 1883, hadith no. 2424. Abdul-Hamid Siddiqui (trans.), Sahih Muslim (English Translation), vol. 4, hadith no. 5955. {Trans.}
3- Tirmidhi, Sunan, vol. 5, p. 663.
4- Surah al-Ahzab 33:33. {Trans.}
5- Quoted from Hasan ibn ‘Ali ash-Shaqqaf, Sahih Sifah Salat an-Nabi (S), pp. 289-294.

as the proofs of Allah for the ummah, two conclusions can be deduced from it:

1. The words of the Prophet’s progeny {‘itrah}, like the very Qur’an, is a proof {hujjah}, and so in religious affairs—both ideological and jurisprudential—their words must have to be adhered and with the existence of the proof that they have to be followed, one must not turn away from them and follow others.

Although after the demise of the Prophet (S) the Muslims split over the issue of caliphate and administering the political affairs of the ummah and they became two groups each of which has its own logic and basis, they ought to have no disagreement about the intellectual authority of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) because all Muslims confirm the authenticity of Hadith ath-Thaqalayn, which regards the Qur’an and the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) as the authority on beliefs and laws, and if the Muslim ummah abide by this hadith, the scope of difference will be narrowed and this will pave the way to the unity of the Muslims.

2. The Qur’an, the Word of Allah, is preserved from error and mistake. So how could it include errors when God says about it:

﴿ لاَ یَأْتِیهِ الْبَاطِلُ مِن بَیْنِ یَدَیْهِ وَلَا مِنْ خَلْفِهِ تَنزِیلٌ مِّنْ حَکِیمٍ حَمِیدٍ ﴾

“Falsehood cannot approach it, from before it nor from behind it, a {gradually} sent down {revelation} from One all-wise, all-laudable”(1)?

If the Qur’an is preserved from error, then its partner and counterpart, i.e. the ‘itrah must also be preserved from

p: 14


1- Surah Fussilat 41:42.

error because it is incorrect to couple an errant person or errant people with the Qur’an.

This hadith is a testimony to their immunity from any sort of impurity. It must be observed here that infallibility {‘ismah} is not a special privilege which only prophets (‘a) enjoy. It is not impossible for an individual to be immune from sin even though he or she is not a prophet. Based on the following verse,

إن الله اصطفاک وطهّرک واصطفاک علی نساء العالمین.

“Allah has chosen you and purified you, and He has chosen you above the world’s women,”(1)

Hadrat Maryam (Saint Mary) is free from sin though she is not a prophet.

Question 2 : What does “Shi‘ah” mean?

Reply: In Arabic “Shi‘ah” literally means “follower”. The Glorious Qur’an states:

وإنَّ من شیعته لإبراهیم.

“Indeed Abraham was among his followers {Shi‘ah}.”(2)

But the Muslims use the word “Shi‘ah” to mean the group of people who believe that prior to his demise, the Prophet (S) had designated his successor and the caliph of the Muslims in numerous occasions such as the day known as “Ghadir” on Dhu’l-Hijjah 18, 10 AH and in a mammoth assembly (of Muslims) he (S) appointed him as the political, intellectual and religious authority after him (S).

To elucidate, after the Holy Prophet (S), the Muhajirun(3) and the Ansar(4) were divided into two groups:

1. A group believed that the Prophet of Allah (S) did not ignore the question of caliphate and he designated ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (‘a)—the first person who believed in him (S)—as his successor.

This group is composed

p: 15


1- Surah Al ‘Imran 3:42.
2- Surah as-Saffat 37:83.
3- Muhajirun: a title given to the Muslims of Mecca who accompanied the Prophet (S) in his hijrah (migration) to Medina. {Trans.}
4- Ansar: a title given to the Muslims of Medina who received the Prophet (S) and the Muslims of Mecca who migrated (hijrah) to Medina. {Trans.}

of Muhajirun and Ansar with all the leading figures of the Bani Hashim(1) and a number of great Companions {sahabah}(2) such as Salman al-Farsi, Abu Dharr, Miqdad, Khabbab ibn Art, and the like. They remained firm in their belief and were called the “Shi‘ah of ‘Ali (‘a)”.

Of course, this appellation has been given by the Holy Prophet (S) himself during his lifetime to the followers of the Commander of the Faithful (‘a). While pointing to ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (‘a), he said:

"والذی نفسی بیده إن هذا وشیعته لهم الفائزون یوم القیامه."

“By Him in Whose hand my life is, verily this man (‘Ali) and his Shi‘ah shall be the triumphant on the Day of Resurrection.”(3)

Therefore, “Shi‘ah” means a group of Muslims of the early period of Islam who, on account of the belief that wilayah {guardianship}(4) is based on revelation {tansisi}, are given this appellation, and this group has remained faithful to the Prophet’s Household {Ahl al-Bayt} (‘a) until today.

From this, we realize the station and position of the Shi‘ah, and in this way the groundless statement of some ignorant or spiteful concocters who claim that Shi‘ism is a product of the later periods, becomes clear. For further information on the history of the Shi‘ah, one may refer to such books as Asl ash-Shi‘ah wa Usuluha, Al-Muraja‘at, and A‘yan ash-Shi‘ah.

2. Another group believed that the station of caliphate is an electoral position. As such, they paid allegiance to Abubakr and later on, they were known as the “Ahl as-Sunnah” or “Sunni”.

p: 16


1- Bani Hashim: a clan in Mecca to which the Prophet and his descendants belong. {Trans.}
2- Companions {sahabah}: it refers to the Companions of the Prophet (S). In earlier times, the term was given only to his close friends who had close contact with him. Later, the term was extended to include the believers who had seen him, eventhough it was for a brief moment or at an early age. {Trans.}
3- Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti, Ad-Durr al-Manthur, vol. 6, on the commentary of Surah al-Bayyinah 98:7: الْبَرِیَّهِ خَیْرُ هُمْ أُوْلئِکَ الصّالِحَاتِ وَعَمِلُوا ءامَنُوا الَّذِینَ إنَّ “Indeed those who have faith and do righteous deeds—it is they who are the best of creatures.”
4- For further information about the idea of guardianship {wilayah} and the guardian {wali}, see Murtada Mutahhari, Wilayah: The Station of the Master, trans. Yahya Cooper (Tehran: World Organization for Islamic Services, 1982). {Trans.}

The result was that notwithstanding the fact that these two Muslim sects have so many common views about the roots of religion, they have different attitudes toward the question of caliphate and succession to the Prophet. The members of each of the two groups were from among the Muhajirun and Ansar.

Question 3 : Why is ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (‘a) regarded as the wasi {executor of will} and successor of the Prophet (S)?

point

Reply: As we already stated, the Shi‘ah have a firm belief that the position of caliphate is determined through revelation {tansisi} and that after the Holy Prophet (S) the Imamah {leadership} is in some respects like prophethood {nubuwwah}.

Just as the Prophet (S) has to be appointed through Divine decree, the wasi {executor of will} of the Prophet (S) too must be designated by Him, the Glorious and Sublime.

The biography of the Messenger of Allah (S) is a testimony to this belief; for, in many occasions he designated ‘Ali (‘a) as his successor {khalifah}. Here, we shall mention only three of these occasions:

1. At the Commencement of the Prophetic Mission

When the Prophet (S) received from God the commission to invite his relatives to the doctrine of monotheism as it is confirmed by the the verse,

وأنذ عشیرتک الأقربین.

“Warn the nearest of your kinsfolk,”(1)

he addressed them by saying:

فأیکم یوازرنی فی هذا الأم علی أن یکون أخی ووزیری وخلیفتی ووصیّی فیکم؟

“Which of you will assist me in this affair so that he would my brother {akhi}, minister {waziri}, successor {khalifati}, and the executor of my will {wasi} among you?”

The only person who gave a positive response to this heavenly call was ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib

p: 17


1- Surah ash-Shu‘ara’ 26:214.

(‘a). Then, facing his relatives, the Messenger of Allah (S) said:

"إن هذا أخی ووصیّی خلیفتی فیکم فاسمعوا له وأطیعوه."

“Verily, he (‘Ali) is my brother, the executor of my will and my successor among you. So, listen to him and obey him.”(1)

2. During the Tabuk Expedition

The Prophet (S) said to ‘Ali (‘a):

أما ترضی أن تکون منّی بمنزله هارون من موسی إلا أنه لا نبیّ بعدی؟

“Are you not satisfied that you are to me as Harun (Aaron) is to Musa (Moses) except that there will be no prophet after me?”(2)

That is to say, “Just as Harun (‘a) is the executor of will and the immediate successor of Musa (‘a), you are my successor.”

3. In the 10th Year after Hijrah

On his return from the Farewell Pilgrimage {Hajjah al-Wida‘}, at a place called Ghadir Khumm the Messenger of Allah (S) introduced ‘Ali (‘a) before a mammoth assembly (of pilgrims) as the wali {guardian} of the believers, male or female, saying:

"من کُنت مولاه فهذا علیّ مولاه."

“Of whosoever I am master {mawla}, then ‘Ali is also his master {mawla}.”

The important and noteworthy point is that at the beginning of his speech, the Prophet (S) asked:

ألست أولی بکم من أنفسکم؟

“Have I more authority over you than you have over yourselves?”

And the Muslims unanimously replied in the affirmative. Therefore, it must be noted here that in this hadith the Prophet (S) meant by the word, “mawla” the absolute guardianship over the believers, and we can conclude that the Prophet (S) had established ‘Ali (‘a) in the same position which he had. And on that very day Hassan

p: 18


1- Tarikh at-Tabari, vol. 2, pp. 62-63; Tarikh al-Kamil, vol. 2, pp. 40-41; Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, vol. 1, p. 111; Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah, vol. 13, pp. 210-212.
2- Sirah Ibn Hisham, vol. 2, p. 520; Ibn Hajar (al-‘Asqalani), As-Sawa‘iq al-Muhriqah (Egypt, 2nd Edition), Book 9, Chapter 2, p. 121.

ibn Thabit versified the historic event of Ghadir as follows:

ینادیهم یوم الغدیر نبیّهم بخمّ واسمع بالرّسول منادیا فقال: فمن مولاکم ونبیّکم؟ فقالوا: ولم یدلوا أهناک التعامیا إلهک ومولانا أنت نبیّن ولم تلق منا فی الولایه عاصیا فقال له: قم یا علیّ فإننی رضیتک من بعدی إماماً وهادیاً فمن کنت مولاه فهذا ولّیه فکونوا له اتباع صدق موالیا هناک دعا: اللهم وال ولیّه وکن للذی عادی علیّا معادیا.

Their Prophet calls on them on the day of Ghadir Khumm; now, listen to the call of the Prophet:

Then he said to the people: “Who is your Master {mawla} and your guardian {wali}? Then, without showing inattention, they said:

“Your Lord is our Master {mawla} and you are our guardian {wali}, and no one among us today disobeys you.”

Then he said: “Stand up O ‘Ali! For, I am indeed well pleased that you are the Imam and guide after me.”

{Then he said:} “Therefore, of whomsoever I am master, ‘Ali is his master also. May you be their true supporters!”

He then prayed, saying: “O Allah! Be Thou a Friend of those who are his (‘Ali s) friends, and be Thou an Enemy of those who are his enemies.”(1)

The hadith on Ghadir is among the mutawatir(2) hadiths, which is narrated not only by the Shi‘ah ‘ulama’ but also by approximately 360 Sunni scholars(3) and the number of transmitters reaches 110 Companions. Twenty six prominent Muslim ‘ulama’ have written a separate book about the chain of transmission and transmitters of this hadith.

Abu Ja‘far Tabari, the

p: 19


1- Khwarazmi al-Maliki, Al-Manaqib, p. 80; Sibt ibn Jawzi al-Hanafi, Tadhkirat Khawas al-Ummah, p. 20; Ganji Shafi‘i, Kifayah at-Talib, p. 17; and others.
2- Mutawatir: a tradition from the Prophet (S) or an infallible Imam, repeatedly and widely narrated in an uninterrupted sequence, through successive reliable narrators. {Trans.}
3- See, for example, Ibn Hajar, As-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah (Egypt, 2nd Edition), Book 9, Chapter 2, p. 122.

renowned Muslim historian, has compiled the chain of transmission and transmitters of this hadith in two bulky volumes. For further information, one may refer to the book, Al-Ghadir.

Question 4: Who are the Imams?

Reply: During his lifetime, the Holy Prophet (S) declared that after him there shall be twelve caliphs all of whom will be from Quraysh, and through whom Islam shall be exalted.

Jabir ibn Samurah narrates:

"سمعت رسول الله صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم یقول : لا یزال الإسلام عزیزاً إلی اثنی عشر خلیفه ثم قال کلمه لم أسمعها فقلت لأبی ما قال؟ فقال: کلهم من قریش."

I heard the Messenger of Allah (S) saying: ‘Islam will keep its honor through twelve caliphs.’ Then, he said a statement which I failed to catch. So I asked my father, “What did he (S) say?” He (my father) replied that he (S) said: “All of them will be from Quraysh.(1)

In the history of Islam, there are not twelve caliphs who preserve the honor of Islam except the twelve Imams in whom the Shi‘ah believe; for they are the twelve caliphs whom the Prophet (S) introduced as his successors.

Now, let us see who the twelve caliphs are. If we say that they are the four caliphs who are known by the Ahl as-Sunnah as “Rightly-Guided Caliphs” {khulafa’ ar-rashidun}, there are no other caliphs who contributed to exalting Islam.

The biography of the ‘Umayyad and ‘Abbasid caliphs is a testimony to this fact. As for the twelve Imams in whom the Shi‘ah believe, they were

p: 20


1- Muslim, Sahih (Egypt), vol. 6, p. 2. Abdul-Hamid Siddiqui (trans.), Sahih Muslim (English Translation), vol. 3, hadith no. 4480. {Trans.}

a clear manifestation of piety and virtue during their respective periods.

They were also preservers of the Messenger of Allah’s (S) Sunnah and the people to whom Sahabah {Companions} and Tabi‘un {Followers} were attracted,(1) and whose knowledge and trustworthiness are acknowledged by historians. These twelve Imams are:

1. ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib;

2. Hasan ibn ‘Ali (al-Mujtaba);

3. Husayn ibn ‘Ali;

4. ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn (Zayn al-‘Abidin);

5. Muhammad ibn ‘Ali (al-Baqir);

6. Ja‘far ibn Muhammad (as-Sadiq);

7. Musa ibn Ja‘far (al-Kazim);

8. ‘Ali ibn Musa (ar-Rida);

9. Muhammad ibn ‘Ali (at-Taqi);

10. ‘Ali ibn Muhammad (an-Naqi);

11. Hasan ibn ‘Ali (al-‘Askari); and

12. Muhammad ibn al-Hasan (al-Mahdi).

There have been mutawatir traditions related from the Prophet (S) regarding the last Imam who is known as the “Promised Mahdi” transmitted by Muslim hadith scholars {muhaddithun}.

For further information about the life of these great leaders, whom the Messenger of Allah (S) himself has named, one may refer to the following books:

1. Tadhkirat al-Khawas (Tadhkirah Khawas al-Ummah);

2. Kifayat al-Athar;

3. Wafiyat al-A‘yan; and

4. A‘yan ash-Shi‘ah (by Sayyid Muhsin Amin al-‘Amili), which is the most comprehensive of the four books.

Question 5: Why do Shi’a say “Allahumma salli ‘ala Muhammad wa Ali Muhammad”

When invoking blessings {salawat} on Muhammad (S), why do you also associate his progeny {a} to him by saying, “Allahumma salli ‘ala Muhammad wa Ali Muhammad” {“O Allah! Bless Muhammad and the progeny of Muhammad”}?

Reply: It has been established that the Prophet (S) himself had taught the Muslims how to invoke blessings on him. When the following noble verse,

﴿ إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِکَتَهُ یُصَلُّونَ عَلَی النَّبِیِّ یَا أَیُّهَا الَّذِینَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَیْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِیمًا

p: 21


1- Tabi‘un {‘Followers’ or ‘Successors’} refers to the second generation of Muslims who came after the Companions, who did not know the Prophet (S) but who knew his Companions. {Trans.}

“Indeed Allah and His angels bless the Prophet. O you who have faith! Invoke blessings on him and invoke Peace upon him in a worthy manner,”(1)

was revealed, the Muslims asked the Prophet (S): “How should we invoke blessings (on you)?” The Prophet (S) said:

"لا تصلّوا علیّ الصلوه البتراء."

“Do not invoke ‘incomplete’ blessings on me.”

They again asked: “How should we invoke blessings on you?” He (S) replied: “Say:

مُحَمَّدٍ آلِ عَلیٰ وَ مُحَمَّدٍ عَلیٰ صَلِّ أَللّهُمَّ

Allahumma salli ‘ala Muhammad wa Ali Muhammad.

“O Allah! Bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad.”(2)

The exceptionally high station of the Prophet’s family {al} (‘a) led Imam ash-Shafi‘i to compose the following famous poem:

یا أهل بیت رسول الله حبّکم فرض من الله فی القرأن أنزله کفاکم من عظیم القد أنکم من لم یصل علیکم لا صلوه له."

O members of the Household {Ahl al-Bayt} of the Messenger of Allah! (Our) love for you is an obligation, which God has revealed in the Qur’an.

Your lofty station such that if one does not invoke blessings on you (while offering prayers) one’s prayer will be of no avail.(3)

Question 6: Why do you regard your Imams as “infallible” {ma‘sum}?

Reply: There are numerous proofs which confirm the infallibility {‘ismah} of the Imams who are all members of the Prophet’s Household {Ahl al-Bayt}. We shall mention only one of them:

According to a narration related by both Shi‘ah and Sunni scholars, during the last days of his life the Prophet (S) said:

"إنی تارک فیکم الثقلین کتاب الله وأهل بیتی وإنهما لن یفترقا حتی یردا علیّ الحوض."

Verily, I am leaving among you Two Weighty

p: 22


1- Surah al-Ahzab 33:56.
2- Ibn Hajar, As-Sawa‘iq al-Muhriqah, 2nd edition (Cairo: Maktabat al-Qahirah), Book 11, Chapter 1, p. 146 and a similar one in Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti, Ad-Durr al-Manthur, vol. 5, commentary of Surah al-Ahzab 33:56 has been narrated by hadith scholars {muhaddithun} and compilers of Sahihs and Musnads such as ‘Abd ar-Razzaq, Ibn Abi Shaybah, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Nisa’i, Ibn Majah, Ibn Mardaway, from Ka‘ab ibn ‘Ujrah from the Holy Prophet (S).
3- As-Sawa‘iq al-Mahriqah, Book 11, Chapter 1, p. 148; Shabrawi, Al-Ithaf, p. 29; Hamzawi Maliki, Mashariq al-Anwar, p. 88; Zarqani, Al-Mawahib; Sabban, Al-As‘af, p. 119.

Things: the Book of Allah (the Qur’an) and the members of my Household {Ahl al-Bayt}, and they will never separate from each other until they meet me at the Pond {Al-Hawd} (of Kawthar on the Day of Resurrection).(1)

Here is an interesting point: without an iota of doubt, the Glorious Qur’an is free from any form of deviation and error. How could an error approach the divine revelation when the Sender is God, the messenger is the Angel of Revelation (‘a) and the receiver is the Prophet of God (S)?

Since the infallibility of these three is as crystal clear as the sun; the Muslims of the world regard the Holy Prophet (S) as immune from committing error with respect to receiving, preserving and conveying the revelation and it is clear that the Book of Allah has such a constant and veracious immunity, then the Ahl al-Bayt of the Messenger of Allah (S) are also immune from any sort of lapse and error. For, in this hadith, the progeny {‘itrah} of the Prophet have been described as equal to the Glorious Qur’an in guiding and leading the ummah, which means that they both are equal in terms of infallibility {‘ismah}.

In other words, it is absurd to regard a person or persons who are not infallible as equal to the Book of Allah.

The most explicit testimony to the infallibility of the Imams (‘a) is the following expression of the Prophet (S):

"وإنهما لن یفترقا حتی یردا علیَّ الحوض."

“And they will never separate from

p: 23


1- Mustadrak al-Hakim, vol. 3, p. 148; As-Sawa‘iq al-Muhriqah, Book 11, Chapter 1, p. 149. There is also a similar text in Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 1, Bab “Al-I‘tisam bi’l-Kitab wa’s-Sunnah”, p. 44; Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, vol. 5, pp. 182, 189; and others.

each other (in guidance and leadership) until they meet me at the Pond {Al-Hawd} (of Kawthar on the Day of Resurrection).”

Once the Ahl al-Bayt of the Prophet (S) were not free from lapses and errors, they would be separated from the Qur’an which is free from error and they would go astray, whereas the Holy Prophet (S) has emphatically negated it.

Of course, the “Ahl al-Bayt” according to the statement of the Prophet (S) does not refer to all his consanguineous and affinitive relatives for not all of them were free from lapses.

Therefore, only a specific group of his progeny has such an honor and this station and status is applicable to a limited members of his relatives, and these are the very Imams from the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) who, throughout history, have been the light of the path of the ummah, the preservers of the Prophet’s Sunnah and the guardians of the Shari‘ah.

Question 7: Why do Shi’a Add Ashhadu anna ‘aliyyan waliyyullah” in the Call to Prayer?

In adhan {call to prayer}, why do you say, “Ashhadu anna ‘aliyyan waliyyullah” {“I bear witness that ‘Ali is Wali of Allah”} and give testimony to the wilayah {guardianship} of ‘Ali (‘a)?

Reply: In order to reply to this question, let us consider the following points:

1. In their books on jurisprudence, all the Shi‘ah jurists {fuqaha} stress that to say: “I bear witness to the wilayah of ‘Ali (‘a)” is not part of adhan or iqamah, and no one has the right to say that it is part of any of the two.

2. From the

p: 24

viewpoint of the Qur’an, ‘Ali (‘a) is one of the awliya’, and the following verse explicitly points to his wilayah over the Muslims:

﴿ إِنَّمَا وَلِیُّکُمُ اللّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَالَّذِینَ آمَنُواْ الَّذِینَ یُقِیمُونَ الصَّلاَهَ وَیُؤْتُونَ الزَّکَاهَ وَهُمْ رَاکِعُونَ ﴾

“Your guardian is only Allah, His Apostle, and the faithful who maintain the prayer and give the zakat while bowing down.”(1)

The Sunni Sahihs and Musnads include narrations that highlight the fact that the noble verse was revealed to praise ‘Ali (‘a) who, while doing ruku‘ {bowing down in prayer}, gave his ring to a poor person.(2) When this verse which refers to ‘Ali (‘a) was revealed, Hassan ibn Thabit versified this event in the following poem:

فأنت الذی أعطیت إذ أنت راکع

فدتک نفوس القوم یا خیر راکع

فأنزل فیک الله خیر ولایه

وبینهما فی مُحکمات الشرائع

You are the one who donated, while doing ruku‘. May the souls of the folk be sacrificed to you, O the best of those who bow down!

Thus, God has sent down the best wilayah to you, and explained it through the decrees of the Shari‘ah.

3. The Holy Prophet (S) said:

إنما الأعمال بالنّیات.

“Verily, actions are (judged) by intention.”

Since the wilayah of ‘Ali (‘a) is one of the principles stipulated in the Qur’an, and the said phrase is not regarded as part of the adhan (or iqamah), what is wrong about uttering it alongside the testimony to the apostleship of the Prophet (S)?

Here, it is necessary to mention that if due to adding a sentence to adhan, the Shi‘ah must be castigated,

p: 25


1- Surah al-Ma’idah 5:55.
2- The references concerning the circumstances related to the revelation of this verse on the said case is more than what have been enumerated here. Anyway, below are some of these ample references: Tafsir at-Tabari, vol. 6, p. 186; Ahkam al-Qur’an (Tafsir Jasas), vol. 2, p. 542; Tafsir al-Baydawi, vol. 1, p. 345; Ad-Durr al-Manthur, vol. 2, p. 293.

how could the following two cases be justified?

1. Authentic historical references confirm that the following phrase:

حیّ علی خیر العمل

Hayya ‘ala khayr al-‘amal

“Come to the best of deeds”

was part of adhan,(1) but during the caliphate of the second caliph, this phrase was omitted under the pretext that when people hear the words “the best of deeds” they will think that praying is better than jihad and cease taking part in jihad. And things remained as such.(2)

2. The sentence,

الصلوه خیر من النوم

As-salatu khayrun mina ’n-nawm

“Prayer is better than sleeping”

was not part of the adhan during the time of the Holy Prophet (S) but has been included therein later on,(3) and as such, in the book, Al-Umm, Imam ash-Shafi‘i says:

"أکره فی الأذان الصلوه خیر من النوم لأن أبا محذوره لم یذکره."

It is not pleasing for me that we say in the adhan: ‘as-salatu khayrun mina ’n-nawm’ because Abu Mahdhurah (one of the narrators and muhaddithun) has not included it (in his compilation of hadiths).(4)

Question 8: Who is the Mahdi of Muhammad’s Progeny {Al Muhammad} and why are you waiting for his advent?

Reply: Among the issues on which the heavenly religions have consensus of opinion is the “Global Reformer” who shall appear at the end of time. Not only the Muslims but also the Jews and Christians are waiting for the advent of this man who will spread justice in the world. A survey of the Old and New Testaments will make this fact clear.(5)

In this regard, muhaddithun narrate that the Holy Prophet (S) has said:

لو لم یبق من الدهر إلا یوم لبعث الله رجلاً

p: 26


1- Kanz al-‘Ummal, “kitab as-salah,” vol. 4, p. 266, an at-tabrani, “kana Bilal yu’dhdhin bi’s-subh fayaqul: hayya ‘ala khayr al-‘amal”; Sunan Bayhaqi, vol. 1, pp. 424-425; Malik, Al-Muwatta’, vol. 1, p. 93.
2- Kanz al-‘Irfan, vol. 2, p. 158; Sirat al-Mustaqim wa Jawahir al-Akhbar wa al-Athar, vol. 2, p. 192; Qawshachi, Sharh at-Tajrid, mabhath imamah, p. 484, “sa‘ad al-minbar wa qal: ayyuha ’ n-nas thalath kann ‘ala ‘ahd rasul Allah ana anhi ‘anhum wa aharramahunna wa hiya mut‘ah an-nisa’i wa mut‘ah al-hajj wa hayya ‘ala khayr al-‘amal”.
3- Kanz al-‘Ummal, “kitab as-salah,” vol. 4, p. 270.
4- Quoted in Dala’il as-Sidq, vol. 3, “al-qism ath-thani,” p. 97.
5- Psalms of David, Songs 96-97; Book of Daniel, chap. 12 of the Old Testament; Gospel of Matthew, chap. 24; Gospel of Mark, chap. 13; Gospel of Luke, chap. 21 of the New Testament are narrating about the Promised One for whose advent the world is waiting.

من أهل بیتی یملأها عدلاً کما مُلئت جوراً.

Even if only one day is to remain in this world, God will surely send a man from my Ahl al-Bayt who shall fill the world with justice and equity just as it has been filled with oppression.(1)

Therefore, as it has been mentioned earlier, the belief in the coming of such a reformer is commonly acknowledged by the authorities of the heavenly religions, and by many traditions regarding the Promised Mahdi presented in the Sahih and Musnad books of the Ahl as-Sunnah. The muhaddithun and scholars of the two Islamic sects (Shi‘ah and Sunni) have written a good many books regarding him (‘a).(2)

The compendium of these traditions have specified his characteristics and salient features in such a manner that they are exactly applicable to the direct son of Imam Hasan al-‘Askari (‘a),(3) the 11th Imam followed by the Shi‘ah. According to these traditions, his name is the same as that of the Holy Prophet (S);(4) he is the twelfth Imam,(5) and he is from the progeny of Husayn ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (‘a).(6)

By Divine Command, the Promised Mahdi was born in 255 AH and he is now living like other people, though in a state of occultation {ghaybah}.

It is necessary to note that such a long life is incongruent neither with science and learning, nor with the logic of revelation. Today science is at the threshold of increasing man’s longevity, believing that man has the ability to live for

p: 27


1- Sunan Abu Dawud (Egypt: Taziyyah Press, n.d.), vol. 2, p. 207; Yanabi‘ al-Mawaddah, p. 432; Nur al-Absar, bab 2, p. 154.
2- See, for example, Muhammad ibn Yusuf ibn al-Kanji ash-Shafi‘i, Al-Bayan fi Akhbar Sahib az-Zaman; ‘Ali ibn Husam ad-Din known as Muttaqi al-Hindi, Al-Burhan fi ‘Alamat Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman; Ahmad Amin Misri, Al-Mahdi wa’l-Mahdawiyyah. The Shi‘ah ‘ulama’ have written a lot of books in this regard which are too many to enumerate such as Al-Malahim wa’l-Fitan, etc.
3- Yanabi‘ al-Mawaddah, part 76, on “virtues”, from Jabir ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Ansari.
4- Sahih Tirmidhi (New Delhi, 1342 AH), vol. 2, p. 46; Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal (Egypt, 1313 AH), vol. 1, p. 376.
5- Yanabi‘ al-Mawaddah, p. 443.
6- Ibid., p. 432.

ages and ages, and if one remains safe from defects and vulnerabilities, the prospect for a long life will be brighter. History has also recorded the names of those who had lived to a very great age.

Concerning Prophet Nuh (Noah) (‘a), the Glorious Qur’an says:

فلبث فیهم ألف سنه إلا خمسین عاماً.

“And he remained with them (his people) for a thousand-less-fifty years.”(1)

And regarding Hadrat Yunus (Jonah) (‘a), it says:

فلولا أنه کان من المسبحین للبث فی بطنه إلی یوم یُبعثون.

“And had he not been one of those who celebrate Allah’s glory, he would have surely remained in its belly till the day they will be resurrected.”(2)

Similarly, from a Qur’anic viewpoint and in the view of all Muslims of the world, Hadrat Khidr (‘a) and Hadrat ‘Isa (Jesus) (‘a) are still alive and they will continue to live.

Question 9: If the Shi‘ah are right, then why are they in the minority and why do most Muslims in the world not recognize them (as Muslims)?

Reply: Recognition of truth from falsehood is not determined by the fewness or plentitude of followers. Today the Muslims compared to the non-Muslims in the world constitute one-fifth or one-sixth. Idol-worshippers, cow-worshippers and all those who do not believe in the supernatural constitute the bulk of people in the Near East.

With a population of more than one billion, China is part of the atheistic camp of communism, and in India, which has a population of about one-billion the cow-worshippers and idol-worshippers are in the majority.

Majority is not the criterion of soundness. The Glorious Qur’an often disapproves majorities and praises some minorities. Here are some examples:

ولا تجد أکثرهم شاکرین.

“And You will not

p: 28


1- Surah al-‘Ankabut 29:14.
2- Surah as-Saffat 37:143-144.

find most of them to be grateful.”(1)

إن أولیاؤه إلا المتقون ولکن هُم أکثرهم لا یعلمون.

“Its custodians are only the God-wary, but most of them do not know.”(2)

وقلیل من عبادی الشکور.

“And few of My servants are grateful.”(3)

Therefore, a realistic person should by no means fear for the fewness of the followers of his creed nor take pride in their plentitude. One would rather light the lamp of one’s reason and take benefit from its light and radiance.

Once a man asked the Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali (‘a): “How could it be that your opponents in the Battle of Jamal, who are relatively in majority, be false?

The Imam (‘a) said:

"إن الحق والباطل لا یعرفان بأقدار الرجال ، إعرف الحق تعرف أهله إعرف الباطل تعرف أهله."

“Truth and falsehood are not recognized through the number of men. If you know the truth you can know its followers and if you know falsehood you can know its followers.”

It is necessary for every Muslim to analyze this question in a scientific and logical manner, and take the following verse as a lamp to illuminate his or her path:

ولا تقفُ ما لیسن لک به علم.

“Do not follow that of which you have no knowledge.”(4)

In addition, although the Shi‘ah cannot match the Ahl as-Sunnah in number, if a precise counting is made, we will see that the Shi‘ah constitute one-fourth of the Muslim population in the world, living in the Muslim-populated parts of the world.(5) There have been famous writers, scholars and authors of literary works and treatises

p: 29


1- Surah al-A‘raf 7:17.
2- Surah al-Anfal 8:34.
3- Surah Saba’ 34:13.
4- Surah al-Isra’ (or Bani Isra’il) 17:36.
5- For a detailed explanation, see A‘yan ash-Shi‘ah, vol. 1, bab 12, p. 194.

from among the Shi‘ah throughout history. It is worth noticing that the founders of Islamic sciences have been mostly Shi‘ah, among whom are:

• Abu’l-Aswad Da’ili, the founder of Arabic syntax {‘ilm an-nahu};

• Khalil ibn Ahmad, the founder of Arabic prosody {‘ilm al-‘arud};

• Mu‘adh ibn Muslim ibn Abi Sarah al-Kufi, the founder of the Arabic etymology {‘ilm as-sarf}; and

• Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad ibn ‘Umran Katib Khorasani (Marzbani), one of the forerunners of Arabic eloquence {‘ilm al-balaghah}.(1)

For more information about the number of the works written by Shi‘ah ‘ulama’ and scholars which are too many to count, one may see the valuable book, Adh-Dhari‘ah ila Tasanif ash-Shi‘ah, and for familiarity with great Shi‘ah figures, one may read A‘yan ash-Shi‘ah, and Tarikh ash-Shi‘ah for familiarity with the history of the Shi‘ah.

Question 10: What is raj‘ah {“return”} and why do you believe in it?

point

Reply: In Arabic, raj‘ah literally means “return” but it is used to mean “the return of a group of people after death and prior to the Day of Resurrection”. This truth is contradictory to neither reason nor the logic of revelation.

From the viewpoint of Islam and other divine creeds, the essence of man consists in his absolute soul, which is also described as the “self” {nafs}, and after the extinction of the body it continues to exist forever.

On the other hand, God, the Exalted, from the viewpoint of the Qur’an, is Omnipotent whose power nothing can hinder or limit.

This short introduction makes clear that raj‘ah, from the viewpoint of reason, is not impossible; for, we will find through

p: 30


1- In this regard, one may refer to Ta’sis ash-Shi‘ah by Sayyid Hasan as-Sadr.

reflection that the revival of this group of people is far easier than God’s first creation of them.

Therefore, the Lord Who created them in the first time is undoubtedly capable of reviving them.

According to the logic of revelation, there are examples of raj‘ah in the past nations.

In this regard, the Glorious Qur’an says:

﴿وَإِذْ قُلْتُمْ یَا مُوسَیٰ لَنْ نُؤْمِنَ لَکَ حَتَّیٰ نَرَی اللَّهَ جَهْرَهً فَأَخَذَتْکُمُ الصَّاعِقَهُ وَأَنْتُمْ تَنْظُرُونَ ثُمَّ بَعَثْنَاکُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَوْتِکُمْ لَعَلَّکُمْ تَشْکُرُونَ﴾

“And when you said, ‘O Moses, we will not believe you until we see Allah visibly.’ Thereupon, a thunderbolt seized you as you looked on. Then We raised you up after your death so that you might give thanks.”(1)

Elsewhere, the Qur’an quotes ‘Isa al-Masih (Jesus the Messiah) (‘a) as saying:

"وأحی الموتی بإذن الله."

“And I revive the dead by Allah’s leave.”(2)

The Holy Qur’an not only endorses the possibility of raj‘ah but also affirms the occurrence and certainty of the revival of a group of people after their departing the world. In the two verses below, the Qur’an points to the return of a group of people after death and prior to the occurrence of the Day of Resurrection.

﴿وَإِذَا وَقَعَ الْقَوْلُ عَلَیْهِمْ أَخْرَجْنَا لَهُمْ دَابَّهً مِنَ الْأَرْضِ تُکَلِّمُهُمْ أَنَّ النَّاسَ کَانُوا بِآیَاتِنَا لَا یُوقِنُونَ وَیَوْمَ نَحْشُرُ مِنْ کُلِّ أُمَّهٍ فَوْجًا مِمَّنْ یُکَذِّبُ بِآیَاتِنَا فَهُمْ یُوزَعُونَ﴾

“And when the word {of judgment} falls upon them, We shall bring them an Animal from the earth who shall speak to them that the people had no faith in Our signs. That day

p: 31


1- Surah al-Baqarah 2:55-56.
2- Surah Al ‘Imran 3:49.

We shall resurrect from every nation a group of those who denied Our signs, and they shall be held in check.”(1)

In order to provide a good ground for proving the question of raj‘ah on the basis of these two verses, let us consider the following points:

1. The exegetes of the Qur’an {mufassirun} think that these two verses talk about the Day of Resurrection and the first one discusses one of the pre-Resurrection signs just as Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti narrates in his exegesis {tafsir}, Ad-Durr al-Manthur, on the authority of Ibn Abi Shaybah from Hudhayfah that khuruj ad-dabbah (in the first verse) is among the events which precede the Day of Resurrection.(2)

2. There is no doubt that on the Day of Resurrection, all human beings shall be mustered and not only a specific group from every community. Regarding the mustering of all human beings, the Qur’an states:

"ذلک یوم مجموع له الناس."

“That is a day on which all mankind will be gathered.”(3)

And in another place, it states:

﴿ وَیَوْمَ نُسَیِّرُ الْجِبَالَ وَتَرَی الْأَرْضَ بَارِزَهً وَحَشَرْنَاهُمْ فَلَمْ نُغَادِرْ مِنْهُمْ أَحَدًا ﴾

“The day We shall set the mountains moving and you will see the earth in full view, We shall muster them, and We will not leave out anyone of them.”(4)

Therefore, on the Day of Resurrection all human beings shall be gathered, and not only a specific group.

3. The second of the aforementioned two verses points clearly to the mustering of a particular group from every community, and not all human beings, as

p: 32


1- Surah an-Naml 27:82-83.
2- Ad-Durr al-Manthur, vol. 5, p. 177, in the commentary of Surah an-Naml 27:82-83.
3- Surah Hud 11:103. In Ad-Durr al-Manthur, vol. 3, p. 349, this day has been interpreted as the Day of Resurrection.
4- Surah al-Kahf 18:47.

is stated below:

﴿ وَیَوْمَ نَحْشُرُ مِن کُلِّ أُمَّهٍ فَوْجًا مِّمَّن یُکَذِّبُ بِآیَاتِنَا فَهُمْ یُوزَعُونَ ﴾

“That day We shall resurrect from every nation a group of those who denied Our signs, and they shall be held in check.”(1)

This statement points clearly to the fact that not all human beings will be mustered.

Conclusion: These three short preliminaries show clearly that the mustering of a particular group of human beings who denied the divine signs, as deduced from the second verse, is an event that shall happen prior to the Day of Resurrection. This is because on the Day of Resurrection the mustering includes the entire humanity and it is not limited to a particular group.

This clarification proves the idea of the return of a group of human beings after death and before the Resurrection, and this phenomenon is referred to as raj‘ah.

On this basis, the Ahl al-Bayt of the Prophet (S), who are equal to the Qur’an and who are interpreters of the divine revelation, elucidate this fact, and for the sake of brevity we quote only two of their sayings:

Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) says:

أیام الله ثلاثه: یوم القائم ویوم الکرّه ویوم القیامه.

“The Days of Allah are three: the day of (uprising of) Hadrat al-Qa’im (Imam al-Mahdi) (‘a), the day of ‘return’ and the Day of Resurrection.”

He (‘a) also says:

لیس منّا من لم یؤمن بکرّتنا.

“He who does not believe in our ‘return’ does not belong to us.”

At this juncture, it is proper to highlight two important points:

1. The philosophy of raj‘ah

In analyzing the motives of raj‘ah, we

p: 33


1- Surah an-Naml 27:83.

encounter two sublime aims the first of which is to show the real beauty and splendor of Islam and the ignominy of kufr {disbelief}, and the second is to reward the faithful and beneficent human beings and chastise the unbelievers and oppressors.

2. The main difference between raj‘ah and tanasukh {transmigration}

It is necessary to point out that in the view of the Shi‘ah the issue of raj‘ah never entails believing in transmigration {tanasukh}, for the theory of transmigration is grounded on the denial of Resurrection and regards the world in perpetual cycle and every cycle is a repetition of the previous one.

According to this theory, the soul of every man returns after death to the world and unite another body. Thus, if the soul was good in the previous time (life), it will unite a body with which it will enjoy a good life, but if it was among the bad ones, it will unite a body with which it will face a difficult life. And this return represents its resurrection!

Conversely, because those who believe in raj‘ah abide by the Islamic law, they believe in the Day of Resurrection and think that it is impossible for the soul which has separated from the body to unite another body.(1)

Rather, they believe that a group of human beings shall return to this world before the Resurrection and after the wisdoms and profit of return are accomplished, they shall die again and be mustered with the rest of human beings on the Day of Resurrection. And after the separation of

p: 34


1- Refuting the belief in transmigration {tanasukh}, Sadr al-Muta’allihin (Mulla Sadra) thus says in his book, Asfar al-Arba‘ah, vol. 9, “bab” 8, chap. 1, p. 3: فلون تعلقت نفس منسلخه ببدن أخر عند کونه جنیناً أو غیر ذلک یزلم کون أحدهما بالقوه والأخر بالفعل وکون الشئ بما هو بالفعل والقوه. وذلک ممتنع لأن الترکیب بینهما طبیعی وإتحادی الترکیب الطبیعی یستحیل بین أمرین أحدهما بالفعل والأخر بالقوه.

soul from the body, the soul will never transfer to another body.

Question 11: What is shafa‘ah {intercession}, which you believe in?

point

Reply: Shafa‘ah {intercession} is one of the principles confirmed by Islam which has been acknowledged by all Muslim sects and schools of thought which abide by the Qur’an and Sunnah regardless of their different views about the outcome of shafa‘ah. Shafa‘ah means that an honorable person who enjoys special station and proximity to God can plead with God, the Exalted, for the forgiveness of the sins of sinners, or elevation of the station of others.

The Holy Prophet (S) says:

"أعطیت خمساً وأعطیت الشفاعه فأدخرتها لأمتی."

“I have been granted five things… and I have been granted intercession which I have reserved for my ummah.”(1)

The extent of shafa‘ah

The Qur’an rejects the idea of absolute and unconditional intercession. Intercession cannot be effective without the following conditions:

First: The intercessor must be authorized by God to intercede. The only group that can intercede are those who, apart from having spiritual proximity to God, are authorized by Him (to intercede). In this regard, the Glorious Qur’an says:

"لا یملکون الشفعه إلا من إتخذ عند الرحمن عهداً."

“No one will have the power to intercede {with Allah}, except for him who has taken a covenant with the All-beneficent.”(2)

Also, it states:

"یومئذٍ لا تنفع الشفعه إلا من أذن له الرحمن ورضی له قولاً."

“Intercession will not avail that day except from him whom the All-beneficent allows and approves of his word.”(3)

Second: Also, the person to be interceded for should also be worthy of attaining the divine grace through the intercessor. That is,

p: 35


1- Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, vol. 1, p. 301; Sahih al-Bukhari (Egypt), vol. 1, p. 91.
2- Surah Maryam 19:87.
3- Surah Ta Ha 20:109.

his faith in God and his spiritual ties with the intercessor should not be broken. As such, the unbelievers who have no faith in God and some of the sinful Muslims, such as murderers and those who do not offer prayers, who are not spiritually attached to the intercessor, will not be interceded for.

Concerning those who do not offer prayers and deny the Day of Resurrection, the Qur’an states:

"فما تنفعهم شفعه الشفعین."

“So the intercession of the intercessors will not avail them.”(1)

And regarding the wrongdoers, it says:

"ما للظالمین من حمیم ولا شفیع یُطاع."

“The wrongdoers will have no sympathizer, nor any intercessor who might be heard.”(2)

The philosophy of shafa‘ah

Shafa‘ah {intercession}, like tawbah {repentance}, is a gleam source of hope for those who can abandon their sins in the midway of deviation and sin, and spend the rest of their life in obedience to God; for, whenever a sinful person feels that he or she can, under limited circumstances (not any circumstances), attain the intercession of the intercessor, he or she will try to keep to this limit and not go any further.

The outcome of shafa‘ah

Different views are shown by exegetes on whether the outcome of intercession is forgiveness of sins or elevation of one’s station, but the following saying of the Prophet (S):

"إن شفاعتی یوم القیامه لأهل الکبائر من أمتی."

“My intercession on the Day of Resurrection is granted to those from my ummah who have committed major sins”(3)

highlights the first view.

Question 12: Is asking the rightful intercessors for intercession {shafa‘ah} tantamount to polytheism {shirk}?

While discussing this question, it is assumed that intercession {shafa‘ah} exclusively rests with God as

p: 36


1- Surah al-Muddaththir 74:48.
2- Surah al-Ghafir (or al-Mu’min) 40:18.
3- Sunan Ibn Majah, vol. 2, p. 583; Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, vol. 3, p. 213; Sunan Ibn Dawud, vol. 2, p. 537; Sunan at-Tirmidhi, vol. 4, p. 45.

it is stated in the Holy Qur’an:

"قل لله الشفعه جمیعاً."

“Say, ‘All intercession rests with Allah’.”(1)

Therefore, turning for intercession to any other than God means asking for God’s absolute right from His servant and seeking such a need is, in reality, worshipping other than God which is inconsistent with “monotheism in worship” {tawhid fi’l ‘ibadah}.

Reply: Here, shirk {polytheism} does not mean polytheism in essence, creative power or in design (governing); it actually means polytheism in worshipping Him.

Obviously, elucidating this point depends on the correct interpretation of worship and devotion, and we all know that in interpreting the word “worship” we have not been authorized to consider as “worship” any form of submission to a creator or any type of request from a servant (of God).

According to the Glorious Qur’an, the angels prostrated to Adam (Adam) (‘a):

﴿ فَإِذَا سَوَّیْتُهُ وَنَفَخْتُ فِیهِ مِن رُّوحِی فَقَعُوا لَهُ سَاجِدِینَ ٭ فَسَجَدَ الْمَلَائِکَهُ کُلُّهُمْ أَجْمَعُونَ ﴾

“‘So when I have proportioned him and breathed into him of My spirit, then fall down in prostration before him.’ Thereat the angels prostrated all of them together.”(2)

This prostration, though decreed by God, it was not meant to worship Adam (‘a), otherwise God would not have ordered it.

Similarly, the sons of Ya‘qub (Jacob) (‘a) as well as Ya‘qub himself prostrated before Yusuf (Joseph) (‘a):

ورفع أبویه علی العرش وخرُّوا له سجداً.

“And he seated his parents high upon the throne, and they fell down prostrate before him.”(3)

If we consider this humility as equivalent to worshipping Yusuf (‘a), then Prophet Ya‘qub (‘a)

p: 37


1- Surah az-Zumar 39:44.
2- Surah Sad 38:72-73.
3- Surah Yusuf 12:100.

who has a station of infallibility {‘ismah} must not have done it nor must he have been pleased with his sons’ act. Meanwhile, there is no way of expressing humility that is loftier than prostration.

Consequently, we must distinguish between the concept of “humility” or “asking from other than God” and that of “worshipping God”. The true meaning of worship is to think of a creature as a god and worship it/him, or to regard a phenomenon as one of God’s creatures and assume that it has been commissioned to perform divine actions, such as governing the world and forgiving sins.

But when showing humility to someone and we do not regard that one as a god and we do not think that he or she has been commissioned to perform divine actions, such humility will mean nothing but an expression of respect to that one as in the case of the angels’ reverence to Adam (‘a) or the honor paid by the sons of Ya‘qub to Yusuf (‘a).

Regarding this question, it must also be stated that to assume that the right of intercession has been granted to the rightful intercessors and that they can unconditionally intercede for people or forgive their sins will entail polytheism {shirk}, for this means seeking what is with God from other than Him.

But when we think that a group of pure servants of God are authorized within a certain context to intercede on behalf of the sinners without assuming that they possess the station

p: 38

of shafa‘ah and we think that the most important requisite is God’s permission and good pleasure, it is clear that resorting to a righteous servant (of God) for intercession does not mean recognizing him as a god nor does it mean that the responsibility of the divine affairs has been entrusted to him; rather, it means asking someone who is worthy of it.

In the lifetime of the Prophet (S) sinners would come to him and ask him for forgiveness (of the sins) and he would not accuse them of polytheism. In the Sunan of Ibn Majah, the Prophet (S) is reported to have said:

"أتدرون ما خیّرنی ربی اللیله؟ قلنا: الله ورسوله أعلم. قال: فإنه خیّرنی بین أن یدخل نصف امتی والجنه

وبین الشفاعه فاخترت الشفاعه قلنا یا رسول الله أدعُ الله أن یجعلنا من أهلها قال هی لکل مسلم."

Do you know what God has granted me this night?” We said: “God and His Prophet know better.” He added: “He has granted me the favor of choosing one of two things: the first is that half of my ummah shall enter paradise and the second is the authority to intercede. So I chose the second.” We said: “O Messenger of Allah! Ask God that we will be worthy of it (intercession).” He said: “It will be for all Muslims.(1)

In this hadith, it is clearly shown that the Companions of the Prophet (S) are asking him for intercession, saying, “Ask God that…”

The Holy Qur’an also states:

﴿ وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذ ظَّلَمُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ

p: 39


1- Sunan Ibn Majah, vol. 2, “Bab Dhikr ash-Shafa‘ah,” p. 586.

جَآؤُوکَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُواْ اللّهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُواْ اللّهَ تَوَّابًا رَّحِیمًا ﴾

“Had they, when they wronged themselves, come to you and pleaded Allah for forgiveness, and the Apostle had pleaded for forgiveness for them, they would have surely found Allah all-clement, all-merciful.”(1)

Elsewhere, the Qur’an quotes the sons of Ya‘qub (‘a) as saying:

"قالوا یأبانا استغفر لنا ذنوبنا إنا کُنا خطئین."

“They said, ‘Father! Plead {with Allah} for forgiveness of our sins! We have indeed been erring’.”(2)

So, Hadrat Ya‘qub (‘a) promised them to plead with Allah to forgive them without accusing them of polytheism (for asking him to plead for forgiveness):

قال سوف أستغفر لکم ربی إنه هو الغفور الرحیم.

“He said, ‘I shall plead with my Lord to forgive you; indeed He is the All-forgiving, the All-merciful’.”(3)

Question 13: Is seeking help from someone other than God regarded as a kind of polytheism {shirk}?

Reply: From the viewpoint of reason and logic of revelation, just as all human beings, nay, all phenomena of the world, are in need of God in their creation, they are also in need of Him for their subsistence.

In this regard, the Holy Qur’an states:

"یاأیها الناس أنتم الفقراء إلی الله والله هو الغنیّ الحمید."

“O mankind! You are the ones who stand in need of Allah, and Allah—He is the All-sufficient, the All-laudable.”(4)

In another place, it attributes all victories to the Lord of the worlds, stating:

"وما النصر إلا من عند الله العزیز الحکیم."

“And victory comes only from Allah, the All-mighty, the All-wise.”(5)

Abiding by this principle confirmed by Islam, we, Muslims, recite this noble verse in every prayer:

"إیاک نعبد وإیاک نستعین."

“You {alone} do we worship, and

p: 40


1- Surah an-Nisa’ 4:64.
2- Surah Yusuf 12:97.
3- Surah Yusuf 12:98.
4- Surah Fatir (or al-Mala’ikah) 35:15.
5- Surah Al ‘Imran 3:126.

to You {alone} do we turn for help.”(1)

Now, let us clarify the abovementioned question:

Seeking help from someone other than God is viewed in two ways:

1. The first is that we seek assistance from another man or phenomenon by holding that he or it is independent in his or its power or action, and supposing him or it as needless of God in giving assistance.

Without any doubt, seeking assistance from someone other than God in this way is sheer polytheism. The Holy Qur’an points to its futility in the following verse:

﴿ قُلْ مَن ذَا الَّذِی یَعْصِمُکُم مِّنَ اللَّهِ إِنْ أَرَادَ بِکُمْ سُوءًا أَوْ أَرَادَ بِکُمْ رَحْمَهً وَلَا یَجِدُونَ لَهُم مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ وَلِیًّا وَلَا نَصِیرًا ﴾

“Say, ‘Who is it that can protect you from Allah should He desire to cause you ill, or desire to grant you mercy?’ They will not find for themselves any protector or helper besides Allah.”(2)

2. The second is that we seek help from another person by holding that that person is someone who is in need of God, as not independent and that his power comes from God, the Exalted, through which to solve some of the problems of the servants (of God).

On the basis of this mindset, the one from whom we seek is granted “mediation” by God, the Exalted, for fulfilling some of the needs. Seeking help in this way is, in reality, seeking assistance from God Who has endowed existence to these mediums and intermediaries, and granted power and effect to them for

p: 41


1- Surah al-Fatihah 1:5.
2- Surah al-Ahzab 33:17.

fulfilling others’ needs. In principle, the life of every human being is founded on seeking help from mediums and intermediaries without which man’s life will be chaotic.

Now, if we look at these mediums as the agents for fulfilling the assistance of God and hold that they have been originated and granted power by Him, in this case seeking help will by no means contradict monotheism.

If a devoted godly farmer seeks aid through such agents like land, water, air, and the sun to plant seeds and bring them up until they yield fruit, he has actually sought help from God because it is He Who has given power and activity to these agents.

It is clear that seeking assistance in the mentioned way is totally consistent with the spirit of monotheism. In fact, the Glorious Qur’an invites us to seek assistance through such things like patience and prayer as in the following verse:

واستعینوا بالصبر والصلوه.

“And take recourse in patience and prayer.”(1)

It is evident that constancy and patience is a human attribute, yet we are invited to seek assistance through it. The aforementioned way of seeking assistance is not inconsistent with turning for help to God as stated in the following verse:

"إیاک نعبد وإیاک نستعین."

“You {alone} do we worship, and to You {alone} do we turn for help.”(2)

Question 14: Is calling on someone tantamount to worshipping him and to polytheism?

point

What has prompted this question to be posed is the outward meaning of some of the verses of the Qur’an, which seemingly prohibit invoking anyone other than Allah.

"وأن المسجد ببه فلا تدعو

p: 42


1- Surah al-Baqarah 2:45.
2- Surah al-Fatihah 1:5.

مع الله أحداً."

“The places of worship belong to Allah, so do not invoke anyone along with Allah.”(1)

"ولا تجع من دون الله ما لا ینفعک ولا یضّرک."

“Nor invoke besides Allah that which neither benefits you nor can do you any harm.”(2)

Referring to such verses, a group of people hold that calling on others and invoking dead sacred figures or righteous people as polytheism and an act of worshipping them.

Reply: In order to make clear the answer to this question, we ought to explain the meaning of the two terms, du‘a’ {supplication} and ‘ibadah {worship}:

As a matter of fact, the word “du‘a” literally means “calling” and “invoking” while the term “‘ibadah” means “worship”, and these two terms should not be considered synonymous. That is, the word “call” or “invocation” does not always mean “worship” for the reasons that follow:

First: The term “da‘wah” (a derivative of du‘a’) has been used in some Qur’anic verses but not in the sense of “‘ibadah”. For example:

"إنی دعوت قومی لیلاً ونهاراً."

“He (Nuh) said, ‘My Lord! Indeed I have summoned my people night and day’.”(3)

Can we say that what Nuh (Noah) (‘a) meant is: “I have worshipped my people night and day”?

As such, it cannot be said that da‘wah and ‘ibadah are synonyms, or that to seek help from the Prophet or a righteous person is to worship him; for, da‘wah or nida’ {call} has more general meaning than worship.

Second: Du‘a’ in these verses does not absolutely mean invocation; rather, it means a particular call which can be

p: 43


1- Surah al-Jinn 72:18.
2- Surah Yunus 10:106.
3- Surah Nuh 71:5.

a constituent part of the word “worship”; for, this group of verses are about idol-worshippers who took their idols as gods.

No doubt idol-worshippers’s humility, supplication and imploration were dedicated to the idols they described as possessors of the right of intercession, forgiveness, etc. and recognized as independent possessors of the affairs in this world and the hereafter. It is obvious that under such conditions to turn to these creatures in supplication or request of any kind will be considered as worship and devotion.

As vivid evidence to the fact that the idol-worshippers’ supplication or invocation is an expression of their belief in the divinity of idols, we introduce the following verse:

"فما أغنت عنهم ألهتهم التی یدعون من دون الله من شئ."

“Of no avail to them were their gods whom they would invoke besides Allah, in any wise.”(1)

Therefore, the verses under discussion are irrelevant to our subject; our subject is concerned with the asking of one servant from another servant (of God) whom the former does not regard as lord and god nor an omnipotent master and possessor of the affairs in this world and the hereafter; rather, he regards him as an honorable servant who is loved by God and has been chosen for the station of prophethood or imamah {leadership} and God has promised to grant his supplication on behalf of His servants as He says:

﴿ وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذ ظَّلَمُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ جَآؤُوکَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُواْ اللّهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُواْ اللّهَ تَوَّابًا رَّحِیمًا ﴾

“Had they, when they wronged themselves, come

p: 44


1- Surah Hud 11:101.

to you and pleaded Allah for forgiveness, and the Apostle had pleaded for forgiveness for them, they would have surely found Allah all-clement, all-merciful.”(1)

Third: The quoted verses prove clearly that calling on someone {da‘wah} does not mean mere asking for a need or something to be done but a ‘devotional’ call. As such, in one of the verses, the term “‘ibadah” has been mentioned immediately after the word da‘wah:

﴿ وَقَالَ رَبُّکُمُ ادْعُونِی أَسْتَجِبْ لَکُمْ إِنَّ الَّذِینَ یَسْتَکْبِرُونَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِی سَیَدْخُلُونَ جَهَنَّمَ دَاخِرِینَ ﴾

“Your Lord has said, ‘Call Me, and I will hear you{r supplications}!’ Indeed those who are disdainful of My worship will enter hell in utter humility.”(2)

We notice that at the beginning of the verse, the term “ud‘uni” {call me} is followed by the term “‘ibadati” {My worship}. This testifies to the fact that da‘wah means a particular way of asking or seeking help from certain beings that have been recognized as having divine attributes.

Conclusion

From the three stated preliminaries, we reach the conclusion that the main purport of these Qur’anic verses is prohibition from calling upon the groups of idolaters who regard the idols as partners of God or having the power of intercession, and from any gesture of humility, meekness, or lamentation, seeking assistance, pleading, and request for intercession, or seeking help for the fulfillment of need with the belief that they are gods who have been commissioned to do divine acts and to do some acts related to this world and the hereafter.

What relationship do these

p: 45


1- Surah an-Nisa’ 4:64.
2- Surah al-Ghafir (or Mu’min) 40:60.

verses have with imploring a pure soul which, according to the supplicator has not gone a speck beyond the limit of servitude, but a beloved and honorable servant of God?!

When the Qur’an says:

"وأن المسجد لله فلا تدعوا مع الله أحداً."

“The places of worship belong to Allah, so do not invoke anyone along with Allah,”(1)

it refers to the way the Arabs before Islam called upon the idols, celestial bodies, angels, and jinns that they worshipped. This verse and other related verses are pertaining to calling upon a person or thing deemed as an object of worship.

No doubt, requesting from these beings in such a belief is tantamount to worshipping them. But what do these verses have to do with the idea of asking a person to pray for you without considering that person as god, lord or capable of governing world, but treats him instead as a worthy servant whom God loves?

Some may imagine that one can call on outstanding godly figures only when they are alive and it is an act of polytheism to do so after their demise. In reply, we say:

First: It is from the pure souls of such good servants (of God) as the Prophet and the Imams (‘a) who are, as described by the Qur’anic verses, alive and leading their purgatorial {barzakhi} life, that we seek aid and not from their dead bodies in the ground. And our presence in the vicinity of their shrines contributes to strengthening our communion with and attention to

p: 46


1- Surah al-Jinn 72:18.

their sacred souls. According to hadiths, in these sites supplications are granted.

Second: Their being alive or dead cannot be a criterion for distinguishing monotheism from polytheism. It is worth noticing that our discussion is about the criteria of polytheism and monotheism, and not about the importance or unimportance of these supplications.

Of course, this issue (that is, the importance or unimportance of this kind of implorations) has been treated elsewhere.

Question 15: What is bada’ and why do you believe in it?

point

Reply: In Arabic, the word “bada’” literally means “manifestation” and “appearance”, and in the parlance of Shi‘ah scholars it applies to the change in the natural course of someone’s destiny as a result of his or her righteous and wholesome behavior. The question of bada’ is one of the lofty summits of the dynamic Shi‘i school, which springs from the logic of revelation and intellectual investigation.

From the viewpoint of the Holy Qur’an, man is not always hindered from deciding on his destiny; rather, the path of felicity is open for him, and by reverting to the right path and meritorious conduct he can change the ultimate destination of his life. The Qur’an points to this truth as a universal and permanent principle as follows:

"إن الله لا یغیّر ما بقوم حتی یغیّروا بأنفسهم."

“Indeed Allah does not change a people’s lot, unless they change what is in their souls.”(1)

It also says elsewhere:

﴿ وَلَوْ أَنَّ أَهْلَ الْقُرَی آمَنُواْ وَاتَّقَواْ لَفَتَحْنَا عَلَیْهِم بَرَکَاتٍ مِّنَ السَّمَاء وَالأَرْضِ ﴾

“If the people of the towns had been faithful and God-wary, We would have opened to them

p: 47


1- Surah ar-Ra‘d 13:11.

blessings from the heaven and the earth.”(1)

And regarding the change in the destiny of Hadrat Yunus (Jonah) (‘a), it says:

"فلولا أنه کان من المسبحین للبث فی بطنه إلی یوم یُبعثون."

“And had he not been one of those who celebrate Allah’s glory, he would have surely remained in its belly till the day they will be resurrected.”(2)

Apparently, the latter verse indicates that Prophet Yunus (‘a) would have remained in that particular prison (belly of whale) till the Day of Resurrection were it not for his meritorious conduct (glorifying Allah) which resulted in changing the course of his destiny and safety.

This truth has also been acknowledged by the Islamic traditions. In this regard, the Holy Prophet (S) says:

إن الرجل لیحرم الرزق بالذنب یصیبه ولا یردّ القدر إلا الدعاء ولا یزید فی العمر إلا البرّ.

It is due to his sin that one is deprived of his sustenance, and there is nothing that can change one’s destiny and fate except supplications and there is nothing that can prolong one’s lifespan except good deeds.(3)

From this and similar hadiths, it can be deduced that on account of man’s sins and disobedience, he is deprived of sustenance but his meritorious acts like supplication can change the course of his destiny and his good deeds can prolong his lifespan.

Conclusion

It can be inferred from the verses of the Qur’an and the Sunnah that the destiny of so many a man is determined, within the framework of his common behavior, on the basis of natural cause and effect and

p: 48


1- Surah al-A‘raf 7:96.
2- Surah as-Saffat 37:143-144.
3- Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, vol. 5, p. 277; Mustadrak al-Hakim, vol. 1, p. 493; and a similar narration in At-Taj al-Jami‘ li’l-Usul, vol. 5, p. 111.

ordinary order of the interplay of actions, and man may be informed by one of the awliya’ of God, prophets or Imams, for example, if this kind of conduct of this person continues, he will face the stated fate, but due to a sudden shift, a different behavior would surface and result in a change in his destiny.

This truth which stems from the logic of revelation, Sunnah of the Prophet (S) and sound intellectual investigation is referred to by the Shi‘ah scholars as bada’.

It is worth noticing that explaining bada’ is among the salient features of Shi‘ism, but this word is also found in the writings of the Ahl as-Sunnah and the speeches of the Holy Prophet (S). For example, the Prophet (S) has used the term “bada’” in the hadith below:

"الله جل وعز أن یبتلیهم."

“The bada’ of Allah, the Glorious and Dignified, is to examine them.”(1)

It is necessary to note that the idea of bada’ does not mean that the change will occur in God’s knowledge because God is aware from the beginning of the natural course of man’s behavior and of the effect of the transformative elements which cause bada’, and He does point to this fact in the Qur’an:

"یمحوا الله ما یشاء ویُثبت وعنده أم الکتاب."

“Allah effaces and confirms whatever He wishes and with Him is the Mother of the Book.”(2)

Therefore, at the occurrence of bada’ God, the Exalted, manifests to us the truth, which has been known to Him from the very beginning of existence. As

p: 49


1- Majd ad-Din Mubarak ibn Muhammad al-Juzri, An-Nihayah fi Gharib al-Hadith wa’l-Athar, vol. 1, p. 109.
2- Surah ar-Ra‘d 13:39.

such, Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) says:

"ما بدا الله فی شئ إلا کان فی علمه قبل أن یبدوله."

“Bada’ has never happened unless God is aware of it from the very beginning of existence.”(1)

The philosophy behind bada’

No doubt, if man knows that he has access to changing his own destiny, he will be at the threshold of building a better future and will endeavor with a better spirit and greter efforts to improve his conduct in life.

In other words, just as repentance {tawbah} and intercession {shafa‘ah} save man from feeling of hopelessness and getting bored in life, the truth of bada’ brings to him mirth and joy and makes him full of optimism for the future. With this outlook, man knows that he can, through the decree of God, the Exalted, change his destiny and move toward a better future and more splendorous destiny.

Question 16: Do the Shi‘ah believe in the tahrif {distortion} of the Qur’an?

point

Reply: Renowned Shi‘ah scholars are of the opinion that the Holy Qur’an is free from any kind of tahrif {distortion}, and the version of the Qur’an which is in our hands today is the same as the heavenly book which was revealed to the Holy Prophet (S) and it has been subject to no deletion or addition. In order to clarify this point, let us consider pieces of evidence that follow:

1. The Lord of the worlds has guaranteed the Muslims to preserve and protect the heavenly scripture, i.e. the Qur’an, saying:

"إنا نحن نزلنا الذکر وإنا له لحافظون."

“Indeed We have sent down the Reminder and indeed We will preserve it.”(2)

It

p: 50


1- Usul al-Kafi, vol. 1, “Kitab at-Tawhid,” “Bab al-Bada’,” hadith 9.
2- Surah al-Hijr 15:9.

is obvious that when the Shi‘ah in the world take the Qur’an as the reliable basis of their thinking and action, they recognize the value of this noble verse and believe in the message it conveys regarding God’s protection and preservation of the Book of Allah.

2. The great Imam followed by the Shi‘ah, ‘Ali (‘a), who was always in the company of the Holy Prophet (S) and one of the scribers of the revelation, has called people on various occasions to abide by this very Qur’an. Below are some of what he has said in this regard:

"واعلموا أن هذا القرءان هو الناصح الذی لا یغش والهادی الذی لا یضلّ."

“Know that this Qur’an is the adviser that never deceives and the guide that never misleads.”(1)

"إن الله سبحانه لم یعظ أحداً بمثل هذا القرءان فإنه حبل الله والتین سببه المبین."

“Allah, the Glorified, has not admonished anyone as He has done through lines of this Qur’an; it is Allah’s strong cord and His trustworthy means.”(2)

"ثم أنزل علیه الکتاب نوراً لا تطفأ مصابیحه وسراجاً لا یخبوا توقّده ومنهاجاً لا یضلّ نهجه وفرقاناً لا یخمد برهانه."

Then, Allah sent to him the Book as a light whose flames cannot be extinguished, a lamp whose gleam does not die, a way whose direction does not mislead, and a separator (of good from evil) whose arguments do not weaken.(3)

The magnificent words of the great leader of the Shi‘ah make it clear that the Holy Qur’an is like a radiant light which always illuminates the path of the human

p: 51


1- Nahj al-Balaghah (Subhi as-Salih), Sermon 176.
2- Ibid.
3- Ibid., Sermon 198.

beings who abide by it and it is subject to no change that causes its flames to extinguish or human beings to get lost.

3. The Shi‘ah scholars have consensus of opinion that the Holy Prophet (S) has said: “Verily, I am leaving among you Two Weighty Things: the first is the Book of Allah (Qur’an) and the other is my progeny, the members of my Household {Ahl al-Bayt}. If you hold fast to them, you will never go astray.”

This hadith is among the mutawatir hadiths, which has been narrated by both the Shi‘ah and the Sunni. From the aforementioned statement, it is obvious that the Shi‘ah believe that the Book of Allah (the Qur’an) will undergo no alteration; for, if it undergoes any tahrif {distortion}, holding fast to it will neither guarantee guidance nor eliminate misguidance, and this does not accord with what has been confirmed by the text {nass} of this mutawatir hadith.

4. The traditions of the Imams followed by the Shi‘ah, which have been narrated by all our scholars and jurists confirm that the Qur’an is the criterion for distinguishing truth from falsehood and the standard by which good is separated from evil in the sense that any statement, including the “hadiths” that came down to us should be judged according to the Qur’an. If it is in agreement with its verses, it is correct and authentic; otherwise, it is deemed a fabrication and incorrect.

The Shi‘ah books of jurisprudence and hadith include a lot of narrations

p: 52

in this regard. We shall only quote one of them:

Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) says:

"ما لم یُوافق من الحدیث القرءان فهو زُخرف."

“Any statement that is not in accord with the Qur’an is futile and false.”(1)

It is also clear from these hadiths that alteration has no place in the Qur’an, and thus, this sacred book can forever be a criterion for recognizing the difference between truth and falsehood.

5. Great Shi‘ah scholars, who have always been the forerunners of the Islamic and Shi‘i culture acknowledge that the Holy Qur’an will never be altered. These great figures are too many to enumerate, therefore we shall point to only some of them:

a. Abu Ja‘far Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Husayn Babawayh al-Qummi, known as “Saduq” (d. 381 AH), says:

Our belief regarding the Qur’an is that it is God’s Word and revelation; it is a book which is free from falsehood and incorrectness and it has been sent down by God, the All-wise, and He is its guardian.(2)

b. Sayyid Murtada ‘Ali ibn Husayn Musawi ‘Alawi, known as ‘Alam al-Huda (d. 436 AH), says:

A group of the Prophet’s Companions such as ‘Abd Allah ibn Mas‘ud, Ubayy ibn Ka‘b and others recited the Qur’an from the beginning to the end to the Holy Prophet (S) many times and all of them confirm that the Qur’an has been compiled and well arranged, and it is free from any deletion and dispersion.(3)

c. Abu Ja‘far Muhammad ibn Hasan at-Tusi, known as “Shaykh at-Ta’ifah” (d. 460 AH), says:

As for the talk about

p: 53


1- Usul al-Kafi, vol. 1, “Kitab Fadl al-‘Ilm,” “Bab al-Akhdh bi’s-Sunnah wa Shawahid al-Kitab,” hadith 4.
2- Al-I‘tiqadat, p. 93.
3- Majma‘ al-Bayan, vol. 1, p. 10 as quoted from the reply to Al-Masa’il at-Tarablusiyyat by Sayyid Murtada.

the imperfection and addition in the Qur’an, it cannot be covered in this book; for, all Muslims have consensus of opinion that nothing has been added to the Qur’an, and regarding the supposition of imperfection, it is rejected by Muslims. The idea of the absence of addition is more concordant with our school.

This idea has been acknowledged and approved by Sayyid Murtada and the outward meaning of hadiths also confirms this fact. A small number of Shi‘ah and Sunni narrators points to the narrations which talk about the imperfection and alteration in the Qur’anic verses. These narrations which have been transmitted by Shi‘ah and Sunni are among the ‘solitary reports’(1) which need not to be known or abided by, and they had better be discarded.(2)

d. Abu ‘Ali at-Tabarsi, the author of an exegesis named Majma‘ al-Bayan, says:

Regarding the idea of addition in the Qur’an, the entire Islamic ummah has consensus of opinion that it is groundless, and regarding the mutilation of its verses, a small number of our companions and a group of the Hashawiyyah sect of the Ahl as-Sunnah have transmitted narrations which assume that there is addition in the Qur’an, but the thing which our school accepts and regards as correct is the opposite.(3)

e. ‘Ali ibn Tawus al-Hilli, known as “Sayyid Ibn Tawus” (d. 664 AH), says: “The Shi‘ah view is that no alteration has taken place in the Qur’an.”(4)

f. Shaykh Zayn ad-Din al-‘Amili (d. 877 AH) explains the following verse,

"إنا نحن نزلنا الذکر وإنا

p: 54


1- Khabar al-wahid or ahad: Although termed ‘solitary report’, this refers to any report that is not mutawatir. {Trans.}
2- At-Tibyan, vol. 1, p. 3.
3- Majma‘ al-Bayan, vol. 1, p. 10.
4- Sa‘d as-Su‘ud, p. 144.

له لحافظون."

“Indeed We have sent down the Reminder and indeed We will preserve it”(1)

and says it means: “We (Allah) shall protect and keep the Qur’an from any alteration, change and addition.”(2)

g. Qadi Sayyid Nur ad-Din Tustari, the author of the book, Ihqaq al-Haqq (d. 1019 AH), says:

What some say about the Imamiyyah Shi‘ah that they believe in the alteration of the Qur’an is not accepted by all the Shi‘ah. Only very few of them have such a belief to which the Shi‘ah give no attention.(3)

h. Muhammad ibn al-Husayn, known as “Baha’uddin al-‘Amili” (d. 1030 AH), says:

The correct view is that the Magnificent Qur’an is immune from any form of addition or imperfection and the claim that the name of the Commander of the Faithful (‘a) has been omitted from the Qur’an is not accepted by learned scholars.

Anyone who delves into history and traditions knows that on account of the tawatur(4) of the traditions and narration transmitted by thousands of the Companions, the Qur’an is intact and fixed and the entirety of it has been compiled in the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (S).(5)

i. Fayd al-Kashani, the author of the book, Al-Wafi (d. 1091 AH), who mentions the verse,

"إنا نحن نزلنا الذکر وإنا له لحافظون."

“Indeed We have sent down the Reminder and indeed We will preserve it,”(6)

in addition to other Qur’anic verses which verify that the Qur’an has been preserved from any kind of alteration, says:

At this point, how is it possible that tahrif {distortion} and alteration

p: 55


1- Surah al-Hijr 15:9.
2- Izhar al-Haqq, vol. 2, p. 130.
3- Ala’ ar-Rahman, p. 25.
4- By tawatur is meant the multiplicity of the sources of a certain report that leads to certitude in the listener that the report is indeed true. A mutawatir hadith is one which has been reported by so many different chains of transmission and such a number of narrators in every generation as normally could not agree to fabricate a tradition without the fact of its fabrication becoming known. {Trans.}
5- Ala’ ar-Rahman, p. 25.
6- Surah al-Hijr 15:9.

will take place in the Qur’an? Besides, what has been related about the existence of tahrif contradicts what the Book of Allah says. So, such traditions must be regarded as groundless.(1)

j. Shaykh Hurr al-‘Amili (d. 1104 AH), says:

A researcher of history and hadith knows well that on account of the tawatur of traditions and narrations of thousands of the Companions, the Qur’an is intact and fixed and has been compiled with utter accuracy and arranged in the lifetime of the Prophet (S).(2)

k. The great researcher, Kashif al-Ghita’, in his renowned book, Kashf al-Ghita’, says:

No doubt the Qur’an, owing to the divine protection and preservation, has been preserved from any deletion (and alteration). This fact has been verified by the Qur’an and scholars’ consensus of opinion of all periods. And the opposition of a small group is not worth considering.

l. Also, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Hadrat Ayatullah al-‘Uzma Imam Khomeini (q) has a statement in this regard. This statement which we shall quote below is another clear proof:

Anyone, who is aware of the great care taken by the Muslims in compiling, preserving, recording, reciting, and writing the Qur’an will testify to the groundlessness of the notion of “distortion of the Qur’an”, and consider it unbelievable.

Also, the accounts that have been transmitted in this regard will be found either so ‘weak’ {da‘if} that they lack soundness of judgment, or so ‘unknown’ {majhul} that they seem obviously fabricated, or are narrations of other sorts, the explication of which needs

p: 56


1- Tafsir as-Safi, vol. 1, p. 51.
2- Ala’ ar-Rahman, p. 25.

writing a comprehensive book.

And were it not for the fear of deviating from the point in question, we would explain the course of history of the Qur’an over the past centuries and make clear that the Glorious Qur’an is exactly the same version of heavenly book which is in our hands, and concerning the difference of opinion among the reciters of the Qur’an, it is something new, which has nothing to do with what Jibra’il al-Amin (Archangel Gabriel the Trustworthy) has brought down onto the pure heart of the Holy Prophet (S).(1)

Conclusion

The Muslims, both Shi‘ah and Sunni, are of the opinion that the present version of this heavenly book is the same as the original version of the Qur’an which was sent down onto the Holy Prophet (S), and that it is safe from any form of distortion, alteration, addition, and deletion.

This is solid evidence to the groundlessness of the unfair accusation against the Shi‘ah, and if the transmission of pertinent ‘weak’ narrations has led to this accusation, it is worth noticing that such narrations have not been transmitted only by a small faction of the Shi‘ah but also by a group of Sunni exegetes {mufassirun}. Below are some examples:

1. Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Ansari al-Qurtubi in his exegesis narrates on the authority of Abubakr al-Anbazi from Ubayy ibn Ka‘b, that in the lifetime of the Prophet (S) Surah al-Ahzab (with 73 verses) was the same size as Surah al-Baqarah (with 286 verses) and the ‘verse

p: 57


1- Tahdhib al-Usul, “Accounts of Imam Khomeini’s Lectures”, vol. 2, p. 96 {written by Professor Ja‘far Subhani}.

of stoning’ {ayah ar-rajam} was in that Surah. Now, such alleged verse is not found in Surah al-Ahzab!(1)

And it is stated in the same book that ‘A’ishah is reported to have said:

“In the lifetime of the Prophet (S) Surah al-Ahzab had 200 verses. Then, after the mushaf was written, we do not find more than that which the present version has!”(2)

2. The author of the book, Al-Itqan narrates that the number of surahs in Ubayy ibn Ka‘b’s mushaf was 116 because two other surahs called Hafd and Khal‘ were included therein.(3)

What we all know is that the Holy Qur’an has 114 surahs and there is no trace of such two surahs like Hafd and Khal‘ in the Qur’an.

3. Hibat Allah ibn Salamah, in his book, An-Nasikh wa’l-Mansukh, narrates that Anas ibn Malik is reported to have said:

In the lifetime of the Prophet (S), when we recited the Qur’an we used to read a surah which was similar in size to Surah at-Tawbah (Bara‘ah) in length, and all that I remember of it is only one verse, and that is:

"لو أن لإبن أدم وادیان من الذهب لابتغی إلیهما ثالثاً ولو أن له ثالثاً لبتغی إلیهما رابعاً لأیملاء و جوف إبن أدم إلا التراب و یتوب الله علی من تاب."

“Should the Children of Adam have two valleys of gold, he would ask for a third and should he have three he would ask for a fourth. Nothing can fill the bellies of the Children of Adam except dust. God accepts the

p: 58


1- Tafsir al-Qurtubi, vol. 14, p. 113, the beginning of the commentary on Surah al-Ahzab.
2- Ibid.
3- Al-Itqan, vol. 1, p. 67.

repentance of those who repent.”

This is while we know that there is no such a verse in the Qur’an, and when we consider its eloquence {balaghah} we find that it is essentially inharmonious.

4. Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti, in his exegesis, Al-Durr al-Manthur, reports on the authority of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab that Surah al-Ahzab was similar in length to Surah al-Baqarah and the verse of stoning was part of the former surah.(1)

A small group of both the Shi‘ah and the Sunni schools have narrated ‘weak’ {da‘if} and untenable traditions on “the occurrence of alteration in the Qur’an”. According to the vast majority of the Muslims—both Shi‘ah and Sunni—these weak narrations are not acceptable.

According to the Qur’anic verses, authentic {sahih} and mutawatir traditions, consensus {ijma‘} and unanimity of thousands of the Companions of the Prophet (S) and consensus of opinion of the Muslims of the world no such tahrif, alteration, addition, or deletion has taken place and it will never take place.

Question 17: How do the Shi‘ah view the Sahabah {Companions}?

point

Reply: According to the Shi‘ah, those who happened to meet and accompany the Prophet (S) can be divided into some groups. Before explaining this statement in detail, we had better define the word, “sahabi” {companion}.

There are various definitions of the word “Companion” of the Prophet (S). Below are some of them:

1. Sa‘id ibn Musayb says: “Sahabi is referred to the person who kept company with the Prophet for one or two years and fought alongside him one or two battles.”(2)

2. Waqidi says: “Scholars are of the opinion that

p: 59


1- Ad-Durr al-Manthur, vol. 5, p. 180, the beginning of the commentary on Surah al-Ahzab.
2- Asad al-Ghabah (Egypt), vol. 1, pp. 11-12.

whoever saw the Prophet, embraced Islam, thought of the religion, and was pleased with it, even if that was for only one hour, is regarded as among the Companions of the Prophet.”(1)

3. Muhammad ibn Isma‘il al-Bukhari states: “Any Muslim who accompanied the Prophet and saw him is regarded as one of his Companions.”(2)

4. Ahmad ibn Hanbal says: “Anyone, who accompanied the Prophet for a month, a day or an hour, or saw him, is considered among the Companions.”(3)

Some of the ‘ulama’ of Ahl as-Sunnah acknowledge that the justice of the Companions is an indisputable principle in the sense that whoever kept companionship with the Prophet (S) is just!(4)

Now, taking into consideration the explicit verses of the Qur’an, we shall examine this statement to point out the Shi‘ah viewpoint which is derived from the logic of revelation:

History has recorded the names and descriptions of more than 12 thousand people as the Companions of the Prophet (S) including people of various personalities. The station of companionship of the Prophet is, without doubt, a great honor granted to a certain group, and the Muslim ummah always holds the Companions in high esteem because they are the first group of Muslims to hoist Islam’s banner of glory and grandeur.

The Holy Qur’an also hails those pioneering standard-bearers (of Islam), stating:

﴿ لاَ یَسْتَوِی مِنکُم مَّنْ أَنفَقَ مِن قَبْلِ الْفَتْحِ وَقَاتَلَ أُوْلٰئِکَ أَعْظَمُ دَرَجَهً مِّنَ الَّذِینَ أَنفَقُوا مِن بَعْدُ وَقَاتَلُوا ﴾

“Not equal {to others} are those of you who spent and fought before the victory. They

p: 60


1- Ibid.
2- Ibid.
3- Ibid.
4- Al-Isti‘ab fi Asma’ al-Ashab, vol. 1, p. 2, the margin of “Al-Isabah”; Asad al-Ghabah (Egypt), vol. 1, p. 3, related from Ibn Athir.

are greater in rank than those who have spent and fought afterward.”(1)

We should also confess that the companionship of the Prophet of God is not an alchemy that transforms man’s disposition, ensures his piety throughout his life or causes him to be one of the just.

In order to clarify this point, it is worth concentrating on the Qur’an, which is accepted by the Muslims all over the world, and resort to this sacred book for solving this issue:

Sahabi {Companion} from the viewpoint of the Qur’an

point

In the logic of revelation, those who happened to meet the Holy Prophet (S) and accompany him are divided into two groups:

The first group

point

The people of this group are hailed and praised by the everlasting verses of the Qur’an and described as the founders of the castle of the glory and grandeur of Islam. The following are some of the Qur’anic verses regarding this group of the Companions:

1. The first followers

﴿ مِنَ الْمُهَاجِرِینَ وَالأَنصَارِ وَالَّذِینَ اتَّبَعُوهُم بِإِحْسَانٍ رَّضِیَ اللّهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُواْ عَنْهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِی تَحْتَهَا الأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِینَ فِیهَا أَبَدًا ذَلِکَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِیمُ ﴾

“The early vanguard of the Emigrants and the Helpers and those who followed them in virtue- Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him, and He has prepared for them gardens with streams running in them, to remain in them forever. That is the great success.”(2)

2. Those who swore allegiance under the tree

﴿ لَقَدْ رَضِیَ اللَّهُ عَنِ الْمُؤْمِنِینَ إِذْ یُبَایِعُونَکَ تَحْتَ الشَّجَرَهِ فَعَلِمَ مَا فِی قُلُوبِهِمْ فَأَنزَلَ السَّکِینَهَ عَلَیْهِمْ وَأَثَابَهُمْ فَتْحًا قَرِیبًا ﴾

“Allah was certainly pleased with the faithful when they swore allegiance to you under the

p: 61


1- Surah al-Hadid 57:10.
2- Surah at-Tawbah 9:100.

tree. He knew what was in their hearts, so He sent down composure on them, and requited them with a victory near at hand.”(1)

3. The Muhajirun {Emigrants}

﴿ لِلْفُقَرَاء الْمُهَاجِرِینَ الَّذِینَ أُخْرِجُوا مِن دِیارِهِمْ وَأَمْوَالِهِمْ یَبْتَغُونَ فَضْلًا مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانًا وَیَنصُرُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ أُوْلَئِکَ هُمُ الصَّادِقُونَ ﴾

“{They are also} for the poor Emigrants who have been expelled from their homes and {wrested of} their possessions, who seek grace from Allah and {His} pleasure and help Allah and His Apostle. It is they who are the truthful.”(2)

4. The Companions who fought alongside the Prophet (S)

﴿ مُّحَمَّدٌ رَّسُولُ اللَّهِ وَالَّذِینَ مَعَهُ أَشِدَّاء عَلَی الْکُفَّارِ رُحَمَاء بَیْنَهُمْ تَرَاهُمْ رُکَّعًا سُجَّدًا یَبْتَغُونَ فَضْلًا مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانًا سِیمَاهُمْ فِی وُجُوهِهِم مِّنْ أَثَرِ السُّجُودِ ﴾

“Muhammad, the Apostle of Allah, and those who are with him are hard against the faithless and merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and prostrating {in worship}, seeking Allah’s grace and {His} pleasure. Their mark is {visible} on their faces, from the effect of prostration.”(3)

The second group

point

The other group of those who accompanied the Prophet (S) consist of two-faced and sick-hearted men the reality of whose nature the Holy Qur’an has revealed and of whose danger it has warned the Prophet (S). Here are some examples of this group:

1. Known hypocrites

﴿ إِذَا جَاءکَ الْمُنَافِقُونَ قَالُوا نَشْهَدُ إِنَّکَ لَرَسُولُ اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ یَعْلَمُ إِنَّکَ لَرَسُولُهُ وَاللَّهُ یَشْهَدُ إِنَّ الْمُنَافِقِینَ لَکَاذِبُونَ ﴾

“When the hypocrites come to you they say, ‘We bear witness that you are indeed the apostle of Allah.’ Allah knows that you are indeed His Apostle, and Allah bears witness that the hypocrites are indeed liars.”(4)

2. Unknown hypocrites

﴿ وَمِمَّنْ

p: 62


1- Surah al-Fath 48:18.
2- Surah al-Hashr 59:8.
3- Surah al-Fath 48:29.
4- Surah al-Munafiqun 63:1. The other characteristics of the hypocrites are described in the entire surah.

حَوْلَکُم مِّنَ الأَعْرَابِ مُنَافِقُونَ وَمِنْ أَهْلِ الْمَدِینَهِ مَرَدُواْ عَلَی النِّفَاقِ لاَ تَعْلَمُهُمْ نَحْنُ نَعْلَمُهُمْ سَنُعَذِّبُهُم مَّرَّتَیْنِ ثُمَّ یُرَدُّونَ إِلَیٰ عَذَابٍ عَظِیمٍ ﴾

“There are hypocrites among the Bedouins around you and among the townspeople of Madinah, steeped in hypocrisy. You do not know them; We know them, and We will punish them twice, then they shall be consigned to a great punishment.”(1)

3. Sick-hearted ones

"وإذ یقول المنفقون والذین فی قلوبهم مرض ما وعدنا الله ورسوله إلا غروراً."

“And when the hypocrites were saying, as well as those in whose hearts is a sickness, ‘Allah and His Apostle did not promise us {anything} except delusion’.”(2)

4. Sinners

﴿ وَآخَرُونَ اعْتَرَفُواْ بِذُنُوبِهِمْ خَلَطُواْ عَمَلاً صَالِحًا وَآخَرَ سَیِّئًا عَسَی اللّهُ أَن یَتُوبَ عَلَیْهِمْ إِنَّ اللّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِیمٌ ﴾

“{There are} others who have confessed to their sins, having mixed up righteous conduct with other that was evil. Maybe Allah will accept their repentance. Indeed Allah is all-forgiving, all-merciful.”(3)

In addition to the noble verses of the Qur’an, many traditions have been narrated regarding the Holy Prophet’s (S) reproaching some of the Companions. We shall cite two examples:

1. Abu Hazim narrates on the authority of Sahl ibn Sa‘d that the Holy Prophet (S) is reported to have said:

"إنا فرطکم علی الحوض من ورد وشرب من شرب لم یظمأ أبداً ولیردنّ علیّ أقوام أعرفهم ویعرفوننی ثم یُحال بینی وبینهم."

I will send you toward the Pool; whoever comes upon it will drink from it, and whoever drinks from it will no longer feel thirsty. There will come to me some people; I know them

p: 63


1- Surah at-Tawbah (or al-Bara‘ah) 9:101.
2- Surah al-Ahzab 33:12.
3- Surah at- Tawbah (or al-Bara‘ah) 9:102.

and they know me, but they will be separated from me.

Abu Hazim has said: “While I was narrating this hadith, Nu‘man ibn Abi ‘Ayyash heard it and asked me, ‘Did you hear it from Sahl like that?’ I said, ‘Yes’. He said: ‘I bear witness that Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri says that the Prophet has also said’:

"إنهم منِّی فیقال انک لا تدری ما أحدثوا بعدک: فأقول سحقاً سحقاً لمن بدّل بعدی."

“They are from me.” Then someone says, “You do not know what they did after you!” So I shall say, “Damn those who have changed (the truth) after me.”(1)

It is obvious that such words like, “I know them and they know me,” or, “Damn those who have changed (the truth) after me,” refer to the Companions of the Prophet (S) who were in his company for a time. This hadith has also been narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

2. Al-Bukhari and Muslim narrate that the Prophet (S) is reported to have said:

"یرج علیّ یوم القیامه رهطّ من أصحابی أو قال من أمتی ، فیحلؤون عن الحوض فأقول یا ربّ أصحابی فیقول أنه لا علم لک بما أحدثوا بعدک أنهم ارتدّوا علی أدبارهم القهقری."

On the Day of Resurrection, a group from among my Companions—(or, “my ummah”) shall come to me but they shall be prevented from reaching the Pool (of Kawthar). Then, I shall say, ‘O Lord! They are my Companions.’ Then He shall say, ‘You do not know what they did after you; they returned to their former state (state of jahiliyyah

p: 64


1- Ibn Athir, Jami‘ al-Usul, vol. 11, “kitab al-hawd fi wurud an-nas ‘alayh,” p. 120, hadith 7972.

or ignorance)’.”(1)

Conclusion

From the Qur’anic verses and Sunnah of the Prophet (S), it is clear that the Companions of the Prophet (S) and those who accompanied him were of more than one type or category; a group of them were refined men at the apex of merit whose valuable services led to the fruition of the nascent bud of Islam and another group composed of individuals who were two-faced, hypocrites, sick-hearted, and sinners from the very beginning.(2)

The aforementioned observations make clear that the view of the Shi‘ah regarding the Companions of the Prophet (S) is the same as that of the Book of God and the Sunnah of the Prophet (S).

Question 18: What is meant by “temporary marriage” {mut‘ah} and why do the Shi‘ah regard it as lawful?

Reply: Marriage {nikah} is an agreement between a man and a woman. Sometimes this bond has a permanent effect and the contract {‘aqd} does not have time limit, and sometimes its effect is temporary and its time limit is fixed. Both kinds are recognized as legal and the only difference between them is that one is “permanent” and the other is “temporary”. In other aspects they are the same. The conditions below render valid both mut‘ah “temporary” marriage and “permanent” marriage:

1. There should be no such religious prohibitions like consanguineous and affinitive relationships or the like which render the contract null and void.

2. The dowry {mahr} agreed upon by both sides has to be stipulated in the contract.

3. The duration of marriage has to be fixed.

4. The contract must be performed.

5. The child that they will beget

p: 65


1- Ibid., hadith 7973.
2- For more information, see Surah al-Munafiqun of the Glorious Qur’an.

is considered their legitimate child. Just as a birth certificate that is granted to a child born out of permanent marriage, a child that is born due to a temporary marriage has to be granted a birth certificate. So, there is no difference between permanent and temporary contracts in this regard.

6. The expenditure on the child or children is one of the duties of the father, and the child or children are to inherit from the father and from the mother.

7. When the marriage contract expires, the woman who has not reached menopause has to observe a waiting period {‘iddah}. If during the waiting period she is found pregnant, she has to refrain from any type of marriage during pregnancy.

Also, the other laws of permanent marriage have to be observed in mut‘ah. The only difference between the two is that since mut‘ah has been ordained to fulfill man’s needs, the expenses of the woman is not incumbent on man. If, during signing of the contract, the woman did not make it a condition that she can have a share from the inheritance, she shall not inherit from her husband. It is clear that these two differences have no effect on the nature of marriage.

We all know that the Islamic creed is the eternal and final law, which can satisfy all needs. Nowadays, we see the situation of the youth, who have to spend many years of study in a foreign country or city. On account of the limited resources, they

p: 66

cannot afford permanent marriage, and have one of these three alternatives to choose:

a. to endure the mentioned condition;

b. to fall in the quagmire of corruption and perdition;

c. to marry a woman with whom it is permissible for a man to make a temporary marriage contract for a certain period.

Regarding the first alternative, in most cases, it ends in failure. Although a few individuals can abstain from any type of sex and exercise patience and fortitude, this method is not applicable to all.

The second option also ends in corruption and desperation, and according to Islam it is forbidden {haram} and to prescribe it under the pretext of necessity is but a kind of mental deviation and perversion.

Therefore, the third alternative is the only practical way recommended by Islam and it was practiced in the lifetime of the Prophet (S) and the dispute over this issue started after that.

At this juncture, we have to point to something and that is, those who have a sense of anxiety about mut‘ah and regard it as illegitimate should know that all Muslim jurists {fuqaha} and scholars have accepted something which is similar to that of a permanent (marriage) contract. They agree on the idea that the two sides can conclude a permanent contract with the intention that they separate through divorce after one year, or more or less.

It is clear that such an agreement is apparently “permanent” but in reality it is temporary. The difference between this type of “permanent” marriage and that

p: 67

of mut‘ah is that the latter is, exoterically and esoterically, limited and temporary while the former is exoterically “permanent” but esoterically temporary.

Why do those who declare as permissible this type of permanent marriage, on which all Muslim jurists agree, entertain fear and anxiety when it comes to prescribing and recommending mut‘ah?

Now that we have understood what mut‘ah is, let us see why mut‘ah is regarded as religiously lawful and why it has been decreed. It is appropriate that the discussion will be at two levels:

1. The legitimacy of mut‘ah during the early period of Islam, and

2. The non-abrogation of this religious law in the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah (S).

The following verse is an explicit proof of the legitimacy of mut‘ah:

"فما استمتعتم به منهم فئاتوهنّ أجورهنّ فریضه."

“For the enjoyment you have had from them thereby, give them their dowries, by way of settlement.”(1)

The wording {alfaz} of this verse testifies that something has been revealed about mut‘ah because:

First: The word “istimta‘”apparently refers to “temporary marriage”. If it meant permanent marriage, there would be a need for analogy {qarinah}.

Second: The word “ujurahunna” which means “their dowries” is a clear proof that it is about mut‘ah because in the case of permanent marriage, such words as “mahr” or “sadaq” is used.

Third: The Shi‘ah and Sunni exegetes {mufassirun} are of the opinion that the said verse is about mut‘ah.

Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti, in his exegesis {tafsir}, Ad-Durr al-Manthur, narrates on the authority of Ibn Jarir and Saddi that the abovementioned verse is

p: 68


1- Surah an-Nisa’ 4:24.

pertaining to mut‘ah.(1)

Also, Abu Ja‘far Muhammad ibn Jarir at-Tabari, in his exegesis, narrates on the authority of Saddi, Mujahid and Ibn al-‘Abbas, that this verse is related to temporary marriage.(2)

Fourth: The compilers of Sahih, Musnad and Jami‘ books of hadith have also accepted this fact. For example, Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj in his Sahih narrates on the authority of Jabir ibn ‘Abd Allah and Salmah ibn Aku‘ that they have said:

"خرج علینا منادی رسول الله رسول أنّ فقال الله قد أذن لکم أن تستمعوا یعنی متعه النساء."

“The harbinger of the Messenger of Allah came to us and said: The Messenger of Allah has granted you permission to have “istimta‘”; that is, temporary marriage.”(3)

The traditions in Sahih and Musnad books are too many to be mentioned in this (concise) book. Therefore, Muslim scholars and exegetes agree on the idea that mut‘ah was decreed in the early period of Islam and in the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (S).(4)

The question which is worth considering here is: Has the purport of the verse on mut‘ah been abrogated {mansukh}?

Perhaps, those who have doubt about the principle of legitimacy of mut‘ah in the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah are very few. This indicates this law has not been abrogated.

The traditions and history of Islam is replete with evidence that till the caliphate of the second caliph this law had been prevalent among Muslims but the second caliph prohibited it out of expediency.

In his Sahih, Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj narrates that Ibn al-‘Abbas and Ibn az-Zubayr opposed

p: 69


1- Ad-Durr al-Manthur, vol. 2, p. 140, on the commentary of the said verse.
2- Jami‘ al-Bayan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an, vol. 5, p. 9.
3- Sahih Muslim (Egypt), vol. 4, p. 130.
4- For instance, let us consider the following evidence: Sahih al-Bukhari, “Bab Tamattu‘;” Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, vol. 3, p. 356; vol. 4, p. 436; Malik, Al-Muwatta’, vol. 2, p. 30; Sunan al-Bayhaqi, vol. 7, p. 306; Tafsir at-Tabari, vol. 5, p. 9; Nihayah Ibn al-Athir, vol. 2, p. 249; Tafsir ar-Razi, vol. 3, p. 201; Tarikh Ibn Khalikan, vol. 1, p. 359; Al-Jisas, Ahkam al-Qur’an, vol. 2, p. 178; Muhadarat ar-Raghib, vol. 2, p. 94; Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti, Al-Jami‘ al-Kabir, vol. 8, p. 293; Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Barri, vol. 9, p. 141.

the prohibition of mut‘ah on women and mut‘ah on Hajj. Jabir ibn ‘Abd Allah said:

"فعلنا هما مع رسول الله ثم نهانا عنهما عُمر فلم نعد لهما."

“In the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah, we used to perform both the two (mut‘ahs). Then, ‘Umar prohibited us from doing them and since then we have not practiced them.”(1)

In his book of exegesis, Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti narrates on the authority of ‘Abd ar-Razzaq, Abu Dawud and Ibn Jarir, and they narrate the decree when he was asked, “Has the verse on mut‘ah been abrogated?” He replied, “No,” and ‘Ali (‘a) said:

"لولا أن عمر نهی عن المتعه ما زنی إلا شقیّ."

“Had ‘Umar not prohibited mut‘ah, no one would have ever committed adultery and fornication {zina} except a wretched person.”(2)

Also, ‘Ali ibn Muhammad Qawshchi says: “‘Umar ibn al-Khattab announced from the pulpit:

"أیها الناس ثلاث کنّ علی عهد رسول الله أنا أنهی عنهنّ و أحرمهنّ وأعاقب علیهنّ وهی متعه النساء ومتعه الحج وحیّ علی خیر العمل."

O people! Three things were prevalent in the time of the Messenger of Allah and now I prohibit them, and punish those who practice them. They are mut‘ah on women, mut‘ah on Hajj and saying “hayya ‘ala khayri’l-‘amal” {come to the best of deeds} (in adhan).(3)

It is worth noticing that there are so many traditions in this regard that they cannot be covered in this (concise) book.(4)

It must be stated that mut‘ah is one of the types of marriage because marriage is categorized into two kinds: permanent and temporary. A woman

p: 70


1- Sahih Muslim, vol. 1, p. 395; Sunan al-Bayhaqi, vol. 7, p. 206.
2- Durr al-Manthur, vol. 2, p. 140, on the commentary of the verse on mut‘ah.
3- Sharh Tajrid al-Qawshchi, “Mabhath al-Imamah,” p. 484.
4- For further information, see the following references: Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, vol. 3, pp. 356, 363; Al-Jahiz, Al-Bayan wa’t-Tabyin, vol. 2, p. 223; Al-Jassas, Ahkam al-Qur’an, vol. 1, p. 342; Tafsir al-Qurtubi, vol. 2, p. 370; Sarkhasi al-Hanafi, Al-Mabsut, “Kitab al-Hajj,” “Bab al-Qur’an;” Ibn al-Qayyim, Zad al-Ma‘ad, vol. 1, p. 444; Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 8, p. 293; Musnad Abu Dawud at-Tayalisi, p. 247; Tarikh at-Tabari, vol. 5, p. 32; Tabari, Al-Mustabin; Tafsir ar-Razi, vol. 3, p. 202; Tafsir Abu Hayyan, vol. 3, p. 218.

who concludes a temporary marriage is ruled as a man’s wife and he as her husband. Naturally, such a marriage is referred to in the Qur’anic verses on marriage.

Since the Qur’an states:

"والذین هُم لفُروجهم حفظون إلا علی أزواجهم أو ما ملکت أیمنهم."

“(Certainly, the faithful have attained salvation—those) who guard their private parts except from their spouses or their slave women,”(1)

a woman who has entered a temporary marriage contract with the stated conditions is considered among the individuals referred to by ﴾ أَزْوَاجِهِمْ عَلَیٰ إِلاَّ ﴿ “except for their spouses” and is not excluded from it. Accordingly, the woman who is married to a man by making a mut‘ah contract becomes his spouse and wife and she becomes one of those who are included in the term “azwajihim”.

And if according to the stated verse (in Surah al-Mu’minun) both groups of women (spouses and slave women) are allowed to have marital relations, the woman who has entered a temporary marriage contract is included in the first group (spouses).

It is surprising that some regard the stated verse in Surah al-Mu’minun as the abrogator {nasikh} of the verse on mut‘ah in Surah an-Nisa’. This is while we all know that the revelation of the abrogator verse {ayat an-nasikh} should be after the abrogated verse {ayat al-mansukh}, but in the mentioned case, it is otherwise. Surah al-Mu’minun, which some assume to be the “abrogator”, is a Makki surah (that is, it was revealed in the Holy City of Mecca prior to the Holy Prophet’s emigration

p: 71


1- Surah al-Mu’minun 23:5-6.

{hijrah} to Medina) and Surah an-Nisa’, which contains the verse on mut‘ah is a Madani surah (that is, it was revealed in the city of Medina after the hijrah of the Prophet (S)).

Now, how could a verse in a Makki surah abrogate another verse in a Madani surah?

The other vivid proof that refutes the claim of abrogation of the verse on mut‘ah in the lifetime of the Prophet (S) are the many traditions that deny the abrogation of that verse in the time of the Messenger of Allah (S). The tradition narrated and explained by Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti in Ad-Durr al-Manthur is an example.(1)

In conclusion, it should be noted that the Imams from the Ahl al-Bayt who, according to the Hadith ath-Thaqalayn, are the source of guidance of the ummah and the intimate peer of the Qur’an, emphasize the legitimacy of mut‘ah marriage and reject the idea of abrogation.(2)

The fact that Islam is capable of solving the problems of mankind in every epoch confirms the legitimacy of such a marriage with the conditions stipulated earlier; for, one of the ways of saving the youth from the quagmires of corruption and perversion today is this fixed-time marriage which has to be performed within the framework of certain conditions.

Question 19: Why do the Shi‘ah prostrate on turbah {dried clay}?

point

Reply: Some think that prostration on the earth or turbah taken from the burial site of martyrs is tantamount to worshipping it and consider it a form of polytheism {shirk}.

In reply to this question, it must be noted that there

p: 72


1- Ad-Durr al-Manthur, vol. 2, pp. 140-141, the commentary of the verse on mut‘ah.
2- Wasa’il ash-Shi‘ah, vol. 14, “Kitab an-Nikah,” the first section on mut‘ah, p. 436.

is a great difference between the phrase, “as-sujud lillah” {prostration for Allah}, and “as-sujud ‘ala’l-ard” {prostration on earth}. The problem of the mentioned people is that they fail to distinguish between the meanings of the two phrases.

It is clear that the meaning of “as-sujud lillah” is “prostration for the sake of Allah” while “as-sujud ‘ala’l-ard” means “prostration on the earth”. In other words, by prostrating on earth we prostrate for the sake of God, and in principle, all Muslims of the world prostrate on something for the sake of God. All pilgrims to the House of God prostrate on the stones of Masjid al-Haram in the same way but their aim is prostrating for the sake of God.

Given this, it becomes clear that prostration on earth, plant byproduct, etc. does not mean worshipping them but it means prostrating for the sake of God and worshipping Him by lowering oneself and getting close to earth. Similarly, it becomes clear that prostration on turbah is different from prostration for turbah.

On one hand, the Holy Qur’an states:

"ولله یسجد من فی السموات والأرض."

“To Allah prostrates whoever there is in the heavens and the earth.”(1)

Also, the Holy Prophet (S) says:

”جُعِلَتْ لِیَ الأَرْضُ مَسْجِداً وَ طَهُوْراً.“

“The (pure) earth has been made for me as a place of prostration and an agent of purification.”

Therefore, “prostration for God” and “prostration on earth or turbah” are not only far from being inconsistent but they agree with each other completely. This is because prostration on earth or plant

p: 73


1- Surah ar-Ra‘d 13:15.

byproduct represents the highest form of meekness and humbleness before the One and Only God.

In order to clarify the Shi‘ah view, it is worth pointing to part of a speech by our great leader—Imam as-Sadiq (‘a):

عن هشام ابن الحکم قال: قلت لأبی عبد الله: أخبرنی عما یجوز السجود علیه وعمّا لا یجوز؟ قال: السجود لا یجوز إلا علی الأرض أو ما أنبتت الأرض إلا ما أکل أو لبس. فقلت له جعلت فداک ما العلّه فی ذلک؟ قال لأن السجود هو الخضوع لله عز وجلّ فلا ینبغی أن یکون علی ما یؤکل و یلبس لأن أبناء الدنیا عبید ما یأکلون ویلبسون. الساجد فی سجوده فی عباده الله عز وجلّ فلا ینبغی أن یضع جبهته فی سجوده علی معبود أبناء الدنیا الذین اغتروا بغرورها. والسجود علی الأرض أفضل لأنه أبلغ فی التواضع والخضوع لله عز وجلّ.

Hisham ibn al-Hakam says: “I asked Abu Abd Allah (Imam as-Sadiq) (‘a) regarding the things on which one is allowed to prostrate and the things on which one is not allowed to prostrate.” The Imam said: “Prostration is permissible only on earth and whatever grows in it excluding the edible and wearable.” I asked: “May I be your ransom! What is the reason?”

He replied: “In prostration one shows humility and obeisance to God, the Honorable and Glorious, and so it is not proper to perform it on anything edible or wearable because materialists are slaves to things which they eat and wear while in prostration man is in a state of

p: 74

worshipping God, the Honorable and Glorious.

Thus, it is not appropriate for one to place his forehead on something which stubborn materialists worship. Prostration on earth is the best way of prostration because it is the most appropriate way of showing humility and meekness to God, the Honorable and Glorious.(1)

This lucid statement clearly testifies that prostration on earth is performed as the most suitable way of expressing humility and meekness to the One and Only God.

* * *

Also, this question may be posed: Why do the Shi‘ah prostrate only on earth or some plant byproducts and why do they not prostrate on other things?

The reply is: Just as the act of worship should emanate from the sacred law of Islam, its conditions, parts and ways of performance should be explained in the light of the Holy Prophet’s (S) words and actions; for, the Messenger of Allah (S), according to the Holy Qur’an, is an exemplar of excellence for the entire humanity.

Now, we shall state some Islamic traditions {ahadith} that elucidate the conduct and lifestyle of the Prophet (S)—all of which indicate that the Prophet (S) used to prostrate on pure earth and on things that grow from it including straw mat, which is exactly the same method which the Shi‘ah follow:

1. A group of hadith scholars {muhaddithun} recount the statement of the Prophet (S) in which he defines the earth as the place of his prostration, when he says:

”جُعِلَتْ لِیَ الأَرْضُ مَسْجِداً وَ طَهُوْراً.“

“The (pure) earth has been made

p: 75


1- Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 58, 147 as in ‘Ilal ash-Sharayi‘.

for me as a place of prostration and an agent of purification.”(1)

From the word “ja‘ala” {“made”} which is used here to have a legal and legislative sense, meaning (“ordained”), we understand that this issue is a decree ordained by the Divine for the followers of Islam to abide by. This proves the legitimacy of prostration on earth, stone, and some other parts of the ground.

2. A group of narrations verify the fact that the Holy Prophet (S) used to order the Muslims to place their forehead on (pure) earth while prostrating. Umm Salamah, a spouse of the Prophet (S), narrates that the Prophet (S) said:

"تراب وجهک لله."

“Place your face for the sake of Allah on earth.”(2)

And from the word “tarrib” in the statement of the Prophet (S), two points can be inferred; one is that at the time of prostration one should place his forehead on “turab”, i.e. dust; and the other is that this act is a binding order because the word “tarrib” which comes from “turab” meaning “dust” has been expressed in the form of command.

3. The conduct of the Holy Prophet (S) in this respect is another vivid proof and a good guide for the Muslims. Wa’il ibn Hajar says:

"رأیت النبیّ صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم – إذا سجدا وضع جبهته وأنفه علی الأرض."

“I noticed that whenever the Prophet (S) prostrated, he would place his forehead and nose on the earth.”(3)

Anas ibn Malik, Ibn al-‘Abbas, some spouses of the Prophet (S) such as ‘A’ishah and

p: 76


1- Sunan al-Bayhaqi, “Bab at-Tayammum bi-s-Sa‘id at-Tayyib,” vol. 1, p. 212; Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 1, “Kitab as-Salah,” p. 91; Ibn Taymiyyah, Iqtida’ as-Sirat al-Mustaqim, p. 332.
2- Kanz al-‘Ummal (Halab), vol. 7, p. 465, hadith 19809, “Kitab as-Salah, as-Sujud wa ma Yata‘allaq bih.”
3- Jassas al-Hanafi, Ahkam al-Qur’an (Beirut), vol. 3, “Bab as-Sujud ‘ala’l-Wajah,” p. 209.

Umm Salamah and a large group of muhaddithun thus narrate:

"کان رسول الله صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم یُصلّی علی الخمره."

“The Messenger of Allah (S) used to prostrate on khumrah (a mat made from palm fibers).”(1)

Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri, a Companion of the Messenger of the Allah (S), says:

"دخلت علی رسول الله صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم وهو یصلّی علی حصیر."

“Once I came to the Messenger of Allah (S) and saw him praying on a straw mat.”(2)

This statement is another proof which supports the Shi‘ah view that prostration on whatever grows in the earth other than what is eaten or worn is permissible.

4. The sayings and actions of the Companions and the Followers {tabi‘un} of the Prophet (S) also affirm this Sunnah:

Jabir ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Ansari says:

"کنت أصلی الظهر مع رسول الله صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم فأخذ قبضه من الحصاء لتبرد فی کفّی اضعها لجبهتی أسجد علیها لشده الحرّ."

I used to perform noon {zuhr} prayer with the Messenger of Allah (S). Because it was very hot I used to take a handful of small gravel, keep it in my hand till it got cool, and place my forehead on it for prostration.(3)

Then, the narrator adds: “If prostration on the garment worn by someone were permissible, it would be easier than keeping a gravel (in one’s hand).

Ibn Sa‘d (d. 209 AH), in his book, At-Tabaqat al-Kubra, thus writes:

"کان مسروق إذا خرج یخرج بلبنه یسجد علیها فی السفینه."

“Whenever Masruq (ibn Ajda‘) traveled, he used to keep a mud-brick with him on which to

p: 77


1- Sunan Bayhaqi, vol. 2, “Kitab as-Salah,” “Bab as-Salah ‘ala’l-Khumrah,” p. 421.
2- Sunan al-Bayhaqi, vol. 2, “Kitab as-Salah,” “Bab as-Salah ‘ala’l-Hasir,” p. 421.
3- Sunan al-Bayhaqi, vol. 1, “Kitab as-Salah,” “Bab ma Ruwiya fi’t-Ta‘jil biha fi Shiddat al-Harr,” p. 439.

prostrate while onboard the ship.”(1)

It is necessary to note that Masruq ibn Ajda‘ was one of the Followers and a companion of Ibn Mas‘ud, and the author of At-Tabaqat al-Kubra considers him among those in the first class of the Kufans after the Prophet (S) and among those who narrated from Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, Uthman, ‘Ali, and ‘Abd Allah ibn Mas‘ud.

This explicit statement establishes the groundlessness of the claim that bringing along a piece of turbah {dried clay} is an act of polytheism and innovation in religion {bid‘ah} and makes clear that the forerunners in the history of Islam used to prostrate like that also.(2)

Nafi‘ says:

"إن ابن عمر کان إذا سجد وعلیه العمامه یرفعها حتَّی یضع جبهته بالأرض."

“Whenever (‘Abd Allah) ibn ‘Umar prostrated, he removed his turban so as to place his forehead on the ground.”(3)

Rizin says:

"کتب إلیّ علیّ بن عبد الله بن عباس رضی الله علیه أن ابعث إلیّ بلوح من أحجار المروه أسجد علیه."

“‘Ali ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) wrote to me: ‘Send me a tablet of the stones of Mount Marwah so that I may prostrate on it.”(4)

5. Also, hadith scholars narrate that the Holy Prophet (S) has prohibited people from placing part of their turbans between their forehead and the ground while prostrating.

Salih as-Saba’i says:

"إن رسول الله صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم رأی رجلاً یسجد بجنبه قد أعتم علی جبهته فسحر رسول الله صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم عن جبهته."

Once the Messenger of Allah (S) saw a person prostrating beside

p: 78


1- At-Tabaqat al-Kubra (Beirut), vol. 6, p. 79, the biography of Masruq ibn Ajda‘.
2- For further information, refer to the book, Siratuna, written by ‘Allamah Amini.
3- Sunan al-Bayhaqi (Hyderabad), vol. 2, “Kitab as-Salah,” “Bab al-Kashf ‘an as-Sajadah fi’s-Sujud,” p. 105.
4- Azraqi, Akhbar Makkah, vol. 3, p. 151.

him, with his turban covering his forehead. The Messenger of Allah (S) removed the turban from the person’s forehead.(1)

‘Ayyad ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Qarashi says:

"رأی رسول الله صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم رجلاً یسجد علی کور عمامته فأوما بیده: إرفع عمامتک وأومأ إلی جبهته."

“The Messenger of Allah (S) saw a person prostrating on part of his turban, so he gestured to him to remove (that part of) the turban, pointing to his forehead.”(2)

From these traditions it becomes clear that in the time of the Holy Prophet (S) the need to prostrate on earth was beyond dispute and it was such that if one of the Muslims put part of his turban between his forehead and the ground, he would be prohibited by the Prophet (S) from doing so.

6. The infallible Imams followed by the Shi‘ah who, according to the Hadith ath-Thaqalayn, are the inseparable peer of the Qur’an, as well as members of the Prophet’s Household {Ahl al-Bayt}, emphasize this fact in their speeches:

Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) says:

"السجود علی الأرض فریضه وعلی الخمره سنه."

“Prostration on the earth is obligatory while prostrating on a straw mat is a sunnah.”(3)

He (‘a) also says:

"السجود لا یجوز علی الأرض أو علی ما أنبتت الأرض إلا ما أکل أو لبس."

“It is not permissible to prostrate on anything except the earth or what grows in it excluding that which is eaten or worn.”(4)

Conclusion

From the aggregate of the stated proofs, it becomes very clear that not only the traditions of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) but also the Sunnah of

p: 79


1- Sunan al-Bayhaqi, vol. 2, p. 105.
2- Ibid.
3- Wasa’il ash-Shi‘ah, vol. 3, “Kitab as-Salah,” “Abwab ma Yusjad ‘Alayh,” p. 593, hadith 7.
4- Ibid., p. 591, hadith 1.

the Messenger of Allah (S) and the actions of his Companions and Followers {Tabi‘un} testify to the necessity of prostrating on the earth and what grows in it (excluding that which is worn and eaten).

In addition, the permissibility of prostration on the mentioned things is definite whereas the permissibility of prostration on other things is doubtful and disputable. Therefore, by precaution—which is the way to attain deliverance and uprightness—it is appropriate to prostrate on the mentioned things only.

Finally, it should be noted that this discussion is a fiqhi question and differences among Muslim jurists concerning such minor issues are very common, but such differences should not be a source of concern because these differences are also common among the four Sunni fiqhi schools. For example, the Malikis say that placing the nose on the place of prostration is recommended {mustahabb} while the Hanbalis consider it obligatory {wajib} and say that ignoring it renders the prayer invalid {batil}.(1)

Question 20: During ziyarah, why do the Shi‘ah kiss the doors and walls of the shrines of awliya’ and seek blessings {tabarruk} whereby?

Reply: Seeking blessings {tabarruk} through the remnants (and symbols) of the saints {awliya’} of God is not a new phenomenon among Muslims; rather, this behavior can be traced back to the Prophet’s life account and to the life of his Companions.

Not only the Holy Prophet (S) and his Companions did this act but also past prophets (‘a) used to do it. Below are the proofs provided by the Qur’an and Sunnah concerning the legitimacy of seeking blessings through the remnants (and symbols) of the awliya’.

1. In the Holy Qur’an

p: 80


1- Al-Fiqh ‘ala’l-Madhhab al-Arba‘ah (Egypt), “Kitab as-Salah,” “Mabhath as-Sujud,” vol. 1, p. 161.

we read that when Yusuf (Joseph) the Truthful (‘a) introduced himself to his brothers and forgave them, he said:

"اذهبوا بقمیصی هذا فألقوه علی وجه أبی یأتی بصیراً."

“Take this shirt of mine, and cast it upon my father’s face; he will regain his sight.”(1)

Then, the Qur’an recounts:

"فلما أن جاء البشیر ألقه علی وجهه فارتدّ بصیراً."

“When the bearer of good news arrived, he cast it on his face, and he regained his sight.”(2)

The expressive content of these Qur’anic words proves clearly how a prophet of God (Hadrat Ya‘qub (‘a)) seeks blessings through the shirt of another prophet (Hadrat Yusuf (‘a)). Furthermore, it indicates that the said shirt caused Hadrat Ya‘qub (‘a) to regain his sight.

Now, can we say that this act of the two holy prophets (‘a) is not within the ambit of monotheism and worship of God?!

2. No one doubts that while circumambulating the House of God {tawaf}, the Holy Prophet of Islam (S) used to touch or kiss the Black Stone {Hajar al-Aswad}.

Bukhari in his Sahih says:

"رأیت رسول الله صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم یستلمه ویقبّله."

“I saw the Messenger of Allah (S) touch and kiss it (Hajar al-Aswad).”(3)

So, if touching or kissing a stone was an act of associating partner with God, how would the Prophet who called for monotheism do it?

3. In the Sahihs, Musnads and books of history and traditions, there are plentiful hadiths regarding the Prophet’s Companions’ seeking blessings through the Prophet’s (S) belongings such as garment, water of wudu’ {ablution}, water vessel, etc.

p: 81


1- Surah Yusuf 12:93.
2- Surah Yusuf 12:96.
3- Sahih al-Bukhari (Egypt), vol. 2, “Kitab al-Hajj,” “Bab Taqbil al-Hajar,” pp. 151-152.

These hadiths remove any doubt about the legitimacy and wholesomeness of this practice.

We cannot cite all the hadiths related to this issue in this volume, and we shall mention only some of them:

a. In his Sahih, Bukhari narrates a long tradition which contains a description of some of the features of the Prophet (S) and his Companions, and says:

"وإذا کادوا توضأ یقتتلون علی وضوئه."

“When he (Prophet) performed wudu’, they (Muslims) would seemingly fight with one another (in order to get some of the water the Prophet (S) used in wudu’).”(1)

b. Ibn Hajar says:

"إن النبیّ صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم کان یؤتی بالصبیان فیبرک علیهم."

“They brought children to the Prophet (S) and he blessed them.”(2)

c. Muhammad Tahir al-Makki says:

“Umm Thabit is reported to have said: ‘Once the Messenger of Allah (S) called on me and while standing drank water from the mouth of a waterskin, which was suspended. So I rose up and cut off the mouth of the waterskin’.”

He then adds:

“Tirmidhi narrates this hadith, too and says: ‘It is an authentic {sahih} and sound {hasan} hadith’, and the commentator of this hadith says in the book, Riyad as-Salihin: ‘Umm Thabit cut off the mouth of the waterskin so as to keep for herself the place of the Prophet’s mouth whereby she sought blessing {tabarruk}. Similarly, the Companions would drink water from where the Prophet used to drink’.”(3)

"کان رسول الله صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم إذا صلی الغداه جاء خدم المدینه بأنیتهم فیها الماء فما یؤتی بإناء إلا غمس یده

p: 82


1- Sahih al-Bukhari (Egypt), vol. 3, “Kitab ma Yajuz min ash-Shurut fi’l-Islam,” “Bab ash-Shurut fi’l-Jihad wa’l-Masalahah,” p. 195.
2- Al-Isabah (Egypt), vol. 1, “Khutbah al-Kitab,” p. 7.
3- Muhammad Tahir al-Makki, Tabarruk as-Sahabah, trans. Ansari, chap. 1, p. 29.

فیه فربما جاؤوه فی الغداه البارده فیغمس یده فیها."

“The servants of Medina used to go to the Messenger of Allah (S) after morning {subh} prayer with vessels full of water and he would place his hand into each vessel. Sometimes they would go to him in cold mornings and he would place his hand into them (vessels).”(1)

This shows clearly that seeking blessings through the belongings of awliya’ of God is not a problem. It also shows that those who accuse the Shi‘ah of polytheism and associating partners with Allah on account of this practice have no clear idea of the meaning of monotheism {tawhid}.

Polytheism or worshipping other than Allah means to have one of the creatures as a god along with Allah or to attribute to that creature some divine acts by considering him as independent and needless of God in the essence of creation or power. This is while the Shi‘ah regard the belongings of awliya’ of God, just like theirs owners, as things that are made by God and these things are in need of Him both in the essence of existence and in power.

The Shi‘ah seek blessings through these symbols only to show respect to their leaders and forerunners of the religion of God and to express their sincere love for them.

When the Shi‘ah kiss part of the shrine or its doors or walls during their visitation to the holy shrine of the Prophet (S) and his Ahl al-Bayt (‘a), it is only because

p: 83


1- Sahih Muslim, vol. 7, “Kitab al-Fada’il,” “Bab Qurb an-Nabi (S) min an-Nas wa Tabarrukihim bihi,” p. 79. For more information, refer to the following references: Sahih al-Bukhari, “Kitab al-Ashribah”; Malik, Al-Muwatta’, vol. 1, the section on invoking blessings to the Prophet (S), p. 138; Asad al-Ghabah, vol. 5, p. 90; Musnab Ahmad ibn Hanbal, vol. 4, p. 32; Al-Isti‘ab, vol. 3, at the margin of “al-Isabah,” p. 631; Fath al-Bari, vol. 1, pp. 281-282.

they love the Holy Prophet (S) and his progeny, and this is an issue of human emotion, which manifests itself in the person in love. A sweet-tongued man of letter says:

"أمر علی الدیار دیار سلمی أقبل ذا الجدار و ذا الجدار و ما حب الدیار شغفن قلبی ولکن حب من سکن الدیار.

By Layla’s residence I pass; I kiss this wall and that wall.

It is not the love of residence that gladdens my heart; rather, the love of its dweller.

Question 21: Is according to Islam religion separate from politics?

point

Reply: First of all we had better clarify the meaning of “politics” so that its relationship with religion may become clear. There are two interpretations for the word “politics”:

1. Sometimes, politics is interpreted as “trickery, ruse, and the use of every possible means to reach a particular objective”. In other words, the end justifies the means.

In fact, this interpretation of politics, apart from its being inconsistent with the real sense of the word, does not mean but deceit and treachery and this meaning is not compatible with religion.

2. The second interpretation of “politics” is the management of social life affairs by applying the principles of Islam in various aspects.

Politics which means management of the affairs of the Muslims according to the Qur’an and the Sunnah is an integral part of religion.

We shall elaborate here on the idea of the concordance of religion and politics and the need for establishing government:

The most vivid evidence which substantiates this idea is the conduct of the Holy Prophet (S) during the period of

p: 84

his mission which was full of ups and downs. On studying the words and practices of the Messenger of Allah (S), we become fully aware that from the outset of his mission, he was in pursuit of establishing a strong government founded on faith in God and capable of implementing the agenda and programs of Islam.

At this juncture, it is worth citing some of the instances of the Prophet’s efforts to achieve this aim:

The Prophet (S) as the founder of Islamic government

1. When the Messenger of Allah (S) was ordered to publicize his divine mission, he started to organize the nucleus of resistance and guidance and mobilize Muslims. Along this line, he used to meet groups of pilgrims coming from far and near to visit the Ka‘bah, inviting them to Islam.

Meanwhile, he held a meeting with two groups of the people from Medina at a place called “‘Aqabah” and they pledged to invite him to their city and give him support.(1) So, this was the first step toward establishing an Islamic government.

2. After his emigration {hijrah} to Medina, the Messenger of Allah (S) started to found and organize a powerful and dignified army corps—an army that fought 82 battles during the period of the Prophet’s mission and managed, through glorious victories, to remove the hurdles and set up the Islamic government.

3. After the establishment of the Islamic government in Medina, the Prophet (S) made contacts with the powerful political and social centers of his time by dispatching ambassadors, sending historic letters, and forging economic, political and

p: 85


1- Sirah Ibn Hisham (Egypt, 2nd Edition), vol. 1, “Discussion on the First ‘Aqabah,” p. 431.

military links with many leaders.

The biography of the Prophet (S) contains a detailed account of his letters to Khosroe, the Emperor of Persia; Caesar, the Emperor of Byzantine; Muqauqis, the King of Egypt; Negus, the King of Abyssinia; and other rulers at that time.(1)

4. In a bid to elevate the objectives of Islam and maximize the cohesion of the bases of the Islamic government, the Messenger of Allah (S) appointed rulers and chiefs for many tribes and cities. Below is an example of his decisions in this respect:

The Holy Prophet (S) dispatched Rafa‘ah ibn Zayd as his representative to the tribe of Khwaysh and wrote the following letter:

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِیمِ

هذا کتاب من محمد سول الله لفاعه بن زید ، إنی بعثته إلی قوم عامه و من دخل فیهم یدعوهم إلی الله وإلی

رسوله فمن أقبل منهم ففی حزب الله وحزب رسوله ومن أدبر فله أمان شهرین.

In the Name of Allah, the All-beneficent, the All-merciful

{This letter} is from Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, to Rafa‘ah ibn Zayd. I have dispatched him to his tribe and those related to them to invite them toward God and His Messenger. Whoever accepts his invitation will be among the Party of Allah and the Party of His Messenger and whoever turns away from him will have a two-month security respite.(2)

These practices and decisions of the Prophet (S) confirm that from the beginning of his mission, he had been in pursuit of setting up a strong government through which to administer the universal laws

p: 86


1- See, for example, Muhammad Hamid Allah, Al-Watha’iq as-Siyasiyyah and ‘Ali Ahmadi, Makatib ar-Rasul.
2- Makatib ar-Rasul, vol. 1, p. 144.

of Islam in all facets of life.

Do such actions like forging pacts with active groups and tribes, organizing a strong army, dispatching ambassadors to different countries, warning kings and rulers and communicating with them, sending governors and rulers to cities and districts far and near, and the like have any other name than “politics” in the sense of managing and administering different aspects of society?

In addition to the conduct of the Prophet (S), the manner of the Four Caliphs, and in particular the way followed by the Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (‘a) during his caliphate and rule in his treatment of the Shi‘ah and the Sunni is a testimony to the concordance of religion and politics.

The scholars of both Islamic groups offer extensive proofs from the Book (Qur’an) and Sunnah to support the idea of the need for the establishment of government and management of the affairs of society. Here are some examples:

In his book, Al-Ahkam as-Sultaniyyah, Abu’l-Hasan al-Mawardi says:

"الإمامه موضوعه لخلافه النبوه فی حراسه والدین سیاسه الدنیا عقدها لمن یقوم بها فی الأمه واجب بالأجماع."

Imamah has been laid to succeed the prophethood {nubuwwah} and to safeguard the religion and manage the affairs of this world, and pledging loyalty to the one who undertakes it is obligatory according to the consensus of the ummah.(1)

This Muslim scholar, who is one of the renowned ‘ulama’ of the Ahl as-Sunnah, presents both rational and religious proofs to support this idea.

The following is his rational proof:

"لما فی طباع

p: 87


1- Abu’l-Hasan al-Mawardi, Al-Ahkam as-Sultaniyyah (Egypt), “Bab al-Awwal,” p. 5.

العقلاء من التسلیم لزعیم یمنعهم من التظالم ویفصل بینهم فی التنازع والتخاصم ولولا الولاه لکانوا فوضب مهملین وهمجاً مضاعین."

It is the nature of wise peple to follow a leader so that he may prevent them from oppressing one another and settle their problems at the time of dispute. And if it were not for the rulers, the people would have live in chaos like lose savages.(1)

His religious proof is as follows:

ولکن جاء الشرع بتفویض الأمور إلی ولیّه فی ، الدین قال الله عز وجل: یأیها الذین ءامنوا أطیعوا الله

وأطیعوا الرسول وأولی الأمر منکم. ففرض علینا طاعه أولی الأمر فینا هم الأئمه المتامرن علینا.

But religious law is intended to entrust the affairs to a religious authority. God, the Honorable and Glorious, says: ‘O you who have faith! Obey Allah and obey the Apostle and those vested with authority among you.’(2) Thus, God has made it incumbent upon us to obey those who are vested with authority and such people are our leaders and rulers.(3)

Shaykh as-Saduq narrates on the authority of Fadl ibn Shadhan something attributed to Imam ‘Ali ibn Musa ar-Rida (‘a). This sublime narration includes the Imam’s words regarding the necessity of establishing a government. Below is an excerpt from his speech:

"إنا لا نجد فرقه من الفرق ولا مله من الملل وبقوا عاشوا إلا بقیم ورئیس لما لا بد لهم منه من أمر والدین والدنیا فلم یجز فی حکمه الحکیم أن یترک الخلق لما یعلم أنه لا بد لهم منه ولا قوم لهم إلا به

p: 88


1- Ibid.
2- Surah an-Nisa’ 4:59.
3- Abu’l-Hasan al-Mawardi, Al-Ahkam as-Sultaniyyah (Egypt), “Bab al-Awwal,” p. 5.

فیقاتلون به عدوّهم ویقسمون به فیئهم ویقیمون به وجمعتهم وجماعتهم ویمنع طالمنهم من مظلومهم."

We do not find any group or community that has been able to survive without a ruler and leader because they need a ruler for managing both religious and worldly affairs. Thus, it is far beyond the wisdom of the Wise Lord to leave the people without a leader when He knows that they do need him and that they cannot exist without a ruler under whose supervision, they fight their enemies, divide the booties and spoils of war, perform their Friday and other congregational prayers, and who prevents the oppressors from oppressing the others.(1)

If we want to expound on the traditions and analyze the various speeches of Muslim jurists {fuqaha} from a juristic perspective we cannot do it in this short treatise, and we need a separate volume for this purpose.

A comprehensive study of Islamic jurisprudence {fiqh} makes it clear that many religious laws cannot be implemented without the establishment of a government.

Islam calls on us to take part in jihad and defense, plead for justice against tyrants, protect the oppressed, implement hudud(2) and ta‘zirat,(3) enjoin good and forbid evil in a broad sense, form a codified financial system, and safeguard the unity of the Muslim society.

It is obvious that the mentioned objectives cannot be achieved without the establishment of a potent system and cohesive government because if we want to protect the sacred religion and defend the jurisdiction of Islam, we need an

p: 89


1- ‘Ilal ash-Shara’i‘, vol. 9, bab 182, p. 253.
2- Hudud is the plural form of hadd which literally means a limit between two things. {Trans.}
3- Ta‘zirat is the plural form of ta‘zir which literally means to reproach and to blame. While technically describing hadd and ta‘zir, Muhaqqiq al-Hilli said to the effect: Whenever the punishment for a crime is specified by the sacred law, it is called hadd; for example, punishments for stealing, murder, etc. Whenever the punishment for a crime is not specified by the sacred law, it is called ta‘zir and its limit is entirely determined by the judge and competent jurist. See Shahid ath-Thani, Sharh al-Lum‘ah, “Kitab al-Hudud wa’t-Ta‘zirat”; Muhaqqiq al-Hilli, Kitab al-Hudud wa’t-Ta‘zirat. {Trans.}

organized army, and the organization of such a strong army, in turn, requires the establishment of a powerful government that applies the Islamic precepts.

In the same vein, implementing hudud and ta‘zirat with the aim of performing the obligations, preventing crimes, regaining the rights for the oppressed from the oppressors and the other aforementioned objectives will not be accessible without a systematized and potent system and organization. Without such a system or organization, executing them will lead to chaos and tumult.

Although according to Islam the proofs of the need of establishing a government are far more than what we have stated, it is clear from the mentioned proofs that religion and politics are inseparable and establishing an Islamic government on the basis of the values of the luminous Islamic law is indispensable and all of the Muslims of the world are responsible for achieving this goal.

Question 22: Why do the Shi‘ah regard the sons of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (‘a) (Hasan and Husayn (‘a)) as the sons of the Messenger of Allah (S)?

Reply: A study of the exegesis {tafsir}, history and hadith books will show that this idea is not accepted only by the Shi‘ah but by almost all Muslim researchers from all Islamic groups.

Now, let us consider this issue by citing evidences from the Glorious Qur’an, hadiths and statements of renowned commetators {mufassirun}:

In essence, the Holy Qur’an regards a person’s consanguineous children as his children. Also, it deems as his children (both male and female) those who are born from his children.

In the Qur’an and the Sunnah, there are plenty of proofs substantiating this fact. Here are some of them:

1. In the verse

p: 90

below, the Holy Qur’an considers Hadrat ‘Isa (Jesus) (‘a) among the children of Ibrahim al-Khalil (Abraham the Friend {of Allah}) (‘a) whereas ‘Isa, the child of Maryam (Mary) (‘a), can be traced back to Hadrat Ibrahim (‘a) through his mother:

﴿ وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ إِسْحَاقَ وَیَعْقُوبَ کُلاًّ هَدَیْنَا وَنُوحًا هَدَیْنَا مِن قَبْلُ وَمِن ذُرِّیَّتِهِ دَاوُودَ وَسُلَیْمَانَ وَأَیُّوبَ وَیُوسُفَ وَمُوسَیٰ وَهَارُونَ وَکَذَٰلِکَ نَجْزِی الْمُحْسِنِینَ ٭ وَزَکَرِیَّا وَیَحْیَیٰ وَعِیسَیٰ ﴾

“And We gave him (Abraham) Isaac and Jacob and guided each of them. And Noah We had guided before, and from his (Abraham’s) offspring, David and Solomon, and Job, Joseph, Moses and Aaron—thus do We reward the virtuous—and Zechariah, John and Jesus.”(1)

Muslim scholars regard the stated verse as a clear proof that Imam al-Hasan and Imam al-Husayn (‘a) are children of the Messenger of Allah (S) as well as his offspring.

Below is one of the instances:

Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti narrates:

"أرسل الحجّاج إلی یحیی بن یعمر فقال: بلغنی أنک تزعم أن الحسن والحسین من ذریه النبیّ صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم – تجده فی کتاب الله وقد قرأته من أوّله إلی أخره فلم أجده. قال: ألست تقرأ سوره الأنعام: ومِن ذریته داوود وسلیمن حتی بلغ ویحیی؟ وعیسی قال: بلی. قال: ألیس عیسی من ذریه إبراهیم ولیس له أب؟ قال: صدقت."

One day, Hajjaj (ibn Yusuf) ordered that Yahya ibn Ya‘mur should be brought and when he saw him he said to him: “I have been told that you opine that al-Hasan and al-Husayn are the children and offspring of the Prophet (S) and you say

p: 91


1- Surah al-An‘am 6:84-85.

that you have found this in the Book of Allah whereas I have read the Qur’an from the beginning to the end but I have not found such a thing.”

Yahya asked: “Have you not read this verse in Surah al-An‘am: ‘and from his (Abraham’s) offspring, David and Solomon’ and continued up to, ‘and John and Jesus’?” He replied: “Yes, I have.”

Yahya asked: “In this Qur’anic verse, has Jesus not been considered among the offspring of Abraham eventhough Abraham was not his father {and Jesus can be traced back to Abraham through his mother (Mary)}?” Hajjaj said: “You are correct.”(1)

From the aggregate of the quoted verses and the words of Qur’an exegetes, it becomes obvious that not only the Shi‘ah but in fact all Muslim scholars regard Imam al-Hasan and Imam al-Husayn (‘a) as the children and offspring of the Messenger of Allah (S).

2. One of the explicit verses of the Qur’an which testifies to the truthfulness of the said view is the verse of imprecation {ayah al-mubahilah} in Surah Al ‘Imran. Below is the verse along with the exegetes’ notes:

﴿ فَمَنْ حَآجَّکَ فِیهِ مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءکَ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ فَقُلْ تَعَالَوْاْ نَدْعُ أَبْنَاءنَا وَأَبْنَاءکُمْ وَنِسَاءنَا وَنِسَاءکُمْ وَأَنفُسَنَا وأَنفُسَکُمْ ثُمَّ نَبْتَهِلْ فَنَجْعَل لَّعْنَهُ اللّهِ عَلَی الْکَاذِبِینَ ﴾

“Should anyone argue with you concerning him, after the knowledge that has come to you, say, ‘Come! Let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, our selves and your selves, then let us pray earnestly and call down Allah’s curse

p: 92


1- Ad-Durr al-Manthur (Beirut), vol. 3, p. 28, the commentary of the said verse in Surah al-An‘am.

upon the liars’.”(1)

Exegetes say: The stated verse which is known as the verse of mubahilah tells about the debate of the Holy Prophet (S) with the chiefs of the Christians of Najran after their expression of obstinacy. By a Divine command, the Prophet went out along with ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, Fatimah az-Zahra, and Imam al-Hasan and Imam al-Husayn (‘a) with the aim of imprecation.

When the chiefs of the Christians noticed the behavior of the Prophet and the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a), fear struck in their hearts and they asked the Messenger of Allah (S) to reconsider his decision to imprecate and curse them. The Prophet (‘a) accepted their suggestion and at the end they agreed to forge a pact.

Since both the Shi‘ah and Sunni scholars have consensus of opinion on the fact that on the day of mubahilah, the Commander of the Faithful (‘Ali) (‘a), Fatimah az-Zahra, and Imam al-Hasan and Imam al-Husayn (‘a) were with the Prophet (S), it becomes very clear that when the Mesenger of Allah (S) said “abna’ana” {our sons} he meant Imam al-Hasan and Imam al-Husayn (‘a). And as such, it becomes clear that in this verse al-Hasan and al-Husayn are considered the Holy Prophet’s (S) sons.

It is necessary to note that after narrating many hadiths pertaining to the verse of mubahilah, exegetes testify to the validity of this view. Here are some examples:

a. Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti narrates on the authority of Hakim, Ibn Marudiyyah and Abu Na‘im from Jabir ibn ‘Abd Allah (al-Ansari):

"أنفسنا

p: 93


1- Surah Al ‘Imran 3:61.

رسول الله صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم "وعلیّ وأبناءنا والحسن والحسین نساءنا فاطمه."

““Anfusana” {our selves} means the Messenger of Allah (S) and ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, “abna’na” {our sons} means al-Hasan and al-Husayn, and “nisa’na” {our women} refers to Fatimah.”(1)

b. In his exegesis {tafsir}, Fakhr ad-Din ar-Razi mentions the said verse and says:

"واعلم أن هذه الروایه کالمتفق علی صحتها بین أهل التفسیر والحدیث."

“Know that this tradition is an example of hadith on whose authenticity the mufassirun and muhaddithun have consensus of opinion.”(2)

Then, he says:

"المسأله الرابعه: هذه الأیه داله علی أن الحسن والحسین کانا إبنیّ رسول الله صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم – وعد أن یدعوا أبناءه فدعا الحسن والحسین فوجب أن یکون إبنیّه."

“The fourth issue: The said verse testifies to the fact that al-Hasan and al-Husayn (‘a) were sons of the Messenger of Allah (S) because when he was asked to call his “sons”, he called al-Hasan and al-Husayn (‘a).”(3)

c.In his exegesis, Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Qurtubi states:

"أبناءنا دلیل علی أن ابناء البنات یسمّون أبناءا."

““Abna’na” {our sons} (in the stated verse) testifies to the fact that the sons of one’s daughter are considered that one’s sons.”(4)

3. The Messenger of Allah’s (S) words are a vivid proof that Imam al-Hasan and Imam al-Husayn (‘a) are sons of the Prophet (S).

Here are two examples of his sayings:

a. The Messenger of Allah (S) thus says concerning al-Hasan and al-Husayn (‘a):

"هذان إبناؤ من أحبّهما فقد أحبّنی."

“These two are my sons. He who loves them loves me.”(5)

b. Pointing to Imam al-Hasan and Imam al-Husayn (‘a), the

p: 94


1- Ad-Durr al-Manthur (Beirut), vol. 2, p. 39, the end of the commentary of the verse under discussion.
2- Tafsir Mafatih al-Ghayb (Egypt, 1308 AH), vol. 2, p. 488.
3- Ibid.
4- Al-Jami‘ Li Ahkam al-Qur’an (Beirut), vol. 4, p. 104.
5- Ibn ‘Asakir, Tarikh Madinah Dimashq (Beirut, 1400 AH), p. 59, hadith 106.

Holy Prophet (S) also says:

"إن أبنیّ هذین ریحانتی من الدنیا."

“Verily, these two sons of mine are my bunch of sweet basil in this world.”(1)

Question 23: Why do the Shi‘ah believe that caliphate {khilafah} is a matter of appointment {tansisi}?

point

Reply: It is clear that the sacred religion of Islam is a universal and eternal creed and while alive, the Holy Prophet (S) had the responsibility of leading the people, and after his departure, this responsibility had to be delegated to the most appropriate individual of the ummah.

There are two views concerning the question whether the station of leadership after the Prophet (S) is a tansisi one (in the sense that it is determined by the order of the Lord of the worlds and stipulation of the Messenger of Allah (S)) or it is an electoral position.

The Shi‘ah believe that the station of leadership is a tansisi position and the successor of the Prophet (S) has to be appointed by God, whereas the Ahl as-Sunnah believe that this station is an electoral position and that the ummah should elect the individual who administers the affairs of the country after the Prophet (S).

Social considerations which testify to the belief that caliphate is a matter of appointment {tansisi}

Social considerations which testify to the belief that caliphate is a matter of appointment {tansisi}

The Shi‘ah scholars introduce many reasons in their books of beliefs about the idea of the need for appointment as a condition for holding the position of caliphate. We can, however, make an analysis of the circumstances prevailing during the period of apostleship {risalah} in order to testify to the validity of the Shi‘ah view.

A study of Islam’s

p: 95


1- Ibid., p. 62, hadith 112.

foreign and domestic policies in the lifetime of the Prophet (S) will warrant that the successor of the Prophet (S) had to be designated by God through the Prophet (S) himself because the Muslim society was always under the threat of three challenges (Byzantium Empire, Persian Empire and the hypocrites {munafiqun}).

The interests of the ummah also dictated that the Prophet (S) would appoint a political leader to ensure the unity of the entire ummah and enable it to stand against the foreign enemy and leave no way for the enemy’s infiltration and dominance, which might be exacerbated by internal disputes.

Further explanation

The Byzantine Empire represented one side of the dangerous triangle. This great power, which was at the north of the Arabian Peninsula concerned the Prophet (S) till the last moment of his life.

The first military encounter of the Muslims with the Christian army of Byzantine was in 8 AH in Palestine. This encounter ended in a sorrowful defeat of the Muslim army and the killing of three commanders: Ja‘far ibn Abi Talib at-Tayyar, Zayd ibn Harithah and ‘Abd Allah ibn Rawahah.

The withdrawal of the army of Islam in the fight against the army of kufr gave courage to the army of Caesar to think that one day the Islamic capital would be under his control. For this reason, in 9 AH the Prophet (S) moved with a huge and equipped army toward the coasts of Sham(1) so as to personally conduct every military activity. In this journey which was full

p: 96


1- Sham or Shamat: until five centuries ago, included Syria of today, Lebanon and parts of Jordan and Palestine. {Trans.}

of difficulties and vicissitudes, the army of Islam was able to regain its former glory and revive its political status.

This victory did not convince the Prophet (S) and a few days after his ailment, he decided to send an army under the command of Usamah ibn Zayd to the coasts of Sham.

The second side of the challenging triangle was the King of Persia. Out of rage, Khosroe of Persia tore the letter sent to him by the Prophet (S) and insultingly dismissed his envoy. Khosroe wrote to his governor in Yemen a letter in which he ordered him to capture the Prophet (S) and threatened to kill him if he refused.

Although Khosroe Pervez, the King of Persia, died in the lifetime of the Prophet (S), the issue of independence of the territory of Yemen, which was one of the Persian colonies for long time, was not away from the perspective of the Persian Sassanid kings. Arrogance and conceit would never allow the Sassanid statesmen to tolerate the existence of such a power.

The third side of the challenging triangle was the threat of the group of hypocrites {munafiqun}, who formed a fifth column in the midst of Muslim comunity, and were always busy creating discord and intended to kill the Prophet (S) en route from Tabuk to Medina. The hypocrites whispered to themselves that the Islamic movement would come to an end and everybody would be relieved.(1)

The destructive power of the hypocrites was so dangerous that the Qur’an has referred

p: 97


1- Surah at-Tur 52:30: “Do they say, ‘{He is} a poet, for whom we await a fatal accident’?”

to it in many surahs such as in Al ‘Imran (3), An-Nisa’ (4), Al-Ma’idah (5), Al-Anfal (8), At-Tawbah (9), Al-‘Ankabut (29), Al-Ahzab (33), Muhammad (47), Al-Fath (48), Al-Hadid (57), Al-Mujadilah (58), Al-Hashr (59), and Al-Munafiqun (63).(1)

With the existence of such enemies who were lying in ambush for Islam, is it appropriate to assume that the Prophet of Islam (S) had not designated a successor for the political and religious leadership of the nascent Islamic community?

Social reckonings indicate that the Prophet (S) must have designated a chief and leader in order to prevent any kind of discord after his death and ensure Islamic unity by creating a firm and strong line of defense. Preventing any bad and unpleasant incident and avoiding the possibility that, after the demise of the Holy Prophet (S), every group would say, “The emir must be from us,” would not be without designating a leader.

These social considerations are clear indications to the validity and soundness of the idea that the position of leadership after the Prophet (S) is a matter of appointment.

The evidence of the sayings of the Messenger of Allah (S)

On the basis of this social context and other aspects, the Prophet (S) kept reminding of the idea of succession from the early days of his mission till the last moments of his life. And he (S) designated his successor at the commencement of his mission—on the occasion of publicizing his prophethood to his relatives—as well as at the last days of his life—during the return journey from the Farewell Pilgrimage {hajj al-wida‘} at

p: 98


1- Excerpted from Prof. Ja‘far Subhani’s Furugh-e Abadiyyat.

Ghadir Khumm—and in different phases of his life.

We have introduced three well-based instances of these sayings in reply to the question: “Why is ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (‘a) the wasi {executor of will} and successor of the Prophet (S)?” along with references from the books of Muslim scholars and muhaddithun which confirm this idea.

By taking into account the aforementioned social considerations of the early period of Islam and the sayings of the Messenger of Allah (S) regarding the designation of the Commander of the Faithful (‘Ali) (‘a) as his successor, we realize the necessity of the idea that the position of caliphate is conditional upon appointment.

Question 24: Is to swear by other than God regarded as a kind of polytheism?

point

Reply: The interpretation of the words “monotheism” {tawhid} and “polytheism” {shirk} must be in consistency with the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (S) because the Glorious Qur’an and the conduct of the Messenger of Allah (S) are the most valuable criteria for distinguishing the truth from falsehood as well as monotheism from polytheism.

Given this, every thought and behavior approved by the awakened and unbiased conscience should be assessed according to the touchstone of the logic of revelation and conduct of the Holy Prophet (S).

The following are solid proofs which the Qur’an and the Sunnah introduced about the permissibility of swearing by other than God:

1. In the eternal verses of the Glorious Qur’an we find examples of swearing by prolific creatures such as the “life of the Prophet”, “soul of man”, “pen” which are manifestations of writing, “sun”, “moon”,

p: 99

“star”, “day and night”, “heaven and earth”, “time”, and “mountains and sea”. We shall cite some of these verses:

a.

"لعمرک إنهم لفی شکرتهم یعمهون."

“By your life, they were bewildered in their drunkenness.”(1)

b.

﴿ وَالشَّمْسِ وَضُحَاهَا ٭ وَالْقَمَرِ إِذَا تَلَاهَا ٭ وَالنَّهَارِ إِذَا جَلَّاهَا ٭ وَاللَّیْلِ إِذَا یَغْشَاهَا ٭ وَالسَّمَاء وَمَا بَنَاهَا ٭ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا طَحَاهَا ٭ وَنَفْسٍ وَمَا سَوَّاهَا ٭ فَأَلْهَمَهَا فُجُورَهَا وَتَقْوَاهَا ﴾

“By the sun and her forenoon splendor, by the moon when he follows her, by the day when it reveals her, by the night when it covers her, by the sky and Him who built it, by the earth and Him who spread it, by the soul and Him who fashioned it, and inspired it with {discernment between} its virtues and vices.”(2)

c.

وَالنَّجْمِ إِذَا هَوَیٰ

“By the star when it sets.”(3)

d.

ن وَالْقَلَمِ وَمَا یَسْطُرُونَ

“Nun. By the Pen and what they write.”(4)

e.

وَالْعَصْرِ {1}

إِنَّ الْإِنْسَانَ لَفِی خُسْرٍ {2}

“By Time! Indeed man is at a loss.”(5)

f.

وَالْفَجْرِ {1}

وَلَیَالٍ عَشْرٍ {2}

“By the Dawn, by the ten nights.”(6)

g.

﴿ وَالطُّورِ ٭ وَکِتَابٍ مَّسْطُورٍ ٭ فِی رَقٍّ مَّنشُورٍ ٭ وَالْبَیْتِ الْمَعْمُورِ ٭ وَالسَّقْفِ الْمَرْفُوعِ ٭ وَالْبَحْرِ الْمَسْجُورِ ﴾

“By the Mount {Sinai}, by the Book inscribed on an unrolled parchment; by the House greatly frequented; by the vault raised high, by the surging sea.”(7)

Similarly, swearing by the manifestations of the world of creation can also be noticed in Surahs Mursalat (77), an-Nazi‘at (79), al-Buruj (85), at-Tariq (86), al-Balad (90), ad-Duha (93), and at-Tin (95).

There is no doubt that if swearing by other

p: 100


1- Surah al-Hijr 15:72.
2- Surah ash-Shams 91:1-8.
3- Surah an-Najm 53:1.
4- Surah al-Qalam 68:1.
5- Surah al-‘Asr 103:1-2.
6- Surah al-Fajr 89:1-2.
7- Surah at-Tur 52:1-6.

than God is tantamount to polytheism and associating partners to God, the Holy Qur’an which is the charter of monotheism and unity of God would not have resorted to it, and if such a way of swearing is exclusive to God, the verses of the Qur’an would have warned people from doing so lest they should commit mistakes.

2. All Muslims of the world regard the Holy Prophet (S) as their model and consider his conduct and behavior as the criterion for distinguishing right from wrong.

Muslim scholars and compilers of Sahihs and Musnads have mentioned so many instances of the Holy Prophet’s (S) swearing by other than God.

In his Musnad, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, the chief of the Hanbalis, thus narrates from the Messenger of Allah (S):

"فلعمری لأن تتکلم بمعروف تنهی عن منکر خیر من أن تسکت."

“By my life! If you would enjoin good and forbid evil, it will be better than keeping silent.”(1)

In his Sahih, which the Ahl as-Sunnah consider one of the six authentic compilations of hadith, Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj states:

"جاء رجل إلی النبیّ صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم فقال: یا رسول الله أیّ الصدقه أعظم أجراً؟ فقال: أما وأبیک لتنبانه أن تصدق وأنت صحیح شحیح تخشی الفقر وتأمل البقاء."

There came a person to the Prophet (S) and asked the Messenger of Allah: “Which charity is the most rewarding?” He said: “By your father, it is the charity which you give in a state when you are healthy and close-fisted, haunted by fear of poverty, and hoping to live

p: 101


1- Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, vol. 5, pp. 224-225, a hadith by Bashir ibn Khasasiyyah as-Sadusi.

(as rich).”(1)

How can those who consider a great part of global Muslims as polytheists because they believe that it is permissible to swear by other than God justify this explicit act of the Prophet (S) (i.e., swearing by a person’s father)?

3. Apart from the Book of God and the Sunnah of the Prophet (S), the conduct of the close Companions of the Messenger of Allah (S) also proves the permissibility of swearing by other than God.

In many parts of his sublime speeches, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (‘a) swear by his life when he says:

"ولعمری لیضعفن لکم التّیه من بعدی أضعافأً."

“By my life! After me your wandering about shall be multiplied.”(2)

In another place, he (‘a) says:

"ولعمری لإن لم تنزع غیّک وشقاقک لتعرفنّهم عن قلیل یطلبونک."

“By my life, if you do not refrain from hypocrisy, avarice and your rebellious activities, they will soon be known to you.”(3)

All these traditions and reports show clearly that no ijtihad or exigency can be valid, and no other argument can denigrate the position of God in the Glorious Qur’an, the conduct of the Holy Prophet (S) or the conduct his close companions like the Commander of the Faithful (‘Ali) (‘a) if it accuses them of polytheism and associating partners with God.

Conclusion

From the aggregate of the stated proofs, it is evident that from the perspective of the Book of God, the Sunnah of the Prophet (‘a) and conduct of the believers the legitimacy of swearing by other than God is an indisputable principle, and it has

p: 102


1- Sahih Muslim (Egypt), part 3, “Kitab az-Zakah,” “Bab Bayan an Afdal as-Sadaqah, Sadaqah as-Sahih ash-Shahih,” pp. 93-94. Abdul-Hamid Siddiqui (trans.), Sahih Muslim (English Translation), vol. 1, chap. 29, hadith 2251.
2- Nahj al-Balaghah (Muhammad ‘Abduh), Sermon 161.
3- Nahj al-Balaghah (Muhammad ‘Abduh), Letter 9. For more information about other cases, see Sermons 168, 182 and 187, and Letters 6 and 54.

no contradiction with monotheism and the unity of God.

Therefore, if the outward meaning of the traditions opposes that which has been confirmed by decisive proofs, it must be justified and interpreted according to this indisputable principle which is derived from the Qur’an and traditions.

Some people cite an ambiguous tradition which is as follows:

إن رسول الله سمع عمر وهو یقول: وأبی فقال إن الله ینهاکم أن تحلفنا بأبائکم ومن کان حالفاً فلیحلف بالله أو یسکت.

Verily, the Messenger of Allah (S) heard ‘Umar swearing by his father. Upon hearing this he said: “Verily, God has prohibited you from swearing by your father, and when one wants to swear one should either swear to God or keep silent.”(1)

Although this hadith cannot challenge the Qur’anic verses and explicit traditions that consider swearing by other than God as permissible, it must, for the sake of reconciling it and the mentioned verses and tradition, be said that the Prophet’s prohibition of ‘Umar’s swearing by his father and forbidding similar people from swearing by their fathers is attributed to the fact that their fathers were idolaters and polytheists. And an infidel or idol-worshipping person is too unworthy to be an object of swearing.

Question 25: Is to resort to the divine saints {awliya’} for mediation {tawassul} regarded as polytheism {shirk} and tantamount to innovation in religion {bid‘ah}?

point

Reply: Tawassul means to resort to a sacred being for mediation with God.

Ibn Manzur thus says in Lisan al-‘Arab:

"توسل إلیه بکذا تقرب إلیه بحرمه أصرهٍ تعطفه علیه."

“If you resort to others for mediation; that is, respect and honor them, they will treat you tenderly.”(2)

The Glorious Qur’an states:

﴿یَا أَیُّهَا الَّذِینَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ

p: 103


1- Sunan al-Kubra, vol. 10, p. 29; Sunan an-Nisa’i, vol. 7, pp. 4-5.
2- Lisan al-‘Arab, vol. 11, p. 724.

وَابْتَغُواْ إِلَیهِ الْوَسِیلَهَ وَجَاهِدُواْ فِی سَبِیلِهِ لَعَلَّکُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ ﴾

“O you who have faith! Be wary of Allah, and seek the means of recourse to Him, and wage jihad in His way, so that you may be felicitous.”(1)

In his Sihah al-Lughah, Jawhari describes “wasilah” {means} in this manner:

"الوسیله ما یتقرّب به إلی الغیر."

“Wasilah {means} is something through which one seeks nearness to another.”

Therefore, a valuable being to which we resort for mediation may be meritorious deeds and sincere worship of God which bring us near to the Lord of the worlds, or a prolific person who enjoys a special station and esteem in the sight of God, the Exalted.

Types of tawassul

Tawassul can be divided into three types:

1. Tawassul by performing righteous deeds, as stated by Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti who expounds on the noble verse,

"وابتغوا إلیه الوسیله."

“And seek the means of recourse to Him”:

عن قتاده فی قوله تعالی: "وابتغوا إلیه الوسلیه" قال: تقربوا إلی الله بطاعته والعمل بما یرضیه."

“Qatadah said concerning the verse, “And seek the means of recourse to Him”: Seeking nearness to God by obeying Him and doing that which pleases Him.”(2)

2. Tawassul through the supplication of meritorious servants (of God), as the Holy Qur’an recounts in the tongue of the brothers of Yusuf (Joseph) (‘a):

﴿ قَالُواْ یَا أَبَانَا اسْتَغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا إِنَّا کُنَّا خَاطِئِینَ ٭ قَالَ سَوْفَ أَسْتَغْفِرُ لَکُمْ رَبِّیَ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِیمُ ﴾

“They said, ‘Father! Plead {with Allah} for forgiveness of our sins! We have indeed been erring’. He said, ‘I shall plead with my Lord to

p: 104


1- Surah al-Ma’idah 5:35.
2- Ad-Durr al-Manthur (Beirut), vol. 2, p. 280, under the stated verse.

forgive you; indeed He is the All-forgiving, the All-merciful’.”(1)

It is evident from the quoted verse that the sons of Ya‘qub (Jacob) (‘a) had sought the means of recourse to Him through supplication, regarding this act as means of attaining forgiveness. Besides, Hadrat Ya‘qub (‘a) did not refuse their offer but promised to pray for the forgiveness of their sins.

3. Tawassul through spiritually dignified personages who enjoy special station and honor in the sight of God with the aim of seeking divine proximity.

Now, we shall review the proofs of hadiths and behavior of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (S) and great figures of Islam:

1. Ahmad ibn Hanbal thus narrates in his Musnad on the authority of ‘Uthman ibn Hunayf:

"إن رجلا ضریر البصر أتی النبیّ صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم فقال: ادع الله أن یعافینی ، قال: إن شئت دعوت لک وإن شئت أخرت ذاک فهو خیر ، فقال: أدعه. فأمره أن یتوضأ فیحسن وضوئه فیصلّی رکعتین ویدعو بهذا الدعاء: اللهم إنی أسألک وأتوجه إلیک بنبیّک محمد نبیّ الرحمه یا محمد إنی توجهت بک إلی ربی فی حاجتی هذه ، فتقضی لی اللهم شفعه فیّ."

A blind man came to the Prophet (S) and said: “Pray for me and ask God to cure me.” Upon hearing this he said: “I will pray for you if you want and if you like I will postpone it and the latter is better.” The blind man said: “Will you?” The Holy Prophet commanded him to perform ablution as perfectly as possible, to say

p: 105


1- Surah Yusuf 12:97-98.

two rak‘ahs {cycles} of prayer and then supplicate with these words: “O God! I beseech You and turn to You through Muhammad the Prophet of Mercy. O Muhammad! I turn to my Lord through you to grant this request. O God! Let him be my intercessor.”(1)

Indeed, this hadith is considered acceptable by all muhaddithun so much so that after narrating the quoted hadith Hakim al-Nayshaburi describes it in his Mustadrak as an authentic {sahih} hadith while Ibn Majah who narrates it on the authority of Abu Ishaq says: “This tradition is authentic.” In the book, Abwab al-Ad‘iyyah, Tirmidhi confirms the authenticity of this tradition. Also Muhammad Nasib ar-Rafa‘i says in At-Tawassul ila Haqiqah at-Tawassul:

"لا شک أن هذا الحدیث صحیح ومشهور وقد ثبت فیه بلا شک ولا ریب ارداد بصر الأعمی بدعاء رسول الله صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم له."

“There is no doubt that this hadith is authentic and known… and it proves that through the supplication of the Messenger of Allah (S) the blind man has regained his sight.”(2)

This tradition clearly shows that tawassul through the Holy Prophet (S), with the aim of fulfilling one’s need, is permissible. In fact, the Messenger of Allah (S) commanded the blind man to pray in such manner and to supplicate the Lord of the worlds by seeking mediation to God through the Prophet (S). This is the same type of tawassul as that of divine people and those who have proximity to God.

2. Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Bukhari thus says in his Sahih:

"إن عمر

p: 106


1- Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, vol. 4, “Part: Narrations of ‘Uthman ibn Hunayf,” p. 138; Mustadrak al-Hakim (Beirut), vol. 1, “Kitab Salah at-Tatawwa‘,” p. 313; Sunan Ibn Majah (Dar Ahya’ al-Kutub al-‘Arabiyyah), vol. 1, p. 441; At-Taj, vol. 1, p. 286; Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti, Al-Jami‘ as-Saghir, p. 59; Ibn Taymiyyah, At-Tawassul wa’l-Wasilah (Beirut), p. 98.
2- At-Tawasul ila Haqiqah at-Tawassul (Beirut), p. 158.

بن الخطاب رضی الله عنه کان إذا قحطوا إستسقی بالعباس بن عبد المطلب فقال: اللهم إنا کنا نتوسل إلیک بنبیّنا فتسقینا وإنا نتوسل إلیک بعم نبیّنا فاسقنا. فقال: فیسقون."

Every time there was draught, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab would pray for rain seeking mediation through ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib (uncle of the Prophet) and say: “O God! We used to seek access to You through our Prophet and You would shower us and now, we seek access to You through the uncle of our Prophet to shower us. And they would be granted their need.”(1)

3. The issue of tawassul through the saints of God was such common and prevalent that the Muslims of the early period of Islam used to refer to the Prophet (S) as the mediator between them and God.

Sawad ibn Qarib recited a poem before the Holy Prophet (S) and he thus said:

وأشهد أن لا رب غیره وأنک مأمون علی کل غالب وأنک أدنی المرسلین وسیله إلی الله یا بن الأکرمین الأطائب.

And I bear witness that there is no god but Him and that you are indeed entrusted with all the hidden,

And (I bear witness) that among the messengers, you—O son of the honorable and pure ones—are the nearest means {wasilah} to God.(2)

Albeit the Holy Prophet (S) heard this poem from Suwad ibn Qarib, he neither stopped him from reciting it nor accused him of polytheism {shirk} and innovation in religious beliefs {bid‘ah}.

In the two lines we quote below, Imam ash-Shafi‘i also points to this fact:

أل النبیّ ذریعتی

p: 107


1- Sahih al-Bukhari (Egypt), vol. 2, “Kitab al-Jum‘ah,” “Bab al-Istisqa’,” p. 27.
2- Sayyid Ahmad ibn Zayni ad-Dahlan, Ad-Durar as-Sunniyyah, p. 29, quoting from Tabrani.

هم إلیه وسیلتی

أرجو بهم أعطی غداً

بیدی الیمین صحیفتی

The progeny of the Prophet are my means {wasilah} to God.

I hope that I will for their sake be given my account-book in my right hand.(1)

Although the transmitted traditions regarding the permissibility of tawassul through divine people are plenty, the traditions which we have mentioned testify to the permissibility of tawassul and its consistency with the Sunnah of the Prophet (S), and the conduct of the Companions and great Muslim scholars, and they need no further comment.

What have been stated proves the groundlessness of the claim of those who say that tawassul through the nearest ones to God is an act of polytheism and innovation in religion.

Question 26: Is celebrating the birthday of the saints {awliya’} of God a kind of polytheism and innovation {bid‘ah}?

point

Reply: Although honoring the memory of meritorious servants of God by celebrating their birthday is an indisputable issue from the perspective of learned men, in a bid to remove any kind of doubt in this regard, we shall examine the proofs supporting its legitimacy.

Holding ceremonies is a means of expressing love

The Holy Qur’an invites the Muslims to love the Holy Prophet (S) and his Ahl al-Bayt (‘a):

﴿ قُل لَّا أَسْأَلُکُمْ عَلَیْهِ أَجْرًا إِلَّا الْمَوَدَّهَ فِی الْقُرْبَیٰ ﴾

“Say, I do not ask of you any reward for it except the affection for {my} relatives.”(2)

There is no doubt that holding a ceremony in commemoration of divine saints is a manifestation of the people’s love and affection to them, an act which is confirmed by the Holy Qur’an.

Holding ceremonies is a way of paying tribute to the Prophet (S)

The Qur’an considers the act of honoring the station of the Messenger of Allah (S)

p: 108


1- Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani, As-Sawa‘iq al-Muhriqah (Cairo), p. 178.
2- Surah ash-Shura 42:23.

and helping him as a criterion for uprightness and felicity.

﴿ فَالَّذِینَ آمَنُواْ بِهِ وَعَزَّرُوهُ وَنَصَرُوهُ وَاتَّبَعُواْ النُّورَ الَّذِیَ أُنزِلَ مَعَهُ أُوْلَ_ئِکَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ ﴾

“Those who believe in him, honor him, and help him and follow the light that has been sent down with him, they are the felicitous.”(1)

It is so evident from the quoted verse that honoring the Messenger of Allah (S) is a wholesome and acceptable act from the viewpoint of Islam, and holding a ceremony, which refreshes the splendorous memory of the Prophet (S) and hails his lofty station is something which pleases God. This verse mentions four attributes of the righteous:

a. Faith: ﴾ بِهِ ءَامَنُوا فَٱلَّذِیْنَ ﴿ “Those who believe in him”;

b. Following his light: ﴾ مَعَهُ أُنزِلَ ٱلَّذِینَ ٱلنُّورَ وَٱتَّبَعُوا ﴿ “And follow the light that has been sent down with him”;

c. Helping him: ﴾ وَنَصَرُوهُ ﴿ “And help him”; and

d. Honoring the station of the Prophet (S): ﴾ وَعَزَّرُوهُ ﴿ “And honor him”.

Therefore, honoring and paying homage to the Prophet (S) alongside faith, assisting him and following his orders, is an expedient affair, and commemorating the Holy Prophet (S) corresponds to “honoring him”.

Holding of ceremonies is the same as following and obeying God

God hails the Holy Prophet (S) in the Glorious Qur’an, and states:

ورفعنا لک ذکرک

“Did We not exalt your name?”(2)

This noble verse shows clearly that God wishes that the splendor and magnificence of the Prophet (S) prevail in the world and He Himself hails him in the verses of the Qur’an.

Following our heavenly book, we also hail the lofty station

p: 109


1- Surah al-A‘raf 7:157.
2- Surah al-Inshirah 94:4.

of that model of perfection and virtue by holding splendorous ceremonies. In doing so, we express an extent of our loyalty and obedience to the Lord of the worlds.

It is obvious that the aim of the Muslims’ holding such ceremonies is nothing but exalting the Holy Prophet (S).

Sending down revelation is not less significant than sending down table-spread {ma’idah}

The Glorious Qur’an thus quotes a prophet of God, ‘Isa (Jesus) (‘a) as saying:

﴿ قَالَ عِیسَی ابْنُ مَرْیَمَ اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّنَا أَنزِلْ عَلَیْنَا مَآئِدَهً مِّنَ السَّمَاء تَکُونُ لَنَا عِیداً لِّأَوَّلِنَا وَآخِرِنَا وَآیَهً مِّنکَ وَارْزُقْنَا وَأَنتَ خَیْرُ الرَّازِقِینَ ﴾

“Said Jesus son of Mary, ‘O Allah! Our Lord! Send down to us a table from the sky, to be a festival for us, for the first ones and the last ones among us and as a sign from You, and provide for us; for You are the best of providers’.”(1)

Hadrat ‘Isa (‘a) requests a heavenly table-spread from God to celebrate the day of its coming down.

Now, when a revered prophet like Jesus (‘a) celebrates the day of sending down the heavenly table-spread, which brings physical enjoyment to people, can we say that Muslims’ celebration of the day of sending down divine revelation or the birthday of the Holy Prophet (S), who is the savior of mankind and the cause of human societies’ survival, an act of polytheism {shirk} or innovation in religion {bid‘ah}?!

The Muslims’ Practice

The followers of Islam have been holding such ceremony for a long time with the aim of refreshing the memory of the Holy Prophet (S).

In Tarikh al-Khamis, Husayn ibn Muhammad ad-Diyar Bakri thus

p: 110


1- Surah al-Ma’idah 5:114.

writes:

The Muslims of the world always hold ceremonies during the month of birth of the Prophet, hold banquets, give charity during the nights, express merriment, multiply their good deeds, and take to reciting poems on his birth, and making known his all-encompassing blessings and graces to all.(1)

The things we have mentioned verify the general ruling of the permissibility and merit of commemorating eminent sacred personages which is consistent with the viewpoint of the Qur’an and the practice of Muslims, and the groundlessness of the supposition that holding ceremonies in commemoration of the beloved of God is bid‘ah; for, bid‘ah is something, the particular or general permissibility of which is not inferred from the Qur’an and the Sunnah, whereas the general judgment of the mentioned issue can be noticed in the Qur’anic verses and perennial practice of the Muslims.

In the same vein, holding such ceremonies is intended to express honor and respect to the meritorious servants of God with the belief in their servitude to and neediness of the Lord of the worlds.

Therefore, the said practice is completely compatible with the principle of monotheism and unity of God.

As such, it is evident that the claim of those who say that holding ceremonies in commemoration of eminent sacred people is tantamount to committing polytheism and associating others with God is baseless and unfounded.

Question 27 : Why do the Shi‘ah perform the five daily prayers in three periods?

point

Reply: In order to clarify this point, we had better examine the views of jurists {fuqaha} in this regard first:

1. All Muslim groups agree that in ‘Arafah(2)

p: 111


1- Husayn ibn Muhammad ad-Diyar Bakri, Tarikh al-Khamis (Beirut), vol. 1, p. 223.
2- ‘Arafat: a plain about 21 kilometers north of Mecca where pilgrims have to stay from noon to sunset on the 9th day of Dhu’l-Hijjah (Day of ‘Arafat) as one of the hajj rites. {Trans.}

one may perform both noon {zuhr} and afternoon {asr} prayers successively without any interval between them, and in Muzdalifah(1) it is also permissible to say sunset {maghrib} and night {‘isha’} prayers at the time of ‘isha’ prayer.

2. The Hanafis say: Performing zuhr and ‘asr prayers successively with no interval between them and performing ‘isha’ soon after maghrib are permissible only in ‘Arafah and Muzdalifah. That is, one is not allowed to do so except in these two occasions.

3. The Hanbalis, Malikis and Shafi‘is say: It is permissible to perform zuhr and ‘asr prayers successively or maghrib and ‘isha’ prayers one after another with no interval between them while traveling in addition to the two stated cases (i.e., in ‘Arafah and Muzdalifah). Some of these groups also say that it is permissible to perform two prayers successively at emergency cases such as rain, sickness, or fear of enemy.(2)

4. The Shi‘ah are of the opinion that each of zuhr and ‘asr prayers, and maghrib and ‘isha’ prayers has a specific time and a common time:

a. The specific time for zuhr prayer extends from the beginning of the religiously prescribed noon {zuhr ash-shar‘i} (i.e. time of decline from the meridian {waqt az-zuwal}) up to the time when one completes the four rak‘ahs of zuhr prayer. During this limited period of time, only zuhr prayer can be performed.

b. The specific time for ‘asr prayer is a limited period of time preceding maghrib. It extends from the first rak‘ah until the end of the

p: 112


1- Muzdalifah: a place where pilgrims {hujjaj} have to stop to pick up 70 pebbles which are to be thrown on the symbols of Satan in Mina. {Trans.}
2- Adapted from Al-Fiqh ‘ala’l-Madhahib al-Arba‘ah, “Kitab as-Salah, al-Jam‘ bayn as-Salatayn Taqdiman wa Ta’khiran.”

fourth rak‘ah of ‘asr prayer.

c. The common time for zuhr and ‘asr prayers is the period between the end of the specific time for zuhr prayer and the beginning of the specific time for ‘asr prayer.

The Shi‘ah position is that during this common time, one can perform zuhr and ‘asr prayers one after the other with no interval between them. The Ahl as-Sunnah, however, believe that the period allotted exclusively to zuhr extends from the beginning of zuhr ash-shar‘i {waqt az-zuwal} up to the time when the shadow of an object becomes as long as itself and in this period performing ‘asr prayer is not permissible. They add that the period between the end of zuhr prayer and the beginning of maghrib is allotted exclusively to ‘asr prayer in which performing zuhr prayer is not permissible.

d. The time allotted exclusively to maghrib prayer extends from the commencement of the religiously prescribed sunset (maghrib ash-shar‘i) up to the time when one completes the three rak‘ahs of maghrib prayer and in this period, performing other than maghrib prayer is not permissible.

e. The time allotted exclusively to ‘isha’ prayer is a limited time which precedes the religiously prescribed “midnight” which encompasses only the time for the four rak‘ahs of ‘isha’ prayer, and in this period, performing other than ‘isha’ prayer is not permissible.

f. The common time for maghrib and ‘isha’ prayers extends from the moment which marks the end of the time allotted exclusively to maghrib prayer up to the beginning of the

p: 113

time allotted exclusively to ‘isha’ prayer.

According to the Shi‘ah, in the common time one is allowed to perform maghrib and ‘isha’ prayers one after the other with no interval between them. The Ahl as-Sunnah, however, say that the period which extends from the beginning of maghrib to the declension of aurora {zuwal ash-shafaq} is the time allotted exclusively to maghrib prayer and in this period performing ‘isha’ prayer is not permissible. And they say that the period between the declension of aurora and the religiously prescribed “midnight” is allotted exclusively to ‘isha’ prayer in which performing maghrib prayer is not permissible.

The conclusion is that according to the Shi‘ah view, when the religiously prescribed noon {zuhr ash-shar‘i} begins, we may perform zuhr prayer and perform ‘asr prayer immediately afterward. We may also delay zuhr prayer and perform it before the time allotted exclusively to ‘asr prayer provided that our performing of zuhr prayer ends before the beginning of the time allotted exclusively to ‘asr prayer and we can perform ‘asr prayer afterward.

As such, we can perform zuhr and ‘asr prayers successively though it is recommended to perform zuhr prayer after the declension (from the meridian) and ‘asr prayer when the shadow of every object becomes equal to itself in length.

Also, we may perform maghrib prayer as soon as the religiously prescribed sunset {maghrib ash-shar‘i} begins and perform ‘isha’ prayer immediately afterward. We may also delay the performance of maghrib prayer till before the beginning of the time allotted exclusively

p: 114

to ‘isha’ prayer provided that we finish performing maghrib prayer before the arrival of the time allotted exclusively to ‘isha’ prayer and we can perform ‘isha’ prayer afterward.

As such, we can perform maghrib and ‘isha’ prayers successively though it is recommended to perform maghrib prayer after the religiously prescribed sunset and ‘isha’ prayer after the declension of the aurora from the west.

This is the Shi‘ah’s view. As for Ahl as-Sunnah, they say it is not permissible to successively perform zuhr and ‘asr prayers or the maghrib and ‘isha’ prayers at any place or time. The bone of contention, therefore, is the performance of two prayers at all times and places so that both prayers are performed in the time of one of them just like performing two prayers successively in ‘Arafah and Muzdalifah.

5. All Muslims agree that the Holy Prophet (S) had offered these two prayers in succession, but this tradition is interpreted in two ways:

a. The Shi‘ah say that what is meant by this tradition is that one is allowed to perform zuhr prayer at its appointed time and perform ‘asr prayer immediately after zuhr prayer. Similarly, one is allowed to perform maghrib prayer at its appointed time and perform ‘isha’ prayer immediately after maghrib prayer. And this ruling is applicable without such restrictions like time, place or condition; rather, it is permissible at any time and place.

b. The others say that what is meant by this is that one can wait for a while and perform

p: 115

zuhr prayer at the end of the period of the time allotted exclusively to it and offer ‘asr prayer at its initial period. Also, one can wait for a while and perform the maghrib prayer at the end of the period allotted exclusively to it and offer ‘isha’ prayer at its initial period.

In order to clarify this point, we shall examine the pertinent traditions to prove that what the traditions say about offering two prayers in succession {jam‘} is consistent with what the Shi‘ah say. That is, one can offer the two prayers at the time of the other, and not in the end of the period of the time allotted exclusively to it and the other one at its initial period.

A glance at the traditions

point

1. In his Musnad, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, the founder of the Hanbali school of jurisprudence, thus narrates on the authority of Jabir ibn Zayd:

أخبرنی جابر بن زید أنه سمع ابن عباس یقول: صلیت مع رسول الله صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم ثمانیاً وجمیعاً

سبعاً جمیعاً. قال: قلت: له یا أبا الشعثاء أظنه أخر الظهر وعجّل العصر وأخّر المغرب وعجل العشاء. قال:

وأنا أظن ذلک.

Jabir ibn Zayd reports: I heard Ibn ‘Abbas say: I prayed behind the Apostle of Allah (S) eight (rak‘ahs) in combination, and seven rak‘ahs in combination. I (one of the narrators) said: O Abu Sha‘tha’, I think that he (the Holy Prophet) had delayed zuhr prayer and offered ‘asr prayer soon afterward, and he delayed magrib prayer and offered ‘isha’ prayer soon afterward. He said:

p: 116

I also think so.(1)

It is evident from this tradition that the Holy Prophet (S) performed ‘asr immediately after zuhr, and ‘isha’ immediately after maghrib without any interval in between.

2. Ahmad ibn Hanbal narrates the following on the authority of ‘Abd Allah ibn Shaqiq:

خطبنا ابن عباس یوماً بعد العصر حتی غربت الشمس وبدت النجوم و علق الناس ینادونه الصلوه وفی القوم رجل من بنی تمیم ، فجعل یقول: الصلوه الصلوه قال: فغضب و قال أتعلمنی ؟ بالسنه شهدت رسول الله صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم – جمع بین الظهر والعصر والمغرب والعشاء. قال عبد الله فوجدت فی نفسی من ذلک شیئاً فلقیت أبا هریره فسألته فوفقه.

Ibn al-‘Abbas one day delivered us a speech in the late afternoon (after the afternoon prayer) till the sun disappeared and the stars appeared. The people began to say: Prayer! Prayer! Among the people who were present was a man from Banu Tamim. He started crying: Prayer! Prayer! Ibn ‘Abbas became angry and said: Do you want to teach me the Sunnah?

And he added: I saw the Messenger of Allah (S) perform afternoon prayer immediately after noon prayer and ‘isha’ prayer immediately after maghrib prayer. ‘Abd Allah ibn Shaqiq said: I felt I was not quite satisfied, so when I saw Abu Hurayrah and asked him, he confirmed ‘Abbas’ words.(2)

In this hadith, two of the Companions, ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abbas and Abu Hurayrah, testify to the fact that the Holy Prophet (S) performed ‘asr immediately after zuhr, and ‘isha’ immediately after maghrib and

p: 117


1- Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, vol. 1, p. 221. The same tradition is also reported in Abdul Hamid Siddiqui (trans.), Sahih Muslim (English Translation), vol. 1, chap. 100, “Combination of Prayers, When One is Resident,” Book 4, hadith 1521. {Trans.}
2- Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, vol. 1, p. 251. The same tradition is also reported in Abdul Hamid Siddiqui (trans.), Sahih Muslim (English Translation), vol. 1, chap. 100, “Combination of Prayers, When One is Resident,” Book 4, hadith 1523. {Trans.}

Ibn ‘Abbas imitated this act of the Prophet (S).

3. Malik ibn Anas, the founder of the Maliki school of jurisprudence, thus writes in his book, Al-Muwatta’:

صلی رسول الله صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم الظهر والعصر جمیعاً والمغرب والعشاء جمیعاً فی غیر خوف ول سفر.

The Messenger of Allah (S) performed noon and afternoon prayers immediately one after the other, and performed maghrib and ‘isha’ prayers immediately one after the other though he was neither in a state of fear nor on travels.(1)

4. Malik ibn Anas thus narrates on the authority of Mu‘adh ibn Jabal:

فکان رسول الله صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم یجمع بین الظهر والعصر والمغرب والعشاء.

“The Messenger of Allah (S) (on the Tabuk expedition) performed afternoon prayer immediately after noon prayer and ‘isha’ prayer immediately after maghrib prayer.”(2)

5. Malik ibn Anas thus narrates on the authority of Nafi‘, from ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar:

کان رسول الله صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم إذا عجّل به السیر یجمع بین المغرب والعشاء.

“Whenever the Messenger of Allah (S) was in a hurry, he would perform ‘isha’ prayer immediately after maghrib prayer.”(3)

6. Malik ibn Anas thus narrates on the authority of Abu Hurayrah:

إن رسول الله صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم کان یجمع بین الظهر والعصر فی سفره إلی تبوک.

“Verily, the Messenger of Allah (S) combined maghrib and ‘isha’ prayers together when he travelled to Tabuk.”(4)

7. Malik ibn Anas thus narrates on the authority of Nafi‘:

إن عبد الله بن عمر کان إذا جمع الأمراء بین المغرب والعشاء فی المظر جمع معهم.

“Verily, whenever the emirs combined maghrib and

p: 118


1- Malik ibn Anas, Al-Muwatta’ (Beirut, 3rd Edition 1403 AH), “Kitab as-Salah,” p. 125, hadith 178; Sahih Muslim (Beirut), vol. 2, “Kitab as-Salah,” “Bab al-Jam‘ bayn as-Salatayn fi’l-Hadr,” p. 151. Abdul Hamid Siddiqui (trans.), Sahih Muslim (English Translation), vol. 1, chap. 100, “Combination of Prayers, When One is Resident,” Book 4, hadith 1515. {Trans.}
2- Malik ibn Anas, Al-Muwatta’ (Beirut, 3rd Edition 1403 AH), “Kitab as-Salah,” p. 134, hadith 176; Sahih Muslim (Egypt), vol. 2, “Kitab as-Salah,” “Bab al-Jam‘ bayn as-Salatayn fi’l-Hadr,” p. 152. Abdul Hamid Siddiqui (trans.), Sahih Muslim (English Translation), vol. 1, chap. 100, “Combination of Prayers, When One is Resident,” Book 4, hadith 1518. {Trans.}
3- Malik ibn Anas, Al-Muwatta’ (Beirut, 3rd Edition 1403 AH), “Kitab as-Salah,” p. 125, hadith 177.
4- Ibid., p. 124, hadith 175.

‘isha’ prayers while raining, ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar would also combine the two prayers.”(1)

8. Malik ibn Anas thus narrates on the authority of ‘Ali ibn al-Husayn:

کان رسول الله صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم إذا أراد أن یسیر یومه جمع بین الظهر والعصر ، إذا أراد أن یسیر لیله جمع بین المغرب والعشاء.

Whenever the Messenger of Allah (S) wanted to travel during the day, he would combine zuhr and ‘asr prayers, and whenever he wanted to travel during the night, he would combine maghrib and ‘isha’ prayers.(2)

9. In his Sharh al-Muwatta’, Muhammad az-Zarqani thus narrates on the authority of Abu ash-Sha‘tha’:

إن بن عباس صلی بالبصره الظهر والعصر لیس بینهما شئ والمغرب والعشاء لیس بینهما شئ.

Verily, (‘Abd Allah) ibn ‘Abbas performed in Basrah zuhr and ‘asr prayers together without any interval in between, and performed maghrib and ‘isha’ prayers together without any interval in between.(3)

10. Zarqani narrates on the authority of Tabrani, from Ibn Mas‘ud:

جمع النبیّ صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم بین الظهر والعصر وبین المغرب والعشاء. فقیل له فی ذلک ، فقال: صنعت هذا لئلا تحرج أمتی.

The Prophet (S) performed zuhr and ‘asr prayers together, and the maghrib and ‘isha’ prayers together. When he was asked about the reason for that, he said: I wanted that my ummah would not be put to (unnecessary) difficulty.(4)

11. Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj narrates on the authority of Abu Zubayr from Sa‘id ibn Jubayr from Ibn ‘Abbas:

صلی رسول الله صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم الظهر والعصر جمیعاً بالمدینه فی غیر خوف ولا سفر.

“The Messenger of

p: 119


1- Ibid., p. 125, hadith 179.
2- Ibid., hadith 181.
3- Muhammad az-Zarqani, Sharh Muwatta’ Malik (Egypt), vol. 1, “Bab al-Jam‘ bayn as-Salatayn fi’l-Hadr wa’s-Safar,” p. 294.
4- Ibid.

Allah (S) performed noon and afternoon prayers together in Medina though he was neither in a state of fear nor on travels.”(1)

Abu Zubayr said: I asked Sa‘id (one of the narrators) why the Prophet did that. He said: I asked Ibn ‘Abbas about it, and he replied that he (the Holy Prophet) wanted that no one among his ummah should be put to (unnecessary) hardship.(2)

12. In his Sahih, Muslim thus narrates on the authority of Abu Zubayr from Sa‘id ibn Jubayr from Ibn al-‘Abbas:

جمع رسول الله صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم بین الظهر والعصر والمغرب والعئاء فی المدینه من غیر خوف ولا مظر.

The Messenger of Allah (S) combined the noon prayer with the afternoon prayer and the sunset prayer with the ‘isha’ prayer in Medina without being in a state of danger or rainfall.(3)

Then Sa‘id ibn Jubayr says: I asked Ibn al-‘Abbas: “Why did the Prophet do it?” Ibn al-‘Abbas replied: “He (the Holy Prophet) wanted that no one among his ummah should be put to (unnecessary) hardship”.(4)

13. In his Sahih, Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Bukhari has allocated a special section for this issue under the heading, “Section: Delaying of Ẓuhr Prayer till ‘Asr Prayer” {bab ta’khir az-zuhr ila’l-‘asr},(5) which is itself a solid proof that one may delay performing the zuhr prayer and observe it along with the ‘asr prayer at the time of the latter. Then, in that section Bukhari narrates a tradition, which we shall quote below:

إن النبیّ صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم صلی بالمدینه سبعاً وثمانیاً

p: 120


1- Sahih Muslim (Egypt), vol. 2, “Kitab as-Salah,” “Bab al-Jam‘ bayn as-Salatayn fi’l-Hadr,” p. 151. Abdul Hamid Siddiqui (trans.), Sahih Muslim (English Translation), vol. 1, chap. 100, “Combination of Prayers, When One is Resident,” Book 4, hadith 1516. {Trans.}
2- Ibid., under the mentioned hadith.
3- Ibid., 152. Abdul Hamid Siddiqui (trans.), Sahih Muslim (English Translation), vol. 1, chap. 100, “Combination of Prayers, When One is Resident,” Book 4, hadith 1520. {Trans.}
4- Ibid., under the mentioned hadith.
5- Sahih al-Bukhari (Egypt: Amiriyyah, 1314 AH), “Kitab as-Salah,” “Bab Ta’khir az-Ẓuhr ila’l-‘Asr,” vol. 1, p. 110.

والظهر والعصر والمغرب والعشاء.

“Verily, the Prophet (S) prayed eight rak‘ahs for the zuhr and ‘asr, and seven for the maghrib and ‘isha’ prayers in Medina.”(1)

It is so evident from this tradition that not only that one may delay performing the zuhr prayer and observe it along with the ‘asr prayer at the time of the latter, but it can also be inferred, based on contextual analogy, that in following the Holy Prophet (S) one may delay performing the maghrib prayer and observe it along with the ‘isha’ prayer at the time of the latter.

14. And thus, elsewhere in his Sahih, Bukhari says:

قال ابن عمر وأبو أیوب ابن عباس رضی الله عنهم: صلی النبیّ صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم – المغرب والعشاء.

“(‘Abd Allah) ibn ‘Umar, Abu Ayyub and Ibn al-‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them) said: The Prophet (S) observed the maghrib and ‘isha’ prayers (together without any interval).”(2)

Bukhari seemingly wants to deduce from this tradition that the Holy Prophet (S) combined the maghrib and ‘isha’ prayers. Otherwise, it is obvious that the Prophet (S) never neglected prayer.

15. In his Sahih, Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj thus writes:

قال رجل لأبن عباس الصلوه فسکت ثم قال الصلوه فسکت ثم قال الصلوه فسکت ، قال: لا أم لک أتعلمنا بالصلوه وکنا نجمع بین الصلاتین علی عهد رسول الله صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم.

A person said to Ibn al-‘Abbas (as he delayed the prayer): Prayer. He kept silence. He again said: Prayer. He again kept silence, and he again cried: Prayer. He again kept silence

p: 121


1- Ibid. Muhammad Muhsin Khan (trans.), Sahih al-Bukhari (English Translation), vol. 1, book 10, hadith 518. {Trans.}
2- Ibid., “Bab Dhikr al-‘Isha’,” vol. 1, p. 113.

and said: May you be deprived of your mother, do you teach us about prayer? We used to combine two prayers during the life of the Messenger of Allah (S).(1)

16. Muslim narrates:

إن رسول الله صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم جمع بین الصلاه سفره سافرها فی غزوه تبوک فجمع بین الظهر والعصر والمغرب والعشاء. قال سعید: فقلت لإبن عباس: ما حمله علی ذلک؟ قال: أراد أن لا یحرج امته.

Ibn al-‘Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah (S) combined the prayers as he set on a journey in the expedition to Tabuk. He combined the noon prayer with the afternoon prayer and the sunset prayer with the ‘isha’ prayer. Sa‘id (one of the narrators) said to Ibn al-‘Abbas: What prompted him to do this? He said: He wanted that his ummah should not be put to (unnecessary) hardship.(2)

17. Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj thus narrates on the authority of Mu‘adh ibn Jabal:

خرجنا مع رسول الله صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم فی غزوه تبوک فکان یصلی الظهر والعصر جمیعاً والمغرب والعشاء جمیعاً.

Mu‘adh reported: We set out with the Messenger of Allah (S) on the Tabuk expedition, and he observed the noon and afternoon prayers together and the sunset and ‘isha’ prayers together.(3)

18. Malik ibn Anas writes in the book, Al-Muwatta’:

عن ابن شهاب أنه سأله سالم بن عبد الله: هل یجمع بین الظهر والعصر فی السفر؟ فقال: نعم لا بأس بذلک ، ألم تر إلی صلاه الناس یعرفه؟

Ibn Shahab asked Salim ibn ‘Abd Allah: “Do you combine the zuhr and ‘asr prayers while

p: 122


1- Sahih Muslim (Beirut), vol. 2, “Kitab as-Salah,” “Bab al-Jam‘ bayn as-Salatayn fi’l-Hadr,” vol. 2, p. 153. Abdul Hamid Siddiqui (trans.), Sahih Muslim (English Translation), vol. 1, chap. 100, “Combination of Prayers, When One is Resident,” Book 4, hadith 1524. {Trans.}
2- Ibid., p. 151. Abdul Hamid Siddiqui (trans.), Sahih Muslim (English Translation), vol. 1, chap. 100, “Combination of Prayers, When One is Resident,” Book 4, hadith 1517. {Trans.}
3- Ibid., p. 152. Abdul Hamid Siddiqui (trans.), Sahih Muslim (English Translation), vol. 1, chap. 100, “Combination of Prayers, When One is Resident,” Book 4, hadith 1518. {Trans.}

in travel?” He replied: “Yes, there is no problem for that. Can you not see how the people pray on the Day of ‘Arafah (in the plain of ‘Arafah)?”(1)

It is necessary to note that the Muslims regard it as permissible on the Day of ‘Arafah in the plain of ‘Arafah to combine the zuhr and ‘asr prayers by observing them together at the time of zuhr prayer without any interval in between. Here, Salim ibn ‘Abd Allah is saying that just as the people is performing together the two prayers in ‘Arafah, they can also do the same elsewhere.

19. Muttaqi Hindi thus stated in his book, Kanz al-‘Ummal:

قال عبد الله: جمع لنا رسول الله صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم مقیماً غیر مسافر بین الظهر والعصر والمغرب والعشاء. فقال رجل لإبن عمر: لم تری النبیّ صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم فعل ذلک؟ قال: لأن لا یحرج امته إن جمع رجل.

‘Abd Allah (ibn ‘Umar) said: “The Messenger of Allah (S) combined the zuhr and ‘asr prayers and the maghrib and ‘isha’ prayers together while resident and not in travel.” A man asked Ibn ‘Umar: “Why did the Prophet (S) do that?” He replied: “So that his ummah would not be put to (unnecessary) difficulty should one prefer to do so”.(2)

20. We can also read the following in Kanz al-‘Ummal:

عن جابر أن النبیّ صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم جمع بین الظهر والعصر وبأذان وإقامتین.

Jabir (ibn ‘Abd Allah) says: “Verily, the Prophet (S) combined together the zuhr and ‘asr prayers with

p: 123


1- Malik ibn Anas, Al-Muwatta’ (Beirut, 3rd Edition 1403 AH), “Kitab as-Salah,” p. 125, hadith 180.
2- Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanz al-‘Ummal (Halab, 1391 AH), vol. 8, “Kitab as-Salah,” “Al-Bab ar-Rabi‘ fi’s-Salah al-Musafir, Bab Jam‘,” p. 246.

one adhan and two iqamahs.”(1)

21. In Kanz al-‘Ummal, one can read the tradition below:

عن جابر أن رسول الله صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم: غربت له الشمس بمکه فجمع بینهما بسفر.

Jabir (ibn ‘Abd Allah) says: “While the Messenger of Allah (S) was in Mecca the sun had set. Upon reaching Sarf,(2) he combined the two prayers (maghrib and ‘isha’).”(3)

22. In Kanz al-‘Ummal, it is thus narrated from Ibn al-‘Abbas:

جمع رسول الله صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم بین الظهر والعصر والمغرب والعشاء بالمدینه فی غیر سفر ولا مطر ، قال: قلت لإبن عباس: لم تراه فعل ذلک؟ قال: أراد التوسعه علی امته.

The Messenger of Allah (S) combined together the zuhr and ‘asr prayers as well as the maghrib and ‘isha’ prayers in Medina while not in a state of journey or rainfall. A narrator says: I asked Ibn al-‘Abbas: Why did he (the Holy Prophet) do so? He replied: He wanted easiness for his ummah.(4)

Conclusion

Now, in the light of the quoted traditions, we shall sum up the clear proofs that testify to the validity of the interpretation of combining prayers from the viewpoint of the Shi‘ah:

1. Combining two prayers together is meant to facilitate the conduct of affairs and avoid difficulty.

Many of the traditions testify to the fact that if combining together the zuhr and ‘asr prayers or the maghrib and ‘isha’ prayers is not permissible, it will cause difficulty and trouble in the activities of Muslims. As such, in a bid to create a sort of improvement and facility in the affairs of Muslims, the Prophet (S) declared as permissible the observance of both prayers

p: 124


1- Ibid., p. 247.
2- Sarf: a district 9 miles away from Mecca. See Kanz al-‘Ummal under the quoted hadith.
3- Muttaqi al-Hindi, Kanz al-‘Ummal (Halab, 1391 AH), vol. 8, “Kitab as-Salah,” “Al-Bab ar-Rabi‘ fi’s-Salah al-Musafir, Bab Jam‘,” p. 247.
4- Ibid.

(zuhr and ‘asr prayers, and the maghrib and ‘isha’ prayers) at one time. In this respect, refer to 10th, 16th, 19th, and 22nd hadiths.

It is clear that if the purport of the quoted traditions is that one may delay performing the zuhr prayer at its latter period (near the time when the size of any object is equal in size with itself) for the Ahl as-Sunnah and observe the ‘asr prayer at its initial period in such a manner that both prayers are performed together at a certain limited time, such a decree not only fails to give comfort but also causes more difficulty and trouble, whereas the purpose behind combining two prayers is comfort in the conduct of affairs.

Having said this, it is evident that the purport of this decree is that one may observe the two prayers throughout their common time such as the initial time of one or the latter part the other’s period, and not that we may perform one of these prayers at its latter period and the other one at its initial time.

2. Combining the two prayers together in ‘Arafah is an expression of its general applicability

All Islamic schools of thought have regarded as permissible to combine together the zuhr and ‘asr prayers in ‘Arafah.(1) Meanwhile, some of these quoted traditions testify to the fact that combining the two prayers in other places is also like combining the same in ‘Arafah, and for this reason, there is no difference between the Day of ‘Arafah and other days, or the plain of ‘Arafah and other places. In this regard,

p: 125


1- Al-Fiqh ‘ala’l-Madhahib al-Arba‘ah, “Kitab as-Salah,” “Al-Jam‘ bayn as-Salatayn Taqdiman wa Ta’khiran”.

refer to the 18th hadith.

Therefore, just as one may observe the zuhr and ‘asr prayers at the time of zuhr as all Muslims have consensus of opinion in this respect, the said combination of prayers is also permissible in other places.

3. The manner of combining the two prayers while traveling is an expression of its general applicability

On one hand, the Hanbali, Maliki and Shafi‘i jurists {fuqaha} have considered permissible to combine the two prayers while one is in travel. On the other hand, the quoted traditions stipulate that there is no difference between the state of traveling and residence and the Holy Prophet (S) used to combine the two prayers both in travel and at home.

In this connection, refer to the third, 11th, 13th, 19th, and 22nd traditions. Based on this, just as observing the two prayers together while traveling (as the Shi‘ah are saying) is permissible, it is also permissible when one is resident.

4. The manner of combining the two prayers together in the state of emergency is an expression of its general applicability at usual circumstances

Plenty of traditions recorded in Sahih and Musnad books testify to the fact that the Holy Prophet (S) and his Companions used to perform the two prayers together, just as the Shi‘ah are saying, during emergency cases such rainfall, state of fear (against the enemy) or sickness.

As such, many jurists of the diverse Islamic schools of jurisprudence have issued religious edicts {fatawa} on its permissibility on some emergency cases, whereas the quoted traditions stipulate that in this respect also, there is no difference between the state of emergency or usual condition, and the Holy Prophet (S) combined the two prayers while not in a state of fear or rainfall.

p: 126

In this context, refer to the third, 11th, 12th, and 22nd traditions.

5. The practice of the Companions of the Prophet (S) is an expression of its general applicability

We may notice in the quoted traditions that many Companions of the Prophet (S) used to perform the two prayers together in that ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abbas would so delay the performance of maghrib prayer that it would become dark and the stars appear in the sky and that no matter others were saying, “Prayer, prayer” he would not pay attention to them and finally observe the maghrib and ‘isha’ prayers together after the passage of a part of the night and said in reply to the protesters, “I was a witness that the Prophet (S) used to observe such a way of praying, too” and Abu Hurayrah also confirmed that statement of Ibn al-‘Abbas. Concerning this case, refer to the second, seventh, ninth, and 15th traditions.

In the light of these quoted traditions, there is no more doubt that Ibn al-‘Abbas combined together the two prayers in the manner observed by the Shi‘ah now.

6. The conduct of the Prophet (S) is an expression of the manner of combining the two prayers

It is so evident from the 21st hadith that the Prophet (S) was once still in Mecca when the time for maghrib prayer arrived but he delayed performing it until he reached the district of Sarf, which is nine miles away from Mecca, where he performed the maghrib and ‘isha’ prayers together without any time interval in between.

This is while it is clear that even if the Prophet (S) would have set off from Mecca at the beginning of the maghrib

p: 127

time, in view of the slow and antiquated means of transportation, a part of the night would have naturally passed before reaching the district of Sarf, and thus, the Holy Prophet (S) had performed both the maghrib and ‘isha’ prayers at the time of ‘isha’ prayer.

From the quoted traditions, which are all taken from the Sahih and Musnad references of the Ahl as-Sunnah, the validity of the Shi‘ah view on the permissibility of combining the zuhr and ‘asr prayers, or the maghrib and ‘isha’ prayers together under conditions discussed earlier and with general applicability at all circumstances, places and moments is hereby proved.

Question 28: What are the sources of Shi‘i jurisprudence {fiqh}?

point

Reply: Following the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Prophet (S), the Shi‘ah infer religious laws from four fundamental sources:

1. The Book of Allah (Qur’an);

2. The Sunnah of the Prophet (S);

3. Consensus {ijma‘}; and

4. Reason {‘aql}.

Now, we will take a glance at the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Prophet (S) which are the most fundamental fountainheads of Shi‘i jurisprudence {fiqh}:

1) The Book of Allah (Qur’an)

The followers of the Shi‘i school regard the Qur’an as the firmest source of its jurisprudence and the criterion of understanding divine laws. They consider the heavenly book of Islam as the loftiest reference of divine laws, and think that any opinion must be assessed according to the Qur’an, and in case of its conformity with the Qur’an, it is accepted, and if not, it is rejected.

Imam as-Sadiq (‘a), the sixth Imam followed by the Shi‘ah, thus says in this regard:

"وکل

p: 128

حدیث لا یوافق کتاب الله فهو زخرف."

“Any statement, which is not in conformity with the Book of Allah, is worthless.”(1)

Also, Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) thus narrates from the Holy Prophet (S):

"أیها الناس ما جاءکم عنی یوافق کتاب الله فأنا قلته وما جاءکم یخالف کتاب الله فلم أقله."

“O people! When you hear a statement which is attributed to me and is in harmony with the Book of Allah, take it for granted that I have said it; otherwise, I have not said it.”(2)

These two hadiths show clearly that leaders of the Shi‘ah regard the holy scripture of Muslims as the firmest source of religious laws.

2) The Sunnah

The Sunnah, that is the sayings, actions of the Messenger of Allah (S) and whatever he approved, is the second fountainhead of Shi‘i jurisprudence, and the Imams from the Ahl al-Bayt of the Prophet (S) are independently regarded as the transmitters of the Sunnah of the Prophet (S) and repository of his knowledge. Of course, the Shi‘ah also accept the Prophetic hadiths which are transmitted by reliable people other than the Imams (‘a).

At this point, it is appropriate to consider two things:

The reason for clinging to the Sunnah of the Prophet (S)

The leaders of the Shi‘ah have enjoined their followers to cling to the Sunnah of the Prophet (S) alongside the Qur’an, commending both the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Prophet (S). Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) says:

"إذا ورد علیکم حدیث فوجدتم له شاهداً من کتاب الله أو من قول رسول الله (ص) إلا فالذی جاءکم به أولی به."

If you are introduced to a narration which

p: 129


1- Usul al-Kafi, vol. 1, “Kitab Fadl al-‘Ilm,” “Bab al-Akhdh bi’s-Sunnah wa Shawahid al-Kitab,” hadith 3.
2- Ibid., hadith 5.

conforms with the Book of Allah or the words of the Messenger of Allah (S), accept it; otherwise, that narration is more worthy for its transmitter.(1)

Similarly, Imam al-Baqir (‘a) considers holding fast to the Sunnah of the Prophet (S) as a basic characteristic of an extremely well qualified jurist, and says:

"إن الفقیه حق الفقیه الزاهد فی الدنیا الراغب فی الأخره المتمسک بسنّه النبیّ (ص)."

“A true jurist is he who renounces what is in this world, desires for what is in the hereafter and clings to the Sunnah of the Prophet (S).”(2)

Great leaders of the Shi‘ah have such a good mastery over the Sunnah that they reject whatever opposes the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Prophet (S), and consider it as kufr {denial of faith}. Imam as-Sadiq (‘a), who stresses this idea, says:

"من خالف کتاب الله وسنّه محمد (ص) فقد کفر."

“Anyone who opposes the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of Muhammad (S) is an infidel.”(3)

This shows clearly that the Shi‘ah observe the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (S) more than any other Muslim groups, and testify to the groundlessness of the statement of those who accuse the Shi‘ah of being alien to the Sunnah of the Prophet (S).

The reason for clinging to the hadiths of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a)

In order to clarify the Shi‘ah’s view regarding the hadiths of the Prophet’s progeny (‘a), two topics are worth considering:

1. The essence of the hadiths of the infallible Imams (‘a), and

2. The proofs of the credibility and necessity of holding fast to the Ahl al-Bayt of the Prophet (S).

Having

p: 130


1- Ibid., hadith 2.
2- Ibid., hadith 8.
3- Ibid., hadith 6.

provided solid proofs, we shall examine the two topics briefly:

The essence of the hadiths of the progeny of the Messenger of Allah (S)

According to the Shi‘ah, only the Lord of the worlds has the right to legislate for human society. He disseminates sacred religious laws and ordinances to the world through His Prophet (S). It is obvious that the Messenger of Allah (S) is the only one who receives revelation and religious instructions from God and imparts them to the people.

Therefore, it is clear that when the Shi‘ah regard the hadiths of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) as a source of their fiqh, this does not mean that they consider these hadiths as independent of the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (S) but they ascribe the credibility of the hadiths of the Prophet’s progeny (‘a) to the fact that they clarify the meaning of the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (S).

Therefore, the hadiths of the infallible Imams followed by the Shi‘ah are not of their own; whatever they say is the same as the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (S).

In order to prove this idea, it is appropriate to quote some of the narrations of the Prophet’s progeny (‘a):

1. In response to a man’s question, Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) says:

"مهما أجبتک فیه بشئ فهو عن رسول الله (ص) لسنا نقول برأینا من شئ."

“All the answers I give you are based on the words of the Messenger of Allah (S) and we do not say anything of our own.”(1)

He (‘a) also says elsewhere:

حدیثی حدیث أبی وحدیث أبی حدیث جدّی وحدیث جدّی حدیث

p: 131


1- Jami‘ Ahadith ash-Shi‘ah, vol. 1, p. 129.

الحسین وحدیث الحسین حدیث الحسن وحدیث الحسین حدیث أمیر المؤمنین وحدیث أمیر المؤمنین حدیث رسول الله (ص) وحدیث رسول الله قول الله عزّوجلّ.

My hadith is my father’s hadith, and my father’s hadith is my grandfather’s hadith, and my grandfather’s hadith is al-Husayn (‘a)’s hadith, and al-Husayn’s hadith is al-Hasan’s hadith, and al-Hasan’s hadith is the Commander of the Faithful’s hadith, and the Commander of the Faithful’s hadith is the Messenger of Allah’s hadith (S), and the Messenger of Allah’s hadith is from Allah, the Honorable and Glorious.(1)

2. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (‘a) thus says to Jabir (ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Ansari):

"حدثنی أبی عن جدّی رسول الله (ص) عن جبرئیل عن الله عز وجل وکلما أحدثک بهذا الإسناد.

My father narrated to me from the Messenger of Allah (S), and he from Jibra’il (Archangel Gabriel) (‘a), and Jibra’il from God, the Honorable and Glorious, and all my narrations are based on this chain of transmission.(2)

The mentioned hadiths show clearly that the hadiths of the Imams followed by the Shi‘ah are the very Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (S).

The proofs of the credibility and necessity of clinging to the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a)

The hadith scholars {muhaddithun} of both Sunni and Shi‘ah schools of thought are of the opinion that the Messenger of Allah (S) has left behind two precious legacies and invited all Muslims to hold fast to these two legacies, regarding that felicity and guidance are the consequence of people’s holding fast to these two—the first is the Book of Allah (the Qur’an) and the second is his progeny {‘itrah} and the members of his Household {Ahl al-Bayt}

p: 132


1- Ibid., p. 127.
2- Ibid., p. 128.

(‘a).

Here are some examples of these traditions:

1. In his Sahih (or Sunan), Tirmidhi thus narrates on the authority of Jabir ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Ansari that the Messenger of Allah said:

"یا أیها الناس إنی قد ترکت فیکم ما إن أخذتم به لن تضلوا: کتاب الله وعترتی أهل بیتی."

“O people! I am leaving behind two things, which if you hold fast to, you will never go astray: the Book of Allah and my progeny, the members of my Household.”(1)

2. Tirmidhi thus also writes in the mentioned book:

قال رسول الله صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم: إنی تارک فیکم ما إن تمسکتم به لن تضلوا بعدی أحدهما أعظم من الأخر: کتاب الله حبل ممدود من السماء إلی الأرض وعترتی أهل بیتی لن یفترقا حتی یردا علیّ الحوض فانظروا کیف تخلفونی فیهما.

The Messenger of Allah (S) said: Verily, I am leaving among you two weighty things, which if you hold fast to, you will never go astray; one is greater than the other: the Book of Allah, which is a cord extending from the heaven to earth. The other is my progeny, the members of my Household. These two will never separate from each other until they meet me at the Pond {hawd} (of Kawthar). Be careful how you will behave with them when I leave you.(2)

3. In his Sahih, Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj narrates from the Holy Prophet (S) and says:

ألا أیها الناس فانما أنا بشر یوشک أن یأتی رسول ربی فأجیب وأنا تارک فیکم ثقلین: أولهما کتاب الله فیه الهادی والنور فخذوا بکتاب

p: 133


1- Sahih Tirmidhi (Beirut), “Kitab al-Manaqib,” “Bab Manaqib Ahl Bayt an-Nabi,” vol. 5, p. 662, hadith 3786.
2- Ibid., p. 663, hadith no. 3788.

الله واستمسکوا به – فحث علی کتاب الله ورغب فیه ثم قال: وأهل بیتی أذکرکم الله فی أهل بینی أذکرکم الله فی أهل بیتی أذکرکم الله فی أهل بیتی.

“O people, I am a human being. I am about to receive a messenger (the angel of death) from my Lord and I, in response to Allah’s call, (would bid goodbye to you), but I am leaving among you two weighty things: the one being the Book of Allah in which there is right guidance and light, so hold fast to the Book of Allah and adhere to it.” He exhorted (us) (to hold fast) to the Book of Allah and then said: “The second are the members of my Household. I remind you (of your duties) to the members of my family.”(1)

4. A group of hadith scholars has reported the Holy Prophet (S) to have said:

إنی تارک فیکم الثقلین کتاب الله وأهل بیتی وإنهما لن یفترقا حتی یردا علیّ الحوض.

I am leaving among you two weighty things {thaqalayn}: the Book of Allah (the Qur’an) and my Household {ahla bayti}, and these two will never be separated from each other until they meet me at the Pool {hawd} (of Kawthar).(2)

It is necessary to note that the hadiths related to this topic are too many to be covered in this volume, and the prolific researcher, Sayyid Mir Hamid al-Husayn has compiled the chains of transmission of these traditions in his six-volume ‘Abaqat al-Anwar.

These quoted traditions clearly show that clinging to and following the

p: 134


1- Sahih Muslim (Egypt), vol. 7, “Bab Fada’il ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, pp. 122-123; Sahih Muslim, vol. 4, p. 1803, hadith no. 2408 (‘Abd al-Baqi Edition). Abdul-Hamid Siddiqui (trans.), Sahih Muslim (English Translation), vol. 4, hadith no. 5920. {Trans.}
2- Mustadrak al-Hakim, vol. 3, p. 148; As-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah, sec. 11, chap. 1, p. 149, and a similar narration is also presented in the following books: Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, vol. 5, pp. 182, 189; Kanz al-‘Ummal, vol. 1, “Bab al-I‘tisam bi’l-Kitab wa’s-Sunnah,” p. 44.

Ahl al-Bayt of the Prophet (S), alongside the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Holy Apostle (S), is among the exigencies of Islam, and ignoring the hadiths of the Prophet’s progeny (‘a) leads to misguidance and loss.

Now, who are the progeny of the Prophet (S) whose obedience is incumbent upon us by the order of the Messenger of Allah (S)? In order to clarify this point, we shall cite some narrations and examine the meaning of “the progeny {‘itrah} of the Prophet (S)”:

Who are the Ahl al-Bayt of the Prophet (S)?

point

The quoted traditions affirm that the Holy Prophet (S) called upon all Muslims to follow his progeny, considering them, alongside the Book of Allah, as the authorities for people to refer to after his departure. He said very clearly: “The Qur’an and my progeny will never be separated from each other.”

Now, because the Ahl al-Bayt of the Prophet (S) who are introduced by the Messenger of Allah (S) as equal to the Qur’an, we realize that they enjoy the station of infallibility {‘ismah} and they have access to the pure fountain of Islamic knowledge; for, if this is not the case, they will be separated from the Book of Allah (the Qur’an), whereas the Holy Prophet (S) says: “The Qur’an and my progeny will never be separated from each other until they meet me at the Pool {hawd} (of Kawthar).”

As such, it is necessary to fully recognize the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) and their outstanding attributes, which characterize only the Imams followed by the Shi‘ah, all of

p: 135

whom are among the progeny of the Prophet (S).

Referring to the traditions transmitted by great muhaddithun, we shall bring forth our convincing proofs in this regard:

1. After narrating the Hadith ath-Thaqalayn, Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj thus says:

Yazid ibn Hayyam asked Zayd ibn al-Arqam: “Who are the members of the Household of the Prophet (S)? Aren’t the wives (of the Holy Prophet) included among the members of his household?” In reply, Zayd ibn Arqam thus said:

"لا وایم الله إن المرأه تکون مع الرجل العصر من الدهر ثم یطلقها فترجع إلی أبیه وقومها أهل بیته أصله وعصبته الذین حُرموا الصدقه بعده."

No, by Allah, a woman lives with a man (as his wife) for a certain period; he then divorces her and she goes back to her parents and to her people; the members of his household include his own self and his kith and kin (who are related to him by blood) and for him the acceptance of zakah is prohibited.(1)

This tradition testifies to the fact that “the “progeny of the Prophet (S),” clinging to whom, like holding fast to the Qur’an, is obligatory, does not mean his wives but they, apart from the close physical affinity and spiritual attachment they have with him, have a special merit for which we consider alongside the Qur’an, authorities for the Muslims of the world to refer to.

2. The Holy Prophet (S) did not only describe the attributes of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) but also mentioned their number, and said that they

p: 136


1- Sahih Muslim (Egypt), vol. 7, “Bab Fada’il ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, p. 123. Abdul-Hamid Siddiqui (trans.), Sahih Muslim (English Translation), vol. 4, book, 31, hadith no. 5923. {Trans.}

are twelve:

Muslim narrates on the authority of Jabir ibn Samurah:

سمعت رسول الله صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم یقول: لا یزال الإسلام عزیزاً إلی إثنی عشر خلیفه ثم قال کلمه لم اسمعها فقلت لأبی ما قال؟ فقال: کلهم من قریش."

I heard the Messenger of Allah (S) say: ‘Islam will keep its honor with twelve caliphs.’ Then, he said a statement which I did not hear. I asked my father, “What he (S) said?” Then, he (my father) replied that he (S) said: “All of them will be from Quraysh.(1)

Also, Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj thus narrates from the Messenger of Allah (S):

"لا یزال أمر الناس ماضیاً ما ولیهم إثنا عشر رجلاُ."

“The affairs of the people will continue to be conducted (well) as long as they are governed by twelve men.”(2)

The two traditions are a clear testimony to the Shi‘ah contention that “The twelve Imams followed by the Shi‘ah are the rightful leaders of the people after the Holy Prophet (S).” This is because in Islam, the twelve caliphs who came immediately after the Messenger of Allah (S) are the authorities who take care of the Muslims’ affairs and the glory and splendor of Islam, are referred to no one except the twelve Imams from the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a).

For, if we apply that to the four caliphs who are known as the “Rightly-Guided Caliphs” {khulafa ar-rashidun}, we find that the other rulers—the Umayyad and ‘Abbasid caliphs—most of whom are known for their unscrupulous characters as testified by history, are a source

p: 137


1- Muslim, Sahih (Egypt), vol. 6, p. 2. Abdul-Hamid Siddiqui (trans.), Sahih Muslim (English Translation), vol. 3, hadith no. 4480. {Trans.}
2- Ibid. Abdul-Hamid Siddiqui (trans.), Sahih Muslim (English Translation), vol. 3, hadith no. 4478. {Trans.}

of Islam and the Muslims’ ignominy.

As such, the “Ahl al-Bayt”, who have been introduced by the Holy Prophet (S) as equal to the Qur’an and as the authority for the Muslims in the world to refer to, are the very twelve leaders from the Prophet’s progeny. They are the preservers of the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (S) and the repository of his knowledge.

3. Also, the Commander of the Faithful, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (‘a), says that the leaders of Muslims are from Banu Hashim, which is another clear testimony to the soundtness of the Shi‘ah premise in their recognition of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a), when he declares:

"إن الأئمه من قریش غرسوا فی هذا البطن من بنی هائم لا تصلح علی من سواهم ولا تصلح الولاه من غیرهم."

Surely, the Imams (divine leaders) will be from the Quraysh. They have been planted in this line through Hashim. It would not suit others nor would others be suitable as heads of affairs.(1)

Conclusion

The set of the quoted of traditions reveals two facts:

1. Holding fast to the Ahl al-Bayt of the Prophet (S) and following them alongside the injunctions of the Book of Allah is obligatory.

2. The Ahl al-Bayt of the Messenger of Allah (S) who have been introduced as “the counterpart of the Glorious Qur’an” and as the authority for all Muslims to refer to, have the following salient features:

a. All of them are from the tribe of Quraysh and the clan of Banu Hashim;

b. They have such affinity to

p: 138


1- Nahj al-Balaghah (Subhi Salih), Sermon 144.

the Messenger of Allah (S) that charity {sadaqah} is unlawful for them to receive;

c. They have the station of infallibility {‘ismah}, otherwise they would be separated from the Glorious Qur’an, whereas the Holy Prophet says: “These two (the Qur’an and ‘itrah) will not be separated from each other until they meet me at the Pool {hawd} of Kawthar.”

d. They are twelve all in all and they are the guardians and leaders of the Muslims who succeed the Messenger of Allah (S) one after the other.

e. These twelve successors of the Prophet (S) are the source of ever-growing glory and splendor of Islam.

Taking into account these descriptions drawn from the traditions, we realize that by his Ahl al-Bayt (‘a), the obedience to whom is incumbent on the Muslims, the Prophet (S) means the very twelve pure Imams from the progeny of the Holy Prophet (S), obedience and loyalty to whom the Shi‘ah take pride when exploring their jurisprudential laws.

Question 29 : Did Abu Talib die a believer on account of which you visit {ziyarah} his shrine?

point

Reply: From the viewpoint of the Shi‘ah, Abu Talib, the son of ‘Abd al-Muttalib, the eminent father of the Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali (‘a) and the uncle of the Holy Prophet (S), is among the people who believed in the apostleship {risalah} of the Messenger of Allah (S), and among his helpers and confidants in time of tribulations and adversities during the early period of Islam.

The family of Abu Talib

He was born in a house and grew up under the supervision of the Prophet’s (S) grandfather, the champion of

p: 139

the followers of the school of Ibrahim al-Khalil (Prophet Abraham) (‘a), viz. ‘Abd al-Muttalib. A cursory glance at the history of the Arabian Peninsula will reveal that during the most critical and dangerous junctures of his life, ‘Abd al-Muttalib never abandoned worshipping God and safeguarding the creed of monotheism.

When Abraham headed toward Mecca with a huge army of elephant-riders with the aim of destroying the Ka‘bah, he took some of ‘Abd al-Muttalib’s camels which were on the way. As ‘Abd al-Muttalib came to him to get back his camels, Abrahah asked him in astonishment: “Instead of requesting for the return of your camel, why do you not ask for the return of my army and do something to save the Ka‘bah from destruction?”

Full of faith and trust in God, ‘Abd al-Muttalib replied:

"أنا رب الإبل وللبیت رب یمنعه ویحمیه."

“I am the owner of the camels, and this House (Ka‘bah) has its Owner Who shall protect it.”(1)

He then went back to Mecca, and holding the door of the Ka‘bah, he thus said:

یا رب لا أرجو لهم سواک

یا رب فامنع منهم حماکا

إن البیت عدوّ من عاداکا

امنعهم أن یخربوا فناکا

O God! I plead no one but You to repel the enemies. O God! Guard Your Sanctuary against them.

The enemies of the House are inimical to You. Prevent them from destroying Your House.(2)

These eloquent statements and the like are a clear testimony to the monotheistic belief and unflinching faith of ‘Abd al-Muttalib, the eminent father of Abu Talib. In his history book, Ya‘qubi writes the

p: 140


1- Ibn Athir, Al-Kamil (Egypt, 1348 AH), vol. 1, p. 261.
2- Ibid.

following about ‘Abd al-Muttalib:

"رفض عباده الأصناز وحدّ الله عز وجل."

“He kept aloof from worshipping idols and worshipped no one other than Allah, the Honorable and Glorious.”(1)

Now, let us see what is this monotheist and faithful father’s opinion about his own son, Abu Talib:

Abu Talib according to ‘Abd al-Muttalib

Historical records show clearly that some enlightened predictors informed Abu al-Muttalib of the bright future of the Holy Prophet (S) and his prophethood {nubuwwah}.

When Sayf ibn Dhu’l-Yazn took over and became the ruler of Abyssinia, ‘Abd al-Muttalib went to him at the head of a delegation. After delivering an eloquent speech, the ruler of Abyssinia gave him glad tidings of the coming of an honorable prophet from his offspring, and regarding the prophet’s features he thus said:

اسمه محمد – صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم

یموت أبوه وأمه ویکلفه جده وعمه

“His name shall be Muhammad (S); his father and mother will die (early) and his grandfather and uncle will shoulder the burden of his custodianship.”(2)

Then, giving more details about this future prophet, he added:

"یعبد الرحمن ویدحض الشیطان ویخمد النیران ویکسر الأوثان. قوله فصل وحکمه عدل ویأمر بالمعروف ویفعله وینهی عن المنکر ویبطله."

He will worship the Most Merciful (God), avert Satan, extinguish the fires, and break down the idols. His words are decisive and his judgment equitable and fair. He will enjoin good and he himself will do good deeds and he will forbid evil and nullify it.(3)

Then, he said to ‘Abd al-Muttalib:

"إنک لجده یا عبد المطلب غیر کذب."

“O ‘Abd al-Muttalib! Without doubt, you are his grandfather.”(4)

Upon hearing this glad

p: 141


1- Tarikh al-Ya‘qubi (Najaf), vol. 2, p. 7.
2- Sirah al-Halabi (Egypt), vol. 1, pp. 136-137; (Beirut), pp. 114-115.
3- Ibid.
4- Ibid.

tiding, ‘Abd al-Muttalib performed thanks-giving prostration {sujud ash-shukr}, and concerning that blessed birth (of the Prophet) he said:

إنه کان لی وابن کنت به معجباً وعلیه ورفیقاً إنی زوجته کریمه من کرائم قومی أمنه بنت وهب بن عبد مناف ابن زهره فجاءت بغلام فسمّیته محمدا مات أبوه وأمّه وکفلته أنا عمّه ، یعنی ابا طالب.

I had a son whom I greatly admired and was gentle with him. I married him off to an honorable lady named Aminah bint al-Wahhab ibn ‘Abd al-Manaf. That lady gave birth to a son whom I named Muhammad. After sometime, his father and mother passed away, and his uncle {Abu Talib} and I took care of him.(1)

These statements indicate that ‘Abd al-Muttalib was aware of the bright future of that orphan, and as such, he decided to entrust the child after his death to the most beloved of his sons, Abu Talib, and deprive others of this unequalled felicity.

This shows clearly that in the view of his faithful and monotheist father, Abu Talib was so faithful and upright that he was worthier than any other person to take care of the Holy Prophet (S).(2) Now, in order to elaborate on this topic, here are some proofs that confirm Abu Talib’s faith.

Proofs which confirm Abu Talib’s faith

1. Literary works of Abu Talib

Muslim scholars and historians have recounted eloquent elegies from Abu Talib. The contents of these magnificent works verify his true faith. Below are some of these works which are plenty:

لیعلم خیار الناس أن محمد

نبیّ کموسی والمسیح ابن مریم

أتانا بهدی مثل ما أتیا به

فکلّ بأمر الله

p: 142


1- Ibid. (Egypt), vol. 1, p. 137.
2- For further explanation, see Sirah al-Halabi (Egypt), vol. 1, p. 134; Sirah Ibn Hisham (Beirut), vol. 1, p. 189; Abu Talib Mu’min Quraysh (Beirut), p. 109; At-Tabaqat al-Kubra (Beirut), vol. 1, p. 117.

یهدی ویعصم

Distinguished personalities should be aware that Muhammad is a prophet like Musa (Moses) and Masih (Messiah) the son of Maryam (Mary).

He has brought to us celestial radiance similar to that of these two. Each of them guides people and keeps them away from sins through the command of Allah.(1)

ألم تعلموا أنا وجدنا محمدا

رسولا کموسی خطّ فی أولا الکتب

وأن علیه فی العباد محبه

و لا حیف فیمن خّه الله بالحب

Don’t you know that we consider Muhammad an apostle (of Allah) like Musa (ibn ‘Imran) and read about him in the earlier Scriptures?

The people love him and it is not unfair to love someone, the love of whom Allah has in people’s hearts.(2)

لقد أکرم الله النبیّ محمد

فأکرم خلق الله فی الناس أحمد

وشقّ له من اسمه لیجله

فذو العرش محمود وهذا محمد

Allah has exalted Prophet Muhammad. So, the most exalted one of the creation of Allah is Ahmad.

He (Allah) has derived a name from His name so as to exalt him. So, the Owner of the Throne is the Praised One {Mahmud} and he is the Highly Praised {Muhammad}.(3)

والله لن یصلوا لیه بجمعهم

أوسّد حتی التراب فی دفینا

فاصدع بأمرک ما علیک غضاضه

وابشر بذلک وقرمنک عیونا

ودعوتنی وعلمت أنک ناصحی

ولقد دعوت وکنت ثمّ أمینا

ولقد علمت بأنّ دین محمد

من خیر أدیان البریّه دینا

By Allah! The enemies will never harm you so long as I am alive.

So, fear not, and execute that which has been entrusted to you. Be glad and let your eyes be at rest.

You invited me to your creed and I knew that you are

p: 143


1- Al-Hujjah, p. 57. For a similar text, see Mustadrak al-Hakim (Beirut), vol. 2, p. 623.
2- Tarikh Ibn Kathir, vol. 1, p. 42; Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah (2nd Edition), vol. 14, p. 72.
3- Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah (2nd Edition), vol. 14, p. 78; Tarikh Ibn Asakir, vol. 1, p. 275; Tarikh Ibn Kathir, vol. 1, p. 266; Tarikh al-Khamis, vol. 1, p. 254.

my well-wisher and you are indeed trustworthy in your invitation.

And I knew well that the religion of Muhammad is the best of all religions that exist.(1)

یا شاهد الله علیّ فاشهد

أنی علی دین النبیّ أحمد

من ضلّ فی الدین فإنّی مهتدی

O witness of Allah! Bear witness that I believe in the religion of Prophet Ahmad. (Bear witness that) if anyone deviates from the religion, I will remain with the guided.(2)

In the last days of his blessed life, Abu Talib urged the chiefs of Quraysh to completely support the Messenger of Allah (S) as shown in the following odes:

أربعه الخیر نبیّ بنصر أوصی

عباسا القوم شیخ و علیّا ابنی

حقیقته الحامی الأسد وحمزه

النّاسا دونه تذودوا أن وجعفرا

ولدت ما و أمّی لکم فداء کونوا

أتراسا النّاس دون أحمدَ نصرِ فی

I admonish four people to assist the Prophet of Goodness: my son ‘Ali, the chief of (our) clan ‘Abbas, Hamzah the Lion (of God) who is protecting his truth, and Ja‘far (my son). May my mother and her children be your ransom!— be like a shield in assisting Ahmad vis-à-vis the people.(3)

When a just and fair person considers all these eloquent literary works, which bespeak with utmost explicitness of the conviction and belief of Abu Talib in the One God and the prophethood of the Holy Prophet (S), he will realize the soundness of the Shi‘ah’s view concerning Abu Talib’s true faith, and feel regret about the groundless accusations made by some writers for political reasons against the true believer of Quraysh, the Prophet of God’s uncle and

p: 144


1- Khazanah al-Adab al-Baghdadi, vol. 1, p. 261; Tarikh Ibn Kathir, vol. 3, p. 42; Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah (2nd Edition) vol. 14, p. 55; Fath al-Barri, vol. 7, pp. 153-155; Al-Isabah (Egypt, 1358 AH), vol. 4, p. 116; Diwan Abi Talib, p. 12.
2- Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah (2nd Edition) vol. 14, p. 78; Diwan Abi Talib, p. 75.
3- Ibn Shahr Ashub Mazandarani, Mutashabihat al-Qur’an, on the commentary of Surah al-Hajj, under the verse, waliyansurann Allah min yansuruh.

great defender of the religion in the difficult conditions of the early period of Islam.

2. Abu Talib’s behavior toward the Prophet (S) is indicative of his faith

All renowned Muslim historians mention Abu Talib’s self-sacrifice to defend the Messenger of Allah (S) as an indicative sign of his firm faith.

With the aim of protecting Islam and guarding the Prophet (S), Abu Talib preferred remaining with the Messenger of Allah (S) in isolation for three years of life in the Valley of Abu Talib {Sha‘b Abu Talib} to being the head of the Quraysh. He remained with the Prophet (S) till the termination of the economic (and social) boycott against the Muslims, enduring all kinds of tribulations and intolerable circumstances.(1)

In addition to this, Abu Talib urged his own beloved son, ‘Ali (‘a), to always accompany and assist the Messenger of Allah (S), asking him to attend to the Prophet (S) in the pressing circumstances of the early period of Islam.

In his Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah, Ibn Abi’l-Hadid al-Mu‘tazili narrates that Abu Talib said to his son, ‘Ali (‘a): “The Messenger of Allah invites you to nothing but goodness. So, be always at his side.”(2)

It is clear that Abu Talib’s service to the Prophet (S) and his sincere self-sacrifice in defending the holy sanctity of Islam confirm the idea of Abu Talib’s faith.

For this reason, the great Muslim scholar, Ibn Abi’l-Hadid refers in his verses to Abu Talib’s major role in protecting and guarding the Messenger of Allah (S) and his pure creed, and says:

ولولا أبو طالب وابنه لما مثل الدین شخصاً

p: 145


1- For more information, see Sirah al-Halabi (Egypt), vol. 1, p. 134; Tarikh al-Khamis (Beirut), vol. 1, pp. 253-254; Sirah Ibn Hisham (Beirut), vol. 1, p. 189; Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah (2nd Edition), vol. 14, p. 52; Tarikh al-Ya‘qubi (Najaf), the beginning of vol. 2; Al-Isabah (Egypt), vol. 4, p. 115; At-Tabaqat al-Kubra (Beirut, 1380 AH) vol. 1, p. 119.
2- Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah (2nd Edition), vol. 14, 53.

فقاما

فذاک مکه وأوی حامی وهذا بیثرب جسّ الحماما

وما ضرّ مجد أبی طالب جهول أو لغی أو بصثر تعامی

Had it not been for Abu Talib and his son, the religion (of Islam) would have never been established.

One (Abu Talib) gave refuge and protection to him (Prophet) and the other (his son ‘Ali) put himself in the whirlpool of death in Yathrib.(1)

The splendor of Abu Talib will not be undermined by a nonsense-talking ignorant or an informed one who is unwilling to see the truth.(2)

3. Abu Talib’s will and testament is a clear testimony to his true faith

Renowned historians of the Muslim world such as Al-Halabi ash-Shafi‘i in his Sirah, and Muhammad ad-Diyar al-Bakri in Tarikh al-Khamis, mentions Abu Talib in which he calls upon his people to assist the Messenger of Allah (S):

یا معشر قریش کونوا له ولاه ولحزبه حماه ، والله لا یسلک أحد منکم سبیله إلا رشد ولا یأخذ أحد بهدیه إلا سعد ، ولو کان لنفسی مده ولأجلی تأخر لکففت عنه والهزائز لدفعت عنه الدواهی ثم هلک؟

O my kinsmen! Be his friends and the supporters of his party. By Allah! Whoever follows him becomes prosperous. If death would delay, I would have warded off all the dangers that come up against him. (Then, he made his last breath.)(3)

4. The Messenger of Allah’s love and affection to Abu Talib testifies to the latter’s faith

On various occasions, the Messenger of Allah (S) praised his uncle Abu Talib and expressed his love and affection to him, of which we shall cite two instances:

a. A group of historians have narrated that the Holy Prophet (S) has said to ‘Aqil ibn Abi Talib:

"إنی أحبک حبین حباً لقرابتک ومنی

p: 146


1- Yathrib: the former name of the town which was renamed Madinah an-Nabi {City of the Prophet} after Prophet Muhammad’s (S) migration {hijrah} there. It is now briefly called Madinah (Medina). {Trans.}
2- Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah (2nd Edition), vol. 14, p. 84.
3- Tarikh al-Khamis (Beirut), vol. 1, pp. 300-301; Sirah al-Halabi (Egypt), vol. 1, p. 391.

حبا لما کنت أعلم من حب عمی إیاک."

“Indeed, I love you for two reasons: the first is your kinship to me and the second is that which I know of the love of my uncle (Abu Talib) to you.”(1)

b. Also, Halabi narrates in his Sirah that the Messenger of Allah (S) has said in praise of his uncle Abu Talib:

"ما نالت قریش منّی شیئا أکرهه أی اشد الکراهه حتی مات أبو طالب."

“Throughout Abu Talib’s life, the Quraysh {infidels} had not caused me serious trouble.”(2)

It is evident that the love and great respect of the Holy Prophet (S) for Abu Talib is a clear indication of the latter’s sincere faith; for, the Messenger of Allah (S), abiding by the Qur’anic verses, loves the believers and is hard against the infidels and idolaters. The Glorious Qur’an states in this regard:

"محمد رسول الله والذین معه أشداء علی الکفار رحماء بینهم."

“Muhammad, the Apostle of Allah, and those who are with him are hard against the faithless and merciful among themselves.”(3)

And it also states:

﴿ ﻻ تَجِدُ قَوْمًا یُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْیَوْمِ الْآخِرِ یُوَادُّونَ مَنْ حَادَّ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَلَوْ کَانُوا آبَاءهُمْ أَوْ أَبْنَاءهُمْ أَوْ إِخْوَانَهُمْ أَوْ عَشِیرَتَهُمْ أُوْلَئِکَ کَتَبَ فِی قُلُوبِهِمُ الْإِیمَانَ ﴾

“You will not find a people believing in Allah and the Last Day endearing those who oppose Allah and His Apostle even though they were their own parents, or children, or brothers, or kinsfolk. {For} such, He has written faith into their hearts.”(4)

Taking into account the quoted verses and comparing them with the Holy

p: 147


1- Tarikh al-Khamis (Beirut), vol. 1, p. 163; Al-Isti‘ab, vol. 2, p. 509.
2- Sirah al-Halabi (Egypt), vol. 1, p. 391.
3- Surah al-Fath 48:29.
4- Surah al-Mujadilah 58:22.

Prophet’s (S) affection and exceptional respect toward Abu Talib shown on various occasions, no doubt will remain concerning the fact that Abu Talib had strong faith in God and the Prophet (S).

5. The companions of the Messenger of Allah’s testimony to Abu Talib’s true faith

A group of the Companions of the Prophet (S) have testified to the sincere faith of Abu Talib. Below are some accounts:

a. Once, an ignorant person made unfair accusation against Abu Talib in the presence of the Commander of the Faithful ‘Ali (‘a). So, Imam ‘Ali (‘a) to him with a sign of anger on his face said:

"مه ، فضّ الله فاک ، والذی بعث محمداً بالحقّ نبیاَّ لو شفع أبی فی کل مذنب علی وجه الأرض لشفعه الله."

Keep silent! May God disfigure your mouth! By the One Who sent Muhammad with the truth to be a prophet! If my father intercedes for every sinner on the earth, Allah will accept his intercession.(1)

And he (‘a) also says elsewhere:

"کان الله وأبو طالب عبد مناف بن عبد المطلب مؤمناً مسلماً یکتم إیمانه مخافه علی هاشم بی أن تنابذها قریش."

By Allah! Abu Talib ‘Abd Manaf ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib was a true believer and Muslim. He used to hide his faith before the Quraysh {infidels} lest they should be hostile to the Banu Hashim.(2)

These words of Imam ‘Ali (‘a) not only confirm Abu Talib’s firm faith but also place him in the rank of awliya’ who can intercede on behalf of others by a divine decree.

b. Abu Dharr al-Ghaffari thus says about Abu Talib:

والله الذی لا إله إلا هو ما مات أبوطالب رضی

p: 148


1- Al-Hujjah, p. 24.
2- Ibid.

علی عنه حتی أسلم.

“By Allah other than Whom there is no god! Abu Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) did not depart this life without having accepted Islam.”(1)

c. It has also been narrated and confirmed by many chains of transmission that ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib and Abubakr ibn Abu Qahafah thus said:

"إن أبا طالب ما مات حتی قال: لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الله."

7Surely, Abu Talib did not depart this life without having uttered, “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah” {La ilaha illallah, Muhammadan rasulullah}.(2)

6. Abu Talib in the view of the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a)

All the Imams from the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a) have emphasized Abu Talib’s firm faith, and on various occasions, they defended this self-sacrificing helper of the Holy Prophet (S). We shall mentoin only two examples in this regard:

a. Imam al-Baqir (‘a) says:

لو وضع ایمان أبی طالب فی کفّه ومیزان إیمان هذا الخلق فی الکفّه الأخری لرجّح إیمانه."

“If the faith of Abu Talib is placed in one pan of a scale and the faith of this creation in the other pan, his faith will tip the scale in his favor.”(3)

b. Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) narrates from the Messenger of Allah (S):

"إن أصحاب الکهف أسروا الإیمان وأظهروا الکفر فأتاهم الله أجرهم مرتین ، وإن أباطالب أسرّ الإیمان وأظهر الشرک فأتاه الله أجره مرّتین."

Verily, the Companions of the Cave {Ashab al-Kahf} hid their faith (on account of some expediency) and pretended to be infidels; so, Allah gave them double reward. Abu Talib also concealed his faith and (due to

p: 149


1- Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah (2nd Edition), vol. 14, p. 71.
2- Al-Ghadir (Beirut, 1378 AH), vol. 7, p. 398, quoting Tafsir al-Waqi‘.
3- Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah (2nd Edition), vol. 14, p. 68; Al-Hujjah, p. 18.

certain expediency) feigned polytheism; so, Allah granted him double reward.(1)

From the set of the stated proofs, we realize that Abu Talib enjoys the following praiseworthy qualities:

1. Staunch faith in God and the Holy Prophet (S);

2. Devotion to help and protect the Messenger of Allah (S) and self-sacrifice in the path of Islam;

3. The Holy Prophet’s (S) unique love for him; and

4. The privilege of intercession with God.

This establishes the idea that the repulsive accusations made against him is groundless.

From this discussion, two facts have been brought to light:

1. The faith of Abu Talib is acknowledged by the Messenger of Allah (S), the Companions of the Prophet (S), the Commander of the Faithful (‘a), and the Imams from the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a).

2. The unfair accusations made against Abu Talib are unfounded and baseless, and they were incited for political reasons by a number of Umayyad and ‘Abbasid caliphs, who always showed enmity toward the Ahl al-Bayt and the offspring of Abu Talib.

Now, it is appropriate to examine the most apparent fabrication intended to besmirch the personality of that persistent helper of the Prophet (S), and by considering the tradition known as the Hadith ad-Duhdah, the noble verses of the Qur’an, the indisputable Sunnah of the Prophet (S), and sound perception, we will prove the groundlessness of these accusations.

A review of Hadith ad-Duhdah

Relying on such narrators like Sufyan ibn Sa‘id ath-Thawri, ‘Abd al-Malik ibn ‘Umayr, ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn Muhammad ad-Darawardi, and Layth ibn Sa‘d, some authors (and compilers) like Bukhari and Muslim attribute

p: 150


1- Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah (2nd Edition), vol. 14, p. 70; Al-Hujjah, pp. 17, 115.

the following two statements to the Holy Prophet (S):

a.

"وجدته فی غمرات من النار فاخرجته إلی ضحضاح لعله تنفعه شفاعتی یوم القیامه فیجعل فی ضحضاح من النار یبلغ کعبیه یغلی منه دماغه."

“He is in a shallow place of Fire {duhdah}.(1) But had it not been for me he would have been in the lowest part of the Fire.”(2)

b.

“Perhaps my intercession will be helpful to him on the Day of Resurrection so that he may be put in a shallow fire reaching only up to his ankles. His brain will boil from it.”(3)

Although the aforementioned set of traditions and clear proofs which testify to Abu Talib’s faith prove the groundlessness of this grave calumny and libel of Hadith ad-Duhdah, we shall discuss this hadith and concentrate on two aspects in it:

1. The groundlessness of its chain of transmission, and

2. The discordance of its contents with the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Prophet (S).

The groundlessness of the chain of transmission of Hadith ad-Duhdah

As it has been stated earlier, the narrators of Hadith ad-Duhdah are Sufyan ibn Sa‘id ath-Thawri, ‘Abd al-Malik ibn ‘Umayr, ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn Muhammad ad-Darawardi, and Layth ibn Sa‘d.

Now, we will cite some statements of Sunni scholars of ‘ilm ar-rijal in order to have a clear idea of the personal records of these narrators:

a. Sufyan ibn Sa‘id ath-Thawri

Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad ibn Ahmad ‘Uthman adh-Dhahabi, a renowned Sunni scholar of ‘ilm ar-rijal, says regarding Sufyan:

"کان یدلسّ عن الضعفاء."

“He used to narrate fabricated hadiths from weak narrators.”(4)

This statement confirms that Sufyan ath-Thawri’s narrations are deceitful

p: 151


1- Duhdah, literally “a shallow spot”, refers to a pit whose depth is less than a man’s height.
2- Sahih al-Bukhari (Egypt), vol. 8, “Kitab al-Adab,” “Bab Kuniyyat al-Mushrik,” p. 46. Muhammad Muhsin Khan (trans.), Sahih al-Bukhari (English Translation), vol. 8, book 73, hadith 227. {Trans.}
3- Ibid., vol. 5, “Abwab Manaqib,” “Bab Qisat Abi Talib,” p. 52. Muhammad Muhsin Khan (trans.), Sahih al-Bukhari (English Translation), vol. 5, book 58, hadith 224. {Trans.}
4- Adh-Dhahabi, Mizan al-I‘tidal (Beirut, 1382 AH), vol. 2, p. 169.

and related by weak or unknown narrators. Consequently, his hadiths are void of all credibility.

b. ‘Abd al-Malik ibn ‘Umayr

Referring to Ibn ‘Umayr, adh-Dhahabi says:

طال عمره وساء حفظه قال أبو حاتم: لیس یحافظ تغیّر حفظه. وقال أحمج ضعیف: یخلط وقال بن معین مخلط وقال ابن خراش: کان شعبه لا یرضاه وذکر الکوسج عن أحمد أنه ضعفه جداً.

He has grown old and his memory became defective. Abu Hatam says: “He is unable to memorize hadiths and his memory changed.” Ahmad ibn Hanbal says: “‘Abd al-Malik ibn al-‘Umayr is weak and makes mistakes (that is, he narrates fabricated traditions).” Ibn Mu‘in says: “He mixes false hadiths with authentic {sahih} ones.” Ibn Kharash says: “Shu‘bah was not pleased with him.” Kawsaj says that Ahmad ibn Hanbal has enormously weakened ‘Abd al-Malik ibn ‘Umayr.”(1)

We understand from these statements that ‘Abd al-Malik ibn al-‘Umayr:

1. has weak memory and is forgetful;

2. is, according to ‘ilm ar-rijal, “weak”; a term referred to a person whose traditions cannot be trusted;

3. makes a lot of mistakes; and

4. is mukhlit, i.e. he mixes false traditions with authentic {sahih} ones.

It is evident that detecting any of the mentioned shortcomings can contribute to the groundlessness of the hadiths of ‘Abd al-Malik ibn ‘Umayr, in which all these weaknesses are detected.

c. ‘Abd al-‘Aziz ibn Muhammad ad-Darawardi

Sunni scholars of ‘ilm ar-rijal regard ad-Darawardi as a forgetful person whose memory is so weak that his traditions cannot be relied on.

Ahmad ibn Hanbal says about ad-Darawardi:

"إذا حدّث من حفظه جاء ببواطیل."

“When he narrated hadiths from memory,

p: 152


1- Ibid., p. 660.

he presented unfounded and irrelevant statements.”(1)

Also, Abu Hatam says about him:

"لا یحتجّ به."

“One cannot rely on him.”(2)

Abu Zura‘ah describes him as “الحفظ سیّئ” {sayya’u’l-hifz}, i.e. a person who has poor memory.(3)

d. Layth ibn Sa‘d

When we study the Sunni books on ‘ilm ar-rijal, we find that all the narrators whose name is “Layth” are either unknown or weak whose narrations are not trusted.(4)

Layth ibn Sa‘d is one of the weak and heedless narrators who was nonchalant about what to hear and what to narrate.

Yahya ibn Mu‘in says about him:

"إنه کان یتساهل فی الشیوخ والسماع."

“He was not careful as to whom he narrated from or to the kind of hadith he heard.”(5)

Nabati also regards Layth as a weak narrator, and mentions his name in his book, At-Tadhlil ‘ala’l-Kamil, in which he mentions the name of weak narrators only.(6)

From what have been stated so far, it is evident that the principal narrators of Hadith ad-Duhdah are very weak and their hadiths are not reliable.

The disagreement between the contents of Hadith ad-Duhdah, and the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Prophet (S)

In the aforementioned hadith, it is assumed that the Messenger of Allah (S) will transfer Abu Talib from the lowest part of the Fire to a shallow place in it, and in doing so, the alleged punishment for him will be mitigated; or, that the Prophet (S) wishes to intercede for him on the Day of Resurrection.

This is while the Glorious Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (S) acknowledge that the mitigation of punishment and intercession of the Prophet (S) can be granted only to the

p: 153


1- Ibid., p. 634.
2- Ibid.
3- Ibid.
4- Ibid., vol. 3, pp. 420-423.
5- Ibid., p. 423.
6- Shaykh al-Abtah, p. 75; Mizan al-I‘tidal, vol. 3, p. 423.

faithful and Muslims. Therefore, if Abu Talib had been an infidel, the Prophet would never have been able to minimize the chastisement or interceded for him.

This confirms that the contents of Hadith ad-Duhdah—based on the assumption that Abu Talib is an infidel—are not reliable.

Now, we shall examine this question and introduce clear proofs from the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (S):

a. The Holy Qur’an thus says:

﴿ وَالَّذِینَ کَفَرُوا لَهُمْ نَارُ جَهَنَّمَ لَا یُقْضَی عَلَیْهِمْ فَیَمُوتُوا وَلَا یُخَفَّفُ عَنْهُم مِّنْ عَذَابِهَا کَذَلِکَ نَجْزِی کُلَّ کَفُورٍ ﴾

“As for the faithless there is for them the fire of hell: they will neither be done away with so that they may die, nor shall its punishment be lightened for them. Thus do We requite every ingrate”(1)

b. The Sunnah of the Prophet (S) also negates intercession for infidels. Abu Dharr al-Ghaffari has thus narrated from the Messenger of Allah (S):

"أعطیت الشفاعه وهی نائله من أمتی من لا یشرک بالله شیئاً."

“My intercession is granted to those of my ummah who do not associate others with Allah.”

Therefore, the content of the Hadith ad-Duhdah, based on the assumption that Abu Talib was an infidel, is baseless and unfounded, as well as contradictory to the Book (of Allah) and the Sunnah.

Conclusion

In the light of what have been stated so far, it is clear that the Hadith ad-Duhdah is devoid of any credibility both in regard to its chain of transmission and its content, and so, it cannot be relied.

As such, the most formidable

p: 154


1- Surah al-Fatir (or, al-Mala’ikah) 35:36.

fortress in which some seek asylum for besmirching the sincere faith of Abu Talib has crumbled, and the radiant face of the believer of the Quraysh and the Prophet’s persistent helper will continue to shine forever.

Question 30 : Do the Shi‘ah think that Jibra’il (Archangel Gabriel) has committed treachery when he conveyed the message {risalah} to Muhammad instead of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib?

point

Reply: Before proving the groundlessness of this loathsome accusation made against the Shi‘ah by some ignorant or spiteful people, it is appropriate to trace its origin.

The origin of this accusation

The noble verses of the Qur’an and some relevant hadiths show that Jews were of the opinion that Jibra’il (‘a) has committed treachery while conveying the message {risalah} claiming that God had ordered him to entrust the prophethood {nubuwwah} to the progeny of Isra’il (Ya‘qub or Jacob) from the line of Ishaq (Isaac), but he did not comply with that divine order by entrusting it to the offspring of Isma‘il (Ishmael)!

Thus, a group of Jews regard Jibra’il (‘a) as an enemy(1) and assume that “The truthful {al-amin} (Jibra’il) has betrayed!” Therefore, in reproaching them and proving the groundlessness of their claim, the Qur’an refers to Jibra’il (‘a) in the verse below as truthful {al-amin} and honest angel:

نزل به الروح الأمین علی قلبک لتکون من المنذرین.

“{It (Qur’an) was} brought down by the Trustworthy Spirit, upon your heart, so that you may be one of the warners.”(2)

In another verse, the Qur’an states:

قُلْ مَنْ کانَ عَدُوًّا لِجِبْریلَ فَإِنَّهُ نَزَّلَهُ عَلی قَلْبِکَ بِإِذْنِ اللّهِ

“Say, ‘Whoever is an enemy of Gabriel {should know that} it is he who has brought it down on your heart with the will of Allah.”(3)

From the quoted

p: 155


1- Al-Fakhr ar-Razi (Egypt, 1308 AH), vol. 1, p. pp. 436-437.
2- Surah ash-Shu‘ara’ 26:193-194.
3- Surah al-Baqarah 2:97.

verses and their commentaries, we realize that a group of Jews were hostile to Jibra’il (‘a) for some reasons, branding him as the “angel of tribulation” {mala’ikah al-‘adhab} and accusing him of treachery in conveying the message {risalah}.

Therefore, the slogan, “The truthful (Jibra’il) has betrayed” originates from the superstitions of the Jews. Some ignorant writers who have ancient enmity toward the Shi‘ah make use of the Jews’ statement to dastardly attribute it to the Shi‘ah.

Prophethood {nubuwwah} from the Shi‘ah viewpoint

Following the Book (the Qur’an) and the Sunnah, and relying on the explicit traditions of the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt (‘a), the Shi‘ah not only consider Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah (S) as a prophet in truth appointed by God as a universal messenger, but also regard him as the Seal of the Prophets {khatam al-anbiya’} and the greatest divine envoy.

‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (‘a), the great leader who is followed by the Shi‘ah testifies to this truth in these eloquent words:

"وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شریک له وأشهد أن محمد عبده ورسوله خاتم النبیّین حجه الله علی العالمین."

And I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, the One and Only, Who has no partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger, the Seal of the Prophets and the Proof of Allah to the worlds.(1)

Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) also says:

"لم یبعث الله عز وجل من العرب إلا خمسه أنبیاء: هوداً وصالحاً وإسماعیل وشعیب ومحمد خاتم النبیّین."

“From among the Arabs, God appointed only five prophets: Hud, Salih, Isma‘il, Shu‘ayb, and Muhammad

p: 156


1- Nahj as-Sa‘adah (Beirut), vol. 1, p. 188; Al-Kafi (Tehran, 2nd Edition, 1389 AH), vol. 8, p. 67.

as the Seal of the Prophets (S).”(1)

This noble hadith which proves the groundlessness of this repulsive accusation against the Shi‘ah refers to Hadrat(2) Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah (S) as the last and final Prophet of God.(3)

Accordingly, the Shi‘ah all over the world think that Jibra’il (‘a) was truthful and honest in conveying the message, Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah (S) is the Prophet in truth and the last and final Messenger of Allah, and ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (‘a) is the Prophet’s successor and executor of his will.

Here, it is appropriate to quote a tradition on whose authenticity all the Sunnis and the Shi‘ah agree and which can be found in their reliable books. In this tradition known as the Hadith al-Manzilah, after announcing his being the Seal of the Prophets, the Holy Prophet (‘a) introduces ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (‘a) as his successor and the executor of his will when he says to him:

أما ترضی أن تکون منّی بمنزله هارون من موسی إلا أنه لا نبیّ بعدی؟

“Are you not satisfied that you are to me as Harun (Aaron) is to Musa (Moses) except that there shall be no prophet after me?”(4)

This tradition whose chain of transmission is approved by great scholars of hadith {muhaddithun}—both Sunni and Shi‘ah—is a clear testimony to the soundness of the Shi‘ah’s view on the following:

1. Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah (S) is the most beloved prophet of God and the seal of the prophets who by the decree of God was sent as the final and

p: 157


1- Bihar al-Anwar (Beirut, 2nd Edition, 1403 AH), vol. 11, p. 42.
2- Hadrat: The Arabic word Hadrat is used as a respectful form of address. {Trans.}
3- For more information on the abundant hadiths indicating the Shi‘ah’s view concerning the finality of propethood of the Holy Prophet (S), see Prof. Ja‘far Subhani’s Mafahim al-Qur’an.
4- This hadith can be found in many references, some of which are the following: Sahih al-Bukhari (Egypt), vol. 6, “Bab Ghazwah at-Tabuk,” p. 3; Sahih Muslim (Egypt), vol. 7, “Bab Fada’il ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib,” p. 120; Sunan Ibn Majah (Egypt), vol. 1, “Fada’il Ashab an-Nabi,” p. 55; Mustadrak al-Hakim (Beirut), vol. 3, p. 109; Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, vol. 1, pp. 170, 177, 179, 182, 184-185; vol. 3, p. 32; Sahih Tirmidhi (Beirut), vol. 5, “Bab Manaqib ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib,” p. 21; Ibn Maghazali, Al-Manaqib (Beirut, 1403 AH), p. 27; Bihar al-Anwar (Beirut, 2nd Edition, 143 AH), vol. 37, p. 254; Shaykh as-Saduq, Ma‘ani al-Akhbar (Beirut, 1399 AH), p. 74; Kanz al-Fawa’id (Beirut 1405 AH), vol. 2, p. 168.

universal messenger after whom no prophet will come.

2. ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (‘a) is the Prophet’s successor and executor of his will, and the caliph of the Muslims after him.

Question 31: What is the criterion of taqiyyah {dissimulation}?

point

Reply: Taqiyyah means concealing one’s conviction and faith from the enemies to avoid worldly, spiritual or religious harms, and it is one of the religious obligations of every Muslim on which the Holy Qur’an emphasizes.

Taqiyyah from the Qur’anic viewpoint

The Glorious Qur’an has referred to this obligation in many verses. Here are some of them:

﴿ لاَّ یَتَّخِذِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الْکَافِرِینَ أَوْلِیَاء مِن دُوْنِ الْمُؤْمِنِینَ وَمَن یَفْعَلْ ذَلِکَ فَلَیْسَ مِنَ اللّهِ فِی شَیْءٍ إِلاَّ أَن تَتَّقُواْ مِنْهُمْ تُقَاهً ﴾

“The faithful should not take the faithless for allies instead of the faithful, and whoever does that Allah will have nothing to do with him, except when you are wary of them out of caution.”(1)

This verse vividly testifies to the fact that friendship with the infidels is not permissible. But, in case of dissimulation {taqiyyah}, i.e. when one intends to save his life or parry dangers, then outward friendship and concordance with them is permissible.

﴿ مَن کَفَرَ بِاللّهِ مِن بَعْدِ إیمَانِهِ إِلاَّ مَنْ أُکْرِهَ وَقَلْبُهُ مُطْمَئِنٌّ بِالإِیمَانِ وَلَ_کِن مَّن شَرَحَ بِالْکُفْرِ صَدْرًا فَعَلَیْهِمْ غَضَبٌ مِّنَ اللّهِ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِیمٌ ﴾

“Whoever renounces faith in Allah after {affirming} his faith—barring someone who is compelled while his heart is at rest in faith—but those who open up their breasts to unfaith, upon such shall be Allah’s wrath, and there is a great punishment for them.”(2)

Regarding the circumstances surrounding the revelation

p: 158


1- Surah Al ‘Imran 3:28.
2- Surah an-Nahl 16:106.

of this verse, the exegetes {mufassirun} thus say:

One day, ‘Ammar ibn Yasir, his father and his mother were captured by the enemies and the infidels asked them to renounce Islam and acknowledge disbelief {kufr} and polytheism {shirk}. All those who were with ‘Ammar bore witness to the Oneness of God and the prophethood of the Holy Prophet (S).

Therefore, some of them attained martyrdom while others were tortured by the enemies. In order to avoid the enemies’ torture, ‘Ammar uttered what the infidels wanted him to utter, and so, he was freed.

When he met the Messenger of Allah (S) he was very regretful and dejected for what he had said. So, the Holy Prophet (S) comforted him and then the aforementioned verse was revealed.(1)

From this verse and statements of exegetes, it becomes clear that hiding one’s inner conviction for the sake of saving his life and avoiding material and non-material harms was practiced during the time of the Prophet (S) and so it is acceptable in Islam.

Taqiyyah from the Shi‘ah viewpoint

Because the despotic Umayyad and ‘Abbasid governments throughout history were inimical to the Shi‘ah and resolved to eliminate them,(2) the Shi‘ah used taqiyyah as per Qur’anic injunctions by hiding their true beliefs. In doing so, they saved their lives as well as the lives of their Muslim brethren under those critical circumstances.

It is clear that with an atmosphere full of despotism and strangulation the Shi‘ah had no other way to protect themselves against the storm of oppression that was threatening their lives than using

p: 159


1- See Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti, Ad-Durr al-Manthur (Beirut), vol. 4, p. 131.
2- For more information on the merciless killing of the Shi‘ah perpetrated by the Umayyad and ‘Abbasid caliphs, see Abu’l-Faraj al-Isfahani, Maqatil at-Talibiyyin; ‘Allamah Amini, Shuhada’ al-Fadilah; Muhammad Jawad Mughniyyah, Ash-Shi‘ah wa’l-Hakimun.

taqiyyah. As such, if tyrant kings and their agents had not been inimical to the Shi‘ah and if they had not taken as the main agenda of their governments the brutal carnage of the Shi‘ah, there would have been no reason for the Shi‘ah’s resorting to taqiyyah.

It is necessary to note that taqiyyah is not practiced only by the Shi‘ah. In fact, other Muslims also make use of the shield of taqiyyah vis-à-vis such murderous enemies who show hostility to the Muslims of all schools of thought like the Kharijites {khawarij} and oppressive governments that resort to all unlawful ways. When they see that they cannot confront their enemies, Muslims conceal their inner beliefs in order to save their lives.

On this basis, if all the members of Muslim community have mutual understanding and live in unity and cooperation, there will be no ground for taqiyyah among the Muslims.

Conclusion

From what have been stated so far, we can draw the following conclusions:

1. Taqiyyah has its root in the Qur’an and in the conduct of the Prophet’s Companions, and the Prophet’s (S) approval of it is a vivid testimony to its existence and permissibility during the early period of Islam.

2. The motive behind the Shi‘ah’s use of taqiyyah was to escape the brutal killing and the storms of tyranny and oppression that were intended to eradicate this school of thought.

3. Taqiyyah is not practiced only by the Shi‘ah; in fact, other Muslim groups also resort to it.

4. The aim of using

p: 160

taqiyyah is not only the abandonment of and concealing Islamic beliefs from polytheists; rather, the criterion of taqiyyah which is intended to ensure the Muslims’ safety is more general, and hiding one’s inner beliefs vis-à-vis any murderous enemy, either because one lacks the ability to confront or because the conditions for resistance are not available is an indispensable affair.

5. If there is good understanding between all the members of Muslim community, there will exist no ground for taqiyyah among the Muslims.

Question 32 : Why is the Ja‘fari school of thought {madhhab} stipulated in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran as the official madhhab of the country?

point

Reply: No doubt, the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran shows respect to all Muslim schools of thought, but the Muslim schools of jurisprudence {madhahib or madhhabs} such as Ja‘fari, Maliki, Shafi‘i, Hanbali, Hanafi, etc. are neither identical nor concordant in their attitudes toward the individual and social duties and so there are many differences among them.

Also, while laying down laws and enacting regulations for a society, the concordance and harmony of the said regulations seem to be indispensable.

Therefore, only one Muslim school of thought should be recognized as the source for enacting the social regulations of a certain country because in case of relying on various sources of legislation, the achievement of cohesive and systematic regulations will be impossible.

Therefore, one of the Muslim schools of jurisprudence that has correct standards should be recognized as the source for condifying social laws and regulations and thus prevent any possible chaos and discord in the codification of the laws of country and pave the ground for the

p: 161

formulation of a set of regulations in legal, social and other fields.

The criterion for selecting the Ja‘fari madhhab

The other question which is posed here is: What is the criterion for recognizing the Ja‘fari madhhab from among the Muslim schools of jurisprudence as the source for codifying the laws and regulations of the country?

The answer is clear and that is because the vast majority of the Iranians are Muslims who believe in the Ja‘fari school of jurisprudence and think it can define their individual and social duties. As such, it is clear that declaring the Ja‘fari madhhab to be the official madhhab of the country as stated in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran is not unusual and it is congruent with all logical and legal standards.

The status of the other Muslim schools of thought and the respect shown to them

The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran which recognizes the Ja‘fari madhhab as the official madhhab, respects other madhahib such as Shafi‘i, Hanbali, Hanafi, Maliki, and Zaydi. As a matter of fact, the followers of these madhahib can follow the fiqh of their respective madhahib in:

1. The performance of religious rites;

2. Religious training and education;

3. Carrying out personal activities; and

4. Specific religious activities such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, last will and testament, etc.

In addition to this, in the region where the majority of the inhabitants belong to any of the aforementioned madhahib, the local regulations prescribed by local councils are compatible with that particular madhhab and the rights of followers of other madhahib are also observed.

In order to elaborate on this issue, we cite Article 12,

p: 162

Chapter 1 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran:

The official religion of Iran is Islam while the official madhhab is Shi‘ah Ithna ‘Ashari (Twelver Shi‘ah), and this principle is unalterable and the other Islamic schools of thought such as Hanafi, Shafi‘i, Maliki, Hanbali, and Zaydi are completely respected and the followers of these madhahib are free to follow their madhahib in such areas like religious rites, religious training and education, personal affairs like marriage, divorce, inheritance, and last will and testament, or in relevant legal cases. In every region where the followers of any of these madhahib are in majority, the local regulations local councils codify are to be compatible with that particular madhhab and the rights of followers of other madhahib be preserved.

This article in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran is a clear testimony to its respect for all Islamic schools of thought.

Question 33 : Do the Shi‘ah regard witr prayer as obligatory?

Reply: Witr prayer is part of the supererogatory night prayers and it is one of the recommended {mustahabb} works which the Muslims who follow the Messenger of Allah (S) perform, but the Shi‘ah jurists {fuqaha} who rely on the Book of Allah and the Prophet’s Sunnah say that the witr prayer is one of the things which are incumbent on no one except the Holy Prophet (S).

In his book, Tadhkirah al-Fuqaha, ‘Allamah al-Hilli enumerates about 70 salient features of the Prophet (S) and at the beginning of his statement, he thus says:

فأما الواجبات علیه دون غیره من أمّته أمور أ:

p: 163

السّواک ب: الوتر ج: الأضحیه. روی عنه صلی الله علیه وأله وسلم أنه قال: ثلاث کتب علیّ ولم تکتب علیکم: السواک والوتر والأضحیه.

As for the things which are incumbent only upon him (S) and not upon his ummah, they are: the use of tooth-stick {miswak}, witr prayer, and offering sacrifice {adhiyah}. He (S) is reported to have said: “Three things were made incumbent upon me but not you: the use of tooth-stick {miswak}, witr prayer and offering sacrifice.”(1)

Consequently, according to the Shi‘ah witr prayer is obligatory {wajib} upon the Holy Prophet (S) and it is recommended {mustahabb} upon the other Muslims.

Question 34: Is the belief that great divine people {awliya’} have supernatural power tantamount to polytheism {shirk}?

point

Reply: It is clear that when a person wants someone to do something for him or her, the former thinks that the latter is capable of doing it and this capability takes two forms:

1. This capability may be of material and natural forces as in the case of asking somebody to give us a glass of water.

2. Or, it may be a hidden force which exists beyond the material and natural realm as in the case of the pious servant of God, ‘Isa ibn Maryam (Jesus the son of Mary) (‘a) who was capable of healing incurable ailments with his Messianic breath.

It is clear that the belief in such a metaphysical power, which is related to and supported by the power and will of God, is like believing in natural power, and it is by no means tantamount to polytheism {shirk}, because

p: 164


1- ‘Allamah al-Hilli, Tadhkirah al-Fuqaha, vol. 2, “Kitab an-Nikah,” Introduction 4.

the Lord Who has bestowed material and natural power upon human beings can also grant His righteous servants supernatural power.

Now, in elucidating the stated answer the belief that divine people have supernatural power can be conceived in two ways:

1. To believe that a person is an independent and principal source of that power and to consider him the author of divine acts.

No doubt, if we think that this supernatural power is independent of the power of God, it will be tantamount to polytheism because according to this belief someone other than God is regarded as the independent and original source of power, to whom divine acts are attributed, whereas the Lord of the worlds is the fountainhead of all kinds of power.

2. To believe that the supernatural power of some faithful pious servants of God stems from the eternal power of God, and that this everlasting power is manifested by Divine Command through certain divine people. In fact, they are not independent; rather, they rely both in their existence as well as in exercising supernatural power on God, the Exalted.

It is clear that according to this belief, great divine people are not regarded as gods nor divine acts are attributed to them because righteous people are viewed as servants of God through whom God-given supernatural power is manifested by the decree and inviolable will of God.

In this regard, the Holy Qur’an says:

وَ ما کانَ لِرَسُولٍ أَنْ یَأْتِیَ بِآیَهٍ إِلاّ بِإِذْنِ اللّهِ

“And an apostle may not bring a sign except

p: 165

by Allah’s leave.”(1)

It is evident from what we have stated that apart from the fact that it has nothing to do with polytheism, this belief is totally harmonious with the principle of monotheism and Unity of God.

Supernatural power of great divine people from a Qur’anic viewpoint

point

With utmost explicitness, the heavenly scripture of Islam mentions the names of a number of righteous servants of God who, by the decree of God, have such extraordinary power. Below are some instances:

1. The supernatural power of Hadrat Musa (Moses) (‘a)

God, the Exalted, ordered His prophet, Musa (‘a), to strike a rock with his staff and fountains of refreshing water gushed forth:

﴿ وَإِذِ اسْتَسْقَیٰ مُوسَیٰ لِقَوْمِهِ فَقُلْنَا اضْرِب بِّعَصَاکَ الْحَجَرَ فَانفَجَرَتْ مِنْهُ اثْنَتَا عَشْرَهَ عَیْناً ﴾

“And when Moses prayed for water for his people, We said, ‘Strike the rock with your staff.’ Thereat twelve fountains gushed forth from it.”(2)

2. The supernatural power of Hadrat ‘Isa (Jesus) (‘a)

Various instances of the supernatural power of Hadrat ‘Isa (‘a) are mentioned in the Qur’an, one of which is the following:

أَنِّی أَخْلُقُ لَکُم مِّنَ الطِّینِ کَهَیْئَهِ الطَّیْرِ فَأَنفُخُ فِیهِ فَیَکُونُ طَیْرًا بِإِذْنِ اللّهِ وَأُبْرِئُ الأکْمَهَ والأَبْرَصَ وَأُحْیِ_ی الْمَوْتَیٰ بِإِذْنِ اللّهِ

“I will create for you out of clay the form of a bird, then I will breathe into it, and it will become a bird by Allah’s leave. And I heal the blind and the leper and revive the dead by Allah’s leave.”(3)

3. The supernatural power of Hadrat Sulayman (Solomon) (‘a)

The Glorious Qur’an points to the supernatural power of Hadrat Sulayman (‘a) and states:

وَوَرِثَ سُلَیْمَانُ دَاوُودَ وَقَالَ یَا أَیُّهَا النَّاسُ عُلِّمْنَا مَنطِقَ الطَّیْرِ وَأُوتِینَا مِن کُلِّ شَیْءٍ إِنَّ هَذَا لَهُوَ الْفَضْلُ الْمُبِینُ

“Solomon inherited from David, and he said, ‘O people!

p: 166


1- Surah ar-Ra‘d 13:38.
2- Surah al-Baqarah 2:60.
3- Surah Al ‘Imran 3:49.

We have been taught the speech of the birds, and we have been given out of everything. Indeed this is a manifest advantage.”(1)

No doubt, the gushing forth of fountains from the rock which Hadrat Musa (‘a) stroke with his staff, the creation of a real bird out of clay, the healing of incurable ailments and the revival of the dead by Hadrat ‘Isa (‘a), and Hadrat Sulayman’s (‘a) knowledge of the logic and language of birds are extraordinary affairs which are considered as kinds of acts of supernatural power and authority.

Given that many Qur’anic verses point to the supernatural power of the worthy servants of God, will our belief in the purport of these explicit verses of the Qur’an, which bespeak of the extraordinary power of such great divine people, be regarded as tantamount to polytheism {shirk} or innovation in religion {bid‘ah}?

From this, it becomes evident that the belief that righteous servants of God have supernatural power does not mean that they are regarded as gods or authors of divine acts. If such a belief were to imply their divinity {uluhiyyah} and lordship {rububiyyah}, then according to the Qur’an such prophets like Musa, ‘Isa, Sulayman, and others (‘a) would be taken to be gods, whereas all Muslims know that the Holy Qur’an considers great divine people as righteous servants of God.

Thus, it is obvious that if in the belief that the nearest ones to God have supernatural power, we can consider this power to be relying on the inexhaustible power

p: 167


1- Surah an-Naml 27:16.

of God and regard great divine people as instruments for manifesting divine power.

This belief will not only mean rejection of polytheism but it will also be totally congruent with the principle of true monotheism because the criterion of monotheism and Unity of God is attributing every power in the world to God and believing that He is the author of every power and every movement.

Question 35 : Why is the station of Imamate {imamah} higher than that of prophethood {nubuwwah}?

point

Reply: First, we will examine the precise meaning of three of the words we find in the Qur’an and the hadith and these are: prophethood {nubuwwah}, messengership {risalah} and Imamate {imamah} so as to clarify why the station of imamah is higher than each of the other two mentioned positions.

1. The station of nubuwwah

The word nabi {prophet} is derived from the word naba’ which means an important piece of news. Therefore, the literal meaning of nabi is “bearer of very important news” or “announcer of very important news”.(1)

The word nabi which is equivalent to the English word “prophet” is used by the Qur’an to mean a person who receives divine revelation from God, the Exalted, through various means, and conveys to people the news revealed to him without the intervention of other human beings. Scholars define this word as follows:

إنه من مؤدّ من الله بلا وساطه من البشر.

“A prophet is a person who conveys the divine revelation to the people without the intervention of other human biengs.”(2)

On this basis, the nature of the duties of a nabi is confined to receiving revelation and conveying to

p: 168


1- If the literal root of the word nabi is intransitive, then it carries the first meaning, and if it is transitive, then it carries the second meaning.
2- Shaykh at-Tusi, Rasa’il al-‘Ashar, p. 111.

the people what is revealed to him. The Glorious Qur’an says in this regard:

فَبَعَثَ اللّهُ النَّبِیِّینَ مُبَشِّرینَ وَ مُنْذِرینَ

“Then Allah sent the prophets as bearers of good news and as warners.”(1)

2. The station of risalah

In the lexicon of revelation, the word rasul is referred to a prophet who, apart from receiving the revelation and conveying it to the people, shoulders the burden of conveying a divine message {risalah} and has the responsibility of delivering the message to the people. In this regard, the Glorious Qur’an says:

فَإِنْ تَوَلَّیْتُمْ فَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّما عَلیٰ رَسُولِنَا الْبَلاغُ الْمُبینُ

“But if you turn your backs, then know that Our Apostle’s duty is only to communicate in clear terms.”(2)

Therefore, the position of risalah is another station which is given to a nabi. In other words, each of the concepts of nubuwwah and risalah points to one of the peculiarities of the prophets who receive revelation from God in that they are called anbiya’ (plural form of nabi) because they receive divine revelation and bear news. And they are called rusul (plural form of rasul) because they have the responsibility of delivering the message {risalah}.

From what have been stated so far, we can conclude that so long as prophets hold the position of nubuwwah and risalah, they are only guides who make known to people what is lawful {halal} and what is unlawful {haram} and show them the ways to attain felicity and prosperity, and they have no responsibility except reporting what is revealed to them by God or delivering a

p: 169


1- Surah al-Baqarah 2:213.
2- Surah al-Ma’idah 5:92.

message.

3. The station of imamah

The station of divine imamah, from a Qur’anic perspective, is different from any of the two stations mentioned earlier and it is identical with broader discretion and practice in the domain of administering the society and leading the people.

Now, in the light of the luminous Qur’anic verses, we shall introduce some clear proofs in this regard:

1. Concerning the bestowal of the station of imamah on a revered prophet, viz. Ibrahim al-Khalil (Prophet Abraham) (‘a), the Holy Qur’an thus states:

وَإِذِ ابْتَلَی إِبْرَاهِیمَ رَبُّهُ بِکَلِمَاتٍ فَأَتَمَّهُنَّ قَالَ إِنِّی جَاعِلُکَ لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا قَالَ وَمِن ذُرِّیَّتِی

“And when his Lord tested Abraham with certain words, and he fulfilled them, He said, ‘I am making you the Imam of mankind. Said he, ‘And from among my descendants?’”(1)

In the light of this Qur’anic passage, we realize two facts:

a. The quoted verse clearly states the difference between the concept of imamah and that of each of the two concepts of nubuwwah and risalah because many years prior to a series of divine tests, one of which was the decision to sacrifice his own son (Isma‘il), Ibrahim (‘a) attained the station of nubuwwah, and we will prove this fact in the following:

We all know that God, the Exalted, granted two sons (Isma‘il and Ishaq) to Ibrahim (‘a) when he was old as he has been quoted by the Glorious Qur’an as saying:

الْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ الَّذِی وَهَبَ لِی عَلَیٰ الْکِبَرِ إِسْمَاعِیلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ

“All praise belongs to Allah, who, despite {my} old age, gave me Ishmael and Isaac.”(2)

Now, it is clear

p: 170


1- Surah al-Baqarah 2:124.
2- Surah Ibrahim 14:39.

that it was prior to a series of hard divine trials one of which was the decision to sacrifice Isma‘il (‘a) that God, the Exalted, bestowed the station of imamah upon Ibrahim (‘a) during the autumn of his life.

That is, it was during the last phase of his life that he became a leader over the people, whereas he held the station of nubuwwah a long time earlier; for, he used to receive divine revelation, which is a sign of nubuwwah before he had children {dhurriyyah}.(1)

b. It can also be inferred from the verse, “And when his Lord tested Abraham with certain words…” that the station of divine imamah, i.e. governing the society and leading the people is higher than the station of nubuwwah or the station of risalah; for, as stated by the Qur’anic verses, while Hadrat Ibrahim (‘a) was holding the station of nubuwwah and the station of risalah, he was required to pass difficult tests before the station of imamah was granted to him.

The reason is clear; apart from the responsibility of receiving revelation and delivering the message, the station of divine imamah also includes the supervision of society, leadership of the ummah and proper administration of the affairs of people for the purpose of reaching the pinnacle of perfection and felicity. So, it is natural that this station has a peculiar importance and grandeur and its attainment is impossible without passing a series of difficult tests.

2. It is clear from the previous verse

p: 171


1- Refer to Surah as-Saffat 37:99-102; Surah al-Hijr 15:53-54; Surah Hud 11:70-71.

that God, the Exalted, granted the station of imamah and leadership of the community to Ibrahim (‘a) after exposing him to hard tests. Then, Ibrahim (‘a) asked God to assign this station to his descendants as well.

Other Qur’anic verses clearly state that God accepted the request of Ibrahim (‘a) and after granting the station of nubuwwah to Ibrahim’s righteous and upright descendants, He appointed them to the position of the leadership of the community and rule over the ummah. The Holy Qur’an says in this regard:

فَقَدْ آتَیْنا آلَ إِبْراهیمَ الْکِتابَ وَ الْحِکْمَهَ وَ آتَیْناهُمْ مُلْکًا عَظیمًا

“We have certainly given the progeny of Abraham the Book and the wisdom, and We have given them a great sovereignty.”(1)

We can deduce from this verse that the position of imamah and leadership of the society is different from that of nubuwwah, which God, the Exalted, granted to His prophet, Ibrahim (‘a), after passing a series of difficult divine trials.

When he prayed to God and asked Him to give the position of governance and leadership to his descendants too, the Lord granted that prayer by granting that high station to his just descendants and offspring, and apart from the (heavenly) Book and wisdom {hikmah}, which are the signs of nubuwwah and risalah, He granted them “great sovereignty” {mulkan ‘azimah}, which means governance and leadership over the people.

As such, the request of Ibrahim (‘a) was granted. Thus, some of his descendants such as Yusuf (Joseph), Dawud (David) and Sulayman (Solomon) (‘a) were chosen

p: 172


1- Surah an-Nisa’ 4:54.

for the position of governance, administration and leadership of the society in addition to the station of nubuwwah.

It is evident from what we have stated that the station of imamah is different from any of the two stations of nubuwwah and risalah, and on account of its broader domain of discretion and responsibilities, imamah has greater value and higher status.

Superiority of the station of imamah

From the previous discussion, it is clear that the responsibility of a nabi and rasul does not go beyond reminding the people and showing them the way. Whenever a nabi or a rasul reaches the station of imamah, he has to shoulder a more crucial responsibility, and this entails that he has to implement divine programs and execute the decrees of the sacred religion on the way of establishing a model and prosperous society to ensure for his ummah felicity in this world and the next.

It is evident that great spiritual power and special competence are indisputable for bearing such a crucially important responsibility, and shouldering such a heavy burden, which involves difficult problems and struggling against one’s inclinations, requires more maturity in the way of God and excessive fortitude.

This goal cannot be achieved without divine love and annihilation {fana’} in attaining God’s good pleasure. For this reason, God, the Exalted, granted Ibrahim (‘a) the station of imamah after exposing him to a series of hard trials during the last moments of his life. For this reason, too, He honored His most anointed servants, including the Holy Prophet of

p: 173

Islam (S), with the station of imamah and leadership of the ummah, and appointed them to govern and lead the society.

Are nubuwwah and imamah correlative?

The following questions may arise here: Must every prophet who has the station of nubuwwah be an Imam as well? Or, must the one who has the position of imamah be a prophet as well?

The answer to either question is negative. We shall elaborate on this issue in the light of the logic of revelation: The verses about Talut (Saul) and his struggle against the oppressive Jalut (Goliath) clearly state that sometime after the passing away of Hadrat Musa (Moses) (‘a), God, the Exalted, granted the station of nubuwwah to a person named “Samuel” while the station of imamah (leadership and governance) was given to Talut. Here is the detailed account of this event:

After the demise of Musa (‘a), a group of the Children of Israel said to the prophet of their time: “Appoint a ruler for us so that we may fight in the way of God under his command.” The reply of their prophet was:

إِنَّ اللّهَ قَدْ بَعَثَ لَکُمْ طَالُوتَ مَلِکًا قَالُوَاْ أَنَّیٰ یَکُونُ لَهُ الْمُلْکُ عَلَیْنَا وَنَحْنُ أَحَقُّ بِالْمُلْکِ مِنْهُ وَلَمْ یُؤْتَ سَعَهً مِّنَ الْمَالِ قَالَ إِنَّ اللّهَ اصْطَفَاهُ عَلَیْکُمْ وَزَادَهُ بَسْطَهً فِی الْعِلْمِ وَالْجِسْمِ وَاللّهُ یُؤْتِی مُلْکَهُ مَن یَشَاء وَاللّهُ وَاسِعٌ عَلِیمٌ

“‘Allah has appointed Saul as king for you. They said, ‘How can he have kingship over us, when we have a greater right to kingship than him, as he has not been

p: 174

given ample wealth?’ He said, ‘Indeed Allah has chosen him over you, and enhanced him vastly in knowledge and physique, and Allah gives His kingdom to whomever He wishes, and Allah is all-bounteous, all-knowing’.”(1)

From the above verse, the following points can be inferred:

1. It is possible that in case of expediency, nubuwwah is separated from imamah and rule and at a certain time, nubuwwah is granted to a certain person and governance and rule to another person, each of whom is worthy of the position granted to him.

On account of the possibility of separating these two positions from one another, the Children of Israel never said that their prophet (Samuel) was more qualified than him (Talut). Rather, they said complainingly: “We have a greater right to kingship than him”.

2. The station which Talut held was granted to him by God, as the Qur’an says: “Allah has appointed Saul as king for you”. It also states: “Indeed Allah has chosen him over you.”

3. The divine station and responsibility Talut had was not merely to command the army but he was rather the ruler and head of the Children of Israel as it is deduced from the word, “king” {mulk}, i.e. headship of government.

Although the aim of this headship at that time was the leadership of the Children of Israel in jihad in the way of God, the divine position he held also allowed him do other things all of which are related to governance, as the latter part of

p: 175


1- Surah al-Baqarah 2:247.

the verse states: “Allah gives His kingdom to whomever He wishes.”

4. The most important condition of the governance of a society, imamah and leadership of the ummah is possessing vast knowledge and required spiritual and physical capabilities, especially by the rulers live at a time when they are supposed to play an active role in leading the army.(1)

From what have been said so far, it is clear that there is no concomitance and inseparability between nubuwwah and imamah. In fact, a person may attain the position of nubuwwah but he is not Imam and leader of the ummah who has the discretion of ruling over the people.

Also, a person may be designated by God as administrator and ruler of a society but he is not a prophet. And sometimes, God, the Exalted, grants both stations to a person who is worthy of both of them, as the Glorious Qur’an says:

فَهَزَمُوهُم بِإِذْنِ اللّهِ وَقَتَلَ دَاوُودُ جَالُوتَ وَآتَاهُ اللّهُ الْمُلْکَ وَالْحِکْمَهَ وَعَلَّمَهُ مِمَّا یَشَاءُ

“Thus they routed them with Allah’s will, and David killed Goliath, and Allah gave him the kingdom and wisdom, and taught him whatever He liked.”(2)

Question 36 : What is the criterion for distinguishing monotheism or the Unity of God {tawhid} from polytheism {shirk}?

point

Reply: The most important issue in the study of monotheism {tawhid} and polytheism {shirk} is discerning what their criterion is, and if this issue is not decisively settled, part of the secondary issues will remain unsolved. Along this line, we shall discuss the issue of monotheism and polytheism in different dimensions albeit in concise manner.

1. The unity of the Divine Essence {dhat}

The discussion of the unity

p: 176


1- Cited from Prof. Ja‘far Subhani’s Manshur-e Jawid-e Qur’an.
2- Surah al-Baqarah 2:251.

of the Divine Essence may be in two ways:

a. God, whom scholastic theologians {mutakallimun} define as the “Necessary Being” {wajib al-wujud}), is One; He has no partner and nothing can be compared to Him. This meaning of monotheism is the same as that which God mentions in various ways in the Glorious Qur’an, such as:

لیس کمثله شئٌ

“Nothing is like him.”(1)

Elsewhere, it says:

ولم یکن له کفواً أحد

“Nor has He any equal.”(2)

Of course sometimes, this kind of monotheism is vulgarly interpreted in another way and more attention is given to the numerical sense of monotheism and that is, God is One and not two.

It is quite obvious that this way of defining monotheism is incompatible with the Divine Station.

b. The Divine Essence is simple and not compound because a being’s being constitution {tarakkub} of mental or external parts indicates that it is in need of its component parts and the “need” implies that there is “possibility” {imkan} and the possibility, in turn, necessarily mean that there is a need for a cause {‘illat},(3) and all these are discordant with the station of the Necessary Being.

2. The unity of the Divine creative power {khaliqiyyah}

The unity of the Divine creative power is one of the degrees of monotheism which is acknowledged by both reason {‘aql} and revelation {naql}.

In the parlance of reason, we in relation to God represent a ‘contingent’ {imkani} order which is devoid of any sort of perfection {kamal} and beauty {jamal}, and whatever a thing possesses originally emanates from the fountain of the grace of the Essentially Sufficient

p: 177


1- Surah ash-Shura 42:11.
2- Surah al-Ikhlas 112:4.
3- In the parlance of philosophy, whatever is possible {mumkin} is an effect {sabab} and needs a cause {‘illat}. In the language of ‘ilm al-kalam {scholastic theology}, whatever is created in time is an effect and needs a cause. {Trans.}

{ghani bi’dh-dhat}. Thus, any manifestation of perfection and beauty that we see in the world belongs to Him.

When we consider the Qur’anic viewpoint, we see that the Qur’an contains numerous verses which stress the idea of the unity of the Divine creative power. Here is an example:

قل الله خالق کل شئ وهو الواحد القهار

“Say, ‘Allah is the creator of all things, and He is the One, the All-paramount’.”(1)

Therefore, the question of the unity of the Divine creative power in general is not disputed by theologians. What needs to be clarified here is that the unity of the Divine creative power has two interpretations, which are as follows:

a. If there exists any kind of causal system and causal relations among the creatures they all stem from the Cause of causes {‘illat ’l-‘ilal} and the Source of effects {musabbab al-asbab}. In reality, the Independent and Principal Creator is God and the effect of any other than God on all that occurs is ascribed to God and through the permission and will of God.

In this view, the system of cause and effect in the world, which contributes to unveiling the human knowledge, has been acknowledged. Meanwhile, this system belongs to God Who has brought into being this system and originated the effects and causality, causes and causation, and the agents.

b. There is only One Creator in the world and that is God, and in the order of the universe, there exists nothing that can affect or be affected among the things,

p: 178


1- Surah ar-Ra‘d 13:16.

and God is the Principal(1) Creator of all natural phenomena and human power has also no effect on His deeds.

Therefore, there is only One Cause in the world and He is the “substitute” of all that which is known as “natural causes”.

Of course, this interpretation of the unity of the Divine creative power is endorsed by a group of ‘Ash‘ari scholars, but some figures such as Imam al-Haramayn,(2) and recently, Shaykh Muhammad ‘Abduh in his book on monotheism, reject this interpretation and adopt the first interpretation.

3. The unity of the Divine design {tadbir}

Since creation belongs exclusively to God, the design of the order of being also belongs to Him. There is only One Designer in the world, and by means of the rational proof {dalil al-‘aqli} that affirms the idea of the unity of the Divine creative power the unity of the Divine design is proved.

In numerous verses, the Glorious Qur’an states that God is the Only Designer of the world, as in the following:

قل أغیر الله أبغی رباً وهو رب کل شئ

“Say, ‘Shall I seek a Lord other than Allah, while He is the Lord of all things?’”(3)

Of course, the same two ways of interpreting the unity of the Divine creative power are used for interpreting the unity of the Divine design, and what is meant by the unity of the Divine design is to believe that independent design belongs to no one other than God.

On this basis, all the sorts of subordinate designing among the creatures in the order of universe take place by

p: 179


1- The original word used here is bila wasitah, which means “without any medium or agency”. {Trans.}
2- See Shahristani, Al-Milal wa’n-Nahl, vol. 1.
3- Surah al-An‘am 6:164.

the will and permission of God. The Holy Qur’an also points to this Divine design, stating:

فالمدبرات أمراً

“By those who direct the affairs {of creatures}.”(1)

4. Monotheism in authority {hakimiyyah}

Monotheism in authority {hakimiyyah} means that authority belongs to God as a fixed right, and He is the Only Ruler over the individuals constituting the society, as the Glorious Qur’an says:

إِنِ الْحُکْمُ إِلاّ لِلّهِ

“Sovereignty belongs only to Allah.”(2)

Therefore, the rule of others has to be through His decree so that upright individuals may rule over the people and take them to the ultimate abode of felicity and perfection, as the Holy Qur’an states:

یا داوُودُ إِنّا جَعَلْناکَ خَلیفَهً فِی اْلأَرْضِ فَاحْکُمْ بَیْنَ النّاسِ بِالْحَقّ

“O David! Indeed We have made you a vicegerent on the earth. So judge between the people with justice.”(3)

5. Monotheism in obedience {ta‘ah}

Monotheism in obedience means that the only object of obedience in essence {muta‘ bi’dh-dhat} and the One Whom the people have to follow is God, the Exalted.

Therefore, the necessity of obeying such people like the Prophet (S), Imams, faqih, mother, and father is something enjoined by Him and it occurs by His will.

6. The unity of the Divine legislation {taqnin or tashri‘}

The unity of the Divine legislation means that the right of legislation belongs only to God. On this basis, our heavenly book (the Qur’an) regards any decree which goes beyond the boundaries of the divine law as a source of infidelity, transgression and wrongdoing, as it says:

وَ مَنْ لَمْ یَحْکُمْ بِما أَنْزَلَ اللّهُ فَأُولئِکَ هُمُ الْکافِرُونَ

“Those who do not judge by what Allah has sent down—it is they who are

p: 180


1- Surah an-Nazi‘at 79:5.
2- Surah Yusuf 12:40.
3- Surah Sad 38:26.

the faithless.”(1)

وَ مَنْ لَمْ یَحْکُمْ بِما أَنْزَلَ اللّهُ فَأُولئِکَ هُمُ الْفاسِقُونَ

“Those who do not judge by what Allah has sent down—it is they who are the transgressors.”(2)

مَنْ لَمْ یَحْکُمْ بِما أَنْزَلَ اللّهُ فَأُولئِکَ هُمُ الظّالِمُونَ

“Those who do not judge by what Allah has sent down—it is they who are the wrongdoers.”(3)

7. Monotheism in worship {‘ibadah}

The most important issue of monotheism in worship is discerning the meaning of ‘ibadah {worship} because all Muslims agree that the only object of worship is God, and no one other than Him should be worshipped. The Holy Qur’an says in this regard:

إِیّاکَ نَعْبُدُ وَ إِیّاکَ نَسْتَعینُ

“You {alone} do we worship, and to You {alone} do we turn for help.”(4)

From the noble verses of the Qur’an, it is inferred that this issue is a common principle in the mission of all prophets (‘a), and all divine envoys are assigned the responsibility of propagating it. The Glorious Qur’an says in this regard:

وَ لَقَدْ بَعَثْنا فی کُلّ ِ أُمَّهٍ رَسُولاً أَنِ اعْبُدُوا اللّهَ وَ اجْتَنِبُوا الطّاغُوتَ

“Certainly We raised an apostle in every nation {to preach:} ‘Worship Allah, and keep away from the Rebel’.”(5)

Therefore, the principle that only God has to be worshipped and no other than Him is worthy to be worshipped is beyond dispute. A person is not considered a monotheist without accepting this principle.

The dispute is over other things such as: What is the criterion for distinguishing “worship” from other than worship?

Or, can the act of kissing the hand of one’s teacher, father, mother, or an ‘alim or scholar,

p: 181


1- Surah al-Ma’idah 5:44.
2- Surah al-Ma’idah 5:47.
3- Surah al-Ma’idah 5:45.
4- Surah al-Fatihah 1:5.
5- Surah an-Nahl 16:36.

for example, and paying any kind of homage or showing respect to those who possess rights {dhu’l-huquq}(1) be the same as worshipping them?

Or, over the idea that worship in its absolute sense is not extraordinary humility and homage; rather, it has a valid element and so long as that element is not put into effect, humility of any sort—even that which has the form of prostration—is not deemed as “worship”.

So, it is necessary to see what element gives humility and homage the character of worship, which is an important subject.

Misconception about worship

A group of writers interprete ‘ibadah {worship} as “lowliness” or “extreme humility”, but when want to interpret some Qur’anic verses, they fail. The Glorious Qur’an unequivocally states: “We ordered the angels to prostrate before Adam”

وَ إِذْ قُلْنا لِلْمَلائِکَهِ اسْجُدُوا ِلآدَمَ

“And when We said to the angels, ‘Prostrate before Adam…’”(2)

The way prostration was done to Adam (Adam) (‘a) was the same as that which is done to God. This is while the first was intended to express humility and lowliness, and the second is regarded as worship and devotion.

Now, why do these two identical prostrations have different natures?

The Qur’an states in another place: “Hadrat Ya‘qub (‘a), along with his sons, prostrated before Hadrat Yusuf (‘a)”.

وَرَفَعَ أَبَوَیْهِ عَلَی الْعَرْشِ وَخَرُّواْ لَهُ سُجَّدًا وَقَالَ یَا أَبَتِ هَ_ذَا تَأْوِیلُ رُؤْیَایَ مِن قَبْلُ قَدْ جَعَلَهَا رَبِّی حَقًّا

“And he seated his parents high upon the throne, and they fell down prostrate before him. He said, ‘Father! This is the fulfillment of my dream

p: 182


1- Dhu’l-huquq: literally, “owner/possessor of rights”. {Trans.}
2- Surah al-Baqarah 2:34.

of long ago, which my Lord has made come true.”(1)

It is is worth noting here that by the “dream of long ago”, Hadrat Yusuf (‘a) means the dream about eleven planets,(2) the sun and the moon, prostrating to him. The Qur’an quotes Yusuf (‘a) as saying:

إِنّی رَأَیْتُ أَحَدَ عَشَرَ کَوْکَبًا وَ الشَّمْسَ وَ الْقَمَرَ رَأَیْتُهُمْ لی ساجِدینَ

“I saw eleven planets, and the sun and the moon: I saw them prostrating themselves before me.”(3)

Since Hadrat Yusuf (‘a) considers the prostration of his close relatives as the interpretation of the dream, it is clear that what is meant by the eleven planets is his eleven brothers, and by the sun and the moon his father and mother, respectively.

Having said this, it is evident that not only his brothers but also his father, Prophet Ya‘qub (‘a), prostrated before him.

Now, let us ask: Why cannot that prostration, which represents utmost humility and lowliness, be named “worship”?

The excuse is worse than the sin!

Unable to reply, the mentioned group says that since this kind of humility is a response to the order of God, it is not considered an act of polytheism.

But, it is very obvious that this reply is untenable; for, God never orders others to perform any act that has polytheistic nature.

The Glorious Qur’an says:

قُلْ إِنَّ اللّهَ لا یَأْمُرُ بِالْفَحْشاءِ أَ تَقُولُونَ عَلَی اللّهِ ما لا تَعْلَمُونَ

“Say, ‘Indeed Allah does not enjoin indecencies. Do you attribute to Allah what you do not know?”(4)

In principle, the command of God does not change the nature of a thing. If

p: 183


1- Surah Yusuf 12:100.
2- Or, eleven stars. {Trans.}
3- Surah Yusuf 12:4.
4- Surah al-A‘raf 7:28.

the true meaning of showing humility to a certain person is to worship him and it is something enjoined by God then, it is a command to worship Him.

Resolving the ambiguity and the true meaning of ‘ibadah

Now, it is clear that the impermissibility of worshipping anyone other than God is unanimously accepted by the monotheists in the world. On the other hand, it is evident that the prostration of the angels to Adam (‘a) or that of Ya‘qub (‘a) and his sons to Yusuf (‘a) cannot be considered an act of worshipping those whom humility is shown.

Now, let us examine the element that makes humility in the first instance an act of worship, and does not make the same form of humility be within the ambit of worship.

The Qur’anic verses make clear that the humility shown to a being who is looked at as god or to whom divine acts are attributed is considered worship. From this statement, it is clear that the belief in God or belief that He can perform divine acts lends humility the sense of “worship”.

The polytheists of the world including the residents of the Arabian Peninsula and the like used to be subjected and humbled before beings whom they regarded as creatures of God and they also believed that those shown humility are capable of performing divine acts, the least of which were the forgiving of sins and enjoying the station of intercession.

A group of Babylonian polytheists used to worship heavenly objects and regard them as their “lords” {arbab} rather than “creators”

p: 184

to whom the management and administration of the world and human beings was entrusted.

The narrative of Hadrat Ibrahim (‘a) and his debate with that group is based on this very principle; for, the polytheists of Babylonia never regarded the sun, the moon and the stars as gods but as powerful creatures to whom the station of lordship and management of the world was delegated.

The Qur’anic verses which refer to Ibrahim’s (‘a) debate with the Babylonian polytheists are mainly concerned with the word “lord” {rabb},(1) and the term “lord” is used in the sense of owner and manager of his own property.

The Arabs call the owner of house as rabb al-bayt and the owner of farm as rabb ad-day‘ah because the management of house and farm is entrusted to the owner.

By introducing God as the Sole Manager and Lord of the worlds, the Glorious Qur’an urges {the Muslims} to combat the group of polytheists, and invites them to worship the One and Only God, saying:

إِنَّ اللّهَ رَبّی وَ رَبُّکُمْ فَاعْبُدُوهُ هذا صِراطٌ مُسْتَقیمٌ

“Indeed Allah is my Lord and your Lord; so worship Him. This is a straight path.”(2)

In another place, it says:

ذلِکُمُ اللّهُ رَبُّکُمْ لا إِلهَ إِلاّ هُوَ خالِقُ کُلّ ِ شَیْ ءٍ فَاعْبُدُوهُ

“That is Allah, your Lord, there is no god except Him, the creator of all things; so worship Him.”(3)

In Surah ad-Dukhan, it is stated:

لا إِلهَ إِلاّ هُوَ یُحْیی وَ یُمیتُ رَبُّکُمْ وَ رَبُّ آبائِکُمُ اْلأَوَّلینَ

“There is no god except Him: He gives life and brings death, your

p: 185


1- Surah al-An‘am 6:76-78.
2- Surah Al ‘Imran 3:51.
3- Surah al-An‘am 6:102.

Lord and the Lord of your forefathers.”(1)

Quoting Hadrat ‘Isa (‘a), the Holy Qur’an thus says:

وَ قالَ الْمَسیحُ یا بَنی إِسْرائیلَ اعْبُدُوا اللّهَ رَبّی وَ رَبَّکُمْ

“But the Messiah had said, ‘O Children of Israel! Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord’.”(2)

It is clear from what have been stated so far that showing any kind of humility to someone without considering that one as lord and god or attributing divine acts to that one cannot be called “worship”, no matter how extreme that humility and lowliness are.

Therefore, even the extreme form of humility shown by a child to his mother and father or that shown by the ummah to the Prophet (S) can by no means be interpreted as worshipping those to whom humility is shown.

Consequently, such subjects as seeking blessings {tabarruk} through the belongings of sacred people, kissing the door and wall or their shrines, resorting to awliya’ for mediation {tawassul}, calling on the pious servants of God, commemorating the birthday or death anniversary of eminent sacred people, and so on which some of the ignorant regard as polytheism or worshipping other than God, are not located within the parameters of worshipping other than God.

Bibliography

Ahkam al-Qur’an. Jassas al-Hanafi (Beirut).

Al-Ahkam as-Sultaniyyah. Abu’l-Hasan al-Mawardi (Egypt).

Akhbar Makkah. Azraqi.

Ala’ ar-Rahman.

Asad al-Ghabah (Egypt).

Al-As‘af. Sabban.

Al-Asfar al-Arba‘ah. Sadr al-Muta’allihin (Mulla Sadra).

Al-Bayan fi Akhbar Sahib az-Zaman. Muhammad ibn Yusuf ibn al-Kanji ash-Shafi‘i,

The Bible.

Bihar al-Anwar (Beirut, 2nd Edition, 1403 AH).

Al-Burhan fi ‘Alamat Mahdi Akhir az-Zaman. ‘Ali ibn Hassan ad-Din known as Muttaqi al-Hindi.

Dala’il as-Sidq.

Diwan

p: 186


1- Surah ad-Dukhan 44:8.
2- Surah al-Ma’idah 5:72.

Abi Talib.

Ad-Durr al-Manthur. Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti.

Ad-Durar as-Saniyyah. Sayyid Ahmad ibn Zayni ad-Dahlan.

Fath al-Barri. Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani (Dar al-Ma‘rifah).

Fath al-Muluk al-‘Ala. Hafiz Sayyid Ahmad.

Al-Fiqh ‘ala’l-Madhahib al-Arba‘ah (Egypt).

Al-Ghadir (Beirut, 1378 AH).

Al-Hujjah.

‘Ilal ash-Shara’i‘.

Iqtida’ as-Sirat al-Mustaqim. Ibn Taymiyyah.

Al-Isabah (Egypt).

Al-I‘tiqadat.

Al-Itqan.

Al-Ittihaf. Shabrawi.

Izhar al-Haqq.

Jami‘ Ahadith ash-Shi‘ah.

Jami‘ al-Bayan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an.

Al-Jami‘ Li Ahkam al-Qur’an (Beirut).

Al-Jami‘ as-Saghir. Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti.

Jami‘ al-Usul. Ibn Athir.

Al-Jarh wa’t-Ta‘dil. Abu Hatam ar-Razi.

Al-Kafi (Tehran, 2nd Edition, 1389 AH).

Kamil Ibn al-Athir (Egypt, 1348 AH).

Kanz al-Fawa’id (Beirut 1405 AH).

Kanz al-‘Irfan.

Kanz al-‘Ummal (Halab).

Al-Kashif. Dhahabi (translated version).

Khazanah al-Adab Baghdadi.

Kifayah at-Talib. Ganji Shafi‘i.

Lisan al-‘Arab.

Ma‘ani al-Akhbar. Shaykh as-Saduq (Beirut, 1399 AH).

Al-Mahdi wa’l-Mahdawiyyah. Ahmad Amin Misri.

Majma‘ al-Bayan.

Al-Majruhin. Ibn Hibban.

Makatib ar-Rasul.

Al-Manaqib. Khwarazmi Maliki.

Mashariq al-Anwar. Hamzawi Maliki.

Mizan al-I‘tidal. Dhahabi (Beirut, 1382 AH).

Mutashabihat al-Qur’an. Ibn Shahr Ashub Mazandarani.

Al-Mawahib. Zarqani.

Mizan al-I‘tidal. Dhahabi.

Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal.

Mustadrak (‘ala’s-Sahihayn). Hakim al-Nayshaburi.

Mustadrak al-Hakim.

Al-Muwatta’. Malik ibn Anas.

Nahj al-Balaghah (Muhammad ‘Abduh’s Arrangement).

Nahj al-Balaghah (Subhi as-Salih’s Arrangement).

Nahj as-Sa‘adah (Beirut).

An-Nihayah fi Gharib al-Hadith wa’l-Athar. Majd ad-Din Mubarak ibn Muhammad al-Juzri.

Nur al-Absar.

The Qur’an.

Al-Rasa’il al-‘Ashar. Shaykh at-Tusi.

Sa‘d as-Su‘ud.

Sahih al-Bukhari (Egypt).

Sahih Muslim (‘Abd al-Baqi Edition).

Sahih Sifah Salat an-Nabi (S). Hasan ibn ‘Ali ash-Shaqqaf.

Sahih at-Tirmidhi (New Delhi, 1342 AH).

As-Sawa‘iq al-Muhriqah. Ibn Hajar (al-‘Asqalani) (Cairo: Maktabah al-Qahirah, 2nd Impression).

Sirah al-Halabiyyah (Egypt).

Sirah Ibn Hisham (Egypt, 2nd Edition).

Sirat al-Mustaqim wa Jawahir al-Akhbar wa’l-Athar.

Sharh al-Muwatta’. Muhammad az-Zarqani (Egypt).

Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah. Ibn Abi’l-Hadid.

Sharh at-Tajrid al-Qawshchi..

Shaykh al-Abtah.

Sunan Abu Dawud (Egypt).

Sunan al-Bayhaqi.

Sunan ad-Darmi.

Sunan Ibn Majah.

Sunan al-Kubra.

Sunan an-Nisa’i.

At-Tabaqat al-Kubra (Beirut).

Tabarruk as-Sahabah. Muhammad Tahir al-Makki. Trans. Ansari.

Tadhkirah al-Fuqaha. ‘Allamah al-Hilli.

Tadhkirah Khawas al-Ummah. Sibt ibn Jawzi Hanafi.

Tafsir Mafatih al-Ghayb (Beirut, 1308 AH).

Tafsir al-Qurtubi.

Tafsir as-Safi.

Tahdhib al-Kamal. Hafiz al-Mazzi.

Tahdhib

p: 187

at-Tahdhib. Ibn Hajar (al-‘Asqalani) (Dar al-Fikr).

Tahdhib al-Usul.

At-Taj.

At-Tamhid.

At-Taqrib. Ibn Hajar (al-‘Asqalani) (translated version).

Tarikh Ibn Asakir.

Tarikh Ibn Kathir.

Tarikh al-Kamil.

Tarikh al-Khamis. Husayn ibn Muhammad Diyar al-Bakri (Beirut).

Tarikh Madinah Dimashq. Ibn ‘Asakir (Beirut, 1400 AH).

Tarikh at-Tabari.

Tarikh al-Ya‘qubi (Najaf).

At-Tawassul ila Haqiqah at-Tawassul (Beirut).

At-Tawassul wa’l-Wasilah. Ibn Taymiyyah (Beirut).

At-Tibyan.

Usul al-Kafi.

Wasa’il ash-Shi‘ah.

Yanabi‘ al-Mawaddah.

p: 188

About center

In the name of Allah

هَلْیَسْتَوِیالَّذِینَیَعْلَمُونَوَالَّذِینَلَایَعْلَمُونَ
Are those who know equal to those who do not know?
al-Zumar: 9

Introduction:
Ghaemiyeh Computer Research Institute of Isfahan, from 2007, under the authority of Ayatollah Haj SayyedHasanFaqihImami (God blesses his soul), by sincere and daily efforts of university and seminary elites and sophisticated groups began its activities in religious, cultural and scientific fields.

Manifesto:
Ghaemiyeh Computer Research Institute of Isfahan in order to facilitate and accelerate the accessibility of researchers to the books and tools of research, in the field of Islamic science, and regarding the multiplicity and dispersion of active centers in this field
and numerous and inaccessible sources by a mere scientific intention and far from any kind of social, political, tribal and personal prejudices and currents, based on performing a project in the shape of (management of produced and published works from all Shia centers) tries to provide a rich and free collection of books and research papers for the experts, and helpful contents and discussions for the educated generation and all classes of people interested in reading, with various formats in the cyberspace.
Our Goals are:
-propagating the culture and teachings of Thaqalayn (Quran and Ahlulbayt p.b.u.t)
-encouraging the populace particularly the youth in investigating the religious issues
-replacing useful contents with useless ones in the cellphones, tablets and computers
-providing services for seminary and university researchers
-spreading culture study in the publich
-paving the way for the publications and authors to digitize their works

Policies:
-acting according to the legal licenses
-relationship with similar centers
-avoiding parallel working
-merely presenting scientific contents
-mentioning the sources
It’s obvious that all the responsibilities are due to the author.

Other activities of the institute:
-Publication of books, booklets and other editions
-Holding book reading competitions
-Producing virtual, three dimensional exhibitions, panoramas of religious and tourism places
-Producing animations, computer games and etc.
-Launching the website with this address: www.ghaemiyeh.com
-Fabricatingdramatic and speech works
-Launching the system of answering religious, ethical and doctrinal questions
-Designing systems of accounting, media and mobile, automatic and handy systems, web kiosks
-Holding virtual educational courses for the public
-Holding virtual teacher-training courses
-Producing thousands of research software in three languages (Persian, Arabic and English) which can be performed in computers, tablets and cellphones and available and downloadable with eight international formats: JAVA, ANDROID, EPUB, CHM, PDF, HTML, CHM, GHB on the website
-Also producing four markets named “Ghaemiyeh Book Market” with Android, IOS, WINDOWS PHONE and WINDOWS editions
Appreciation:
We would appreciate the centers, institutes, publications, authors and all honorable friends who contributed their help and data to us to reach the holy goal we follow.

Address of the central office:
Isfahan, Abdorazaq St, Haj Mohammad JafarAbadei Alley, Shahid Mohammad HasanTavakkoly Alley, Number plate 129, first floor
Website: www.ghbook.ir
Email: Info@ghbook.ir
Central office Tel: 03134490125
Tehran Tel: 88318722 ـ 021
Commerce and sale: 09132000109
Users’ affairs: 09132000109

Introduction of the Center – Ghaemiyeh Digital Library